T Nation

New Bikes On The Tour?

For all of you guys in the know (I’m just really getting into competitive Bike Racing!)

It seems like there has been a fundamental change in the Bikes as I’ve watched the Tour de France. 1) The frames are “thicker” and 2) The tires are “thicker”.

Is this a fundamental change, and what does it represent?

For a “leisure” rider like myself who would like to get in periodic races (like benefits/fund raisers/community races/etc.), what are you guys favorite brands of Bikes?

Thanks!

Mufasa

I ride a Trek 1000c. The 1000 line is good for serious beginers, which I still consider myself to be even though I’ve been riding for 2 years. I just got back from a vacation so I’l need to check out the bikes on tour.

I ride a 2002 Quintana Roo - Private Reserve Compact.

However, QR is specifically manufactured in the triathlon geometry.

Engineers have found that the stiffer the frame the more efficient the bike is. If the frame tubing has larger diameter cross section it is stiffer due to an increase in the moment of inertia. I assume they are using a carbon composite material which is much lighter and stiffer and translates into faster handling.

I ride a Cervelo, but truthfully many quality bikes are on the market and you should spend a little time to get one that “fits” you.

As far as the “thicker” looking frames and rims, some of them look thick when viewed from the side. A front view would let you see how thin and aerodynamic they really are. Almost like looking at a knife blade. From the side it does appear thick, but head on very thin. I know this is a shitty explanation, but it’s the best I got. They have come a long way from round or even slightly oblong tubes from a few years ago.

[quote]bailey_run wrote:
I ride a Cervelo, but truthfully many quality bikes are on the market and you should spend a little time to get one that “fits” you.

As far as the “thicker” looking frames and rims, some of them look thick when viewed from the side. A front view would let you see how thin and aerodynamic they really are. Almost like looking at a knife blade. From the side it does appear thick, but head on very thin. I know this is a shitty explanation, but it’s the best I got. They have come a long way from round or even slightly oblong tubes from a few years ago.[/quote]

I think he is trying to tell you that the tubing has an eliptical cross section.

It’s all about aerodynamics, and also stiffness. Deep wheels are fast, disk wheels are the fastest(only used in back, on less windy days) Today’s time trial bikes are soooo much faster than the average road bike years ago.

“Trek” keeps coming up the more and more I ask people (as a good, sturdy, everyday, “weekend-competitor” brand of Bike.

Any thoughts?

Mufasa

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
“Trek” keeps coming up the more and more I ask people (as a good, sturdy, everyday, “weekend-competitor” brand of Bike.

Any thoughts?

Mufasa[/quote]

This has a lot of truth to it. It also has a lot of Lance Armstrong influence to you.

You could say Trek is getting it’s money worth for paying Lance to sport their bikes.

Check out the Tech Section over at www.cyclingnews.com

They reviewed some of the news bikes in the peloton a few days ago.

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
“Trek” keeps coming up the more and more I ask people (as a good, sturdy, everyday, “weekend-competitor” brand of Bike.

Any thoughts?

Mufasa[/quote]

I wanted a bike that would last me the next 10 years. Everone said get a Trek. When I asked the saleperson about problems with the bike (not sturdy enough, too heavy) he said “None. It’s a Trek.” I’m out every day the weather is nice, and during the winter I have it on rollers. I love it.

Hey, Tri…THANKS!

I HOPE I’m not being “pulled-in” by hype!

Connondale and Specialized come up in converstion also…but not nearly as much as the TREKS…

Anyone with some personal thoughts/comparisons on the three? (Connondale, Specialized and TREK?)

Thanks, guys!

Mufasa

I have a Klein and I really like it alot. I have been riding it for about 4 years and I am really happy with it. I think the brand that you want to look for will depend on what you are using it for, what type, and what your body type is. For example, if you want to be able to just ride around it might be better to look for a mtn Bike or even a cyclocross bike than a true road bike.

Also some bike are just built a little more solid so if you are a larger size person or are just rough on them they may work out well for you. Just don’t be like me and hate a certain kind of bike for absolutly no reason, just because. I just can’t make myselk buy a Specialized, and I have no idea why.

Mufasa,

It all depends how involved you’re going to be in the sport and believe me the more involved one is, the more it’s going to cost you.

