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Getting in deep.

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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

Getting in deep.

Old 03-19-09, 08:14 PM
  #1  
Diamond Dave
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Getting in deep.

This is a great resource, a wealth of info. You might even say, info overload. I wonít start off by telling you my life story lest I bore you to tears, but Iím hoping someone out there will take the time to help me. So thanks in advance for the insight.

Iím in my mid 40ís and my fitness level is good, I would dare to say above average for my age group. Iím 6ft tall 215 lbs. My ideal weight is 200 so thatís one of the reasons I want to start riding again. I need to find a good road bike at a good price.

I"d like to start riding with an organized group, I think it would be cool to meet new people that love to ride. Iím a bit competitive. Iíve played organized sports as a kid
as well as most of my adult life. So I donít really want to by an entry level bike and have to upgrade it in 6 months. So my first question is, what is the best bike or a good bike for the money. Cannondale? Giant TCR? Speclized?

I have no problem letting go of 2k for the right bike. I would love to find someone who has a good used bike they bought for 35000 or so and there looking to upgrade.

So my second question is, at what point does the cost exceed the benefit? Iím not Lance and Iím not looking to trim tenths of seconds of my time, so am I really going to go any faster on a 5000 dollar bike than I am on a 2000 dollar bike.

My last question, from all of the stuff Iíve read so far I do understand that the right size bike is really important, I think thatís just good common sense, but Iím not really understanding the hole set up thing. I do understand the concept, seat height, bar height etc but is there a specific set up or configuration that a rider needs to be at for say, comfort and performance? I mean wouldnít that be different for different riders.

Ok thanks for indulging me : ) Please feel free to speak your mind, I really do appreciate the help,

Dave
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Old 03-19-09, 08:26 PM
  #2  
ok_commuter
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Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
am I really going to go any faster on a 5000 dollar bike than I am on a 2000 dollar bike.
Not until you're 175 lbs.

Your $2000 budget gives you access to a universe of awesome used bikes. Don't be afraid to add another grand making it your own and buying accessories/clothes. There's some stuff you'll need, and there's some stuff that makes it so much nicer whether or not it qualifies as "need".

Study two things on the interwebs:

1. Bike fit. If my bookmarks weren't such a disaster, I'd pull some links. But you're probably as good with Google as I am, so get after it. wrenchscience.com has a fit system that walks you through a sizing online with commentary. There are others. Ride a bunch of bikes to validate/challenge what you read. Online fit calculators work very well for me; YMMV.

2. Used bike manufacturers, models and prices. I recommend about 20 hours dutifully studying the used road bike market on eBay. Follow craigslist if it is a good resource where you are. Pull the trigger on something when a) you fall in love and know it fits and is the style of bike you want or b) you have plenty of money and a hard on for sick bikes and you can't resist or c) your eyes burn out from staring at the screen and you'd rather be riding.

Have fun.
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Old 03-19-09, 08:31 PM
  #3  
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https://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
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Old 03-19-09, 09:21 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
This is a great resource, a wealth of info. You might even say, info overload. I wonít start off by telling you my life story lest I bore you to tears, but Iím hoping someone out there will take the time to help me. So thanks in advance for the insight.

Iím in my mid 40ís and my fitness level is good, I would dare to say above average for my age group. Iím 6ft tall 215 lbs. My ideal weight is 200 so thatís one of the reasons I want to start riding again. I need to find a good road bike at a good price.

I"d like to start riding with an organized group, I think it would be cool to meet new people that love to ride. Iím a bit competitive. Iíve played organized sports as a kid
as well as most of my adult life. So I donít really want to by an entry level bike and have to upgrade it in 6 months. So my first question is, what is the best bike or a good bike for the money. Cannondale? Giant TCR? Speclized?

I have no problem letting go of 2k for the right bike. I would love to find someone who has a good used bike they bought for 35000 or so and there looking to upgrade.

So my second question is, at what point does the cost exceed the benefit? Iím not Lance and Iím not looking to trim tenths of seconds of my time, so am I really going to go any faster on a 5000 dollar bike than I am on a 2000 dollar bike.

My last question, from all of the stuff Iíve read so far I do understand that the right size bike is really important, I think thatís just good common sense, but Iím not really understanding the hole set up thing. I do understand the concept, seat height, bar height etc but is there a specific set up or configuration that a rider needs to be at for say, comfort and performance? I mean wouldnít that be different for different riders.

Ok thanks for indulging me : ) Please feel free to speak your mind, I really do appreciate the help,

Dave
Fit, fitness (bike fitness) and flexibility are interdependent along with the more obvious physical measurements. As your fitness and flexibility change, so may your bike fit. There is no "best" bike brand. All of the major manufacturers are good. You just need to find something that, yes, fits, suits your purpose, and makes you want to ride.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:30 PM
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go talk to your local bike store for a wealth of advice. They can size you up and even let you try a few bikes out, some stores even have demos they rent out. To enjoy cycling to its fullest its important to get a bike that right for you. And no matter how much you read on the internet your not going to know that until you sit on a few, and actually get a little seat time.
good luck!
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Old 03-19-09, 09:32 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by ok_commuter View Post
Your $2000 budget gives you access to a universe of awesome used bikes.
Honestly, $2k will give you a pretty decent NEW bike, especially if you're just starting out. If you make sure to get a good frame, and maybe skimp a bit on the initial components - going with Shimano 105 instead of Ultrega, for example - you can upgrade quite a bit as time goes on and your abilities improve.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:33 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
My last question, from all of the stuff Iíve read so far I do understand that the right size bike is really important, I think thatís just good common sense, but Iím not really understanding the hole set up thing. I do understand the concept, seat height, bar height etc but is there a specific set up or configuration that a rider needs to be at for say, comfort and performance? I mean wouldnít that be different for different riders.
Think of you and the bicycle as a machine. In order for a machine to work most efficiently, everything has to be in a certain position.

Therefore yes, there is a specific set up that a rider needs to be at for comfort and performance (and to prevent injury). And yes, the set up is specific to the rider ... different for different riders.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:39 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by kyriefurro View Post
Honestly, $2k will give you a pretty decent NEW bike, especially if you're just starting out. If you make sure to get a good frame, and maybe skimp a bit on the initial components - going with Shimano 105 instead of Ultrega, for example - you can upgrade quite a bit as time goes on and your abilities improve.
True enough, especially for those who have an aversion toward used. That could include people who don't like to spend hours figuring out what's a good model/geometry/deal for them on ebay and people who don't like to do their own wrenching.

If you have no problem with lightly-used equipment and want to do a little research and work, $2k goes further.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:49 PM
  #9  
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where are you located?
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Old 03-19-09, 09:54 PM
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You can get a fine bike for $2000. It might not be the latest zircon-encrusted 14 lb superbike, but you can, for instance, get a sporty (sport tourer) steel bike around that price w/ decent components that would please most novices and recreational riders.

Marinoni, for instance, is very competitive in pricing for their mid-level bikes, and they're not branded cookie cutter stuff.

Take the time to learn about fit and apply it to your purchase. A proper fitting bike will do more to enhance your enjoyment than higher end components.
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Old 03-20-09, 01:39 AM
  #11  
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Buy a CAAD9 105. After a little while here that's what you'll end up wanting anyway
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Old 03-20-09, 01:56 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by dar83 View Post
go talk to your local bike store for a wealth of advice. They can size you up and even let you try a few bikes out, some stores even have demos they rent out. To enjoy cycling to its fullest its important to get a bike that right for you. And no matter how much you read on the internet your not going to know that until you sit on a few, and actually get a little seat time.
Good luck!
+1
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Old 03-20-09, 02:45 AM
  #13  
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This is going to be long since I can't sleep - you're all warned.

I would strongly encourage you to plan on spending 400 on what you wear, and then 1600 on the bike.
The contact points (hands, seat, & feet) are where you are most likely to feel pain if you skimp on the clothing, and you will end up just buying nicer stuff in a few months anyway. If (As you say) you are willing to put some money into this, Do It Right This Time.

This means 100 on a good pair of bibs, 50 on a jersey, 100 on shoes, 60 gets you a good helmet, and 90 for sundries depending on your location (rain jacket, cap, gloves, etc). I should note - chamois cream is a good idea - don't be afraid of it. Oh, and you will probably try at least a few saddles before you find the one that end up loving - everyone's bits are shaped a bit differently. I'd recommend getting these used, but that's just my opinion.
Now that bits that can cause chafing/bleeding are well in hand - let's get to the bike stuff.

