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  1. #1
    Senior Member ButchA's Avatar
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    Beginners road bike (is there such a thing?)

    Greetings... I found my way back to this great forum after a few months away. I have been contemplating what type of bike to buy, what I want to do with it, how far do I want to ride, etc... And believe it or not, after careful consideration, the #1 type of bike is: A nice reasonably priced entry level road bike.

    You may appreciate a $4500 Specialized road bike. To me, it is way too much money and could be considered a down payment on a car!

    You are most likely in shape and have ridden steadily for years on end. I am a "Clydesdale" (as per this website) and am 6'0" and 210 lbs, and am trying to get myself back in shape to where I used to be many years ago during my US Coast Guard days (a nice lean, trim, 180 lbs).

    I am looking for a rugged, entry level/beginner type of road bike, that can withstand my 210 lbs and won't break the bank. The brand that really flips my lid is Fuji. I tried Trek and don't care for them, same with Giant. Specialized are incredible bikes but I'd have to take out a 2nd mortgage on my house to afford one! Also.... Being 6'0" and 210 lbs, I checked numerous bike charts and for a road bike, it recommends a 58cm bike.

    Any advice on a nice good quality, basic, everyday entry level, type of road bike?

  2. #2
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    What is your budget?

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    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    Do you have an REI close by? They have a bunch of bikes on sale right now.. Decent bikes in the $650 on up range..

  4. #4
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    $4,500 won't break the bank. Are we talking about my bank or your bank? Perhaps provide some specifics. 210 lb is hardly going to be a problem for most road bikes. Steer clear of wispy wheels for racer types but for the most part you should be fine.

    You can probably also get along just fine on a 56cm bike, make sure you test some out. I'm 6'2" on a 58 but YMMV. There's more to fit than just height, of course.

    What do you mean by "flips my lid"

    Not all Treks are the same - which ones did you try? And Giant? Cannondale CAAD10 are nice bikes, or the supersix if you want carbon. Spec. Allez aren't too bad either, price wise. There are also tons of smaller brand bikes all over (Jamis, Felt come to mind) that may be at a store near you.

    If you really want an inexpensive road bike and have some mechanical skills you can always try BikesDirect.com. Other options, head down to your local performance or REI and try out the house brand bikes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pavemen's Avatar
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    I got back into cycling and moved into road bikes with a $1400 Trek Domane 2.0. Basic bike with quality parts, mid-line parts, nothing fancy but it all works well. I am 6'3" and 300lb and its riding fine. The IsoSpped frame and fork may seem gimmicky to some but I think they help the ride, especially with my size. Plus the built in fender and rack mounts make it nice to turn into a commuter/touring bike.

    Its an endurance frame so its more upright and thus more comfortable for me than a more hunched over typical road bike. I went with a 60cm frame as I have a tall torso. So you should test ride/fit before buying as it depends on your body type if that 58cm is right for you.

    Otherwise expect a ton of suggestions since you don't clearly define your price range.

  6. #6
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    You never actually say what your target price is, so I'm going to assume <$1000.

    For that price, you can get an aluminum frame with a carbon fork, Sora-level components, and pretty basic wheels that will easily handle your weight.

    Pretty much every major brand has an offering at the price point. Your best bet is to go to a number of bike stores and try out their offerings. If it is a decent store, they can advise you on fit (which can vary a bit from brand to brand).

    Some may advise buying used or online. I think that works better if you (or someone you know) is bike savvy and/or comfortable making the necessary adjustments for fit and function. Otherwise, it helps to have a bike shop (and their typical one-year free adjustments) support.

    Whatever your budget, remember to hold some in reserve for equipment (helmet, clothes, lights, lock, shoes and pedals, pump and spare tubes, etc.) Those things can add up. Even the get-started basics can add up to $100 (depending on your definition of "basics").

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Senior Member ButchA's Avatar
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    Sorry.... My budget is very basic at around $600-$700 bucks. The Fuji Sportif series endurance road bikes are the ones that I really like. I have heard about bikesdirect.com or another place, I think it's called Nashbar.com - but I am leery of buying a bike over the internet without ever trying it out.

    I have no intention of racing or running trials or anything like that. I just want to be comfortable and get a nice workout by riding a road bike 20-25 miles and work my way up.

    Edit: I plan on keeping my old Schwinn Alum Comp mountain bike, that's been ridden to death. I'll keep it and ride it on the dirt trails and it if breaks, oh well... But I need a true dedicated road bike, since that is what appeals to me more nowadays.

