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Good beginner road bike?(9 posts)

Good beginner road bike?shwndh
Jul 5, 2002 11:16 PM
I'm a MTBer and I'm looking at getting my first road bike. So far I like the Lemond Buenos Aires and the Iron Horse Victory. I like the Victory more but I'm not able to actually ride on one and can't find many review on them. Was wondering if anyone has any exerience with this bike.

Also I'm 6'2" with a 36" inseam and 225lbs. I know this bike is a light racer and was wondering if this bike would stand up to my weight. I like speed, I'll be doing long weekend rides, and I want to be comfortable so I figured steel would be the way to go.

Any other suggestions for bikes to check out would be appreciated because I don't know my road bikes like MTBs.(I do know components) Thanx

Fit and budget.Spoke Wrench
Jul 6, 2002 5:02 AM
In the real world, where people have to make housing and car payments every month, fit and budget usually drive the other decisions in a bicycle purchase. If you are confident of your ability to select a frame that suits you based on dimensions only, you have many more options. If you have an unlimited budget, the world is your oyster.

For the rest of us, find an LBS who is willing to take the time to understand how and where you intend to ride and who will work with you on getting the fit dialed in. Buy a brand that he carries and you will never go wrong.
re: Good beginner road bike?Pirate27
Jul 6, 2002 5:33 AM
I can't recommend a specific bike, but I can offer a piece of advice. As I was going to the bike shops around me, I kept saying the same thing...that I was just a beginner and didn't need all the top stuff. One of the employees pointed out something important though. He asked if I planned on having the bike for a long time and I said I did. Then he said "You may be a beginner now, but after you've been riding the bike you won't be a beginner anymore...but you'll still have that bike". His point was that I needed to look at a bike that wouldn't only suit me now as a beginner, but would also suit me long down the road as I got more experienced with the road bike. That piece of advice was big in helping me decide on a bike. I got the Cannondale R700 and it has been great so far. I just don't know enough about all the different bikes to say what other ones are good for you. That's my advice keep in mind you won't always be a beginner and want a bike for the long road.
100% Agreefiltersweep
Jul 6, 2002 7:37 AM
I was flamed to death for posting that someone should decide on a budget, then add $500-$1000 before buying a bike.

At least for me, I found that I love road biking much more than I did mtn biking... that I spend more hours in the saddle per ride, and I ride much more frequently- hence the extra money I spent was well spent.

There are many things that make it a bit scary when buying a road bike. These were the questions I had when I made the transition:

1- It is a completely different type of riding... it is on the road rather than on trails. Will I actually like it as much? (Turned out I did)

2- Is there really THAT much of a difference between an entry level group and 105/Ultegra (where the fun really sets in)? (Yes, I tried both... get at least 105 if you can)

How big of a risk taker are you? You can buy an entry level bik with the thought of selling it or upgrading it later, but you will actually lose more money in the process than if you pay a bit more upfront. There isn't quite the market for used roadbikes, and fit is much more of an issue than in mtn bikes (look at how few sizes there are in mtn bikes)... so road bikes have much fewer potential buyers.

I'd recommend against mail order/online purchase for a FIRST road bike- building a decent relationship with your LBS can really pay off if you have any problems. In fact, I'd go to a shop with a good satisfaction guarantee, buy something, and if it doesn't fit, or do what you need, exchange it for a better bike. LBS pricing may seem high, but being stuck with a used bike that doesn't fit, or an online purchase that doesn't quite work out is even more expensive. Also, LBSes seem to all have the same prices for the same bikes, unless it is a closeout- and don't be tempted to buy a "great deal" on a closeout that doesn't fit.

Finally, don't buy a road bike at an LBS from a stoned-out mtn biker salesman! And don't buy from an elitist roadie salesman who has a $5000+ ride.

Caveat: if your previous bike was seldom ridden, ignore everything I just said ;)
go used, if you canoff roadie
Jul 6, 2002 8:47 AM
I'm (obviously) also a MTB rider. I had a pretty easy time deciding what would fit- I'm your height, with (I think) a shorter inseem and 40 less lbs (all muscle, I'm sure). A guy about my size was selling a decent steel bike, good parts, in very good condition. I bought it and am quite happy. It may be a "beginers" bike, but I keep up with the faster folks in the local road club just fine.

I'm pretty sure could ride almost any 58cm bike that had a medium-long length top tube. You probably need a 60cm with a short (55cm) top tube. I could be off, but I think you would do well to forget the Iron Horse if its not a "short top tube" design.

I think used road bikes are great for us converts. I don't give a dang about the very latest roadie trends or tech, I just want some long training miles and a little club expereince. I'm not gonna put miles on like a dedicated roadie would, though I'm shooting for 500 or even 1000 club miles this year. If the bike breaks, I can still go out an ride dirt while I scrape up cash / parts to fix the road bike. And did I mention it was cheap, so I still have money for more dirt toys?
58 cm, likely too smallGregJ
Jul 6, 2002 2:46 PM
While a 58 c-c is probably rideable, you will have a lot of seatpost showing and a hard time getting the handlbars high enough. Measure your inseam properly, in cm. Subtract 27-28 cm to get a c-t frame size, and you should be good to go. Consult the Colorado Cyclist website to confirm this.(They have special advice for taller riders on their fit page, no one ever sees this. At least not the non-tall.) Keep in mind that some bikes are sized c-c and others c-t. So for instance my Pinarello is sold as a 58. It measures 58 c-c and 61 c-t(aproximately) My inseam, 88 cm - 27=61. You will need a frame 2 maybe even 3cm larger than mine , I would think. (I'm 6 ft tall.)
Your proportion of height and inseam do not seem too far out of line, maybe you have a little bit of long legs, a shorter stem should solve any problems you may have. I would not worry too much about top tube length, but you need to make sure for yourself, don't take my word for it. Some bikes have shortish top tubes which are good for me,(and maybe you as well) but I also have had longer bikes and did quite fine with them by using a shorter stem.
It feels good, so roadie
Jul 7, 2002 8:49 AM
I don't know which "you" was being refered to, but my bikes seatpost is actually to high if there's more than 18cm showing. That doesn't seem excessive to me. It could well be that "stated measure" of the frame is more like 60 or something. 58 is just what it seemed to be when I put a tape measure from the BB spindle to the center of the TT along the seat tube.

The stem does seem low, with the top a couple inches below the seat. If I was less limber, or doing century rides, I might want a higher stem, but the one I have is within the range of acceptable fit and seems well suited to me. I checked this stuff out fairly carefully after buying the bike, just to confirm my initial impressions weren't off. I haven't had anybody check my fit yet, but probably will if I go to buy a new stem.
Jul 7, 2002 5:26 PM
I didn't read your post carefully enough. The "you" was refering to the original poster, shwndh.
re: Good beginner road bike?taar44
Jul 6, 2002 11:39 AM
I just got my victory 2 weeks ago. I have ridden it and i love it. I ordered some cycling shoes which will arrive on Tuesday and then i can really ride it and i plan on reviewing it. Like you, i am 6'2 but i weigh 185lbs. The size i got was 60cm and it fits me perfectly. All my friends ride cannondales but i just could not see the point of paying $1400 for a 105 equipped aluminum bike when i could get a full ultegra Iron horse steel frame for $1100. I got mine off E-Bay without testriding it. So far no regrets. Good luck.