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Mtb'er goes Roadie(3 posts)

Mtb'er goes RoadieJim Smith
Jul 4, 2001 12:05 PM
I've been riding a mountain bike for about 2 years, but have been noticing more and more that I really enjoy riding on the road as well. I'm not planning to quit riding my mountain bike, but I am considering getting a road bike sometime soon.

Right now I have two rides- a full suspension mountain bike, and a Schwinn Homegrown Limited hardtail mountain bike. I recently put slicks on the Homegrown and have been putting in quite a few road miles every weekend (30-35 per day) This bike weighs approx 24 lbs. I guess I'm debating if I need to get a road bike at all, but since I haven't really ridden a road bike before (at least not since my Schwinn 10 speed about 15 years ago) I don't know what I may be missing by just riding my mountain bike with slicks on it.

What do most road bikes weigh on average? I ride an XL mtn bike or a 21 inch frame. I'm guessing a low end road bike (under $1000?) would weigh in around 21-22 lbs?

What are some good choices in this price range for a decent first road bike?

Thanks in advance for any advice & replies!!

Jim
Jim, some thoughts and ideas...IAmtnbikr
Jul 4, 2001 2:57 PM
Sounds like we are both in nearly the same situation. I have a Giant XtC DS1, and a Trek hardtail. I use the Trek to commute to work, and pull the Burley with. I had been looking for a road bike as well, since I sold mine years ago while in high school. What I did was look at all the reviews, and check as many places as possible. What I settled upon was a 2001 Raleigh R700. List is $1500, but I have seen them as low as $1199 on the web. It is a nice piece for the money. Parts are nearly all Ultegra, kind of like XT in the road group food chain. It has an aluminum frame, carbon fork, and fairly nice components as well. I did change the seatpost, saddle, stem, bar tape, and wheelset to lighter, nicer stuff, and ended up probably closer to the $2k area. It is a nice riding bike, although I tend to agree with the review in Bicycling that it has a harsh ride with the aluminum frame and Shimano wheels. I put on Spinergy Xaero's and it really made it a nice ride. I too enjoy the pavement as well as the dirt, and when it is too muddy on the trails, the road is fine. Look around a LOT before you buy, and be sure to ride what you are interested in. Road bike fit is maybe even more critical than mtb with the length of rides you will have on the road. Be sure the bike is comfortable before you lay down the money! Raleigh has some lesser priced road stuff that is nice in value too if you are limiting your spending to the $1k range. Or, look for a nice trade-in at the lbs, some times you can get a good deal there too. Happy hunting!
re: Mtb'er goes Roadieveloboy
Jul 5, 2001 8:17 AM
Jim,

You've raised a couple of questions here. One is whether or not you need a road bike and the other is what to look for in the $1000 range. I have been a pretty serious recreational rider (occassional road or cross race) for over ten years and have been riding a mountain bike almost as long. I also built a cyclocross bike last year.

In addressing the first question, a good road bike will definitely give you a better appreciation for road riding versus throwing slicks on your hardtail. A mountain bike is a handling machine while a road bike is a pedaling maching. A decent road bike will be much more comfortable, faster and therefore, more enjoyable on any road ride of length. Besides, its easier to just head out from wherever you are on a road ride than it is to pack up your mountain bike and drive it the nearest trailhead.

In terms of what can I get for $1000? There are several things to consider. I haven't shopped in that price range for a while so I am not sure what's out there. I look at frame material first. I prefer the feel of steel over any aluminum I have ridden both for road and mtb. I don't know if you are going to find many steel frames in the range. The key here is fit. I agree with the previous post that proper fit on a road bike is more crucial than on an mtb.

Second is components. Depending on how much time you are planning on spending on your road bike, this can become a factor. Although road components don't take the abuse mtb parts do, cost and durability (and ease of adjustment) do typically go hand in hand.

I have to imagine that at this price point you should be able to find a nice road bike with repectable components like Shimano 105 or Campy mirage or daytona. You can always upgrade as things wear out. A couple of things to look for are left over or clearance models that will bring down the price. That should be starting soon and heading into the fall.

You might also consider a used bike. I have never bought a complete used bike but have bought a couple of used frames and been very happy. I have a friend that recently bought a really nice Colnago master light with complete campy record nine speed that had been so well cared for there wasn't a scratch on it for $1800. I would take that deal every day. Fortunately for him, even though he saw it on this website, the seller was close enough that he could drive and see the bike. I sold my last road bike on e-bay. The buyer got a good buy on a very used but well maintained bike.

Good luck with your shopping.