A little background. I’ve been riding for around 2 years, and a little more seriously for 18 months or so when I ended up buying a Neo smart trainer. I mostly ride with a combination of Zwift and TrainerRoad indoors – 2 ANT+ dongles. I have TrainerRoad in minimal mode running ERG to control my trainer, following a training plan (I finished a full mid-volume plan a couple of months ago and starting at sweet spot base again), and Zwift above for something to look at besides a graph.
I just purchased a pair of Favero Assioma pedals, as I’ve found it frustrating attempting to ride outdoors using RPE, without being able to see my power – and calculate outdoor TSS, etc.
So here’s the kicker – the entire time, I’ve been using a really terrible Giant Defy 4 (2016). Yep, I have a smart trainer and pedals worth more than my bike. I’ve probably spent more on cycling kit than my road bike. I’ve had ongoing issues with shifting despite replacing derailleur hanger, going to multiple mechanics, purchasing and using a DAG tool, replacing chain & cassette. I had a bike fit several months ago (Cycling 3DMA, fitter is a physiotherapist), but still find indoor rides of up to 1.5 hours a bit difficult – I spend 99% of my time indoors on the tops, with little use of the hoods or drops. Not entirely sure if this is purely fit related, or perhaps flexibility as well. I have issues with anchoring my sit bones properly, too. Oh, the Defy is heavy too – weighing in at around 10 kg.
A couple of months ago, I purchased a Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 27.5 for my first mountain bike. Not the fairest of comparisons given the bikes are for different disciplines, but the difference between the two bikes is incredible. No issues using the Phenom saddle (although MTB has involved a lot more out of saddle) and it seems like my sit bones are anchored a little better, but obviously positioning on a mountain bike is quite different. Shifting is really crisp and flawless, and it’s just a nicer bike to ride.
Given the ongoing issues I have with my current road bike as far as reliability, fit, saddle, etc. and the urge to throw it in the lake every time I look at it, I’m now looking at upgrading.
My basic requirements are – I’m after something that looks nice (top of the list – I’m vain). Some aero bikes fit this category, but I’m concerned about flexibility and not being able to ride in a more aggressive position. Happy to try and work toward this, though. I’m after something I can use indoors and outdoors, without being too concerned about the manufacturer voiding warranty after using it on a trainer. Up until now I’ve used TrainerRoad for building fitness – I figure if I’m following a training plan, I may as well use my fitness – so would like something that would be suitable to race with. I’d be starting from the bottom categories, so I’m sure there are many progressions I can make via increased training, nutrition etc without obsessing too much over a super light, aero bike seeking marginal gains. On the other end of the spectrum, I’d also like something suited to all day rides as well.
So, essentially, I’m after a bit of an all rounder. I’ve looked at the Specialized Venge, Tarmac, down to the Allez Sprint. I’ve briefly eyed off the Cannondale CAAD12 and SystemSix. I’ve also looked at the Madone SLR 9 Disc. I’ve also looked at the different Canyon road bikes, too. I’m possibly (?) a little crazy looking at the higher end bikes – perhaps someone needs to talk me down to a sensible level, I’m really not sure. Perhaps I should be sticking with another endurance road bike.
After using disc brakes on my Stumpjumper, I think I’d prefer the same on a road bike now. I’m also not entirely sure how I feel about going Di2. I still kind of prefer sticking to mechanical, just so I can look at and fix mechanical issues myself and not be stuck dealing with electronics, worrying about charging more devices, etc.
For what it’s worth, I’m 5’6 tall, 72kg and 32 years old.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.