Going to the Alps: Which bike to take?

nunowoolmez
nunowoolmez Posts: 865
edited July 2013 in Road general
Hi all

I am off to the Alps for a couple of weeks next month & it will be my first time taking on 'actual' mountains with proper climbs, if you know what i mean. So i am in somewhat of a dilemma over which bike i should take. I have the choice of my Spesh Roubaix Comp, or my Canyon Ultimate CF. I will be using Shimano C24's on whichever i take & will be running a compact with an 11-28 at the back. I know the Canyon is a lot stiffer & is more aggressive, not to mention lighter, & the Roubaix is more forgiving, has the naturally comfier position, although comes in heavier. I have done 100 mile + on each with no issues, but i guess the longest climbs i have done were on the Dragon last year on the Roubaix. I have been using the Canyon most of late & have to say i love it! I come in just under 10 & half stone if that makes any difference!

I know i am in a nice position to have the choice, has anyone ridden the Alps/similar on either of these? What would you say?

Cheers all

Comments

  • Calpol
    Calpol Posts: 1,039
    Hi all

    I am off to the Alps for a couple of weeks next month & it will be my first time taking on 'actual' mountains with proper climbs, if you know what i mean. So i am in somewhat of a dilemma over which bike i should take. I have the choice of my Spesh Roubaix Comp, or my Canyon Ultimate CF. I will be using Shimano C24's on whichever i take & will be running a compact with an 11-28 at the back. I know the Canyon is a lot stiffer & is more aggressive, not to mention lighter, & the Roubaix is more forgiving, has the naturally comfier position, although comes in heavier. I have done 100 mile + on each with no issues, but i guess the longest climbs i have done were on the Dragon last year on the Roubaix. I have been using the Canyon most of late & have to say i love it! I come in just under 10 & half stone if that makes any difference!

    I know i am in a nice position to have the choice, has anyone ridden the Alps/similar on either of these? What would you say?

    Cheers all

    I doubt anyone on here can offer any advice thats conclusive. If it was me I would take the Spesh. More comfortable for climbing, weight difference negligible unless you are a 10 stone peeweep. Plus if you bin it on a descent then you won't be as gutted as you would be riding the canyon.
  • Rod11
    Rod11 Posts: 293
    If you can do 100+ miles on both of them, and love the Canyon, I'd go with it. Good bikes are there to be ridden and enjoyed, and where better to do it than in the Alps?!
  • Mccaria
    Mccaria Posts: 869
    Ridden the Alps a couple of times on a Canyon SLX, with C24. I think it's an excellent bike for that terrain and is one of the most comfortable bikes I have ridden. You may regret not taking the lighter bike, think of those little periodic accelerations on a long climb !
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    Don't get too hung up about the demands of riding up alpine cols. They can go on forever, but usually at a manageable gradient. I'm a poor climber and was filled with trepidation on my first cycling trip to the alps a few years ago, after riding an HC and a few Cat1s I reckon that there are climbs in the UK that 'feel' harder (Wrynose, Hardknott, old horseshoe pass etc.

    In answer to your question, no doubt about it, take the Canyon.

    I'll be in Samoens this time next month, where are you headed?
  • nunowoolmez
    nunowoolmez Posts: 865
    I'm off to stay in Valmeinier which is close to St Michel de Maurienne. I have 2 weeks so don't have any pressure to stack pile climbs, I can take it steady & afford to have a day off or 2 & just enjoy the area. I will be hoping to take in stag 18 & 19 of the tour while I'm there, can't wait! I think the place I'm staying is literally a few miles from the Telegraph - Galiibier route!

    Thanks for everyones comments - keep em coming!
  • treebirch
    treebirch Posts: 6
    I would favour a more compliant setup, the roads are awful at the moment. I live here so travel on them every day, we had a harsh winter, lots of ploughing and as a result lots of potholes and no funding to repair.
  • gryfon23
    gryfon23 Posts: 64
    Canyon without a doubt, your best bike on some of the best climbs in europe. Why else did you buy it?
  • stueys
    stueys Posts: 1,332
    Long climbs means the lighter, stiffer bike. Suspect the chances of pave is slim...;-)
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    If you want to race up them - Canyon

    If you want to ride up them taking in the view - Spesh
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • gryfon23 wrote:
    Canyon without a doubt, your best bike on some of the best climbs in europe. Why else did you buy it?
    What he said ;)
    Storck Scenario C1.1 | Ridley Damocles ISP

    "The race is long, but in the end it's only with yourself"

    http://www.twitter.com/TwitRides
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    I would take my roubaix comp but then I don't have a canyon so choice is easy... I think either will do the biz...

    I'm kind of wondering how those alpine climbs would compare with the short sharp stuff down here in Cornwall. Had a long climb out of boscastle on Sunday at a steady 8% for about two miles and managed to grind that out ok. The short brutal climbs and hair raising descent really find me out. My roubaix did me proud
  • davep1
    davep1 Posts: 836
    Might want to consider which one descends best if no other way to choose. I've.done long descends in Italy and they are very hard on your wrists and what you think will be fun - mile after mile of flat out downhill becomes hard
  • Baby Trek
    Baby Trek Posts: 118
    Lucky you having a choice! We are off to the alps in July but I only have one bike...my husband on the other hand seems to have collected three to choose from!!!
  • nunowoolmez
    nunowoolmez Posts: 865
    Baby Trek wrote:
    Lucky you having a choice! We are off to the alps in July but I only have one bike...my husband on the other hand seems to have collected three to choose from!!!

