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  1. #1
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Weight lifter getting into cycling

    Hello all

    As the title says I am a weight lifter, I lift four day per week but never do anything outside. My cardio is usually a stationary bike or a run. I have decided that cycling is what I want to do and I am happy there are forums for every need. I am 6' and 225 lbs but even at that weight my body fat is 10%. I don't know a great amount about cycling other than what I have been reading here so I will get to it...these are the rides I am considering, they are in my price range because my budget is $1,000 tops...so here they are....tell me what you think
    Cannondale CAAD8 7 Sora
    http://www.cannondale.com/2012/bikes...8-7-sora-25382

    Specialized ALLEZ
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...z/allezcompact

    The red bike in both options. My LBS has both.

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    Either is a decent entry level bike. Of the two, I would choose the Cannondale based simply on the fact that it has the better drivetrain components. I recognize you have a budget. But, if I were shopping for a new bike for a friend, I would insist on no lower quality drivetrain than Shimano Tiagra or Sram Apex. For myself the minimum drivetrain quality would increase to Shimano 105 or Sram Rival. I don't know how many lbs you have. But, while I like both Specialized and Cannondale, they both charge a premium for their name that could be saved by looking at other perfectly acceptable brands like Giant or Merida.

    As always with a clyde, ask your shop to give the wheels some additional attention before they leave the shop. Namely, forming of the spoke elbows, stress relieving and tension balancing.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Is $1000 the overall budget, or just for the bike? Keep in mind that the other stuff you will need and want will add up to about the same...

  4. #4
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rearviewbeer View Post
    Is $1000 the overall budget, or just for the bike? Keep in mind that the other stuff you will need and want will add up to about the same...
    I'm starting to see that, I havehad a few people tell me I could find a used bike with a good setup in my price range but I have not found that as of yet. At the current time $1,000 is what I can spend. For me to have more I would have to wait until December for xmas bonus money, I want to ride well before then. Would you suggest getting one of these and ride for a few months then just upgrade parts with xmas bonus money?

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    If $1000 is the total budget and not just the bike. Subtract a helmet, cycling shorts, pair of gloves, pump and saddle bag containing: tube, tire levers, patch kit. The remaining funds are then the actual bike budget. I have no idea how many good used bikes you have available to you in your area. But, here in Auckland I've managed to find three excellent bikes for Mrs. Fred and two friends that were all one year old, hardly ridden and half the price or less of new.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    Either is a decent entry level bike. Of the two, I would choose the Cannondale based simply on the fact that it has the better drivetrain components. I recognize you have a budget. But, if I were shopping for a new bike for a friend, I would insist on no lower quality drivetrain than Shimano Tiagra or Sram Apex. For myself the minimum drivetrain quality would increase to Shimano 105 or Sram Rival. I don't know how many lbs you have. But, while I like both Specialized and Cannondale, they both charge a premium for their name that could be saved by looking at other perfectly acceptable brands like Giant or Merida.

    As always with a clyde, ask your shop to give the wheels some additional attention before they leave the shop. Namely, forming of the spoke elbows, stress relieving and tension balancing.
    Fair enough, and thanks for the new bike ideas, that's why I am here. When I started I only new about Trek, Cannondale, and Specialized. In the last few days I have learned about so many options but I don't know what's good and what's not. I know I don't need a $5,000 race bike, but I don't want a department store ride either. With the drivetrain components you mentioned should I up the budget more and go with this...
    http://www.cannondale.com/2012/bikes...6-tiagra-19866

    I don't have much more budget, if I spend any more money I wont have money for things like saddle bags, extra tubes, mini tool, patch kit, lights....I want some of that for when I am far from home.

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    It is not only the parts, it is the pedals, shoes, shorts, jerseys, tires, tubes, bags, computers, pumps, etc. Those can add up very quickly.

    If you are considering getting serious at all, I would stay away from either of those and go with something that has better components from the start. Either spend more money or look at other dealers. If you have any mechanical inclination, there are online guys that give more bag for the buck. But they are not for everyone. If you are just looking for recreational fun and aerobic exercise, then the Cannondale would be the choice between the two.

  8. #8
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    If $1000 is the total budget and not just the bike. Subtract a helmet, cycling shorts, pair of gloves, pump and saddle bag containing: tube, tire levers, patch kit. The remaining funds are then the actual bike budget. I have no idea how many good used bikes you have available to you in your area. But, here in Auckland I've managed to find three excellent bikes for Mrs. Fred and two friends that were all one year old, hardly ridden and half the price or less of new.
    I have a helmet, and some gloves as well as a floor pump, so I will need a frame pump and the other things you named.

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    If you want to ride for cardio benefits/exercising, Sora level gear are perfectly fine components.

    For a grand, it shouldn't be that hard to find a reasonably decent new bike. It seems to me that almost any new bike in the $750-$1000 range is going to be similar enough across the brands that I would test ride as many as I could and buy the one that feels the most comfortable. When you test ride, try to ride at least 15-20 minutes if the shop allows. A quick lap around a parking lot is a poor way to judge a new bike's fit.

    If you want to maximize your budget, then diligently scour Craigslist, garage/yard sales, ask around. It's amazing how you all of a sudden start to see used bikes everywhere you go once you put your mind to it. Mention to family/friends/coworkers that you are on the hunt for a good used bike and see what that gives you. For $400-$600 you should be able to find something really top-shelf in the used market and that will leave you enough money to have a trusted bike shop give it a thorough tune-up.

    Regardless of which way you go, you will want to keep in mind that you will want to also buy a spare tube and/or patch kit, pump (I think floor pump and frame pump are both necessary, but you need at least a floor pump), and a helmet (if you are inclined to wear one. I'm not trying to start up that discussion).

  10. #10
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwerx View Post
    If you want to ride for cardio benefits/exercising, Sora level gear are perfectly fine components.

    For a grand, it shouldn't be that hard to find a reasonably decent new bike. It seems to me that almost any new bike in the $750-$1000 range is going to be similar enough across the brands that I would test ride as many as I could and buy the one that feels the most comfortable. When you test ride, try to ride at least 15-20 minutes if the shop allows. A quick lap around a parking lot is a poor way to judge a new bike's fit.

    If you want to maximize your budget, then diligently scour Craigslist, garage/yard sales, ask around. It's amazing how you all of a sudden start to see used bikes everywhere you go once you put your mind to it. Mention to family/friends/coworkers that you are on the hunt for a good used bike and see what that gives you. For $400-$600 you should be able to find something really top-shelf in the used market and that will leave you enough money to have a trusted bike shop give it a thorough tune-up.

    Regardless of which way you go, you will want to keep in mind that you will want to also buy a spare tube and/or patch kit, pump (I think floor pump and frame pump are both necessary, but you need at least a floor pump), and a helmet (if you are inclined to wear one. I'm not trying to start up that discussion).
    Great info and I have been all over CL looking but so far all the used bikes cost as much as a new one in my area. I have called some of the guys to try to haggle but they say they want so much because of the upgrades they made. Then one guy had a nice bike that he was asking $750 for but when I asked if he would meet me at the LBS he refused even though it was closer than the other meeting spot we chose. I thought that was strange so I bailed out.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mymojo's Avatar
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    $1k is gonna be plenty. Especially if cycling is your secondary concern behind lifting. Remember you are asking people who are somewhat.... obsessed with bikes . Many years ago I was a weightlifter (I hit 10% once, it was miserable!) and I rode a Sora equipped GT Zr5000 for cardio. The only extras I NEEDED were a pump, a spare tube and a water bottle and I was fine.

    Now, if you find yourself getting more & more into it, then yeah, you will find out it's as big a money sink as any other hobby you are gonna have.

    Either of the bikes you've linked will do what you need it to do. The only thing you need to really worry about is getting the one that feels the best while you're on it.

    Now here's a disclaimer for ya: I have a Allez that came with Sora. It now has 105.
    "It's the 41. If you don't have cool stuff, you suck. If you have cool stuff, you still suck" - Velo Gator

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  12. #12
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I say find a dealer with whom you get along. Find a shop that fits so to speak. One where they are interested in explaining the differences in the bikes, and why / what impact these differences have on cost and what the benefit is.

