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Help out a Mountain Biker?(14 posts)

Help out a Mountain Biker?Bizango1
Mar 27, 2002 1:59 PM

I'm getting fitted for a road bike next week for training and some long charity rides. My mountain bike is worth more than my car but I'm clueless when it comes to road bikes. Looking to spend under $1,000. Any suggestions/recommendations would be appreciated.

re: Help out a Mountain Biker?robbz27
Mar 27, 2002 2:01 PM
I think the Trek 1200 goes for about that much. Obviously you are not going to get the equivalent parts to your mtn bike, but it's a GREAT beginner. Good Luck!
No way ... Get outta herepmf1
Mar 27, 2002 2:24 PM
Just joking.

Unless you're looking for a used bike, $1000 won't get you a lot. You're right on the edge though. There are plenty of road bikes through mailorder companies for $1400-$1600 that are very good deals. Worth well over $2000 at a LBS. Some that come to mind are the Viner bikes sold by and the Douglas bikes sold by Since you're used to good componentry on your mtn bike, look for something having no lower than Shimano 105 components. I'd go no lower than Shimano Ultegra myself. I don't know what the Campy alternative is -- whatever the group below Chorus is (personally, I don't find Campy to be for the budget minded). Also, get a carbon fork. Well worth it and pretty much a standard these days. Don't fear mailorder. I've done it several times and always been happy.

I have a friend who wanted to get a road bike and refused to go above $1200. He ended up finding a Lemond Zurich right here in the classifieds for that price ($2100 new). A good steel bike with Ultegra and a carbon fork. That might be your other option. Go to a LBS and ride what they have in the $2000 range (I'm serious) and see what you like. You can probably find it used for $1200, or a mailorder alternative for close to the same cost.

Road bike gear lasts much longer than mtn bike gear. Don't be afraid to spend a little extra and get nicer components -- you'll be using them for a while. The worst thing you can do is plan to upgrade later. This essentially means you're going to pay for something twice.
Can't let that one go.....muncher
Mar 28, 2002 7:05 AM
All good stuff, except for the bit about 105/Ultegra. I know you said 105 or better, but you have somewhat undermined that with the Ultegra preference comment. Your view of course on your bike set-up, but I have to put in a word to the effect that 105 has to be one of the best performance/value solutions going, and I bet on a bike blindford (aside from falling off) very very few people could tell the performance difference between 105 and Ultegra. 105 is very good stuff, particluarly for a "new" roadie, it's cheaper, and aside from a minimal weight penalty, will do as well and last as long as Ultegra. Use the $ you have saved for a better frame/wheelset.

Personally, I would never lose a nice bike/frame for lack of a carbon fork - they are not the end of the line in excellence - nice to have sure, but far from essential, and you can always get one down the line if you really can't live without it. My high-end steel frame with non-carbon fork rides at least a comfortably as my Al frame with carbon fork - mebbe a few ounces heavier, but so what?
Can't let that one go.....pmf1
Mar 28, 2002 7:37 AM
The better shifters alone make Ultegra a better buy than 105. There is a small price difference in these two groups. In addition, the finish is nicer and weight lower. 105 is a competent group, but Ultegra is worth the extra money in my opinion. Its the best component deal around.

A carbon fork is also well worth the money. Most bikes come with them. Bet your high end steel bike would ride even better with a high end carbon fork.
I defer to your knowledgemuncher
Mar 28, 2002 7:57 AM
on prices - where I come from there is a big difference in Ultegra/105 prices, but there we go. On that point, I would always get the DA shifters over the Ultegra anyway if I was spending up from 105 - that's where the real difference for the $ comes in. Let's not forget the reputation that Ultegra shifters have "enjoyed" in the recent past.

Anyway - you hit the nail on the head - 105 is a competent group-set - very competent. This guy does not have a lot of dosh to play with, and IMHO, should certainly not rule out a 105 bike on his budget.

Forks ditto. Your opinion - like I said, carbon fork nice to have, not essential, and unless he hits a real deal, we are probably not talking high-end products here.

