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New bike purchase- some newbie questions(6 posts)

New bike purchase- some newbie questionsPuzman
Aug 14, 2002 5:53 AM
I'm looking into buying a new roadbike and have some questions. Some background info: I ride offroad extensively, and am looking for a roadbike for 30min-2 hr fast training rides. Would like to replace my Cannondale (3.0 Crit frame- hate it. Very rough ride, doesn't fit well. Used to have an old steel Basso that I loved). I want to spend <$1500. Would probably like a triple crank.

I've been thinking about the following:
a) Caad5 frame built up with Ultegra. Will this be much of an improvement in ride quality over what I have now? Will a carbon seatpost help on rough pavement?
b) Litespeed Atlas (Alum/Carbon seatstays) with Campy Centaur. Will the carbon stays further improve ride quality over the Caad5? (I test rode one yesterday, and was pretty impressed...). How does Centaur compare to Ultegra? Will I miss the triple crank (no long climbs where I live, but lots of short steep ones. c) should I look into steel (test rode a Lemond Alpe D'Huez that I liked)? or should I try to pick up a used OCLV or Ti bike in my price range?
Thanks in advance for your wisdom!
re: New bike purchase- some newbie questionsmfuchs1
Aug 14, 2002 6:20 AM
The fit of the bike is more important than what it is made of. Anything that fits would be an improvement over what you have now. I think frame material is like saddles, it's all personal preference. I ride a Klein Quantum Pro and I think that it is more comfortable than my steel Pinarello but others think that Klein's are way too stiff. Ride all you can and pick the one that YOU like best not what everybody says is the best. After all you are the one paying for and riding it.

As far as Ultegra/Centaur and the triple question. Centaur is 10 speed vs ultegra 9 so you could get a cassette for the Centaur to help with the hills while still having bigger gears for the flats without the need for a triple. (And it's Campagnolo! What more can you say?)

Good luck and welcome back.
re: New bike purchase- some newbie questionspmf1
Aug 14, 2002 6:31 AM
I used to have a 3.0 Cannondale frame ... I feel your pain.

So why do you want another aluminium bike? How big are you?

The $1500-$1800 price range has a lot especially if you consider mail order. You can get ti bikes in this price range (see the Colorado Cyclist or Excel house brands). Look in Velonews for ads, and the net (gvhbikes.com). You can also get a good used bike in this range. A friend of mine recently bought a used Lemond Zurich for $1200 here on this site. It looked barely used, was a year old and spec'ed with Ultegra parts. Try to see if you can locate a Lemond or Trek OCLV at a LBS and try them out.

Unless you llive in a really hilly area, you don't need a triple. More and more bikes seem to come with them these days.
re: New bike purchase- some newbie questionsJSchneb
Aug 14, 2002 7:00 AM
I'm riding my 2nd OCLV, and I love it. The ride is stiff and responsive, but the "quailty" is alot less harsh than aluminum. I've got it set up with a Ti seatpost and stem, and that helps alot, too. You can definately pick up an OCLV frame and fork used for < $1000. The sizing with the Trek OCLV is a little tricky, though. Buy one one size bigger than you normally ride (i.e., if you normally ride a 56cm, buy the 58cm). I think the difference comes from the fact that Trek measures the frame size from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube collar.

I would agree that if you don't live in the mountains, you won't need a tripple. Hills on the road are *alot* different than hills on the trail!
re: New bike purchase- some newbie questionsPuzman
Aug 14, 2002 9:43 AM
I'm 5'9", 165lbs. My current frame is 55 c/c seat tube, 55 tt. the fit calculator on wrenchscience.com (and my own feeling based on test rides) says that I should be on a 53 c/c (54 c/t) frame.

Anyway, the aluminum frames that I've ridden recently (Caad5 and Litespeed Atlas) seem to have better ride quality than what I'm on now, plus they're crazy light and sprint really well. But this is all based on parking lot test rides, so I was hoping for opinions on what something like this would feel like on my average training ride.
2 suggestions...cabinfever
Aug 14, 2002 7:11 AM
I agree that fit is most important. If you use mail order, I would suggest checking out wrenchscience.com for sizing info first. Then, if you want a Cannondale, gvhbikes.com is a good place to go. I've seen Caad frames listed there. Also, bikesdirect.com has a good deal on Fuji Teams with Full Ultegra for right around $1,000. They also have a Fuji Marseille, which is a steel version with similar specs for the same price mark. Lots of good choices for the money you have to spend. Good luck.