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  1. #1
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Inexpensive road or road style bike

    Have a question for you folks who've been doing this a lot longer than I and know more bikes. I am gathering info for the spring when I buy a bike. I already know hybrid bikes and what is available and will be looking at them in a few months. My thoughts have strictly been hybrid because I think that's what I want but also because of budget. There's lots of availability from $300 Diamondbacks to pretty nice $600 jobs from all manufacturers.

    I think I'd like to at least look at some more road kind of bikes just so I know what is out there. I don't really see anything in the same budget range of the hybrids. The maximum I would probably be comfortable with would be $600 which gets me a pretty nice hybrid. Any road bike or cross style bike I've looked up information on the net seems to be $900 and up.

    I really have no idea what I would want gearing wise. My thoughts of hybrid stems from I have huge hills on the road and don't ride on the road with my current junk mountain bike. I would like to try riding on the road this year on something more capable (can't stand up or put any torque on the pedals of my current bike, it flexes too much or is too worn and the chain jumps around.) I am thinking I would want a triple in the front whether I would go with a hybrid or something closer to a road bike, which I think means a cross bike?

    Anyone have suggestions to start looking at info on? As I said, I've been looking up hybrid bikes since I started riding the end of summer and know what I would want in a hybrid. There are so much more road style bikes out there that it is overwhelming and I don't know where or if even possible to start with a budget that I have.

    I don't have local bike shops around, I'm in the middle of nowhere. I pretty much have bike shops all around within a radius of an hour drive that as far as I know would limit me to Cannondale, Giant, Fuji, Trek, and maybe Specialized (I might have a shop nearby within an hour with Specialized, not sure.) Those are pretty much the main bike manufacturers that I know of anyways. Giant would be the obvious choice by LBS because it is close to work where all others are half hour to an hour drive away in the opposite direction from home and stopping after work would be nice if I needed anything. Also have a Fuji shop by work, but I'm not too keen on that shop at all (really not too keen on the Giant either because of the kinds of people who live in this area including the local business folks, but he has been there for 40+ years.)
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  2. #2
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    In my mind it's kind of silly to wait around until spring to buy a bike when they cost more. When shops are slow during the winter is a much better time to buy. Also, you don't know what's going to be available 5 months from now.

  3. #3
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    I'll chime in on Trek since that's where I started

    You could probably get a road bike from them starting around $800, though it is base model (Trek 1.1). Their FX hybrid line is also where a lot of folks start, maybe a 7.4 or 7.5 FX. Giant and Specialized will have similar models and prices.

    Best thing to do is pick a shop and go for some test rides! Let the LBS know what kind of riding you want to do and they can help with selection. They may have older year models available which can get you a great deal. As Gary says, now is a good time to shop!

  4. #4
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Also, don't rule out the used market. Good way to stretch your budget. Not sure where you are, but I like using www.searchtempest.com for searching all CL adds within a certain radius. Enter your zip code and click on the "bicycles" sub-category. I put in 16137 and there is not a lot in the area.

    I agree with exploring a road bike before buying a hybrid. FOR ME, I'll never go back to a flat-bar bike again - YMMV. I think I'm selling my old RockHopper today, and can't wait to get the garage space back. Haven't ridden it once since I bought the road bike.

    With that said, though, there are deals out there.

    Here's a Trek FX in Erie (not sure how WEST in PA you are)
    http://erie.craigslist.org/bik/4255267996.html

    Agree, though, best first step is to find a good shop and go ride. Go dressed for the occasion. Bring your helmet. They'll see your serious and be more willing to help, at least they should be.

    Feel free to ask anything about any options. You'll get lots of opinions here, and good insights.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  5. #5
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    I would try to go rather inexpensive. With that said you need the bike to be of good quality and also a good fit! Start looking now. Our bike shops still have a few models from last year and they lower the price pretty good to make room for new inventory. Also try a couple different shops if you have a few in driving distance. A shop is the best place to learn what will be a good fit. They may also be able to point you in the right direction for a used bike as well. Even if you don't buy a bike they should be interested in building a relationship and helping you out. Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    In my mind it's kind of silly to wait around until spring to buy a bike when they cost more. When shops are slow during the winter is a much better time to buy. Also, you don't know what's going to be available 5 months from now.
    I neglected to mention in my post that I won't be getting income tax refund until about March, thus the wait til spring

    Though I may look at layaway. I know of one shop that does layaway and though it would be a long way away, it is first the closest Trek (the local to work Giant Escape I was probably going to look into most as far as hybrids go,) I like the vocal Christian beliefs that they have publicized on their website and that is a big plus for me (13 year local owners of a very old and established previous Schwinn shop as well.)

