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  1. #1
    wussy Stray Cat's Avatar
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    (DFW) Best local shop/bike advice.

    Howdy, my name is Zack. Been browsing on the board for the past couple days and reading up on all that I can. Had always been interested but was discouraged always feeling it was a small mans sport, (I'm 6'3" and 200lbs), but have been told and reading otherwise. The GF has a bike and used to ride with her mom who has done the HHH. They were both looking at getting back into it for the fitness. I'm wanting to get into it for the fitness, to do the HHH; ms150 and other charity rides, and another hobby. I work from home and have plenty of time to devote so this seemed like a good way to get me back into biking. (rode MTB a few years ago)

    Couple things...

    Best shop with in 50 miles? Just browsed through RBM the other day when the weather was bad and took a look at some hybrids, but think I'd be better off with a road bike for what I want. Plan on taking another look tomorrow and also Plano Cycle & Fitness. Any other shops I should check out in the area?



    Onto the bike...

    Budget: $1200. Looking at getting something I won't have to upgrade from for a while. Better to invest now then spend more later. You get what you pay for on most things, not sure how much this holds true to cycling. Want something that'll last me and won't leave me stranded on a ride of some distance.

    So far what I've been looking at...

    Trek 1000, 1200(05 on clearance at RBM), and 1500. (worried about paying more for a "name")
    Specialized Allez Sport Triple ( http://bikemart.com/itemdetails.cfm?...gId=39&id=1994 )
    Specialized Allez Elite Triple ( http://bikemart.com/itemdetails.cfm?...gId=39&id=1992 )

    Read all the reviews on www.roadbikereview.com and did searching on the board. The Elite Triple looks like the best value but of course... it's the most expensive. lol

    I come from a background in cars and motorcycles so how much room for haggling? Trying to make my hard earned money go as far as possible.

    I appreciate your responses in advance.
    -Zack

  2. #2
    wussy Stray Cat's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    Both of the shops that you mentioned are top notch bicycle shops. They can both provide you with everything that you need to get started. I would go with the Trek 1200/1500 over the 1000 because of the level of components and the ability to upgrade if you so desire. The Allez Elite is a fine bike also. Have you found any 2006 models on closeout? If you can find a 2006 model, that is where you will find the most value for your dollar. You have to also factor in all of the associated equipment: shoes, pedals (most road bikes do not come with pedals), helmet, shorts, jersey, spare tubes, inflation devices, tools, and bag. It may sound overwhelming at first but in most cases, the place where you purchase your bike will give you a break on all of the accessories.

    Being new to roadbiking, I would stay away from purchasing the bike over the internet. Unless you know your size and are prepared to do some wrenching yourself, go to one of the nearby bike shops so they can help you.

    You can also try to go the used route. I was at Richardson Bikemart in Richardson this afternoon and saw several nice used bikes in their inventory. I didn't check any sizes but it would be worth checking into. That shop is filled with employees that know their stuff. I was there for new shoes and ended up being there for over an hour. The employee wanted to make sure I was getting the best shoe for my intended purpose and price range.

    There are several bikeforum members in the area with a wealth of knowledge as well. I am pretty sure others will chime in.

    BTW...I am a larger cyclist as well...6'1" 200 pounds.
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  4. #4
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Stray Cat,

    Welcome to BikeForums! There are lots of cyclists here on the boards that are in the area, including myself. I'm right around the corner from Richardson Bikemart and its the local bike shop that I visit the most. Plano Cycling and Fitness is the other big shop in the area and worth visiting.

    As far as the Bikesdirect link, I HIGHLY suggest that you buy your first bike somewhere local so that you are properly fitted to the bike. Getting a properly fitting bike is much more important than getting a little bit nicer equipment the first time around. In your price range, get the 1500 or the Allez Elite. Anything above the Sora equipped 1000 will make for a great starter bike for you.

    Then again, I've got a beautiful vintage Schwinn Passage touring bike, which I'm trying to sell. If you're about 6' tall and fit the bike, it may make an even better starter bike for you to get into cycling for a bit before sinking over a grand into a road bike. A little more stable than a race geometry road bike, but certainly faster than any hybrid.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member yeamac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stray Cat
    You get what you pay for on most things, not sure how much this holds true to cycling.
    In my experience, this is true for cycling as much as anything else.

    Besides the cost of the bike, try to come up with all the extra accessories you may need. I picked up a new road bike last Nov for under $750, but ended up spending over $300 in accessories and clothing, and that was WITH buying some of it on ebay where I usually saved from 30-70% off from what it would cost me in the local shop.

