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Cycling, my new addiction...er...hobby (or, I finally am taking my doctor's advice)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Carlo Medina, Jul 16, 2019.

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  1. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Haha yeah, I actually am standing pat on all of my tech (2 year old iPhone X and mid-2015 MBP) because to be honest, they are still functioning like champs and the new ones aren't worth the extra cost. In terms of the 11, the improvements over the X don't justify $1K+ expenditure. For the new MBPs, my existing one does everything I need it to do without perceptible slowdown. And I hate the new keyboard after using it on a work loaner for a day. I absolutely will not purchase another Mac laptop until they change that keyboard.

    Again, best wishes on getting things in a better place for you. Hope you do get some personal time soon. Cycling has been a blast, although I won't be riding this weekend due to the Saddleridge fire. Air Quality has been between 100-200 for the last 24-36 hours, which can range from "unhealthy for sensitive groups" (100-150) and "unhealthy for all groups" (150-200).
     
  2. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Ha, ha, I was at the Apple Store yesterday because I was running an errand and the Apple Store was in the mall I went to. I was considering the iPhone 11. But I’m holding off.

    Last year we had the wild fires north of the Bay Area, so I didn’t ride then. The air was really bad, so yeah, I saw the fires in Los Angeles and figured you wouldn’t be riding. So better be safe and not injure your lungs.

    Thanks again for the good thoughts!
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Weather is much cooler today and the AQI is only about 75, which is in "moderate" territory but to be honest in L.A that is about as good as it gets, so I will ride in a bit later this afternoon...assuming the AQI doesn't spike. I haven't been following how contained the fire is, so now would be a good time to do so. :)
     
  4. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    So with my 2 road bikes, the racing TCR and the aero S3...I was really struggling with what to do with my first bike, the Trek FXS6. Obviously being a hybrid/flat bar bike, I can't get anywhere near as fast as I can on the TCR and S3. And yet, it wasn't significantly more comfortable on badly paved roads/trails than the TCR (which is the more compliant of the two road bikes). I had ridden a drop-bar gravel bike (Giant Revolt) and really liked the comfort of it. But I didn't relish the thought of shelling out even more money for another bike.

    While at the Giant shop, the shop where I feel they truly care about me as a rider vs. a potential sale, they recommended trying to go tubeless on the FX and maybe slapping some wider gravel tires on it. I was, at the time, running 32c Continental Grand Prix 5000 with inner tubes at 90 psi.

    I took the opportunity to learn how to convert to tubeless tires. I should have taken pictures of the process, but I was worried I'd screw up and have sealant spray all over my room...but I'm happy to report that didn't happen! So essentially here are the steps I followed to convert from inner tubes to tubeless.
    1. Remove old tire and inner tube
    2. Remove old rim tape
    3. Put new tubeless rim tape, or in the case of Bontrager's TLR rims, buy the rim strips which are MUCH easier to install than rim tape. Buy and install new presta valve.
    4. Seat new tires (Panaracer 35c GravelKing SK TLC) - 35c is the largest size that the FX will officially support (though you might be able to get away with 38c)
    5. Seat the bead. This required me going to the local gas station to use their air compressor (with a presta to shrader adapter that Giant shop gave to me). You'll hear it "pop" multiple times as you shoot air into it at a very high rate.
    6. Release the air again, inject 2 oz. of sealant (Orange Seal)
    7. Re-inflate to rated PSI (in my case 55psi, 60 is the max per Panaracer)
    8. Rotate and shake the tire repeatedly, to make sure sealant coats as much of tire as possible.
    9. Check for leaks and install/reinflate if needed
    10. Rode around to test
    All went well...and the ride was transformed. It felt more like that gravel bike I test rode. Suddenly, with wider (and knobby-er) gravel tires running at nearly half the psi (90 vs 55), the road bumps were so greatly smoothed out. Yes I don't compete with the top end speed, but that's not the point of this bike anymore. I am after something that handles the everyday crappy rides and alleviate the stress of shocks to the other two bikes. Even though Cervelo and Giant have very robust warranty coverage for original owners, and every cyclist and bike shop employee says that the frames are strong enough to handle the abuse...I just feel better knowing that I can save the TCR and S3 for the better paved routes I go on when I'm trying to assess my speed and endurance gains, vs. just normal training rides to increase my fitness within 5 miles of my place, where road quality, to put it bluntly, suck. The FX now literally floats over rough roads, and even handles potholes well...to the point where I'm not concerned when I accidentally hit one.

