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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been riding for 3 years and need to upgrade my Giant Fcr 2 to a road bike. I bought the bike to commute and for fitness but have been bitten by the bug and have been riding in centuries and am looking to do some duathalons this year. I have tried to modify my FCR slightly to resemble a road bike by dropping the flat handle bars and putting 700x23 tires on it but it still is a hybrid in geometry.
I am 6'2" and 176lbs and ride about 2-3 times a week 25miles each. I like to push it hard and need a bike that I can grow into.
Heres my dilemma... I have been looking at used carbon/ultegra bikes like the TCR advanced and Tarmac pro and really like the look of these bikes and have sat on them in the lbs and both feel good, but have not test ridden due to crappy weather. I've been told that these bikes would beat my 39yr old body up in a century ride but some have told me that the carbon frames would prevent that. LBS has advised me toward the Roubaix or the Defy to have a more comfortable ,upright ride for centuries but I really would like to be in more of a race position if my body can handle it over a 100 mile ride. Has anyone ridden these bikes in centuries with my same cycling experience because it would be difficult to test ride one of these bikes for 100 miles to find out the answer.
Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!:idea:
 

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39 is not old. IMHO, as a mid-50's person, the age of your body is not a factor. Your fitness, flexibility, bike fit, etc. are. I'm not a racer, never have been, and am not all that fit (ride about 100-150 miles / week in the summer only), but ride a Cannondale CAAD racing frame and am comfortable. I've ridden 60 miles a couple of times, and it wasn't the geometry of the bike that was the limiting factor, just lack of saddle time. I'm going to do a century this summer and have no qualms about doing it on my current bike as long as I get some long rides in in prep.

All that said, there is no reason not to get a more relaxed geometry. Those bikes won't limit you at all, imho, but it just rubs me the wrong way when a LBS employee thinks a sub-40 y.o. person is somehow old! If you want a racing bike and can test ride and satisfy yourself that they fit, go for it. Believe me, you only get older and you should get the type of bike your mind is set on now - change later if you decide another type is better. Life's too short to do otherwise!
 

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Definitely agree with the above. I did a cross country ride a few years ago at 27 yrs old, and one of the riders was 55, he kicked our asses. Another 45 yr old rider joined us for 2 weeks, and he definitely kicked my butt, and still does. Age has nothing to do with it.

Any ways, the geometry definitely has an effect on comfort. TCR advance and Tarmac pro do have more aggressive angles, and the roubaix genre was made for better comfort and long efforts on cobblestones. If you generally ride 25 mi a few times a week, go with what's gonna be comfortable for that, whether its the roubaix or TCR etc. If you were considering doing centuries all of the time or for extended trips, I may recommend a more relaxed geometry. However, you can adjust your bike accordingly for the occasional century (flip the stem/exchange it to sit more upright, adjust saddle, etc). Plus the more you ride, the more your body gets used to whatever position you ride in.

Wait till weather makes a turn, and take the bikes out for extended rides. You maybe surprised with your choices and whats comfortable for YOU. BTW in my opinion, the roubaix looks pretty sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice Camilo and sscooterguy! I went to lbs today and rode a Tarmac Expert and a Roubaix Expert. The Tarmac was very responsive and seemed to climb effortlessly(compared to what I'm used to). I felt that it may have been a little stretched out for me but could probably be tweeked by swapping out the stem. Shifting was smooth with ultegra as was braking. Front end became a little squirrley at times but all and all a great ride.

The Roubaix felt great as soon as I sat on it. The ride was very smooth and barely felt the road. The upright riding position was comfortable but felt I needed to be just a little lower- again could be fixed in stem. The roubaix comes with 23/25c tires that are wider but only 23c touch the road -as it was explained to me.This may also have contributed to the smoother ride.

So not sure which way to go yet, but I have a starting point and will post when I pull the trigger.

Thanks again!!
 
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