roadbikereview.com

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by woodgab, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. woodgab

    woodgab New Member

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    Its my first post and I hate to start off being skeptical, but I get the sence there are lots of shills posting on these sites. I’m researching the replacement of an 80’s Fuji Royale and can’t seem to find a deep, trustworthy pool of reviews for today’s over-the-counter $600-$1,500 road bikes.

    First, a miss-directed promotional copy of Bicycling magazine lands in my mail box ;) . It touts a Scattante R650. I go to the internet, where roadbikereview seems to have a disproportionate number of reviews relative to other brands. Most of the reviewers all seem to say they have some miles behind them with the bike and they provide their weights, usually rounded to the nearest 5 pounds. They, amazingly, pretty much, all love it.

    Maybe it’s a good bike, maybe not. I’m now out there test driving LBS bikes, being fitted to frames that are too small and I find myself having to twist the arm of the LBS guys to ride others than their heavily pushed Trek’s. I ride a 56cm 2100, then a 58, then a 58cm 1500, then a 58cm Klein Comp. OK, so I like the 58cm 2100 best. Soon it will be more LBS’s, but the prices on those Fuji’s at Bikesdirect are starting to look good.

    I’ve seen two adds for my old bike (stolen ten years ago) and am tempted to just put my burgeoning bike lust to rest. But, even to this approaching mid-lifer STI’s seem, well, way cool. I’m researching the old bar-mounted shift levers but, without reading it, the message between the lines is that even Shimano Sora’s would be a hands-down pick over anything waaaay down there.

    I don’t know if I’m frustrated, yet, but guess I could use some help on what a good replacement would be for a 23in/23lb steel frame bike ridden by someone who enjoys efficient power transfer and control and who rides on some of the smoothest roads any of us could yurn for.

    Thanks for putting up with my windy play by play. This site is the best I've found.

    Chris
     
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  2. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Fujis are good bang for the buck,but you better know how you fit on them and what size you need, as they are measured c to top of an extended seattube,unlike most others that are measured C-c or C to top of toptube. Treks are measured c to top of seattube so a good fitting trek could be a guideline,assuming TT length and seattube angle are comparable. Both have goemetry charts at their sites... Many pople would prefer even bottom of the barrel sora STI shifters over barends,but barends are nearly as effective and alot cheaper, in addition to other advantages. I'm not sure you can buy a bike with barends anyway other than maybe a Rivendell, since they are not mainstream. Some like Motobecane are offered with downtube shifters I think, and that would be a relatively cheap easy conversion to barends. FWIW, product reviews tend toward alot of hooey. How many people spend alot of money on somethng and then say it isn't any good?
     
  3. Mr_Potatohead

    Mr_Potatohead New Member

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    I have the Scattante R650. The frame is a very light aluminum frame, 1330 g in 51 cm size. Total bike weight is about 19 lbs with pedals.

    For the money the frame is amazing. You can buy a bare frame for $200. If you wreck it, no biggie.

    And the built up bike...Supergo sells ithe R650 with full Ultegra for less than $1000. You can't beat it.

    Get it, you'll be happy and you'll have a whole bunch of extra cash in your pocket.
     
  4. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    Pretty much all reviews on roadbikereview.com are incredibly biased. You can get a somewhat accurate idea of how less expensive items (like tires, grip tape, apparel, etc.) perform. But when it comes to complete bikes, frames, component groups and the high dollar stuff, what boudreaux said is true. Everyone says that their bike (or whatever) is the cat's meow. No one ever drops big bucks on something and then tells everyone that it sucks. Take what you read there with a large grain of salt!
     
  5. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    I disagree. I've seen plenty of criticism on there. For sure. As for the bias, it's not like you are admitting to people you know, in a crowded room, that you wasted money. What's the incentive to lie (other than bogus posts from the manufacturers or distributors)?

    I think the high positive factor is due to the fact that most people DO like the stuff they buy. I know I do. And when I don't, I don't mind saying so. Boudreaux, I KNOW you wouldn't mind. :)
     
  6. philbert

    philbert New Member

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    what i would like to see more of on review sites is brief narrative of what they also looked at / tested out and what prompted them to decide on what they bought. true, a number of reviews are like this, but clearly not the majority.

    -phil
     
  7. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    the reviews are made voluntarily so they are going to be biased, duh

    they can still be valuable so long as youre not mentally retarded
     
  8. woodgab

    woodgab New Member

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    A lot is written about products every day on the internet that is bogus and escapes people who aren't impaired. That just about all the models from names like Trek and Canondale would each have between 0 and 2 reviews at roadbikereview doesn't sound right, does it? This site gets tons of hits on misc bike searches via google. When you try looking up a review on Scattante, however, you find the carbon CFR and R-650 have 41 between them.

