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Getting first roadbike. Narrowed down to 2 bikes. Advice please.

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Getting first roadbike. Narrowed down to 2 bikes. Advice please.

Old 08-06-13, 07:25 PM
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Hodgenutts
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Getting first roadbike. Narrowed down to 2 bikes. Advice please.

Ok I decided to get a roadbike. I have been doing research online to try and see what would be a good first bike. I must admit after researching the internet, I was hesitant to post a new thread here for advice as it seems some noobs (like myself) get their heads ripped off for asking a question that experience riders consider could be answered by "common sense." Or, they don't understand a new rider doesn't need the best components on their first bike. Honestly after reading and researching online, I was not only a bit intimidated to make a post, but I was also confused. A good example...

I saw several posts asking if the Shimano 2300 groupset would make an "ok" first bike to start out on, some posters would say yes it would make a fine budget set for a new biker to start out on as the 2300 group has been upgraded this past year , while others were claiming it was no better than grabbing a $100 bike from walmart and at a bare minimum get the Shimano 105 set. That makes it sound like if you can not spend $2000+ on a bike you should not even get into the hobby... So that is a brief example of what I mean by intimidated and confused.

I called around to 5 different bike shops in the area to get an idea of what to look for and what to expect to spend. 4 of the shops had the same response, "Withough comming in I can give you no advice" However, one shop actually seemed to care about helping me. They asked, "What will you be using the bike for? How much will you use the bike? How tall are you? What is your inseam?" After answering the questions they said they had an older used trek 1220 that would make a cheap first bike but was worried it may be a little tall because based on what I had told them, they thought without seeing me that I would need around a 56 and the used trek was a 58. They told me to feel free and come in and check it out and ride it to see." I actually felt like if they cared enough to spend that time with me on the phone that I should go give the shop a look.

After arriving at the shop, we quickly discovered the 58 was in fact to tall. The 56 was my happy spot, but unfortunately they had no used bikes in that size. The gentleman helping me out said that I was stillmore than welcome to check any bike in the store out. I explained about what my budget was. Was wanting to keep it under $1000. He said a new beginer road bike could easily be had for under that price. The shop carried 2 brands... Trek and Specialized. He showed the me the Trek 1.1 for $729 and the Specialized Allez compact was around $770. Both had the Shimano 2300 components. He then took me up to the next level of Specialized they had in stock that had in stock. I don't remember the model but it had Shimano Tiagra components and it was $1100 and he showed me the Trek 1.2 with the new upgraded Shimano Sora components It was around $989.

He then took the bikes over and showed me how the gears of each one would shift a little bit easier. He told me also, " I don't know if you're interested in the Specialized Allez compact but we are getting a deal from the company on the black one's and friday we will have them for only $599 and you can do 90 day layaway if that would fit your budget better. He also said he isn't suppose to say likes one brand over another, but since the compents between the Allez and the Trek 1.2 are so similar, he would definitely save the money and take the Allez for $599 over the Trek 1.2 for $729 if he were looking at bikes...

In the back of my mind though, I kept remembering everything I read about the Shimano 2300 groupset, so I wasn't sure if the Allez for $599 was a good buy or if the Shimano 2300 set really in fact was not a good set even for a beginer.

The salesman could see that I kept eyeing the Trek 1.2, so he laughed and said, "you keep looking at that bike, so I'll be right back. Let me see if I can do something a little better on that one since you already know you can get the Allez for $599. He cam back and said, "I checked and I can't move much, but I can go down to $899 on the Trek 1.2" I liked the color more on the Trek 1.2, but more importantly I could feel the Sora components did shift a little smoother, and I liked the fact that I could downshift on it with my index fingers, instead of having to use my thumbs to downshift on the 2300 component set. I also noticed the Trek 1.2 was a little lighter with the carbon fiber fork and it was also speed trap compatible and the Trek 1.2 did have a better crank and better wheels and better seat. However I wondered if I got the Allez for only $599 that if in a few months from now I would have even remembered the Sora set shifting that much smoother or the other better upgrades. Also wasn't sure if the mentioned upgrades were in fact worth the $300 price difference.

I told the salesman I was thinking, and he responded, "There's no rush, it's a big decission. The $599 is a good deal on the Allez, but it will take you a lot longer to out grow the trek 1.2"

I ended up putting the Trek 1.2 in lay away. After tax it will be $940. I have the option to switch should I so choose. A couple of people I personally know that ride have told me different things. One said the shimano 2300 is fine to start out on and I should have just saved money and got the Specialized Allez for $599. Others said the Trek 1.2 was definitely worth the jump from paying $599 to $899. Then I've had others I should have got neither and got something with Shimano Tiegra.

I guess I don't know if I'm getting a good deal on the Trek 1.2 or not, or if I should have got the Specialized for $599 with the shimano 2300 components. I really would appreciate some friendly advice and please remember I AM A NOOB! so don't yell at me to loud lol j/k

On a side note I don't know if this will matter on which bike would be better, but I am 33 years old, 5' 10" tall and around 170 lbs. I am not what one would call a fitness guru. I currently run 3 miles about 3 times a week. I'm not sure if any of that matters on what bike would be better but just throwing that out there.

