Sports & Recreation

RFD Cycling Thread [OFFICIAL]

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 14th, 2017 3:50 pm
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Mar 6, 2003
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hooshang wrote:
Aug 25th, 2017 7:20 pm
yea you're right just saw some cheaper prices from uk online shops. now it's a matter of duty and taxes.
if you buy from chain reaction cycles, they have an option to prepay duties and taxes. That's the way to go if you don't want to risk surprise brokerage and duties
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Aug 19, 2012
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Hi all, I'm a total bicycling newbie looking to get into road cycling mainly for leisure and fitness.

I'm probably looking to purchase a bike soon, or, within a month or so with end of season sales.

I've been mainly searching for bikes with endurance geometries but I'm not ruling out more aggressive setups either. I'm 6'1" with a 32 inch inseam so I'm guessing I'm guessing my size is around 56cm / large?

My budget is around $2K for the bike itself but I'm having a hard time deciding, especially if I should just stick to high end aluminium instead of entry level carbon.

Anyways, here are some of the bikes I've been looking at:
Very open to more suggestions on makes and models.

Thanks.
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Moondeer wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 2:44 pm
Hi all, I'm a total bicycling newbie looking to get into road cycling mainly for leisure and fitness.

I'm probably looking to purchase a bike soon, or, within a month or so with end of season sales.

I've been mainly searching for bikes with endurance geometries but I'm not ruling out more aggressive setups either. I'm 6'1" with a 32 inch inseam so I'm guessing I'm guessing my size is around 56cm / large?

My budget is around $2K for the bike itself but I'm having a hard time deciding, especially if I should just stick to high end aluminium instead of entry level carbon.

Anyways, here are some of the bikes I've been looking at:
Very open to more suggestions on makes and models.

Thanks.

Damn, that’s a nice price on the Look bike. Quite a variety of bikes you picked, carbon and aluminum and rim or disc brake.

The Giant should be the most comfy, with comfort oriented carbon frame and D-Fuse feature. Disc brakes are great if you intend to ride when it’s raining. It’s a great general purpose road bike.

Yah, I’d stick to endurance geometry for a first bike especially if you’re riding for leisure, very few people actually NEED a more aggressive position. If you are an aggressive rider then it makes sense to go for a traditional geometry road bike (or you just like the look of the normal diamond frames! Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes)

Alum vs Carbon. If this is the first road bike with clipless pedals, I’d almost suggest sticking with aluminum. Carbon does require more care when handling it (falling over or crashing may be more fatal to the frame) but if you really get into road biking, then you’re probably going to lust after a carbon bike at some point.

I’m not crazy about the Domane ALR, when I tried it, the Isospeed coupler wasn’t really noticeable compared to the carbon counterparts. I think they’ve probably improved them now but for my money, I’d just go with the Emonda ALR which has their highest grade aluminum which puts their bikes in the ballpark of some carbon bikes.
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warpdrive wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 4:45 pm
Damn, that’s a nice price on the Look bike. Quite a variety of bikes you picked, carbon and aluminum and rim or disc brake.

The Giant should be the most comfy, with comfort oriented carbon frame and D-Fuse feature. Disc brakes are great if you intend to ride when it’s raining. It’s a great general purpose road bike.

Yah, I’d stick to endurance geometry for a first bike especially if you’re riding for leisure, very few people actually NEED a more aggressive position. If you are an aggressive rider then it makes sense to go for a traditional geometry road bike (or you just like the look of the normal diamond frames! Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes)

Alum vs Carbon. If this is the first road bike with clipless pedals, I’d almost suggest sticking with aluminum. Carbon does require more care when handling it (falling over or crashing may be more fatal to the frame) but if you really get into road biking, then you’re probably going to lust after a carbon bike at some point.

I’m not crazy about the Domane ALR, when I tried it, the Isospeed coupler wasn’t really noticeable compared to the carbon counterparts. I think they’ve probably improved them now but for my money, I’d just go with the Emonda ALR which has their highest grade aluminum which puts their bikes in the ballpark of some carbon bikes.
Awesome, thanks for all the info.

