new to the road, upgrade mtb or buy road bike?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 38 of 38
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59

    new to the road, upgrade mtb or buy road bike?

    I'm relatively new to biking in general, although I've been riding off road motorcycles just about every weekend religiously for the last 15 years. I'm 43 now.

    I picked up a 2nd hand but basically new trek 4300 cheap and figured I would use that to ride with the wife and kids, and now the dog via the walky dog attachment. It has worked out great for those needs. I always wanted to ride with my friends who cross trained dirt bikes with mountain bikes. They have some pretty hard core single track as the area we live in is very hilly and extremely rocky. when riding off road motorcycles we look for the nastiest terrain we can find and try and make a trail through it.....and these guys do the same on the bicycles.

    I always knew my $500 trek wasn't up to the task of those trails and neither was the rider. My plan was to build my endurance on my own and then start to be punished by them down the road.....that never really happened.

    on a casual dirtbike ride 4 months ago I tore my ACL, PCL, AND MCL along with both menisci. so far I've only had surgery for the meniscus and am waiting on full range of motion before getting the ACL done.

    I have found the best rehab so far is riding the bicycle. so I went ahead and outfitted the trek with smooth/wide road tires installed lights and a soft seat and started rehab road riding just about every day. As I said before our area is very hilly so a 25 mile ride on this bike seems to be a pretty decent workout for this beginner with low endurance.

    I have found that I like to set a destination in my head and once I have reached it, I push the destination further and further each ride.

    my bike has served me well so far and I really only have a few complaints about riding it on the road. I'm 5'11" 200lbs and the bike is a size L 19.5", it feels a bit too stretched out for me, the stem is very long and my arms are nearly at full lock when riding. After a decent ride my hands are numb (mostly left hand pinky and ring finger). I also find that I run out of gears quickly on the downhills, which I should probably be coasting to save energy for the next uphill anyway.....

    I have thought about adding a few things to make it a bit more road compliant

    narrower tries/wheels ?
    different stem to bring the bars closer?
    different gearing?
    studded tires for the winter?

    I have a long way to go with my knee rehab and plan on riding as much as is possible throughout the winter (snowfall permitting). I can't help but wonder if I would be better served with a full on road bike? because of my knee injury I'm not going to be in the woods anytime soon and when I'm ready for that I'm really going to need a better bike under me to help handle the punishment I know awaits me with my expert friends.

    In the dirtbike world a dual sport bike is always a compromise, not the best in the trail and not the best on the road but will do both decently.

    I also know that in the dirtbike world it's 80% the rider and 20% the machine underneath him.....still I get jealous when I see the professional looking road guys blowing by me.....

    so the question is: should i upgrade my bike and just deal with, or just sell it, and buy a decent entry level road bike for now, and then a 2nd good full suspension trail bike once I'm ready for that?

    In the dirt bike world we have a acronym for this situation, and I'm sure it carries over to bicycles as well: SUAR (shut up and ride)

    I've been looking at local stores and in the entry level price range I've found these:

    Novara Divano Bike - 2012 at REI.com

    Raleigh Bicycles Revenio 2.0
    Last edited by katoom400; 10-19-2012 at 08:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    Well since you're obviously riding a KTM, you understand the benefits of a quality machine ...recently sold my 300 and went to a YZF 450, and looking to get back into orange as soon as possible.

    I used the bike as knee rehab after a destructive snowboard incident (MCL, broken tibial plateau)... there is no better knee therapy than riding.

    To answer your questions... playing with seat and handlebar position can probably fix your numbness issues... shorter stem is a possibility too if you're feeling stretched out... probably a bit much weight on the hands. There are several good websites on bike fit, if you google around a bit you'll be able to read up on way more than you could ever want to know.
    I'd also recommend going into a bike shop and explaining your situation, and asking them about fit...most shops would be happy to try to get you fitting on your bike well, and probably let you ride some other bikes to get an idea of what fits and what doesn't.

    I would definitely recommend getting a new bike... not because yours won't work, but because there's no better motivator than a new bike. I'm sure you know from dirt bikes, but having a bike that's made to do what you're doing with it makes a big difference. You're looking for range of motion, not a hard pushing workout...something lighter and more road friendly that will allow you to spin a higher gear and go further, faster, without additional knee strain would be easy to justify if I was in your situation...
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeCOLORADO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,919
    Clarification, are you planning on work commuting on the bike? Do you want to ride technical off-road trails? Do you want to train on the road?

