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New bike decisions (Geometry focused)

matomp9matomp9 Posts: 15
edited May 2019 in Road buying advice
Hi all,

First time poster, long time lurker. Apologies for the length of post, but I want to give as much info as possible for you guys to (hopefully) help me make my decision.

Having recently written off my Allez (and being lucky not to have written off my leg!) I'm after a new bike. My budget is £2k but I'm a sucker for value - I don't want to have to spend 2k if I don't have to and will spend a little more if it's a steal. I mainly do 50-100km rides with occasional longer rides with about 5000km total a year. Whilst I'm unlikely to race, speed is important to me. I also have poor flexibility for my age (30 and I can't touch my toes). Whilst I could do with shedding a pound or two, I'm not particularly rotund at 80kg and 180cm tall. The age-old conundrum is thus present: Speed vs comfort.

The Allez (old 2014 version) in frame size 56 was a little racy for my liking - Stack/Reach ratio was 1.44. I was doing 100km rides on the machine but was feeling a bit beat up during the final 20km or so - lower back pain despite a good bike fit.

I've recently ridden a Domane SL 6 (SR ratio: 1.56) and Emonda SL 6 (SR ratio: 1.49) both in size 56 and both 2018 editions.

I also found a super deal on an already superbly valued 2018 Giant TCR Advanced 0 (£1900 for DI2!) in size M/L. I knew the geometry was a little aggressive (SR ratio 1.41) but thought it too good an opportunity to turn down.

I've ridden each bike for c. 10 mins. My findings are that the Domane was super comfy but I did feel a touch upright. The Emonda was a great fit and feel. Surprisingly, I also found the TCR to be very comfortable although there appeared to be at least 40mm of spacers under the stem.

It's frustrating that the Allez is smashed up so memory of the ride has faded slightly, but all three bikes felt more relaxed.

I've therefore got three questions:

1) Does anyone (preferably with similarly poor-average flexibility) have experience of the TCR without the stem slammed over long distances? I'd like to know how it fairs over 50-100km rides. Does anyone know why I might have found the TCR to be surprisingly comfortable? Are the hoods smaller for Di2? Is there less reach on the Giant handlebars?

2) I found the Emonda geometry to be perfectly 'Goldilocks'. Same question 1). How does it ride over longer distances?

3) Are there any rides with similar geometries to the Emonda you can recommend? I see a lot of Endurance bikes (1.55-1.6 SR ration) and a lot of racier bikes (1.40 - 1.45 ratio) but I see very few in the mid range (1.45-1.55). I've found the Emonda (H2 fit I should add) and the Cube Agree, which I really didn't get on with geometry wise, but not a lot else.

Thanks ever so much for your help!

Posts

  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    I ride my TCR with a spacer under the stem - I did a 200km ride on it a month back, have done numerous 100 mile rides on it over the years.

    I'm not going to lie and say I didn't suffer on the 200km ride because I did, but I don't recall any suffering related to the bike (I hadn't actually ridden it much at all this year at that point). I was actually pleasantly surprised how well I got on with the TCR having ridden a different bike(s) over winter.

    You can adjust fit in a multitude of ways now - as you've touched upon, different handlebars adjust reach and to some degree height (more extreme example is the specialized hover handlebars which add stack), you can get stems in a variety of angles to fine tune fit (s works multistems worth a look!) and spacers under the stem are perfectly safe, within reason.

    So really, get the one that you like the look of, as the likelihood is that any of them can be fitted to you - you hinted at the Allez being well fitted, did you have a professional fit? Did you get any notes as a result of that fit? They might help you replicate the same fit or choose the geometry best for you.

    BTW, feeling beat up towards the end of 100km rides is fairly normal if that is the farthest you usually ride. Core work at the gym might help, more likely simply riding more will help.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,486
    Giant Defy sounds perfect for you SR ratio of 1.46.

