General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Looking for a bike recommendation. Rss Feed  
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2018-05-04 8:46 PM

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Subject: Looking for a bike recommendation.

In 2009 I purchased a 2008 Trek Madone WSD 4.5 road bike.  I've been hard on that bike and don't really maintain or coddle bikes the way some do.  While I never truly loved the bike - hated the gear shifting and was always dropping my chain, and I could never get a bike fit that I truly felt good in - I've endured it.  This year however, I have decided to treat myself to a new bike.  I cleaned my bike up and took it in to the local bike swap and they valued it at $850.  Not bad!  I think I paid $1500 so that works out to less than $100/year!

The salesman is trying to convince me to get Trek's Domane SL 5 and while it meets my criterion - lightweight, versatile and comfortable - I think I'd like to try something else but no clue what.  Sometimes they can go on and on about the design and stiffness etc etc.  It means nothing to me.  Does it have a granny gear?? LOL.  I love my granny gear and recall it saving me on one of the Muskoka 70.3 hills where everyone else had to walk their bikes up.  Apparently now bikes are different though so my granny gear may be no more.

Open to suggestions if anyone has any.  I'm looking for a women's comfortable light weight road bike for touring and maybe the odd triathlon.  I don't want to spend more than $2500.  Thanks in advance!



2018-05-05 10:26 AM
in reply to: #5242843


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bike recommendation.
I think you’ll find a lot of options in that price range. Most bikes are set up with chainrings and cassette ranges so the “granny gear” isn’t needed.

I would go to your LBS and get them to get your fit dimensions. Seeing that you never got comfortable on your other trek, this seems like the best route.

Find a bike shop that will set you up on a trainer and let you ride it a while to see if you are comfortable.

I think recommending brands and models is fine, but your best bet is to get a good fit completed and match a bike to your dimensions.
2018-05-05 4:16 PM
in reply to: Parkland

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Subject: RE: Looking for a bike recommendation.
One other piece of advice: pay attention when they talk about how stiff the bike is. Stiffer bikes are faster b/c they have less "flex" when you hammer hard, which equals a little more power transfer, responsiveness, etc. However, they aren't as comfortable... the less stiff bikes are more absorbent and therefore have a more comfortable ride. I had a Scott CR1 (as opposed to the stiffer Scott Foil) and I absolutely loved how comfortable the CR1 was. And it was plenty fast enough when I wanted to hammer down.

If you're looking for a tri bike, I really like my Cannondale Slice. Might not be as fast as the super bikes one tier above it, but it's lighter than most of them, comfortable and fun to ride.
2018-05-05 4:18 PM
in reply to: pistuo

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Subject: RE: Looking for a bike recommendation.
2018-05-05 4:54 PM
in reply to: pistuo

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Subject: RE: Looking for a bike recommendation.

Thanks for the feedback.  I have actually had a number of fits and tweaks to my fit over the years.  They've all varied from very aggressive etc.  

Do you think it matters if it is a woman or man's bike?  One guy said it's all marketing.  They tell you you need a woman's bike because the seats have a different fit and the handlebars for a man are wider but he said you can adjust any bike to suit you.  I found one I sort of like... Specialized Roubaix SL4 - it's on sale, has a nice clean look and all the features I require.  I'll test ride it next week.  The women's version is the Ruby but its priced $1000 more...?

2018-05-05 7:27 PM
in reply to: #5242853


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bike recommendation.
If it fits then I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it. Even if you end up having to buy a new stem or something like to make it fit perfect, I doubt it will add up to over $1000.

My wife can ride by cervelo no problem. If I found a female bike that fit me well and was $1k cheaper than the male version, I’d buy it in a heartbeat!


2018-05-05 10:46 PM
in reply to: kimmax

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Subject: RE: Looking for a bike recommendation.
In terms of gearing if you get a compact crank 50/34 on the front which is pretty standard, make sure you have a 11-28 on the rear. That should get you up most hills without a problem.
2018-05-06 6:37 AM
in reply to: kimmax

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Subject: RE: Looking for a bike recommendation.
I wouldn't worry about "man's bike" or "woman's bike" if it fits well and feels comfortable. For some brands, the "women's" model is basically just the same bike in a smaller size range with more pastel colors (as if all women want that!), and often more expensive. For others, there is actually a difference in frame geometry. It's my understanding that the "women's" geometry (at least for Trek) is based on a shorter torso with comparatively longer arms and legs to a bike of the same size with "men's" geometry, but not all women are built like that anyway. I've owned three road/tri bikes--one was a Trek "women's" 1.2, a "men's" Trek 1.5, and a Cervelo P2 (I think gender-neutral??). All were comfortable to ride after proper fitting and adjustments. My tri bike has a "men's" model saddle that was the most comfortable of many I tried. And I definitely don't have a very "masculine" type built--about 5'7" and 115-120 pounds, lanky with a small frame. I don't think you'd find too many guys built like that. But it doesn't seem to be a problem for me to ride a "men's" bike.
2018-05-06 8:06 AM
in reply to: #5242871

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Subject: RE: Looking for a bike recommendation.
The Specialized Roubaix is a nice bike. The Cervelo R3's are nice too. One thing I would check on with the bikes you're looking at is the maximum tire width they can handle. If you're doing a lot of touring/general riding you might want to mount wider tires (i.e. 25s) for comfort.
2018-05-07 5:03 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: Looking for a bike recommendation.
Originally posted by Hot Runner

I wouldn't worry about "man's bike" or "woman's bike" if it fits well and feels comfortable. For some brands, the "women's" model is basically just the same bike in a smaller size range with more pastel colors (as if all women want that!), and often more expensive. For others, there is actually a difference in frame geometry. It's my understanding that the "women's" geometry (at least for Trek) is based on a shorter torso with comparatively longer arms and legs to a bike of the same size with "men's" geometry, but not all women are built like that anyway. I've owned three road/tri bikes--one was a Trek "women's" 1.2, a "men's" Trek 1.5, and a Cervelo P2 (I think gender-neutral??). All were comfortable to ride after proper fitting and adjustments. My tri bike has a "men's" model saddle that was the most comfortable of many I tried. And I definitely don't have a very "masculine" type built--about 5'7" and 115-120 pounds, lanky with a small frame. I don't think you'd find too many guys built like that. But it doesn't seem to be a problem for me to ride a "men's" bike.
When I was looking I found that men's bikes were far more comfortable for me too and they come in much better colours (just cause I'm a girl doesn't mean I want pink on everything).
I did put a new bars and a new seat on mine. Changing the seat is probably pretty much a given on any bike so just remember to include the cost of that in your budget. I think from memory my fit, bars and seat cost me about $700 or so (but I live in Australia and everything is expensive here).

Enjoy bike shopping.
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