Or maybe, , , , just go steal a shopping cart. There any big hills near where you live?
Wheels aren't Alex.. since the bike is a 48cm it came with 650c wheels. No name/brand/id whatsoever. Black painted lead .
I went the used route.
$100 got me my '84 Motobecane Mirage Sport. Spent a few $$ on lights and a rack and its been my favorite commuter so far.
1993 Cannondale T700 - 1994 Specialized Rockhopper - Actionbent T1 (Electrification in progress!)
Being new, and not schooled in the nuances of forum lingo, when you said "BB was junk. . ." was it the Motobecane through BikesDirect that you were referring to?
From what I've seen (-of people asking me for help with theirs-):
.....On most dept-store bikes the bottom brackets crumble very quickly under regular use.
.....The wheel bearings fail pretty quickly too, and the rims and spokes are so cheap that the hubs alone aren't worth saving, so you'll probably end up buying better wheels soon.
.....Another issue I've seen over the years is that the lower headset bearing aren't sealed, so if the bike has no front fender and gets used in any wet weather, water gets thrown up into the lower headset bearings, ruining them too.
.....The shifters frequently have poor indexing, and don't have much provision for adjustment.
Other than that, they're a great deal. (shrugging)
On another forum (I think it was roadbikereview) a guy bought a Wal-Mart road bike and rode it for quite a while, posting the details. There's a thread on there now making fun of the WalMart GMC Denali road bike, but I don't think that's the one, the one I remember was really long but their search only seems to go a year back.
"everything that cyccommute and meanwhile have said is bang on,"
I agree!! good post and good info. A (good) bike shop will get you on a bike in as close to your price as they can. The bike will fit, and if you ride it, it will be a great bike.
Hit CL & Ebay, look for a "good" lightweight steel road bike from yesteryear with good components. Most of the "good" lightweight steel framesets have good components. Just remember bikes have been around for a VERY VERY long time and just because Aluminum, Carbon, and Titanium are new, does not mean they are better. Parallel to the development of these technologies were breakthroughs in steel technologies. There are some lightweight steel frames that once upgraded with some components weigh less than the "cheap" entry level road bikes of today - plus the ride on them is MUCH better, a.k.a. "Steel is Real." The "Cash" strapped buyer does not mind waiting and searching for their golden goose. Good luck!
For more, just research it...
Last edited by Bheleu; 09-23-09 at 05:17 PM.
[quote=Doug5150;9727473]Well, what you are asking is rather an obvious question: "what is wrong with $300 bikes?".... well, no offense sir but go out and buy one, and find out for yourself.
Well, you're really not answering the question as I asked it - you seem to be spoiling for an argument, which is why I suggested you go look for it somewhere else. The very tone of your answer is dripping with sarcasm, disrespect and OFFENSIVENESS.
I asked if it's possible to find a new LBS Road Bike for around $300, that would offer better reliability, quality, and durability than the WalMart and Target bikes, which tend to be priced less than half that level. I also asked, at the LBS level, just HOW much Road Bike $300 would buy. THAT, DOUG5150 IS WHAT I ASKED.
From the various and sundry responses I've read here, it appears to me that my best option is to look in the 5-15 years used category, and go for the best name/model at the lowest possible price, while not accepting a bike that's plain worn out, or that's been obviously abused, poorly kept and maintained, There's simply too much markup in most new LBS bikes for buying new to make much financial sense, unless you're at a point of development, where buying NEW brings needed upgrades in components into the equation.
Given my specifics, it's unlikely I'll ever be in the market for a 15 Lb State of the Art 2-wheeler. I'd lay bets that for the rest of my likely biking career, vintage Raleighs, Motobecanes and Schwinns will probably define the limits of sophistication I'll ever aspire to in a bike.
Last edited by BigBruce; 09-25-09 at 05:22 AM.
That said, frankly you have a bit more attitude than necessary, given that you've come here and asked a newbie question, then you seem to want to confront everyone that didn't answer precisely as you specified. This forum is a wealth of knowledge, but it, like the internet you have to be prepared to sort through some times.
Were you so concerned about the answers, you could have simply searched. It's not like your question isn't one that's not been answered 100 times before.
My first road bike could only be purchased at a bike dealer, not a box store.
Unfortunately real "road bike" components, even ultra low end ones, are generally more expensive than hybrid/mountain components. The low end market for hybrid/moutain components is wider as they appeal to a larger customer base. Many people when they see a road bike with drop bars they immediately assume they are trying to be Lance and want nothing to do with it. They would rather have something they assume is comfortable with an upright riding position.
