Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for the new thread, but will appreciate some thoughts...

Am getting back into road biking after moving to Boulder. Am in horrible shape now, but will improve. Some friends have shamed me into agreeing to ride in a 100-mile event in September. So, need to get working...and, get a bike.

Am looking at getting a relaxed geometry bike, have some price flexibility, although not as much as I used to...

Looked at Madone 4.5/4.7 at local Trek factory store. Only difference seemingly the 105 vs Ultegra. Over a 30 minute ride on each, I did not detect much difference. But, am curious what y'all think on that. Ultegra worth the extra $?

Did not ride the Madone 5.2, but might. Really curious if the carbon difference is noticeable and if the weight savings is worthwhile. Any thoughts on that?

Will likely look at a Roubaix Comp next week..

Many thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
Nothing wrong with those 4 series Madones. I don't know the price difference, but they have identical frames. No real difference between 105 and Ultegra other than a few ounces. They have the same wheelset, so all in all, I would say the 4.5 to be a less expensive and more desirable option. The TCT carbon is a top of the line layup that measures up well against many other top framesets.

Now the 5.2 is another animal. It is also in another price range. Keep in mind there are two styles to the OCLV carbon Madones: the Pro and Perormance fit, so you have an extra option that is not available with the TCT carbon 4.5/4.7 Madones. The 5.x/6.x series Madones offer technologies not present on the TCT Madones and are substantially lighter. The technologies may not matter to you at all and too many people (including myself at times) place way too much attention to weight. That being said, there is a difference in ride, especially over the very long days in the saddle. Is it going to matter to you for one century ride? No way. But when you are daily on a bike and riding 60+ miles a day, it matters (at least to me ;)

Try one out, only you can answer what you like to ride. What feels comfortable to you.
And by all means don't limit yourself to just Treks. A bike is a big investment, treat it like you were buying a car.

good luck
zac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, zac! Appreciate it..

You are right about the price difference between a madone 5.2 and the 4.5/4.7. $1000 -1500 difference. Clearly, I need to ride it; am interested what others think about the cost/value. Likely will be doing only one century per year, but do plan on a decent number of miles per week, especially over the next few months.

I definitely will be going for the performance, or more relaxed, fit. Will try a Roubaix, maybe a Felt (great LBS carries Felt).
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
tcam1213 said:
Thanks, zac! Appreciate it..

You are right about the price difference between a madone 5.2 and the 4.5/4.7. $1000 -1500 difference. Clearly, I need to ride it; am interested what others think about the cost/value. Likely will be doing only one century per year, but do plan on a decent number of miles per week, especially over the next few months.

I definitely will be going for the performance, or more relaxed, fit. Will try a Roubaix, maybe a Felt (great LBS carries Felt).
Some key phrases I picked up on reading your initial post:
getting back into biking
looking at getting a relaxed geometry bike
105 vs Ultegra - I did not detect much difference
have some price flexibility, although not as much as I used to...

That given, IMO stay with 105 groups on any of the brands/ models you're interested in. It performs well and is a quality product. I've used a mix of DA and Ultegra through the years and my current ride has 105 which I'm perfectly happy with.

Regarding the 4.5 vs 5.2, IME the 'real world' differences between the two really come down to weight. They both offer a smooth and refined ride (and share the same geo). The 4.5 keeps a lower price point by using a more traditional BB and seat post design, but IMO it's nothing most riders are going to notice. With these two choices and considering you're getting back into biking, I'd lean towards the 4.5.

I think you're wise to look at the two brands you mentioned. Admittedly I am biased towards Specialized (and think the Roubaix fits your criteria quite well), but the Felts I've ridden and checked out in LBS's are top shelf.

The bottom line (which has escaped mention thus far), is fit matter most, so whatever bike(s) you consider make sure the LBS takes some time to address fit, put it though its paces on a test ride and (as much as is possible) get as close to optimal fit as you can before deciding. Comfort will keep you interested and on the road. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. Based on what little I know, the 105s make sense (and my wallet agrees). Came across a 2008 5.1 for about $2300; will investigate. Also need to check on wheels. My motorcycle riding has made me acutely aware of the benefits of high-quality wheels/rims. Have read in some of the forums that the RS10 on the Roubaix Comp and the Bontrager Race on the Madone 4.5/4.7 are not that good. Need to do some more research and a few more rides. Again, thanks!
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
tcam1213 said:
Thanks for the input. Based on what little I know, the 105s make sense (and my wallet agrees). Came across a 2008 5.1 for about $2300; will investigate. Also need to check on wheels. My motorcycle riding has made me acutely aware of the benefits of high-quality wheels/rims. Have read in some of the forums that the RS10 on the Roubaix Comp and the Bontrager Race on the Madone 4.5/4.7 are not that good. Need to do some more research and a few more rides. Again, thanks!
Not a bad deal on the 5.1. I agree it's worth a look.

