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Advice on 1st Road Bike

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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

Advice on 1st Road Bike

Old 08-30-16, 11:18 AM
  #1  
lbautista23
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Advice on 1st Road Bike

Hi i'm currently in the market for my 1st road bike. I'm coming from a 2013 Giant Roam 1 (HEAVY!!!). I decided that my riding has geared towards road and I'm getting tired of being left behind on group rides. I need some advice on my 1st and probably only road bike. Riding would be for commuting and group rides during the weekend. I've narrowed it down to a few bikes and they're from Giant.

2016 defy 2 disc - $1,200 My LBS has this in stock and I was able to test ride it and it was pretty damn nice
2017 contend 1 - $810 My LBS also had this in stock and I was able to test ride it too. The neon red is an interesting color
2017 contend SL disc 1 - $1,315 This one has the best color scheme out of all of my choices black/orange. I haven't rode one yet because my LBS does not have them in stock yet.
2017 contend SL disc 3 - $1,050 Same as this my LBS doesn't have this yet.

If this will be my only road bike purchase ever which would be the best one? Do disc brakes make a difference? Does the components make a difference and is it worth the price difference? I don't plan on riding a lot of hills or in the rain.
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Old 08-30-16, 11:20 AM
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Which one has the gears for hills?
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Old 08-30-16, 11:27 AM
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Get the one with the Giants color scheme.
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Old 08-30-16, 11:41 AM
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If you want to save money, the Sora bike would be a great entry level. If you truly feel like this is the only road bike you'll ever buy (hahahahaha) then:

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us...specifications

It's the best speced and not a big leap in price from Disc 1 or the Defy 2. You get 105 drivetrain and hydraulic discs. Color is nice and I think the internal cable routing looks cleaner
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Old 08-30-16, 11:56 AM
  #5  
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I agree either of the Contend SLs look to be good bikes, and the SL disc 1 is about perfect for a ride everywhere forever bike.

Older Defies might go on sale soon though as shops try to clear them out to make room for the 2017 Contends which replace them (The Defy name is going up-market to all CF construction.)

In any case, i don't think you can miss with either a Contend or a Defy. But do consider---if this is going to be The Bike for an indefinite period, spending a couple hundred more, spread out over a dozen or a couple dozen years of happy riding, is a really good investment. If yuo cna get a frame with 105 components, it would be worth it IMO.
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Old 08-30-16, 12:34 PM
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A little confused. You want to buy 1 and only 1 road bike that should last to replace your old heavy aluminum bike and your list of bikes are heavy aluminum road bikes with entry level components?

If your on a budget and want to get the best bike for your money I would consider looking at other possible brands, last years models, or even 2014 NEW stock. I would even look at something lightly used as guys buy bikes all the time spend $2-3k ride for 500 miles and let them sit in the garage. I'm cheap as cheap can be, but if you take your time and look around you can find a MUCH better bike for $1500 or less especially if you consider something slightly used. I got the below for $1500 NEW and hands down it's a much better bike with full Ultegra components that will probably last me a lifetime or at least until I can find the next good deal.

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Old 08-30-16, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by lbautista23 View Post
Hi i'm currently in the market for my 1st road bike. I'm coming from a 2013 Giant Roam 1 (HEAVY!!!). I've narrowed it down to a few bikes and they're from Giant.

2016 defy 2 disc - $1,200 My LBS has this in stock and I was able to test ride it and it was pretty damn nice
2017 contend 1 - $810 My LBS also had this in stock and I was able to test ride it too. The neon red is an interesting color
2017 contend SL disc 1 - $1,315 This one has the best color scheme out of all of my choices black/orange. I haven't rode one yet because my LBS does not have them in stock yet.
2017 contend SL disc 3 - $1,050 Same as this my LBS doesn't have this yet.

