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Intro road bike purchase advice

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

Intro road bike purchase advice

Old 04-07-09, 09:15 PM
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jadoescher
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Intro road bike purchase advice

Hey there,

I am looking to buy my first road bike. I want to spend less than $1000 and I have it narrowed down to two models, the Giant Defy 2 and the Orbea Fleche. A local shop has both for about the same price (950 for the Giant, 930 for the Orbea). However, they tell me the Defy 2 is a step above the entry level Giant (Defy 3) so this might make it a step above the Orbea for about 20 bucks more. The other catch is the they don't actually have the Orbea Fleche in stock and would have to special order it so I haven't had a chance to test ride it. I have heard that Orbea makes sweet bikes, so I was leaning towards that before I heard about the Giant Defy line.

Any advice? The Defy 2 rode nicely but I don't have much to compare it to as a road bike newbie. I am a bit wary toward Giant since I seem to remember them as a cheaper mass production line growing up, but I could be wrong. The Defy 2 seems to have a higher level of components than the Orbea. Although I haven't tried out the Orbea Fleche, something about that brand seems more solid and well built (and they look cooler).

Any help that you all could offer would be great

Thanks
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Old 04-07-09, 09:19 PM
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Giant makes good bikes so I wouldn't worry about quality, even at the entry level. I have an Orbea but not the Fleche nor have I ridden one so I can't give you much feedback, though I'm pretty sure the geometry is different for the Orca/Opal/Onix group and their aluminum bikes.
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Old 04-09-09, 09:09 PM
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I bought a Giant Defy 1 about 3 months ago. I love it! It's my first road bike. The Defy line is geared more for those who want a more upright ride. Being a newbie, I found it a perfect frame for me. It allows long miles on the bike without fatigue. I think Giant is one of the largest frame manufacturers so you tend to get more for your $$ with them.
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Old 04-09-09, 09:16 PM
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Old 04-10-09, 03:14 AM
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I looked at the geometry of both of those bikes, in my size, and the head tube angles and top tube length are significantly different.

The Giant should give you a much more upright posture whereas the Orbea should have you a bit more stretched out.

As always, you'll have to test ride both to see which ones your body likes more.
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Old 04-10-09, 07:24 AM
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I just got a defy2 after trying a whole ton of different bikes. It's a very comfortable ride and after training my legs in a recumbent for ~800 miles and switching back to an upright, it's quite comfortable. I was on a craigslist racing bike (early 90's lotus) and after 65 miles of that I decided to modern it up a little. The defy is a very nice bike and I did two 60 mile rides back to back and only my ass complained about it. I can't speak to the orbea, but the giant is a nice riding frame and very comfortable. It's the happiest I've been with a road bike (trek 5000, lotus 2000R, and the defy2) Not too spendy and a nice ride :-)
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Old 04-10-09, 08:41 AM
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I got the Defy 2 on Wednesday. I love it so far. I couldn't find an Orbea Fleche in stock anywhere so I couldn't try it. thanks everyone!
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Old 04-10-09, 09:42 AM
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I have the Giant OCR3 and I have to say that it's a great bike. Although Sora components seem universally loathed around here, I have found no problems with them. They are quiet and shift smoothly. The first thing you'll want to do, is swap out the adjustable stem that comes with the bike with a proper fixed stem, and put on some clipless pedals. I don't know about the Orbea, but I recommend the Giant. I paid $650 for mine.
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