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I've been reading a great string of posts recently on trek5200's test rides of the C'dale Synapse, Madone, Roubaix etc. I've tested those out and, thus far, have enjoyed the Synapse (seemed to fit the best and DA components were well-tuned by the shop).

Because I originally went shopping for something more comfortable than my Caad 5 Cannondale, I focused on carbon with a relaxed geometry. Thus, the Synapse and Roubaix. During that time, however, I tested the Orbea Onyx/onix/Ahhknicks :) and Madone and thought that maybe I'm just looking for something more comfortable and not necessarily too relaxed. That said, this leads me to think that I should not rule out other brands such as Bianchi and Litespeed (both have carbon models). I know there are some local dealers around here, but I'm not sure which models would be appropriate for me to test. My specs are: 5' 6.5", 158lbs, recreational rider, looking for Ultegra or DA mix, something not too heavy. Any suggestions??
 

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Bianchi

I had Bianchi made of Columbus Genius tubing back in the mid 90's and it cracked at the weld where the head tube and the down tube meet after 9 months of use with no wrecks or etc. After hours and hours of calls, arguments and general BS they replaced the frame. The Bianchi rep. told me that they had a limited annual quota/budget for warranty replacements and that if I hadn't known my sh!t about bikes/manufacturing/metallurgy and squeaked so persistently they wouldn't have given a replacement. That tells me that they don't always honor their warranty. It also tells me that either they had lots of bad frames to replace and or inadequate budget for warranty issues. I ended choosing a ti Bianchi/replacement that was actually made by Litespeed and scrubbed the Bianchi decals off the thing when I got it. I'll never buy another Bianchi and I'd never recommend them to anyone else.
 

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Material doesn't have as much to do with comfort as you might think. Inflation pressures, fit, saddles......all affect comfort more than frame material. That said, like Juanmoretime said, don't rule out Ti, but don't buy the low rent stuff he fawns over. Take a look at Moots.

As to comfiness in a frame.....look for frames with longer wheelbases.
 

· Adrenalina Italiana
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titanium is overrated as a frame material

Juanmoretime said:
I wouldn't rule out titanium. Titanium can be very confortable. Try a Litespeed Sienna or a Tuscany.
It is heavier and although very well presented,does not seem to deliver anything extra,for the increased price.People think it is unbreakable,but that is not been true.Even the claim that they do not oxidize is not true.

In order to get it to be as snappy and stiff as a high quality aluminum,carbon or (gasp) steel bikes it ends up being heavier.Pros don't ride on ti because if its made light enough its too whippy if its made stiff enough its too heavy.When pascal richard won olympic gold on his it was the pinnacle of performance and technology but times have changed...the new alloys and composite frames ride just as nice and are just as stiff yet weigh less.If Litespeed had the access to the heat treatment facilities and the custom tubing they would love to work with the new high tech alloys coming out of europe...but they don't.In this way,ti is no longer at the forfront of modern race bike technology,the newer steels when used properly are just as stiff and a bit lighter and the alloys and carbons just blow the ti frames away in that regard.Now bear in mind,that I'm not talking about "feel" or durability or any other characteristic that is wholly irrevelant to a professional cyclist.Yes ti does have a distinct feel and will outlast anything.The latter definately makes a stiff slightly heavy legond ti possibly the ideal privateer race bike,but will ti ever win olympic gold again? not unless magness backstadt is racing and thats a different story all together.
 

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alienator said:
Material doesn't have as much to do with comfort as you might think. Inflation pressures, fit, saddles......all affect comfort more than frame material. That said, like Juanmoretime said, don't rule out Ti, but don't buy the low rent stuff he fawns over. Take a look at Moots.

As to comfiness in a frame.....look for frames with longer wheelbases.

Ding Ding Ding... This alien knows what he's talking about. So many people don't seem to understand what makes a bike more comfortable.
 

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SPINDAWG said:
It is heavier and although very well presented,does not seem to deliver anything extra,for the increased price.People think it is unbreakable,but that is not been true.Even the claim that they do not oxidize is not true.