    Oh, pics:

    Closeup of the Panaracer GravelKing SK (I assume that stands for Super Knobby....who knows)
    closeupofgravelking.
    Note the raised tread pattern which handles uneven pavement, gravel and trails way better than race tires, which are built for speed and grip on good tarmac.

    Oh and I went for brown sidewalls to break up the matte black monotony.
    TrekFXS6wGravelKings.

    Also a happy I went with the half platform/half clip pedals. So I don't always have to put on my road cleats when I want to just ride down a few miles for dinner or coffee. I also put my most comfortable saddle on it, so if I'm riding local for less than 30 minutes either way, I can get away with standard shorts vs. padded cycling shorts.
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Okay I think I'm finally in the spot where I want to be with regards to the bikes I own. These are the three I'm going to roll with for a while.

    My "best" bike in terms of overall mix of comfort, speed, climbing ability, lightweight, etc. is the Giant TCR Advanced SL1. A great mix of everything, the only thing it isn't is "aero" which gives you more top-end speed at the cost of compliance/comfort due to the stiffness of the aero-shaped tubes (like airplane wings on its side). I love how it's understated in terms of color and design...until you get up close and see the "galaxy metallic" flakes on the finish.
    IMG_3066. IMG_2361.

    My "aero" bike is the most fun to ride on flat, smooth roads, and descents, going as fast as I possibly can. It's the Cervélo S3. This isn't an everyday bike because it's a little harsher to ride on everyday roads with potholes around my area, and also with city stop signs/lights, I rarely ever get to push it to the speed it wants to go at. But when I drive out to do the Ventura to Santa Barbara coastal ride, this is the beast that comes with.
    S3 at Venice.

    But that left me with my original 2 bikes, the Cannondale SuperSix EVO and the Trek FX S6. The Cannondale was just outright superseded by the TCR. Whereas the TCR and S3 had different strengths which made both complimentary and fun to ride, the SuperSix was quite simply an inferior TCR.

    As evidenced by my last post, I tried putting comfortable gravel tires to improve my FX S6 and it worked for a while. The ride was much improved. But it was still an upright flat-handlebar design that kept me riding in a more upright position than I wanted. The sheen of the new tires wore off, and I found myself riding it less and less. So I finally did what I should have done a while ago.

    I traded both in for cash at The Pro's Closet. Yes I took a loss, but I got to the point where if I'm not using the bikes, they were just depreciating every day with no tangible benefit to me of being ridden. But that still left me with the need for an "everyday commuter" bike, and I was starting to get the itch to ride gravel. Not full off-road mountain bike, but I wanted something that 1) let me ride in a drop-handlebar position like the S3 and TCR, 2) could handle the trail, and 3) could provide a plush and comfortable ride.

    That's when the Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 2 gravel bike entered my life--it even came in my alma mater's colors (bonus!). For those who don't know, gravel is a relatively new segment in the market. It doesn't have the suspension of mountain bikes, and it's not as light as cyclocross bikes (where the race courses get muddy, are intense 1-2 hour affairs where bikes are often carried by riders through the most grueling parts of the course). It has much wider tire clearance than race/road/aero bikes, I can put up to 45mm tires on it, vs. 25mm max on the S3 and 28mm max on the TCR. This results in a much more comfortable ride, and also allows for knobby tires to handle gravel and mud. It can do all but the most grueling things a mountain bike can (so no crazy jumps) yet when you swap out to smoother, faster tires, it can go to about 85% the top speed of the race/road/aero bikes. And unlike cyclocross, it is built to be ridden comfortably for many hours at a time. It has spots on the frame for rack mounts, which will allow me to use it as a commuter bike, putting my laptop on a rack to avoid the "sweaty back" syndrome associated with riding with a backpack.
    IMG_3235 2.JPG
    It's like the bike and Blue Bottle Coffee were made for each other. And yes, I did put blue tires on it. :rolling-smiley:

    This is now my "ride around town" as well as my trail/gravel/off-road bike and it has been a blast for two straight weeks now. It's the perfect compliment for the other two bikes, which I've grown to appreciate even more for what they do uniquely vs. the Revolt. I now reserve my TCR for when I do my punishing weekend rides that include hill climbs. The S3 is my unbroken "straightaways on the flats" bike where I'm trying to set personal speed records...my goal is to go from Ventura to Santa Barbara in under 75 minutes, which would require me to average about 22mph over the entire 26 miles. Both bikes are now spared the everyday abuse of the crappy L.A. roads, as the Revolt with 38c tires just swallows those bumps up like a Land Rover does potholes. Not only do I not miss my FX...but I'm more convinced than ever that I should have made the switch earlier.

    Oh, and while this wasn't a reason I purchased it, a nice side bonus is that over the 2 weeks I've owned the Revolt, I have received almost a dozen unsolicited compliments on it. Most of them from strangers around time, complimenting me on the bike's aesthetics. That's more compliments in 2 weeks than my other 2 bikes have received over the last few months. People love the blue, I guess.

    And meanwhile, all the health benefits have continued. In my most recent followup visit, my doctor let me know that I'd lost 7 lbs since my last visit (3 months ago) and I can confirm the fattest part of my waist is now 33.5", down a full 2" from when I started, with about another 1" for me to go (although I think I'm now at the magical 0.9 waist-to-hip ratio, I'm still eager to lose a little more belly fat because it's still visible to me). My doctor halved my blood pressure medication so I'm actually below the lowest "normal" dose for it now, due to the improvement in my BP numbers.

    I find I can feel my fitness improvements in other areas. For example, the other day I had gone to a football game that ended late at night and it was in the 40s. I was not dressed appropriately and was freezing. I decided to jog to my car, which was about a mile away from the stadium, knowing based on past experiences I'd likely have to ease up or walk partway through it. To my surprise, I jogged the entire way and was breathing too hard when I got to the car. I really wish I hadn't waited until my forties to start taking my health seriously, but as the saying goes: better late than never.

    Oh and one motivational thing that happened at my recent doctor's visit, which I hope inspires anyone reading this who wants to improve their health to start taking it more seriously:

    My doctor actually said "Congratulations on your health gains. Even if we choose to stay at the lowest dose of BP med (versus being taken off of it completely) you've already done so much good for your health that will pay big dividends down the line." I swear I almost got teary-eyed.

    He had a resident with him observing (it's a university hospital and I always allow a resident to accompany so they can learn from the veteran doctors), and when they finished with me, they stepped into the next room to debrief my visit. The door didn't fully close when he started talking to her, so I was able to hear him tell the resident "it's great when you see someone like that who takes their health into their own hands and makes such great strides...unfortunately that's not going to be the case for many of the patients you'll see in your career..."

    That made me both elated (for personal reasons) and sad (for others who aren't able to find the motivation) at the same time. And if anything, it's increased my riding ever since that visit.
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Carlo-

    Thought you'd be amused, I finally cleaned up my Specialized Tarmac. It's been a little personal joke to see how dusty the bike would get. It's been about 4 or 5 years since I last cleaned the bike. I'd never let my car get this dirty. One thing I should consider is a bike stand which would have made cleaning the chain a lot easier.

    I was going to go for a ride today, first ride in 3 or 4 months, but I still had other things I needed to do. Maybe next week. I was letting the bike go because I thought it was interesting to see how the dust was collecting in certain areas. At the bottom bracket, the crank arms at the bottom bracket must have been oozing out oils, but upon cleaning, it was a very thick oil and required a few passes with a degreaser on my shop towel. There was a similar situation between the fork and steering tube junction. That area needed a little degreaser too. overall though, since I only ride when its dry, the dirt was mainly dust from the path I ride, so it rinsed off more or less. I got the chain cleaned, but not super clean. I might want to get a new chain cleaner and try again, I ran out of degreasing fluid. Theres a few other spots I need to touch up, this wasn't a proper super detailing I'd do to my car. Just wanted to get the gunk off.

