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Getting my first road bike. What should I look for when test riding?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Getting my first road bike. What should I look for when test riding?

Old 09-02-15, 01:35 PM
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Getting my first road bike. What should I look for when test riding?

I've narrowed it down to the Giant Defy 5 and the Specialized Allez. They're being sold for $600 each at a local shop. They're both very highly reviewed. I want to dabble in triathlons, probably Olympic length at most. And maybe pay $10 for a day license and try out some racing and see how I like it. What should I look for when choosing a bike? I've never had a bike with drop bars so I don't know what to look for.
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Old 09-02-15, 01:58 PM
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Buy the one that you feel more comfortable riding. If they're bot the same, pick your favorite color.
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Old 09-02-15, 02:10 PM
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They are pretty comparable. They both have Claris groupsets and aluminum forks.
If you have tested both of them than go with the one that is the most comfortable. If they were both fine than choose the one where you like the shop the most. If it is the same shop than buy the one that looks the best to you.
Both bikes are good.
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Old 09-02-15, 02:13 PM
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Unless I'm mistaken, the Allez has a slightly more aggressive geometry...so more aero, but possibly less comfortable...but for racing, it might be better...but realize that dropping the defy stem would put you in that same position.
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Old 09-02-15, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kertrek
I've narrowed it down to the Giant Defy 5 and the Specialized Allez. They're being sold for $600 each at a local shop. They're both very highly reviewed. I want to dabble in triathlons, probably Olympic length at most. And maybe pay $10 for a day license and try out some racing and see how I like it. What should I look for when choosing a bike? I've never had a bike with drop bars so I don't know what to look for.
I can't speak to the Giant since I never owned one, but I did own an Allez for a stretch and it was honestly one of my favorite bikes.

The Allez Sprint will soon be my n+1
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Old 09-02-15, 02:50 PM
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don't bother. if they fit (close is ok because bikes are adjustable and bodies are adaptable), pick the one you can see climbing on every day. check the component list and see where the oem has compromised. crappy tires, brakes, crankset, stem, bar, post. if the colour is acceptable, buy the one with the fewest compromises. and i'm in Canada, we spell it colour.
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Old 09-02-15, 02:54 PM
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Almost forgot... Shift to the biggest cog while on the big chainring and see if the FD rubs.

If it does, the mechanic who assembled it sucks.
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Old 09-02-15, 03:07 PM
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One big difference....if you are looking at 2016....the Alllez now has a carbon fork.

Last edited by 12strings; 09-02-15 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 09-02-15, 03:11 PM
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Don't put too much thought into it. If you really take to cycling, you'll be buying a new bike in a year anyway
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Old 09-04-15, 07:24 PM
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I went with the Specialized Allez. I went with the racing style instead of an endurance bike 'cause I'm gonna get a touring bike in the future (and a touring bike is close to an endurance bike, just a little heavier). This bike is so much lighter than my hybrid and the aero position kept me comfortable riding into a headwind. My trapezius muscles are a little tight , though I'll get used to that. I've NEVER ridden a bike with drop bars or aggressive position: a tiny bit scary at first, but by the time I got home from the shop I felt really comfortable.
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