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Help me pick my first road bike(12 posts)

Help me pick my first road bikecyclejim
Feb 27, 2002 9:25 PM
I've been an avid mountain biker for about 2.5 years and have been wanting to purchase a road bike for some time. I like riding off road and on the road so much, but riding my mtn bike with slicks just isnt cutting it anymore.

I will be getting a bonus check in early March that is just waiting to be spent on a nice road bike.

To give you something to go on, I am approx 174 lbs and am 6'3". I have done a little research and believe my frame size will be somewhere around a 62 or 63cm depending on manufacturer. I am not super flexible, and prefer my frames to be more on the compliant side vs. very stiff and punishing frames. Italian bikes get me hot (excuse the term but they seem very popular in general), but have no clue whats really good or isnt.

I race mtn bikes, but am not sure I will race on the road, perhaps at some point. For the most part this bike will be my main steed for med to long range road excursions. I'd like to get 105 or higher level componentry (not up on all the campy gruppos yet) and plan to spend around 1200-1400. The only bike I have really checked out that seemed like it could fit the bill was a Jamis Quest which is a steel frame bike. (made in Taiwan I believe)

Any advice or specific recommendations are appreciated. Once I have a decent list I plan to go to my LBS and ride as many of them as I can.
give gary a callSpirito di Finocchio
Feb 27, 2002 10:06 PM

a good level italian steel bike with ultegra or centaur could be yours easily for the money. he can also do a good job of fitting over the phone if you give him all your requirements or you can do it yourself with a bit of measuring and understanding a specific frames specs and geometry

the jamis is a nice bike but what gvh has on offer is to my thinking a better option. a good steel frame with well balanced components that are up to racing level in quality can be had for the money you plan to spend.

oh, and if you go with what frames he has in stock it is cheaper and faster for you.

the hard part is that for the price you are asking i doubt you will have a chance to ride and try any of them. that being the case i would look to something that giant or jamis has in your price range.

given your requirements i would say stick to steel but that is open to debate.
give gary a call FOR SURE!!RayBan
Feb 28, 2002 5:47 AM
If your looking to get a good deal on your first road bike and want to get a good ride, look at the bikes on GVHbikes web site then give him a call. You will save a good amount of money and you can get a REAL NICE ride. He has an EXCELLENT selection of different bikes and you are getting a "like new" bike for a used bike price.
"LIKE new?" I thought they WERE new? nmscottfree
Feb 28, 2002 6:56 AM
new and used...RayBan
Feb 28, 2002 8:55 AM
Gary has both new frames (and complete bikes) as well as a BIG selection of used frames in great shape that you can order with components. So he has BOTH.
re: Help me pick my first road bike - try thisjackbike
Feb 27, 2002 11:37 PM
spending $4 on Bicycling Buyers guide wont hurt and try their site and use the new bikefinder feature. Not perfect; but lists most bikes in your price range with detailed specs. on most bikes, the majority of the money is spent on the components; so its good to know the different levels
Try these.....DWridesGT
Feb 27, 2002 11:59 PM
I think you would find a great bike from one of the following:

Trek 2200
GT 3.0 (If you can find them)
Lemond Zurich
Bianchi Gros (sp)

They are all within your price range and offer a great parts group. Not absolute top-of-the-line, but certainly no slouch either. Just make sure the bike fits.

A Zurich for 1200 to 1400? Where?*pressj1
Feb 28, 2002 2:56 AM
A Zurich for 1200 to 1400? Where?* - you can even do bettermike on 2
Feb 28, 2002 5:03 AM
the Mercier Serpens seems to be nicer than a Zurich in every way I can see; and lists at only $1600 and you can buy them for much less than $1400. you can see them on bikefinder at
Feb 28, 2002 7:33 AM
Given what he's asked for compliance wise, I'd skip the 2200 and the GT. The Bianchi Giro is just 105 equipped and actually at a cheaper price point that you are looking (though a fine bike... but aluminum). If you look Bianchi, you may want to check out the steel Campione. The Talladega has been renamed and I can't remember what it is called this year, but another Bianchi option (though maybe a $100 or so above what you are looking to spend).

Ditto on the Gary Hobbs suggestion.
re: Help me pick my first road bikeDaveL
Feb 28, 2002 7:21 AM
IMHO you are on the right track by going down to your LBS and riding every bike you can. It's a mistake to buy your first road bike over the internet. Get something that you know fits you. You'll hear all kinds of advice on this board about this site and that site - they all have their loyal followers who got good deals. That's fine, but I wouldn't pay any attention to that advice. If you buy a bike on the internet and it doesn't fit, or the equipment turns out all wrong for you, that's the worst deal of all. You'd be better off just taking a whipping. You need to try out bikes in person and get what's best for you. Good hunting!
Jamis Eclipse... or KHS Flite 800 perhaps?bigdave
Feb 28, 2002 2:29 PM
They are a bit more $$ but they are loaded spec-wise... not much more to do to them upgrade-wise. The Quest is a nice rig too, but spec is lower.

Eclipse or Flite 800, either way, you get a 853 frame that should serve you nicely. I have an 853 frame that I don't find too flexy, and I am 6'1 200.

Granted, these are hard-core race bikes. If you're not sure you want a hard-core bike, the Quest seems nice too. Oh, actually Univega makes some nice steel bikes (Campy equipped)... and they are Italian! :-)

I actually went used, bought a year-old Schwinn Peloton (853) for $700... and it retailed for $1600. Definitely look into used... I found it in the classifieds on this site, but the seller was about 30 minutes from me... it was easy to go see and ride it.

I firmly believe in the used bang for the $$. On the new side, GVH, like others said, seems to have good value in a wide variety of frames.

But definitely ride a lot of them... fit is the most important, not whether it's 105 or Dura Ace equipped.

And a good LBS can really help you out. I overheard my LBS-owner tell a customer to go with a lower-priced model from a certain manufacturer because the higher-priced model didn't offer much more in terms of value... and he explained why. That's the kind of place to find, because he wasn't out to just wring the most $$ out of the buyer, but instead pointed out the best value.

Hope that helps.