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Old 9th September 2021, 12:28   #6436
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Yup yup, we have to trade something in order to get something else.

I guess if an entry level cyclist is doing 20k on a Sunday on rough shodden roads in India, comfort will probably trump speed/time-distance metrics until they get further embedded into the cycling diaspora.

That's me
That's the perfect requirement. What's your ride? Does it meet your requirements or would you recommend looking elsewhere?
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Old 9th September 2021, 13:00   #6437
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

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That's the perfect requirement. What's your ride? Does it meet your requirements or would you recommend looking elsewhere?
I will tell you how I went about my search for my first bike:

1. I decided that I will only buy from Decathlon because if something is wrong in the bike - I get lifetime warranty on most important parts - and there is also a 90 day return window. Decathlon is also superb in honouring returns. Other dealers, I don't care for.

2. My intention of cycling as of today is for the following:
- Cardio endurance activity once a week along side my weeklong calisthenics program.
- Explore shallow trails along my regular cycling route
- Generally have fun with my friends cycling and exploring new places
- No cardio goals/cadence goals/power meter/BRM etc at the moment. These things could change but are not my priorities in the near future. I enjoy my calisthenics, and the bicycle is a healthy replacement of my weekend motorcycle rides.
- Put bike in car, drive up to Ooty/Coonoor. Then use bike to explore locally. This is very different from friends here who will ride all the way up to Ooty/Mahabaleshwar etc. That's not me, and is not a part of my calisthenics goals.
- Comfort was important along with a low weight = light road bike + fat tyres.

3. Keeping the above in mind, I have found that Gravel Bikes are best suited for my present day requirements. https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...s-gravel-bike/

4. Unfortunately, Decathlon does not sell gravel ready road bikes.

5. I looked up "gravel" bikes that other brands sell, and options were eye waveringly expensive. Yes, some models from Marin seemed affordable until...

6. I went back to Decathlon and found that the RC500 and RC520 models are "Gravel Ready". What does this mean? It means that because they are sold with disc brakes, you have wider clearance to mount wider tyres. I also found out that Decathlon sells the exact same RC500 and RC520 Triban models with wider gravel tyres on the same frame etc.

7. So I realised, that it makes sense to buy the RC500 and just fit the widest tyres possible for the first year of comfort cycling. And then go down tyre width as my body and bum start adjusting to cycling and our roads.

8. When I compared the Triban series of road bikes with what you get in the market of gravel bikes, I did not feel right about throwing so much more money for another brand as an entry level, newbie, I just want to enjoy once a week - cyclist. Plus, with the Decathlon guarantees in point 1, I felt more comfortable.

9. This review and ranking of gravel bikes sealed the deal for me: https://www.cyclingabout.com/best-gr...9iRq8jrbP-snq0

Quote:
I came across this fantastic article as I was researching gravel bikes. This article gives a well thought out description and ranking of the best available Gravel Bikes you can buy for a budget. Key word here is Budget and I think they fixed that at 1000$.

This is where things get really interesting. At a US$ price point of 999$, the Triban RC500 (the road version has been selected as a gravel bike entrant), is rated at 13/20 overall.

But at the EU price point of 650 Euro, the rating goes up dramatically to 16/20 topping this list!

And we can buy the exact same bike here for 60k INR which is 692 Euro at today's rates or 821$!

I find it strange that people still diss this bike and its elder brother the RC520. Considering this bike can do both road and gravel!

Ofcourse, I am keenly waiting for the Riverside Touring rig models that Decathlon sells globally to begin making their appearance here. That will do to the gravel bike industry what their RC series did to the road bike industry. Decimated the competition.

Fun Fact: Decathlon sells the RC120/500/520 as gravel ready models as well with everything including the frame geometry the same - but just bigger tyres - Schwalbe 36's. So that tells us something about this bike's ability.
Sadly the Riverside touring gravel models will apparently not come to India in the near future. Doesn't matter, as I get more embedded in the cycling ecosystem and learn more, things will change.

The most important thing for you is to first ensure you get the frame size right. Measure your height, and see where you slot in. After that, start evaluating models.