And yup, it would be my first road bike and clipless is definitely the route I want to take in the near future. Frame durability was something I was somewhat worried about as well since it seems like a rite of passage for new cyclists to fall over at least once when getting acclimated to clipless pedals.

I guess the problem in choosing frame material is like you said, if I decide to stick with cycling, is it better to go with carbon from the very start and save the cash? I'm sure I'd be happy with whatever I end up with, regardless of material, as it looks like any other hobby with better and shinier toys in the horizon.

I do have another question about carbon frames if you don't mind. The bikes I previously listed fall into the entry-level price points for carbon bikes. Does it even make sense to buy a low-end carbon bike for $2K when they generally end up the same weight, have similar groupset components (or worse, mixed), and roll on heavy wheelsets? Is the ride quality significantly better on carbon, even for these entry level frames / forks?

The Emonda ALR was another consideration of mine so it's good to know that it's also well received.
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Moondeer wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 6:56 pm
Awesome, thanks for all the info.

And yup, it would be my first road bike and clipless is definitely the route I want to take in the near future. Frame durability was something I was somewhat worried about as well since it seems like a rite of passage for new cyclists to fall over at least once when getting acclimated to clipless pedals.

I guess the problem in choosing frame material is like you said, if I decide to stick with cycling, is it better to go with carbon from the very start and save the cash? I'm sure I'd be happy with whatever I end up with, regardless of material, as it looks like any other hobby with better and shinier toys in the horizon.

I do have another question about carbon frames if you don't mind. The bikes I previously listed fall into the entry-level price points for carbon bikes. Does it even make sense to buy a low-end carbon bike for $2K when they generally end up the same weight, have similar groupset components (or worse, mixed), and roll on heavy wheelsets? Is the ride quality significantly better on carbon, even for these entry level frames / forks?

The Emonda ALR was another consideration of mine so it's good to know that it's also well received.
Honestly, any of those bikes are going to be nice. It is quite an individual thing to pick a bike….which bike gets you more excited?

Since you are new to road biking, maybe just start with an entry level aluminum bike? Get used to riding it, try out clipless pedals and do a stoplight tipover as a right of passage. Try to find some riding buddles and log some hours. If you’re still dreaming of carbon bikes, start saving up for that dream bike and aim higher. Say $3-4K with little compromise in the parts. You’ll probably want electric shifting too. Your first bike will then become a beater bike you can commute with, ride when it’s raining (keeping your “good” bike clean) or ride with family etc. On one ride I was on, a guy with a basic entry level aluminum Giant kept up with all the guys who were riding their megabuck bikes…point being: even entry level road bikes are very competent.

As far as carbon vs aluminum, yes carbon does feel different and it does tame road surface imperfections better. I tried a higher end Cannondale aluminum CAAD12 bike and it was really nice too and was really smooth, so I wouldn’t dismiss a nice aluminum bike with a good set of parts. My own Domane seattube cracked due to a manufacturing defect (complete frame replaced under warranty) which does indicate that carbon has some quirks.

Is it worth it to get an entry level carbon? I think yes, because things are upgradable and still you’ll benefit from the ride properties of even entry level carbon. You can still upgrade the wheels to faster aero wheels later and it’s fun to change a part or two on the bike if it becomes your hobby.
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Aug 19, 2012
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TORONTO
warpdrive wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 9:25 pm
Honestly, any of those bikes are going to be nice. It is quite an individual thing to pick a bike….which bike gets you more excited?

Since you are new to road biking, maybe just start with an entry level aluminum bike? Get used to riding it, try out clipless pedals and do a stoplight tipover as a right of passage. Try to find some riding buddles and log some hours. If you’re still dreaming of carbon bikes, start saving up for that dream bike and aim higher. Say $3-4K with little compromise in the parts. You’ll probably want electric shifting too. Your first bike will then become a beater bike you can commute with, ride when it’s raining (keeping your “good” bike clean) or ride with family etc. On one ride I was on, a guy with a basic entry level aluminum Giant kept up with all the guys who were riding their megabuck bikes…point being: even entry level road bikes are very competent.

