Help me choose another road bike ?

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victor
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Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby victor » Mon 19 Aug 2019, 12:20 pm

I'm in the market for another road bike.

Why
While I've had many enjoyable years doing well over 100,000km on the Vivente World Randonneur touring bike I use for commuting, this year I've been using my Specialized Roubaix Expert SL4 (2013 model) road bike for commuting. This is mainly because I got fed up with various aspects of the touring bike, such as
- weight
- canti brakes harder to adjust than the Ultegra road brakes on my road bike
- ditto the triple crankset derailleurs compared to the double on my road bike

About the only advantage the tourer has over the road bike is that I have mudguards on the former, but recently I've even found a rear mudguard that fits perfectly on the road bike and works really well. So, since I've gone off using the tourer, I decided to start looking for a second road bike, so I can use one while the other is being repaired.

I noticed that the Bike Force store in Docklands has various European bike brands available, such as: Wilier, Colnago, Pinarello and Bianchi. I haven't yet looked at the brands available in other stores around Melbourne yet. I rode a Wilier Triestina endurance road bike in June in the French Alps, and found it to be a very nice bike.

What
My main preferences for a road bike to use as commuting and leisure are
- light weight
- comfortable (i.e. endurance geometry)
- easy to fit mudguards on front and rear
- Shimano Ultegra (mechanical) groupset (with rim brakes)

I haven't yet decided on the budget, so let's keep that option open for now.

Opinions?
I'd be interested in your opinions on the different brands, their pros and cons, and any recommendations you may have on stores to buy from. I'm not interested in buying online (I'm a bit old-fashioned there, I know), as I prefer to be able to take a bike back to the store from which I bought it, if someone major goes wrong with it.

Regards & thanks,

--- Victor.

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Claude Cat
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby Claude Cat » Mon 19 Aug 2019, 1:40 pm

I've been happy with both Trek Domanes I've had. I've had pretty basic carbon models - not the ultra expensive end of the spectrum.
First got 60,000km before the bottom bracket bearing blew-up and chewed out the carbon housing, and the second one is now more than 25,000km on the clock.
Pros: comfortable geometry and fine on most surfaces from road to gravel
Cons: Not the lightest or aero carbon frame. The saddles the come with from the factory are pretty ordinary (but I guess that's a very personal choice).

I'd definitely go with disc brakes with the next purchase, I'm sick of wearing rim brake surfaces out (I can't seem to do any better than about 30K on a wheel).
Last edited by Claude Cat on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Daicos Mullets
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby Daicos Mullets » Mon 19 Aug 2019, 3:21 pm

I've only got a flat bar commuter, so I can't recommend any roadies. I would add my 2 cents worth for discs over rim brakes though. In my experience, the stopping power in all weather is much, much better. Also, after 38,000 km on my disc equipped commuter, I'm still on the original set of wheels. On my previous rim braked commuter, I wore out the rims much sooner than that, necessitating new wheels.

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clipperton
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby clipperton » Tue 20 Aug 2019, 8:12 am

i kinda want to offer advice, but there's a few things here that i fundamentally (but respectfully) disagree with.

tourer - i've got the vivente as well, wasn't really by choice (my brother owns a shop over in wa, sometimes my "choices" are limited to what he's got available and cheap), but had to quickly replace a trek 520 once they decided that after 3 cracked frames i'd used up my "lifetime" warranty. i love the tourer for commuting, weight and speed be damned. i also far prefer panniers to a backpack.

shop selection - when folks wanting to try out cycling ask for a good shop, i'm always inclined to say to buy local so that should you need servicing, you're not trekking halfway across town to get it done.

victor, i know you're a grown up so would be well aware of the pros and cons of the above, but that's my $0.02 worth.

ps. my backup commuter is a specialized diverge with discs, no pannier mounts though. it's a fun bike to ride, but i'm always happier commuting on the vivente. currently pondering a custom steel touring frame through gellie or somebody like that - i've got a birthday coming up so might put that on the wishlist!
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victor
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby victor » Tue 20 Aug 2019, 8:35 am

clipperton wrote:i kinda want to offer advice, but there's a few things here that i fundamentally (but respectfully) disagree with.

tourer - i've got the vivente as well, wasn't really by choice (my brother owns a shop over in wa, sometimes my "choices" are limited to what he's got available and cheap), but had to quickly replace a trek 520 once they decided that after 3 cracked frames i'd used up my "lifetime" warranty. i love the tourer for commuting, weight and speed be damned. i also far prefer panniers to a backpack.

shop selection - when folks wanting to try out cycling ask for a good shop, i'm always inclined to say to buy local so that should you need servicing, you're not trekking halfway across town to get it done.

victor, i know you're a grown up so would be well aware of the pros and cons of the above, but that's my $0.02 worth.

ps. my backup commuter is a specialized diverge with discs, no pannier mounts though. it's a fun bike to ride, but i'm always happier commuting on the vivente. currently pondering a custom steel touring frame through gellie or somebody like that - i've got a birthday coming up so might put that on the wishlist!

