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  1. #1
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    Noob Looking for a Bike; Have a Few in Mind

    Hey y'all,

    I'm primarily an MTBer, so while I'm not technically a beginner, my knowledge is somewhat so. I have an 160mm Enduro bike, a 120mm Trail 29er, and currently have a 2014 Fuji Roubaix that's a little too big for me sitting on a trainer. On a good week, I'll ride 70 dirt miles, with 15k of climbing. Mainly for MTB purposes (fitness, base miles) I want a road bike good for a once a week 50+ and a once in a while century, at best. I live in Los Angeles, where we have plenty of great road climbs and descents, and a year-round riding season.

    I'm not too terribly hung up on Endurance vs Race geometry or weight but budget is a bit of a concern. Looking to stay under 2k, if at all possible, and the bikes below fit that description. Help me decide?

    Canyon Endurance CF SL Disc 7.0 $2,000 - carbon frame/fork, 105 drivetrain/disc brakes, DT Swiss E1800 wheels

    Orbea Orca M20i
    $2,000 - carbon frame/fork, Ultegra Di2(!) drivetrain, Ultegra rim brakes, Vision Team 30 Comp clincher wheels

    Pinarello Gan 105 Disc $1,850 - carbon frame/fork, 105 drivetrain, Shimano mech. disc brakes, Fulcrum Sports DB AFS wheels

    Ribble R872 Mavic SE $1,350 - carbon frame/fork, 105 drivetrain/rim brakes, Mavic Aksium wheels

    The Ribble looks like the best value with plenty of really good reviews, the Orca looks like the best spec, the Canyon looks sexy AF, and the Pinarello is the only one I actually got to throw a leg over, albeit a size too big. Pretty sure I'll be happy with any of these, but given the hive mind's knowledge of carbon, geometry, and reputation of these companies, what sets these apart? Any one of them jump out as a no brainer either way?

    And if there's a bike out there that I'm missing, I'm all ears.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    Not commenting on any of the bikes in particular, but expect to pay a fairly decent customs tariff on the Ribble bike.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Not commenting on any of the bikes in particular, but expect to pay a fairly decent customs tariff on the Ribble bike.
    Thanks for that. Never paid a tariff of any kind... any idea how much? $250?

  4. #4
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    I think the Canyon Endurance CF SL Disc 7.0 is your best bet. Hydraulic disc brakes, FULL Shimano 105 and Canyon has a good reputation.

    I would rule out the Orbea as it does not have a FULL Shimano Ultegra. They stuck in a cheapo FSA crankset. Also, I'm not a fan of e-shifting.

    I would rule out the Pinarello. Mechanical disc brakes suck. If you're going to get disc brakes, get hydraulic. Otherwise, stay with rim brakes.

    The Ribble's price is certainly right, but I would want to know who actually makes the frame. Ribble is a retailer, not a bike manufacturer. It's a re-badge. Those Aksium wheels aren't very good either, but you can't really complain for $1,290.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  5. #5
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    Thanks, Lombard. Sound thinking, exactly the kind of advice I was hoping for.

    Something completely different has popped up that I kind of ruled out before. 1400 for a steel RLT9. It's 23lbs, carbon Niner fork, Novatec CXD Wheelset, 105 drivetrain (including cranks), TRP Hydraulic brakes... Obviously a different class of bike for a different purpose, but how much does a bike like that give up to an actual road bike if I'm just using it to train, for right now. I'd imagine that if I got into club rides I'd need a real road rig, but that's probably not happening soon.



    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I think the Canyon Endurance CF SL Disc 7.0 is your best bet. Hydraulic disc brakes, FULL Shimano 105 and Canyon has a good reputation.

    I would rule out the Orbea as it does not have a FULL Shimano Ultegra. They stuck in a cheapo FSA crankset. Also, I'm not a fan of e-shifting.

    I would rule out the Pinarello. Mechanical disc brakes suck. If you're going to get disc brakes, get hydraulic. Otherwise, stay with rim brakes.

    The Ribble's price is certainly right, but I would want to know who actually makes the frame. Ribble is a retailer, not a bike manufacturer. It's a re-badge. Those Aksium wheels aren't very good either, but you can't really complain for $1,290.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kragu View Post
    Thanks, Lombard. Sound thinking, exactly the kind of advice I was hoping for.

    Something completely different has popped up that I kind of ruled out before. 1400 for a steel RLT9. It's 23lbs, carbon Niner fork, Novatec CXD Wheelset, 105 drivetrain (including cranks), TRP Hydraulic brakes... Obviously a different class of bike for a different purpose, but how much does a bike like that give up to an actual road bike if I'm just using it to train, for right now. I'd imagine that if I got into club rides I'd need a real road rig, but that's probably not happening soon.
    Is the RLT9 really only $1,400? That's a Reynolds 853 steel frame you're getting and as you say, full 105. I just got a steel Jamis Renegade Exploit last summer and love it. It really doesn't feel much slower than either of my road bikes. I would definitely test ride one and see what you think.

    Need a "real road rig" for club rides? Um, no. It's all in the engine.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  7. #7
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    Thanks for that. Sounds like a real possibility, then. It's a guy in my neighborhood. Thing is in immaculate condition.

    As far as a test ride, they all feel excessively efficient compared to my FS rigs. Hah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Is the RLT9 really only $1,400? That's a Reynolds 853 steel frame you're getting and as you say, full 105. I just got a steel Jamis Renegade Exploit last summer and love it. It really doesn't feel much slower than either of my road bikes. I would definitely test ride one and see what you think.

    Need a "real road rig" for club rides? Um, no. It's all in the engine.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kragu View Post
    Thanks for that. Sounds like a real possibility, then. It's a guy in my neighborhood. Thing is in immaculate condition.