    Yes us men tend to like collecting bikes! People always ask why I have so many ( I also just have the 3 but to non cyclists this is viewed as excessive) & I just say "I just like bikes".

    Where are you guys staying?
  • Baby Trek
    Baby Trek Posts: 118
    Yes but I WANT MORE BIKES too!!! At the very least I 'need' a carbon version :)
    We have one week in Briancon and one week in Megeve so hoping to get up the Col du Galibier, see some of the the Tour stages and whatever other cycling we can cram in.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Canyon, no doubt. Always share exotic locations with your best bike.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    It wont really matter I think. So long as its in good working order. And pack it with foam extremely well if you're flying with it. Do your blocks have plenty of life on them ?
  • greasedscotsman
    greasedscotsman Posts: 6,962
    Mikey23 wrote:
    I'm kind of wondering how those alpine climbs would compare with the short sharp stuff down here in Cornwall. Had a long climb out of boscastle on Sunday at a steady 8% for about two miles and managed to grind that out ok. The short brutal climbs and hair raising descent really find me out. My roubaix did me proud

    Alpe d'Huez (for example) is average 8.1% and is 8.2 miles long.
  • greasedscotsman
    greasedscotsman Posts: 6,962
    Baby Trek wrote:
    We have one week in Briancon and one week in Megeve so hoping to get up the Col du Galibier, see some of the the Tour stages and whatever other cycling we can cram in.

    If you are in Briancon, don't miss out on riding the Izoard. The Casse Déserte is fantastic!

    http://goo.gl/maps/TvNTT
  • rpherts
    rpherts Posts: 207
    I think the heavy single-speed will be ideal.
  • nunowoolmez
    nunowoolmez Posts: 865
    Baby Trek wrote:
    We have one week in Briancon and one week in Megeve so hoping to get up the Col du Galibier, see some of the the Tour stages and whatever other cycling we can cram in.

    If you are in Briancon, don't miss out on riding the Izoard. The Casse Déserte is fantastic!

    http://goo.gl/maps/TvNTT

    Aye, the Izoard is on 'the list' & looks spectacular! Was hoping to get to the Alpe for stage 18 but it is a bit of a trek from where I'm staying & it looks like getting a car anywhere near it will be nigh on impossible. Gotta sort something out though, it would be foolish to miss the opportunity! Might see you out there somewhere!
  • nunowoolmez
    nunowoolmez Posts: 865
    cougie wrote:
    It wont really matter I think. So long as its in good working order. And pack it with foam extremely well if you're flying with it. Do your blocks have plenty of life on them ?

    Good points both, but I am almost obsessive about having a well maintained bike! I use black swiss stops which have always served me well & will be taking a spare set as I am anticipating I may need them! Havung said that my current pads have plenty of life left, but it's good to have a back up set. I'll be running GP4000s too so should be ok on the descents. *touches wood*
  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    DaveP1 wrote:
    Might want to consider which one descends best if no other way to choose. I've.done long descends in Italy and they are very hard on your wrists and what you think will be fun - mile after mile of flat out downhill becomes hard

    He's talking sense. Coming down is where you notice the difference in bikes, not so much going up. I guess the spesh has a longer wheelbase, so would be my choice.
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    It's just the alps, not the surface of the moon, take your best bike and have a great time.
  • Mr Dog
    Mr Dog Posts: 643
    I take my second bike over my best bike. That way I don't stress about damage in transit, crashing, theft or the airline giving it a brief holiday in Germany :D
    Why tidy the house when you can clean your bike?
  • nunowoolmez
    nunowoolmez Posts: 865
    So i have decided to take the Canyon. I could have been fine with either & would be happy to take the Spesh, but i enjoy the Canyon more & it is my best bike afterall. I can handle the stiffness (ahem!), & comfort wise it is pretty good.

    Thanks all for your valid points, comments & advice, but what is the point of having a best bike if you don't use it for stuff like the Alps what is the pont in having it.
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    Thanks all for your valid points, comments & advice, but what is the point of having a best bike if you don't use it for stuff like the Alps what is the pont in having it.

    Which is I think, the general gist in the thread above! Enjoy, I drive to Samoens on Saturday. Might see you in the area, I ride a black Rose Xeon :)
  • nunowoolmez
    nunowoolmez Posts: 865
    dodgy wrote:
    Thanks all for your valid points, comments & advice, but what is the point of having a best bike if you don't use it for stuff like the Alps what is the pont in having it.

    Which is I think, the general gist in the thread above! Enjoy, I drive to Samoens on Saturday. Might see you in the area, I ride a black Rose Xeon :)

    Yeah enjoy your trip too! Mine is a black Canyon with quite distinctive funky black & white bar tape.