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First Time Road Bike Rider! Help!(14 posts)

First Time Road Bike Rider! Help!p1rana
Dec 4, 2001 6:25 PM
I moved down to Florida from New Jersey and lost all mountain bike use here in the flatest most simple terrain in the world, lol, and i have decided its time to get into road biking. I have a limited budget, and am wondering what the best deal a thousand and under is for a serious road bike i can use for transportation and exercise. Oh, and something fast, my longest transportation ride is 4 miles so endurance riding is less important.

So far i have looked at Konas, bianchis, pinarellos (my fav so far but i havent ridden any or seen any in person yet). Also, what is the best way to choose the right bike.
Hmmm...deja vu...Ahimsa
Dec 4, 2001 7:00 PM
1) Get sized properly.

2) Try as many bikes as you can. Friends bikes, LBS steeds, whatever you can find.

3) Buy used on ebay or elsewhere (only bikes that fit you, don't succumb to "I's too small, but hey, it's got Dura Ace" thinking).

4)Want new? Buy a Surly Crosscheck. Cheap versatile bike that will serve all the purposes you describe very well and is both single speed-able, fix-able, and cross-able later once you are totally hooked on road biking and know what you want to blow all your paychecks on.



My first road bike was a used $85 Bianchi I bought in 1999.Scy
Dec 4, 2001 11:24 PM
I don't think it's advisable to recommend a specific bike at this point without knowing more about the intended use. But here are a few pointers.

If the bike will be used primarily for your 8 mile round trip commute and exercise rides of less than a dozen miles, I personally believe that a more comfort oriented geometry (read: upright) bike would be best. A touring bike with braze-ons is good if you plan to bolt a rear rack and panniers (for carrying stuff to/from work); hell, even a mountain bike would do. A thousand dollar ride parked outside daily could likely get stolen/vandalized.

If you have your mind set on something sportier, I suggest you start out with a decent used bike that fits. Fit is extremely important because most serious rides entail minutes in almost exactly the same position at extremely high exertion levels, and a half hour or more in the same general position. If you're not comfortable, you're going to hate it and your bike will collect dust. The following is a good link for determing the right size frame and stem:

I suggest a cheaper (under $500) used road bike because you need to use something as a reference point -- you ostensibly have not had a good road bike before. You can ride this for a couple of months and decide what qualities your thousand dollar ride should have with respect to the following: frame size, stem length, stiffness, material (steel [softer/good feedback], alumimum [stiffer/efficient], or carbon [softest?/dead]), head angle (responsiveness/stability). Once you get your "real" bike (which can also be used), you can sell the used bike at a slight loss.

Alternatively, walk into a local bike shop (LBS), tell 'em what you want and hope for the best. Best of luck and post more questions.
re: First Time Road Bike Rider! Help!John-d
Dec 5, 2001 2:38 AM
The thing is you see, once you have ridden a decent road bike you get hooked, so I suspect that longer rides will become an issue. Keep the mtb for basic transportation the road bike will be for RIDING.

Having got that out of the way, you could do worse than a Cannondale (very patriotic), low end models still have the CAAD 4 frame. Ideal for later upgrades.

An alternative is a Giant OCR. Same as above ideal for later up grades.

Both these will be good fast road bikes that can be ridden as far and fast as you like.

As stated many times it is important to go to a good LBS and get the right fit. This can only be done by someone who knows what he is about and don't part with any money until you have done a good test ride. Minimum 6 miles.

Only one more tip, pay particular attention to the saddle.

Many hours of happy road riding

Everything you need to knowMikeC
Dec 5, 2001 6:07 AM
Spend a month lurking on this board, reading it every day.
You'll learn:
a) The road rider language
b) The answers to many of your questions
c) What bikes will get you accepted by the in-crowd
d) What bikes are great, even though they're not "in"
e) A bunch of things to avoid
f) The prevailing wisdom on mail order vs LBS (local bike shop)
g) The importance of fit
h) Why steel is real, titanium is forever, carbon is precision engineering, and aluminum is for real racers
i) The basics of compact vs standard frames, why "trail" has nothing to do with singletrack, and "rake" is about forks, not garden tools
j) Why Shimano and Campagnolo are better than each other, and the basics on how to prove that your choice was the only right one
k) How to pick a pedal system
l) How to either be or not be a fred (your choice)
m) Why the only really bad cyclist is the cursed "poseur" - and why you should never wear a yellow TdF jersey ;)
n) Everything you need to know about clothing
o) How to train to be as good as us ;)
p) Which magazines to read, and which to read but pretend that you don't
q) Who's a troll, who's a stud, who's obnoxious, who's knowledgable, etc.
r) How to injure yourself, or avoid injury
s) What you can fix yourself, how to fix it, and what to take to an LBS
t) The difference between clinchers and tubulars
u) Which clinchers to use for training, commuting, racing, etc.
v) That the number of flats you get has nothing to do with your tires or road conditions, it's simply related to astrological conditions
w) What nutritional supplements work, don't work, or have a great placebo effect
x) The abc's of road rage
y) Why whatever you buy won't be good enough in three months, but anyone who buys anything else is a moron
z) A bunch of other stuff.
Seriously, the key is to accumulate some depth of knowledge, not just a 5-minute Bicycling Magazine summary. Hang out here for a while, and you'll be well on your way.
Good luck!
LOL - Well Done (nm)DCP
Dec 5, 2001 6:20 AM
What does LOL mean? (nm)Ignorant
Dec 5, 2001 7:29 AM
Laugh Out Loud. (nm)vanzutas
Dec 5, 2001 7:32 AM
Thanks! (nm)Informed
Dec 5, 2001 8:23 PM
GREAT Newbie post! This shouldscottfree
Dec 5, 2001 7:53 AM
be saved in a macro somewhere and automatically zapped to any poster who puts the word 'newbie' in the subject line: "Newbie question" "Newbie needs help" "Newbie roadie needs info" -- ZAP, here comes this post, verbatim.
Good stuff!!.....but remember it aint a Big Gulp nmjagiger
Dec 5, 2001 8:11 AM
Forgot money and parts laundering to avoid wrath of spouse - nmjs5280
Dec 5, 2001 2:42 PM
re: First Time Road Bike Rider! Help!RaiderMike
Dec 5, 2001 8:52 AM
I am a mountain biker too and have just put together my first road bike.
GT ZR 2.0 frame, and carbon fork
Shimano r535 wheels
Axial pro tires
TTT forma SL bars
Ritchey stem
American Classic seatpost
SDG Bel Air saddle mountain bike spare
Tange headset that came with the bike
Ritchey road pedals
Full Ultegra except Dura ace shifters, and 105 brakes
About $1050 to 1100 for everything after doing alot of shopping around, GT went out of buisiness so I got the frame cheap, and I bought the wheelset overseas at half the price that they were in the US. I'll probably have to make some upgrades as I am not very familiar with some of the components but I will cross that bridge when it arises.
re: First Time Road Bike Rider! Help!p1rana
Dec 5, 2001 5:14 PM
Thanx for the help, i guess its time to go to the bike stores and as someone suggested wander round the board a bit to gain some knowledge. Oh, and i might be able to put some real use to a bike this summer when i go to WI, a lil more road to ride up there. Here I really dont have a good trail cept maybe to ride down A1A which goes imbetween houses on the beach and a state park, well, its not to bad.