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I am an older (61 yrs) cyclist with back issues. I ride about 90 mi per week, mostly steep climbs in the Santa Monica mountains. I am looking for a lightweight frameset offering a more upright position. I plan to put A-level components and wheels on this bike. It seems that the high-end framesets from most manufacturers are designed for racing. What are the options for an older guy who wants to be comfortable but still likes to hammer?
 

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Have not ridden that many. But at 62 and still loving to ride, I am indeed fond of my Specialized Roubaix. Now Trek has the Domane model to compete, but there are ton o used Roubaix available should you choose that route.
 

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My standard reply....

You're in an enviable situation, or at least, so I'm thinking from your post. If you are going to put on "A list" components and parts, I'm thinking you're willing to drop a bundle on your bike, and you're gonna ride it a lot and enjoy it.

Due to your back issues (I have more than my share of physical ailments as well), you may be the perfect candidate for a custom frameset. Getting a really nice high end CF (or steel, or Ti, etc) frameset made just for you, taking into account your measurements, flexibility, riding style, wants, and needs is a fantastic experience. I've gone that route twice now and am extremely happy with both bikes.

There are several manufacturers that make these, and stand behind them. Guru, Cyfac, Sarto, Serotta, Calfee are the first that come to mind. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the process, or how I think it ought to go based on my experience.

I'm sure many will disagree with me. And in the end, it's your money and you need to be happy with your decision.
 

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add Parlee Z5 with tall head tube option to your list. Especially if you plan on paying for a high end frame to go with your top level components.
 

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Lots of choices. Specializws Roubaix, Trek Domane, Giant Defy. The R5 and Bianchi mentioned in this thread as well as others. Most are available in frame only or built with A/A+ level componenys if you so desire.

Spend some time at some good LBS in your area and try some of them out.
 

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Going with a custom frame that fits you exactly and has the stiffness, compliance and handling you want is the best choice. I would settle for A- or B+ components if funding is limited by spending more for the custom frame. You will be a lot happier investing more in a frame that fits and rides perfectly. The components can always be upgraded later.
 

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It seems every manufacturer has their top shelf race frame and then has a choice "one step down" that is more relaxed, taller head tube, etc...Having just purchased the top Felt F series frame the Z series comes to mind. Felt has an option to buy just the frame and fork in the agressive F and more relaxed Z version called the Z1 frame kit. It's not insanely light at 1000g for a size 51 but if it performs like the F1/FC I highly recommend it. Just an option if you have your group already and just need a frame/fork.

If you can better define "lightweight" and "back issues" maybe a choice will be easier to recommend. I have a long and nasty back history but have it under control and think light is anything less than 1000g for the frame and 350g for the fork uncut/size 54-ish...
 

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I am looking for a lightweight frameset offering a more upright position.
It could well be that a more upright position will alleviate your back issues. But unless you've thought this through carefully and perhaps have gotten some competent medical advice, a more upright position could also make matters worse. Not saying it is going to, just throwing this out for your consideration.

FWIW: At 70, I just stopped riding race-type bikes. But when I did ride them, "more upright" has always resulted in "more pain and less power" for me.
 

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sounds like carbon fiber frame to me.... with relaxed geometry...

Specialized Roubaix
Trek Domane (i think)
Felt Z-series
Giant Defy
Cannondale Synapse Carbon
etc...

components... are you open to the 32T cassettes?
 

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I am an older (61 yrs) cyclist with back issues. I ride about 90 mi per week, mostly steep climbs in the Santa Monica mountains. I am looking for a lightweight frameset offering a more upright position. I plan to put A-level components and wheels on this bike. It seems that the high-end framesets from most manufacturers are designed for racing. What are the options for an older guy who wants to be comfortable but still likes to hammer?
Have you considered a Lynskey R255?
Lynskey Performance 2013 R255 titanium road bike - YouTube
Similar to the Bianchi Infinito
 

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I am an older (61 yrs) cyclist with back issues. I ride about 90 mi per week, mostly steep climbs in the Santa Monica mountains. I am looking for a lightweight frameset offering a more upright position. I plan to put A-level components and wheels on this bike. It seems that the high-end framesets from most manufacturers are designed for racing. What are the options for an older guy who wants to be comfortable but still likes to hammer?
I am not quite that old yet, almost not quite. I can recommend that you NOT consider a bike like the Soma San Marcos I just bought. In many ways it is a fine bike and does most of the things you want but the super slack geometry does not climb hills well. That is OK here on this little island without super long hills but I don't think I'd take the bike into the mountains without a triple with a 26 tooth chain wheel. Caveat; I have a very bad knee and ankle and that affects my climbing.
 

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Going with a custom frame that fits you exactly and has the stiffness, compliance and handling you want is the best choice..
It's the best choice but few custom builders can guarantee that. They're great builders with varying opinions about all the above points, but not physiologists. Once you introduce an injury of physical anomaly and it can become a lottery.

Buy a bike (stock or custom) from a shop with a good reputation for fitting skills so that you can have an ongoing fit refinement.

+1 for the Domane. For ride comfort and ride stiffness everywhere it counts it currently has no match. I would also suggest seeking the widest gear range you can. If you're climbing steep I have to imagine that muscle relief would be a good thing for your back.
 
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