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what bike to buy?(8 posts)

what bike to buy?badgerbike
Sep 13, 2001 7:29 AM
I am interested in buying a new entry-level bike I can race in criteriums and road races. I am hoping some of you might have a good suggestion about which is the best bike for the money out there. I am looking to spend in the $600 - $800 range. Any help is appreciated.
re: what bike to buy?Bart S
Sep 13, 2001 7:39 AM
You might look at the Jamis Ventura ($799) or the Bianchi Brava ($750).
re: what bike to buy?raboboy
Sep 13, 2001 7:45 AM
Also the Giant OCR 3 & Lemond Tourmalet are in that range, yes?

Go for a ride, see what feels and fits well.
re: what bike to buy?jtolleson
Sep 13, 2001 7:47 AM
I think the Lemond is not a good choice for your proposed purposes, though I am a Lemond fan. If you were just wanting to sport tour and do some centuries, it would make my list. But it is heavier and unnecessarily more expensive than a couple of the other options you'll find.
re: what bike to buy?jtolleson
Sep 13, 2001 7:46 AM
Road bike prices are tough; the price point you are seeking is basically entry level. MOST of the bikes in that price range will be similarly equipped, and most will feature aluminum frames (given your proposed purpose, you'll probably want the stiffness and weight savings of Al anyway). That means bikes like the Trek 1000 or Cannondale R300, Raleigh R300, Bianchi Brava, KHS Flite 500 (heavy).

The good news is that it is sale time. Last year I had a friend snag a Shimano 105 equipped Specialized Allez for $900 on end of the season close out (down from $1100 during the season).

If you are certain you want to buy new (used can be a lot of bang for the buck but can also be buying someone else's problem, and it takes a lot of know how to make a good used purchase for one's first road bike. I tend to advise against it unless you've got a knowledgeable buddy to help)... then you should probably look at shops carry the large companies: Trek, Specialized, Bianchi, Fuji, Cannondale. Find a bike that FITS and see what's out there with above entry-level components (such as Shimano Tiagra). You'll save a little weight with better components and get slightly smoother shifting. Sora is also a problem for racing because of the difficulty of shifting from the drops.

You'll get advice here to buy over the 'net from some great folks like Gary Hobbs or Again, I just don't think that that's a good first bike purchase. Your local bike shop (LBS) can work with you on fit, will throw in free tunes, adjustments, and probably some accessories, and be there to answer your questions.

Also, don't let anyone tell you that you must spend $2000 (or whatever). Bikes are like anything. Get into the sport, find out what you like, move up over the years. The purchasing snobbery (esp. on discussion boards) can intimidate folks on a budget right out of the sport, and I think that's unnecessary. My first real road bike cost $350 and had bar end shifters and RSX components (8 years ago).

Good luck.
Voodo Rada seems popular! NOT. nmMB1
Sep 13, 2001 8:17 AM
re: what bike to buy?dzrider
Sep 13, 2001 8:17 AM
If you don't have shorts and a helmet, buy them first and spend the rest of the money on the bike.

If you aren't able to do repair work yourself get a bike from a shop that you feel confident about.

Buy the bike that is most comfortable for you. Most bikes in a similar price range are of similar value but differing shapes and handling characteristics. Some will feel better than others. The best value is a bike you want to ride a lot!

I just finished doing tech support on a charity ride and would recommend you stay away from Sora components. They needed lots of adjusting and you can't shift from the drops.
Get a good fit....Len J
Sep 13, 2001 3:27 PM
everything else is secondary.