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Road Bike for under $600

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 for under $600

Old 06-01-14, 05:18 PM
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dapoliz
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Road Bike for under $600

Hi everyone:

I'm 5'9.5 - 5'10'', 25 year old guy and I'm looking at buying a road bike for under $600. I went to bikesdirect and saw the Gravity Liberty 3 50cm to be an appropriate fit. I'm between the 50 and 53.5 but upon reading views online, I found out that it's better to size down than size up. Ergo, I decided to go for the 50cm.

I also researched that the shifters on these bikes are better than the counterparts, but I'm a newbie, so I wouldn't know much. It'd be helpful if you guys can tell me your thoughts about this bike or any other bikes that's better than this and fits my budget!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-01-14, 05:57 PM
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I don't know anything about that bike, but a 50 cm frame for someone who is 5'10" seems awfully small. Have you looked for used road bikes in your area? I would think that you should be looking for a 54 or 56, and you can probably find a 5 year old bike with 105 which would be a nicer option. You could also test ride it to be sure it fits.
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Old 06-01-14, 06:02 PM
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Who told you it is better to go down a size? I am just under 5'9" and ride a 55. Yesterday I tried my wife's 51 cm road bike and it felt tiny. Btw, she is 5'6".
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Old 06-01-14, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
I don't know anything about that bike, but a 50 cm frame for someone who is 5'10" seems awfully small. Have you looked for used road bikes in your area? I would think that you should be looking for a 54 or 56, and you can probably find a 5 year old bike with 105 which would be a nicer option. You could also test ride it to be sure it fits.
Hi Dan,

The frame on this bike is similar to the Giant compact frames. I think 50 on these is equivalent of a 54-57 on a conventional frame. I tried looking at used road bikes on Craigslist. Someone is selling me a Giant Defy 3 2009 for 350 but it has inferior shifters. What do you think?

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-14, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by fkdapoliz View Post
Hi Dan,

The frame on this bike is similar to the Giant compact frames. I think 50 on these is equivalent of a 54-57 on a conventional frame. I tried looking at used road bikes on Craigslist. Someone is selling me a Giant Defy 3 2009 for 350 but it has inferior shifters. What do you think?

Thanks!
Inferior?
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Old 06-01-14, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Inferior?
Shimano 2200 STI Dual Control on the Giant Defy 32009 vs the SHIMANO ST-4600 on Liberty bike.

Moreover, about downsizing, I just read it on the forums. I could be entirely wrong. I'm a bit confused. The sizing for the GIANT compact frames is a different from the conventional ones, right?
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Old 06-01-14, 06:10 PM
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There used to be an under $700 road bike thread on here that was had a ton of useful information, but it seems to have disappeared. Anybody know what happened to or have a link to where it lives now?
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Old 06-01-14, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fkdapoliz View Post
Shimano 2200 STI Dual Control on the Giant Defy 32009 vs the SHIMANO ST-4600 on Liberty bike.

Moreover, about downsizing, I just read it on the forums. I could be entirely wrong. I'm a bit confused. The sizing for the GIANT compact frames is a different from the conventional ones, right?
I don't know. A quick search suggests Giant has several different frame Geometries but even so, hard to see a person almost 5'10" riding a 50 cm frame, compact or not.
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Old 06-01-14, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I don't know. A quick search suggests Giant has several different frame Geometries but even so, hard to see a person almost 5'10" riding a 50 cm frame, compact or not.
Alright, I can figure out the size by going in a store and checking out the Defy. However, what do you think of the Liberty 3? Or can you think of any other bikes that are better and fit my budget?
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Old 06-01-14, 06:42 PM
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Ok, so you want to go to a Giant store pretending to be a customer just to size a a Defy on the chance the Gravity will be the same size? How about trying the Defy and if you like it, buy it?

I wouldn't buy a bike off the internet unless I really knew what I was doing. the bikes direct bike looks impressive on paper, I wouldn't buy it unless I knew for sure it would fit, and I was confident enough to competently assemble the bike myself.
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Old 06-01-14, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Ubie View Post
There used to be an under $700 road bike thread on here that was had a ton of useful information, but it seems to have disappeared. Anybody know what happened to or have a link to where it lives now?
Correct, I used this exact thread when purchasing my first bike. It helped me find a great CL bike that I am still loving after almost two years.

http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ke-thread.html
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Old 06-01-14, 07:05 PM
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Funny how so many people that have not even looked at the bike in question's geometry chart want to chime in and tell OP that it's way too small.

The bike he's looking at while sized 50 has a 545mm effective top tube which makes it closer to a 54 or 55 in most frames. Bikesdirect claims it's closer to a 55-57 size frame. It has a sloping top tube and compact geo so short seat tube which is where they get the 50 but that is meaningless. Odds are 50 is the correct size for OP

As far as the bike goes: I've owned a BD bike and I felt like it was a good value. But might want to check out the used market. I saw a CAAD9 with 105 with a $750 asking price recently on my CL in the L.A. area. I've seen a lot of good deals in the $700 range here that would be better bang for the buck then a Tiagra bike. Miledge may vary depending on your local CL and used bike market in your area. Lots of good deals on Ebay recently for used bikes. I think lots of people upgrading for the summer and selling old bikes right now
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Old 06-01-14, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fkdapoliz View Post
Alright, I can figure out the size by going in a store and checking out the Defy. However, what do you think of the Liberty 3? Or can you think of any other bikes that are better and fit my budget?
I do a lot of idle browsing on BD because some of their higher end bikes are amazing values. IMO, the gravitys are the least appealing bikes on there. I'm sure they have a nice ride, but they are so ugly... My brother has a Motobecane Vent Noir he purchased from BD, it's a great bike and I think one you should consider. At the moment it is listed at $799, but it's been on sale for around $650 before. You might consider bike island, it's the BD scratch 'n dent and they could have some in your price range.
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Old 06-01-14, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Funny how so many people that have not even looked at the bike in question's geometry chart want to chime in and tell OP that it's way too small.

