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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I started on road back way back later 80s, but gravitated to MTB in the early 90s, I've always had a soft spot for road in my heart. My first real road bike was a Pinarello Catena Lusso with Campy Chorus. I just can't see anybody out on a stretch of road on their road bike and not feel that urge. Well, recently I got the chance to give in to those urges come riding season 2021. Well, trainer season early winter 2021 to more precise. I made a trade and now have a 2012 Giant Defy 3 Composite and a 2013 Norco Valence C4. Both carbon road bikes and both equipped with Tiagra. Tiagra is not my group of choice, but hey, it's instant cycling just the same. They came with 3 pairs of shoes, but the men's are a size smaller than I wear and the ladies fit my fiance a little large. Also came with Look Keo Carbon and 3 sets of cleats. Okay, instant road bike heaven...........almost. Ordered a pair of new Garneau shoes in my size with Boa and one velcro strap, and source a used pair of Mavic Ksyrium Elite set up with tubeless Giant tires. I also purchase a pair of Conti GP5000 kevlar and a a pair of Conti race light tubes. In case tubeless doesn't do it for me on the road.

I got a seriously killer trade deal on the bikes, otherwise the upgrades wouldn't have happened. It was just shit luck both bikes fit my body size. I am 5'6", but I have a 30" inseam. Norco is a 51 and the Giant is an xs. Norco is an endurance frame, so longer more stable wheel base. Giant is definitely more race than tour. Twitchy no doubt. Now I can't wait for the roads to dry and the street sweepers to clear some crap from the roads edge.

The pictures are as I got them. I did my fitting, then after the pictures, went about removing reflectors and doing the upgrades. eventually I will find 105 or DA rear derailleur and brifters at least for the Giant.
 

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Nice bikes. I've got a carbon '19 Defy w/ 12sp Ultegra Di2. My dedicated trainer bike is a cervèlo soloist w/ 3x9 Ultegra. I've got a Trek Boone for cx/ gravel. I'm without an MTB at the moment.

Make sure you double check the Shimano compatibility charts when you upgrade. Tiagra 10sp is mostly not compatible with other Shimano 10sp. There are other quirks with different der. cage lengths being compatible w/ certain gearing combinations.

I've not ridden your generation bikes, but now the Defy is the Giant endurance fit bike, the TCR is the lightweight race bike, (twitchy or responsive, depending if you hate it or like it), and the Propel is the aero bike. Fast, but heavier than the TCR. The best part about newer endurance fit road bikes is the ability to put 32 or 35 mm tires on the bike. Marginally slower, but waaaaay more comfortable.

I really like tubeless, but it can be finicky. Inflate tires before each and every ride. I have the best luck when all of the tubeless bits are from the same mfg. My giant wheels have giant tape, valvestems, tires and sealant. My bontrager wheels have all bontrager bits. The newest Giant cadex wheels and tires will hold air without sealant. Tubeless has come a long way. In time, 5 years maybe, the only pros not riding tubeless will be cx or track cyclists. They will mostly stay on tubular tires.

The GP 5000 is an awesome tire, but we sell way more gatorskins. It may be slower than the GP5000, but it has way better flat resistance.

Enjoy your new rides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use tubeless exclusively on my MTB, so well versed in tire pressure checks and topping up sealant. I haven't ridden them outside, but won't switch back to tubes until I do get a chance to ride them and see if I like them. As for compatibility, I'd only go 105 rear der if I get the same brifters. Like drivetrain. Di2 is nice, but far from necessary for a born again roadie beginner. 25mm is the widest I think I'll go on the Giant. 28mm might fit the Norco, but it's not vital as it's more for the fiance to ride or a commuter.
 

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Well done!

My wife has put ~10,000 km’s on her 2013 norco valence a2 (basically, the alum version of your norco). She's just about to wear out her 3rd chain.
We upgraded a few key pieces, but the shifters, crank and front derailleur are still original.
The Tiagra rear derailleur wore out; we put on a 105. (105 rear mech and Tiagra shifters work for us, but check the charts...)
Also, we put 105 caliper brakes on her bike. This was a massive upgrade; much stiffer and better braking power than the Tektro long-cage brakes stock on her bike. But note that the distance from brake post to rim is different on some bikes. The rear fit, but the front needed a 'drop' pad holder / adapter (we used these: Brake Pads and Holders | BDop Cycling)

I haven't tried tubeless on the road. My wife is waiting to receive a Liv Langma (Giant TCR) which comes stock tubeless. I might just do light tubes on my road bike.

The other thing you might want to look at is bike seats. Worth the investment every time!

Congrats on bagging a great pre-season deal on road bikes. I'm sure there's some great quiet roads in your neighborhood. The roads dry up an hour; the trails take longer...
 

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Lastly, tires... I use Vittoria Rubinos, which are similar to Gatorskins.
They wear pretty well, and are decent all-around. Not too many flats.
I've run GP4000's before and don't find the Rubinos much slower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When it comes to road tires, I've always been a Conti fan from years back. Something about the rubber compound and content. I've never had a problem with a single Conti tire. On my MTB it's always Schwalbe or Bonty tires. I almost bought gatorskins, but when I went to get them, they were gone, so stepped up my game a little and went GP5000. I've read lots of great things about the tire.
 

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GP4000’s were my tire of choice for years, switched over from Vittoria many years ago and love them. I haven’t tried the GP5000’s yet. My current tires are the Yksion tires that came premounted on my Mavic wheelset, they have been great so far and the first tubeless system that I’ve used with the road bike. They hold air surprisingly well, I don’t find them much different from running tubes-and no sealant so way less work.

