Picking my first carbon road bike

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Fatty Lumpkin, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Fatty Lumpkin

    Fatty Lumpkin New Member

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    Hi All! I have my first “year” (8 months) of “serious” cycling under my belt. I purchased a Surly Long Haul Trucker – which I LOVE – but over this time have developed a keen desire to ride fast. Strava segments are addicting. I like both sprints and longer segments. I’ve been able to get at or near the top of the local segment lists on the Surly but am looking to get an edge while I work on my fitness.

    A local store carries Trek & Specialized. Other area shops have good bikes but not as many options as this one, which is close to home. I like the Specialized. I’m just not sure what to get.

    Rider Info:
    • Longest Ride: 82 miles.
    • Summer Average: 160 per week.
    • Pace: 16-18 mph on a normal day.
    • Bike: Surley Long Haul Trucker.
    • Requirements: A less aggressive build due to a neck issue…endurance bikes?
    Here are the bikes I’m considering…
    • Specialized Roubaix
    • Specialized Diverge
    • Cannondale Synapse – Another store had a couple 2016 models that are about 1 pound lighter than the above top pics. One of them was aluminum but beautiful.
    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer. It's a bit overwhelming and I don't want to make a bad choice.
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Most of the TREK and Spesh 'aggressive' racing geometry models have tall enough head tubes that with a couple stem spacers under the bars should work for riders with neck problems, BUT this would be a highly personal and subjective area that only a couple of test rides could put to rest.

    TREK 'H2' (taller race bike geometry. 'H1' is the shorter head tube models) Emonda's, Madone's and Domane's might be worth checking out. All are what I would classify as an endurance fit adapted to a racing bike.

    TREK, C'dale and Spesh endurance models offer what most racers would describe as a plush ride. The trend toward absorbing road shocks and vibrations has been taken to the extreme on some models. Front and rear 'suspensions' are all the rage these days. You may or may not like that. Again, test riding the various models is in order.

    None of the bikes you listed are losers and none would be a bad choice if the geometry fits you and doesn't aggravate your neck problem. The frame material is not as important as how the bike fits and rides. Carbon fiber models will probably be the lightest and most efficient and may still offer the best ride qualities among the 'unsprung' models...maybe. Doing a direct road comparison test will give you the answers you seek. A 'suspension' model such as the higher end Roubaix's might be just what you're looking for in ride and bar height.

    Just keep in mind that the geometry has to fit your body and riding position first and foremost. Fit, fit, fit...first, last and always. After that prioritize ride, color, components, etc. in the order that pleases you.
     
  3. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    And as I say every time why not consider a cross frame?

    A high end carbon cross frame like a spesh Crux or even something more exotic like a Riddley carbon cross racer.

    With a second pair of wheels, or even tires there are not many limitations on what you can do with the bike.. you probably can configure these for a quite upright position too.
     
  4. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Trek, Specialized and Cannondale are all great bikes/brands, so it's hard to go wrong with any of them. You're on point with the Endurance Geometry.. Take it from someone else in your 'boat' that you don't want to try and modify a racing bike with hundreds of dollars of addons to fit you comfortably.

    So, really what you get is kind of dependent on your budget and your options. If money isn't a concern.. then there are a lot of options..and also.. if you are definitely buying at the Specialized/Trek shop.. then The Domane or the Roubaix are your choices. But, if you're willing to drive a little to get a bike (depending on where you live) you can always find a shop that sells something you'd be happy with. As an example, I own a Wilier.. not a brand you see a lot. I got mine through my work (used) because we have a pro-cycling team that uses their bikes. Gorgeous.. but, there are no dealers near me anywhere.. BUT, any Local Bike shop will service any bike.. So, if you drive 50 miles to pick u a Cervelo, you can still take it to that local shop for your maintenance. That's up to you.

    There are some great bikes out there by BMC, Cervelo, LaPierre, Wilier, Giant, etc. Even some of Diamondback's pro-level bikes are fantastic. Just depends on whether or not you're locked into Specialized/Trek and that particular shop.. or you're willing to shop around. I can always provide examples. :)
     
  5. Fatty Lumpkin

    Fatty Lumpkin New Member

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    Thank you for the responses!

