First road bike...suggestions?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2009 5:23 AM GMT
    Ok, I'm competing in a triathlon in October and I need to buy a bike. I've never owned a road bike. Anyone who cycles, what should I look to spend new/used? What are things to look for? What size frame do I need??? I'm completely lost! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Tnx much.
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    May 28, 2009 6:46 AM GMT
    Hey bud,

    I bought an ORBEA onix as my road bike, and i love it!, the only thing i dont like about it is the brake calipers are Orbea brand, and not shimano or another better brand, I have a shimano 105 derailuer, and Mavic kryssium wheels, it was a slightly expensive set up, but it is entry level race, Check out TREK they have some decently priced bikes, also Lance Armstrong rides trek..... he's a winner so you may be too!, personnaly I dont like trek i used to have a trek mountain bike and i just felt it was built cheaply, but it comes down to personnal preference, go to your bike shop and have a check out of a few different brands, felt are pretty decent but i couldn't get the one i wanted for ages (as there were none in Australia) I looked at Giant but they didn't do much for me in terms of cost to what you got, but your bike shop will be able to pick the best size for you, and get you on your bike properly, they will fit you to your bike and seat and handlebars aswell (or they should do anyway) and if you seem pretty serious they may even throw in extra's (helmet, knicks, shoes and the like!)

    happy Cycling! icon_razz.gif
  • FitguyKool

    Posts: 30

    May 28, 2009 1:18 PM GMT
    I've been riding a Trek for years and I've never had any problems. Go to any bike shop and tell the guys there you need a bike for a triathlon. They will be able to fit you with the right bike height and frame wise. I've always found the guys in bike shops very friendly and helpful.
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    May 28, 2009 2:08 PM GMT
    I'd also check out Specialized. Even though I prefer Trek, Specialized usually has a very similar lineup to Trek (at the entry level).

    I absolutely agree with the previous two guys - get it fitted by someone at your bike shop who knows what they're doing. You can spend thousands on a great road bike and if it's not fitted properly, you'll hate it. So make sure to spend that extra time so that it's customized to you.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    May 28, 2009 2:50 PM GMT
    I personally love my felt. I work as a cyclist and the guys and I usually always ride Felt, Jamis, Bianchi, or Trek. I don't think you can go wrong with any of those brands as long as you do your research and buy the proper bike. Also, there is a very variable opinion, but I personally love gears. I can imagine riding around with only two. You might want to consider customizing your crank for 3.
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    May 28, 2009 3:34 PM GMT
    Anything quality is going to cost over $1000 USD. Even my rather mundane touring bike was $2500 as outfitted (see my profile pics). There are triathlon models from most of the major manufacturers. These first 3 brands below I've owned myself (though not their triathlon bikes) and was pleased with their quality. Giant is Chinese, for a better price. A good bike shop can advise you regarding fit, some have special measuring rigs.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/triathlon/

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/09/cusa/slice.html

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCExperience.jsp?eid=113

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/road
    (Look for the "Trinity" series)
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    May 28, 2009 5:09 PM GMT
    Glad this thread came up, I've been wanting a road bike recently. I have such a perfect city for riding.


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    May 28, 2009 5:20 PM GMT
    vindog saidGlad this thread came up, I've been wanting a road bike recently. I have such a perfect city for riding.

    Great! Just be aware that the triathlon bikes we've been discussing here are somewhat specialized for that task, and may not suit your city riding needs. But the triathlon links I provided above will let you navigate back to bikes that may be better for your purpose.
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    May 28, 2009 5:26 PM GMT
    I would avoid tri-bikes for road bike purposes.
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    May 29, 2009 11:11 AM GMT
    These are some good suggestions, but I agree with the guys who mentioned bike fitting. I would highly recommend to get fitted at a good bike shop first. A good fitting can save you a lot of pain and discomfort, and since you are competing in a tri, it's really much more important than for general riding. Typical fittings cost about $150-$200. Once a shop determines your flexibility, your power sweet spots, and generally where the bike components should be to make you comfortable, give them your price range.

    For triathlon, start on a road bike, work your way up to either adding tri-bars (not generally recommended) or a tri-bike. Not everyone is comfortable in aero position, and some hate it. I prefer it and rarely use my road bike, even on hilly courses. It's all a matter of what position you get the most power from and where you are most comfortable. A bike fitting will give you that information. A bike fitting will also teach you about the basics of cycling, components, proper bike form (and I can't over-emphasize the importance of cycling form), etc. So, it's a great learning experience for someone new to the sport.

