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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 09-18-17, 09:12 AM   #1
mtb_addict
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Entry Level Bike for Long Distance

My goal is to ride a century every weekend, for personal satisfaction.

Currently, I am riding a Pacific mtb, which I converted from a lowly Walmart bike to a pretty reliable road bicycle.
So I'm pretty resourceful.
But doing a century on it is really tough. Took me 12 hours.

I want a faster bike...so I can do it in less time (like 8 hours).
But I'd a bad experience with road bike...I had a cheap one many years ago, I recall feeling of vibration and harshness on the handlebar...and was generally very unpleasant to ride any distance.

Please save me hours and hours of reading threads, by telling me what bike should I buy, if my budget is $500. I rather go ride than spend all morning and afternoon reading old threads.

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Old 09-18-17, 09:31 AM   #2
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How about a used "cross" bike? If you take your $500 budget to Wal-Mart or Target, you'll just hate yourself later, and I will be justified in calling you a masochist.
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Old 09-18-17, 11:44 AM   #3
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$500? I started long-distance riding on a $500 road racing bike, it's a tougher price point than in the past but I think you could still find a good deal. I'd recommend looking at Raleigh or Diamondback, both companies have open corporate discounts and you can get a very reliable road bike for a little over $500 that will fit wider tires than what you most likely had before and be faster and more comfortable.

Clubman is $539.99
https://www.raleighusa.com/clubman-4165

Merit 2 is $497.99
https://www.raleighusa.com/merit-10089

You could also check out Performance Bike as they always have a few road bikes right around $500 that are pretty good and have good support from their retail stores if you need it.
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Old 09-18-17, 11:59 AM   #4
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80's sport touring bike. I have an 81 Trek 614 that I'm into for about three hundred bucks that would be perfect for an 8 hour century every weekend.
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Old 09-18-17, 02:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
My goal is to ride a century every weekend, for personal satisfaction.

Currently, I am riding a Pacific mtb, which I converted from a lowly Walmart bike to a pretty reliable road bicycle.
So I'm pretty resourceful.
But doing a century on it is really tough. Took me 12 hours.

I want a faster bike...so I can do it in less time (like 8 hours).
But I'd a bad experience with road bike...I had a cheap one many years ago, I recall feeling of vibration and harshness on the handlebar...and was generally very unpleasant to ride any distance.

Please save me hours and hours of reading threads, by telling me what bike should I buy, if my budget is $500. I rather go ride than spend all morning and afternoon reading old threads.
Congrats on the century, no matter how time it took. Was it 12 hours of riding or 12 hours with rest stops?

I second the recommendation for an 80's Trek if you can find one. You can usually get at least a 700X32 on them and some will take a 35. Good luck.
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Old 09-18-17, 03:10 PM   #6
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Maybe look for something with a steel frame that can accept 28mm or wider tires. Steel with 28mm+ tires will soak up most of that harshness and you'll still be able to hang with most of the roadie/club guys. You should be able to find a good used Trek or Raleigh, maybe even a Salsa Vaya or Colossal in that range. I can vouch for the Vaya and Colossal (with 28mm tires), they do a great job of soaking up the vibrations and bumps.
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Old 09-18-17, 03:13 PM   #7
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80's sport touring bike. I have an 81 Trek 614 that I'm into for about three hundred bucks that would be perfect for an 8 hour century every weekend.
+ 1, http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...g-bicycle.html
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Old 09-18-17, 06:51 PM   #8
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I did my first double on an 80s 12-speed used steel bike, ~$200. 16 hours in my 50s. New carbon bikes can be had for under $1000, which would be my choice. My fastest time on carbon for a double was 12 hours in my 60s. I never kept track of century times. Yes, a road bike will be a little rougher feeling than an MTB but believe me, you won't mind a bit.
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Old 09-18-17, 07:20 PM   #9
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100 miles every weekend is ambitious. Especially around here where it gets WET in the winter (although not necessary icy).

There is a thread about bikes that people ride for century rides, and there is a great variety. Pretty much anything with two wheels... usually, but even that rule has been broken by people riding either one or three wheels.

I'd look back at the road bikes again. And give them a fair shake. Not just one ride, but a few rides and several hundred miles. Learn to ride with bent arms.

As mentioned above, there is a lot of debate about tire size, but as long as you take care to buy GOOD (expensive) tires, then you'll do well with 28mm, 32mm, or 35mm tires.

If you are mechanically inclined, look on Craigslist for some good used Cross/Cyclocross/Gravel bikes which can generally take the larger tires, but otherwise are generally road oriented.

Specialized Tricross, Trek Crossrip, etc.

Or, keep your eyes peeled for a good used road bike in the $200 to $400 range.

Some things like aero (flat top) drop bars can aid with riding comfort. Interrupter (cross) brakes are comfortable for some, but not needed by many. Shifters are fine anywhere, brifters, bar ends, stem, or downtube (although stem shifters are most common on low quality vintage bikes).
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Old 09-19-17, 07:51 AM   #10
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okay thanks for responses. I ordered the cheapest road bike from Bikesdirect ($250). I'm going to use this to ride hard every weekend...while I carefully look for an 80s steel bike and slowly restore it to mint condition. I didn't want to rush out onto Craigslist and probably end up with a bad bike...this way, I can ride right away and carefully find the perfect 80s steel bike.
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Old 09-19-17, 08:08 AM   #11
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First, figure out what size frame is appropriate for you.

