My neighbor told me he's looking for a new bike and asked if I knew anything. So I sat down with him and he told me he's basically looking for a bike that can go really fast because he would like to race for health reasons (fat burning ). And not just once a week but almost everyday, including (but not limited to) trips to work, and long distance riding. He's willing to spend around €700 ($843), although I think we could go a little higher if we find something really good. He tends to lean towards a roadbike, which I also think is a good idea since most other bikes aren't so suitable for high speed (we looked at MTB's too, well, I did anyway ). So, we where looking at a Giant catalogue and saw the OCR 3, which has won a Bicycling magazine's Editor’s Choice Award. The Trek 1200 is also in his price range.
Anyway, I'm not too familiar with roadbikes so this is where your guys help comes in. Are these good (or decent) bikes? Are there any other models that we should look at? Thanks for any help!
I will just round up and say you have $900 to spend on a bike, with that much money you can get a very good road bike. I would suggest that you go down to some of your LBS's and take a look around, make sure that you test ride anything that you could possibly buy. Don't just go to one place shop around, I now have a Fuji Roubaix I bought it used but worked like a dream and I shopped around for a few weeks. I can't give out any great makes only because I am not sure myself, but shop around and see what you can do, with your budget you can get a very nice bike. But to be somewhat helpful, Cannondale, Fuji, Trek, Lemond. Specialized, Bianchi just to name a few.
I have a Trek 1200 and paid $750 (plus pedals) for it earlier this year. It's a nice bike. Good entry level bike, a step up from the lowest level Trek road bike, and it's upgradeable. It would be a starting point for him, then when he's been riding for a while he can either upgrade it or step up to a better bike, depending on his budget. There are lots of models to choose from in this price range. If he's really going to use it as much as he says he may want to start out with a mid-level model, even if it means delaying his purchase until he can increase his budget.
It will be a bit more than €700 but is a lovely bike that will last for years. The 631 steel frame is a nice bit of kit and (in my opinion) is far preferable to aluminium. It's not as agressive as a true road racer but it will be better for riding fast every day.
Are you looking for a bike in Holland?
Audax style bikes are excellent general purpose road bikes. They are quite light and fast, but very practical for carrying light loads and riding on wet roads.
The features to look for are threaded eyelets for rack and fenders, and a caliper brake with more tyre clearance than a racer. The triple chainset is not strictly neccessary in Holland, but useful if your neighbour ever wants to tour the Alps.
Unexpectedly, my neighbor decided to get a more comfortable bike for everyday use, and said he will buy a dedicated racebike in the future (he just started racing). So, we went to an LBS and bought a bike that is a combination of an MTB, RB and hybrid (or so it is adversited) so he can still have good speed (700cc tires) as well as comfort during his commute. It's aluminum with full Deore group including mech. discs, XT rear der. and Suntour suspension fork with lock-out. It was decently priced too.