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Buying my first roadbike, need advice

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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

Buying my first roadbike, need advice

Old 09-28-08, 12:23 PM
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jromano
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Buying my first roadbike, need advice

First of all, my budget for the bike itself is $400, which will give me a little bit of flex for maintenance. Please don't tell me to save more money. I'm not going to diverge every detail of my financial situation, but I'm simply not willing to spend more than that. If I can't get a decent bike for that price, just let me know now and I won't buy one at all.

Luckily it appears there are some options from Bikesdirect. I was looking at the Wellington 3.0 or one of the singlespeeds. I could get away with a singlespeed (as long as it's not fixed) since my town is pretty flat, but I don't have a strong preference either way. I would only really consider it if the components are significantly better. The cyclocross Uno looks very versatile offhand with the low gearing, but the chicken style brake levers are a big turnoff.

The goal of this bike is to serve as an introduction to roadbiking, learn how to do my own maintenance, have fun in the meantime and sell it for a better bike when I'm done with university. What is my best option here?

Last edited by jromano; 09-28-08 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 09-28-08, 12:37 PM
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Save up some more coin!! -- No just kidding. With that budget I would try to by used. Do what I did, find someone that is in the local club and tell them that you are looking at getting into cycling and to spread the word. Someone will most likely have an old steel bike with nice components that they are willing to part with. If that doesn’t work, scour your local craigs for a month or so. Good luck with finishing University!
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Old 09-28-08, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jromano View Post
First of all, my budget for the bike itself is $400, which will give me a little bit of flex for maintenance. Please don't tell me to save more money. I'm not going to diverge every detail of my financial situation, but I'm simply not willing to spend more than that. If I can't get a decent bike for that price, just let me know now and I won't buy one at all.

Luckily it appears there are some options from Bikesdirect. I was looking at the Wellington 3.0 or one of the singlespeeds. I could get away with a singlespeed (as long as it's not fixed) since my town is pretty flat, but I don't have a strong preference either way. I would only really consider it if the components are significantly better. The cyclocross Uno looks very versatile offhand with the low gearing, but the chicken style brake levers are a big turnoff.

The goal of this bike is to serve as an introduction to roadbiking, learn how to do my own maintenance, have fun in the meantime and sell it for a better bike when I'm done with university.
What is my best option here?
In the extremely unlikely event that you aren't a BD schill - you should really try Craig's list. With some diligence you can get more for your money. Also, Jeremy's advice is good - go hang at some local bike shops and tell them where you are at - you never know.
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Old 09-28-08, 01:55 PM
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I just bought one of these,

https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Horse-Tri...2631603&sr=8-3

very happy with it. but it's 525 ..
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Old 09-28-08, 02:48 PM
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Every time one of these posts come up, people always say, "buy used, buy used." I regularly see used bikes on Craigslist and Ebay going for just as much used as they would sell for new at an end of year clearance. I receintly sold my Felt tri bike on ebay for MORE than I bought it for new.

Any of thoses BD bikes are fine for a first bike. Buy it, ride it and have fun. Don't buy into the BS that if it doesn't have a "Trek" or "Specialized" sticker on it it's no good.
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Old 09-28-08, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by efrobert View Post
Every time one of these posts come up, people always say, "buy used, buy used." I regularly see used bikes on Craigslist and Ebay going for just as much used as they would sell for new at an end of year clearance. I receintly sold my Felt tri bike on ebay for MORE than I bought it for new.
There's a sucker born every minute. The OP can choose not to be one, right?

Originally Posted by efrobert View Post
Any of thoses BD bikes are fine for a first bike.
Incorrect.

Originally Posted by efrobert View Post
Buy it, ride it and have fun. Don't buy into the BS that if it doesn't have a "Trek" or "Specialized" sticker on it it's no good.
Correct.
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Old 09-28-08, 03:52 PM
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The biggest problem with getting a bike online, IMO, is that you lose out on the service of the shop. Getting it fitted; getting a years worth of free adjustments and tune-ups. Which, for a first time bike buyer are kinda important.

My first road bike cost me around $500 at the LBS. Bottom of the line, previous years model, and was roughly comparable to the Wellington mentioned in the OP. It was perfect at the time... though now when I take it out I can't believe I ever had fun riding it! Though without that first purchase, I would not have moved up in the world.
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Old 09-28-08, 04:01 PM
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If you're going for a BD road bike, I'd rec the Mirage Sport (https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...iragesport.htm) over the Wellingtons.

