Looking for some bike recommendations

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by jrode, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. jrode

    jrode New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I've been lurking the forums for awhile and finally decided to sign up.

    Anyway, I would classify myself as a casual rider who has been consistently cycling for about a year and a half, mainly for the fitness aspect of it and mainly 20-30 mile rides a few times per week. The bike I currently have, a Trek 1.1, is my first road bike and has been good to me. However, I'm finding myself getting more into the sport and think it's time for an upgrade.

    Admittedly, though, I'm still very clueless as to the mechanical makeup of a bike. I'm trying to educate myself on components and everything that goes into them, but I thought I'd seek advice from those more experienced.

    For this next bike, I'm looking for something in the $2000-$2600 range that will satisfy me as I get into longer rides and could potentially be used to do some casual, local races if I get into that kind of thing.

    I'm not particularly tied to one brand, but I do like the look of Specialized's bikes and they were the only other brand I tried when I got my Trek.

    I know that getting on a bike and riding is the most important thing, but what should I be looking for? Having a starting reference point would be great.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    You have some options. You can go carbon with a 105 or Rival group, or a top grade alloy frame like an Allez E5 or a CAAD 10 with Ultegra. Alloy might be the better choice if racing is something you're considering. Either way, you'll also get better than entry level wheels. Ride as many different brands as you have available at local shops. And ride both aggressive race geometry frames, and more relaxed endurance frames. Decent carbon bikes in that price range are available in almost every brand. Top quality alloy frames aren't as common. The E5 Allez and the CAAD 10 are considered among the best alloy frames available right now. A good steel frame that will rival carbon and aluminum for weight is very likely outside of your price range.
     
  3. jrode

    jrode New Member

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    Would you mind expounding a bit on alloy being a better choice if I were to get into racing? I have always been under the assumption—or maybe illusion—that carbon bikes are the lightest and fastest. Then again, like I said, I am not too "in the know" on the technology/components of bikes.
     
  4. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Why not race with the 1.1? Upgrades are not a necessity for the sport. If you really want to go faster, look into training plans and instrumentation.

    Chances are you will be more competitive with your current bike, a power meter and time to train than you will with a brand new bike.

    Spend some time training with others and racing and I bet you will know exactly what your want for upgrades.
     
  5. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    +1. A power meter and structured training plan of 8-10hrs/wk could garnish an additional 40-50 watts (maybe more) in three months for less than a thousand bucks. The same gains of course could be achieved with a traditional RPE training plan but a PM maximizes quality training time and provides a nice new toy to play with. The weight savings on a upgrade to a CF frame would probably only yield the equivalent of an additional 2-3 watts (I remember reading on VeloNews -3lbs will save roughly 5 seconds over 40k on a flat course).

    That is, if you want to go faster. If you really just want an excuse for a new bike, none are necessary, and no one here will hold it against you... except maybe one or two old dudes who are still commiserating over the deprecation of the 8-track tape ;)

    I have also heard good things about the CAAD10, and if I were going for a new bike that wasn't another C'dale SuperSix, it would probably be a CAAD. I'd personally opt for a 105 equipped bike in the range you mention only because I've ridden it in the past and it's quality stuff. There are loads of good choices in the $2000-2500 range and while suggestions may be helpful, anyone giving advice here no matter how well intentioned, is simply the equivalent of telling you which girl they'd ask to the school dance for their own arbitrary reasons. My suggestion, go out and talk to a bunch of girls and ask the one you want to dance with.

    PS: you might be surprised at the results if you simply ramped your training up to 3x35mi/week and 1x50mi/week (total 4 days on the bike), with ~30 minutes spent above 90% of your maxHR, sprinkled among those 7 or 8 weekly hours in 3-4 minute doses. Five weeks of that and you'd gain more speed than any new bike would ever yield.

    When I got back into racing a few years ago I had a Tarmac SL3 (same bike as a number of pro teams in the TDF were racing that year) and an alu Cinelli Experience with Ultegra, to be honest I didn't feel any advantage in my local races over either bike, except that I was less afraid to crash the Cinelli and the Tarmac was nicer to carry up to my 4th floor walkup. And if you decide to race on the 1.1 and you don't do well you can always blame it on the bike ;P
     
  6. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Because you'll be starting out in the demolition derby known as cat 5. An aluminum bike may hold up better in a crash, but, even without that, damage to it is often easier to spot .And good aluminum frames rival carbon for weight. Especially with carbon in the $2000-$2500 range, which is basically entry level carbon. There's nothing inherently "faster" about any frame material. Most of the speed for any bike comes from the "engine". With the right component group, carbon bars and saddle rails, and light wheels, you can get a good aluminum frame very close to UCI weight minimum at 15 lbs, depending on frame size. One of the local racers has an Allez, in 54 cm, that weighs 14.5 pounds. With pedals.

    And what the others have mentioned is good advice. Work on the engine first. A new bike isn't going to make you any faster right now. If you want to lighten up your 1.1, a carbon fork and lighter wheels will take off some weight, for less money than buying a new bike. Those "Bontrager Approved" 32 spoke wheels are durable but heavy.
     
  7. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    lulz. In my first ten Cat5 races back on the racing scene there were no less than 6 crashes. Two in the same race, one less than 5 feet away from me. One involved an exploded front wheel which was fortunately on another riders bike but unfortunately one which I'd lent him. Two involved ambulance rides to the local ER, three involved bikes which had to be walked or carried back to the finish line, one of which was separated into two distinct pieces held together by nothing but the brake and derailleur cables... oy vey!
     
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