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-   -   Can you help me find a bike? (http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/881369-can-you-help-me-find-bike.html)

Sabby 04-03-13 08:12 AM

Can you help me find a bike?
 
I know a lot of people have posted threads about this but everyone is a little different so I thought I should post my own.

First, I'd like to say I noted a lot of response to my 2010 post about my gears sticking during the cold. I pretty much took the advice of lube and never came back to check the post again (I set it to email me when there are responses but it never did). A lot more discussion happened after. I didn't want to revive an old thread so I'll say thanks on this new one. Thanks! I appreciate all the info!

Second, the reason I'm here: I want to get a road bike.

While I commute 14-15 miles a day I would also like to get into some road cycling, perhaps do some long distance events.

I'm finally ready in part because we now live in a regular sized house and I can bring a nicer bike inside. My mtb will stay outside covered up.

I'm fairly confident on a bike. In traffic, as well. I've got good balance (I can stay mounted at a stop for a good while, but not indefinitely, and I can ride and "steer" no handed) and I'm in pretty good shape. I have never used clipless or similar pedals. I've currently got platforms. I wear my trail cleats so the lugs will grip the platform and assist with pedaling (I know, suboptimal). Back in the day (aka 1993-97, when I was in college) I used to ride everywhere on an red and orange Fuji 12-speed (no helmet, like an idiot) because I didn't have a car. It had death cages for pedals. I always rode with the pedals upside down so I wouldn't stick my feet in them. I remember getting on my bike to ride to the bar I worked at and then after work, around 3:30am, I'd just ride around town (Lafayette, LA) in the dark for an hour or so. <- I don't know how I ever got out of college living like that. Good memories.

Anyway, so, all that ramble to was to indicate I am not a complete novice on a bike. I've even done some group rides on my mtb.

I'd now like to get a decent bike. I would prefer to get used, because I think I can get a better deal. I don't care how old it is, so long as it's light and good. Whatever good means.

Here are some things that will probably restrict a search:

1. No more than $500, though I'd prefer to pay $400.
2. I am 5'4". My current bike has 553mm top tube and 406mm bike tube and 170mm crank. I think this fits me fairly well.
3. I like sitting on the back of the seat with the seat pointed down to minimize contact between seat and lady parts. I also just like having the nose out of the way. This point may not really matter when it comes to bikes and is likely a saddle issue.


So, can you guys offer up suggestions of the types of bikes I should look for, say on craigslist or bike classifieds? Or if there are any other venues to look.

One bike I noticed was the Specialized Sirrus. Another was the Giant TCR-2

Like these:

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bik/3719178279.html

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/sat/bik/3638463295.html

Or even like this Trek: http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bik/3645143311.html


I'm not knowledgeable about the different brands so I noticed these because these brands are so common/familiar. I'm open to any suggestions.

Thanks!

Sabby 04-03-13 08:18 AM

Oh, I would commute on this bike. Likely I would alternate this new bike with my mtb. One thing I appreciate the mtb for was how it's heaviness has helped my strength. But it would be nice to sometimes go FAST!

Bah Humbug 04-03-13 08:19 AM

The Sirrus isn't a road bike, and it looks like the Trek is a larger size than the Giant (though I can't tell for certain). What size do you need?

Sabby 04-03-13 08:41 AM

Hi Bah Humbug,

What kind if bike is the Sirrus?

Those bikes I posted are mostly just examples of bikes I found in my initial search. After which I realized I was in over my head and decided to ask for help. All of those might be too large for me. I won't be purchasing one until the end of the month, though, because I am headed out of the country for work. I'm looking to actually purchase when I get back. For now I'm just doing research.

I don't 100% know for sure what bike size I need. According to my measurements I should have a standover height of 48cm (about 30 inches, my inseam is 31 inches) but I know mtbs are different and the size of my bike in my original post fits me very well.

Sabby 04-03-13 01:30 PM

So, I may be able to increase my budget to $1000-$1300 by the time I actually am ready to purchase at the end of April.

Anyone have suggestions for models to look for?

Oh, I stopped by a Performance Bikes to see what they had and I checked out a few bikes and it looks like 46-48cm is what I need.

Bah Humbug 04-03-13 01:38 PM

The Sirrus is a hybrid - note the different shape of the handbars being flat with a bunch of bolted-on extensions instead of the curved drop bars on the other two.

Now, $1000-$1300 gets you a much, much nicer bicycle than your original budget, and in fact puts you about at the sweet spot. Performance Bike should have some good deals in that range, but it would be worth stopping by a few independent bike shops in your area and seeing what they have available. Some will negotiate on price; some won't. If you or someone you know is handy with bikes, this is the best deal in that price range:

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/fr...012-32386.html

Don't know if their 48 would fit you well though.

