New bike dilemma -- cost and road v gravel #firstworldproblems

So the last time I bought a new bike was in 2006… a Trek Madone that’s too big for me (after getting multiple fits since then). I am a recovering triathlete focusing on getting stronger on the bike. I love to spend hours on the bike, and I live in a hilly area (Bend Oregon). I will not be racing, but like to go fast and hard. :slight_smile:

I just had a bike fit done with an excellent fitter here in town on a Guru bike. The best options were Parlee Altum and Argon 18 Krypton. Being tall with a short torso, the options aren’t limitless!

That said, I have a couple questions:

  1. What is considered a “good” price range for a road bike with decent components (Ultegra and up)? Since I haven’t bought in 14 years, I am shocked by the prices!

  2. Would a gravel bike meet my needs for long endurance rides or should I focus on road bikes only? The versatility would be nice, but maybe not at the cost of weight on hills…

Thanks all!

I have a Specialized SL6 Tarmac which I love and previous bike was a Trek Emonda which is on full time trainer duty. Both good for hills and price wise for 2-3K+ in my experience.

I get the sticker shock but if you say you will ride a bit it will be $$ well spent personally. Also used is sometimes a good option for some people. I buy new or last years model as I keep my bikes a long time like you.

Re: gravel bikes it can be used for both but you should ride one to see if you like it. And get the gearing correct for the riding you are doing which you know already.

You might take a look at endurance road bikes. Many will take pretty large tires these days. I just got a Trek Domane as a gravel bike and it’s a remarkably good road bike as well. I have no problem fitting 40mm tires on it for gravel, but it’s pretty zippy and also comfortable with 32’s or 28’s. It is a bit heavy compared to a pure road bike though. Most endurance road bikes should also be friendly for your fit challenges because they tend to have a shorter reach.

Also own a Tarmac Sl6. Fantastic bike for the money - comfortable, handles great, fast and looks good.

2-3k but you can get cheaper in sales (unlikely given current demand but you never know).

Very little difference between 105 and ultegra now so don’t get caught up with that.

EH, the carbon gravel bikes are getting pretty light. Sticking with Trek, a Checkpoint SL 6 (gravel bike) is 9.1kg, and the Domane SL 6 (endurance road bike) is 9.3kg. GRX on the Checkpoint, Ultegra on the Domane, both bikes are the same price. (Madone SL 6 is 8.6kg and costs an extra $1000.)

Personally (as another non-racer), I ride my gravel bike on roads with 32m tires and I freaking love it, it is my do-everything bike. I also live in a hilly area, so the, uh, compassionate gearing is much appreciated.

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I use my Trek Boone (a cyclocross bike) for road and offroad duties. The reach and stack are the same as the Emonda if i remember correctly, but the wheelbase is a bit longer for better offroad handling and wider tyres.

It sits perfectly in that all-round performance category that gives me the best bang for my buck. I’ll race some crits and maybe road races on it too.

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Thanks all! I really appreciate it.

My favorite bikes that meet my specs are in the 4-5k range (Parlee and Argon 18). :flushed: However, I know the Domane is one of the options, which is probably more reasonably priced. The Specialized Diverge also has good geometry for my size.

I think the gravel with two sets of tires would suit me pretty well, allowing me to ride offroad with the kids once in a while. Also, it will allow me to sell my old MTB that I only use when the kids want to ride off road!

Aluminum has come a long way. If you’re looking for budget spec, I’d look for an alu 105 spec’d bike like this