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Deciding on options

Old 05-27-20, 05:45 AM
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Aircraftblues
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Deciding on options

I am getting close to my target budget of $800 for a beginners road bike and trying to decide if I should go with disk brakes or rim?? Also where I live there are very few smooth roads, mostly pot holes and rough pavement so was also looking at gravel bikes. Just trying to get some opinions from others who know more than I do. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-27-20, 06:13 AM
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Don't pick a braking system, chose a bike as a whole. Look at the whole package and ask yourself does this bike have what I want it to have? Sometimes this bike will have disks and other times it won't.

If you are choosing a gravel bike, most times it will have disk brakes. This is because you are limited by tire size when using calipers. Gravel bikes accommodate large volume tires which necessitates disk brakes.

From the little you gave described, I would chose a bike takes at least a 32 mm tire and go from there. All bikes in your price range are good. Some will be better than others to meet your specific needs.
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Old 05-27-20, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Aircraftblues View Post
Also where I live there are very few smooth roads, mostly pot holes and rough pavement so was also looking at gravel bikes
Larger tubeless tire will help. It doesn't need to be a "gravel" bike. Something with 32mm or wider tubeless will help.

Unless you ride long descents or int he rain, disc brakes are not going to stop better than rim. And for disc, hydro are better than cable actuated.
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Old 05-27-20, 07:40 AM
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Get the gravel bike and disc brakes.

If you find you spend more time on the road, put slick/road tires on there. A gravel bike will work great as a road bike. A road bike can work as gravel bike, but not as well. So, if you only have one bike, a gravel bike is a more versatile option. And given gravel's popularity, you may find you like it better than road riding.

And I say go disc because it will help future proof you. The industry has fully adopted discs. If you like it, you will soon want a nicer bike. At least this way you'll be better able to swap parts between the bikes.
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Old 05-27-20, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Unless you ride long descents or int he rain, disc brakes are not going to stop better than rim.
Discs will require less effort, for the same braking.in all conditions.
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Old 05-27-20, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Discs will require less effort, for the same braking.in all conditions.
True, not they don't need to be a deciding factor.

If have 2 bikes with each and ride the same roads and don't miss disc brakes when on my road bike with rim brakes. The reason i have disc is that's the bike I ride in the winter and rain which is when disc are superior.
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Old 05-27-20, 10:47 AM
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Thanks great info. Was originally looking to get Marin Nicasio but now might consider an actual road bike with the wider tires. Won't let the brakes be the deciding factor, just need to get my butt off this Mongoose Hotshot 😆
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Old 05-27-20, 11:43 AM
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Another vote for a gravel bike. I'm familier with the Giant line up of bikes since I recently bought their 2018 Sedona comfort bike. And I must say, Despite the entry level price of this bike, The design and quality are 2'nd to none. Which is why I'd recomend this Giant Revolt 2. It would be stretching your budget a bit though, But IMO is worth every cent. You get a lot of value with Giant bikes whether you spend $500 or $5,000.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/revolt-2

With a shock absorbing handlebar and seat post, and 38 mm tires it should be much better for rough roads then road bikes. You could change out the 38mm gravel tires with 35 semi-slicks, Retain most of the ride qualities and get very close to the speed and stability of a road bike.
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Old 05-27-20, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Aircraftblues View Post
Thanks great info. Was originally looking to get Marin Nicasio but now might consider an actual road bike with the wider tires. Won't let the brakes be the deciding factor, just need to get my butt off this Mongoose Hotshot 😆
As nice as that bike is, have a look at the photos on the website to give you an idea of what they built that bike to do. Plus, having 47mm tires also points in that direction. That bike is more like a monster cross and if that is the riding you will be doing, then great choice. If it is more road riding, you could be looking for something different. I would steer away from a 1x by drivetrain and get a double up front. So I think that as you said, going for a more road bike is the smart choice.

Have a look at the Kona Rove and other similiar bikes. This one is in the same price range as the Marin.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 05-27-20, 03:44 PM
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Well don't forget the cyclocross bikes. Many can handle a tire width that is more than adequate for rough roads and some gravel. Then if you are on a decent road, it won't be too far off from what you want in a road bike.