Thanks for the feedback. I agree the Viventes are nice bikes, but for the 3 reasons I listed, I just don't enjoy riding it any more, but I always look forward to riding the road bike. I also agree a local store is best, but I also need a store which stocks the brands I'm interested in, so sometimes you need to compromise on the location a bit.

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mtb101
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby mtb101 » Tue 20 Aug 2019, 10:22 am

look at what this guy used to race across usa - Abdullah Zeinab. we can think about all the marketing stuff we get sold on, Titanium, steel, brand this brand that, but really for commuting it comes down to a 'light weight rig that's got performance components on it' .... that you're comfortable on of course, disc brakes are a no brainier for durability especially in the wet and the day to day commuting tasks.

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would you go di2? you'd think electronic gearing won't stand the rigors of commuting, I use both cable and di2, I keep the super bike di2 for weekend rides but to be honest the functionality of di2 is next level compared to cable gearing, very impressed.

carbon wheels/thru axles, tubeless, all friends of the commuter as lower rotating weight and puncture resilience - .

and what bike to recommend? I go Giant due to lifetime warranty and great value to component ratio.

Ivanhoe Cycles or Lygon Cycles
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victor
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby victor » Tue 20 Aug 2019, 11:11 am

mtb101 wrote:look at what this guy used to race across usa - Abdullah Zeinab. we can think about all the marketing stuff we get sold on, Titanium, steel, brand this brand that, but really for commuting it comes down to a 'light weight rig that's got performance components on it' .... that you're comfortable on of course, disc brakes are a no brainier for durability especially in the wet and the day to day commuting tasks.

would you go di2? you'd think electronic gearing won't stand the rigors of commuting, I use both cable and di2, I keep the super bike di2 for weekend rides but to be honest the functionality of di2 is next level compared to cable gearing, very impressed.

carbon wheels/thru axles, tubeless, all friends of the commuter as lower rotating weight and puncture resilience - .

and what bike to recommend? I go Giant due to lifetime warranty and great value to component ratio.

Ivanhoe Cycles or Lygon Cycles

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm not in Abdullah Zeinab's league. One thing I'm reasonably sure of is that the next bike won't be a Specialized brand, because I already have one, and I want to try a different brand. DI2: no, I prefer to stick to mechanical shifting.

As for disc vs rim brakes, perhaps it's just that I've never used the former, but I'm sceptical of their benefits. I've done my homework on this, reading numerous articles comparing disc and rim brakes, and their respective pros and cons, and I still can't decide if disc brakes are worth using.

Thanks for the bike shop mentions: I'll check them out.

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mtb101
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby mtb101 » Tue 20 Aug 2019, 11:33 am

I come from mtb back ground so been using discs for years. main reason for commuting and recommending discs: 1. less exposure to rain/grit compared to rapid rim wear that can result riding in rain. 2, if using carbon rims, then carbon rim brakes are sub standard in the wet, whereas as disc, no reduction in stopping power and of course exposure to wear.

try a test ride on a di2/disc pretty impressive.

of course there's more weight with discs but they are set and forget.
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby fixie » Wed 21 Aug 2019, 10:29 pm

There has been a lot of technical development since you first started commuting and bought the Viviente.

I am loathe to recommend brand names and I shall not.

You want lightweight? Look at Titanium, Carbon fibre Aluminium and steel in that order.

You want commuting comfort? Look at Steel, Titanium, Carbon fibre and aluminium.

You want road feel and Handling? Look carefully at each frame's geometry. Particularly wheelbase, head angle, fork rake and trail.

There is a current fashion/craze for gravel bikes. Not without reason. Gravel bikes are designed for fatter tires, can usually take mudguards and often pannier racks. The ones that survive TCR and Indian Pacific are often Titanium. almost universally, they have disc brakes. Not without reason as it frees up rim selection to allow use of carbon fibre rims which gives you greater choice of rim design and tyre selection.

You can never do better than test ride. Get a feel of how that bike rides/feels in your size with your choice of tyres. Feel changes with size remember which is why you have to check it out in your size.
Stay fixed. Keeping a cool head.

victor
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby victor » Thu 22 Aug 2019, 7:03 am

Thanks everyone for the detailed replies. Mmm... titanium <drools>... :P

Yes, there has been a lot of technical development since I bought the Vivente, although that wasn't when I first started commuting, as I've been cycling my whole life. I just need to do my homework before buying the next bike. There's no great hurry to buy it.

I have a question on disc brakes, to help me decide whether to include them: when they squeal, how difficult is it to remove the source of the noise? I've read descriptions of this previously which said it can be very difficult, which to be honest was putting me off disc brakes, but I'm happy to be educated on this. :)

Regards,

--- Victor.

