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  1. #1
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    The Noob speaketh

    Well, having acquired sufficient employment to augment my financial aide, I'm taking the plunge and getting a road bike. I've settled on a 2008 Specialized Allez Elite (compact) in Gerolstiener Blue. Took a 54cm out for a few spins, love the feeling of it. Here's my request. I've puttered through the numerous "bike noob" threads, and I'd like to try to build something a bit more cohesive with my own experience. I'm starting with the bike and helmet, and I'll slowly work through the rest of the various parts, and I'd like to see what the other forumites have to recommend on parts. Here's my "Tentative" list of purchases and Upgrades, by priority. Feel free to comment, suggest, and even correct.

    1.) Bike and Helmet (see above)

    2.) Shoes, pedals , and cleats

    *this is prolly going to be a shimano combo, although I have NO experience with this
    *type of gear. I want something I can clip into and out of easily, and will also be a
    *secure hold on the shoe. Recommendations welcome.

    3) Groupset upgrade to full 105

    *The only thing that's 105 on this bike is the RD and cassette. Shifters and FD would be
    *the logical next step, from the looks of it.

    4) Cycling clothing

    *HELP!

    5) Cyclocomputer

    *Heard that Flight Deck was complete junk. Looking at basic Speedometer and other stuff.


    All comments appreciated!

    ALSO: Any anecdotes or other experiences, stories, etc are greatly appreciated. I'm very open to suggestion and ideas at this point.

    Xaivius

  2. #2
    ..... Jynx's Avatar
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    The 2008 Specialized Allez Elite (compact) is pretty much full tiagra with a 105 rear derailleur. The tiagra group is 9 speed. The 105 group is 10 speed. If you plan to go to 105 get a bike with 105. A 105 group costs roughly $550. Not something you want to add to a brand new bike. Decide if 9 speed Tiagra is fine or you want a bike with 10 speed 105. There is nothing wrong with 9 speed or with tiagra. They both work fine.

    Now once you figure that out here are some recomendations (these are the most popular things you cant really go wrong with).

    You need something to repair flats on the road and a way to hold it.

    - Get a saddle bag. Topeak Aero Wedge is most popular. Small for bare minimum, medium for average amount or large if you hold more then average.

    Then you have to fill the saddle bag. Get a tube patch kit and a tube. Tire levers (park tool plastic set of three or similar). A co2 inflator. Genuine Innovations makes good stuff like the Ultraflate, Microflate, Ultraflate2 ect... If you dont want co2 and want a frame pump Topeak Road Morph G is the unofficial best pump.

    Now you will be thirsty when you ride. You need bottle cages and bottles. Best overall are the Tacx Tao cages. They are light, look good, and will hold any bottle without it flying out. There like $15 each. And get any bottles you want for them.

    Pedals for the bike. I prefer Shimano SPD-SL pedals. A good pedal is the 105 level pedal. (PD-5600 I think). And then you need shoes for them. Thats where it could get expensive. Sidi Genius 5 are very popular. (roughly $229). Good if you have wide feet bc they have a wide version. Otherwise go to your LBS and try on some cheaper shimano pairs. Whatever feels good will be fine.

    Computer. Cateye Astrale 8 is a very nice cheap computer that does it all. Has cadence too (RPM). The only downside is it is wired (A wire runs to the back wheel). Not really a bad thing but some dont like the look. If you want wireless the Cateye Strada Wireless is very popular. The thing is it doesnt have cadence. If you want wireless and cadence that is when they start to get expensive so its your choice.

    Clothing. For a jersey you can get a cycling specific one or you can get something similar to underarmor. The benefits of cycling specific ones is they have pockets in the back to hold food, tools, phones, ect... and they have a zipper if you want to open it up a bit. You dont necessarily have to spend a ton on a jersey. As far as "bottoms". You have a choice of shorts or bibs. bibs have suspenders. bibs are liked more then shorts by most people for their additional comfort and lack of butt crack hanging out. Dont cheap out on shorts.

    Just another thing to keep in mind is the accessories add up very fast. Dont max out your budget on your bike and not be able to afford the additions you need to go with the bike.


    Just my opinion. some others will recomend different parts but these are pretty common and popular.

