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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    11

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    Man, Muirenn, you are all leg! I'll be a gorilla with you. Instead of Gorillas in the Mist, we can be Gorillas from the Midwest. It's really nice to get advice from another woman with a long inseam. I'm not sure about my own femur length, but what is seat post offset?

    What you said about the Diverge makes sense. It just felt off, so that one is off my list for sure. Maybe that's why the handlebars seemed so big and clumsy to me, even though they were the same size as other 58s I've tried?

    I would say, so far, my top choice fit is the Trek 1.2 in a 58, but the Felt Z85 in a 58 is very close - close enough that I would definitely them both again before choosing between the two. I also thought the Specialized Ruby in a 57 felt good, but again, I'd need to try it again.

    Besides trying out Cannondale and Giant, I'm also wondering if I should try a Trek Domane 2.0, now that I've expanded my budget a bit. I like the way it looks - grey with some colorful detailing, but it also sounds like it has potential.

    Thank you!

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,415
    You might need scaled down handlebars, like a lot of women, but it doesn't affect bike size, really. (or, well, just reread what you wrote. Maybe not!).

    For an offset versus straight seat post, I'd skip worrying about it. Most people use a slight offset, and bikes come stock (most often) with that type of seatpost. If it needs to be changed later, a fitter can do that.

    Try all the bikes you can. I just wanted to know what size was closest to being the right fit. The Felt Z series is supposed to be good. The others too, just get the bike you like. Don't settle.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-30-2016 at 12:08 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    596
    Quote Originally Posted by Minx View Post
    NW gal, no offense here . I am the first person to admit that I care more about color than components - and that maybe that isn't the smartest way to buy a bike!
    My standing inseam is 33.5 or 34 inches without shoes.

    I just got back from testing a couple of more bikes this morning - would have liked to test more but the rain and wind were getting to me. I was dressed for the cool weather, but not the rain. Besides getting wet, it was a good day to test because I had the wind at my back one way and was riding straight into the rain and wind on the way back.

    So, this was a third shop where both my partner and I have got bikes, parts and repairs before. Worked with a very low key and helpful sales guy we remembered working with and liking in the past, and he was quite convinced I needed a 58 as well. Sad that the Lexa is ruled out for me, but I trusted this guy who took the time to measure me and look at how I sat on the bikes more carefully, so now at least I know. I tried two men's bikes in 58:

    1. A previous year's model Felt Z85 with upgraded components to 105, on sale for 1299, said he could go down to 1200. Gray and white with some red.
    2. Trek 1.2, not on sale for 969. (They also had a 1.1, but I'm not that fond of red, which is the only color the current 1.1 model comes in, apparently, so I opted to try 1.2 in black with orange). Sora components.

    One additional development is that I have a big birthday coming up later this year, and so my partner has given me the green light to spend a little more since we've decided this bike will be my present. . I still don't want to overbuy for my first bike, though, as Muirenn advised. I'm still thinking 1200-1300 as the upper limit, but that means the Felt is an option, as is the Giant with disc brakes if I can find one to try.

    First off, I liked both of these bikes much more than the Specialized Diverge, and I think they were both a great fit. I rode the Felt first, and really liked it, though I noticed I was already feeling the need to change my position on the handlebars a lot to get comfy on my 10 minute ride. Shifting and breaking were both great, even in the rain. Then I rode the Trek, and I didn't really notice too much loss of quality with the Sora components, though I didn't get a chance to try hills. Breaking was a little less smooth in the rain, but nothing I was worried about. But I felt even more comfortable on the Trek then I did on the Felt. The sales guy said that he thought they should be very similar, but that the head tube on the Trek is angled slightly differently so that might account for some of the difference for me. My understanding is that the Felt is a pretty good deal, no? I am going to try them both again when I am not battling wind and rain and can take a longer spin.

    Neither of these bikes is exactly my ideal looks wise. I won't let that stop me from a purchase, but I don't care much for black or red. I love grey, navy, almost any shade of blue or purple, and white.

    Thanks for reading if you made it this far! I hope everyone is having drier weather than me and out doing some riding!
    The Felt is a pretty good deal, yes. I've owned a Felt and loved it. Going with a previous year model is a great way to save money on a new bike.

    Keep in mind that comfort is a relative thing and that you have a lot of options on any given bike to make it more so - changing the angle of the handlebars, the placement of the brake/shifter levers, the seat position and tilt, changing stem length and a lot more. Talk to your bike guy and see what he recommends. Might be worth going back for another test ride on those bikes. At this stage, your comfort is all important. Think of all the hours you'll need to log on your bike to complete that century.

    The bike market is so darn competitive, that as long as you start with a decent frame for your use, it's all a matter of what is bolted on to the frame after that. Don't get hung up on brand labels. Finding a good bike shop that will back up whatever brand they sell is probably more important. Sounds like you found one.

    With that inseam, yup, have to say, a 58 is probably what you need. Your bike shop guy is on his toes.

