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Cervelo S1 for centuries and longer rides?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Cervelo S1 for centuries and longer rides?

Old 07-18-11, 03:21 PM
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mortenfyhn
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Cervelo S1 for centuries and longer rides?

I plan to get a road bike, and I've been looking at the Cervelo S1. At 16000 NOK, it's just outside my intended budget of fifteen thousand, but I should be able to stretch that far.

However, with the S1 being "aggressive" and all that, do you think it will be unsuited for riding (possibly double) centuries? That's really my only concern with it.
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Old 07-18-11, 03:34 PM
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It depends.

Personal preference.

The guys in the tour do it. Myself and many people ride centuries and more on aggressive geometry bikes.
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Old 07-18-11, 03:52 PM
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have ridden mine on centuries with no ill effects at all.
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Old 07-18-11, 03:53 PM
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my cervelo s1 is the best. its just as comfortable as my old jamis xeinith comp (full carbon), if not more comfortable.
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Old 07-18-11, 03:55 PM
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I am riding the 2010-2011 S1, i do normally 50-80km ride everyday with one or two 100km+ training ride a week, can see for yourself in my strava below.
Its really an awesome bike, sure it does not dampen the vibrations much like my previous bikes eg. velocite magnus or pinarello galileo. But the negative road feedback is still manageable. Ride more with it and you will get used to it.

Its really an excellent bike, with great handling characteristic and fast acceleration.
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Old 07-18-11, 07:02 PM
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That's around $2800 in USD, by the way. Is this new or used?

The Cervelo S1 might work, it depends a lot on your fitness, whether you're fit to it properly, and your tolerance to road buzz.

Depending on what's available, other bikes may be better suited for you on longer rides than the S1. Or, another way to put it: You likely don't need to spend 16000 NOK to get a bike that is good for centuries.
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Old 07-19-11, 01:59 AM
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It's sold new. Regarding the price, though, simply converting currencies for comparison doesn't really work. P(NOK)/P(USD) tends to be a lot higher than the exhange rate. A Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra, for instance, would cost me 15000. A Specialized Roubaix SL2 Elite with 105 is 17000.

Are there any specific other bikes you're thinking about?
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Old 07-19-11, 07:22 AM
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Yeah, the money part is a bit complex. I'd assume that a number of factors will affect the price, including taxes.

There are at least 2 aspects of comfort on long rides: Position and vibration. Most road bikes can get set up in very similar positions, so aggressive bikes like the S1 come in handy if you're very flexible and want your handlebars very low. (This can still work for long rides, because that distributes more weight on your upper body and core.)

With vibration, it's unclear if a bike with more or less road shock affects performance. Some believe that a stiff bike is more efficient, others believe that vibration can cause fatigue. It also depends on your own preferences -- and whether you're talking about a metric century (100km) as opposed to an imperial (100 miles / 160km).

Unfortunately it can be hard to make a specific recommendation. I would say that if you plan to ride competitively, the S1 is probably a better option. If you prefer a little bit of comfort, plus bikes like the Roubaix are a better option. If you know which way you're leaning, that can help narrow down the options.

By the way, from what I can tell Cervelo stopped making the S1 in 2010; they may be offering last years' model.
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Old 07-19-11, 10:40 AM
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It's fine for double centuries and other long rides. In the past two years, I've done the Ronde van Vlaanderen(270km) twice, Paris-Roubaix Challenge (140km), Seattle to Portland(204 miles), and L'Etape du Tour (208km), along with a handful of other smaller events and regular metric centuries on the weekends.
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Old 07-19-11, 11:53 PM
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I've no plans of racing competitively, but for all I know, I could end up changing my mind. The S1 may very well be from 2010. I think the way the bicycle "feels" will be a lot more important than the raw numbers, but that's something I'll find out if I test ride it. And when it comes to test riding, how exactly does that work? I ride with toe clips now, and even though I would get clipless pedals/shoes when getting a new bike, I would prefer to use a pedal type that I'm used to when test riding. Should I bring my own pedals along, or can I expect the store to have some toe clip-equipped pedals around?

