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Old 21.08.2011, 22:53
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Getting my first Road bike

I am considering buying my first road bike. Have been very happy with my trekking bike so far, but would like something lighter and faster.

I am looking at these bikes from Chainreactioncycles
Choice 1
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=59246

Choice 2
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=59249

The central question is -- never having had a carbon bike before, I am a bit apprehensive about robustness. I have had a few (harmless) crashes with my trekking bike before, without any damage to the bike whatsoever. I am afraid that one crash would render a thousand-franc investment worthless

I understand that in addition to the chainreactioncycles price, I shall be paying CHF 30 for the "inspection" by customs, and about 10% import duty. Is that correct?

Advice from biking profis would be very helpful
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Old 21.08.2011, 23:15
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

Can't comment on the carbon, as I've never ridden one, but as for the customs you'll be looking at 8% Swiss VAT plus about 40CHF inspection charge and maybe 20CHF or so holding/handling charge. Oh, and they charge the 8% VAT on the price of the bike plus the other customs charges (cheeky swines).

A friend ordered from Evans Cycles recently and they were very quick to deliver and the bike was very well packaged. I've only ordered parts from CRC, but they're usually well packed and quick. Also, Evans currently have a sale on, so it might be a good time to pick up a bargain.

Good luck!
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Old 22.08.2011, 08:44
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

There are a few things to consider when deciding a road bike.

Firstly Group Set makes up a majority of the cost of a bike, There is a significant difference between a $900 bike vs a $1500 however it tapers off as you scale up and it becomes more dependent on your physical ability.

As for the carbon most bikes are made out of Asia anyway, I personally think choosing a lighter alloy frame in the sub $3000 market would be greater value than a cheaper carbon bike which will flex heaps.

If you want good value for money a Giant TCR composite might be a good option.
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Old 22.08.2011, 09:30
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

choice 2 seems like a worse deal here, notwithstanding the carbon vs alu frame, the components are a step down (ultegra v. 105) and the wheels too, considering just a gbp 300 difference in price
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Old 22.08.2011, 10:08
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

I've ridden 105 and Ultegra and Ultegra is an upgrade that I would recommend. I don't really understand the issue with frames made in Asia. Colnago CLX and CX1 are made in Taiwan. I vote for option 1.
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Old 22.08.2011, 10:20
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

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I've ridden 105 and Ultegra and Ultegra is an upgrade that I would recommend.
I ride both very often and I honestly cannot tell the difference: they both shift very smoothly. Unless you're very concerned about the few extra grams, I wouldn't bother. Another case of YMMV
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Old 22.08.2011, 10:59
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

I think a lot depends on you and your level as a cyclist.
my personal opinion is that 90% of serious cyclists really don't need anything more than an alloy frame + ultegra. I am not a fan of carbon frames since the base of the material is a resin (= plastic) which will degrade more with time. I think most of the people use them more for fashion and marketing. it is true that is lighter etc etc but at the end what will make the difference on the road will be your legs .

I have never used the 105 but i can easily believe Sylvian74 to be right.

option 1 : is more expensive, better components etc etc and it will look nicer
option 2: is cheaper, but most probably you do not need anything more ...

Just my two cents to make the decision harder ... .

Last edited by francesco_ud; 22.08.2011 at 11:29.
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Old 22.08.2011, 11:55
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

Some points to add to your choice.

Carbon Fiber is not "fragile". Off course depending of its quality and fiber structure, it could be stronger than alloy ( which is brittle ) or steel. Some high quality carbon fiber tubes have a 50 or even 60 ton of tensile resistance. which is quite strong.

Now a carbon fiber tube can be engineered to be very stiff in one direction while compliant on the other, this is achieved by the carbon fiber qualities + waving + layout, the plastic resin part just holds together and protects the carbon wave ( it will not "degrade" with time like somebody said here unless you damage it with chemicals).

The problem with Carbon fiber is not its strenght but its failure mode.

As it is a composite of many fibers laid out to be strong on one direction but giving on the other, it could be that when you crash, some fibers could be damaged/broken, but the tube still looks structurally intact while it is weakened inside. Then at some point in the future if could fail unexpectedly. This is opossed as for example alloy which simply cracks or has a visible dent or steel that bends.

Now even if this is true, it is not as frequent as some people say. It would need to be a quite strong crash to break the fibers inside.