    My recommendation for a first bike would be to get the bike itself from a local bike shop. Maybe someone in the DFW area can help you out as to specific shops. Some things like pedals, saddles, clothing, you will find better prices on ebay/the internet. But small items like inner tubes, CO2 cartridges, saddle bag, etc, are better bought at the LBS. Plus, they like it when you buy accessories with your new bike and they may be willing to deal more on the bike if they know you will be spending $$ on other items.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Best prices in DFW area

    Stray Cat

    Our shop
    Bike Island
    2901 North Central Expressway
    Plano, Texas 75075
    972-578-0586

    sells bikes at the same prices as you would get online; but you get it fitted, built up, and free service for life.

    If your budget is $1200 or down; you can walk in there and find Fuji, Motobecane, Mercier, and Windsor road bikes at that price that are FULL ULTEGRA. Or you can get Full carbon fiber bikes with 105 for that Budget.

    I think you will find traditional bike shops in DFW get you Sora or Tiagra at your budget level.

    By the way, Performance is also opening shops in DFW soon - so there will be another sourse of high grade bikes at discount prices.

    You will find there is a lot of difference between a Sora/tiagra bike and an ULTEGRA level bike.

    good luck
    have fun
    and be safe

    mike

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect_com
    If your budget is $1200 or down; you can walk in there and find Fuji, Motobecane, Mercier, and Windsor road bikes at that price that are FULL ULTEGRA. Or you can get Full carbon fiber bikes with 105 for that Budget.
    Do the bikes you sell actually have FULL ULTEGRA (Ultegra shifters, brake calipes, front and rear derailleurs, crankset, hubset, and chain) or is it just shifters and derailleurs.

    Stay Cat -- is your total budget $1200 or is that the budget yo have set aside for bike only?
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  8. #8
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    Some do - Some dont

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinmcdade
    Do the bikes you sell actually have FULL ULTEGRA (Ultegra shifters, brake calipes, front and rear derailleurs, crankset, hubset, and chain) or is it just shifters and derailleurs.

    Stay Cat -- is your total budget $1200 or is that the budget yo have set aside for bike only?

    We sell all kinds of Ultegra level bikes. Some are Full Ultegra; shifters, brakes, cranks, der, chain, casette
    Some are reduced group - Some have carbon cranks instead of Ultegra -- Some have Cane Creek brakes instead of Ultegra
    Some are doubles - some triples - some dbl compact

    We sell all these type bikes for around $1000 to $1300

    here is an example:

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...yelite_wcs.htm

    under $1100 and has 30-speed Ultegra and Ritchey WCS wheels and cockpit [about $950 of Ritchey] and has about $1000 of Ultegra -- plus super nice frame

    So if OP is in DFW area - he does not need to buy a bike with 9-speed and lower level stuff to stay in his budget

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect_com
    We sell all kinds of Ultegra level bikes. Some are Full Ultegra; shifters, brakes, cranks, der, chain, casette
    Some are reduced group - Some have carbon cranks instead of Ultegra -- Some have Cane Creek brakes instead of Ultegra
    Some are doubles - some triples - some dbl compact

    We sell all these type bikes for around $1000 to $1300

    here is an example:

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...yelite_wcs.htm

    under $1100 and has 30-speed Ultegra and Ritchey WCS wheels and cockpit [about $950 of Ritchey] and has about $1000 of Ultegra -- plus super nice frame

    So if OP is in DFW area - he does not need to buy a bike with 9-speed and lower level stuff to stay in his budget
    IMO, it is WAY more important for a new rider to have the best fit. You can have the fanciest bike with the latest and greatest components and frame but if the bike is uncomfortable and doesn't fit, it will not get ridden. I have been in Bike Island but before the name change. They attempted to size me to a bike by having me stand over the top tube, grab the seat and stem, and lift the bike up to my crotch. If it was between 1 and 2 inches, it was a good fit . Has the fit process changed? AFTER I learned more about cycling and knew what size and bike characteristics I like/dislike, I did buy a couple of bikes from your store. A new rider really needs someone to spend time with him/her trying different frames with different geometry, different stems, saddles, crank lengths, and etc. A new rider should also be encouraged to ride the bike longer than a few minutes.

    I agree that the OP should be looking for the best bang but if the fit ain't right, he ain't gonna ride it. I'm just looking out for the well being of the OP.
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  10. #10
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    Fit

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinmcdade
    IMO, it is WAY more important for a new rider to have the best fit. You can have the fanciest bike with the latest and greatest components and frame but if the bike is uncomfortable and doesn't fit, it will not get ridden. I have been in Bike Island but before the name change. They attempted to size me to a bike by having me stand over the top tube, grab the seat and stem, and lift the bike up to my crotch. If it was between 1 and 2 inches, it was a good fit . Has the fit process changed? AFTER I learned more about cycling and knew what size and bike characteristics I like/dislike, I did buy a couple of bikes from your store. A new rider really needs someone to spend time with him/her trying different frames with different geometry, different stems, saddles, crank lengths, and etc. A new rider should also be encouraged to ride the bike longer than a few minutes.