  3. #3
    ub3r n00b Youngin's Avatar
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    Instead of looking to upgrade the group, maybe you should look into upgrading the wheels. It will be a much more valuable upgrade.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngin View Post
    Instead of looking to upgrade the group, maybe you should look into upgrading the wheels. It will be a much more valuable upgrade.
    ah, I was considering that, and decided to wait and see if someone brought it up. Anyone care to summarize the benefits of upgraded wheels? those things get expensive quickly. What will my money get me in terms of ride, comfort, etc?

  5. #5
    Senior Member kenshinvt's Avatar
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    If you want a bike with a full 105 group, buy it from the outset on either another bike or see if the store will cut you a deal on it.

    I'd suggest getting a cyclocomputer with cadence that is wired (not wireless). Don't worry about the Flight Deck.

    Last, on clothing, check out Performance. Try out their Elite or Ultra shorts / bibs for your lower half. For upper, shop around and try and get some good deals on jerseys.

    edit: damn jynx you are an animal, did you have that typed out beforehand??

    as for the wheels - worry about those later. Get a year of riding in first. You will appreciate the upgrade more as a side benefit.
    Last edited by kenshinvt; 03-20-08 at 05:04 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member dmb2786's Avatar
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    i bought a bike with full 105 for $800. look for 07 models if you're interested.

  7. #7
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    A Fred is born.

    He'll probably be crushing my soul within 6 months.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenshinvt View Post
    If you want a bike with a full 105 group, buy it from the outset on either another bike or see if the store will cut you a deal on it.

    I'd suggest getting a cyclocomputer with cadence that is wired (not wireless). Don't worry about the Flight Deck.

    Last, on clothing, check out Performance. Try out their Elite or Ultra shorts / bibs for your lower half. For upper, shop around and try and get some good deals on jerseys.

    hrm, the first 105 group bike I run into would be a roubaix, from specialized. (NOTE: LBS deals exclusively in specialized gear and bikes.) Those start at 1600, due to being carbon frames. (Another note: I can't access the specialized site from my house for some reason. Need to download a catalog so I actually have access to this info. geh)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    A Fred is born.

    He'll probably be crushing my soul within 6 months.
    Heh, at least I'm not dropping a rack on the back of a tarmac.

    also, the owner of the LBS is named Fred. Much fun is had at his expense. XD

  10. #10
    Senior Member kenshinvt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xaivius View Post
    hrm, the first 105 group bike I run into would be a roubaix, from specialized. (NOTE: LBS deals exclusively in specialized gear and bikes.) Those start at 1600, due to being carbon frames. (Another note: I can't access the specialized site from my house for some reason. Need to download a catalog so I actually have access to this info. geh)
    They only carry one single brand? Is this the only LBS in your area?

    Also, what price differential is 1600 over what you are going to be buying?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jynx View Post
    If you plan to go to 105 get a bike with 105.
    DING DING DING DING DING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have a winner!!!!!

    If you have to, or want to, upgrade a brand new bike. It is NOT the right bike. Buy a bike with the component level that you want. The immediate upgrade is throwing money away.

    For the pedals / shoes. You need to decide what kind of riding you are going to do first. This will lead you to either traditional road shoes or MTB style (recessed cleat, so you can walk a little) shoes. If you want easy to get in and out of, nothing beats SpeedPlay, road or MTB.
    Last edited by Avalanche325; 03-20-08 at 05:54 PM.

  12. #12
    "3' A'HOLE" Schrup's Avatar
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    I picked up a pair of Cannondale RP2000 from Performance Bicycle for $90 & love them. You don't have to spend $300 on shoes. I also got a set of Ultegra pedals for $114.
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=2110

    This is a pretty sweet deal unless you have to have Specialized.
    http://www.coloradocyclist.com/product/display/10450/

    I decided to buy an old Litespeed because I couldn't justify a new Specialized Roubaix Expert as my first road bike.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325 View Post
    DING DING DING DING DING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have a winner!!!!!

