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I've been shopping for bikes and CAN NOT tell the #$%@#[email protected] difference. $1000, $2000, $3000 and my buddy's Six13 Team with SRM. It's all the same to me.

My current rides (I'm a CAT 3 racer)
Cervelo Soloist w/alum post (road race bike)
Felt F1X (CX Bike - Thomson)
Cannondale IM 2006 (TT/tri bike - Thomson)

For wheels, it's always been:
Easton Circuits (training)
Ultegra/open pro (training and CX)
Zipp 404 or 909 tubies (racing)


Sorry for the detail.....here are some bikes that I've been test riding:
Trek Madone 5.2
Cannondale Six13
Scott CR1
Javelin Assisi
Litespeed Sienna
Felt F1C

Don't get me wrong, I can feel a difference in steering and front end quickness, but it just feels "different", no better....no worse.

Maybe I'm just road testing these wrong. Sheeesh, it's hard to drop $5000 on a parking lot spin for 10 minutes.

Any help here folks....based upon my CURRENT ride (Soloist), what can I expect from these bikes? The CR1 is very sexy, but I need some sort of justification and can't seem to find it. My Soloist feels fine and very comfy (to me) for both HHH and Triple Bypass lengths......

Maybe I'm just immune to being uncomfy (7 Ironmans can do that)...or maybe I don't know what comfy means.

Thanks for your help.....
 

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sandbagger8 said:
I've been shopping for bikes and CAN NOT tell the #$%@#[email protected] difference. $1000, $2000, $3000 and my buddy's Six13 Team with SRM. It's all the same to me.
...
Don't get me wrong, I can feel a difference in steering and front end quickness, but it just feels "different", no better....no worse.
Perhaps the Emperor has no clothes after all?

sandbagger8 said:
Any help here folks....based upon my CURRENT ride (Soloist), what can I expect from these bikes? The CR1 is very sexy, but I need some sort of justification and can't seem to find it. My Soloist feels fine and very comfy (to me) for both HHH and Triple Bypass lengths.....
This probably the wrong question to ask. All diamond frames are very, very stiff in the vertical axis - so much so, that for all intents and purposes they are completely rigid. Other components in the load path (especially tires, saddle, handlebars, stems) have so much more compliance that they drown out any small compliance the frame may have. But, because people are expecting there to be some kind of difference, their imaginations fill in for the lack of real differences, or they subconsciously make connections between other perceptions and ride compliance (example - different size and shape tubes make different sounds as you hit bumps - someone who is looking for differences in feel might subconsciously detect differences in sound and confuse it for feel.) Or maybe they are just trying rationalize a desire for a new "high bling" bike.

So that's why you shouldn't ask others what to expect to feel - because if you start with pre-conceived notions, you might end up thinking you can feel something that isn't really there. Instead, start with an open mind.

sandbagger8 said:
Maybe I'm just immune to being uncomfy (7 Ironmans can do that)...or maybe I don't know what comfy means.
Or maybe your senses are perfectly fine, and the reason you can't feel a difference is because there is no difference there for you to feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Henry Chinaski said:
What's wrong with the Soloist?
Where should I start? The Soloist has been a great bike....but as you can tell, I don't really notice a difference. My 1st problem is that I'm a mutant. Longer torso, but a lil shorter arms. So, the ever-so-subtle sloping downtube is nice for when (or if) have to rock the bike. My knees in tight when riding, so with a standard frame (Madone), I'd hit the top tube with my knees. I'm on a 54", but at 5"10.5", I should perhaps be on a 56cm. My seat is 7cm back of BB with a 120, 90-degree (Thomson) stem. Looks like I'm in the pro peloton, but just can't bear putting a riser stem on it for sake group ride ridicule. ;) So, the 1st is one of sizing. My bike currently fits well, but not in the typical fashion.....

It does have mechanical issues...mostly around the darn seat post. The design and materials are terrible. I've gone through 3 seat heads from stipped bolts (sure, I put them on tight but never loosen them). The head adjustment shim has also stripped out twice....from general riding. I'm now using the "newer" seat post head, but the top adjustment bolt sticks "through" my Fizik Arione, which takes away the natural flex.

Those problems coupled with many hillier rides this summer has me thinking about a lighter/newer bike.

I placed a call into Cervelo to order the new "fixed" seatpost that ships with the Carbon Soloist, but heard they are reserving these only for Carbon Soloist owners and will not offer as aftermarket....which really bummed me out. Having a new post would literally clean up my problems and make me have confidence in the bike. Otherwise, a $10 part can ruin my entire week as parts are hard to come by.

Sorry for the rant....it is a nice bike. I just wish they would look after the folks that ride it as a ROAD bike rather than the tri/road monkey business. I've come to the conclusion that there comes a point when boutique manufacturers start going after quantity rather than fixing problems with past models. Sales vs. Service.

S
 

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sandbagger8 said:
Don't get me wrong, I can feel a difference in steering and front end quickness, but it just feels "different", no better....no worse.
p.s.: For what it's worth, I also find that I can feel a difference between frames in steering and front end quickness, and in lateral/torsional stiffness when rocking the bike out of the saddle and stomping on the pedals. But as far as vertical compliance/ride feel, all regular diamond frame standard road bikes feel pretty much the same to me (regardless of whether they have funky curved stays, carbon bits glued in, fat or skinny tubes, etc.)
 

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Okay, got it. Start with a proper fitting by a qualified shop or builder, then find the stock frames that will fit you. If no stock frames fit then go custom. I personally think test rides are pretty worthless.
 

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Maybe there's nothing wrong

sandbagger8 said:
I've been shopping for bikes and CAN NOT tell the #$%@#[email protected] difference. $1000, $2000, $3000 and my buddy's Six13 Team with SRM. It's all the same to me.
Don't get me wrong, I can feel a difference in steering and front end quickness, but it just feels "different", no better....no worse.

Maybe I'm just road testing these wrong.
I've owned aluminum, steel and carbon bikes and while I can tell the difference between them I don't assign the words "best" or "worst" to their characteristics. I'm not a racer and ride only average 100 mi per week in season (1 or 2 centuries per season) so maybe I'm not demanding of my equipment. 5 of my 6 bikes fit me very well, the fixie that cost me less than $100 is a tad on the smallish side.

I lusted after a Ti bike 2 years ago and rode several. A friend let me use his Extralight for a week, another guy loaned me his older (round tube) Tuscany for an afternoon. I liked the bikes but couldn't justify the added cost over a fine steel bike. I ended up buying a custom steel bike (Campy Centaur, FSA compact carbon crank) for maybe half the price of Ti. I still lust after a fine Ti frame but my desire is not driven because I feel my current rides are inferior or lacking in any way.

Be glad you aren't so picky about your bikes. I think too many people obsess over details that for some of us aren't a big deal. To each his own.
 

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I really have fun whenever I ride a bike. One of the questions I ask myself when I get "new bike fever" is, "Will I have more fun on this bike than I had on my old one?" My personal opinion is that anything costing $2500 and up is just jewelry. not that I don't like and admire high-end bikes. Hell, I've got one! But an awful lot of it is bling. Owning "THE" name brand, that everyone will OOOO and AHHH over at the next club ride, will likely not help you to be faster, more comfortable, and endowed with mystical super powers.
 
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