    You may need more than one bike, about the closest thing that comes to a Swiss Army knife of a bike is a Cyclocross Bike...but it's not very good at technical single track trails (rock gardens, ledges, lifts, etc).
    GoatRidesBikes.com
    Goat Rides Bikes @ YouTube
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,395
    So much is personal taste and the compromises ou aare or are not wiling to live with.

    Two ideas for you to throw out:

    1. See if there is a bike recycling center within what you consider a reasonable driving distance. Many have road bikes form the seventies (2 x 10 gearing) to even the 0's with newer drive trains. I got one for $50. This is an inexpensive experiment in whether a road bike will do for you. It can be sold after, converted to single speed, or fitted with racks as an errand abie to spare your other bike(s), when you get your road machine.

    2. I had huge hand issues, I am the same height, a little heavier. On a bike with drop bars, a softer bar tape, shorter reach stem, and padded gloves were all required to fix the problem. More hand positions help, so a Mustache bar, a shallower mountain drop bar, bar ends, and other bar mods can help. There is no substitute for a good fit. Most can get it with mass produced frames and the right bits and pieces. A few with $$$$ opt for a custom built bike, where the frames start at the price of a pretty darn nice mass produced bike.

    BrianMc

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    28,449
    I wouldn't put much into upgrading what you have now. Adjust for fit, absolutely. A set of road tires if you intend to ride it on the road most of the time, definitely. New seat, grips, and pedals for comfort, no question.

    But I'd stop short of buying new wheels or fiddling with the gearing much. The top end road bike gearing is accomplished because of the bigger chainrings. To do that on the bike you have now, you'd have to change the crankset unless you wanted to fold some really big 4 bolt rings. And road cranks have different chainline and Q factor than mtb cranks, which will affect frame clearance. Best not to get into that expensive mess.

    A real road bike would make a big difference for what you're after, I think. I got my first road bike about a year ago and I love it. It's a more utilitarian road bike rather than a racy one, but it's all good. It's a bike that I essentially ride every day. My bike fitness has progressed leaps and bounds because I ride it so often, even though my daily mileage isn't all that high (7 mi round trip most of the time, unless I have errands, then it might go up to 10mi or so).

  6. #6
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    28,449
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    So much is personal taste and the compromises ou aare or are not wiling to live with.

    Two ideas for you to throw out:

    1. See if there is a bike recycling center within what you consider a reasonable driving distance. Many have road bikes form the seventies (2 x 10 gearing) to even the 0's with newer drive trains. I got one for $50. This is an inexpensive experiment in whether a road bike will do for you. It can be sold after, converted to single speed, or fitted with racks as an errand abie to spare your other bike(s), when you get your road machine.

    2. I had huge hand issues, I am the same height, a little heavier. On a bike with drop bars, a softer bar tape, shorter reach stem, and padded gloves were all required to fix the problem. More hand positions help, so a Mustache bar, a shallower mountain drop bar, bar ends, and other bar mods can help. There is no substitute for a good fit. Most can get it with mass produced frames and the right bits and pieces. A few with $$$$ opt for a custom built bike, where the frames start at the price of a pretty darn nice mass produced bike.

    BrianMc
    FYI, I find that mustache bars, while they offer more hand positions than a flat bar, do not offer quite as many hand positions as a traditional drop bar or a mtn drop bar. I still like them on my commuter because they don't have such a deep drop.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    12,083
    I ride a FS MTB road and trails....

    I have three wheelsets slicks, knobbies, and studs...

    works fine.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    37
    Don't know how much this can help you, but I have a newer single speed/ fixed gear bike as my beater commuter [Bikes Direct dawes sst] and in most conditions it works great, until multiple gears are needed/ wanted. When it comes to that I switch to my 6 year old K2 26" hard tail that has been a commuter with slicks [had 1" Ritchey tom slicks, but just switched to 2.35" Schwalbe Big Apple -from the new and past tires find I prefer the comfortable cushioning of the larger tires, with the big apples it feels faster but I don't have a cycle computer on it so I'm not sure, also the overall wheel diameter is larger because of the big tires -very close to 700c 23mm. Wider slicks also handle wet conditions a bit better from my experience]. Even back when I had knobbies on the K2 I found I could cover 11 miles is 1-4 minutes of the time it took on my single speed or other bike I've used; it felt slower, and was, but not by a huge amount.

    I have swapped the flat bar out for a Nashbar trekking bar and the stem for a longer one [the trekking bar's close position is closer than the flat bar was, and the bike fit pretty well before so I used a longer stem, you could probably either use the stem you have or use a shorter one if you got a trekking bar]. I wrapped my trekking bar in regular bar tape after figuring out shifter and brake position, I find I like the side positions and the close position most of the time, on the close position because the bar isn't attached there it flexes ever so slightly when hitting bumps and it as a result it absorbs some of the road vibration making it pretty comfortable [especially with cycling gloves], and the multiple hand positions helps loads -worlds apart from the stock flat bar for road use.

    On either of my bikes [or any of the bikes I've used before] if I sprint all out I can hit 30-32 and maintain it for a few blocks, the bikes handle slightly differently normally, but overall there is not any massive differences in their capability or usability; though wide tires run a tad lower in pressure helps ride comfort a lot, as does a handle bar with a few decent positions.

    BTW before I converted my hardtail to a full time commuter I was looking at cyclocross and road bikes a lot, but after test riding a bunch I decided they just offered me basically what I had but new and just a little different, so the hardtail became the full time commuter/ road bike.




    I say get a shorter stem, and a different handle bar [a proper sized mustache type or trekking type should work quite well, and you don't have to swap out your shifters or brake levers], then grips or bar tape. For $40 or so it is well worth trying out a new handlebar setup!

    below is how my trekking bar looks, the cabling fits closely, but it works fine,you can also see the Big Apple tire, its a 2.35 tire, but is almost perfectly 2" in diameter.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    Clarification, are you planning on work commuting on the bike? Do you want to ride technical off-road trails? Do you want to train on the road?

    You may need more than one bike, about the closest thing that comes to a Swiss Army knife of a bike is a Cyclocross Bike...but it's not very good at technical single track trails (rock gardens, ledges, lifts, etc).
    no off road, when I get to that point I will buy a full suspension bike.

    This is for rehab, which is turning into training, which I can turning into wanting to cover some miles. I would love to commute on bicycle, but I'm 33 miles each way with a lot of hills! that could take 3 hours each way!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent 9 View Post
    Don't know how much this can help you, but I have a newer single speed/ fixed gear bike as my beater commuter [Bikes Direct dawes sst] and in most conditions it works great, until multiple gears are needed/ wanted. When it comes to that I switch to my 6 year old K2 26" hard tail that has been a commuter with slicks [had 1" Ritchey tom slicks, but just switched to 2.35" Schwalbe Big Apple -from the new and past tires find I prefer the comfortable cushioning of the larger tires, with the big apples it feels faster but I don't have a cycle computer on it so I'm not sure, also the overall wheel diameter is larger because of the big tires -very close to 700c 23mm. Wider slicks also handle wet conditions a bit better from my experience]. Even back when I had knobbies on the K2 I found I could cover 11 miles is 1-4 minutes of the time it took on my single speed or other bike I've used; it felt slower, and was, but not by a huge amount.

    I have swapped the flat bar out for a Nashbar trekking bar and the stem for a longer one [the trekking bar's close position is closer than the flat bar was, and the bike fit pretty well before so I used a longer stem, you could probably either use the stem you have or use a shorter one if you got a trekking bar]. I wrapped my trekking bar in regular bar tape after figuring out shifter and brake position, I find I like the side positions and the close position most of the time, on the close position because the bar isn't attached there it flexes ever so slightly when hitting bumps and it as a result it absorbs some of the road vibration making it pretty comfortable [especially with cycling gloves], and the multiple hand positions helps loads -worlds apart from the stock flat bar for road use.

    On either of my bikes [or any of the bikes I've used before] if I sprint all out I can hit 30-32 and maintain it for a few blocks, the bikes handle slightly differently normally, but overall there is not any massive differences in their capability or usability; though wide tires run a tad lower in pressure helps ride comfort a lot, as does a handle bar with a few decent positions.

    BTW before I converted my hardtail to a full time commuter I was looking at cyclocross and road bikes a lot, but after test riding a bunch I decided they just offered me basically what I had but new and just a little different, so the hardtail became the full time commuter/ road bike.




