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Suggestions for my first 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

Suggestions for my first road bike.

Old 09-04-06, 10:04 PM
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tw1112
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Suggestions for my first road bike.

Hey everybody I hope you guy can offer me some help here. About half a year ago I set out to purchase a new bike after not riding for over a decade. My ride style mainly is just riding on the riverbeds and around the city streets. All the stores suggested me getting a comfort or hybrid bike and that's what I ended up with...A giant cypress comfort bike. Now after riding for a little while, I've really grown to like it and want to get more "serious" about riding...maybe even do a century by the end of the year or early next year. The comfort bike is nice, but it feels like a lot of my energy is sapped out because of the suspension etc.

I recently started to read up on road bikes and cross bikes and am trying to figure out which is for me. Like I said, I still ride mainly the riverbeds and around the city...fairly flat rides with the exception of the freeway overpass bridges. I was thinking casual city rides I could still use my comfort bike but when I'd like to go some distance and get a good workout, the new bike would take over. I liked the idea of having the cross bike and being able to put slicks or knobby tires on for the different riding styles, but I've been advised to not get them from the stores that I have visited. Today I went into performance and was advised strongly to NOT get a cross bike and just stick with a road bike. He showed me and I tried out a fuji team bike priced at 1400(dunno if that's a deal or not). It felt a little awkward stretching out and leaning down, but I suppose that has to do with me riding in an almost complete upright position right now on my giant. I told him that it didn't feel quite right on the seat and the handle bars, but he reassured me that it was a perfect fitting bike and he could adjust it to make it fit perfect....he just wasn't really willing to help me adjust it at the time(he seemed to be rushing to just make a quick sale rather than really help out).

So I guess what I'm asking is, for about 1500 and under, are there any bikes that you might suggest to me that would fit my needs? I'd love to save some money of course but would like something where I won't be looking to upgrade right away. Is weight that big of a difference for someone like me who isn't looking to race? Sorry it's so long winded...just want to get as much advise as possible. Thanks all!
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Old 09-04-06, 10:38 PM
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I would say that the Trek 1500 would be right in your price range, and give you a really nice bike that you won't need to upgrade for quite a while.

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Old 09-05-06, 12:23 AM
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Since your new to the roadbike deal fill out these forms before you make a decision about the size.
http://www.wrenchscience.com/WS1/Sec...ing/Height.asp

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

I suggest these two alot for people because they seem to be pretty accurate.

When a shop tells you "You need a 58cm frame" and both the online programs tell you something a bit smaller...Walk...

Look at the top tube length.It seems to be the most important fitment issue.
Compare what they call the "effective length".
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Old 09-05-06, 12:42 AM
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Buy what you think fits your personality
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Old 09-05-06, 01:08 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Yeah I actually took a look at the Trek's the other day...didn't have time to test ride them. The 2100 was on closeout for $1200...would that be a 'better buy' then the 1500? I'm not sure if they had any 1500's left for the 2006 models.

Thanks PhilThee I will make sure to get the measurements tomorrow when I can get someone to help me with that.

The thing that is confusing me on the cross or road part is....A cross bike seems like it is the best of both worlds. Something you can take on trails and rougher terrain with the knobby tires...whereas you can put the slicks on and it would double as a road bike. Am I missing something here?
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Old 09-05-06, 01:11 AM
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dont get cross unless you are going to go offroad

Get a "specialized" bike for whatever it is that you are doing. Sure you can ride a mountain bike on the road but don't expect to keep up with anyone on a road bike(unless you outclass them outright).

I never believed in hybrids but thats just me. I like having the right machine for the right job
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Old 09-05-06, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by PhilThee
Since your new to the roadbike deal fill out these forms before you make a decision about the size.
http://www.wrenchscience.com/WS1/Sec...ing/Height.asp

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

I suggest these two alot for people because they seem to be pretty accurate.

When a shop tells you "You need a 58cm frame" and both the online programs tell you something a bit smaller...Walk...

Look at the top tube length.It seems to be the most important fitment issue.
Compare what they call the "effective length".
+1

Fit is the most important issue. If you are used to a MTB/Hybrid then tell the LBS, local bike shop, that you want a bike that the seat is the same height as the handle bar. Having the handlebar too low will be way too big a change from the MTB position you are used to. You can always lower the bars later on. Good luck with whatever you choose.

Tim
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Old 09-05-06, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for the fitment tips Tim I will make sure to lower the seat and see if that helps with the feel.

ovoleg - I guess the main reason why I keep leaning towards the cross bike is that a lot of posts that I read about road bicycles give me the impression that they are somewhat more fragile than a cross bike. Some posts mentioned how you have to be careful when riding on grass, potholes, poor roads, etc and it makes me wonder if I really would know how to handle a road bike. I know these things all refer to the tires and getting flats or damaging the wheels...but is it really that fragile? The riverbeds sometimes have small potholes that are hard to see from a distance and also cracked pavement, glass, a small bit of dirt sections...
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Old 09-05-06, 11:16 AM
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My vote would be for a Giant OCR.
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Old 09-05-06, 11:44 AM
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At the $1500 level, there's seriously so much good stuff you can pick up that it'd be wrong of me to suggest just one bike.

