NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
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Welcome to the Forums. For $1,500 you can get a lot of bike. I would look for an aluminum frame, with a Carbon fiber fork and components equal to Shimano 105 and maybe even a mix of 105 and Ultegra.
The $1,000 price point is highly competitive and you can find bikes from lesser known manufacturers with full 105 components and a carbon fork at that range. For $500 more, you'll probably find equal level components but from better known brands. Or, more Ultegra components.
Remember, you need to budget money for a helmet, some decent shorts, a moisture wicking jersey and probably some tools and a mini-pump. Figure an additional $100 to $150 depending on your taste.
To me, the most important thing when buying a bike is FIT. You need to find a bike that will be comfortable after 3 hours of riding. Just because you like the color and it's a good deal doesn't make it the right bike for you.
Go to as many different bike shops in your area. Test ride bikes in your price range and a little beyond. That way you can learn the differences. Test ride the bikes multiple times. This is a pretty big investment and you want to make sure you buy the best bike for YOU! After about 5 rides, you'll start to be able to know what you like and what you don't.
Good Luck and we're happy to help with any tech questions you may have.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger