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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all - first post here so forgive the basic questions. I've read quite a few of the threads on this section of the forum (including the new bike buyers advice one) and I've come up with a specific question that I'd like to ask.

I just made a big move "across the pond" from Canada to Switzerland and I'm looking to get a bike here for year-round riding (since the climate is so much better suited to it). In Canada I was riding a used Spec Allez 61cm with Sora that was way too big for me, and even though it basically limited me to about 50km before my back gave out due to the massive reach, I still really enjoyed cycling every day to work that I could (22km round trip).

Here in Switzerland everything is expensive, but I've run into a classic "new/used" dilemma. I've just found a used Orbea Asphalt 56cm (08'), full 105 group, carbon front fork, looks like it's in great shape for 550Fr. Vélo orbea asphalt groupe shimano 105 - comme neuf - Vélos de course

However, I also found a place that's willing to sell me a Giant Defy Advanced 2, which is a full carbon frame with 105 and disc brakes for 1600Fr.
Bicycles Shop | vente de vélos en ligne

That's 3x the price but essentially I'm wondering if it's worth it since a few local friends have told me that's a criminally low price in this part of Switzerland. I plan to use this bike for year-round commuting and longer distance riding which is why the disc brakes seem like such an attractive option for me - performance in the rain/wet as well as on hills. The carbon/alu thing is not really a factor for me, I've never ridden a carbon bike and I'm sure it would be nice, but I'd be totally happy with aluminium. I also think that since the local area is very hilly, the compact gearing of the Giant is pretty attractive. Do you think that a LBS would be able to put an 11-32 10s cassette on the Orbea if I wanted it, even though the group itself is pretty old, and Shimano has probably released 3 or 4 new versions of 105 since then??

Thanks for any help or advice you can provide.
 

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A SRAM 11/32 cassette is available for the Shimano 10 speed system. A new chain along with the cassette would be good. Also if the current rear derailleur does not handle that large of a cassette then you may need to change that as well. The Shimano 5701 long cage rear derailleur does work with a 32t cog. A bike shop would charge a fair amount of cash to do all that. I just set my son-in-laws bike up with those components and it cost me about $125.00 for parts shopping on-line. Labor was free as I put the stuff on for him. Just for the heck of it I would also suggest a new rear derailleur cable as they break after a couple years of riding and it's difficult to fish them out of the STI shifter when that happens. It's better all around to just change it as regular maintenance.

As far as which bike you should purchase I just do not know what would be good for you to own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I guess it is possible to get the lower gearing on the Orbea if I really really need it. But possibly it would cost me a pretty penny. I just looked closer at the pictures and it seems like I missed this before, but it has a triple crank!! So I'm guessing the low gear there would be 30/25, which is pretty similar to 34/30 (but not 34/32, that's a REALLY low gear!!!!) Does the fact that the front crank is triple complicate the process of potentially changing the rear derailleur??

One thing I'm not very happy about here in Switzerland is that it seems like bike shops don't let you test ride everything they stock. For example, one of the biggest shops in my area only tests 3 different models (low end road, high end road, and commuter/urban), none of which I'm interested in. That to me seems like a great benefit for buying used because then at least I can ride the bike in advance...
 

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My experiences in Italy and Spain are that bike shops there don't tend to have much in the way of inventory. Might be a Euro thing as far as I know. the best thing to do is figure out what fits you. A test ride around the parking lot doesn't really tell you a lot unless the bike really doesn't fit. The last six bikes I bought did not include a test ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How does one figure out "what fits you" without riding a lot of bikes? Basically I've ridden something I knew was way too big (i'm 180cm and I was riding a 61cm or 62cm) because it was cheap, and still managed to make something out of it and try to enjoy myself. And I know different brands have a ton of different fit specs. I know my relative size should be a 56 or 57cm probably, but that's about it.

It's a tough decision but I'm leaning towards the new bike because the shop will guarantee my first service as well as do a body scan/fitting on their trainer in store... And that way I know I've gotten something that is tailor made for me, which will make me more likely to get out and ride it.
 

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Congrats on making the move! So jealous. Are they hiring?

There's an online shop, which i believe is swiss based, which blows out bikes at near wholesale prices. http://www.bellatisport.com/

These prices are not only ridiculous, word on the net is they are legit. Perhaps you can have a top of the line bike shipped to Canada and brought in box by a family member?

How about Canyon bikes? As I understand it they have a huge presence in Europe. Don't they come with a ride it for 30 days and ship it back if you don't like it guarantee? Could be wrong. Nope, just checked, I'm right.

Get yourself a Ultimate CFX! Or an Orbea from Bellati. The Canyon seems like a no brainer. Riding a bike for 30 days seems like the ultimate test ride. Can even get it fit in the meantime.
 

