Buying a new bike. One bike to rule them all



@Workhorse regarding aero v. all around: Aero bikes these days are pretty good all arounds and all arounds are pretty aero. The difference in grams of watts saved by an aero bike, while black and white in a wind tunnel, will be hardly noticeable on the road (IME). The lighter all around bikes, while mathematically proven to get you to the top “10 seconds faster” doesn’t matter if you have no idea how to pace.

Comfort is king (this assumes correct fit). Any reputable manufacturer these days is making everything stiff enough for most riders. Maybe too stiff. If a bike isn’t comfortable and doesn’t handle well who cares how aero or light it is? Between the manufacturers the geometry are very very close. Whatever you get try and make sure it handles and is comfortable. How you know that until you ride it for a few hundred miles I don’t know. So, perhaps don’t get caught up in the marketing hype.

The new Allez probably performs every bit as good as a Tarmac for a fraction of the cost. I’d recommend not buying top shelf anything and use the saved $ (if possible) and spend more on bars, saddle, wheels and nice tires and killer shoes.


I got one of those in April this year. You will not regret it- a superb bike. If you don’t race I think be the one bike you would ever need - just with 2/3 sets of wheels to interchange. I built mine with a 1 x 11 10-42 at the back, 42 on the front with Shimano Di2 and an XT rear mech.


Going for Ultegra 8070 Di2 with 11-34 on the back and then probably a Quarq DFour91 on the front with absolute black chain rings in 50/34 (and eventually 46/30 ovals if needed).

Out of interest what BB are you running? Interested in how much space you have in there to get the brake house through.


i would never think to borrow money for a bike. Bicycles loose their value real quick. They get crashed, stolen and beat up. I’d hate to see someone have to replace something they don’t even own yet. Of course I always recommend not borrowing money for anything.
Keep saving or there are some excellent bikes in the 2k range or look at used bikes if you want something higher end. Let someone else take the hit.


I started with Spesh Allez, however realized that the frame was a bit too large for me. Upgraded wheels and group set to 105. Stumbled across a sale on old Cervelo framed and got 2012 S2 frame for $500. Transplanted 105 component to the new frame, and restored Allez to stock condition. Sold Allez for $300 to a friend. Next up aero wheels.


I’ve used Affirm to finance two bikes from Giant (a road bike for a year and a mountain bike for six months). Since I didn’t save up specifically for a bike but make more than enough to cover an easy payment of $100 a month, it was the easiest route for me to go to get my hands on a bike immediately. It helped my credit score out a bit too. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with financing anything, as long as you know you can make the payment and if you have extra cash, make bigger payments and pay it off sooner.


Praxis BB - no problem with the brake hose


How old/supple are you and what do you want to do with the bike?

My aero bike is purely for racing, semi-compact gearing and race setup, as in low and not what I would call comfortable. I’m 44 in a few weeks and its noticeable.
My other bike is still a race bike but set up more relaxed and with compact gearing, it comes out for longer rides with more climbing. You can climb on an aero bike but its not fun.
If you just want to ride and enjoy it look at an endurance bike, plenty of newer ones are still racy enough.


Love the look of those mason bikes!


I think I may have caught the TI bike bug… Anyone currently rocking a TI frame? Here are a few I’ve had my eye on:


I am ordering a Ti Disc bike from Firefly. Unfortunately, I will need to wait 18 months as they have a really long wait time. In the mean time, I will ride my 2014 Domane retrofitted with Etap. I love the fit of that bike.


Yep, still loving my self built 2001 Merlin Road - albeit with upgraded drivetrain now.

Another couple of options I’d consider are:


As a bike shop employee, it’s nice to know you don’t believe I deserve to eat or pay my mortgage. Most of us working at independent bike shops aren’t driving around in Bentleys between our mansions trying to get our champagne stocks in order, y’know…


@nico_synergy Yes nico, that’s exactly what I want. For you to starve. I was under the assumption you were driving around in a Bentley between mansions while pilfering the Dom Pérignon.

