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Entry Level bike help (on a budget)

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Entry Level bike help (on a budget)

Old 05-28-10, 01:53 AM
  #1  
Craiger9er
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Entry Level bike help (on a budget)

Hello everyone,

I personally don't bike much, but my wife is preparing for a mini triathlon (12 biking miles I think?). She's currently using a mounting bike with slicks. I'm looking to buy a road bike for her, but don't have a whole lot to spend. I've been looking at craigslist and ebay as well. I was wondering if it's possible to buy a new road bike in the $350.00 range that's a decent starter bike? I read a little on here and found that the GMC Denali is not good, the Schwinn Varsity is ok but the shifters aren't great. I read about the Schwinn Prelude too, but someone said the Varsity would be better. Any suggestions?

Do I have to buy a women's bike? or doesn't it matter?

She's about 5'8" - 5'9" tall....not sure if that will limit options either.

Thanks in advance

Craig
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Old 05-28-10, 02:22 AM
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colombo357
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What kind of a mountain bike is she using?
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Old 05-28-10, 02:35 AM
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decent and new for $350 is impossible.

But luckily, it's not too hard to find a bike off of c-list or ebay in her size.

something around a size 52~55cm range should fit her height.


buy a complete bike, those tend to be cheaper.
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Old 05-28-10, 02:36 AM
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Schwinn Frontier
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Old 05-28-10, 02:46 AM
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what you really want to stay away from are bikes priced under $499 on this page.
But sora will work okay, just don't expect it to perform miracles.

https://bikesdirect.com/products/road_bikes.htm
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Old 05-28-10, 06:00 AM
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My wife is pretty much in the same boat, she is currently using a Specialized Myka fitted with slick tires, I also locked out the front suspension. At some point in the future we will most likely pick up a road bike for her as well, but for now the Specialized will do, and that way we don't end up wasting $300 on a cheap bike that will end up sitting in the back of the shed.

I say keep the MTB for now, if she does well in the triathlon and wants to take it up regularly, then invest in a decent road bike.
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Old 05-28-10, 07:08 AM
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If you live in the Boston area, I can tell you of a shop selling brand new Jamis Ventura Sport or Schwinn Fastback for $400. They do not ship.

I had my neighbor get into cycling and get a Ventura Sport. I have his 2200/Sora mix shifting quick and reliable, and I was surprised how smooth the frame rode. Really well done for cheap road bike.

Last edited by teterider; 05-28-10 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 05-28-10, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Craiger9er View Post
Hello everyone,

I personally don't bike much, but my wife is preparing for a mini triathlon (12 biking miles I think?). She's currently using a mounting bike with slicks. I'm looking to buy a road bike for her, but don't have a whole lot to spend. I've been looking at craigslist and ebay as well. I was wondering if it's possible to buy a new road bike in the $350.00 range that's a decent starter bike? I read a little on here and found that the GMC Denali is not good, the Schwinn Varsity is ok but the shifters aren't great. I read about the Schwinn Prelude too, but someone said the Varsity would be better. Any suggestions?

Do I have to buy a women's bike? or doesn't it matter?

She's about 5'8" - 5'9" tall....not sure if that will limit options either.

Thanks in advance

Craig
see Bikes Direct . com they have some women specific bikes for around $500
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Old 05-28-10, 07:15 AM
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+1 on Craigslist. You can find something inexpensive fast, and if you shop a little, you can find some impressive bikes at good prices.
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Old 05-28-10, 07:18 AM
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do NOT buy anything over the internet. you have no idea what you're doing and will buy something junky that doesnt fit your wife and that neither of you know how to assemble safely.

first, ask your wife if she really wants a new bike or is content riding what she has. if she wants new, have HER go to a local bike shop and tell them what she is after. you stay home so you dont get in the way and obfuscate the decision making process.
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Old 05-28-10, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by teterider View Post
If you live in the Boston area, I can tell you of a shop selling brand new Jamis Ventura Sport or Schwinn Fastback for $400. They do not ship.

I had my neighbor get into cycling and get a Ventura Sport. I have his 2200/Sora mix shifting quick and reliable, and I was surprised how smooth the frame rode. Really well done for cheap road bike.
I think the Jamis Ventura Sport is probably the best bargain in an entry level road bike. It was an absolute steal for what you get. I would also rather get a Ventura Sport at an LBS, get free adjustments and not have to hassle with bikedirect.
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Old 05-28-10, 07:48 AM
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You should also do this fit calculator before buying anything. It will give you a very good idea of what size frame and stem you will need.

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
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Old 05-28-10, 09:18 AM
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I'd vote for kijiji/craigslist, but maybe go to some bike shops first and test drive a few things to figure out what the "right fit" feels like.

I'm right down on the extreme of that chart, and I sure wish I were 5'8"! In the past three weeks, I've probably seen at least a bike a day in my price range in that size, and struck out for myself.

As for "women's specific", I don't think it's all that important. If it fits right, it doesn't matter. For me, I know I need something with a short stem and fairly narrow handlebars, and maybe some shims on the brake levers, but those are easy to change, and maybe your wife doesn't have the same needs.

On the other hand, I still haven't got my bike yet, so what I've learned in the past few weeks may be entirely wrong.
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Old 05-28-10, 09:47 AM
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at 5'8, you don't really need any women's specific designs.
a size between 52cm and 55cm will work, unless she has really odd proportions. like spider limbs.
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Old 05-28-10, 10:43 AM
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I'd only go the CL route if I had a decent knowledge of various bike components... doesn't sound like you have that knowledge yet... too dangerous to get ripped off.
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Old 07-08-10, 03:14 AM
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Thanks for all the help on this guys. She did her mini-tri and seemed to like it. I'll start saving now for a new bike. She said she want's a specific Tri-Bike. So I'll be looking for those if anyone has a good suggestion(s)?

Thanks again,

Craig
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