    As an aside, It's simply not true that you need to spend $1000 to have a nice road bike. A reputable shop will take your fit and your price range and should be able to find you something or recommend. If not, there are plenty of good bikes being unloaded on ebay and craig's list that should fit your specs as many triathletes (myself included) unload bikes there when they upgrade to new models. My bike shop actually helps folks find something after a fitting if they don't have something in your price range. Bikes depreciate rapidly so you can get some killer road (and tri) bikes for substantially less than original price (i.e. I just unloaded a old Cannondale I paid $3k for 2 years ago for $800)

    Good luck with the tri.

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    May 29, 2009 11:43 AM GMT
    lawyerguy35 saidAs an aside, It's simply not true that you need to spend $1000 to have a nice road bike. A reputable shop will take your fit and your price range and should be able to find you something or recommend.

    I agree with your advice above otherwise, but I still doubt a competitive triathlon bike can be had for less than $1000. The main issue is lightness, which as you know costs money for every pound you lose. A cheaper biker equals weight, an anchor around the competitor's neck.

    But I also agree with your good suggestion of buying used if needed, which I hadn't mentioned in my own post. I should have written that one should look at a bike which costs at least $1000 *new* as a benchmark, but which can be bought cheaper used. That's smart for the first-timer.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14350

    May 30, 2009 8:34 PM GMT
    I own a bianchi brava roadbike and I have had no serious problems with it whatsoever. Since this is your first roadbike, you should visit a bike shop and get the proper size roadbike. Since you are doing a triathlon, probably a triathlon bike would be a better investment for you. Again make sure that it is a proper and workable fit for you. I disagree that triathlon bikes are poor for roadbiking, I know quite a few triathletes that use their triathlon bikes for regular cycling. However, to each his own.
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    May 30, 2009 9:11 PM GMT
    Never buy used anything! You will always be buying someone elses problems. My partner and I donate our bikes every two years.
    We just bought Cannondale Roadbikes. We each got the Synapse Carbon SRAM Red. (Moutainbikes....we just got the Trek Top Fuel 9.icon_cool.gif

    As for sizing....get fitted professionally. EVERYONE'S BODY is different. But remember, you get what you pay for. Just starting out, I wouldn't spend less then $2500.00. Anything less, and your asking for problems down the road.
    Good luck! And most of all enjoy!!!!
    Cheers,
    Keith
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    May 31, 2009 10:43 PM GMT
    Musclequest said Just starting out, I wouldn't spend less then $2500.00. Anything less, and your asking for problems down the road.


    Sorry, but that´s not true. I used to be a triathlete and you can get a very functional bike for $1000 (or even less if you do it at the right time of year). Most people who are just starting out don´t have $2,500 to throw around.
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    May 31, 2009 11:47 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    Musclequest said Just starting out, I wouldn't spend less then $2500.00. Anything less, and your asking for problems down the road.


    Sorry, but that´s not true. I used to be a triathlete and you can get a very functional bike for $1000 (or even less if you do it at the right time of year). Most people who are just starting out don´t have $2,500 to throw around.


    You were a triathlete? Hmmm...never would have guessed it. But you could be right.
    To each his own. Personally I find you get what you pay for. Most bikes at $1000.00 seem a bit lacking in quality.
    But thanks for pointing my possible error, instead of just posting your own thoughts.
    Cheers,
    Keith
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    NB- (Simply because someone is just embarking into a new area doesn't mean they can't afford $2500.00 either.)
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    Jun 11, 2009 2:53 PM GMT
    Orbea, Trek and Specialized are all good choices. For me, if I was looking for bang for bucks, I would consider Fuji.

    Right now you can get a Fuji Team Road Bike (which is my second bike) for 1400.00 at Performance.

    Keep in mind that typically the stock wheels and saddle that come with the bike are not what you will want to use in competition
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    Jun 11, 2009 3:14 PM GMT
    Not a triathlete and I don't have any specialized knowledge on bikes - so why am I commenting . . . . bored I guess and was curious what people had to say.