I've read pretty much the same as you re: the Bonty's and RS-10's. I'll leave it to those with first hand experience to share their views on the Bonty's, but the RS-10's were OEM on my Tarmac Comp. I have just over 3k miles on them and they needed minor truing once. I overhauled the hubs, but not because it was necessary. It's just something I do annually. Overall, IMO they're solid, mid-priced wheels. As a FYI, I'm about 137 lbs., so YMMV. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
tcam1213 said:
Also need to check on wheels. My motorcycle riding has made me acutely aware of the benefits of high-quality wheels/rims.
Its the same with bike . Keep the 105 group and put your extra money on wheels you will enjoy your bike more .
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,088 Posts
5.2 will not need any upgrading for a longggggg time.

If I were spending over $2K for a bike, 1 more K wouldn't make a difference to me.
I'd spend the extra $ and get the 5 Series Madone (Made in USA).
Otherwise, I'd get a lot less than the 4 Series Madone (spend less than $1K).

But, ultimately, buy what makes you happy.

Good luck.

:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
I wish the 5.x had the paint jobs of the 4.x... it's ironic that the cheaper bikes have a paint job similar to the Criterium scheme they charge $800 extra for on Project One.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Agree re: the paint schemes. Am curious re: the post by 2ndGen about getting a sub-$1000 bike. While I have tested only a few bikes, seems the carbon frames make a lot of sense for someone who will putting in a decent # of miles per week. While I know squat about all of this, seems that carbon is going to cost at least $1600 or so. The 4.x Madones are a lot more than that, so I will test a Giant Defy (around $1800 or so, i think). Not sure how the Defy will compare to the Madone. Also will ride a Roubaix Comp this week. Course, that bike is more than $2000 also. Anyone who has great ideas about cheaper carbon bikes, love to hear about them...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
I think 2ndGen is probably just saying that if you don't buy a $3k USA-made Trek, you might as well just get a cheap $1000 aluminum bike. I think there are good carbon values around $2000--and I'm not convinced American-made always means better. More pros race bikes made in the far east than in US/Europe... and they seem to manage.
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
tcam1213 said:
Agree re: the paint schemes. Am curious re: the post by 2ndGen about getting a sub-$1000 bike. While I have tested only a few bikes, seems the carbon frames make a lot of sense for someone who will putting in a decent # of miles per week. While I know squat about all of this, seems that carbon is going to cost at least $1600 or so. The 4.x Madones are a lot more than that, so I will test a Giant Defy (around $1800 or so, i think). Not sure how the Defy will compare to the Madone. Also will ride a Roubaix Comp this week. Course, that bike is more than $2000 also. Anyone who has great ideas about cheaper carbon bikes, love to hear about them...
Here's one:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/immortalpro_09.htm
Just reporting, not endorsing. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
I looked at a 4.5 and a 4.7 very nice bikes both of them but ended up paying a bit more to get a 5.1 American made what a great bike it is I have never looked back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to all...ask and ye shall receive...!!

Have looked at some of the bikes mentioned above. Some of the really low cost ones make me a bit skeptical of quality, but that is not based on any facts. Some of the bikes, like the Scott or the Look are great looking bikes; how they compare to the Madone 4.x or 5.2 is one of the questions. Cost-wise, they are roughly the same, it seems. The Madones are ones that i 'know' fit me decently, and the geometry is relaxed enough for longer miles. Have some homework to do to check on some of the ever-expanding list of alternatives. Looking forward to getting beyond the look and to the 'buy' or 'build'. Of course, no sure 'build' is the right thing to do, at this stage, but...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,088 Posts
tcam1213 said:
Am curious re: the post by 2ndGen about getting a sub-$1000 bike.
Hi Tcam. Welcome aboard. I relatively new here myself, but just went through the buying experience.

