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Good entry-level road bike?

Old 07-22-18, 09:24 AM
  #1  
dcr
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Good entry-level road bike?

My wife has a clunky but functional commuter bike, but would like a road bike so we can do some country biking ranging from 10-40 miles. It does not have to be new. Our budget is around $1000. The riding would be primarily on Wisconsin rural asphalt roads with an occasional limestone trails. She has never had a road bike. Suggestions?
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Old 07-22-18, 09:55 AM
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Narrow the brands shown on the internet by walking into a proper bike shop and taking some test rides..

1st pick your favorite shop.. Madison having several, eh?


the better brands* all have competitively priced products at various price points .

TW has the production efficiency , and quality , that has dominated the industry, now..

With multi brand making OEM manufacturing companies ..




...
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Old 07-22-18, 11:56 AM
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A lot of people say "Pick the shop."

I think not. If the hop is worth anything they will work on whatever bike you bring them .... otherwise, forget them.

Most shops, I hear, don't make a lot of money on sales unless you buy the $15K window model. They make the money on accessories and repairs.

Go online and see what's out there. learn about what the different group sets are etc. You don't specify how much you know .... but you seem to be on top of stuff .... so .... if you shop around you should be able to get a 105-equipped bike for that money. I'd buy new because someone who is iffy about cycling doesn't need the depression of a bike failure.

All you need to do is look for bikes with good tire clearance.

I looked at the Fuji Yari line and really liked the bikes .... and if you wait for a triple-points weekend you can get $300 worth of free merchandise ....

As far as it goes .... at any given price point, every major manufacturer has about an equivalent bike. Some of the smaller names have either more cachet at higher price, or less cachet and lower prices (like Fuji) but ... as far as I can tell the bikes are all about the same.

Pick the parts level you want, and then decide based on the paint and graphics .... or look for bargains. Like I said, if it were me, I;'d buy a Yari .... but not because ti was better than a Synapse or something ... just because it was as good and a little cheaper.

Whoops---EDIT: For some reason I thought she would be primarily on gravel, but it looks like you would be primarily on asphalt. look at the Fuji Sportif. I got one ... it will probably take 32 or 35 tires, and with my $300 free merchandise I could have gotten a set of back-up wheels so i could swap from 28 slicks for pavement and 35 knobs for gravel. (I did, but not with my free $300.)

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Old 07-22-18, 01:09 PM
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Specialized Dolce. My wife has one, loves it.
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Old 07-23-18, 06:12 AM
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The Dolce bikes look great! The problem is that the shops that sell them appear to be exclusively on the West Coast. Still, we'll look into it, being the test ride is important. The Fuji also looks great and is more accessible. The search has just begun! Thanks for your responses!
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Old 07-23-18, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by dcr View Post
The Dolce bikes look great! The problem is that the shops that sell them appear to be exclusively on the West Coast. Still, we'll look into it, being the test ride is important. The Fuji also looks great and is more accessible. The search has just begun! Thanks for your responses!
Erik's Bike Shop is primarily a Specialized dealer, which you have 3 of in Madison.
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Old 07-23-18, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by dcr View Post
My wife has a clunky but functional commuter bike, but would like a road bike so we can do some country biking ranging from 10-40 miles. It does not have to be new. Our budget is around $1000. The riding would be primarily on Wisconsin rural asphalt roads with an occasional limestone trails. She has never had a road bike. Suggestions?
$1,000 is a reasonable budget, and any good shop should have, or be able to get what you are looking for. The major brands compete with similar, but not identical products. Shop around and go with what speaks to you. At this price range, at a minimum, you should be looking for 2 x 9 speed Sora drivetrain, aluminum or steel frame, and carbon fork. You might find a bike with mechanical disc brakes, but if the bike you choose doesn't have them, no big deal. Other things to consider. Clearance for at least 28 mm tires for those rides on crushed limestone. And braze ons to mount fenders and a rack, should you want to use the bike for light touring, or commuting.
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Old 07-23-18, 07:44 AM
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Trek have a great line of woman road bikes.
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Old 07-23-18, 08:13 AM
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I've been riding a Giant Contend 1 for the last 2 months and it's great. Looking at the Liv site, the Avail 1 looks to be basically the same at $880. You'd have enough in the budget for some accessories and a lifetime tuneup package if your shop offers it.
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Old 07-23-18, 11:58 AM
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Trek Domane AL2 Women's. $799
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Old 07-23-18, 12:23 PM
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Madison should also have a decent selection of used bikes on Craigslist: https://madison.craigslist.org/bik/d...650490999.html

However, if you're new to bikes then a) figuring out the proper size and b) learning to separate the decent quality bikes from the absolute junk is kind of overwhelming.
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Old 07-23-18, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dcr View Post
My wife has a clunky but functional commuter bike, but would like a road bike so we can do some country biking ranging from 10-40 miles. It does not have to be new. Our budget is around $1000. The riding would be primarily on Wisconsin rural asphalt roads with an occasional limestone trails. She has never had a road bike. Suggestions?
A budget road bike that I find impressive is the Jamis Ventura series. The Ventura Sport Femme is similar in components to the Specialized Dolce but about $150 less. If you check the dealer list, there are several dealers around Madison. There's nothing wrong with the Specialized Dolce but the Ventura is a bit better deal. It would also be a good idea to check out the other Jamis bikes. Their prices are very competitive.
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Old 07-23-18, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
A budget road bike that I find impressive is the Jamis Ventura series. The Ventura Sport Femme is similar in components to the Specialized Dolce but about $150 less. If you check the dealer list, there are several dealers around Madison. There's nothing wrong with the Specialized Dolce but the Ventura is a bit better deal. It would also be a good idea to check out the other Jamis bikes. Their prices are very competitive.
My wife's best friend has that bike, from about 8 or 10 years ago. and my wife rides the Satellite, now known as the Quest, which is a similar bike, except it has a steel frame. Either is a solid choice.
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Old 07-23-18, 04:20 PM
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If you can, please consider adding crosstop/inline levers. I had them installed on my first road bike and they did wonders for my confidence on the bike because I had easily accessible brakes in a position I was accustomed to. Plus, if she has a small hands like me she'll definitely be using them (I couldn't make a full stop from the hoods of my Shimano levers to save my life, SRAM fits a lot better).

