Taking the Leap into Carbon Fibre

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Dansky, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    I'm a distance runner who got into road cycling a year and a half ago, due to some minor back issues. Since buying my 2005 Specialized Allez Sport in the autumn of 2008, (aluminum frame, tiagra-everything, 105 rear derailleur) I have really enjoyed staying fit on it; did my first century this past summer. No issues with back pain at all, as I was fitted really well on the bike. The bike weighs approximately 22-23lbs.

    I wish to "take the leap" into an all carbon-fibre frame with better components (Shimano 105 or better). I'm less interested in the "relaxed fit" type of roadie, but more into streamlining my own position on a bike that is intended for it.

    My range has been aimed at $1,500-$2,000 (US), and I started checking out local bike shops. Closeout Specials are definitely an option.
    Felt's F5C didn't really impress me much, as it seemed pretty heavy even for a CF bike. Test riding is tough to do right now, as we have ice on the ground out here in Illinois.
    Should I be aiming at a higher price point for what I'm looking for? I realize that weight isn't everything; frame rigidity and flexibility are often overlooked variables.

    Opinions and advice are most welcome.
     
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  2. markrfischer

    markrfischer New Member

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    well 2k should get you into a good price point where in Illinois do you live? I grew up in Dekalb and know of a few good shops in this area that might have a few closeouts on hand.

    I tend to like titanium bikes due to their overall ride. A good choice to look into on carbon is Orbea they seem to make good bikes at a good price, and Cannondale is another one with that seems to give alot for the money.
     
  3. new_rider

    new_rider New Member

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    $2K gets you an entry level Trek Madone 4.5:

    Trek Bikes | Bikes | Road | Madone 4.5

    105 throughout.

     
  4. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    I'm over in Lake Forest now; moved up from Downers Grove in November.
    Actually, I was just over in a shop yesterday that carries both Orbea and Cannondale. I'm pretty impressed with the top-end Cannondale SuperSix 3, but it's way up there in cost.
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    $2k will get anyone of many CF bike choices. There are NOS bikes marked down. There are, of course, new mid-range bikes. What you need to do is go to several LBS and ride a bunch of bikes in that price range. Pick the one that fits the best, feels the best, and that makes you feel most randy. Frankly, it would be difficult to find a bike in the price range that wasn't a good bike

    There's nothing particularly magical CF or any other frame material. What matters is the design, the construction, and the application of the material.
     
  6. rschleicher

    rschleicher New Member

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    I just got a 2010 Scott CR1 Team model, for $1,999 (modest discount from the $2,199 list price).

    It's full 105, including the brakes. The wheelset is Mavic Aksium. I forget what frame size Scott uses for their advertised weight quotes (probably a medium?), but the spec'd weight is 17.5 lbs.

    The Dura-Ace version of the bike is under 15 lbs (with Mavic Kysirium SL wheels), while the Ultegra version (with Kysirium Elite wheels) is just over 16 lbs.

    Given the weight differences between the versions, and taking into account the wheelset and gruppo weight differences, my belief is that the frame and fork is identical for all of the equipment levels. (There is also an SRM Rival version slotted between the Ultegra and 105 versions, plus a cheaper Tiagra/105 mix that is $1,600 or maybe $1,700.

    The fork is all carbon, including the steerer tube, and the frame/fork has carbon cable housing stops, carbon drop-outs, and an integrated bottom bracket. The frame is toned down some from Scott's top-level Addict model, with a slightly more relaxed geometry, and some more vertical compliance designed into the stays, fork, etc. But a very nice package that is well worth considering on your list.

    Here's a link to the Team version:

    SCOTT SPORTS | Bike | CR1 Team
     
  7. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    First class advice. There are lots of great bikes available for $2K or less. Some aren't even all carbon. Why, last week I tried a Scott Speedster 20 and was blown away by the ride. At this price, though, most bikes are going to hit the scales at 17-19.5 lbs. Once you're under 20, the only component that will significantly augment performance is lighter or more aerodynamic wheels.
     
  8. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    Well, I searched around at a lot of different bike shops, and more or less narrowed the search down to Giant's TCR Advanced 3 (an '09 on closeout) - all 105 throughout. $1999 + tax (US).

    But after seeing the all Ultegra version (TCR Advanced 2) I figured I could handle a couple hundred more in my budget, and simply liked idea of having something significantly better than the Tiagra and 105 components on my first roadie.

    Both TCR versions felt good on indoor trainers, and I did get some limited test rides done either outside or on a makeshift indoor track. The test rides outside were extremely brief, due to weather/road conditions up here in northeastern Illinois. The Advanced 3 closeout went for $2300 in Chicago, so I found a store that would price-match that in an area with a lower sales tax (10.25% vs. 8%).

    Now it's sitting in my basement waiting for the ice outside to melt, while I keep on running and doing some core-training exercises.:D
     
  9. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Remind me never to get into a negotiating war with you. ;)

    Congratulations, smart shopper. I love my Giant (an '07 TCR C0), too. Now ride it like you stole it. After the ice melts.
     
