Road bike recommendations

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  • Thanks, she's had a fit so has some geo and Sigma said they can "test" set her up on some different options.

    The Canyon's look really good, but as i'm about to (EDIT: try and fail to) explain may not be the best option

  • i'm about to explain

    uh oh.

  • Right, this is going here...

    A couple year back my girlfriend wanted an upgrade from her basic but lightweight and fun Felt road bike. In the end we settled on a custom painted Condor Fratello disc which bit by bit has been upgraded to a decent spec. Most recently we went all out (for us) and swapped the TRP/5800 brakes/shifters to the latest 105 R7025 compact hydraulic setup. So now she has a nice looking bike that shifts and stops very nicely, has handbuilt wheels and has full mudguards and a rear rack. The problem? I can tell she doesn't love riding it as much as she should for the money that's gone into it.

    For reference she's 5ft 2" and in the low 50kg bracket, the bike is a 46 (stack 51.6, reach 37.4) and weighs in at about 10.6kg with guards and rack but without panniers. She doesn't have great endurance (neither do i) but has quite a lot of power for her size and is more than competent on a road bike. She likes the idea of joining a club and doing sportier weekend rides but realistically this will also be used for fair weather commuting and should be able to deal with a bumpy canal path etc.

    So... I'd like to find or build something around the 8kg mark that has a sporty feel but could also take a bigger tyre and if possible have rack mounts. There's a couple ways of getting there, first is to buy a bike that is exactly as above, probably easiest but not sure if budget will stretch (plus it would really piss me off to loose money selling all the nice bit we've bought). Second option is to find a frameset (not many options seen so far). And the the third is to buy a low spec bike with a good frame and then swap all the kit over (we're gonna keep the Condor but thinking flatbar 1x setup with the guards and rack). Options 2 and 3 are preferable so we can use all the nice bits we have, the risk is buying another dull bike hoping it'll get better with different kit.

    The Canyon in the link looks great but i suspect the lack of mounts and small tyres rules it out. Other things i've seen so far include

    48cm CAAD 12 Disc frameset, can get a decent deal on this C2W but suspect as the Canyon is too limited and maybe a little fragile?

    Synapse Carbon Tiagra full bike, has mounts, is a lightweight frame that'll take 32's, would swap groupset, wheels, finishing kit etc, have heard good things about ride

    Synapse Carbon SE full bike, as above, more clearance, probably out of budget.

    Synapse ali, same as above, bit heavier, a shit load cheaper if i got the Sora version, worried it won't be that fun to ride.

    Diverge E5 ali, the ali version has mounts etc and i've heard these are nice on the road. off all the options it takes the biggest tyres. Basic option is cheap, might be heavy even with all the nice kit on.

    I only really know the obvious few, had a quick scan of Ribble/PX where there seem to be some great deals but nothing in her size that i can see. Maybe decathlon but they're a bit agricultural looking.

    Any tips much appreciated.

  • Maybe not explain, more ramble/nonsensical waffle, will likely be proved i know nothing

  • I went through pretty similar issue couple of years ago. My assumption of light = fun was wrong.

    She was most happy on a custom bike that fitted her well and had a singular(ish) purpose. She was also faster on this heavier bike than a lighter one I got her (a 48cm CAAD10). Shame that Talbot ended its life under a mini-cab.

    If you are still set on building one yourself. 8kg with disc brakes is hard on a budget.

  • I ride an extra small Decathlon RC520 - use it for distance / winter / "light" touring, from club rides to quite long audaxes. Not sure the stack / reach is what you're after, but the geo charts are on the page on Decather's website.

    It can take up to 37mm tyres, I run 32 with mudguards, can take a rack front and rear and is comfy. It does come up heavy, but I don't really notice it except up hills. My average speeds are roughly very similar compared to my lighter, "faster" other bike.

    I do sometimes look at it and think "fucking hell I ride a Decathlon special" (even though I think it looks pretty nice for a cheap and cheerful bicycle) but it got me round Windsor-Chester-Windsor the other week without any hiccups, so shrug emoji

  • Thanks, i think an OTP bike using modern standards with the potential to run big tyres would be the low risk option. Currently have the Diverge E5 topping that list even though it's not as good value as the RC520. What's your lighter/faster bike?

  • Trek Crockett? Or Checkpoint?
    Giant Defy?
    Genesis Datum?

  • Such a shame that happened, it was a really nice build.

    I agree on comfort over weight for enjoyment but it still needs to have the potential to feel a bit lively. The Condor is super comfortable but just doesn't really make her want to jump on the bike for fun. Speaking with Sigma they don't think there's much difference in weight between the ali and carbon Diverge frame. Full bikes can be had for around £600 with vouchers so that would leave change for some weenie bits. The stock low end build is 10kg so maybe 9kg is more realistic with her kit but it's still significantly lighter then the current build. She's gonna try the geo on the Sigma jig and we'll go from there.

  • small tyres rules it out

    You don't want smaller wheels on a 46?

  • All look nice but can anyone comment on how these perform as road bikes?

    I'm not looking for a gravel bike to use on the road, i'd like a road bike that can go off piste occasionally. Only reason i'm considering the Diverge is i've heard these ride very nicely on the road.

  • THey are road bikes, with the exception of the Trek.

  • You mean 650b?

    I've realised i linked the wrong bike, she was looking at the ultimate not endurance. Now i'm looking at the endurance i can see it takes wider tyres and is fairly light, hmmn...

  • The Endurace has clearance for bigger tyres. A mate is riding his in winter with studded tyres and full mudguards (with P-clips), yet it's still a proper fast road bike.

    700c is just a really big wheel on a 46, and IMHO it really makes sense to go for a 650 or even a 26". I've been through the "gf bike build" (she's 5'3''), and if I were to do again I'll definitely avoid the 700 wheels.

  • I know what you're saying but 700c just gives so many more options. I just built some 650c wheels for her singlespeed and i'm already regretting it because tyres (probably should of gone 26"). It's a good point though and i should look at the varying wheelbases to help me decide (as the list now feels endless).

    Regarding the ability to take a rack and guards i'm starting to think these are not things i should get to hung up on as there are always clips/clamps etc.

  • is there a big diff in geo/weight between Endurace AL and Grail AL?

    the smallest 2020 Crockett has 371 reach, 519 stack .. has guard mounts

  • Yeah but cable routing...

    Was looking at the Grail last night, insane spec for £1300 (i just paid £400 to do those shifters/brakes). its around 1.5kg heavier than the Endurace and is probably too gravel for her (although she thought it looked nice). Still keep coming back to the basic Diverge E5 AL frameset, does anyone on here ride one?

  • And it case it helps pick a frame current available kit includes

    Kinlin XR22 disc on DCR hubs (can be converted to thru)
    105 5800 with R7025 hydro brakes/shifters
    Salsa casserole bars
    Easton SL stem
    Carbon post
    New Bont Anja saddle
    XT pedals

    Seems a shame not to make use of that lot.

  • At least with 650b there's now a very decent choice of tyres. I just think the best spec won't matter if the geo doesn't feel right.

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Road bike recommendations

Posted by Avatar for mashton @mashton