As far as carbon vs aluminum, yes carbon does feel different and it does tame road surface imperfections better. I tried a higher end Cannondale aluminum CAAD12 bike and it was really nice too and was really smooth, so I wouldn’t dismiss a nice aluminum bike with a good set of parts. My own Domane seattube cracked due to a manufacturing defect (complete frame replaced under warranty) which does indicate that carbon has some quirks.

Is it worth it to get an entry level carbon? I think yes, because things are upgradable and still you’ll benefit from the ride properties of even entry level carbon. You can still upgrade the wheels to faster aero wheels later and it’s fun to change a part or two on the bike if it becomes your hobby.
What you're saying about starting on an entry level aluminium and then progressing to a better bike with less compromises makes a lot of sense. I haven't even started riding yet but I'm already getting caught up in a debate which frankly shouldn't matter much to an absolute beginner.

I think it mainly boils down to my budget since I'm at a price point where I can purchase a pretty decent aluminium bike but I'm only breaching the entry point for carbon bikes (with the exception of clearance models). The mental gymnastics in trying to convince myself that high-end = carbon, therefore, all carbon = awesome is probably clouding my judgment a bit.

Regarding the groupset, would I notice a big difference between Sora, Tiagra, and 105 aside from the extra speeds? It seems like a lot of people recommend 105 as the sweet spot for price:performance but is this another negligible point for a beginner?
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Moondeer wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 11:52 pm
Regarding the groupset, would I notice a big difference between Sora, Tiagra, and 105 aside from the extra speeds? It seems like a lot of people recommend 105 as the sweet spot for price:performance but is this another negligible point for a beginner?
Yes, I think you shouldn’t be SO worried about picking the perfect bike the first time around. I progressed through many different bikes and by the last bike I knew exactly what I wanted. I know what worked for me and what didn’t.

As far as groups, yes the Shimano parts work very similarly, maybe even indistinguishably from each other. The Ultegra and DA groups are one generation ahead and will feel similar. The 105/Tiagra/Sora share the same core design and many features. The other differences are weight due to the materials use, shape of the brake levers, gearing selection, and finish. So yes I think worrying about the groupset is the last of your concerns. What I like about certain bikes like the Emonda ALR is that it has a true complete group, down to even the chain and cassette, which is a rarity. Sometimes the use of some other crankset negates the advantage of going for a higher end derailleur. Who knows, you might want to get SRAM for your “good” bike because you just like the way they shift.

So if it was me…I think the Emonda ALR 4 would be a great place to start. Manufacturers generally put training grade wheels on bikes under $3K so that’s a great place to upgrade if you get the itch…not to mention it looks awesome to get some deeper profile aero wheels. One common line of thought is that aero is actually more important than weight. http://flocycling.blogspot.ca/2014/01/f ... eight.html I would actually be very happy riding a stock ALR with better wheels, tires and seat as my “good bike”.

edit:
I don't know what equipment you already have, but the bike itself is only part of the purchase, you'll probably want a more comfy seat, nicer tires that roll better, road bike oriented clothing, shoes/pedal system. I would recommend a dual purpose pedal like the Shimano A530 for a leisure road bike with a Shimano RT4 or RT5 shoe
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I can vouch for the Emonda ALR. I purchased it a month ago and have put a few hundred km on it since. I don't love the seat, but it's easy to replace.

Eventually I'll likely replace the wheels too.
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Mar 13, 2006
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How about the 2017 Cannondale Caad12 w/ 105

This was bike of the year. last year should be get this now at a good price.
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Aug 19, 2012
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TORONTO
warpdrive wrote:
Sep 8th, 2017 9:11 am
Yes, I think you shouldn’t be SO worried about picking the perfect bike the first time around. I progressed through many different bikes and by the last bike I knew exactly what I wanted. I know what worked for me and what didn’t.