I like the Triban RC500/520 for the value they offer (nothing even remotely comes close) + the opportunity to put in upto 40 size tyres and go gravel exploration in utmost comfort. My friends ride hybrid bikes with flat bars and front suspension and have become jealous of the speeds the RC500 can do on the highway.

Please note: All above research is based on MY requirements, and my requirements ONLY. Everyone is different. That's why I listed what I would do up there in Sr.2. I do not intend to commute with a cycle in Bangalore, and hence do not need comfort to trump everything else.

I needed a bike that brought in a balance of everything:
1. Light weight = Speed on the road
2. Wider tyres = Comfort on the trail
3. Mid level Sora group set = Good enough for me for another 5-6 years as my first ever geared bike in my life
4. Decathlon brand support = Peace of mind
5. Not very heavy on the pocket (compared to imported brands sold worldwide for which you can find competing reviews like above) = I can use it once or twice a week and feel happy.

It felt closest to my KTM 390 Adventure and the benefits that bike brings to my riding style.

I am a noob - and this is a noob's response to a noob.
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Old 9th September 2021, 13:27   #6438
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread



Gravel bikes are the KTM 390 Adventure of the motocycling world. Perfectly put.

Cheers, Doc
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Old 9th September 2021, 13:48   #6439
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

So the FX3 is going along nicely but I have been thinking of getting a second bike in the next few months (depending on availability, and no urgency).

I looked at Trek Domane AL5, and Checkpoint ALR5. The Domane is categorized as endurance bike and the Checkpoint as gravel bike, but both have quite similar comfort-oriented geometry.

Both the bikes have Aluminum frame and Carbon fork, and the Domane comes with 2x11 Shimano 105 drivetrain, and the Checkpoint comes with 2x11 Shimano GRX. And both costs around SGD 3200 base (around INR 175,000)

They did not have the exact models on stock, but I did a test ride on the respective Carbon frame models Domane SL5 and Checkpoint SL5.

Domane: The bike available for test was of size 58 – though the recommended size by my measurement was 60, the 58 felt extremely comfortable, the bike felt light and easy to steer through. The 700x32C tyres are exactly the same size as of my FX3.

Checkpoint: This one was size 56 for test ride, not sure if it’s the size or the fat 700x40C tyres, I did not feel that comfortable on this. The bike weighs pretty much same as the Domane (marginally higher), but it felt heavy on riding. Maybe it’s the wide tyres or something else.

They said they will call me once they have a Checkpoint in size 58 for test ride, so that I can do a proper comparison.

From that Initial interaction I really liked the Domane, but will it make my current FX3 kind of redundant?

Looking forward to suggestions/comments. Thank you!

Last edited by vb-san : 9th September 2021 at 13:49.
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Old 9th September 2021, 14:41   #6440
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

My wife's hybrid is one size smaller to mine. I found it super comfortable until I went on a long ride and realized its not for me. If you want to go ahead with 58, make sure you ride enough to take the call.
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Old 9th September 2021, 15:10   #6441
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
I will tell you how I went about my search for my first bike:

1. I decided that I will only buy from Decathlon because if something is wrong in the bike - I get lifetime warranty on most important parts - and there is also a 90 day return window. Decathlon is also superb in honouring returns. Other dealers, I don't care for.

2. My intention of cycling as of today is for the following:
- Cardio endurance activity once a week along side my weeklong calisthenics program.
- Explore shallow trails along my regular cycling route
- Generally have fun with my friends cycling and exploring new places
- No cardio goals/cadence goals/power meter/BRM etc at the moment. These things could change but are not my priorities in the near future. I enjoy my calisthenics, and the bicycle is a healthy replacement of my weekend motorcycle rides.
- Comfort was important along with a low weight = light road bike + fat tyres.

3. Keeping the above in mind, I have found that Gravel Bikes are best suited for my present day requirements. https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...s-gravel-bike/

4. I like the Triban RC500/520 for the value they offer (nothing even remotely comes close) + the opportunity to put in upto 40 size tyres and go gravel exploration in utmost comfort. My friends ride hybrid bikes with flat bars and front suspension and have become jealous of the speeds the RC500 can do on the highway.