    I say get a shorter stem, and a different handle bar [a proper sized mustache type or trekking type should work quite well, and you don't have to swap out your shifters or brake levers], then grips or bar tape. For $40 or so it is well worth trying out a new handlebar setup!

    below is how my trekking bar looks, the cabling fits closely, but it works fine,you can also see the Big Apple tire, its a 2.35 tire, but is almost perfectly 2" in diameter.
    now those look interesting!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,395
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    FYI, I find that mustache bars, while they offer more hand positions than a flat bar, do not offer quite as many hand positions as a traditional drop bar or a mtn drop bar. I still like them on my commuter because they don't have such a deep drop.
    I hesitated to list butterfly bars but someone took care of that!

    BrianMc

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeCOLORADO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,919
    If you are not going to commute on it and you don't plan to hit dirt...I'd sell and get a full on entry level road bike.
    GoatRidesBikes.com
    Goat Rides Bikes @ YouTube
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    13
    i would say if you have can afford it get a used road bike that it already for your fitment. It's always cheaper to buy a bike already meant for you than trying to make the bike you have fit your needs. Unless you are like and attached to the bike, then by all means, spend away. lol

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    I did a nice 25 mile ride in my hilly area yesterday, it took me two hours using clipless pedals and it was very windy...... I certainly ran out of gears on the downhills, but one some of the steep climbs I was in the lowest gear crawling along. can anyone speculate how much of a difference I should expect to see on a decent road bike? I stopped by the LBS and was telling the guy my route and that it took me 2 hrs....he said on a road bike I could do it in about an hour....I can't imagine it making that much difference...but I've never ridden one.

    Endomondo | Community based on free GPS tracking of sports

  15. #15
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    Congrats on your 25-miler! Is that your longest ride to date?

    Cut your time in half just by changing bikes? I seriously doubt it. After you get used to the bike, I`d think maybe a 10 minute difference, but even that doesn`t come with a guarantee. Anyway, 25 hilly miles in 2 hours is nothing to sneeze at. 25 hilly miles in one hour (on any bike) is the stuff of real studmuffins.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Congrats on your 25-miler! Is that your longest ride to date?

    Cut your time in half just by changing bikes? I seriously doubt it. After you get used to the bike, I`d think maybe a 10 minute difference, but even that doesn`t come with a guarantee. Anyway, 25 hilly miles in 2 hours is nothing to sneeze at. 25 hilly miles in one hour (on any bike) is the stuff of real studmuffins.
    yeah, I thought he was blowing smoke also. to cut time in half I would have to double my average speed....I don't see that happening, would have to be 25mph average.

    I found a good deal on a 2002 cannondale 400 ....$300 (which is an entry level bike with sora component) I might jump on, for the price I could upgrade components in the future.

    also I found good deal on an older Cannondale R3000 CAAD4 for $650 with dura-ace components.

  17. #17
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    Try one of those C-dales and see what you think. If you don`t like it, you can keep looking. If you like it enough to buy, then change your mind, you shouldn`t have much trouble getting your money back out of it- the beauty of buying predepreciated stock

  18. #18
    Bicycle Radical
    Reputation: scorchedearth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    276
    Get a road bike. The difference in handling on the road is worth the price alone. I bought a road bike for myself back in May and I love it. It isn't a 'pure road bike' but it has drop bars and narrow tyres which make it good enough for me. Since May, I've put in about 2000km including my commuting miles and my fitness is much improved.
    Free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.- Ivan Illich

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Try one of those C-dales and see what you think. If you don`t like it, you can keep looking. If you like it enough to buy, then change your mind, you shouldn`t have much trouble getting your money back out of it- the beauty of buying predepreciated stock
    wanted to go see the 400 today, but it sold last night and it seems the CAAD will probably be too small for me as it is a 54cm, I think I need 56cm min since I'm 5'11" with a 33" inseam.

    I'm back to looking at new and spending about 1k and I've narrowed it down to these
    at the LBS

    Giant Defy 1 or 2 Defy 2 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States
    Raleigh Revenio 2.0 or 3.0 Raleigh Bicycles Revenio 2.0

    or these from REI
    Novara Strada Bike - 2013 at REI.com tiagra/105 mix

    Marin San Marino A6 Apex Bike - 2012 at REI.com a little over my budget but looks nice...not sure how SRAM stacks up against shimano components?

