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jocristian
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Generally that's good advice, and I don't care if he gets a cross bike or not, but the idea that someone on a cross bike can't keep up on a road group ride is absurd. Cross bikes are identical to road bikes except for the few minor changes that I mentioned earlier in the thread --none of which affect the performance in any appreciable way-- and can easily be fitted with road tires.


You seem pretty knowledgeable otherwise. Are you sure you aren't confusing a cross bike for a hybrid?

[Edited on March 29, 2013 at 6:12 PM. Reason : d]

[Edited on March 29, 2013 at 6:14 PM. Reason : d]

3/29/2013 6:12:08 PM

1in10^9
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First century last week...almost died!!!

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/11855030

8hr 24min riding time. Considering my ratio of slow twitch fibers Im lucky to be under 10hr mark time for this particular ride.

Hit 48.8mph on a downhill

[Edited on March 29, 2013 at 7:52 PM. Reason : j]

3/29/2013 7:50:53 PM

breakneck4
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^^while not a huge difference they are generally a bit slower than a road bike. There are subtle differences in geometry that make a cross bike a bit less aerodynamic. They are also generally a little heavier. This is coming from someone that has both and has had multiple different models of both through the years. Overall I will average about 1 mph slower on a cross bike over the exact same ride. I don't think it's absurd to think that if someone is in a group they have a tough time hanging with on a road bike that they will get dropped switching to a road bike. I know I have a tougher time keeping up with the same group if I switch out bikes for whatever reason.

However, I still advocate a cross bike if you're only going to have one. Awesome on road, light trails, and obviously cross racing. Two sets of wheels and tires and you've got a really useful bike.

[Edited on March 29, 2013 at 10:27 PM. Reason : a]

3/29/2013 10:20:56 PM

Jeepin4x4
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yes but aren't you paying $2k+ for a Cross bike plus extra set of wheels/tires with the same componentry you'd pay in the $1k range for a road bike (plus a bit extra adding a set of 25 gatorskins?) this is the direction i'm pointing towards atm.

3/30/2013 1:40:56 AM

Stryver
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I've been dropped by guys on 'cross bikes (mostly, one particular brute in a previous state who hung on with the Cat 2 guys). As the druggie says, "It's not about the bike". The body-position aerodynamics are adjustable and the tires are swappable. There are minute frame aerodynamic issues, not a factor for a beginner, and there are minor weight differences. The beginner ride is going to have flat-bar townie bikes and carbon frame bikes and converted mountain bikes, should be a no-drop anyways, and the people at the front or back of the group will have nothing to do with the steed under them.

I don't advocate a new cyclist investing in multiple sets of wheels. I also don't suggest buying a new, low-end road bike that, if you do end up sustaining the hobby, you'll want to replace in a year, and if you don't won't convert well to any other usable form for you.

Whether it's called a 'cross bike, or a touring bike, or whatever, don't get suckered in by "more efficient power transfer" or whatever other buzzwords. The first year is about you, not the bike. Spend time figuring out a good fit, and what your style is, and collect gear (shorts, shoes, helmet, whatever) that work well and help you enjoy the sport. Then, in a year or so, buy that race bike. And it will feel like you go faster on it. And some of the improvement might not be mental.

By the way, it looks like a base-level Kona Jake (with a 105 RD) is available at 1K in some places... http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12297369

3/30/2013 12:14:37 PM

Prospero
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Quote :
"Cross bikes are identical to road bikes except for the few minor changes that I mentioned earlier in the thread --none of which affect the performance in any appreciable way-- and can easily be fitted with road tires.

You seem pretty knowledgeable otherwise. Are you sure you aren't confusing a cross bike for a hybrid?"


No I was referring to a stock cross to a stock road bike, tires being what they are, there is a significant 2mph+ difference in my riding at the same effort level, which is huge when trying to keep up with a group. Yes, I could keep up, but at the cost of exerting more effort, it's physics. Yes, you can swap stuff out on a cross bike, but then you're spending more money on top of the cross bike to make it more like a road bike, makes me suggest just buying a road bike. The point of a cross bike is to bike on varied surface/terrain, so if you're converting it to run on road it defeats the purpose of buying one, if you like the fit, just buy a road frame with a more compact/upright geometry. That's all I was saying.

[Edited on March 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM. Reason : /]

3/30/2013 1:00:14 PM

Stryver
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Tires can make a big difference, but it sounded like your argument against a 'cross bike was bigger than tires.

