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Road Bike Decision Help!

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

Road Bike Decision Help!

Old 08-28-12, 08:02 PM
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Road Bike Decision Help!

I'm looking to buy a new road bike. Right now I just have a old early 80s Schwinn World 10spd. I'm a college student so my budget is pretty low (very low indeed)

I've been looking at a few bikes from various places. But I'm very open to any other suggestions as well.

Tommaso Monza

Diamondback Podium 2

Gravity Comp30

Motobecane Vent Voir

2011 Fuji Newest 1.0

I'll admit I don't know too awfully much about road bikes, but I've been riding for awhile and want to upgrade. I know I want atleast Tiagra grade components (Derailleurs/shifters)

My budget is basically $800, I can't really go much higher right now.

Also a little side question, I also looked at a bike in the same range that had Sram Apex components, now I have no clue on Sram parts. How do they compare to the Tiagra/105s?

Off topic, but great forum. I look forward to learning more and maybe one day contributing to this fine board.
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Old 08-28-12, 08:31 PM
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I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but if your budget is only $800 you'll be happier in the long run saving your money and buying a little bit nicer frame - otherwise, you'll get the "I need to upgrade" bug again rather quickly. For another $140 you could get a Cannondale Cadd8 Sora (and this time of the year most shops will have them dropped in price from the $940 MSRP), which IMHO is a way better bike than any of the ones you're looking at. Granted, I'm a C-Dale fanboy.

If you are really new to road bikes the Sora components are still going to be way better feeling than whatever is on that old Schwinn, and that will save you a few hundred on any given frame over Tiagra - not sure why you are set on Tiagra components. In response to the SRAM question, if you are really used to Shimano shifters SRAM double-tap takes a bit of getting used to. On the other hand, the compact Apex group is the widest one you can get with an 11-32 cassette - so if you have a climbing to do, consider SRAM. I've also heard tell that Apex is even lighter than 105 while being about par on quality. I have ridden both but not put in the miles on Apex to speak to its durability. My advice to you would be to drop a few hundred on clipless pedals and shoes, if you do not already have them, which will be a big performance improvement even on the old bike. Then save your money until you can look at bikes in the $1100-1500 range (at which point you'll already have some nice pedals to put on it).
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Old 08-28-12, 08:33 PM
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Don't get a bikes direct bike unless you know how to work on a bike (assemble). If I were you, which I sort of am myself a college student. I would be on Craigslist looking for a used
road bike. That's how I got both of mine, got my cdale for a really good deal.
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Old 08-28-12, 08:36 PM
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Cannondale is coming out with a synapse 8 for 2013 that should be available any day. I believe it has 2300 components and will cost less then 800.
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