LIV bikes (Giant's female specific brands) has road bikes that come with inline levers, but they're not expensive to add to a bike.
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Old 07-23-18, 10:20 PM
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It would be a bit of a hike for you, but we have a Specialized dealer in La Crosse run by a younger local cyclist - I bet he could hook you up!

I'm sure you have a ton of Trek dealers around (since it's Wisconsin, after all.) There are several entry-level versions of the Domane - and while the riders I know have the carbonmonster versions, they tend to appreciate the ability to fit wider tires (important if you want to ride the state trails).
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Old 07-24-18, 12:44 AM
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Then please take a look at this article, suitable for women, is an entry-level road bike.
https://icancycling.com/blogs/reviews/review-of-carbon-road-bike-taurus
It can be your alternative.
I have an upgraded version of this one.
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Old 07-25-18, 04:52 PM
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If your budget is $1000 and it doesn't have to be new, you can get a significantly better than "entry-level" bike on Craigslist.

Otherwise I would say a Fuji from Performance, or maybe a Giant.
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Old 07-25-18, 06:55 PM
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Unless you like to work on bikes and are good at it, or are really close friends with a mechanic and don't mind not riding, buy new.

People who know what to look for are taking a good chance when they buy used .... as the bike knowledge and experience goes down, the chances for getting burnt go up. Some stuff no one can see .... some stuff folks don't look for, some stuff people don't think of until too late. Unless you Really know how to thoroughly go over a bike .... Or unless you come across garage treasure .... a bike a dentists bought three years ago he is now selling for 1/3 its value because he never rode it and it still has the sales sticker on it .... You can get plenty of bike for $1000 and know that it is brand new and will last for years and years with the most minor maintenance.

I have bought awesome used bikes for good prices .... but hey, gambling sometimes pays off. Your choice.
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Old 07-25-18, 07:58 PM
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So many choices in Madison!

Budget Bicycle Center
Machinery Row Bicycles
Motorless Motion
Fitchburg Cycles
Erik's (as noted earlier)
Revolution Cycles (mainly Surly's)
REI (their Co-Op brand)
and of course Trek specific dealers

All are great places. Budget has a HUGE selection.

You can also check out two of the local Coops, Freewheel Bikes and Dream Bikes, for used bikes. Freewheel has a pretty large selection. The guys there are knowledgable but a little too hipster. The location isn't that great and its a little ratty inside which might be a turn off. Dream Bikes didn't have as large a selection (at least last time I was there, which has been quite a while ago) but much nicer facilities and less hipster.
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Old 07-25-18, 08:11 PM
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Depending on what size she needs:

https://madison.craigslist.org/bik/d...627045646.html

https://madison.craigslist.org/bik/d...647092660.html

https://madison.craigslist.org/bik/d...642555124.html

The Specialized Dolce is nice..my girlfriend rented one for a day. She ended up with a Bianchi Impulso Dama..very nice ride, beautiful bike, she loves it. Eric's carries Specialized and Bianchi.
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Old 07-26-18, 09:54 AM
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Good suggestions above. My own preference for a general purpose bike is one that has enough space between the forks and chain stays for about 32mm tires. Bigger tires provide a softer ride and are more forgiving of potholes and debris on the road. Such a bike will be versatile, probably accommodating fenders for wetter rides and a rear rack for hauling groceries and other errands around town. The more versatile the bike, the more often it will be used.
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Old 07-26-18, 11:11 AM
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https://www.randombikeparts.com/coll...no-105-11s-new

Clears 38c
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Old 07-26-18, 11:32 AM
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A Marin Nicasio would be one of the first road bikes I'd try out for sub-$1k, and have change left over for pedals, saddle, bags, etc, while still staying below $1k. A Toughroad GLX 3 or a Salsa Journeyman if you want to spend closer to the full $1k for just the bike. Or if you have a used bike shop with a good reputation, something they have that fits. Marin Four corners gets just above your price, but they're nice and come in 700c or 650b.
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Old 07-26-18, 03:32 PM
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THERE IS NO SUCHH THING AS ENTRY LEVEL. . it just a nice way to say your bike sucks . the best road bikes to start on would be a customized or upgraded late 80s early 90s road bike , 700 c wheels with of course continental gp 4000 s ii tires . a 7 to 10 speed drive train id say sram rival or shimano 105 maybe upgrade the cranks to a used sram red or shimano dura ace , i would come in under 500 bucks . just try to get a standard frame english is the easiest . or go a modern used aluminum with a style head set fir under 800 . 1000 is way to much unless you have to have a new bike from a shop which usualy will limit your choices and you will get a crap bike with a warranty..
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Old 07-26-18, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
A budget road bike that I find impressive is the Jamis Ventura series. The Ventura Sport Femme is similar in components to the Specialized Dolce but about $150 less. If you check the dealer list, there are several dealers around Madison. There's nothing wrong with the Specialized Dolce but the Ventura is a bit better deal. It would also be a good idea to check out the other Jamis bikes. Their prices are very competitive.
I've never ridden one, but that looks like a good entry level road bike with a very reasonable price tag. I'd be happy with it and never look back.
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