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Chest Rockwell
11-29-2010, 01:56 PM
If so, I'm seeking opinions.

I've been riding pretty much all my life from bmx/freestyle to mountain. I've recently gotten into triathlon; the bug has bitten me hard and am getting ready to buy my first road bike. I got over doing oly's on my fat tires and sold the mounty.

I realize this is going to be a very individual decision, and my final will be made after plenty of test riding, but I want to know what you chose, and why you chose it over the others you tested. What you liked/didn't like about specific brands/models. There's a lot of options, and I'd like to narrow it down to say 7-10 before I go out and start test riding.

Here are the particulars:

1) Want a road bike, not a tri-specific bike. At heart, I'm a cyclist who enjoys the swim (but I'm slow) and once it gets above 15 miles just tolerates the run. I still want to do group rides/gran fondos.

2) I'm interested in doing centuries+, lots of climbing and half/full Ironman tri distances. Given that, I've been thinking something in the "plush" category (Specialized Roubaix, Giant Defy, etc.). If you tell me you can do that type of mileage on something with more true race geometry and still get out of bed the next day I'm listening.

3) Mid-range is where I'm looking. I want something that I won't outgrow as a rider too fast, but I don't need top-end right now. I have money to spend, but that doesn't mean I'll do it frivolously. I have a price range in mind, but I'm willing to move on that if it's justified.

4) I'm not tied to a brand, but I will pay for better quality. Of course bang-for-buck is preferred. I'm hoping to get into SRAM Rival/Shimano Ultegra componentry. I prefer SRAM, but it's not a dealbreaker.

5) I'm 6', 150-170 (ding!) racing weight depending on time of year, race distance and how good I've been with nutrition.

5) Prefer full carbon to cut weight for the distances/hills I like.

Thanks in advance for any infermation.

Groves
11-29-2010, 02:18 PM
I'd like to experience seeing you order in the Soup Nazi's line.

chiefsnorth
11-29-2010, 02:20 PM
Wish I could help but if you are looking in the Roubaix area it's above my price point. I have some distance riding on an allez elite (tiagra) and found it to work pretty well. Last year I was doing 30m several times a week and I really like it. Longest day all summer was probably around 70 but I would be confident using it on a century. Just wouldn't be as fast as you!
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Donger
11-29-2010, 02:20 PM
Yes, I'm a road cyclist. I prefer Bianchis and Shimano gruppos, Ultegra at a minimum.

Baconeater
11-29-2010, 02:20 PM
Huffy is where it's at.

jd1020
11-29-2010, 02:21 PM
I have a Giant road bike and Specialized mountain bike. Both bikes are the low end models, $900-1k. Honestly I wish my road bike was a Specialized. The shifts are just so much smoother on the Specialized.

Donger
11-29-2010, 02:22 PM
You want full carbon? I've ridden some full carbon bikes, and I didn't like them. A nice carbon fork (and maybe rear triangle), sure, but I like to have some metal beneath my crotch.

Dayze
11-29-2010, 02:24 PM
You want full carbon? I've ridden some full carbon bikes, and I didn't like them. A nice carbon fork (and maybe rear triangle), sure, but I like to have some metal beneath my crotch.

...that's what she said.

The Poz
11-29-2010, 02:36 PM
The carbon lightweight bikes are great for trails but as soon as you hit a windy day on the open road it's like going backwards, great workout but a pain. I have a Schwinn Homegrown (Shimano XT) and love it. I used to do the trails a ton but now it's just for to and from work in the city. I used to throw the slicks on and off but now I just don't bother.
http://www.bonustomato.com/web/files/images/1996HomegrownLXT.jpg

runnercyclist
11-29-2010, 03:34 PM
I'm a roadie and I ride a Cannondale Synapse HIMOD Carbon Fiber Full DuraAce. I love it. I used to ride a Trek and prefer the Cannondale. Climbs great and sprints great too. Really improved my riding. I average about 4000 miles a year and there is tons on climbing here in The 304.

Find a great bike shop that is my advice.

Bane
11-29-2010, 03:38 PM
I ride a Giant mountain bike and have a Trek road bike,bout all I know.

steelyeyed57
11-29-2010, 03:41 PM
i have a cannondale r1000 caad 8, nice rigid frame for a fat-ass like me purchased used several years ago for $1K
my old man rides a pinerello prince full carbon, full dura ace, its nice if you got the cash, its the way to go

Hog Farmer
11-29-2010, 03:47 PM
I can hook you up with s.ome of the best Boar sperm on the market but other than that

COchief
11-29-2010, 04:03 PM
The carbon lightweight bikes are great for trails but as soon as you hit a windy day on the open road it's like going backwards, great workout but a pain. I have a Schwinn Homegrown (Shimano XT) and love it. I used to do the trails a ton but now it's just for to and from work in the city. I used to throw the slicks on and off but now I just don't bother.
http://www.bonustomato.com/web/files/images/1996HomegrownLXT.jpg

Uhh dude, schwinn has been a Target/K-mart brand for at least five years now. Sad really, that an American icon brand is now just something slapped on a Chinese piece of shit bike.

