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Please help. I really want a bike.(18 posts)

Please help. I really want a bike.94Nole
Jul 18, 2002 10:59 AM
Some say buy this. Others say buy that. Some say build it yourself. Others say buy used. I am so confused and paralyzed by the analysis I have done over the past two weeks. I started with $500 to spend and quickly found that I will probably pay $1000 minimum just for the bike not to mention riding gear and apparrel(sp?).

I've ridden Giants, LeMonds, Motobecane, etc. I have been in LBS where the guy has spent 2 hours with me, others that couldn't find a valve stem. I've been told Tiagra at the least and preferrably 105. I want to start riding primarily as a way to get off my fat duff and lose about 40#s. I would like to work my way up to riding with groups but probably not race. (I just can't see me getting into it that much).

Everyone has a preference. I have read that fit is critical. How does one new comfortably achieve that and from what I've read, just because I am a 57cm on one frame that don't mean I am that size for everyframe. Which bike? And what do you do when you find a bike in a LBS that you think you want but are uncomfortable buying because of the seeming lack of knowledge in the staff?
keep doing researchniteschaos
Jul 18, 2002 11:19 AM
I researched for a year before I found the right bike for me.
On the other hand...OffTheBack
Jul 18, 2002 11:47 AM
while research, fit etc. can be important, if your goal is to start an exercise program, I would say go buy a bike this weekend and start riding. Just get out the door and ride. Make the best choice you can and don't second guess your decision later. Remember the title of Lance Armstrong's book?
No offense, but you must have lots of free time...elviento
Jul 18, 2002 12:27 PM
Research for a year just for a bike? Maybe get a second job to do research work, make $20K extra, then buy yourself custom made DeRosa King, C40, Pinarello Prince, AND whatever the Merlin carbon bike with ti lugs is called.
re: Please help. I really want a bike.bigskulls
Jul 18, 2002 11:28 AM
For me, the simple answer is buy the bike you like most that's within your budget.

I'm a recreational rider strictly, and I bought my bike out of the classifieds on this site, sight unseen. I know that "fit is crucial" but I had a pretty good idea about what size I wanted (58cm) and just took the plunge. I got a terrific bike (Merlin titanium road, 8 years old, with Dura-Ace, some Ultegra) for $1500.

Trust yourself, and just get the bike you want. If you know you want a bigger bike than the guy at a shop tells you you should have, go with your instinct.

If you don't have to have it RIGHT NOW, I would spend some time looking through the classifieds and seeing what bikes go for, and reading as much of the discussions as you can find time for. There are plenty of terrific new bikes - and used bikes - for under $1000. The money will go alot further used than new - obviously - but you'll take a few extra risks.

If you want a really simple solution, try to find a bike that looks cool with 105 (or better yet ultegra) and just buy it. If you don't end up loving it (and I'd bet most people do) you'll at least know a lot better what you want and what you don't want next time, plus you'll have plenty of time to look around.

Hope this helps.
re: Please help. I really want a bike.raboboy
Jul 18, 2002 11:41 AM
1. Pick your budget & stick to it. If you aren't racing forget about 105 or above; save the money for gear.
2. Find a LBS that you like & want to build a relationship with. You will be taking you bike in for tune-ups, repair, advice, etc. so it is important to find some people you like.
3. Relax. It's a bike. Soon you'll be on one and having a great time, and damn good excercise.
Just get out and ride.t-bill
Jul 18, 2002 12:04 PM
While researching for a year might (I repeat, might!) yield the perfect bike, that will be another year spent not riding. I agree with the other poster who said go buy one this weekend and get out riding asap. If you get into riding more than you think, you'll probably get bike fever like the rest of us and eventually want another bike anyway. And don't worry about the gear. Buy a pair of shorts ($50) so your arse won't ache so much, buy enough stuff to be able to change a tire/tube ($20-$30), and learn how to use it. You can always buy more stuff as you go along if you feel it's necessary.

I agree that you should get 105 if you can afford it, but just get something that you like and will make you get out and ride. That, my friend, is the key!
Find an LBS that you like.Spoke Wrench
Jul 18, 2002 12:12 PM
Did you like the guy who spent 2 hours with you? If so, buy a brand that he has and you will never go wrong. The only people I know who have been really dissatisfied with their bike purchases are people who overanalyzed the hardware and eventually bought from a guy they didn't like just because the price was $20.00 less or the bike weighed 1 pound less or some similar reason.

I think that the worst mistake you can make right now would be to let the rest of the summer go by before you get yourself a bike. Every day that goes by while the weather is nice is a day that you can never get back.
re: Please help. I really want a bike.ThirtyFive
Jul 18, 2002 12:51 PM
ii went to ebay and bought a beater first to make sure this sport was for me. spent a cool $125 + helmet, pump, flat repair equip. thats it.. when i was sure, then back to ebay went the bike after i found what a really wanted. this was not an overnight process btw so have patience.

if youve already done this, keep riding that beater! it will serve you well until you know exactly what you want
If you aren't planning on racing....tyrius
Jul 18, 2002 1:02 PM
it really isn't that critical to find the "perfect" setup. Just find a frame type you are comfortable on i.e. Trek, Cannondale, LeMond, etc. and get a used bike off the classifieds or eBay. If you find you really really like riding you can go back and get a new bike.

I got a fairly new Cannondale r500 with spd pedals and aerobars (for tris) for like 450 bucks. It took me a couple months to find that deal, but it was definately worth it. Also, look for close outs at the LBS and supergo among others.

Don't worry about the components, even Sora is find for recreational riding. Although I don't like the shifters feel it will still work for you.

