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Hi Everybody! - Thinking of This Entry Level Road Bike...

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Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Hi Everybody! - Thinking of This Entry Level Road Bike...

Old 07-02-20, 09:19 AM
  #26  
Plainsman
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I wouldnít consider the ALR5 entry level spec though. R7000 105 series components are quite nice, and 11 speed at that (versus 8 speed entry level). The gearing on that bike is also suited to pure road riding as well as gravel, with the compact crankset and an 11-34 cassette. So, nice components on that package, looks to be hydro discs, not really out of line at $2k mark IMO, but I definitely wouldnít call it entry level either. Donít be shy about test riding, especially if you are on the fence between drop bar or flat bar. Test riding is the only way to tell. Iíve been buying bikes for awhile, and Iíve yet to buy one I didnít test ride.

Update: the components have changed for 2021, Iím referencing the 2020 specs.

Last edited by Plainsman; 07-02-20 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 07-02-20, 09:25 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
Several of my friends are shop owners. They all wish they had more stock for sure. This has been the biggest bike sale boon in the past 25 years. Iím sure that if they could have predicted the impact Covid would have on sales they would have all bought as much stock as possible. A great time to be in bike sales, but a little tough to be a buyer at this moment. I expect it to level out for next year, as you wouldnít expect continued exponential growth in bike sales. Couple that with what I hope is at least a slight increase in production, and maybe we can anticipate a more stable supply next year.
I second this. Supply chain disruption was brutal this year and the two local shop owners I know don't even have inventory. to buy this year I actually went to a larger dealer and have a guaranteed October arrival date on my new bike but the bikes are actually hitting their warehouse at the end of July so they think it's going to get to me sooner. Even getting an arrival date this year at this point is rough where I live.
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Old 07-02-20, 10:28 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
I wouldnít consider the ALR5 entry level spec though. R7000 105 series components are quite nice, and 11 speed at that (versus 8 speed entry level). The gearing on that bike is also suited to pure road riding as well as gravel, with the compact crankset and an 11-34 cassette. So, nice components on that package, looks to be hydro discs, not really out of line at $2k mark IMO, but I definitely wouldnít call it entry level either. Donít be shy about test riding, especially if you are on the fence between drop bar or flat bar. Test riding is the only way to tell. Iíve been buying bikes for awhile, and Iíve yet to buy one I didnít test ride.

Update: the components have changed for 2021, Iím referencing the 2020 specs.
No the bike looked nice. Not so much my color. It was black with dark teal for labeling. What really impressed me with how thin and light it was. He had me stand over it and I was afraid it would break LOL. Then he said pick it up to see how much clearance there was. Felt half the weight of the bike I had in college (Giant Mountain Bike). If he said it was ~$1500, I probably would have bought it. But $2100+ is just way too much. Didn't want to ride it and fall because I never used those types of gears before. More familiar with straight bar mechanical gears.

