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  1. #1
    Senior Member KevinmH9's Avatar
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    New Biker, Just want some advice

    I am orginally a runner but in the past few months I have learned of a knee injury that will keep my out of running for the rest of my life. I used to bike alot when i was younger and my bike is now rusted and in the shed. In the very near future I have been thinking about buying a bike, what kind I don't know. I was thinking something in the road cycling area, in the NH area there are many bike races that interest me alot and I would very much like to get involved in. As a new biker what should I really know? Right now my price range is at about $1,200-$1,500 and I would like to get a sturdy bike that I can ride and possibly race with. Just eating habits training methods and just what would be a good bike that I could get around with and stay in shape. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    This is a good guide.Im just starting myself... I didnt have as big of a budget for one bike as you... but I ended up getting two bikes... Good luck!

  3. #3
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    With $1200-1500 to spend you will have lots of good choices. We could make suggestions all day but the final decision will be yours. If you have any cycling friends ask them for suggestions or help with the selection.
    I suggest you visit a few bike shops (LBS) in your area and tell them about your racing/riding ambitions and ask for suggestions. Test ride each bike you like. Ask about cycling clubs and group rides. And if you can find an LBS that you feel comfortable with, deal with them as much as possible.
    Just make sure the bike FITS!

  4. #4
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    Any of the large brands (Trek, Giant, GT Canondale) make good value bikes at that price range. Find yourself a local bike shop with a good reputation. You need to get a bike that fits you well.
    There are 2 styles of road bike which you may want to check out. The pure competition racer is designed just for speed. They are usually OK for all distances, but you cant fit any fenders, or make them into sensible commuting machines.
    The road/sport bike will have frame fittings for fenders, possibly a luggage rack, and lower gearing (triple chainset). Just about raceable, good for fitness, better for commuting, foul-weather training and lightweight touring.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinmH9
    I am orginally a runner but in the past few months I have learned of a knee injury that will keep my out of running for the rest of my life. I used to bike alot when i was younger and my bike is now rusted and in the shed. In the very near future I have been thinking about buying a bike, what kind I don't know. I was thinking something in the road cycling area, in the NH area there are many bike races that interest me alot and I would very much like to get involved in. As a new biker what should I really know? Right now my price range is at about $1,200-$1,500 and I would like to get a sturdy bike that I can ride and possibly race with. Just eating habits training methods and just what would be a good bike that I could get around with and stay in shape. Thanks for your help.
    Welcome to cycling. I have run in the past as well and have found cycling to be far more fun and addictive. First of all cylcing offers a lot more gear (toys) to get interested in and that is almost half of the fun of it.

    It sounds like you haven't been on a bike in awhile. That concerns me when you are talking about spending $1500 on a road bike. Unless you have limitless funds I would suggest that you find out for sure which area of biking you are most interested in. If it is possible borrow a bike from someone and go out and ride. Try the road and try some off road stuff on a Mountain Bike as well if you can. Trying both Mountain and Road bikes will help you figure out which is more to your liking and also help you spend your $1500 more wisely.

    Riding a mountain bike is actually more exercise/work than riding a road bike. A road bike just goes faster. So if you are interested in exercise, don't confuse speed with fitness benefit. A mountain bike will more easily take you off road and may be more condusive to exploring off road areas. It will still be good on the road just not as good as a Road bike.

    The road bike will be worthless on rough trails or backwoods. It will be great if you want to go far, fast, on smooth usually paved roads.

    Lastly, when it comes to selecting a bike you will do well with just about anything in your price range. I might suggest shopping for a bike store before shopping for a bike. There are good bike stores and crappy ones. If you buy a good bike from a good bike store you will be hooked up for years to come with trouble free cycling.

    If you buy a good bike from a bad bike store you will have all sorts of trouble. Ask lots of questions and see how they respond. Do they seem willing to help you or not? Usually the attitude you receive is pretty similar to the service you will get when you break down. Also I like people that work in bike shops to be enthusiastic riders. If they don't really want to talk about cycling much, I would have some serious reservations.

    Once you find a good bike store, they will lead you to the right bike. People on these forums can only give you opinions of how they like a bike. It really may be totally different for you. Try lots of bikes and once you have decided on one, go home and sleep on it. If you still love the bike the next day you can get it. What is one more day to wait going to hurt? You are going to be spending countless hours sitting on this thing. You want it to be the right one. Good Luck.
    Last edited by Portis; 04-14-04 at 02:25 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinmH9
    I am orginally a runner but in the past few months I have learned of a knee injury that will keep my out of running for the rest of my life. I used to bike alot when i was younger and my bike is now rusted and in the shed. In the very near future I have been thinking about buying a bike, what kind I don't know. I was thinking something in the road cycling area, in the NH area there are many bike races that interest me alot and I would very much like to get involved in. As a new biker what should I really know? Right now my price range is at about $1,200-$1,500 and I would like to get a sturdy bike that I can ride and possibly race with. Just eating habits training methods and just what would be a good bike that I could get around with and stay in shape. Thanks for your help.
    First things first. What's sitting in your shed? A rusty huffy or something nice that just needs to be cleaned up?

    You do need a pretty good idea of the kind of riding you want to do before you pick out a bike. I suggest you ignore recommendations to go with a sexy racing bike right away. You've got a bad knee and you're going to need to protect it or you'll be done with cycling too. I ride with no ACL in one knee. I don't have any problems, but my bikes are geared suitably low so that I don't really have to stomp on it to move. You are going to need to gear down and spin up. I suggest getting a triple up front and a cassette in back with a wide gearing range. A quality bike shop will swap out a stock cassette for one with lower gearing for no charge.

    Also, if you go with clipless pedals, make sure you get something with lots of "float". If you get SPD style, spend the money to get them fit kit aligned.

    If you don't understand of the terminology here, check out Sheldon Brown's glossary at http://www.sheldonbrown.com

  7. #7
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    With a $1,500 budget, the case could be made to get two bikes: a road bike and a mountain bike. My preference would be to get a road bike costing $1,000 and a mountain bike costing $500, though the case could be made to either flip those figures or split the cost down the middle. (With my proposal, you'd have a slightly better road bike than a mountain bike.) With close-to-entry level versions of both bikes, you'd be able to sample the best of both worlds. After a few years, if you wanted to explore either world more fully, you would have a better sense of what you liked.

  8. #8
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    I'm with Albino Litigato. Although, I'd spend 2,000 and get a solid xc mtb and an entry level Felt.
    Our Meek Blog
    Girls like to play in the dirt, too!

  9. #9
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    Go to every bike shop in your area ride everything in that price range, then decide.

  10. #10
    Senior Member KevinmH9's Avatar
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    Ah yes my knee to answer someone's first question I have a rusted down old mountain bike in my shed. Nothing I really want to fix, I was biking down to work one day and my chains acting up next thing I know I my rear derailleur had fallen right off my bike. I had to run my ass to work for the next 2-3 miles or so, quite funny if you ask me. Carrying my heavy bike down the road, picking up speed and coasting on my bike for as long as I could. My knee was just a injury during cross country, I have smacked my knee on a rock and twisted it and I had gotten a MRI showing loose ligaments in my knee, those were scoped out in the Winter of 2003. The problem with my knee now is that my family has a history of loose joints so when I run my joints grind against my knee cap, so I have been told from doctors not to run but I have been medically cleared to bike. My bike choices are down to a Trek, Cannondale, or a Fuji.
    Last edited by KevinmH9; 04-26-04 at 11:54 PM.

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