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Trouble Choosing a Serious Beginner's Road Bike

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

Trouble Choosing a Serious Beginner's Road Bike

Old 03-21-18, 09:54 PM
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tom880
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Trouble Choosing a Serious Beginner's Road Bike

Hey guys! My name is Thomas and I am trying to get into the world of road biking. I am currently a junior in high school and plan to join a college team when I graduate. So far, I have narrowed down to three bikes, all around the $600 dollar price point:

1. Tommaso Imola 2018


2. Giant Contend 3


3. Diamondback Poseidon Triton


If you guys can recommend other bikes that are good and in the same price range, feel free to recommend! I am a mountain biker, so I don't know much about road bikes.

Thanks!

(My post originally had pics but since this is my first post I can't do that :/)
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Old 03-21-18, 10:54 PM
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If you are serious about road cycling I would up your budget to 1k. I know it is a jump but you will get more bike and more out of it. Any bike you cannot test ride is not worth your money either. Look for bikes with Tiagra or 105 which will shift better and hold their tune longer and also look a lot better. You will get more gears 10 or 11 vs 8 which you get with Claris and at less weight. For a frame look for either 4130 chromoly steel (or something nicer many of which are just lighter versions of cromo) or decent quality aluminum and for fork look for carbon especially with aluminum frames.

Upgrading a bike is expensive so getting a better bike from the get go will allow you to have the performance you want and with nicer parts generally you will be riding more and be in the shop less. Plus in general they will cost less over time because you won't have to bring it by the shop as often and won't be replacing it as often and you will enjoy the bike more so you will get more out of it that way.

Ride a bunch of bikes and really get a feel for which one is most comfortable for you. Also if you are really interested in bikes maybe see if you can intern at your local shop and maybe get a discount. We have two kids who are interning for us right now and are really excited about it. Both of them saved up about the same as I suggested above and got some mountain bikes before we asked them to intern and now they want to upgrade. You could also work at a shop assuming you are of age and while it can be tough some times it is well worth it in the end. I have been doing this for a bunch of years now and I cannot think of another industry I would rather be in (aside from maybe restaurant being a cook in my own place)
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Old 03-22-18, 12:00 AM
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That's good advice from veganbikes. My first "real" bike was an aluminum Giant Defy when they still made those, and I absolutely loved it, so I'd definitely check out the Contend--but that's a personal thing.

My main recommendation would be to ride a bunch of bikes and only buy one that you like and you know fits you (local shop salespeople can give you a good enough idea of this). After you get on a few, you'll notice that one or two of them will just feel more fun than the others. Get the one that puts a big, stupid grin on your face. Anticipating that hit will make it a whole lot easier to drag yourself onto the bike when you don't feel like it, and then end up getting in a lot of fun miles. Which is the whole point, after all.

Last edited by seattlebuzz; 03-22-18 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 03-22-18, 04:40 AM
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Buy a bike that you fall in love with - it will seduce you into riding more and that's the key. But more specifically, ask yourself what kind of road riding you anticipate doing. Sprints? Crits? Long team rides? Gap climbs? That may help inform you about which bike you might get.
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Old 03-22-18, 05:03 AM
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I think your budget is good for your age. You might love cycling and get into it at college, then you'll want a better bike no matter what, or you might end up selling your bike for beer money taking a huge lots in it.

If you have any relatives that are or were into cycling, maybe you can borrow a bike for a while.
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Old 03-22-18, 05:40 AM
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I'm not sure What the Diamondback Poseidon Triton is (But I don't believe Poseidon Triton is an official DB model), but I would look at the Diamondback Century bikes. If you can score a DB corp discount code (which I'm sure some folks on here will share?) you can get the Century for $409 and the Century 2 for $1169 and the 2 has an ultegra setup. That's a heck of a deal. (2017 models are on clearance right now).
If it were me, I'd go DB and I'd act fast
They're comfortable bikes and they're fast
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Old 03-22-18, 07:50 AM
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I would advise against 8-speed setups if you plan on joining an actual team. I doubt you would be able to find any neutral wheel support in crits or road races.

