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  1. #1
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    Need an Entry Level Bike, HELP

    Hello everyone, new to the forums, and fairly new to road cycling. I rode an old late 70's Miyata for a while when I was living at the beach back home, and wanted to get back in to cycling but am unsure where to start. I've browsed a couple of threads here and there seem to be a lot of knowledgeable people here as well as some heated debate on what it is good and what is not so good. So I figured this would be a great place to ask some questions.

    I am interested in commuting, and am also interested in group fun rides, and a half century coming up in June. I want a good all around bike that won't break the bank(I have about 600 dollars to play with). So far, the bike that seems to be my first choice is a Raleigh Sport or Grand Sport. Both which can be had for less than 700 dollars at the LBS. My other choices are a lower-end Fuji, at around 500, a Giant for a little over 700, and the peek of my budget is a Cannondale CAAD8. I would really like the cheapest/best solution for my money. And so far the Raleighs seems to be my best option. Neither of the Raleighs come with a Carbon fork, which is an option on the three latter bikes I listed. But I test rode the Raleigh and would have no problem riding it, the Sora gears shift flawlessly and it was effortless to ride.

    My biggest question to you, is what are some other options? Are the Raleighs a good starter bike? And is splurging a little bit of extra money going to be worth it in the long run? I'd really like some help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member calf man's Avatar
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    For 600 to 700 bucks, you are going to find a bike the rides fine, but will have a lot of low end components. The cheaper bikewill be a bit heavier than a more costly bike and may not perform as nicely (shifting, etc.). As far as brands names go, it doesn't really matter as the major brands will all have low end and high end stuff.

    If you really want to get the most for that price range, you might consider a used bike. If you know someone knowledgeable in bike that can help you in the buying process, you can get a pretty decent bike for for about $600.

  3. #3
    Senior Member c.miller64's Avatar
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    I'm sure I'll get flamed for posting this, but at $499 this bike is a steal.


    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Corsa-FA-L...#ProductDetail

  4. #4
    I can - therefore, I do.. dzrthauler's Avatar
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    I agree with calf man... you will probably get more for your $600 if you can find a higher end used bike; or build your fund to get closer to the $1000+ range and have a 'starter' that will last you a lot longer and will grow with you, without you having to do upgrades in a couple seasons. By the way, welcome back to cycling... I was out of it for a lifetime and now am back enjoying utility riding and pleasure riding with my wife!
    '84 SweetHeart Cycles MotoCruiser - the utility beast
    '10 KHS TR 101 - commuter extraordinaire
    future 'bent owner - still looking for the 'right' 26" rear wheeler....stay tuned
    http://pedalinghere.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Freddin' it
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    Most of those in this LD forum haven't had a "first" bike in some time, so many of us can't offer more than general advice, especially relating to the bikes you mentioned. Moreover, as you'll notice from the thread dates on the LD forum main page, this forum doesn't generate as much traffic as some of the others. Consider posting this question in the General, Commuting, and or Road Cycling forums, too. You'll get a lot more responses and hook with some who have some of the bikes you mentioned.

    Good luck. Cycling's a blast; welcome back!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Go to the Classic & Vintage forum to look at what others have found on Craig's List, E-bay, yard sales, thrift stores, and in dumpsters. I ride bikes that were left in the dump, and they are great bikes. I've upgraded a few with Nitto bars and stems, and Brooks saddles, and new chains,and chainrings ; so, I've put maybe $300 in a couple of them.

    I have a friend who gets stuff from a dumpster behind a large bike shop that talks people out of repairing their old bikes and into buying a new bike.

    You might have to invest in a few tools however.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    I second the "buy used" opinion. You can get a REAL nice classic ride (think Merckx, DeRosa, Colnago, etc, and full Campy) for $6-700. And it'll ride and handle better than ANYTHING new that costs twice as much. (Just one word of warning: old Bridgestones in particular are way overpriced these days. No clue why - they were good but not great when new, but now they're selling for more than the above named top-end euro bikes. Go figger.)

    SP
    Bend, OR

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
    I second the "buy used" opinion. You can get a REAL nice classic ride (think Merckx, DeRosa, Colnago, etc, and full Campy) for $6-700. And it'll ride and handle better than ANYTHING new that costs twice as much. (Just one word of warning: old Bridgestones in particular are way overpriced these days. No clue why - they were good but not great when new, but now they're selling for more than the above named top-end euro bikes. Go figger.)

    SP
    Bend, OR
    Something to do with Grant Peterson, maybe? After all, he was head of Bridgestone Bicycles in the USA before it closed shop here.

  9. #9
    Randomhead
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    moving to General Cycling

  10. #10
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    set a budget, then shop $200 under that budget so you can accessorize! :-)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
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    I'm a cycling newbie as well. I opted to build my own frame since I'm a DIYer...and felt like buying pre-packed bikes is a rip. (They often package lower quality components)

    I ended up getting a cyclocross frame. The geometry is a little more upright which is nice for someone that isnt a season cyclist, although not as upright as a MTB. Right now my bike is more like a road bike (carbon fork, 700x23c wheels/tires).

    For commuting/joyrides, this bike is perfect. I dont deal with the stretched/slouched geometry of a road frame...and if I swap my fork/tires I have a good ATB that I can hit trails with.

    I'm riding the Nashbar X cyclocross frame (which was only 80 bucks during a double sale) with Shimano Ultegra stuff (105 shifters.) I constantly pass roadies on the trail...: P

  12. #12
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    Not all areas have loads of used quality bikes going for sale. So take a quick look at Craigslist for your area and if there are no road bikes under 10 yrs old. Get what your local shop has to offer under $700. You want to get in plenty of riding before next winter, and have great fun.

  13. #13
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    for about $600 you can get a decent bike from Specialized. it will have crap components but it will have a decent seat and it will actually be a real bike.

    i think used bikes are not worth it because people will buy a bike for $3,000 then 10 years later you can buy the same quality bike new for $600 but they still remember paying $3,000 for it so they will try to sell it for $800 even though it doesn't even work any more.

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