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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for a new bike

    After being forced out of running due to numerous injuries in 2004, I took up cycling in 2014. I absolutely love it. I'm even riding at the same park I used to run at. However, I didn't know much about bikes when I purchased my late 90's model Giant Nutra Hybrid. It's a decent bike for fitness, but it is suffering from what some have called "old bike syndrome". The free-wheel wobbles, certain gear combinations result in a clunk ( throwing my feet off the pedals), and it doesn't have drop bars. But like I said, I'm just using this bike for fitness and to see how I like the sport.

    So for a rider of my dimensions (6'2/235lbs/34" inseam), what are some good choices for a new bike? Primary purpose is still going to be fitness, but as with running, I always felt more motivated when training for a race. So I'd like the ability to just be in a race. Durability would take precedent over racing though. Is it possible to purchase a new bike in the $500 to $1000 range?

    Any info you all can give me would be great.

    David

  2. #2
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    While it doesn't sound like the Giant is a bad bike, and may just need some work, a new bike is always fun. Are you looking for a road bike, or a hybrid?

    The lower end of your price range is what an entry level hybrid (a 2014 version of your Giant) will cost you. The upper end of your price range will get you a decent entry level road bike.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-18-14 at 05:43 PM.

  3. #3
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    Definitely want a road bike. Thanks for the info.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    OK, then it is time to get out and test ride a few new bikes. Trek, Cannondale, Giant, Specialized are some of the big names. In your price range, expect an aluminum frame, with maybe a carbon fiber fork. Components will be either Shimano 2300 or Claris, or Sora. Tiagra or 105 will push you above your budget. They are all pretty comparable. Ride them and see if you like the feel of aluminum.

    I personally like the feel of steel. In your price range, you can get a Jamis Quest Comp, which is nicely spec'd with Sora Components, Carbon fiber fork, and 9 speed shifters, and a triple crankset. All for under $1,000.

    The only thing I would consider is at your weight, you may need to budget for a new back wheel at some point. But then again, maybe not. Ride it and see if it holds without breaking spokes.

    Some people are going with cyclocross bikes, which are purpose built for cyclocross racing, but seem to have a following here. They are drop bar bikes with clearance for wider tires. Check them out. Kona Jake, Surly Cross Check, Trek Cross Rip, for example.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-18-14 at 06:10 PM.

  5. #5
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Is 34 inches your "cycling inseam" or your pants leg length?

    Cycling inseam is when you take a thin book, wedge it as far as it will go between your legs and measure the distance to the ground. It's difficult to do this solo of course.

    You're probably looking for something along the lines of a 58cm or 60cm (maybe, depends on what you prefer) road bike and if you can find a good used deal near you, you can stretch your purchasing dollar. Don't forget that you'll need a decent pair of shorts, a jersey maybe and a helmet, spare tubes, water bottles... all that jazz adds up.

    I'd steer clear of wheels with fewer than 24 spokes in the rear but at 235 you shouldn't have too much to worry about with respect to bikes and durability. Just take care of your gear!

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Answered my own question. Yes, I did the book test, and it came out to 34 inches.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    I'll echo the suggestion to go test ride a few. An entry level road bike will last a good long time if you take care of it. The higher priced bikes are lighter and may shift better. This years Sora is nearly the same as previous years 105. My observation is that in entry level you'll get 9 speed while when you move up to 105 or above you'll get 10. Not much different. Big difference though in chain replacement cost for some reason.


    Mark

  8. #8
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    Checkout the GT GTR Series 2 "Endurance" road bike on page 3 of the Performance website.

    www.performancebike.com


    Call customer service for sizing advice....

  9. #9
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    Check out Felt bikes as well. Good bang for the buck.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    Good news! Your price range puts you squarely in target of the first tier of road bikes.

    Do you have a bike shop near you? What brands do they carry? (Most shops will order you one if that's what you insist, but they'd much rather sell one off the rack).

    Be warned, there's a slippery slope of upgrades. The bike mfrs know that it's tempting to justify a "little better" bike $50 at a time while looking at their catalog.

    Keep in mind that most bikes won't come with pedals, and you'll want some $$ for accessories (lights, bag, spare tire/tube, cyclocomputer/speedometer, etc.)

    Let us know which way you're leaning and we can help narrow it down. And if you buy something, you MUST post pics.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoxe View Post
    Good news! Your price range puts you squarely in target of the first tier of road bikes.

    Do you have a bike shop near you? What brands do they carry? (Most shops will order you one if that's what you insist, but they'd much rather sell one off the rack).

    Be warned, there's a slippery slope of upgrades. The bike mfrs know that it's tempting to justify a "little better" bike $50 at a time while looking at their catalog.

    Keep in mind that most bikes won't come with pedals, and you'll want some $$ for accessories (lights, bag, spare tire/tube, cyclocomputer/speedometer, etc.)

    Let us know which way you're leaning and we can help narrow it down. And if you buy something, you MUST post pics.
    That is for sure. Actually it never ends.

  12. #12
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    You might even want to look at a flat bar road bike. It would be a little less of a reach from your older bike and when you felt ready you could swap out the flat bars for drops. Just a thought.