I think being comfortable is the most important part of the first bike someone interested in cycling buys. It doesn't have to be a "comfort" bike, but the fit needs to be good, it needs to not be too harsh on unhardened body-parts, and it needs to provide room to feel what it is like to recreate on a bike. Part of comfort is feeling like the bike is appropriate, like you aren't out of place or embarrassed to be seen on it. The beach cruiser showing up to the Saturday morning century, or the panniered and fendered tourer waiting in the pack for the Wednesday night sprints. Lastly, and I feel this way because I like to keep things (n+1, baby!) rather than trade them in, I think the first bike should be convertible to another task. And a tiagra equipped road bike that can't fit fenders and 28mm tires isn't going to find another job after the next bike is bought. It's going to go on Craigslist.

Anyways, Jeepin', buy a bike that you like, and that fits you. It can be anything, it could be made of pure gold and carbon, but if it doesn't fit, or you don't like it, you won't ride it. Then it becomes expensive garage art.

And for anyone interested in rolling resistance of tires, this guy has collected some interesting studies, though he's said very little useful to add. I learned that even good, standard road tires can have 20 watts of difference at speed, which makes a 1mph difference at about 18mph.
http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/rolres.html

3/30/2013 7:09:31 PM

AntiMnifesto
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^ To tack on to that, I can't say I care anymore either about keeping up with people. (Except for the girl who kicks me in the face swimming during a tri, then it's on, bitch!). The more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to ride your bike and train.

I do most of my longer rides right now on my Surly, because it's comfortable and I've been having back issues. The guys I ride with snickered at it until I climbed away from them with my Mt. Everest gearing.

And I was just having the tire discussion with a newbie cyclist yesterday-I'd rather have a few more grams in weight and work with a heavier, belted training tire than get flats or baby my bike on less-than-stellar Durham/Orange County roads. I did, however, have to steer her away from knobby hybrid tires she wanted for her older road bike.

3/31/2013 12:29:59 PM

llama
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4/2/2013 3:02:34 PM

AntiMnifesto
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^ Lulz.

There is a guy around here named Bruce who is semi-homeless, and bicycles around with all items on his handlebars in grocery bags. We tried giving him panniers and a rack at some point, but he said it was pointless because other homeless people would try to steal the panniers. He has a ridiculously long white beard, and I really think he's Gandalf in disguise.

4/4/2013 5:49:14 PM

llama
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Will he accept a basket or milk carton strapped to the bars?



Anybody want to talk me into/out of returning my new Specialized Tarmac SL3 (http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/archive/2012/tarmac/tarmacsl3expertmid-compact#geometry) I went from riding a '05 Trek 1500 60cm frame to this Tarmac 58cm frame, and I really can't decide whether it fits or not. I'm 74.5" tall, 36.1" inseam. The 60cm Trek has as ~58cm top tube as does the Tarmac, but the Tarmac is noticeably smaller which is probably because of the steeper seat tube angle. It rides nice and I haven't noticed any real negatives, so I'm wondering if I'm just overthinking it and it does fit, or maybe I'm just deluding myself. Don't worry, I'll be going to see someone about fitting here soon, but I wanted to get other people's opinions.

4/4/2013 7:08:10 PM

Stryver
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You've checked other parts of fit? Geometry of drops/hoods/angle of handlebars and stem length, angle, height? Seat position (vertical and fore-aft) and tilt? What part is "noticeably smaller"?

The seat-to-handlebar distance (and angle) has a lot to do with posture (or position, if you want it to sound more aerodynamic), thus it can vary radically from person to person depending on ride style. The seat-to-pedal distance doesn't vary much, but the angle can vary depending on which muscle groups you wish to work (and body angles above it due to position).

4/5/2013 8:39:53 AM

llama
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Haven't checked the geometry of the bars yet, but they're listed as the same width (44mm) and the stem is the same length (110mm), but I haven't checked the rise yet. I have the measurements for my seat position on the old bike, but I went by feel instead of setting the seat at the same height or reach that I had before. I think the saddle-to-bar drop is smaller, but I'd have to measure that, too. I've got about 5 shorter (25-40mi) rides on it so far, and I haven't noticed any apparent problems, like knee/back/neck pain. As far as why I feel like it's "noticeably smaller"--I can't really notice a change in the reach, but it feels like I'm more over the front as the steering is touchier. This could be caused by a different headtube angle, or maybe I'm just too far over the front.

