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First road bike

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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

First road bike

Old 05-05-12, 08:46 PM
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Dtrain1231
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First road bike

Switching from mountain biking to a road bike. Stopped by the LBS and found last year's Giant Defy 1 with a carbon fork and carbon seat post as well as full shimano 105 components. It was discounted to $1,170.00.

I was thinking of an entry level bike at perhaps $7-800 (actually went to look at rhe Defy 5) but thought if I ended up upgrading something cheaper now in a year or so I'd be better off spending a little more upfront. My question is whether the Defy 1 is worth the money and if the sales price is a good deal.

There is also a used 2010 Trek 1.2 that's about a year old and used very little - looks brand new. The guy wants $650.00.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 05-05-12, 08:55 PM
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I paid full retail last year for a Defy 2 at $1130. It was a fantastic bike before it was stolen. I replaced it with a Trek 2.1, a decision I regret. I wanted the Apex components but the geometry of the Defy is second to none for my kind of riding. The Trek is a fine bike but there was something very special about the Giant and it won't be long before the Trek is replaced with another Giant. Seriously looking at the Defy Advanced with 105 and a new 12-30 Ultegra cassette. Even the new Defy 2 would be great.
You can buy a new Trek 1.2 for $650 but don't do it. The Defy will smoke the 1 series Trek in every way.
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Old 05-05-12, 09:38 PM
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Thanks for the advice. Do you have any thoughts about the Defy 1 available for $1,170? I rode (albeit briefly) the Defy 1 and Defy 5. The Defy 1 felt like slipping on an old pair of slippers - it was comfortable from the moment I started. The Defy 5 was also nice but just not the same. Wondering if it's worth the money and if it would be a bike I could continue to ride even if I got more serious over the next year or so.

Thanks
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Old 05-05-12, 09:46 PM
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I like the name - like looking in the mirror.

If the new Defy 1 felt that good - I'd jump on it. That's a good deal. Fit and feel trump all, so that makes it a great deal.
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Old 05-05-12, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Dtrain1231 View Post
Thanks for the advice. Do you have any thoughts about the Defy 1 available for $1,170? I rode (albeit briefly) the Defy 1 and Defy 5. The Defy 1 felt like slipping on an old pair of slippers - it was comfortable from the moment I started. The Defy 5 was also nice but just not the same. Wondering if it's worth the money and if it would be a bike I could continue to ride even if I got more serious over the next year or so.

Thanks
The Defy 1 was mostly what I was referencing. The frame geometry is the same between the 1 and the 5. It's the hardware that is different. The Defy 1 is a gem and I'm guessing it could be had for less than the price you stated if it is last years model, which is just as nice as this years model. And the Defy is a beautiful bike. 2011 is nicer looking than this years bike.
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Old 05-06-12, 09:22 AM
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I started reading your post and thought "I didn't write that..." until I looked closer to the name.

I'm leaning toward the Defy 1 even though it's more than I intended to spend.
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Old 05-06-12, 12:44 PM
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If you really really think you'll want to be a bicycle rider you'll spend the money sooner than later anyway. LOL.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Igo View Post
If you really really think you'll want to be a bicycle rider you'll spend the money sooner than later anyway. LOL.
Going for a test ride today if the weather holds out. Any suggestions on pedals/shoes? I'm looking at dual platform pedals so I can just jump on and go around town when I want. Thanks
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Old 05-07-12, 02:33 PM
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Sounds like a SPD dual platform pedal is in your future. Make sure you get mountain shoes which have a tread on them so you can actually walk when you get off the bike.
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Old 05-07-12, 02:46 PM
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Do you already have MTB shoes? If so, just go the SPD route. Personally, I like the 105 and Ultegra SPD-SL pedals quite a bit - but I don't walk or tool around town that much on my road bike.
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Old 05-07-12, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
Do you already have MTB shoes? If so, just go the SPD route. Personally, I like the 105 and Ultegra SPD-SL pedals quite a bit - but I don't walk or tool around town that much on my road bike.
My old shoes were shot at the end of last year so I pitched them. Figured I'd get all new this spring. Checked out the ultregra - they are nice. Only concerned with my kids we go to the park, store, etc. at 1-5 miles @ a time and didn't want to have to wear cycling shoes or bring another pair of shoes for those short trips every time. I do like the way your shoes clip into the ultegras - seems very easy and natural to get in and out.

So I'll probably end up getting pedals and shoes at the same time. Wasn't sure if it would be better to keep the same name for everything or if i could mix manufacturers and still like the outcome.
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Old 05-07-12, 03:08 PM
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Just over a year ago, I took a day and just went test-riding bikes. I rode everything in my size that I could find within my budget. It was an eye-opening experience. The Giant Defy Advanced 2 was by far my favorite. Even more comfortable than the Defy Advanced 3, though some/all may have been a placebo effect. Life took a detour and I never did end up buying at the time, but had I been able to, the Defy would have been in my garage right now.

