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 a new bike

Old 06-09-11, 11:48 AM
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troypolamalu
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Buying a new bike

Hello all,
This is my first post on this forum, from just looking through I have already learned a lot.

Little background info: I am moving to the heart of downtown starting in August for school. I realized that everything I will ever need to get to is less than 5 miles away and I have an 96' ford explorer that is terrible on gas-so why not bike my way around. I really want to get a road bike as I plan to ride not only to commute but for recreation as well. I've gone to a few LBS and looked around online quite a bit.

I really only have about $800 tops to drop on a new bike, I went to a specialized dealer and everything there was out of my price range, I went to a trek dealer and not only were these people much nicer and willing to work with me but they actually had (from the reviews i have read) a good bike that is in my price range, the trek 1.1. Again im sure this is not the greatest road bike, but compared to the 15 year old walmart 'mountain' bikes i have road im sure it will feel like a Mercedes-Benz. I did not get a chance to try it out yet as I had to go to work and just stopped in before but if I like the feel I may bite the bullet and go with it.

my question is this: will i notice a major difference in getting around(>5miles) when compared to the old bikes ive ridden? How much will I have to spend in accessories aprox.? How do you all feel about the trek 1.1 for a beginner just looking to get to and fro work and school?

sorry about the length. thanks for reading! any imput would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-09-11, 12:03 PM
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If you're going to be riding this to a campus and locking it up, then don't get this bike. Get a P.O.S. beater from 25 years ago. It will ride fine and you won't miss the $75 nearly as much as $750
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Old 06-09-11, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by eippo1 View Post
If you're going to be riding this to a campus and locking it up, then don't get this bike. Get a P.O.S. beater from 25 years ago. It will ride fine and you won't miss the $75 nearly as much as $750
Agreed.

I first got into cycling through commuting around campus. For these short distances, you really don't need anything fancy, and in fact don't WANT anything fancy if you'll be leaving it outside.

Tip I learned from the bike shop near my campus: Write your first initial/last name in silver sharpie on the side of your tires. My rear wheel got stolen when I was apparently sloppy about locking my bike up one night, but campus police got it back to me b/c my name was on it.
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Old 06-09-11, 12:22 PM
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well a trek utopia is real nice, it's what I have and it's around 750.00 but I changed out the handlebars to drops and put different brake levers on it so it was really a lil more when I was done doing everything to it. But if you want more of a road bike with the bigger cranks then this bike is cool from bikesdirect.com
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Old 06-09-11, 01:07 PM
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Great first post with excellent questions. If you are not able to secure a new road bike inside somewhere, I would buy a cheaper bike. You could always still get a $50 mountain bike for commuting and get a Trek 1.1 or other entry level road bike. The only thing you really need to get going is a bike (tube, patch kit, pump, tire levers) and helmet. The things you can always buy later are but not limited to padded bike shorts, gloves, jersey, computer, clipless pedals, shoes etc. Take a look at the other brands your LBS has to offer. I think Trek makes great bikes, but I also think that they are pricier (and use their house brand of Bontrager on everythng...)than most other brands.
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Old 06-09-11, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by eippo1 View Post
If you're going to be riding this to a campus and locking it up, then don't get this bike. Get a P.O.S. beater from 25 years ago. It will ride fine and you won't miss the $75 nearly as much as $750
My recommendation as well. Especially if you are going to park and lock outside. I'd look for something in the late 80s. By that time, you has indexed shifting, alloy wheels and hubs, alloy bars, etc. In fact, the only steel would be spokes, a few nuts and bolts, and possibly the FD cage. You can slap a really cheap rear rack from Wald on one of these, and pick up a cheap grill cover as a rain shield.
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Old 06-09-11, 01:22 PM
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brand names are so overrated. you can get more bike for the money on bikesdirect or even a less popular brand. One of the first things I compare when looking at bikes is the crankset then the cassett.
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Old 06-09-11, 01:28 PM
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I wouldn't chain a nice road bike up on the street. Get a beater bike and commute with that...