Originally Posted by y2zipper View Post
I second this. Supply chain disruption was brutal this year and the two local shop owners I know don't even have inventory. to buy this year I actually went to a larger dealer and have a guaranteed October arrival date on my new bike but the bikes are actually hitting their warehouse at the end of July so they think it's going to get to me sooner. Even getting an arrival date this year at this point is rough where I live.
Yeah he explained that. He said to call and check back at the end of July. I checked with Trek and they should start catching up over the next couple of weeks. But yeah the bike shop yesterday was nearly empty even though it was crowded with people. I really like the lifetime free maintenance. That beats REI.
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Old 07-02-20, 11:17 AM
  #29  
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Ha! I hear that. If you are used to an old Giant mountain bike then almost everything is going to feel light! Most new road bikes come in under 20 lbs, the more expensive the lighter, some hitting sub 15 lbs. Even with new gravel/ cyclocross / or even flat bar hybrid you can keep it to 20-25 lbs, even in aluminum frames. As a bodybuilder, I figure most nicer new bikes you'll find will greatly pale in weight to what you do for single arm curls! But, that doesn't mean they aren't strong. The new Checkpoint will come with slightly lower gearing than the 2020 models, making it a bit more trail oriented than road. I would suggest keeping your eyes peeled and waiting for the right bike to come along. Don't be hesitant to try out different styles while you are looking so you can make informed comparisons. I assure you that the shops are as eager (or more so) as you are to get bikes back in stock. They want to sell just like you want to buy. If you can wait out the storm so to speak, you might also do a little better cost wise. In shops there isn't a ton of incentives for price cutting right now. The higher end bikes are the last to go, but I still see folks snapping them up. All depends on how badly you want to get out there and what you are willing to spend at the moment versus waiting. Granted, it's much easier to wait to buy if you already have a bike to ride.
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Old 07-02-20, 11:22 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
Ha! I hear that. If you are used to an old Giant mountain bike then almost everything is going to feel light! Most new road bikes come in under 20 lbs, the more expensive the lighter, some hitting sub 15 lbs. Even with new gravel/ cyclocross / or even flat bar hybrid you can keep it to 20-25 lbs, even in aluminum frames. As a bodybuilder, I figure most nicer new bikes you'll find will greatly pale in weight to what you do for single arm curls! But, that doesn't mean they aren't strong. The new Checkpoint will come with slightly lower gearing than the 2020 models, making it a bit more trail oriented than road. I would suggest keeping your eyes peeled and waiting for the right bike to come along. Don't be hesitant to try out different styles while you are looking so you can make informed comparisons. I assure you that the shops are as eager (or more so) as you are to get bikes back in stock. They want to sell just like you want to buy. If you can wait out the storm so to speak, you might also do a little better cost wise. In shops there isn't a ton of incentives for price cutting right now. The higher end bikes are the last to go, but I still see folks snapping them up. All depends on how badly you want to get out there and what you are willing to spend at the moment versus waiting. Granted, it's much easier to wait to buy if you already have a bike to ride.
I know what you mean. It took me over 2 months to finally get a Rogue Echo. Not sure if you are familiar with Air Bikes, but that bike is currently the hardest exercise machine to come by LOL. So yeah glad I was patient. It just sucks that I have to wait while the weather is nice. But I also don't want to get stuck with something more than I wanted to pay and then come this fall, see all these bikes I could have easily gotten. On top of that, if I'm paying $2000+ for a bike, I want it to at least be in the color I want LOL. But yeah it definitely felt light. I think the specs are around 23-24lbs. Maybe lighter. Also, not so sure if I was the perfect customer for the bike at this time. He measured me and said 56" for bike size. While the bike seemed to fit, it sure seemed a lot higher than what I'm used to. Although I know mountain bikes sit lower than road/gravel bikes. Hopefully I will find out some positive news in a few weeks! Thanks again!
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Old 07-02-20, 12:12 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by mikecart1 View Post
No the bike looked nice. Not so much my color. It was black with dark teal for labeling. What really impressed me with how thin and light it was. He had me stand over it and I was afraid it would break LOL. Then he said pick it up to see how much clearance there was. Felt half the weight of the bike I had in college (Giant Mountain Bike). If he said it was ~$1500, I probably would have bought it. But $2100+ is just way too much. Didn't want to ride it and fall because I never used those types of gears before. More familiar with straight bar mechanical gears.


Yeah he explained that. He said to call and check back at the end of July. I checked with Trek and they should start catching up over the next couple of weeks. But yeah the bike shop yesterday was nearly empty even though it was crowded with people. I really like the lifetime free maintenance. That beats REI.
That's what the sales manager told me when I bought. The warehouse arrival dates indicated that Trek is going to catch up at the end of the month but the shop didn't really want to guarantee that. I could have had a higher end model than what I bought but it wasn't worth the price for me to go up a model and the shop actually recommended against going down a model because of the price point difference. For reference, I bought the 2021 emonda sl6 pro this year as an upgrade to my entry level Giant Road Bike. Going up to the SL7 costs 2,000 more and didn't seem worth the jump. I also didn't have the money.

I was surprised they even let me test ride stuff but I'm happy they did and you shouldn't be shy about testing stuff.

