Hot!Opinions wanted on next bike.

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LessPaul
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2017/05/15 07:22:29 (permalink)

Opinions wanted on next bike.

Half talking out loud to self and asking questions (Apologies if you already read this on another popular forum): 

My wife and I bought used SWBs a decade ago. I have a 2003 V-Rex, which has been in storage due to health reasons for a number of years along with her 2003 Giro 20. This winter I discovered Zwift, and have put in 1400 miles since Christmas with the assistance of Bentrider alumni helping tweak seat position.

Noon last Friday I went for my first road ride of the season with the local bike club. Friday evening I spent getting my hip x-rayed after coming down on my side due to a confluence of adjusting jersey sleeve and loose gravel on the asphalt. Bike is fine. No broken bones, but I'm on crutches for a few days while a bruised hip and ego heals.

I've never been as happy with the V-Rex as I am with my wife's Giro because the V-Rex has:
* Twitchy handling -- due to hamster bars?
* Shorter wheelbase -- how much does 4" contribute to handling? 
* A higher seat -- I have a 30" inseam and putting my feet on the ground at stop/start is a challenge
* Slightly heavier

I have promised Mrs LP that I'm not getting back on the road until I address stability. The seat height and weight are not ideal, but those alone are not enough to tip the balance one way or another. 

I can see two paths: Convert V-Rex to tweeners or purchase a Bacchetta Giro.

The Upgrade Option: Will tweeners give my V-Rex Giro-level stability, or is that 4+" wheelbase difference an important factor. 
PS: I have the mechanical aptitude and tool resources to do it myself.

The Replace Option:
Due to the low resale value of the V-Rex I might just retire it to dedicated trainer usage. Picking a Giro brings a host of other questions:
- Frame and fork: Steel vs Aluminum vs Basso GS
- Rim vs disk brakes
- Fixed vs adjustable handlebar
- Recurve vs Euromesh seat vs upcoming new seat
- Wheels 406/559 vs 406/700 (and tires 32c vs 28c)

The Upgrade/Replace option: Upgrade V-Rex and wait till new V3 seat is available. 

Also - I'm 5"8", 150 lbs, 30" inseam, x-seam under 40" (estimate)
#1

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    timturner
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    Re: Opinions wanted on next bike. 2017/05/15 07:57:36 (permalink)
    I went down on Saturday on my CA2...
    I was at the back of a small group.  The corner surprised us, "Oh we're suppose to turn here!".  It was wet and I hadn't used my brakes in a long time, so my carbon rims were wet.  
    I squeezed the brakes and nothing happened.  So I really squeezed and slowed down enough to make the corner safely.  Suddenly the rims dried and the wheels locked up, putting me into a skid.  I managed to correct enough to go over the opposite side.  By then I was barely moving.  Mostly just a bruised hip and some scrapes.  
     
    My point is, I probably wouldn't have had any issues with disk brakes.  or if the road was dry and/or not chip seal.
    However, other than riding in wet conditions, I'm not sure disks are that much better.
     
    I'm 5' 8.5" and ride a 700c CA2.
    I do miss the height of my old 650c CA1 sometimes.
     
    The Carbon frames put you closer to the ground, since they don't have the adjustable mounting bracket in between the seat and the frame.
    So my CA2 700c is only a bit higher than my Corsa 650c.
    Also the carbon seat will closer to the ground than the other seats.  The Recurve is comparatively much higher.
     
    If you can swing a 650c CA3, you'll be very happy with the size.  Also they have options to run any wheels you want -700c, 650c and even 24 and 20 inch with the use of disk brakes- and still be able to ride it.
    If you with the Corsa/Giro frame, you'll probably want to stick with 650c or smaller.  A dual 24 inch bike would be really fun to ride. You can even do a 650c rear and 24 inch front.  Although if you plan on going with a smaller front wheel, the Basso frame will handle really nice.  I can ride my Giro 20 with no hands while pedaling.  It was even more stable with a 24 inch wheel on the front (559 on the rear).
     
    Go with the carbon frame if you can swing it.  Otherwise the Aluminum is only about a pound or 1.5lbs heavier.  I think the Steel has a higher weight limit?
     
    T

    Team Bacchetta

    #2
    thecanoe
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    Re: Opinions wanted on next bike. 2017/05/15 17:28:35 (permalink)
    What Tim said. I don't know your budget, but, if you can swing for a carbon frame, go for it. I ride 650C Ti Aero with a recurve adapted to. Not too much of a problem touching the ground. I have some inside info on the Euro 3.
    You'll love the seat and it does put you a little lower to the ground for stopping ease. As far as fixed or adjustable handlebars, I prefer the fixed. Makes the whole bike feel solid.

