Bummer. I had a really nice, clever, pretty much amazing in every way lengthy thread/post written, and had to go before it was complete. I copied what I had and emailed it to myself to bring back later (now)...and wow, what do you know, no pasting! I am much too stubborn to type it all again.
So, here's a much more simple, less entertaining version on my post:
I am looking for my first road bike. I am pretty new to biking. This August I picked up my first 'real' bike, a 1994 diamondback sorrento, for $35 used in a parking lot. On a test ride, I was shocked. Biking is amazing! Sure, a probably 35-pound (with bike bag and water bottle) beat up mountain bike (too new to call vintage, too dated to call new, so simply 'old') doesn't sound speedy to you, but coming from my $60 target little boy's mountain bike, I was in paradise. Gripped by a new pastime, I logged about 500 miles over the next three months. Now it's cold, and icy, and I'm on the track team, so I've called my season pretty much over.
So, I had been walking with my friend one day in November when he introduces me to the world of road bikes. Never heard of them, imagined them, noticed them, etc. A few weeks later, I am mildly well researched. I want one. I want to feel the same change; If I could manage a 40 mile town to town to town ride on a '94 entry MTB, then just how far can I go on a this-century road bike, at maybe 60% the weight, skinnier tires, carbon fork, drop bars, etc.?
Naturally, I have questions.
First, if you have an opinion on the following bikes and deals, please share it:
2007 Iron Horse Triumph 5.0 ---$450, used but generally unridden.
For some reason I have really been fond of Iron Horse. Perhaps I route for the underdog. Nice looking bike, Tiagra. 22.3 pounds (not too good?)
2006 KHS Flite 300 ---$380
From what I can tell, this bike would be a great option. Very affordable, and from what I've read seems very solid. 22 pounds-ish. Bike used 1 season, a few hundred miles. What is the general opinion on KHS?
2006 Scott Speedster S50 +Extras $450
This deal seems great. Bike is used about 300 miles. Comes 90% assembled (frame and conponents, must attach wheels, adjust and tune-up)
+++Bike computer much better than my cheapie (Blackburn 4.0)
+++Limar 720 helmet ($50...I need a helmet, too, since my kids one is broken)
+++Pearl Izumi cleats (Just happens to be my size, size 12. I have never used clipless pedals, but I would have to buy shoes eventually...so...)
+++A very nice looking Profile Designs saddle (The Bell saddle that came on my diamondback is acceptable, but not expensive and/or stunning)
+++Trek gloves (don't have these, could use)
+++Oakley sunglasses (probably wouldn't use. Could sell, gift, give, etc.)
+++Sunlite underseat bag (I have a frame bag that I am fine with. Still, I would use it.)
+++Topeak Micro Rocket bike pump (Presta...I'm assuming if it's included, then that's the style the tires are.)
+++"2 tire irons and spare tube" (What are these?)
Is this a great deal, or no? The bike alone for the price wouldn't be awful, in my opinion
2004 Trek 1000 $400
No need to provide link, I assume.
Bike is consistently used, but seems in order. I can actually try out this one, the others are online (If I order an online and it doesn't fit right, I can always resell. Disappointing, but not totally heartbreaking).
Notorious beginners road bike, but I don't know, I think the other deals can compete with it.
I am 5'9, with longer arms, and will maybe grow a couple more inches. However, I am leaning towards choosing a bike over getting a car until after college, so I will probably upgrade to a better bike after this one in a year or 2. This bike is meant to transport my teenage self, on a very teenage budget ($500 or less, firm). I will use this bike at least 5 days a week come spring time, through next late autumn. I expect 200-500 miles a month, depending on the bike's amazingness. I rank performance over comfort. SO, what are your thoughts on all or any of these bikes? Which is the best deal? Which is right for me? All are 54-57 cm. I marked 54-58 as my range. I did try a specialized 52cm bike once (compact no-less!) and it wasn't awful...but I could tell a few more cm would help. It would be doable though. I know, I know, fit is #1 Important.
Other questions off the top of my head:
How fast will I actually be going on a road bike? I mean, I have no idea. On an average flat at an average pace on my mountain bike, I will be going 13MPH (casual riding, relaxed, not pressing for speed on the flat). I am a strong rider, strong legs with just below-average endurance (average endurance coupled with asthma make some hills a real pain on my bike).
Clipless pedals- So, it's like you slide in them, and then when you pull up you are stuck to the pedal? But then, when you slide sideways out, you are free? How easy is it to get out of the pedal...instantaneous with a little practice?
How much would you estimate it would cost for one of my LBS to assemble a 90% assembled bike and tune it up? ...$40? I have absolutely no idea. How often should I get a tuneup on a bike? Is it like an oil change, every ___ hundred miles?
Say I keep whatever stock tires that come on my bike. How often will they pop? Will it be a monthly thing, or a once or twice a season thing? I know I will have to stop curb-hopping on a road bike, but I still may hit the occasional cherry-sized rock, or scraggly branch.
Gravel= a no-no? My road has been getting all redone and repaved and such. On my MTB, I just barrel through gravel pits, rocks, mud, dirt, etc. I'm not sure how much work will be left by next season, but since I'm not interested in a hybrid, I'm guessing I'll have to walk my bike through mild-tough spots?
This one is curiosity. Is it against the law to break the speed limit on a bike? Even I have gone 30 in a 25 zone on my Diamondback...is there actually a law for it?
Frames. Do they really break? I rarely ever fall. I did hit a stop sign once, but that was back when I was a beginner sidewalk-rider. It's never something I really thought about. I just figure faster speeds + skinnier tires may result in a wreck or too for a beginner.
I'm sure there's more questions I have. I can't recall them. I'll ask when/if needed. This post is long enough. So really, any tips, opinions, etc. would be great. Although, navigating and reading this entire post was likely difficult enough.
Thanks for your time, APS.