  20. #20
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
    Reputation: hunter006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    452
    Quote Originally Posted by katoom400 View Post
    Giant Defy 1 or 2 Defy 2 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States
    Raleigh Revenio 2.0 or 3.0 Raleigh Bicycles Revenio 2.0

    or these from REI
    Novara Strada Bike - 2013 at REI.com tiagra/105 mix

    Marin San Marino A6 Apex Bike - 2012 at REI.com a little over my budget but looks nice...not sure how SRAM stacks up against shimano components?
    Defy 2 and Revenio are both pretty good. The body models they use to make the bikes are different, so they'll fit a little differently. I rode a Defy in Australia and test rode the Revenio here, both were great fun to ride. If you can afford it, go with the slightly higher end components (Tiagra, not Sora). Sora front shifter and Tiagra rear shifter is ok too.

    Novara Strada - there's a bunch of guys riding these around Redmond as their winter bikes. The thing that annoys me about these bikes is they do a compact double chainring with a 12-30T cassette (to save weight)... but use heavy wheels on the bike. So the wheels are heavy by road standards, other than that, not a bad bike. Shimano 105 is my groupset of choice - good value for money for relatively low ongoing cost.

    Marin San Marino A6 Apex Bike - in theory, the CF fork of this is supposed to save weight and give you a better ride. Not sure you'll notice to be honest. On paper, this seems like a pretty sweet bike. They've added a CF seatpost which should dampen the vibrations you normally get from an Aluminum frame. Formula hubs are pretty basic hubs, if you look at this bike make sure that the hubs have dust covers over the bearings (you shouldn't be able to see the sealed bearings). The last Formula hubs I had were unservicable, so after I wore them out I had to rebuild the entire wheel. Takes a while to do that though, you're looking at something like a year. Mavic rims are generally pretty good, Mavic CXP-22's are their workhorse rim.

    RE: SRAM vs. Shimano, I had a set of SRAM Force shifters break at the palls. It's a known issue with the shifters, and they may have fixed it by now. SRAM will warranty the shifters if that happens without any questions. I've never heard of this happening with Shimano. The two are fairly comparable, with the biggest difference is SRAM uses a doubletap system, where you do a little push to shift down and a big push to shift up; Shimano uses a two lever system where one lever shifts down and the other shifter shifts up. Overall it's pretty easy to switch between the two and no one really cares all that much. In terms of shifting experience, I have SRAM Force but I prefer the Ultegra gruppo a little better - but SRAM Force works great and I've had next to no issues with it (excluding the palls thing). Apparently STI shifters have their own set of issues; I do have to admit the SRAM shifters shift great every time, and I don't touch them much in terms of servicing.

    Here's my SRAM Force shifters snapping at the palls photo. It meant I could downshift, but not upshift.
    FML. Stupid SRAM Force shifters snap at the palls....

  21. #21
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    This thread's getting a little old. Oh well.

    You need to clarify your goals and your budget. It sounds like you're not taking the 4300 off-road, and it's going to take you a bit more money and effort to make it work well for you anyway. Put it in storage. You don't necessarily need a FS to go off-road. Actually, I've been waiting for one to impress me - about to make a major life change that should make a hot new bike feasible, so I've been going to demo days with a bit more interest, but so far, for what I want out of riding, I'd rather stay hardtail.

    Tangent aside, as some others have said, you can do a road bike for under $100 if you like. IME, road bikes from the '70s and '80s are just too old. For me, it's mostly a matter of shifting standards making way too many maintenance tasks or parts replacements into an extra pain in the butt, and since everything on the bike is that old, it's in a part of its life where it's likely to need more work. For compatibility with today's stuff, I like mid-'90s forward. In my area, I think that would put the bottom of my budget range around $300.

    In the new bikes you're looking at, if I didn't feel a difference I cared about in ride or fit, I'd be leaning toward the Novara Strada. Shimano does a good job with inexpensive hubs, and IME that includes the Tiagra models. So, very workmanlike wheels that should last a good, long time if you take care of them, and you can lace new rims onto the hubs down the road if it comes up.

    I had my SRAM Rival shifter break on me several months ago. I'm not a big fan of their crankset either. The FSA Vero isn't anything to write home about, but at least it's a conservative design. With the new, external bottom bracket designs, I'd rather have Shimano or just the older design. Another very workmanlike choice on the Novara, I think.

