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New bike(s) saga.....
Last Post 06/04/2022 07:52 PM by Cosmic Kid. 37 Replies.
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Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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05/26/2022 12:16 PM
Buckle up....long post to follow!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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05/26/2022 12:54 PM
OK....so after my RD broke on my trip to FL last month, I decided I was gonna get a new bike. I was tired of playing product manager and scrimping together stuff I could find on deals or through buddies. The FSA drivetrain that I have been riding was great....until there was an issue. And then you can't find a shop who really knows the system, and if FSA can't help you over the phone, you are kinda SOL.

So began the search....and there were many, many changes to the criteria. At first, it was just gonna be a travel bike w/ mechanical stuff, both shifting and discs. Was looking at a Giant TCR frame with Microshift components that I could probably build up for less than $3K.

But then when I got the replacement RD for the FSA, I have struggled to get it to work right. Pretty much limited to ~8 cogs out of 11 (and after today's ride, it was down to ~4). So I said "screw it, I'm getting a new top end bike" and started looking around for that. Not a lot to be found....especially given my requirements for a bike that is red (or has very strong red elements).

The biggest problem I was running into was the prevalence of integrated front ends... I need an option that is both narrower and longer than what comes spec'd on the bikes. And just about every bike at the level I am looking at has an integrated front end.

But then I found a Trek Emonda w/ Ultegra mechanical out in Algonquin, IL....about an hour away. It only has a semi-integrated front (external cabels that go inside of the head tube) and uses a regular alloy bar and stem. Cool, I can swap that out easy enough...it was a size bigger than my current bike, which was probably OK as I wanted to be a bit more stretched out and a tad higher. Put a deposit on it....but then the damn virus found our family and we isolated for a week (luckily no one else got it besides my daughter).

During that time, I saw Excel got in a shipment of 12 spd Ultegra Di2 kits....well why was I investing in outdated technology (mechanical 11 spd) which would only make maintenance more challenging in the upcoming years. So I pulled the trigger, ordered the stuff and had the LBS order the Giant TCR frame. This was good ebcause I had been wanting to buy a bike from them, but nothing ever seemed to work out. BUT....the frame was plain carbon. I justifed by saying I could bling it out with red tape, saddle, cages, etc.

But the Trek still had the deposit, and it was black / red......hmmmm. So I went out and looked at it. The fit was HORRIBLE. bars were too wide and too high, saddle wasn't in the right palce, etc. I could not get a handle on whether the size woudl work for me. So I panicked and told them I would get back to them later in the week.

Now, you are probably putting this together and saying "JFC, CK...why are you now looking at TWO top end bikes?!?!" and my wife would have been right there with you! And it would have been complete extravagance. But the total outlay was still gonna be less than a true top end bike and I wouldn't have to jack around with integrated front ends.

And I'll leave it there for now....gotta get some work done. more to come.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Dale

Posts:1767

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05/26/2022 01:24 PM
The struggle is real... I had a flat tire and bought a new Chevy Silverado.
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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05/26/2022 02:03 PM
Yes, the struggle is real. I'm still contemplating whether I should bring one or two bikes on my upcoming road/bike trip. Two is kind of a pain in the ass since I'd have to fit them in back (security and weather reasons) but with a number of harsh rides planned perhaps the safer option should one break down.
Habanero

Posts:257

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05/26/2022 02:40 PM
Dale - FTW!!

I hear ya, CK, and yes, the struggle is real...

I had a 4-month-old Lynskey fork chip off right at the dropout when inserting the wheel this week. After Lynskey said they could send me a crash replacement for half off retail, I lost enthusiasm for Lynskey's products and their customer service. I told them this was a $4it way to treat a customer and they finally agreed to overnight a fork to my shop, but after this, I am looking at other ti options.
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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05/26/2022 02:42 PM
Posted By Cosmic Kid on 05/26/2022 12:54 PM
...

The biggest problem I was running into was the prevalence of integrated front ends... I need an option that is both narrower and longer than what comes spec'd on the bikes. And just about every bike at the level I am looking at has an integrated front end.

...

But the Trek still had the deposit, and it was black / red......hmmmm. So I went out and looked at it. The fit was HORRIBLE. bars were too wide and too high, saddle wasn't in the right palce, etc. I could not get a handle on whether the size woudl work for me. So I panicked and told them I would get back to them later in the week.

...