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parawolf
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby parawolf » Thu 22 Aug 2019, 10:03 am

victor wrote:I have a question on disc brakes, to help me decide whether to include them: when they squeal, how difficult is it to remove the source of the noise? I've read descriptions of this previously which said it can be very difficult, which to be honest was putting me off disc brakes, but I'm happy to be educated on this. :)


Only one week in on riding road disc - no squeal from new - so cannot comment yet.

Contaminate cleaning of the disc itself and of the pads if you get something there seems to be the key, and not letting any pad alignment drift...
Buy a bike, park the car, ride your ass off...

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Daicos Mullets
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby Daicos Mullets » Thu 22 Aug 2019, 2:38 pm

My current commuter is my first disc bike and I wasn't sure of the benefits beforehand either. Having ridden it for it 4.5 years now, I'm absolutely convinced of the benefits. The immediate stopping power, even in the dry, but particularly in the wet, is so much better. The modulation is also better, I don't lock up the brakes as often as I used to with the rim brakes. The immediacy of the stopping took a bit of getting used to, but once I did, I rarely lock them up now. My previous bike was a Jamis Coda and my current one is too (slightly different specs, the main difference between them being the rim V disc brakes), so back-to-back I really noticed how much better the discs are.

Hydraulic discs are basically self-adjusting, so I find there's little to no fiddling around with adjusting the brakes as the pads wear. Replacing the pads is also more straightforward, because they slot right in, so there's much less scope to fiddle with the angle and distance of the pads, etc.

I haven't really had an issue with squealing pads. Here's some advice from Snuffy and Duckmeister about how to bed in the pads to avoid it, viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28394. I forgot to bed in my front pads last time I changed them and they squealed for a bit in the wet, but I adjusted them, did some hard test stops, and got rid of the squealing.

The biggest issue I've found is bleeding the brake lines (not applicable for mechanical discs, only hydraulic). It's an annoying task, but not technically difficult. Now I've done it a few times, it's fairly straightforward, although still fiddly.

I have a mountain bike with mechanical discs and they're not as good as the commuter's hydraulic. However, the margin between the mechanical and hydraulic is much less than that between the rim and discs.

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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby rgcrgc » Thu 22 Aug 2019, 10:05 pm

My $0.02.

Been running mechanical disc brakes now for over a year on my commuter, having only had rim brakes previously. I would recommend but with some observations:

- I'm not errm... 'a natural climber' (95kg) which may have a lot to do with my experiences.
- I initially had single piston brakes and wasn't impressed: I didn't think they were a patch on my old rim brakes. On a recommendation I switched to dual piston (TRP Spyre) which were much better and an improvement over my rim brakes.
- I was a little underwhelmed by the braking in the wet initially (even after the upgrade) but now realise disks offer consistent braking rather than miraculous improvement. I haven't locked up the rear at speed in the wet yet and don't think I'd be able to (which I could easily do with rim brakes) but...
- ...I can at low speed (shedding that last ~5kph to come to a stop) and with the disk being to one side of the wheel this causes a sharp slip of the bike a little to one side, which is a little disconcerting and has nearly caught me out a couple of times.
- I haven't had any brake squeal issues at all
- Having put over 7000km on the bike in all weathers, I am very gratified to see my wheels remain in pristine condition. With the same distance on my previous rim braked bikes, the braking surfaces would be showing quite marked wear. It's much cheaper to replace a disk than it is to replace wheels.
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victor
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby victor » Fri 23 Aug 2019, 6:40 am

Thanks, all. It will take me a while to decide on what to buy and where to buy it from, so every bit of feedback helps.

victor
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Re: Help me choose another road bike ?

Postby victor » Fri 23 Aug 2019, 8:46 am

I have some more questions on disc brakes. I've tried to do my homework on this, but still haven't answered all my questions with the reading.
1. is it true that the brake lever movement distance (i.e. how far the lever is pulled inwards before braking occurs) is NOT adjustable with hydraulic disc brakes? I saw a comment about it: see here: https://www.bikeradar.com/features/why- ... o-history/ , and search for "brake lever throw is a bit too long".
2. what is the typical increase in frame weight for disc brake ready bicycles? I read that the frame needs to be stronger (and thus most likely heavier) for disc brakes compared to rim brakes, because the braking causes sideways stress on the frame.
3. is there any decrease in weight for disc brake equipped bicycles that is due to having wheels that don't require a braking surface on their rims? If so, what is the typical decrease amount?
4. how often do hydraulic disc brake cables need their fluid replaced? Some sites say it's recommended every 6 months (or at least, that seems to be what the manufacturers claim), but other sites have people saying it's needed much more rarely.

By the way, I've heard lots of good things said about the TRP Spyres, they seem to be popular :)
Another comment: the discussion of hydraulic vs mechanical disc brakes on that site I mentioned above is REALLY heated! :lol: I bet the site's moderators were kept busy with that thread.


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