The thing with judging how aggressive a position I'd be comfortable with is that I don't know what my current position is like. It's certainly quite leaned-forward, but how unspecific is that? I don't have the handlebars much lower than the seat on my current bike, but I think that's mostly because the frame, and by extension top tube, is too large. (I'm 186 cm, the frame is 63 center-to-top.)
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Old 07-20-11, 02:12 AM
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Whether you can tolerate an aggressive geometry bike depends not only on your flexibility but on your proportions. You say that you currently don't have your bars much lower than your saddle, so that is a risk - only you can find if you can tolerate a more aggressive position like the S1 would require.

If you have a long leg/short torso build, that will compound the risk, because for a given bike such a body type requires an even more aggressive position than someone with more "equal" proportions.
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Old 07-21-11, 03:09 PM
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I went to test ride it today. The bike shop apparently doesn't allow for 'proper' test rides, so all I got to do was a brief faffing about in the (small) car park on pedals without foot retention. The bloke put me on a 58 frame and adjusted the saddle by eye measure (me standing beside the bike). I asked him to take the saddle further up after a few meters on the tarmac. He was a bit reluctant, being of the impression that any further might be too far, but did the adjustment. It still felt too low, however. He stressed that it's important not to move it too high. Tell me, can a saddle be too far up, if it still feels good to ride? I certainly have it further up on my own bike, after having followed the 'keep moving it up until it feels wrong, and then down a bit'-method. Maybe it's the 58 frame that's too small. (He asked my height when finding a bike for me to test, and from it he concluded that I'd need a 56 or 58, before deciding on the 58.)

However, I'm starting to think that the aggressive position is unproblematic. Both from the test ride (from which I probably oughtn't conclude too many things) and from riding my own bike. I've noticed that I'm in the drops a lot of the time, and upon seeing my mirror image in a window I rode past today, I realise that my position is quite aggressive as it is.

Bought my first cycling jersey today, by the way. Some of the best spent money I've ever parted with.

Addendum: If I turn out to be somewhere in between two sizes, what impact would choosing the larger as opposed to the smaller have? (And the other way around.)

Last edited by mortenfyhn; 07-22-11 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 07-22-11, 05:32 PM
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A seat can indeed be too high up, but as long as you achieve a 30 degrees or so bend at your knees when placing your foot on the pedal at a 6 o'clock position, you should be fine. Height doesn't play that much of a role when sizing for bikes, what's important is your inseam and how far you're able to reach, because not every 6' person has the same leg/arm lengths.

I personally would go with the smaller frame because it's possible to make a smaller frame fit like a bigger frame, but you can't really fit a bigger frame like a smaller frame.
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Old 07-25-11, 06:40 AM
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There sure are a lot of things to think about. After some contemplation (and a long ride) I'm starting to believe that the only real risk with the S1 is not being able to comfortably keep my head up. I certainly don't want to be 'forced' to stare down into the tarmac all the time. This whole no-proper-test-rides-allowed ordeal is a bloody hindrance.

Maybe a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 with C2C geometry is a possible alternative. It's available in both 105 and Ultegra versions, but the place that I know carries Bianchi didn't have the Ultegra in my size. 105 would probably still be more than sufficient, though. The Ultegra model seems to always have a red frame, while the 105 has a celeste frame. I like the idea of a Bianchi in 'their own' colour, but the red one is still more pleasing to the eye.
What do you think about the C2C Bianchis? Moreover, what other road bikes in roughly this price range are available in slightly less aggressive geometries? Not all brands are available where I live, though, but I've seen the aforementioned Cervelo/Bianchi as well as Giant, Scott, Richmond and a good few fancy ones such as Pinarello. I haven't seen any Trek or Fuji sellers, but I might have missed them.

As you might be able to tell, I do care a lot about whatever bike I end up with being something that's not only good, but also nice-looking. This is absolutely part of the reason why I keep looking at the Cervelo and the Bianchis more than alternative bikes.

-----

Actually, never mind. Two things:

1) Thanks for all your help and answers.
2) I just bought the Cervelo.

Last edited by mortenfyhn; 07-25-11 at 09:07 AM.
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