Fit!  This idea that finding a few seconds of aero by eliminating the ability to optimize or change fit.  Fit changes for us.  We age.  (OK, if the bike being offered is a throwaway or ridden by a pro, that fact doesn't matter.)  We have injuries.  Our conditioning changes.  The events and courses we ride change.

 So, need a stem 2 cm shorter and a little higher.  Want to try bars a touch narrower?  Just buy another bike!  (It will probably be lime green, but for $8000, you can't expect everything.)                                                         
zootracer

Posts:833

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05/26/2022 03:32 PM
I bought a Trek Domane + LT in 2019. No test ride. Fit me like a T. Only thing is messed with a few times was the seat height. To boot, it was a size smaller than I usually ride. Guess I was lucky...
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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05/26/2022 03:45 PM
I had a 4-month-old Lynskey fork chip off right at the dropout when inserting the wheel this week.


Hab provides the necessary foreshadowing for any good story....

OK, where was I? Right...the Trek Emonda and fit.

Before I left, I took a measuring tape and measured from the ground to the top of the HT (a pseudo-stack measurement). 83cm. From that point, there was at least 3cm of spacers before the stem.

I get home and measure from the ground to the bottom of my stem....83cm. Hmmm, OK, maybe this can work since I wanted to be just a bit higher and there was a mandatory spacer required for the Trek (to guide the cables inside the HT). I call the shop two days later and say "Can you guys slam the stem for me so i can get a better feel for the fit?" They say No problem and I go out 2 days later (last Tuesday). In the meantime, my new Ultegra stuff has arrived and is sitting at home in a box, waiting for the Giant TCR frame.

Get out to the shop again (remember, nearly an hour each way) and I knew immediately the fit was gonna be a LOT better just looking at it. I still have a big saddle-to-HB drop and this was just visually SO much better. I hope on it and yep, I can make this work. The HB were still too wide and the stem was too short, but I was in the ballpark. Store mgr throws on a 110 stem for me....even better, but will still probably need to go longer once I get narrower HB, but it was definitely the right size. Despite potential marital Armageddon, I make the purchase and bring it home. It of course rains on wednesday, so I ride the trianer and plan to debut the Trek on the regular Thurs AM group ride.

That night, I start to swap out the stock Bontrager wheels for my ENVEs....I was just gonna sell the Bonty's to offset the cost of the bike and I wanted them pristine. (Cue Hab's foreshadowing) Drop the rear wheel out, put in the ENVE but the thru-axle will not properly engage the threads. WTF?!?!? I screw around with it and then see all these scratches down the inside of the chainstay and around the inside of the dropout. Worse, I can see shavings inside the threads of the dropout. Best I can tell somebody gorilla-ed the fook out of the thing when assembling it. There is now no way to get the rear wheel in properly.

Call the shop and the mgr says "we'll do whatever you want to do". I send him pics and he asks me to bring the bike back in for them to look at. We agree to me coming out the next night (Thursday).

So now buyer's remorse is kicking in BIG TIME. Why the hell do I need a bike this nice for a backup bike? I am building up a TCR with Ultegra Di2, for god;s sake!! Make the decision ebfore going back out there that I am gonna just get my money back.

Drive out the next day and of course the mgr is not there...even though we agreed I would come out when I did. So I go through the whole saga with the asst mgr and he is giving me the "well, we don't know when this damage happened" speech. Suffice to say, I was NOT having it...."Let me stop you right there...., I spent 10 years in the bik biz doing product development and have built more bikes than anyone in this store....I think I can take a rear wheel out and put another one in without destroying a paint job and crossthreading the axle." We keep going round and round and I finally said "look, when I called the mgr last night, he said you guys woudl do whatever I wanted and I want my money back. So let's do that and I'll get out of your hair". he asks if I mind if I call the mgr on the phone to verify and I of course agreed.

In the space of that time, the mgr returned from wherever he had gone to....he kinda started in on the "we don't know when this happened" speech but finished with "but we'll just give you your money back." Great...thank you very much.

But I still wanted (needed?) a simple, reliable backup bike....so back to the internet I go. Find a Cannondale CAAD 13 w/ 105 for $2300. Definitely fit the bill of what I needed and it was red. Sweet! Put a $50 deposit on one from another local shop, but there was someone in front of me for it...but the shop said he had like 4 bikes on hold and didn't think he would take this one. Great...I can wait for a few days.

