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Help selecting my new bike
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Guys I am hoping for some help please,

After many running injuries I have hung up my road shoes for a while and started looking at endurance cycle racing. Later this year I am racing the trans pyrenees race (TPR) this is a 1500KM self supported race with some gravel sections. It is this that is causing me doubts, all of my bikes are calliper based road frames and the widest tyre I can fit is 28MM and I think I will need more.

To this end I am looking at the possibility of a new disc brake based endurance bike, something that will take 32MM tyres and will be kind on me for multiple day riding.

To date I have been recommended Obrea Avant, Trek Domane but should I be thinking more along the lines of the 3T explore?

All suggestions gratefully received.

Thanks in advance

Glenn
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Re: Help selecting my new bike [Glenny] [ In reply to ]
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It depends a bit on how many odds and ends you have you already have that you will be using on the bike.

In my opinion Trek does a fantastic job of spec'ing the bikes largely because Bontrager components are very good. The Trek Domane SL 5 and 6 are among the best bikes at that price point on the market if you are buying off the shelf. You do a pay for the attention to detail in standard spec though and if you are going to be heavily upgrading the bike Trek isn't the best option.

I would put the 3T exploro on the other end of the market. Great frame but most of the standard builds use lesser components to keep the overall cost down so its begging for upgrades unless you buy the super premium builds. Personally I also wouldn't go 1X for an even like the TPR but I realise that is very subjective.

The Orbea falls somewhere in the middle. The frame set isn't as expensive so for the money you can get better builds but I don't think orbea's own brand components are as nice as Bontrager.

Overall if your budget is upper 4 figures you will be able to make any of the options work like a dream. If your budget is lower 4 figures but you have lots of spare parts laying around I would go orbea or 3T. If you budget is lower 4 figures and you really need a complete bike I would go Domane.
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Re: Help selecting my new bike [Glenny] [ In reply to ]
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I'd probably first figure out how much stuff you want to carry then work backwards to find the frames that will most efficiently support that.
If it's just a saddle pack and bar bag you have unlimited frame options. If you think some extra mounts would help the array of bikes changes.

And there are fit considerations of course.


Comparing the Orbea and Exploro in sizes with the same reach - the 3T is nearly 30mm lower - close to a classic race geometry. Which may not suit your situation (fairly new to cycling, doing endurance riding) so a more Adventure style bike may work better.

Gravel/Endurance/Adventure (whatever you want to call it) has been the boom category for drop bar bikes in the last couple of years so there are a heap of options that give a variety of tyre and storage setups.


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Re: Help selecting my new bike [scott8888] [ In reply to ]
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Scott, thanks for the detailed reply, which makes lots of sense to me.

I don't want a 1x set up for this ride, I am also conscious of the amount of climbing hence want to try and keep the weight on the lower end if possible. The Domane does tick a lot of boxes but unless I go to the SL7 they appear to come with a cheap wheel set?

With the Obrea I have the option of a wheel upgrade for not a great amount of money. Hunt carbon 30/50 with Ultegra build for around £3k (UK)

Other bikes I have been looking at have been the Scott Addict and Focus Paralane. This does seem to be a real growth area of the bike market at the moment!
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Re: Help selecting my new bike [cyclenutnz] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Cyclenutnz, Thanks also for your reply, I have been cycling for over 30 years so more accused to a road geometry but aware that this will be my longest race by some distance.

I am planning on carrying minimal kit, using hostels/hotels every evening. As such I am looking at a small frame bag supplemented by a tool bag under the saddle and top tube 'feed bag'

You have hit the nail on the head for me, there is almost too much choice and I fear I am going around in circles chasing my tale.

Having said that I am open to any suggestion from you guys?

Glenn
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Re: Help selecting my new bike [Glenny] [ In reply to ]
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Hah, I reread your post before I said new and and still went ahead with making a huge assumption. Go me.

Do you have measurements from one of your current road bikes? Preferably handlebar XY.

I have a Paralane, it's a good bike. I find it a bit weird compared to my race bike because it is so much softer on the road but that's probably a good thing for the long haul. Gives you room for 35mm tyres which could be a nice option for what you are doing. The only disadvantage I'd see for what you are doing is the lack of top tube bosses to hold a bag steady but that is based on my knees running really close to the frame so floppy bags are a problem. Coming with proper mudguards was my main motivation.

Having checked a few of the carbon options it seems toptube bosses are pretty rare. Much more common on steel frames.

Do you know what the gravel sections are like?


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Re: Help selecting my new bike [cyclenutnz] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks so much for your time, I am away from my bike at the moment but know the current stack/reach if that helps? (S 565, R 388) current ride with a 120 MM -6 degree stem.

That is excellent feedback on the Paralane and does seem to tick most if not all of the boxes. As well as offering space for a frame bag. The 35MM clearance is a big plus and tyre choice will be another interesting rabbit hole to disappear down....

The gravel sections are unknown to me but there is approximately 200km in total, so not insignificant but a small percentage of the total ride?

Glenn
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Re: Help selecting my new bike [Glenny] [ In reply to ]
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It seems like the new Specialized Roubaix will fit your needs: comfortable, wide tire clearance (up to 35mm?), tunable shock absorption (for the gravel), aero (for the tarmac/flat), disc brakes, relatively lightweight, and not too racing geo. Not sure if its availability will meet your timeline, however.
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Re: Help selecting my new bike [dalava] [ In reply to ]
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Hey dalava, the Roubaix is something I would look at but a little worried about the head shock. This maybe nothing but not sure how I would feel about riding out of the saddle with it.

I could be wrong but in the UK i think it is expert versions and above which come with the lock out and the stack looks very tall?
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Re: Help selecting my new bike [Glenny] [ In reply to ]
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I don't know what versions of the Roubaix will have the Future Shock 2.0, but I heard/read from CyclingTips that it will be Expert and up. All I see on the Specialized.com are S-Works versions right now, and no frameset as an option. I've also heard on the CyclingTips podcast when they interviewed the Product Manager of Roubaix that the pro teams who rode the Roubaix for Paris-Roubaix were able to get them to set up to mirror their Tarmac even though Roubaix has taller headtube, so I guess it's at least possible that you can get lower position.
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Re: Help selecting my new bike [Glenny] [ In reply to ]
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The cobbles are less than 20% of Paris Roubaix too and yet bike selection for that event focuses on them. That's certainly enough gravel to make life miserable if your tyres aren't up to the task (having done events with friends that got 5 punctures on road tyres in limited gravel sections).

Off the top of my head that frame XY + a 120mm stem is going to put you around 495, 625 for Bar XY (you could refine this by going here https://app.velogicfit.com/frame-comparison, finding your frame, adding the appropriate stem and spacers [distance from top of frame to bottom of stem] then letting me know).

The Orbea Terra might be a better option than the Avant.
Paralane runs the risk of being too tall if you don't have a lot of spacers under the stem on current bike
Genesis Datum might be an option (UK brand, 38mm tyres) though it is tallish
Norco Search if it's possible to get them

If you are running low stack you may be better with a racier gravel frame like the Exploro, or an OPEN UP, though those are somewhat more expensive than an Orbea.

Or you could consider steel and then you get the fun of Mason, Fairlight, Shand, Cotic et al


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