    At the end of the day, fit is king. I don't really care how many miles your ride is, but at two hours, having a setup that fits well makes a really big difference in how much fun the ride is. So if one of the other bikes fits you better, that's more important. Get the sales people to help you with stem and saddle adjustments if you're not sure - you should give the bikes that are in the ballpark their best chance to impress you, and whatever random setup the assembler put them in is likely not it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    This thread's getting a little old. Oh well.

    You need to clarify your goals and your budget. It sounds like you're not taking the 4300 off-road, and it's going to take you a bit more money and effort to make it work well for you anyway. Put it in storage. You don't necessarily need a FS to go off-road. Actually, I've been waiting for one to impress me - about to make a major life change that should make a hot new bike feasible, so I've been going to demo days with a bit more interest, but so far, for what I want out of riding, I'd rather stay hardtail.

    Tangent aside, as some others have said, you can do a road bike for under $100 if you like. IME, road bikes from the '70s and '80s are just too old. For me, it's mostly a matter of shifting standards making way too many maintenance tasks or parts replacements into an extra pain in the butt, and since everything on the bike is that old, it's in a part of its life where it's likely to need more work. For compatibility with today's stuff, I like mid-'90s forward. In my area, I think that would put the bottom of my budget range around $300.

    In the new bikes you're looking at, if I didn't feel a difference I cared about in ride or fit, I'd be leaning toward the Novara Strada. Shimano does a good job with inexpensive hubs, and IME that includes the Tiagra models. So, very workmanlike wheels that should last a good, long time if you take care of them, and you can lace new rims onto the hubs down the road if it comes up.

    I had my SRAM Rival shifter break on me several months ago. I'm not a big fan of their crankset either. The FSA Vero isn't anything to write home about, but at least it's a conservative design. With the new, external bottom bracket designs, I'd rather have Shimano or just the older design. Another very workmanlike choice on the Novara, I think.

    At the end of the day, fit is king. I don't really care how many miles your ride is, but at two hours, having a setup that fits well makes a really big difference in how much fun the ride is. So if one of the other bikes fits you better, that's more important. Get the sales people to help you with stem and saddle adjustments if you're not sure - you should give the bikes that are in the ballpark their best chance to impress you, and whatever random setup the assembler put them in is likely not it.
    Thanks, you are correct that I'm not taking my 4300 in any real off road conditions until next year some time (after acl surgery and rehab), I think it could be a decent off road bike with I different fork.... however at 19.5" the bike is a bit big for me so I would most likely just pass id down to my son or sell and grab a used FS bike.

    to give you an idea of the guys I would have to ride with off road, see this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9gm9T9rzQo

    as far as the road bike I would like to be around 1k, and get the most bang for the buck...I know I'm not getting a full bred race machine for that price, but nor do I want or need one...as you mentioned, being comfortable is what will make it fun. I was not comfortable by the end of the last ride.

    it getting cold here in NJ and winter roads are going to slow me down a bit....there are plenty of hills to keep the blood pumping for warmth but rides could be limited to the weekends....I do have a good light setup on the trek, just not sure about riding at night in the winter when snow melts during the day and freezes at night.....but that's a different topic all together.

    the strada looks like a decent buy, but none of the rei stores around here have one in 56cm. right now I'm leaning towards a defy2, or revenio2.0 (however one of my friends recommended against Raleigh)

    I going to another lbs at lunch to see what they have..they are a trek and c-dale dealer. so we'll see what they have to bring to the plate.

  23. #23
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    Can't REI bring one in your size? Did you try the 54?

    FWIW, I race something equipped about like the Strada from time to time. You can't buy a bigger engine on a bicycle. (Well, you can, but it's pretty sketchy.) It just needs to go, stop, shift, and not do anything weird. The bicycle and dental industries have just managed to convince everybody else that it's necessary to ride a lot more money.

    Frozen roads are one of the few conditions I try not to ride in. On the other hand, snow on trails makes them more interesting. Still, if your knee is more vulnerable to reinjury right now, maybe better just to stick with consistent surfaces.

    IMO, nothing wrong with Raleigh. Actually I think they've been doing a good job with their collection lately. If the Raleigh has the new Sora, without the weird thumb button, I'd expect the difference between the Defy 2 and the Raleigh 2.0 to be a bit of a wash in terms of actual riding. On paper, the Defy's got nicer components.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    I did stand over a 54 novara and I had roughly 2" before the frame was hitting the boys.....salesman said a 56 was most likely a better fit.

