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Old 02-12-13, 04:47 PM   #1
ashkicker
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Newbie advice

I have been riding about 6 mo. on a Trek FX 7.4, up to about 75mi a week. Really like cycling and considering upgrading to pure road bike, looking for advice on what to purchase, would like to ride around 100 mi. a week, want something in the mid range and does not have to be Trek. Thanks!
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Old 02-12-13, 05:13 PM   #2
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I read various comments on Sora, Tiagra and 105. In general, the quality levels would be in that order. If you wanted to save money you could always go with Sora. I saw one comment one day where someone was saying these days every manufacturer have a decent level of quality. Guess you always test drive some though. I sat on a bunch of different bikes before I chose my hybrid to get a feel for the fit.
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Old 02-12-13, 05:37 PM   #3
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Best thing to do, is to just go around to local bike shops ("LBS's"] and test ride as many different bikes as you can, without the idea of buying any, until you have a lot of rides under your belt. Take'em for good long rides, too. After a while, one or several of the bikes you've tried will stick in your mind as being special; then go back, having narrowed your range to those bikes that felt really great (special), and re-test them and compare them amongst that group of bikes, till you find a clear winner.

Component level and things like that are not all that important (I currently have Sora, and like anything else, if you keep it adjusted well, it works fine). How the bike fits and feels are much more important.

A lot depends on the way you ride, and what you intend to do. If you intend to race, you'd naturally want a race bike; if you just ride recreationally or long distances, you may still want a race-type bike, or you may want a more relaxed endurance bike, etc. Just try as many as you can....and some you will like; some you will hate; and some you will love. Buy one that you love!

Me? No LBS's where I live, so I ordered mine from Bikesdirect...and got lucky! It fits like a glove and rides great.

But the more bikes you can ride...the better!
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Old 02-18-13, 09:37 PM   #4
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What Dayglo said. Even if you live a long way from a bike shop, it's worth taking a Saturday and driving to a city that has some where you can test at least a few. You really don't know what you'll like until you try several.
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Old 02-19-13, 11:45 AM   #5
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I'd say be sure to get a touring frame and not a racing frame. You want clearance and attachment points for accessories like fenders, racks, and bags, should you decide to add them.
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Old 02-19-13, 11:50 AM   #6
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Get a Surly Pacer complete.
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Old 02-19-13, 12:04 PM   #7
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Get a Surly Pacer complete.
That's a racing frame. No clearance for fenders. Why would a nonracer want that instead of say a Long Haul Trucker?
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Old 02-19-13, 01:25 PM   #8
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I'd say be sure to get a touring frame and not a racing frame. You want clearance and attachment points for accessories like fenders, racks, and bags, should you decide to add them.

What about ashkicker's original post made you assume all of that? To me, a "pure road bike" is not the same as a touring bike. Road bikes aren't just for "racers;" normal people like them, too.
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Old 02-19-13, 01:47 PM   #9
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What about ashkicker's original post made you assume all of that? To me, a "pure road bike" is not the same as a touring bike. Road bikes aren't just for "racers;" normal people like them, too.
My Bianchi Veloce is not a racing machine, but I wouldn't do a serious tour on it either. Wide gearing, and a sporty but comfortable ride. Not a single braze on for a rack or fenders. It's a good all around recreational bike. Perhaps something of this nature. Braze-ons for a rear rack are a nice thing to have though.
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Old 02-19-13, 05:44 PM   #10
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What about ashkicker's original post made you assume all of that? To me, a "pure road bike" is not the same as a touring bike. Road bikes aren't just for "racers;" normal people like them, too.
What makes you assume that a non-racer newbie wants a type of road bike that restricts what you can put on it, for the sake of racing, which he doesn't do?

Common sense says leave your options open unless you have reason not to.

Just my opinion. Maybe he'd rather get mud stripes up his back for sake of shaving a few seconds off his time, but I don't get that impression, and otherwise, I don't see the point of cutting off your accessory options.
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Old 02-19-13, 06:03 PM   #11
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i agree leave your options open, ride as many bikes as you can.
my suggestion is to look at relaxed geometry road bikes as dayglow said. going from a hybrid to a race geometry road bike is a big change of riding styles.
you might like it, you might hate it. you never know until you take a ride on one.
you also might like the cyclocross bikes. a hybrid with drop bars. the trek FX's are basically flat bar road bikes.
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Old 03-15-13, 10:21 PM   #12
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what exactly is the main difference between your typical cyclocross and road bike?
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Old 03-17-13, 05:00 PM   #13
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One other thought. Once your test rides help you narrow down your preferences, don't discount the idea of a used bike. Harder to find, but some great values to be had if you know what you're looking for and can be patient.
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Old 03-17-13, 05:44 PM   #14
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The discussion above about road vs touring bikes confuses the issue a bit

There are road racing bikes, road sport bikes, touring bikes, and cyclocross bikes. There are certain features that you should expect to find among each of these to the exclusion of the others, and certain things that all have in common.

The main thing that differentiates a road bike from a hybrid or 'flat bar road bike' is the drop handlebars, which allow changing hand positions while you ride for different situations and just to avoid fatigue.
The most important aspect of selecting a bike is how the bike fits your body, and if you can be comfortable riding it. There is no way to know for sure which models from which manufacturer will give you fit you want. Many people can get set up with to feel comfortable and relaxed on the most aggressively designed racing bike, while many people find a very stretched out aggressive position on less performance-oriented touring bikes or road sport bikes. I guess what I am trying to say is that the style of bike does not necessarily dictate the fit for you, although it might give you some idea.

The other thing that I think makes a big difference to how you enjoy your bike is the tire clearance and ability to fit fenders (so you can ride in or after the rain without getting soaked from road spray) and maybe a rack (if you every hope to commute or carry a substantial amount of stuff while you ride. Road racing bikes often do not have the ability to fit tires wider than 25mm, which many consider limits their usefulness on rough or loose surfaces. Road sport and touring and cyclocross bikes allow wider tires and often (but not always) mounts for rack and fenders.

What is the right bike for your long road rides might be used by someone else as a daily commuter or as a dedicated race bike. It all depends on what you want to do with the bike and how you set it up.

And component 'quality' that generally gets discussed in bike-selection threads is secondary to the usefulness of the bike for you.
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Old 03-17-13, 06:49 PM   #15
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Back to your favorite Bike Shop, they do Show And Tell better.

all things being equal, they will be.
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