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How does one figure out "what fits you" without riding a lot of bikes? Basically I've ridden something I knew was way too big (i'm 180cm and I was riding a 61cm or 62cm) because it was cheap, and still managed to make something out of it and try to enjoy myself. And I know different brands have a ton of different fit specs. I know my relative size should be a 56 or 57cm probably, but that's about it.

It's a tough decision but I'm leaning towards the new bike because the shop will guarantee my first service as well as do a body scan/fitting on their trainer in store... And that way I know I've gotten something that is tailor made for me, which will make me more likely to get out and ride it.
The new bike is a better looking frame, has stouter wheels with disc brakes and a huge gear in back that'll get up the mountains just fine. The disc brakes make it a winter bike and they'll work great on mountain descents.

If the shop will fit you, so much the better. Spring the money. You won't look back. :D You get what you pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Congrats on making the move! So jealous. Are they hiring?

There's an online shop, which i believe is swiss based, which blows out bikes at near wholesale prices. http://www.bellatisport.com/

These prices are not only ridiculous, word on the net is they are legit. Perhaps you can have a top of the line bike shipped to Canada and brought in box by a family member?

How about Canyon bikes? As I understand it they have a huge presence in Europe. Don't they come with a ride it for 30 days and ship it back if you don't like it guarantee? Could be wrong. Nope, just checked, I'm right.

Get yourself a Ultimate CFX! Or an Orbea from Bellati. The Canyon seems like a no brainer. Riding a bike for 30 days seems like the ultimate test ride. Can even get it fit in the meantime.
Are those considered blowout prices? I haven't found anything on that website for sub-2000 CHF unless it's a brand that I am totally unfamiliar with.

Regardless those ones are too much bike for me... I entered the market looking for an alu bike, and only started considering the Defy Advanced because of the price. I've heard bad things about carbon for new riders.

I have some knowledge regarding bike fit but I would doubt my ability to do any kind of wrenching beyond adjusting seat posts or indexing a rear derailleur. The fit factor is basically the only thing for me that is a positive for buying new...

And by the way, they ARE hiring in high tech... For a country that accepts so few immigrants it's surprisingly simple if you get into the right industry.
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I missed on getting Swiss citizenship by a mere year. Beautiful country. Enjoy.

Depending on whether US retailers are running a sale, those prices were attractive. I think they had bigger discounts toward the end of last year. Moving on...

Canyon does offer aluminum models of the Ultimate which I've read is a great bike with geometry that's in the sweet spot - not too agressive, but not upright endurance - and you can't beat a 30 day trial period to allow you to really get to know the bike. Canyon also has a "closeout" section with one off sizes and returns at greater discount. If you speak with one of their sales reps they should be able to get you on the right sized frame, consider the right of return a way to get out of a bad buy.

Keep in mind the fit you will receive with your new bike may not be as comprehensive as a dedicated pro fit. Also, if you already have a bike that's setup for you, it's actually pretty easy to copy the fit based on static measurements. This will give you your stack and reach numbers....which you can then use to buy a frame that's closest to those numbers/size. OP, just read your original post and it looks like you would need a fresh fit.

Ski Verbier this coming winter! Head to northern Italy with the bike on your roof next spring. Go for broke and fill your bidons with Rivella.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well everyone, here's my update. The LBS didn't have any more stock of the Giant in my size, and I ended up getting a Specialized Diverge DSW for even less, and I think it was great decision actually. I wanted a bike that I could use in the winter as well, and the Diverge has 30mm tyres and room for fenders which would not fit on the Giant.
It rides just as fast as my old Allez and it's even lighter (I think it's 9.1kg as compared to 8.5kg for the full carbon Giant) and I am really impressed with Specialized's frame construction. It gives up maybe 300g on comparable full carbon frames which is basically nothing for my level of cycling. Might be worthy of a few upgrades in the future (I'm thinking SRAM 10spd plus Hydro discs) if I can get the cassette on the SCS wheels.

Pics attached. She's a looker.



Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

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Well everyone, here's my update. The LBS didn't have any more stock of the Giant in my size, and I ended up getting a Specialized Diverge DSW for even less, and I think it was great decision actually. I wanted a bike that I could use in the winter as well, and the Diverge has 30mm tyres and room for fenders which would not fit on the Giant.
It rides just as fast as my old Allez and it's even lighter (I think it's 9.1kg as compared to 8.5kg for the full carbon Giant) and I am really impressed with Specialized's frame construction. It gives up maybe 300g on comparable full carbon frames which is basically nothing for my level of cycling. Might be worthy of a few upgrades in the future (I'm thinking SRAM 10spd plus Hydro discs) if I can get the cassette on the SCS wheels.

Pics attached. She's a looker.



Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
Looks like a mean machine! :thumbsup: Nice "do everything" bike. The set up looks perfect.

Now you gotta tell us where those mountains are! :D
 
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