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Old 09-06-10, 01:59 PM   #1
Joe Meloni
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Buying a new bike

I've started a search for a new bike.I'm interested in hearing opinions on the makes and models I should look for. I've been riding for just less than a year and currently ride a 58cm Windsor Stratford with Shimano Sora components. I ride 30mi. three times a week.I take just about two hours for my ride. I'm 6' ft and 220lbs. Is it worth it for me to upgrade to a lighter bike(19-20lbs) with Shimano 105 or better? And what about going to drop handlebars versus the straight ones I currently use. One more question, what about buying a used bike?
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Old 09-06-10, 02:03 PM   #2
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No

Yes

No Warranty with a used one.

Why do you want another bike?
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Old 09-06-10, 02:09 PM   #3
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If you're riding 90 miles a week consistently, and feel it's time you wanted something sportier, I think it's worth considering an upgrade. If you're cycling 6 hours a week you're making a big investment in the sport and upgrading to a good mid-level bike with Shimano 105 components is going to be worth it, IMHO.

The key is to figure out why you want a new bike and get the right bike. Are you just riding for fitness? Do you join in group rides? Do you think you will be trying to ride longer distances as time goes on? Are you interested in commuting? Do you need to carry stuff on your bike?

Drop bars, to me, are a lot more comfortable for longer rides, because they give you a variety of hand positions.

There's nothing wrong w/the bike you have now, but if you're looking to start doing longer, faster or more frequent rides, and upgrade would make a difference.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 09-06-10 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 09-06-10, 02:16 PM   #4
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Budget?
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Old 09-06-10, 02:46 PM   #5
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Windsor shows that bike as under 20 pounds. The top tube is about the same length as those on the Trek site for road bikes. Swapping out the handlebars and shifters to brifters would be about half the price of a bottom end road bike.
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Old 09-06-10, 02:55 PM   #6
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Windsor shows that bike as under 20 pounds. The top tube is about the same length as those on the Trek site for road bikes. Swapping out the handlebars and shifters to brifters would be about half the price of a bottom end road bike.
+1
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Old 09-06-10, 06:12 PM   #7
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My road biking did not really start until I went over the edge, meaning I bought a bike with curved handle bars. What a difference when riding longer miles. After 3 1/2 years with the curved bars I rode a straigt bar recently. I am very happy I chose curved way back then.
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Old 09-06-10, 06:37 PM   #8
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I apologize about not knowing information for your current bike.

I had a hybrid with a flat bar. I rode it for fitness, and I enjoyed riding. I decided to get a road bike for my 60th birthday. I am assuming your bike is a better bike than my hybrid. Once I started riding the road bike I became passionate about riding in comparison to just enjoying the hybrid. This passion has helped me improve my riding.

Maybe something like that will happen to you if you get a good road bike.
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Old 09-06-10, 06:43 PM   #9
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The advice you are getting is right on - upgrade your handlebars for sure, either on a new bike or on your Windsor. And if you haven't already, get clipless pedals. Those are the two things you can do that will make the biggest difference. A better frame and better componentry would be very enjoyable if you can afford them, but neither are going to make as much difference to your experience as the bars and the pedals.

If you've got lots of discretionary coin to spend, go out and get yourself a beautiful new bike. Then post pictures of it here so we can all oooh and aaahhh.

My bike upgrade this year included going from Sora to 105s. Sure, I like the 105 componentry better, but Sora works just fine.
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Old 09-07-10, 07:16 PM   #10
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Used bikes certainly do not have warranties. But the difference in price can be compelling, and should cover any and all problems that arise on a used bike. I bought my last new bike in 1975. Now anything I buy is used. Yes, I give up a warranty, but my money goes so much further with a used bike versus a new one. My three road bikes below cost me total, about what one entry SORA road bike sells for now at the local bike shop.

Another thing to remember about used bikes, is that most bikes are not ridden much. So a used bike often has very little wear on it. I bet my 1987 Prologue below had less than 100 miles of use.

As for beauty, there are some pretty sharp used bikes out there.

