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  1. #1
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    Road Bike Education

    I've just recently got into cycling, and I'm looking to get a road bike for longer rides. I know nothing about road bikes other than the fact that experts prefer light frames. I enjoy vintage looking bikes with their style and history. What resources might you recommend to help me learn more about the best road bike to purchase?

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    mtk
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    Quote Originally Posted by poetman View Post
    I've just recently got into cycling, and I'm looking to get a road bike for longer rides. I know nothing about road bikes other than the fact that experts prefer light frames. I enjoy vintage looking bikes with their style and history. What resources might you recommend to help me learn more about the best road bike to purchase?
    This will teach you more about road bikes (and bikes) in general: Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information

    As far as what to buy, you would really need to go into a bike shop to find the right fit first and what style you like best.

    What is your definition of "long rides?" Because under a certain mileage per ride, the recommendation will vary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poetman View Post
    I've just recently got into cycling, and I'm looking to get a road bike for longer rides. I know nothing about road bikes other than the fact that experts prefer light frames. I enjoy vintage looking bikes with their style and history. What resources might you recommend to help me learn more about the best road bike to purchase?
    Welcome!!!
    You've already made an excellent start by becoming a member of these forums. Feel free to spend some time in the "Classic and Vintage" (C & V) subforum, otherwise GOOGLE and YOUTUBE are always worth a try.
    2011 Fuji Newest 1.0/Nice Weather Sporty-Quick bike
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    RADIOACTIVE, RETINA RIPPING, DAY-GLO, Chartreuse !!! It's the new black.

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  4. #4
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  5. #5
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    welcome to the forum... I would suggest going to a few local bike shops and talking to the folks there...
    tell them what you have in mind... the type of roads/trails you intend to ride on...
    your physical condition and what you want to work on... listen to their suggestions of bike type(s)... then test ride as many as you have the patience for...once which type of bike is decided upon (road/fitness/touring/endurance/etc) pic the one that fits you the best and you feel most comfortable on...
    we really can not tell you what is the best road bike for you...I have 4 different road bikes, and use which ever one best suits the ride I am planning on that day...some guys on here have a garage full and make my 4 look like a starter collection.

  6. #6
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Buy a road bike. Ride, maintain, wear out, replace, upgrade. Ride with friends, meet people, ride in far flung places you've never visited before. Ride more and buy more bikes. Rinse and repeat for 30-40 years. You'll have begun your education on road bikes...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by poetman View Post
    I know nothing about road bikes other than the fact that experts prefer light frames
    Be careful about listening to the "experts". There is more to bicycles and riding than just the weight of the frame. This mentality comes from a focus on racing, where 1/2 of a pound on the bike may make a difference, but is insignificant to 99.9% of riders.
    If you like vintage bikes, the C&V forum is good. The focus of some members is on blingy race bikes, but there are many others who appreciate more recreational or touring type bikes. You need to figure out what type of riding you want to do, what kind of gear you want to carry, what riding position is comfortable, and pick the appropriate type of bike for the job.
    The recommendations for the websites above are a good start. I would also recommend checking out some of the articles from Jan Heine and Grant Petersen to get a different perspective. In the end, everybody has an opinion and nobody is 100% right. The trick is figuring out your style and getting the right bike to fit that style. Good luck.

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    I'll also warn you about local bike shops.
    Often they can be basically, dealers of a particular manufacture of bike.
    I know a place where I lived that sold a LaPierre to everybody coming in talking to them, just like you.

    Not that there's anything particularly wrong with LaPierre, but it's the principle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    Buy a road bike. Ride, maintain, wear out, replace, upgrade. Ride with friends, meet people, ride in far flung places you've never visited before. Ride more and buy more bikes. Rinse and repeat for 30-40 years. You'll have begun your education on road bikes...
    This is the way to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poetman View Post
    What resources might you recommend to help me learn more about the best road bike to purchase?
    Suggest - buying a used "road" bike, as that is the prime way you learn about the best bike(s) for your needs.
    That said, any advice from an Internet forum should be taken with a grain of salt.
    A few year old road style bike is usually a relative solid choice, if you can get some guidance with bike fit- that will increase your chances of a comfortable longer (>2 hr) ride. Another caveat - your bike fit needs may evolve over time. What feels and works well today, my not in 2-3 years.
    Get a bike, ride it, don't worry about what you ride.
    ride long & prosper

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the preliminary feedback. I'm interested in finding out what the difference is between a 20-30 road bike and a modern one. While I understand the sentiment behind the "buy something and just ride it" mentality, it doesn't work for me. I can't afford to just buy something mindlessly without knowing if it is the best use of my time and money. Unfortunately, most larger bike shops are more retailers than educators. Besides updated components, I'm not sure what else to look for. A friend of mine speaks often about frame shapes, but I'm not show how this affects a ride. Any specific articles or YouTube clips to recommend?

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    When I first got into adult cycling about 35 years ago I bought a lower-mid line Fuji tourer. Turned out to work well for me for many years....with upgrade fitment bits added along the way as needed. I still think this is good first approach. I got lucky in that with some changes it continued to meet my needs for a long time but I wouldn't count on that. Wants/needs will change and you might not keep at. I'd limit my initial outlay....without going crap cheap. I have a good LBS. They stock Trek and Cannondale, but sell/work with other good brands as well. They tend to discourage entry level versions with the "you'll soon outgrow it" philosophy/argument. For new riders, I disagree a bit...though a step or two up from the bottom strikes me as a wise hedge.

    If you have or can find a good, trustworthy LBS you're way ahead. Avoid WalMart junk. A couple/few year old road bike is a good idea. Vintage may be aesthetically pleasing but I'd really discourage those as a today first bike.

  13. #13
    Over forty victim of Fate Cougrrcj's Avatar
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    My first 'road bike' was in the mid '70s and I bought a mid-'70s 34-pound entry-level all-steel Fuji. After riding my college roommate's 'better' bike, I quickly upgraded to a mid-70s 26-pound mid-grade Fuji -- the same bike that I still ride today after close to 40 years and 50,000 miles later. Yeah, most of those miles were in my younger days, but that same bike is a comfortable old friend today. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a mid- or better grade Vintage bike. OK, so I don't have indexed shifting, whoopie... I have upgraded that old Fuji over the years and it still continues to serve me well. I did buy a 'newer' bike two years ago - it is all of ten years newer - so that means that it is 'only' thirty years old. It weighs maybe two pounds lighter than the Fuji.

    Fast forward to today -- So the latest-and-greatest modern lightweight 'uber-bike' would save another five-seven pounds over that???? I weigh significantly more than I did back in 1976 also, so the weight 'savings' of a lighter bike doesn't mean diddly-squat.

    Ride what fits, and ride what you like!!! Just ride and enjoy the ride!!!
    Last edited by Cougrrcj; 06-20-15 at 06:54 AM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Soody's Avatar
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    IMO 7/8 speed shimano indexed downtube shifters rsx/105/600/ultegra on a steel frame with reynolds 531/ columbus/ tange / ishiwata/ orea/ true temper tubing and any true clincher wheels than spin smooth is the apex of value.

    Get one in your size for 50-400$ and put a bit of money into servicing it/ good tires etc

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