I needed a bike that brought in a balance of everything:
1. Light weight = Speed on the road
2. Wider tyres = Comfort on the trail
3. Mid level Sora group set = Good enough for me for another 5-6 years as my first ever geared bike in my life
4. Decathlon brand support = Peace of mind
5. Not very heavy on the pocket (compared to imported brands sold worldwide for which you can find competing reviews like above) = I can use it once or twice a week and feel happy.

It felt closest to my KTM 390 Adventure and the benefits that bike brings to my riding style.

I am a noob - and this is a noob's response to a noob.
Wow, that's a great piece of logical reason making. The above points, in particular, resonated with him. Thank you, I now have a start point.
P.S. I am a versys owner and I know one thing that you are not...A Noob

I have also read doc's experiments on his act in some detail and know that he's a veritable authority (at least for a noob like me) on matters bicycling.

Thank you both for taking the time out to guide me. I was completely unaware of this class of gravel bikes. Worth exploring.

Last edited by handsofsteel : 9th September 2021 at 15:11.
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Old 9th September 2021, 15:40   #6442
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post

From that Initial interaction I really liked the Domane, but will it make my current FX3 kind of redundant?

Looking forward to suggestions/comments. Thank you!
Nopes. Nada. Not at all.

Welcome to the real world, Neo. You have been truly hooked to cycling when you start evaluating a second bike while still enjoying the first one

I can vouch for it. I'll bet my money so can @doc. I'm sure there are others on the forum with a road bike and a hybrid (/MTB). (@ringoism doesn't count!).

You'll eventually figure out scenarios applicable specifically for each cycle
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Old 9th September 2021, 15:56   #6443
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post

From that Initial interaction I really liked the Domane, but will it make my current FX3 kind of redundant?

Looking forward to suggestions/comments. Thank you!
I ride a Trek Madone for last few years and I can relate to what you are referring to, with the first impressions of Domane. And I also feel Domane is the better option to consider of these 2. Good luck on getting it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post

[i] I'm sure there are others on the forum with a road bike and a hybrid (/MTB). (@ringoism doesn't count!).
+1 on this. I have a MTB too, I ride that occasionally to break the feeling of riding the same bike and also depending on routes and weather conditions. So if possible, keep the FX3 also, is a good option.
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Old 9th September 2021, 16:20   #6444
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
I guess if an entry level cyclist is doing 20k on a Sunday on rough shodden roads in India, comfort will probably trump speed/time-distance metrics until they get further embedded into the cycling diaspora.

That's me
Quote:
Originally Posted by handsofsteel View Post
That's the perfect requirement. What's your ride? Does it meet your requirements or would you recommend looking elsewhere?
That was my requirement too and got an MTB. But through some lucky coincidence, I ended up selling the MTB and getting a Trek Dual Sport 2. It is a pseudo MTB, hybrid with front shocks, and I find it the perfect compromise for leisurely rides through our potholed roads.

Last edited by Jaguar : 9th September 2021 at 16:23.
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Old 9th September 2021, 16:47   #6445
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
You'll eventually figure out scenarios applicable specifically for each cycle
Of course man. And the next one after it.

I already want a drop bar ACT. Or a drop bar ACT type bike (function over identical form).

But in all seriousness, a road bike and a flat bar road bike are probably the two must haves for any serious cyclist.

The flat bar road bike is the Duke 200 of city roads.

Cheers, Doc
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Old 10th September 2021, 08:31   #6446
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

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Originally Posted by papr23 View Post
My wife's hybrid is one size smaller to mine. I found it super comfortable until I went on a long ride and realized its not for me. If you want to go ahead with 58, make sure you ride enough to take the call.
Thank you, for my height the hybrid FX3 size 60/XL works perfectly, but when did size check on the road bike I felt 60 is stretch and hence tried 58. And the guy at the showroom was saying for road bikes, its quite common to go a step smaller to what the system recommended (based on the actual bike fit).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
You'll eventually figure out scenarios applicable specifically for each cycle
Quote:
Originally Posted by narayanang76 View Post
I have a MTB too, I ride that occasionally to break the feeling of riding the same bike and also depending on routes and weather conditions. So if possible, keep the FX3 also, is a good option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Of course man. And the next one after it.
Thank you! Yes, FX3 is one sporty, comfortable , and fast rolling machine, and the quality is felt every time you ride it. So yes, will keep it

