Confused Moutain Biker (roadie help)

Discussion in 'The Roadie Hangout' started by coolbreeze, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. coolbreeze

    coolbreeze Looking for the gun show?

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    Been contemplating on getting a road bike for some time now, but too scared of cars. I have a few friends who are road bikers, but stay on trails and can get in a good 60-80 miles. Not sure how much truth to that, but got me more interested. Anyway, just got my wife a starter road bike and I might pull the trigger on one some time in the near future. Can someone help explain to me what the difference between a regular road bike, a time trial bike and a triathlon bike? Seems like the TT and Tri bikes are way cheaper for some reason. Also, how's Campagnolo compared to SRAM and Shimano? Thanks!!!
     
  2. mtnbikerfred

    mtnbikerfred Super Moderator

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    TT and Tri bikes are set up for shorter rides in very aggressive aero positions. Regular road bikes will come in a couple of geometry "styles": Race and touring/endurance. The kind of riding you do and performance YOU expect will dictate which is best for you: DO NOT let some bike sales-scum sell you a bike that doesn't fit you (size), or YOUR needs.

    Ask yourself "how far/long" do I plan to go on each ride? Do I like to climb and descend more than laying down long miles? Are multi-day/thousands of ft in my future? These factors *can* influence your decision to choose one over the other.

    Shimano, SRAM, and Campy all make VERY NICE components. Campy DOES NOT make cheap components, so unless you're going deep into 4 figures, stick with the others. Shimano OWNS the electronic shifting world right now, and the trickle down to their mid line (Ultegra) is a GREAT value. That said, anything SRAM Apex or Shimano 105 and above does not suck either. I Choose STI over double tap. YRWETHYW... Just don't expect stuff on the $700 bike to work as nice as the $1500 bike.

    If (when) you get a road bike, come out and do a club ride in the "b-group". You'll learn Peloton etiquette, and that the safest place to be around cars is is the middle of the group.
     
  3. genusmtbkr5

    genusmtbkr5 STR Moderator

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    I'm no roadie expert by all means but I'm sure some on here can give you more info on differences than I can. But what I do know from watching the TDF, TT bikes are more aerodynamic and designed to go mostly straight. It's a thin profile.

    I can't really tell you much about a tri bike.

    As far as components like Fred mentioned, Campagnolo are usually high end and expensive. If you're just riding around paved trails, you'll be fine with Shimano 105. Also, find a bike with triple rings in front as most road bikes only have 2 rings in front or one with a compact(rings not as big). Example, my road bike has a 53/39 in front, my roommates's bike has a compact and is 50/34. Check this thread for more on that:
    http://www.socaltrailriders.org/forum/roadie-hangout/62742-casual-road-bike-question.html


    It's true. Due to very low to zero resistance, you can do about 3-4 times the distance you would in dirt. Much like comparing riding a fire road to a chunky/technical single track. Also, your average speed is double or more so you can cover more distances in less time as dirt. I've done over 60 miles on my road bike AFTER working all night:
    http://www.socaltrailriders.org/forum/roadie-hangout/50131-playa-del-rey-zuma-beach.html. No way I could do that distance in dirt after working all night.

    Here's a good threads on:
    http://www.socaltrailriders.org/forum/roadie-hangout/68465-road-bike-suggestions.html & http://www.socaltrailriders.org/forum/roadie-hangout/66918-budget-road-bike-recommendation.html
     
  4. bvader

    bvader Long Live The Gorn!

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    If it your first road bike don't get a TT bike get a nice comfortable normal / endurance road bike ... Getting fit too is probably a good idea . Simple truth If it is not comfortable / proper fit you will not ride it much nor enjoy it.
    And when I say comfort and fit I don't mean old man / woman bike straight up with couch seat but I also don't mean laid out full race or full forward tri....not sure that makes sense
     
  5. DM Rides

    DM Rides Bruise Bunny

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    DOOETT!! :clap:

    To answer your question about mileage on bike paths, SART (not the one up north, but the one that parallels or crosses fwys and ends in HB), can get you at least 45 miles without ever being on the road. And you can get a good headwind (or tailwind) leading to either a tougher (or more fun/faster) workout.