    The big difference between Sora and 105 is durability. The only thing on a 105 bike that will outlast 105 components is the frame and, possibly, the wheels. It's the real workhorse of the Shimano line (and these days, probably Tiagra, too). Anything above that just gets you smoother, lighter and, yeah, some snob appeal.

    I'm fussy about color, too, but there are times when flashy and pretty can work against you - as when you live in area with a lot of bike theft, then it's helpful to go with a color that doesn't attract an audience, if you know what I mean. Drab colors, especially matte gray won't show dirt and grime as much as a glossy bright color and are usually easier to keep clean. Okay, there's me being practical. The truth is, I've been known to pass on a bike because I hated the color. Has to be a color I can at least live with. Funny thing about color, too. It's what I remember, first, on all the bikes I had years, ago.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 04-30-2016 at 01:11 PM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,415
    This Raleigh with 105 components is upright, within budget, and blue.

    [url]http://www.raleighusa.com/merit-3[/url

    Just another suggestion.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-30-2016 at 04:07 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    11
    All the additional input is appreciated, thank you! Yes, NW Gal, you are right, I will need to put in a lot of time on that bike!

    I got to try a two more today at another shop - no Raleigh Merit, unfortunately, because that is a nice looking bike, Muirenn, but I tried a Raleigh Revenio which was a little awkward in a 58. Then I tried the Fuji Sportive 1.3 with disc brakes for 899. I tried a 58 first but that one wasn't ideal - the 56 was a better fit for me in that model. Not a bad bike at all, but did not ride as smoothly as some I've tried, and it took me forever to slow down. It had Tiagra components, but I just didn't feel like the quality was there in comparison to some of the others I've tried.

    They had Jamis there - gorgeous looking bikes, didn't even know I could find Jamis around here...beautiful. Not anything close to my size, sadly.

    Around here, we have Erik's, a Trek Store, and then all the other LBSs in town are pretty much under the same ownership though they all carry different bikes. So the Fuji place sent me to one of the sister shops to try a Cannondale Synapse. I was surprised - I found it to be a little racier than I expected. On sale, 899 for Sora. I had a tough time maneuvering the handlebars - I'm thinking that I am going to find the handlebars that come with a 58 especially awkward if the the geometry is racier, maybe? It was similar to the issue I had on the Specialized Diverge. I did not seem to have that problem at all with the either Felt Z85 and Trek 1.2 in size 58, and I think they all had the same width.

    At this point, my top choices are:

    Trek 1.2 - Sora components, really like the fit a lot. Not my favorite color, black, but I could probably live with it. There is something about the frame of a Trek that seems to work well for me. 969. I imagine I would probably like the 1.1 just fine, too, if it weren't red. (I hope I am not offending anyone who likes red and red bikes!).
    Specialized Ruby - my favorite fit, but much more than I want to spend at 1800+ unless I can find a previous year's model, and then would probably still be more than I want to spend. I am going to try to test it again tomorrow and give the Dolce another chance as well. Both bikes fit me in a 57.
    Felt Z85 - 105 components, really nice quality feeling bike, not sure I love it, wish it was in a different color scheme if I am going to spring for it, black with red and white. 1200. I think they have the current model in silver and black for 1399, which is a little better.

    Honestly, I think the next step is to take longer rides on these. When you were buying your first bike, how did you know it was the one?

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,415
    I've only bought bikes that I loved from all aspects. Never bought one I was unsure of.

    No idea what is going on with the handlebars. Bars are easy to replace, but it sounds like something else is going on? Don't know.

    I was going to suggest a cannondale CAAD8, as its geometry is similar to the Trek you like. That is, semi upright, rather than randoneering height. (Very tall).

    Edit: here it is. I suspect you will like the look of this one.

    http://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bik...b-6ea0e0343297
    Last edited by Muirenn; 05-01-2016 at 06:27 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    596
    "When you were buying your first bike, how did you know it was the one?"

    Minx, that's hard to put into perspective, since experience is such a big factor in the way we evaluate bike fit and performance. That, and the fact that the bike world has changed so much since my first road bike. For instance, when I got my first road bike, all bikes were essentially road bikes or comfort bikes. Instead of calling them road bikes, we usually just called them 10 speeds. Shows how old I am.

    I can be intensely analytical when I need to be, but I'm basically the "if it doesn't feel right, forget it" type at heart. At this point, my advice is to pick the one you like as a friend, because that's what it's going to be. Odds are very good, anyway, that you will move on to other bikes in the future and with that experience, you'll be in a much better position to know what is and isn't right for you. Any of those bikes you've mentioned and others have suggested will do a nice job as a first road bike. All of them are a gazillion times better than the best road bike of the day when I got my first.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 05-02-2016 at 08:28 AM.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,415
    One more thing on fit, the Ruby felt best, but cramped. At least a little?