    Very comfortable and good for rides 1-100+ miles. Nimble, agile, well balanced. I have one. Love it. TCR will be racier but a good bike fit (£150) will make it perfect especially that deal you mentioned for Di2
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,722
    Get the Emonda. Superb bikes, no problem at all over long distances.
  • 2018 Felt VR4 disk. 56cm is 1.54. 54cm is 1.51.

    Tredz has them with 100-off code. Just over budget.
  • matomp9matomp9 Posts: 15
    Thanks for the help thus far guys. Very much appreciated. TimothyW and PhotoNic69 - it's interesting that you feel one can, within reason, be set up properly on any bike to achieve a perfect position (more relaxed in my case) . I had, until this point, been obsessed by the frame's set geometry.

    On the above basis, MrB123 - I think I am tending towards the Emonda or TCR. If you don't mind my asking, how 'flexible' would you described yourself? It's my lower back that restricts my flexibility.

    Tangerineowl - unfortunately, I've no felt stockists locally, but that is a nice bike!
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,102
    I had an Allez and found it very comfortable, covered several thousand miles on it over 8-9 years. I could be wrong, but I think the Tarmac is a similar geometry - maybe worth considering? The only other one on your list I have experience of is the Emonda, I have rented a couple of these in Mallorca over the years - it is a stunningly good bike - fast, comfortable and light. I bought a BMC last year, which I love, but the Emonda was the only other real candidate I was considering at the time.
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Bianchi Impulso
    BMC Teammachine

    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,486
    matomp9 wrote:

    It's my lower back that restricts my flexibility.

    Surely having a good bike fit and improving your flexibility are not beyond you? I wasn't very flexible either but regular (4-5) sessions a week during my lunch hour in my office I work on it. Gets me away from my PC screen and helps my cycling comfort. Win-Win. Lower back flexibility often translates as tight hamstrings and tight glutes. Work on these areas and you will gain a lot.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,722
    I'm not particularly flexible, definitely can't get near touching my toes although I do run a fair bit of saddle to bar drop due to being tall with long legs.

    FWIW I'm 193cm and was very comfortable on a size 60 Emonda.
  • meursaultmeursault Posts: 1,433
    PhotoNic69 wrote:
    Giant Defy sounds perfect for you SR ratio of 1.46.

    Very comfortable and good for rides 1-100+ miles. Nimble, agile, well balanced. I have one. Love it. TCR will be racier but a good bike fit (£150) will make it perfect especially that deal you mentioned for Di2

    Can vouch for the Defy. Three of us (various shapes and sizes) hired them for Ventoux last year and we were very impressed. My bike of choice is Cannondale Synapse, also chosen for geometry (and looks).
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • galatzogalatzo Posts: 1,295
    I have a LOOK 785 Huez and came from a TCR Advanced Pro.
    The LOOK does feel nicer (not massively though and I am a big fan of TCR’s but just wanted a change) to ride however it may be because I’ve manged to fit some 27mm tyres on it and just because it’s new.
    The head tubes on 785’s are a little bigger than on corresponding size TCR’s but not massively so they still look “race bike” which is important :wink:
    There a few of last year’s models knocking around at good prices (Merlin Cycles, Dever Cycles https://www.devercycles.co.uk/19972/pro ... -bike.aspx and Cyclestore https://www.cyclesuperstore.ie/shop/pc/ ... w=look+785 in Eire for example) depending on colour, spec and size (prob a medium) you want.
    As ever with complete bikes just keep some £££ back for better wheels.
    And you don’t see many LOOK’s about which is nice :D
    25th August 2013 12hrs 37mins 52.3 seconds 238km 5500mtrs FYRM Never again.
  • cyclenutnzcyclenutnz Posts: 30
    reach/stack ratio not that great for comparing.
    Bar XY allows you to normalise for all the differences
    For example:
    11vmbsz.jpg

    You can see that the Domane allows a higher position or the same position with fewer spacers.

    We've made the comparison tool freely available here https://app.velogicfit.com/frame-comparison
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