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How do I get started(7 posts)

How do I get startedSierra Kent
Apr 30, 2001 4:46 AM
I am new to road biking and brand names don't really make any sense to me. I guess I'm still stuck with the mtb jargen, and since I'm looking for my first road bike I don't know the good from the bad.

If you could recommend any frames, parts, or complete bikes to look for, I would really appreciate it.

set a budget...keith m.
Apr 30, 2001 5:24 AM
and then you pick the best fitting , most comfortable, and best performing bike you can afford. There are so many good brands to choose from. Other important factors to consider are,how many miles do you think you may be riding? What type of terrain(lots of hills, not many hills, rough roads, smooth roads)? Do you plan to race? All these can be a factor in the bike you buy. Answer some of these as best you can and people will chime in with some answers.
More infoHap
Apr 30, 2001 5:27 AM
This is a broad question. Where to start? A little more info might help. Do you have a budget? Is it mountainous or flat where you ride? Do you intend to tour, race, rec ride, etc.? What have you ridden before? You can get a lot of input from the people on this board but some more info will help us/them to answer your questions.

Good Luck, Hap
Another thoughtMel Erickson
Apr 30, 2001 5:54 AM
The previous posters points are good. To familiarize yourself with some of the brands, styles, components, equipment, etc. you might peruse the review section on this site. This can help you sort out some of the wheat from the chafe. Go to your LBS's and pick their brains. How did you learn about mountain bikes and their jargon? I bet you hung around with guys/gals who talked the talk. One small tidbit of advice, don't ask about the Campy v. Shimano debate until you have an opinion.
Figure Out FitDCP
Apr 30, 2001 5:55 AM
Bike fit is far more important with road bikes than MTB's. Do some reading. Greg LeMond's Complete Book of Cycling has a lot of good information on fit and riding, although the discussion about bikes is woefully out of date. There are a number of web sites that address how a bike should fit. Be aware that you won't always get consistent answers and it is confusing.

Once you set a budget, the number of bikes from which to choose is nearly overwhelming, but more choice is a good thing. You need to decide what material you want for the frame which is often dictated by your budget.

You also need to decide where you will buy it. You can buy from an LBS, mail order reseller, or a direct seller on the web.

My plan was to get a decent but not real expensive bike and then buy a better bike if I was still actively riding in a couple of years. I still think that is a good plan.
Find a good LBSDrPete
Apr 30, 2001 5:56 AM
It's so important when you're shopping for your 1st road bike to go to a good, reputable, local shop with EXPERIENCE IN ROAD BIKING. Some shops just keep a couple road bikes around because they sell Trek (or whatever brand) mountain bikes and really don't know jack about road riding or racing. A good shop will help you switch out saddles, stems, etc. to ensure you get a good fit, and they'll hook you up with a bike that works for you. My advice for getting the most bang for your buck is to find a big shop that deals in used/trade-in bikes. For instance, I just bought a 98 Cannondale R4000 frame (a CAAD3) with 2001 105 components, ITM bar, Syncros stem, Profile Carbon fork, and brand-spankin' new Rolf Vector Comp wheels for $1399. The frame was a trade-in, and was still in pristine condition. The shop just built it up with new components. Aside from the price, though, make sure you get a good test ride on anything you're about to buy, and, IMHO, if you only test ride 1 bike, you're wrong. Ride a bunch of them and see what works best for you. Good luck!
re: How do I get startedvram
Apr 30, 2001 8:39 AM
As others have suggested you need to start by fixing your budget. You can get raceable bikes from $1200. If you are into recreational riding I would recommend a bike that is comfortable and durable. For a reasonably small budget, steel is the material to go for--you get comfort and durability. Campy veloce or Shimano 105 are good component groups for recreational bikes.

If you would like to get into racing a "recreational" bike may not be upto the task. Rec bikes tend to be heavy and have too much flex for sprinting and climbing up hills. Speed and handling are the essence of racing--"rec" bikes tend to be too laid back and heavy for racing.

If you have a limited budget, an aluminum frame gives you the biggest bang for your buck--they are light, comparatively inexpensive, and stiff. The downside is that aluminum is not as durable as steel and titanium and some complain about its "harsh" ride quality. I ride a cannondale and I have yet to experience that phenomena :) (althought I am getting a Pinarello Opera soon, a steel-carbon bike--go figure!).

For racing bikes--Shimano Ultegra and Campy Daytona components work great! If you have the $$$ you can always upgrade to Durace or Chorus/Record.

If you have a $2000+ budget your options in frame materials expand to include carbon fiber and titanium and other unobtanium materials :)