Are you comfortable buying a used car or house without a warranty, or do you buy them new? My home is 1934 vintage, so no warranty there either.

I have several bikes, I would recommend brifters and drop bars for sure.

My main rides right now:

2003 Colnago Master Lite (Ultegra 9 spd)

1995 Fuji Roubaix (Shimano 105)

1987 Schwinn Prologue (Ultegra 9 spd). I need to lower the stem a bit on the Prologue.





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Old 09-08-10, 08:59 AM   #11
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You've received good feedback here. My only additional thought is the concern about your top tube length. Don't add drop bars without the help of your LBS to decide on stem length and fit. Even if you do the work yourself ( shifters may change, brake levers, taping, etc.), you want the fit to be right.

Also the drop position may affect saddle comfort. The LBS can assist in adjusting the tilt while you ride on a trainer - or you may need something more narrow.

I'm a believer in saving money where you can and only spending when you're certain...
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Old 09-08-10, 09:48 AM   #12
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Wow, all the advice is spot on. The only thing I'll add is that an extra bike is always a good thing. We all can help provide reasons for N +1.
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Old 09-08-10, 10:36 AM   #13
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Joe,

The Shimano 105 has often been the sweet spot betweed dollars and performance. It is also often called the "entry level racer". Shimano 105 has decent performance. You get lighter stuff as you go to ultegra and dura-ace but I am not sure that you get anything more than that. Maybe you get crisper shifting. You do pay a considerable amount for the loss in weight.

Now Tiagra is perfectly good too. I used to ride in an "A" group. Most of the riders rode Dura Ace. It was funny that the strongest rider in the bunch was on the cheapest bike (tiagra). I remember one day, the group had been riding hard often up minor grades in the mid 20s for about 30 miles. So we had slowed down to 19 and everyone was recovering. This guy looks at everyone and says "It has been nice riding with you but I need to get my heart rate up". Off he went at what looked like 30 mph. He quickly dissappeared in the distance and the group never did catch him.
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Old 09-08-10, 12:48 PM   #14
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Wow, all the advice is spot on. The only thing I'll add is that an extra bike is always a good thing. We all can help provide reasons for N +1.
There is always a reason for N+1. The spare bike is always there for the trips to the shop- when a gentler ride is proposed and you don't need to get the good one out- and for those days when the new bike gets pulled out of the shed and it has a buckled wheel- puncture- or some other malady that will stop you riding it today.

I rode MTB's for years and always had 2 bikes. One of which got more rides than the other but the "Spare" bike got enough outings to warrant it. Then the tandem came along but at the cost of that thing- I could never afford another one.

But 4 years ago I gave these road things a try. Only a lowly OCR3 but it got me road riding. Found I had to adapt to the Drop bars and a few upgrades were required but a year later I was ready for a good bike. Got one and the learning curve of the OCR had done its job. I kept the OCR as a wet/inclement weather bike but one foul day with lots of rain and high winds and I sloshed into the LBS. They offered me a good deal on a Giant MTB- but my reply after only 18 months on a road bike was that if any bike was going to be replaced- it was going to be the OCR. 2 weeks later and I was back in the shop building up my new TCR-C. Then a year later I found I had a better use for the TCR- as a bike set up for the Mountains - but it seemed to be out on permanent loan to my Son-in-Law. No good- Went to the LBS and got a replacement for his TCR so I could get it back. Still got the OCR though and it does get the occasional ride.

But the type of riding you do will dictate what your next bike should be. If you mainly ride on the road- then go road bike. If rough trails- then think hybrid or cyclocross but higher end hybrids. Then there is the Manufacturer---this is normally the brand that your LBS carries but do look at the choices that are available.

