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Recommend a nice road bike for some entry level cycling

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Old 01-16-10, 04:20 PM   #1
UptownGS
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Default Recommend a nice road bike for some entry level cycling

I'm trading my Iron Horse MKIII Full Susp Mt. Bike. I dont go up riding anymore and since I live next to PCH I want to try cycling to get my cardio in and get out doors as well. Please recommend me a good mid-entry level bike.

I'm looking for something in the $400 range. Target (don't laugh) actually has a pretty decent bike for $379. It is the Forge CTS 1000 and has pretty decent parts already on it. Just wondering if anyone else w/ more knowledge in the cycling hobby can direct me to something better. Thanks!
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Old 01-16-10, 04:40 PM   #2
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Avoid buying bikes at stores like these. Many potential issues with a bike that is assembled in many times, half-azzed manner. In addition, they will not support the product short of an obvious defect for a return. You want a well fitted bike appropriate for the type of riding you'll do.

Plenty of good bike shops in the area to shop from and get advice. At the entry level, Performance and they are everywhere, Fountain Valley on Magnolia and Warner. Bicycle Discovery in the building next door.

This thread is a nice primer:
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=58937

If you become serious, you'll discover you'll want more from it. So much will depend on your commitment in riding and it becomes relative how much to spend. Don't be shocked if this bike doesn't fit after a spell. It takes some riding experience to refine and know what works for you. A good fit by a knowledgeable bike fitter will do lots to help get you started properly.
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Old 01-16-10, 05:07 PM   #3
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yea thats what i pretty much figured, thats why I dont want to spend $600+ on a bike I'm going to switch up from in a year anyways. For me the Shimano STI Sora made the CTS a real bargain. Right now I just want a mid-entry bike that will last me over a year w/ decent residual value to resell. I figure a year later I can sell the CTS for about $200 so 50% isn't so bad. I've been looking at Performance Bicycle but doesn't look like I can get a good deal w/o spending upwards of $600.

Plus all the bike shops seem to really only be interested in selling their own product rather than giving proper feedback to consumer regarding their choices. Totally understandable, i dont blame them.
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Old 01-16-10, 10:52 PM   #4
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A simple road fit system:
http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/

The old myth about the bars obscuring the front hub...exactly that. There are complex systems that take into consideration arm, torso length among other body dimensions. They can make it really complex.

Take your current bike with you. Tell the sales guy you are shopping around and this is your current bike. Ride it around the parking lot and he'll see your current position and be able to ask questions what you like and don't like about it. He'll set-up a road or hybrid bike and have you take it for a ride. Having your bike with you will allow him to take measurements from it if necessary. For casual riding I think a hybrid covers it well.

These hybrids I think are good as an in between of MTB and road:
http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/wingra
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/....3/3875/36257/
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/72fx/

Some may have an aversion to wearing tight Lycra and the hybrid dispenses with that since you can wear causal biking clothes, street clothes or go Tour De France style. More so it is a casual bike so the stereo typical bike wear is not necessary.

Some shops to wander into:

http://surfcitycyclery.com/
http://jaxbicycles.com/
http://banningsbikes.com/ (High end)
http://www.adrenalinebikes.com/ (High end but has a full range)

If you think this is an activity you'll enjoy, don't be hesitant to buy up to get a nice component group. These can be easily transferred to a new bike in the event a frame doesn't fit/you don't like it. Quality bike parts sell easily but in the Sora and Tiagra level, they take a bigger loss since they are entry level. Nothing wrong with them, it is just the secondary market is hard.

The sweet spot for bikes is $600-$2K. The better range in road is $1,200-$2,500 typically with good parts all around. So if you become serious enough... Hybrids, you do well at $600 easily. With the economy, there are good deals to be had.

Some fun images:
Attached Images
  
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Old 01-17-10, 12:25 AM   #5
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i've been reading about the road bikes they sell at costco using pretty high end parts and not being too expensive. just something to think about.
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Old 01-17-10, 11:44 AM   #6
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No luck at Costco, I seem to only run into Schwinn or GMC bikes there. I definitely do not mind spending 600 if it came w/ 105 components. I found a pretty sweet bike off of ebay w/ 105's for around 600, but was a tad too big for me. It seems like everything except the frame is name brand... in the end all these frames are all made in China anyways so I'm debating if the brand warranty and assurance is worth it? Some ebay sellers have hundreds of positive reviews over the same bike.....

