Join Date: Jun 2004
Bikes: 2004 Trek 5200 w/ Ultegra
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I just added a Trek 1200 to my collection. I upgraded the wheels and brakes....so with the upgrades(Bontrager Race Lite wheels, Ultegra pedals, and 105 brake set)...I would feel fairly confident to put this bike in a crit or road race. It came stock with a carbon fork, carbon seat post, clipless pedals, and 105/Tiagra 9 speed drivetrain. It has a fairly light butted aluminum frame and shifting that is integrated into the brake levers. These upgraded Bontrager wheels are actually very race worthy! You may want to start with a bike like the Trek 1200 or some of the others that have been mentioned above. Then simply upgrade it one piece at a time whenever you can afford to do so. Meanwhile you will be able to train and race as you go along. The bike can grow with you. Eventually you might find a friend or someone on ebay selling their used racing componentry at fire sale prices. I know a buddy whom stripped off his 105 components and replaced them with a used Dura Ace groupset which he purchased off a buddy at a really good price. In my opinion...the first crucial upgrade will be a racing wheel set. You should be able to get this done for 200 bucks or a little more if you really check around. You don't have to do this right away though. Get some quality miles on the stock wheelset first. Once you are fit and fast and competitive in the races...then you'll know it's time for a set of Bontragers or Ksyriums or similar race quality wheelset.
Don't forget to consider the 'used bike' option as well. Do your homework.
I just think it is important to get started....so get a decent bike that you can afford and hit the road. Start with a good frame though....because if it came to the point where you need to upgrade the frame then you simply should not have bought it in the first place. In my opinion...a quality butted aluminum frame will get you riding and racing sooner and at a better price.
As someone mentioned above...don't forget to budget for accessories. Bottle cages, computer, jersey, shorts, pumps, tubes, water bottles, etc. If you are on a budget you might consider getting this stuff online from Performance or Nashbar. Buy the generic store brands. You don't need 100 dollar Oakley shades or a 60 dollar carbon bottle cage.
Last edited by oneradtec; 05-30-05 at 04:47 PM.