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Narrowing down my choices .....(10 posts)

Narrowing down my choices .....avitar
Apr 16, 2003 5:52 PM
I have been to 5 bike shops here in NYC, and one in Long Island. After taking the time to really hear my situation, its a split, 2 : 2 (carbon to Ti) the interesting part is the 2 Ti recommendations were both for Merlin (tho in one shop one guy said the Magia would be more comfortable another in the said the ExtraLight.. the other shop picked the ExtraLight). The other contender is the Calfee Tetra. (the other is the new Kestral Talon .. but I do not really like the looks). Most shops have steered me away from a C40 (going into this it wouldn't have been hard to sell me one). The Tetra is nice and I have been told and read great things, but I wasn't wild about the gussetts (webbing). I saw a newly built up DragonFly in one shop which looked great but they told me it would be less comfortable. I was also interested in Look , but have been told it too would not be nearly as comfortable as say an ExtraLight. I am 41, 5' 10" 180lbs. No racing.. just long fast rides, and I want a bike which thrills me and helps me keep up with the pack... I have been looking for a month now... and having a difficult time. a test ride around the block does not really tell me much. Tonight I am leaning towards the ExtraLight... but I sort of wanted something more exotic. I guess I have just seen too many Merlins, Lightspeed and Sevens on my rides.
I want a badboylookin, comfortable, smooth, fast - wow bike, which will make me want to riderideride... a dream bike. I do like the durability factor of the Merlin and the ouzo Pro fork is a nice plus, but something like the DeRosa King looks sooo cool....

need more feedback.. this place is such a great springboard!
Not materials - geometrymass_biker
Apr 16, 2003 6:16 PM
"Badboylooking, comfortable, smooth, fast wow bike" = a bike that has race geometry. All other considerations (frame material etc. ) are secondary.

A fast bike is one that is light (that helps) and one that has a geometry that allows you to get on top of it, work the cluster, and jam it into corkscrew, washboard descents with gusto.

Frame material is a smaller part of the equation.

I have found in my years of riding and racing pretty much everything under the sun that the "traditional" Italian geometry does the job. Shortish/squarish top tube relative to seat tube length, relatively low BB, short wheelbase all add up to a very, very versatile and responsive ride.

Seriously - don't fall into the "materials trap" - the true definition of a raceworthy/rideworthy machine is its geometry and in all my years of riding and racing all manner of bikes, I am yet to see an off the rack bike ride better than my steel Colnago or my current Italian al/carbon steed. And as far as durability goes, don't sweat it too much. Well to be quite sure, time will tell. But put another way, if you endo into a 3 foot ditch, well, you've got quite a repair bill ahead of you, be it steel or carbon or ti or whatever.

For what its worth - I am <145lbs, ride and race frequently, and am riding an al main triangle/carbon fork/carbon rear chain/seat stay machine and it is plenty, plenty comfortable. Let the record state that it accelerates on a dime, climbs like a demon, and descends on rails - and all of that has to do with GEOMETRY, not frame material. So don't let materials fool you. The bulk of your comfort factor will be decided by what touches your contact points (i.e. pick a good saddle, handlebar and don't skimp on the bar tape).

Assuming that all these fit you, I would go with the C40. Why the hell not. Then the DeRosa King. You want exotic -then there you go.

Not materials - geometryavitar
Apr 16, 2003 6:31 PM
Thank you very much for your reply.

I am currently riding a compact Columbus Airplane Al frame with Columbus Carve Fork and Seat Stays. It came with a Selle Era saddle, which I switched for a Terry DragonFly.. which is MUCH more comfortable.
Do carbon handlebars really make a difference in comfort (currently have 3TTForgie) or are they just a weight weenie thing? I think my current bars might be too small. I am always trying to hold my elbows from going out, I think if the bars were a bit wider it might be a little more easy/natural for them to stay in.

One shop today did say that a Carbon Seat Post is definately worth it for comfort.
Not materials - geometryBaadDawg
Apr 16, 2003 8:09 PM
You have to see/try the Giant TCR Composite Team before making a decision.

Full campy record and a frame that makes me go WOW.

And its a terrific value too.

I've had my Ultegra version for a week and due to crappy weather have been able to do 3 rides with it. Each ride I like it more. It takes a while to really get tuned into a bike to appreciate its characteristcs. If you test ride one you have to get out of the saddle in a big gear. Its unreal.
Answers to Avitarmass_biker
Apr 17, 2003 6:47 AM
I put carbon bars (Kestrel 44 c-c) on my new ride and they are mucho comfortable. I feel the difference. They are not really a weight weenie thing in my opinion because they are heavier than my old bars (Prima 199s). This carbon business seems to work - they do a great job in the rough stuff. Funny enough, the change from the old bars (44 o-o) to the new bars (44 c-c) has made a difference too - I like the extra width.

Can't comment on the carbon seatpost thing. I do hear horror stories about overtightening blah blah blah and stick with the tried and true - Shimano DuraAce (al.) on my steel bike and Campy Ti on my al/carbon bike. The Campy Ti (light, fairly cheap, bombproof and easy to adjust) is one of the unsung heroes of bike parts - something that actually works, looks good and is a pretty good value for money.

The combo of al main triangle, carbon rear triange and forks and a sensible choice of tires (Axial Pro 700x23s) seat (Concor) and common sense (lift your butt up when crossing frost heaves) makes more difference than the choice of frame material.

Not materials - geometryrogue_CT1
Apr 17, 2003 7:14 AM
I agree... If you want an exotic bad boy, awesome looking bike with the WOW factor, then go with the C-40 HP. You will not see this bike on your group rides. Period. It has classic Italian geometry and a beautiful paint scheme. I personnally want the NL14 or LX14 color schemes. It is smooth, comfy and reliable.

Go with the full Campy Record including carbon cranks and you will have a real looker that you can ride all day long. And you will have that one of a kind exotic look that you are after.

You might consider the Fondriest P4 carbon. It's a pretty bad a$$ looking bike too.
The Merlin will be the last bike you will want to ride.ol
Apr 16, 2003 9:22 PM
Hello Avitar.
I am currently riding on an Extralight compact,I am 5 6 145 pounds. I am not a heavyweight but I am a serious racer who can turn over the big gear with most Cat 2 guys. The Merlin is my 8th bike and it's head and shoulders above the rest, I also have a Casati Scandium which I use in crits now and again. The Merlin is by far the most comfortable bike I have ever owned ,it's a perfect road racing machine as well as a century bike. The stiffness ,vertical compliancy, and geometry is perfect . When you factor all these elements together you have the perfect bike, which IMHO the Extralight really is.
Hope this helps.
The Merlin will be the last bike you will want to ride.Anj
Apr 17, 2003 12:10 AM
Word of caution here. I have a friend who has a Merlin XL and he says it flexes terribly in the b/b.
but maybe not if you ride a 60cm and weigh 190+ColnagoFE
Apr 17, 2003 6:07 AM
I always found my Extralight to be a bit flexy and somewhat unstable in fast descents. I like the Colnago I have now better for my riding style. The Merlin seemed to have more of a crit geometry. Merlin was a beautiful bike though before it was wrecked when a truck hit me.
Awesome double entendre- "last bike you will WANT to ride" ;)filtersweep
Apr 17, 2003 7:16 AM