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Is the price of entry really $2k?!?

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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

Is the price of entry really $2k?!?

Old 03-18-14, 08:32 AM
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buck2769
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Is the price of entry really $2k?!?

I've been contemplating buying my first bike that's not from a big box store, but it seems like every article, blog post, buyers guide doesn't recommend anything that's under $1200, and recommends mostly around $2000.
Is that it? I jump from sub $300 to $1200.
I get that quality may be worth it. I usually invest in quality because it pays over time. However, with this being a new hobby, I don't want to go all in unless getting subpar equipment will make the difference between loving it or hating it.

Does anyone have any suggestions around $700? I'm open to used equipment, but I don't what to look for when inspecting a used bike, so I'm wary of buying used.
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Old 03-18-14, 08:41 AM
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Go used aluminum. Look for 105 components. Get it tuned up at your LBS, see if you can talk them I to helping you fit the bike.
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Old 03-18-14, 08:49 AM
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Around $1400 to $1600 seems to be a sweet spot for bikes. Much more and you are paying for small increments in weight reduction and quality of components. Much less and you'll get a bike with sub-par components that is probably heavier and doesn't ride as well. Then you may soon be looking for a better bike again.

Also when you buy that bike, it might not even come with pedals or very cheap pedals. Then you need things like clothing, gloves, shoes, bike bag, pump, and a lot of other things. So $2K probably is a good price of entry.

You could look into used bikes and might find a real deal which could save you $500 or more. Or you could get an ill-fitting piece of junk.

Do you enjoy riding the big box store bike? If so, you'll probably love a quality bike from a bike shop.
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Old 03-18-14, 08:50 AM
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I spent $600 on my 1st (used) road bike a few weeks ago, and absolutely love it. Get something in good shape and fits well. Mine is a 2011 Scott Speedster S20 with full 105 (including 105 clipless pedals). New was $1,500 without pedals. I did my own tune-up / maintenance thanks to YouTube and Sheldon Brown.

Last edited by JBerman; 03-18-14 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 03-18-14, 08:50 AM
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There are plenty of bikes new in the $700 range, such as the base model Specialized Allez.

Most will have pretty heavy wheels, and low-end components, such as Shimano 2400 or Sora.

Functionally, it will all work, and I've known lots of people who have gotten very far on such bikes. If this is what your budget can support, then go for it.
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Old 03-18-14, 08:51 AM
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Where do you live, buck? What's your measurements?
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Old 03-18-14, 09:01 AM
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You can save a ton by buying a bike online from a discounter such as Nashbar or Bikesdirect.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:09 AM
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As mentioned above, online retailers, especially when last seasons bikes are sold off. You can find them for 40-50% off msrp.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:12 AM
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KHS Flite 280 or 233 would probably be on my list for new $700.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
There are plenty of bikes new in the $700 range, such as the base model Specialized Allez.
IMHO, this is about the entry level for a good servicable road bike. Below this, and I think it makes sense to look used.

Above this, you're getting incremental gains. Stepping up to something like the Allez elite at $1100 is a pretty good price point for a nice bike that will last, and doesn't cost a ton.

Going to a $2000 bike, and you'll have all the bike anyone needs.
One advantage of stepping up to the $2000 range is that it's likely to stave off upgradeitis longer.


It's a question of your wallet, your priorities and how much you think you'll be using the bike.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by J_Boogie View Post
Where do you live, buck? What's your measurements?
I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area at the moment. I fluctuate between 180 and 190 lbs.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:41 AM
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OP, you can get an aluminum frame with SOME 105 drivetrain for $800 new. I saw it around the new year at Performance. Don't go used before checking this out. Also Bikes Direct. New with warranty trumps used in this price range.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by buck2769 View Post
I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area at the moment. I fluctuate between 180 and 190 lbs.
I height and inseam more than weight.

Edit: I see I got distracted after beginning my sentence and went ahead and ended it with a piece of the middle missing. I'll just leave it though...

Last edited by RPK79; 03-18-14 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I height and inseam more than weight.
Yeah at 180lbs you don't have to worry about belly clearance above the top tube.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:51 AM
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CAAD8 8 Claris - ROAD - BIKES - 2014

Great bike that you can find for under $800.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:55 AM
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in this year's Bicycling buyer's guide
Cannondale CAAD8 7 Sora: Bike & Gear Reviews | Bicycling Magazine is under $1000.

I would go talk to any bike shops within reasonable distance to get a sense of what your money gets you and the differences. Take some out for a spin to see how they feel. That would help point you in the right direction so you will know what you are looking for.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:57 AM
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All of the cheapest bikes from the major brands are competent and perfectly adequate for beginners. These don't get reviewed much because they don't change much from year to year. Just make sure you get one that fits you well (both frame size and geometry).

