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Nobody sells road bikes? couple questions...(4 posts)

Nobody sells road bikes? couple questions...007WEBGOD
Aug 1, 2001 5:56 PM
I'm coming from a running background and just getting into cycling because of triathlons. I'm looking for a competitive road / tri bike that won't break my bank but one of my problems is nobody sells road bikes where I live. I have four bike shops within 10 miles of my house and I was only able to find 2, count em, 2 road bikes total - and 1 of them was already sold! What's up with that I ask them. The answer I get from everyone is, "Well there's really no place to ride them up here." Granted I live in the high desert of Ca., and yes we have a lot of dirt trails for mountain bikes, but we do have paved roads with stop signs and everything. We even have those yellow and white striped lines painted on most of our roads! We even have several hundred of those little flashing lights that hang above the roads - you know, the ones that turn colors like a christmas tree!!!!

So this prompts me to ask you guys this stupid question: Do you have to ride a road bike strictly on fresh smooth roads? Will the occassional bump really screw up those thin little wheels? Or mabye it's a smog thing, the air is just too fresh up here in the desert for road bikes.

Seriously though, I'm looking at a used 2000 Specialized Allez (ONLINE OF COURSE) at an attractive price but I've read alot of reviews about problems with the back wheel - spokes breaking and the rim getting jacked up easily. Alot of the reviews said they have to get the wheel trued often or replace the spokes entirely. My question is: how difficult would it be, and wouldn't it simply be easier, to replace the wheel with a better, stronger, more aeorodynamic wheel? Remember I'm a newbie to the bike scene but upgrading wheels can be done pretty easily correct? Maybe a bit pricey but still done easily?
Road bikes are more versitle than you thinkspeeder
Aug 1, 2001 6:44 PM
I had the same fear, especially coming off a mtb for over 10yrs. You can buy wider tires, and strong wheels. I'd recommend a simple 32 hole shimano 105/ultegra/d.a. hubs to some cxp33 rims. Easy to true as well.

If your roads are rough, stay away from specialized. if not, make sure you have good dental insurance :) I'd also recommend a steel frame/cromo fork. You may be able to get away w/ a carbon fork if you are good at navigating/hoping stuff. I learned most of those skills on my MTB, so the transition was easy.

Keep in mind though that different manufacturers bikes fit totally different, so make the trip to the store and test ride. I ride a lemond zurich and love it. Look into a buenos aires if you are trying to keep below $1500.
hope this helps
Second almost everything Speeder saidcory
Aug 2, 2001 8:15 AM
I live in the high desert (well, the foothills next to the desert) near Reno, and I've ridden all my bikes (two mountain, two road) pretty much interchangeably on pavement and dirt for years. There are things each one won't do, but both are more versatile than a lot of people, especially the ones we fondly call "arrogant roadie pr!cks," realize.
I had some trouble with the wheels on my Allez on bad roads. I weigh about 225, but apparently lighter riders have problems with those, too. I finally got disgusted and had a good mechanic lace new rims on my hubs (Velocity Deep V rims with 32 14/15/14 Wheelsmith spokes), and that fixed it.
One thing that helps a LOT is having the right tires. I use 32s or 35s most of the time, going down to 28s for smooth-road centuries and stuff. There doesn't seem to be much penalty (at least I can't feel it) in speed and acceleration, and they're much more comfortable.
As for frame choice, most modern frames limit you to tires no bigger than 28mm, if that. My Allez will barely fit 35s under the brakes (less than a millimeter of clearance, too tight for me). That's one reason that when I finally decided to spend some money on a bike, I bought an Atlantis--the 35s fit right in there, and they're way worth it on bad roads or dirt.
upgrading wheels, etc.wouter
Aug 1, 2001 6:57 PM
Yup upgrading wheel is total cake. flip the quick release and take the wheel out, put new wheel in and close quick release. Voila.

Good for you to go for the triathlons. Made same jump 10 years ago and never regretted it. Now have done some more running - Leadville 100 and next year Hardrock 100.

This year Nice triathlon in France. You don't need much bike for a tri if you are doing it to participate. I rode first tri on a mtb 4" too small, sure that was rough but still it worked. Then got road bike. Now I live in mountains and roadbike not much sense yet I am buying Vortex, cause I will travel to good roads.

BEST BIKE: get a cyclocross bike. You can get fairly lightweight bike, (Moots is great but expensive) and still ride all your wild trails and fire roads, rough roads, etc. And change your wheels out to road wheels (racing wheels if you want) and all of a sudden you'll fly with the best pretty much. cyclocross bike not for competitive purpose but will do job very very well and still allow you to ride great training rides. Of course, best place to buy is online. Make sure your toes do not bump front wheel, some models let this happen. Check cyclocross forum.