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
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.