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First bike, $1200 too much?

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First bike, $1200 too much?

Old 05-31-08, 03:33 PM
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Griff805
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First bike, $1200 too much?

Hey guys-

Started commuting to work on my Magna mountain bike (Target). It's an 11 mile round trip M-F sometimes Saturday. It's been awesome riding to work and back, really does relax you before you get there and before you get home. However, my bike ofcourse, just doesn't seem like it's going to last very long before it falls apart on me.

I already put some cheap nashbar slicks on it to try to speed it up a bit. It has dual suspension. So, the thing is a pretty heavy, but I can seem to get going very fast on the thing other than downhill (in florida..). Then when I do get going pretty fast, things start squeaking, torquing, rattling, and then I slow down cause I just don't feel very safe. I'm 6'-2" 215lbs, so that can't be a good combo either.

I have never bought a "real" bike before, as my only experience has been walmart, target bikes. So, i've been reading a bit on these forums and am really set on getting a new Bike that will last me for a while.

All this to get your opinion on: Is getting a Cannondale Synapse Sport 5 for 1299.99 at a LBS too much for a first bike? Should I just get a cheaper Road bike till I figure out what I want? Does "idiot" come to mind when you think about my situation and buying a bike like that? (Opinions about the specific bike itself aside)

Give me your opinions-
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Old 05-31-08, 03:47 PM
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Too much? As in, "Is the LBS skyrocketing the price of the bike when it actually costs $300.00?" Too much?

If you like the bike, if the bike fits you, and if you can afford the bike, get the bike. I doubt that you're going to be unhappy with a $1300.00 bike.

I wouldn't pay any attention to the adage that says... " A fool and his money are soon parted."
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Old 05-31-08, 03:55 PM
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I think it is.
Look on Craigslist etc. for an "upgrade", similar to what you think you want and ride it a month or 2. You may or may not change your mind.
At least you would confirm your choice. You could then sell that bike for about what you paid for it, or keep it for a back up.
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Old 05-31-08, 03:57 PM
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Might be worth fooling around with some Craigslisted beaters so you can better define what you want to do on a bicycle. That said, in the early '80s I paid what was then a huge sum ($900) for a Trek racing bike, which I did use for racing until the tubes couldn't be bent back anymore. I never regretted the purchase.
 
Old 05-31-08, 04:14 PM
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I always advocate buying used.

I'd like to stress that used doesn't necessarily mean POS. For instance, $1200 on ebay would get you a bike that sold for $2500+ new. Even better is that in a year you could still sell the bike for $1200.

I'm not saying you should spend that much, just using it as an example. When I first got back into riding I went through at least six sub-$1K bikes from ebay. I didn't lose a dime on any of them when they sold - even considering paypal and shipping costs. I learned a great deal about what type of bikes I enjoyed riding.

Had I tried to do the same with new bikes, I'd either have lost $3000 in the process, or been unwilling to take the depreciation hit, still been riding the first bike and not learned anything in the process.

You don't necessarily have to know a lot about bikes... just watch ebay regularly to get an idea of what bikes are selling for. You'll eventually be able to spot the good deals when they come along. Focus on a range of bikes instead of zeroing in on the "one" you think you want, and you'll find it. If it doesn't work out... move on to the next one.
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Old 05-31-08, 04:34 PM
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As the old cycling adage goes...

"'Tis a frugal crew that man the Commuting forum" - Oris Paxton Van Sweringen 1879-1936

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Old 05-31-08, 04:41 PM
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I just bought my first non-walmart bike a week ago, i got a Trek 7100 for near $400 broke the bank on it and now am eating ramen noodles till payday but i love it and it was the absolute max i could afford. Everyone i know says that i invested too much into my first bike, i am very happy with it and it makes me want to ride more and more. So i guess my point is if a $1300 bike is in your price range, and you have done the research, and its the one you want then go for it, whatever bike you buy needs to be the one that makes you want to ride it. I only wish i could have dropped more money into my first one.
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Old 05-31-08, 04:50 PM
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I think $1200 is a good price point.

But the bike you are looking at isn't really a commuter. Doesn't look like it has eyelets for a rack. You were complaining about things breaking. Commuting and touring put a lot of wear and tear on a bike.

Take some time. Learn what different kinds of bikes there are. Test ride a few.
Then start shopping....

