I'm loosing sleep choosing a new bike

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

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Rough
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:21 am

by Rough

So I finished my studies and got a job and I am finally in position to afford a proper superbike (for me at least).

I'm already past the fact that I don't really need a new bike as my old one is good enough for the training and riding I do.
I feel that I am at the point in life when buying an expensive/luxury item such as a superbike is appropriate as I don't have a family/loans/mortgage. I've been cycling for a year and a half and since then cycling has become basically my main hobby/activity and I'm really passionate about it.

I also know that the timing isn't that great with supply issues and high prices but I'd rather have the bike now and ride it opposed to waiting for it 2-3 years (and I have a feeling that prices won't really go down, probably the opposite).

I'm a larger guy, 189cm and 76kg and I tend to be better on flats than on the hills. I do ride a lot of steep and long climbs but I also love ripping it on flats. I am powerfull and aero enough that holding 40-45km/h is realistic so aero performance of a frame/bike is somewhat important (I know most aero tests are done at that speed).

Basically I'm torn between (in no particular order):

1. Giant TCR SL Disc 1 2021 (SL ISP frameset with Force groupset, Quark PM, SLR wheelset)
https://images.giant-bicycles.com/b_whi ... osNavy.jpg
what I like:
- I think paintjob is absolutely amazing (I've seen this bike in person at my local Giant dealer and it is stunning)
- I like the visual apperance of the bike, classic shape
- Easy to change cockpit (I ride 38cm bars and would like to try 36cm)
- I have heard amazing things about Giant TCR 2021 ride quality
- It's light and stiff, would be great climbing and descending machine
- Quark power meter
- Wouldn't have to wait for the bike, available right now
what I dislike:
- Price is around 5900€ and is absolute limit of what I'm willing to spend
- While I appreciate the simplicity of non-integrated cockpit I thing hidden cables look great
- Aero performance: TCR 2021 was tested by at 227 watts with SLR wheelset or 223 watts with zip404 and round handlebars.
- While ISP looks nice it can probably be a pain in the ass (difficult adjustments, difficult to travel)
- I don't hate the Force groupset but for that money I'd like to have new 12-speed ultegra Di2
- SLR wheelset is light but it's also hookless, narrow and not really aero. I've heard hubs are good though (could probably sell this and buy something deeper, wider and more aero)
- If they introduce hidden cables/fully integrated TCR version next year I'll feel stupid for not waiting out for that

2. Merida Reacto 8000 (12 speed Ultegra Di2, Reynolds ar58 wheelset)
https://d2lljesbicak00.cloudfront.net/m ... 022.tif?p3
what I like:
- Objectively a faster bike. It's heavier but definitely more aero (Tour tested at 209 watts I think?)
- The bike just looks fast
- I like how it looks with hidden cables/full integration
- Sensible integration, could change handlebars easily
- Ultegra Di2 12 speed
- Could get it at around 5600€ so while very expensive still cheaper than Giant TCR SL
- Deep wheelset which is not hookless
what I dislike:
- It's probably quite a bit heavier than Giant (while weight is not so important to me it's nice to have a light bike if possible)
- Could get a matt black paintjob version quite soon but I would very much prefer the dark red version (I would really like to avoid having a black bike)
- Don't know the delivery date of Dark red paintjob version
- Front end stiffness and ride quality are probably worse than Giant TCR

2. Cube Litening c68x (would prefer Ultegra Di2 12 speed but SRAM Force would work too if available)
what I like:
- A fast bike (probably very similar to Merida in this regard)
- Good value at 4800€ for Ultegra di2 build
- Hidden cables
what I dislike:
- Bike looks "okay" but paintjobs are quite underwhelming in my opinion
- Cockpit only comes in 400cm or wider and is expensive and pain in the ass to replace
- While the bike seems like a good/fast option I don't really "feel" it.

3. Giant TCR Advanced pro 0 2022 (Ultegra Di2)
https://images.giant-bicycles.com/b_whi ... erGlow.jpg
what I like:
- 5000€: Sensible price for new 12 speed ultegra Di2 build
- I kinda like the paintjob (but I still think Advanced SL 2021 version looks much better)
- Non ISP seatpost would be easy to live with
- Probably similar weight to SL version due to Ultegra being lighter than Force
what I dislike:
- Paintjob could be nicer
- Not fully integrated (easier to work on but doesn't look as nice...)
- SLR wheelset (same cons as SL version)

These were the options I'm loosing sleep about. I would really appreciate commenst from people owning the bikes and some general advice/guidance. I feel like full on aero bike would suit a rider like me more but at the same time I can really appreciate the simplicity of the TCR.

