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Beginner seeking advice on purchase of a road bike

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Beginner seeking advice on purchase of a road bike

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Old 09-22-08, 02:25 PM
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phantyk
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Beginner seeking advice on purchase of a road bike

Hello all, I am new here and am hoping some of you can give me some information. (if information regarding this subject has been posted before and I missed it feel free to just point me in that direction rather than retyping it all)

I am a college student who bikes every day to class. currently I am using an older mountain bike, but I would like to venture into the realm of road bikes. My existing bike, although still good, is heavy and starting to show its age.

What I am looking for is a road bike which is preferably less than 500 dollars. I realize this is quite low for many road bikes, but due to my status as a student I can not easily spend more than that. Another factor in seeking a lower cost road bike is the possibility of it being stolen. I really doubt that would happen though as my campus is quite safe (LSU, if anyone was wondering) and I see expensive bikes locked up all over the place. Also, I would be able to lock it up in my apartment so it would only be out of my sight for only a couple hours each day.

I researched some at amazon and found some lower cost bikes, but due to my inexperience I am unsure what to make of them. Here is one I was looking at:

http://www.amazon.com/GMC-Yukon-Road...2059548&sr=1-1

Would this be a moderately good bike for the price? Are there others that are better economically? What main aspects should I look at in bike shopping? Are there any particular sites (other than this one) which could assist in this decision?

Also, in regards to what size of a road bike I should use do I need to be fitted by a bike shop or can I figure it out myself? Is there any charge for being fitted?

In addition to acquiring a new bike for conveyance I also want a road bike just because of how much I enjoy biking. I find biking is not only good exercise but quite fun as well. When at my home away from school I live in the country and I would love to be able to pull out my bike and ride long distance without the weight and sluggishness of my current mountain bike...

Hopefully this makes sense, I just had a long day of classes. Sorry for the barrage of questions!
Thanks for any replies,
CW

Edit: forgot to put height/weight, I figured it would affect the fitting. 5'8" 125lbs

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Old 09-22-08, 02:31 PM
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I am very new to road biking, and got my first bike a couple of weeks ago. I did lots of research before I made a purchase, and learned that buying a used bike with quality parts is possibly the best bang for your buck <$500. I got myself a used Mongoose Morzine Pro for $350, and its doing great. I even had a little left over for helmet, cycling shorts, and a couple other accessories. You might want to try looking for a used Trek, Giant, or cannondale..If your lucky you'll find one in your price range. Try craigslist and used bikes at your local bike store.
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Old 09-22-08, 03:06 PM
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I have tried looking on classifieds but only found one site with any which was craigslist. Craigslist only has about 1-2 new listings every day as far as I can see with either a 1000+$ bike or a kids bike... so I have been unlucky in that regard so far. Looking for used bikes in a bike shop is a good idea though, I hadn't thought of that. I have a bike shop very near my school I can check at.

Thanks!
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Old 09-22-08, 04:03 PM
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yes, definately check out all the LBS around you. That is where I found my bike at, and they also had a Giant my size for $700, but I didn't want to spend that much for a first bike.
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Old 09-22-08, 10:23 PM
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Several options are available to you. If you have some time to do some research online you should look at the various bike manufacturers websites. I.E. Cannondale, Specialized, Giant, Trek, just to name a few. This will allow you to see all the different options you may or may not want on a bike. For $500 you can get a very nice bike, although I'm not certain you can get a road bike. In researching a bike for myself, I have found road bikes to be more expensive than other types of bikes. One option you have is looking into what are known as fitness bikes or flatbar road bikes. Here are several examples of such bikes:

Giant: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...ad/2268/32201/
Cannondale: http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/09/cusa/model-9QR3.html
Specialized: http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...=38462&eid=121
Trek: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/72fx/

All the above bikes are pretty much road bikes with flatbar handlebars. I do not have any of these bikes, but I have ridden several of them. They can be very fast. Trek by far appears to have the most choice in this catagory with 11 bikes in their FX line ranging from $439.99 all the way up to $2750.00

Other places to look are ebay, craigslist (don't forget to on classified ads surrounding your area too), and your LBS. Also on the bike companies websites use the dealer locators to try to locate bike dealers by entering your zipcode. You may be surprised as to how many are actually near you. One other thing to do is put a particular bike name, I.E. Cannondale Quick, into Google and see what comes up. You may find a one off listing for a bike someone is selling cheap.

I think you will be happy you invested time in researching these bikes. You will end up with a bike that is durable, and light which you can later take back to the shop and upgrade, update, reapair, or tradein. Let us hear what happens.

Sergio.