In order to get it to be as snappy and stiff as a high quality aluminum,carbon or (gasp) steel bikes it ends up being heavier.Pros don't ride on ti because if its made light enough its too whippy if its made stiff enough its too heavy.When pascal richard won olympic gold on his it was the pinnacle of performance and technology but times have changed...the new alloys and composite frames ride just as nice and are just as stiff yet weigh less.If Litespeed had the access to the heat treatment facilities and the custom tubing they would love to work with the new high tech alloys coming out of europe...but they don't.In this way,ti is no longer at the forfront of modern race bike technology,the newer steels when used properly are just as stiff and a bit lighter and the alloys and carbons just blow the ti frames away in that regard.Now bear in mind,that I'm not talking about "feel" or durability or any other characteristic that is wholly irrevelant to a professional cyclist.Yes ti does have a distinct feel and will outlast anything.The latter definately makes a stiff slightly heavy legond ti possibly the ideal privateer race bike,but will ti ever win olympic gold again? not unless magness backstadt is racing and thats a different story all together.
Well, nearly everything you said is either untrue. Maybe you ought to pony up some facts and stats to back up your claims.
 

· Adrenalina Italiana
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some thoughts...

alienator said:
Well, nearly everything you said is either untrue. Maybe you ought to pony up some facts and stats to back up your claims.
a carbon or aluminum frame can be lighter,stiffer(at least for the weight )and more cost effective than ti. Take the reviews in Tour,for example(in German).Like the one might expect from Germans,they test stiffness not only on the road but in the lab and given score in newtonmeters,etc. If you look at the results of their tests,they concur that carbon or AL has fabulous potential and that Ti is no longercutting edge; the Legend,for one scored better than the vast majority of carbon frames,some of which were not lighter.Eddy's carbon,Orbea Orca,etc.

" I would not have had such a poor season had I not been riding the worst bike in the peloton"-peter van petegem
 

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SPINDAWG said:
a carbon or aluminum frame can be lighter,stiffer(at least for the weight )and more cost effective than ti. Take the reviews in Tour,for example(in German).Like the one might expect from Germans,they test stiffness not only on the road but in the lab and given score in newtonmeters,etc. If you look at the results of their tests,they concur that carbon or AL has fabulous potential and that Ti is no longercutting edge; the Legend,for one scored better than the vast majority of carbon frames,some of which were not lighter.Eddy's carbon,Orbea Orca,etc.
Which is your argument: that Ti is not cutting edge? That it can't be built as stiff and as light as steel? That pros don't use it?

Or that it's not a perfectly fine material for a bike?

You need to define your critera before making qualifications. Right now, your criteria are all over the place and rather vague.
 

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I agree with Corsaire, try out the orca. If you are a taller rider try the opal as well. Many have complained that it is too stiff a bike in the smaller frame sizes. Now that the miles are starting to add up on mine, I can tell you that IMHO the bike is more than plenty comfortable for all day rides in a 60cm frame size.

Also, I'm with alienator. My other ride is a litespeed and I love it. Spindawg doesn't have any legit arguments and should be ignored. If you are thinking ti as a possibility, look at litespeed and look at moots for sure.

I'm not even sure what just happened there...spindawg; "well, ti actually does oxidize and isn't a good frame material because some german people whose testing i have not provided a link to say that AL and carbon have fabulous potential and ti isn't cutting edge and steel is better and one time an AL bike went really really fast"

Ti; it's really strong, it's really comfortable (providing you are fit properly etc obviously), and best I can tell it won't oxidize unless you have some kind of magic rust machine.
 

· Juanmoretime
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alienator said:
Material doesn't have as much to do with comfort as you might think. Inflation pressures, fit, saddles......all affect comfort more than frame material. That said, like Juanmoretime said, don't rule out Ti, but don't buy the low rent stuff he fawns over. Take a look at Moots.

