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Buying my first real 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

Buying my first real road bike

Old 04-18-14, 02:00 PM
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schiiism
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Buying my first real road bike

I have been riding my mom's Univega Gran Turismo for about 3 years now. Unfortunately the frame is several inches too small for me. I also want a lighter bike that has integrated shifting, and is generally more appropriate as a regular commuter/century rider. I am looking at a 2012 Fuji Finest 3.0 from Craigslist tomorrow that is in mint condition for $300. It seems like an awesome deal to me after doing some research, but I'm coming from knowing almost nothing about bikes technically. I ride ~3000 miles/year so I'm also concerned about how quickly this bike might wear out.

This is the bike's specs: Print Bike Page - Finest 3.0

Any insights or things I should look for?
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Old 04-18-14, 02:30 PM
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If I'm not mistaken that's the exact same model bike I bought for my son (he needed a 44 cm frame) but his is a bit older and has a 7 speed triple instead of 8. They're pretty heavy but I'd say they're reliable enough for your needs, and you'll appreciate the triple if you ever hit any long hills.

Things like tires, brake pads, chains & cassettes are consumable, so check those to see how worn they are. As a hint, if the bike is that new and the tires & brake pads look good, the chain and the rest will be fine too. Take it for a spin, and if it fits go for it. Run through all the gears and make sure it shifts reasonably well. $300 seems perfectly decent if the bike is in good shape.

Oh, and welcome to bike forums.
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Old 04-18-14, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by schiiism View Post
I ride ~3000 miles/year so I'm also concerned about how quickly this bike might wear out.
After Tuesday's after-work ride, I had 18,700 miles on my old Fuji Newest 3.0, original wheels, derailleurs, shifters, crank, brakes etc.
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Old 04-18-14, 05:02 PM
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With some Shimano Sora stuff, it looks fine to me to - it's not a crappy Walmart bike or anything.

The #1 mistake people make when buying a bike is buying the wrong size. Just don't buy something that's not the wrong size because "it's a good deal". :-)
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Old 04-18-14, 08:23 PM
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Here are a couple local, for comparison:

FUJI FINEST BICYCLE 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION RARE

FUJI Finest All Sport Road Bike

S
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Old 04-18-14, 09:37 PM
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It won't "wear out", I mean not so it's a concern for the foreseeable future anyway.

Prediction: it'll be a perfectly acceptable commuter... AND you'll have a "sports car" bike within a year.

$300 seems like a reasonable amount of dough to spend to fill the commuter niche, and it will certainly bridge you to your next bike.

By the way, great first post! Dayum. Embedded link... Well worded... great avatar picture...
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Old 04-19-14, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Long Tom View Post
Prediction: it'll be a perfectly acceptable commuter... AND you'll have a "sports car" bike within a year.
I did end up buying it, and it already feels like I moved from a school bus to a sports car! It's almost scary because I can't feel the bike below me very much and the shifting is so smooth. Thanks for your input everyone, I'll probably be back with more questions once I've broken her in more


I think I'm in love
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Old 04-19-14, 10:57 PM
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looking good. nice bike too.

Id recommend getting some gloves, a rear blinky light, and a helmet. enjoy and be safe.
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Old 04-21-14, 10:00 PM
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And padded shorts and clip-in pedals and the requisite shoes...

Congrats on the sweet new ride!
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Old 04-21-14, 10:04 PM
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Looks beautiful on you.

I would suggest the same, getting some proper lights for safety. 3000 miles a year? Wow, that's hmm, many thousands more than bianchi10 will ride his Cannondale Evo, hahahaha.

No doubt neighborhood boys will love you wearing yoga pants on the bike

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Old 04-21-14, 10:12 PM
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ok, here's the instruction manual now that you've ventured into the world of road bikes.
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Old 04-21-14, 10:16 PM
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Yeah I wouldn't. I still don't have any bike specific clothing. 1 bike, that was affordable. I don't stop by cafe or drink gourmet coffee. If I'm sleepy and need a jolt, a medium iced black at dunkin donuts for me. My schedule doesn't allow me to ride with a group, between classes on weekends/nights and working nights. And my wheels weigh 1.8 kg and use puncture resistant tires. No recovery days. I don't shave. I don't crash. I don't get massages for cycling, I did for running though (once a week), never I saw so many men cry And I learn whatever I can for bike maintenance and no LBS has touched my bike. And I have yet to ride a century and will never pay to ride a Gran Fondo.

