Chefman77

Road Bike Shopping

Recommended Posts

I have decided to get back into biking after a 25 year break. I did some looking yesterday and took some test rides and fell in love again. I rode a Specialized Tarmac SL4 Comp UDi2 with electric shift and a Trek that wasn't electric shift. The Specialized was a smoother ride and I really liked the electric shifting. I was wondering if @BurgundyBoy or anyone else who is in to biking if they had in input for me to consider? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Chefman77 said:

I have decided to get back into biking after a 25 year break. I did some looking yesterday and took some test rides and fell in love again. I rode a Specialized Tarmac SL4 Comp UDi2 with electric shift and a Trek that wasn't electric shift. The Specialized was a smoother ride and I really liked the electric shifting. I was wondering if @BurgundyBoy or anyone else who is in to biking if they had in input for me to consider? 

Hi Chefman, I love my Di2 shifting - - it's pricy but if you can afford it, you have very precise shifting that is essentially worry-free. The set up is a bit more difficult for the bike shop but once done it is ... done. Also, when I have changed rear wheels or tires or whatnot, it is super easy to realign for perfect shifting. I love it! It's still possible to have a mis-shift but they are quite rare. 

I think the major decision would be the kind of frame you want and can rationalize the price of ... carbon is lightweight but fragile if you crash, aluminum is stiff but good for short fast rides; and titanium and carbon steel frames are very forgiving and good for long rides. These impressions are only partly true as some manufacturers have figured out how to sculpt frames that rise above the materials. I am riding a carbon Cannondale frame right now (a Synapse) that was designed to be forgiving and shock absorbing. Given my age and so on you would think I should be riding on carbon steel!

You might want to consider a gravel bike - basically it's a road bike with larger tires that allow you to ride on gravel - turns out that modern studies have shown that bigger tires are not the aerodynamic drag people used to say they were. Unless you are a professional racer it doesn't matter, and bigger tires give a more comfortable and safer ride. I ride on 28 mm or 32 mm tires now instead of 20 or 23 mm tires. Larger tires are way nicer to ride if you are oh, 49, and a bit large; and far better if you ride over a hole.  I ride on a bikepath near my house and it is pretty smooth, but it connects to forest paths and surface roads that are in variable shape and the wider tires make a big difference. 

Last thing is a strong recommendation for disc brakes. High quality road bikes now come with them, they are better technology - like disc brakes on a car are superior to drum brakes. Very secure in bad weather, and ... if your wheel gets knocked out of being perfectly round ("out of true") your braking is NOT affected, unlike brakes that act on the wheel rim. Also the maintenance on discs is pretty minimal compared to constantly re-truing your wheels to make sure the classic brakes can grip the rim. Going down hills or braking in rain with discs is much more secure. Once your ride on them it is hard to go back unless you limit yourself to riding on perfect weather days. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Chefman77 One last codicil, this is not really for you since the bikes you mention don't have these - but this post may be read by others!

I don't recommend anyone get the straight-across handlebars for a road bike they may do rides on that last for more than 30-60 minutes. Your hands may tire and your wrists and forearms get sore if you can only ride in one position, which is the case with those handlebars. Curved road bike handlebars give you many options and prevent unnecessary fatigue. The straight bars really make the most sense for a devoted trail bike. 

Chefman, The Specialized bike you mention is a gorgeous bike! 

If you do get a bike, post pics and your impressions! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good topic, I plan to get a bike this spring. It's been a decade or more since I've ridden. Have no idea yet what's out there for options such as the mentioned brake styles, body materials, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Michael_A said:

Good topic, I plan to get a bike this spring. It's been a decade or more since I've ridden. Have no idea yet what's out there for options such as the mentioned brake styles, body materials, etc.

@Smashlee83 got a bike recently (or maybe she just restarted cycling again, ...). Maybe we can entice her to post what bike she got and how that has worked for  her... by invoking the Magic @ symbol and her name...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @BurgundyBoy! I've pretty much decided on Di2 shifting, there was a big difference in smoothness to me. The guy at the shop said he's never known anybody switch to it that regretted it. As far as cost goes, if I don't get what I truly want and if it's not quite up to my high standards I'd be upgrading within 6 months I'm sure. My wife has learned to let me get what I have my heart set on. I plan on getting something I'll be happy with for years to come with zero buyers remorse. I can see myself doing a lot of local races for fun and collect water bottles and t-shirts. :lol:

The specialized I rode had pretty thin tires and it was a carbon frame. I rode one before that one that was aluminum and had bigger tires. After riding them both I remembered how much I liked going fast. Granted the smaller tires made for a bit rougher a ride, but it really didn't bother me. I think I'll end up going with a carbon frame.

I will probably do almost all of my riding on the road. I used to really enjoy long rides and just getting in a rhythm and taking everything in as I rode. I suppose if I ever wanted to do more trail riding or such I'll just get another bike...:lol:

I briefly thought about disc breaks, but really didn't know much about them or the difference. What you said makes sense to me though. I think it will be something I'll make sure I get. I don't think I will be a fair-weather rider. I tend to get a bit obsessed with things like this and I'll probably be out in all sorts of weather. 