    Just don't know where to start looking as hybrids look to come in distinct styles, comfy, off-road with front shock, and fitness each of the three with their price tiers while drop bar bikes it seems there are millions of different ones. I just need a starting point.

    As I browse now, I am seeing MSRP at $700 as the cheapest Trex, Giant I can't even touch, Specialized has just a page so full of bikes I don't know which to click on, and I seriously doubt if Giant doesn't have anything price worthy for me, then Cannondale wouldn't either.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  7. #7
    Lance Legweak HIPCHIP's Avatar
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    I purchased a Felt Z-70 road bike several years ago. It's the relaxed geometry bike. It cost about $1200. The sticker shock was pretty intense, but I had ridden multiple bikes and this one was the most comfortable. If I had to do it again, I would have gotten the next better model. $300-$600 bikes may not really be that good of a choice. Bicycling is expensive to start, but you get what you pay for, and you will ride longer and get more enjoyment out of a better bike with a good bike fit and good quality gear. I found that the inexpensive items I've purchased (I.E. shorts, jerseys, etc.) are no where near as comfortable as the more expensive items, and there's a reason for that. People have been riding and racing bicycles for over 100 years, so do yourself a favor and try and get something better. You'll ride more and lose more weight that way.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by HIPCHIP View Post
    I purchased a Felt Z-70 road bike several years ago. It's the relaxed geometry bike. It cost about $1200. The sticker shock was pretty intense, but I had ridden multiple bikes and this one was the most comfortable. If I had to do it again, I would have gotten the next better model. $300-$600 bikes may not really be that good of a choice. Bicycling is expensive to start, but you get what you pay for, and you will ride longer and get more enjoyment out of a better bike with a good bike fit and good quality gear. I found that the inexpensive items I've purchased (I.E. shorts, jerseys, etc.) are no where near as comfortable as the more expensive items, and there's a reason for that. People have been riding and racing bicycles for over 100 years, so do yourself a favor and try and get something better. You'll ride more and lose more weight that way.
    I'm having the same issue with my wife... she did got a MTB few years back to try to get into it when she was hanging out with the guy before me... apparently he was a bike ****** because she did got an ok specialized bike but IMHO the frame was one size too big and she was sold on starting right away with spd pedals... get together the wrong saddle + the wrong size and few too many falls from inexperience ( first bike )... and now she's scared of almost anything.
    I transformed the bike with a better air fork ( and lighter ), wheels, good tires, regular platforms and a 1*9 speed to keep it simple and she's starting to have fun... is not anymore a sub 1K bike... but that 5/600$ difference is what was needed from having something getting dust in the garage and something getting ridden... not too much, but at least ridden.

    next step will be to get her over a road bike. not a hybrid and not a base model heavy light an anchor... that removes right away the fun.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dhender02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny4 View Post
    I'll chime in on Trek since that's where I started

    You could probably get a road bike from them starting around $800, though it is base model (Trek 1.1). Their FX hybrid line is also where a lot of folks start, maybe a 7.4 or 7.5 FX. Giant and Specialized will have similar models and prices.

    Best thing to do is pick a shop and go for some test rides! Let the LBS know what kind of riding you want to do and they can help with selection. They may have older year models available which can get you a great deal. As Gary says, now is a good time to shop!
    +1 I started biking, and still biking on a budget. So this is exactly what I did, I purchased a Trek FX 7.3 (~$675) when I first started out 2011.. I absolutely loved, and still love it!! This past October I purchased my first roadie, Felt Z85 (~$1400), which I absolutely love also. IMHO, I think you're on the right course to get a decent hybrid first, then graduate to a better road or mountain (whatever your biking needs) bike once you're sure you gonna stick with it and when you need more from your bike. I still ride my hybrid, on some of the more gravel trails and casual riding with wifey (i.e. neighborhood, boardwalk in AC, VA beach, etc.). I used my road bike for my solo rides, charity rides, tours, and group rides.

    IMHO, the most important thing is to select a LBS that understands your goals, needs, budget, and one you feel comfortable with establishing a long term relationship with. LBS knowledge and assistance is invaluable for newbies, like us...
    Last edited by dhender02; 01-05-14 at 11:01 AM.
    2013 Felt Z85; 2012 Trek 7.3FX; 2001 Murray Milestone; 1975 Murray 10 Speed; 1974 Montgomery Ward private label Fuji 10 Speed, I think; and 1968 Sears Spyder

  10. #10
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    If you'd like a road bike and not spend a ton AND have some basic mechanical skills / aptitude, you should take a peek at bikes direct

    They tend to use slightly outdated components & cheap out in a few areas but they deliver good value for the money. I'd look for at least 9 speed drive trains (so 18 or 27 gears) in at least Sora or above.