    And have your Better Half contact me if she's looking for a chick ride. :bang:
     
  6. Bullseye

    Bullseye New Member

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    TT and Tri bikes are the same. They put your body in a very aero and efficient position. I'll disagree with mtnbikefred just a little... this position can be very comfortable for long periods. HOWEVER, this position is not the best for climbing, descending, cornering, dodging obstacles. You do not want your only road bike to be a TT bike!

    As mtnbikefred noted, road bikes tend to come in two flavors: race geometry and endurance geometry... either one is fine, whatever you test and like. Endurance geometry tends to be more laid-back in the handling department and more stable. Personally, I hate it. Most "Race" geometry bikes are actually pretty stable once you get used to them. Some more expensive models of "Endurance" bikes feature shock absorbing features that might be nice on long rides.


    Go for SRAM or Shimano... way more common these days. Cheaper and easy to find compatible parts, etc.
     
  7. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors Climbing > desending

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    Just like a mountain bike, you need to hop on and ride various makes/models/geometries to figure out what makes sense for you. Personally, since I like to do mileage and climbing together I got an endurance geometry bike. Many will say it's low end, but the bottom line is that for $1,200 out the door I can do what I wanted it for and be pretty durned comfortable with it. Since February when I bought it, I've done two 100-mile rides and several 70-80 mile rides and have never been sore or felt beaten up. For the record, it's a Cannondale Synapse 5, aluminum, with 105 components mostly.

    You can easily to 65 miles on a bike path. Either Santa Ana River from HB to Green River Road and back (62 miles round trip, one stoplight and that only crossing a driveway) or San Gabriel River Trail from Seal Beach to San Gabriel Canyon and back (roughly 70 miles). The downside of a bike path is it's flat except for going under bridges.

    I've found that riding road when it involves serious climbs does wonders for my endurance on a mountain bike. YMMV. Best of luck and be careful....long road rides are addicting.
     
  8. coolbreeze

    coolbreeze Looking for the gun show?

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    Thanks everyone for the input. Much appreciate it as I'm still trying to educate myself on all the new road bike technologies. I had a Schwinn 10 speed (road bike) when I was in Junior High and rode it everywhere, but now there are a few million more cars. I'm still a bit confused on why TT/Tri bikes are like 1/3 the cost??? I live by South Coast Plaza and my house is just 1.5 miles from SART. I have been taking my wife on the beach cruisers all the way to Main St. HB once a week and she loves it. We picked up a Giant Avail 5 for her from the Path over the weekend and took it out on Monday. She had never ridden a bike without coaster brakes her entire life, so it was somewhat of a painful learning curve. 1 mile into the ride and she ran a curb (going around a car) and almost ate crap. She recovered well, but resulted in 2 flats. I brought spare tubes and changed them out quickly and we continued on to SART. On the way back she tried to pedal backwards to brake and ran into a fence and fell on her ass. Luckily she didn't break any bones. DAWN, please PM me your number and I'll definitely have her call you. I know you gals would definitely help her confidence more than I.
     
  9. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors Climbing > desending

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    They're not. Using Trek as an example, their cheapest Tri/TT bike (from Jax, anyway) is $2K and the cheapest 105 equipped road bike is $1,300.
     
  10. Wrecker

    Wrecker Member

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    Everyone seems to have hit some some great points. I love Campy because it's great in a sprint, but when you break a chain on a climb and no one has the special Campy chain tool, it sucks arse.

