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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

I've gotten sick of commuting on my decade old Trek Hybrid, and along with commuting I want to do some longer rides. I did the last day of ragbrai this year (and it was awesome!) but it was only 50 miles.

So, I went to the LBS (trek dealer) and tried out 2 bikes today after work and figured you all might have some input.

1st Bike: 2008 Trek 2.1 58 CM marked at $1209
Aluminum frame with carbon fork + seat stay
105 rear derailleur , tiagra everywhere else
bontrager ssr tires
compact crank

2nd bike: 2007 Lemond Versailles 57CM (will 1 cm make a big difference?) at $1500
all carbon (not sure what composition)
ultegra rear derailleur, 105 everywhere else, cane creek(?) brakes. sorry I scribbled it down on a piece of paper
bontrager race tires

I could tell where the extra $300 was going just from riding it about 7 miles - it was not as bouncy, smoother in general.

What else should I be looking for when doing a test ride?
Sorry for another incarnation of '1st road bike thread'!
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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+1

andulong said:
Proper fit and a shop willing to help you achieve it by getting the right size bike to begin with and then working with stems and or seatposts to dial it in.
I agree. Fit comes first, so the bike you're the most comfortable on (and with) wins, IMO. If it feels like an extension of you, you've met your match. :)

Beyond that, during test rides be aware of handling, braking; navigate some rougher roads to see how the bike(s) handle them.

I'm not saying Trek (or LeMond) bikes are bad by any means, but can you check out any other brands? I say this because the geometry of other brands may work better for you, but you won't know if you don't test them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
andulong and PJ532, thanks for your responses!

I'm not saying Trek (or LeMond) bikes are bad by any means, but can you check out any other brands? I say this because the geometry of other brands may work better for you, but you won't know if you don't test them.
There are a couple other bike stores in town I'm planning to swing by. One is primarily a Giant dealer and the other is raleigh/cervelo if I'm not mistaken.
 

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Naldayin said:
andulong and PJ532, thanks for your responses!
There are a couple other bike stores in town I'm planning to swing by. One is primarily a Giant dealer and the other is raleigh/cervelo if I'm not mistaken.
That's good, keep your options open. I'd add Specialized to the mix if possible, but that's just me. Good luck!
 

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If you are seriously going to get into cycling (or get back into it), and haven't bought shoes/pedals yet, I recommend you do. Now you may get a deal with a new bike, but if you either have shoes and clip in pedals or know someone who does and they fit you, bring them along for the test rides. Any good shop will pop them on for you to go out for a real test ride.

I will echo that fit will be the most important factor. Don't let a sale shoe horn you into a bike that's not right. Also, don't let it rush you. Its hard, but try to be patient, once you find the one, you'll be glad you waited. It never hurts to ask to see if you can get upgrades too, including wheels, stems, handle bars, pedals, even shoes and jersies. When I bought my cervelo, I had them change up the whole cockpit from another older bike that they souped up to try to sell it faster, and for free too. I mentioned that the bars on the bike were the only thing holding me back from this dream bike, and they said that shouldn't be a problem...and gave me an MSRP $300 upgrade.

Any who, good luck. Choose wisely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Figured I'd give you guys an update:

I tried out a used 06 or 07 Raleigh Team 56cm at $1200
I felt pretty scrunched when I was on it but it sure hauled balls. It was far stiffer than the lemond or trek. It had a dura-ace crank and ultegra everywhere else. They didn't have other raleigh's at the size or bigger built-up. This store also had some orbea's and cervelo's but those were a bit out of budget for me.

I also tooled around on a scott speedster. I'm not sure if it is because it was after being on the raleigh but I felt like I was sitting straight up. I didn't really enjoy the ride.


sscooterguy said:
If you are seriously going to get into cycling (or get back into it), and haven't bought shoes/pedals yet, I recommend you do. Now you may get a deal with a new bike, but if you either have shoes and clip in pedals or know someone who does and they fit you, bring them along for the test rides. Any good shop will pop them on for you to go out for a real test ride.
I took a pair of mtb shoes with me to both stores. I have em because I occasionally ride a friend's hardtail. After riding with them I put some pedals on that are clips on one side and platforms on the other. I like it for when I'm just riding a mile or two to a friend's or the disc golf course.

PJ532 said:
I'd add Specialized to the mix if possible, but that's just me. Good luck!
According to the find dealer stuff on specialized's web site the closest dealer is about an hour away - which isn't that far to go I guess. Going to the Giant Dealer and another store later this week.
 

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Regarding fit, it seems that you haven't quite found THE bike, but you've only ridden a couple. Take your time, it'll happen. As best you can, make sure it's right before taking it home, whatever the brand. BTW, if you do hit the Spec dealer, in the $1,200 range there's the Allez and Sequoia. The Sequoia will have a more upright riding position, but that can be adjusted with stems/ spacers.
 

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Of the first two, the lemond is an excellent deal for the price. 1cm really doesn't matter unless it's pushing it 1cm too far or too short. You can always get different stem lengths to compensate anyway. The Scott you rode might have been adjusted to sit very upright, as some people prefer that way.
Before you do ride a bike, they should do a basic fitting for you. Make sure that you're riding the bike for at least 30 minutes, and preferably closer to an hour. Like said above, how does it handle? Comfort at the end of the ride is important too. I hope this helps you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Giant Store Today

hi guys, another update

Rode a 2007 Giant OCR A0 for about 45 minutes after work today. Granted it is a little more expensive then the other bikes I was on, I really liked it. And maybe it was the fact that I talked to the owner/manager of the store, but I had the best conversation there.