I work in NYC and commute daily (about 12 miles round trip) I chain up on the street etc, I have a frankenbike that I use for that, Once I buy the nice road bike it will NEVER see a chain (or be out of my sight when not at home )

Bikes that are chained up on the street are the ones that can eventually get stolen (Don't know where you live so i don't know the crime rate) FAR easier to lose a 100 dollar bike then a 800 dollar one....

Just my 0.02
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Old 06-09-11, 01:31 PM
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Hmm, interesting change on the Utopia. That would be a blast to use for cyclocross racing.
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Old 06-09-11, 01:31 PM
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trek 1.1 road bike? If you really want the most for the money you can get the New Record and get all the acressories you want and it'll still be less than the 1.1 prolly.
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Old 06-09-11, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by chibibike View Post
trek 1.1 road bike? If you really want the most for the money you can get the New Record and get all the acressories you want and it'll still be less than the 1.1 prolly.
Bikes Direct isn't for everybody... How do you know if the OP knows how to true wheels, adjust derailleurs or assemble the last 10% of the bike correctly? Plus, how is that "Motobecane" going to be for resale? I also think those BD bikes have some real sketchy parts on them... I'd rather have a Shimano 2300 LBS bike (with free adjustments, warranty etc.) than a Shimano 105 BD bike but that's just my opinion.
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Old 06-09-11, 02:31 PM
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thanks for all the input, it has definietly given me somethings to think about! The only place my bike would be locked up outside would be during classes(possibly 3-4 hours at time) But at night it would be inside my house. getting to and fro campus is not my main means of using the bike. I want to replace driving my car to work

One problem with buying online is that I am very new, i do not know my correct size, i dont know what a good fitting bike is for me, and i have a lot of questions that i would feel better about being able to talk to someone before dropping the money.
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Old 06-09-11, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by troypolamalu View Post
thanks for all the input, it has definietly given me somethings to think about! The only place my bike would be locked up outside would be during classes(possibly 3-4 hours at time) But at night it would be inside my house. getting to and fro campus is not my main means of using the bike. I want to replace driving my car to work

One problem with buying online is that I am very new, i do not know my correct size, i dont know what a good fitting bike is for me, and i have a lot of questions that i would feel better about being able to talk to someone before dropping the money.
We've all been there, at one time or another.
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Old 06-09-11, 03:38 PM
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Having fairly recently aquired a trek 1.5, after seriously considering a 1.1 I think you will really enjoy it, especially if you plan on recreational riding too - I found the difference between it and my old mtb, well, astonishing! I wouldn't forgo it for the sake of riding to and from campus, though I would highly recommend using your mtb for this if you still have it. Believe me when I say that wondering if your nice road bike is ok all day, while it's locked up in the crappy school racks where any potential thief or general cock has access to it is something you'll tire of quickly. Besides, if you commute on the old bike, you'll enjoy the road bike all the more when you do ride it
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Old 06-09-11, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RookieRoadie View Post
Having fairly recently aquired a trek 1.5, after seriously considering a 1.1 I think you will really enjoy it, especially if you plan on recreational riding too - I found the difference between it and my old mtb, well, astonishing! I wouldn't forgo it for the sake of riding to and from campus, though I would highly recommend using your mtb for this if you still have it. Believe me when I say that wondering if your nice road bike is ok all day, while it's locked up in the crappy school racks where any potential thief or general cock has access to it is something you'll tire of quickly. Besides, if you commute on the old bike, you'll enjoy the road bike all the more when you do ride it
thanks for the reply!

Im actually considering since i ALREADY have a crappy old bike I could easily use that to get to campus and lock it up and not worry. I could use(if i bought it ;] ) my new bike for getting to work and back and for joy riding. I agree with you in that it would worry me sick to have my bike that I just dropped almost a thousand on just sitting in a crappy campus bike rack!
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