4/9/2013 3:01:44 PM

Mr. Joshua
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Got back on it yesterday.

Why is it that on nice afternoons when I want to ride, every asshole on my route is grilling out in their back yard.

4/9/2013 4:29:47 PM

YOMAMA
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Haha!

I went on my first big push of the spring last night as well and when I was cutting back through the neighborhood to get home it smelled so good. Damn those people grilling out.

4/9/2013 4:55:57 PM

Stryver
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If it's just the steering being touchier, it could be fork rake, or a combination of rake/angle/stem. I would address that separately from fit issues. Specialized bills the Tarmac SL3 as having "race" frame geometry, and though a quick google didn't turn up old ad-copy or complete geometry on the 2005 1500, I'd guess it was a bit more relaxed.

Responsive isn't, necessarily, bad. My XC bike is twitchy, and I would say I like it, much better maneuverability than a FR rig I had for a while, though it did cost me a shoulder separation when I got a bit lazy one day and it drifted too much. A Crit bike should be twitchy. A TdF bike, maybe less so. A RAAM bike should be rock solid.

4/9/2013 4:58:54 PM

AntiMnifesto
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I leave for Ft. Collins, CO tomorrow morning for the annual bike summit New Belgium does before the Tour de Fat. Beer, bicycles and lots of riding? Yes please!

[Edited on April 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM. Reason : being hungover sucks]

4/10/2013 10:19:00 AM

umop-apisdn
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Alright, so I got a bike from a friend a month or two ago so we could start riding and doing shit now that things have gotten nice out. I should say we're nothing serious, no spandex or special helmets or anything like that. Just riding road bikes in normal clothes.

So yea, I've started getting that sympathetic feeling for all people who ride bikes. Getting honked at, yelled at, and generally ignored as a vehicle on the road (and a relatively vulnerable one, at that).

So last night, rather than do our normal ride near uptown Charlotte, my friend gives in to my "I feel like I'm gonna get run over" sentiment and takes me to a nice neighborhood in southwest Charlotte. No signs to indicate this is a private neighborhood, no gates passed, really nothing out of the ordinary, except it's a very nice neighborhood with little traffic. I like it because I can hear frogs all over the damn place. Nevertheless, we just ride, never leaving the roads. Now I will say we both carried backpacks, though it's simply to hold a water bottle, camera, wallet, phone, screwdriver (for bike gears), and sometimes a hoodie. So I know that might be suspicious looking, though as far as I am aware it's 100% legal.

Long story short, a security officer keeps circling us without doing anything. Drives off, comes back. Eventually, he stops me and asks what we're doing. "Riding bikes". As my friend catches up, the security officer goes into saying we're trespassing. There is not a single sign to indicate so anywhere around. We're obeying all bike laws we're aware of. The only grounds this guy supposedly has to stop us is trespassing. He claims there is a mixture of public and private roads we've been riding on (in an un-gated neighborhood, not unlike the neighborhoods either of us grew up in). He says he is supposed to detain us, because there have been vehicles broken into and we're trespassing, the cops are on their way to rake us over the coals. "But I can tell you're not lying to me yet." He eventually lets us go, follows us back to the vehicle and all the way out of the neighborhood.

Does anyone know if there are any special rules or regulations when there are absolutely no signs to the otherwise in a neighborhood? This officer pointed out that we could just as easily - and without harassment - bike on a nearby busy highway (with no bike lanes). How do the rest of you deal with biking at night? I mean, I understand the concerns, but aside from being one of two guys riding bikes through a neighborhood after dark, I'm at a loss to determine whether I have a right to go back there or not and tell the security officer we're absolutely not trespassing next time, whether it's noon or midnight.

All I want is a safe and harassment-free place to ride a bike during the evening, and I don't know if I actually have to call the Charlotte police to determine the legality of biking there at the time it was. I realize overzealous security officers will lie or otherwise make things miserable just to run off "trouble-makers", so was this the case? We were not searched, though he implied that he wanted to. We were asked if we had ID, but we were not asked to show ID. We were cooperative and non-confrontational. As I said, if I wasn't harassed (or at least knew it wouldn't happen again), I would love to go back and ride in the neighborhood. But I'd like to hear what others might have to say about the subject.