$1750
ultegra group
carbon
mavic aksium wheels
carbon frame with some carbon/aluminum on the bottom of the frame (supposedly makes it better for big guys and climbing up hills faster)

I want to know if I'd go wrong in getting this one. Right now I'm pretty set on it unless I'm missing something.

Thanks!
 

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Absolutely NOTHING wrong with getting this bike. Giant always makes a great price point for their bikes. They are the biggest bike maker in the world, and make great carbon bikes. The ultegra group is light and precise. The aksium wheels, while comparatively heavy, are bomb proof. I've ridden my aksiums across the US on a transcontinental ride and I never had to true them. In any case, that bike has a great price point and is a time tested geometry, especially for someone getting into /back into/serious about cycling.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Naldayin said:
hi guys, another update

Rode a 2007 Giant OCR A0 for about 45 minutes after work today. Granted it is a little more expensive then the other bikes I was on, I really liked it. And maybe it was the fact that I talked to the owner/manager of the store, but I had the best conversation there.

$1750
ultegra group
carbon
mavic aksium wheels
carbon frame with some carbon/aluminum on the bottom of the frame (supposedly makes it better for big guys and climbing up hills faster)

I want to know if I'd go wrong in getting this one. Right now I'm pretty set on it unless I'm missing something.

Thanks!
You describe the frameset and components, but don't say anything about fit, and that matter most in the long run. If you got it out for a real test ride (and it sounds like you did) and didn't get caught up in all the marketing hype some shops spout, then it's a fine choice.

My suggestion is that before you commit to the purchase, unless the fit is near perfect as is, have the LBS take some time to fine tune it. Take it out again and focus on fit and how you feel on the bike. Be aware of the ride and handling - it should inspire confidence. It's an emotional purchase, I know, but take your time and make sure it's right before parting with your $$. My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
PJ532 said:
You describe the frameset and components, but don't say anything about fit, and that matter most in the long run. If you got it out for a real test ride (and it sounds like you did) and didn't get caught up in all the marketing hype some shops spout, then it's a fine choice.
Ah you're right - I was kind of in a hurry earlier. I did have the seat adjusted, height & position. I'm not sure if it was a pro fit or not, but it did seem pretty comfortable. Also tried stem in both positions - when it was more down I had my arms extended most of the way with some bend in the elbows. In upright position it was a little more comfortable. I don't really know about messing with stem length. I also talked about the occasional knee pain I get and was recommended to get cleats with more float and/or spin higher rpm in littler gears.
Store owner said they used to do a $75 'fit kit' but 50%-60% of the customers ended up not liking the result as its focus was performance and not comfort.

Handling was a little more responsive than the LeMond which I liked. It cornered better but not crazy like the raleigh team bike I was on or the 'race bike' version of the ocr ao, the tcr a0. I also felt really stretched out on those two compared to the ocr a0.

I admit, I was more or less talked into thinking about a more expensive bike because he started telling me how much it was to upgrade and telling me anecdotes about customers buying an $800 bike then wanting to upgrade. I suppose it is a cycle that never ends that way but I'll draw the line for myself at $2000. I was originally thinking $1000, then tried a carbon frame and realized how much more I liked it than aluminum, and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
sscooterguy said:
The aksium wheels, while comparatively heavy, are bomb proof. I've ridden my aksiums across the US on a transcontinental ride and I never had to true them.
That's good to hear. I guess I wasn't into checking weight but they seem to be 1855 grams compared to the 1020 grams bontrager selects on the LeMond - is that cause for worry?
 

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Naldayin said:
Ah you're right - I was kind of in a hurry earlier. I did have the seat adjusted, height & position. I'm not sure if it was a pro fit or not, but it did seem pretty comfortable. Also tried stem in both positions - when it was more down I had my arms extended most of the way with some bend in the elbows. In upright position it was a little more comfortable. I don't really know about messing with stem length. I also talked about the occasional knee pain I get and was recommended to get cleats with more float and/or spin higher rpm in littler gears.
Store owner said they used to do a $75 'fit kit' but 50%-60% of the customers ended up not liking the result as its focus was performance and not comfort.

Handling was a little more responsive than the LeMond which I liked. It cornered better but not crazy like the raleigh team bike I was on or the 'race bike' version of the ocr ao, the tcr a0. I also felt really stretched out on those two compared to the ocr a0.

I admit, I was more or less talked into thinking about a more expensive bike because he started telling me how much it was to upgrade and telling me anecdotes about customers buying an $800 bike then wanting to upgrade. I suppose it is a cycle that never ends that way but I'll draw the line for myself at $2000. I was originally thinking $1000, then tried a carbon frame and realized how much more I liked it than aluminum, and so on.
It's pretty safe to say you didn't have a pro fit, but they spent some time with you setting the bike up and adjusting the stem, so it's a start. Your comment that you were pretty comfortable is also a good sign.

There are lots of different types of knee pain, but IME the store owner offered you good advice. I also have an old knee injury and find that cleats with float and maintaining a fairly high cadence (90+) help to keep the discomfort to a minimum. I don't agree with the owner that pro fits focus on performance and not comfort. A good one addresses both, because if you're comfortable, you'll perform.

You threw a curve when you said your high end is now $2,000. IMO, for that price you can get a better frameset than the OCR. Specialized Roubaix/ Tarmac Elites and Jamis Xenith Comp come to mind, but there are others. Depending on your frame size, the problem now may be finding an '08, because the '09's will most likely cost more. But if you do decide to expand your possibilities, remember that fit (still) matter most, so choose accordingly. :)
 
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