  10. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Enjoy the new scooter, but don't wait until Spring to ride: as soon as the ice melts, hit the streets.
     
  11. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    Yeah, that bit about ice is rather crucial.

    A month ago, during a brief warm spell, the paved bike path near my house looked clear, so I gave it a shot on my aluminum roadie. (Just for a short ride.)

    Some snow that had melted and frozen again into small peaks about a quarter inch high was all it took. I was barely moving forward, but once both tires were on it, the ship went down. Still clipped in, I instinctively put down my left knee to protect the bike, while I did a 180º on the path. Took some skin off; the knee is fine now, but I learned my lesson.
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    That's good. You're not having fun until you start bleed copiously.

    One reason to ride the roads instead of the bike paths is that the roads are cleaned of frozen kack more often/better.
     
  13. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Except in Boulder, Colorado.
     
  14. jagonz456

    jagonz456 New Member

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    I found this deal check it out. If you can get your size its a great deal.
    its a
    Rocky Mountain Prestige 30 CR Road Bike
    Regularly: $1,949.95 40% off sale $1,169.97
    Main Triangle Material: High Modulus Monocoque Carbon 12K
    Seat Stay Material: Carbon Fiber
    Chain Stay Material: Carbon Fiber
    Seat Tube Material: Carbon Fiber
    Fork: Rocky Mountain
    Fork Blade Type: Carbon curved
    Steer Tube Type: Carbon
    Drop Type: Aluminum
    Headset: FSA Orbit CS thread-less
    Bottom Bracket: FSA Mega Exo
    Crankset: FSA Omega
    Teeth: 50 x 34T
    Crank Arm Length: 170-172.5-175mm
    Chain: Shimano 105 CN-5600
    Cassette: Shimano 105 CN-5600
    Sprocket Range: 12-27T
    Shifters: Shimano 105
    Front Derailleur: Shimano 105
    Rear Derailleur: Ultegra 6600
    Cage Length: Short
    Brake Levers: Shimano 105
    Brakes: Tektro R390
    Wheelset: Shimano WH-R500
    Tires: Vittoria Zaffiro
    Tire Size: 700x23
    Stem: Flip-flop alloy
    Clamp Diameter: 31.8mm
    Stem Length: 90-100-110-120-130mm Stem Angle: 6°
    Handlebar: Drop alloy 31.8mm Handlebar Width: 400-420-440mm
    Handlebar Drop: [400] 13cm Bar Tape: White Cork
    Seatpost: Carbon Seatpost Diameter: 31.6mm
    Seat post Length: 300mm
    Saddle: San Marco Ponza
    Seat Collar: non-QR
    Weight: [48cm] 19.7lbs (8935.7g)
    Recommended Use: Road cycling
    Manufacturer Warranty: 5 years

    I am aware that he found a bike but this info might help someone else.


    Rocky Mountain Prestige 30 CR Road Bike from Realcyclist.com
     
  15. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    When I lived in Boulder, I didn't enjoy riding with the sand on the roads in Winter, but otherwise I didn't think winter riding was too bad at all.
     
  16. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    No, it isn't bad at all. I was not trying to complain, just trying to register a cheap political shot that isn't entirely accurate, anyway. The bike paths are often cleared first because they're under parks & recreation, not DPW.

    But back to the bike--under $2000 you're not going to find a sub-16.5 flyweight anyway. After riding 20+ lb bikes for 35 years, any bike under 19 that fits and handles well is OK by me.

    I believe Trek has downgraded the componentry on the Madone 4.5 to hit the $2000 mark, and many shops have marked the '09s down to make room.

    And, of course, there's always ebay. You really have to shop your neighborhood, test ride, and just find what turns you on at your price level.
     
  17. rschleicher

    rschleicher New Member

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    The comments on the Madone 4.5 being downgraded a bit for 2010 are correct, I think. The components, wheels, etc. on the 4.5 are basically identical to the aluminum-frame 2.1 model, whereas the aluminum frame 2.3 is actually better equipped than the Madone 4.5. (The 2.3 has somewhat nicer wheels, as used on the Madone 4.7. Otherwise, though, the 2.3 and 4.7 aren't really directly comparable in terms of components, as the 4.7 uses Rival.)

    For a $2,000 carbon fiber bike, out the door, I think you are probably talking at least 17 lbs, since at that price range you are basically looking at 105 equipage and fairly inexpensive wheels.

    If you can find a bike with a "lighter than typical" aluminum frame, that has Ultegra components (or maybe Rival), then you might actually be able to get a bike that's just as light, and maybe even a little lighter. For example, a CAAD9 4, which has Rival, weighs, according to bicycling.com, 17.1 lbs, and is probably going to run around $1700, plus or minus. C'dale makes a CAAD 1, which might be as light an aluminum bike is you can find, but it is a fair amount over the $2,000 threshhold, with Dura-Ace components, etc. But many/most vendors seem to top out their aluminum frame bikes at the 105 level, which is still going to have a bit of weight penalty compared to
    a similarly-equipped CF bike.
     
  18. Brand1

    Brand1 New Member

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