Dream Bike Question

Everybody has their own tastes, proclivities, and biases, but what is your dream road bike for Gran Fondo’s with a lot of climbing, weekends of climbing, and of course descending for what goes up must go down? In other words, not a bike for crits or short road races but one for 50-120mi rides with long ascents.

A Specialized (like Venge), Trek (like Domane), Cannondale (like SystemSixEvo), Colnago (like V3rs), Wilier (like Cento10NDR)… what’s the thinking of the hive mind here?

Bianchi Specialissima.

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BMC Roadmachine


Not enough of a bike aficionado to have a ‘dream bike’.
[Have the savings to buy one, not the income to support one …]

I’d like a Domane, but my ‘needs’ lean more towards a Trek Checkpoint - bike-packing, hills, fire/forestry access roads. [Considering making my ‘1st good bike’ the ALR5]. Biased to Trek by desire to not support multiple bike shops :stuck_out_tongue:


I have a Trek Domane, which is fantastic for that kind of riding. Mine sadly still has rim brakes, which only means that the new Domane with discs would be stunningly better for what you’re describing:

  • Huge tire clearance (38mm?) means you can put some cushy, grippy rubber on there to help soften those long days
  • IsoSpeed front and rear is actually quite effective at reducing vibration
  • Extra storage in the bike comes in handy for tools
  • Endurance geo strikes a good balance between comfy and fast
  • (personal pref) Trek introduced their version of the T47 bottom bracket on the bike, which is IMHO the perfect standard

I have other fun bikes and there are great options on the market, but if you like Trek and already have the dealer nearby, it would be super hard to argue away from the Domane, especially given how downright brilliant it is for that type of riding.

(and after writing this: no, I do not have a financial stake in Trek :joy:)

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I :purple_heart: my Tarmac, it’s a much better bike than I am a rider.

It flatters me, it’s light, spins up quickly and holds speed well.

As for a dream bike, S works Tarmac Disc, underexposed please in 54.


Yeah, the Domane is ‘right up there’ in my considerations. The Checkpoint seems a bit more suited to ‘going bush’, to me. [Adjustable geometry, more attachment points, wider clearance still - I do like 38s, I have them on my cheap [heavy] Trek hybrid…]

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I am also very happy with my Domane (rim brake, carbon). It’s awesome for long days. On group rides last summer, I’d regularly do 70-80 miles and at the end wish the group was going farther.

I just bought the new 2020 Scott addict rc. But the venge was a very close second!


Yeah, I thought about the Checkpoint for my gravel bike. Ended up getting a Felt Breed instead, but the Checkpoint is a nice bike.

I’ll be contemplating the Domane as a replacement for my Domane because the new one is so cool. I’d still hold that it’s the optimal bike for what OP wants.

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Aero handlebars and medium-depth wheelset on an S-Works Tarmac disc.


Interested in any more insight you can give to the Tarmac. I’m going to be pulling the trigger in the next couple of weeks and am torn between a SL6 Disc, S-Works Disc and S-Works Rim.

Never had a disc brake bike before so just nervous about travelling / maintenance.

Also, interested in what people think about this colouring (I genuinely can’t decide if I like it or not):

  • Hot
  • Not

0 voters


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Disc brakes and never look back. I’ve had zero issues in the past year I’ve had them. I got a SL6 disc Tarmac and it’s my favorite bike, I couldn’t be happier with it.
In fact last I saw on Specialized website they had a screaming deal on the leftovers from 2019. An even better deal then I got with an ambassador discount.
If that’s still up and in your size order that and never look back.


Allied Alfa disc or Time Alpe D’Huez 01 disc.

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Thanks for the input; I’ve got a Specialized Concept store near me with some 2019 S-Works frames from £2000-2700 and full builds for £2000-2500, I just can’t decide which paint works I like (hence the poll :rofl:)

I ride a TREK Emonda SL and it’s fantastic for all the above. It’s no aero machine but having ridden this and demoed a Domane, I would 10/10 times take the Emonda. Snappy handling, stiff yet compliant frame, and decently light. Sure the SLR with DA etc is better yet, but my SL with Ultegra di2, Aeolus 5 wheels, cages, pedals, computer, weighs 7.5kg


The Tarmac is my first road bike with discs and compliment the Rovals perfectly. 100% reliable and better modulation in the wet although riding in awful weather has diminished due to TrainerRoad!

So despite my reduced time riding in the rain I’d still opt for a disc iteration over rim, why, because they’re hassle free, robust and an improvement over rim brakes.IMHO.

As for the Tarmac and despite some great bikes available from other manufacturers, I’d still go for another Tarmac when the time comes to upgrade, why, it’s a complete package, it climbs exceptionally well, accelerates and holds speed with the best and handles quickly with great stability. I also like the history of the Tarmac and it’s various iterations.

Concept stores are great brand ambassadors too, since I’ve moved home my local concept store has reverted back to a LBS with the same great staff. I do miss the old store though.

Oh and be brave with colour, my mate bought a yellow Tarmac and I thought he had lost the plot although overtime the colour has been a grower on me and my Matt black looks slightly boring. Stealthy but boring.


Anyone have a Wilier 0 SLR, Factor VAM, or Colnago V3Rs?

I love that Specialized offers so many different, colorful paintjobs. Other companies really should take that up to. It’s so frustrating that so many awesome bikes come only in one or two boring-ass versions.

Also big praise for Orbea, where you can customise the paint job for free (at least for the 2000$+ ones)


Looks like I might be out of luck if I go with disc as they don’t have that paint scheme in my size.