The good news is, at that price range, the offerings of most companies are more or less identical, so you can pick the one that fits best or has the nicest paint and not be picking wrong.

seymour1910 04-03-13 02:01 PM

Bah Humbugs post says it all, the CC link is a great bike and a very nice price. Order the 48, maybe you will need another stem, maybe not but in my opinion you will be lucky to find a better bike in a shop. You will find Tiagra bikes at that price point in shops and shops WILL NOT give you lifetime returns like CC will. I am not against going to a shop, but to stay in your budget this may work best.

Sabby 04-03-13 02:19 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the suggestions. That CC bike looks pretty nice.

I'm not a huge fan of Performance Bikes. I went there to see what they had because it was on my way to work.

As for handiness, I've done basic bike tuning. I can learn to do more. I changed the suspension in my minivan on my own, so I'm not afraid to get in there and just screw around with mechanics.

So, you would recommend something new over getting something used? I was thinking if I went with a used bike, say 2009 or later, I could get a better bike for my money. Is that wrong thinking?

Ooompa Loompa 04-03-13 02:32 PM

That CC bike is all you will need, plus it comes with a warranty. At your price range you can afford to buy new and still get a high quality bike.

Bah Humbug 04-03-13 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ooompa Loompa (Post 15465808)
That CC bike is all you will need, plus it comes with a warranty. At your price range you can afford to buy new and still get a high quality bike.

This, exactly. It also has true, full 105 - even the crankset and brakes. Most everything in bike shops that are "105" at this price range will have Tektro brakes and an FSA crank. Those will work, but not as nicely. Really, the CC deal is so incredible I half want to buy it just as a spare bike, even though I wish the top tube weren't as heavily-sloped and the paint was different.

Sabby 04-03-13 02:38 PM

OK, good to know. I hope they still have the deal by the end of the month, because I won't be able to buy it until then.

Thanks!

PS - I really don't care about how the bike looks. I just want something that will be fun to ride.

seymour1910 04-03-13 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bah Humbug (Post 15465841)
This, exactly. It also has true, full 105 - even the crankset and brakes. Most everything in bike shops that are "105" at this price range will have Tektro brakes and an FSA crank. Those will work, but not as nicely. Really, the CC deal is so incredible I half want to buy it just as a spare bike, even though I wish the top tube weren't as heavily-sloped and the paint was different.

all this added to the fact that it's free shipping and you can send the bike back at anytime....unconditional returns....find a shop that does that....
I know some people will chime in saying "fit fit fit" even if you bought this bike and paid the $100 to get a fit you still come out on top.

Bah Humbug 04-03-13 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sabby (Post 15465852)
OK, good to know. I hope they still have the deal by the end of the month, because I won't be able to buy it until then.

Thanks!

PS - I really don't care about how the bike looks. I just want something that will be fun to ride.

Fantastic. I imagine this deal will still be available at the end of the month (CC always, or almost always, has a ridiculous deal like this on their lowest-end BMC - they have pretty much every time I've looked in the years I've been riding).

If you do buy it (or whatever you buy) please report back with your impressions, both immediate and after a month or two! Feedback like that helps us help other new entrants better.

Sabby 04-03-13 03:17 PM

I will definitely report back and give early and warmed-up impressions. I imagine when I first get it I will ride it exclusively. I'll probably put a seat-mounted rack on the back to use it for commuting. Are you cringing???? :D

Bah Humbug 04-03-13 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sabby (Post 15466030)
I will definitely report back and give early and warmed-up impressions. I imagine when I first get it I will ride it exclusively. I'll probably put a seat-mounted rack on the back to use it for commuting. Are you cringing???? :D

I did go a little :twitchy: there. On the other hand, my bike is strictly for training and racing; I'm about to go downstairs and ride the trainer because it's chilly and raining.

And do plan on spending a bit on sturdier tires for commuting; those Conti Ultra Sports aren't exactly long-lived or flat-resistant.

tvJefe 04-03-13 03:37 PM

I love CC and recommend them highly. But I'll throw out another bike in that range that I love:

http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/road...rone-7-tiagra/

I know you said you don't care about looks - but, come on! That's a sexy bike (with a pedigree)!

Again, not to completely dissuade you from competitivecyclist, but depending on how handy you are (or aren't), buying a bike-in-a-box might be more trouble than it's worth. And there is a lot to be said for buying at your LBS, getting a fitting, and having someone to talk to when you have questions. After buying my bike and wheels at my LBS, they give me great discounts on everything else in the shop. Need a gel or 2 for tomorrow's ride? Just take it they say. I love the relationship I have cultivated at my local shop. It's really helped out a beginner like me.

Ltactics 04-03-13 03:43 PM

If you want to get into cycling, im sure down the road you will want a better bike like most do. You should get a good bike if you are serious about competition.

Ooompa Loompa 04-03-13 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tvJefe (Post 15466124)
I love CC and recommend them highly. But I'll throw out another bike in that range that I love:

http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/road...rone-7-tiagra/

I know you said you don't care about looks - but, come on! That's a sexy bike (with a pedigree)!

