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Any cyclists?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking about buying a bicycle to get in shape, but I don't know where to start. $100 Wal-Mart special? $5,000 lean machine? I do know that I want a road bike and not a mountain bike - I want to be like the guys I see riding past me with wearing the helmet and the Tour de France-style get-up.

    But I have no idea where to begin.
  2. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    Do not buy a department store piece of crap. They are junk and heavy, likely not to fit which means you won't enjoy riding.

    You can spend $500 or so for a decent entry level road bike. I'd go ahead and drop another couple hundred if possible on maybe a step up from bottom. They entry level bike will not have the greatest components and you'll out grow them quickly, wanting to upgrade. Both bikes will have the same frame but you'll get more bang for your buck and be happier with a little bit more initial outlay.

    You don't have to go full blown carbon with top end components to enjoy the ride. An aluminum bike is fine but make sure it has a carbon front fork. I'd recommend going with 105 level components. Ultegra is better, but I'd save the money and buy a good set of wheels to go on the 105 bike.
  3. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    No department store bikes. Ever. And you don't need to spend $5k on a bike until you're sure you like cycling.

    - go to an online message board like bikeforums.net and start reading.

    - then ask around/go online to find the your most trusted local bike shop. Especially one that sells used bikes.

    - go there and explain your situation. Have them fit you (free) for a bike. Fit is everything.

    - spend as little as you can for a bike that meets your immediate needs, not your fantasies.

    - ride the hell out of it for six months, then decide if you want to upgrade.

    good luck
  4. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    You wouldn't go wrong with any of these.
    Also, if you live near a Performance Bikes they have some good deals on their own bikes.



  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    The problem with that advice, Joe, is that the complete 105 groupset alone is going to add at least $500 onto a bike. A complete bike with say an aluminum frame, carbon fork, decent saddle and Shimano 105 components is going to cost at least $1,000. Some of the less expensive bikes will do a mix of Shimano 105 and Tiagra components, though, which could bring a bike closer into that $500 to $1,000 range.

    If I was trying to do a road bike on a budget right now, I'd also consider Campagnolo components, which I have always preferred. The equivalent to 105s would be Campy Veloce components, and you can get some decent bikes that do a mix of Veloce/Campy Mirage components to bring the cost into the sub $1,000 range. It will be a pretty sweet bike for an entry level road / racing bike. Also, I personally have always hated aluminum rides because of how much I feel every bump. Another alternative to the carbon frame is a good old cro-molly steel frame. There are some pretty lightweight Reynolds 853 steel bikes that are actually lighter than the aluminum frames, and for me they handle much better. The problem is that good steel frames are getting harder and harder to find. But you still can if you look.

    Hit a few bike shops and ride a few different set ups to see what is comfortable, Dick. It's all personal. See if you can feel a difference between steel and aluminum and try bikes with different geometries. The frame itself and the angles can make one ride comfortable and another uncomfortable, depending on your riding style.
  6. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Ask Kornheiser. :)
  7. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    Well, I haven't bought a new bike in five years, so I might be off a little on the pricing.

    I've never had a problem with an aluminum frame. I've got a carbon front fork and carbon seat post, so I'm pretty good.

    Whatever the bike, fit is the most important thing. If you aren't comfortable, you won't ride it.
  8. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    This was my last bike. Delivered tens of thousands of newspapers on it.


    Toughest decision: Apple Krate or Orange Peeler?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice everyone. It gives me a great starting point, which I didn't have prior to this thread.

    I have young children, and like a lot of people entering that phase of life, I've pretty much woken up and realized that I've packed on way too many pounds, ignoring exercise because it feels selfish to take it away from family time. But, as my wife told me recently, the most important thing I can do for her and the kids is stick around for a long time. I know exercise is no guarantee of that, but it can't hurt. And I remember how much I used to enjoy riding as a kid - it looks like something I could way more likely stick to than running (boring) or weight training (too high-maintenance to drive to the gym, pay for a membership, etc.).
  10. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    Think about a used bike.

    Tons of folks spend pretty good money on road bikes only to have them sit in the garage. Or they decide that they'd rather have a mountain bike.

    Buy a good used bike for fairly cheap, then take it to a good bike shop and have it tuned. A good tune up will seem expensive in comparison to the bike's price, but it will make it almost the same as a new bike.
  11. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Active Member

    I would agree with the sentiment that you go to a couple of bike shops and find one you are comfortable with. They will spend a lot of time with you making sure the bike fits right and won't lead to issues down the road. The shop will also have a group ride one day during the week and on Saturday when you can ride with like-minded people. You might spend a bit more in your local shop, but you are supporting a local business and getting customer service in return.
  12. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    Let me flash the bike signal to get Idaho here in a heartbeat.

    I went on Craigslist and found myself a great bike for $350 not too long ago. It has lasted me well through two triathlons and other rides.
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