Don't stress out about it, just buy something that fits you and find out how much you like it.
re: Please help. I really want a bike.MXL02
Jul 18, 2002 1:06 PM
My suggestion: go with steel and buy used. I refer you to the following thread: MXL02 "How to buy one's first road bike." 7/17/02 2:49pm

If you don't know your size, go to an LBS and purchase a fit kit, or use the Wrench science site...just be precise.
As in so many things, the important thing is to relax.djg
Jul 18, 2002 1:34 PM
Everybody has opinions. Pretty much everybody on this board has opinions regarding the best way to shop for a bike. I'm no different. But here's my default position:

(1) Relax.
(2) It really doesn't matter that you get the best possible bike for your money, even if we assume that there's some fact of the matter about what that is. It just matters that you get something you like and that you don't get robbed.
(3) Buying from a reputable shop offers a pretty good assurance--not perfect, but pretty good--that you'll get something that will serve your purposes. Look, if you really, really love something at a shop that seems lousy, and you cannot find anything comparable at a shop you like, well, that's a problem. Maybe you'd like to take a chance. But a good shop is very unlikely to steer you wrong, and for someone in your position that ought to be a valuable consideration.
(4) The shop should take some care with fit. If they take a few measurements and get you up on a trainer to check your position, those are good signs. Having a Serotta fit system in the shop is a good sign, not because the system is perfect or obviously the best or anything, but because it's at least one possible indication that they have given a little thought (and some other resources) over to fitting people to bikes. Once again, don't panic. Various adjustments can be made to a bike, both before and after purchase, and for a given model in a given line there may (or may not) actually be two sizes that could plausibly work for you. Also, there are different approaches to doing this well, or well enough, and if you feel comfortable on a test ride you really don't need to worry that a given top tube is a half centimeter longer or shorter than another in the same nominal "size" or that your favorite shop uses the Fit Kit whereas some guy on the net said to use the Size Cycle. Different things can work. The fact is, even some very experienced riders take some time--weeks or even months--to get a new ride really dialed in. Perfection is nice, when you find it. But mostly, the thing is to avoid large-magnitude mistakes; and one good way to avoid them is to avoid a shop that seems not to know what they're doing and/or not to care. Also, although your preferences will change with time on the bike, if something seems really wrong to you, avoid it (it might well be really wrong and you have no way of knowing for sure that it isn't).
5) Long test rides are not perfect, but they are much better than a spin around the parking lot (or the block).
6) Trust your gut. About the shop, about the bike. Collecting information is good--extremely useful--but it can also be interminable. If you feel overwhelmed, step back. Relax, make a judgment, get something, and get out on the road.

Good luck.
A few choices...jose_Tex_mex
Jul 18, 2002 3:06 PM
Hi Again,
I saw a nice bike at the other day. It was actually in a flyer they sent me - the Forte Road bike equipped with 105 for $900. Sounds like a good deal you might want to check it out.

For a little more at there's an aluminum Douglas frameset with Ultegra for $1500 - I think it weighs in around 17 pounds!!

Best of Luck
A few choices...hallcd7
Jul 18, 2002 4:54 PM
I went through a week or two of evaluating bikes, advice, etc. etc, until it drove me nuts. I finally just decided to go to one of the LBS where the owner is a good guy, told him why i wanted the bike, and how much i had to spend, and he put me on a good bike for me. I am an older guy who mostly rides trails (MTN Biker) who wanted a road bike to play. Wound up with a Fuji Finest AL with Sora, replaced pedals and wheels, and am happy as can be! Really enjoying the road rides on this bike, and glad i got it! Does everything i need from a bike, and didnt set me back a fortune. I aint ever gonna be a Lance Armstrong kinda guy anyway.

Just Ride!
It's like buying a computerjose_Tex_mex
Jul 19, 2002 3:55 PM
The more you read the more you think you understand. You are probably better off practicing haggling than reading reviews.
I agree with you. Decide how much you want to spend and find a good LBS.
We're not really that smart and I don't think the technologies are that different.
check out EBAYcrosscut
Jul 18, 2002 4:39 PM
There are a ton of new bikes (Fugi, Iron Horse, etc, with quality components easily in your price range. Just pick one. It's a buyer's market.
I know exactly what you're going throughbobwill
Jul 18, 2002 6:44 PM
I'm currently saving up for my first road bike. Right now I'm riding a Trek mountain bike.
Right now I'm leaning towards the Cannondale R500, myself; but, that's because I found a good deal it at a local bike shop(now I just need the money).

The Giant OCR3 and OCR2 are really good deals, you should be able to find either of them for less than $750, and you get a nice componenent group. The frame's a bit too small for me though.
Ultimately, if you don't plan to ride competitively you might as well stick with the OCR3, because if you get the 2 you should get a pair of cycling shoes, and that will set you back another $100 on top of the cost of the bike.
Heck, if you're looking to just get off your butt and do something, look into hybreds and even cheap hardtail mountainbikes.
re: Please help. I really want a bike.steve22
Jul 18, 2002 6:50 PM
Ok, as someone who lost 71# now 40 from diet 30+ from diet and excercise buy A bike. If you have to have the best, then buy the best. if you want to ride, buy a bike. After you lose the weight, you'll know more about what you want, what feels good and FIT will be different. I can bend over and reach farther than I could at 220 when I bough my Klein Q-Pro and now I need to make stem changes, and might even benefit from a 58 instead of a 57. RIDE my friend the weight will come off and you can reward yourself with a better bike. Most of all, ENJOY IT, IT WILL change your life!