new road bike time: aero, disc? Di2?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
80sSuntour
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:52 pm

by 80sSuntour

hey all, I'm finally getting a new bike after putting good miles on my old one with Chorus 10s. I'm debating the merits between a good old fashioned road build with new ultegra or even dura ace, vs a disc bike with or without electronic shifting. I've never tried either. My local dealer does Bianchi and Scott, so I'm going with those brands. THe only Bianchi with disc is the Aria, but the xr3 is coming soon, but the bianchi is generally more money than scott, at least when talking about the bikes with countervail. don't think I need that since I'm a vet who somehow survived michelin 700x18c tires in the 80s. anyway, we have at most some rolling hills around here so no real advantage to either discs or light weight, so there is not a whole lot to drive my decision. I mostly do group rides and solo stuff, usually fairly short and fast (i.e. don't need all day comfort, prefer performance over endurance options). any thoughts? (and please don't suggest Canyon and other brands besides the 2 I mentioned, I'm sticking with my local dealer whom I like. he may even give me a tiny discount, free service the first year, etc. I do my own work, but they are good wrenches and won't mind helping learn new tech like di2 and hydro if I buy from them. so carbon aero vs light and all that good stuff is what I want to talk about. thanks

ps I'm in US so builds will be with Shimano. that's how they mostly come here and I'm not fighting manufacturing specs.

by Weenie


Kazyole
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:45 am
Location: NYC

by Kazyole

Personally:

1. Aero: All the data seems to suggest that aero is everything. I chose to go with a GC-oriented frame for comfort and because as a small guy who is better at climbing than anything else, I wanted a lightweight bike to complement what I'm best at. That said, even for a lot of rolling terrain or shallow climbing an aero bike is going to be faster. All the data I've seen says that for an amateur cyclist, anything under 4-5% it pays more to be aero than light. So realistically that's the majority of most rides in most places. However, this is WW and we're not all exactly rational when it comes to saving grams. I know it's probably mostly the wrong choice, but I like the look of a classic road bike, and seeing a low number on the scale does it for me more than just about anything else.

2. Discs: Honestly I could take them or leave them, but that seems to be the direction the industry is heading. Discs are better brakes. They're especially better in wet conditions, and they're especially better on broken surfaces. I don't do a ton of riding in either of the aforementioned situations. I also tend to subscribe to the belief that the limiting factor for how hard I can take a corner on a road bike in the wet has more to do with my tire's grip on the asphalt than it does on my brake's ability to slow me down. That said, discs are still better. They're also heavier and less aero. You have to decide whether or not they're worth it for you. I don't find them a compelling enough reason to buy a new frame and abandon rim brakes, but if I were buying a new frame anyway that might be a different story. If it were me I'd get the frame I want without consideration paid to discs vs rim brakes. If that frame happens to come in a disc model I'd probably get it. If it doesn't, that's fine too.

3. Di2: Try it out. As long as you aren't ideologically opposed to the idea of having to charge your bike, I think you'll love it. There isn't even a weight penalty anymore like there used to be, and the shifting is just better. Perfect, instantaneous shifts every single time. You can shift the FD under load and the FD auto trims. You can even set it up so that when you shift the front, it'll automatically shift the rear a couple cogs over to minimize the jump in cadence from the gearing change. Battery life is good enough that you never really have to worry about it. It won't make you faster, but it's such an improvement to the experience of riding a bike

From what you said about your riding habits, it sounds like an aero bike is the right call. And at least personally I like the look of the Oltre better than the Foil.

80sSuntour
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:52 pm

by 80sSuntour

I definitely prefer the looks of the oltre over the foil too. I just don't get the Scott color schemes, blue and orange? or white, black and 2 shades of red for accent, just bizarre. on the other hand they have disc in all the high end models whereas bianchi does not. I'm not interested in the Infinito. It is beautiful, but that endurance geo does not work for me, head tube is too tall for my position. so if i want disc, it really is either the foil or addict it seems, although the Bianchi Aria is a pretty bike. no stock at my dealer yet though, they are just arriving in states I think

bilwit
Posts: 827
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:49 am
Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

In terms of wanting new tech, IMO I wouldn't bother with discs unless you're putting in some serious kms in bad weather with it or are planning to take it on an Alpine descent or something like that. The industry seems to be wanting to force it down our throats but for regular fair weather riding, it's simply not necessary. I say this as someone who lives where it rains 56% of the year (god knows how much more if you count when the roads are still wet the following days) and has put $5k into a disc bike last week.

Electronic shifting is a very nice piece of tech if it's in your budget. Modern, less of a hassle, more aesthetically pleasing (wire management), and has huge bling factor. Personally I could take it or leave it depending on the budget.

As for Bianchi vs Scott and Aero vs Climbing... that's down to your own personal preference. Aero is more bling and will turn heads but again, that's up to your own personal preference. If there's not a lot of climbing and you're not bothered with saving every last gram and just want to go fast, aero is king. You can't really go wrong if you're choosing from the Bianchi Oltre XR4/XR3, Scott Foil or Scott Addict.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 1528
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

If you have zero qualms about interchangeability and plan on riding carbon clinchers, I would suggest switching to disc. I would also suggest aero unless you are all about PRing steep climbs. Electronic shifting, again 100% on-board.

80sSuntour
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:52 pm

by 80sSuntour

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:29 pm
If you have zero qualms about interchangeability and plan on riding carbon clinchers, I would suggest switching to disc.
that's another motivation for the discs. I know braking has come a long way for carbon clinchers, but it just makes so much more sense to take that out of the equation and hand off braking duties away from the carbon rim, as I am definitely looking to get some decent aftermarket wheels with the new bike. the disc bikes have much better tire clearance too for the wider rim/tire combos we are seeing these days

jfranci3
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

Disc - only if you ride in the rain or want to share wheels with a disc bike. I've getting a used cx / gravel as a 2nd bike instead.

