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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Road Bike recommendation

    I recently had a Cervelo S3 destroyed by a distracted driver on his phone. Thankfully a majority of the pain was inflicted on the bike.

    So now Iím hesitant to spend big bucks as I doubt Iíll return to regular road riding with the same frequency (100 miles/week).

    With that Iíd like to know what the group would recommend in the $1500-$2000 range (used price so 2-3.5k new). Requirements are comfort on 50 mile rides, Ultegra or better groupset as area has lots of short steep hills. Given itís the off season here most shops selection is really limited (even though Iím a 56).

    The little research Iíve done have got me leaning towards something like a Specialized Tarmac But would love to hear where others would spend their money.

  2. #2
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    Do you have any trail or lightly traveled gravel roads around? If you're gun shy about doing a lot of road riding maybe you want to explore other options as well in which case you should look at bikes that take big(er) tires.

    Generally speaking a gravel bike is only a tire swap away from being a perfectly capable road bike and visa versa.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Jay for the response. We do and Iíll probably get a 2nd wheelset to swap in for those rides. Hereís my best guess at how the non trainer riding will break down:

    50% rolling hills
    25% flat country roads
    15% crushed stone towpaths
    10% steep short hills

    The roads in general arenít paved very well so comfort is probably at the top of the list. Iím a former road racer and have done multi sport so something versatile is probably 2nd.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobsaget17 View Post
    The roads in general arenít paved very well so comfort is probably at the top of the list. Iím a former road racer and have done multi sport so something versatile is probably 2nd.
    Other than body position, which getting right should be a given, tires and tire size is primarily what makes a bike comfortable. All else equal bigger is more comfortable. So in this case comfort and versatility don't need to be viewed as separate priorities. The versatility of being able to use bigger tires will lead to more comfort.

  5. #5
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    1000000 options out there, but for the price point you are talking about I feel like the Cannondale CAAD12 is a great deal. I ride a different bike but have had multiple friends/family end up with a CAAD10 or CAAD12 over the last few years with high level of satisfaction. You'd be able to pick up a new one in your desired price range. Yeah, it's alloy, but none of the folks I know complain about comfort on it or anything like that.

    If used carbon... personally I ride a Scott Addict and see used ones with Ultegra going for your price range. I love the bike. Actually I have two, I'm a 56, and I need to get rid of one, dead serious, so I will PM you...

  6. #6
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    If you will be riding 15% on crushed stone towpaths and your roads "aren't paved very well" as you say, I think a gravel bike would be your best bet. Remember, you can put narrow tires on a gravel bike, but you cannot put wide tires on a road bike. And you will be surprised how fast some of these gravel bikes are. Don't trust me to tell you, test ride some for yourself and find out!

    There are many worthy gravel bike options out there. Specifically, I would look into the Jamis Renegade and GT Grade. They are both great bikes.
    ďStatistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.Ē -- 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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    85% riding on pavement, I would go for a road bike that can handle 700/28

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post
    85% riding on pavement, I would go for a road bike that can handle 700/28
    700x28 on crushed gravel is not nice. If it's a once in a great while thing, that is fine. But 15% no. Unless you like to slow down considerably on dirt/gravel roads, I would go for a bike that can fit 35mm or wider tires.
    ďStatistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.Ē -- 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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    Crushed stone is not the same as loose gravel.

    I tend to focus on the 85% rather than 15%

    Loose gravel, been there done that. My experience from Nebraska lowa and North Dakota loose gravel is that cars form 2 relatively clear lane where 28s are more than adequate

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