Drop bar bike for casual/fitness riding, suggestions please!
I currently have a flat-bar hybrid, but I think I would like a drop bar bike.
I use my hybrid for getting around a bit but mainly for fitness rides where I like to try and go fast (for me). I find myself trying to crouch to eliminate wind resistance and it kind of works but is obviously awkward on flat bars.
Here is what I think I'd like:
- Drop bars
- Clearance for 32mm (at least) tires - some paths around here are poorly maintained... though I may also try thinner tires
- Fender mountability
- Platform pedals for safety in traffic and convenience. I will likely add some MTB type flats. Goofy, I know, but whatever.
I don't need anything super high performance nor am I looking for a hipster bike necessarily. I want to be faster than on flat bars but still reasonably comfortable. I don't have a limited budget and would like to maybe buy something a little better than what I need so that I don't have to buy twice.
I was thinking maybe some kind of touring bike or maybe a CX bike? Is that a good way to go?
I was considering a Giant TCX 1. Any other ideas?
CX sounds like a great fit for your needs. I use one as both a commuter and for when I ride rougher roads. More upright position for comfort, wider tires for traction. If you get some with cross levers it allows you to brake from the flats as well which is nice. Problem with cross levers is they can make mounting lights on your bars iffy. As for which one to get, sounds like you may not be real clear on what you need. I suggest checking out some LBSs and see what they say. Most bikes in any given range will be mostly comparable so get what feels right and speaks to you. Figure out a basic budget to tell the shop, give them your needs, and test ride some bikes. One decision you will need to make is SRAM vs Shimano (and of course Campy). All are fine quality so try both and see what you like.
Specialized Allez Comp Apex- '12 56cm
Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro- '12 56cm
I think your intended uses are very much aligned with the CX bike category.
As far as choices, there are a few.. Specialized Tricross, Kona Jake/ Jake the snake.. Trek offers their line. Nothing against Giant and I may have missed something, but the TCX 1 seems a tad pricey for the specs.
Other than that, pretty much standard advice - visit shops, discuss your intended uses/ goals, price range. Get sized/ fitted and head out (on the roads) for test rides.
Along with drivetrain choices, in your price range you'll also have a choice of disc and canti brakes. IMO there are advantages and disadvantages to both, so (as with most things) research, ride and fall on one side or the other.
Yeah, I guess I'm not totally clear on what I want, partially because I am looking some something less road-ish than a roadbike and that CX might make the most sense even though I'm not doing CX!
As for disc vs canti, for this kind of riding I'm not sure I care. I had cantis on a MTB I used as a commuter when I was in highschool and they were fine, and so are the disc brakes on my 29er...
Thanks for the guidance, I will check out the local LBS-es.
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