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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I test rode a 56 cm Madone 5.2 Performance compact today. I loved it, it fit and rode well. I compared it to a 58 cm Madone and immediately I realized the 58 cm was too big and the 56 was just right. Unfortunately, that raises a problem.

I have 2 58 cm road bikes at home, a 2001 Trek 5200 and a 1999 Merlin Road. When I rode the Merlin at home after test riding the 56 cm Madone, I realized both the 5200 and the Merlin are too big for me.

I would like to immediately sell both my bikes and buy the 56 cm Madone. I've never sold a bike before. My local bike shops do not accept trade-ins. How does one quickly sell a bike? Believe me, I would sell them for great prices simply to make room for the bike that fits me.

Also, I am not sure if I want the compact or a triple Madone. Can anyone help me sort that one out?
 

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When you say that a 58 cm is too big and a 56 cm is just right, are you taking in factors like top tube length, stem lenght/height and seat height into consideration? When comparing a compact frame to your current standard famesets. Frame geometry factors in alot here.

I assume by the ages of the bikes you currently own, you had them for a number of years and put many, many miles on them. I find it difficult to believe that you have ridden all these years on a wrong size frame without any ill effects.

How far was your test ride anyway?

Just be sure on the size before you get rid of your current steeds in the stable. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Retro Grouch said:
When you say that a 58 cm is too big and a 56 cm is just right, are you taking in factors like top tube length, stem lenght/height and seat height into consideration? When comparing a compact frame to your current standard famesets. Frame geometry factors in alot here.

I assume by the ages of the bikes you currently own, you had them for a number of years and put many, many miles on them. I find it difficult to believe that you have ridden all these years on a wrong size frame without any ill effects.

How far was your test ride anyway?

Just be sure on the size before you get rid of your current steeds in the stable. Good Luck!
Thanks for your help and reply, retrogrouch, I have followed your current post about the Madone in the General Discussion forum.

According to Trek, the geometry for the performance and pro models is the same, except for a longer headtube on the performance models. So I'm not sure if the Madones qualify as "compact" frames. If I'm wrong, let me know.

As far as the two current models I own, I always put my hands on the top of the handlebars; that is where they naturally fall, even though I'm using very sort stems on both bikes. If I put my hands on the hoods I feel stretched out.

It's a case of not realizing a better fit is available, therefore, I was tolerating an imperfect fit.
 

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You can get good money for your used bikes, post them on Craigslist. I sold a nice 2300 on Craigslist to a very nice young Dr in NYC. He got an impeccable bike at a great price and I was happy to see my trusty 2300 go to someone who will use it, care for it and continue to enjoy it.
 

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BTW, when you are riding on the hoods, you should feel comfortable. If your hands fall on the top of the bars and you feel too stretched out on a 58, it sounds like they may be a tad big for you. I have the compact, live in a very hilly area of the north shore of LI and its great. Much better off with a compact than a triple. Now go buy it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the reply. I have no doubt I will buy an 08 Madone 5.2, in a triple however, on Monday. Trek has them available in Madison, Wi. I love the color and I love the way they ride.

I'd like to use Craig'slist, however, I'm not good at disassembling and shipping bikes. I took a long hot ride on my Merlin today. Even stretched out on the hoods it felt okay, so I might keep both of my older bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've searched all the "compact vs triple" threads on these forums and it's pretty much up to the individual. May I ask in all honesty, isn't there more of a range on the triple? Also, I've read that the shift from the 50 to the 34 chainwheel can be a little rough, true?

The compact is tempting because the LBS has it in stock in my size right now and I could take it home today.

Both of my other road bikes are triples and I love the triples. My neighborhood course is very hilly with at least two very steep hills. I always go to the smallest ring up front for these hills.
 

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the sky above said:
Both of my other road bikes are triples and I love the triples. My neighborhood course is very hilly with at least two very steep hills. I always go to the smallest ring up front for these hills.
Then you clearly have a need for a triple. If you want to alay your fears regarding triples vs compact, play with this calculator awhile. Plug in some values and it'll tell you the results.
http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/
 

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Go for the double, you won't notice any difference in gearing after 2 or 3 rides and it performs much better - smoother and crisper shifts. Step up to the plate and do it right!!!! Can't wait to see all your posts once you purchase and ride this unbelievable bike! Good luck!
 