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Old 04-22-14, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by goenrdoug View Post
And padded shorts and clip-in pedals and the requisite shoes...
Thanks everyone, I agree with all of you! I have a lot of what you’re suggesting, that was just me practicing with the integrated shifters. Although my Univega was pink, so I’ll have to upgrade my gear to purple *ahem* As for the pants, I ride to yoga so padded shorts isn’t always worth the trade off

Most of my miles come from my 12 mile commute to work. I have been hesitant to get road shoes because my office is in an industrial area, and I’ve had several close calls with big rigs and needing to hop off my bike immediately. Does anyone have insight on this? Is it worth the safety risk? I’m also concerned about a super narrow, steep overpass where I have to stop quickly for cars that are too far to the right.

Maybe after college I’ll have time to be a bike snob.. For now I see mine as a tool to get my cardio in lieu of wasting gas, and to laugh maniacally as I ride past the five o clock rush

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Old 04-22-14, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by schiiism View Post
Most of my miles come from my 12 mile commute to work. I have been hesitant to get road shoes because my office is in an industrial area, and Ive had several close calls with big rigs and needing to hop off my bike immediately. Does anyone have insight on this? Is it worth the safety risk? Im also concerned about a super narrow, steep overpass where I have to stop quickly for cars that are too far to the right.
I commuted for years in some of the least cycle friendly places in one of the least cycle friendly cities. It's worth it to spend an extra 10-15 minutes riding a safer alternate route with less/slower traffic - if one exists. If you plan to primarily commute, why not put some SPD (mountain bike) pedals on? There are some good shoes out there that can be had for around $50 with recessed cleats designed for walking in that look no different than hiking or running shoes. To me, traffic coming up too close and having my foot slip off a platform pedal in an emergency stop seems like a worse situation. After a couple weeks, clipping in/out becomes automatic and is quick as taking your foot off a regular platform pedal.

Here's an example:

https://www.amazon.com/Giro-Womens-Pe...ords=spd+shoes

Amazon.com : Shimano PD-M520L MTB Sport Pedals with Cleats : Bike Pedals : Sports & Outdoors

Last edited by cellery; 04-22-14 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 04-22-14, 06:25 PM
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I've got two pairs of these on two different bikes and a pair of shoes with recessed cleats.
Wellgo WPD 823 Mountain Bike XC MTB Clipless Pedals Set Silver SPD SEALED 9 16 | eBay
They work great -- and I can walk around without doing that duck-walk a lot of cyclists do..
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Old 04-24-14, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cellery View Post
I commuted for years in some of the least cycle friendly places in one of the least cycle friendly cities. It's worth it to spend an extra 10-15 minutes riding a safer alternate route with less/slower traffic - if one exists. If you plan to primarily commute, why not put some SPD (mountain bike) pedals on? There are some good shoes out there that can be had for around $50 with recessed cleats designed for walking in that look no different than hiking or running shoes. To me, traffic coming up too close and having my foot slip off a platform pedal in an emergency stop seems like a worse situation. After a couple weeks, clipping in/out becomes automatic and is quick as taking your foot off a regular platform pedal.
Interesting, I have only looked at road bike shoes so far. Other than comfortable walking, do SPD shoes have other advantages over road shoes? Most of my commuting is to work, and I keep heels there to change into. I don't do very much walking in my cycling shoes, so I'm primarily interested in what the safer option is for riding in traffic.
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Old 04-24-14, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by schiiism View Post
Interesting, I have only looked at road bike shoes so far. Other than comfortable walking, do SPD shoes have other advantages over road shoes? Most of my commuting is to work, and I keep heels there to change into. I don't do very much walking in my cycling shoes, so I'm primarily interested in what the safer option is for riding in traffic.
In my opinion the SPD's are great if you do a lot of city riding and clipping in and out..

The SPD-SL's are great if you don't have to clip in and out much..

When my old SPD style shoes wore out I decided to buy some 'road shoes' with the SPD-SL's and obviously needed new peddles..

I don't commute (I'm retired) but about 40% of my daily mileage is in the city (clip in, clip out)..

My observations of the 2 are:

SPD:

Easier to walk in by a long shot!
Easier to clip in and out of when dealing with city traffic (even more so if you have double sided peddles)

SPD-SL

Much more power to the peddle when clipped in (this might also be because I now have a much wider peddle)
Better alignment of foot and knees
Pain in the rear to walk in


I am sticking with the SPD-SL's because I feel less worn out after my rides. I also feel as though I have more power when climbing..

This is all just my .02

BTW... Nice bike!
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