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Help Choosing 1st road bike....??(5 posts)

Help Choosing 1st road bike....??mtbiac
Jan 31, 2002 3:14 PM
OK- I have decided that i want to purchase a road bike. I have been mountain biking for several years now and it just occured to me that road biking can help get me in shape, plus its pretty fun, which i just found out after riding my friend's road bike.

I have NO clue where to start. I need something VERY inexpensive, nothing more than $400. I will probably be getting it used, so something thats around $700-800 new?

Any suggestions? I know i should get anything worse than like Tioga parts, but have no clue on anything else.

I do all my own maintence and build my own bikes, so I am defintly not new to this kinda stuff...

Thanks for the help!
re: Help Choosing 1st road bike....??jtolleson
Jan 31, 2002 3:46 PM
You've given some tough parameters -- nothing less than Tiagra parts and spending $400 or less ... buying used.

Frankly, you'll be faced with a beggars can't be choosers proposition. By the time you find a USED bike in your SIZE and within your budget, you may very well just decide to buy it... Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, KHS, Schwinn, Bianchi, Lemond, Fuji, Raleigh ... doesn't matter.

If you start looking for a certain bike in your size used and in your budget, it may turn into needle in a hay stack. In addition, most bikes at similar price points are very similarly spec'd and most (but not all) have similar geometry.

The only decision you may want to make is whether to buy steel or aluminum (you won't see any ti or CF in your budget... at least not any you'd buy). And there isn't much steel in your price range. One (or two) models from Bianchi, KHS, and Lemond are all that come to mind.
re: Help Choosing 1st road bike....??mtbiac
Jan 31, 2002 4:17 PM
Hey, thanks for the reply and advice.

Just a few general questions:
What's the difference between Steel and Aluminum besides alum. is much stiffer and maybe lighter?

Do you know of any particularly good bikes in my price range i should keep an eye out? i have basically noo clue to what is good, but as you said they are mostly the same...

What's the difference between Steel and AluminumStraightblock
Jan 31, 2002 4:36 PM
Don't ask. That's a perpetual hot topic here. Look back in the archives & you'll see plenty of discussion on the subject.

In your price range with used bikes it's more a matter of opportunity as to what you'll find. Concentrate more on proper fit than what decals are on the frame. Fit is more important with road bikes than MTB's. If you're lucky you'll take a common frame size and have more choices than if you are 6'7" or 4'10".

Check if there are any LBS's that take trade-in's. Some shops also have bulletin boards for their customers. Also check with any roadie clubs in the area. If any of your friends are roadies, pump them for advice and try to get them to go with you when you're shopping. When you find something you like, post here again with details & you'll get plenty of input.
re: Help Choosing 1st road bike....??Elefantino
Jan 31, 2002 9:58 PM
You're probably looking at a Shimano Sora-equipped bike in your price range. Tiagra (or at least a full Tiagra) is going to cost a bit more. But Sora is OK for a first bike. But look for bikes that have complete Sora groups; some have Sora derailleurs and levers but substitute cheaper cranks, hubs, brakes and bottom brackets.

Check eBay. See what's out there in your price range. There are some new Iron Horse (aluminum) and KHS (steel) bikes that can be had. Plus, you'll find a lot of used bikes for the money, too.

If you don't want to pay shipping, you can go to, which sells a lot of steel and aluminum bikes (mostly Fuji and Motobecane) in the sub- or around-$400 range.

The ride, frankly, is going to be about the same for much of what you find. For your first road bike it'll be "just OK." But it will get you on the road, and then you can move up as time goes by.

Good luck!