I think the Surly LHT Complete would be perfect for you; and it is well within your budget.

http://www.surlybikes.com/lht_comp.html
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Old 05-31-08, 05:03 PM
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In a word, YES!! You could spend half that amount and get any of a number of good bikes, like the Kona Smoke/Dew, Giant FCR/TranSend, Trek FX, Jamis Coda... I could keep going, but I think I've made my point. If I had the $1300 to spend on a bike, I still wouldn't spend it on one bike. Remember that the Thieving Trolls could pay you a visit, or some cager could decide that it would be *cool* to have a new hood ornament that amazingly enough looks just like your new ride.
Seriously, I wouldn't feel comfortable riding around on that much $$ unless I had my own SEAL team surrounding me w/ a couple of Apache's flying cover...
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Old 05-31-08, 05:30 PM
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Well, I'd absolutely love to commute on a bike that's waaaaay more expensive than $1200:


http://www.dahon.com/us/muxxv.htm

and I'd be more than satisfied with either of these two, which are within your price range...


http://www.dahon.com/us/musl.htm


http://www.dahon.com/us/curvesl.htm

Point is, as long as the bike suits the purpose you want it to do, you should get the best you can afford.
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Old 05-31-08, 05:47 PM
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Get a $1200 bike in a year. Right now, it's almost guaranteed that you'll buy the "wrong" bike. Not that the bike in question isn't nice - it looks like a good ride. But I'd get a used road bike and ride that for a while until you know what you do/don't like about it, and make a better choice.
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Old 05-31-08, 05:47 PM
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Well, the Synapse Sport 5 I believe does have eyelets for mounting racks and fenders, I'll confirm when I goto the LBS for a test ride. I am pretty set on a road bike that I can use for commuting. I understand i'll have some repair costs over time, but it just seems like the bike i'm on now is falling apart at an alarming rate.

I know that I want the road bike handlebars (Dropped?) for the more aggressive position. I'm trying to be open to different brand bikes, but for some reason Cannondale's just really appeal to me. I would really like to get a bike made in America.

no1mad - I understand where you're coming from, but if God allows me to purchase a bike like that, and then decides to take it away- Well, so be it, it's his bike anyway. I'll just tie my shoes, and move on-

My main concern I guess, is if the fit and finish on a $1300 Road bike vs. an $800 road bike is noticeable. From what I've been reading, the Shimano 105 group is the best you would need if you're not using the bike for racing. So, if there's a Road bike out there, that fits the bill better, let me know-
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Old 05-31-08, 06:09 PM
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I feel there will be plenty of great bargains out there after the first timers, rebate check spenders and fad commuters decide to sell their new bikes to buy more gas.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:19 PM
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Let's see... $1300 bike... $60 tank of gas... that's umm... umm.... 22 tanks of gas. Your bike will pay for itself in a year.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:44 PM
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Simply put, it's not too much if you can afford it.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Seriously, I wouldn't feel comfortable riding around on that much $$ unless I had my own SEAL team surrounding me w/ a couple of Apache's flying cover...

But, SEAL's would probably have a PAVLO or AH-1W Cobra flying cover

Back on topic....

I wanted a Surly Long Haul Trucker (LHT)..... I bought a USED TREK 750 Mulit-Track. The Surly is $1200(ish) and the Trek was $125! A bit of a difference.... the TREK is about 13yrs old, but was well maintained. Since I didnt have to go into debt to buy my bike (I had to do that on a new-used van last month) I have the ability to upgrade the TREK with things I want like a Treking bar (and can probably toss on a LHT when I can afford one).

You have made a HUGE shift by riding your bike. Yes, you want a good ($1200 would be GREAT) bike to spend alot of time on. Don't make a mistake by dropping that kind of coin on a bike and not being sure its what you REALY want......

OK... Enough of the Parent Crap.... GO BUY THE BIKE!
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Old 05-31-08, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Griff805 View Post
....My main concern I guess, is if the fit and finish on a $1300 Road bike vs. an $800 road bike is noticeable....-
Going from a walmart MTB to an $800 road bike will be a very noticeable difference in itself....it all depends on your budget and how serious you think you are going to get into the sport. The higher the price you pay the more you value biking, you have to ask yourself if its really worth the extra $400? Since you are asking us it seems you arent certain and i would just say to give it some time before you make your choice, i spent about three weeks researching which bike i wanted, and my budget was less then half yours. If a week or two from now you still think you want the $1300 one then by all means get that one.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Griff805 View Post
All this to get your opinion on: Is getting a Cannondale Synapse Sport 5 for 1299.99 at a LBS too much for a first bike? Should I just get a cheaper Road bike till I figure out what I want? Does "idiot" come to mind when you think about my situation and buying a bike like that? (Opinions about the specific bike itself aside)

Give me your opinions-
No, idiot does NOT come to mind; I would say "idiot" if you told that story and then expressed how much your Magna was worth to you over any 'overpriced LBS bike'. But, you didn't.