Here are the 2 bikes I'm looking at

Trek 1.2 (compact version) being sold for $899
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...eries/2013_1_2

Specialized Allez Compact for $599
https://specialized.com/us/en/bikes/r...z/allezcompact



Thank you very much in advance for your advice.

Last edited by Hodgenutts; 08-06-13 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 08-06-13, 07:41 PM
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Did you ride both? I think you'll find the carbon fork on the Trek provides a more forgiving ride. I had an Allez Sport which has a carbon fork and the ride is still pretty jarring at times. I tested the non-sport a long time ago and thought it was pretty rough.

Mine has a Sora/Tiagra mix and it has been trouble-free. Once in a while the shifting will feel a little sloppy so I just adjust the barrel connector until it feels better. I hear the "new Sora" is much better so I think you'll be happy with your purchase.

Just ride it like crazy. I'm sure you'll have a blast.
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Old 08-06-13, 08:38 PM
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I need an executive summary.
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Old 08-06-13, 08:49 PM
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Get the Trek. CF fork = worth it.

If you're willing to look at other bikes, look into a steel road bike for your first. I have a Jamis with a carbon fork that weighs almost nothing and gets around just fine with Sora, even on long 120 mile days.
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Old 08-06-13, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dalava View Post
I need an executive summary.
Here you go:

Originally Posted by Hodgenutts View Post
Here are the 2 bikes I'm looking at

Trek 1.2 (compact version) being sold for $899
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...eries/2013_1_2

Specialized Allez Compact for $599
https://specialized.com/us/en/bikes/r...z/allezcompact



Thank you very much in advance for your advice.
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Old 08-06-13, 08:54 PM
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tl;dr
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Old 08-06-13, 08:55 PM
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They are both good bikes and nothing wrong with either set of components. I would go with the trek if I had to choose between the two of them. Seems that is the one you like the most also.

Jake
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Old 08-06-13, 08:58 PM
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i'd get the allez.

If you want a better bike then look harder for a better deal (trek 2.1, for example). Might have to spend a bit more too, 1-200$
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Old 08-06-13, 09:05 PM
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The components make MUCH less of a difference than most people would have you think. The frameset (frame and fork) are the expensivest bits, so you can't change them without changing the bike. Tires make more of a difference in performance than anything, after the overall weight of the bike. Fit is crucial, and sometimes, your impression of a bike is based not on the performance but on the fit or the comfort of things such as handlebar tape and saddle. I've been supremely happy with some inexpensive bikes and disappointed in expensive bikes.

If you buy less of a bike than you wish for, you can upgrade the tires and wheels later on down the road. Components usually don't need replacement because they don't perform well, but that doesn't stop people from doing so-called upgrades. Shifting performance is overstressed. Tire performance is where it's at.
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Old 08-06-13, 11:08 PM
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Get the Trek, the carbon fork is a nice trump
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Old 08-07-13, 05:01 AM
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Both are fine. Pick the one that feels/fits better.
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Old 08-07-13, 05:57 AM
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Ride them, select what fits you the best and the one you like the ride quality of. The Allez for $599 is a nice deal for a pretty decent bike. You should not have any issues with the components on either bike. With a $1000 budget, you can probably find a full carbon bike for right around that price point if you keep looking. Example is Performance Bike, if there is one close to you has 2012 Altamira 3.0 bikes for $1299, and you get $130 back in store credit, and sometimes they run a double points day so you have $240 to spend on pedals, lights, shoes, helmet etc. That's a full carbon bike with 105 components
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Old 08-07-13, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mr645 View Post
Ride them, select what fits you the best and the one you like the ride quality of. The Allez for $599 is a nice deal for a pretty decent bike. You should not have any issues with the components on either bike. With a $1000 budget, you can probably find a full carbon bike for right around that price point if you keep looking. Example is Performance Bike, if there is one close to you has 2012 Altamira 3.0 bikes for $1299, and you get $130 back in store credit, and sometimes they run a double points day so you have $240 to spend on pedals, lights, shoes, helmet etc. That's a full carbon bike with 105 components
This^^^^^^performance has killer deals on nice bikes right now. I know it is typical of the 41 to ignore what you posted and tell you to buy something else but here is a 105 bike with carbon fork for $999 https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400315__400315

Here is another 105 option for $1099https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400315__400315
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Old 08-07-13, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Hodgenutts View Post

