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Old 02-10-08, 08:10 PM   #1
byulax22
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Is it possible to get good road bike for <$400?

Hey, I'm new here, and am new to Triatholons as well. I am excited for my first event in April. In preparation, I've been looking for a decent, inexpensive road bike, but haven't found much luck in stores/ebay/Craig's list. Is it possible to find a good beginner's road bike for less than $400? I originally didn't think it would be this hard, but it has been. Any suggestions on brands to look at would be great.

Thanks,

Troy
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Old 02-10-08, 08:17 PM   #2
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I'll be the first to say: DO A SEARCH!

There was a thread identical to this already today.

I will, however, sum it up:
You will probably be getting used: there are many options available on ebay and craigslist if you look harder than you apparently have.
If you want new: bikesdirect.com basically your exclusive option. check it out, be self-sufficient. Please don't make us post links to specific things from BD.

good luck searching (yes, pun intended)
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Old 02-10-08, 08:51 PM   #3
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Possible? Maybe. Likely? Not really.
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Old 02-11-08, 08:30 PM   #4
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It can be done, but it will take a little time. The deals are out there, esp on the 'bay, but you better be ready to place that last bid at 3am if needed.

You could piece something together for about $500-600 relatively quickly with decent quality. I just finished the wife's bike with brand-new 10spd 105 for right around $600.
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Old 02-11-08, 08:52 PM   #5
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Yes. Do a search and read all posts by "the beef" this boy is a genius and will be philthy stinking rich some day. But until then, he has a way nicer bike than I do.

Good advice for people on a budget.
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Old 02-11-08, 09:19 PM   #6
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yes, but it gets dramatically easier if you go to $500 or $600, and it's brain dead simple around $700-$800.
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Old 02-11-08, 09:29 PM   #7
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The short answer is no. A longer answer depends on what your goals are. Is it to just finish? If so, you might find a bike for $400. If you want to be competitive and plan on putting more than minimal training miles in, the answer is no.

Biking is the only leg where spending money makes you faster. Aero bars adds speed. Aero wheels also makes you faster. But they cost money.

Also you can set yourself up for serious injuries by riding a bike that doesn't fit. That means searching for the proper size frame as well as components (stem, saddle, bars, etc.) that fit.

If you are riding more than 1500 - 2000 miles a yaer, regardless of your age, save up and spend money on a bike that suits you.
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Old 02-11-08, 10:53 PM   #8
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Even if you find a steal of a bike, you may find out later on that it needs repairs (bottom bracket, chain, cassette) or needs to be tweaked to fit you perfectly (different stem, bars, etc.) or that the wheels just cannot be trued to any level of acceptability anymore... the list goes on. These things add up in a huge hurry- to the point of equalling a new, much higher quality bike. Take it from me, I have been burned on a similar quest before.

That said, there are deals out there, but if it looks too good to be true- it usually is. Good luck.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:57 AM   #9
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See my sig. The roadie (soon to be tri convert) was put together for $350.

It can be done, but i got lucky.
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Old 02-27-08, 01:00 AM   #10
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I spent $300 on my first road bike on Craigslist. Took me about a month of searching everyday to find it. It came with 105 components, Tiagra shifters, SPD pedals, and a carbon fiber fork. First took it for a tune-up. $80. Then I needed to buy a new wheelset as the wheels that came with it just couldnt handle my weight. $100. Then it needed new tires, $40. Then I purchased aero-bars for it. $70 And now today I broke the chain but scored on a dura-ace chain for $25.00. So in total I have spent roughly $700 already on my bike. While a have definitely enjoyed my bike the last year or so I have had it, I easily could have gotten a newer and better bike for the money I have spent already. If you have more money to spend right now, go ahead. But if $400 is your absolute max budget keep looking on craigslist and ebay and be ready to spend a little to get it working in tip top shape. You don't need a full-carbon setup right off the bat. Find something to get started that has some quality components on it, but realize that just like a used car, its going to need some repairs every once in awhile.
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Old 02-27-08, 04:34 AM   #11
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It can be done pretty simply. Get an entry-level road bike with STI shifters; don't bother with anything that doesn't have 'em (STI shifters are the combined brake/gear levers, and they're a whole world of goodness). Put some cheap Profile aerobars on it (scrounge around, many triathletes have a spare set after they upgraded). Probably change the tyres for ones that don't suck and get a good pump while you're at it.

That's what I specced for a friend who wanted a "my first season" bike and was on a similar budget. She upgraded 18 months later, which is about what I'd expect to see as you get to know what improvements you want and how much you *really* want to spend. First bikes become bad-weather trainers and turbo-trainer bikes, they never die.

The entry-level stuff, a chunky alu frame, cheap wheels, a little Shimano Sora and a lot of no-name, is really remarkably good. Maybe I'm showing my age there.
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Old 02-27-08, 08:02 PM   #12
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Wow, thanks for all of responses guys, I appreciate the help. I hadn't checked this thread after the first person basically told me to take a hike because I hadn't done the proper search protocols (I had no idea this site had a search function). But all the other responses were very helpful.

Here is the deal I ended up finding. Did I do okay? After looking on Craigs List & eBay for the last few weeks, this seemed like the best option. Based on some internet searches of prices of these on other sites I think I got a good deal. Thoughts?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...EOIBSA:US:1123
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Old 02-27-08, 08:56 PM   #13
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Assuming its in the condition the seller says it is, and it fits you- I would say you did fantastic. Throw some cheap aerobars on there and ride it 'till its all wore out!

Read as much as you can about getting fit, there is a wealth of knowledge here:
http://www.slowtwitch.com/Bike_Fit/index.html

Good luck!
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Old 03-01-08, 08:16 AM   #14
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Thanks, I will probably take it to an LBS to have them help me get fit for the bike. I wonder how much they would charge to do this, as their time/expertise are definately worth something. Or maybe I'll have them do a full tuneup on it.
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Old 03-01-08, 10:24 PM   #15
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I just bought a complete, used 2001 Cervelo P2K for $400 (which even included aero bars, Profile Design bottle cages and a Specialized Turbo Pro cyclocomputer). I had to buy my own pedals, and I replaced the saddle, but other than that, it came ready to ride. I will get fitted soon at the LBS, which will cost approx. $125.

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