    Ruby's have high head tubes. The head tube height up front may have made the bike feel bigger than it was. Also, the bigger the bike, the higher the head tube is, just to keep it in proportion with the bike size. I think the Trek was bigger than the Ruby? It could be you need a bike that is bigger than the Ruby, but with the same size head tube (as the Ruby). So, the head tube on the bigger bike would be about the same as the Ruby, but the rest of the bike a little bigger. (Yeah, probably confusing).

    Anyway. Keep testing.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,775
    I'm sorry I haven't had time to read this thread in detail. Apologies if this is off-point or reiterating points already made. But I noticed something about a problem with handlebars being too wide on one bike -- you could replace them with something narrower if you end up with a bike that's perfect except for the bars.

    I went from a men's Trek 2000 to a WSD Madone in the same frame size but the difference in fit and comfort was huge for me. Different bikes, and certainly not the same geometry for men's and women's. I had the shortest possible stem on the Trek 2000 and the reach was still too long. Also the handlebars were too big to ride in the drops. And I always thought I had long arms -- many long sleeved shirts are too too short for me. With the WSD Madone and the compact handlebars that came with it, I have been way more comfortable. After a few years I got a narrower version of the same handlebar to address some shoulder and neck problems.

    The thing is that the Trek 2000 was my first road bike, I had a fitting done before buying it, and I thought it was okay. Until years later I was having a new saddle fitting for it, and the guy doing the fitting pointed out that my shoulders were hunched because the reach was too long. I didn't really understand what he was saying until I tried the WSD Madone. He let me take it for a long test ride because I was concerned about the gearing; after about 10 minutes I understood his point about the reach on the old bike.

    So I guess my point is to try to pay attention to your shoulders, neck and arms while you are test riding. With your hands on the hoods, your elbows should be a bit bent. You should be able to ride with your neck and relaxed, not hunched up. Also try riding in the drops -- you should feel comfortable and able to reach and work the brake/shift levers easily.

    Re: aluminum frames, my first bike was aluminum and I rode several centuries and many other 60-80 mile rides on it. It was fine and I would still be riding it if the fit had been better.

    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

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    11
    Thanks for being so generous with input and suggestions! You know, I always thought my town was pretty lousy with bike shops - but it's surprising how few models and/or brands are available. Even my REI has pretty much zero selection. It's total Trek take-over . So, no CAAD for me unless I travel pretty far.

    But this week I tried a Trek domane 2.0 (the base model) and it was okay, not much different from the Trek 1.2 I tried in my opinion. I just can't shake the feeling that these men's 58s I've been trying are just a bit big too big - long reach, and I feel like I'm borrowing a bike from someone who is a little bigger than me. I appreciated the input about too long-reach, NY biker, because I think I've been experiencing some of that. I would say that the Trek 1.2 is the one I felt most at home on of all of the men's bikes - definitely the best fit for me. The Felt definitely felt like a great quality bike, but not quite right, at least as is.

    So, went back to Specialized. I realized that on at least one of the occasions, I tried a women's 54 Dolce instead of 57, which would certainly account for the cramped feeling. I took a longer test ride on both the Ruby and the Dolce, about 20 minutes each. I felt at home on both, especially getting on and off the bikes and making sharp turns. (I didn't mention this before, but in some of my test rides with the men's bikes, I was nervous about turning on them and so I actually stopped the bike and got down, turned, and climbed back on. I was embarrassed and thought it was my nervousness as a new road bike rider, but now I also think it is at least partly the fit.)

    So now I am leaning towards the Dolce I love the smoother ride of the Ruby, but I am thinking I might like to go base model or sport model Dolce at first and then wait a year and see if the Ruby is still my dream bike, or if my ideal bike is something else entirely, like a men's with some adjustments, such as new handlebars.
    Last edited by Minx; 05-05-2016 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Domane, NOT Madone.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,415
    Excellent, Minx! Glad you were able to discern the differences in fit and make a good decision. And I still think it is reasonable hold back on the fancier bikes until you've ridden for a couple of years. You will learn a lot about what you like. Who knows, when you get some miles under you, you might turn into someone who likes to 'hammer' a bit, and end up on an Amira instead of a Ruby. (Amira's have more power transfer, hence, you can accelerate quickly. It's the women's race version, but as it is a women's, it allows you to sit up more than the men's. From the bike's geometry, I suspect I would really like it, but no plans to replace my current roadie).

    When I was sized for my last road bike, they didn't have the model I wanted in stock. They tried me on a Focus Donna (women's model), which fit me perfectly, and ordered the equivalent men's model Pinarello Quattro. The riding character of the two bikes were different, but the fit was the same. It was very hard for me to see that the Donna actually fit, though, because it had tiny handlebars, and a tiny saddle, so I perched precariously while I spun on the trainer. Felt completely different than my Pinarello, but it was the same (that is, with whatever minor adjustments they made, it was the same).

    Good luck, can't wait to see pictures of your new bike.
    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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