80sSuntour
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:52 pm

by 80sSuntour

Don't know how I failed to wade into the 24 page "discussion" (if you can call it that) about disc bikes currently going on before I posted this thread, so I probably should have just left that one out. Thanks for the restraint. I guess the primary question could then be the Addict vs Foil vs XR3. Not a bad bike among them, I'm just really hesitating (I do that at restaurants too, can't be helped). I tend to doubt it will make much difference one way or the other and am looking at ways to justify picking 1 over the others (besides paint schemes)

User avatar
wheelbuilder
Posts: 482
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:10 am

by wheelbuilder

For what it's worth, I have always enjoyed the way Scott frames ride. They have that racy, responsive, lively feel that you only get with certain frames. Scott is definitely one of them. I don't own one but have ridden the Addict and Foil a fair amount. Don't have experience with the Bianchi but don't think you can go wrong with Scott. Congrats on your new bike and good luck!

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 1528
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Depends on how far back you go. My 2007 CR1 was incredibly light for the time, but it was also bone-jarring. :)

Geoff
Posts: 5153
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 2:25 am
Location: Canada

by Geoff

I am with @bilwit on a lot of that.

I remember when the first 'aero' craze came in the late 80's. Back then, though, the technology did not exist to either design or test the gear. The aero wheels and frames of today are for real. They are both heavier and more harsh-riding, though, if that matters to you. I have a few examples in my collection and they are really nicely-made. They also feel really fast.

I was one of those guys who thought electric shifting was not just a fad, it was full-on stupid. I am the first to admit, I was completely on the wrong side of that one. Electric shifting is just materially better. Highly recoomended.

DIscs? For 'cross, and despite how much I love cantis, discs are much better. For road, though, I don't really get it. The current rim brakes are so good as to be almost frightening. I have my first set of direct-mount brakes, and they are simply amazing. I think you'll be quite happy without disc brakes for road.

Oh, and on your choices, I have lots of Scott bikes in my collection and you can't go wrong there.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 1528
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Geoff wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:03 am

They are both heavier and more harsh-riding, though, if that matters to you.
There is at least one exception to this rule. Madones w/IsoSpeed are plush. They are definitely more compliant than my Emonda SLR.

80sSuntour
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:52 pm

by 80sSuntour

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:39 am
Geoff wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:03 am

They are both heavier and more harsh-riding, though, if that matters to you.
There is at least one exception to this rule. Madones w/IsoSpeed are plush. They are definitely more compliant than my Emonda SLR.
and without getting into a the big disc debate, reports are that the Foil is pretty compliant as well and it does so thanks to the new seatstay design, which are thinner and minus the brake bridge. The rim brake iteration puts the brakes below the chain stays which anyone can see has several compromises which the disc version does not have. So many people forget that one aspect of using disc brakes is not that they are so much better at braking, but that it opens up frame design. The Scott Solace is a great example of that since they made the seat stays very thin and compliant à la Cervelo R3, but didn't have to worry about a brake bridge so took the concept further

as far as heavy aero, it is true that compared to the super light weight frames available the aero versions are heavier but they are getting pretty close, and again the Foil is a case in point, maybe 200 grams or so more than the addict, which is a pretty light bike

dcorn
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:21 pm

by dcorn

Just throwing my personal opinion and experience into the ring. I like new and modern technology and if I'm going to spend $5k or more on a bike that's supposed to last me years, I want the newest and best stuff out there. So I bought an aero bike with the newest iteration of Ultegra Di2 and hydraulic disc brakes. Not only that, I just swapped on 32mm wide tubeless tires onto the aero wheels so I can have a comfy ride on my stiff bike and take advantage of the newest knowledge around rolling resistance (wider, low pressure, tubeless tires are faster). I think this combo is the total package and i know my bike won't be out of date for a long time. It's not the lightest thing in the world, but neither am I, plus I try to stay away from long climbs anyway. :D

Going by your paramters, I've always loved the Oltre XR3 frame and I think it looks awesome with disc brakes. Within your constraints, I'd absolutely pick that bike over all the other options.

by Weenie


80sSuntour
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:52 pm

by 80sSuntour

dcorn wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:32 pm
Just throwing my personal opinion and experience into the ring. I like new and modern technology and if I'm going to spend $5k or more on a bike that's supposed to last me years, I want the newest and best stuff out there. So I bought an aero bike with the newest iteration of Ultegra Di2 and hydraulic disc brakes. Not only that, I just swapped on 32mm wide tubeless tires onto the aero wheels so I can have a comfy ride on my stiff bike and take advantage of the newest knowledge around rolling resistance (wider, low pressure, tubeless tires are faster). I think this combo is the total package and i know my bike won't be out of date for a long time. It's not the lightest thing in the world, but neither am I, plus I try to stay away from long climbs anyway. :D

Going by your paramters, I've always loved the Oltre XR3 frame and I think it looks awesome with disc brakes. Within your constraints, I'd absolutely pick that bike over all the other options.
thanks. it does look like I'm leaning that way(hydro, Di2, fat tubeless). The Oltre really is gorgeous but they are not in the States yet--they haven't even decided on a price! and if I'm understanding correctly, it will not be available in Di2 anytime soon. I know that it is impossible to get the hydro Di2 levers from Shimano right now. OEM were fine but it doesn't sound like Bianchi was on that band wagon yet (my theory is they were waiting on that other Italian manufacturer to have their disc brake group ready, which is finally coming about)

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post