Go with a big name like Specialized or Trek, they sell millions of bikes for a reason. Or Cannondale if you support made in the USA products, although I'm sure all models still are.

Oh, and hunt craigslist before buying new. There are so many sick deals on very nice bikes from people with more money than motivation. I scored a few perfect Specialized MTBs that way.

vailpass
11-29-2010, 04:06 PM
I ride a 15 year old Gary Fisher Marlin which is of absolutely no help to you.

88TG88
11-29-2010, 04:28 PM
I think the low end '11 Giant carbon Defy is like 1650. Thats a pretty solid price for a full carbon.

I would check out the Scott CR1 as well. Its like 2-300 dollars more than a low end defy, but I heard the geometry is more comfortable

Nero's Neptune
11-29-2010, 04:53 PM
I'm a cyclist and do tris also. I was riding a steel Specialized Allez with carbon fork for years and just made the switch to a Cevelo P3 carbon tri bike. I don't have a lot of experience riding the different brands out there, but I absolutely love my Cervelo, and they make several road bike equivalents that I would definitely look at if I were you. Prob you'll spend about $3,000 for something like that, plus 1-2K if you want race wheels.

I'm a LOT faster now on this bike than I was on the steel bike. Put some race wheels on that bad boy and get a good fitting and it's you're off to the races on a comfortable bike. That's my experience.

Groves
11-29-2010, 05:12 PM
I'm figuring out how the non-gun people feel reading the gun threads.

Interesting stuff.

Donger
11-29-2010, 05:17 PM
The carbon lightweight bikes are great for trails but as soon as you hit a windy day on the open road it's like going backwards, great workout but a pain. I have a Schwinn Homegrown (Shimano XT) and love it. I used to do the trails a ton but now it's just for to and from work in the city. I used to throw the slicks on and off but now I just don't bother.
http://www.bonustomato.com/web/files/images/1996HomegrownLXT.jpg

That's not a road bike.

Donger
11-29-2010, 05:19 PM
I'm a cyclist and do tris also. I was riding a steel Specialized Allez with carbon fork for years and just made the switch to a Cevelo P3 carbon tri bike. I don't have a lot of experience riding the different brands out there, but I absolutely love my Cervelo, and they make several road bike equivalents that I would definitely look at if I were you. Prob you'll spend about $3,000 for something like that, plus 1-2K if you want race wheels.

I'm a LOT faster now on this bike than I was on the steel bike. Put some race wheels on that bad boy and get a good fitting and it's you're off to the races on a comfortable bike. That's my experience.

The Cervelo is a pretty machine and the tris sure do seem sold on them. I bought my wife's mountain bike from a guy who had three of them.

KevB
11-29-2010, 05:24 PM
I don't want to steal attention in this thread from the OP, but how did you guys get into cycling? Running is a struggle for me (joint issues), so I wondered about moving into cycling as my preferred form of exercise. But like everything else, there's so much to know for a newb that it's daunting. Not to mention a fairly significant outlay for a bike....

Baconeater
11-29-2010, 05:29 PM
I ride a 15 year old Gary Fisher Marlin which is of absolutely no help to you.
I roll on an aluminum series Trek that is just about as old. It's been good to me though.

Baconeater
11-29-2010, 05:33 PM
I don't want to steal attention in this thread from the OP, but how did you guys get into cycling? Running is a struggle for me (joint issues), so I wondered about moving into cycling as my preferred form of exercise. But like everything else, there's so much to know for a newb that it's daunting. Not to mention a fairly significant outlay for a bike....
I started out riding some of the creek trails around here with my son when he was learning to ride, and I just kinda got hooked. $500-600 can get you on a decent starter bike and if you like it you can go on from there.

88TG88
11-29-2010, 05:35 PM
I don't want to steal attention in this thread from the OP, but how did you guys get into cycling? Running is a struggle for me (joint issues), so I wondered about moving into cycling as my preferred form of exercise. But like everything else, there's so much to know for a newb that it's daunting. Not to mention a fairly significant outlay for a bike....

Like the op, I've been on a bike ever since I can remember. As you get older you wanna go faster. If you've been riding for a while the transition from mountain to raod is easier.

Go check out your local bike shop and tell them you're a complete n00b. They should be able to show you all your options and the price ranges.

OnTheWarpath58
11-29-2010, 05:35 PM
Paging Tiny Evel....

Mr. Tiny Evel, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Donger
11-29-2010, 05:46 PM
I don't want to steal attention in this thread from the OP, but how did you guys get into cycling? Running is a struggle for me (joint issues), so I wondered about moving into cycling as my preferred form of exercise. But like everything else, there's so much to know for a newb that it's daunting. Not to mention a fairly significant outlay for a bike....