The bike he's looking at while sized 50 has a 545mm effective top tube which makes it closer to a 54 or 55 in most frames. Bikesdirect claims it's closer to a 55-57 size frame. It has a sloping top tube and compact geo so short seat tube which is where they get the 50 but that is meaningless. Odds are 50 is the correct size for OP

As far as the bike goes: I've owned a BD bike and I felt like it was a good value. But might want to check out the used market. I saw a CAAD9 with 105 with a $750 asking price recently on my CL in the L.A. area. I've seen a lot of good deals in the $700 range here that would be better bang for the buck then a Tiagra bike. Miledge may vary depending on your local CL and used bike market in your area. Lots of good deals on Ebay recently for used bikes. I think lots of people upgrading for the summer and selling old bikes right now
Haha, thanks for vindicating me! The problem with searching for bikes on Ebay is that I'm not sure which brand/model I'm looking for. I kind of am at a max budget of 600. I can't afford to go over that. I've been trying to look for deals on CL but as I said, I just found a Giant Defy 3 2009 model for 350. But it has Sora, so I'm confused what to do!
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Old 06-01-14, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
I do a lot of idle browsing on BD because some of their higher end bikes are amazing values. IMO, the gravitys are the least appealing bikes on there. I'm sure they have a nice ride, but they are so ugly... My brother has a Motobecane Vent Noir he purchased from BD, it's a great bike and I think one you should consider. At the moment it is listed at $799, but it's been on sale for around $650 before. You might consider bike island, it's the BD scratch 'n dent and they could have some in your price range.
Apart from the looks, do you think there are any other problems with that bike? I suspect looks are a completely subjective and preferential issue. I, for one, like the matte black finish on the Gravity Liberty 3. I need a bike right about now for my commute. I can't wait for it to go for sale! I tried looking at bike island, none of the bikes that I like have my size available.
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Old 06-01-14, 09:53 PM
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I love my Liberty 3:



As is from BD, it was the best bang for your buck road bike I was able to find at $600 when I was in the market (not sure about now). If it helps, I'm 5'8" but have a 29" inseam and I had to buy the 43 cm to be able to stand over the frame. On a traditional frame, I ride either somewhere between a 48cm and a 50cm.

Backpack commuted on it (though I have a dedicated commuter now so I take the Liberty to work less often now), and rode a few centuries without any problems. When you buy it, expect to have to do some assembly, tweak the drivetrain a little bit and to take the wheels to the LBS to get properly tensioned. The latter is particularly important if you're going to be commuting on it.

Note that mine in the picture above does have a few modifications from stock form.

Last edited by awfulwaffle; 06-01-14 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 06-02-14, 10:39 AM
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Go to a bike store and at least give them a chance to sell you a bike. At the very least, you'll have a better idea of what to look for if you decide to go the online route anyway...
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Old 06-02-14, 12:36 PM
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I bought the gravity liberty 3 back in 2012 and I have no complaints. I am almost 6'4" and therefore went with the 58.5cm option and it is just right for me. I don't ride a lot (still less than 1000 miles on this bike) but no mechanical issues after adjusting all of the derailleurs as needed.

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Old 06-02-14, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by flat_tire View Post
I bought the gravity liberty 3 back in 2012 and I have no complaints. I am almost 6'4" and therefore went with the 58.5cm option and it is just right for me. I don't ride a lot (still less than 1000 miles on this bike) but no mechanical issues after adjusting all of the derailleurs as needed.

Nice wheels, the stickers on mine vanished I feel like your frame could eat my frame.
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Old 06-02-14, 08:27 PM
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You can buy a Decathlon al road bike for $550 online. French design.
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Old 06-03-14, 10:36 PM
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Hi guys,

Thanks for your valuable inputs. I just went to the store and tried out a Giant Defy 5 2014. The store is selling it for 650 bucks. Assuming that I buy the Liberty Gravity 3 for 600 and then get it tuned in a LBS, it'd roughly cost me the same. Which one do you guys think is the better option? Is Giant Defy 5 a good bike?
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Old 06-04-14, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by dapoliz View Post
Hi guys,

Thanks for your valuable inputs. I just went to the store and tried out a Giant Defy 5 2014. The store is selling it for 650 bucks. Assuming that I buy the Liberty Gravity 3 for 600 and then get it tuned in a LBS, it'd roughly cost me the same. Which one do you guys think is the better option? Is Giant Defy 5 a good bike?
Yes, get the Defy from your LBS. Giant makes good bikes and you get to ride it and really see how you like it. Without a doubt, go for it.
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