TL;DR:
Went biking after dark with friend in neighborhood we don't live in. Harassed by security officer who told us we were trespassing. Want to know if roads in un-gated neighborhoods are public and if we were actually trespassing, or just bullshitted off the property.

5/10/2013 2:39:57 PM

llama
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Did you have helmets and lights? If not, I'd say you looked extremely suspicious, and I don't blame him for following you around. Now, I would actually call the PD and see if the guy was talking out of his ass.

5/10/2013 8:24:01 PM

AntiMnifesto
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+1 Helmets and lights! I don't think he had any legal ground to detain you especially as a rent-a-cop, but we've really been trying in Durham to get lights out to people to prevent accidents.

Other cycling stuff:

1) The I-40 American Tobacco Trail bridge was put in.

2) Signing up for a full century - Bikefest in Hillsborough for August.

3) I'm having a bicycle-themed wedding. We're considering getting married at our bike co-op. (Yeah I know. Nerds).

5/10/2013 9:36:11 PM

tchenku
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^^^if you're willing to go to Huntersville

http://goo.gl/maps/tE0v2

it's a really nice, scenic business park. I went there for some training and there were cyclists, joggers, dog-walkers, etc

[Edited on May 10, 2013 at 11:19 PM. Reason : ]

5/10/2013 11:18:38 PM

jbtilley
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Quote :
"1) The I-40 American Tobacco Trail bridge was put in."


This makes it sound as if it is finished and ready to ride. When I drove by the other day they had the bridge support up but that's it, no actual bridge/trail constructed to cross I-40 as of yet.

I suspect it will be done soon but it is hard to tell, typical construction project where you see lots of progress in a few days time then absolutely no progress for a month. Just an FYI in case anyone decided to head out to the ATT this weekend to ride the new bridge. I believe that the last estimate for completion is sometime in July.

[Edited on May 11, 2013 at 8:17 AM. Reason : -]

5/11/2013 8:14:17 AM

umop-apisdn
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Helmets - no, but we're both over 16, so it's not illegal.
Lights - yes for both of us.

I really don't have any argument for suspicion. Hell, on the way out there, I warned my friend we were probably gonna get harassed by cops. Regardless, we were doing absolutely nothing against the law, at least to my knowledge. The biggest issue at hand is the claim that we were on private roads within the neighborhood, and therefor trespassing.

And yes, I am very familiar with the business park. I live right around the corner. Problem is all of my friends are around Charlotte from Plaza Midwood and south. It's practically impossible to get them to come up to Huntersville. Plus, the whole business park loop is pretty damn boring, IMO...but maybe that's just because I grew up around here.

5/11/2013 4:55:44 PM

Ken
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Any general advice for a first-time buyer?

I haven't ridden a bike in close to a decade. Even then I've never had anything serious. I run a few days a week, and want to add biking a couple times a week. I'm deathly afraid of riding on roads, but I'm sure that'll pass or not as I learn again.

I was looking for a bike for the occasional weekend ride with a group, starting triathlons, and something I can slap down on a trainer.

I've looked at Inside Out and need to schedule an appointment to get fitted. Never tried the clip-ons but heard they don't take too long to get used to.

All I've been told is go to a place like that, get fitted, and avoid aluminum if possible. And accessories are going to murder my bank account. :/

5/11/2013 5:01:48 PM

jocristian
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Buy used. Aluminum is fine and is probably the best bang for your buck to get lightweight stiffness without stepping up into carbon ($$). Your best bet is a road bike for group rides and some triathlons.

I wouldn't say a fit is a waste of time but I think some people--particularly tri geeks--overrate their importance. Yes, if you are gonna drop a few grand on a new carbon bike, get fitted. If you are gonna spend a few hundred on a used beginner road bike, there is no need to spend upwards of $70 on a fitting. You can get close enough for a comfortable and efficient fit by reading a few online articles and buying the right size to start with and then making small stem and seat adjustments from there. It's really not that complicated.