Born into it. My father was a serious club rider in the UK.

You can get a decent road bike on CL for $500.00 if you know what you're looking for.

The Poz
11-29-2010, 06:09 PM
Uhh dude, schwinn has been a Target/K-mart brand for at least five years now. Sad really, that an American icon brand is now just something slapped on a Chinese piece of shit bike.

An XT component bike that retailed for $2000 at K-MART? I know the shit stores sell the brand but certainly not this model. I've owned Trek, Specialized and Marin to name a few and this Schwinn was top shelf for it's range.

rageeumr
11-29-2010, 06:28 PM
If you're looking full carbon then you're above what I have experience with. I'm a runner attempting to become a triathlon convert. I probably went about things the wrong way and bought a bike before I did any tri's so I didn't really know what I was looking for when I bought it.

I wanted a road bike because I thought maybe I'd like to do RAGBRAI or similar road events. In my experience, most bikes around the same price point seemed to perform comparably enough that I couldn't really tell the difference. They all have the same components.

I ended up buying a Specialized Allez Elite. Something about it just felt more comfortable than the other models in the same price range. But again, I wasn't experienced enough to really tell what it was. However, I've been really happy with the bike.

After a season of tri's, I really wish I would have bought a tri bike. I don't think I'll ever become a hard core roadie, so I should have just bought something specific to what I was going to use it for. The longest race I did, though, was the Chicago Olympic distance. If I got into a half or full iron (thinking Branson half Iron next fall) then I might enjoy a less aggressive riding position.

chief husker
11-29-2010, 07:51 PM
I don't want to steal attention in this thread from the OP, but how did you guys get into cycling? Running is a struggle for me (joint issues), so I wondered about moving into cycling as my preferred form of exercise. But like everything else, there's so much to know for a newb that it's daunting. Not to mention a fairly significant outlay for a bike....

RAGBRAI - Mardi Gras on wheels.

COchief
11-30-2010, 08:17 AM
An XT component bike that retailed for $2000 at K-MART? I know the shit stores sell the brand but certainly not this model. I've owned Trek, Specialized and Marin to name a few and this Schwinn was top shelf for it's range.

Their current top of the line model Mtn bike is $439 and does not have XT. They used to sell quality bikes and I wanted a homegrown 10 years ago, now they only sell pieces of shit. When did you buy your bike? My main point was today, all they sell are shitpiles.

Graystoke
11-30-2010, 08:38 AM
I would get yourself to a good bike shop. Talk to the racers. Often you can join a club and get discounts from the sponsor bike shop. Many times racers will sell the bikes they used after one year, and as long as it has not crashed in a crit or something this is no big deal.

Carbon Fiber frames are great for roadbikes. I used to race on a Trek carbon fiber, and they are supple, quick and nice on your body after many miles. The problem with them often is the Carbon delamination that occurs at the Aluminum lugs.
For componentry I would go Ultegra. So much cheaper then Dura-Ace, but just a good work horse.
$1000 buys one hell of a machine anymore.
The best upgrade you can do to a Road Bike is Wheels and Tires

vailpass
11-30-2010, 08:42 AM
RAGBRAI - Mardi Gras on wheels.

Yep. Ride the RAG!

Chest Rockwell
11-30-2010, 10:51 AM
Everyone:

Thanks for the input. I was mainly looking for input I could trust rather than reading the reviews from randos on bike sites. So far I've sort of looked at Specialized, Giant, Cannondale and Scott. I've also looked at Pinarello, Colnago, Felt, KHS and Orbea but none of them have the Roubaix/Defy/CR sort of "performance endurance" geometry. My main concern is can I do 100+ miles on a true race bike and not be terribly beat up from being in that low a position.

My plan was what a few have already suggested, hit some shops, tell them I'm a road newb, and ride a bunch of stuff to figure out which brands geometry worked best for me. I like a lot of the Euro brands, but other than Cervelo's RS, it doesn't seem like any of them make the "endurance" road geometries.

runnercyclist, how's that Hi-Mod on longer rides? I took a look at a Synapse 3 the other day that I really liked, which I think is Cannondale's endurance geometry model. And what part of the 304? I was up on the MD side of the WV/MD state line for a tri a couple months ago and man do I want to go back and do some rides there this summer. I'd actually like to do that Gran Fondo up in Garrett county...125 miles 15.5k feet of climbing...sounds like fun to me!

rageeumr, I've actually been thinking of doing Branson next year as well. Some friends have been bugging me about Ironman Cozumel, but I don't know that I'll be ready for a full 140.6 at that point. I did Marine Corps Marathon a month ago and my knees still aren't letting me do more than 10k yet.

KevB, 88's suggestion is a good one. Your LBS may offer weekly group rides, or know of a local group. That would be a great way to get involved and learn.