I would also like some advice regarding the ISP. How much adjustment do I have if I change my cleat position or switch to shorter cranks? Is it really such a pain in the ass? Do benefits outweight the negatives?

I know some find aero testing results pointless but I think (while testing is flawed) it does matter. How much of a disadvantage would TCR with aero handlebars and deeper wheelset be compared to Reacto? Would it be closer to 5-8 watts difference at 45 km/h? Is the difference even smaller in real world with water bottles and such?

I know this is a long post (hopefully it sparks some debate) but any help is welcome! Thanks!

by Weenie


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mashiehood
Posts: 142
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:13 pm

by mashiehood

you are over thinking it..... just pick one you fancy the most, bit like being in a bar full of girls!

Singular
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:59 am

by Singular

Exactly - they're all great rides. Look at the bikes and pick the one (frameset) that sings to you. Everything else can (and will...) be upgraded... :)

callemacody
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:33 pm

by callemacody

Take a look at Ribble Ultra SLR with ultegra and Zipp303s ;)

robertbb
Posts: 1796
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

The answer is buy the one that fits you properly. You'll be more efficient (read: more powerful for longer consuming less energy and accumulating less fatique) and avoid injury.

Being young you can likely get away with a less than ideal fit, but overall fit is more important than the differences in performance of the bike/groupsets/wheels in those options you present.

If me at 40 could go back 10-12 years and tell myself one thing, at 28-30 this would be it.

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PSM
Posts: 1704
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:45 pm
Location: Stockholm, The Arctic...

by PSM

3!

IvanZg
Posts: 238
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:10 pm

by IvanZg

I would avoid Giant with ISP simply for practical reasons. If you decide that you want something else after some time it will be easier to sell a bike with seat post that offers more adjustability then one that is cut down and can only be shimmed slightly.
If you route cables on Giant bike internally through the aero shaped bars of your choice that simplicity of partly external cables is basically gone but the eyesore remains. You said that you like the look of internally routed cable so I would go with Merida. If you're concerned with the weight have a look a Scultura as well as see if weight vs aero is worth of a sacrifice.

Rough
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:21 am

by Rough

callemacody wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 11:25 am
Take a look at Ribble Ultra SLR with ultegra and Zipp303s ;)
While I have no doubt that Ribble is very aero I also really don't like the looks of it and I would rather have a bike from a more established brand.
For me it's important that the bike delivers from a performance standpoint and that I find it appealing.
IvanZg wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 11:56 am
I would avoid Giant with ISP simply for practical reasons. If you decide that you want something else after some time it will be easier to sell a bike with seat post that offers more adjustability then one that is cut down and can only be shimmed slightly.
If you route cables on Giant bike internally through the aero shaped bars of your choice that simplicity of partly external cables is basically gone but the eyesore remains. You said that you like the look of internally routed cable so I would go with Merida. If you're concerned with the weight have a look a Scultura as well as see if weight vs aero is worth of a sacrifice.
I'm 189cm tall and ride a 56cm frame - Giant size M/L. I probably wouldn't have to cut a lot of seatpost so resale value wouldn't be such a big issue. I'm thinking more about minor adjustments like switching pedals, shoes, changing saddle position? How much of a hassle is that, does ISP clamp offer some level of adjustment for minor tweaks like that?
robertbb wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 11:31 am
The answer is buy the one that fits you properly. You'll be more efficient (read: more powerful for longer consuming less energy and accumulating less fatique) and avoid injury.

Being young you can likely get away with a less than ideal fit, but overall fit is more important than the differences in performance of the bike/groupsets/wheels in those options you present.

