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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvJefe View Post
    For wheels, you want a hearty aluminum clincher. Something like the Shimano 501. But really, most anything that comes on your bike will be fine for your purposes.

    For wheels? Some people like Gatorskins because they are thick and will help you avoid flats. I use Michelin Pro Endurance myself. A nice compromise between a rugged training tire and a smooth rolling race tire.

    Thanks for these suggestions. I'll look into both.

  2. #52
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabby View Post
    Thanks for these suggestions. I'll look into both.
    For tires, the normal recommendation is the Continental Grand Prix 4000S (not the regular version of the 4000, the "S"). It's typically considered to have the best combination of flat protection, ride quality, low rolling resistance, and comfort for an all-around tire. Unless Atlanta is filled with goathead thorns (which I believe are a SW desert thing) or you ride over a lot of glass or construction debris, I think the Gatorskin or P4E would be overkill and result in an unnecessarily harsh ride. My GP4KS have been fine (knocking on wood) on normal road debris and are a LOT more comfortable than the Gatorskins I used to run.

  3. #53
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    This reminds me. A few years ago a few friends and I encountered a very large bee swarm at the top of the climb at chatfield reservoir in Denver. Thousands of bees a few feet above our heads. We descended quickly.

  4. #54
    2 fat 4 cycling tvJefe's Avatar
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    I don't think the Michelin Endurance have a particularly harsh ride. And I have 600 miles on mine without a flat. I switched to Mavic tires when I bought my SLSs (because they came on the wheels) and got a bead-to-bead slice on my 3rd ride. Switched back to my P4Es and so far so good.

    I think Gatorskins are overkill as well, but thought I should mention them to someone who originally asked about a commuter bike and seems extremely concerned about durability. GP4000S are also a great tire.
    More tea, Mr. Bike?

  5. #55
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    Well, I suppose I want a road bike that I will commute in, but I don't want a commuter. I consider my mtb to be my real commuter. I would just like to sometimes decide I want to get to work sooner. And, also, just to have a bike on the opposite end of the spectrum (given my budget).

    I appreciate ALL the advice for tires. I'll probably start with the least durable and then go up to something like gatorskins if I find I need them. Tires aren't budget busters. I mean, I have a budget for the bike but that's because my husband would have a heart attack if I spent a load on a bike. He grew up poor so he tends to hoard money. But we make a good living so I can spend money on my bike in smaller increments along the way.

  6. #56
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  7. #57
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabby View Post
    Well, that second one is one of those triathlon bikes you're weren't sure about the differences of.

    See how there are four handlebars pointing forwards? The inner ones are for fast riding while looking down, and have the shifters on the end. The outer ones are more where road bike hoods would be and are used for tricky handling parts, or climbing. That's where the brake levers are. A tri bike isn't really for normal riding; they don't handle as well and are typically not as comfortable.

    That first one is a fine bike for you, but more expensive than you had given as your budget. It also uses a different brand of shifting components, which is fine, but the controls will be different. Some people strongly prefer one or the other (or a third...).

  8. #58
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    Yeah, after I posted those links I also sent to my brother and he said, "It's a tri bike!".

    See, I don't know what I am looking at. I didn't even realize what I really wanted until I started talking to you guys. I definitely don't want a tri bike, though.

    Thanks for helping me to spot the difference.

    So, the other one may or may not be out of my budget. My original budget was $500 and that came out of what my husband and I agreed to. Then, on Wednesday I learned I will get some extra cash from the excess per diem from an upcoming long work trip. They just give us the per diem to spend on food and call it a day. Depending on how much of that I have left I will end up with an extra $800 - $1500 dollars. To be safe I'm counting on the low end. But it could be higher since breakfast comes with the hotel and I usually don't spend much money on food - too busy working 18 hour days. That's one reason I won't pull the trigger until the end of the month. Then I will know exactly how much I have to spend.

    Sorry to get into those personal details but I didn't want anyone to think I was crazy because I am going all over with the price. It's just that I don't know yet exactly how much I have to spend.

  9. #59
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Ah-ha. No problem on the details; that makes things more clear. On the higher end of that budget, you start to be able to afford picking up an equivalent bike to the BMC in a local bike shop (LBS), which is an option you should explore because there are advantages to forming a relationship with an LBS. However, to some people, this isn't important, and I'm not going to proselytize it the way some here will.

    At that price, you start to be able to look at nice Specialized Roubaixs, Felt Z (or ZW), and various other bikes from other brands, depending on what's available in your area. Those are both "comfort" road bikes, which are designed for people a bit less flexible than dedicated racers, but are still road bikes and quite fast. I'm suspecting that that will be the sort of bike you'd prefer, based on your statements.