    'nough said.
     
  9. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    I guess I don't see the value in someone giving a rave review of a mediocre bike. If everyone is rating their equipment super high, there's absolutely no value in that! Where's the subjectivity (Duh)? Call me mentally retarded if you will. The bias comes from individuals not wanting to admit to themselves that their equipment is crap, never mind admitting it to others.
     
  10. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    Yeah, true. That and damn near every bike on there is rated between 4 and 5. 5 being the highest. Ridiculous!
     
  11. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    Yeah, and what rating would you give yours? Both my Colnago and Cervelo would get 5s by me. So would the Chorus group. OK, so the Veloce I'd give a 4. People usually LIKE their stuff, and have somewhat limited context. I think the written comments are far more important than the numerical rating. If they say "I take off like a rocket on hills now!" I'll ignore the rest.
     
  12. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    I have a Cannondale CAAD 5 w/ 9spd Dura Ace. If 5 is a "perfect" bike I'd give my C'dale about a 3.5 I guess? It's a great bike but I know there are a lot of better ones out there. Of course people like their stuff and in a way that's my point exactly. Once someone drops some big coin on equipment they're not very subjective anymore. It's easy for them to get on their shiny new bike and say "this thing climbs like a scorched monkey" (or pick your favorite of any of the ridiculous cliches). You make my point by rating both of your own bikes as perfect! I'd actually put more stock in a review from a magazine where the tester doesn't own or have any stock in the bike. Just my opinion.
     
  13. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

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    I agree that the reviews tend to be polarized - either very positive ("this bike rocks!!!") or a sad tale of terrible customer service. I find it somewhat useful, if I take it all with a grain of salt - it is one more data point, but not the most important, by far.

    Here is some advice for Woodgab:

    1) try to find a Local Bike Shop where you feel comfortable just getting your bearings and learning about what is out there. If you feel a lot of pressure to buy, then either ignore it or look elsewhere. There are good shops out there, and also, there are good people working at many. I find the medium sized stores are best, as there is good selection, but you don't have the owner doing the selling and thinking about his monthly sales stats, rather than your needs.

    2) Try a do-it-yourself, online fitting on a web site (http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO is one that I liked). This will give you a general idea about what frame sizes you should be looking at, but it certainly won't take the place of a test ride, but it will make test rides more productive.

    3) Pay to get a fitting (A Fit Kit, for example) at a bike shop. It should cost under $100 and it can be a good learning tool, to get more familiar with bike dimensions and sizing options. Ask for a senior employee and pick the person's brain. Then when you are trying out bikes make sure the sales person is actually referring to the fitting data - seat height is one measure in particular that I had to keep checking to see if they got it right. If you are not setting the bikes up consistently, it makes it REALLY hard to compare them.

    4) Test ride a lot of different bikes, but stay in your price range, otherwise it is a waste of time - sure it is fun to try that kick ass bike with the carbon crank, but stay focused on the task at hand.

    I think that taking a lot of time shopping/researching and also really learning about the bikes and components that are out there in your price range is very important and will lead to a better bike purchase. As for online shopping, when I started shopping last fall, I wasn't confident that I could find a great-fitting bike through mailorder / web, because I was unsure of what I really needed (std or compact frame, Ultegra or 105, etc). Now that I have a new bike that fits great, I would be confident buying something online, in the future - but I think I'll be happy with my current bike for several years!

    The only other thing I want to add is that there really are a huge number of high quality bikes out there, in a number of price ranges. With the right expectations, you can find great value at $800, $1000, 1500, and $2000 price points. If the bike fits well and makes you want to keep it for even 5 years, it is a great deal.

    Good luck!

    P.S. Having just upgraded from downtube shifters to STI, I can assure you that STIs kick butt! But if you have been test riding them, then you should already know that... I am actually in the process of upgrading my 18 year old Bianchi to 9-speed and STI, so I can use it as a wet-weather commuter bike with Panniers, fenders, etc. I am not sure I would recommend an overhaul project to most people, (it's not cheap - $400 and counting, and between the research and the shop work, it is fairly time consuming, too) as I don't think the old bike will ever come close to measuring up to the Specialized Allez Comp that I bought this year. I guess my point is that after using STIs, I can't really deal with downtube shifters anymore, and I doubt I would care much for bar end shifters, either, although I must admit that I haven't actually tried them out...
     
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