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the sky above said:
Thanks for the help PJ352, your advice is always welcome. I'm gonna go see about those values now. My quick question would be, does not a triple afford a bigger and a lower gear?
Depends on the combination of chainrings and cogs you'd be using. As an example, we can use the Madone 5.2 triple and compare it to the 5.2 compact. It has a 52/40/30 combo in front, and a 12-27 at the rear. The compact uses a 50/34 front and 12-25 rear, so in this instance, you're right that the triple has higher highs and lower lows (changing your terminology). There is nothing saying you can't extend that range and use the wide cassettes offered by Shimano, but you could do the same if you were using a compact or standard double. I think if you spend some time with that calculator, you'll see my point here.

I personally don't like compacts or triples, but it's not going to be my bike, it's going to be yours. Looking at this objectively, compacts are really meant to be compromises for people that wanted to shed a little weight, not be seen riding triples or not bother with the slightly more complex mechanical nature. But if those issues don't bother you, and you see a real need for wide gear ratios, by all means go for the triple. My 2 1/2 cents.
 

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My old bike has a triple, Ultegra, it shifts just fine, I was worried about the 53-39 on my 5.5 Pro that I could not climb with it so I bought an 11-28 Sram cassette and I can go up any hill that I have found so far the steepest one I have tried was a 12% grade according to my garmin, The biggest difference is now I climb steep hills at about 8mph instead of 4-5 mph. I did buy a Force compact crank on E Bay but I haven't needed it yet. I know 8mph is not fast up a hill but at 54 and 200 lbs it is for me
 

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Just wanted to respons to PJ352's comment regarding who uses compact cranks ("those who want to shed a little extra weight or don't want to be seen using a tripple"). I suggest you review some of the stages on the last Giro and the gearing chosen by the leading riders, including the overall winner of the Giro 08. They used compacts on at least three stages, combined with a 12-27 cassette.
The beauty of the compact 50/34 is that you can easily (10 minutes) change it to a 52/38 if the terrain does not require the low gearing. Just purchase the two additional chain rings in 110 mm BC.
As far as shifting the 50/34 it is only a matter of a properly adjusted FDR and shifts are smooth. I have never dropped a chain, but then I never shift under load.
 

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JoWu said:
Just wanted to respons to PJ352's comment regarding who uses compact cranks ("those who want to shed a little extra weight or don't want to be seen using a tripple"). I suggest you review some of the stages on the last Giro and the gearing chosen by the leading riders, including the overall winner of the Giro 08. They used compacts on at least three stages, combined with a 12-27 cassette.
The beauty of the compact 50/34 is that you can easily (10 minutes) change it to a 52/38 if the terrain does not require the low gearing. Just purchase the two additional chain rings in 110 mm BC.
As far as shifting the 50/34 it is only a matter of a properly adjusted FDR and shifts are smooth. I have never dropped a chain, but then I never shift under load.
If you're going to quote me, then do it in its entirety and not out of context, as you did. What I said was:
...compacts are really meant to be compromises for people that wanted to shed a little weight, not be seen riding triples or not bother with the slightly more complex mechanical nature.
I used the word compromise because the OEM chainrings provided are compromises (in gear ratios) between doubles and triples. An important part of my post and one you chose to ignore.
As far as the choice of components used by top pros, I'd say their use of compacts proves one of my points - minimal weight.
I also said:
There is nothing saying you can't extend that range and use the wide cassettes offered by Shimano, but you could do the same if you were using a compact or standard double.
which pretty much addresses your reference to leading riders using 12-27 cassettes, which you also chose to ignore.
Maybe instead of me reviewing some stages of the last Giro, you should review posts (thus practice reading comprehension) before responding. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
PJ352,
I've been going back and reading many of the threads written since the new Madone came out and I came across at least one where you said you were tentative about buying a first year road frame. I think you said you were going to wait 'till at least second year.

However, I thought I read that you indeed purchase a new Madone. Was it the 5.5 Performance? If so, what made you go ahead and make a purchase? Can you give some detailed thoughts about how it rides?
 
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