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  1. #1
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    Looking to get back into cycling...

    So I'm a 29 year old guy who's looking to buy my first road bike in about 8 years.

    I grew up mountain biking, had a Gary Fisher Hookooekoo and then when I got to college I also had a Raleigh road bike that was originally my dads which I rode a lot.
    6 years ago I moved to NYC, no bike, and after I few years I joined the hipster craze and picked up a Bianchi Pista. Sold that a year ago after deciding that fixies are not as much fun as gears and going out for a 30 mile ride.

    That being said, now I'm looking to get back in and was originally thinking of a budget at around $1000.

    I just got back from test riding a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Sora at one shop and a Ridley Icarus at another. Both are nice bikes, the shop I rode the Bianchi at only had a 55cm in stock and said they couldn't get my size, 57, in the Sora, only the Tiagra which would arrive mid-week. They said the factory was out of stock. Guy was very nice and seemed cool, but the shop was kind of a hole in the wall and also did a lot of rentals.

    The Icarus was a sweet ride, they had my size, and the salesman said we could work a deal. Shop was totally different, very clean and sold a lot of fixies and urban bikes as well.

    Still, both bikes are a little above my price range (both bikes are around $1200) and other than componentry (Bianchi was Shimano, Ridley was SRAM) I'm not really sure which I liked more. I've never heard of Ridley before, but they are a Belgium company and seem like they have a good racing pedigree.

    At the second store I also rode a Giant Defy 5, but I wasn't to thrilled with it. Obviously, it's a completely different bike and about $500 cheaper, and it just didn't seem as snappy as the other two.

    I'm not really sure what to do, both rides are great albeit a few hundred more than I was hoping to spend. However, I'm a little concerned that my price requirements are a little too low for the performance/quality that I want and the Ridley salesman said he was willing to make a deal. It also comes with 3 years service (not sure about the Bianchi). Also, the fact that Ridley is a smaller company is appealing to me as well. It'd be nice to be on something different.

    Has anyone ever heard of Ridley before? I tried comparing the two frame geometries and it seems as though the Ridley is a little more aggressive?

  2. #2
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I've heard of Ridley, but not familiar with them. I may have seen some reviews in some magazines. If your quality specs are above your budget, what about seeking something on the used market?
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  3. #3
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    Thought about that, but I live in a studio apt in Manhattan w/my fiance. Not a lot of room here to wrench and tweak to get the fit right. Also, craigslist in NYC can be a bit of a nightmare.

  4. #4
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    Welcome To Bike Forums, Sloring!

    I say, stay within your budget. Buy a brand new road bike, and buy a bike that will last you a lifetime of upgrades, made of 100% 520 chromoly steel. It's just as agile as any road bike comes. It has a carbon fiber fork and is lighter than some of its aluminum counterparts.

    I highly recommend the Jamis Satellite Comp ~ $1000
    www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/satellite/12_satellitecomp.html

    Jamis makes some of the best steel framed road bikes ever made!

    PS.

    I can only think of one road bike that might be better within your price range, but you'd have to buy it online from bikesdirect.com...

    The Schwinn Letour Legacy ~ $800
    www.bikesdirect.com/products/schwinn/schwinn_letour_legacy_xi.htm
    Last edited by SlimRider; 05-26-12 at 08:40 PM.

  5. #5
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    A lot of Bike Forum members have ordered from Competitive Cyclist and they have the Icarus for under $1k:

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/fr...:referralID=NA

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    Positive words on the Icarus from Bike Radar: http://www.bikeradar.com/news/articl...st-look-26854/

    Since it's SRAM equipped it's a 2011 and the shop is probably motivated to move it out. Ridley seems to have switched to Shimano for the 2012 Icarus. I prefer SRAM and would rather have Apex than a Tiagra equipped 2012.

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    Thanks Slim! Apparently I joined 5 years ago when I was looking to create my fixie

    My old Fisher was steel, I loved that bike, but I think it sounds like I might be able to get a good deal on this Ridley, especially since it's a 2011 model as Pendergast has pointed out.

    Canam, I looked there, but the only size they have is XS...unfortunately that won't work to well on my 6' frame

    I've never ridden SRAM road before (my Fisher originally had Gripshift!) and it took me a few minutes to figure out the shifting, but I like that the upshift and downshift is all in one lever like my old Raleigh...the Shimano had a separate lever that poked out which I found a little funny.

    Is an aluminum frame one that I would keep for a while or if I stick with it will I most likely want to switch to carbon?

  8. #8
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Lots of folks ride/race on Ridley frames - they have a pretty good reputation. I'd say go for it, so long as it felt comfortable on your ride. Also, don't overlook the cost of all the ancillary crap that comes with this hobby - shoes, pedals, helmet, clothes, pump, spares etc, etc.

    Welcome back.

  9. #9
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    One thing that I'll stress for your new bike...don't settle into anything. Get the exact size that you feel most comfortable at. Don't get sold into something too big or too small, even if it seems like it's only a little bit.

    At the entry level of road bikes, it doesn't make a big difference in what you get. They are all roughly the same at that price range. If you can eek into a higher quality of gear (say 105) it's worth the extra money, but Sora/Tiagra isn't that bad either. It will certainly be cheaper to replace should you have any problems.

  10. #10
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    Lots of folks ride/race on Ridley frames - they have a pretty good reputation. I'd say go for it, so long as it felt comfortable on your ride. Also, don't overlook the cost of all the ancillary crap that comes with this hobby - shoes, pedals, helmet, clothes, pump, spares etc, etc.