Again, not to completely dissuade you from competitivecyclist, but depending on how handy you are (or aren't), buying a bike-in-a-box might be more trouble than it's worth. And there is a lot to be said for buying at your LBS, getting a fitting, and having someone to talk to when you have questions. After buying my bike and wheels at my LBS, they give me great discounts on everything else in the shop. Need a gel or 2 for tomorrow's ride? Just take it they say. I love the relationship I have cultivated at my local shop. It's really helped out a beginner like me.

While there is nothing wrong with the Bianchi (except the color...I can't stand it!!!) with the BMC you get far better components for $50 LESS than the Bianchi.

tvJefe 04-03-13 04:16 PM

105 is certainly better. Far better, though? Tiagra is generally akin to last season's 105 - so they aren't that far apart. Celeste isn't for everyone. But I think it's a sexy entry level bike. And it could be that the OP likes the ride better - isn't that the most important thing? Of course, you don't get to test ride bikes that you order online. Another reason to at least check out your LBS.

Sabby 04-03-13 05:14 PM

Nah, I can't see myself actually competing. As with marathons and 50K's I am a particpator. I don't even care about PR-ing. I do like to generally perform consistently. For instance, for the marathon I want to be around 4 hours. But, I'm not disappointed with 4:15. I would probably not like to finish in 4:30. If I never get faster than 4:00 I'm okay with that. I also like to be social when I train. Once I trained to get down to 7:00/miles for distances of 10 miles but nobody wanted to run with me and I got real bored so I joined a women's running group and now I run 9:00 or slower and have more fun.

But, I still want a decent bike. I want to be able to keep up with the average jane on a group ride. I can do it with very great effort on my heavy cheap MTB but it wipes me out. Except on the downhills...can't keep up then. Always killing myself to catch up on the flats and inclines.

Sabby 04-03-13 05:27 PM

I would prefer to test ride. Is the BMC a bike you would find in a lot of bike shops?

I will also send both bikes to my younger brother. He's been cycling since the mid-90s (he's only 36) and he gets his frames custom made from Curtlo and then he builds the rest himself. He does all kinds of events - centuries, epics (is that how to spell, or epoch), 24-hour, cyclocross, MTB. He doesn't do tris but he did that crazy 25K bridge swim in Florida a year ago, after training with the longest swim at 10K. He's crazy.

Anyway, I'll see what he says. Not that I don't take what you guys say. I am just gathering as many opinions as possible.

At the moment, I lean towards the BMC. I don't care about sexiness. I really don't. I just want it to be fun. Just like with men I learned the best looking ones aren't always (usually) any good. I took that to heart and I ended up with the best. He's still good to look at, just like that BMC. It's a handsome bike.

What makes the Bianchi sexy and the BMC not? What IS sexy, bikewise? Though, I don't like sexy because I don't want to get hot over a non-human. Yes, I know it's an expression.

/ramble

Sabby 04-03-13 05:29 PM

I'm pretty handy (see post about changing out my van's suspension, above). I feel like I could adjust things. My brother could help me, too.

But, thanks for this suggestion. I will keep it in mind.

Orangejuice 04-03-13 05:33 PM

'Sexy' is what you make of it. You can check out the hot or not thread here to find out what everyone else thinks is "sexy" but your opinion is the one that matters.

Anyway, BMCs wont be in many bike shops, I'm not sure about the Atlanta area, but maybe someone living around there can help you with that. If you really don't care about looks I would recommend checking out the bikes at your LBS with your brother.

With that said, the BMC is still a phenomenal option.

seymour1910 04-03-13 05:37 PM

I will give you my take on it....to me the BMC frame is sexy because of the geometry, I like how the area where the seat tube and top tube meet looks, it almost looks like the seat stays are extended to contact the top tube. Fans of the Bianchi frames usually love the lines of the bike.

as for your other question, I have never been to any shops in your area but no shops in my area carry BMC bikes, they can order them, but that's it. As said before, most all bikes with 105 from a shop only have 105 shifters and derailleurs, the brakes and crank are cheaper components to finish out the bike, this bike comes with a FULL 105 group, and if you don't like it you can simply put it back in the box and send it back.

This is a compact crank, I'm not sure if that matters to you but some say it easier on the knees.

Sabby 04-03-13 05:51 PM

That's funny, since having a Hot or Not thread indicates that sexiness is more than personal.

But, I generally agree. To me, an exciting bike is one that's fun to ride.

I will definitely tour the LBS in my area. Though the ones by me tend to carry the common brands (not necessarily a bad thing).

Here's a couple of local bikes I could check out:

http://atlantacycling.com/product/12...t-130135-1.htm

http://atlantacycling.com/product/tr...c-130882-1.htm


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