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  1. #1
    sely
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    Help Me Choose......is this a good buy for a novice who wants to start training?

    Hi,
    I've been biking for years....for exercise. now i'd like to train for a century...or two...or more. i currently only have a mountain bike and need to purchase a road bike. i know i don't want a racing bike (i'm not quite that serious...yet).... so that leaves a road 'sport' bike, i believe. i know what height i need but that's about it. 12 speeds, 14 speeds 24 speeds... shimano ... steel, aluminum ... posts, cassettes...all a bit daunting.

    does anyone have any recommendations for a novice who wants to start training?

    i found a used bike (of which i'm a little leary) the specs are listed below (comments anyone... good, bad, ugly?.... any help is appreciated!!!):

    WINDSOR ROAD BIKE

    Frame: 7005 Aluminum by Kinesis - Handmade MultiShape, Engineered Aluminum Tubing, Precision TIG welded with Double water bottle bosses and replaceable rear derailleur hanger

    Fork: Full Chromoly DuraForte steel, integrated sloping crown

    Derailleurs: Rear- Shimano 14 Speed, Front Shimano Double Road

    Shifters: Shimano Index Easy Stem Shift 14 Speed

    Brakes: Aluminum side-pull black finish

    Hubs: Aluminum with 7 speed cassette

    Rims: 700c Road Aluminum black finish 36H

    Crank: Shimano DoubleRing Road

    Saddle: Velo Plush-racing with ComfortFit

    Seatpost: Aluminum micro-adjust with black finish

    Pedals: Alloy quill with toeclips and straps

    Tires: Maxxis 700c High pressure road

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    This appears to be an older bikesdirect.com bike. How much does the seller want for it?
    Personally... I would not buy a bike with a 7-speed setup. I prefer a more modern drivetrain with STI on a road bike, but that's just me.

    Oh... and, since this bike is 7-speed, it has 126mm hub spacing, and cannot accommodate a modern 8-speed or above rear hub. If it were steel, you could bend it to 130mm and put a modern 10-speed hub on there.... but the frame is aluminum so bending it outward is not a good idea. This bike will always be 7-speed or less.
    Last edited by matthew_deaner; 07-23-07 at 04:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    If you want to keep the bike for a really long time then it will probably not be a good choice. I personally don't think a 7 speed drivetrain is a serious handicap, but you will have a hard time finding spares, so if you're planning on keeping the bike long enough to wear things out...

    It also looks as though the shift levers are mounted on the stem, which is not a good thing. You might check to see if there are provisions for mounting them on the dowtube, or if STI levers can be retrofitted. (And those are not terribly affordable.)

    Unless the bike is extremely inexpensive, I think I'd keep looking.

  4. #4
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    The best thing you can do is find a local bike shop (LBS), tell them what kind of riding you want to do and what your budget is, and test ride some bikes. Getting a bike that fits you well is really important, and it takes a good bike shop to do that properly.

    I would not recommend a used bike for that reason.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
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  5. #5
    sely
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    thank you for your replies. The owner says the bike is less than a year old and is selling it for $275. I would probably upgrade after 2-3 years of riding. Why are stem-mounted shift levers not a good thing?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sely View Post
    thank you for your replies. The owner says the bike is less than a year old and is selling it for $275. I would probably upgrade after 2-3 years of riding. Why are stem-mounted shift levers not a good thing?
    the owner might be misleading you with the claim that it's less than a year old. He may have had the bike for less than a year, but bikes with stem shifters have not been manufactured since the 80's.

    from Sheldon Brown:

    "Many bikes from the mid '70s through the mid '80s had shift levers mounted on the handlebar stem. This was more convenient to reach than the traditional down tube location, especially for riders who were poorly fitted to their bikes so that they would spend most of their riding time holding the top part of their drop handlebars. Stem shifters, along with brake extension levers, encouraged riding using only the top of drop handlebars. This riding style was popular at the time, because many casual cyclists bought bicycles with drop bars for reasons of fashion and style, even though drop bars were not suited to their low-intensity riding style.

    Unfortunately, this riding position gives rather poor control of the bike, mainly because the hands are too close together for good steering control.

    Stem shifters also present a danger in a collision. Depending on what gear you have selected, stem shifters can be like having a dull knife aimed at your groin!"

  7. #7
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    Okay, so it looks like Deaner was right. Bikesdirect is/was selling the thing new for $299. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ellington1.htm

    Looks as though they are sold out.

    Interesting to note that the stem shifters appear to be modern. I can't imagine why they are still made. Replacing them would indeed require STI, which would add a serious chunk of change to the project.