  11. #11
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    I'm with Penny4…I upgraded from a Norco Malahat hybrid to a Trek FX7.3 and I love it. I've had it just over 1.5 years and I couldn't be happier. It was a bit more expensive in Canada but well worth the money. I loved my Norco but it was starting to feel heavy and clunky. Now I'm looking at upgrading to a road bike and am looking at the Trek Lexa series.

    Enjoy whichever bike you end up with.

    Karen
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    Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, AND MENTAL states.

  12. #12
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    If you'd like a road bike and not spend a ton AND have some basic mechanical skills / aptitude, you should take a peek at bikes direct

    They tend to use slightly outdated components & cheap out in a few areas but they deliver good value for the money. I'd look for at least 9 speed drive trains (so 18 or 27 gears) in at least Sora or above.
    +1 I bought a BD Mountain Bike and its excellent value for money. As stated, the parts are about one rendition behind the latest and greatest but the sticker price is close to 30% less than a retail store.

    Id go BD before Id go used. Just for that 'new' feeling

  13. #13
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Yikes! Folks, not rich at all here. $1200 for a bike isn't even in the same solar system. If I had that kind of cash, I certainly wouldn't be settled on the possibility I might still be riding my Wamart mountain bike this year...

    That said, I am certainly into this riding stuff. Not completely new, I started the end of summer and lost 30 lb. I stick with the Clyde forum here instead of branching elsewhere because I'm still sitting at about 220. I rode that Walmart bike daily and as a treat I'm planning to spend some tax money on a new bike for this year. The FX 7.3 is the Trek model that I will be looking at, along with the Giant Escape 1.

    I don't put out much in my taxes and possibly might not even get $1200. Just looking to spend slightly more than half the return on a bike. The rest will pay for the inevitable spring heating oil fill up.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  14. #14
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    Yikes! Folks, not rich at all here. $1200 for a bike isn't even in the same solar system. If I had that kind of cash, I certainly wouldn't be settled on the possibility I might still be riding my Wamart mountain bike this year...
    Hence the BD recommendation. Heres one for $699:

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...lt2300_xii.htm



  15. #15
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    The 7.3 or Escape are great choices for your budget and goals. I think many of us mention higher priced riad bikes because we started with hybrids and quickly upgraded to road bikes. I dont regret starting with an fx though. Its your money, so your choice!

  16. #16
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    My advice would be to find a bike shop you are comfortable in going to, regardless of the brands available. Once you find a bike shop you are comfortable in, ask about used/traded-in bikes. Most (all?) bike shops near me accept trade-ins, mostly hybrid models as new riders either find out after a year that they want a road bike instead or maybe someone realized cycling isn't for them. You could get a $600 bike for $400. Or there's the option of a recent model (2012 or 2013 ?) for less if you are insisting on a brand new bike. Other than that, test ride as many as possible.

    Happy shopping!
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  17. #17
    Senior Member dhender02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny4 View Post
    The 7.3 or Escape are great choices for your budget and goals. I think many of us mention higher priced riad bikes because we started with hybrids and quickly upgraded to road bikes. I dont regret starting with an fx though. Its your money, so your choice!
    +1
    2013 Felt Z85; 2012 Trek 7.3FX; 2001 Murray Milestone; 1975 Murray 10 Speed; 1974 Montgomery Ward private label Fuji 10 Speed, I think; and 1968 Sears Spyder

  18. #18
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    if you are ok mechanically and are willing to take the risk of not riding a bike....

    this nashbar bike lists at $800 but if you sign up you can routinely get 20% off deals for a $640

    Cyclo cross, but with 105 components, steel frame, etc.

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...17_-1___202339
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  19. #19
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    Heck the Trek 1.1 has been selling for around $650 all last year. You can get into a bottom line Allez (Specialized) for that as well. I rode an Allez and loved it. Real nice bike. Look at the Fuji hard. They are a good bang for the buck. There might be a Performance Bike shop near you. They sell Fuji's at very good prices. Aslo look at the Performance brand Scattente's. They are Fuji frames made for Performance. Great deals.

    I started on a Hybrid. I quickly got to hate it. I now ride a Specialized Rubaix and love it. You will find the road bike will probably be more comfortable on longer rides. I would also urge you to look for a carbon front fork. The fork will make or break it in hand comfort. Also give Giant a good look. They may have a good deal as well.

    BTW I understand the heating oil thing. That's how my tank gets filled every year. So look around and find a good deal. I highly reccomend a road bike. But you must decide. Be sure to ride bikes of both type before pulling the trigger. You will thank yourself later.

    And lastly lay it away if you can. Because now is the time to get a deal. Not in the spring. Shops want to sell now and are offering some real deals.

    Best of luck in the search.

    Mark Shuman

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