5/12/2013 8:49:10 PM

Stryver
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^^^ Re: private roads... Check your state and local ordinances, these things vary. In Colorado, a road had to be closeable (and closed off occasionally) to be "private". A particular road through Coors' property was closed for one day a year to ensure this requirement was met. That being said, I've encountered many residential areas that say "private property, no trespassing" and have no gates. The legal ability to enforce that, and what constitutes trespassing, probably varies widely from state to state. Here's a link with a whole lot of words on trespassing and S.C. law. It does not clearly describe your situation, though. http://answers.uslegal.com/real-property/trespassing/15865/

^^ I second the buy used. I recommend finding a local bike shop with used bikes (or a co-op). A LBS may not have the best deal (versus Craigslist), but you'll have someone to come back to for fitting, adjustment, repairs, etc. Most of which should be free or cheap if you buy the bike from them. Don't be afraid of aluminum, particularly not yet. Alternatives to aluminum can get pricey quickly, and may or may not offer the advantages you'll want in 6 months. Right now, you are learning what kind of bike you want, particularly if you are considering both group road-rides and tri bikes, much specialization in either of those categories and the bike will work poorly for the other. New bikes can work, but if you are just starting and have varied tastes, you may be wishing to upgrade/specialize in a year or two, so buy now knowing that is a possible future

I currently own steel and titanium frames, have owned aluminum in the past, and have some carbon components. All of them have been useful for their purpose, and the steel frame on my commuter may be replaced with aluminum when it is retired. I don't care for carbon because it doesn't handle abuse well (nicks/impact damage can require the piece to be replaced), but would be happy to ride it if I were sponsored or rich and replacing a bike every season or two.

5/13/2013 10:52:36 AM

Ken
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Sounds good. What LBS are good for used bikes? Would still like to see something close to a road bike if I'm going used, so I know what's going on (I am really clueless with bike maintenance), and go from there.

I've just heard aluminum makes a really bumpy ride, and carbon / steel are fine, but entry carbon is still fairly steep.

I just have to figure out what I want to want :/

5/13/2013 11:21:49 AM

AntiMnifesto
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^ Are you in Raleigh? I know Tip Top and Seven Stars do a brisk secondhand market from bikes in Durham, and Back Alley in Chapel Hill.

5/13/2013 3:08:56 PM

Stryver
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Stop in nearby bike shops and see what they have. All-star in Raleigh, near Meredith, I know has a spread of used, and they have several locations around. There is also a co-op in Durham, and a pseudo co-op (non-profit bike shop?) in down town Raleigh (Oak City Cycles, or something like that).

All the adverts, and bike nerds, will tell you that aluminum rides harsh and carbon is "laterally stiff and vertically compliant". Firstly, your tires (size and pressure) have way more impact on how harsh the ride is than anything a non-suspension frame will ever do. The complaints against aluminum are not false, though it's not always as true as they'd like you to believe. Well designed and well made frames in any material can be either stiff or compliant. I guarantee you the carbon frame Cavendish is sprinting to finishes on is stiffer than anything you'll want to ride. Aluminum's big problem, right now, is that it's the "low-end" material, and it gets less brain-power directed towards making a good frame. In any event, don't be afraid of aluminum now, but feel free to test ride different stuff to see how it compares.

Test ride notes: Check tire size and tire pressure. It would be nice if every bike you rode had the same size tires filled to the same pressure, but this won't be the case. If you want to get nerdy first and figure out what pressure different tires should be at for your weight, Sheldon Brown has a guide. But you can also just write them down, and consider the tires, along with frame style and material, when you consider how the bike rode.

[Edited on May 14, 2013 at 11:39 AM. Reason : Sprinting]

5/14/2013 11:37:46 AM

Prospero
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For road bikes though, tire sizes & pressure are fairly consistent, 23c, 110-130psi, I'd recommend aluminum frame with at minimum carbon stays.

[Edited on May 14, 2013 at 12:27 PM. Reason : .]

5/14/2013 12:26:34 PM

AntiMnifesto
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What Stryver said is pretty spot on with raw materials. Your components and frame geometry will have far more influence on the ride. Personally, I think that wheelsets have the biggest impact in how a frame will feel- obviously carbon vs. aluminum with tire combinations is going to produce different sensations.

I ride an aluminum road bike with carbon seatstays and a lot of carbon components, and this seems to give a nice balance between comfort and performance. For whatever reasons, I also don't trust a full carbon build.

My dream road bike is probably a wellmade custom steel frame with a carbon fork and a nice lightweight wheelset. That, or a Ti Lightspeed frame.

5/14/2013 12:31:52 PM

llama
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Like everyone else has said, if you're just looking for your first, used bike to get into riding than AL frame is going to be it. If, some day, you find that you really like riding and want to upgrade you can think about going carbon, custom steel (not some 1970's relic), or Ti. I'm a really big fan of carbon, but I'd say definitely stay away from used carbon if you don't have any experience with it.

