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new rider(8 posts)

new riderhaze
Jan 1, 2002 8:46 AM
anybody! i'm interested in getting a road bike to begin riding, yet i've got no clue where to start. i've been to a few shops but each shop tells me there brand is the best...what to do? cannondale, trek, specialized,etc?
re: new riderCT1 Guy
Jan 1, 2002 9:03 AM
Simple steps:
Within one price bracket there's relatively little difference a new rider could tell between particular brands - the key thing is that the bike is the right size and is set-up correctly.
1. Decide how much you want to spend - including accessories - e.g. pump, helmet, shoes (maybe pedals) etc - and stick to that figure. That's your starting point, not theirs.
2. Find out what size of frame you need - plenty of info on this site to start with.
3. Visit each shop and tell them how much you want to spend and what you want to use the bike for.
4. Take a bike for a test ride - compare how they feel.
No test ride - no deal.
Don't be tempted by any special close-out deals unless you know its in the size you need.
re: new riderhaze
Jan 1, 2002 9:06 AM there a price where you would suggest is too low to get anything decent? it seems you could spend 500 bucks or 1500 bucks...what range is nothing more than a ten speed?
The good news is ...jtolleson
Jan 1, 2002 9:14 AM
That even the bikes at the lowest price point are vast improvements over the 10 speeds of old. MUCH lighter, more efficiently shifting, nice geometry and frame construction. So, you won't be committing a mortal sin by buying at the low price point (which GENERALLY is the $500-$600 range).

The main difference with bikes at the lowest price point is the componentry (shifters, derailleurs, etc.) that makes 'em go. A little heavier, a little less refined finish, and maybe a shorter life span (but good for thousands of miles, still). So if you are on a budget, that's OK.

Once you cross the $1200 line or so, not only have you moved a couple of notches up the componentry totem pole, but most manufacturers are breaking out their nicer frames and forks.

There is no "best" manufacturer. All of the mass produced bikes (Trek, Cannondale, Bianchi, Specialized, Fuji, Schwinn, GT, KHS, Lemond, Giant, etc.) will do pretty much the same thing for a new cyclist, and each has their own set of hard core fans.

Some bikes do have slightly different geometry, so really be sure that the bike you buy fits and test ride plenty with COMFORT in mind.

If you narrow it down to some options, or want to tell us your budget, I'm sure you'll get PLENTY of opinions.
It's like the Ford-Chev debate.Brian C.
Jan 1, 2002 9:11 AM
You've come to the right place: On this board, you'll find no shortage of strong opinion on which bike is better.
First thing you should do, though, is get yourself sized up, even if you have to pay a couple of bucks for the service.
Then, test drive, test drive, test drive.
In hindsight, researching which bike to buy was a lot of fun.
It's like the Ford-Chev debate.haze
Jan 1, 2002 10:02 AM
thanks, guys. sounds like a few test drives are in order. happy new year!
another thought....Geof
Jan 1, 2002 11:27 AM
Make sure the LBS you use will swap saddles, bars, stems (especially stems) at no cost for dif sizes of like brands (obviously if you upgrade then you'll have to pay a bit extra). These are the critical little things to get your sizing just right. Some shops do it, some don't. You get it as spec-ed. Performance for instance won't swap comps... go figure.

Anyway, good luck and welcome to the "EXPERIENCE"
Another tipBrian C.
Jan 1, 2002 12:02 PM
If you happen to own cycling shoes - perhaps from a mountain bike - bring them, along with the pedals they go with, when you visit the shops for test drives.
That way you'll have a better feel for the bike.
And it might impress the bike shop staff that you know what you're doing.