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Moving to San Jose, need to buy a roadbike

Old 09-08-15, 09:39 PM
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progrock
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Moving to San Jose, need to buy a roadbike

So, I'm moving from the NYC area to the bay area, living in San Jose and commuting 2.5 miles to Santa Clara. Planning on getting a road bike for the commute and for going on rides around the area. I'm a pretty seasoned rider, usually do between 100-200 miles a week, on 40-70 mile rides (mostly flat land). I think I'm leaning more towards an endurance geometry over a hardcore race geometry frame, but could possibly handle something between. I'm looking to spend something in the $1200-1500 range, though I am flexible. I'm not super worried about a 1/2 lb overall difference in weight, but definitely want parts that will take some abuse, a lot of miles, and a bike that's gonna be pretty fast, but not too uncomfortable.

Trying to decide whether to order something online, go to the local bike shop when I move (in 10 days), or try to find something on craigslist, or the likes.

I'm not sure what brands to go, what group set (shimano 105 seems like its in the range, don't know if it's worth the extra cash to get an ultegra), or what online sires or local bike stores are good bets. I will be needing the bike very quickly after I move, ideally within the first for days or week.

Any advice is more than welcome.

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 09-08-15, 11:17 PM
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Not too many flat 40-70 mile rides in Silicon Valley. I'd probably not want to use a road bike for a 2.5 mile everyday commute. Are two bikes a possibility? The number of good bike shops in the valley are almost too numerous to name.
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Old 09-08-15, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SClaraPokeman View Post
Not too many flat 40-70 mile rides in Silicon Valley. I'd probably not want to use a road bike for a 2.5 mile everyday commute. Are two bikes a possibility? The number of good bike shops in the valley are almost too numerous to name.
Two bikes could be possible, but I don't share the concern. I'm pretty sure I'll be plenty happy using a road bike for the commute, 2.5 miles is a walk-able commute, I'll be happy on any bike. As for the flat land, I know... just wanted to clarify since I couldn't do that kind of mileage on harder terrain.

Any specific shops you like or dislike?
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Old 09-09-15, 12:19 AM
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As long as you are happy subjecting a nice $1200-1500 bike to the risks and rigors of commuting, locking up, etc. Personally I'd go with a cyclocross bike. It will allow you to do typical road rides as well as hit the occasional fire road or singletrack.
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Old 09-09-15, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by progrock View Post
Two bikes could be possible, but I don't share the concern. I'm pretty sure I'll be plenty happy using a road bike for the commute,
Yeah a nice road bike on your commute means you'd have to wear your cycling shoes instead of sneakers, subject your nice tires to the glass and shrapnel of urban riding, and having a backpack on in a road bike riding position is sub-optimal. Nice road bike for road rides plus cheap fixie with riser bars, platform pedals, and fat rubber makes a lot more sense.

But if you don't agree, then something like Trek CrossRip would be a good all-around.
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Old 09-09-15, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Yeah a nice road bike on your commute means you'd have to wear your cycling shoes instead of sneakers, subject your nice tires to the glass and shrapnel of urban riding, and having a backpack on in a road bike riding position is sub-optimal. Nice road bike for road rides plus cheap fixie with riser bars, platform pedals, and fat rubber makes a lot more sense.

But if you don't agree, then something like Trek CrossRip would be a good all-around.

OK, I definitely appreciate explaining the concerns more. As far as riding shoes to sneakers, I thought the clip in pedals were still ride-able in sneakers (maybe not ideal, but we are talking a really short distance), but id that didn't fly, I wouldn't mind leaving a pair of shoes at the office. The backpack, also something I'm used to, and I have a very small one for my laptop, so again, not a major concern. Now as for the tires, I'm not expecting my commute to really be much worse than any of my other riding, but this is definitely a concern, as is risking locking a bike outside. I'm used to locking my bike inside a building with armed security guards (OK, so maybe they aren't shooting anyone stealing a bicycle and the armed apart really doesn't matter). I'm pretty sure my new office has a pretty good bike rack directly in front of the main door, in a good area, so hopefully not a big concern. But then, I do have to make sure the bike is not gonna be left out in the elements.

I will point out, from how I've heard it used here, I'd likely be considered a FRED (not for spending a ton on a bike and not being a serious rider... more for the not wearing any bike gear, but still doing pretty good paced long rides).

OK, so screw you guys, now I have to seriously consider 2 bikes.

I don't want a cyclocross bike right now, I'd rather have a more serious, faster road bike. I do enjoy riding fixed gears (given here in NY, its become such a hipster thing, I've strayed away from riding them often), so they are definitely an option... not to mention cheaper and probably a good fit for a commute.

With that said, while I do need a bike for the commute, my other riding is actually more important to me. So I'm still thinking about buying a road bike initially, then getting a fixed gear. I could definitely do it the other way around, but I think in the $1500 range is solid for me to get a road bike to my liking (I'll be making a lot of money, and could afford more, but I'm by no means a competitive rider, I just enjoy it recreational).

I suppose the one benefit to a fixed gear is that I can get a solid one for my needs in the $500 range, then give myself plenty of time to figure out a road bike, maybe get lucky on craigslist, etc. So that almost adds to my confusion, though if I go that route, will be much easier to choose. hat do you guys think of the bike offered by City Bicycle Co. | Custom Fixed Gear Bikes Hand Built in Sacramento CA .. I'd likely be getting the type 2 if I went with them.

As much as storing 2 bikes will be more of a pain, it will also help when friends visit from NY. Had already looked into renting bikes, but my friends would be more than happy on a fixie to do some good rides to check out the area.
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Old 09-09-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by progrock View Post
OK, I definitely appreciate explaining the concerns more.

As much as storing 2 bikes will be more of a pain, it will also help when friends visit from NY. Had already looked into renting bikes, but my friends would be more than happy on a fixie to do some good rides to check out the area.
You will really enjoy having a dedicated commuter - fixed gear or not. My commute is less than 4-miles and I have all the commuter accessories.





Then bring your good road bike over to Diablo for the best riding in California.




Last edited by DiabloScott; 09-09-15 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 09-09-15, 12:38 PM
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Awesome photos, I am beyond looking forward to riding out there. My friends/family are confused when I talk to them about the move, I pretty much don't talk about the great job, etc. all I've been talking about is how much I'm looking forward to riding out there. Given, the summer here was nice, I ride down to the beach a few times a week, and since the water isn't nearly as cold here, get to actually swim in it. But it sounds like the weather is amazing out there year round, so instead of having 4-6 good riding months, I should have 11-12.

I think you guys sold me on a commuter, I'll probably grab one right away and then spend some time trying to find the right road bike (hopefully I can manage some hills on the fixie, and not be too limited).

As far as a fixie goes, any recommendations? From what I hear, it really rarely rains, so I was thinking about opting out on the mud guards (I don't mind if its a little wet, and if it rains heavy I can either get a ride to work from my roommate, or with uber... and will be buying a car eventually). I'm thinking the $500 range would be good for a fixie... again, been looking at the type 2 from City Bicycle Co. | Custom Fixed Gear Bikes Hand Built in Sacramento CA ...but I'm guessing there are a lot of other comparable options in the same price range.

Thanks for the help, really can't wait to be riding out there.
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Old 09-09-15, 01:28 PM
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You don't need fenders in the same way someone in the northeast needs fenders, but they're still pretty nice in the rainy season if we ever get another one.
There's truly no time of year that you can't ride.
Can't see how wide of a tire you can fit in that Type 2, but having 32mm or so is really what makes for fun bombproof commuting. Check out PureFix for cheap fixies in lots of configurations - I know they have a San Jose dealer.


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Old 09-09-15, 02:01 PM
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Yeah your definitely going to like it there especially with all the nice weather and all. Definitely visit San Francisco when you have the time. You'll have a blast biking in the city.
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Old 09-09-15, 03:27 PM
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OK, cool. Yeah the type 2 looks nice, though I haven't looked into it too much. My concern is, if I'm getting a fixie first.. my flight lands after 10pm next Wednesday, and I should really have a bike to ride to work the following Monday.

The pure fix could work, especially if there's a dealer in San Jose. I'll check out the forum, but are people generally happy with them at their price point?
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Old 09-09-15, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by progrock View Post
OK, cool. Yeah the type 2 looks nice, though I haven't looked into it too much. My concern is, if I'm getting a fixie first.. my flight lands after 10pm next Wednesday, and I should really have a bike to ride to work the following Monday.