If me at 40 could go back 10-12 years and tell myself one thing, at 28-30 this would be it.
I already researched and compared the geometry between the bike I currently ride and the bikes I'm interested in so they would all fit me.
I know that fit is important for comfort and for aero.

dcj10
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 4:22 pm

by dcj10

I'd go for something from Giant from your list, but not the ISP version. How competent are you on the tools? If you are - or know someone who is - for your budget, why not get a stand-alone frameset, and go from there? From the big brands, purely my impression, Giant framesets offer remarkably more value for the quality and spec on offer, especially compared to Trek and Specialized, here in the UK. And I'm speaking as someone who has bought bikes from both those brands in the past 3 years, and strangely not yet found a reason to own a Giant

Like others have indicated, the ISP version of the Giant frameset feels like a massive faff to me, in exchange for much reduced ride quality, if that is an issue for you. It is for me. See the Peaktorque youtube videos on his ISP issues. The standard Giant frameset with separate aero seatpost looks perfect and buying it would allow you to consider much lighter components within the budget you've set, and still run 12 Speed Ultegra. Just my input, take it as you see fit.
Last edited by dcj10 on Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MagicShite
Posts: 221
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:33 pm

by MagicShite

> - If they introduce hidden cables/fully integrated TCR version next year I'll feel stupid for not waiting out for that

Coming from a guy who owns TCR 2016 Rims, Propel Disc, and the new TCR 2021 Discs, if they ever go hidden cables I'm never touching them again.

I absolutely HATE fully hidden integrated cables.

gorkypl
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:31 am
Location: Poland

by gorkypl

Your dillemas are not unusual :)

First and foremost, invest in a proper bike fitting. Treat this as a part of bike cost, and choose the best fitter available. Don't obsess over the price, you want to have it done right the first time and be certain that your position is optimal, that you choose the correct frame size, stem length etc.

Once you have your stack and reach numbers, it is super simple - go with the bike that makes your heart beat faster. Differences between 11 and 12 speeds are not crucial, a frame that is a bit more stiff or more aero would not matter if you will not love the looks of a machine you will be riding on. So choose one that you like the most, if you like integrated cables go with integrated (I personally like to have them exposed), but don't try to make too 'balanced' or 'informed' decision. For us, mere mortals, a simple frame with mechanical 105 would be more than enough - we buy better bikes not because we need them, but because we want them.

Cinelli Superstar Disc - Record 12s
Custom steel Karamba - Ekar 13s (in the making)

cjm
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:56 pm

by cjm

I've been researching, pondering and procrastinating over the same issues for a while and I'm currently doing what dcj10 suggests. A TCR advanced pro frameset, aero bars, deep wheels. It would have been slightly cheaper and faster to do the same thing a couple of years ago but it should still work out about the same cost as a similar spec fully built bike. I'd have liked integrated cables for the clean look but they all seem to give other issues, and I'm not ready to go hookless so it seemed dafted to buy one of the pro builds that comes with those wheels.

treyxt
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:04 pm

by treyxt

Rough wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 12:45 pm
callemacody wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 11:25 am

I'm 189cm tall and ride a 56cm frame - Giant size M/L. I probably wouldn't have to cut a lot of seatpost so resale value wouldn't be such a big issue. I'm thinking more about minor adjustments like switching pedals, shoes, changing saddle position? How much of a hassle is that, does ISP clamp offer some level of adjustment for minor tweaks like that?
you're 189cm on a 56 frame? Interesting.. Short legs or something?

bobones
Posts: 512
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:19 am

by bobones

I've just built a TCR Advanced SL for myself and had similar doubts about the ISP. I ended up cutting just over 1 cm, but now that's done I have zero concerns about it. It looks good, feels great and there's never going to be any slippage problems. There's plenty of adjustability with shims and Giant supply another longer seat-topper to provide more height if you're selling it on. Cutting was also easy with the Park guide and I have none of the issues Peak Torque mentions.

I've seen others mention the ISP is uncomfortable, but that's not my experience at all. The ride quality is really lively and springy, yet smooth and supremely comfortable. I have the rim frame though.

Fully internal cables look nice and are important to some people, but it's not something I hanker for: I'd rather have the easy maintence and adjustablity of external. This would not be a deal breaker for me either way. Since the 2021 TCR is a new version, I doubt there'll be a updated model with the potential for hidden cables until 2024.

Kingstonian
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:59 am

by Kingstonian

Genuine question - where can you get the Giant TCR SL Disc 1 for €5900 ? I'm also interested in that bike and everywhere I've looked it is way more expensive than that.

I've read a few reviews and a couple of people have said the disc ISP frame is a bit less compliant than the rim brake equivalent - they've put that down to slightly stiffer chainstays and forks to handle the braking forces. I don't have first hand experience so can't provide an opinion, but wanted to share as I thought it was interesting and the reason why I'll be making sure I get to have a test ride before I sign up for one.

The other consideration with an ISP is that it makes it much harder to find a bike box that it will fit into - a consideration if you would ever want to take it on a flight.

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

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