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  1. #1
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    advice on buying an entry level bike

    unfortunately my bike was stolen recently, so i am looking to replace it. i still consider myself a beginner, and my main goal is to use it for exercise. rides rarely go over 30 miles. i want to get a good bike, but not overspend on a bike i would never fully utilize.
    my previous bike was a GT series 3 with tiagra components. rode pretty well, shifting was good, but not perfect. in fact i think it may have had sora derailleur up front. saved a ton buying online.
    my main questions is this: do i buy a cheaper (see chinese) made bike (GT, Fuji, etc) with better components or go with a more reputable brand (see american made) like specialized and trek. my budget is about $1000, but could go up a couple hundo if needed.
    right now a GT series 3 or 2 can be had for just under $700 and $900 with tiagra or tiagra/105 componentry, respectively. fuji roubaix is similar in pricing, and a full 105 outfit on the bike is at an even $1k online. hell a full carbon kestrel is $1250 with tiagra/105 on it. compare that to my LBS who outfits specialized and trek bikes, with a $930 specialized allez sport with sora components (to get tiagra the elite model is $1100) while similar trek models 1.2 (sora) and 1.5 (tiagra) are the same price.
    i know buying local is always preferred, but to be honest, with a good online guide why cant i measure myself and fit my bike based off my measurements myself and save some dough to put towards pedals, computer, etc.
    also, is it better to get higher quality components or a higher quality frame/manufactured bike?
    does the tiagra make that much difference over the sora, and by the same token, the 105 over the tiagra?

    i appreciate any input you could lend me!

  2. #2
    Long Member zeego's Avatar
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    1998 Lemond Malliot Jaune, Ciocc Designer 84
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    Quote Originally Posted by acassis View Post
    unfortunately my bike was stolen recently, so i am looking to replace it. i still consider myself a beginner, and my main goal is to use it for exercise. rides rarely go over 30 miles. i want to get a good bike, but not overspend on a bike i would never fully utilize.
    my previous bike was a GT series 3 with tiagra components. rode pretty well, shifting was good, but not perfect. in fact i think it may have had sora derailleur up front. saved a ton buying online.
    my main questions is this: do i buy a cheaper (see chinese) made bike (GT, Fuji, etc) with better components or go with a more reputable brand (see american made) like specialized and trek. my budget is about $1000, but could go up a couple hundo if needed.
    right now a GT series 3 or 2 can be had for just under $700 and $900 with tiagra or tiagra/105 componentry, respectively. fuji roubaix is similar in pricing, and a full 105 outfit on the bike is at an even $1k online. hell a full carbon kestrel is $1250 with tiagra/105 on it. compare that to my LBS who outfits specialized and trek bikes, with a $930 specialized allez sport with sora components (to get tiagra the elite model is $1100) while similar trek models 1.2 (sora) and 1.5 (tiagra) are the same price.
    i know buying local is always preferred, but to be honest, with a good online guide why cant i measure myself and fit my bike based off my measurements myself and save some dough to put towards pedals, computer, etc.
    also, is it better to get higher quality components or a higher quality frame/manufactured bike?
    does the tiagra make that much difference over the sora, and by the same token, the 105 over the tiagra?

    i appreciate any input you could lend me!
    I recently purchased a used a Lemond Zurich on Craigslist from a guy across the country last week for $650. Full Dura Ace and nice wheels. Got some new Shimano 105 pedals, grip tape and tune up....done. The new bikes in my price range, $800 - $1000 just didn't do it for me. Although, I'm kind of sucker for classic looking bikes and the Lemond brand.

    new_ride.jpg
    my bike > my car

  3. #3
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    I'm also a big fan of craigslist. It can take a while to get the one you want.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  4. #4
    Senior Member nastystang's Avatar
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    If your last bike fit well just match up the size with a new bike. The only thing is you will not have a chance to test ride. The Fuji sounds good with 105 and any shifting issues your other bike had will not be a problem. I know the competitive cyclist fit calculator worked well for me although I just punched in the numbers to see how they matched up to what the LBS set the bike up at. If you liked the GT series 3 why not get another one. Step it up maybe and get a little better components. Lots of good bikes in your price range. I would suggest going to a couple shops and seeing what they can do for you. If its a good shop they will steer you in the right direction and get you on a bike that fits you and your budget.

  5. #5
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    The best deal on the planet, right now, is with REI-Outlet! You get the GT Corsa 1.0 with Tiagra Gruppo @ $640 with your new membership.

    Ya betta hurry though. The sale ends on the 26th....

    You order online with REI-Oulet

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    OK, what am I missing? On the REI site, the price for the Corsa 1.0 is $799 after the 20% off......

    Or do you get another 20% off on 1 REI Outlet item (applies to bikes?).

    After checking the exclusions, the extra 20% off is NOT valid on bikes...that sucks...
    Last edited by godeacs; 05-24-14 at 11:23 PM.

  7. #7
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    well one of my main questions from this is there much difference between a "chinese" made frame and an "american" made frame, and what is the real world difference between the tiagra and 105?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by acassis View Post
    well one of my main questions from this is there much difference between a "chinese" made frame and an "american" made frame, and what is the real world difference between the tiagra and 105?
    1. You might be able to choose between Taiwan and Mainland China, but you will have to spend big bucks to get a frame made in the USA these days.
    2. The real world difference between Tiagra and 105 is $$, weight, and appearance (in my opinion).

  9. #9
    Senior Member BostonGreg's Avatar
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    Great deals on Ebay if you wait-your local shop may have something that suits your needs & budget. When you buy local you have a shop to stand behind and service your investment. I ended up spending a bit more on a bike for my wife so I would have this luxury.
    Trek Madone 7 P1, DuraAce 9000, Zipp 404, Zipp SL Stem & AeroBars, Keo2ti, XXX Saddle
    "Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls" Bob Weir

  10. #10
    Senior Member BostonGreg's Avatar
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    You can get a TREK Madone 4 series for like $1500-I'd save up for that. Or a Domane 3/4 Series, depending on where you ride.
    Trek Madone 7 P1, DuraAce 9000, Zipp 404, Zipp SL Stem & AeroBars, Keo2ti, XXX Saddle
    "Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls" Bob Weir

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