    Aside from that, the bike looks useable to me. But between the stem shifters and the fact that the fellow in question is trying to sell a used bike at nearly the same price as new, I'd pass.
    Last edited by Six jours; 07-24-07 at 11:25 AM.

  8. #8
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    BTW, I notice bikesdirect has a couple of similar bikes...

    Dawes Lightning 1000 Shimano 24 Speed Road Bike
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/lt1000.htm

    2008 Windsor Leeds - Road Bike
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/leeds08.htm

    Both bikes offer STI and eight speed clusters, which is a bit more up-to-date, and both bikes are $369 with no shipping or taxes to pay for.

  9. #9
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    Oh, and FWIW, at this level, every extra dollar you can spend buys big improvements. If you can possibly manage it, I would consider trying to get to the +/- $500 level, which gets rid of a lot of the serious trade-offs you find with the sub $400 bikes. IMO, of course.

  10. #10
    sely
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    if i shell out the extra $$ what tradeoffs would i avoid? and what components should i concentrate on first?

    I imagine size would be most important: (female, 5'6")...i've been looking for a 50cm (does this sound about right?)... but many of the factory bikes are "small" "med" "large" ... should i avoid that?

    what else should i concentrate on to get the best 'deal'

    and ... what about ebay to find a deal?

  11. #11
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    You'd probably want a "Small", and might even need to get a shorter stem for it to make it fit really well. I'm 5'7" and ride 52-54cm frames, Small with 100mm stem for compact geometry modern frames. 8 speed bikes will accomodate 9 speed cassettes and shifters if you like the bike and want to upgrade some componentry. And if not, you can probably resell it at a small lossand get a better frame later if you get serious about riding.

  12. #12
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    if i shell out the extra $$ what tradeoffs would i avoid? and what components should i concentrate on first?
    The big difference between the $350 price level and the $500 price level is that most bikes in the fromer category are going to come with Shimano 2200 or something similar, which includes a lot of stamped steel (heavy, ugly, and wear-prone) whereas the latter category will usually come with Shimano Sora, which is mostly aluminum (light, attractive, and long lasting.) You generally find an improvement in wheels as well, and wheels may be the most important component of a bike.

    I imagine size would be most important: (female, 5'6")...i've been looking for a 50cm (does this sound about right?)... but many of the factory bikes are "small" "med" "large" ... should i avoid that?
    Another advantage of the $500 or so price range is that you start to see a lot more bikes sized in 1 or 2cm increments, which is nice. The standard way of determining frame size is to multiply your exact inseam -- in centimeters -- by .65. This results in frame size, measured center-to-center. With the "small/medium/large" deal, you just have to try to get into the ballpark.

    what else should i concentrate on to get the best 'deal'
    Honestly, that's a big question. I'd recomend just bouncing the possibilities off of the members hereand see what they think.

    and ... what about ebay to find a deal?
    Ebay can result in great deals and total rip-offs. Unfortunately, I think your results are proportional to your knowledge, so again, it might be a good idea to bounce your Ebay finds off the good folks here first.

    HTH!

  13. #13
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    I would agree that it is of the utmost importance to get a bike that FITS! Once you go to the LBS and test ride lots of bikes (for free) and get lots of advice (for free), then it's time to get serious and start looking for "deals" if money is the main issue.
    My advice: Get Shimano Ultegra 10 speed, or better. Be prepared to spend at least $2000 to get set up properly. And get the best set of wheels you can afford. Don't skimp.
    The longer you sit on your bike and ride it, the more you'll notice the sluggishness and crappy shifting of an inferior setup. You pay for lightness and quality. Splurge!! After a few hundred miles, you'll forget about the wad of cash you dumped on your bike (you won't miss it), and you'll just feel the LOVE. If you buy a cheapo, the $500 you saved won't seem so important when every pedal stroke is inefficient and miserable. Most people who buy a cheapo bike will dump it within a few months and then spend a couple of thousand dollars on a new one.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Cadillac's Avatar
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    So your suggestion for Sely is to go from $275 to $2000.
    Isn't that a little excessive to get into road riding for a Century?
    Older bikes with good Campy groupo (components) are available for less than $300.
    I bought an Italian bike with Campy for $125 (amazingly, the guy lived only a block away).
    Sely doesn't have to live with her purchase for the rest of her life.
    I suggest she find a bike with some good (probably older) components. The shifter should be on the down-tube or bar-ends.
    Sely, if you find riding up hills a little difficult, look for a cassette with a large (32+ ) low gear.

    As suggested by others, you can't go wrong with checking with your LBS and getting sized for a bike so you know what kind will fit. But shop around before spending $2000.
    I've had several less expensive bikes before I spent $6000 for two bikes.
    "Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head,
    To work my mind, when body's work's expired"
    -- Shakespeare Sonnet XXVII
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