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Looking to Buy 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

Looking to Buy First Road Bike

Old 09-14-13, 03:01 PM
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crad159
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Looking to Buy First Road Bike

Hi all.

So I have always been a fan of road cycling and finally have the motivation to pursue it as a sport. Since I just entered the sport, I am starting from ground up on all levels. The bike I am currently riding is a 1981 Centurion LeMans. It is a steel touring bike, and can be seen in this thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ion?highlight=

This is obviously not an ideal bike for a few reasons. The components are slightly rusty and are very stubborn. The bike is also too small for me. I am between 6'2" and 6'3". The Centurion is a 23" frame which relates to around 58cm. So I struggle to get full power out of the bike because my legs feel cramped for room when trying to pedal, especially up hill. Another downfall is how the brake shifters are located on the stem. So if I were to get out of the saddle to kick up a hill, my knee hits the shifter and it changes gear. This has happened a couple of times and it is not pretty.

So, I am looking to buy my first road bike. I know of carbon being upwards of $1200 etc. So is aluminum a good first material to start with before carbon, but after steel?

There is a local shop near me where the owner started importing Japanese frames into the states. He then opened a custom cycling apparel company and a retail location which has been around since 2008, and doing well. The name of the frames are, Kazane, and after minimal research, they seem to be mid-level aluminum frames. I will try to take some pictures of the frame when I head back to the store. So the guys at the store are saying the frame alone, is worth $300. Does that sound about right for a aluminum frame? But for around $600, they will build me a complete bike with the frame and Shimano components. The frame is a 60cm which might fit me a little better.

I just want to get everyone's opinion and experience to chime in before I make any sort of decision on a first bike.

Cheers
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Old 09-14-13, 04:24 PM
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Where are you located?
What is your max budget?


S
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Old 09-15-13, 02:48 PM
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I am located in VA, and my budget is max $1,200.
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Old 09-15-13, 03:31 PM
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where in Va? you might be able to check out a couple of used shops before you get someone to build a bike for you. a $600 build? that's either the deal of the year, or too good to be true.

for $1200 you can get a LOT of bike. your height, a 60 sounds good. dig around your local craigslist before hitting the LBS up.

for instance, if you really look, you can find some decent stuff for under a grand https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/m...069316499.html
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Old 09-15-13, 08:19 PM
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check this out https://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-Cannond...item3a84f7672b
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Old 09-16-13, 12:10 AM
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Thanks for the input thus far. I did a little looking and found this bike. Seems to answer my needs, and within my price range.

This is an aluminum bike right? For a first road bike, is it frivolous to buy a full carbon?

How are Ultegra and Shimano 105 components?

https://roanoke.craigslist.org/bik/4067601311.html
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Old 09-16-13, 12:22 AM
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There's a LOT of bikes that are a mix of AL and carbon. Mine has the AL frame with a carbon fork, seat stays, and seatpost. A carbon fork on a aluminum frame is a very common thing.

$1200 buys a lot of bike. 105 and Ultegra will make you very happy. If buying used, be aware that the way we shift road bikes now is with combo brake/shift levers. All else is rendered obsolete. Do not fear the assimilation.


I'm kind of kidding, but my comment boils down to: 105 and Ultegra- in that order- are good stuff, BUT a lot has changed and the modern shifters doth rock.
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Old 09-16-13, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by crad159 View Post
Thanks for the input thus far. I did a little looking and found this bike. Seems to answer my needs, and within my price range.

This is an aluminum bike right? For a first road bike, is it frivolous to buy a full carbon?

How are Ultegra and Shimano 105 components?

https://roanoke.craigslist.org/bik/4067601311.html
I'm skeptical 6-4" fits that frame... 6-2" might, it'll just depend.

That looks like a carbon fork.

Components are good. I'm riding 9-speed Tiagra/105 and it works great. That 105/Ultegra setup should be pretty sweet.
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Old 09-16-13, 06:12 AM
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It's a nice bike and all but $800 is a bit much even if it is in great condition. This bike is a 2007, the 105/Ultegra that is on there is generations old now. I am not saying it doesn't still perform well, but it is old. I still have 105/Ultegra on my bike from 2005 and it shifts great. I think the asking price is very high. He may have set it that high to give him room for haggle and he has a number in mind that he will sell for. Here is the bluebook on that bike https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/Searc...x=20000&type=0

I think the CAAD10 I linked you to is a better buy, it's a 2013 model and only slightly higher priced than this bike.

another option for you is to go to your nearest performance bike store. the sales there are crazy. The Diamondback Podium 3 with 105 shifters and dreailleurs is going for $799.

https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400315__400315

Last edited by seymour1910; 09-16-13 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 09-19-13, 02:30 PM
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So the question remains, do I go carbon or aluminum for first bike? Can I get a full carbon under $1200?