    Overall the bike looks new again! And ready to go after I put some air in the tires.

    dirty Tarmac1. dirty Tarmac2. dirty Tarmac3. clean Tarmac1. clean Tarmac2. clean Tarmac3.
     
  7. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Very nice looking ride! Cool before-n-after shots too. Hope you get a chance to hit the trails soon! Keep me posted!
     
  8. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Carlo! Wow, I missed your last post. Another bike joined your others? That’s a cool looking bike, yes, the blue color and the shape of the tubes.

    And great news about your last doctor’s visit! Congrats. I wish I had more time. I need to do what you’re doing. I have not gone to the doctor in over a year. The last visit there was no issues I had to work on, but I still feel like I need to get back on the bike for a while before I see the doctor. Ha Ha!

    Speaking of inspiration, and your story has given me something to think about, but I was reading about Strauss Zelnick, a CEO who is 62 years old and transformed his body with a punishing workout routine. He can work out with guys in their 20’s and probably could out do them! He’s quite fit.
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Hey Nelson, yeah I'm now down to those three. I actually sold my first Trek to Pro's Closet and my Cannondale is disassembled and being sold for parts. So I'm going to ride these three for the foreseeable future. The only possible addition, and it's not likely because I have no one in my circle of friends who does this, is if I decide to ride full mountain bike and need suspension on both front and rear. But we're talking huge jumps and rocks the size of bowling balls dotting trails. As I said, I don't have any friends doing that, and I'm not about to risk life and limb solo mountain biking, so for now, the aero, all-rounder and gravel are it for me.
     
  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I accidentally came across a review of power meters on a YouTube channel called GCNtech, a subsidiary to Global Cycling Network. I had never seen any of their videos before. It was interesting to see the reviews of the Powertap pedals, Powertap chainring and Powertap wheel hub. It made better understand how an older bike could be retrofitted with power meters. I had thought that the best way to have a bike with power meters was to buy a bike with them designed into it. So I wasn’t expecting to see how power meters they can be added to a bike and get good results from them.

    After seeing this, I am interested in possibly retrofitting a meter on my old bike rather then buying a new one. At first I thought replacing the crack arm chainring with a Powertap unit, but it does t look like they are compatible with my cranks. So the pedals makes sense. They appear to provide as accurate readings and measurements. After doing a very short search and reading on the web, Powertap appears to have been bought by SRAM and they have integrated their products into their lineup.

    I’ll do some more reading to what more I can learn. Of course a new bike would be nice too. :)
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Power meters are a good way to track effort, I'm a fan of the one on my TCR (and I miss the data when I ride my other bikes). But they can be pricey, so if you find you're at a certain price point where it may make sense to see if there's a new bike that comes with a PM, maybe take a look at that. But most companies don't include a PM until the more expensive builds, so there will still likely be a big price delta between just adding a PM to your bike and buying a new one with a PM.

    But if you do have a bug to buy a new bike, I'd say save the money on retrofitting a PM on your existing bike, and apply that money towards a new bike with a PM. Be careful though because some, like Cannondale, may include a PM but make you pay an additional charge to activate it, versus say Giant, whose power meters come fully activated.
     
  12. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks for reminding me about activation fees. That seems odd. I didn’t see reference to that for the add-on meters. I’ll keep it in mind.

    Considering the cost, the pedals I’ve seen so far are in the $800 range and add on a head unit we are taking about $1000 to $1200.00 I’m sure. That’s not cheap, but less then a new bike. It’s is a consideration, thanks.

    I’d have to look at the new bikes, I’m not itching to get a new bike, but there are advances in the last 10 years since I bought mine.
     
  13. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I think most PMs that you buy and add-on won't have a fee. I think Cannondale (and maybe another manufacturer or two) is just being a cheap mo-fo and doing that. It's "free" with the bike, just like Giant...but it's not really free. It shocked me when I saw Cannondale was doing that because Giant's had no activation charge.

    But also be sure that all the hardware and software is included in the price. The PMs just measure and transmit the data (via ANT+ or bluetooth). You still need a bike computer or some mobile device with a compatible cycling app to receive and display the data. Those apps may come free with the device, or they may be pay-ware. Not sure.
     