    TT bikes are slightly different than the tri bikes, though some use them interchangeably. In short, the tri bike is built more for distance riding, such as what you would expect in a triathalon. The TT bike is for shorter distances (a long TT would be in the 20-30 mile range). The TT position is more aggressive because you want max power for a short time. The position of both bikes takes a bit of time to adjust. They typically use more of the hamstring/glut, though these muscles should be used in any bike. They also put you in an aero position, which gives you an artificial kyphosis type shape, putting pressure on your lower back over time (the tri bike is not as much like this, as it is more for a longer distance). The TT bike is also meant to be something of an aero bullet - flying straight. They do not turn well.

    A good road bike can get you the best of the aero position without as much pressure on your lower back, especially if you use the drops when you really want to kick it up a notch.

    To put it in the perspective of mountain bikes, a TT would be like an 8" DH bike - you can use it for other things, but it's not as effective and you may suffer more. A standard road bike is like an XC bike that can cover most terrain on the road. Whatever you do, DO NOT GET THE GEL beach cruiser seat unless you want to spend your summer lancing sores.

    As for trails, there are several that have been mentioned. If you start at the right time, SART will give you a headwind from a start in HB to finish (I think the winds change around 10-11am). Irvine has several bike trails which can take you from the canyon down to Newport. Santiago Canyon is actually a nice ride during the week and patrolled pretty well. Amber Neben trains out on this road (or she used to train there).

    Be careful, you will love it, especially after jumping into a group and winning your first sprint. Before you know it, you will be riding the Sunday morning race rides, then you'll hit the Great Park crit on Thursdays, and soon you'll be doing the San Dimas stage race. It's an illness, I tell ya. It's a VERY contagious disease. :/
     
  11. ridinrox

    ridinrox Well-Known Member

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    Ha ha...can't wait to see you in a kit!! :lol:

    P.S. Listen to Wrecker, she knows what she's talking about...she could be your race coach too!! :wave:
     
  12. Pilas

    Pilas Member

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    The previous posts have pretty much covered everything, by here are my thoughts. Unless you are planning on racing, stay away from aggressive geometry. Most manufacturers offer a racing frame and a more comfortable endurance one. Go with the endurance one. Carbon offers a smother ride and its more durable, but there are also some nice aluminum bikes out there.
    If you can afford it, I would go for something in the mid range. A cheap road bike will work OK if all you want to do is to log some miles on the road, but if you start joining group rides it may make it harder for you to stay with the pack... Most manufacturers offer nice frames with 105 level components (sorry not familiar with Campy or Sram) which are good enough for recreational riding/training. If you ever get the itch to race or simply want to go faster you can always upgrade, starting with the wheels and then the other components.
    In any case, make sure you find a bike that fits you right, and most importantly enjoy the riding.
     
  13. rjrbignell

    rjrbignell owed a living

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    First, tt and tri bikes are not the same thing, but regardless, for your first bike, it's not what you should be looking for.
    Expect to pay anywhere from 1100 to 2500 depending on the features you're looking for on an entry-level/low-mid-range road bike(aluminum frame vs. carbon frame ... 105/apex vs. ultegra/rival groupsets)
    There are typrically two types of geometry: race vs. endurance ( for specialized the race is the tarmac the endurance is the roubaix, for giant the race is the tcr and the endurance is the defy, and for trek the race is the madone and the endurance is the domane) TRY BOTH STYLES AND MULTIPLE BRANDS for the best fit.
    Clipless pedals are a MUST on a road bike. I recommend speedplay, I've tried everything else out there and they are by far the best all-around road pedal.
    Don't bother with a triple ring in the front, it's heavier, noisier, and makes shifting much more sloppy and less precise (on a road bike you should only need a triple if you are doing loaded touring). Go for a "compact" crankset; it's a lower geared chainring set made less for the racers and more for the rest of us.
    Pick a bike that looks good to you. Sure you might get a deal in an ugly color, but you're more likely to ride it if you think you look like a badass on it.
    Lastly, before your purchase make sure the bike is in fact the right size for you and then get a professional fit at the shop you purchased it at in a comfortable position for your riding style.
    Also, if you haven't been riding with padded shorts on your mountain bike, get some for your road bike; it's a totally different game.
    GOODLUCK
     
  14. UR2KLOS

    UR2KLOS Senior Member

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    Another thing. Shimano and SRAM have different brake-shifter levers and they are both very different from mtn bikes. Some people hate 1 style and love the other so try them both.
     