    CAMPYBOB, I could not agree more with the fit being a priority. Two of the shops do an extensive fitting that I’m willing to pay extra for to get it right. And maybe the most valuable piece of advice you gave is, “None of the bikes you listed are losers and none would be a bad choice if the geometry fits you and doesn't aggravate your neck problem.” I was sort of looking for permission to lighten up and take anything that will be an improvement over my 28+ pound LHT. I know all of these will be better but its a bit overwhelming when I'm still learning.

    Volnix, I’ve never heard of any of these bikes you mention so I’m going to do some research! Thank you for the suggestions.

    Motosonic, thank you for supporting my endurance geometry preference. Like I told CAMPYBOB, I’ve taken that noob stance of looking for confirmation from those who know more about this than I do. My wife has given me permission to spend about 3k of our money so the Roubaix and Domane (not sure they carry the Domane) is right at the top of the budget. I have plans to visit a shop that carries Giants but I’ll look into some of these other options, too.

    Thanks again for the help.

    Happy riding!
     
  6. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Here are some Endurance Geometry bikes to consider. For $3,000. You can probably take your pick. Try and find a leftover 2015 or 2016 (now that the 2017 are coming out.. you should be able to score a good deal).
    Cervelo C3 or C5
    LaPierre Sensium
    BMC RoadMachine (This Bike is unreal, but probably out of your budget)
    Wilier GTR SL or GTR Team
    Giant Defy
    Diamondback Century (4 or 5)

    You already know the rest. But those are just a few for you to maybe look up online, read some reviews.. and maybe find a local dealer and take one for a test ride. Giant, Trek and Specialized will be the most neutral and easiest to come by.. but if you're like me and you ride a lot of charity rides, etc.. where there are a lot of cyclists.. It's easy to lose your bike in a crowd because there are 20 other people with the exact, same bike.
    I took a bunch of test rides before I bought my current bike.. and I'm looking to buy again... and I'll probably go with another Wilier. There's no local dealer, but, I love the way they look, feel and ride. If I could afford a BMC, that'd be my pick. But all of these bikes are within your budget.. Just shop around. Now is a good time to buy.
    Any of these bikes are going to be lighter than your current bike.. considerably so. And they're all good bikes.. but there are differences... mainly in the frame makeup.. which changes the ride quality, durability, etc. Many of these bikes have pros and cons.. so, looking up reviews.. say on bike radar or bicycling dot com or road dot cc.. and then comparing what you'd want from a bike. A test ride will tell you a lot.. but, multiple test rides on different bikes, will tell you more. You might find out that Specialized or Trek are really not a good fit for you.
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Also, check out the Ridley bikes on sale at Competitive Cyclist. The Fenix might be worth considering and even the Helium has a fairly tall head tube.
     
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  8. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    You even cyclocross brah? :D Ridley... Very big in cyclocross..

    Hey FL, say something funny! :)

    ridley-xfire-2012-pf30-ultegra-cyclocross-cxm-0798_1_11.jpg

     
  9. Fatty Lumpkin

    Fatty Lumpkin New Member

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    Something funny? Why do cows have bells? . . . Answer: Because their horns don't work.

    That bike looks great. But, I've never done cyclocross. Only been doing this a year and have stuck to road biking. Lots of good, paved trailed around here. Maybe I'll branch out in the future. Right now it's all I could do to get my wife to agree to 1 more bike after I just purchased one a year ago.

    Thanks for the Ridley Fenix suggestion, Motosonic. There is actually a dealer I've never heard of 37 mins away. I have to say, this is why it's overwhelming. So many choices.
     
  10. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    That was pretty funny actually.. :D
    Oh man I thought you was a girl! I got the avatar mixed up! :D

    Yeah it's pretty much worse searching for them than buying them...

    If you want to get something that apparently has a very well built frame check BMC too.. Zey are Swiss! Vrom Zwitzerland! :D
     
  11. Fatty Lumpkin

    Fatty Lumpkin New Member

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    Yeah, the joke kills with 5-year olds.

    Seems there are not a lot of BMC dealers around but I'll add them to my list. So many bikes, so little time. Thanks :D
     
  12. rajababa

    rajababa New Member

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    you probably can configure these for a quite upright position too.
     
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