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 Post subject: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
I'm trying to decide if it's time for a new bike. So, forewarning, this might be a long post.

What I'm Riding:
As some of you have seen, I have a 2007 Litespeed Siena (Ti bike) which is supposed to be a relatively stiff frame for Ti. My experience with other bikes is limited. I had a carbon Merckx when I first started but was inexperienced at the time.

My Riding Profile:
I weight about 68kg and would consider myself an all around rider. I can keep up on climbs under 20 minutes in road races and can hold my own in crit sprints. I probably do about 20 races a year, a mix of crits and road races. I've been competitive lately, getting top 10s, and should be upgrading to Cat 3 soon. With that being said, I'm not super serious about racing. I enjoy the competitive aspect of it, but if I was truly serious, I'd be training a lot more than my 3-4 days a week.

I do competitive group rides on the weekend for training as well as some weekday training rides. I've been doing fewer and fewer long rides. Usually my Sunday ride is my longest at 75mi.

I'm generally a timid descender unless I know the road well. In races, I can usually out-descend most if it's technical and I know the road. On a local popular climb that I know well, I'm near the top 10 for the descent segment.

Why am I considering a new bike?
I love my bike, and for the most part have not felt it has held me back. However, between friends telling me that I need a carbon bike and that getting into my head, I've begun wondering if I'm missing out on something.

What do I like about my bike?
1. It's extremely unique and I love how it looks.
2. I have a tendency to scratch clear coats, but can't with this bike. Scratches and chips bother me.
3. With everything else, I have to have the newest and best. If I get a carbon wonder bike, I will want to replace it with newer models.
4. The bike has sharp, responsive handling, so it navigates well it crits and races.
5. The rumble of chipseal is non-existent to me. With a pair of shallow rims, it's no different than riding on smooth tarmac with this bike.

If I had to point out a few niggles with my bike, they would be:
1. High speed descents require my attention. Probably due to the short wheel base, but I'll never be one of those people that are riding no hands down the mountain. Further, I'm not fully comfortable descending on the hoods at high speed, but that's partly because I feel like I have less control, not so much because they bike is doing something I can't control.
2. I've noticed flex in two situations: during 600w uphill intervals and flat sprints if my form isn't great. Does this negatively affect me? No idea.
3. My frame is heavy. (This is WW afterall)

So, any words of wisdom? I'm going to the Specialized Demo day this week to test the Tarmac SL4 (probably try the disc model). I don't really want a new bike unless it's going to improve some aspect of my riding. I'm expecting the SL4 to feel stiffer, but I'm not sure that stiffer equates to faster. Also, if I did get a new bike, I'd have to get rid of the Siena due to space constraints.

_________________
Litespeed Siena: 6.21kg


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 Post subject: Time for a New Bike?
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:46 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:53 am
Posts: 341
Ride that great bike into the ground : ) Sure all the new carbon super bikes are "better" but I am not sure what the definition of "better" is.....I would be very surprised that any new bike is going to make your bike ride any "better"....

I have both a new carbon super bike and a old school steel bike. Yes they ride different, and the carbon bike is lighter, but both bikes are great in their own way.

It's really hard to "love" a bike and you have one that you do love so "love the one your with" : )

C

PS

All your so called "friends" are really jealous, you are not missing anything .. replace the bar tape, brake hoods, cables, saddle, tires and you have a new bike : )


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:21 pm
Posts: 92
You have the right perspective. Keep the Litespeed. A carbon fiber bike will feel different, but not necessarily better.

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My favorite components are the ones I never have to think about.


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:11 pm
Posts: 715
If I were you, I would get a cheap secondhand bike to race on. That way you won't care that much if you crash it. An expensive bike won't make you any faster. And even if it did make you faster, how much prize money do you get for a top 10 place? You won't earn back the expensive bike from prize money...
The Litespeed I would want to last a lifetime and use it for training rides only.


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:39 am 
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 6:36 pm
Posts: 157
Location: France
Owning a Lynskey Ti and a Supersix Evo, I would think a Supersix EVO is better in most aspect than your Siena and not more demanding.
Especially handling, descending and accelerating.