  14. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Sounds like BMW who was charging owners an $80 fee a year to get Apple Car Play enabled while no other car maker was charging for it! BMW has recently stopped this practice and did the right thing.
     
  15. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I took the bike out for a 12 mile ride yesterday. I knew it would be a little tough, but after about 2 miles my legs started to warm up and loosen up. My last ride was August 30th, so I expected it to be a bit painful on the last few miles and it was. :)
     
  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Good on you though for plowing ahead! I know for me personally, it's always toughest just to get started on something, but once I actually get going, I wonder why motivation was even a problem. And yes, if I've not been on the bike for a while, the first couple of miles suck, until the blood gets going again.

    Unfortunately I've been busy at work the last few days, and this weekend I have things planned with friends, so I haven't been on the bike (other than my 2 mile commute each way) since last weekend. If I get home tonight before it's too cold, I'll try to squeeze at least 10 miles in (to the beach and back).
     
  17. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Usually the worst parts of getting back on the bike is the sit bones pressing against tissues between the saddle. That takes a few rides to get my sit bone area acclimated again. :)

    Hope you get a few miles in today. Nice you get to bike to work everyday.
     
  18. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    YouTube recommended a cool video today of a dream bike build-up. I didn’t think about hydraulic brakes as an option so it was interesting to see one installed and it looks like the shifters are electronic. I’d wondered about buying components and doing a custom build. If you have a free 15 minutes, could be fun to watch.

     
  19. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Carlo, I have been doing some reading and youtube viewings and also called a local bike shop about a new bike I’ve been looking at.

    I’m learning more about aero bikes verse road. The bike frame I’m looking at is well regarded as not only a fast aero bike, but good all around. Which made me think about your bikes. You have sought out a specific aero bike and I didn’t understand why. Now I’m getting my head around that as it’s really meant for speed and an aerodynamic design helps cut through the air. While a road bike is meant to be as low weight as possible for climbing.

    I’m also learning more about disc breaks and electronic shifting, as well as power meters. I learned about direct mount caliper brakes verse discs. I can see there’s people who are not sold yet on discs. On the frame I’m looking at, i like how the cables are all hidden in the handlebars and frame with the disc brake version. It’s a very clean look. The rim brakes will still have visible cables. I’m hearing that the direct mount brakes are likely quite fine for my kind of riding, so that’s something to keep in mind.

    Such a totally new world now in cycling verse my decade old bike!
     
  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Welcome to the Rabbit Hole, Nelson! I've been stuck down here for a while, it's good to have company! :rolling-smiley:

    i'm happy to share my opinions, so that maybe if you find you agree with them, it may help narrow your new bike focus. Let me start with the obvious: I love my Giant TCR (road, 15.5lbs) and Cervelo S3 (aero, 17.5lbs). If you told me I could only keep one, that would be a super tough decision. The TCR is a bit more compliant, a bit better "all-rounder" and yes, easier on climbs. The S3 gives me better top speed and on the flats is just a blast to ride! If all I ever did smooth, flat, unbroken roads, then the S3 would be the winner. But in my regular neighborhood ride, the TCR comes out a little more often.

    Disc brakes: in my opinion, the "haters" are stuck in the past (and yes, I include pros, who are notorious for resisting change because, as pro athletes, they want to ride what they're familiar with...they can be very superstitious). The old "disc brakes bikes weigh more due to frame design differences" was true up until maybe 2019 models. Now they're so ubiquitous, the weight penalty is negligible (like within 100-200 grams of the total bike weight). Furthermore, some companies have now gotten so good at disc brake design, that not only is it negligible, some come in at the same weight or lighter than rim models...and are more aero in wind tunnel testing due to redesigned frame shapes to accommodate disc brakes.

    Here's the one thing that's not in dispute: disc brakes brake at least as well, if not better, in normal conditions, but are vastly superior in wet/muddy conditions. No "rim brake fan" has ever said "rim brakes perform better". The best argument they have is that "rim brakes are good enough, and I don't want to pay the weight penalty".