  8. #8
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's available in the U.S. right now (was on Wal-Mart.com for a while) but in Canada there's the Schwinn CrossFit at Canadian Tire. On sale, it's $500 CAD. I'm not saying all the bits are the highest quality. But for less money, it's a bike that does impress me. It has cross-top or interrupter levers and 35mm tires (and no carbon fiber).
    Feeling Good by David Burns

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    Drop handlebars on road bikes generally add an additional amount of money (> $300) to your total cost.

    I say, get a flat handlebar performance hybrid (road bike) for less, but with quality components. For $700, you're gonna get bottom tier components on a road bike with drop handlebars.

    OTOH, for $700, you can get a better than average Performance hybrid (flatbar road bike), with quality components.

    For example:

    The Giant Defy 5 road bike with drops cost $700. You get a cheap aluminum fork, bottom tier drivetrain components, and it's an 8 speed.

    OTOH, the Giant Escape 1 Performance hybrid cost $650. You get a quality carbon fiber fork, intermediate quality drivetrain components, and it's a 9 speed.

    The Giant Defy 3 road bike (with drops) with a carbon fiber fork, has fairly decent components, and is a 9 speed, it costs $950.

    * Get the Escape 1 to accomplish the same goals for less!

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-13-14 at 09:29 PM.

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    A Fuji road bike was my modern-day "re-entry" vehicle into cycling. I've since added a carbon fiber road bike, but I kept the Fuji and still ride it regularly. It has 19,000 miles on it now. The Fuji is for after-work rides, and the carbon fiber is for the longer weekend rides.

  11. #11
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    check to see if your LBS has a store brand. we have that here, basically a branded chinese frame with mid-high end parts depending on model. It may suit your needs

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
    Greetings... I found my way back to this great forum after a few months away. I have been contemplating what type of bike to buy, what I want to do with it, how far do I want to ride, etc... And believe it or not, after careful consideration, the #1 type of bike is: A nice reasonably priced entry level road bike.
    Beginner road bike is the bike you discover whether you like road cycling or not. I think it's sane to spend conservatively to learn and enjoy cycling first. It would be insane to dump $2000 to discover you don't like it. My opinion. I'd get something used off Craigslist.

    You can then sell it and get something nicer. I bought my first road bike for $340 and sold it for $400 in pieces. $250 for components, 150 for frame.

  13. #13
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    When you spend 2-4 hours per day on your road bike, you won't think $5k is such an obscene amount of money.

  14. #14
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    Consider a used vintage road/touring bike. For $700 you can a bike that was near top-of-the-line not too long ago, and it will be almost as fast as a new modern race bike that costs several times as much. Something like this (BEAUTIFUL BIKES: 88 Centurion Ironman! Restored! Gorgeous! Black!) is well within your budget and will probably perform better much better than a similarly priced hybrid from your local bike store.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    My 2c...


    Beginner =
    - Cheaper, as you may not be so committed yet.
    - Taller (handlebar position), as you may not be so comfortable in the 'traditional' road bike positions.
    - Without 'clip-less' pedals (confusing with old toe-clip terminology), as you might not be used to clicking in or out.
    - Lighter gearing (compact, triple) as you might not be fit enough yet.

    'Cheaper' could mean many things. Aluminium frame. Lower end groupset. Less popular brand. Second hand. None of these necessarily mean it is a bad bike (most of us are probably riding bikes that are arguably too good for us anyway!!!).

    Correct size is the one that fits. I'm 6' and 210lbs as you are, but I ride a 55cm top tube bike (was a size 54cm on a Cannondale), so you will have to get someone who knows what they are doing to fit you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    Consider a used vintage road/touring bike. For $700 you can a bike that was near top-of-the-line not too long ago, and it will be almost as fast as a new modern race bike that costs several times as much. Something like this (BEAUTIFUL BIKES: 88 Centurion Ironman! Restored! Gorgeous! Black!) is well within your budget and will probably perform better much better than a similarly priced hybrid from your local bike store.
    +1 ^ This

    Should you decide to buy used, make certain that you are accompanied by someone who is knowledgeable about bicycle mechanics. By not taking someone who is bike savvy, you could be quite easily duped into making an unwise choice for cycling and end up spending a fortune in parts and service.

    Furthermore, if I were you, before going the vintage route, I'd join a bicycle co-op first. The co-op just might possess such a vintage bicycle that could be made available to you upon becoming a member.

    *Buying used could prove to be the most profitable method of scoring an excellent road bike.
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-14-14 at 02:51 AM.