The pure fix could work, especially if there's a dealer in San Jose. I'll check out the forum, but are people generally happy with them at their price point?
They're considered kind of cookie-cutter and cheap... that's what I suggest you need.

Last edited by DiabloScott; 09-09-15 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 09-09-15, 05:32 PM
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I live in the same area as @DiabloScott and commute to work as well but take the long way around and use all types of bikes:

Tarck:


Road:


MTB:


Urban IGH Porteur:


Any type of bike will work to get you to work. The main thing to consider, which you pointed out, is where you will lock up your bike. If you can store it inside then I would recommend getting a really nice road bike and be done. Except for my road bikes, all other bikes get locked up outside on the rack with 2 U locks and cable.

That way you get a way to get to work, even with normal dress shoes as even Speedplays have enough surface area to rest your your regular shoes on to get to work.

Then on the weekend you can get get all dressed up in your finest superhero suit and hammer it out.

If you can't store your bike inside then I would recommend getting a nice road bike and the cheapest bicycle you can find on CL and use that for your commute bike.

As for where to buy your nice road bike, I would recommend Scotts Valley Cycle Sport. The race team I ride for goes through SVCS and entire staff are super helpful and nice.

Congrats on the move and see you around!
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Old 09-09-15, 06:05 PM
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OK, checked out purefix... they look pretty comparable to citybicycleco, though at least from initial looks, I think I like citybicycleco more. On the other hand, the purefix seem really common, and obviously produce a lot more, so may be easier to deal with issues, and also can find them at a bunch of LBS. TBH, the purefix bikes seems a little below what I am looking for, even for a commuter. I'm pretty sure I wanna get an aluminum frame, the steel frames just seem heavy, i think the purefix is 23lbs and their premium is 20lbs (for a 54cm).

Anyway, still trying to look at other options, I figure I'd rather spend $600 or so and get a decent base fixie, instead of going to cheap and not being happy with it at all. But I definitely need something fast, don't want to go weeks without a mode of transportation.
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Old 09-09-15, 06:11 PM
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Thanks Nokia for the info. I think we are on very close to the same page. I gotta confirm the locking situation at the office. Of course now you've added to my confusion, haha. A fixie for commute sounded practical, especially if locked outside. It sounds like the bay area probably has a good used bike market, but I definitely need something quick, and ideally something that won't require much attention (assuming its just my commuter bike, and minor other usage). One of the reasons to buy a fixie is to be able to have ample time to check out craigslist for a nice deal on a road bike. But I feel like I don't want to get a total POS one either, I'd rather spend a few hundred more and get something I'll enjoy riding, and use for more than just the commute.
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Old 09-09-15, 06:59 PM
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I just found citygrounds.com anyone familiar with them?... Cali based, but too far south to be worth the drive to pick up.

Saw a few bikes that looked nice.

17teeth Evo: 17Teeth Evo Built By CG Track Bike 2015
17teeth Kero: 17Teeth Kero Fixed Gear Bike Built By CG | City Grounds
Throne Phantom: Throne Phantom Fixed Gear Bike Built By CG | City Grounds

One thing I noticed on the site is a limited availability in sizes. I'm 5'11", 155lbs, pretty standard leg height for the height. I've been told a 54cm is probably a good size for me, not sure if 56cm is a reach, or if 53cm would be fine as well. I'm guessing 53cm would likely be fine, 56cm might also be OK, but might be just a tad big.
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Old 09-10-15, 12:22 AM
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This leader is looking very nice: Leader 721 Fixed Gear Bike By CG | City Grounds
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Old 09-10-15, 10:43 AM
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I saw you mentioned Craigslist. If you don't mind using it, there are a ton of bikes out here for sale. Why don't you bring your bike with you?
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Old 09-10-15, 04:11 PM
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Cheap fixed gear bikes are a dime a dozen now, most under $500. For the purpose you described, it really just comes down to aesthetics at a given pricepoint.