    Here's another thing not in dispute, if you have very nice carbon fiber wheels (which I highly recommend as a good investment, probably the single best improvement I've made on my bikes, along with going tubeless tires). Rim brakes clamp directly on that carbon fiber wheel, and cause damage over time. The heat generated by braking friction eventually affects the resin that holds carbon fiber layers together. In addition, carbon fiber is less grippy than aluminum rims, so get some water on there and it's slip city. Now pros don't need to worry because 1) they get new carbon wheels every season, so they don't have the longevity/wear concerns, and 2) they get top of the line carbon wheels that have the brake track specially designed to help improve wet braking...but to the average consumer those are $2000-$3000 wheels...which again will wear out more quickly than disc models. I don't want any braking heat applied to my ENVE SES 5.6s or my Black Inc 30s.

    My prediction: 2-3 years time, the vast majority of pro peloton will have migrated to disc.

    Internal and (fully internal) cabling. Internal just means a portion of the cable is run within the frame, but usually some is visible going from the head tube of the frame and into the handlebars. Fully internal means all cabling is hidden everywhere (at least until it goes directly from the frame to the brake or the derailleur). The former is pretty common. The latter is usually reserved for high end aero bikes, for now. As time goes by it will trickle down to other models. All of my bikes are the former, and I'm not going to lie, my next bike will likely have the latter. But all internal cabling comes at a cost: maintenance ease. Luckily you won't have to replace those cables much (and if you get electronic shifting, maybe never, since it's just an electronic signal and not susceptible to cable tension loss like mechanical shifting). So either be prepared to pay your bike shop to do the work, or be patient and have a good set of internal routing tools (and magnets) to do the job.

    Electronic shifting: my S3 and TCR have it (SRAM Red eTap HRD 11spd and Shimano Ultegra Di2 8050 respectively). My Revolt gravel bike has the standard mechanical shifting (Shimano 105 R7000). Honestly, I love the feel and snappiness of both e-shifting bikes. But, the 105 groupset is a workhorse and extremely well built for being Shimano's "top of the mass market" model. I was prepared to maybe upgrade my Revolt to e-shifting, but to be honest, the 105 has worked great thus far, and I'm not sure I want to spend another grand or more to upgrade it. Plus I use the gravel to go everywhere including some off road trails, so maybe mechanical is good enough for now. Not that the e-shifting versions aren't robust enough to take off-road (they are, many gravel race riders use them to great effect) but if I ever wipe out on my Revolt due to rough terrain, I'm going to be less worried about replacing a mechanical derailleur than an electronic one, price-wise.

    My final advice probably mirrors what you've read. If the roads you ride are mostly smooth and mostly flat, go with aero. If you have a mixture of smooth and slightly bumpy (not trail riding, just maybe your city sucks at repaving like mine does) and you go through some inclines (doesn't have to be full on hills, but anything sustained over 3% grade counts in my book) then consider going with a light road bike. Disc model either way, but if you're concerned about weight then you'll want to buy the latest 2019-20 models and probably be in the higher price tiers. E-shifting is nice, but if I had to choose between a better frame and wheels vs electronic shifting, I'd go with frame and wheels. If you have the funds, do both.

    If I were in the market today...I'd wait maybe a month for the full 2020 lines to come out, and then try to score a deal on outgoing 2019 models.

    Giant and Canyon give you "most bike for buck". Giant because they make their own frames (and do so for a lot of other brands) and pass the savings on to the consumer to the tune of about 15% lower MSRP for a similar spec'd bike. Canyon goes internet direct so no dealer markup, but you better know your size and be semi-handy with basic maintenance. I've been to the Canyon facility in Carlsbad and their bikes are great to ride.

    Cervelo tends to be a brand that goes on sale a lot, because they don't seem to have the same punishing rules for dealers going below MSRP vs. say Specialized, who try to enforce MSRP and it's near impossible to find those on discount short of the "I'm a regular at this bike shop and he gives me 10% off" discount. I got my Cervelo for half off. Specialized are obviously great bikes, but they're on the more pricey side for similar specs.

    Some day I want to buy a Bianchi just for the name and heritage (and their Oltre XR4 garners tremendous reviews, and is also stunning) but talk about a bike that's impossible to find on sale...
     

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