Re: Forgotten cars of the last 35 years
You'll have no sympathy with my own turmoil then in respect of whether I should go for a £1000 Ribble Sportive, £1300 Canondale Caad10 or a Specialized Rubaix coming in at £1670 then :)
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I think B&N has probably got the right bike for his needs, although I suspect were he to try something more modern and lightweight he might feel less sure in his opinion. But it's all down to usage really. I certainly wouldn't recommend a road-bike to anyone who isn't interested in doing serious miles - they are just too uncomfortable and place too many limitations on the rider. (Position/clothing/footwear etc...)
Lokinen, I can understand your dilemma regarding the three machines you mention. Again, I would say it comes down to usage. If you plan to do regular long rides or indeed a sportive or two, you'll really feel the benefit of a carbon fibre frame. I bought a carbon Bianchi 928 almost three years ago and frankly having been used to alumininium frames, it was a total revelation. I absolutely love this bike, it's been over several Alpine Cols and one or two sportives in the intervening period and has done me proud each time. Ride all three if you can and don't just go for the cheapest one. Both Canondale and Specialised have excellent reputations - I cannot vouch for the Ribble, although they do appear popular. I seem to recall you saying in the past that you did a fair bit of riding, so I'm sure you know what you're about - also pleased to assume this means you are largely over your leg injury.
Seant: You make an astute point re: cheap bikes. I've lost count of how many people I've seen killing themselves on cheap full-suspension mountain bikes where the vertical effort exceeds that of forward motion. Mind you some people seem to enjoy the misery...
B&N: In agreement with you on the horrors of the building boom in Ireland. What has been done amounts to a tragedy of almost Bee-Gee proportions...