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Think of upgradign - few queries for advice?

new2brnew2br Posts: 57
edited August 2013 in Road buying advice
Hi, I'm new to the forum and have a few queries as am thinking of replacing my current bike for a 'better' one. I've 3 questions I hope to get your advice on - I appreciate there isnt a single right answer and I'm sure if I googled long enough I'd eventually get some answers myself but thought it easier just to ask. Questions are :
1. Whats the best size of bike for me? (generally speaking)
2. Which frame material to go for - Alu or Carbon?
3. Which Chainset - triple or double?

The context for above is I'm 5ft 9.5 " and currently ride a Cube Ariel 2010 56cm (tiagra groupset) - which I bought quite blind to any science - the guy in the shop said it was prob OK size wise and it just came with a triple I didnt appreciate (and still dont understand) the pros and cons to the double/triple argument. I used the bike for occasional fitness rides but got into mountainbikes a bit more but since an injury I'm back on the road bike much more and can see me using much more frequent for longer rides (aspire to a l'etape du tour one day (I wish!)).

So I think I need a 'better' bike and am hunting the second hand market (mainly ebay) for a decent next bike, not wanting to spend more than £750-1000 - but since ebay I'll not be able to get sized for or test the bike so in gebreal is 56 the size that is most likely to fit, ie should I def discount 58 or 54 (I think boardman was exception where 53 is correct. Just trying to narrow down search and the possibility of bike not fitting.

Then comes frame material - is it a no brainer to plan for a carbon bike for improvement - ie is carbon a better bike than alu if they had same level of components, say shimano 105 or conversly is an alu with say ultegra groupset a better option than carbon with say tiagra for same money.

Finally the option for double/triple. Ive only had a triple so not sure how to compare. Is the only benefit down to weight saving of not having to turn slightly more weight of the extra ring - can only think this is marginal, and also easier shifting I suppose. Would I naturally find it easier to travel quicker pushing a 'rolling gear' on a double than an equivalet gear on a triple?
Things on my shortlist so far are:
Boardman Team Carbon(2010)
Focus Cayo
Trek Madone
Specialized Tarmac
(all carbon options - maybe I shouldnt discount Alu. Any advice much appreciated...Cheers :)

Posts

  • I think you should go with a 56cm bike, a triple. Maybe something like a Cube Ariel. Carbon or alu, see what suits, go for Tiagra.

    ffs
  • new2brnew2br Posts: 57
    Very helpful, much appreciated!

    ffs
  • Surely you answered your own question in your own post?!

    ffs :roll:
  • dnwhite88dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    At your price range I would go for an alu frame with something like 105 or ultegra groupset, looking to upgrade the wheels when you can. Gearing depends on how hilly your area is, but a compact chain set with 11-28 cassette on the back will get you up most hills if you didn't want a triple. However, it is your money so if you want a carbon frame by all means buy one
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    LOL

    Well to be fair - a little more info would be useful as currently there's not much to go on - not even your location. What i mean is a triple giving you s granny gear for getting up hills would be pretty useless if you lived in Norfolk. Does your current bike fit?

    I am taller than you (just) and ride a 54cm frame - but it is the effective top tube length that matters more, along with the head tube height so that you can get the bars to saddle measurements right (horizontal distance AND saddle to bar drop). As you might start to imagine and have seen with the Boardman - one 56cm frame may suit and another be completely wrong. I doubt you'll ever be a 58cm size though
  • Camcycle1974Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    I'll try to be more constructive!
    1) you're the same height as me. I ride a 56 but think I should be on a 54. Depends on your body dimensions though so you would need to sit on and ideally ride the bikes you list.
    2)Carbon is king right now but alu is certainly a good option at your price point. If you have a look at Planet X you could get a new bike rather than risking 2nd hand carbon.
    3) don't see the need for a triple unless you live in a very hilly area. A compact (with 50/34 chain rings) and an 11-28 cassette should be more than enough to get you up the hills.
  • I think you should go with a 56cm bike, a triple. Maybe something like a Cube Ariel. Carbon or alu, see what suits, go for Tiagra.

    ffs

    I think he needs Di2

    ffs
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    56cm Cube is more like a 54cm in other makes, you need to look at the effective top tube lengths of each bike as a start point... for instance, a 56cm Cervelo will be too big for you, a 54cm cervelo would probably work. Giants you'd be looking for Medium etc etc etc
  • Camcycle1974Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    mfin wrote:
    56cm Cube is more like a 54cm in other makes, you need to look at the effective top tube lengths of each bike as a start point... for instance, a 56cm Cervelo will be too big for you, a 54cm cervelo would probably work. Giants you'd be looking for Medium etc etc etc

    Wish someone would have told the bike shop owner who I bought a Giant off. 5"9.5 and I ended up on an M/L which I now know is for people taller than me! Have about 6" of seat post showing which looks wrong on a compact frame. Didn't know about ETT lengths when I bought it or the geometry of a compact frame, you live and learn, won't make that mistake again.
  • rajMANrajMAN Posts: 429
    I think you should go with a 56cm bike, a triple. Maybe something like a Cube Ariel. Carbon or alu, see what suits, go for Tiagra.

    ffs

    I think he needs Di2

    ffs

    +1

    ffs
  • new2brnew2br Posts: 57
    Thanks for some of the more constructive replies ;-) I'd a spin out on my short route today and wasnt using the granny ring at all. My other longer route does have a couple of hills where I'd have to dip into the small ring but maybe I just need to practice the hills a bit more and a double might do well. I also got the measuring tape out to the bike - although the shop said it was "a 56" - the seat tube length actually measures 54cm (centre crank to top of tube). The top tube was 55cm. The seat is raised 16.5cm above seat tube to seat bracket rails under seat. I also measured top of seat to graound (100cm) and top of bars to ground (93cm) to give the drop between seat to bars (7cm). my inside leg (gound to crotch not trouser length) is 85cm 33.5 ".

    based on that looks like I should be looking for a 54-56 max and double would do fine. Will keep Planet X in mind - I've seen a couple of those on ebay already. Thanks for the advice...
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