As far as groups, yes the Shimano parts work very similarly, maybe even indistinguishably from each other. The Ultegra and DA groups are one generation ahead and will feel similar. The 105/Tiagra/Sora share the same core design and many features. The other differences are weight due to the materials use, shape of the brake levers, gearing selection, and finish. So yes I think worrying about the groupset is the last of your concerns. What I like about certain bikes like the Emonda ALR is that it has a true complete group, down to even the chain and cassette, which is a rarity. Sometimes the use of some other crankset negates the advantage of going for a higher end derailleur. Who knows, you might want to get SRAM for your “good” bike because you just like the way they shift.

So if it was me…I think the Emonda ALR 4 would be a great place to start. Manufacturers generally put training grade wheels on bikes under $3K so that’s a great place to upgrade if you get the itch…not to mention it looks awesome to get some deeper profile aero wheels. One common line of thought is that aero is actually more important than weight. http://flocycling.blogspot.ca/2014/01/f ... eight.html I would actually be very happy riding a stock ALR with better wheels, tires and seat as my “good bike”.

edit:
I don't know what equipment you already have, but the bike itself is only part of the purchase, you'll probably want a more comfy seat, nicer tires that roll better, road bike oriented clothing, shoes/pedal system. I would recommend a dual purpose pedal like the Shimano A530 for a leisure road bike with a Shimano RT4 or RT5 shoe
Appreciate the explanation and all the advice. I blame the penny-pinching RFD mentality for being so anal retentive before a purchase.

I'm starting from square one so I need everything. Thanks for the suggestion on the pedals and shoes -- do you know if those shoes are relatively easy to walk on?
I can vouch for the Emonda ALR. I purchased it a month ago and have put a few hundred km on it since. I don't love the seat, but it's easy to replace.

Eventually I'll likely replace the wheels too.
How about the 2017 Cannondale Caad12 w/ 105

This was bike of the year. last year should be get this now at a good price.
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. Will definitely take a longer look at aluminium bikes.

Any recommendations on how much I should spend on a bike fit when I decide what model I want? It seems like most stores offer a basic fitting with the purchase but also have more expensive options. Are these worth it?
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Moondeer wrote:
Sep 8th, 2017 7:34 pm
Appreciate the explanation and all the advice. I blame the penny-pinching RFD mentality for being so anal retentive before a purchase.

I'm starting from square one so I need everything. Thanks for the suggestion on the pedals and shoes -- do you know if those shoes are relatively easy to walk on?
they are a touring shoe using the 2 hole SPD (mountain bike) cleat system, so it's meant to allow walking. The cleats are recessed just enough so they won't contact the ground and there is a rubber piece on the heel that allow you to take relatively normal steps without slipping. I wouldn't go strolling with them but it is adequate to get you into the building after you dismount the bike.
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. Will definitely take a longer look at aluminium bikes.

Any recommendations on how much I should spend on a bike fit when I decide what model I want? It seems like most stores offer a basic fitting with the purchase but also have more expensive options. Are these worth it?
I wouldn't recommend spending on a bike fitting just yet. The store should be able to get the adjustments into the ballpark and then the rest you can do yourself. Usually there is a bit of trial and error too and as you get used to the bike, your position may change as you gain more fitness. As far as bike size, the charts usually also put you in the correct ballpark (e.g. https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/sizi ... bikes_road) but sometimes you can move a size up or down if your proportions are not average. The handlebar stem can be replaced with a shorter/longer one by the store to adjust the reach too.
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differing wrote:
Sep 10th, 2017 6:36 pm
Has anyone encountered a SRAM 1x11 setup on a stock road bike? I'd really love to see it in action, but I haven't seen any road/tri bikes that come built with that groupset, just CX bikes currently: (ex http://www.sweetpetes.com/product/giant ... 4118-1.htm).
the Cervelo C3 is the only one I've seen in real life https://www.cervelo.com/en/road/c-serie ... 20geometry
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What trainer are people using for Zwift? Looking to add a smart trainer for my winter training in the basement.
How can an ant carry twenty times its body weight, but root beer floats are still delicious?

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