351755
 

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This is my old school Ti bike, I built it up in 2019 from a custom order Lynskey frame (no decals or logo just the head tube plate). I had an old ultegra groupset kicking around that I had never used, it works really well and is very quiet and low maintenance.

It is old style but has some cool tech-6AL4V titanium, tapered headtube with a cane creek 110 and an ENVE carbon fork.
 

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I still think Continental GP's are my favorite. Especially if you ride on slick roads. But you have to be somewhat cautious with them. The sidewalls can be prone to cuts. Early spring and fall, I pull out my collection of trusty Vittoria open paves (I stocked up when they were discontinued). But once the weather improves, it's right back t my trusty Contis.lol
Funny, I have countless pics of my guitars, none of my bike.lol
Norco Tactic SLR. SRAM Red E-tap. Fulcrum racing zero nights and a Shimano Pro vibe carbon cockpit. Unfortunately, the way things have worked out in recent year. It's pretty much always attached to an Elite Drivo2.lol
351761
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is my old school Ti bike, I built it up in 2019 from a custom order Lynskey frame (no decals or logo just the head tube plate). I had an old ultegra groupset kicking around that I had never used, it works really well and is very quiet and low maintenance.

It is old style but has some cool tech-6AL4V titanium, tapered headtube with a cane creek 110 and an ENVE carbon fork.
Titanium NEVER gets old or out of date. It's freakin' TITANIUM!!!! Sweet ride. I always loved the older Dean Ti bikes myself. Could never afford such exotic bikes.
 

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I'm 58 and got back into biking last year. I love the peace and quiet tooling along a country road. It really soothes the soul. I don't go far, longest ride last year was about 80K. Usually 15-30K is fine with me.
I bought a 2012 Trek Madone 6.5 Ultegra and a new Giant Revolt 105 composite gravel bike for some trail use.
My wife got into it as well and bought a new Specialized.

Biking took off here last year in a huge way. I think the pandemic really drove people to look for outside activity's when it was allowed.

I bought the Trek online fairly early in the spring but bought the Giant later in the season, probably around July or August and I was extremely lucky to get it. There was hardly anything left in stores and they were saying no more inventory for quite some time.
There's a husband & wife owned bike store close by in Mahone Bay and they were just overwhelmed this year. Every time I went there it was standing room only.

I always loved biking and am glad I got back into it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cycling is freedom. Low impact and gets you places you never knew you were going until you got there. It's a zen. It's you and the outdoors. You are the motor and control the speed. It's great for the mental wealth being out on the bike. There is never a bad ride. ;)

On my MTB, all my problems disappear. If I spend too much time thinking about them, I'll hit a tree.
 

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Early spring and fall, I pull out my collection of trusty Vittoria open paves (I stocked up when they were discontinued).
I loved that tire. Currently my defy has Giant Gavia's on it. If Vittoria ever brings out a new generation of the pave in a 32.......I'd be all over that.

Also..... love that red wall colour.
 

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I loved that tire. Currently my defy has Giant Gavia's on it. If Vittoria ever brings out a new generation of the pave in a 32.......I'd be all over that.

Also..... love that red wall colour.
Thanks on the wall color!!
Vittoria has a new version of the open pave. It's called the Corsa Control. But unfortunately, it's not offered in 32. And it's not green.lol
 

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Thanks on the wall color!!
Vittoria has a new version of the open pave. It's called the Corsa Control. But unfortunately, it's not offered in 32. And it's not green.lol
I work in a bike shop, so I'm kinda up to date on that stuff. The Corsa Control just isn't the pavé, in the same way new coke isn't coke, (hey paul, the 80's called - they want their metaphors back!).

I've be riding Schwalbe G One speed for my gravel rides, and Bontrager CX3 for actual cx rides.

This is more complicated than the "what strings?" discussions.
 

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I work in a bike shop, so I'm kinda up to date on that stuff. The Corsa Control just isn't the pavé, in the same way new coke isn't coke, (hey paul, the 80's called - they want their metaphors back!).

I've be riding Schwalbe G One speed for my gravel rides, and Bontrager CX3 for actual cx rides.

This is more complicated than the "what strings?" discussions.
A fellow shop guy here. And yes. Discussing various tires can be quite time consuming. lol
 

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Cycling is freedom. Low impact and gets you places you never knew you were going until you got there. It's a zen. It's you and the outdoors. You are the motor and control the speed. It's great for the mental wealth being out on the bike. There is never a bad ride. ;)

On my MTB, all my problems disappear. If I spend too much time thinking about them, I'll hit a tree.
I like both, I don't MTB seriously anymore-I find the big drops too hard on my old back even with my Nomad, which is pretty squishy. I do some trail riding and single track stuff, but nothing like my younger days in Kamloops-that was a great MTB scene back in the 90s.
 

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I’ve been exclusively tubeless for a long while now and won’t even consider tubed tires. The benefits just far out way the downsides. Lower pressures not only give a better ride but are generally faster as the tire conforms better to surface irregularities instead of bouncing over them.
I put a set of 28C Conti 5000 TLs on my road bike that I also use on the gravel and dirt pathways and these have performed very well. I generally run 60-65 psi front and 75 rear as a point of reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What weight bracket are we talking? I am in the 170 range and on my MTB I run 23/25. Not having done road tubeless, I was thinking of starting at 80 as I would tube. Is 65psi doable at my weight for road? I SHOULD be between 160-165lbs, but that's a whole other thread.
 
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