If you're going for a singlespeed, the Messenger (https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../messenger.htm) is nice.

If you can save about $130 more, the Iron Horse (https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Horse-Tri...sporting-goods) is a good deal.

However, if you're fixed at $400, I'd go with one of the first two bikes. Probably the first, since it's got gears.
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Old 09-28-08, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by uke View Post
If you're going for a BD road bike, I'd rec the Mirage Sport (https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...iragesport.htm) over the Wellingtons.

If you're going for a singlespeed, the Messenger (https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../messenger.htm) is nice.

If you can save about $130 more, the Iron Horse (https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Horse-Tri...sporting-goods) is a good deal.

However, if you're fixed at $400, I'd go with one of the first two bikes. Probably the first, since it's got gears.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself (p)uke. Think of the children.

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Old 09-28-08, 04:06 PM
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Ooh, I forgot. There's also the Forge at Target: https://www.target.com/Forge-1000-Roa...ice&rh=&page=1

The downside's that it's allegedly out of stock for two weeks. But if you're not in a hurry, it's considerably cheaper than similar quality BD bikes.
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Old 09-28-08, 04:14 PM
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If you are really new to road biking get a least a rough fit a LBS. So you will know what size frame you need. Then try CraigsList. And be patient it can take a while for a good one to appear.
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Old 09-28-08, 06:20 PM
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Try ebay. My brother went that route, not wanting to spend no more than $500-$600 for a road bike considering the only time he has to ride are on the weekends for recreational use. I found him an 07 Schwinn Fastback(NOS=New old stock) for about $470 shipped and the components are full Sora, with a Tiagra RD; not bad for an entry level bike for under $500.
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Old 09-28-08, 09:16 PM
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I got a rough fit when my friend went bikeshopping. I don't care about the free maintenance, it's something I really want to learn how to do by myself. I was thinking singlespeed was the way to go after looking around, but that Iron Horse is a hell of a deal. $520 for a fully equipped roadbike with Tiagra components! I may have to spring for that.

The gear ratio on the Messenger from BD seems absurdly high so that's probably out. By the time I replace the brake levers on the Fantom Uno it will have only saved me $80-90 versus the Iron Horse.

A few people have said try the used market, but I've been looking casually for months and have not found any deals.
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Old 09-28-08, 09:37 PM
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The Iron horse is decent , weak link is really the cheap wheels from what I heard from others.. I've had it 1 week been about 100 miles no problems. not much assembly needed, the derailer was adjusted out of the box and the wheels were round enough. I like the seat and the clipless pedals (you will have to buy shoes or normal pedals) the 22lb stated weight is spot on. Has generic seatpost bars and stem. The brakes suck to me, but I'm used to hydo brakes on my MTB.

I'm 5'9 to 5'10 and got the 56cm .... fits good, I can ride it with the stem flipped fine, but I have it set to fred mode so I can use the drops more.. not used to a road bike..
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Old 09-29-08, 05:25 PM
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look into getting a used mongoose pro morzine. I bought mine at $350, but you might be able to find one cheaper. Mine is holding up great, and is much better then walmart quality bikes
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Old 09-29-08, 05:46 PM
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Your budget is your budget. Easy for someone else to say "spend more."

My advice is to scour local Craig's list and/or ebay and like places. There's a lot of financial hurting going on and people are being forced to raise cash as credit lines dry up or as happened w/ me get canceled for no good reason.

You should be able to find something "worth" $600 for $400 unless you live in Valley City, ND or the like where there's no real used marketplace.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:46 PM
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I have a question about the Forge from Target. I'm 6ft with a 33in inseam. Bikes on the smaller side felt better to me. I tried out a lot of bikes and the ones that were most comfortable were 56cm frames

The Forge is only recommended up to 5'10. Someone reviewed it on this forum and it seemed to fit them fine at 5'11 though. Do you think the Forge would be too small for me? It looks like the best budget option right now.

I'm still kind of torn. I won't know what I really like until I use it for a while. A singlespeed sounds cool, but I can see some situations where it would be really frustrating. It might be a good idea to get a geared bike just to see if I like shifting or not.

For reference, how does the Forge compare to the Wellington 3.0?

Last edited by jromano; 09-29-08 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:54 PM
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I think the Forge is a better bike than the 3.0. Paint looks better, frame looks better, and it's nice knowing it's basically a Trek 1.2 or whatever sold under a different name. Someone on here bought it, and related his experiences, which sold me on the bike.
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