For entry I'm leaning towards these currently:

Wellington 2.0
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-2009-ALUMINU...ht_5452wt_1158

Gavin
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-2010-GAVIN-A...ht_5407wt_1158

Tommaso Tiempo
http://www.rscycle.com/Tommaso-Tiemp...category=15785
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Old 01-17-10, 01:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownGS View Post
I definitely do not mind spending 600 if it came w/ 105 components.
what does '105 components' mean? i find bike parts/types totally confusing - i know there's differences but very hard for me to figure out.
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Old 01-17-10, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitkahuna View Post
what does '105 components' mean? i find bike parts/types totally confusing - i know there's differences but very hard for me to figure out.
Hit the manufacturers websites and you can figure out the progression, such as on Shimano componets on certain bikes, XTR componets are better than XT.
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Old 01-17-10, 01:29 PM   #9
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UpTown check our Marin Bikes, one of my favs and they are kind of below the radar with great prices. You can figure on taking 10%+ off the list.

http://www.marinbikes.com/2010/bike_...serialnum=1474
http://www.marinbikes.com/2010/bike_...?serialnum=475
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Old 01-17-10, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitkahuna View Post
what does '105 components' mean? i find bike parts/types totally confusing - i know there's differences but very hard for me to figure out.
well in general from what I've been reading the components on road bikes should either be Campognolo (campy's) or Shimano's...

in the Shimano's, the models considered worthy of good riding and light racing are Ultegra, 105, Tiagra, Saro..... the 2200's are below SARO and are pretty common on lower budget bikes. I'm sure if I hang I'll want to upgrade to atleast Tiagra's but if I don't get into cycling as much as I think so atleast the Saro and up components will still hold residual value for resell.

I left Shimano's Dura-Ace components out because if you are looking at these you obviously know what the hell you're doing and are already a serious cyclist.

I really want to get into cycling for the endurance training and miles that can be covered in relatively decent times. I plan on riding for about 2-4 hrs a day and expect to cover about 30 miles. I honestly think I can do more than 30 miles but having not ridden yet, I think 30's an honest goal. I already do about 18 on my mountain bike so hoping the faster speeds will take me all the way inland on the santa ana river beds.
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Old 01-17-10, 03:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownGS View Post
well in general from what I've been reading the components on road bikes should either be Campognolo (campy's) or Shimano's...

in the Shimano's, the models considered worthy of good riding and light racing are Ultegra, 105, Tiagra, Saro..... the 2200's are below SARO and are pretty common on lower budget bikes. I'm sure if I hang I'll want to upgrade to atleast Tiagra's but if I don't get into cycling as much as I think so atleast the Saro and up components will still hold residual value for resell.

I left Shimano's Dura-Ace components out because if you are looking at these you obviously know what the hell you're doing and are already a serious cyclist.

I really want to get into cycling for the endurance training and miles that can be covered in relatively decent times. I plan on riding for about 2-4 hrs a day and expect to cover about 30 miles. I honestly think I can do more than 30 miles but having not ridden yet, I think 30's an honest goal. I already do about 18 on my mountain bike so hoping the faster speeds will take me all the way inland on the santa ana river beds.
30 miles is nothing on a good road bike. You can def do it. I have specialized this one. http://www.specialized.com/zz/en/bc/...2&menuItemId=0

I enjoy my bike a lot. I bought it brand new from Mike's bike here in SF. Most of my friends found their bikes on the craigslist. There are a lot of good deal to be had on there. One of my friend found specialized S-works with dura-ace components for about 2k.
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Old 01-17-10, 06:58 PM   #12
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If you have a fair idea of frame size, best to try some of the bikes on a ride. Soo many to choose from, it can be confusing. If you are willing to wrench and be your own mechanic, mail order will save $$.

Keep in mind that many of the all aluminum frames have a reputation toward harshness. This is why manufacturers began using carbon fiber to dampen some of the firm characteristics of these frames. Coupled with CF forks, it helps. You won't find out till you've put miles on it and after a day, your backside hurts. (And it will hurt until you become accustomed to riding. ) Just like having a car with stiff suspension...some of the aluminum bikes are quite stiff so the ride may be jarring. (Don't clinch your teeth on one of these. )

http://www.blbikes.com/
If you are willing to take a drive to Encinitas, this is a very good bike store.
Prices to match but you'll get good service.

