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Advise on buying a new road bike, Specialized Roubaix

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Nelson Au, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    What Nelson says, without going into specific numbers, which I don't know, there is a standard width to the dropouts that the freehub has to fit, usually measured in mm, something like 126mm, the more gears you try to cram in there, and still have a hub assembly eventually made the bike frame mfgrs to change the standard width. Now I have no clue as to what widths an 8spd bike needs vrs a 10spd bike, I don't work in the industry or anything but it is one of a bunch of things to look at when seeing how "futureproof" a bike frame is.

    My '97 Lemond that I ride/commute on has an 8spd drivetrain on it, in fact, replaced the brake cables and lubed up the dual caliper brake pivots last night... no need for brake rub!

    Jay
     
  2. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Yes. Sorry if I'm not using the right names. The rear freehub might be too short or long to fit a new frame. I don't know either.

    Amazing they can squeeze in 10 sprockets! I don't think I can use that many and would spend more time shifting up to speed!
     
  3. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    The current 10 speed cassettes are essentially the same width as the 8 and 9 speeds, the cogs are narrower and also requires a narrow chain.

    Quote:
    Hi Michael-

    Did you get a new Trek?

    Yes and no. I bought a gently used 2007 Trek Madone 5.2SL with full Ultegra. Sweet ride and super price.
     
  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks for that added bit of info on cassette sizes. Congrates on your new bike, Michael!
     
  5. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Guys-

    I was at the LBS this week and I had a better look at the new bikes. I focused on a Specialized Roubaix again. One is a 2008 and they have a 2009. Both with Ultegra set-ups. Really nice looking bikes. I have no doubt they are high quality. I'm leaning towards one of these and they are close-outs. So the prices are pretty good.

    A few questions just occurred to me. On my old steel frame bikes, I used to have Zefal hand pumps attached to the frame via it's spring loaded feature against the top tube and bottom bracket. The other bike had it under the top tube sprung against the steer tube and down tube. How do you guys carry pumps now on a carbon frame? Especially these new frames that are so curved? Looks like they're all these short little things now?

    Also, what's the newest in terms of stuff to carry with you? I read a thread where a guy carried a couple of Co2 cartridges for refilling flats. And they now have self stick tire patches? I usually carry a tube, old fashioned tire patches and the tire removal tools.I imagine things have changed in the last 5 years! Thanks!
     
  6. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    I use a CO2 inflater and carry two to three cartridges along with a spare tube. For most of my riding, that is all I need. I can then roll up the old tube, stick it in my pocket, and take it home for repair. I don't like the idea of wasting my time by the road fixing a flat. I also carry a set of three tire levers, a multi-tool with a variety of hex wrenches, and a schrader/presta adapter. I also have a $20 bill in my saddle bag.
     
  7. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Michael!

    I guess the days of carrying a pump are over? I would have thought you'd want a pump for back-up in case the CO2 failed. makes sense to replace the tube and repair the punctured one at home.
     
  8. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    I still ride old steel in a group of $5k bikes and they are always grateful for my Zefal hp. They tend to carry CO2 or the mini-pumps, either in their jersey pocket or clipped to the frame. (usually with an extra velcro wrap since the clips don't work very well.
     
  9. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Steve-

    I figured the Zefal is a much more efficient pump then those mini ones!
     
  10. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I still carry a small mini pump with me. No other reason than I have a bunch of them and feel no need to carry CO2, plus as a commuter and stuff, I would rather just buy one pump than cartridges that get used up and have to be recycled or tossed out.

    As far as patches, I use glueless patches on the road and glue patches at home (have to wait 5 minutes for the glue to do it's thing)...

    Jay
     
  11. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I carry a pump, some basic tools, cash, ID, a spare tube & patches. Consider carefully if the expense for a lighter (carbon, etc.) bike is worth it. A heavier bike will only hurt you during acceleration and climbing. Look at the overall weight... a few lbs is not going to make a huge difference for the casual cyclist.
     
  12. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Yeah, I'm not dead set on carbon for weight only. It is cool though!

    My friend let me know one of his buddies is selling his BMC Roadbike. I don't know much about this company and their bikes, but they're pretty cool from my visit to their website.
     
  13. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    While there is a "cool" factor to carbon I like it because it absorbs shock. I used to live in Spain on a cobblestone road and I wouldn't want to ride on it on a steel or aluminum bike. If you do go for a metal frame, consider at least a carbon fork. Also, carbon is not as "stiff" as an aluminum bike. When someone asks me "what kind of bike should I buy?", I tell them one that fits you best. As you may have seen from my previous posts I'm a Trek fan but that is because I like their geometry and fit. My mountain bike is a Cannondale though.
     
