Bikes

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Is a Steel Frame a Bad Choice?

A year ago, I bought a custom steel frame equipped with Ksyrium Elite wheels and Campy components. Now when I go on group rides, other guys tell me I should have gotten a titanium, aluminum or carbon-fiber frame instead. Was steel the wrong choice?

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How Should I Test Ride a New Bike?

Buying a new bike is always fun, but a little scary, too, because it's a hefty investment that you want to last for several years. It's even scarier for roadies -- like the one who posed this question to us -- who haven't upgraded in years. Do your research, do your test rides, and it'll be nearly impossible to make a bad choice. Here are some tips.

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Upgrade My Old Bike or Buy a New One?

I have an old Bridgestone steel frame and want to upgrade. Should I buy a new bike or get new components for my old one? I could afford to buy an aluminum-frame bike with mediocre parts or, for the same money, put higher-quality parts on my old frame.

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Should I Lighten My Bike or Buy a New One?

I'm a first-year racer and bought my current bike a year ago from a friend for $400. It weighs 22 pounds and has a triple crankset. To lighten my bike, where would I get the best bang for my buck: wheels, fork, frame or drivetrain? Or do I need to bite the bullet and invest in a whole new bike?

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Do I Need a Time Trial Bike?

The local club time trial championship is coming up. I'm wondering if I should buy a TT bike or just use my road bike with aero bars. I don't want to spend money needlessly, but I really want to do well in this event.

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Which Bike Should I Use for Which Races?

During a three-day period in October, I will be racing in a hillclimb, road race and time trial. I have two road bikes: a titanium Seven Axiom with Ksyrium wheels, and a steel LeMond Zurich with standard 32-spoke wheels. The latter weighs about 3.5 pounds more. Should I install clip-on aero bars on the Seven for training and the hillclimb? Or rig the LeMond for time trials so I can train on it all summer? And should I invest in a skinsuit?

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How Should I Set Up My Road Bike for Time Trials?

I have an old road bike that I want to turn into a time trial machine. When positioning aero bars, what part of my forearms should contact the armrests? How far apart should my elbows be? Should the seat be level or tilted up or down?  Small position adjustments can increase your aero efficiency. We lay out some general rules for setting up a road bike for time trialing.

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Am I Too Heavy for My Bike?

I weigh 225 pounds and own a great bike with a Reynolds 853 frame, Time Millennium carbon fork, Ksyrium wheelset and full Ultegra group. Am I too heavy for this setup? Does my size create an unreasonable risk that the frame, fork or wheels will fail? 

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