http://www.nytro.com/category.cfm/Cu...hop/Road-Bikes
If you are going down to B&L, this shop is before it. I bought mine from this place and the deal was reasonable. The test ride along Coast Highway in these parts is excellent.

http://revocycles.com/
Good shop also. They are a dealer for Waterford when I was looking and they carry a nice selection of other lines.

http://www.kingsbikestore.com/ (High end mostly but has a few lower line)
I thought they were a bit pushy. I was considering a Serotta and he was very anxious to sign me up. That turned me off and I haven't set foot back in. YMMV.

http://www.neuvationcycling.com/bicycles.html
For a nice deal this company has been tempting me. They offer a good value and customer service is top notch. Many good comments on the bike and company as a whole. I bought some of their wheels back in '08 and have been pleased.

105 level is midrange and near bomb proof. Ultegra offers a bit lighter weight and a bit nicer finishing. SRAM Rival has had the distinction of being an excellent bang:$ groupset. A bit lighter than Ultegra 6600 with a price around 105 levels.

105-5600 series reviews:
http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/dr...3_2497crx.aspx

Sora reviews:
http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/dr...0_2497crx.aspx

Tiagra reviews:
http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/dr...9_2497crx.aspx

Dropping below these are meant for bikes that are primarily aimed at casual riders who's bike may not see 200 miles in its lifetime. As they say, buy it right the first time for your intended uses. If you plan on doing more than 100+ miles a week, look at 105. It will keep you happy.
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Old 01-17-10, 07:02 PM   #13
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If you can't cover 30 miles in 2 hours you're in really sad shape. Any decent ride of 2 hours typically covers 35 - 45 miles in 2 hours.

You're crazy to buy new for what you want to do. Buy a decent used bike from a reputable shop and you'll get much higher end components and possibly even decent frame. It's easy to spend a lot of money, it's hard to get a lot of value from a new bike you intend to sell in a year.

I bought this bike in 1983 for $1500:

Click the image to open in full size.

It's full Campy Super Record vintage 1978.

I built this bike myself - bought the frame on eBay, had it stripped and powder coated, bought a Dura-Ace 9 speed group, Oval Concepts fork and stem, my favorite Cinelli handlebars, and a fizik Aliante seat (this alone new is half what you plan to spend).

Click the image to open in full size.

So I end up with a bike I would expect to cost ~$5500 from a shop for a total of $2300. I've sold bikes on consignment through shops and I know there are resources out there where you can get a really decent bike (retail $1,000 - $1,500) for $400 to $500 lightly used. Personally, I'd look for Shimano 105 over Tiagra or Sora. It's remarkably better especially for the shifters. I'm totally UNimpressed with the Sora shifters.

If you absolutely must have new, I'd hit up Performance since they really have decent bikes at good prices. Once you have a bike the next most important piece of gear is shoes....

Shoe are NOT cheap. I'm a big Sidi fan and have a pair of Ergo 1s that I love.

Click the image to open in full size.

I wore out a pair of Genius 3s, and the Genius 4 & 5s are also great, but you'll spend ~$150 for a pair unless you find a smoking deal on eBay (I did - I got my Ergos for $299 when they retailed over $500). The thing about shoes is, they are your most important interface to the bike. Don't skimp here or you'll be very unhappy.
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Old 01-17-10, 07:16 PM   #14
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Yup...get some good shoes and select a pedal system that appeals. There is another $200+ expense. Performance has their line of pedals so you can save some $$.

Helmet ~$50.

Appropriate clothing, for modest shorts and jersey ~$70. Performance has good deals here.

Sunglasses.

Remaining tidbits like: gloves, bottle cage, water bottles, spare tubes, pump or CO2 cartridges a small take along tool kit...maybe another $75.

Once you have the gear, no more wallet hurt. Unless you become OCD and have to perpetually buy stuff.

Which case:
http://www.bonktown.com/
http://www.chainlove.com/

Just for giggles:
http://www.light-bikes.com/BikeGalle...ct.asp?catid=3
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Old 01-17-10, 11:52 PM   #15
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well you guys are obviously into it... I'm still trying to figure out if this is something that i'll stick with, hence why residual value is of importance to me incase i get out or upgrade. I figure by 4-6 months I can give my self an honest look as to what type of riding I'm really looking into.

PS I'm pretty sure I'll be able to knock out 30 miles. I do that on my mountain bike...

OK, so you guys recommend me going w/ a used bike from a LBS w/ higher end components.... any input on Bikesdirect.com?
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