So in essence the beginners market when it comes to road bikes was pushed upward, as there really is very little market for the ultra low end, most people when they are purchasing a road bike are looking to step up and into something that shifts and rides better than their Hybrid.
Last edited by Rogue Leader; 09-25-09 at 08:56 AM.
2009 BD Mercier Galaxy AL/Campy Veloce/PZ Aero Bars/Fulcrum 5's
2008 Argon 18 Mercury/Dura Ace/Vision base Zipp Aero/Fulcrum 5's
Thanks everyone for your responses and input. A few comments seem called for.
When I first happened onto this forum, I searched and searched through the different threads to see how close anyone had come to developing a thread that was plentiful and rich in input from experienced riders. I didn't find anything that addressed the subject from the perspective where I was coming from. I truly appreciate the responses here to this thread.
Yeah, I tend to get impatient with wags who insist on answering questions that weren't asked, ignoring key aspects of the questions that were asked. And, if I humble myself in front of a group of sophisticated, experienced people, I REALLY appreciate those who show the grace NOT to insult and deride me for having he NERVE to ask them to interrupt their schedules - I always figured that people who participate on these forums, do so because they ENJOY doing so, and in the process, helping the newbies learn just how much they DON'T know yet!
So, I thank you all. I have a bit better orientation now, and it appears likely that I'll probably stick to clean, well cared-for '90's Road Bikes even at the cost of enjoying "state of the art" design. Maybe, if I were a "state of the art" rider I might look at the picture differently, but honestly as a rider, I seriously think that's all I'll ever rate, or need.
Virtually all LBS grade road bikes that I am aware of come with combined brake levers and shifters today, commonly called "brifters". You are not going to find such a road bike new for much less than $600 or so unfortunately. New road bikes using downtube or stem shifters, much cheaper components for the bike manufacturer to buy, are no longer available from LBS grade bike makers.
The entry level road bike has basically disapeared as it has been displaced by the hybrid bike or comfort bike categories. Most road riders move to a road bike as an upgrade from one of these.
The entry level road bike pretty much disappeared when MTBs became the popular lower end bike sold by both LBSs and mass market merchandisers. It has not returned even with the much wider range of bicycle types now available. As the low end road bike market disappeared so did the bikes and even with the increased popularity of road bikes again they have not returned. The road bike is now considered a specialty item aimed at the more serious road rider and is specified, and priced, accordingly generally speaking.
I agree with other posters who recommend buying a good used bike as there are many decent ones in your price range from multiple sources. So far as I know anything "new" in the road bike category for $300 or less is going to be a poor buy due to component quality issues.
Use a web bike fitting guide to determine the appropriate size road bike for you so that you have some idea of what to look for used and good luck in your search.
Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro
Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
Another point to consider is that an older road bike in good shape (and there are a ton of bought and forgot bikes out there) is also done depreciating and might even be increasing in value. I am enjoying my mid grade 80's Bianchi much more than I did my much newer lower end Bianchi I used to have.
i broke in my brand new (one-day old) '09 Giant Defy 3 at a NYC area 50 mile ride...it rode beautifully. most reviews of it--on the negative side--usually focus on the seat...and pedals. sure, i plan to switch to clipless, but it was fine. the seat finally became a pain around mile 43...i think the seat was actually tired of me. Sora shifting was effortless once i got used to it
.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 after the big bang
2008 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--small (goatcross)
2010 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--medium
2004 Bianchi Axis 1x9 (cyclocross)
1993 Giant Avonni (mutantcross)
2009 Giant Defy 2 (cobblecross)
1990 Schwinn Caliente (medicinecross)
2009 Giant Yukon FX (root/rock/mudcrosscountry)--recent addition: RockShox Revelation U-Turn
As of now, most LBSes have the 2010 models coming in. You *might* be able to nab a good deal on a 2009, especially now that winter is coming on, and the back to school rush on bikes is over.
I did this several years back, and scored a low end new Kona for a great price.
If you know what you want, this might be an option. However, I am a bit biased, I'd rather go to bike shops, then after that, in order of desirability, pawn shops (sometimes you might find a good deal at places around universities), garage sales (be there early because the pros will be there), church sales, police auctions, and finally eBay or CL.
Big Bruce, is this your current ride to "test the waters"?
