New frame maybe.... Need help deciding Please!!

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by campbellj, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. campbellj

    campbellj New Member

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    When I first got my Litespeed built I told myself after I get about 1k miles on it, I would decide if I like that frame or shop for a new one. Here's the dilemma, my bike is 49cm with 650c Zipp wheels on it. I feel like it fits me well, maybe not perfect because I haven't spent the money on a proper "bike fit" yet. Since I have built it I've had the urge to move into something with 700c wheels for parts availability and because that's what everyone else rides. I've got killer components on my bike, ect.. So, I was out looking today and was checking out a Cannondale Six and a Specialized Tarmac elite, the tarmac is a 2009 blowout price, and the Six is a 2010, I really like both bikes, I can get the Cannondale in a 50cm, and the smallest I can get the Specialized is a 52, looking at frame geometry, they both are really close except for the toptube on the Specialized is a little longer, which can be fixed with a stem. Basically either bike, I would buy, then have all my components put onto it, and save up and buy more Zipp wheels for it. I almost feel like moving over to a lower end carbon bike, is almost like downgrading frames from my litespeed, even though it's a 2003, but I get the opportunity to have 700c wheels without spending a huge amount of money, and either bike with my components I think would be a killer bike. The Specialized and the Cdale are both the same price.

    My main question is, should I just stick with what I have and spend my money on a proper bike fit? Or get one of the other bikes, swap everything over, sell my Zipps, frame, and components off the new bike, and put towards more Zipps? I think either of the 3 bikes could be set up to fit me properly. Which bike is better the Cdale or Specialized? One thing I do like about the Specialized is it has a braze on front derailleur vs a clamp on that the Cdale has, not that it makes that much difference, but looks cleaner. Advice???
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    How tall are you?

    Why buy an entire bike if you just want a new frame & wheelset?
     
  3. campbellj

    campbellj New Member

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    I'm 5'5, but my legs are short. 28in inseam. Well my original plan was to just buy a frame and wheelset, but it turns out that I would basically pay the same for the complete bike. And after I bought zipps for the new bike, I would have another set for training or commuting. It just seemed to be the better option, if you can think of a better way to go about it, please let me know. I'm open to all options!
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    HMmm. Your plan is sound ...

    I'm not sure that I would choose either bike, however; BUT, if I had to, I would probably choose the Cannondale Six (and, I'm not a big Cannondale fan because of their tendancy to use some proprietary specs/components).

    What components are on your Litespeed?

    Regardless, I reckon you want a frame with a (virtual) top tube of ~53cm -- a "compact" frame with a sloping top tube will eliminate the problem of a shorter leg to torso proportion (for a "girl"; but, not for a "guy") ...

    Personally, I think a slightly smaller frame with a slightly longer stem (up to 120mm) is preferable to a slightly larger frame with a shorter stem (less than 90mm) ... it's mostly a cosmetic issue, but there may be some real issues to consider with regard to head & seat tube angles.

    REMEMBER. Most bike should go on sale at the beginning of July (if they are not already on sale) ... expect 20% off of MSRP. A 2009 bike should be about 30% off of MSRP. An older, NOS bike should be 40% off of MSRP.
     
  5. campbellj

    campbellj New Member

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    I lucked out and came across 2010 sram force components while building my bike, and using them for the time I have, they are really great components and I don't wanna use anything else, unless of course I upgrade to red piece by piece, but that's a lot of money for a few grams so ill stick with the force. I also would rather have a slightly smaller frame than a slightly larger one. I feel more in control on a smaller one. Stand over height on both the cdale and the specialized are virtually the same +- a mm or two, but the smaller frames starts looking awkward with 700c wheels do as do larger frames with 650c. And could have some toe overlap issues which concerns me, but plenty of ppl say that's nothing to worry about and I hear 700c wheels are faster.

    I personally have no trouble keeping up with anyone on 700c wheels, but does that mean if I was riding a 700c bike I would go faster than them, or less effort to keep up? That's what I'm trying to figure out, no one I ride with rides a smaller frame bike like me so there is no way to trade for a day, and honestly I don't think a test ride from the shop is gonna really let me feel the difference if any.

    A guy I work with has a cervelo with 650c and a trek with 700c and the best he can tell me is the cervelo gets off the line quicker and handles precise like a racecar compared to his trek handling like a Cadillac he says, but the cervelo is a tt bike which adds to the nimble handling.

    My litespeed is a saber which is also a tt bike but I have drop bars on it and love the way it handles. I guess all this is really coming down to a 650c vs.700c thing because of tire availability, I'm never gonna find another "road" frame in 650c to reuse my wheels unless I did another tt bike with drop bars.

    Personally if I had more money I would not be choosing specialized, cdale, giant, trek or any of the "big" brands you see on every single ride. I like the more smaller company brands, but they tend to come with a higher price tag. But budget wise those seem to be the better choice for.me "if" I decide to go this route. It's confusing as to what decision to make.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    In theory, there is less friction for every mile traveled using a 700c wheel than with a 650c wheel because the 650c wheel necessarily rotates more often to cover any given distance ... so, you would theoretically be able to go a little faster for a given amount of physical expenditure on your part ...

    BUT, a 650c bike is usually lower to the ground and therefore probably has a smaller frontal area and therefore less wind resistance ... at slower speeds, air resistance is usually not a factor.

