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1st Road Bike Suggestions Appreciated

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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

1st Road Bike Suggestions Appreciated

Old 12-10-09, 07:06 PM
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eyephantom
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1st Road Bike Suggestions Appreciated

Howdy, with a car inoperable condition for the better part of the year, I have been commuting 15-20 miles/day to work via mountain bike. After recently getting the necessary repairs and driving to work for the past several weeks, I've began to miss my morning commute. Now that I've made the decision to make cycling a habitual and long term part of my life and not wanting to loose the gains I've made thus far, I will be in need of a new bike and would greatly appreciate and welcome any suggestions.

Again, this bike will primarily be used for commuting, though I may consider looking at cycling events in the future. Unfortunately, my budget will only allow for something in the $5-700 range at the absolute max. I'm wondering what your opinion on this is? https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ventnoir_x.htm
And if due to my budget, it would be more advantageous to get a fixed gear bike. I'm thinking the local bike shop would be out of the question for anything outside of fixed gear.
After looking at a few threads, I'm guessing the majority here will recommend I check out craigslist, unfortunately I know nothing about bike components and what specifically I should be looking/asking for.
And again, any and all help is certainly appreciated.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:11 PM
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Have you ever bought a pair of shoes from the internet?
First you need to about what size of bike you need.
Bikes work best when they fit your body.

Go to a bike shop and find out your size.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:38 PM
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If you don't know anything about bikes, then you sort of need your local bike shop to set up that BD bike for you, so add some cost in there for that.

Check with your local bike shop to see what all they carry, too. For example, I recently got me a bike that the local bike shop doesn't stock ( a Raleigh), but when I did a dealer search on the website, I found them on the list. So they ordered one up for me, and I got a good deal on it. My local shop is primarily a Cannondale shop, and most of Cannondales road bikes are more than your price range. But, they do have one or two models in that price range- you may have to ask to find out about them. Personally, I'd rather buy a known brand locally than a mystery brand off the internet if it's a major item.

Consider your road conditions as well. I find here locally, half the people that seem to be actually commuting by bike are riding mountain bikes anyway. That's partly because if you pick the most direct route, you're liable to wind up on some bump-filled nightmare road. And if you ride it at night as well as day, it's a double whammy. The way most roadies handle this issue is to just ride where the roads are nicer and ride in the daylight. I got used to riding a fat-tire cruiser all over, and after I got my new bike, was surprised how rough some of those roads were with it.

Also consider weight. If you weigh 140 lbs, practically any bike is good for you. If you're on the hefty side, you probably don't want to buy the lightest fastest thing out there.

On the fixed-gear- my opinion is that they're useless. Obviously, other people disagree. But anyway, I would say get one because you want one, not because it's cheaper. (If you don't like it and don't ride it, you haven't saved any money by buying it.) If you don't have bad hills or high winds, you should be in good shape. Otherwise, it could be rough. It seems most fixed-gear riders run fairly high gears, and you can drop the ratio down if necessary, at the expense of some top-end speed. If I was riding one, I'd go for the flip-flop hub and just ride it on the coasty side- I like coasting. Nashbar has had some good deals on certain bikes and frames, but I don't know anything about the quality.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:51 PM
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Many internet bike sellers are very untrustworthy! Some try to advertise in sockpuppet ways. Be careful!
Go to various LBS's and get several opinions about what may work for you. Newbies should never buy a bike unseen or untried. Once you get some experience then MAYBE venture into on-line bike purchases. Some people just look for the best deal they can, but end up spending much more than if they had done their homework. Don't let pricing be the main driver when it comes to a bike purchase, you'll be gambling on comfort, quality, and "hands on" support.
Good luck sp-
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Old 12-10-09, 08:19 PM
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Think of it like this:

You are running the risk of buying a bike that completely doesn't fit you. You will spend every dime you save from buying on the internet on things to make the fit right. Plus, you're gonna have to pay someone to put that together, all of which is included in the purchase price of a LBS bike. My LBS also gave me free maintenance for a year I think.

Go to your LBS with cash and offer 80% of asking price for a bike and bring cash. Done.
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Old 12-11-09, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Have you ever bought a pair of shoes from the internet?
First you need to about what size of bike you need.
Bikes work best when they fit your body.