You said earlier that you have only had this bike for 2.5 months. You also mentioned you can do around 8 miles in one sitting, but have only ridden your Denali a total of 20 miles. So I have to ask, why are you looking to upgrade to a $300 bike? It seems to me that you are doing just fine with what you have.
I would suggest several things for you at this point.
1) Take your Denali to a local Bike shop and have them tune the bike properly for you. If you bought it from a discount store, it is most likely out of tune/adjustment.
2) Invest in a good flat tire repair kit that you can carry with you, and a good floor pump to keep your tires inflated to full pressure (100-120 psi). At your weight, you will need them at that level at least. Check their inflation each and every ride.
3) Invest in proper riding apparel, at least cycling shorts, gloves, helmet, and shoes.
4) Then, just keep riding the bike!
Nothing will improve the performance of you and your bike more than YOU! Ride that sucker as often as possible. Get into better shape and eat healthy everyday. Do this for another 3-6 months. When your performance has finally improved, then look into upgrading to a better bicycle. That should give you enough time to save more $$ to buy a really good entry level bike in the $500-$900 range. That is really where "really good" begins.
Last edited by Palomar01; 09-27-09 at 05:24 PM.
Meantime, I agree wholeheartedly with you about riding the Hell out of whatever my main bike happens to be. I got into this realizing just how far I have to go, and how much work that will mean, and I truly appreciate the words of encouragement - words I definitely need to hear! Thanks again.
http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...1&d=1254157261 I hope I got this right about attaching a jpeg image in the text.
To enlarge the thumbnail, just click on the image of the bike.
Last edited by BigBruce; 09-28-09 at 12:17 PM.
It's also, for most of us, a matter of time vs money. I found a 2008 Specialized Sequoia (entry level road) at deep discount at $600 at a local bike shop. I had spent 3 months checking for the same bike on craigslist. Maybe you live in a better area for it, but I didn't find any listing in my size (though I might have been able to find a Specialized Allez, a more popular bike). I decided I simply did not want to keep waiting around and looking around for a couple of hundred dollars. I bought it, and when the rear wheel started making a scary noise every time I took it back and they fixed it - if they hadn't been able to fix it, they would have warrantied the wheel.
But yeah, if price is your #1 priority, and you don't mind riding a much older bike (I *hate* non-integrated shifters, personally) buying a brand name bike off craigslist or ebay definitely seems to be the consensus on the cheapest way to go. Like here's a 2000 Specialized Allez that sold for $400, it appears to be an new-ish bike:
On the other hand, my friend bought a used road bike on Craigslist. Bragged all about the great deal he got, and how I spent to much money. yada yada. Turns out the bike he bought isn't exactly "vibration absorbing". Finally bought a Specialized Roubaix at a local bike shop - he likes it *much*, *much* better. Hopefully he'll be able to resell the bike he bought.
Last edited by PaulRivers; 09-28-09 at 03:34 PM.
I am glad to hear you have decided to keep an eye open for a used bike shop quality bike rather than buy a big box store model. I have made it a personal mission of mine to help my friends, family and even strangers ride quality bikes instead of buying the junk they sell at places like Target, Walmart, etc.
I guess I am what you call a "flipper" - finding bikes at thrift stores, garage sales, craigslist, etc. and fixing them to turn around and sell for a profit to pass on to a friend, family member, etc. I have pulled bikes out of the garbage, from city clean up days, etc. that have gone on to a whole new life with a new rider. As you said, many of these bikes were barely even ridden and spent a majority of their lives hanging from the ceiling or in the corner of the shed. If you have a little patience and start looking around you will be very suprised at the quality of bike you can pick up for little - or even no money! If you are looking for a used rig here are some tips:
1. The bike should have alloy rims - no steel!
2. The bike should have downtube shifters, brifters or barcons (barend shifters) and not the stem mounted ones.
3. The bike frame should be labeled with some sort of indicator of the tubeset - ie Columbus, Reynolds, Ishiwata, etc. and should be butted, double butted, triple butted, etc. These are generally indicators of a quality bike frame. Often the fork is also labeled with this info and that is even better.
4. The brake levers should not have "suicide levers" - those extra levers that allow you to brake from the horizontal portion of the bars. These are generally only used on lower end models.
5. Components including crankset, brakes, bars, stem, seatpost, etc should be aluminum and not steel.
6. The crankset should not be cottered and should have aluminum rings.
I have flipped dozens of bikes over the past few years and I try to stick to these general rules when picking up bikes to pass on. Obviously some will disagree and point out that old Schwinn's were built like tanks and last forever - but these same bikes are also extremely heavy and much more work to ride around in my opinion. Anyway, I hope this helps. Good luck.