    I think you would need to be wearing a size 46, or larger, shoe before you had to worry about toe overlap.

    If you do buy the Cannondale OR some other bike, then (if you hadn't already planned to) I suggest you move the 105 (?) components onto the Litespeed before selling it.
     
  7. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    At 5'5", even with 28" legs, your fit on a stock 46 with 650c wheels has to be weird. I'm inclined to say, before you make a commitment to those wheels, find a shop that can size you properly.

    I'm also inclined to recommend a 48cm Cervelo S1, S2, or R3. With your long torso and short gap to the top tube, the RS will be too short and too high in front.

    I wouldn't worry about using a stem as long as 12cm on a frame this size, and toe overlap shouldn't be a problem unless you have big feet or you're using 175mm cranks.
     
  8. campbellj

    campbellj New Member

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    I got a chance to take both bikes on fairly long test rides. I chose the Specialized for so many reasons over the Cdale, first off. I went back to the shop that sold Cdales, and they had a 50cm Six together it had dura ace components on it, they said grab a helmet and take it for a spin if I wanted. So I did, didn't take but a few feet to notice the tires were a little low, so I went back and asked if air could be put in, I got handed a pump, so I filled them to my liking and took off. It still didn't feel right, felt like I was riding a 100lb bike and I could hear some clicking, besides the fact that it seemed to have like 46 or larger cm bars on it and a huge stem, way too big for me so I felt like I was driving a truck. I wasn't that pleased, went back into the shop, noticed some play in the front hub with alot of side to side movement of the tire, and my response was "the mechanic is out, if you wait till he gets back he will take a look at it and you can ride it again" I asked when he would return, "I don't know" so I left with a bad taste in my mouth for Cdale and that shop. All in all I think I rode it about 3-5miles.

    I went to the Specialized shop, they immediatly pulled the tarmac down, took me and the bike back to the shop, he tuned it up, set my seat height, fitted me on it really quick, even changed stems for me to make sure it was the right size before I ever left the shop. Lended me some new shoes and cleats, installed some look pedals because that's what I have on my bike, he wanted me to feel comfortable. His last words were, I'm going to lunch, see you in an hour or so if you want to go on a long ride. Sweet! I got 15-18 miles in. Granted it was a 52cm, I still had "some room" over the top tube, not much but some, and the reach felt spot on. The bike rode great, even with 105 components, vs. the dura ace on the Cdale, I can't believe the other shop wouldn't take 5 minutes to make sure the bike was good before they let someone out on it.

    It was the last tarmac of 2009 they had in stock, so I dropped a deposit on it. I really fell in love with the bike. The carbon frame really absorbed way more shock than my litespeed ever would. Getting up to speed was harder due to the larger wheels, but maintaining it was easier but that was to be expected. He even offered to include a fit, and swap all my components from the litespeed to the tarmac, and build the litespeed back up with the 105 for no extra charge.

    I told them though before I make the final final decision on the bike, I wanted them to check for either a 2010 tarmac elite in my size or a 2009 expert, only because I like the beefier 8r frame a little better than the 6r, but if nothing shows up (specialized is completely out of stock) I am sure I will be completely happy with the 6r frame. It's the gloss carbon/blue by the way and I am wondering if the 8r frame is really worth the extra 4-500 dollars, probably not for me being fairly new, and I could use that money toward new wheels. Anyone know the 6r 8r differences besides, a little more flex, beefier in places and a few grams lighter? maybe how much lighter?

    I am also wondering should I have the litespeed built back up and sell it as a complete bike? or piece it out? or keep it for that matter and maybe try to talk my wife into riding, she is shorter than me and it would fit her nicely, but she doesn't want a "road bike" she wants a beach cruiser.

    I know that fit is the most important thing when buying any bike, but I also feel now that the quality of the customer service at the shop also plays a huge role in it also. I am sure they could have made that Cdale fit me perfectly, if they wanted, but for some reason, their attitude didn't tell me they wanted to sell a bike. So Specialized for the Win!!!
     
  9. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    So you discovered that when you're new or uncertain about bike buying, you need to shop for a quality LBS as much as you do for a bike. Good stuff.

    I wouldn't worry about any frame differences between the 6R and 8R. You're not going to notice any differences in flex, and frankly the majority of people wouldn't either. "Stiffness" is one of marketing terms most in vogue these days.

    Save money for better wheels? Maybe. Frankly, I'd save my money and just ride the wheels that come on the bike into the ground.

    As for your old bike, you can make the most money off of it by parting it out on eBay. You're gonna get hosed at an LBS on trade in or if they sell it for you.
     
  10. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Your story's an excellent case for the importance of customer service. Too bad for Cannondale to have these dweebs representing their products. Good luck with your Tarmac.
     
  11. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about the indifferent reception (particularly, the poor bicycle prep) which you received from the Cannondale dealer ...

    You ARE correct in presuming that customer service is a factor in deciding from whom you buy a new bike because the pre-sale service is probably a good indication of how the after-sale service is probably going to be.
     
  12. campbellj

    campbellj New Member

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    Exactly, the customer service played a HUGE role on the decision I made. Like I said before, the C'dale "could" have been a sweet bike, but you never get a second first impression. Now I am really excited and can't wait to be riding the Tarmac!
     
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