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Need Advice : Trek, Cannondale, Litespeed, Calfee or others?(9 posts)

Need Advice : Trek, Cannondale, Litespeed, Calfee or others?folsom_rider
Jul 7, 2003 6:36 PM
Hi All,

I am getting back into cycling after about 10 years. I have a mountain bike and put about 50 miles a week on that, so, I figure, time to buy a roadie. I am willing to spend up to $3k, but would like to solicit some free advice.

I am 5-8, 172 lbs and according to a recent fit kit, need a 53 cm top tube. I ride the flats and some really good hills as I live at the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in CA. What is important to me is great control and feel, stiffness, and good transference of energy. I don't need the ultra cush yet ;) In a nutshell, I am looking for a bike that will give me an edge and allow me to keep up with my buddies that can average 21-23 mpg (on a good day I can average 17 on my mtb).

So far, I have riden a Merlin and Calfee. I will see about a Trek and Cannondale testride soon. Test riding a Litespeed seems tough as few carry my size. Furthermore, Litespeed top tubes are either 52.5 or 54, so I feel it may be too big or small. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks all.

-Quinn
Fondriest..........african
Jul 7, 2003 7:24 PM
http://www.fondriest-usa.com/index.php

I have one, love it. They have a sale, check it out, also great customer service.
re: Need Advice : Trek, Cannondale, Litespeed, Calfee or others?t4fastguy
Jul 8, 2003 3:50 AM
You may want to check out Independent Fabrications (www.ifbikes.com)also. They do compact geometry as well as custom in ti or steel. Their steel frames are among the best and the ti frame I have is about the nicest thing I have ever ridden!

Good Luck
You sound a little like me....rory1
Jul 8, 2003 4:42 AM
I too am an MTBer who just went to a road bike...

I live in the Denver area - so mountains are what we do here, and I too wanted something with good feel, stiffness, would "go" when I wanted it to, etc.....

The best thing for you to do is to be sure you try out a bunch of bikes to check their "feel".... And be sure to get a bike that fits YOU....

With that being said - I tried a bunch of bikes, and finally wrestled between the Trek 2300 (Zirchonium Aluminum) and the Trek 5200 (carbon fiber)... (this wrestling is documented in these pages somewhere)....

Anyway, my decision came down for the Trek 2300 - not that it was a "better" bike per se, but it was "better" for me. Some people knock the aluminum bikes for being 'unforgiving' - well, I haven't found it yet on mine. It does come with a carbon fiber fork, which does a bunch, and the mix of alloys in the frame gives a good stiff, yet NOT unforgiving ride... When you want it to go, well it simply responds and goes....

Full ultegra components, decent wheelset, good price ($1699 for me - which is far under your budget - allows for upgrades and some other things you may want)....

Well, for ME it was a great purchase, and I am very happy with what I got.....

Bike fit, Bike feel, and heck, enjoy the ride!
vertical fit is important too...C-40
Jul 8, 2003 6:09 AM
The TT length is not the only dimension to consider, in fact, TT length is meaningless without a seat tube angle to go with it. Stem length can easily be changed by + or - 1cm to make just about any standard frame fit the same.

For instance, a frame with a 53cm TT length may have a 74 degree seat tube angle (STA). A frame with a 54.2cm TT length and a 73 degree STA will fit the same, once the saddle is moved forward by 1.2cm to place the rider in the same position relative to the BB. Both frames will require the same stem length.

Vertical fit should not be ignored. At your height, you will be looking at 53-55cm frames (measured center to top). The smaller frames will have shorter head tubes and require more steering tube spacers or stem angle to get the bars up to the desired height.
re: CannondaleLeroy
Jul 8, 2003 6:24 AM
Don't pay any attention to the suggestions that just throw you off track. [just kidding] Your description of how and where you ride, and what you are looking for, especially the part about keeping up with your buddies says, "Cannondale." $3,000.00 will get you a real good one.
Trek 5500......BIG RING
Jul 8, 2003 12:02 PM
I had 3 Merlin's, a C-40, Master X light, Waterford 853 steel, Specialized S Works M4, GT ZR1, Quattro Assi Carbo/Alumino, Cannondale CAAD 5 and 6, 5200, 5500, 5900. All of them are gone except for the 5500 and 5900. Amazing bikes. They are crisp, snappy accelerating machines........with great road absorbtion and warranty. My advice is test ride everything you are considering and let the feeling you get dictate the purchase.
Are you sure you have been measured correctly?ol
Jul 8, 2003 5:14 PM
I am 5'6 and I ride a 53.5 top tube. My upper body is pretty much in proportion with my legs. Unless you have very long legs and short upper body with short arms,I would seriously look at your fitout again. At 5'8 almost everyone I know ride a 54 cm top tube.
Cheers.
re: Need Advice : Trek, Cannondale, Litespeed, Calfee or others?folsom_rider
Jul 8, 2003 6:13 PM
Hi Everyone, thank you for the great information so far. The advice on fit, bikes, and other alternatives is much appreciated. I will look at Fondreist (great site and the Colorado Cyclist P4 Carbon is a great deal) as well as Trek. Thanks soooo much. More advice is always welcomed.

-Quinn