  10. #60
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    At least in the beginning. Who knows what kind of rider I will end up being once I get some polish?

    Right now I think I want certain things but it's based on limited knowledge and my experience as a commuter.

    So, I will stop posting exposition and various bikes, etc, on this thread until I have the money. All it's doing is wasting you guys time (though I appreciate all the education I'm getting) and it just serves to get me all excited when I can't do anything yet.

    I'll come back at the end of the month and say, "I have $X to spend, gimme recommendations on specs!"

    Thanks!

  11. #61
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Well, don't get me wrong, the "comfort" or "endurance" road bikes can be very successfully raced; they are used in top-level professional races, and win. They steer a little more slowly, they absorb more road vibration, and they put your hands slightly higher up so you can get away with less back and neck flexibility.

    And seriously, don't worry about "wasting our time". Take a peek (just a peek) in the Addiction thread. Posting here just soaks up random spare time for a lot of us.

  12. #62
    2 fat 4 cycling tvJefe's Avatar
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    I also like the Roubaix and Felt Z. And those are brands you can find AND RIDE at your LBS.

    If you are able to go to a LBS and test ride some bikes, try the different frame materials. You mentioned steel earlier, but steel feels much different than aluminum. See if you can test ride the following:

    Aluminum frame/Aluminum fork
    Aluminum frame/Carbon fork
    Steel frame/Steel Fork
    Steel frame/Carbon form
    Full Carbon frame/fork (entry level - if just for comparison)

    REALLY test ride them. 2 minutes up and back in a parking lot is not a test ride. Try to get a few miles on each one. Seek out both rough and smooth patches on the road.

    Once you have a better idea about the materials you like, then narrow down choices in your budget and ride a few different ones with different geometries ("relaxed" vs "race").

    But TRUST me. The more research you do, the more you will want your budget to creep up and up. I think I started with a budget of $1000 when looking for my first bike. I spent $3500.
    Last edited by tvJefe; 04-05-13 at 11:08 AM.
    More tea, Mr. Bike?

  13. #63
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    Heh, so rabid for cycling talk you'll talk to the clueless.

    Well, I can't help searching endlessly online for a bike. I will make a tour of my LBS but I will get my bike where ever I find it. I might visit one tomorrow before I head out of town, but most will have to wait until I get back.

    Also, I like to at least check out bikes online where I don't have to run the risk of a (1) pushy salesman, (2) a bike snob/elitist (I run into these when I bring my cheap mtb in to get a new saddle or other stuff), (3) getting overly excited and pulling the trigger before I have looked at a bunch of bikes.

    So, in that spirit, here's what I found on eBay:

    Ti -

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Litespeed-Ar...item2a2b3b92d8



    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Serotta-Lege...item2329abda8e


    Sc -

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tsunami-Volv...item3a7ef9c6e8

    Carbon -

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-2011-Rid...item1e7521c29c

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/49-Carbon-Ro...item338126f93f

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GIANT-TCR-AD...item5d3cf1fbba

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ridley-Excal...item2c6dc5439a (this one has a reserve price that's probably way high)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/52cm-Small-F...item2c6dd28f97



  14. #64
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    This is very good advice. I will do exactly this.

    Though, no amount of research will make me spend $3500. I am ACCOUNTABLE to another human in my household. As much as I'd like to it's not worth the *****ing I'd get at home.

  15. #65
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    I'd be very hesitant to buy a bike from eBay when you don't know exactly what you want; you risk getting saddled with a bike you don't like that you'd have to turn around and try to sell, probably at a lost. With a local shop, you have the ability to test ride, and CC will let you just return the thing if you don't like it.

    It never hurts to go looking on eBay and see what triggers your interest though!

  16. #66
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabby View Post
    This is very good advice. I will do exactly this.

    Though, no amount of research will make me spend $3500. I am ACCOUNTABLE to another human in my household. As much as I'd like to it's not worth the *****ing I'd get at home.
    Wow, usually it's us guys getting in trouble with the ladies for spending too much on a bike!

  17. #67
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    That's mostly what I'm doing. I'd buy a bike on ebay or craigslist only if it was local and I could go try it out. But it's fun to see what kind of used bike I might find. I like the idea of buying a bike that was new $3500 only a couple years ago and I can get it for $1000 now. I don't buy new cars, either. Ever. Can't stomach it.