Free maintenance is a good deal, too. It's hard to beat that.
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Old 07-02-20, 01:58 PM
  #32  
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105 - R7000 stuff is fantastic. It's like 200g heavier than ultegra and the functionality is just about on par since it was updated recently. I wouldn't hesitate to get a bike with it. I just put it on my road bike because the price : performance ratio is very hard to beat.
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Old 07-06-20, 08:52 AM
  #33  
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Well I'm tired of waiting. It looks like the FX3 might be in stock at my local bike shop. At least that's what the website says. It may be wrong. Hard to understand the difference between the FX line and Checkpoint line and why one is designed supposedly for gravel. Not sure if the salespeople want me to spend nearly $2000 or under $1000 for a bike.
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Old 07-06-20, 07:49 PM
  #34  
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Not that my opinion is incredibly informed (not knowing all variables in you situation), but I'm going to take a stab at a recommendation. If you can get an FX or something along those lines in the $500 or so range, maybe that is the way to go. Here is my reasoning. Say you ride it and love it. You have a bike you can use, you got some enjoyment and exercise out of it, and either it's pretty much as bike as you needed OR you know better what you want and can trade up. If you don't like it (or cycling in general), you haven't spent a ton of money, and you still have a decent bike you can sell and recoup a good bit of what you've spent. Just one way to look at the decision matrix that doesn't involve you spending 1-2k on something you are not sure about, and potentially having an expensive bike you aren't 100% sold on versus more of a starter bike. The lower risk option if you will.
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Old 07-06-20, 07:53 PM
  #35  
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FX is good too because it's not so nice that you can't lock it up and use it for errands

It's a good runabout as well as exercise machine
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Old 07-07-20, 08:36 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
Not that my opinion is incredibly informed (not knowing all variables in you situation), but I'm going to take a stab at a recommendation. If you can get an FX or something along those lines in the $500 or so range, maybe that is the way to go. Here is my reasoning. Say you ride it and love it. You have a bike you can use, you got some enjoyment and exercise out of it, and either it's pretty much as bike as you needed OR you know better what you want and can trade up. If you don't like it (or cycling in general), you haven't spent a ton of money, and you still have a decent bike you can sell and recoup a good bit of what you've spent. Just one way to look at the decision matrix that doesn't involve you spending 1-2k on something you are not sure about, and potentially having an expensive bike you aren't 100% sold on versus more of a starter bike. The lower risk option if you will.
Good point of view. Well based on my chat with Trek yesterday, I didn't like their update that November is the date to expect the ALR line to return to shops. Might look at another option from Trek. I might just go back in and ask them to show me all the bike they have under $1000 LOL!

Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
FX is good too because it's not so nice that you can't lock it up and use it for errands

It's a good runabout as well as exercise machine
FX seems good. I know it's not the best and is not the lightest, but this is all for fitness. I have no intention for racing haha. I will check back with the bike shop today.
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Old 07-07-20, 09:46 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by mikecart1 View Post
Good point of view. Well based on my chat with Trek yesterday, I didn't like their update that November is the date to expect the ALR line to return to shops. Might look at another option from Trek. I might just go back in and ask them to show me all the bike they have under $1000 LOL!


FX seems good. I know it's not the best and is not the lightest, but this is all for fitness. I have no intention for racing haha. I will check back with the bike shop today.
Other options in that same vein and price point if you canít find a Trek:

Specialized Sirrus
Cannondale Quick
Giant Escape

(back when I bought a fitness bike I had researched the FX and was going to get one, but wound up with a better deal on a Cannondale Quick)
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Old 07-07-20, 03:11 PM
  #38  
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Thanks everyone for the help! The more I looked and the more answers I got from Trek and the depressing "1 left in stock 300 miles away" routine and the "November 2020 earliest timeframes", I was like the time is now! It's hot. It's summer. And November 2020 really means March or April 2020 because there is no way I'm going to be riding a bike in the cold weather on a regular basis. So I tried calling the shop today. Line was busy. I was getting mad. Looked at some Specialized options. All sold out. Had a Giant before. Wanted something new. So I drove to the shop today. Had low expectations because who really keeps their website updated these days when it comes to inventory? Here is a big tip to new bike owners: Standover Height matters.