My suggestion? a Redline Conquest. ~$800, a 'cross bike, so it'll be a little sturdier while mimicking the roadie ride. More versatile, too.
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Old 05-31-08, 07:00 PM
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If you don't know if it is too much, then it is too much. Get a cheap, used road bike and when you know more about what you like or want, buy a good bike.
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Old 05-31-08, 07:35 PM
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If you did your research and that is the bike you want, $1200 is more than reasonable. There's a saying, "only a fool pays twice." Buying a so so bike and dinking around with upgrades, you'll end up spending more and still not have what you wanted. Get it right the first time and you'll never regret it. Just make sure it's THE ONE for you. This is advice from someone who has spent loads on bike stuff for years. Now, whenever I buy a complete bike, I wait until I come across one with >95% all the parts I will ultimately want on it and fits my needs 100%.
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Old 05-31-08, 07:39 PM
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The difference between a $1300 bike and an $800 bike is not like night and day.

The difference between an $800 bike and a $300 bike is like night and day.

IMO the Tiagra/Deore-105/LX range is the sweet spot for value in Shimano's lineup. These are good quality, durable components. Below that the components are cheaper and designed for weekend riders. Above that you are getting into diminishing returns.

Test ride a bunch of bikes before you buy anything.
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Old 05-31-08, 07:51 PM
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Wow- Figures there'd be this much variety in opinions. I appreciate all the responses so far. Obviously the bike will pay for itself within the year in Gas and extra costs associated with driving. I think my options are going to be either:

1. Find a really good deal on an older used Road Bike ~300 or less.
2. Go ahead and buy the one that I want- after some test rides at the LBS of course.

I don't really believe in getting the halfway ~800 dollar bike. That's like buying a Mustang without getting the V8. It works for some people, but I don't work that way.

I'm going to give it a few weeks - more time to convince the wife - and I like the rule of: If you want to buy something small (Less than $100) think about it for 3 days and see if you still want it. If you want to buy something big (More than $100) think about it for 3 weeks and see if you still want it.

I've still got another week before that times comes. So thanks for all your responses, there's obviously different perspectives on Finances and Priorities here. I'm still open for suggestions ofcourse.

Proverbs 12:15 - "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel."
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Old 05-31-08, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fit24hrs View Post
If you did your research and that is the bike you want, $1200 is more than reasonable. There's a saying, "only a fool pays twice." Buying a so so bike and dinking around with upgrades, you'll end up spending more and still not have what you wanted. Get it right the first time and you'll never regret it. Just make sure it's THE ONE for you. This is advice from someone who has spent loads on bike stuff for years. Now, whenever I buy a complete bike, I wait until I come across one with >95% all the parts I will ultimately want on it and fits my needs 100%.
+1

in fact, until i found the salsa line (la cruz, casseroll, chili con crosso) i was convined i wasn't going to find most/everything i wanted in a complete bike, and i was totally intimidated by spending what it would cost to build out a frame to spec.

if you're in love, you're in love -- $1200 is completely reasonable if you can afford it; way too expensive if you can't.
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Old 05-31-08, 08:01 PM
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[ I know that I want the road bike handlebars (Dropped?) for the more aggressive position. I'm trying to be open to different brand bikes, but for some reason Cannondale's just really appeal to me. I would really like to get a bike made in America.

I've heard that C'dale has/had off-shored their production starting with '07 or '08. You might want to double check.

My main concern I guess, is if the fit and finish on a $1300 Road bike vs. an $800 road bike is noticeable. From what I've been reading, the Shimano 105 group is the best you would need if you're not using the bike for racing. So, if there's a Road bike out there, that fits the bill better, let me know-[/QUOTE]

You'd know the difference between your dept. store fs mtb and a $600 road bike. But you probably couldn't tell the difference between 105 and Tiagra.
You want a commuter with drop bars? Then I think you would be better served shopping for either a cyclocross or touring bike. Drop bars+ability to take wider tires=a greater chance of riding year around.
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Old 05-31-08, 08:05 PM
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I just bought a Surly Cross Check for a little less than that, and I love it. It was my first non wallmart bike. It is just so much FUN.

That said, I think I almost wish I had bought $800-900 new bike
plus a $100-200 bike off of craigslist. This would give me a beater (in case I wanted to go somewhere where I had to lock up outside) that was still way better than my Huffy, and a new bike that would still be lightyears better than what I was used to.
I definitely am not comfortable locking up my Cross Check outside unless I can see it from wherever I am, and my Huffy feels like it could it could fall apart at any moment. It'd be nice to have a beater that I could rely on.
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