I road an AL frame, carbon fork/AL steer tube bike for a few years and was perfectly happy with it. When the road got a bit bumpy you did start to feel it after a while, but it's not horrible. I've recently upgrade to full carbon, including frame, fork, steer tube AND wheels, and there is such a noticeable difference.

Ken, how tall are you?

5/15/2013 11:04:11 AM

Stryver
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^^^ 110 - 130 psi sounds like max rated from the sidewall. The pressure you actually run should depend on your weight. While it's true that the higher pressure, the less rolling resistance, the gains plateau before you hit the max pressure, and there are significant benefits in terms of comfort, traction, and reduced loss of momentum from obstacles. Sheldon Brown has a good rule of thumb to start with, and plenty of people have done research on the effects. http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html

5/21/2013 8:39:52 AM

God
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http://www.strava.com/activities/55378937

5/21/2013 9:56:55 PM

Ken
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^^^ 5'9".

I tried a couple bikes the other day. It was pretty neat - the last bike I road on as a kid was heavy and took lots of power to move.. I never moved a bike that light and they were almost effortless to move at lower speeds.

I tried 2 Scotts, and 51-52cm frame seemed like my fit. There were a lot of other brand names thrown around that I'm beyond comprehending at the moment. All I got was a 51-52cm frame was around my fit.

Not sure on the tire pressure, both were inflated before going out. Between the carbon and aluminum frames I really noticed a difference in carbon, again on asphalt at slow speeds.

I'm considering going used carbon and going back to the store for accessories and fitting. Beyond the frame I'm not sure what else to look for.. I assume everything else is adjustable. Is there anything I should avoid?

Edit: reread ^^^, and eh, I guess I'm not committed to a material. Just noticed it felt a lot nicer.

[Edited on May 22, 2013 at 11:36 AM. Reason : .]

5/22/2013 11:35:39 AM

llama
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Ah, I have a 60cm Trek 1500 sitting around, and if it would have fit you I was going to offer it up. Do you remember what carbon bikes you looked at? Year they were made? Components? I might have missed your price range, but did they actually fit into it?

5/22/2013 1:39:50 PM

Ken
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The bikes I tried did not really fit into budget. I might put it off until June, have a wedding in Mexico and should be financially saner after.

I believe I tried 2013 Orbea Onix TPX and a 2013 Scott Speedster. 1300 / 1800 or something similar.

I mulled it for a bit and would spend that much on a second bike if I wanted to do a serious triathlon, but can't commit to that price range for this one. I'd still love a solid bike, even used, so I can mess something up :p

Briefly looked at ebay and saw a couple carbons for 700, but that might be too risky. Nothing too wild popped up on Craigslist.. I'll check those stores out this weekend.

5/22/2013 2:26:08 PM

jakeller
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^^I'd be interested in said Trek, perhaps. Like Ken, I'm getting a bit of the biking itch to supplement some marathon/ running that I do.

My main thing is that I dont want to be burnt out of running towards week 13-18 on marathon training...

5/22/2013 4:55:30 PM

God
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http://www.strava.com/activities/55757998

5/22/2013 8:44:48 PM

Stryver
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Ken, did a salesperson actually spend time with you adjusting fit on a bike with some kind of measurements? 52cm sounds pretty small for 5'9". I'm 5'8" and my road bike is a 56. Taking a peak at the Orbea sizing (which is weird to me, 51-54-57?), I'd end up on the 54, and probably swap the stem out for one a bit longer, though the 57 might work... be interesting to try. I realize we're all different sizes, but make sure someone who seemed to know what they were doing checked the fit on you. Fit is hugely important, far more than any of the materials/models/tires/whatever.

The Orbea is a "compact" frame, like all the new bikes you are likely to see. This means standover is unlikely to be a problem, and that the size is a fictitious number, there is nothing on the bike that measures 51 (or 54) cm. On a traditional frame (which you may encounter on the used market, but probably not in carbon) the size will be the center-to-center (or center-to-top) of the seat tube, and the top tube will be approximately level with the ground (and much higher). On these bikes, there may be little or no clearance between your nuts and the top tube if you stand flat-footed on the ground. That's fine, even if it seems uncomfortable, because you don't operate a road bike by standing flat-footed on the ground.

In any event, get fitted by someone who seems to know what they are doing. Fit is enormously important, and a bike that doesn't fit will end up uncomfortable no matter what it's made out of.