Second, steel and carbon (and titanium) are much more comfortable than aluminum.

Third, a lightly used road bike, a couple or three years old, may fit your budget. Some riders get a new bike every few years and sell the old one at a significant reduction from the original price.

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Well, I see that you rushed out and paid $250 for "the cheapest road bike." Seems to me that you may well have wasted half your budget.
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Old 09-19-17, 08:21 AM   #12
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100 miles every weekend is ambitious.
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Congrats on the century, no matter how time it took. Was it 12 hours of riding or 12 hours with rest stops?
Not as bad as it sounds...the terrain here is all flat, very flat. Yes, 12 hours w/ stops.



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Old 09-19-17, 08:53 AM   #13
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Well, I see that you rushed out and paid $250 for "the cheapest road bike." Seems to me that you may well have wasted half your budget.
I'm not exactly surprised. Oh well...
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Old 09-19-17, 12:06 PM   #14
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okay thanks for responses. I ordered the cheapest road bike from Bikesdirect ($250). I'm going to use this to ride hard every weekend...while I carefully look for an 80s steel bike and slowly restore it to mint condition. I didn't want to rush out onto Craigslist and probably end up with a bad bike...this way, I can ride right away and carefully find the perfect 80s steel bike.
Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Avenue A | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

Oh, wow, I didn't realize anybody still made stem shifters!!!

Hard to say on a bike like that. They have some good solid features, but they also cut a lot of corners in the design and production to get down to the $250 price point. I'm glad to see aluminum hubs, stainless spokes, and double walled rims.
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Old 09-19-17, 01:09 PM   #15
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Hard to say on a bike like that.
I am gettting the Wellingston 1.0 ($260). That'll leave me some left for a 80s Japan road bike...I can carefully find.

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Old 09-20-17, 08:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I did my first double on an 80s 12-speed used steel bike, ~$200. 16 hours in my 50s. New carbon bikes can be had for under $1000, which would be my choice. My fastest time on carbon for a double was 12 hours in my 60s. I never kept track of century times. Yes, a road bike will be a little rougher feeling than an MTB but believe me, you won't mind a bit.
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80's sport touring bike. I have an 81 Trek 614 that I'm into for about three hundred bucks that would be perfect for an 8 hour century every weekend.
Hi, I'm trying to set up a search string for Craigslist...what are all the 80s Japan bike name?

So far I have... Miyata, Bridgestone, Centurion, Nishiki

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Old 09-20-17, 09:02 AM   #17
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My screen shows the Clubman is $800.

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Old 09-20-17, 09:47 AM   #18
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Hi, I'm trying to set up a search string for Craigslist...what are all the 80s Japan bike name?

So far I have... Miyata, Bridgestone, Centurion, Nishiki
There are French bikes, too.
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Old 09-20-17, 02:41 PM   #19
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I am gettting the Wellingston 1.0 ($260). That'll leave me some left for a 80s Japan road bike...I can carefully find.
Is it too late to cancel your order? There are plenty of better options under $500 from Bikesdirect. I'd be looking in the cyclocross section or search for "wide tires" in the road bike section.

Cheap bikes that are comfortable and durable enough for long distance riding do exist. Most cheap bikes fail on both those requirements, however.

My century bike for many years was a Redline 925 that was ~$350 new from my LBS. When I finally retired that bike, it had cost less than 5 cents per mile including all the upgrades and maintenance I did to it.
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Old 09-20-17, 03:10 PM   #20
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get a vintage Koga Miyata
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Old 09-20-17, 03:53 PM   #21
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Is it too late to cancel your order? There are plenty of better options under $500 from Bikesdirect. I'd be looking in the cyclocross section or search for "wide tires" in the road bike section.

Cheap bikes that are comfortable and durable enough for long distance riding do exist. Most cheap bikes fail on both those requirements, however.

My century bike for many years was a Redline 925 that was ~$350 new from my LBS. When I finally retired that bike, it had cost less than 5 cents per mile including all the upgrades and maintenance I did to it.
I guess I can refuse to accept the delivery. Fedex stopped by my house with the bike, but I wasn't home. They require adult signature, so they will try again tmw. If they still can't get a signature, I assume they'll sent it back to BikesDirect. I can then get a refund of the purchase price minus a return fee.

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Old 09-20-17, 04:37 PM   #22
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My guess is that the Bikes Direct bike can take somewhat larger tires than are on it now.

Most of my riding has been on skinny tires. I suppose each person develops their own preferences, but one can certainly crank out the miles on skinny tires. I'd prefer to optimize efficiency over cushiness, although in certain markets, there is a fine line differentiating the two.
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Old 09-21-17, 09:55 AM   #23
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Hi, I'm trying to set up a search string for Craigslist...what are all the 80s Japan bike name?

So far I have... Miyata, Bridgestone, Centurion, Nishiki
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/japan.html

And for French:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/velos.html
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Old 09-21-17, 09:58 AM   #24
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Waht are the pros and cons of Japan vs France?
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Old 09-21-17, 10:06 AM   #25
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Waht are the pros and cons of Japan vs France?
I have no idea. I just added French in because of carbonfiberboy's comment.
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