    I agree that the OP should be looking for the best bang but if the fit ain't right, he ain't gonna ride it. I'm just looking out for the well being of the OP.

    I think Jeff [who is 40 and been with me since he was 16] can fit the OP as well as anyone. In the last 30 years I have done the fitting on several thousand people. My feeling is each person is different and there is no machine or formula that can fit everyone perfectly. My example, every Pro shop in Texas would put me on a 52cm -- I ride a 56cm however. This is due to learning what I like.

    So in my opinion the ability of any shop to fit someone without the rider putting on lots of miles is overrated. That said, fit is more important to some riders than others. Just like many other things. Some riders are very sensitive to adjustments & fit; others almost do not care. I am very picky about fit of shoes; my son doesn't seem to mind shoes to big or too small. Same with bikes for different people.

    One nice thing is: our inventory is so large that we never have to try and sell someone a bike to move it out of stock. We have all the sizes in our warehouse and can get any size to any store in 3 days.

    I think the fit issue should not be an excuss to overpay or to buy less bike. Of course, I may be the only guy with a bike shop in DFW that is actually glad to see performance come to town. I like it when people get used to seeing deals - it promotes comparison by spec.

    I can not see how the OP would benefit from a $1000 Tiagra that weighes 21 lbs over a 17 lb Ultegra bike with the top wheels Ritchey makes. I hope he takes time to shop and test ride.

    mike

  11. #11
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    Mike -- Are you ever at the location in Plano? I haven't been into that location in over a year. I am going stop by one day and check it out. Like I said earlier, I have bought two Fuji's and one Motobecane from you in the past.

    Stray Cat -- if you are thinking of getting the Moto that you linked, make sure you get it locally since it's the same price as getting it through the bikesdirect.com website. This would allow you to try some of the other models that they carry.
    Last edited by kevinmcdade; 01-21-07 at 04:32 PM.
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    not often

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinmcdade
    Mike -- Are you ever at the location in Plano? I haven't been into that location in over a year. I am going stop by one day and check it out. Like I said earlier, I have bought two Fuji's and one Motobecane from you in the past.

    Stray Cat -- if you are thinking of getting the Moto that you linked, make sure you get it locally since it's the same price as getting it through the bikesdirect.com website. This would allow you to try some of the other models that they carry.

    I am not in Dallas area often [even though it is my home town]
    about once a year

    Funny how raising 3 kids slows down one's travel

    But Jeff can help you or the OP out very well

    thanks
    mike

  13. #13
    wussy Stray Cat's Avatar
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    First of all, thank you all for your replies and insight!

    Definitely not going to drop that much money, in theory of "saving money", on a bike I haven't been able to ride.


    Took a stroll through Plano Cycle about 30 minutes before closing on Saturday. Nice selection and very nice people. An older gentleman suggested to me being on a 60-62 and but he didn't have many in stock and none on sale in my price range. Very helpful though.

    Went by on Sunday to Cycle Spectrum/Bike Island about 30 minutes before closing. (Gotta work on that timing issue. lol) Two guys working. Not as helpful and didn't provide much opinion from bike to bike or anything. Also... Kevin, they pulled the: Stand over, lift into crotch, and tell you it fits BS. "A 58 is perfect for you!" Good prices on everything and very light weight. Started talking about my Subaru covered in mud and the other guy started relaxing and just talking about cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Very nice and dropping back by tomorrow to ride a few bikes. (Only him working tom.)

    Planning on stopping back by RBM tomorrow and getting some more advice, ride some bikes, and the heading over to CS to get a back to back feel. Would like for RBM to give me a lil better fitting advice then a bar into my crotch. lol Feel almost "helpless" shopping as they know, and I know, I haven't owned a road bike before and can be told anything, for the most part, with out calling them out on it.

    Any other advice or comments greatly welcomed.

  14. #14
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Zack:

    I would say visit as many shops as you can and ride as many bikes as you can. I really wonder if you will notice that much difference between the performance of Tiagra to Ultegra or the difference in 1 or 2 lbs. of bike weight. Only you can make that decision after riding the bikes. Fit is the most important thing to consider. If you feel confined or stretched out you are on the wrong bike. Unfortunately, saddle time is the only thing that will really tell you if a bike fits.

