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my current options for a first roadie:(16 posts)

my current options for a first roadie:up_hiller
May 2, 2002 5:12 AM
I posted yesterday about good non-name brands. So here's what I'm looking at so far. Time for some feedback and more info!

these are all on ebay. all bikes are low-mileage and have carbon forks. I have limited knowledge of (and 0 experience with) road bikes, so my ability to compare one to another and determine which is the best option is NOT very great. I'd love to get your opinions on these as well as your reasoning in your decisions. Feel free to argue in the interest of my educations!

'01 fuji roubaix pro $750ish - the auction ended, but i thought about making the guy an offer anyway. he had it opening at $800 (why did no one bid on this bike?)
good: 853 frame (steel is so cool), full 105
bad: the ritchey pro wheels? i heard there was a recall on these. any truth to this? do the wheels suck even if they weren't recalled?

'00 allez M4 pro $???
good: ultegra
bad: price?

'01 KHS flite 1000 buy it now:$1100
good: ultegra/DA rear der., shimano 535 wheels (good wheelset, yes?). they look cool anyway - this is one sweet-lookin' ride.
bad: "buy it now" is pretty well outta my budget as a poor college student. maybe i could get it for less by bidding. how much is it really worth?

'00 trek 2100 $800ish?
good: ultegra BB/crank/shifters, 105 derailleurs, rolf vectors (pretty good wheelset, right?)
bad: RSX brakes? what does that mean to you roadies? red lights flashing in your head, or not a big deal?

BRAND NEW '00 KHS flite 800 buy it now $1320
good: 853, vector comps, ultegra/DA rear der.
bad: an UNUSED 2000? is there a catch? asked him about it, response seems ok, should i prod some more? if yes, what the heck do i ask? Price is way too high, but once again, that's the buy it now... so what's this thing WORTH?

'01 spec. allez A1 Comp $???
good: full ultegra, shimano 535 wheelset, very pretty bike
bad: i don't have a clue what it's worth

you guys are great for helping me out. i really appreciate it. i learn quickly, so it won't take too much of this before i should be able to do this sort of research on my own. i'm soaking up everything you guys respond with. of course, reading the reviews helps a lot, too.

So, talk amongst yourselves! I will be watching...
Thanks again,
matt
crap!! here's another...up_hiller
May 2, 2002 5:22 AM
'98 c'dale caad3 R1000 bidding opens at $500
good: ultegra all the way
mavic CXP 30 wheels - yes? no? maybe?
bad: nothing jumps out at me.

this one has a little higher mileage, and of course it's older than the opthers, but it should also be considerably cheaper and still a good bike, correct?

Are there any trends in bike sizing manufacturer-wise? For ex., "all Treks run a little large, Bianchi is on the small side, etc." Just wondering cuz I will need 54-56cm, but since I can't test-ride thee bikes, it would be nice to know what to expect from each before hand in comparison to the "average 5? cm frame". Given a little advance notice, I could always visit the LBS's to try out their bikes and see what I think of C'dale vs. Specialized, etc. That is, provided ther is such a trend among manufacturuers. I hope all that made some sense...
The Cannondale Could Be A Good Deal...Gregory Taylor
May 2, 2002 5:42 AM
Some folks get scared off of the CAAD3 frame because they have a reputation for being "harsh". I've owned mine (R800 -- Shimano 105 with Mavic CXP 14 wheels) since '97, and I love it. It feels very solid and "racey" -- I always ride like a hooligan when I get on it because it really wants to go. It should have an Advanced Composites carbon fork with an aluminum steerer tube, which takes a lot of the sting out of the frame. All in all, a nice package. The only issues that I have had with it relate to the paint, which is a bit thin. It tends to bubble where it makes contact with dissimilar metal, like steel or pot metal.

Size wise, I've got an 80 cm inseam (30 inch pant leg on my Levis), and the 54 fits me well. The top-tube is 54.5 center-to-center, which is a little bit shorter than on most frames this size. The geometry on the CAAD3 is the same as the CAAD4, 5, and 6. A trip to the LBS to see what feels good wouldn't go amiss...
stiff frames don't scare me at all...up_hiller
May 2, 2002 6:25 AM
I ride a good stiff Al hardtail MTB, so I'm used to taking a bit of a beating. As for the fork, it's a Slice (Coda). I have never been a fan of Cannondale's slew of proprietary parts, but since this fork is still a standard size, and doesn't require maintenance like a MTB fork, it shouldn't present a problem. Also, I won't be able to tell the difference if it doesn't perform as well as others since this will be my first experience with both road bikes and carbon fiber.