I looked at this for hours the past few days. For me it's super important. I know you see threads on here saying "well 0.01% of the time you are in that position". Well that is important to me. I've had mountain bikes in the past and it was never an issue. I had a Kawasaki Ninja and even at stop lights, I could keep my feet on the ground. Balancing 400lbs on 1 leg gets to get annoying after awhile. Anyways, long story short, I disagreed with the 56cm size I was given by the guy last week on their remaining ALR5 in a color I didn't want. I started to wonder. Yes all the website and even Trek has guidance that 56cm is for someone 6'0". And yes I got on that bike last week and could stand on a flat showroom floor super straight up and had maybe 1" of clearance. That ain't much room for margin on actual land. So I was looking at 54cm bikes. Maybe I got short legs or maybe I am right and everyone else is wrong LOL.

So I went in today looking for either an FX3 or ALR4. I know the price difference but I know that the FX3 will require several upgrades for me like the handlebars and I'd always wonder a year from now if I should have just gone ahead and gotten a gravel bike. I took the 54cm ALR4 around the block. It fit great. I have no idea how to shift and I need to get used to the seat LOL. But it rides awesome. Anyways, just so you all don't think I was wasting ya'll's time - and the guy was like "you want to get it today or want to think about it?" At this point in 95F heat with humidity and dripping in sweat looking suspicious as hell, I said "no I'm taking it". Barely fit in my car. I guess that's what bike racks are for... anyways:

Trek Checkpoint ALR4!!!
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Old 07-07-20, 04:54 PM
  #39  
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I'll keep it short - congratulations, and a beautiful bike!!!! Now enjoy the ride! (and when you post a pic, be sure to post drive side out so we can enjoy it in its full splendor!) Ride on!
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Old 07-07-20, 04:58 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
I'll keep it short - congratulations, and a beautiful bike!!!! Now enjoy the ride! (and when you post a pic, be sure to post drive side out so we can enjoy it in its full splendor!) Ride on!
Thanks for the help. Just got a helmet too so waiting on that. I guess I could use my motorcycle helmet, but that might look ridiculous in this nearly 100F heat. In the meantime, I need to look up how to shift the gears haha.
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Old 07-13-20, 04:11 PM
  #41  
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Finally took the bike out today for the first time. I know it's been a week, but I was nervous LOL! All I gotta say is that the pros make it look a lot easier than it is. I powerlift, bodybuild, and run ultra marathons. I did about 5 miles today until I nearly had a heat stroke. Ended up carrying my bike a mile home. Total stats: 36:42, 5.66 miles, 9.2 mph (have no idea how the pros average 30mph+). I learned 2 things:
  1. Need to get some bike shorts because wearing gym shorts hurts BAD
  2. Need to find out how to bike faster LOL
  3. Bike is smooth!
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Old 07-13-20, 04:30 PM
  #42  
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Sounds like you've discovered cycling uses some different muscles than running and weightlifting. Many people have discovered the same.

I started biking again at 59 and struggled to ride 5 miles initially. Took a while before I could do 10 but much less time to do 20 and then 30, etc. My advice is to ride as often as you can. Don't worry about how far or fast you go initially.

And definitely get some good bike shorts or bibs. Your butt needs to get used to sitting on a saddle but bibs or shorts with a good pad will make things much more bearable.
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Old 07-13-20, 04:37 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Sounds like you've discovered cycling uses some different muscles than running and weightlifting. Many people have discovered the same.

I started biking again at 59 and struggled to ride 5 miles initially. Took a while before I could do 10 but much less time to do 20 and then 30, etc. My advice is to ride as often as you can. Don't worry about how far or fast you go initially.

And definitely get some good bike shorts or bibs. Your butt needs to get used to sitting on a saddle but bibs or shorts with a good pad will make things much more bearable.
Yeah I did the first mile or so super easy. I was like "these biking guys don't know what they are talking about". However, that first mile was mostly downhill LOL! As soon as I hit a hill, I was in pain. And then getting back home on that same hill was torture. So close from just passing out on the sidewalk LOL! I like it though. Different muscles and will probably make me a better runner. I just ordered some biking shorts. I finally know what everyone was talking about hah!
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Old 07-13-20, 04:51 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by mikecart1 View Post
I'd always wonder a year from now if I should have just gone ahead and gotten a gravel bike.
I was under the impression that the Checkpoint could run pretty wide tires--so you should be fine in gravel?
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