    Best of Luck,

    Jeff
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  15. #15
    This Space for Rent h2omojo's Avatar
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    Stray -

    The most commen advice given at another board I frequent is....ride as many bikes as you can, and the bike will let you know which one to buy. Go with what you feel comfortable on....but remember, stem lengths can be swapped for longer or shorter and saddles can be swapped (usually they will give you credit for what is already on the bike).

    Good Luck and let us know what you end up with.

  16. #16
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    Cat,

    I have bought bikes from PC&F (Jan 07), RBM and Cycle Spectrum (Bike Island). I have had good experiences at all three. My first road bike was from CS in 03 and was a great bike for the money. However I ultimately had to change the frame for a smaller size. I was not really given a fit but I didn't really ask for one either. I was quite naive about road bikes. The components from that bike are still going strong on the new frame. Can't really complain about the bike and I did not buy it from Jeff. Perhaps he would have fit me better?

    Awesome experiences at both RBM and PCF. Really felt like I was dealing with bike experts. Both adjusted and readjusted the bike to get the right fit and work out the kinks.

    I would bet that you might be able to find a sweet deal on an 06 at one of the shops. Take them all on good long spins and get the one that fits the best and makes you want to ride. You can get a lot of bike for $1200.

    Also, don't worry about paying for a name or not. Get the bike that fits you best and serves your needs. I am a bit partial to compact geometry (Specialized among others) but you may find the traditional geo of the Trek more to your liking.

    Then come out and ride with one of the local bike clubs!

    www.planobicycle.org
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  17. #17
    wussy Stray Cat's Avatar
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    Went and round PLENTY of bikes today. You can feel a BIG difference in the frame and components between bikes. Didn't realize it would be that noticeable. Found one that felt great and was even on sale. On lay-away until I get back from New Zealand on Mar. 6th so that gives me more time to get some gear and learn on the rental they're giving me until I leave which is very cool. Over all great experience and couldn't ask for more.

    Oh ya, Trek 2200: made in the US, full Ultegra, and $1300.


    Thank you all for your help!
    Last edited by Stray Cat; 01-24-07 at 06:10 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stray Cat
    Went and round PLENTY of bikes today. You can feel a BIG difference in the frame and components between bikes. Didn't realize it would be that noticeable. Found one that felt great and was even on sale. On lay-away until I get back from New Zealand on Mar. 6th so that gives me more time to get some gear and learn on the rental they're giving me until I leave which is very cool. Over all great experience and couldn't ask for more.

    Oh ya, Trek 2200: made in the US, full Ultegra, and $1300.

    Thank you all for your help!
    Excellent! Glad to hear you were able to find one that you like! The Trek 2200 is a very nice bike that will last you a long time. I have Ultegra on my main ride and it is still just as smooth as it was the day I bought the bike almost two years ago.

    Where did you buy it? I didn't know there was layaway available!!! You should have never told me that!!! I have a hard time hiding credit card transactions but layaway is just like paying cash...Hmmmm!!!
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  19. #19
    wussy Stray Cat's Avatar
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    Oh ya... Thank you Rene at RBM!

  20. #20
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Awesome bike Zack! I rode that exact same color bike and really had a hard time not buying it. Very nice. Congratulations. You need to PM me and we will ride some time. Or if you like hammering torture fests, hook up with Kevin.

    Jeff
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    exactly what buyers should expect

    Stray Cat

    You got a great deal - nice bike

    This is exactly what smart buyers should expect - 30% to 40% off list.
    You got 32% off list and that is great

    Full Ultegra bikes should run around $1100 to $1300 with aluminum or aluminum/carbon frames.

    Enjoy your trip to NZ - try the glow worm cave - its cool.

    mike

  22. #22
    This Space for Rent h2omojo's Avatar
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    Very nice bike and RBM will treat you right.....I think they are like Bikes Inc and offer the lifetime adjustments?

  23. #23
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    well here I am, late again.

    The only piece of advice I was going to impart to this seems a bit
    superflouous now.
    Ask about the service dept of the shop, get other folks opinions.
    I shop either the RBM in Richardson or the Frisco shop (since it's less than 5 miles
    from home). Both have excellent service dept and very knowledgeable staff.

    Nice bike, can we expect to see you on the sun. morning RBM to white rock rides?

    Marty
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  24. #24
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    Dude that is nice! I have straddled that bike many times. It will serve you a long time.......or at least until you decide that full carbon indeed must be faster!

    Come ride with us (PBA, GDB, RBM) when you get back. Group riding rules.

  25. #25
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    LOOK KG281, Bianchi Pista, Fuji Roubaix
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soonerinfrisco
    Come ride with us (PBA, GDB, RBM) when you get back. Group riding rules.
    +1. There are lots of rides for riders of all skill levels.
    2007 Specialized Tarmac Expert
    2005 Fuji Track Pro
    2007 Bianchi San Jose

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