Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 37
  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask.
    Posts
    334

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Regarding the upright position (high head tube), don't forget that you can always flip the stem so that it slopes down instead of up. That lowers the bars considerably.
    If there's a Look dealer nearby, have a look at the 566. I absolutely love mine. Here's the geometry chart:
    http://www.lookcycle.com/media/uploa...s/GEOM_566.pdf

    http://www.lookcycle.com/en/it/route...-new-bike.html
    Queen of the sea beasts

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask.
    Posts
    334
    It's what they'd probably call a sportive bike in Europe. Designed more for enthusiasts who just want to enjoy riding than for full-tilt racers, extremely comfortable on our rough potholed and frost-cracked roads. Flattened top tube, chain stays, and seat stays similar to a Cannondale Synapse for comfort.
    That being said, it corners on a dime and if I were still racing I'd use it as a crit bike. It has the unusual property of being both straight-ahead stable and quick steering and lively.
    Queen of the sea beasts

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,121
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Sounds like a great bike.
    Sounds like a great bike.

    Thought about the wheels? One of the most effective upgrades is lighter faster wheels.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    I just wanted to update everyone and say that I am officially bike shopping

    Online, at least. It's tough to find many 48s in stock, so this is going to be a long project. Shopping for my first road bike was so overwhelming because I just had no clue what I wanted - I'm not sure if its better or worse now that I have a much better idea of what I want!

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    I've started test riding! I actually have a spreadsheet I'd be happy to share if anyone is interested, although I will say my 'impressions' on each bike are mostly just based on gut feelings

    A lot of bikes I've just test ridden around the parking lot and have been able to tell they are not for me. I've got a couple in mind I may take on longer test rides (Bianchi Impulso and Trek Emonda), but I still want to track down and test ride the Specialized Amira, Cannondale SuperSix Evo, and CAAD10 before I start narrowing down the list.

    It turns out it is challenging to find bikes in my size but not impossible. The Cannondale ones are the only ones I'm having real trouble with, but I think if I venture down to the high-end shops in DC I'll have some luck there.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    I <3 my 48cm SuperSix! Definitely worth trying to find.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    Kirsten, I'd love to hear about what other bikes you rode/considered before you got the SuperSix! Or was it love at first sight?

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    66
    I'm also 5'2" with a 28" inseam (barefoot), so I have a short reach. For me (and probably for you) the smallest stock bikes are usually just too big. I wonder if part of what's holding you back may be due to bike fit. Have you ever gotten a bike fit, where the fitter spends an hour or more watching you riding the bike on a trainer and adjusts the seat position, stem, handlebars, etc.? For women our size it's definitely worth it since most stock bikes are just too big. Also, some PTs who specialize in bike fits take insurance, so it may only cost you $25-50 rather than $100-150+.

    I bought and rode three different road bikes (aluminum, steel, and carbon) that all turned out to be too big for me. The first was a Kona Lisa RD aluminum bike (510 mm effective top tube), which has a similar geometry as the Specialized Dolce, but I was never very comfortable and always anxious on that bike. I thought it was because road bikes just aren't as comfortable and easy to ride as hybrid and mountain bikes, but then I test rode a Bianchi steel bike (also 510 mm ETT), which was a revelation. It was so much fun to ride, more comfortable since the steel frame absorbed road noise better than aluminum, and once the LBS swapped the stem for a 70 mm stem and the right width handlebars, I bought it and really enjoyed riding it. I finally felt like I was in control of the bike rather than at its mercy. I realized the Kona was just way too big for me, so I put it on craigslist the next day.

    With the steel bike I started riding more and doing longer rides, eventually doing a 100 km ride with DH. I would get frustrated, though, because he rode 10x more and was much stronger, and although he was incredibly patient and would usually let me set the pace. Still, he was on a light carbon bike while I was on my heavy steel bike, so I couldn't go as fast, had to work harder, and would get tired faster. All of this became evident when we did a particularly hilly 100 km ride when I'd only been riding about 6 months. I just wasn't very strong or very good at climbing, and that ride was so hard for me, I ended up sobbing.

    I spent the next few months researching carbon bikes and test rode 5-6 of them (e.g., Specialized Ruby 44, Ridley, Giant, etc.). I did hilly test rides, and while I could tell it was easier to climb the hills on the carbon bikes than my steel bike, they just didn't feel quite right. One day I test rode an XS Wilier Izoard XP (515 ETT), and it was amazing! I could climb more easily and ride faster on the flats, and the bike was so stable, I could descend confidently. I was grinning during that entire test ride. Needless to say, I bought the Wilier. (For some reason I really like the ride on Italian bikes.) BTW I never test rode a Cannondale when I was bike shopping, but I've since ridden the Cannondale Synapse 44 (491 ETT) carbon bike when I took a friend bike shopping. It's really nice and responsive, and if they'd had one in my size when I was shopping for carbon bikes, I might have gotten it.

    So to answer your original question, "How much of a difference does a bike upgrade actually make?" It makes a HUGE difference if you upgrade frame material and components and the bike fits. And you should be able to feel the difference, but only if you do a long enough test ride to feel the difference on climbs and descents and long flats. There's no way you'd be able to really know how well a bike fits and handles just by riding around a parking lot. You might be able to tell a bike is way too big or way too small just by doing a parking lot test ride, but there's no way to tell its responsiveness (i.e., has a stiff BB, so you accelerate faster and climb more easily) unless you do at least a 15-30 minute test ride where there are hills and some straightaways where you can punch it. If you're looking at carbon bikes, I can't imagine the LBS not letting you take the bikes out for longer test rides.

