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  1. #1
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    first time road bike buyer... advice/ help

    First of all, thanks for taking a moment for me. I am sure there are a lot of posts about first time riders who have a lot of questions and they have been answered, but I could not find anything that related to my specific question (but if there is, please feel free to redirect to correct thread).

    I have never owned a road bike, so try to be nice...

    I am currently riding a stationary bike for exercise about 3-5 times a week at the gym, and my knees really like it instead of running. I probably ride about 80-120 miles per week, and am comfortable with longer rides of about 2 hours right now, in which I ride about 40 miles. I am not here to debate the differences in difficulty, I would like some advice on a mid range starter bike because I am bored to death after not moving for 2 hours. Specifically, I would like some advice on the amount of flex on different bikes as far as stability. I am almost 6'3" tall and 230lbs (working on that part!). I have some fear that not all bike setups would be ideal for me since I do not fit the average rider specifications. I have seen some listings for what look to be good road bikes in my price range of about $600-700 that are a few years old, such as Trek 1500, Allez, and a decent looking Cannondale. Are certain brands known as better for my size? Or will they all be about the same as long as the fit of the bike is right for me? I have also seen some with a sloped top tube and the info is inconclusive on whether this might make a difference for me.

    Any advice would be much appreciated. If there are any threads that you know of that may help please feel free to send my way. I am really excited about getting into riding, and have been doing as much research as I can, but I don't feel like I've found the answers that I am looking for.

    Thanks in advance for your time...

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Your weight is not a problem. @ 6'-3" you will need a seat tube of about 60 plus cm.
    A bike shop could help you with sizing.
    Might be best to start with a used bike, just to learn what you eventually need or want.
    http://dallas.craigslist.org/bik/691330978.html
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  3. #3
    It's just bikes...
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    You mention the Trek 1500. I have one, and have about 6K miles on it. I'm 6'2", and was about 245 when I started. I had no problems with the bike at that weight. I can't comment on the others as I haven't owned them, but I'm not aware of any brand of bike being better or worse for large riders. Just make sure it fits. If you're even remotely unsure of how to judge the fit, get someone knowledgeable to help you out.

    Steve

  4. #4
    No really...I flatted froggmann's Avatar
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    Your body weight will not be a problem on any well made Al or steel frame. At your size a higher spoke count wheel, 32 or 36 front and rear, would be better. The easiest way to find what size frame would fit you best is to test ride a few at your LBS. Once you get an idea on size you will be able to make a better descision on a used bike. Just remember which shop took care of you once you get ready for a new rig.

    Check out the Clydesdale forum, there are a ton of "what bike should I get" threads.

    Welcome to cycling, you're gonna love it!!
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  5. #5
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    thank you!!

  6. #6
    "Fred"--is that bad? DTSCDS's Avatar
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    You definately want to start hanging out with us over in the Clydesdale forum if you haven't already. (FYI, a Clydesdale is a male athlete over 6 foot and/or 200 pounds.)

    I am in a similar situation, I have a Trek 7.3FX hybrid that is doing very well so far but am thinking about a road bike. From what I read, the main thing is the wheels. You want to stay with more spokes and maybe stronger than average rims.

    As far as the frame flexing--that seems to be a factor because we clydes have stronger than average legs and can put some high pressure on the frame which causes the flexing. I don't know if that is good or bad. I assume less flex is better but then I wonder about snapping a more rigid frame instead of it flexing a bit.

    As an aside, I have had really good service at the Richardson Bike Mart. We usually go to the Richardson location but have been to the one on Garland Road. It is good to have a relationship with a LBM! They are there to hold your hand and answer your many questions as you learn the ropes.