Decide if you'd rather have a comfortable or aggressive/less comfortable geometry setup. Ask your shop about the differences.

Decide what frame material(s) you like the most - aluminum/carbon mix? Steel/carbon? Full carbon? Titanium?

Components - Campy? Shimano? 105 or Ultegra? Veloce or Centaur?

Then pick a bike that looks gooood. you should look at and go "yyyesss. that's the one." while fitting your above criteria.

Make sure it fits. This is probably the most important rule of all.

Lastly, buy it. Shops will have great closeout deals in a month or two. Just you wait.

Have fun.
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Old 09-06-06, 07:30 PM
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I got to try out a 2005 KHS Flite 700 today and really liked the fit of this bike. Riding it around I felt no problems like I felt on the Fuji, so I'm thinking this was a good size for me. I'm having a little trouble finding info on KHS bikes since the search doesn't allow 3 letter searches....Does anyone have good or bad things to say about them? The price was 1099 for the 2005...is that a pretty good price for a closeout KHS 700? This is a link to the specs on it:

http://www.khsbicycles.com/07_flite_700.htm

I'll still try out other bikes but just wanted to see what people thought of this one. Am going to have someone help me finally do the fit calculations tonight. Thanks!

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Old 09-06-06, 09:06 PM
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i'd say go BIG on the first one, get something like Willier Le Roi
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Old 09-06-06, 09:57 PM
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That Flite 700 looks nice. Campy and all.
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Old 09-06-06, 10:20 PM
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Since it's your first road bike and you don't plan on racing or anything, I'd have to suggest either getting a used bike from a reputable source, or looking at some low end road bikes. Low end does NOT mean crappy. You should be able to find a road bike equipped with shimano sora components for about $500. I have a iron horse cyclone (got it for $450), and I love riding it. I occassionally think of upgrading, but to be honest there's no need for me to upgrade.
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Old 09-07-06, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rapidcarbon
i'd say go BIG on the first one, get something like Willier Le Roi
Haha if you want to loan me the money I'll be good to go!

I'm not really up to date on campy vs. shimano and all, but through some of the posts that I searched for and found, it seems like the campy parts on the Flite 700 are the mirage...that is in between sora - tiagra. So specs wise, would I be better off going with the trek? I think the KHS will come in about $100 less than the Trek 2100 that I mentioned above. I will need to see if they have the trek in my size and try it out, but that would have shimano 105 and ultegra mixed in. Is there any real reason to go with one or the other?

Originally Posted by Impoliticus
Since it's your first road bike and you don't plan on racing or anything, I'd have to suggest either getting a used bike from a reputable source, or looking at some low end road bikes. Low end does NOT mean crappy. You should be able to find a road bike equipped with shimano sora components for about $500. I have a iron horse cyclone (got it for $450), and I love riding it. I occassionally think of upgrading, but to be honest there's no need for me to upgrade.
I was originally looking at something like the Iron Horse Triumph sport at $549, but I would need to assemble it myself and I wouldn't be able to test ride it first. Also, after the last visit to performance and the not-so-great sales tactics, I really am not jumping at the next chance to go there and buy this bike...even though I'm a perf. member and would be able to save some bucks on other things with the points. Buying used is something that I have thought about and am constantly on the look out for a great deal to happen by....problem is I wouldn't really know how to tell if the bike is in good shape mechanically or not?..
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Old 09-07-06, 02:59 AM
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I bought my first road bike in July as well. Cannondale R700 - I went to a lot of different shops and looked at a lot of different bikes. I'd consider it kind of an upper entry-level bike - it's got 105/Ultegra components - but I was assured that the frame and construction were excellent. I also got a good deal because it was one of the last 2006 models. And it looks cool too! I paid $1400 Canadian - other bikes in that range than I remember specifically (there were more!) were Trek 1500 and Giant OCR1, both of which I considered. So in my extremely limited experience I'd recommend taking a look at a Cannondale.
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Old 09-07-06, 04:58 AM
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I bought my entry road bike last year and was deciding between the Trek 1500, Lemond Tourmalet, and the Cannondale R700. I ended up with the R700 and definately have no regrets.
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Old 09-07-06, 06:26 AM
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First road bike

In the same boat... just purchased a Trek Pilot 1.0 for what I'm sure was too much money (but still way under your 1500 price range). I test rode a Specialized Sport and a Trek 1000 but I liked the feel of the Pilot better. Coming from riding a hybrid it seemed like a good first step, dual brake levers and all...
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