I'm excited!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Chefman77 said:

Thank you @BurgundyBoy! I've pretty much decided on Di2 shifting, there was a big difference in smoothness to me. The guy at the shop said he's never known anybody switch to it that regretted it. As far as cost goes, if I don't get what I truly want and if it's not quite up to my high standards I'd be upgrading within 6 months I'm sure. My wife has learned to let me get what I have my heart set on. I plan on getting something I'll be happy with for years to come with zero buyers remorse. I can see myself doing a lot of local races for fun and collect water bottles and t-shirts. :lol:

The specialized I rode had pretty thin tires and it was a carbon frame. I rode one before that one that was aluminum and had bigger tires. After riding them both I remembered how much I liked going fast. Granted the smaller tires made for a bit rougher a ride, but it really didn't bother me. I think I'll end up going with a carbon frame.

I will probably do almost all of my riding on the road. I used to really enjoy long rides and just getting in a rhythm and taking everything in as I rode. I suppose if I ever wanted to do more trail riding or such I'll just get another bike...:lol:

I briefly thought about disc breaks, but really didn't know much about them or the difference. What you said makes sense to me though. I think it will be something I'll make sure I get. I don't think I will be a fair-weather rider. I tend to get a bit obsessed with things like this and I'll probably be out in all sorts of weather. 

I'm excited!

[C-man I was worried after I posted that my two cents came across too strongly]. I am LOVING how much faster I am cycling and there are lots of excellent bikes out there that can give pleasure and provide exercise! Pretty routinely now there is a route that I do at 16-17 miles an hour over the course of the ride, and I was riding at 12 miles an hour before WLS. 

My perspective is also not to overpay for a small reduction in bike weight. We are both examples of how if you want to reduce the weight on your bike, take off some pounds. :D I'm riding my carbon frame bike with relatively heavy wheels and wider tires since there are lots of bumps, potholes, and divots in our streets here.  I'm sure it adds a couple of pounds total BUT I am now down something like 85 pounds at this point. The disc brakes also add some weight compared to caliper brakes but the incremental safety is (in my opinion) well worth it.  

Maybe we should start or revive a thread on bikes and biking...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, BurgundyBoy said:

Maybe we should start or revive a thread on bikes and biking...

Maybe we should. I know I'd read and provide input to that thread on a regular basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Chefman77 said:

Maybe we should. I know I'd read and provide input to that thread on a regular basis.

I just searched for 'biking' on the Forum and there are > 50 pages of stuff. I'll take a stab at some of the old pages and get a list of people who have posted to such a thread in the past, maybe we could get them to comment on how biking has been incorporated into their new lives, or not, or whatever...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, BurgundyBoy said:

I just searched for 'biking' on the Forum and there are > 50 pages of stuff. I'll take a stab at some of the old pages and get a list of people who have posted to such a thread in the past, maybe we could get them to comment on how biking has been incorporated into their new lives, or not, or whatever...

Wow, there are a lot of posts referencing biking in a multitude of ways. Would take a long time go go through them all, but I'm game for a thread. What do you want me to do?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do NOT have a fancy bike or know anything about the shifting you speak of but I do alright on my diamondback hybrid I got for my birthday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay bike thread!!! I love biking and had to stop because my weight made it uncomfortable and was very hard on the bike. I’m so looking forward to getting back into it! I should be down far enough by spring. :)

I used to ride to work every day in Chicago, about a 14 mike round trip right along the lake. I was a Trek girl back then, but I’m thinking I’ll go for something more along the lines of a comfort/hybrid this time around, since I won’t be commuting with it.  I like all of @BurgundyBoy‘s advice, especially about the comfort of wider tires and disc brakes!

Another thing to consider is the terrain and weather in your area. I like biking in winter and I live in the Boston area, so weatherizing will be on my list of considerations. Plus I want something kind of light because of all the steep hills. Just a few things to think about!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kio said:

Plus I want something kind of light because of all the steep hills. Just a few things to think about!

You're going to have something light...YOU! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/28/2017 at 11:04 PM, Chefman77 said:

Wow, there are a lot of posts referencing biking in a multitude of ways. Would take a long time go go through them all, but I'm game for a thread. What do you want me to do?

 

Just participate! And post on your bike decision for sure. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/28/2017 at 10:41 AM, Chefman77 said:

Maybe we should. I know I'd read and provide input to that thread on a regular basis.

I would love a bike thread. Several years ago, I was hit by a car on the same trail that @BurgundyBoy rides. I was connecting on a side street when a car failed to yield. I’m lucky that I got away with scratches and bruises. I stopped riding after that and have been too chicken to get back on a bike. I miss riding my bike. Maybe I’ll get the courage to ride again after reading about your adventures?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, NerdyLady said:

I would love a bike thread. Several years ago, I was hit by a car on the same trail that @BurgundyBoy rides. I was connecting on a side street when a car failed to yield. I’m lucky that I got away with scratches and bruises. I stopped riding after that and have been too chicken to get back on a bike. I miss riding my bike. Maybe I’ll get the courage to ride again after reading about your adventures?

I get this. I was hit by a car when aged 27 and still have back pain from that (although my weight loss has meant major, major relief). The driver had obtained her license earlier in the week. On the Minuteman path I was nearly offed by a driver on a cross street in Bedford going 60+ on a road marked 30. My worst accident was from equipment malfunction. But i still ride... with lights a-blazing and wearing neon colored cloths and an helmet and a paranoid outlook...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now