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I'm a mtbr..but I want to try road - Used bike question(14 posts)

I'm a mtbr..but I want to try road - Used bike questionnate
Nov 8, 2001 12:46 PM
I am definately a mountain biker but after 30 miles road rides, the humm of knobbies on pavement drives me insane! I long for a smooth, sweet, effecient road bike on the days I'm not on the trails.

However - where do I start?

I don't want to spend lots of money - this is just really pleasere/exercise. MTBing is what I take serious

I want to buy used if possible

I am 5'6" 145 lb - for pleasure use, I could care less if its al., or steel. Would love a high-end steel bike but I'll never be that committed!

Any recommendations???
I am your twin...Little Pooter
Nov 8, 2001 1:00 PM
I just went through the exact same process two months ago. I said to myself... just a basic road bike, for training and early season fitness when the trails are too wet for MTBing. I too consider my MTBing as priority one, I race and ride 3-4 times a week. I ended up buying a new Giant OCR 1, at a great end-of-season sale.
Here is the part I didn't expect... I'M HOOKED! I have been on the road more than the trails since I bought it. It really is addictive, the speed and efficiency is awesome. Now I wish I had spent more.
The funny part is that all those snobby road guys that wouldn't wave back when you passed them on the road with your MTB, now smile and wave. I'm the same guy, different bike, and now they are all friendly... bunch of hypocrits!
So my advice is to spend enough to get a decent bike, you will likely be riding it more than you think. Don't go lower than 105 components, and try to get a carbon fork.
Good luck
re: I'm a mtbr..but I want to try road - Used bike questioncioccman
Nov 8, 2001 2:04 PM
Good advice above. I did a similar thing about 10 years ago. After several years of intensive mountain biking, I relocated and the thing to do was road. I however, didn't half @ss it into the roadie world. Went out and went full bore and spent a bundle. Didn't regret it one second.
re: I'm a mtbr..but I want to try road - Used bike questionUncleMoe
Nov 8, 2001 2:28 PM
Same boat. MTB for years, got a Bianchi Brava for $699 last spring to commute to work twice a week. The result was I did a 625 mile Charity ride from San Fran to San Diego in October. Road riding is fun, a lot more fun then you would think as an MTB'er, but very different too.

Spend what you feel comfortable with, but don't go to cheap. I have been very happy with my Bianchi. I don't buy into the 105 component group or better line. Mine was stock with Sora components and I have had zero trouble with about 3500 miles logged on the bike. I had one minor adjustment done at 300 miles due to a little cable stretching. I'm not very anal either, so maybe that's why I don't notice any troubles.

Do a search on triple ring vs double ring for that debate!
no offense to Uncle Moe....filtersweep
Nov 8, 2001 3:19 PM
regarding the 105 or better: it isn't so much that Sora is the issue (well it sorta is- at the very least, you can't shift from the drops, and the parts are less compatible with the rest of the product lines) but more significant is the fact that you really do get what you pay for as you spend more money in that $600-$2000 price zone- a 105 or better bike will likely (I mean in SHOULD) have a better fork, wheels, bars, etc... as in NOTICEABLY better. There is more than a subtle difference between a chromolly fork and carbon, but you won't know unless you try them both, and it might not even matter to you. If you are new, the entire steel vs. aluminum vs. carbon vs. titanium debate for the frame is a bit abstract- but some of the other issues are a bit more black and white.

If you are new it is easy to be intimidated by all the jargon in a bike shop- but don't be shy (we're talking about your hard earned money here), and if your budget calls for an aluminum frame and the shop guy says "I wouldn't be caught dead on anything other than steel...." oh well, I digress, but anyway, test ride a few bikes! That should at least give you a perspective when you look at used bikes (you might want to even buy new from your LBS- a lot of folks seem to think their for-sale rides haven't depreciated a penny since purchased three or four years ago!)

I haven't touched my mtn bike since I added a road bike. A road bike just might make you a bit more anal- so be advised... there's good reason people around here are so evangelical about things- for road bikes, fit is more important, and the ride is less forgiving (on a mtn bike, you at least expect to be beaten up on some rides).

If you buy used, make sure you know what wheelset and components are actually on the bike- some people buy a new frame and pull all the dura-ace off the "old bike" for the new one and throw any old junk on the bike they are selling, or they keep the wheels for an extra set or whatever and throw some "any old wheels" on the bike they are selling (arguably, many people upgrade their wheels anyway, since they are such a matter of taste).