When I first starting cycling I had a P.O.S. Kona Kapu with Shimano 105 components now this was a good beginners bike considering it only cost me $600 and served its purpose…

But it wasn’t until 1.5 years later that I really appreciated the finer things in life. This time I got myself a '04 Giant TCR 0 with a full dura-ace 10 setup, 0-gravity brakes, reynolds carbon tubular wheels, and a complete polar power kit attached. I will never forget my first ride on that…something words cannot describe.

  • Make sure you’re fitted for whatever bike you decide on purchasing as this is very important.

-C

I would go Cannondale before Trek. Better aluminum technology and more bang for the buck. Plus they are made in the USA. Most of Trek aluminum bikes are made in Taiwan. But then again I lean toward the Euro bikes, they seem to handle better and typically have tigher rear triangle for better response. Although I too had a Quintana Roo Private reserve and that was a quick little sucker, especially with 650c wheels. I ride a Fondriest and it is the sweetest ride I have ever experienced.

Most important make sure you are comfortable on the bike.

Nearly all bikes are just as good as each other, in their respective price ranges. (a $800 trek is just about the same quality as a $800 cannondale)

Hopefully you can find a good honest bike shop who will help you find the right bike.

Don’t get conned into spending more than $1000 for a bike if you are only interested in recreational riding.

Mufassa

I have had my Trek 2000 for over 10 years. Changed the groups out twice. Tires at least a dozen times.

I do the type of riding you are talking about. Charity events, fun rides, club rides. I am too big and a little old to be competitive. 205 and 42.

Those big frames are Carbon fiber. Very light. My frame is aluminum. I find it holds up well for the recreation rider and saving a few pounds is not worth it to me. I’ll take the aluminum.

My tires are a little wider but they are puncture resistant. I wouldn’t race them but I love them for training.

Trek makes a good bike and the prices are pretty good. My bike shop is alos a Trek Dealer so the reapirs are done right and to spec. Not real important but if you are serious and lay out a few grand for a bike it’s comforting.

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
For all of you guys in the know (I’m just really getting into competitive Bike Racing!)

It seems like there has been a fundamental change in the Bikes as I’ve watched the Tour de France. 1) The frames are “thicker” and 2) The tires are “thicker”.

Is this a fundamental change, and what does it represent?

For a “leisure” rider like myself who would like to get in periodic races (like benefits/fund raisers/community races/etc.), what are you guys favorite brands of Bikes?

Thanks!

Mufasa[/quote]

mufasa, generally it’s about weight/strength. fatter tubes are structurally stronger so the tube walls can utilise less material/can be thinner. tap your fingernail on some of those funky elliptical downtubes and you’ll realize they’re delicate and thin as eggshell in some spots and like 2mm in others.

i don’t know what you mean about the thicker tires. road tires pretty much go 20-25 mm. are you seeing fatter than that ?

i think the most important thing for you would be buy your bike from a shop where you can set up a good relationship. that being said my personal favorites for mass produces brands right now are bianchi and felt.

You guys are GREAT!

This is helping a lot!

In answer to some questions:

  1. I’m looking in the $800-$1,500 range, which I’m told can buy some good bike for the “average Joe” who wants to periodically do some benefit/club/community sort of “leisure” racing. In other words, enough competition to sort of “push” myself, but not Pro; not Triathelons (which are amazing events to me!); and only periodically during the year. The rest would be leisure riding.

Nothing heavy.

  1. I’ll be looking at that good local shop. I’m told that there are two good ones around here, so I’m checking them out.

  2. By “thick” I mean that when I’m looking at the Tour this year, the tires seem “wider” (from outer to rim surface. Maybe “thicker” was the wrong term). Again, I’m a novice at all this!

  3. I don’t know what my Max Bench and BF% is, and I don’t care…I wanna’ be ripped like Bruce Lee or Brad Pitt in “Fight Club”. (JUST KIDDING, guys!)

Anyway…great information! Keep it coming! It really has set me in the right direction.

Mufasa

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1120604953106.Tour_Picture_Lance.jpg

Okay…blast a “newbie” guys!

I found some pics that illustate what “newbie eyes” are seeing (and probably will make you guys LAUGH!)

The first is Lance.

I see what you mean about the frames being “wider” but not “thicker”. They are more eliptical.

Also, what I was probably seeing was a wider “rim” not tire?

Comments?

Mufasa