I have only been cycling on a consistent basis for about 3 years. My 2 previous purchases were a Trek FX-3 Disc and a much older Trek Madone for use on my KICKR. I have been riding exclusively indoors for the majority of that time.
I am looking for a change up and want to buy a higher quality bike for longer outdoor rides. I have narrowed my search to either an endurance road bike or a gravel bike. I’m leaning gravel as the roads in my area are not the best. I don’t mind spending a good amount on the bike, but I don’t want to spend for features of little or no value to me. (eg ultra lightweight for racing) a couple of features I am interested in are electronic shifting and a power meter, if cheaper than 3rd party option. I have also explored E-bikes.
Up till now, I have focused on Trek and Cervelo, but open to other brands. I don’t live in a big market, but within driving distance of a major metropolitan city.
In addition to the bike, I will be looking for a bike computer to record data and do some of the SYSTM workouts outdoors. Any recommendations on this item would be appreciated.
My last road bike and tri bike were both Orbea (Orca and Ordu respectively). I would hard pressed to ever buy another brand. I have had Specialized, Cannondale and Kona but I am hooked. If you have not yet, I think it is worth a look.
I got the Race Wireless option as I wanted those two features, plus the feature of being able to fit much wider tyres when the adventures come up. I have been very happy with my Lauf. And the purchase/shipping process was flawless to a country that is fraught with postal issues.
If your eyes are still good, go Bolt2, otherwise the slightly bigger screen in Roam2. If you want a headunit with more features than you care to need, likely go for any of the Garmin Solar units.
Why don’t you have a look to Canyon’s Grail. You have option with GRX Di2 in both drive train and brakes starting at 5K USD aprox.
You even have the GRAIL:ON e-bike version
They are normally cheaper than other brands because of the no dealer policy but the quality is really top.
I have a rigid MTB and another full suspension and I am more than happy. First one is 7 years old already (carbon fiber frame) and its looks like brand new.
@Dan (I that you’re just “@Dan”!) A big AMEN to this one…had to get rid of my Bolt for this. Looking to pick up a new v2 Roam in the spring.
I just picked up a used Specialized Crux Expert, so don’t have a lot of time with it - and never owned a Specialized before - but I love everything about it, from BB to its weird carbon S-Works seatpost. And I guess they have about x5 models in the line, from the S-Works high end on down, so plenty of choice.
If you aren’t actually riding gravel roads, a disc
road bike with tubeless tires might be a great
option. I’m very pleased with my 2019 Trek Domane SL6. It has 32mm tires and ISOSpeed dampening to take out any road buzz that gets past the tires.
For di2 or SRAM wireless, you’d need to go up to SL7+
The Domane was voted bike of the year in 2019, not sure how it ranks with newer models.
I have a ‘22 SL7 and aside from being a bigger boy and moving the seat mast around (think I have it fixed with electrical tape now) it’s the most comfortable bike I’ve ever been on. To be honest at times it’s too comfortable and I don’t want to stand up and then I get some irritation on my backside from sitting too much.
I have a Surly Long Haul Trucker with two sets of wheels+tires: slicks for long road rides and knobbies for gravel and snow. The LHT is a bikepacking bike, so you may want to take a look at the more versatile Bridge Club.
A couple of people I know in NZ ride Winspace and seem quite happy with them. I believe the make frames for a bunch of more well know bike brands. That also said, another friend has had his Chinese frame break. And another broke at the seat post mast during World Masters and he had to do 24km of MTBing with no seat at all. He came 2nd. And another had his wheel buckle.
But have also seen all of the above with Sworks, Giant, Pinarello etc.
I think the main thing is considering manufacturer guarantees etc
I am a loyal rider of BMC bikes. Can’t hurt to have a look at these. With your preferences of either a road bike or a so called gravel bike it may be a good idea to have a look at BMC’s road machine which is an all road bike. Predominantly built as a comfortable endurance bike it should have enough tire clearance for off road tires. So with two sets of wheels you would have a pretty versatile setup.
I’m just going to drop this in here again, in the “a picture can say…” towards my “fast gravel can also be fast road and at least moderately competent mountain too” argument.
You can get this with electronic, but I would also highly recommend at least giving Ekar a look. I love the simplicity of 1x and with the 13 cogs you’ve got plenty of range.
I run a 9-36 cassette on the road wheels and 9-42 on the off-road.
This bike has also, without a word of a lie, been on a ride where a bunch of us who used to race MTB were on gravel bikes with a bunch of people on full-sus mountain bikes and the MTBers bailed on the ride and took the road route home because the "gravel"ers were being too aggressive on the single-track
A well set-up bike is a lot more competent than a lot of people will give it credit for.