Cyclocross and gravel bikes are a blurry line though as to what is and isn't.
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Old 05-27-20, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Well don't forget the cyclocross bikes. Many can handle a tire width that is more than adequate for rough roads and some gravel. Then if you are on a decent road, it won't be too far off from what you want in a road bike.

Cyclocross and gravel bikes are a blurry line though as to what is and isn't.
The difference is in the height of the bottom bracket.

I have a Cannondale SuperX which came with 35mm off pavement tires. I bought a second set of wheels and mounted 32mm tubeless all weather tires. The bike can handle 42mm in a pinch.


Last edited by GlennR; 05-27-20 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 05-27-20, 04:50 PM
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It sounds cliche but buy the bike that fits you best, brakes wont matter if you hurt so much you don't go ride.

I was in a similar place about a 8 months ago roads are good enough but limited budget, trying to get it all done for $1000. I wound up with an end of year Cannondale Topstone Sora for around 850, immediately put some road tires on it (Continental GP 4 Seasons) and rode away happy.

Before landing on that I looked at the Trek Checkpoint, & Domane, Specialized Diverge and Allez and the Giant Contend.
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Old 05-28-20, 03:35 AM
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Yeah, I know the roads in the Metroplex are pretty bad in some places, from west of Fort Worth to Dallas and everywhere between. Most road resurfacing has switched to chipseal, even in cities. It's durable but mostly cheaper and quicker. Sometimes they claim they'll eventually come back and "fog seal" or whatever they call smooth asphalt topping. But most roads out my way in Fort Worth that have been repaved with chipseal or striated concrete still haven't been topped up and smoothed out in years. And with the current economic downturn I don't expect anything fancy in road maintenance for years.

My bikes are all older, rim brakes and quick releases. But my next bike will have disc brakes and thru-axles, and take 700x32 tires. I was leery of that stuff until I watched a friend do a couple of flat repairs and realized it's quick and easy. And the thru axles are beefy, stronger and stiffer everywhere. That's a plus for rough pavement. Although, to be honest, I've bent a QR only once and that was on the indoor trainer. No idea how I managed that. Probably didn't adjust the wheel holder properly.

There have been a few rides on damp days when my rim brakes slipped quite a bit at first. Usually it clears up after braking several times to wipe the rims and scrub off the road oil that splashes up. We don't get as much rain here as some places but discs would be better. And, apparently, a bit finicky for some folks to adjust, judging by the squealing I hear on damp rides. But no worse than some cantilever brakes.
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Old 05-28-20, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Yeah, I know the roads in the Metroplex are pretty bad in some places, from west of Fort Worth to Dallas and everywhere between. Most road resurfacing has switched to chipseal, even in cities. It's durable but mostly cheaper and quicker. Sometimes they claim they'll eventually come back and "fog seal" or whatever they call smooth asphalt topping. But most roads out my way in Fort Worth that have been repaved with chipseal or striated concrete still haven't been topped up and smoothed out in years. And with the current economic downturn I don't expect anything fancy in road maintenance for years.

My bikes are all older, rim brakes and quick releases. But my next bike will have disc brakes and thru-axles, and take 700x32 tires. I was leery of that stuff until I watched a friend do a couple of flat repairs and realized it's quick and easy. And the thru axles are beefy, stronger and stiffer everywhere. That's a plus for rough pavement. Although, to be honest, I've bent a QR only once and that was on the indoor trainer. No idea how I managed that. Probably didn't adjust the wheel holder properly.

There have been a few rides on damp days when my rim brakes slipped quite a bit at first. Usually it clears up after braking several times to wipe the rims and scrub off the road oil that splashes up. We don't get as much rain here as some places but discs would be better. And, apparently, a bit finicky for some folks to adjust, judging by the squealing I hear on damp rides. But no worse than some cantilever brakes.
What bikes have you been looking at getting. Glad to find a response from someone in the area who knows the road conditions.
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Old 05-28-20, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Aircraftblues View Post
What bikes have you been looking at getting. Glad to find a response from someone in the area who knows the road conditions.
I haven't decided on a particular bike yet. I'm leaning toward an endurance type bike. Too many models. And I'm busy rebuilding a couple of older frames.

But 700x23 or narrower tires are uncomfortable on some roads. Switching to 700x25 helped. That's the widest two of my road bikes will handle.
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