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Beginner Questions(6 posts)

Beginner QuestionsAztecs
Jul 25, 2001 9:17 AM
I am looking into getting my first road bike. I am not going to be entering any races. Just want to ride @ a high pace. Just want to throw out some stupid questions as I start looking around:

- Why are road bikes so expensive? Why do they say you can't get a descent road bike for less than 750-800?

- Could some explain the level of Shimano parts? 105? Taigra? Ultegra? Are there more? How do they rank amongst each other? I heard someone mention that the only difference was the weight of the parts. True/untrue?

- After reading some reviews these bikes seem to be within my price range:

Trek 1200
Specialized Allez
Giant OCR2 (Althought I might be tempted to wait till the end of the summer to see if I could pick up the OCR1)

Are there other new bikes out there that have better components that I should be looking into?

All and any help would be appreciated!
Beginner answersRusty McNasty
Jul 25, 2001 9:54 AM
Road bikes aren't cheap because they aren't fashionable among the brain-dead morons anymore. Those people will go down to Wal-Mart and buy some piece of cr@p Next or Motiv junker. If you are looking for cheap, there are lots of choices at the department stores, they all have flat bars and knobby tires, and they all weigh a ton.
Road bikes are built light, and lightness costs money. There ain't any way around that. You can get a decent steel frame road bike for about $800, and that's pretty cheap.
The shimano progression goes like this:
Sora/Tiagra: bottom rung. works well, but is heavy, not built to last.
105: well built, durable, good bearings, lighter than S/T lines. Best line for budget-concious buyer.
Ultegra: lighter, better, and more expensive.
Dura-Ace: Lightest, most expensive. Built for racing, sometimes too fragile for everyday use.
The corresponding Campy lines are:
The trek 1200 is a light touring bike (also called an Audax or Radonne bike), and not really a road bike. They cost more than $1000. If you are looking for a touring bike, a trek 520 might be good. A trek 1000 is an inexpensive road bike.
Any of the bikes you mention sound decent, but I would hold out for the 105 or Daytona components, at the very least.
BTW, it is very important to find a bike which fits you correctly. If you wait for year-end sales, your choice may be limited. Small differences in frame size make a big difference in comfort.
Beginner answersAztecs
Jul 25, 2001 11:53 AM
Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions.

Thanks again!
re: Beginner QuestionsVelocipedio
Jul 29, 2001 10:11 AM
In all fairness, Rusty is only partly right. Road bikes don't sell well to a public that wants to spin around the block a couple of times a week. Consequently, there's really no low-end market. [It's worth noting that, while you can buy cheapo bikes that LOOK like real mountain bikes, it's hard to find a REAL MTB -- one you'd want to take on a trail -- for less than $750, either.]

The bottom line is that you get what you pay for in bikes, and road bikes [as well as real MTBs] are complicated pieces of high-tech equipment. Having said that, of course, $1000 isn't really a lot to pay for a bike that will give you the joy of cycling and that you'll use almost every day for a decade. That's particularly true when you think of all the other stuff you spend money on.

It's also true that $100 extra -- say, $1000 rather than $900 -- will buy you a bigger improvement in product at the lower end of the price range [say, $800-$1200] than at the higher end [say, $2500+], so, if you're woindering whether the slightly pricier bike is actually WORTH a few extra bikes, there's a good chance it is [if it fits and it's from a reputable manufacturer].

I think Tiagra is a perfectly satisfactory place to start in terms of components. You won't find 105 specced on many bikes for less than $1000, and if you're still hedging, Tiagra might be a good choice. Just be sure to buy the bike with the best, most upgradeable frame.
another rusty errorjtolleson
Aug 1, 2001 2:47 PM
Ironically, many 105 components are lighter than Ultegra.
Which Ones?grzy mnky
Aug 1, 2001 4:55 PM
You made a statement that I have a very hard time believing having looked at this stuff extensively about 12 to 18 mos. ago. So enlighten us (yes, pun intended) - which 105 parts are lighter than Ultegra?