    If you have to, or want to, upgrade a brand new bike. It is NOT the right bike. Buy a bike with the component level that you want.
    Ah, I see. Well, my upgrade concept is more down the line (6-9) months down the line. I'd need to ride a 105 bike to get a feel for the difference. More than likely, I'll stick with the tiagra for now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schrup View Post
    I picked up a pair of Cannondale RP2000 from Performance Bicycle for $90 & love them. You don't have to spend $300 on shoes. I also got a set of Ultegra pedals for $114.
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=2110

    This is a pretty sweet deal unless you have to have Specialized.
    http://www.coloradocyclist.com/product/display/10450/

    I decided to buy an old Litespeed because I couldn't justify a new Specialized Roubaix Expert as my first road bike.
    Wow. That IS a pretty spectacular deal....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenshinvt View Post
    They only carry one single brand? Is this the only LBS in your area?

    Also, what price differential is 1600 over what you are going to be buying?
    Yeah. I live in Ellensburg, WA. Small uni town. We have one shop, the Recycle Bicycle shop. There are a few shops about 30 miles away in Yakima and Selah, and most of them carry a combination of Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale.

    It would be a delta of around 500 to jump up to a roubaix.

  16. #16
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Take a ride to another town. If the LBS is the only one they have a captive audience. You could get a 105 bike for the same price or less for the cost of a 30 min drive, I would do it. I picked up a 07 Cannondale CAAD9 Compact with 105 and Ultegra on the RD for 1200. That was $400 of sticker. I might also check the Craig's List. A rider somewhere in your area drove two hours and got a similar bike for $350.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix (for sale)
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
    Take a ride to another town. If the LBS is the only one they have a captive audience. You could get a 105 bike for the same price or less for the cost of a 30 min drive, I would do it. I picked up a 07 Cannondale CAAD9 Compact with 105 and Ultegra on the RD for 1200. That was $400 of sticker. I might also check the Craig's List. A rider somewhere in your area drove two hours and got a similar bike for $350.
    I've been to the bike shops from ellensburg to pasco, and most of the bikes I'm looking at have about the same price point. Craigslist IS one of my other options, but it can be kinda hard to nail down a deal in the seattle area. Stuff goes FAST.

  18. #18
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xaivius View Post
    Well, having acquired sufficient employment to augment my financial aide, I'm taking the plunge and getting a road bike. I've settled on a 2008 Specialized Allez Elite (compact) in Gerolstiener Blue. Took a 54cm out for a few spins, love the feeling of it. Here's my request. I've puttered through the numerous "bike noob" threads, and I'd like to try to build something a bit more cohesive with my own experience. I'm starting with the bike and helmet, and I'll slowly work through the rest of the various parts, and I'd like to see what the other forumites have to recommend on parts. Here's my "Tentative" list of purchases and Upgrades, by priority. Feel free to comment, suggest, and even correct.

    1.) Bike and Helmet (see above)

    2.) Shoes, pedals , and cleats

    *this is prolly going to be a shimano combo, although I have NO experience with this
    *type of gear. I want something I can clip into and out of easily, and will also be a
    *secure hold on the shoe. Recommendations welcome.

    3) Groupset upgrade to full 105

    *The only thing that's 105 on this bike is the RD and cassette. Shifters and FD would be
    *the logical next step, from the looks of it.

    4) Cycling clothing

    *HELP!

    5) Cyclocomputer

    *Heard that Flight Deck was complete junk. Looking at basic Speedometer and other stuff.


    All comments appreciated!

    ALSO: Any anecdotes or other experiences, stories, etc are greatly appreciated. I'm very open to suggestion and ideas at this point.

    Xaivius


    Helmet: buy what fits and appeals to you. More expensive helmets have a few more vents, maybe a bit lighter.

    Shoes: whatever is most comfortable. Carbon soles not really necessary. Cleats, Shimano a good place to start. Wide platform, easy to clip-in/clip-out.

    Ride the bike until parts wear out. By then, you'll know what is worth upgrading and what isn't. Ignore the urge to upgrade right now.

    Clothing: for me, the best stuff I have is also the most expensive. Descente bib shorts, Hincapie bib shorts and base layers, nice wool socks for winter. My Euskaltel jersey by Etxe Ondo is my favorite. I'd start with as expensive as you can afford but the Performance stuff just didn't work for me.

    Cateye micro wireless plenty computer for most folks. Odometer, trip odometer, speed. My wife has one and I don't use any other feature on my 300dw Cateye with cadence expect maybe the cadence and that's just for my info.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Helmet: buy what fits and appeals to you. More expensive helmets have a few more vents, maybe a bit lighter.

