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First Time Road Bike Purchase

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
hello everyone,

This past year I have gotten in cycling and it's time for me to get rid of my POS Trek Hybrid and get a real road bike!!

That said, it's a lot of money and I want to make some good choices.

1. I do not want to spend any more money than I have to
2. I am only 5'2"
3. I plan to use the bike to do recreational day rides (30-50 miles)
4. I am in new england and our roads tend to be in tougher shape

I'd REALLY appreciate your input/advice.

thanks in advance,
kiersten
post #2 of 20
That's a tough call to make. A lot of that depends on what your budget is, and how dedicated you are to using it. It doesn't make sense to spend a ton of money on something that you are only going to use casually, but on the other hand it also doesn't make sense to buy something less than what you need, and only have to spend more money to upgrade later. If you're doing in the 30-50 mile range, it might be a good idea to look at a carbon frame, or at least an aluminum/carbon mix, that is an aluminum frame with carbon fork and stays, as a full aluminum frame can be fatiguing on longer rides. Other than that, get the best components you can for the money, for example Shimano 105's would be adaquete for most people, Ultregra would be better, Dura Ace would be overkill for most people. Seems to me that you should be able to get something like a Specialized Roubauix or something comperable with decent components and a carbon frame in the $2000-2500 range, although this time of year is not the best time to be looking for bargins.
post #3 of 20
Ballpark on what you had in mind to spend?
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks!

Ideally I'd love to spend $800 or less.

I will get in one good ride a week normally, but would also like to do weekend trips and ride for 2 days. Overall, I'd say one big ride a week. I have another bike I could use if I decided to become a bike commuter.

kiersten
post #5 of 20
$800 puts you in a VERY VERY recreational neighborhood, if you could bump that up to $1500 you would be looking at bikes you wouldn't want to replace immediately.

I'd suggest sticking with the hybrid or spend more money for a bike that you will WANT to ride.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
$800 puts you in a VERY VERY recreational neighborhood, if you could bump that up to $1500 you would be looking at bikes you wouldn't want to replace immediately.
Maybe at a local bike shop paying full retail- but even then...:

I just helped two of my co-workers get into new road bikes equipped with Ultegra for under $1,000. Look around for last season's leftovers (new) and save a bunch of money. I'd spend as much as you reasonably can without breaking the bank. Stretch your $800 into $1,000 and you will get a measurably better bike.
Don't be afraid to look online, even Ebay if you are confident in the size you need. (Sizes vary by manufacturer so be SURE to check into anything prior to purchase). If I had more time I'd make some more suggestions with links- maybe later. Something like a Specialized Allez comes to mind- 105 components at around a grand?
post #7 of 20
Kiersten, do bump it up to $1500.

Are you still in Boston these days? There are some GREAT bike shops down there. They can help you out. I'd want to be looking for something like a Specialized Ruby. Look for a Shimano 105 group with a triple crank.
post #8 of 20
A friend of mine bought a Roubaiux with 105's and a compact crank at a shop in Killington for under $1600. I thought that was a great deal. But that was in October. Good luck finding a deal like that now.
post #9 of 20
FUJI and Jamis are great buys, and have some offering *near* your price range. If I were you, I'd spend a bit more and get something you won't be fixing/replacing parts on all the time.

Craigslist is a good place to look too. Try to go 105 or Ultegra level at least.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Kiersten, do bump it up to $1500.

Are you still in Boston these days? There are some GREAT bike shops down there. They can help you out. I'd want to be looking for something like a Specialized Ruby. Look for a Shimano 105 group with a triple crank.
+ look for a shop that will watch you pedal the thing and adjust the fit as needed.
post #11 of 20

First Road Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
+ look for a shop that will watch you pedal the thing and adjust the fit as needed.

Agree, find a GOOD bike shop and demo some bikes; see what kind of help they provide to you. Sounds like there are some good shops in your general vicinity.

The level of knowledge they can offer you and also the degree to which they will help you could make a huge difference in how well the bike fits you. They can also offer all kinds of tips if you need them.