You can save a lot of money with used bikes, but fitting will obviously be more difficult. Make sure you bring an experienced friend with you to help you fitting used bikes. Don't trust the frame measurements in used bike ads.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:58 AM
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Giant Defy starter bike is about $650. Same frame as the $1,300 Defy. The entry bike has a steel fork and entry components. If you are a price buyer, it's a really nice bike.
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Old 03-18-14, 10:02 AM
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Novara Trenta Bike - 2014 at REI.com
this rides like a jewel. ultegra components, lightweight aluminum, and the best part: fully backed and supported by REI which means top tier customer service and you get a year to return for a full refund if you don't like it. You can also grab a 15% off coupon every once in awhile to bring the price down a touch... I got last years model for around $900 which is quite the steal for this machine. If you don't want to spend too much, I suggest waiting a couple of months for the newer bikes to go on sale. I don't like buying used but that's a personal dislike. If you can't wait, then used or lower quality new is your best option. good luck!
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Old 03-18-14, 10:02 AM
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Since you are just getting into road cycling, I would recommend looking at an Endurance frame geometry, which will put you in a more upright and comfortable position.
Some of the bikes mentioned, like the Allez and CAAD are race geometry and may or may not be too aggressive in their rider position. This can be adjusted with stem, etc., but that's the general idea.

Performance Bike has a shop in San Francisco:

Retail Store: SAN FRANCISCO

I would recommend a visit to ride a few different models. Try the Fuji Altamira and the Gran Fondo and see what frame geometry works for you.
They have an excellent return policy-You can use their stuff and return it if you're not happy. Not a lot of other shops, if any, are this lenient with returns.
Good luck.

S
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Old 03-18-14, 10:14 AM
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I always suggest going cheap first. As others have suggested, you can get a pretty good bike for about $700. Trust me, a good $700 bike won't hold you back.

Get the miles in, figure out what type of riding you like best, and learn what you like and don't like about that $700 bike. Eventually you'll want to upgrade (want, not need) and you'll be in a better position to know how to spend that $2,000. Keep the old $700 bike as a backup/bad weather bike/commuter bike.

My bike is old, aluminum, and has mid-level components. If I tried to sell it I'd never get even $700 out of it. I've been dropped a lot of times, but it's never been because of my bike.
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Old 03-18-14, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Slackerprince View Post
Since you are just getting into road cycling, I would recommend looking at an Endurance frame geometry, which will put you in a more upright and comfortable position.
Some of the bikes mentioned, like the Allez and CAAD are race geometry and may or may not be too aggressive in their rider position. This can be adjusted with stem, etc., but that's the general idea.

Performance Bike has a shop in San Francisco:

Retail Store: SAN FRANCISCO

I would recommend a visit to ride a few different models. Try the Fuji Altamira and the Gran Fondo and see what frame geometry works for you.
They have an excellent return policy-You can use their stuff and return it if you're not happy. Not a lot of other shops, if any, are this lenient with returns.
Good luck.

S
Awesome. They're right down the street. I may check them out on my lunch. Thanks.
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Old 03-18-14, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
I always suggest going cheap first. As others have suggested, you can get a pretty good bike for about $700. Trust me, a good $700 bike won't hold you back.

Get the miles in, figure out what type of riding you like best, and learn what you like and don't like about that $700 bike. Eventually you'll want to upgrade (want, not need) and you'll be in a better position to know how to spend that $2,000. Keep the old $700 bike as a backup/bad weather bike/commuter bike.

My bike is old, aluminum, and has mid-level components. If I tried to sell it I'd never get even $700 out of it. I've been dropped a lot of times, but it's never been because of my bike.
Thanks for the reassurance. This is what I was thinking. I would probably a be a different rider in a year or two than as a beginner.
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Old 03-18-14, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
I always suggest going cheap first. As others have suggested, you can get a pretty good bike for about $700. Trust me, a good $700 bike won't hold you back.

Get the miles in, figure out what type of riding you like best, and learn what you like and don't like about that $700 bike.
My bike is old, aluminum, and has mid-level components. If I tried to sell it I'd never get even $700 out of it. I've been dropped a lot of times, but it's never been because of my bike.
"WHY DO YOU HATE NICE THINGS!?!?"
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Old 03-18-14, 10:29 AM
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OP...another +1 to many of the comments here, and I'm also in the Bay Area (Fremont). Check out Performance Bike, especially as they're clearancing many 2013 bikes. It's always nice to have a shop help with sizing to get things right so you're comfortable. As you learn more and more and fitment (if you decide to learn), you'll be able to take care of more things on your own and buying used will be much easier.

Now speaking of used, you can definitely get some good aluminum frame road bikes with 105 components for ~$700-800 used. Perfect example...I'll be selling my 2013 Trek Madone 2.1 for about $800 in a few weeks after I build up my new bike around the frame I bought. That's an excellent value bike on the used size, good performer, good components. I bought and sold my previous 2011 Trek Alpha 2.1 for about $750 a year ago...similar bike with 105 components as well. If you need a 58cm size bike, hit me up. There is also a shop in Redwood City that's always posting GREAT deals on new bikes, usually 1-2 year old models that are brand new. Haven't been over there yet, but they have some very nice bikes as well as good sub-$1000 bikes. And you get the backing of a shop for warranty, tuning, etc.
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