I'd do whatever you can do to come up with a Shimano 11 speed-equipped bike, whether new or used.

If you were just wanting a commuter or weekend rider, then there would be nothing wrong with an 8-speed.

Last edited by Jasper Storm; 03-22-18 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 03-22-18, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Jasper Storm View Post
I would advise against 8-speed setups if you plan on joining an actual team. I doubt you would be able to find any neutral wheel support in crits or road races.

I'd do whatever you can do to come up with a Shimano 11 speed-equipped bike, whether new or used.

If you were just wanting a commuter or weekend rider, then there would be nothing wrong with an 8-speed.
He has a year and a half before he goes to college, during which he might grow out of this bike or decide he isn’t into it. 8-speed is fine.
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Old 03-22-18, 08:50 AM
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Get that Contend or, even better, a similar model (the old Defy?) used for half the price. People in BF will always tell you to get a more expensive bike than whatever you initially wanted, but that is because we are all obsessed. Few things to consider, since you mention wanting to do collegiate cycling:

1. Collegiate racing is as low key as it gets. Sure, you do see plenty of nice bikes and carbon wheels, but most people, especially in the lower categories, ride whatever they have and are there to have fun. That Contend would be just fine. People on thirty year old bikes are not uncommon either.
2. Since you will probably be living on campus, there is a chance that they might not allow you to store the bike in your dorm, especially during breaks. Do you really want to spend a lot of money on a bike that will be locked outside all the time? No, you don't.
3. Most collegiate teams have deals with local shops, which means that you can buy stuff, including bikes, at a discount. Therefore, if you were to spend more on a bike, it would make sense to wait until you can take advantage of the discount.

Buy a cheap bike, ride the hell out of it, join the team in whichever college you end up in, do a few races. If after that you want to spend more, then spend more. No point in spending a lot now, a lot of things will change in the next couple of years.
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Old 03-22-18, 07:36 PM
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https://www.performancebike.com/Sear...ce:&pageSize:&
The Fuji Roubaix series make great entry level racing bikes. More aggressive and likely faster than the other bikes you listed. With the frequent discounts at Performance you should find something at or near your budget.
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Old 03-22-18, 07:39 PM
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Here is a good one at Nashbar ( performance’s sister company.
https://www.bikenashbar.com/cycling/...e-2016-yb-rb17
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Old 03-22-18, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
https://www.performancebike.com/Sear...ce:&pageSize:&
The Fuji Roubaix series make great entry level racing bikes. More aggressive and likely faster than the other bikes you listed. With the frequent discounts at Performance you should find something at or near your budget.
That Fuji Roubaix 1.4 LE for $800 with 105 11 speed is a killer deal if you can stretch $200 more, but it’s only available in a few sizes.
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Old 03-23-18, 03:25 PM
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Hey guys! Thanks for all the replies. If possible, I will try to get the Fuji Roubaix LE, but if my parents don't let me, I will most likely get the Contend 3.
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Old 03-23-18, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tom880 View Post
Hey guys! Thanks for all the replies. If possible, I will try to get the Fuji Roubaix LE, but if my parents don't let me, I will most likely get the Contend 3.
The Giant Contend 3 is a great bike. I heard the frame is really good for an entry level bike, that it is even worth upgrading the components to something better down the line but keeping the frame.

If you are new to the sport and not sure if you are going to stick with it yet, it is safer to spend $600 instead of $1000. If you are already sure you will definitely stick with it, it might make sense to spend a bit more at first like some people suggest, so you get at least 11 or 10 speeds cassette.

For a $600 budget it might be good to look at used bikes in good shape. You will get more bike for the money, but it takes time and patience to find a good deal bike that fits you well.
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Old 03-24-18, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
The Giant Contend 3 is a great bike. I heard the frame is really good for an entry level bike, that it is even worth upgrading the components to something better down the line but keeping the frame.

If you are new to the sport and not sure if you are going to stick with it yet, it is safer to spend $600 instead of $1000. If you are already sure you will definitely stick with it, it might make sense to spend a bit more at first like some people suggest, so you get at least 11 or 10 speeds cassette.

For a $600 budget it might be good to look at used bikes in good shape. You will get more bike for the money, but it takes time and patience to find a good deal bike that fits you well.
Haha I'm pretty serious about sticking with biking. However, the only issue is if I can persuade my parents to actually get a decent bike.
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Old 03-24-18, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tom880 View Post
Haha I'm pretty serious about sticking with biking. However, the only issue is if I can persuade my parents to actually get a decent bike.
The techniques you learn in this struggle will serve you well for the rest of your life.
one good (and incidentally, true) argument is that they don't want to see you spending more cash a year down the road to get the stuff you could get cheaper up front ... a year from now when you will really want the better stuff, you will either have to buy another bike, or upgrade this one which might be worthwhile, but is a lot more expensive than buying the bike that already has the stuff you will need in a year.
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Old 03-24-18, 02:54 PM
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Look for a bargain on CL. Lots of people buy nice bikes and then decide they didn’t like riding after all. Make sure you know your size so you don’t waste time looking at a 60 when you need a 54. Know your values at bicyclebluebook.com
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Old 03-24-18, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by motosonic View Post
If it were me, I'd go DB and I'd act fast
They're comfortable bikes and they're fast
So all I need is a DB to go faster? Sign me up.
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Old 03-24-18, 05:41 PM
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Get the bike your parents are willing to buy. Don't worry about it until your actually in races. Things change a lot when you go to college.

If your fast, you'll be fast on just about any bike, and you're young, so your body should still be quite adaptable.
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Old 03-24-18, 05:42 PM
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Working at a bike shop is a great way to go if that's an option for you. My neighbor's kid is about your age and last summer he got a job at one of the local bike shops. He got trained as a mechanic, gets a free membership with their their training team and got a great deal on a new mountain bike that he races on the team at his boarding school. He's planning to work there again next summer and get a road bike and is looking at colleges that have bike racing teams.
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Old 03-25-18, 07:22 PM
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Get the one that you would be most proud to own. Giant Contend would be my vote.
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Old 03-26-18, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Working at a bike shop is a great way to go if that's an option for you. My neighbor's kid is about your age and last summer he got a job at one of the local bike shops. He got trained as a mechanic, gets a free membership with their their training team and got a great deal on a new mountain bike that he races on the team at his boarding school. He's planning to work there again next summer and get a road bike and is looking at colleges that have bike racing teams.
Hey this is actually a great idea! I'm actually looking for a summer job right now and this seems like a good choice for me. I will definitely look into this.
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Old 03-28-18, 02:40 PM
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The Scott Speedster 50 is a good beginner bike, but between that and the Giant, i'd go with Giant as it has the Claris groupset i think. The Scott has the Tourney groupset but i could be mistaken. I think the Speedster 40 has the Claris in the Scott lineup. Also checkout giant nerds "Scratch & Dent" sales on their Tommaso line of bikes, can almost always find the bike you want for $100 off simply because it was a demo bike, or has a minor scratch etc.

https://giantnerd.com/collections/super-sale
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Old 03-29-18, 11:28 AM
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If you want to race now 11 speed or bust. If you want to just train and go on group rides something less would be ok. Remember the more you pay now the higher the resale if you have to.

Regards.
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Old 03-29-18, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
If you want to race now 11 speed or bust. If you want to just train and go on group rides something less would be ok. Remember the more you pay now the higher the resale if you have to.

Regards.
What?
11sp isn't necessary at all depending on where you live.

If you want to do short format races, you'll need a 52+ big front ring. Long distance, gravel, hilly, travel, etc, you'll probably want a 50/34 front rings. All 11sp (rear cassettes) gives you is an extra gear, which is typically a lower gear. Unless you're going up a steep hill in your race, 9/10/11/12 speed won't make a difference.

It is however nice to get 11sp now, so if you get another 11sp bike later, parts can be shared.
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