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Need Advice on my first Road Bike(13 posts)

Need Advice on my first Road BikeJSC
Jul 6, 2001 12:00 PM
I'm wanting to purchase my first road bike soon. I'm just beginning this process and was hoping to get some direction from this message board. A local bike shop was pushing me towards the Specialized Allez A1 Sport, he also showed me a Trek 1000 (as being the bottem of the line entry level bike). I'm not to concerned about price, but I don't want to buy more than I need just starting out. On the other hand, I want to buy something that I'll be happy with for a long time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Any other preferred brands, or certain componets/things to look for in my first bike?
gvhbikes.com for best value.Doll Face
Jul 6, 2001 12:46 PM
Buy a decent steel bike from from Gary's Bikes, add Campagnolo Chorus and you will probably have a bike that you will be satisfied with for a long time.

If you can afford to spend a bit more it would be better to buy Campagnolo Record now, rather than not and wishing you had latter.
From a performance standpoint they are pretty much the same but Record is the ultimate groupo.

If you get tired of the frame you purchase you can always swap Record or Chorus onto another frame, rather than replacing the whole bike, which is why I think it is important to buy the right components in the first place.
My god.9WorCP
Jul 6, 2001 7:56 PM
Do not listen to this person. He or she is just giving you a rise.
Advice re GVH is spot on . . .DC W
Jul 7, 2001 6:34 AM
I like to support my LBS, but I have to second the recommendation for Gary Hobbs at GVH. He has very good bikes at the "beginner" price level (around $1000 plus), will build them to your specs and will make sure you are happy. He is a good source of advice about ride and fit. In addition, he has several pre-owned or rebuilds at very low prices.

You can get cheaper, (usually heavier) aluminum-framed bikes with lower-end Shimano groups at your LBS, but for a few dollars more you can do a lot better with Gary. The best deal he has may be the KHS Reynolds 853 frame built up with Ultegra or Daytona, but be sure to look at his Italian steel selections.

A couldn't be more pleased with my Guerciotti Neuron w/Chorus 10 from Gary. I've put 4500 miles on it in the past year and find it a great improvement over my previous ti bike and a lot more comfortable and lighter than my riding buddy's newer aluminum Specialized Allez. (My son has an older, lugged-steel Specialized Allez Pro that is vastly superior to the new aluminum Allez models.)
He has some beautiful Cinelli Neurons (Super Corsa)Doll Face
Jul 7, 2001 9:26 AM
Another choice would be a Casati Brain with Ultegra for around $1200, if money is a concern. There is no long term economic value buying a cheap bike at you local LBS.

All the bikes at gvhbikes.com are well known brands that you are built up to a custom fit that may not be obtainable at you local trek, specialized or cannondale dealer. Why buy a Kia when for a few dollars more you can custom order a Ferrari?
re: Need Advice on my first Road BikeBQ
Jul 6, 2001 1:00 PM
It sounds like you have conflicting objectives, ie., you want a good entry level bike that meets your long term needs. Sorry, but a bike you like this year may not meet your needs next year. As you gain experience, your needs and desires are likely to change.

If you aren't sure what to do and you need a starting point, here are a couple of thoughts -- others will probably add to this.
- Set a budget. You can spend $500 on a bike. You can also spend over $5000. There are a LOT of great bikes in the $1500 to $2500 range.
- Take your best guess at your biking objectives, and then ask your LBS to help you pick the right frame geometry, material and size. If the LBS won't help you do this, find another LBS.
- Pick an intermediate to upper level component group, such as Shimano 105, or if you have the money, Shimano Ultegra.
- Start doing test rides, and make notes of your impressions afterwards.
- Try to stick with a mainstream brand name unless you really know what you're doing. Some names to consider: Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Lemond, Klein.
- Try not to rush into a decision, and have fun. This is your money, after all, and if you take your time, you're a lot more likely to enjoy your decision.

That said, I rode a Specialized Allez a couple of years ago, and it was pretty nice. These days, I ride a Lemond Zurich, and I dream of titanium.

Good luck!
re: Need Advice on my first Road BikeALLEN
Jul 6, 2001 1:05 PM
I have a Trek 1000...it has Shimano Sora components, and they have given me some problems, (slow & loud shifting, etc.). But it's not a bad entry level bike. Maybe try and get a bike with Shimano 105 components.

Good Luck!
Fit, fit, fitMeDotOrg
Jul 6, 2001 1:17 PM
The most important thing when buying a new bicycle (especially when you are new to road biking) is fit. If you are happy with the fit, all things flow from there.

Take bikes for LONG test rides. Do some hills. Ride the bars in all positions. LISTEN to you body. Are you comfortable?

If you find a frame that feels good, but a saddle that doesn't, remember it's a relatively easy upgrade to another saddle. Ask your dealer about an upgrade or trade before you buy the bike.

If you are wanting a bike that you will use for a long time, I would stay away from the bottom-end Campy and Shimano groupsets, and look for something like an Shimano Ultegra or Campy Veloce or Daytona.

As far as pedals go, I'm a confirmed Speedplay fan, but I'm sure you'll find proponents of Shimano and Look. Speedplays are great if you have knee problems (which I do).