    Ride the bikes, and pick the one you like.

    Dont be afraid to negotiate with the shop. Tell them you want to buy local, and you want to be all in for your 1000 dollar budget. See what they propose. I have found its not hard at all to negotiate with most bike shops. They want to get you as a customer, and you want / need someone to support you. Buying online has a place, but it doesnt sound like a good fit for where you are now in the learning curve.

  13. #13
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mymojo View Post
    $1k is gonna be plenty. Especially if cycling is your secondary concern behind lifting. Remember you are asking people who are somewhat.... obsessed with bikes . Many years ago I was a weightlifter (I hit 10% once, it was miserable!) and I rode a Sora equipped GT Zr5000 for cardio. The only extras I NEEDED were a pump, a spare tube and a water bottle and I was fine.

    Now, if you find yourself getting more & more into it, then yeah, you will find out it's as big a money sink as any other hobby you are gonna have.

    Either of the bikes you've linked will do what you need it to do. The only thing you need to really worry about is getting the one that feels the best while you're on it.

    Now here's a disclaimer for ya: I have a Allez that came with Sora. It now has 105.
    Thank you, 10% is not so bad, I guess I'm used to it due to the fact that the Navy (10 years active, now reserve) has such a strict program on fitness. They enjoy kicking those out that let it creep up to 22%. With my height and size when people see me they don't think cycling....more like football player. I like the Cannondale better but I wanted to see what all was out there in my price range so I looked at all entry level bikes. I don't mind getting schooled on here, I know I'm a gold fish in a shark tank right now but I just want the unbiased advice....example. I went into a bike shop and the guy working there told me that "a Trek is the best thing your money can buy" kind of strange that that was all he had in his shop.

  14. #14
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    I say find a dealer with whom you get along. Find a shop that fits so to speak. One where they are interested in explaining the differences in the bikes, and why / what impact these differences have on cost and what the benefit is.

    Ride the bikes, and pick the one you like.

    Dont be afraid to negotiate with the shop. Tell them you want to buy local, and you want to be all in for your 1000 dollar budget. See what they propose. I have found its not hard at all to negotiate with most bike shops. They want to get you as a customer, and you want / need someone to support you. Buying online has a place, but it doesnt sound like a good fit for where you are now in the learning curve.
    I definately don't have the knowledge to be able to buy online and know what I'm getting. I sat on a few peoples bikes and it seems a 58cm frame is best for me, but I know fitting goes further than that. There are a number of shops around my area but three that are rated highest. I am going to all three this week. The bikes I am interested in are sold at these shops.

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
    I have a helmet, and some gloves as well as a floor pump, so I will need a frame pump and the other things you named.
    You don't need a frame pump. Get a CO2 inflator. It's $10 with a can of CO2. You don't need bike clothes, either; you can't ride naked (well, maybe you can, but ...) but you can wear regular clothes as long as they're comfortable. You're just getting started, not setting out to ride 500 miles in a day.

    If the local bike shop has both of those bikes, and they interest you, take both of them for test rides. Go up and down hills, see what you can do on flat ground, and put at least several miles into each ride. See which one you prefer. The components don't need to make the bike, you could pull some of them off, sell them on CL, and replace them, if you fell in love with one frame or the other and wanted to upgrade it down the line; it can be a hassle to do that and it makes sense to prefer better drive-train parts, but that probably shouldn't be a deal-breaker.

    If you want to post a link to your local CL, there are people in here (and on the road forum) who enjoy shopping for bikes, even if they aren't going to buy one. Maybe someone will dig something up?
    Don't believe everything you think.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
    I definately don't have the knowledge to be able to buy online and know what I'm getting. I sat on a few peoples bikes and it seems a 58cm frame is best for me, but I know fitting goes further than that. There are a number of shops around my area but three that are rated highest. I am going to all three this week. The bikes I am interested in are sold at these shops.
    I'm 6'1" tall. I have two road bikes, one in 58 cm and another is a 61 cm. They're both comfortable. And they have different length stems on them, putting the handlebars at about (but not exactly) the same distance from the frame. Beyond that, I have different numbers of spacers on each bike, and different saddle and seat post setups.

