So I am making the jump by getting another bike to ride, this time a road bike. The bike I'm riding now just doesn't cut it on any sort of distance. I am currently riding a 2000 Hardrock Sport, that I have a little bit smoother tire on than the original, I plan on using this still for groceries and commuting to school and general riding under 10 miles probably. I am 23 and 5'9 at 239 pounds (which is still going down...whoooo!) but I am looking for something that I can continue to push myself with except on a longer distance this time, basically for rides between 20-100 miles is what my goal is. I want something that won't break the bank but at the same time won't break down on the side of the road. I'm considering the following bikes:
I've got 3 LBS's that cover pretty much all the brands out there, and I have tested most of them too, my favorite right now is between the Trek 1.5 (which gave the best ride), Trek 2.1, and the Fuji newest 1.0. I have tried specialized alliez and i'm still up on the fence with that one and I was not a fan of the Giant Defy. I am also looking at the Motobecane Sprint from bikesdirect, which has the best componets for the money. So any thoughts on these bikes or ones that maybe I have not looked at yet that I should give a try?
'08 Fuji Roubaix RC; '07 Schwinn Le Tour GS; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX
Any of these would be fine. Fit is number one priority so the Motobecane may not be the best bet for you as a first road bike (also, you'd need to do all the maintenance and adjustments yourself or pay someone else to do them - I looked closely at BD before buying my new road bike but actually got a better deal buying a leftover at my LBS). As for the others, ride them all and see what feels right. Also, see how you feel about the various LBSs. A bike that fits you well from a shop that treats you well will be the best deal in the long run.
All that being said, my wife and I both ride Fuji. Mine is a Roubaix RC and my wife's is a WSD Finest 1.0. Got them for under $1K each as leftovers. We are both very happy with them.
Yeah that was what i was thinking about the Motobecane, it draws you in with such a great deal component wise but then there is no support behind it after you buy it. I really like the trek dealer they are probably some of the best people i've worked with at an LBS even when i was test riding the bikes they would spend about 15 minutes setting up each bike just for me to ride for 10 minutes and try out. The Fuji I can get at a great discount though because he is trying to make room for the 2010 models.
I have been looking for used, not too many deals around here and the ones that do show up are snatched up pretty quickly. I keep my eyes open at the classifeds and craigslist for Chicago though because it is only about a 2-1/2 hour drive north, but im not gonna go up there on a whim that it might still be there and it might be what i want.
A good LBS is worth paying a little extra for sometimes. Unless one bike feels really better then another, I look at the kind of service that you will get after you put the cash down. Also, road bikes require a good fitting, so what kind of fitting are they going to do. In my case, the dealer that I went with gave 2 years of unlimited tunes ups, plus a 90 minute fitting with my road bike. No one else even came close to that, so that is who I bought from. Plus, the price was about the same as anywhere else. Just one more thing to consider when picking out your bike.
I've decided on a bike, and it's actually not any of the ones I was originally going to go with hehe. It is from the LBS that worked the most with me fitting me wise and trying out the most bikes. My budget grew a little bit so that helped too. I am going to be ordering a new CAAD9 5 next week and I am pretty excited about it. My LBS is also going to do lifetime tune-ups and 15% off my first accessories purchase.