    Welcome back.
    Beaker makes an excellent point here. Bicycle Times had an excellent article relating to this. They suggested you take your bike budget and subtract $200-$400 for the extras that will make cycling more efficient, safer, or more enjoyable (saddle bag (w/tube, patch kit, tire lever, etc), bottle holders and water bottles, cycling computer, pedals, shoes and cleats, helmet, gloves, several sets of cycling shorts and shirts, socks, pump, helmet, glasses, lights if needed, etc..you get the point. It adds up quickly).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloring View Post
    Thanks Slim! Apparently I joined 5 years ago when I was looking to create my fixie

    My old Fisher was steel, I loved that bike, but I think it sounds like I might be able to get a good deal on this Ridley, especially since it's a 2011 model as Pendergast has pointed out.

    Canam, I looked there, but the only size they have is XS...unfortunately that won't work to well on my 6' frame

    I've never ridden SRAM road before (my Fisher originally had Gripshift!) and it took me a few minutes to figure out the shifting, but I like that the upshift and downshift is all in one lever like my old Raleigh...the Shimano had a separate lever that poked out which I found a little funny.

    Is an aluminum frame one that I would keep for a while or if I stick with it will I most likely want to switch to carbon?

    That's alright Sloring,

    I don't mind, as long as it's high quality bikes like the Ridley's.

    I just want the best value we all can afford. Looks like you've made a pretty good choice to me!

    Insofar as frame material is concerned, I'd put my money on aluminum against carbon, when it comes to longevity of service. OTOH, I'd put my money on carbon against aluminum, when it comes to speed, agility, and acceleration.
    Last edited by SlimRider; 05-26-12 at 06:59 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloring View Post
    I've never ridden SRAM road before (my Fisher originally had Gripshift!) and it took me a few minutes to figure out the shifting, but I like that the upshift and downshift is all in one lever like my old Raleigh...the Shimano had a separate lever that poked out which I found a little funny.

    Is an aluminum frame one that I would keep for a while or if I stick with it will I most likely want to switch to carbon?
    While I like Sram levers, keep in mind that Tiagra and all the higher shimano does not have the side lever. They have a second lever behind the brake and you either push both levers or just the back one to shift up an down. It makes it more convenient to shift from the drops. If you are considering Tiagra you really should try it out.

    Some people happily ride aluminum, some people find it transmits too much road buzz and prefer carbon (or steel or titanium), especially as they start taking rides over 2 hours. Some people just want carbon for the sake of it being carbon. It all depends on you and the roads you ride on. But a lot of harshness can be mitigated by using wider tires and/or rims which allow you to ride at lower air pressure.

  13. #13
    Juniors can be good too.. Ian560's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloring View Post
    So I'm a 29 year old guy who's looking to buy my first road bike in about 8 years.

    I grew up mountain biking, had a Gary Fisher Hookooekoo and then when I got to college I also had a Raleigh road bike that was originally my dads which I rode a lot.
    6 years ago I moved to NYC, no bike, and after I few years I joined the hipster craze and picked up a Bianchi Pista. Sold that a year ago after deciding that fixies are not as much fun as gears and going out for a 30 mile ride.

    That being said, now I'm looking to get back in and was originally thinking of a budget at around $1000.

    I just got back from test riding a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Sora at one shop and a Ridley Icarus at another. Both are nice bikes, the shop I rode the Bianchi at only had a 55cm in stock and said they couldn't get my size, 57, in the Sora, only the Tiagra which would arrive mid-week. They said the factory was out of stock. Guy was very nice and seemed cool, but the shop was kind of a hole in the wall and also did a lot of rentals.

    The Icarus was a sweet ride, they had my size, and the salesman said we could work a deal. Shop was totally different, very clean and sold a lot of fixies and urban bikes as well.

    Still, both bikes are a little above my price range (both bikes are around $1200) and other than componentry (Bianchi was Shimano, Ridley was SRAM) I'm not really sure which I liked more. I've never heard of Ridley before, but they are a Belgium company and seem like they have a good racing pedigree.

    At the second store I also rode a Giant Defy 5, but I wasn't to thrilled with it. Obviously, it's a completely different bike and about $500 cheaper, and it just didn't seem as snappy as the other two.

    I'm not really sure what to do, both rides are great albeit a few hundred more than I was hoping to spend. However, I'm a little concerned that my price requirements are a little too low for the performance/quality that I want and the Ridley salesman said he was willing to make a deal. It also comes with 3 years service (not sure about the Bianchi). Also, the fact that Ridley is a smaller company is appealing to me as well. It'd be nice to be on something different.

    Has anyone ever heard of Ridley before? I tried comparing the two frame geometries and it seems as though the Ridley is a little more aggressive?
    Ridley is decent, Had a riding buddy with a TT ridley. Low end Sram (Apex) blows low and mid end(sora-105) out of the water. While Sram rival and force are both better in my book than ultegra. I would go for the ridley. More options with the ridley and sram is the bomb! Go Sram /Ridley

  14. #14
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    I agree with Ian. Performance wise SRAM Apex is way better than sora, tiagra, and even 105. If you like how the bike rode I would definitely say talk to the guy at the shop and see if he can sell you the bike for the price you will be happy with. From what I have seen/read Ridley is a good company and makes some nice bicycles.

  15. #15
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    I bought the Ridley on Sunday and I've already gone on 3 rides. It's such a sweet bike, I love how it rides, it's so light and quick and comfortable at the same time.
    I got a great deal on it from the shop and he also included 3 years maintenance.

    Obligatory pic below (pre clipless pedals)

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