But of course with a carbon frame you need to be careful because it's easy to get scratches and you must buy it from a reliable shop able to deal with warranty issues. Or take the risk to buy a used one.


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:29 pm
Posts: 618
Location: UK
You always need a new bike!

_________________
"We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities." Oscar Wilde

Pegoretti Responsorium
Parlee Z5i
Donhou Commuter
1946 MacLeans Featherweight (L'Eroica!)
1991 Cannondale SM1000 (currently being renovated)


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:47 am 
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Posts: 1951
I was in the same boat a few years ago. Wanted a new bike to replace my made to measure steel.
Tried all manner of carbon wonder bikes.
Ended up buying a cheap training bike and a new groupset /wheels/saddle/etc for the steel.

I couldn't match the combination of feel, handling, comfort of it. So I didn't replace it.
Still going strong. Tho it will be replaced next year, after 18 years service.
I have just upgraded again, so it'll be compatible with next year's new bike. :)

Might be worth some strategic moving of stuff, so you have space to keep both.......


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:24 am 
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Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 1401
Going to the demo day is definetly a good start. If you like what you ride, ideally you'd try the new bike for a second time with your own wheels, and then your own bike with the wheels from the demo bike. That's not something that's usually possible, but you can at least ask.

And yeah, what the heck are space constraints?

_________________
"Nothing compares to the simple pleasures of a bike ride," said John F. Kennedy, a man who had the pleasure of Marilyn Monroe.


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:09 pm
Posts: 1022
Location: Aix en Provence
As others have said, no new bike will make you "faster", legs do that. But a new higher end carbon frame is a good complement to your litespeed. So I would say do not replace your litespeed but add a carbon frame. As descending seems to be the weak point of your litespeed, focus on bikes with a good handling for descents and maybe a longer wheelbase (Italian bikes as a generality).


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:50 pm
Posts: 636
Have you put any thought into having a custom frame made? I just had a custom steel frame built and I've never been faster or more comfortable. My steel bike is still under 6.8kg.


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
@voodoo I have considered it, with Alchemy, Crumpton or Argonaut at the top of my list, but I wouldn't feel comfortable racing on a $5K frame. The other thing is that I don't think I need custom geometry. My frame is pretty much identical to what would be recommended for my measurements.

If I can make space for it, and get wife approval, picking up a CAAD10 or Allez with SRAM Force as a dedicated race bike may be an option. I'm just not big on having a dedicated race bike that I don't spend most of my time on. Same idea as people only using their deep dish carbon wheels for racing and not feeling comfortable in cross winds.

I'm going to try to use my wheels on Friday. Do the Tarmacs communicate a lot of road vibration compared to a steel/Ti bike?

_________________
Litespeed Siena: 6.21kg


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:01 am 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm
Posts: 437
Your siena is one of my favourite builds on the site. Does any bike actually make a big difference - not really. If you want a new bike get a new bike because you want one, not because of perceived performance gains, because any gains will be small.

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Evo 5.63kg SL3 6.66 viewtopic.php?f=10&t=110579" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:41 am
Posts: 29
Location: NY
In my experience, if you have to ask then you've already made the decision. Think about this: the first 3 things that you like about the bike are cosmetic. The first thing you don't like about the bike has to do with the design of the bike. My recommendation? Get another titanium bike, but in custom to fix all the things that you don't like about this one and enhance the things that you do. It won't be cheap, but it will be worth it. My preference, personally, is for a Moots RLS. It should weigh in around 1200g for a ~56cm, which isn't earth shattering, but certainly light enough to build into a sub-15 pound machine.

RyanH wrote:
I'm trying to decide if it's time for a new bike. So, forewarning, this might be a long post.

What I'm Riding:
As some of you have seen, I have a 2007 Litespeed Siena (Ti bike) which is supposed to be a relatively stiff frame for Ti. My experience with other bikes is limited. I had a carbon Merckx when I first started but was inexperienced at the time.