    Good luck.
    The meek shall inherit the earth (If that's okay with the rest of you.)
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  7. #7
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
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    What about a cyclocross, they are built a little more rugged switch of the tires and you got one tough road bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattered73 View Post
    What about a cyclocross, they are built a little more rugged switch of the tires and you got one tough road bike.
    +1 - but not because you NEED a cross bike due to size; as has been stated above, lots of bikes will support you and provide a great ride. But, because you're just starting out, you don't know exactly what kind of riding you're going to enjoy the most. The cyclocross bikes (most of them, anyway) are really jacks of most trades, if you will. Road tires and high pressure? Nice road bike. Cross tires? Decent offroad bike. Comfortable, convertible to just about any component set you might decide to run down the road. Fenders (on most,) and at least a rear rack (again on most) and you're set up for commuting or light touring.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a clyde, I own a CrossCheck, and I love it... Have a rigid MTB and a vintage road bike hanging on the wall feeling neglected - only time I've touched either of them in the last six months is to get to the breaker box on the wall behind them

  9. #9
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctoddrun View Post
    In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a clyde, I own a CrossCheck, and I love it... Have a rigid MTB and a vintage road bike hanging on the wall feeling neglected - only time I've touched either of them in the last six months is to get to the breaker box on the wall behind them
    haha, spoken like a true cross owner

  10. #10
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    as far as components go, has anyone had any problems with Shimano's lower level... Tiagra I think, as opposed to 105's? I was hoping for a nice component group, but have looked around and can get similar bikes with carbon fork/ seat post, only real difference is component group Tiagra vs 105. difference in price is $419 vs $869, respectively (both are new). I am thinking of going with the 419, just because it will get me on the road this summer, and I would assume I am not going to have any more problems with a new bike as opposed to used one where I don't know how it was taken care of.

    Any thoughts on this?

  11. #11
    Texas is the reason chtexas's Avatar
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    Tiagra will definitely get the job done. Over 400$ difference? Go with the tiagra you won't notice a 400$ difference with 105.

  12. #12
    No really...I flatted froggmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chtexas View Post
    Tiagra will definitely get the job done. Over 400$ difference? Go with the tiagra you won't notice a 400$ difference with 105.
    +1 ^

    My first "new" road bike was a Felt F90 with Tiagra groupo. I rode it for 4800 miles with no problems whatsoever. Once I bought my current bike I switched the Tiagra componnts over to my wife's bike and she has put another 2700 miles on them and still going strong. As long as they are maintained properly they are a workhorse of a set.
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  13. #13
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    thanks for the response, will have to go see the cheaper bike to see if there are any other differences. it is hard to believe that the cheaper one has any carbon on it for less than $600...

  14. #14
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dallasmike View Post
    as far as components go, has anyone had any problems with Shimano's lower level... Tiagra I think, as opposed to 105's? I was hoping for a nice component group, but have looked around and can get similar bikes with carbon fork/ seat post, only real difference is component group Tiagra vs 105. difference in price is $419 vs $869, respectively (both are new). I am thinking of going with the 419, just because it will get me on the road this summer, and I would assume I am not going to have any more problems with a new bike as opposed to used one where I don't know how it was taken care of.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Just wondering what bike you found for $419 with Tiagra and Carbon fork and where? I live in Wylie and have been haunting several local LBS for a while doing my shopping as I get back into the riding mode.

  15. #15
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Try Cycle Spectrum on I-75 & Park. I think they have the same parent company as BikesDirect.com who has the lowest bike prices out there for the components equipped.

  16. #16
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k View Post
    Try Cycle Spectrum on I-75 & Park. I think they have the same parent company as BikesDirect.com who has the lowest bike prices out there for the components equipped.
    I think this is actually at the SW corner of 75 & Parker.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  17. #17
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    I think this is actually at the SW corner of 75 & Parker.
    DOH, you're right. I get all those confused some times. I blame Lotek.

  18. #18
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k View Post
    DOH, you're right. I get all those confused some times. I blame Lotek.
    You're right. Lotek makes a good scapegoat. Carry on.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  19. #19
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    I am about 6' 260 and ride a Marin Argenta steel frame road bike with carbon fork, carbon seat stays and Tiagra group. I bought mine used on Ebay for about $425 about 4 years ago and haven't had any problems with it at all (knocking furiously on wood). I ride on about 120 psi in my tires which is more than most normal sized riders would want for a comfortable ride, but being heavier, it helps keep from getting pinch flats if I hit a sharp edged pothole or bump. As a new rider, you won't notice the difference between 105 and Tiagra. Once you ride for a few years and decide to upgrade then you can get a better component set if you are unhappy with the Tiagra.