Other problem with carbon is when you put a high stress on an area that was not designed to be strong on that direction. for example I have seen videos of a "test" on a frame lying flat on the ground and then people jumping on the rear stays of bikes made of steel ( elastic distortion ) alloy ( no distortion but surely with enough force it would crack) and carbon ( cracked quickly ). to prove how fragile is carbon, but this is a ridiculous test because on the real life you won't have that kind of pressure on the rear stays, and also there would be a wheel there anyway that would not let you bend the stays inwards. Well if you fall and then a car runs over your frame maybe you would get that kind of pressure but this is a very unlikely case anyway.

I have been riding a decade on full carbon bikes and components without any issue, but alas, I don't crash often or almost never, my only crash was on a city bike and the fork got broken ( it was alloy ).

Other point I wanted to point out is that that Carbon bike you posted ( the B One ), is presented as an Ultegra bike but many important parts ( cassette, chain, crankset, wheels, breaks ) are lower level components ( 105 for the most part and FSA Omega Cranks that are quite heavy, the rims are CXP22 which are the cheapest ones. ) So it is not such a big deal.


Now, if you crash frequently, ride alloy if you want to have peace of mind, but have in mind that alloy is stiff on all directions and it will be harsh specially on the contact points ( your @ss specially ) some people like it some can't stand it.

You should better test ride the bike and not just a short around the corner test, but a longer ride to see how your body cope with the characteristics of the material.

HTH
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Old 22.08.2011, 12:49
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

An incidental question.....with CRC is the price you get when in Switzerland the true VAT free price, or is it a somewhere in between?

The reason I ask is because I have been considering this bike as a commuter bike. When I set my location as Switzerland it says VAT free, but when if I compare prices in the same currency (GBP) but change location between UK and CH, the difference in price is not 20%. It's closer to 15%. Just wondering if VAT on bikes in the UK is not 20%, or if the 5% difference is due to evaporation!
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Old 22.08.2011, 13:00
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

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An incidental question.....with CRC is the price you get when in Switzerland the true VAT free price, or is it a somewhere in between?

The reason I ask is because I have been considering this bike as a commuter bike. When I set my location as Switzerland it says VAT free, but when if I compare prices in the same currency (GBP) but change location between UK and CH, the difference in price is not 20%. It's closer to 15%. Just wondering if VAT on bikes in the UK is not 20%, or if the 5% difference is due to evaporation!
They do subtract the VAT, but they'll give you a slightly poor exchange rate.

A user of this forum made a thread in the "Complaints" area.
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Old 22.08.2011, 15:57
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

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Some points to add to your choice.

Now even if this is true, it is not as frequent as some people say. It would need to be a quite strong crash to break the fibers inside.

Now, if you crash frequently, ride alloy if you want to have peace of mind, but have in mind that alloy is stiff on all directions and it will be harsh specially on the contact points ( your @ss specially ) some people like it some can't stand it.

HTH
Thanks, the "Choice 2" has a Alu Frame with a Carbon Fork. Would a road bike also have constraints regarding weight of the rider? I am not the lightest racing biker around @ 80 Kgs... the wheels seem so fragile in comparison to my sturdy trekking wheels... can these handful of spokes withstand that sort of weight? Sorry if the question sounds too stupid
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Old 22.08.2011, 18:32
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

80Kgs is not heavy, most recreational riders are around that weight, so the standard entry to medium level bikes are strong enough for that weight and more.

Now if you would like a superlight wonderbike with 16 spoke carbon wheels, then maybe you should think twice, but this is not the case.

that one is a 24 rear and 20 front spokes, I guess DT competition strong spokes so that would be ok.

What size bike do you need ?
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Old 23.08.2011, 01:12
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

80 KG would be fine that is pretty how much I weigh in off season and I ride a full carbon bike and carbon wheels.

I guess my only word of advice when starting off is that if you are going to take it seriously buy up to what you can afford.

Upgrading parts on bikes are more expensive than buying it is a complete bike to begin with.

If you are in the 1500 - 2000 market you should be able to source a Alloy with Ultegra (group set) bike pretty easy. Just make sure its not a ultegra Crank with 105 parts.

This might be a good option for ya

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=56715
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Old 23.08.2011, 15:13
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

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80Kgs is not heavy, most recreational What size bike do you need ?
Thanks for the reply. I need 50-52 cms frame.
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Old 23.08.2011, 16:52
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

Can anyone give advice on derailleurs? How important is theor role, what are the best one for a beginner?

I am a female beginner on road bikes. I got a Raleigh Supercourse EC70 with Shimano gears. for around $900 3months ago. I was coming up hill trying to change gear shifted the wrong way and the hanger on the back wheel snapped. That was fixed for free.