No need to go high end at first but get a bike that others recommend. Only thing I would suggest is forget material of the frame. The thing that will tell you if a bike is for you is a test ride. And not going to knock your weight- but if there is a chance of getting a stronger wheelset as an upgrade when you buy the bike- then do it. You can always use them as training wheels when you get down to 160lbs.
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Old 09-09-10, 02:29 PM   #15
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Searching for a new bike

I appreciate all the thoughts. I had already switched out the pedals to clipless a few months age and it made a huge difference. As far as Windsor's claim of a 20lb weight, that must be for a smaller size without components. Mine weighs in at about 23.5 to 24 lbs. I've bought used cars so I have no fear of used bikes. My thoughts about upgrading are if I buy a better bike, it can work for me as I improve my riding. And, I believe the cost of upgrading on my current frame would not be justified in comparison to the cost of a new or especially a lightly used ride.
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Old 09-10-10, 07:13 PM   #16
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Used bike: If it does not really fit, take you money, pile it up, light it on fire. Same results.

New bike: Head to the LBS. Felt, Jamis, Fuji all offer great value.
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Old 09-10-10, 07:23 PM   #17
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Used bike: If it does not really fit, take you money, pile it up, light it on fire. Same results.

New bike: Head to the LBS. Felt, Jamis, Fuji all offer great value.

I've given up on trying to convince newbies to invest in a good LBS instead of throwing their funds in a used bike that may or may not fit correctly, proper fit being the single most important factor in enjoying and successful bicycling.
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Old 09-10-10, 07:31 PM   #18
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But what if he buys a good used bike that fits?
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Old 09-10-10, 07:36 PM   #19
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But what if he buys a good used bike that fits?
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Old 09-10-10, 07:49 PM   #20
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But what if he buys a good used bike that fits?
That would be great. What are the chances?
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Old 09-10-10, 07:56 PM   #21
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That would be great. What are the chances?
Well, I'm assume anyone smart enough to post here is pretty sharp to begin with So, he takes a bunch of measurements of his current bike, reads some stuff about how to measure himself to get the right fit, and starts calling sellers of used bikes and asking questions. When he finds 1 or 2 that are close, he shows up to look at them with a tape measure. Leaves a little money in the New Bike Fund to pay for a new stem, saddle, etc., or whatever it takes to make sure the bike is dialed in.

Really, I've been so frustrated by the fit "advice" I've gotten in bike shops that I am not so persuaded by the LBS path unless you go in forearmed with a bunch of information on fit already.

In general I agree w/your point -- an absolute noob should find a good shop. But a sharp cookie who is patient, informed and diligent can do well getting a used bike.
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Old 09-10-10, 08:11 PM   #22
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I successfully bought a used road bike, after having the first fitted, and knowing a bit about things. Perhaps I misread the OP as regards his knowledge about bikes. If so, I apologize and wish him luck.
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Old 09-11-10, 12:06 AM   #23
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The only problem I find with used bikes is FINDING ONE. I have been watching Craigs list here in my area for a year now. In that year I have seen 3 adds for a bike I would consider. All the other adds were for Xmart kid bikes or Xmart Mountain bikes. The 3 road bikes were all priced very near to what they would cost new.
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Old 09-13-10, 01:01 PM   #24
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To Mike from Iowa,
I can't reply to private messages because I don't have enough posts. I would be interested in getting the pictures and specs.
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Old 09-13-10, 01:45 PM   #25
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In general I agree w/your point -- an absolute noob should find a good shop. But a sharp cookie who is patient, informed and diligent can do well getting a used bike.
16 years on MTB's and I knew what I wanted in a bike---Or thought I did. Went road and went to the LBS. Saw an OCR- in fact two sizes and models of OCR as this was 2006 when the "New" OCR came out over here. Sat on both- adjusted both and went for the XS frame. It fitted me to a "T". Reach was right- components OK and bought the New Model in XS size. The other one was the Old model in S sizing. Two weeks later and back into the shop for a longer stem- and as I was having some back problems- I'd better get one with some rise to it. Rode that bike for a year and although it worked- it was never right. Next bike and I knew what I wanted. Longer top tube- Lower bars and better components.

If I had been looking for a used bike when I started on road- I would have made the same mistakes. But The LBS took the same opinion as I did. I had been riding long enough to know what I needed in a bike. I did but it took a year of riding the wrong size and set up to realise it. I had transfered my knowledge and measurements from mountain bikes to road---It doesn't work.
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