P.S. Don't forget.... as we are writing and reading the bike companies are sending out their new 2009 bikes. So if you go to a bike shop you may be able to get a good deal on a brand new left over 2008 model. Look in to it.
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Old 09-22-08, 10:31 PM
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By the way. Your LBS will usually NOT charge you to fit you for the bike. Nor do they usually charge you to assemble the bike.
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Old 09-23-08, 12:06 AM
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You may be able to get a leftover '08 entry level bike like the Raliegh Sport in your price range, but it will be tough. Keep watching craigslist otherwise. You'll be looking for a medium frame or 54cm or so depending on how stretched out you prefer to be. Go test ride some new bikes just to get a feel for sizing even if you end up shopping for a used one. If you know how to work on the bike yourself, you can shop Bikesdirect, but I wouldn't recomend the Denali you linked to.
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Old 09-23-08, 04:29 PM
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Excellent, thanks Sergioa and c_m_shooter. It appears my next move is to check into my LBS. I hadn't thought about flatbar bikes and I might look into those, however I have some strange attraction to the curved handlebars of a road bike that I might not be able to pass up. Also, that bike I linked wasn't the denali from amazon, but perhaps a close relation or made by the same company. I was just wondering why you called it the denali.
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Old 09-23-08, 11:31 PM
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http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...turasport.html
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Old 09-24-08, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mesoc View Post
I am very new to road biking, and got my first bike a couple of weeks ago. I did lots of research before I made a purchase, and learned that buying a used bike with quality parts is possibly the best bang for your buck <$500.
+1.... I admit I got one helluva bargain (i.e. atypical) but for the record, I got a 2001 Devinci Caribou (technically a touring bike) with 2 panniers, a front & back rack, fenders... for $375 total. Okay, so after 1000k I already need a new cassette, chain, and one of the chainrings could also use being replaced, and I had to put new pedals on it too, but that's still a great deal on what was a $2000 bike when new (plus the added value of the fenders, racks, & panniers).

Still, if you are patient you can get a great bike for a good price on Craigslist, Kijiji, or similar....
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Old 09-24-08, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by phantyk View Post
I have tried looking on classifieds but only found one site with any which was craigslist. Craigslist only has about 1-2 new listings every day as far as I can see with either a 1000+$ bike or a kids bike... so I have been unlucky in that regard so far. Looking for used bikes in a bike shop is a good idea though, I hadn't thought of that.
You may even have a LBS that specializes in used bikes... I know Toronto has one... Of course you'd pay more than person-person purchase, but on the plus side, you should expect that the used bikes at the LBS would be tuned and cleaned, and if there is a problem they don't disclose then you have some recourse (which, if you buy on craigslist it's 'buyer beware' status.)
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Old 09-25-08, 04:52 PM
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Thanks for all the good replies guys. A couple more questions. How durable are road bikes? I know I can't randomly go over stuff like with my current bike, but how gentle do you have to be? I saw a college kid today at school ride off a curb onto the road, which I thought could possibly damage the wheel integrity on a road bike, or is that ok?

In regards to Joe: That bike looks pretty nice. Anyone else have any comments in regards to the bike he posted which was around 500$ ( http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...turasport.html )?

In regards to Caribou: I'll probably look into finding a LBS with used bikes as one of my options. Craigslist is still quite barren (http://batonrouge.craigslist.org/bik/) as well. I have five tests coming up in the next week though, so I am stuck with checking the forums occasionally and no real searching at LBS etc.
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Old 09-25-08, 06:52 PM
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With Craigslist, you have to be patient. Check every day and be prepared to pounce when something appears. We're super happy with this bike that I got for my wife for $100. It took a month of waiting, but we live in a small town.
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Old 09-26-08, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by phantyk View Post
Thanks for all the good replies guys. A couple more questions. How durable are road bikes? I know I can't randomly go over stuff like with my current bike, but how gentle do you have to be? I saw a college kid today at school ride off a curb onto the road, which I thought could possibly damage the wheel integrity on a road bike, or is that ok?

In regards to Joe: That bike looks pretty nice. Anyone else have any comments in regards to the bike he posted which was around 500$ ( http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...turasport.html )?
I ride my Jamis on the Old Lincoln Highway near my house for a 1/2 mile stretch and it is a bone jarring brick road to begin most of my long rides. My rims and tires will go out long before the frame does. The Ventura Sport has been awesome for me so far. Comparable Trek bikes were almost twice as much. I picked up a left over 2007 model for $450.
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Old 09-28-08, 01:00 AM
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The biggest advantage of a strictly road bike over a "flat bar" bike is riding position. On a road bike it is assumed that you will be hunched over the seat to reach the bars. Whereas a "flat bar" bike you will be in a more up right position. You may find this more comfortable, especially if you are riding around campus going from building to building. The Jamis seems to be a good bike for the money and if you really want a road bike why not. It is better than having to build your own bike with poor quality components. Check the comments on Amazon.com. Also put both the GMC bike and the Jamis bike into Google and spend some time gooing through the results. You will get lots of comments left by current or previous owners of both bikes and you may even get some that are for sale on other boards other than craigslist. Keep us updated.

Sergio.
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Old 09-28-08, 01:53 AM
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http://neworleans.craigslist.org/bik/854217665.html
http://neworleans.craigslist.org/bik/852887850.html
http://neworleans.craigslist.org/bik/852180511.html
http://neworleans.craigslist.org/bik/851600447.html

All found on craigslist - New Orleans. I don't know how far New Orleans is from Baton Rouge. But maybe you can meet them halfway....
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Old 09-28-08, 01:59 AM
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http://lafayette.craigslist.org/bik/840276921.html

Here is one in Lafayette....
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Old 10-03-08, 10:35 PM
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From another thread, in this category, as posted by Garfield Cat.... I thought this may interest you. The bike seems to be very nice and relatively inexpensive.

If its fast you want, then skip the hybrid and go for the road bike. I sense a feeling that road bikes and comfort are not compatible. Some riders use a flipped stem and head tube spacers to bring the bars up.

The wheelsets for road bikes are more plentiful, if its speed you want.

The price range of $600.00 each will be a problem for road bikes. But at your ages, biking is more than just a sport, its practicing preventitive medicine.

If I had to get an entry level road bike, I would consider the Felt F-75. Try this review:

http://www.bikesportmichigan.com/rev...F75-2009.shtml
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