Inexplicably, there are a ton of very new (lightly) used bikes for sale on ebay (not saying you should shop there, but at least their feedback profile seems to promote honesty)- and good luck finding a used selection locally (that fits).... good luck!
No offense taken...UncleMoe
Nov 9, 2001 10:03 AM
All good points you make. I'm just saying that you don't HAVE to spend $1,000 to be satisfied. The Bianchi Brava is fairly entry level and probably as low as I would go (I could have gone more inexpensive).

After reading many reviews where everyone says 105 or better, I just wonder why I'm perfectly happy with my Sora components? Maybe after another year or two of riding I'll see benefits to upgrade, but for now I'm very pleased.

He should just be sure to ride bikes with the various component groups. I did test ride a few bikes in higher ranges that cost $1300+. I did notice differences. Everything seemed a little smoother. However, my budget couldn't justify $600 more.
best advice I heardMel in WA
Nov 8, 2001 4:31 PM
1) Decide your budget, approximately. There's a balance here between buying a good enough bike that it's a pleasure to ride and buying something that won't make you writhe in remorse if you don't stick with it. There are still some screaming good end-of-season deals out there, so it's a good time to look.

2) Ride 'em. Someone (here? at my LBS?) suggested (more or less) ride the bike up a hill in the wrong gear. If you still want to ride it some more, it's a bike worth considering.

FWIW, I have a Fuji that was very reasonably priced, is equipped with Sora, and fun to ride. There are WAY better bikes out there, but it's enough fun that it got me on the road and sparked the desire to upgrade. If you're not ready to commit to something expensive, there's no shame in a "starter" bike.
re: I'm a mtbr..but I want to try road - Used bike questionThorman
Nov 8, 2001 6:42 PM
I was once a die hard mountain biker as you are. Then I bought a road bike about a year ago and everything changed.

I barely ride my mountain bike anymore. The shear speed of road riding, especially when you ride in a group, was enough to get me hooked.

If you're like me, my mountain bike has all high-end components (21 lb. Trek 9900). When I decided to get into road cycling I bought a new Trek 2200, which has Rolf Wheels and 105 grouping with a carbon fork. I was happy with the bike in the beginning, but now that I'm hooked I want better components and a lighter ride so I'm in the process of debating on whether to upgrade or just selling it and buying another bike.

If I had it all to do over again I would definitely buy used. I paid $1500 for my bike and for the same amount I could have found a much nicer used bike. My advice is that if you're accustomed to high end equipment you will quickly become disatisfied with a low end road bike, especially if you get hooked, which you will, I'm sure.

As the others on this board will tell you, the biggest factor is size. Make sure you get the correct size or any road bike you buy, whether it's low or high-end will be a disappointment. Make sure to post back when you do get a bike.
Hi Nate. Just like Thorman says and...dsc
Nov 8, 2001 9:22 PM
I, too was a 10 yr+ mtb'er only, but had always wanted to do centuries, so a couple of months ago, I started shopping for a road bike.

I know that in your post you said that perhaps an entry level/intermediate bike would be okay, but believe me, if you are used to high end XT/XTR components on your mountain bike, you will want similar quality on your new road bike. I know that I did.

I shopped around for awhile and on one of my visits to an LBS, found out that the manager was selling his '99 Lemond Zurich, which he had upgraded to full Dura Ace, Reynolds Ouzo Pro carbon fok, Rolf Vector Pro wheels, etc. It fit me perfectly, and I bought it at probably around half of what it might cost brand new. Since road bikes take way less of a beating than mtb's, buying used is a GREAT option, especially if you're new to the road scene. So do ask around at your LBS for any leads on used bikes.

Finally, as others have mentioned, the MOST important thing when buying a road bike is fit, fit and fit. You are on the saddle in (nearly) the same position for the whole ride, versus being all over the place, as on your mtb, so sizing is critical. Also, never assume that a particular frame size from one manufacturer will fit like any other, because they most definitely don't. For example, I test rode many 57 cm frames that fit me well, but in (any) Lemond, I take a 55, due to the longer top tube and slacker seat angle.

Sorry that my post has gone on for so long, but I wanted to relate my recent shopping experiences to you. I still love my mtb, but riding on the road is great fun, as well. Take your time to find just the right bike for you, and I'm sure that you will enjoy it too.

Here's some specificsgreg n
Nov 9, 2001 7:25 AM
I to used to race mt bikes as first priority, but always loved the road. As everyone has admitted, it is very addicting. You're definitely right to buy used. Especially with road bikes, unless they were crashed, used is as good as new. I think people take much better care of their road bikes.