  17. #17
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    I am a beginner as we'll and currently ride a FUJI Stratos R it's a $750 bike but I got for free at a impound lot. You might get lucky as we'll call a couple of police stations and ask if they sell impounded bikes. Also schwinn has some 300-400 dollars road bikes. Am not saying its good quality but might be worth it for beginners

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kopsis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
    Correct size is the one that fits. I'm 6' and 210lbs as you are, but I ride a 55cm top tube bike (was a size 54cm on a Cannondale), so you will have to get someone who knows what they are doing to fit you.
    +1

    For a beginner, fit should be the number one consideration. And not just some formula's idea of good fit, but a fit that actually feels good to YOU. Entry level components or a slightly heavier bike rarely stop someone from riding. But an ill fitting bike will squash a budding cyclist's enthusiasm like nothing else.

    The Fuji Sportif is a perfectly good bike. I'd suggest at least the 2.3C if you can afford it. The carbon fork will provide a noticeably better ride than the all alloy fork/frame on the 2.5, and the Sora/Claris component mix on the 2.3C will give you a better gearing range. Ideally buy from a shop that has a knowledgeable fitter. You don't need a pro fit at this point, but you do want someone who will do more than just a 10 min fit based on KOPS and leg extension.

  19. #19
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    I would just goto your local bike shop and check out bikes in the $1000 price range (+/- $300). Look for what's on sale. A good shop will make sure you fit the bike. Check out some Fujis, cannondale (CADD10 / CADD8), specialized Allez...

    I think it's good to start on a more entry level bike. See if you like the sport. I know tons of friends that have bought a bike.. but rarely use it after the first couple of months. If you really get into it, sell the bike and get a nicer one.

    When I first test road bikes 4-5 years ago, I couldn't tell the difference between a $2000 bike and a $5000 bike. Felt the same.

    Now.... it's a different story. I know what I want in a bike. Carbon handle bars / lighter wheels / Dura Ace / setting up the gearing specifically to how I ride. I'm on my 4th cassette... all with different gearing.

  20. #20
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    Performance Bike is a good option

    Performance Bike is a good option, especially for new riders looking for value for money. There's one local in Richmond. Their house brand, Scattante 570 at $900, has a mix of Shimano 105 and Tiagra in the components, along with an aluminum frame and carbon fork. They also carry Fuji - the Fuji Sportif 1.1 C looks interesting at $800.

    Those may not be your exact preferences but there's a good chance to find value there. Performance is at the intersection of internet pricing and local service. You won't always find the lowest prices there, but with lower prices you generally get a cardboard box from UPS and no service. You won't always find the best service, but for better local service you'll generally pay higher retail prices. That's why I advise new bicycle shoppers looking for the best bike at the low end of bike shop prices to consider Performance.

  21. #21
    Member vstkrc's Avatar
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    Ah, zymphad beat me to it.

    Craigslist is probably your best bet. It's not uncommon to find a 10 year old mid-range setup for around $400-600 in good condition. That could mean anywhere between Sora and Ultegra components (or SRAM, Campy equivalents) with a decently light frame. That certainly doesn't break the bank and leaves you with money in the budget for some shoes and gear. The shoes are pretty important, so it's important to leave about $100-150 for those.

  22. #22
    Senior Member blacknbluebikes's Avatar
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    If you're in Richmond, there are like 4 - 5 shops in Carytown, two of which carry used bikes. Tell 'em your budget and see how much bike they can offer you. I've seen some nice rides in there, inventory changes frequently.

  23. #23
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Go to Performance. They have a Fuji Roubaix for $699.

  24. #24
    blah blah blah milkbaby's Avatar
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    Most of the major brands have an entry level bike around $700-800, and you can often get a nice deal on last model year's closeouts. Even Specialized's entry level Allez is MSRP of $770. I was looking for an inexpensive bike for my gf to ride with me and test rode the Specialized Allez and a Giant Avail (women's version of the Giant Defy), and both are quite nice bikes and a good deal at $700-800.

    Since this forum is frequented by road cycling enthusiasts, many here would advise against the low end Shimano Claris equipped bikes, but IMHO, it rides just fine for what most people want to do with their bikes.

    I'd go with the recommendation above about visiting some of your local bike shops and telling them what kind of riding you're looking to do and what your budget is. A good bike store can put you on a bike that works well for your purposes. Good luck and see you on the roads!

  25. #25
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    Bikedirect.com for the budget conscious, my friend!
    65% of all statistics are made up on the spot. - DD

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