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Old 08-27-08, 10:33 PM   #1
joe_5700
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Road bike suggestions

I got back into biking last year and bought a Schwinn Ranger mountain bike from Target and soon wanted something faster. A few months later I upgraded to a Trek 7200. It has been a great bike and I have no complaints except that I cannot attach aero bars. I am going to hang onto the 7200, but I really want to get my hands on a road bike. I started off with the mountain bike and a comfort bike not because I am old, but I have had back problems since I was in my early 20's. I have always had knee problems too. Gotta love football... Bike riding has actually really helped both my knees and back. The riding position of a road bike will not be a problem as I thought it would be. The main 2 reasons I want a road bike now are riding position for the wind and weight. I am doing 50 mile rides on my hybrid. Since I have a Trek now I looked at the 1.2 and 1.5 and they seem pricey. I want to buy new to get free LBS adjustments, so do not suggest craigslist. I have been searching posts and looking around for a while and found a Jamis Ventura Sport. The MSRP of $550 is very appealing. I also saw the KHS FLite as an option. If anyone can suggest a road bike in that price range that I should take a look at that an LBS will stock I would appreciate it.
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Old 08-28-08, 02:09 PM   #2
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I kind of went through the exact same thing. Bought my Trek FX 7.5 this spring, then when I started regularly doing rides of 40 miles or more, I really got the itch to go to a road bike. After springing for the Madone, I've been trying to discipline myself to stay away from bike shops, but its tough. I was at The Bike Rack last weekend, and they obvioulsly had a good year and are waiting for 2009 models - they had almost no road bikes in stock at all, except the absolutely stunning titanium and carbon Seven on clearance for $4,500 that I have no business looking at. I was at Scheel's last Sunday, and they had a bunch of Specialized Allez's marked down to $599.00, which might be a good buy for a first road bike. They also just started carrying a few Fujis.

I haven't been to the Trek Store or High Gear for a while, so I don't know what they've got.
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Old 08-28-08, 03:01 PM   #3
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I've got a Felt Z80 that I just picked up about a month ago.. On clearance from a local place..

I like it alot, it's very comfortable and moves pretty good.

Like you, I got tired of doing long rides on my MTB and the road bike is just fun to ride on the road.

I still like the MTB on the dirt.
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Old 08-28-08, 03:09 PM   #4
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I just read the specs on the jamis, it weighs 23lbs. It is made of aluminum and sora 8spd components.

I would venture to say that this bike is ok to get started in road bikes. But IF you buy this bike, don't take any test-rides on anything above sora or you will kick yourself in the nutsack.
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Old 08-29-08, 09:39 PM   #5
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I crossed the river today and went over to Council Bluffs Iowa to check out the Jamis dealer. I spoke with the owner of the LBS and was really impressed. He has one 07 in my size for $450.00, and 08's are $499. I may go get the 07 tomorrow....
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Old 08-30-08, 06:25 PM   #6
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Decent roadsters tend to be a bit pricier than MTBs. Usually, in the "mid" range, you're looking at an aluminum frame. Aluminum is great for MTBs, as you almost always have some sort of suspension, and nice fat tires to take up some of the bumps.
On a roadster, not so much. Aluminum frames are notably stiff, which is good for sprinting and such, but also harsh and unforgiving.
Not "compliant", to use the common term.

That's why steel and carbon fiber tend to be so popular. Steel is nice and springy and gives a pleasant ride, but to get steel that's light means many buckos for butted tubes and brazed lugs. Carbon can be both light and compliant, and also stiff in the right directions.
Titanium is both springy and light, but pricey...

Lately, we see bikes with carbon-fiber seatstays, in an effort to put a little spring in the rear end.
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Old 08-31-08, 04:26 AM   #7
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Well, you picked the right time of year to buy for your price range with year end clearances happening right now.

A huge percentage of the bikes in your range are probably going to be SORA equipped. There is absolutely nothing with SORA, but in time you will want to upgrade. There really is no reason to until normal wear and tear starts to be a factor.

There are two draw backs to SORA that I feel warrant consideration. The most of irritating thing I have found is the front dérailleur is prone to needing frequent adjustment. The other, less irritating characteristic, are the Brifters. They do not shift well under load. If you are climbing or sprinting in a tall gear they simply will not shift well unless you stop pedaling. Not so bad if sprinting in a tall gear, but really a hassle if you're climbing sometimes. Honestly, these are things most people adjust to rather quickly, and it is a nice serviceable group with a good price.

In my opinion, I would concentrate on fit and wheels when buying in this price range. If you have a few extra dollars to invest at the time of purchase, a wheel upgrade is the most bang for the buck. Wheels are expensive when buying after the fact. As an upgrade at time of purchase, you can get credit for the OEM set and possibly get a discount on the upgrade to boot.

With the correctly fitted frame and a good wheel set, you are set for years to come. Over time, upgrading components can be done piece meal and as money is available. And upgrades are cheaper than buying a new bike every few years.

If you have a Fuji dealer in your area, I recommend taking a look at the entry and mid level Finest series. They are seriously sensibly priced at MSRP, and should be a great bargain on clearance. The deal on the Allez sounds like a good deal as well. In my area, you are going to be hard pressed to find one under $750 on year end clearance. It's a nice frame set and has a Carbon Fiber fork, which helps eliminate a considerable amount of the aluminum frame harshness that gets transmitted to your hands and arms.
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Old 08-31-08, 11:06 PM   #8
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Well, you picked the right time of year to buy for your price range with year end clearances happening right now.

A huge percentage of the bikes in your range are probably going to be SORA equipped.
I picked up the 07 Jamis Ventura Sport and I asked for them to throw in a tube and patch kit. I have only put about 20 miles on the bike so far, but I am really impressed with it so far. I know the limitation of the Sora gears and learning which selections work best. Compared to my Trek 7200, this thing really flies. Just taking off is so much quicker as well as acceleration BUT as I am riding a few mph faster, I am working just as hard and getting the same workout which is good. Riding a road bike has been a learning experience. When I rode 10 speeds, the shifters were not on the brakes like they are now. Just learning the upshifts and downshifts..... Also when standing on the pedals and driving into hills, the balance is completely different than it is with my hybrid.
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Old 09-02-08, 02:24 PM   #9
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I crossed the river today and went over to Council Bluffs....
WTH did you do that for? The only reason Council Bluffs exists is to send more customers to Omaha to drink beer late at night.

Well, that used to be true, since Omaha's last call was later than Council Bluffs, but it's been a while since I've heard anything about it..

<-- Omaha native
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Old 09-02-08, 02:44 PM   #10
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WTH did you do that for? The only reason Council Bluffs exists is to send more customers to Omaha to drink beer late at night.

Well, that used to be true, since Omaha's last call was later than Council Bluffs, but it's been a while since I've heard anything about it..

<-- Omaha native
They (True Wheel) was the only Jamis dealer that was close. True, CB bars are open an hour later (2am)than Omaha bars. Even with the casinos CB still looks run down and haggard. Have you been back recently?
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Old 09-02-08, 02:52 PM   #11
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The last couple times I've been back was over Thanksgiving; we've got some family in Germany now, so we take that as an excuse to visit Europe for Christmas.

My old neighborhood bike shop was Olympia Cycles near 40th & Hamilton. Now that I think about it, we didn't buy any bikes from them, but I did get a new rear wheel one time, and my mom took my old AMF 20" bike to get checked over & rehabbed before my niece came to visit.
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