My Riding Profile:
I weight about 68kg and would consider myself an all around rider. I can keep up on climbs under 20 minutes in road races and can hold my own in crit sprints. I probably do about 20 races a year, a mix of crits and road races. I've been competitive lately, getting top 10s, and should be upgrading to Cat 3 soon. With that being said, I'm not super serious about racing. I enjoy the competitive aspect of it, but if I was truly serious, I'd be training a lot more than my 3-4 days a week.

I do competitive group rides on the weekend for training as well as some weekday training rides. I've been doing fewer and fewer long rides. Usually my Sunday ride is my longest at 75mi.

I'm generally a timid descender unless I know the road well. In races, I can usually out-descend most if it's technical and I know the road. On a local popular climb that I know well, I'm near the top 10 for the descent segment.

Why am I considering a new bike?
I love my bike, and for the most part have not felt it has held me back. However, between friends telling me that I need a carbon bike and that getting into my head, I've begun wondering if I'm missing out on something.

What do I like about my bike?
1. It's extremely unique and I love how it looks.
2. I have a tendency to scratch clear coats, but can't with this bike. Scratches and chips bother me.
3. With everything else, I have to have the newest and best. If I get a carbon wonder bike, I will want to replace it with newer models.
4. The bike has sharp, responsive handling, so it navigates well it crits and races.
5. The rumble of chipseal is non-existent to me. With a pair of shallow rims, it's no different than riding on smooth tarmac with this bike.

If I had to point out a few niggles with my bike, they would be:
1. High speed descents require my attention. Probably due to the short wheel base, but I'll never be one of those people that are riding no hands down the mountain. Further, I'm not fully comfortable descending on the hoods at high speed, but that's partly because I feel like I have less control, not so much because they bike is doing something I can't control.
2. I've noticed flex in two situations: during 600w uphill intervals and flat sprints if my form isn't great. Does this negatively affect me? No idea.
3. My frame is heavy. (This is WW afterall)

So, any words of wisdom? I'm going to the Specialized Demo day this week to test the Tarmac SL4 (probably try the disc model). I don't really want a new bike unless it's going to improve some aspect of my riding. I'm expecting the SL4 to feel stiffer, but I'm not sure that stiffer equates to faster. Also, if I did get a new bike, I'd have to get rid of the Siena due to space constraints.


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:49 pm
Posts: 1581
Location: Near Horgen, Switzerland
I'm not expert on the ride of a Siena, but my own experiences mirror yours, in that it took me ten years to find a bike significantly better than my C40 that was worth upgrading to. I tried a mid range Aluminum bike and it was stiffer but not comfortable, but still fun to ride. I also found that the bike would go exactly where I steered it, and started to use this to be more confident in high speed descents. Then I tried a Parlee Z4, which was successively upgraded to a Z5SL and now SLi. They combine light weight, enough stiffness and, with very good comfort, plus excellent lifetime warranty and service. yes it is ruinously expensive, but if you ride it for ten years it's a bargain. Worth a test ride.

From what I read the SL4 is slightly lumpy and the SL5 is designed to be smoother. However it's unnecessarily heavy, likely because it's designed to be for pros subject to a 6.8kg rule. They could have changed things this model year, but I would think there are better frames given your love of A good ride. I'd agree with a previous poster that a Moots or maybe Firefly or Baum might be nice. Or a Chinese version if you don't want to spend so much.

Also don't overlook parts like the seat post. A 3mm thick cheap carbon post isn't going to be much different to a block of steel, so it's worth getting the details like the tyre, tubes etc right. pm fdegrove if you need advice!


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:42 am
Posts: 12
I had one of the first Sienas on the market. Aside from being one of the first compact frames available to consumers there is not
much I can praise it for. It is heavy, unstable at high speeds and "no-hand" riding, not that stiff and for frame size the top tube is quite short
and head tube is huge.
I believe things improved somewhat in later Sienas with carbon seat stays (mine are Ti) and welded down tube and what not.
It is definately not a pro level bike, so do not get worked up too much comparing you old Siena to your new ride.


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a New Bike?
Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:42 pm 


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