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
But in all seriousness, a road bike and a flat bar road bike are probably the two must haves for any serious cyclist.
Just to understand the different types how different will be the flat bar road bike, say from a lightweight hybrid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayanang76 View Post
I ride a Trek Madone for last few years and I can relate to what you are referring to, with the first impressions of Domane. And I also feel Domane is the better option to consider of these 2. Good luck on getting it!
Thank you! My friend ride a Madone SLR7 what a bike! He does some serious no. of kms every weekend. Picture from a ride couple of months back (the Madone is on the extreme right)

The Bicycles thread-img_9091.jpg
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Old 10th September 2021, 09:08   #6447
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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Just to understand the different types how different will be the flat bar road bike, say from a lightweight hybrid?
The classifications are not set in stone and are used pretty fluidly all over the world, but a Hybrid (as opposed to Flat Bar Road) is usually a hybridization of MTB and urban bikes (light, thin big wheels, higher gearing). These might be old school hard tail MTBs with big clearance slightly beefy rigid forks (like the ACT typically is) or they could be 10 years younger vintage hard tail MTBs with spindly urban suspension forks with minimal travel (like the ACT's sprung cousin Neo or the equally iconic Montra Blues).

These are tough. Have MTB dna that can handle quite a lot of rough stuff (you can do Leh on them for instance, quite happily) but the hybridization comes in less beefy frame and fork and the wheels and gearing, all geared for more speed in more urban settings.

Flat bar road bikes are like the geared half brothers of the typical notorious all out race fixies of the manic cycle messengers of Chicago and New York. They are built for one thing only. Razor sharp handling and speed. They are as the nane suggests, geometry and component and drive train and frame and fork and wheels wise, full on road bikes. Only with flat bars and controls instead of drop bars and brifters. The Cannondale Quick is one that comes closest currently in India though there are many more pricey and faster more aggressive ones that really make this segment.

The Cannondale CAAD8 had a flat bar version that was a full on example. Sadly not available anymore. It was the same frame and fork and wheels and groupset as the CAAD8 road bike. With flat bars and controls.

The Quick in comparison is a more endurance flat bar. Shorter. Taller. Sloping top tube. Longer chainstays and slightly more swept out fork.

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These bikes (proper flat bar roadies) have no pretensions towards comfort and stability and slack geometry for newer riders. And they probably weigh only a few hundred grams more than their full on road siblings.

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Cheers, Doc

Last edited by ebonho : 10th September 2021 at 09:26.
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Old 10th September 2021, 10:30   #6448
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

The CAAD Optimo flat bar ... it just screams Batman's Joker to me!

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Cheers, Doc
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Old 10th September 2021, 11:24   #6449
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

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The CAAD Optimo flat bar ... it just screams Batman's Joker to me!
Just checked that in the Cannondale website a mean machine indeed!

I checked the Quick 3 and also the Scott Metrix 10 before closing on the Trek. The Quick 3 felt pretty much same as the FX3, and even the components, drivetrain all were identical (except for tyres 35c on the Quick v/s 32c on the FX3). Problem with Cannondale here is the limited stock. And with the pandemic, imports are almost zero.
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Old 10th September 2021, 13:43   #6450
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Default Re: The Bicycles thread

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Just checked that in the Cannondale website a mean machine indeed!

I checked the Quick 3 and also the Scott Metrix 10 before closing on the Trek. The Quick 3 felt pretty much same as the FX3, and even the components, drivetrain all were identical (except for tyres 35c on the Quick v/s 32c on the FX3). Problem with Cannondale here is the limited stock. And with the pandemic, imports are almost zero.
All of these rims can happily take 23c racing slicks without any issue.

Whenever you get the opportunity to take your tyre off of your rim, check the internal width ... it will either be 17 or 19 or 21 mm. Based on that Gordon Brown has a really nice chart about the minimum and maximum tyre sizes that you can mount safely.

Cheers, Doc
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