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Recommended Road Bikes? (To start more serious training)

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

Recommended Road Bikes? (To start more serious training)

Old 08-07-16, 02:15 AM
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Recommended Road Bikes? (To start more serious training)

Hello all,

I'm hoping someone might be willing to offer recommendations about purchasing a suitable road bike, given the following background:

I'm an injured long distance runner (Achilles), and since the injury still hasn't healed after 4+ years, I've been cycling to maintain fitness (about 120-150 miles weekly). I have a 15+ year old Raleigh 21-speed mountain bike which has been poorly maintained (partly because I'm always thinking my injury will finally heal and I'll be back running),

But since I can't heal the injury, I'd like to focus more seriously on cycling training, maybe even race eventually. My rusted-chain/creaking mountain bike simply couldn't keep up with the pace of even a semi-serious group ride, so I'm trying to find and purchase a good road bicycle, with some of the following criteria (and lacking expertise in competitive cycling, I'm probably overlooking quite a few important criteria):

1. Drivetrain/gear set which would allow someone with good enough fitness to hit 20+ mph in a pack (or faster if fitness allows!)

2. Relatively low maintenance (durable tires/drivetrain/etc., not needing to be constantly replaced)

3. Easy to maintain for someone without great mechanical aptitude (i.e., myself

4. Suitable for more serious training (150-220 miles weekly), maybe even a race down the line

5. Price of $600-800 (possibly up to $900, but if possible I'd like to keep it under)

I visited a local shop and was recommended two specific bikes: the Fuji Roubaix 2.0 LE Road Bike, for $999, and the Fuki Tread 1.0 LE Road, also $999. The prices are (for my budget) pretty high, but they include $200 worth of store credit and free lifetime adjustments, so I'm wondering if that might partially justify the cost vs. a cheaper online alternative.

Apologies if any of these questions suggest undue naivete of cycling terminology or other basics, but I am new to the competitive side of the sport, and appreciate any advice offered.
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Old 08-07-16, 04:18 AM
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The bikes you mentioned are fine, as long as they are fitted properly. You could save money by finding a higher quality but gently used bike. Use the store credit for clipless pedals and shoes, assuming you don't already have them.
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Old 08-07-16, 06:13 AM
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I vote for the second one, if that's the one with 5800's and disc brakes. It might be slightly heavier but it'd be much more versatile for your riding.
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Old 08-07-16, 11:13 AM
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Since you don't want to do any wrenching, paying a very slight amount more at a store makes sense, particularly because you can use the credit to get gear and lifetime tuneups are always a deal, even if you could do them yourself.
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Old 08-07-16, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
Since you don't want to do any wrenching, paying a very slight amount more at a store makes sense, particularly because you can use the credit to get gear and lifetime tuneups are always a deal, even if you could do them yourself.
I agree. When I got back into riding, I got a Fuji Absolute from Performance, and was very happy with both the bike and the service I got from the local (Pasadena) shop. It took me a while to feel the need to get a 'better' bike. If I were buying a road bike in your price range now, I'd buy a gently used bike off Craigslist, but that takes more expertise than I had at the time.

The Fuji looks like a solid bike, and the wider rims/tires will be good for dirt/gravel/commuting, but if you want to go fast in group rides then at some point you might get another set of rims and 25-28 mm tires. Those rims and tires shouldn't keep you from doing the group rides you're looking to do, so this isn't at all urgent. And as mentioned you'll spend that $200 store credit quickly as you get more into riding.

One thing to note is that we're now at the time of year when a lot of 2016 bikes start going on sale. Try to get a feel for the possibility of one of the bikes you want getting a 10-20% discount in the coming weeks. Also, test ride those bikes as much as it takes to figure out which feels best to you. That, and a really good fitting, are by far the most important things to get right.
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