    As for the gender role reversal...yeah...I tend to be the spender (on computers and sports stuff) while my hubs is all stuff the money in the bank and forget about it. It's a good quality, actually, because we have a lot of savings. It's not like he doesn't drop money...he just does it in smaller increments - all of his clothes go to the cleaner, he gets Starbucks every single day, he gets a package from Amazon every day. EVERY DAY, y'all. Boxes, usually more than one, get delivered to our porch. If it's not more than $100 I think he doesn't feel guilty about it. It's hilarious.

  18. #68
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    I don't think you're likely to get a bike that cost $3500 a couple of years ago that's depreciated down to $1000 without getting VERY lucky or getting one that's in pretty bad shape. Bikes just don't tend to depreciate like that.

  19. #69
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    Well, that's good to know. I was also exaggerating a little. I've seen some that are 40-50% off, though. Sometimes it looks like a person who bought one thinking they'd get into cycling and then it sits in their garage on a hook for 2-3 years and they decide to unload it. That's the bike I'm talking about.

  20. #70
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabby View Post
    Well, that's good to know. I was also exaggerating a little. I've seen some that are 40-50% off, though. Sometimes it looks like a person who bought one thinking they'd get into cycling and then it sits in their garage on a hook for 2-3 years and they decide to unload it. That's the bike I'm talking about.
    Ah, ok. Yes, 50% off is possible if you get things just right and a little bit lucky. Still, I'd be very careful about trying to make sure you'll fit well on it.

    Also, you might check with your LBSes if they might have some used ones on consignment you could try out in person. Some of the shops I've known have done that.

  21. #71
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    Yes, the bike shop up the road has used bikes. I've been in contact with one of the guys who works there and I'm going to check it out when I get back from my trip.

  22. #72
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    OK, so this post will be my search inventory. I'm going to posts bikes I find that I'm interested in. When I get back from Zimbabwe I will see if I can ride as many of them as possible. If any are from CC or BD I will see if they're still available. This way any 5'4" lady looking to get a road bike for the first time can see what I found, what I liked, what I didn't like, and what I ended up with and why.

    So, here goes. I'll make frame material categories just because it seems easier. It's possible there will be no steel options. Also, some of these are actually above the $1300 limit I have set. It's possible I will have the dough to buy up to $1700 but I think that would be the optimistic max. Nothing higher will be included.

    Titanium:

    2013 Motobecane Le Champion Ti Heat SRAM Rival ($1700) (actually, when you put this one in the cart it's $1500)


    Carbon:


    2012 Ridley Asteria / Shimano Ultegra/105 Complete Bike ($1650)

    2012 Ridley Excaliber / SRAM Rival Complete Bike ($1700)

    2012 Ridley Asteria / Shimano Tiagra Complete Bike ($1300)

    Diamondback Podium Race Carbon Bike '12 ($1300)

    Diamondback Airén 4 WMN'S Road Bike 2013 ($1500) (I'm not a huge fan of women specific bikes but I'll put it anyway)

    Aluminum:


    2012 BMC Streetracer SR01 / Shimano 105 complete bike ($1150)


    Steel:


    I will update this when I find other bikes I'm interested in. Always happy to take suggestions. Always happy to have someone tell me one of the bikes I posted isn't in line with what I said I wanted...after all, I still don't know what a lot of things are about bikes.
    Last edited by Sabby; 04-10-13 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Added 2 bikes from Jenson USA

  23. #73
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    I love those black and white Ridleys!

    Note that the Tiagra bike, while I'm sure it's fine, has the old-style shifters where the shift cable comes out the side of the shifter body rather than under the bar wrap. This has advantages and disadvantages - it's less finicky to set up (less reliant on exact cable tension), shifts smoother, allows downshifting more gears in the back, but doesn't look as nice and clean (to most people). Some people also actually like having the cables out in front because it lets them rest fingers there. Anyway, just something to be aware of; it either is or is practically the same as last year's 105, and is 10-speed, so it's not like it's mechanically unsound.

  24. #74
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    Yeah, those Ridleys are pretty cool. What do you think of that Motobecane? I like the idea of titanium but I doubt I can find one to ride, so it's mostly a matter of spec appreciation and brand knowledge I need to go on.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
    I love those black and white Ridleys!

    Note that the Tiagra bike, while I'm sure it's fine, has the old-style shifters where the shift cable comes out the side of the shifter body rather than under the bar wrap. This has advantages and disadvantages - it's less finicky to set up (less reliant on exact cable tension), shifts smoother, allows downshifting more gears in the back, but doesn't look as nice and clean (to most people). Some people also actually like having the cables out in front because it lets them rest fingers there. Anyway, just something to be aware of; it either is or is practically the same as last year's 105, and is 10-speed, so it's not like it's mechanically unsound.
    I suppose I don't have a preference looks-wise. If the older style is easier to use and maintain then that works for me.

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