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First bike. What to get?

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

First bike. What to get?

Old 08-01-11, 10:35 PM
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Weizilla
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First bike. What to get?

I'm going to be getting my first real bike but I'm pretty unsure about what to get.

I'll mainly be using it for fitness and a triathlon but I'm thinking maybe some biking in cold weather too. I live in Chicago so no hills here but I wouldn't mind taking nice long leisurely rides. I haven't bike at all since I was a kid, much less road bike so I'm completely not used to the road bike position and seats. Therefore, at the point, I'm more about the comfort and distance than speed and performance. I'm in fairly decent shape and weigh 155 lb at 5'5". I've been told that I have a long torso.

My budget is $1200-$1300 as I'm hoping to stay around $1500 after other things like petals, shorts, shoes and helmet. I know that I want either Shimano 105 or SRAM Apex parts, with more of a preference on SRAM.

I'm still looking at bikes but these stick out in my mind. Specialized Secteur Elite Apex (haven't tested) Jamis Ventura Race

I tested a Bianchi Nirone 7 but it seems too racy for me. I tested a Giant 1.5 too but for some reason, it just didn't stick in my mind.

From the bikes that I've tested, there was only a carbon bike from Specialized that felt really smooth, everything else felt kind of bumpy. However, it could just be the carbon material talking. I want to test the Secteur but my LBS is out of my side and has been saying they'll get it in for the last 2 weeks without results.

After going to a custom LBS, the owner said I should take a look at cyclo cross bikes. When he talked about how versatile they are (and from what I read on this forum after), I was hooked. He's building me a bike quote tomorrow with a Surly Cross Check frame (steel), SRAM Apex parts and Fulcrum Racing 5 tires for around $1400. The only thing is, there's only 4 of the frames left until a new shipment at the end of August so if I hesitate too long, I'd have to wait until the end of August or get a different bike. Plus for $1400, it seems like if I spend a little more, I could get a full carbon race bike.

I really want to get a bike soon as I'm sick of waiting but I also don't want to rush. Is the Surly Crossfit bike a good deal? Should I research more cyclo bikes or go back to race bikes? I've only done research on road bikes so I don't know anything about cyclo bikes. I could also wait for the 2012 Specialized bikes too or look at their cyclo lineup. So many options
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Old 08-01-11, 11:31 PM
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http://westky.craigslist.org/bik/2520712362.html
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Old 08-02-11, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Weizilla View Post
I'm going to be getting my first real bike but I'm pretty unsure about what to get.

I'll mainly be using it for fitness and a triathlon but I'm thinking maybe some biking in cold weather too. I live in Chicago so no hills here but I wouldn't mind taking nice long leisurely rides. I haven't bike at all since I was a kid, much less road bike so I'm completely not used to the road bike position and seats. Therefore, at the point, I'm more about the comfort and distance than speed and performance. I'm in fairly decent shape and weigh 155 lb at 5'5". I've been told that I have a long torso.

My budget is $1200-$1300 as I'm hoping to stay around $1500 after other things like petals, shorts, shoes and helmet. I know that I want either Shimano 105 or SRAM Apex parts, with more of a preference on SRAM.

I'm still looking at bikes but these stick out in my mind. Specialized Secteur Elite Apex (haven't tested) Jamis Ventura Race

I tested a Bianchi Nirone 7 but it seems too racy for me. I tested a Giant 1.5 too but for some reason, it just didn't stick in my mind.

From the bikes that I've tested, there was only a carbon bike from Specialized that felt really smooth, everything else felt kind of bumpy. However, it could just be the carbon material talking. I want to test the Secteur but my LBS is out of my side and has been saying they'll get it in for the last 2 weeks without results.

After going to a custom LBS, the owner said I should take a look at cyclo cross bikes. When he talked about how versatile they are (and from what I read on this forum after), I was hooked. He's building me a bike quote tomorrow with a Surly Cross Check frame (steel), SRAM Apex parts and Fulcrum Racing 5 tires for around $1400. The only thing is, there's only 4 of the frames left until a new shipment at the end of August so if I hesitate too long, I'd have to wait until the end of August or get a different bike. Plus for $1400, it seems like if I spend a little more, I could get a full carbon race bike.

I really want to get a bike soon as I'm sick of waiting but I also don't want to rush. Is the Surly Crossfit bike a good deal? Should I research more cyclo bikes or go back to race bikes? I've only done research on road bikes so I don't know anything about cyclo bikes. I could also wait for the 2012 Specialized bikes too or look at their cyclo lineup. So many options
You are going to be far more comfortable on a road bike doing long distances than you will be on a comfort or hybrid bike. A Nirone 7 is a relaxed geometry road bike. After riding for a week or so, you will be completely adjusted to a road bike. What surfaces will you be riding your bike on? If racing is in your future, you will definately want a road bike. Did you test ride the Jamis?
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Old 08-02-11, 10:32 AM
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if I spend a little more, I could get a full carbon race bike.

I tested a Bianchi Nirone 7 but it seems too racy for me.

Race or not race?
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Old 08-02-11, 12:18 PM
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I'm not going to be racing or at least looking for performance. I meant if I spent more, I could get a full carbon road bike.

So over long distances, a road bike is more comfortable than a CX bike? For some reason, I thought a CX would be more comfortable becaused of the relaxed geometry?
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