    As far as a test ride, they all feel excessively efficient compared to my FS rigs. Hah.
    I would always test ride before you buy. It may look great on paper, but the test ride is "showtime". In other words, what you like the ride and feeling of is subjective.

    Anorher thing is to make sure the fit feels right. If you're not buying the bike at a shop, I would go to a shop and pay them to give you a proper fit where they put you and your bike on their trainer, watch you pdeal and make adjustments to dial in your fit just right. It will probably cost you around $100-200 if you didn't buy the bike from them, but a bike that fits you jusr right is well worth it and will prevent injury down the road.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  9. #9
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    If you grab the Niner, you might find yourself doing some gravel riding also

  10. #10
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    Well, I did grab the Niner. It’s in immaculate condition, with the wheel upgrade, carbon post, and TRP HY/RD brakes. Stoked on it for sure.

    I wasn't planning on getting a gravel grinder right now, but it just means I'll have to make the Fuji work for a little longer. For what I paid, I'm confident I did this right.

    Last edited by kragu; 1 Week Ago at 07:43 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Not commenting on any of the bikes in particular, but expect to pay a fairly decent customs tariff on the Ribble bike.
    I looked it up and its 11%. I imported a Colnago Arabesque frame/fork into the U.S. from the UK a couple years ago and recall paying about that amount. I didn't have to pay sales tax (which is 6% where I live), so the import duty really wasn't that significant.

    I've bought a lot of stuff from Ribble and been pleased with it. As someone pointed out, Mavic Askium wheels are a low end $120 wheel set, but they'll work OK. A lot of bikes that cost twice that much come with crummy wheels. It's nice that you can somewhat customize the bike (bar size, stem length, crank length -- pay $35 for the better tires). As far as who manufacturers it, probably the same factories in Asia where all the rest of them come from. Ribble is a reputable outfit, they don't sell junk.

  12. #12
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    Thanks! Given what I paid for the gravel bike, there might be room in the budget for an inexpensive bike like the Ribble, if I ride the Niner enough and find it lacking on pavement.

    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I looked it up and its 11%. I imported a Colnago Arabesque frame/fork into the U.S. from the UK a couple years ago and recall paying about that amount. I didn't have to pay sales tax (which is 6% where I live), so the import duty really wasn't that significant.

    I've bought a lot of stuff from Ribble and been pleased with it. As someone pointed out, Mavic Askium wheels are a low end $120 wheel set, but they'll work OK. A lot of bikes that cost twice that much come with crummy wheels. It's nice that you can somewhat customize the bike (bar size, stem length, crank length -- pay $35 for the better tires). As far as who manufacturers it, probably the same factories in Asia where all the rest of them come from. Ribble is a reputable outfit, they don't sell junk.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kragu View Post
    Well, I did grab the Niner. It’s in immaculate condition, with the wheel upgrade, carbon post, and TRP HY/RD brakes. Stoked on it for sure.

    I wasn't planning on getting a gravel grinder right now, but it just means I'll have to make the Fuji work for a little longer. For what I paid, I'm confident I did this right.

    You made out like a bandit. Sweet! I definitely like the orange better than the blue I see in so many review pics. Contrasts nicely with the silver.

    Another nice thing about gravel bikes is that they expand your tire choices. For paved-only centuries, you can run slicks. For rides with considerable off-road sections, you can run something a bit more aggressive with side knobs.

    This being said, I've found the Clement X'Plor MSOs on my gravel bike roll pretty fast, yet have pretty good traction. One thing to note is that if you're not going to run tubeless, don't get the tubeless compatible version as it will feel harsher than then non-tubeless version.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  14. #14
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    Congrats on the Niner. Great bike!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kragu View Post
    Well, I did grab the Niner. It’s in immaculate condition, with the wheel upgrade, carbon post, and TRP HY/RD brakes. Stoked on it for sure.

    I wasn't planning on getting a gravel grinder right now, but it just means I'll have to make the Fuji work for a little longer. For what I paid, I'm confident I did this right.

    That's a really nice bike.

    Being "road bike" or "gravel bike" is all about tires. You don't need to make the Fuji work. Just get some road tires.
    I have a steel "gravel bike" myself and it's every bit as capable on the road with the right tires.

  16. #16
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    Good to know. Most every road in my area is asphalt... Tire choice in the MTB would can be a can of worms, as I'd imagine it is in the road world too, but there's a a bit of a consensus around a particular Maxxis combo in my area. Anything like that happening in the road tire world? The bike has some 32c Specialized Roubaix Pro on them now with plenty of life left.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    That's a really nice bike.

    Being "road bike" or "gravel bike" is all about tires. You don't need to make the Fuji work. Just get some road tires.
    I have a steel "gravel bike" myself and it's every bit as capable on the road with the right tires.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kragu View Post
    Good to know. Most every road in my area is asphalt... Tire choice in the MTB would can be a can of worms, as I'd imagine it is in the road world too, but there's a a bit of a consensus around a particular Maxxis combo in my area. Anything like that happening in the road tire world? The bike has some 32c Specialized Roubaix Pro on them now with plenty of life left.
    OCD and pedantry is rampant in the road world so yes there's something a lot like no consensus.
    But it's not rocket surgery. Light, no tread and plush for going fast on good roads and adjust to tougher and tread (or not) accordingly as riding demands call for.

    For reference I used 25 or 28mm Vittoria Corsa for regular road racing/riding and Challenge 33mm Almanzo for pretty much anything else I'm likely to get tangled up in.

    The 33mm tires would be fine for everything if I were to ride alone all the time but sometimes I need all the speed I can get so go with something more suited purely for speed on regular roads.
    Last edited by Jay Strongbow; 1 Week Ago at 02:20 PM.

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