    Fast forward almost three years, and I've since traded in the Wilier for a Colnago CLD 40s (500 ETT), the smallest available WSD carbon bike in 2013. I rode the Wilier more than my steel bike and could definitely finally feel myself getting stronger and faster, but once I started consistently riding over 50+ miles, I started getting knee pain that turned out to be IT Band Syndrome. My PT gave me exercises to address the ITBS, but she was convinced my bike was just too big for me. The wear marks on my saddle showed I was clearly dropping a hip to compensate for the reach, putting strain on my knee. I didn't want to believe it since it meant I'd have to get yet another bike. I just kept riding, but the harder I rode the worse the pain got. Once the pain got to the point I couldn't even ride, I finally realized she was right. I did more research on carbon bikes and found the smallest non-custom bike with the shortest top tube and reach was the Colnago CLD 40s. I had my LBS order one and sold the Wilier on craigslist. Within a month of me getting the Colnago, I did a century ride and the 180+ mile RSVP (Seattle to Vancouver) ride, and I knew it was perfect! I continually get stronger and faster riding this bike, and I've been riding pain-free and injury-free ever since.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    I'm glad you found an answer to your shortie problems!!

    I think my proportions must be a bit different from yours, as my 48 Dolce does fit me well. I got a professional fitting and he didn't even change all that much. I'm just finding that most bike shops stock 'comfort' women's bikes, whereas I'm looking for elite road bikes, but I did track down one I'm going to test ride on Sunday.

    I wish I were upgrading from a steel bike as that would make a significant difference in terms of speed!!! Dolce to carbon/high level aluminum will be much more subtle, but I'm now firmly convinced it is time for an upgrade, not least of all so that I don't stick out like a sore thumb when I do the fast group ride and am the only one on an entry level bike....of course I stick out when they drop me about halfway through, but that's a separate issue

  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    Thanks Sheila!! I'll keep my eyes open for someone stocking small men's sizes!

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    66
    To be clear, my "heavy steel bike" is a Bianchi Vigorelli with Reynolds 631 and Ultegra/105 mix, so it weighs in around 20-21 lbs. It's not a tank like a Surly Cross-Check or LHT or Bianchi Volpe with Tiagra or lower-end components. In contrast, my carbon bike weighs about 16 lbs. Granted my carbon bike has upgraded wheels and a Campy Chorus groupset, but any stock carbon bike in your size should weigh about 17-18 lbs if it has an Ultegra/105 groupset. Once you start doing longer test rides involving climbs, you should totally feel the difference between a carbon bike and your Dolce.

    Before you completely rule out "comfort" bikes, you should take a few of them on longer test rides. By "comfort" I'm guessing you mean a relaxed geometry with a shorter top tube. Keep in mind that more bike companies are offering relaxed geometries for riders who don't ride very much and probably are not comfortable with an aggressive geometry, where you're totally stretched out over the top tube to get into the most aero position. But relaxed geometries are also better for sportive or endurance riding, where you're in the saddle for 5+ hours. If you want a bike only for shorter rides (up to 2-3 hours), then an aggressive geometry where you're stretched out may be fine, but if you want to start doing longer rides like century rides, where you'll be in the saddle 7-10+ hours, then the more upright position is more comfortable once you reach hours 4-5.

    Keep in mind that you can always make a bike with a more relaxed geometry (i.e., with a shorter top tube and tall head tube) more aggressive by swapping for a longer stem and using a negative angle, but it's a lot harder to make a more aggressive bike (i.e., with a longer top tube) more relaxed since you'll compromise the handling with a really short stem (<70 mm) and a really steep angle.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    Just FTR, "comfort bike" is a specific configuration, pretty much the same as a hybrid - hardtail, sprung forks and seatpost without damping, buckhorn to flattish bars, hybrid frame geometry, rack bosses or integrated racks, wide wheels with street tires, low end MTB components. My Trek Navigator is an example. Basically a low-end UAV. It weighs upwards of 40#, and 20 miles on that bike is a very long ride. All day is out of the question AFAIC, even with the road saddle I slapped on it to replace the OEM saddle, one of those things that's bigger than my head. Not at all the same thing as road bikes set up for sport-touring or day rides.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    She means an endurance bike, not the kind of comfort bike you are talking about. But, you knew that.
    All I know is that I don't feel slower on my Silque than I did on my Kuota. While, I am not "fast" by any means, nothing has changed, except the smoothness of my ride and no twitchiness.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    Right, but I think when the OP said the bike shops were all trying to sell her "comfort bikes," she meant the kind I was describing. That's all!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    66
    No, Oakleaf, I think the bike shops are showing her WSD carbon bikes that tend to have more relaxed geometries (shorter top tube, taller head tube) compared to men's/unisex carbon bikes. She already has a Dolce and wants something faster, so there's no way she's testriding 30-40 lb. comfort bikes.

    I was trying to point out that relaxed geometries have their place. Most WSD bikes are aimed at shorter women, and they tend to have shorter top tubes and taller head tubes since women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos. The men's/unisex bikes with comparable length seat tubes usually have top tubes that are often 2-3 cm longer since men tend to have shorter legs and longer torsos.

    Crankin, isn't your Trek Silque also a carbon bike? If so, I'm not surprised that you're not any slower on your Silque carbon bike than on your Kuota carbon bike. I would think the more aggressive geometry on the Kuota would only make you faster if you're riding really long distances in the aero position, especially if you couldn't achieve as low a position on the Silque.

    However, the OP should totally be able to feel a difference between an aluminum Dolce and an Amira or any other carbon bike during a long test ride with hills.

 

 

Posting Permissions

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