Go to a bike shop and find out your size.
Without saying "no ****," I have actually bought a pair of shoes from the internet. Before which, I measured my size and honestly saved considerable $$$. Perhaps in this case, I will do the same. Let's say, I measure at 58cms at the LBS, why not buy a road bike online if that's all I can afford, rather than a fixed bike at the LBS? I'd perhaps give craigslist a shot, provided someone here could provide somewhat detailed specifications for what I'm looking for. I would expect a greater wealth of knowledge at a bike forum.
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Old 12-11-09, 01:56 AM
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As a fellow budget minded type of person I'm gonna say go with the cheap online purchase, if you're brave enough to buy shoes online and that worked out for you, you'll probably be able handle an online bike purchase. It's really not rocket science.
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Old 12-11-09, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by RacerOne View Post
As a fellow budget minded type of person I'm gonna say go with the cheap online purchase, if you're brave enough to buy shoes online and that worked out for you, you'll probably be able handle an online bike purchase. It's really not rocket science.
right on, the shoes worked well. Perhaps buying online will cut through the pretense. It's honestly, unfortunate as I had hoped posting on this forum would provide insight. It seems however, that my posts are catered to the pretentious crowd, where money doesn't matter and they are looking for a cool looking bike that might cut 15 years off, ****ing deplorable.
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Old 12-11-09, 02:21 AM
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I should say, however, this doesn't necessarily apply to everyone posting in this thread, my opinions are based on what I've read here, and have obtained from reading the forum in general. ride on
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Old 12-11-09, 03:15 AM
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It's a good bike - get it, and you'll have something that fits what you'd want very well. If you knew you were going to be very serious about road racing, I'd say to bite the bullet and spend more on a pro-fit, $2000+ bike just so you don't get upgraditis (the pricey bike does NOT buy improved performance!), but as a commuter/part-time racer, this bike is likely better, as you won't be worrying as much about parking you precious Cervelo in odd places.

My 2nd bike is a Giant Defy intro level bike with similar, but lesser specs and components, and it kicks butt - it easily allows me to hold my own riding with competitive roadies with $5000+ bikes (it's not about the bike after $500ish, IMO.) It's also not necessary to get a perfect pro-fit on this type of intro-level bike; unless you know you have bizarre proportions, you'll fit close enough using their estimators.

The argument that you'll get a horrible fit because you're off by 1cm is overhyped. You can ride a range of sizes without problem, once you get used to the position. In fact, some argue that you should experiment with your position, even after a pro-fit, just to make sure you understand and feel the variations and effects in fit (which may differ between climbing courses vs flat courses, etc.)

You'll never get that kind of pricing on this bike in an LBS, as well. Even after a $100 look-over from the LBS added on the cost.

Last edited by agarose2000; 12-11-09 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 12-11-09, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by eyephantom View Post
I would expect a greater wealth of knowledge at a bike forum.
Originally Posted by eyephantom View Post
It's honestly, unfortunate as I had hoped posting on this forum would provide insight. It seems however, that my posts are catered to the pretentious crowd, where money doesn't matter and they are looking for a cool looking bike that might cut 15 years off, ****ing deplorable.
You don't get the answer you want so this is what you say. Good for you. If you want to buy on the internet, do it. You don't need our permission.

I live in San Diego, and I know of at least 5 places you can walk into a shop and buy a bike with similar componets to what that bike has, you can test ride it first, and you can take it back for adjustments and warranty. If that does not appeal to you, or you know everything there is to know about adjusting your bike, why are you even asking strangers on the internet for their opinion? Here is some places I have seen bikes with similar componets at similar price points.

Dicks Sporting Goods
Sports Chalet
Performance Bike Shop
Bicycle Warehouse
The local Giant dealer, forgot the name of the shop

Happy cycling.
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Old 12-11-09, 09:38 AM
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Also check out the Windsor Fens: https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/fens_IX.htm

It has better 105 shifters and RD for the same price as the Vent Noir. I bought a Fens two years ago and it really is a nice riding bike and very sturdy. My Fens:
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Old 12-11-09, 10:09 AM
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I honestly never realized that I was part of the pretentious crowd, to whom money doesn't matter.

The people that are in the best position to answer your questions on that specific bicycle are the ones who have bought multiple road bikes, including that one. Doing so does not generally indicate poverty or pretension. I haven't bought that bicycle and don't plan to, so I can't offer any specifics on it. There's a lot of pro and con posts already on here about BikesDirect, and if you've read some of them, there's nothing really new to add about them.

You may have already done research at the local bike shop, but one thing I found was that some brands commonly spoken of on the internet were not readily available locally, except by special order. If you know what is available locally, that will narrow your choices down.

You may also need pedals, shoes, a high-pressure pump, or new helmet, so factor those into your costs.
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Old 12-11-09, 10:24 AM
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if i was going low budget bikesdirect i'd look at their steel touring models. lot of utility.
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Old 12-11-09, 10:28 AM
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OP went from a complete NOOB to Road Bike Expert in 5 Posts.

His words: After looking at a few threads, I'm guessing the majority here will recommend I check out craigslist, unfortunately I know nothing about bike components and what specifically I should be looking/asking for. And again, any and all help is certainly appreciated

My first road bike was from Craig list for $15. I learned from riding the $15 bike 1500 miles that it was not the proper size for my body.

Bought a $800 bike on Sale from a local shop. It was a Perfect Fit.

The front hub cracked at 12100 miles. Got a Complete New Wheel Free from the Warrenty.


The frame cracked at 20,881 miles. In SIX days the bike shop had a New Frame installed under again The Warranty.


One guy I ride with bought from BD. His spokes broke right away when riding his bargain priced bike.

BD would not answer his requests for warranty replacement.

Good Luck OP on your quest for a road bike.
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Last edited by 10 Wheels; 12-11-09 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 12-11-09, 11:06 AM
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If you had no budget I'd say get something custom and with the group you desire. You'll wind up close to that in $$$ through the years as you upgrade anyway and it could (potentially) be your primary source of transport from now on...
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