Now that is fixed ( such a little part) but I am not happy with the gears. I need more speed, so I will change the smallest back cog from a 12 teeth to an 11 teeth. I will change them next week costing me $120 but was looking for advice. As you can probably tell I know little about the mechanics and am only just getting to grips with using the gears in combination for uphill!

I want sort these gears out, the shifting is clunky- is that just me or the bike? I am prepared to spend out next summer to get a problme fixed. Winter will be here soon- lasting perhaps 8 months.

I cycle about 25 miles 3 times a week. which takes me about 1 and 1/2 hours. Too slow for hubby he has given up on me.

This is the bike:

http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/la...7_5668crx.aspx

Obviously I am good at haggling price- it had been in the bike shop round the corner for a while, but was brand new.

Last edited by hoppy; 23.08.2011 at 17:07.
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Old 29.08.2011, 17:35
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

For those that may be interested, Chain Reaction have an extra 10% discount if you use the code ROW10% at the moment. On top of the summer sales currently on as they try to shift the 2011 models, the favourable exchange rate, and VAT savings, there are serious bargains to be had. I'm tempted too to go for my first road bike. I'd love to buy locally, but economically it doesn't make sense.

Shipping is a reasonable 25 too for a bike.

Regarding carbon frames, I have one on my MTB, and not yet had any issues despite some fairly rough treatment on rocky paths in the Portes du Soleil for example. In fact last week I had a fairly nasty crash, my knee and elbow nicely grazed up, but not a scratch on the bike.
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Old 29.08.2011, 18:30
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

Thanks for the tip on the extra 10%. I had a commuting bike sitting in my basket and so decided to go ahead and purchase it. Based on what I have seen similar bikes go for here, if it doesn't fit I can definitely sell it for what I paid for it, plus shipping and fees.
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Old 30.08.2011, 20:11
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

I too was a bit anxious about carbon frames at first. I have been riding one since last winter and it has held up through a few crashes. I slammed into the back of a car last month while descending and went flying through the back window (heh, stuntman) and amazingly the only damage to my bike was a crack in the fork which was easy to replace. I was thinking about getting a new fork anyway, so it all worked out in the end. Once you ride caron, you'll never want to go back.
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Old 30.08.2011, 20:21
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

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Can anyone give advice on derailleurs? How important is theor role, what are the best one for a beginner?

I am a female beginner on road bikes. I got a Raleigh Supercourse EC70 with Shimano gears. for around $900 3months ago. I was coming up hill trying to change gear shifted the wrong way and the hanger on the back wheel snapped. That was fixed for free.

Now that is fixed ( such a little part) but I am not happy with the gears. I need more speed, so I will change the smallest back cog from a 12 teeth to an 11 teeth. I will change them next week costing me $120 but was looking for advice. As you can probably tell I know little about the mechanics and am only just getting to grips with using the gears in combination for uphill!

I want sort these gears out, the shifting is clunky- is that just me or the bike? I am prepared to spend out next summer to get a problme fixed. Winter will be here soon- lasting perhaps 8 months.

I cycle about 25 miles 3 times a week. which takes me about 1 and 1/2 hours. Too slow for hubby he has given up on me.

This is the bike:

http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/la...7_5668crx.aspx

Obviously I am good at haggling price- it had been in the bike shop round the corner for a while, but was brand new.

It could be a number of things, including a dry, dirty chain or a shifter cable might be too tight. Derailleur limit screws are very touchy, if you don't know much about bikes I wouldn't recommend messing with them, but it might be that they need a slight adjustment. When I replaced my fork I lubed my cables. That is not something I usually do (I always forget) but it seemed to make a difference. I'm not sure if that is just a 'placebo' effect though.
If all else fails, buy me a beer and I'll take a look at it
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Old 30.08.2011, 20:52
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Re: Getting my first Road bike

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I too was a bit anxious about carbon frames at first. I have been riding one since last winter and it has held up through a few crashes. I slammed into the back of a car last month while descending and went flying through the back window (heh, stuntman) and amazingly the only damage to my bike was a crack in the fork which was easy to replace. I was thinking about getting a new fork anyway, so it all worked out in the end. Once you ride caron, you'll never want to go back.
I thought I was bad at speeding on a bike, I love coming downhill but you're nuts!

It has just come back from the shop, they added a smaller 11 teeth cog on the back wheel so hopefully I can go a little faster. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to ride it, the weather is perfect, but I am trying to fix a pressure washer etc. I am in the US so thanks for the help and offer of help. I will try to lube the cables, but won't touch the Derailleur limit screws.
Mine is half carbon but at my level of ability I wouldn't know the difference. All I know is that the balance is nice, I can ride my bike without hands! It made me feel like a kid again!
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