    I also was thinking studded tires for trail work in the winter, but as you said my knee may not be up to it this winter (otherwise I would be on my motorcycle with studded trelleborgs). I know the cycling will slow down some in the winter....but I don't want to be on a trainer...I would rather be outside, and I'm not scared of the cold, if fact I love it! I can always make myself warmer with harder work....the same is not true in the summer!

    I stopped at two LBS at lunch is this is what I came out with

    Raleigh dealer has 2012 Revenio 3.0 for $1100 all 105

    Trek/Cdale dealer has:

    CAAD8 Tigara for $1150
    CAAD8 105 for $1350
    TREK 1.2 sora for $990
    MADONE 2.1 105/full carbon for $1400

    the madone 2.1 felt really nice in the parking lot, but it's a bit more than a wanted to spend or probably need.....did I mention it felt really nice.

  25. #25
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,530

    Dont by the bike based

    on standover, buy it based on reach

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    ok, on the 56cm bikes I rode, I felt a bit stretched out, however I've only ever ridden my trek mountain bike and I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to feel on a the road bike compared to what I have. should I be somewhat relaxed or stretched out on the hoods?

  27. #27
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    28,449
    studded tires are more beneficial for pavement riding with ice. I've done fine with aggressive knobbies on trails in the wintertime. studs can be useful if your particular trails have a good bit of sheet ice, though, or if you live in an area where riding on frozen lakes is possible (I know that's popular in Michigan).

    +1 on buying a bike based more on reach than standover.

    You're going to feel more stretched out on a road bike than on a mtb. Especially a racier geometry road bike. And it sounds like you're looking at racier bikes right now.

  28. #28
    Ride Responsibly
    Reputation: LWright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,946
    Offer $1100 and see what happens!
    And you should feel relaxed, unless you are looking to race!

    MADONE 2.1 105/full carbon for $1400

    the madone 2.1 felt really nice in the parking lot, but it's a bit more than a wanted to spend or probably need.....did I mention it felt really nice.[/QUOTE]

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by LWright View Post
    Offer $1100 and see what happens!
    And you should feel relaxed, unless you are looking to race!

    MADONE 2.1 105/full carbon for $1400

    the madone 2.1 felt really nice in the parking lot, but it's a bit more than a wanted to spend or probably need.....did I mention it felt really nice.
    [/QUOTE]


    just looked on treks website and the madone 2.1 is alum, not carbon...so sales guy was either not knowledgeable or bs'ing me...

    also stopped by a Jamis dealer on the way home and he gave me a price of $1120 for the ventura race which is Tiagra and carbon seat stays....


    for comparison to the trek dealer, he has Jamis xenith comp which IS full carbon and 105 for $1475

    so many options....one thing is for sure, the guy at the very small Jamis shop took a lot of time with me talking about how and where I'm going to ride and took time to size me for the bike. I also got there right as he was closing and he stayed an additonal 45 minutes to take care of me..... I'de like to give the business to the small guy and the Jamis seems like a good value.
    Last edited by katoom400; 10-24-2012 at 04:14 AM.

  30. #30
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    Quote Originally Posted by katoom400 View Post
    ok, on the 56cm bikes I rode, I felt a bit stretched out, however I've only ever ridden my trek mountain bike and I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to feel on a the road bike compared to what I have. should I be somewhat relaxed or stretched out on the hoods?
    I can only assume that my experience is relatively typical, but it took me a while to get used to riding with drop bars, and after about 3 or 4 years with drops on my daily driver, I find that I`m still adjusting, just more gradually. Said daily driver is a rigid mtb with cyclocross bars- I tried a full scale "road bike" (sport geo, not a racer) for a year or two and never realy did get comfortable on that one, ended up selling it, though I think I still might find one i`ll fall in love with. The moral of my story is don`t go all out on your first one- even if you like the general idea, you`ll probably end up wanting something slightly more "this" or "that" after you accustom your bdoy to the first one.

    As for the reach, I think I`m pretty UNtypical, but I feel best when I`m more stretched out than most other riders I see. That could be because of the unracer in me, I dunno. I also use much different hand positioning that most people, which could account for a lot also. That`s something else you`ll have to work out for yourself.