    Shoes: whatever is most comfortable. Carbon soles not really necessary. Cleats, Shimano a good place to start. Wide platform, easy to clip-in/clip-out.

    Ride the bike until parts wear out. By then, you'll know what is worth upgrading and what isn't. Ignore the urge to upgrade right now.

    Clothing: for me, the best stuff I have is also the most expensive. Descente bib shorts, Hincapie bib shorts and base layers, nice wool socks for winter. My Euskaltel jersey by Etxe Ondo is my favorite. I'd start with as expensive as you can afford but the Performance stuff just didn't work for me.

    Cateye micro wireless plenty computer for most folks. Odometer, trip odometer, speed. My wife has one and I don't use any other feature on my 300dw Cateye with cadence expect maybe the cadence and that's just for my info.
    wow, this is great info. Thanks! This was especially useful:
    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post

    Ride the bike until parts wear out. By then, you'll know what is worth upgrading and what isn't. Ignore the urge to upgrade right now.
    I come from a background in high end gaming computers. This advice is invaluable!

  20. #20
    Senior Member GernBlanston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Ride the bike until parts wear out. By then, you'll know what is worth upgrading and what isn't. Ignore the urge to upgrade right now.
    This is great advice. There's really only one thing you can do to your bike to make it go fast: Push hard on the pedals.

    As for clothes, I spend on shorts and scrimp on jerseys, and remember thicker padding in your shorts isn't always better. Comfortable, snug shoes are also worth spending a bit of cash on.

    Look for pedals that offer a few degrees of float...they're easier to install and easier on your knees.

    And don't forget about eye protection.

    GB

  21. #21
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    on the eye protection note, does anyone have eyewear recommendations? I've heard good things about tifosi and oakley.

    On the shoes note, is Speedplay worth the slightly higher price for easier clipping/unclipping?

  22. #22
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xaivius View Post
    hrm, the first 105 group bike I run into would be a roubaix, from specialized. (NOTE: LBS deals exclusively in specialized gear and bikes.) Those start at 1600, due to being carbon frames. (Another note: I can't access the specialized site from my house for some reason. Need to download a catalog so I actually have access to this info. geh)
    Go for an 07 model if you want to get better spec. The base 08 roubaix isn't all carbon either; I'd ask your guy to show you some 2007's - I got my 07 Roubaix Comp for the about the same price as you would be paying for the 08 base model (fwiw the 08 comp retails at $2400). The 2007 Allez range was much more extensive also, the comp came with full 105 I think.

    All the other comments about equipment/extras are spot on.

  23. #23
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Ride the bike until parts wear out. By then, you'll know what is worth upgrading and what isn't. Ignore the urge to upgrade right now.
    That would take about 50,000 miles. Divide that by the number of miles you ride each year to come up with how long you'll have to wait to upgrade your bike according to this advice.

    See you 2018. I'll be 60, but I'll still be riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    That would take about 50,000 miles. Divide that by the number of miles you ride each year to come up with how long you'll have to wait to upgrade your bike according to this advice.

    See you 2018. I'll be 60, but I'll still be riding.
    Heh, well, I think the spirit of the message is good anyway: Ride the hell out of them, and don't think that you NEED to upgrade.

    K, new note: I'm wanting to do some long distance riding, like centuries (or more). Is there a problem with using this bike for it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325 View Post
    DING DING DING DING DING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have a winner!!!!!

    If you have to, or want to, upgrade a brand new bike. It is NOT the right bike. Buy a bike with the component level that you want. The immediate upgrade is throwing money away.

    For the pedals / shoes. You need to decide what kind of riding you are going to do first. This will lead you to either traditional road shoes or MTB style (recessed cleat, so you can walk a little) shoes. If you want easy to get in and out of, nothing beats SpeedPlay, road or MTB.
    Hallelujah!!!! I do not understand those who advise buying a new bike then upgrading parts on it. Unless someone can explain the economics intelligently, this practice makes zero sense and is equivalent to flushing money down the toilet. I could maybe understand doing it with wheels and selling the wheels that came with the bike, but even then I question the economics.

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