  14. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I am not that familiar with BMC but I do know that there are some pro teams who do ride on BMC bikes as I have seen them on the (UCI) pro tour. Tyler Hamilton rode a BMC before he was banned for blood doping, so if that is an indication of quality. Certainly would be very unique to own but probably isn't cheap.

    Jay

     
  15. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I'm still shopping for a road bike, though not in any hurry.

    I finally spoke to the guy with the BMC. I learned a few new things. His has a compact crank. I never fully understood what they are.

    He tells me essentially, its a newer way to gear the bike to eliminate the need for a triple. So you can spin at a higher cadence as well. It does reduce top end speed, but I doubt I have any interest in high speed anymore. Saves the weight of a triple too.

    The other interesting fact is the Shimano has redesigned the cranks and bottom bracket now. You can removed the cranks by unscrewing the non-drive side, then the crank side slides out with the shaft. The bearing cups remain inside and allow for access to service them. Sounds like quite an innovation from what they used to do.

    And I am reconsidering frame geometries too. I am not a young whipper snapper anymore. I was looking at the plush style that Roubaix offers, a slightly more upright position. But now I am reconsidering the traditional frame again. The BMC owner is the same height and weight and age as I am. He found a well fitted frame will serve very well.

    Any insights to the above is appreciated. SInce I will ride mostly flats and against the wind in many cases, the need for a triple seems unlikely. So a compact sounds like a nice option in case I go on a group ride and I need to climb a little. Though I hate climbing! hIs set-up is 12-25 in the rear and 50-34 up front. Seems most ready made bikes have this configuration on the 9 speed. I'd get a 10 speed.

    Thanks!
     
  16. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Study and look up "gear inches"

    # of teeth in the lowest chainring in the front (the small cog, aka granny gear) = 34 teeth
    divided by the # of teeth in the largest cog in the back (the largest cog) = 25

    multiplied by the diameter of the drive wheel which on a road bike which is dependent on the size tire you have on it, but for our sake, lets just pick 28"..

    35/25 * 28 = 38.08 gear inches

    Most Mountain bikes which almost always has lower gearing than a road bike, typically have the lowest gear inches to be in the 22-26 range.

    If you mostly ride the flats, a triple would not only be overkill, it would also be a bit more expensive as to convert your probably indexed Double to a triple is pricey as you may need new Shifters or integrated brake./shiftters (aka shimano STI or as we call them "brifters)...

    changing a cassette in the back is relatively inexpensive and easy to do if you have the right tools (Shimano cassette tool and a chain whip... maybe $30 total for both. Park tools are nice..)..

    You could go with a 12x28 rear cassette to get 3 more teeth and an even lower gearing assuming your der. is a long cage variety.. Might need more chainline, might not. a bike shop should be able to tell you or if you know you have a long cage rear der, you're more likely fine.

    Jay
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I see a thread with the words "road bike" in the title and I come here to recommend enthusiastically a Ducati 1198 or a Honda CBR1000RR or even to advise checking out the more sedate yet elegantly styled Triumph Bonneville only to discover this discussion isn't what I was prepared for. So I'll depart. :)
     
  18. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    If you don't want to do the math or want to check out lots of combinations there are calculators available. I like Sheldon Brown's.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
     
  19. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks guys!

    I did some research on gear inches as suggested. I didn't know about that term!

    It's not so much about understanding the gearing combinations, it was more about understanding what compact was really all about. I thought it was literally some kind of more compacted physically sized crank assembly. Not about the gearing. From what I have been able to understand from reading up is it's just another way to set up the gearing as an alternative to using triples for climbing. And the impact is higher cadence and lower top speed, in general terms. And this eliminates some of the duplication of gearing a triple offers. But gives the rider some of the benefits of a triple for climbing.

    I did come across that Sheldon Brown site earlier. I have a closer look as I research this. Thanks!
     
  20. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    Quote:
    If you mostly ride the flats, a triple would not only be overkill, it would also be a bit more expensive as to convert your probably indexed Double to a triple is pricey as you may need new Shifters or integrated brake./shiftters (aka shimano STI or as we call them "brifters)...

    100% true. When I upgraded the components on my old Trek 5500 to go triple, I had to replace the shifters in order to accommodate the triple chain ring up front and the 10 speed cassette in the rear but I think it was money well spent.
    Quote:
    he other interesting fact is the Shimano has redesigned the cranks and bottom bracket now. You can removed the cranks by unscrewing the non-drive side, then the crank side slides out with the shaft. The bearing cups remain inside and allow for access to service them. Sounds like quite an innovation from what they used to do.

    This new bottom bracket makes for a much stiffer and solid feel. I noticed the difference right away when after my 5500 rebuild.
     

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