  13. #13
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
    You might even want to look at a flat bar road bike. It would be a little less of a reach from your older bike and when you felt ready you could swap out the flat bars for drops. Just a thought.
    Swapping from flat bars to drops is expensive. It generally requires swapping out shifters and brake lever, and possibly brakes. If op wants a drop bar road bike, he should just get one now.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-19-14 at 04:37 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Swapping from flat bars to drops is expensive. It generally requires swapping out shifters and brake lever, and possibly brakes. If op wants a drop bar road bike, he should just get one now.
    Well EXCUSE me..... Still it is another option.

  15. #15
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    The way I see it, if you're going NEW and want a "real" road bike with drop bars, etc, you're going to need to increase your budget. Probably to about $2,000 once you factor in gear (jersey, shorts, shoes, etc) and hardware (pedals, repair kit, etc).

    However, if you're okay with flat bars, you can get something like the Trek FX series for around the $500 mark (to start), which leaves you with plenty of room for some accessories.

    See if your LBS has any new old stock from last year kicking around. Mine did, which is how I got my Domane. I got over $650 off retail.

    Or you can try your luck and go used.

  16. #16
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatCartmill View Post
    The way I see it, if you're going NEW and want a "real" road bike with drop bars, etc, you're going to need to increase your budget. Probably to about $2,000 once you factor in gear (jersey, shorts, shoes, etc) and hardware (pedals, repair kit, etc).

    However, if you're okay with flat bars, you can get something like the Trek FX series for around the $500 mark (to start), which leaves you with plenty of room for some accessories.

    See if your LBS has any new old stock from last year kicking around. Mine did, which is how I got my Domane. I got over $650 off retail.

    Or you can try your luck and go used.
    i figured that since OP already owns a bike, he already has accessories

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    i figured that since OP already owns a bike, he already has accessories
    Absolutely possible, but he said he took up cycling this year, and he's from KY which has had some colder weather until recently if I'm not mistaking. I guess I just assumed he didn't have "proper" gear for road biking. Entirely possible that I'm 100% wrong.

  18. #18
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatCartmill View Post
    The way I see it, if you're going NEW and want a "real" road bike with drop bars, etc, you're going to need to increase your budget. Probably to about $2,000 once you factor in gear (jersey, shorts, shoes, etc) and hardware (pedals, repair kit, etc).

    However, if you're okay with flat bars, you can get something like the Trek FX series for around the $500 mark (to start), which leaves you with plenty of room for some accessories.

    See if your LBS has any new old stock from last year kicking around. Mine did, which is how I got my Domane. I got over $650 off retail.

    Or you can try your luck and go used.
    Quintana Roo Road Bicycle Large Frame Ultegra Equipped
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  19. #19
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    Sexy. Definitely worth a look, OP.Though after taxes, you'll still need pedals and other gear (listed above), so be prepared to go a bit outside of your top budget.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatCartmill View Post
    The way I see it, if you're going NEW and want a "real" road bike with drop bars, etc, you're going to need to increase your budget. Probably to about $2,000 once you factor in gear (jersey, shorts, shoes, etc) and hardware (pedals, repair kit, etc).
    No way do you need $2000. I'd estimate maybe around 1100-1300 for everything, all new, even starting with zilch which OP isn't. Very nice bikes can be had for around $800, e.g. a Fuji Sportif 1.1C from Performance with 10 speed Tiagra. Gear, 2x jersey, 2x shorts = 160, shoes + pedals = 120, pump/repair kit/saddle bag = 80, bottles + cages =30, basic computer =30. Discounts can be had on the accessories when buying a new bike.

  21. #21
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    Great info guys, I do appreciate all the input.
    Tell me more about the specialized biking jerseys. I have been wearing my low-friction running shorts (from Walmart), with a t-shirt and running shoes. If my new bike has clipless pedals, I will purchase some specialized biking shoes. Aside from lowering air resistance for racing, what does the skin-tight biking clothing do?

  22. #22
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidPT40 View Post
    Great info guys, I do appreciate all the input.
    Tell me more about the specialized biking jerseys. I have been wearing my low-friction running shorts (from Walmart), with a t-shirt and running shoes. If my new bike has clipless pedals, I will purchase some specialized biking shoes. Aside from lowering air resistance for racing, what does the skin-tight biking clothing do?
    Don't know about Specialized brand, but biking jerseys generally are purpose built for biking. Wicking fabric, form fitting so material isn't flapping in the breeze, slightly longer in back, with back pockets to put gel packs, food, keys or tools. And with a zip up front for relief on hot days. Some are hi viz. You don't absolutely need them but they are nice. I just bought a Bontrager and a Pearl Izumi Jersey from a lbs on clearance.

    Cycling shorts are, IMO even more useful, more comfortable than running shorts, especially on hot days. Actually, I just did buy Specialized brand shorts from a lbs. They seem well made for the $45 sale price I got it for. About equal to the Pace and Nike brand shorts I have used the last 5 years, maybe a little better. And better than the Nashbar shorts I bought last season.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-20-14 at 03:50 PM.

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