I used to commute and ride recreationally on fixed gear/singlespeed bikes extensively but after moving to the Bay Area (from LA) I decided that for commuting purposes, I wanted 1) rear rack capabilities, 2) wider tires, and 3) gears to grind it out against the gnarly headwind near where I live. Thus, I went with a basic cyclocross/touring bike setup for commuting and sold all but one of my SS/FG bikes.
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Old 09-10-15, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by progrock View Post
One thing I noticed on the site is a limited availability in sizes. I'm 5'11", 155lbs, pretty standard leg height for the height. I've been told a 54cm is probably a good size for me, not sure if 56cm is a reach, or if 53cm would be fine as well. I'm guessing 53cm would likely be fine, 56cm might also be OK, but might be just a tad big.
I'm around your height but much heavier. I like 55-56 frames. Keep in mind that a true track geometry frame (by true I mean racing-oriented) will have a higher BB, effectively raising the standover height, so if you intend to use it for commuting, you could probably get away with a 53-54 frame (same can be said about true cyclocross geometry frames).
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Old 09-13-15, 03:45 AM
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I don't currently have a good bike, had a few stolen, been riding either a friend's road bike or my 10+ year old cheap trek mountain bike. Not worth shipping at all, and was planning on buying a road bike some time soon, and have also had my eye on a fixed gear. I definitely plan on getting a serious road bike, but looks like I'll be getting a fixed gear initially for my commute, and for some rides while I'm still shopping for the road bike.

Considering the used bike market out there, looks like I am almost definitely getting both of my bikes off of craigslist. I already found a fixie that I'm 95% sure I want. Its the leader I posted above (which is $500 shipped for a new one from city grounds.... but literally has the same components as their $200 shipped fixie.. so aside from the fork and frame, not sure if anything would be staying on the bike for more than 2-3 weeks). So the guy wants a little over $500 (tho pretty damn close as long as I pick it up), The bike supposedly has only been rode about 200 miles (built 5 months ago) here's the specs:

Frame: Leader 721
Fork: Leader I803 Carbon
Headset: FSA Z3
Stem: FSA Omega
Handlebars: FSA Omega Compact Drop Bars
Saddle: Fizik Ardea Versus
Crankset/BB: SRAM S300 / GXP (48 Tooth)
Chain: SRAM PC-1
Wheelset: Vuelta Track Zerolite Comp (Machined)
Tires: Michellin Kyrlion Pro (23)
Cog: 16 Tooth

and he's throwing in a pair of platform pedals with straps (I'll probably end up getting a nicer set pretty soon, but won't make that decision until I see thse.... at least they will work while I wait to get their replacement)

From what I can tell, this bike is basically what I would have ended up with if I had bought the leader from city grounds and made some upgrades over the next few months, likely costing me about 1k in the end.

What do you guys think?... good deal?... anythign I should be concerned about?
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Old 09-13-15, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by progrock View Post

Frame: Leader 721
Fork: Leader I803 Carbon
Headset: FSA Z3
Stem: FSA Omega
Handlebars: FSA Omega Compact Drop Bars
Saddle: Fizik Ardea Versus
Crankset/BB: SRAM S300 / GXP (48 Tooth)
Chain: SRAM PC-1
Wheelset: Vuelta Track Zerolite Comp (Machined)
Tires: Michellin Kyrlion Pro (23)
Cog: 16 Tooth

.. anythign I should be concerned about?
It appears not to have brakes... that'd be a deal killer for me.
and 48x16 is a pretty big gear
I dunno, I'd keep looking.
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Old 09-13-15, 02:45 PM
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San Jose has a velodrome, so some bikes may be sold as track specific and wouldn't come with a brake.
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Old 09-15-15, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
It appears not to have brakes... that'd be a deal killer for me.
and 48x16 is a pretty big gear
I dunno, I'd keep looking.
It has a front brake, which is all I'd want on a fixed gear. As for 48x16, that's actually the gearing I've ridden before on a fixed gear. For my commute it should be fine, it may get tough on hills (my commute does not have any), but that's why I'm getting a road bike next. Worse case I could always change the gear.
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Old 09-15-15, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
San Jose has a velodrome, so some bikes may be sold as track specific and wouldn't come with a brake.
it is more a subsection of kid/hipsters want to not have brakes. Some have skills to handle this....most do not
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