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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    3

    Help selecting road bike...Please :)

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    Hi,

    I am excited to be in the market for my first road bike. I currently have a specialized Arial Sport hybrid bike. It was a great starter bike for me and in the 2 years I have owned it I have logged over 1000 miles. However...it is super heavy! I am wanting to mix up my rides and do both road and trail. So that leads me to shopping for a road bike.

    So far my options:

    Cannondale Synapse
    Trek Lexa
    Specialized Dolce

    Opinions on the above?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    407
    Hi Kim, Welcome!

    These three bikes are very popular and, I think, very similar. You'll see many posts where people are comparing these same three. They're all in the same category, so test ride them all, and see which one fits the best (remember, fit can be adjusted), rides/handles the way you like, or just makes you happy! Each one comes with different component groups, so try to compare similar models.

    Have fun, and be careful. I ended up with both a Synapse and a Dolce in my stable

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    3
    Hi thanks for the reply! I have visited 2 local bike shops...one more to go. The shop today was nice and the sales guy even was happy to point out he could order the Trek in purple...ha ha. Anyway my first bike I loved at first sight. I knew it was the bike for me. I guess I am wanting the same experience with the road bike. I have one more shop to visit (they are the ones that have Specialized bikes).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    407
    Another thought: Do you have a Felt dealer near you? I really liked the bikes I tested. They fit me well, and if I didn't already have a few bikes, I may have come home with another.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    3
    I had never even heard of Felt bikes until you mentioned it. I googled and yes, there is a small bike shop in town I have not visited yet that sells that brand. I will go check out the shop this weekend! Thanks for recommending. I want to make sure to get the right bike for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,045
    Hi Kim-
    Bike shopping is exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking - spending money and being sure it's the right one. If the bikes are available in your size, have the shop do an approximate fit and take the bike out for a ride. Each bike will feel a little different to you, and choose the one that feels best. I just bought a new road bike and I found that the Trek, Specialized and Cannondale differed in the geometry slightly and in the way the bike handled. (They were carbon, not aluminum but generally they frames are similar within the brand.

    For me, the Cannondale felt a bit more snappy in responding and the Specialized was more comfortable. Since I ride long distances but not fast, I preferred the Specialized

    Good luck!
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Hi Kim,

    The most important thing is a good fit. It can be adjusted somewhat by changing things like the stem or handlebars but if the size and geometry of the frame are wrong for you then no adjustment will be able to make you comfortable, and being uncomfortable (or in pain) tends to make cycling far less fun! For example, my first road bike was a regular (men's) Trek and reach to the handlebars was just too long for me, which caused shoulder and neck problems. Switching to a WSD (women-specific) Trek bike made a world of difference because the top tube is angled differently, which makes the reach shorter. Also it has a more compact handlebar with is more comfortable for my hands. But of course everyone is different -- for some women a men's frame is fine.

    It helps immensely if the people working at the bike shop understand good bike fit. While you are shopping, ask them about how they help make sure the bike you buy fits you correctly. Before I bought both of my road bikes, the people at my LBS put the bike on an indoor trainer and watched me pedal it to see if the basic fit was good and if I needed to change any components, e.g., get a different size stem. Also during test rides, pay attention to your arms and shoulders -- are you very stretched out trying to reach the handlebars, are you shoulders hunched up, can you ride comfortably in the drops (holding the curved part of the handlebars below the shifters).

    Have fun and good luck!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,045
    I agree with everything NY biker just said!
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    659
    Hi Kim

    Add my vote for trying out one of the WSD models, if there's one available at your bike shops. Almost without exception, I've had to modify every standard (men's) bike I've bought to get a comfy fit - narrower handlebars, woman's saddle, shorter stem and so on. I am tall at just under 5'9", but it's all legs with short torso, so always something of a fight to get a good fit without going WSD. In fact, my 2013 Trek Domane WSD is the only bike I have that needed no mods to get a good fit for me. Still the exact same bike, now, as when I rode it out of the shop.

    Also, understand that it takes a bit of time for your body to adapt to a road bike if you've never ridden one. May feel a bit awkward at first, but that's normal.

    Best of luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    The glorious Michigan U.P.
    Posts
    23
    And I am the opposite: 5'-6", all torso, no legs. So I need a small frame (so I can stand over it) with longer reach. I once had a Trek rep look at me and say "that (50 cm) bike is way too small for you!" - and then I stood over it and she understood.

    I've tested WSD bikes before, and they all have felt wrong - cramped, and like my knees would hit the handlebar. According to my LBS, Trek at least thinks all women have long legs relative to height, and all men have shorter legs. Everyone is different, so try everything you can. A side by side test of the same model in WSD & mens/unisex might tell you a lot. And remember that the frame is the one thing you can't change out - if the reach is right, you can always change handlebars, saddles, etc. And you can change the reach a bit, too, with a different stem.

    Happy hunting!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by KimV76 View Post
    Hi thanks for the reply! I have visited 2 local bike shops...one more to go. The shop today was nice and the sales guy even was happy to point out he could order the Trek in purple...ha ha. Anyway my first bike I loved at first sight. I knew it was the bike for me. I guess I am wanting the same experience with the road bike. I have one more shop to visit (they are the ones that have Specialized bikes).
    I've only ever bought bikes I've completely fell in love with. Maybe you should test something that is not quite so similar?

    Jamis makes steel road bikes in men's and women's. Called the Quest, available at differing pricepoints. I suggest you find something like that to test, to find out if that is what you are looking for. Other brands to carry steel as well. Were the models you looked at all aluminum? There are carbon frames available for decent prices, too.

    I will say a CAAD 8 is a great bike for someone looking for a first road bike and who is undecided. Check reviews. Great machine, great ride, value. It should feel quite different from the bikes you mentioned. Though hard to say if it is a good choice, especially since we don't know your height.

    Uh, I thought Sierc was the OP when I wrote this paragraph, but I'll leave it, as it may apply: And, just as an offchance, since you tested a Synapse, maybe you could try a Cannondale CAAD8 (men's). Sounds like maybe the 51 or so could fit you.With long arms and torso, you don't have to limit yourself to womens. There are so many to choose from. C'dale CAAD aluminum alloys are very, very nice. (I have a CAADX cyclocross. Love that bike). Also, maybe look into a Giant Defy. Both are available at a lot of pricepoints depending on components. (And Cannondale goes on sale in August).

    What sizes of the bikes you mentioned did you try? Did they fit? Or were there things you would change? (Like reach, how much you were sitting up, etc.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 07-01-2016 at 07:59 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

 

 

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