5/23/2013 8:21:56 AM

jocristian
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you must have some unique body proportions Stryver. 5'8 is short for a 56cm in my experience.

For example, I am 5'11 and I ride a 56 and I think that is pretty typical for my height. A normally proportioned 5'9 person would typically ride a 54. 52/51 is generally one of the smallest frames made in many models and that means many women and shorter men are gonna ride that. Unless you have strange proportions, it's unlikely someone who is 5'9 is gonna ride a small.

5/23/2013 8:58:49 AM

Ken
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^^ Yeah someone worked with me. He did seem fairly knowledgeable. He started me on a 54 but moved down to a 52/51 (one was a 52, one was a 51), and that seemed fine. Not sure what you mean by the fictitious sizes. I've seen some people measure in inches too. Maybe I need to try some other bikes.

5/23/2013 10:01:45 AM

jocristian
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Standard frames have a top tube that is more or less parallel to the ground and so the measurement is typically taken from the center of the bottom bracket to the middle of the top tube in a straight line. compact frames (like the orbea you tried) have a downsloping top tube so the measurement (52 in your case) is taken from the BB to the "virtual" top tube that would run parallel to the ground which doesn't actually exist on the bike but that measurement makes it easier to compare to standard frames. That's what he is talking about when he says fictitious measurements.

5/23/2013 10:45:46 AM

llama
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By fictitious sizes, he's referring to traditional vs compact geometry. On a bike with traditional geometry, the frame size is typically measured in cm from the crank bolt to either the top of the seat tube (basically where the seat collar is) or just to where the seat tube and top tube meet. The other important measure is the top tube length. You can see it's straight and parallel to the ground, so it's easy to measure, and it's a good indication of how big the bike will be.




Now, with compact geometry, the top tube is sloped. If you measured the top tube from head tube to seat tube, the value wouldn't make much sense as it would be artificially smaller, hence "compact" and him calling it fictitious. Same goes for the seat tube length, which is supposed to give you the frame size. I ride a 58, and the seat tube center-to-top measurement is only like 54cm. They typically come up with the measurements for bikes with compact geometry by drawing an imaginary line that is parallel to the group from the head tube to an imaginary extension of the seat tube. The length of this imaginary line is the "effective top tube" length, and the length of the line on the seat tube is the frame size.

5/23/2013 10:47:33 AM

llama
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Quote :
"^^I'd be interested in said Trek, perhaps. Like Ken, I'm getting a bit of the biking itch to supplement some marathon/ running that I do. "

I'll post this here just in case anyone else might be interested

It's an '05 Trek 1500 http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2005/archive/1500

60cm frame, 58cm top tube length. I've got the other frame measurements if you want those

Everything's the same as on the Trek page except:
tires are Continental Gator Skin 700x23c
cassette is Shimano 105 (CS-5700?) 11-23, 9 speed. I think I have the 12-25 somewhere if needed
no pedals

Let me know if it tickle's your fancy. Haven't given much thought to price yet.

5/23/2013 11:24:39 AM

Ken
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Damn you tall folk! :p

I assume that measurement on the sloped one is what he meant.

5/23/2013 12:47:08 PM

jakeller
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^^I'm sitting right at about 6'0. Would you think this would fit well? Got sized (somewhat) way back when, but I cant remember what the sizing was.... I am interested, but definitely about the same level that Ken is at. I'm not looking to rock any tri's yet, but a decent road bike could eventually get me the bug...

Let me know what you are thinking pricing wise. shoot me a PM if you have an idea in mind..

5/23/2013 1:42:06 PM

llama
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^ Hmm, what's your inseam? Not your pants inseam, but your actual measurement from floor to taint. I'm 6' 2.5" with 36.1" inseam. I'm thinking that a 60 is a bit too large for you, but I could be wrong.

5/23/2013 2:40:53 PM

Stryver
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Thank you, llama, the pics help that make a lot more sense.

Ken, this compact vs. traditional bit won't matter unless you hit the used market. Virtually all new bikes are compact geometry. If you hit the used market, you may encounter traditional frame geometry, which can look much bigger than the same "size" compact, but all the important points (saddle, handlebars, pedals) will be in similar positions.

5/23/2013 4:20:01 PM

jakeller
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^^i bet it is too large, though i dont have a really good way of measuring at present.. will try to check at home.

5/24/2013 2:40:01 PM

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