I would suggest you take it for a long test-ride. If you still come back as happy as you are now....BUY IT! You won't regret the 105's.
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Old 05-07-12, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Dtrain1231 View Post
My old shoes were shot at the end of last year so I pitched them. Figured I'd get all new this spring. Checked out the ultregra - they are nice. Only concerned with my kids we go to the park, store, etc. at 1-5 miles @ a time and didn't want to have to wear cycling shoes or bring another pair of shoes for those short trips every time. I do like the way your shoes clip into the ultegras - seems very easy and natural to get in and out.

So I'll probably end up getting pedals and shoes at the same time. Wasn't sure if it would be better to keep the same name for everything or if i could mix manufacturers and still like the outcome.
The relatively large size of those pedals makes riding in other shoes not too bad for short distances. I often ride my SPD-SL's wearing Rockports for about 2 miles to the bus stop in the morning (when I'm doing a 'one-way' commute).
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Old 05-07-12, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
The relatively large size of those pedals makes riding in other shoes not too bad for short distances. I often ride my SPD-SL's wearing Rockports for about 2 miles to the bus stop in the morning (when I'm doing a 'one-way' commute).
+1, I've ridden about 30 miles on the lower level R540 SPD-SL pedals in running shoes no problems... The platform on the 105/Ultegra SPD-SL is a little bit larger (I have those too), so should be just as easy.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:17 PM
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I have the 2011 Giant Defy 1 and absolutely love it. I get lots of compliments about it. I've put about 7,000 miles on it so far. My only issue is that the brakes and tires are substandard. However I guess you can't complain too much for an entry level road bike.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Dtrain1231 View Post
Going for a test ride today if the weather holds out. Any suggestions on pedals/shoes? I'm looking at dual platform pedals so I can just jump on and go around town when I want. Thanks
Platform pedals are a good way to start. Get you bike legs and bike balance going but clipless (clip in) is your friend on a road bike. Rex81 right below your post has a good point. I use mountain bike shoes and SPD pedals on my road bike because I get off and climb hills for the views and mountain bike shoes are great from walking across slopes and the desert. I hate road bike shoes for anything except pounding out miles. Pearl Izumi mesh shoes and Shimano SPD520 pedals to start.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
Just over a year ago, I took a day and just went test-riding bikes. I rode everything in my size that I could find within my budget. It was an eye-opening experience. The Giant Defy Advanced 2 was by far my favorite. Even more comfortable than the Defy Advanced 3, though some/all may have been a placebo effect. Life took a detour and I never did end up buying at the time, but had I been able to, the Defy would have been in my garage right now.

I would suggest you take it for a long test-ride. If you still come back as happy as you are now....BUY IT! You won't regret the 105's.
I'm not a racer/trainer. I just spend all day on 50 mile bike rides in really great looking places. My 2011 Defy 2 was the best riding bike I've ever been on. I replaced it with a Trek 2.1 because of the APEX drive line. Great bike but can't hold a candle to the Defy. I'll ride the Trek this season but next season it is one of the Defy Advanced, Ultegra or 105 but will end up with the new Ultegra 12-30 10 speed cassettes for the hills around here. I drool thinking about it.
My old Defy just for grins.

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Old 05-07-12, 08:01 PM
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I just pulled the trigger on a 2012 Defy 1, and love it. Was worried that the aluminum frame would beat me up, but has actually been quite comfortable. My first "Real," road bike so I don't have much to compared it to, but I'm really enjoying it so far.
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Old 05-07-12, 08:04 PM
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I pulled the trigger on a 2012 Defy 1 as my first road bike as well. I absolutely love the bike and have just been racking up the miles since. Good luck to you
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Old 05-08-12, 04:34 AM
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You too. I did change the saddle, going to a Specialized Romin, which is much more comfortable for me, especially in the drops.
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Old 05-08-12, 05:57 AM
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Test rode the bike last night - I think I'm sold... They're talkin to the "boss" about the price today. Supposed to call me later today with their best deal. I have been looking at the pearl shoes and liked the pair I had on at the LBS last night. Thanks for all the advice - will keep you posted.
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Old 05-08-12, 06:31 AM
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That's how they got me. I test rode the Defy 1 and it just felt right. Test rode a few other bikes such as a Specialized Allez and a Felt Z85, but neither of them really felt as natural to me as the Defy.

Do what you gotta do to get yourself riding. And show us pics of what you end up with.
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Old 05-08-12, 06:39 AM
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The Defy 1 is a steal at that price. You will not regret it one bit. Plus, it is a damned good looking ride. Get it!
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Old 05-08-12, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by baj32161 View Post
The Defy 1 is a steal at that price. You will not regret it one bit. Plus, it is a damned good looking ride. Get it!
Indeed. Here is mine with my buddy's XL Defy 5 (he's 6'6". I'm 5'9")

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Old 05-08-12, 07:02 AM
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In my humble opinion, "first bike" and "$1,170" do not really belong together. And entry-level bikes aren't baby bikes or toys or anything like that. They're real bikes that are made to work well and last a long time. It's not like you need a more expensive bike to go faster.

I have a 3-4 year old Defy 3 which I love. It's basically the same as the newer Defy 5, but mine came with a carbon fork and seatpost. It's a great bike. I have changed a few components (like changing from triple to double) without any problems.
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