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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:45 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Deep in the European Mountains
Hello WeightWeenies!

Time has come to get a new bike! Have got a rough idea as to what I want out of a bike and therefore I am open to criticism based on bikes listed below.

I believe this is the best cycling forum to get feedback on bikes and ideas about them, due to the diversity of members!

I am currently on an SL4 SWORKS Tarmac. It is running Dura-Ace C24 Clinchers with 23mm rubber. I personally find the SWORKS ride quality (ie ride comfort/dampening) to be fantastic. I further believe its stiffness and climbing ability is fantastic. I am 185cm tall and hence size-wise I typically ride bikes with a 555-565 top tube length.

I want a bike that:
- Is as stiff (if not more) than the SL4 SWORKS.
- Has the same “ride comfort” (ie road dampening) as the SL4 SWORKS.
- Weighs at a maximum or around 7.1kg (with pedals and cages included).


The terrain and type of the riding I do is that found in the “Ardennes Classics” (as that is where I am based!). Basically a lot of short-sharp climbs (ranging from 1km long to 6km long) on inconsistent road surfaces. I typically go to south of France for 2 weeks every year and do a few of the famed mountain-passes there.

I had a SCOTT FOIL Team Issue bike and I found that its ride quality was too uncomfortable on climbing/country rides (ie left me rattled and shaken when riding on different road surfaces). It left me feeling worn out, so a 2 hour ride felt like a 3 hour ride! Definitely not ideal! Other bikes like the Venge and S5 again I believe would not be ideal.

All bikes listed below will be set up the same (ie Shimano 9000 Dura-Ace, Dura-Ace C24 Clinchers, PRO Carbon Parts)

I am thinking of the following bikes with some of my thoughts why I should or should not buy next to them:

- Ridley Helium SL (Supposedly quite comfortable and stiff. Very light weight)

- Colnago C60 (Even though a bit heavier, ride quality and comfort is supposedly supreme to all other bikes and it offers fantastic stiffness and racing ability)

- Trek Emonda SLR[i][/i] (Super light, not so sure about stiffness. Have heard they provide a rough ride and transmit a lot of excessive road feedback and vibration similar to the SCOTT Foil).

- Pinarello DOGMA F8 (Apparently super stiff and has some aerodynamic benefit. Apparently climbs reasonably well despite it being a “heavier” frame relative to some of the bikes listed above. Have heard it delivers a rough ride akin to that of the SCOTT Foil, hence my reservations)

- GIANT TCR Advanced SL ISP (Apparently a super stiff bike, but the ISP provides a rough and harsh ride)

- Pinarello DOGMA 65.1 (Although now an “old model”, apparently they have fantastic stiffness greater than the SWORKS yet have the “magic carpet ride” like the COLNAGO. I had a 60.1 Dogma and I loved it, so I can presume this is a stiffer version of that)

For those of you who say why not get another SWORKS, I am after getting something different! Furthermore previous experience has left me not wanting a Cannondale Supersix or R5 Cervelo!

May you please make suggestions on the above mentioned bikes based on:

- Personal experience
- Comparability in both stiffness and ride quality to an SL4 SWORKS
- Suitability to the type of terrain I ride in.
- Based on bike performance rather than “what fits you best/test ride” approach.
100s of thanks in advance


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Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:36 am 


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 9:22 am
Posts: 166
Location: Northampton, UK
I have never ridden an SL4, but I do have 2 x TCR's
As per my sig, one is an Advanced SL ISP. (Race)
The other, just an Advanced. (Training)

They are both stiff, but supremely comfortable.
The SL ISP, I race short crits and longer road races, and have even done a 200+ mile ride on it in absolute comfort.

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2013 Giant TCR Advanced 2 - Ultegra 6700 - Stans Alpha ZTR 400 - PT G3
2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL ISP - DA 7900 - Zipp 303 FC - PT G3
2011 Giant Trinity - Ultegra 6700 - Zipp 303 FC - PT G3/Disc
2012 PX Exocet 2 - SRAM Force - PX 101/82mm - PM TBC


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:10 pm
Posts: 12
Since you love the sl4 so much, just get the sl4.5. You get to retain the sworks badge too :)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 305
I had an S-Works SL3 tarmac, and switched to a Felt AR FRD. Ride comfort is comparable with the same wheels/tires/bars/seat. (Seatpost is different obviously). Supposedly the new s3/s5's are pretty nice from a comfort standpoint as well: Cervelo apparently listened well to the feedback on the harshness, and improved in that area.

The Scott foil is notorious for being harsh, and colors peoples perceptions of aero bikes. Throwing out the whole category based on one of the worst performing ones might be a bit rash.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm
Posts: 346
Parlee Altum. should be a good all around like your current SL4 with comfort.

i'm thinking about moving towards that and unloading my Z5 SLi.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 9:13 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Bristol, UK
aaric wrote:
The Scott foil is notorious for being harsh, and colors peoples perceptions of aero bikes. Throwing out the whole category based on one of the worst performing ones might be a bit rash.


I think this a bit unfair on the foil, it's a race bike, not a comfort bike. It's certainly no worse than a venge and considerably better than an S5 for comfort. I've done some pretty rough roads on mine (including off-road down some cycle paths) and never found it that bad. The trade off for the slightly stiffer ride is that it goes like s@#t off a shovel downhill and on the flats and climbs superbly.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:36 am
Posts: 276
Is there a reason the new Addict SL is not on your list? It has aero lessons learned from the foil, should be more comfortable, AND a WW build dream.
If not that, then I would consider a Cannondale SuperSix HiMod. Folks claim they are buttery smooth on the rough stuff, and still WW.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 305
arthurf wrote:
I think this a bit unfair on the foil, it's a race bike, not a comfort bike.


It probably is, but the OP put his reference to it in bold, and it was used as a benchmark to discard other aero bikes. My reply was directed at his prejudice :wink: I probably should have specified worst performing from a comfort standpoint, rather than just implying that.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:53 am
Posts: 312
Nice topic. The SL4 is hard to beat when it comes to making a balance of - stiff/comfort/weight.

I too would like to know the answer to this riddle. My only guess that could come close is Scott Addict SL.

The worst thing would be to get a new frame that you think is going to ride better, and then miss the feel of the SL4.


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Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:36 pm 


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:05 am 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 am
Posts: 43
R5ca not on the list? I've spent about 200km on a 2015 TarmacPro Disk (Ui2, R785, etc) and can say that it is easily as stiff as my SL4 while having comfort/dampening more along the lines of what my 2012 R3 Offered.

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