For me, buying a sub-$1K bike first for me to ease into road cycling was the smart choice.
I didn't want to go out and spend thousands of dollars based on a few 1/2 hour parking lot rides.
I wanted to get some serious miles underneath my wheels before I made that kind of investment.
The Trek 1.5 was perfect. It has the same geometry as Trek's uber line of bikes (Madones) so I'd know what I was getting into before I spend anything over $1K.

Plus, I'll practice on my entry level bike and this will prepare me to work on my better bike (I turn my own wrench). By the time I get a Madone (or whatever bike I get at that stage), I'll have a great understanding of what I like and what I dont' like. Even if I go with the Madone 5.5 Pro I'm thinking about, I'm still going to swap out a good $1K of stuff (wheelset, tires, saddle, etc...).

I couldn't afford a $5K bike right now nor could I afford to experiement with one even if I could afford the price ot entry.

My 1 Series build will weigh in around the 15lb range (just like a $7,000. Madone 6 Series) when I'm done with it. It'll have the same drivetrain as a Madone 5 Series (Ultegra SL) with a better wheelset/tires/saddle. By the time I'm done with it, she'll come in at under $2100. And she'll be a great aluminum road bike. :D A similarly set up Madone 5 Series will be triple that price.

Some might say that for that price ($2K range) I could've gone with a 2 Series Trek that come with a 105 Group. But I still would've swapped out the wheelset and other items turning that bike into a $3K bike (which is what Madone 5 Series are going for here). Makes no sense for me. And for what? Carbon seat/chainstays? And it still would only have a 105 Group (as opposed to an Ultegra SL Group).

Not all carbon is the same. Again, 5 Series+ Madones are made in the U.S. and are considered to be superior to 4 Series carbon frames. Doesnt' in anyway make a 4 Series Madone a bad bike of course.

One could purchase an aluminum bike with great components or an entry level carbon bike with mediocre components. Eventually, that entry level carbon bike will end up costing more while the aluminum bike will just be a transitional bike or turn into a beater/poor weather bike that will last years.

It was just my personal preference to ease into roading than to jump into it. If a person goes out and spends thousands of dollars on their first bike and their happy with it, more power to them and a couple hundred miles later they still feel they made the right choice, then that's great.

Me? I learned from a few other's mistakes who bought bikes that were thousands of dollars and that they turned out to be miserable on.

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, have expanded horizons a bit by riding a few more costly bikes. Namely, a Felt Z25, a Cevelo RS, a Madone 5.5, and a 2008 Specialized Roubaix Pro. Wanted to see what more $ gets me. Well, a lot nicer bike, for one. Was really impressed by the z25, especially the SRAM Red components. Shifting was so much crisper than the 105-equipped bikes I rode. Cevelo was also nice, but costs even more (around $3500 w/o tax). Madone 5.5. seemed the lightest of the three and had great acceleration when I pushed a bit. The SRAM Force shifting was not far off the Red shifts. But, the Madone is, at best, a $4100-4200 bike, that seems a bridge too far in terms of my re-entry into road biking. The Roubaix was the smoothest of the lot, with 7800 Dura-Ace shifts, and it felt so composed. Question that entered my mind was if it was TOO composed, vs. bikes that felt a bit quicker. It did seem a bit more relaxed in geometry with the larger head tube (about 25mm more than the Felt/Cevelo; 45mm more than the Madone). Did not feel that different, but a longer ride may tell more. Need to have a serious talk with my wallet...
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
tcam1213 said:
The Roubaix was the smoothest of the lot, with 7800 Dura-Ace shifts, and it felt so composed. Question that entered my mind was if it was TOO composed, vs. bikes that felt a bit quicker. It did seem a bit more relaxed in geometry with the larger head tube (about 25mm more than the Felt/Cevelo; 45mm more than the Madone). Did not feel that different, but a longer ride may tell more.
I agree with your assessment of the Roubaix. It's a nice bike, but I prefer slightly quicker handling. As long as your broadening your search and are in the mid 3k range, I suggest trying the Tarmac Expert. You may be pleasantly surprised.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
PJ352, you accurately predicted my ride today...a tarmac expert compact. clearly quicker than a Roubaix; no surprise there. I liked it; a contender. For what it is worth, the Madone 5.5 felt even quicker. Ah, the choices...i really need to get to the 'buy' phase.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top