Prevailing Wisdom (at least for today) is to get the best frame you can, and then get decent components. Any frame material is available in your price range. I'd stay away from low-end carbon, I think that high-end alum or steel are better than cheap carbon - but that's my personal preference. All the brands work well enough at this price point - they really do.
As long as you are on BF you will hear a lot about the Cannondale CAAD9. There are lots of good reasons for this - it is a good example of Very good Alum. being better than low-end carbon for ride quality as well as overall Awesome.

Components - You should be getting Shimano 105 or similar if you buy new, Shimano Ultegra/DA or similar if you buy used. Campy works well and is a bit spendier, SRAM also works very well and is the current "new-hot-thing"

Get to know your local bike shop - if you don't know, you will soon enough. Ride the bikes they have there for demos. Visit other bike shops, ride the bikes they have as their demos.

Buy New = warranty and free/cheaper repairs and tune-ups.
Buy Used = cheaper and more opportunities to take it apart and figure out how things work. ...
This is personal preference.

For an example - take what I did.
I bought a new old stock Specialized Allez Sport '06 in fall '07. It is a decent Alum. frame bike that came with Tiagra components and I got it for $640... Frankly - a great deal. I bought cheap clothing, which I began to regret within the next month as it didn't fit quite correctly and the seams did bad things to me.

I rode the bike both lots and hard - and I got Upgrade-itis. I got a new set of wheels (Rolf Prima Apex) because I couldn't afford anything better, and the OEM wheels really were pretty bad. I finally switched to bibs (far superior IMO) that I could stand for more than 2.5 hours at a stretch- and that helped everything tremendously.
After a little less than a year and about 5K miles I had worn out my Tiagra for any racing usefulness - so I bought a group of used DA 9spd for $250, and I am currently riding the original frameset, upgraded wheels, and a used Dura Ace group. My bike rides quite well - and I'm happy with it. The only steps I regret along the way were when I bought cheap stuff for clothing or shoes. Incidentally - the difference in how I felt when switching from Tiagra to Dura-Ace (used, but still in great shape) was minor compared to the difference when switching from cheap Pearl Izumi shorts to good Voler bibs. ...

On that note - no matter what bike you get, new or used GET FITTED, get the full fit - this should take about an hour and should involve you riding your bike on a trainer and the fitter tinkering with your bike until pedaling feels fluid and your position is comfortable.

Contact Points Matter the biggest positive changes for me in the actual experience of riding a bike all involved clothing or position adjustments. I've ridden high dollar frames and wheels - yeah, wearables and fit trump everything else IMO.
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Old 03-20-09, 05:46 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Think of you and the bicycle as a machine. In order for a machine to work most efficiently, everything has to be in a certain position.

Therefore yes, there is a specific set up that a rider needs to be at for comfort and performance (and to prevent injury). And yes, the set up is specific to the rider ... different for different riders.
Everything does not have to be in perfect place. Bicycles by their nature are somewhat adjustable, bodies are somewhat adaptable. Within a small range of sizes, you should be able to find a good, aero, power producing position given the appropriate stem, bars and seatpost.
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Old 03-20-09, 04:25 PM
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You guys are freaking awesome. Thank you, thank, you, thank you, a thousand times thank you. I canít believe how excided I am about riding. I live in South Florida, Pembroke Pines to exact. Thatís on the east coast between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

I went out last night and did 10 miles on my old BOSS beach cruiser. I think itís going to pretty cool to start doing some serious riding with an organized group.

Iím going to take the great advice Iíve gotten hear and do my homework. Iím going to continue to ride as much as I can in the next couple of weeks while I look for a bike.

See you on the road,

Dave
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Old 03-20-09, 04:30 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by pdedes View Post
Everything does not have to be in perfect place. Bicycles by their nature are somewhat adjustable, bodies are somewhat adaptable. Within a small range of sizes, you should be able to find a good, aero, power producing position given the appropriate stem, bars and seatpost.
Yes, that's what I'm saying. You have to use things like the appropriate stem, bars, seatpost, etc. to set the bicycle up into a very specific setup for you. What works for one person may not, and quite possibly will not, work for another person.

And the longer distances you ride, the more "perfect" that setup has to be. That's why many of us have gone with customized custom bicycles.
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