By the way, here is a link to see the Kazane frame that I was talking about.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.n...90590922_o.jpg
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Old 09-19-13, 02:54 PM
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Something like this?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Felt-F3C-Car...item3f29815ecc
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Old 09-19-13, 04:14 PM
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Plenty of NEW bikes in your price range. Used is fine if you know what you're getting and can work on your bike when things go wrong. But having a relationship with a LBS can be priceless. Here is what I recommend to people looking for an entry level road bike:

Jamis Ventura
https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/index.html
$725-1350



Bianchi Via Nirone
https://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/road/coast-to-coast/
$800-1200



Cannondale CAAD8
https://www.cannondale.com/2013/bikes/road
$830-1450


Specialized Allez
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/road/allez
$770-1700


Felt Z Series
https://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2013/Road/Z-Series.aspx
Starting at $810



Masi Performance Line
https://www.masibikes.com/bikes/performance
$740-1310


Giant Defy
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...5/11498/55823/
$720-1350
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Old 09-20-13, 05:45 PM
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Ok so more info on the bike. It does indeed have a carbon fork. Total would be $650ish.

I am trying out a 58cm early next week to see how the geometry works for me and what the ride is like. I really think $650 for a semi-custom brand new, first road bike, is a great deal!

I'll keep you all posted.
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Old 09-20-13, 06:19 PM
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Depends. But at your height I would say you need a 60cm at least. But that is just going on the industry std. for such sizes and knowing sizing to a degree.

Craigslist is a great start and maybe ads here for your area.
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Old 09-20-13, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclelogikal View Post
Depends. But at your height I would say you need a 60cm at least. But that is just going on the industry std. for such sizes and knowing sizing to a degree.

Craigslist is a great start and maybe ads here for your area.
Sorry, should have clarified. There is a 58cm complete bike with a Kazane frame. They still have the 60cm frame, but just not built. So I thought I would just like to see how it rides on a 58.

I will keep checking craigslist, but so far I have seen some old over priced Trek 1500's, older rusted bikes, and very few full carbons.
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Old 09-20-13, 08:20 PM
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It sounds like you really want a carbon bike. $1200 doesn't give you a great deal of room for a new bike but here is an option. I have no experience with them myself but everyone I know that has one is happy with them. This is a full carbon bike with 105 for $1249 and they have a size 61 in stock.

https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400309__400309


if you watch this bike they put it on sale for $999 about once per month

https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...06960000007459
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Old 09-23-13, 09:52 PM
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Well, what are some reasons not to buy a full carbon?
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Old 09-24-13, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by crad159 View Post
Well, what are some reasons not to buy a full carbon?
None other than finances. With a $1200 budget it's hard to get full carbon unless you go used and that is high risk because you get no warranty. The bikes I linked above will fit your budget and are full Carbon. Performance has good support if you like their bike. I'm sure there is a performance store near you.
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Old 09-24-13, 08:55 AM
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Another thought is to checkout REI if there is one close to you. Our local store had some great deals on last years models. And you would get the warranty.
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Old 09-28-13, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by crad159 View Post
Well, what are some reasons not to buy a full carbon?
https://www.bustedcarbon.com/
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Old 09-29-13, 12:42 AM
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IMO you'll get more bike for under $1200, if you go either steel or aluminum. Research the Giant Defy series before you finally pull the trigger.
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Old 09-29-13, 04:58 AM
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If you really want a carbon bike I would save up more money and get a better one then the performance or nashbar ones and get one with better components. I would NEVER buy a used carbon bike because you don't know how the bike has been handled and if it has any cracks. I know people buy used carbon all the time, thats just me. I think your best bet would be a CADD. You would get a great bike with good components at an awesome price or like I said save more. Also check out competitivecyclist.com they have older model bikes on sale all the time
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Old 09-29-13, 05:05 AM
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Aluminum bikes can be really great! They are usually brutal in your body, though. If you are young, it may not matter as much.
My other point to make is that most high end bikes will be aimed towards performance. They will usually built a lot differently than a budget frame or comfort frame. You can pick up a high end steel or aluminum frame for the fraction of the price of a carbon fibre frame set. All will be great bikes. None will make you faster. Most important. Buy a bike that's your size & get a professional fit. I don't mean some guy at the local bike shop who does bike fits because they need to offer that service. I mean someone who is willing to take a few hours to get it right & have you come back to correct any issues, if they pop up.

Last edited by Blue Belly; 09-29-13 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 09-29-13, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
Buy a bike that's your size & get a professional fit. I don't mean some guy at the local bike shop who does bike fits because they need to offer that service. I mean someone who is willing to take a few hours to get it right & have you come back to correct any issues, if they pop up.
Where could I find someone like that if they are not at your local bike shop?

Also thank you all for the input thus far. I think aluminum frame and carbon fork is the way I am gonna go for my first bike.

By the way, how are Felts?
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Old 09-29-13, 02:33 PM
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When I was shopping around I noticed the lower end carbon bikes had **** components. I'd rather have a nice aluminum frame with good components, than an okay carbon frame with low end components. So I bought a CAAD10 with SRAM Rival. If you're in the Western end of VA I would recommend giving Just the Right Gear a call. They are located in Salem, VA, and had excellent prices for 2013 Cannondales (~35% off MSRP).
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