    Larry

    Ti Aero
    Surly Moonlander fat bike
    Santa Cruz Tallboy carbon 29er
    Bassyak (for stripers and blues)
    #3
    Doc Dan
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    Re: Opinions wanted on next bike. 2017/05/15 21:40:04 (permalink)
    FWIW I have the Ti Aero (650) and CA2 (700).  I'll be getting the CA3 this Thursday.  
     
    CA3: I'll be putting a disc brake on the rear.  Rim brake up front.  The rear wheel will be custom made by QBP and it will be 650.  I'm using the Bacchetta Johnson fork for the front (650).  
     
    I like 650's because I'm steeply reclined (4-8%) using a (modified) Kent Polk Railgun seat and a custom made rotating (up and down) tiller with custom made handlebars (mini-bullhorn bars further shortened in width by 120 mm - welded).  The flat of my foot hits the ground when I stop.  I don't feel like I'm a human suppository (CB Vendetta) when I mount, stop or exit the bike.
     
    SRAM R2C levers.  175 cm cranks.  
     
    I don't race the bike like Tim because I'm too scared of crashing or falling or dropping dead of heart failure.  
     
    I will probably never go down due to rain or gravel.  
     
    I will probably get clipped from behind by a texting, gum-chewing teenager.  
     
    I've lived a good life.  
     
    I'm entirely sober when typing this.
    #4
    Crit Rider
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    Re: Opinions wanted on next bike. 2017/05/17 14:03:43 (permalink)
    You crack me up Dan!
     
    I am going CA3 as well. Between going to shorter cranks (170) and extending my legs a bit over the years to find more power, my Euromesh seat is awfully close to the rear brake. Going to a TRP Spyre in the back will eliminate that issue. I have only had issues melting pads on rim brakes on over 20% descents, with hard turns, on 650c wheels, in temps over 95f, and when I was 190-200#. At under 180 now, and on 700c, I don't really think I need discs, but its nice to know I will not have to worry about braking power, and I can go to carbon rims if I want too. Discs are the future. Looking forward to a seat pate that does not need drilling, easier set bolt access, and a straighter chain line too.  Pondering eTap.  
    #5
    Crit Rider
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    Re: Opinions wanted on next bike. 2017/05/17 14:17:52 (permalink)
    To the OP: I have never ridden a V-rex, but the Giro 20s I have ridden where all very stable. Its one of the most predictable and nimble bents out there. Personally I like more wheelbase on SWB bikes. :-) It feels like you are one with the bike more the more offset there is between your inner ears and the rear axle. 
     
    Seat: What angle you at now and do you want to recline more (go faster)?
    Tires: Mostly a function of the surfaces you ride on. I'd go narrower, like 25c, but on a wide rim at your weight. Only need to go wider for soft surfaces. 700 (622) and 406 give you a few more fast choices than 559. 
    Frame: Here you get what you pay for in ride quality and weight. The carbon frames feel like magic on rough surfaces, the aluminum is pretty good but not as well damped and heavier. 
    Brakes: at your weight, rim brakes are fine even on extreme descents. What you would get with discs is a lot less variability with moisture.  
     
    Cheers,
    JV
    #6
    LessPaul
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    Re: Opinions wanted on next bike. 2017/05/18 06:53:42 (permalink)
    Thanks all. Yesterday, after reading all the feedback here and another forum, as well as help from Mark Colliton I ordered a Small Giro A20 with 26/20 wheels, ReCurve seat, and misc other goodies. 
    My thinking went along these lines:
    I have short legs for my 5'9" height, with 30" inseam 40" x-seam, which fit-wise puts me on a small frame, which is offered in the A20. The pricing on the A20 is much more wallet friendly than any of the carbon fiber bikes, in fact so much so that I may very well add a set of 700/402 Vueltas in the future, and/or a lighter seat for brisker rides. (My go FAST days are long gone). The A20's disc brakes make wheel swapping far easier.  
    For most of my riding, the stock setup makes great sense, so I went with Mark C's 80 percent rule -- buy what best fits the majority of your intended usage, and if I find I "need" more speed, (or lighter weight for long, supported tours) the options are within reach. 
    #7
    thecanoe
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    Re: Opinions wanted on next bike. 2017/05/19 15:36:52 (permalink)
    Great choice. Just remember to give it time to adjust to the bike, seat, starting and stopping etc.
    My mountain bike club uses that 80% rule too. But it goes like this. " If we return with 80% of the riders, it's a success"

    Larry

    Ti Aero
    Surly Moonlander fat bike
    Santa Cruz Tallboy carbon 29er
    Bassyak (for stripers and blues)
    #8
    LessPaul
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    Re: Opinions wanted on next bike. 2017/05/19 16:48:46 (permalink)
    thecanoe
    Great choice. Just remember to give it time to adjust to the bike, seat, starting and stopping etc.

    My day 1 will be little more than parking lot riding for just that reason.
    thecanoe
    My mountain bike club uses that 80% rule too. But it like this. " If we return with 80% of the riders, it's a success"

    :-D
    #9
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