Steve in Florida wants the best bike he can get his hands on; his local shops have Trek, Specialized, Cervelo and Blue available. He needs to hear our thoughts on frames, equipment and a top class set of wheels.
First, many thanks for your articles and advice. I have learned more from your insight than all other sources.
Now my situation. I am 53. Got into road bike riding about a year ago simply for the joy of it. Quickly got hooked on faster and longer. Recently began to participate in some events. Quite fun! I am currently riding a 2006 Marin Venezia (alloy frame) with Tiagra and Alex R450 rims. Bought new for about $800 and has +/- 3,500 miles on it.
Now that I’m riding more and beginning to participate in some events, in addition to training, I’m looking for equipment ways to improve my times. Of course all of the local shops want to sell me a new carbon frame and high end wheels.
I can’t buy all at once so trying to determine the priority for best improvement results.
- A new carbon bike with maybe SRAM Force and good set wheels
- Or simply put a really good set of wheels on the existing alloy bike
- Or best answer is to take the plunge and invest in a quality bike and high end wheels.
If your answer is to consider an new bike do you have any thoughts between Madone, Specialized, Cervelo or Blue? That is about all can get here thru dealers. I have read about other brands on your site but have no idea how to order, test, etc.
Any help is most appreciated. Thanks for all that you do and for the great advice. Steve.
Hi Steve, The big problem when choosing a new bike is that it’s not always possible to get a test ride, although with frames of this quality you are going to get a top class bike, but the choice of frame and wheels is a toughie!
First can I say that if you can afford it try to go for the SRAM Red over the Force as it is superior. Get the best wheels you can afford, but I think you know this already!
As to the frame; we have ridden all the above except the Blue, which we don’t really know much about. The Trek Madone, Specialized and Cervelo bikes ride perfectly and all are around the same weight and the design proportions are very similar so the fit shouldn’t be a problem.
Personally I didn’t like Trek bikes until the advent of the Madone which was a big step forward for the Trek designers. I would say that the Trek, Specialized were impossible to choose between and the Cervelo had the edge due to its weight.
The newest Trek Madone(Series 6) has now taken the lead with its internal cables and futuristic tube shapes and it has a look and feel of a serious piece of work with style and handling second to none.
From its hidden head set down to the integral seat pin it’s been well thought through. Combine this with the other innovations and the top class finish, the Trek Madone is hard to beat.
Obviously the Madone 6.9 is the top offering with Shimano Dura-Ace and the deep section Aeolus carbon Bontrager wheels, this might be beyond your pocket, but would be the best way to get the best bike possible.
The best method for you maybe to buy frame, components and wheels separately, but you may find a better deal with a complete bike, check round the on-line shops, remember that you will have to pay postage and insurance and if you have a problem with anything the shop is not on your door-step. What do you think, Steve?