To me it sounds like you are looking for a bike in the $1200-$1700 price range. You don't mention your age, or what your objectives are (racing? fitness?). In that price range, you should get a bike with a carbon fork. If you live in hilly country, consider a bike with a triple crank...(this is assuming you're not a die-hard racer).

Best of luck in your search....
Re: Fit, fit, fitElefantino
Jul 6, 2001 2:44 PM
Me's right. Good advice.

Plus: If your LBS isn't willing to spend time (at least an hour) fitting you to a bike — including fitting you with shoes and cleats and saddles; they break out all sorts of tape measures and string thingies — and if they don't let you take the bike out for a long test ride, vote with your feet and go to another bike shop.

A comment about "pushing you" to a certain bike. A good LBS will give you choices, not try to move merchandise. Did this employee ask you how you plan to ride, how many miles you plan to ride, on what roads you plan to ride, if you have any physical limitations ... and, more importantly, did he watch you ride? I wouldn't buy a bike from a store where someone didn't watch you for at least a parking lot spin to get an idea how you set up on a bike, etc.

Two other things:
• Good Ultegra bikes (not the Motobecanes advertised online) cost $1,500 and up at the BOTTOM end. 105-equipped bikes start much lower, and the equipment will last equally long. If it's your first bike, 105 will get you along fine until you get upgrade fever.
• Components (drivetrains, saddles, bars, wheels, tires) can be changed a lot easier (and more cheaply) than frames. If you find a frame you really love that is too expensive, see if the manufacturer offers it with lower-end components. Generally, lower-end steel frames have a more compliant ride than lower-end aluminum. The gap begins to narrow when you get in the $1,500-and-up range, but then you can start factoring in lower-end titanium and carbon fiber frames, which have different feels altogether.
re: Need Advice on my first Road BikeMart
Jul 6, 2001 1:59 PM
It's amazing how some bike shops always think that the bike that they sell is the one you want and the bike that you sit on looks just right for you. I would visit one or two dealers. Ask a few questions eg. weight of frame and see what there knowledge level is. It can be hard to judge the genuine ones. I am in the process of purchasing a bike myself and I am sick of being fed bullshit by some of the retailers. I would buy a mid level range bike not bottom of the range but not top either. Check the prices for a custom bike and then you can choose your own groupset. I have looked on the Shimano website and on the Campagnolo one. Just looking at weight Veloce seems to be lighter than Tiagra and quite a bit cheaper. All the weights are on the sites it is just a case of working them out. Veloce only seems a little heavier than 105 which is a lot dearer.
Good luck it can be a minefield out there but don't be pushed into a decision. If in doubt think about it - what difference does a few weeks make.
i have the allez a1 and love it...also have a bike from GVHHaiku d'état
Jul 6, 2001 2:30 PM
...and love it (bianchi giro, 105, mavic cxp33, had to replace the stock saddle 'cause it sucked). the allez does not come with pedals, GVH's giro does. he may not have your size, though.

my allez is a 2000 model. i believe the 2001 is different--i had to have the rear cxp21 on my allez rebuilt by the lbs that sold it to me (they ate the cost) due to spokes breaking. a guy i ride with has a 2001 and--aside from the same problem on BOTH wheels--he likes his so far. i weigh about 195 and he's a good 40lb lighter.

don't rush into it, get something comfy, and make sure you hold back a little cash to get it tuned-in just right (pedals, saddle, etc.). good luck! and remember--you can upgrade as you go.
re: Need Advice on my first Road BikeRandyMH
Jul 6, 2001 5:32 PM
I just bought my bike a week ago. I did quite a bit of shopping around before I bought my Cannondale R400. I'm going to give you the reasons I choose the Cannondale over the rest.

Disclaimer: I know my bike is not the best, just the best for what I wanted to spend.

1. Cannondale is a highly recognized name in cycling

2. The CAAD3 frame is the same frame that can still be found on bikes costing over $2000.00

3. The sales person at the LBS that offered Cannondale seemed more knowledgeable and was willing to take time to make sure my bike works for me. (Still does)

4. With this frame you can upgrade the parts a little at a time and not feel that you are putting great parts on a crappy frame. Like someone said you can spend $500 or $5000. A $5000 mistake will hurt if you don't like riding. It's no walk in the park at first!

5. Cannondale will allow you to trade in your frame every year (for a fee of course)

6. If your frame ever cracks they will replace it with the current years model. Most companies will, but I hear the Cannondale tends to be a little quicker about it.

7. I got a great deal. $749.00

I love my bike. At this point I would probably love any bike but I'm happy with my decision.
At this point most bikes are just about equal in each category. Most use the same components (Shimano Sora, Tiagra, 105 or Ultegra) for each price level. From what I hear 105s' and Ultegra are great but my Sora works fine too. What it comes down to is:
1. Which bike fits you the best
2. Which bike fits you the best
3. Which bike you like
4. Which shop your more comfortable with
5. Did I mention which bike fits you best

If you just starting out trust me it's going to get confusing. First go around to all of your LBS and just look and ask questions. After you do that spend a day or so going back and ride each bike that sparks you interest. Jot down notes of what you like and don't like about each bike and then make a decision. When I posted the same question, I was told "you will know when you're riding your bike" and I did.
I hope this helps you out.
Good luck
re: Need Advice on my first Road BikeBawgy
Jul 6, 2001 6:56 PM
Look at the Giant OCR 1 or the Tcr 2