As for my bike riding "better" with a carbon fork - mebbe, I find it hard to see how other than in weight weenie terms, and even then, only with the right fork. Wheel set/tyres will make a far bigger difference. And again, where I come from "most" bikes at that price don't have them, and certainly not with Ultegra or better.

All I am saying is that no Ultegra and carbon fork does not equal totally avoid - there are a lot of nice rides out there that don't have one/both.
I defer to your knowledgepmf1
Mar 28, 2002 8:25 AM
I just think the $100 price jump from 105 to Ultegra gets you a lot. The next jump, to DA is significantly more costly ($350). You can easily spend $100 on a set of tires. It suprises me that 105, being so close to Ultegra in price, is still around.

Yes, the Ultegra shifters were initially pretty crappy in 9-v. From what I see at bike shops, they look much nicer now, very closely resembling the DA shifters. My wife has an older Ultegra triple on one of her bikes and it does shift crappy.
re: Help out a Mountain Biker?Mud
Mar 27, 2002 2:31 PM
Hey Bizango-

As a mountain biker who recently bought a road bike for the same reasons, I too was looking in the same price range. While I managed to get the last of an awesome deal online for a 2000 Marin road bike, the one bike you might want to look at is a Bianchi. They're Italian-made, well equipped, and have a couple of bikes in the $1,000 - $1,200 range - the Veloce and the model below (can't remember the model name.) Also, as a mountain biker, I've found that the triple chainring up front on the road bike really is much appreciated.

Good luck.
re: Help out a Mountain Biker?Joshua
Mar 27, 2002 2:51 PM
You can give the Felts a try. They have Three models under a grand. On is Fully 105 equipped with a selle italia gel saddle and mavic rims. Some people have said that this bike doesnt fit a wide variety of people but for me it fit well and was a very impressive ride. I was able to get it for 975.00 could have got it a little cheaper but it was not worth the hour drive to save 25.00. Try their website and check out the f65. As for the carbon fork you can get one for 80.00 on sale at Good luck
re: Help out a Mountain Biker?Bizango1
Mar 27, 2002 5:46 PM
Hey thanks all! Roadies aren't so bad ;-). Going to LBS to get fitted next week. I'm on the club team so I get 30% off and they have a good supply of last years models. Hopefully I can swing a sweet deal.. Thanks again for the advice!!
re: Help out a Mountain Biker?mwood
Mar 27, 2002 5:45 PM
If you can/will step up to $1200, has the Raleigh R700, full Ultegra. I've heard good things about the R700, but haven't ridden one...
I am VERY surprised by these uninformed responses!century2
Mar 28, 2002 2:58 AM
You can clearly get an Ultegra level bike right at $1000 -- has a Motobecane le Champion for $1095 with a 2.7 lb frame - carbon fork and Full Ultegra. I purchased a new Mercier Serpens for $1195 and it is full Ultegra with a Reynolds 853 frame -- either of these bikes beats any response you got so far. And the Motobecane and Felt have frames from the same factory. If you are going to get an Aluminum frame at $1000 - I can not figure out way anyone would recommend a Trek 1200 ?? why get lowend components and NO carbon fork - when for $95 more you can get Ultegra and a Carbon fork?
Damn, those are cheappmf1
Mar 28, 2002 5:35 AM
The Motobecane is a pretty good deal at $1100, but I think the Viner sold by GVH for $1400 is a better value. Nicer frame, better wheels and fork. But if your budget is set at $1100, you could do a lot worse than the Motobecane.

I agree with you on the Trek 1200. I was in a bike shop recently and looked at one of their lower end aluminium bikes (2300?) and was surprised by how heavy it was. Isn't light wieght the whole point of aluminium bikes?

This guy will end up buying a Trek/Cannondale/Klein from his bike shop at 30% off.
Damn, those are cheapBizango1
Mar 28, 2002 9:03 AM
Hey, I'll let you guys know what I get. My buddy says he likes steel.. my original budget was around 1,000 due to the wife but a good point was made in this thread about road parts lasting much longer than MTB parts (I don't plan on sending my road bike on as many "un-maned" decents as my mountain bike has been on) so perhaps I'll spend a bit more. Thanks again all!