I guess I don't know if I'm getting a good deal on the Trek 1.2 or not…
My LBS discounted my Trek 1.2 to $900.
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Old 08-07-13, 07:03 AM
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You are over thinking this. Either bike would be a fine first choice. Probably better to go with the Trek with Sora if you can swing it, but if you can't, just go with the Specialized and ride it without looking back. If you go with the Sora equipped Trek, keep in mind that today's Sora was where Tiagra was a couple of years ago, and where 105 was, maybe a decade ago (and maybe Ultegra 15 or 20 years ago?). When you get opinions here that you need at least 105 or Ultegra or whatever, keep in mind this an enthusiast's forum. Though not as good or light as modern 105 or Ultegra, entry level road groups like 2300 and Sora are still better than consumer grade mountain groups that you find on tens of millions of hybrids and mountain bikes currently on the road(Altus, Acera, and Alivio) which in turn are better than department store junk. Don't know if this makes you feel better, but I just brought my backup bike, a 1997 Bianchi Hybrid, in for service. This was my only bike from 1997 to 2007, and again from 2010 to 2012, so it was well used, if not abused. I was afraid that they would pronounce my 16 year old consumer grade Acera/STX components toast, but they did not. Only components that they recommended replacement was the cassette, chain, and brake pads, which I would certainly expect of a 16 year old bike.
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Old 08-07-13, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The components make MUCH less of a difference than most people would have you think. The frameset (frame and fork) are the expensivest bits, so you can't change them without changing the bike. Tires make more of a difference in performance than anything, after the overall weight of the bike. Fit is crucial, and sometimes, your impression of a bike is based not on the performance but on the fit or the comfort of things such as handlebar tape and saddle. I've been supremely happy with some inexpensive bikes and disappointed in expensive bikes.

If you buy less of a bike than you wish for, you can upgrade the tires and wheels later on down the road. Components usually don't need replacement because they don't perform well, but that doesn't stop people from doing so-called upgrades. Shifting performance is overstressed. Tire performance is where it's at.
Pretty much agree. Especially about wheels, which are a bit more mysterious than are other components.
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Old 08-07-13, 07:30 AM
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The Trek... 'cause it has *new* sora ...

Another option ...https://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...cat_grp=road_6 MSRP is 950 ... my LBS, has it for an even 900.

Last edited by martinus; 08-07-13 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 08-08-13, 07:46 AM
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Thank you very much for the responses. I was curious, does upgrading the shifters only actually make shifting smoother, or do all the components have to be upgraded? The reason I ask is because the Trek 1.2 has a 9 speed sora system with the new Sora and although the thumb downshift is gone, I believe the shifters levers are plastic. I was curious if I could get a good deal on a new set of old stock 9 speed Shimano Tiagra 4500 shifters with aluminum shifting levers (pictured below); if I would notice any difference. Or would the only acutal difference be the aluminum shifting handles. Thank you very much again.

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Old 08-08-13, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Hodgenutts View Post
Thank you very much for the responses. I was curious, does upgrading the shifters only actually make shifting smoother, or do all the components have to be upgraded? The reason I ask is because the Trek 1.2 has a 9 speed sora system with the new Sora and although the thumb downshift is gone, I believe the shifters levers are plastic. I was curious if I could get a good deal on a new set of old stock 9 speed Shimano Tiagra 4500 shifters with aluminum shifting levers (pictured below); if I would notice any difference. Or would the only acutal difference be the aluminum shifting handles. Thank you very much again.
The 2013 Sora shifters are not plastic, just FYI.
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Old 08-08-13, 10:34 AM
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areFish I stand corrected. Thank you for pointing that out. I was looking at the wrong shifters. So that aside would upgrading to the 9 speed tiagra shifters even make a difference vs the new 2013 Sora shifters? Are do you have to upgrade all other components to see any difference? Once again thanks.
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Old 08-08-13, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Hodgenutts View Post
areFish I stand corrected. Thank you for pointing that out. I was looking at the wrong shifters. So that aside would upgrading to the 9 speed tiagra shifters even make a difference vs the new 2013 Sora shifters? Are do you have to upgrade all other components to see any difference? Once again thanks.
Aren't the new Sora the old Tiagra? And the new Tiagra are 10 speed.
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Old 08-08-13, 11:18 AM
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Be careful with the upgrade trap. It's easy to spend way more upgrading than to just buy what you want the first time.
Someone suggested those Performance/Fuji bikes with 105, and I have to agree that they are a good value.
Do you have a Performance shop near you?
Also, service at your LBS is key, and lifetime free adjustments can be a nice selling feature.
Many shops have 6 month-no interest payments on bikes, so that might help with financing.
My advice-Buy right the first time and avoid ceaseless upgrading.

S
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Old 08-08-13, 11:24 AM
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Hodgennutts,

You are driving yourself nuts. If you get into riding a year or two from now you will be wanting a better road bike than the two you are considering. Save your money for that better bike and look in Craigslist for a used road bike. This will give you the experience to make the future choice on your first new road bike. You didn't mention in your OP what you are currently riding. What would that be?

Last edited by mrodtoo; 08-08-13 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 08-08-13, 02:37 PM
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I actually have the Trek 1.2, got it last year for my 30th birthday. I like it a lot. My brother suggested I get it instead of the 1.1 because of the carbon fork, and the next level up had one more gear, but I didn't need that. About two months ago I bought shimano shoes/pedals and got a new seat that's more comfortable.
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Old 08-08-13, 03:55 PM
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The 105 line of components represents a very sweet spot for price and performance. It's very well built and likely to perform and last for years. It's a little less blingy than others but the compromises you make are less obvious than with the lower level. It probably weighs a little more than the other stuff, but not much at all. I'd say if you can get a bike with a full 105 group, you'll do very well. If you get expensiver stuff, you've passed a certain point of diminishing returns.
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