New bike search, down to 2 options

So,

This follows up on a forum post I made 6 or so months ago, in which I was asking about the viability of a bike upgrade. I’ve raced quite a bit since then, and my current bike just isn’t inspiring confidence. It’s really twitchy and descending at speed on chunky pavement is awful (I know because I hopped on a co-worker’s way-too-small-for-me Madone and that thing inspired much more confidence). Plus, the techs at the LBS say it’s a bit too small for me anyway (nonstandard size that fits between a 54-56, I’m 6’1’’, 1.85m).

Current bike only set me back $650, so I’m thinking that anything I get will be a pretty big upgrade. I’m still dealing with a limited budget though, with a hard top end of $2500 USD.

In my next bike, I want something that will serve me well racing, and that I can upgrade wheels etc on as I go. With that and my budget in mind I’m looking at either the Specialized Allez Sprint (disk or rim, as of yet undecided), or the Canyon Ultimate SL (also between disk or rim).

I’m not wed to these two, open to other suggestions as well, but these both seemed like a good fit for me.

My strengths:

  • Steady state efforts
  • Climbing
  • Breakaway type stuff if I can figure out when to get away

Weaknesses:

  • Bunch riding
  • Descending
  • General confidence :upside_down_face:

Goals:

  • Get some upgrade points towards cat 3.
  • Do better descending (I’m in an area with a good bit of climbing and I often have to chase back on after the downhill).
  • Work towards my A race (a 4 day stage race with a crit and two hilly RRs).

At this point I would wait until September. Usually a lot of good sales then. That’s what I did this past season.

I rode my 2017 Giant tcx Slr 2 cyclecross 12000 km last year. Used it for gravel and road racing and also rode it across half of Canada on a tour… Was not the most comfortable on 11 hour days but it did the job.

Sold it late winter and picked up a 2018 Roubaix elite at 38% off that is my road/race bike and a 2018 Specialized Diverge Comp E5 at 35% off that is my gravel/ touring bike. I got both bikes for almost the price of a 2018 Diverge comp. I bought the Roubaix in December and the Diverge in March.

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Allez Sprint Disk.

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I’ve just ordered an Allez Sprint Disc and it’s being built up now. I chose it over the Ultimate and others as I loved the ride. I tried that and others (Canyon’s shop isn’t too far from where I live) and I prefered the Speci. I also like my bikes to be a bit different and so I chose the Allez Sprint. Value for money the Canyon wins hands down. But I (finally - after buying and selling enough other bikes) went with the one that my feeling told me was the right one.

I know it sounds a bit weird, but go with the one you want (as long as it fits you). Even if it’s not the best deal or the best value for money. You will enjoy that bike way more than the logical choice.

I would add the emonda alr to your list. Would it not be a better all rounder than the allez sprint, which seems to be a crit favourite? Crit bikes tend to have very sharp handling. I’ve persoanlly loved my alr5 for the past two seasons and found it a confidence inspiring descender.

To answer your question i would go with the ultimate but i think you should really prioritise fit above all else. Can you really handle the long/low position. A bike that fits you will be more comfortable, more condfidence inspiring and above all will make you want to spend many hours on it training and racing.

A comment about disc vs rim - performance and cost:

From a performance standpoint, the game is over. It used to be said that discs were only useful in wet weather. While rim brakes can bring your bike to a full stop, the modulation of hydraulic disc brakes is amazing which leads to faster and SAFER descending in any road condition. You mentioned that you are/will be racing. Whether disc brakes will be a difference depends on whether you are doing hilly RRs vs crits/circuits.

HOWEVER, there is a substantial maintenance cost difference. Given your high focus on cost, I thought it important to mention. Disc pads are about $30/pair and rotors about $60each (on Amazon). Perhaps you’ll spend a bit more, perhaps a bit less. How often you go through them will depend on the time and speed of your descending. For me, I go through about 3 sets of rotors per year and 5-6 sets of pads (5+kmi/4k+ft of pretty aggressive riding). You can do the math but it is substantially greater than what you would spend after purchase price consideration from rim brakes.
[fwiw: I’ve been riding disc brakes since 2015 on my Roubaix and recently on my 2019 Tarmac].

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+1 for sale hunting. If you’re willing to hunt around a bit and/or buy last year’s model, you can get huuuuge savings. I got a 2017 model year bike (unused old stock) for over 50% off of the current (2019 at the time) model, and the only difference between the frames was the paintjob. In my case this was a Wilier, but this is common for all brands - look around online, especially competitivecyclist.com and jensonusa.com, and check the local bike shops to see what’s on sale. As @FatBoySlim said, this usually happens in the LBS in September, but there’s always stuff on sale online.

There is something going on here because that is waaaaaay over the top for rotor/pad wear. Are you running 140mm rotors front/rear? Id be keen to hear other opinions on this as i have found disc maintenenace to be much less than my rim brake bike

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As usual, thanks for the replies. @bobmac great point about disc cost, hadn’t thought about that. Planning to keep my eyes open for a while yet and shop around, hadn’t thought of the edmonda alr as an option either but I’ll do some research there.

I am leaning allez right now, prob disc. If for no other reason that I’ve never had a bike fit and my local shop has specialized and would do a fit for free.

No way should rotors only be lasting for two sets of pads.

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I run Shimano 140s front and rear on my Roubaix. I run SRAM 160s front and rear on my Tarmac. The wear I described is for the Shimano 140s only (my Roubaix).

On Friday, in prep for my RR yesterday (hilly: 47mi, 4.1kft), I measured the wear on my SRAM rotors (the Tarmac). Surprisingly, the wear after 2.5 months of use was negligible. So I didn’t comment on it because I don’t think I have enough on them. But perhaps (hopefully/maybe?) the high wear is associated with Shimano/smaller rotors.

The bike fit would swing it for me.

I ride a canyon and it’s a great bike, but it only really became a great bike for me once I’d had a proper fit session.

PLus you can get the Allez in some cool paint schemes, which is way more important than any of the fit/function stuff.

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First of all, get a disc bike. Second, Allez Sprint and Canyon Ultimate are wildly different geometries:


I wanted an Allez but there was just too much damn drop.

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Oooh yeah. Good point. I should be able to test ride one from the shop but my flexibility isn’t great so this could def be a factor.