Thanks, GT!
matt
What kind of MTB are you riding?Gregory Taylor
May 2, 2002 6:50 AM
Just curious...dirt rigs are really interesting. Tough, weather resistant, and hopefully light.
schwinn homegrown... 24.0lbs bone stock (nm)up_hiller
May 2, 2002 8:39 AM
Very Nice. They are sweet bikes. (nm)Gregory Taylor
May 2, 2002 9:31 AM
sliceJekyll
May 2, 2002 9:08 AM
Cannondale did not make the fork. I think most of the recent ones are made by Time (not sure on the forks on CAAD3's). I have no love for "Coda" stuff either but the deal on the Canny seems to be pretty fair.
You can always go to a dealer and try a Canny frame the same size to get a good idea of fit. And, at that kind of price you should have no trouble getting your money back out of it if it really offends you.
all Treks run a little large, Bianchi is on the small side?elviento
May 2, 2002 6:06 AM
For ex., "all Treks run a little large, Bianchi is on the small side, etc."

Treks don't run large at all. A 56 Trek is 52-52.5cm center to center.
I just made that up as an example.up_hiller
May 2, 2002 6:19 AM
but thanks for the info regarding Treks in reality. is this common in the road bike industry? In other words, should one expect a bike marked as a 56cm c-to-c top tube to be a couple of centimeters shorter when measured? Or is that a Trek thing?

matt
Center to top and center to centerDave Hickey
May 2, 2002 6:48 AM
Welcome to the world of road bike sizes. Various manufactures measure their frames differently. The two common ways are center to center and center to top. Center to center is the seat tube measured from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top tube. Be VERY careful when looking at this dimension. A carbon OCLV or oversize aluminum frame have larger diameter top tubes than a steel frame. In other words, a steel 52cm frame might give you a good standover clearance but a 52cm OCLV or aluminum might not. Center to top is measured from the center of the BB to either the top of the top tube or the top of the seat collar. This is the real dimension you need when looking at standover clearance. If you going to buy a bike on ebay, forget when size the manufacter claims. Have the seller measure the bike for you.
Please keep in mind, the above only applies to stand over height. It does not take into account top tube length which is a VERY important dimension. Also, if any of the frames are compact geometry, forget all of the above. They are sized completely different.
re: Test rode a Fuji Roubaix Prodzrider
May 2, 2002 7:15 AM
I thought it rode better than bikes that cost hundreds of dollars more. It was light, not very stiff, and handled nicely. I can't respond about the wheels or how well the're built, but I thought the frame was a really good all-around ride.
up_hill How much are you looking to spendIcefrk13
May 2, 2002 8:12 AM
What is your price range?
heh... well, ummm...up_hiller
May 2, 2002 8:52 AM
I don't really know. Upper limit is dead seat at $900, but I would have to find a screaming deal on a good bike before I'd go that high. I'm thinking I'll probably wind up spending $600-750, although less would certainly be OK by me. I know $600 is not squat for a road bike, but as I said, I'm in school; my income is limited, and there are quite a few demands being made of it already. I'm just looking for a solid frame with some decent wheels and components attached to it, and it would be a big plus if the whole shebang could weigh at around 20 pounds (I can't imagine I would have much fun riding a roadie that weighs more than my mountain bike).

thanks to all for your input.
matt
heh... well, ummm...Icefrk13
May 2, 2002 9:06 AM
My first road bike was a Trek 1000 I bought used for 350. It was an ok bike, fit was not to bad. I did not like the componets since I had a high end Mtb and new what good shifting was. After I established I enjoyed road biking I sold the trek and bought my Viner from gvh. The only advice I could give you is spend some time in the shops on a few test rides. fit is everthing on a road bike.

Enjoy
Matt (also)
The old real estate adage...Me Dot Org
May 2, 2002 11:22 AM
What are the 3 most important things in Real Estate? Location, Location, Location.

What are the 3 most important things when purchasing a bicycle? Fit, Fit, Fit.

Have you ridden these bikes? Are you assumming that because a 56cm (or whatever your size is) fits you in Brand A, it will fit you in Brand B? Not necessarily the case.

Unless you have ridden the bike you are bidding on, buying on eBay could give you a fantastic deal...and a bike that doesn't fit you.

Go to a Local Bike Shop (LBS). Try riding different bikes. Steel, Aluminum, Titanium, Carbon. What do they feel like to your body? What will get you to ride you bicycle, day after day, is not how good you are or how fast you are, or the quality of your groupset. What gets you on the seat is the way it feels.

Your rational mind is quite right in trying to get the most bang for your buck. But do you want to be a bicycle owner or a bicycle rider? Being a rider is a symbiotic relationship. No amount of componentry analysis can change the way it feels.

What do they say in the intelligence community? Ground Truth.