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Clueless newbie questions(7 posts)

Clueless newbie questionsTodd
Sep 14, 2001 7:38 PM
I would like to purchase my first road bike, and could use some help. I'm prone to back pain after extended rides on my mtn bike, so I thought I'd try renting a road bike to see if I can handle it. After reading up on bikes and fit, I'm still confused as to what size to try. I'm 5' 10", with a 30" inseam. I'm guessing I should try about an 54 cm size frame, does that sound about right?
Also, I'm thinking of a steel framed bike under $1,000, with Lemond and Bianchi at the top of my list. Are these good choices in this price range, and if so, is one better than the other?
Thanks a lot for any advice.
re: Clueless newbie questionsMe Dot Org
Sep 14, 2001 8:42 PM
A lot depends on the individual frame. Bianchis (for example) tend to run a little small. You might be better off with a 56cm.

More important than the manufacturer (especially if you have back problems) is fit. Go to an LBS (local bike shop) that is willing to take the time to fit you properly. Ride the bikes for more than a few minutes. Try some hills, if possible. LISTEN to your body. What is it telling you about each bike?

Both Lemond and Bianchi make fine under $1k bicycles, but get the bike that fits you the best.
re: Clueless newbie questionsjtolleson
Sep 14, 2001 8:46 PM
Yep, don't let anyone tell you that either is significantly different (better). You need to see what feels right. They've got slightly different geometries so the Lemond may actually be a nice option since you sound long-torsoed. Bikes at the same price point will have very comparable specs between these two companies.

As for back pain, there are a variety of factors including seat height and position, stem length, bar heighth, and ab strength. Assuming you don' t have a specific back problem/injury, I bet you can get set up nicely on a road bike.

Have fun.
re: Clueless newbie questionsec velo
Sep 14, 2001 8:53 PM
I'm almost exactly your size and I ride a 53 LeMond. I love it. I work at a shop and have had many happy customers on LeMonds throughout the price range. I love the geometry, but I'm not sure how it will work for someone with back problems. The long top tube tends to stretch you out a bit, depending on proportions of leg vs. torso for your height, but they are very comfortable bikes. Ride both brands as much as possible before you buy and see what feels best for you (and your back). If you wait til october, you may be able to get custom fitted componentry from lemond through your LBS (ie, mix and match components, get ideal bar, stem, crank sizes etc...) but I think there is some extra cost involved in that program. Good luck, and have fun with whatever you choose!
There are no clueless newbie questions. Welcome! (nm)Elefantino
Sep 14, 2001 9:06 PM
re: Clueless newbie questionsrib-eye
Sep 14, 2001 11:52 PM
First, a word of caution about "inseam". Make sure this measurement is NOT your pant's inseam size. This is a real gotcha to "newbies". Take a look at for the correct method for measuring a bike fit inseam.

I too have lower back problems and coincidentally ride a Lemond. I find that my position with the Lemond's longer than normal top tube is actually very beneficial. The stretching and elongation of my back has proven to be a great treatment. In fact, I've found that when my back is acting up, a nice long recreational speed ride provides great therapy. Of course, the source of back pain is varied so you may have very different experiences from me.

Also, the forgiving ride a steel bike, like the 853 steel frames of Lemond, were much more comfortable for me than harsher aluminum.
That sounds right as far as a guideline goes..k
Sep 15, 2001 4:44 AM
I'm 5'11" with a 31" inseam and my seat tube is a 55 cm so a 54" would sound about right for you. Since you already understand how important fit is, the LBS will probably put you in a trainer or fitting machine to examine you in relation to the bike while pedaling.

I think the choice for steel bikes is great. I don't know what Bianchi (the Veloce?)would have in that price range but the Lemond Buenos Aires could be had on sale at about $1200.