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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having received some excellent advice on a prior thread about upgrading or not, I am now looking at purchasing one of three bikes. I'd appreciate any feedback. I plan to use the bike for longer commuting (20-25 miles each way) and for pleasure. Either way, I have lots of hills, so climbing capacity is a must.

I plan to utilize Ultegra SL or equivalent specs on any of them. Assuming they all feel fine geometrically, any thoughts on quality of frame/climbing capacity?

1. Orbea Onix or Opal. The Opal is about $1000 more, but I'm not sure if the difference is worth that much.

2. Trek Madone5.1 or 5.2

3. Specialized Roubaix Expert Ultimate or.Tarmac Expert.

The prices vary some, but I'm looking more for frame quality, handling, and climbing.

Any thoughts would be welcome.
 

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its all about fit man. whichever one gets you fit best/most comfortable. go to a good shop and feel like your really being taken care of.
look at the close details and which do you think is made best.
you're all over the board with your choices. The Onix is a very stiff climbing machine. comfort is last priority. tarmac is also meant to race. roubaix may be more comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought the Opal was the stiffer bike for racing and the Onix more comfortable--or do I have it backwards?

What do you think about the Madone--is it more likely to be comfortable, a la Roubaix?
 

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Trek Madone is the only choice in that list. It comes out of the box @ ~16lbs and had many technologies that the others don't (no-cut seat mast, integrated BB and HS). The seatmast is a biggie, it allow the ride compliance to be designed into the seat cluster area so the rest of the frame can be designed stiff without consideration for vertical compliance. The frame also comes in two "heights", being Performance and Pro fit. The frames are exactly the same in every way with the exception that the Performance is 30mm taller at the head tube. Very handy if you have longer legs and a shorter torso. Try one out if you can find one in a shop. You will find that the hype is an understatement.
 

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Onix vs. Madone what worked for me....

When I purchased my bike my choices were between the Madone and the Orbea Onix. I went to look at Specialized but the Specialized would not support my Clydesdale weight. Ended up with the Onix for two reasons. First was price Orbea was a 2007 and the Madone was 2008 ($800.00 more), however this was not the deciding reason. Both were ultegra. Second reason was ride and this was strictly preference for me. The Madone rode like a smooth powerful luxury car. Nice ride especially on those long rides. The Onix was more like a fast sports car. Quick and agile, but you have to get used to the cockpit a bit before you feel comfortable on longer rides. The Onix has been great for me so far, I love it. You can't go wrong with either bike. Good luck.
 

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Fit is the big issue for you. Try to get the bikes set up the same:

Seat height to crank center / Seat tip to bar center length / seat setback from crank center. It helps of you know what measurements these should be - otherwise establish them a the LBS - if they really want to sell you a bike they will work with you. You need these as a constant to establish your baseline needs. If everything is the same then the bike's feel and handling characteristics become the difference maker.

Once measurements are established ride all 3 and decide based on what feels the best - you will know.
 

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Id go tarmac or open up to other brands like Scott and Cervelo. Ultimately though what fits is whats right. And always check the tire pressure when you test the bikes, shops have been known to run a lower pressure to simulate a better ride.
 

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I'd take the Opal if anything, just because I like Orbea and the look of the frame versus the Trek and Spec. Aesthetics wise, I'd say Orbea wins, Trek close second, and Generalized a distant 3rd.

But that's just my personal taste, no bearing on performance.

I'd choose as others have said on fit; once that is nailed down, I dunno.

The Madone is a terribly fabulous machine, no doubt about it. Trek knows what they are doing with that series and I have a hard time believing you'd be disappointed. I believe if pure performance/weight is your prime consideration, and you don't mind being on a "common" bike/brand then go with the Madone.
 

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the only thing you can get out of this thread is to get the bike that fits best.

Other than that get the one that you like the looks of best.

The look will mean more to you than damn near anything else.
 

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The Trek would be my least likely pic. Integrated bottom bracket is probably better in terms of stiffness but proprietary stuff is expensive at replacement time. One of my bikes to get before I die is an Orbea (Opal and Orca). I've tried a couple of models and both were great. However, the Specialized would have to be my choice. Roubaix are so friggin' comfortable I've seen them ranked as the most comfortable road bikes in quite a few mags and Specialized has a warranty that comes pretty close to Trek's warranty. Hate to admit iot but Trek has the edge in the warranty dept. Still, the choice is yours in the end
 

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I'm diggin' my Madone, and don't worry about the proprietary argument: the bb has no proprietary parts. It is beautiful in it's simplicity: cartridge bearings that you can replace with no tools needed. You can run pretty much any modern crank. The fork is proprietary, but again, the cartridge bearings are easily replaceable by hand.

And it rides like a dream.:thumbsup:
 
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