  15. Waldo

    Waldo Lebowski Urban Achiever

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    My $.02...
    +1 on Shimano or Sram, and once you get above Shimano's 105 or Sram's Apex or Rival lines, the quality will be very good. Try both - it'll be a matter of personal preference. I like Sram's positive (some say notchy) shifting and the fact that their brake levers only move fore/aft, not L-R.

    Carbon or steel frames will be more comfy over longer rides. Many aluminum frames include carbon forks, seatstays, and seatposts to smooth the bumps and chatter somewhat, but that's not the same as an all-carbon frame, and some of those seatposts are simply alloy with a carbon wrap.

    I also agree with a double crankset (sorry, Gene) for the better shifting. As a MTBer at heart, I enjoy climbing on the road bike, so a compact crank (50/34t chainrings) combned with an 11-27 cassette gives me enough range for almost anything. Once in a while I find myself on a fast downhill wishing for more top end, but more often I'm glad to have the lower range for climbing. If you aspire to crits or want to win signpost sprints with the Saturday group, get a standard crank; otherwise compact is nice.

    Finally, there are miles and miles of good off-street bike paths in OC, as well as some streets and times of the day/week when traffic is light. The only problem is that many good bike paths don't connect with each other, so you may have to mix it up on the street a little to link them. But I can easily do 30-50 miles without dealing with cars much at all, and with a little planning you can stretch that even more. OCTA has their bikeway map here, though many of these are simply bike lanes on regular roads. OC Bike Coalition has some info on their site, and of course Geoladders, MapMyRide, and Strava are all useful for researching & planning routes.

    Have fun!
     
  16. da big hills

    da big hills happy night trails

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    my 2 cents:
    big 53t, I never shift from the big ring unless everything else fails.
    Carbon vs Chromo. about one pound and $5oo dollars, but carbon is so smooth
    Any road groupo is fine, you do not shift under load on the road. Brifters are the bomb.

    Happy fast long climb road rides
     
  17. genusmtbkr5

    genusmtbkr5 STR Moderator

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    I've never tried a triple crankset, just thought he try it since he may want the range. I've ridden nothing but a double crank myself with a 53/39 & 11-25 in the back). With that, I can climb everything with that including Fargo St. (34% grade) straight up without zig zagging ;)

    Lots of really nice long very scenic routes in the Santa Monica's as well with long climbs like Malibu Canyon, Decker, Mulholland, Latigo Canyon, Encinal Canyon Rd, Kanan Dume, Topanga Canyon. If you ever get a chance to ride there, do so. I prefer it to riding than in OC, but only on weekdays.

    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/copy/157904215/

    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/copy/21042758/

    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/copy/21042270/

    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/copy/20945850/
     
  18. ericfoltz

    ericfoltz Active Member

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  19. BROWNIE

    BROWNIE I'm good at recess!

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  20. herzalot

    herzalot Well-Known Member

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    Outstanding - a must-read for anyone who rides both road and mtb. Roadie culture is really unique - except among roadies - where herd mentality seems to breed clones of type-A personalities. Someone above said choose a bike that makes you look like a badass - I think that's virtually impossible when your objective is to weigh 122lbs, shave your legs and wear spandex. I guess you might look like a badass to other roadies... "Check it out, he has no arms at all - I am soooo jealous!" In the right light, you can see all the way through Andy Schleck, without aid of an x-ray. Badass indeed!

    Don't get me wrong - I believe even moderately addicted roadies are 10x more courageous (and fit) than I am, and I love seeing someone pounding out of the saddle up Newport Coast - still in the drops. Better you than me.

    To the OP - sounds like you got good advice. Go grab one and start your ride reports. I look forward to reading your thoughts as you make the transition.
     

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