The problem these days is that people try to sell used bikes for close to what they paid new for them. You have to keep your eyes open for the good deals. A few years back, I picked up a Lemond Zurich that was a couple years old, but had about 500 miles on it for $800 bucks. Now that's a deal. In fact, I think the Zurich and the Tourmalet are great starter bikes, and can be had used in the $700-$900 range. Keep your eyes open for Bianchi's too. Look on Ebay. There's some great finds that pop up there every once in awhile. And the marketplace here.
re: I'm a mtbr..but I want to try road - Used bike questionsnate
Nov 9, 2001 8:39 AM
Thank you all for your excellent input. Sigh... you are telling me what I already suspected - spend some money and get in a little above the entry level position. It sounds like I'm going to need to spend more money than I wanted just for a pleasure machine - I guess I'll start saving for next spring perhaps.

Its the same mtbing - I got hooked with my old Diamondback steel frame. I am clean, simple mtb'er type - I ride a Klein Att. 2.9 lb aluminum frame hardtail rocket. Can't stand wasted energy/weight w/ full suspension but I know I'll make the switch eventually. Running XT and middle of the line components all the way around as that is where the best value is - I guess that is what you are telling me with the road bikes too!!

So - you people talk in an entirely different lingo than the one I've aquired (although this year's TDF certainly broadened my vernacular: "peloton" for instance haha :) - Lance rocks BTW!!! Lance and TDF are mostly responsible for my deep longing to rip up some asphalt with a tight little road machine).

This leads to my next question - define/name the component groups I should look for (I realize that some were mentioned already) and what can I expect to pay for a "keeper" entry level road bike??

Can I use my mtb clipless shoes?

From what I've heard so far: ??

Carbon fork
105 components?

re: I'm a mtbr..but I want to try road - Used bike questiondsc
Nov 9, 2001 9:25 AM
Hey Nate,

Dura Ace = XTR, Ultegra = XT, 105 = (the old, good) LX.
I have DA on the bike I bought, but that's just because the prior owner had upgraded. If I were buying new, I'd go for Ultegra - most bang for the buck. I'm sure that 105 works great, too, just a bit heavier.

Definitely a carbon fork for smoothing out the ride. And I love the way that my Lemond rides - very comfortable frame made of Reynolds 853 steel tubes. Of course, I still ride a steel GT hard tail off-road, but will eventually go to full-suspension, too (aging back can't take the jarring that comes w/ the epic rides any more!)

As for shoes, you can surely keep your same shoes and put a second set of whatever pedals you're already using on your new road bike. You will have the advantage of being able to easily walk around once you get off the bike, and may be safer if you plan to commute/ride in traffic alot. I personally went with the LOOK pedals and road shoes, but that's because during long rides, I care about having the nice, large platform that the LOOK provides.

As for price, I don't know: I paid over $1200, but everything truly was upgraded on the bike, so I still feel that I got a great deal. Probably for a nice used bike equiped w/ Ultegra, under a thousand, for sure.

Believe me, if you are a bike junkie at heart (and I'm sure you are!) you will eat up all of this new information quickly and be up to speed in no time. It happened to me, and now I am hooked on both types of riding.

Good luck in your search!

One last thing...UncleMoe
Nov 9, 2001 10:12 AM
Just be farewarned, road riding is going to detract a little from your MTB'ing pleasure. The biggest difference is in the speed. I am taking a fall break for road riding to get back into MTb'ing, and the absolute very first thing I noticed was how slow the MTB is. The first ride I did I felt like a major slowpoke...

The plus is, I ride in San Diego and we have tons of hills. The first steep hill that I hit on my MTB, the sort of hills I used to dread, I powered up without a hitch.

So the road riding will help the MTB, but it'll feel funny too.
Did the same thing a month ago...TechniKal
Nov 9, 2001 10:41 AM
I'm an avid mountain bike that wanted to try road riding. I searched around a bit and ended up buying a new 105-level bike off Ebay for about $600. A few things I learned:

- Like someone else mentioned, Dura Ace = XTR, Ultegra = XT and 105 = LX. The 105 stuff has performed well for the short time I've used it.

- I went with a triple because I wanted it if I needed it. I also went with 175mm cranks so my legs would have the same spin they have on the mtb.

- Fit is very important. You're planted in the saddle in pretty much the same position for hours. Anything that's off is going to hurt loads. It may be worth the money to be 'Fit Kittted' at an LBS - especially if you're considering buying online.

- Good saddles rule. Again, you're planted on the thing in one position, not moving around a bunch like on the mtb. Buy a nice one.

- Roadies are a fit bunch. Spinning continuously for a couple of hours is a lot different than the pedal-turn-pedal-turn style of fitness you develop on mtbs.

- Hairy legs rule - it makes you unique on the road biking scene...

Have fun...