1. Who Cares? I don't! I loved the Raleigh and Peugeot's I rode with steel rims - Remember, I'm just a beginner!
2. As a rider, I simply want the least distracting means of shifting gears possible - the one that forces me to look away
from my path as little as possible. I happen to LIKE stem shifters for that very reason - IT'S A SAFETY THING!
3. Sure, a nice frame is nice, but issues of use vs. abuse, obvious visual cues as to how the bike was stored and
maintained are all of considerable importance. A 30 year-old Sears Free Spirit might be the better bike than a 30
year-old Schwinn Le Tour II, if you don't have an additional $150 to throw into mechanical rejuvenation.
4. Dhorn, PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE Don't ever, ever, ever engage me on this one. YOU CANNOT WIN. A good,
close friend of mine, went to the LBS in 1974, and paid them to install a brake lever with this side extension bar. The
guy was a professor of physics at UCSB. Less than a year after he'd done this, I saw him downtown, and we started
talking bikes. He said being able to grab the side-bar extension, totally saved his life. He was riding down a narrow
old street with his hands on the top of the drop-bar, when some doper just opened his VW door right smack in front of
my friend. Without having to move either hand even one-inch, he had the bike panic-stopped with several inches to
spare, and avoided what could have been crippling, or fatal injury. SUICIDE BAR? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!
The 1989 Raleigh Technium 400 I just bought, came with those brake levers, and I breathed an immediate sigh of
relief when I saw them there, and I made absolutely certain that my LBS got that part of the braking system in perfect
Two LBS owners I've been talking to, agree with me that in retrospect, the side extension brake lever, was, for
many, if not most riders, a very significant safety-booster that appeared more on entry and mid-range bikes because
in many cases, the riders of upper-end Road Bikes, tended to be more tradition-bound, and the LBS owners were the
ones who made that specific point, not me!
The LBS owners, both of whom are 40+ years in their businesses, plus the physics professor, plus ME, all agree on
one very critical point of accident prevention - Hands must have near-instant access to brake levers AT ALL TIMES.
But, we're not always riding in Tour de France racing mode, leaning forward, holding the bar at the drop-
ends where the brake levers are. Many times, we're riding a bit more casually, in a more relaxed, upright position,
holding the bar from the upper bar. When riding, and an urgent need arises, to STOP THE BIKE, every millisecond
your hands are NOT able to grip and compress brake lever, YOU ARE OUT OF CONTROL OF YOUR BIKE.
That is what I said - When your hands are NOT gripping the brake levers, and you need to stop, YOU
ARE TOTALLY, FREAKIN' OUT OF CONTROL!!!!!
One LOUSY second is all it takes to create a life-altering tragedy. The proven experience of ONE FRIEND, is all I will ever
need to convince me that he knew what the Hell he was doing, and all I can say is that it's a shame the brake
manufacturers didn't continue to refine and improve that basic design - IMO a great advance in bicycle safety vs. the
original drop-lever-only design, which contributed to my smashing the front fork on my 1967 Raleigh, and bending the
frame, back in 1969, ending the life of a bike I truly loved, JUST BECAUSE I couldn't get to the hand-brake soon enough.
Dhorn33 Thanks sincerely for the rest of your input. I guess you didn't read that I had already BOUGHT the Denali and continue to ride this bike. In the next few days I'll shift over the "new" 1989 Raleigh, but so far, and about 175 miles into the Denali, I still love the way this $99 Wallyworld bike handles and rides! IMO Kent did an amazing job for the money - the value equation here is stunning, especially for the cash-strapped beginner who doesn't have $500-$1,000 to blow on a starter bike, JUST TO SEE, if they're going to enjoy cycling or not. That's my take. and now that I'm getting more into cycling, I was willing to invest more time and effort in lining up a really nice vintage quality Road Bike. With absolutely everything, including complete cleanup and lube, two new gumwall tires and new gel-padded seat, I'm in this gorgeous Classic U.S.A. - made Raleigh about $265 including FedEx shipping from Ohio. Hell, some of the Big-Box bikes were priced higher than this!
Another thing, For the most part, I don't have to be concerned about the Road Bike snobs putting me down for riding something, they (GASP!) disapprove of!
Last edited by BigBruce; 10-12-09 at 11:31 PM.