  31. #31
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    Quote Originally Posted by katoom400 View Post
    ok, on the 56cm bikes I rode, I felt a bit stretched out, however I've only ever ridden my trek mountain bike and I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to feel on a the road bike compared to what I have. should I be somewhat relaxed or stretched out on the hoods?
    You should feel pretty relaxed. It's really not so different from a mountain bike. Just palms-in instead of palms-down, and maybe a bit narrower.

    For me, a well-fitting bike is one where most of my weight is on my feet, some's on my saddle, and very little is on my hands. This is when pedaling, which I find does effect my weight distribution.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    Just wanted to give an update. I found a great deal on a new 2012 defy composite 3 (tiagra) for 1k....... and I'm starting to get used to it, it really feels like it rips compared to my mtb on the road, however I was surprised that my times where not that much better on it. I guess I need to get used to it more....

    anyway the carbon frame is a very nice ride on my not so perfect roads..

  33. #33
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    How much it helps depends a lot on your roads.

    To now, I've had a commute on city streets of a little over 2 miles. I still prefer a road bike, but I doubt that it's affected my times.

    Yesterday, I went on a base ride on a route with very few stop signs. I bet I'd have been quite a lot slower if I took my mountain bike.

    I think with denser, higher traffic areas, one's speed is more about stopping and starting. It takes a less interrupted route for the higher cruising speed of a road bike to become important.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    given the same routes, I bet my times being equal where due to the fact that I had to stop on the longest/steepest hill when pedaling the road bike...I know it sounds backwards, but I just couldn't make it.....my heart was gonna pound out of my chest. on the mtb I was in the granny gear and although I was crawling I was able to make it without stopping.

    I suspect this will decrease as my strength and endurance picks up.....I did however hit 38mph on the steepest downhill.

  35. #35
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    Do you know how to climb out of the saddle? I always feel funny about asking, but I frequently see people out on the road who either don't or won't. Since road bikes are almost always geared higher than mountain bikes, it becomes a much more important tool.

    You can also gear a road bike lower. Mine goes all the way down to a 34/32 lowest gear for now. It's maybe not a fashionable or macho gear combination, but I've appreciated it on some of the steep climbs near where I live, when I'm trying to keep the effort down.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    59
    Thanks. I know I should be out of the saddle for the steep climbs, however I'm recovering from a major knee reconstruction which until this week had me seated the entire time and just using lower gears.

    Yesterday I was able to stand and pedal hard with minimal pain...however I just don't have the strength to do it for long periods at this point. I did find myself trying to gain as much speed as i could on the rolling downhills to carry me into the uphill and instead of downshifting, I would just stand and push hard for the last 1/4 of the hill. I just can't keep the position on the long steep climbs yet.

  37. #37
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    There's a bit of a trick to making standing climbing an effective technique.

    I usually shift up two cogs when I get out of the saddle, if the grade hasn't changed. Too low a gear and the pedals just fall away from me and I have a pretty jerky motion.

    If I'm in too high a gear, I have to really haul on the bars and fight to climb.

    So that takes some experimentation.

    I read a while ago that humans tend to be most efficient at exerting force when our hands, hips and feet are more-or-less lined up. Imagine picking up two heavy suitcases. You'd stand between them, grip the handles, and stand up. Or, think of a stairmaster. Same deal here.

    Road bike fit is a huge compromise because one would wish for a bike that fit perfectly in an upright climb like I just described, in a tucked, ass-off-the-saddle sprint, and also in the default, seated position. That's part of the reason for drop bars. Anyway, if you feel like the bar position is interfering with you in any of those positions, some more experimentation might be in order.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  38. #38
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    Quote Originally Posted by katoom400 View Post
    I know I should be out of the saddle for the steep climbs, however I'm recovering from a major knee reconstruction which until this week had me seated the entire time and just using lower gears.
    Careful with that knee, and don`t rush yourself!

    I don`t know what those bikes usually run, but 1K sure sounds like a good price to me for a name brand complete with carbon frame. And you`re a lot braver than I am to go with a bike that didn`t come with triple chainrings

    I agree completely that traffic controls will wreak havock on ride times. Also remember that a big part of "it feels like it rips compared to my mtb" is because the skinny high pressure tires are feeding you every little bump and road crack rather than soaking them up with pneumatic suspension. When you get out of the open road, hopefully you`ll see more gratifying times that are more in line with your percieved speed. How do you feel with the position?
    Recalculating....

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.