We are all part of the same economical model, and I have done my stint in retail. You do not need to defend your bike shop. If it has worth in this modern era, it will survive.

That is not for either of us to decide. That’s for market forces to take their course. The masses will decide.

This is not ethics, it’s economics, so the sympathy card has little merit.


We are all part of the same economical model but you are suggesting that people take their hard-earned cash to ebay to build a frankenbike rather than taking it to a local shop that specializes in helping people find the right bike for them. While that method could work great for 20%~ of the population, and while it may be the most cost-efficient option for the mechanically inclined, it’s not for everyone.

Not saying I disagree with you, but the “economics-first” outlook comes off as a little harsh when we are likely talking about someone’s livelihood. (Having “done a stint in retail” implies that you understand where Nico is coming from but in reality it’s a little condescending)


Get out there and test ride lots of them! There can be a massive difference in frames, despite bikes looking similar on the surface. 2 bikes im very familiar with are the Look 795 and the Cipollini NK1K… The usual description I hear about the difference between these two is it’s like a super powered luxury saloon vs. a high powered supercar… They both go very very fast, but one feels planted and one feels a lot more lively. Loads of shops in England run demo days, so seek some out and ask if there are any coming up and then go and play :smiley:


We’re not talking about someone’s livelihood.

We’re talking about building bicycles at an affordable price. Nico is trying to make it about him and pick a fight online. Don’t get sucked into that trap.

Can’t go anywhere on the internet without some guy trying to start a witch-hunt over a perceived slight. Perhaps TR forum could be free of people being permanently offended by normal conversation.


How do you find the Emonda? I have the Madone 9 from 2016 and I just love it. I have no problems with comfort, I’ve done plenty of centuries (miles, not k’s) on it and find it very capable in all conditions. Except I want to do some traveling next year and ride on the other end and the Madone is very difficult to break down and almost every part is custom. So, should anything happen while I’m away, I realistically have no choice but to rent something for the rest of the trip. So, I was looking into an Emonda just to have more traditional parts on it should there be an issue. I think it’ll ride differently to the Madone, but I can build it up pretty light (<6kgs even with disc) to give me a totally different kind of bike. I’d love to hear your insights into the Emonda. What do you love? What isn’t so great?


I currently have the 2015 Emonda SLR 8. About 3 seasons on it and it’s been the best road bike I have ever ridden. Not aero by any stretch, especially since I am still on the stock lightweight wheels.

I really love the bike. I find the H2 geometry to be a great blend of comfort and race geo. It strikes a balance between the race and endurance geo range that really works for me. I considered others along with the new Tarmac SL6. But it is longer and lower for the same 56 size, or I would end up with more drop to get the same reach as the Emonda.

I could probably swing the Tarmac for comfort, as I am still quite flexible. But I had back issues years ago and like to keep that in mind. I have not had any issues with the Emonda, even on long 6+ hour days with nearly 10k ft of climbing.

I thought about the Madone, and the new Isospeed version is even more comfortable than the old one. But the issues with cable routing and limitations on stem options lead me away from it.

I love the simple looks and function of the Emonda. I am really just upgrading because I can get the disc model at nearly the same weight as my current rim version. I expect to keep this new one for a long time.

Handling wise it is a bit twitchy compared to endurance bikes like my Roubaix. But I really like the snappy feel and it absolutely launches in sprints and climbs for me.

I can’t really think of anything I consider as “bad” about it. It is all-day comfortable (almost as good as the Roubax) but still super fun to toss around.

Depending on your Madone, I think the H2 Emonda and it will be very close in geo. I’d have to check that to be sure, but they will be in the same ballpark if not identical.

Happy to answer more questions if you think of specifics that I didn’t address.


The Emonda and Madone share the same geometry. I have the Madone in H1, so would do the same in the Emonda to match the fit. The only problem with that is that it means I have to do Project One.