As to comfiness in a frame.....look for frames with longer wheelbases.
I'm hanging my head in shame over my the cost of my Vortex. I think I need to spend another .05 centavos to push it into 5 digits. Can I lump my custom Classic into the mix?

I getting ready to ride now. Alienator, is my helmet appropriate to hide my shame?
 

· century rider
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agree....

the seat tube where you clamp the braze on adapter on my Ti frame seemed to have oxidized coz I'm sometimes too lazy/tired to clean my bike. I took out the clamp and used scotch brite on it and its good as new! my former bikes all suffered from oxidation coz of sweat. Giant TCR, CAAD5 and my first real racer Battaglin(cable guide came off due to rusting/sweat drops). been very happy with my ti bike for 3yrs now.
 

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Weight to roughly expect for a really stiff frame of various materials (size 58, no paint, 100Nm/deg. head tube, and 100+Nm/deg. BB stiffness):

Steel: 1750g
Titanium: 1550g
Aluminum: 1350g
Carbon fiber 950g

Manufacturers who dive considerable under the above weighs are making compromises in stiffness or using excessively over-sized tubing with very thin walls. Those who claim otherwise are talking out of their ass.
 

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Juanmoretime said:
I'm hanging my head in shame over my the cost of my Vortex. I think I need to spend another .05 centavos to push it into 5 digits. Can I lump my custom Classic into the mix?

I getting ready to ride now. Alienator, is my helmet appropriate to hide my shame?
The bag should do, JMT. And please, spend that extra 0.05 centavos so we aren't reminded of BikesDirect.com every single time we read something about your bike, okay?
 

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are these extreme weights?

divve said:
Weight to roughly expect for a really stiff frame of various materials (size 58, no paint, 100Nm/deg. head tube, and 100+Nm/deg. BB stiffness):

Steel: 1750g
Titanium: 1550g
Aluminum: 1350g
Carbon fiber 950g

Manufacturers who dive considerable under the above weighs are making compromises in stiffness or using excessively over-sized tubing with very thin walls. Those who claim otherwise are talking out of their ass.

I thought most frames were about 250 grams more than this
example -- I thought most full carbon frames were about 2.5 lbs
not 2 lbs

In fact I thought aluminum frames were about 3 and steel about 4
little more than these numbers

of course, i have the funny idea that i prefer to save weight in my wheels
 

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Those are close to the minimum weights to expect. For instance, a Cannondale CAAD5 without paint is about that weight and has a torsional stiffness of 100Nm/°. Go lighter with aluminum and you have to make a trade off.

Note, that the above doesn't mean that the trade off is necessarily bad. However, manufacturer claims of something significantly lighter out of aluminum (150-200g less in size 58) without giving up stiffness or durability are simply false....I'm sure most of us have read or heard of those types of claims at some point or another....
 

· Juanmoretime
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alienator said:
The bag should do, JMT. And please, spend that extra 0.05 centavos so we aren't reminded of BikesDirect.com every single time we read something about your bike, okay?
Beg your pardon! I only shop at my LBS not online. Besides the Walmart is only three miles away!
 

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how about this

alienator said:
Which is your argument: that Ti is not cutting edge? That it can't be built as stiff and as light as steel? That pros don't use it?

Or that it's not a perfectly fine material for a bike?

You need to define your critera before making qualifications. Right now, your criteria are all over the place and rather vague.

it is cheaper to build a stiff ultra light bike at a low price with aluminum than with carbon

or does it need to be room specific

like it will be $797 less in U6 butted aluminum than butted Ti to build a 16 pound Ultegra bike with Ritchey WCS wheels and cockpit that will stiff enought for a 160 lb. Cat 2 racer who rides a 56cm
 

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Juanmoretime said:
Beg your pardon! I only shop at my LBS not online. Besides the Walmart is only three miles away!
Walmart is the bomb, man. I am so close to trading my Moots in on one of their new Schwinn 26" Varsity Road Racing bikes. Man that thing looks fast. And light. And fast.
 
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