    Don't buy your first bike online, at least not without a friend who rides a lot and geeks out on bikes, to measure you and do all that. Mostly I'm posting this one because if you go the Craigslist route, knowing your frame size helps, and also because you should know that if you don't get the best-for-you size frame, you can usually make one that's one size too big or small work, even if it's not ideal.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    If you shop wisely, you will be fine. A bike, helmet, and gloves. All you really need. A waterbottle holder.... a lot of places will kick you down one for free if you buy the bike at a local shop and then you purchase a cheap waterbottle.

    People that say the accessories cost the same do not realize that it can be done on a budget. Ask in the commuting forum.You will see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rearviewbeer View Post
    Is $1000 the overall budget, or just for the bike? Keep in mind that the other stuff you will need and want will add up to about the same...
    with all do respect my friend, it is riding a bike. You dont need all that stuff especially if you are on a budget.

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    Don't be afraid to check out other LBS and see if they have any holdovers or pre-buys. I've saved about 30% on a couple bikes due to being last year's model or the LBS getting a sweet deal for early season orders. Most LBS will also give discounts or more willing to haggle on accessories like the helmet, water bottles, gloves, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    with all do respect my friend, it is riding a bike. You dont need all that stuff especially if you are on a budget.
    Really? He has $1,000 for a bike, and is on a budget? Come on chef, be real.

    And no, you do not need pedals, shoes, gloves, jerseys, tools, tubes etc. but that is just not reality.

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    I dont know what reality you live in. Platforms that come with the bike. Sneakers. gloves, yes but dont NEED them. Tools, not so much. Tire levers, yes. A pump... can find one cheap. Tubes are $4.00. Jersey... get real.

    Go hang in the commuting forum and see what they go bro. Look in Portland and see all the commuters. And be real, it is bike riding.

    Guess if you want to learn to cook you need all the crap, stainless steal kitchen, gas not electric, coper pots. $500 knives. Come on.

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    You get what you can afford. Most of what you mentioned are extras. Most you can find used. Most you can even find used on this website (a shocker isnt it).

    I have sent used tires to people, jerseys, gloves I had extra, tubes I have had extra, etc. You dont NEED them. Big difference between what you NEED and what you WANT.

    And thats why the majority of Americans are in debt.

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    I don't remember the OP mentioning commuting, but my reality must be warped. Nor did I see any platform pedals on those bikes, but my eyes may be warped as well.

    Bro? Really? I don't think so.

    Anyway - OP you should plan on spending a lot more money than you think to get the accessories you will want (maybe not need, but will make the experience ever so much better IMHO).

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    You missed the point bro (sis? rearviewbeer?)

    If you want to learn how to do something on a budge, check out the commuting forum. FOR THE POINT OF DOING SOMETHING ON A BUDGET.

    Can it be done, yes, of course and feel free to pm me and I can help you out.

    Some people think that you need the buy everything to make it a great ride and experience. The fact is that you dont. You grow into it and to be frank, maybe half the stuff others have said you needed you might not need (example: jersey, etc). One thing that sucks is to dive in with both feet, buy everything and find out that you dont need it or that cycling is not for you. It is BETTER to gradually get what you need.

    Oh I almost forgot. If you buy the bike from a shop it comes with platform pedals.

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    I'll add my 2 bits. I rode both bikes you are looking at. I liked both, but I felt the Allez was hands down the best. It rode the best and handled the same as the CAAD. With the Allez check carefully, I believe it has a Tiagra rear derailer. The rest was Sora. It shifted and worked just fine. As for the rest of it. Get the helmet, gloves and shorts. Keep it local for a few weeks. If you have a problem you can walk it home. Then get the tube, and patch kit, tire levers and CO2 inflater. At some point down the road look into shoes and clipless pedals. You will notice a lot more efficiency and shoes will make it way easier on the feet. Use the money at Christmas to update any components that you do not like. I wish you well in you're search.

    BTW Performance bike has a summer sale going on to the end of the month. If one is local to you take a look. I saw some good deals when I was in one on thursday.

    Mark Shuman

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