The people at the shop I got my bike from were incredibly helpful with any questions that I had and practically mentoring me.

I had a Trek hybrid for a long time, then got a road bike (Bianchi Eros approx. $1500?) and the difference in how the two ride was eye-opening!
post #12 of 20
craigslist is your friend. e.g., if you can swing down to connecticut: http://newyork.craigslist.org/fct/bik/696851112.html

but something will show up in beantown if you're patient. look for any name brand road bike (e.g. trek, specialized, lemond, giant) in a smallish frame size, ideally a woman's frame. not much difference really between brands; design and fit are everything. IMHO you're better off spending $400 - $600 on good quality used and then another $100 at a shop for tuneup and basic fitting help - swapping a stem if need be, etc. - than spending new on low budget equipment.

craigslist often produces bikes where people bought the wrong size or just lose interest in biking. a few years back i picked up a carbon fiber trek woman's road bike for my daughter - used but good condition, with new wheels and shimano 105 components i think - under $350 on nyc craigslist. and a no-name reynolds 853 road bike for me, perfect condition with reynolds carbon fork and full shimano ultegra components - $525.

i'm sure if you linked here to anything of interest on your local craigslist someone would comment whether its worth pursuing.
post #13 of 20
Hi Kiersten,

Boston is full of good bike shops. Wheelworks has a good reputation, and Harris Cyclery, home of the late, lamented Sheldon Brown, is in West Newton. Sheldon's website is an encyclopedia of all things bike. Looks like you already have a WTB on Craig's list. Some folks on cyclingforum.com's board have had good luck with bikesdirect.com if you're not afraid of sight-unseen internet purchase. And if you want something really small in Boston, http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/701922204.html.

Now that you're back in New England, will you come to ESA Stowe again?.

Cheers,

Evan
post #14 of 20
Update on the kind of deals that are potentially out there, I just got my co-worker a 2007 Giant OCR1W (med) for $625. It's a shop demo with less than 100 miles on it and can't be told from new. Full 105 group, nice entry level women's specific roadie well under $1k. It took some calling around, checking in and hunting down- but if you are on a budget and have a little time you can definately find something similar. Good luck!
post #15 of 20
I saw a full DA Cannondale Synapse in 47cm at a shop for 2K. That would be a fun bike.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
I saw a full DA Cannondale Synapse in 47cm at a shop for 2K. That would be a fun bike.
700?
post #17 of 20
I think it was 700C. It had Ksyrium SLs or something like that. It was pretty small. Maybe it was center to center.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by evansilver View Post
Hi Kiersten,

Boston is full of good bike shops. Wheelworks has a good reputation, and Harris Cyclery, home of the late, lamented Sheldon Brown, is in West Newton.
Boston is full of good bike shops? HA. I've run into some incredibly clueless mechanics at a variety of stores. I made the mistake of using Harris Cyclery once -- after promising me that the bike was shifting "perfectly", it took me about two miles to figure out that it wasn't any better then it was when I first took it to him.

Landry's, Wheelworks, Harris Cyclery, International Bike Centers, and Bicycle Alley (in Worcester). I've used all of them, and I've gotten shoddy service from all of them. I just do any repair work myself now. I refuse to spend a dime in any shop around here again.
post #19 of 20
I second Axebiker on the Jamis Fuji bikes.

Or old Caad Cannondales (on Ebay or else).
At that price, forget about carbon, and concentrate on quality parts, and a straight frame fit to your size.



Dad
post #20 of 20

...essentially.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye View Post
.....
3. I plan to use the bike to do recreational day rides (30-50 miles)
4. I am in new england and our roads tend to be in tougher shape....
;-)..kiersten,
If you describe tackling the paved roads of NewEngland "recreational"...you are one rockin' off-trail skier!;-) This condition of NE roads alone is why I'm keeping my Nissan Xterra(4x4) ...with the Suspension/Body lifts, RockBars, and Cepek Crushers..for the occasional social outings...;-)
*My $.01....a suspension seatpost, but most everybody knows that...
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