    I've searched for posts on bikes and other equipment on lots of sites and I think we all lose site of what an "introductory" participant wants/needs and what a person ingrained in a sport wants/needs. To say you should spend $2,500 on a bike for someone who sounds like they are just entering into a sport seems insane (I know you can spend $4,000+ on a bike if you want too).

    For me it's the same when someone asks about camping gear, someone just getting into backpacking doesn't have to buy the lightest, best, top of the line all weather tent or sleeping bag just to find out 2 seasons later that they aren't really that into it.

    Good luck competing - I'd say buy a used road bike (cheaper than a tri-bike) do a few races and if you like it start looking into upgrading. After a few races you should be able to determine where your interests lie.

    Don't let equipment stress/information overload stop you from going out and trying something the first few times!


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    Jun 15, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
    I realize this thread has probably fizzled. Adding my 2 cents regardless. I'm all about supporting homegrown American business so I went with Canondale even though I could have gotten a comparable foreign-made bike for less. I'm a grad student and don't have much cash so I bought a previous-year model of the Synapse (2007) for just under $1000. I've been pleased with it overall.

    I'm not happy with the componetry, though. Shimano Tiagra--kinda sucky and I'm gonna have to upgrade. Even after tune-ups the derailleurs ghost-shift like mad when in the middle positions. It drives me nuts--I need all the gear-ratios available because I do a lot of riding on steep mountain roads.
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    Jun 16, 2009 10:34 PM GMT
    TomHardy saidI realize this thread has probably fizzled. Adding my 2 cents regardless. I'm all about supporting homegrown American business so I went with Canondale even though I could have gotten a comparable foreign-made bike for less. I'm a grad student and don't have much cash so I bought a previous-year model of the Synapse (2007) for just under $1000. I've been pleased with it overall.


    Cannondale is actually owned by Dorel Industries, a Canadian company, who also own Schwinn, GT, Mongoose and Roadmaster (and others).

    The only US made frames are the CAAD, Synapse alloy, and the Super. Everything else is made in Taiwan
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    Jun 17, 2009 4:13 AM GMT
    So when they say the bikes are made in the U.S. that only means they were assembled here? The frames, minus the ones you mentioned, are made in Taiwan?
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    Jun 17, 2009 4:20 AM GMT
    Just did a bit of research. It was announced in April 2009 that all production would move to Taiwan. Mine was a 2007 so I guess it was made here. That really sucks. Are there any US made bicycles now?
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    Jun 17, 2009 4:30 AM GMT
    TomHardy saidSo when they say the bikes are made in the U.S. that only means they were assembled here? The frames, minus the ones you mentioned, are made in Taiwan?

    My 2008 Cannondale touring bike has a frame made in the USA. It's the other components that are made elsewhere: Swiss rims, German tires, Japanese derailleurs, crankset, wheel hubs and brakes (all Shimano). Cane Creek made the headset, but I'm not sure if in the US or elsewhere, while the fi'zi:k saddle was made in Italy.
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    Jun 17, 2009 7:22 PM GMT
    Ditto almost all of this from LawyerGuy35. In 7 years of Cat 2 racing I saw teammates increase performance substantially after moving to a well fit bike, or getting their existing bike re-fitted.
    lawyerguy35 said... I agree with the guys who mentioned bike fitting. ... get fitted at a good bike shop first. A good fitting can save you a lot of pain and discomfort...
    And money, and increase your comfort, performance and you'll be more satisfied with your purchase. The ergonomics of your saddle, seatpost, handlebar, levers and cranks need to fit you, and the best ones for you will vary by frame geometry. It's easy to drop a lot of cash when you keep changing comps trying to get ones that feel right.
    ... and since you are competing in a tri, it's really much more important than for general riding.
    Right, again. Because you want to stay streamlined and still for max efficiency. And you have to minimize all the factors that contribute to fatigue.

    ... It's simply not true that you need to spend $1000 to have a nice road bike. ... there are plenty of good bikes being unloaded on ebay and craig's list that should fit your specs... Bikes depreciate rapidly so you can get some killer road (and tri) bikes for substantially less than original price...
    A lot of cyclists, me included, are pretty anal about their equipment. They maintain them well and have a pretty good idea of the mileage they've seen. That kind of cyclist tends to sell his used rides on enthusiast sites like these:
    http://www.roadbikereview.com/
    http://www.competitor.com (So Cal publication)
    http://www.velonews.com
    http://www.roadbikerider.com/classifieds.htm

    Good luck!