And of course the guy ends up deciding to take that one, so I am back to square one. More research...find a Specialized Allez Sprint w/ 105. Damn fast frame and same components / wheels as the C'dale. But it is also $700 more. Yeesh. Find a Canyon w/ 105 but that is $4k....getting back to the Emonda level $$ and this is still supposed to be a backup bike. Can't justify that....

Go back to the dealer locater for C'Dale....some shops have one, but no one even close to me. Closest one is over 400 miles away....my buddy says "why don't you call and see if they'll ship it to you?" Now, I was pretty sure that woudl be a violation of their dealer agreement, but it can't hurt to call.

Dial 'em up....yes, they have it in stock. No they can't sell it to me over the phone. Crap. "But you can just buy it on our website and then we can ship it to you." Wait, what? Ummm...OK, hang on. Go to their website and sure enough, I drop it into my cart, punch in my CC# and bam, it goes through. "Do you know how to out it together" Yeah, got that covered, thanks.

So sometime next week, I should have both the Giant TCR with Ultegra 12 spd Di2 and the C'Dale CAAD13. Will dump my Canyon Aeroad with the FSA stuff...will hopefully come close to offsetting the cost of the C'Dale.

AND, I found a decal supplier who will do custom red downtube adhesive vinyl logos for the Giant....so I can get my red requirement on both bikes!!

The only thing that is *bugging* me is the downtube on the Giant....this thing is MASSIVELY wide, probably the most un-aerodynamic DT I have ever seen. I mean it looks like it is oriented 180* form what you would expect on a bike today....and you guys know me and aero.

Here is the Giant frame....



And the C'Dale....



Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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05/26/2022 03:56 PM
Those would die on any descent gravel ride is all I am saying.

And how did we revert to landscape?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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05/26/2022 04:01 PM
Those would die on any descent gravel ride is all I am saying.


I have my gravel needs covered....Cervelo Aspero.

And how did we revert to landscape?


Sorry...I made it a widey when I posted the pics. I'll try and find small pics.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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05/26/2022 04:06 PM
Crap...I missed my edit window and now we are stuck with the widey until we get to the next page.

Sorry.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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05/26/2022 04:10 PM
Those would die on any descent gravel ride is all I am saying.


Side note on this....Giant says the frame has tire clearance for a 32mm tire. That means I can probably squeeze a 35mm in there...I am considering doing that for SBT GRVL. Go with some Rene Herse Bon Jon Pass file tread tires in a 35 and it would be a pretty damn fast options, I think.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:2881

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05/26/2022 07:59 PM
Thanks to all, this is a great thread! Good luck to you CK in your search for just right.

I'm with Ben that adjustable (really adjustable!) has kept some of us with more wear and tear than we wish on the same frame for a long time.
I'm with OC that what is perfect for some might not work at all for others. I'm finally recovered from that daggum deer strike last summer and I do so love bombing sketchy gravel downhills. Porky bike is OK with me, I'm overweight anyway, but that's me, not you.

PS CK, this is a request for instructions how to post images on this forum, I would be grateful.
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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05/26/2022 10:50 PM
Posted By Frederick Jones on 05/26/2022 07:59 PM
Thanks to all, this is a great thread! Good luck to you CK in your search for just right.

I'm with Ben that adjustable (really adjustable!) has kept some of us with more wear and tear than we wish on the same frame for a long time.
I'm with OC that what is perfect for some might not work at all for others. I'm finally recovered from that daggum deer strike last summer and I do so love bombing sketchy gravel downhills. Porky bike is OK with me, I'm overweight anyway, but that's me, not you.

PS CK, this is a request for instructions how to post images on this forum, I would be grateful.
And duh!  If you make the bike with integrated cockpit and seat mast, you get to sell more bikes!  Next move - integrated seat/mast.  "You need the seat angled down 2 degrees on your Elmore?  I'm afraid that cannot be done but we do have an Elmore -2.0 in your size at the warehouse."

Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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05/27/2022 09:35 AM
PS CK, this is a request for instructions how to post images on this forum, I would be grateful.


When you find an image on the web that you want to post here, right click on it and hit "Copy image address".

Then start a post and paste the address in the middle of the following syntax {img}image address{/img}, but use [] instead of {}.

So the final syntax will look something like this:

{img}https://images.giant-bicycles.com/b_white,c_pad,h_850,q_80/a2oujtxwuf7znvvhxlvu/MY22TCRAdvancedProDisc-FFA_ColorACarbon.jpg{/img}....but when you use the correct brackets [], it comes out

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
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