  20. #20
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    went and looked at the bike i was talking about earlier.... NOT carbon fork, it was just a good price on the entry level newest by fuji. decent level was $660 or something.

  21. #21
    It's just bikes...
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    If I'm not mistaken, those at least have a steel (Chromo) fork. Plenty of guys still ride steel forks. If it's in your price range and it make the difference between getting a bike and not, I may not be so quick to dismiss it. You can always swap the fork out later if money comes along.

  22. #22
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    Welcome! I would advise also that you should set your budget and then get the most bang for your buck. I don't know how everyone else here feels but a lot of price is determined by the name on the downtube much like the name on the tennis shoes. If it says Jordan on shoes they are 100 bucks more... I am a bigger guy weighing in at a whopping 240 at 6'0" which I am working on getting down lower but I ride a full carbon fiber. In interest of full disclosure I haven't put too many miles on the bike yet but it rides just fine. Find the best bike that you can for your money and you won't notice components much as a newer rider. I got a deal on craigslist like mentioned above from a guy that rode the bike 64.9 miles and I paid about half price for it. Good luck with finding a great bike and get on the road as soon as you can.

  23. #23
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    I checked out Cycle Spectrum. Gotta agree it looks like a retail store front for Bikes Direct. If you ask Bike Island if you can do a local pick up off of one of their evilbay auctions, it's where they direct you as well.

    It looks like for $499 + tax you can be out of the door with an aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork and a Tiagra/Sora mix component group in either a road bike or a cyclocross. Here's the killer part, if you buy one of their bikes, it's free service (tune ups) forever. You have to figure that's just adjustments, but what a deal.

    If 105 is more what you want, add about $200. It's not a full 105 dress out, however, in that you are mixing Sora and 105.

    I'm 5'11" and currently about 245 (hey, I started at 272). The guys working there were more than happy to spend as much time as I wanted to answer every question I had.

    The brand choices are Dawes, Motobecane, Fugi, and Bottechia. If you think you want to drop more pesos than $499 they can take about as much of your money as you might want to spend on a full Ultegra, Campy, or Dura-Race equipped bike as well. There are some choices under $499 with steel forks and a slightly lower comp group.

    Heck, if the name on the down tube isn't a big deal to you, this is about the best bang for the buck in a new bike with decent components that I have found. Being a bit of a vintage buff, I could see repainting a modern moto in traditional colors from the 70's and going with reproduction decals. A bit over the top, but the decals are the only thing I rate as less than positive. They're somewhat large, but so is everyone else's these days.

  24. #24
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
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    My Fantom Cross is from cycle spectrum it's got 7,000+ miles on it and still holding strong though I notice the free service for life is a good deal if you are patient. The few times I have taken it to the shop it was a 3-6 day wait for repairs or tune ups at least that was the case for me, I would imagine they probably stay pretty backed up in repairs and tune ups since there is no charge.

  25. #25
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    I'd go to Plano Cycle and Fitness and tell them what you are looking for. They have used bikes there. Granted the selection is small, but they will answer any questions that you have. I'd have them fit-test you so you know what sized bike you need. You could also probably get a lower end Specialized in that price range.

    I bought my bike last year from them and I went to several bike shops in town and Plano Cycle and Fitness was more willing to answer any question, let me ride what ever bike I wanted, give me pointers and what ever else it took to make the sell. They were very professional and helpful. I highly recommend them. The service afterwards is great as well. Actually I just took my mike in today for my "30-Day" free adjustment and even though it's been 6 months they had no issues and even replaced my cables becuase they felt they were too short......free of charge.....

    Hope this helps...

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