If this will be my only road bike purchase ever which would be the best one? Do disc brakes make a difference? Does the components make a difference and is it worth the price difference? I don't plan on riding a lot of hills or in the rain.
They are all good bikes. Typically, I would say for your first road bike, but the least expensive one as you do not know if you will like the sport or not. It sounds like you have already been riding though and know that you like the sport. Thus, I would go with the Contend SL Disc 1. The 2016 is just not low enough in price at this point. I have a Giant mtb and they are a good bike at good prices. If I were you, I would try some other bikes just for a point of reference. If you are sold on the Giants, than get the one on your list that best fits your budget. if you can afford the Contend SL Disc 3 than go for it as it has the best components.
As for disc brakes, that is a very subjective question. I personally see no reason for them but to be fair, I live in Florida and see no hills. I am sure that even in SF the verdict is split on them. The are not necessary but if you want them and have the money, than go for it.
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Old 08-30-16, 01:39 PM
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The only reason you mentioned for getting a new bike is getting dropped on group rides.
Not sure if any new bike(road or not) would necessarily solve your main problem. How
long have you joined your club? Are there more manageable speeds? B rides instead of A
rides? Is the issue speed or distance?

Here's my take:
1. Don't ride 2 days before your club rides. Fresh legs might help.
2. Draft closer to rider in front; saving your strength.
3. Modify existing bike. Lighter parts; wheels, tires, pedals, shoes, etc.
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Old 08-30-16, 01:44 PM
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New bike won't help you if you're getting dropped on the flat.
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Old 08-30-16, 01:59 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by asiantrick View Post
New bike won't help you if you're getting dropped on the flat.
He is currently on a flat bar bike. New bike will help on the flat if it allows him to use a more aerodynamic position. That can only happen if he has the flexibility, of course.
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Old 08-30-16, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Which one has the gears for hills?
This^^^
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Old 08-30-16, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
A little confused. You want to buy 1 and only 1 road bike that should last to replace your old heavy aluminum bike and your list of bikes are heavy aluminum road bikes with entry level components?

If your on a budget and want to get the best bike for your money I would consider looking at other possible brands, last years models, or even 2014 NEW stock. I would even look at something lightly used as guys buy bikes all the time spend $2-3k ride for 500 miles and let them sit in the garage. I'm cheap as cheap can be, but if you take your time and look around you can find a MUCH better bike for $1500 or less especially if you consider something slightly used. I got the below for $1500 NEW and hands down it's a much better bike with full Ultegra components that will probably last me a lifetime or at least until I can find the next good deal.

Do you have any idea what you are talking about? The bike OP currently has is 35 lbs. The bikes he is looking at are all in the 20-22lb range. The bike he has is a flat bar hybrid with a suspension fork, the ones he's looking at are drop bar road bikes. As far as looking at different brands with his budget? Giant generally gives the most bang for the buck of any LBS brand bike. Even at Performance or Bikesdirect you are not going to find many bikes with 105 and hydraulic disks for $1300. Most importantly, OP probably has a relationship with the LBS since he already owns a Giant so might as well buy from them if he's been happy with his experience
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Old 08-30-16, 02:21 PM
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I'll second the comments above by @LGHT - look for leftover stock to maximize the bang for your buck.

Are you keeping the Roam or is this new bike to replace it?
And, as an extended question, would you ever want to do light trail riding with your 'new' road bike?
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Old 08-30-16, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Do you have any idea what you are talking about? The bike OP currently has is 35 lbs. The bikes he is looking at are all in the 20-22lb range. The bike he has is a flat bar hybrid with a suspension fork, the ones he's looking at are drop bar road bikes. As far as looking at different brands with his budget? Giant generally gives the most bang for the buck of any LBS brand bike. Even at Performance or Bikesdirect you are not going to find many bikes with 105 and hydraulic disks for $1300. Most importantly, OP probably has a relationship with the LBS since he already owns a Giant so might as well buy from them if he's been happy with his experience
The op wants a new bike because his current bike is too heavy. Ok great what's better a heavier aluminum bike that weights 20-22lbs or a lighter carbon bike that weighs 16-18lbs. Giants only give you bang for the buck if your comparing full retail which only a small few actually pay. Most people like myself on a budget will wait for the closeout sale, a deal, or better yet buy last years model because the new 2017's are on the way and pay 40% of retail and actually get BETTER bike with Ultegra instead of 105 components. Disk brakes are a fad and marketing ploy to get you to pay more for something you don't need. Pass on the disks and get a better bike that has better components, is lighter, and will costs you less.

Or you can maintain your relationship with the Giant shop that sold you a tank to begin with end up with a horrible deal, heavy bike with entry level components and pay more for it.
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Old 08-30-16, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SpikedLemon View Post
I'll second the comments above by @LGHT - look for leftover stock to maximize the bang for your buck.

Are you keeping the Roam or is this new bike to replace it?
And, as an extended question, would you ever want to do light trail riding with your 'new' road bike?
This will be the new bike to replace it. I don't anticipate a lot of trail riding.
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Old 08-30-16, 06:13 PM
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I would prefer to purchase a defy on sale, but my LBS's have either sold out of them or they're are not planning on dropping the price.
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Old 08-30-16, 06:14 PM
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i see a lot of response advising me to purchase the contend sl disc 1.
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Old 08-30-16, 07:24 PM
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Defy might be a better purchase if you can find a better price ... there is more than one bike shop in the world.

Also ... has the one near yo actually gotten 2017 models yet?

Further ... if I owned a shop and some guy came in looking specifically at a couple bikes, I wouldn't cut him a deal because i would figure he would buy one or the other.

The guy at your local shop thinks he's got you, so why should he give you a break? he doesn't think you can walk away, and he doesn't think you have options.

One thing I will say for sure----buy all the hardware you can afford. Just like with buying a computer --- programs will grow and multiply, so buy all the storage and RAM you can afford---don't go cheap and have to either tolerate a slow machine or lose money buying an upgrade in a year.

Same with a bike. Buy absolutely the best stuff you can afford ... so later you won't want to. if you can get to 105, that is about the best yuo should ever need. Claris is decent, Sora good, Tiagra is quite good .... but 105 is simply what you want.

With the frame, the Contend SL is a cut above, from what I have read. For a few bucks extra, you get a lot more.

Read all the reviews you can find of all the bikes you are considering, while shopping for a better deal.

If you reach the point where you can no longer wait, and cannot get a better deal ... probably you are going to love whatever you buy anyway.
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Old 08-30-16, 09:42 PM
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TCR Advanced 2 in light blue! You can at least test ride any TCR to see if you like the geometry on those models.
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Old 08-31-16, 06:07 AM
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Your location says you're from San Francisco, a location with steep elevation streets and neighboring areas with wide open spaces like Marin County. I see many cyclist commute and travel over the bridge. A light road bike with upgraded wheels will help you on those weekend rides. Just make sure that you get the rear cassette like 11-28 to handle the demands of S.F.
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Old 08-31-16, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by lbautista23 View Post
I would prefer to purchase a defy on sale, but my LBS's have either sold out of them or they're are not planning on dropping the price.
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The guy at your local shop thinks he's got you, so why should he give you a break? he doesn't think you can walk away, and he doesn't think you have options.
This pretty much sums it up. The sales guy seems to think he's already made the "sale" and will never give you a break now because he knows he doesn't have to. Unless you realize this and start shopping around your going to pay more for less.

I preferred a bike with a better color scheme, but quickly had to decide between my preference or simply a better bike in bland black with white. I went with the better bike because I plan on riding it for several years and to me it was more important to have a lighter, faster, stronger bike with better components. If those factors aren't important and your preference is more important then drop the $$$ and ride like the wind and never look back.
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Old 08-31-16, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lbautista23 View Post
This will be the new bike to replace it. I don't anticipate a lot of trail riding.
Just throwing it out there but if you are considering some light trail riding that you look at a Cyclocross bike. It'd be mostly road-bike worthy but will accept larger tires that'll behave better on trails (or potholes/manhole covers/etc...).
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Old 08-31-16, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by SpikedLemon View Post
Just throwing it out there but if you are considering some light trail riding that you look at a Cyclocross bike. It'd be mostly road-bike worthy but will accept larger tires that'll behave better on trails (or potholes/manhole covers/etc...).
I would say gravel bike would generally be better. There is fine line between the two but gravel bikes generally have a more relaxed geometry and bosses for water bottles and racks/fenders which true cross bikes don't always have
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Old 08-31-16, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Your location says you're from San Francisco, a location with steep elevation streets and neighboring areas with wide open spaces like Marin County. I see many cyclist commute and travel over the bridge. A light road bike with upgraded wheels will help you on those weekend rides. Just make sure that you get the rear cassette like 11-28 to handle the demands of S.F.
The bikes he's looking at all have compact cranks and 11-32 cassettes
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Old 08-31-16, 01:32 PM
  #25  
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This is what I'd buy on your budget: https://www.merlincycles.com/felt-f7...016-93834.html

Just make sure you get the correct size frame. Use an online fitting app to assist.
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