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Looking for advice on new road bike(9 posts)

Looking for advice on new road bikewilliamanda
Aug 2, 2002 4:33 PM
Hello all,

I am just getting back into biking. I currently have a Cannondale mountain bike that I am using but I am starting to get serious and I am looking into a road bike. The choices are staggering. What is your opinion as to all the brands / types / Campy v. Shimano / etc.? Any advice? Thoughts on Specialized? Raleigh? Klein? Giant? Fuji?

Any help you all could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great weekend and ride safe!
Welcome! We can help you a lot more if...OffTheBack
Aug 2, 2002 6:47 PM
...you provide a little more detail. The question, as you've asked it, is impossibly broad. How much are you looking to spend? Are you short, tall, light, heavy? Are you interested in racing, touring, centuries, triathlons, or something else? You can also browse earlier threads snice there are many on this topic.

One word of warning: asking about Campy vs. Shimano on this board is like asking where someone stands on the abortion issue. Folks are a little, ah, opnionated.
Welcome! We can help you a lot more if...williamanda
Aug 3, 2002 4:32 AM
Thanks for the tip on Campy v. Shimano - I should have realized that.

As to the more specific info -

I am open on price, but I'd like to spend less than $2,000 (there's another question in itself - the difference between an $800 bike and something more expensive).

I'm about 5'10" and weigh 285 (hence why I want to ride). Although I am a fairly fit 285. Currently I am riding about 10 miles at an average speed of 14-15 mph. My interest is in riding for health - I would like to work my way up to next year's Anchor House run (charity for NJ children) where they cover 500 miles in a week (avg. 75/day).
OK, here's some ideasOffTheBack
Aug 3, 2002 5:20 AM
The most "bang for the buck" seems to be in the $1200 - $1600 price range. You can get a nice steel or aluminum frame with a carbon fork, threadless headset, Ultegra or Centaur level components, and a nice wheelset. Someone is bound to disagree, but I would stay away from ti or carbon frames in this price range - they may not be real high quality and will compromise the component choices to give you the "exotic" frame.

Since you're a big guy, you may want a triple crankset (unless it's really flat where you live) to help you up the hills. You might want to stay away from ultra-light wheels also, and go with a conventional 32-spoke wheel.

The difference between an $800 bike and a $1500 (or more) bike is both performance and durability. Shifting and braking are smoother, bearings are smoother, forging & polishing are better so parts will last longer, etc.

There's lots of nice bikes in this price range. Check out Cannondale, Trek, Specialized, Bianchi, Fuji. Right now, bikesdirect.com is advertising Fuji Team & Marseilles bikes for $1100, which I think is a super deal, but look around.

I will shut up now. Good luck, have fun, and good riding!
Good PointsMe Dot Org
Aug 3, 2002 2:02 PM
I would echo everything OffTheBack says and add that at 285 you're going to need a stiff frame. I would look for a slightly relaxed geometry, what is called "Road Sport" or Audax (halfway between a pure racing bike and a Touring bike).

The one thing I would add about the difference between $800 and $1500 bikes is that at $1500 you are probably going to get a carbon front fork, which can make for a smoother ride.

Go to a lot of different bike shops and ride. Listen to your body. What bike feels the best?

As far as Campy vs. Shimano, here's what you do:

1. Find a bike that fits you and feels the best.

2. Notice whether it has Campy or Shimano equipment.

3. Become a fanatical advocate for that brand of equipment. Anyone who buys any other brand does not deserve to live ;-)

Seriously, at that price range you should be getting either Shimano Ultegra or Campy Centaur. Both are very good equipment groups. Personally I think it comes down to which shifters you prefer.

There is no one 'best' brand of bicycle. The one that is best fits you the best is the best one for you. Enjoy!
re: Looking for advice on new road bikemaddog clark
Aug 2, 2002 8:39 PM
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re: Looking for advice on new road bikewilliamanda
Aug 3, 2002 4:33 AM
Thanks - I will.
Fit and budget.Spoke Wrench
Aug 3, 2002 5:35 AM
I think that fit on a road bike is much more important than on a mountain bike. On a road bike, you tend to plant yourself on the saddle and may stay in basically the same position for a couple of hours. If it's bad you'll be miserable. You move all over while mountain biking.

If you aren't confident of your ability to determine your own needs relative to fit, then you need to work with someone you feel you can trust to do it. If it's a local bike shop, limit your search to the brands they deal in and you'll be fine.

Within reason, the other stuff like frame material, component group etc. will be driven by your budget. As a general rule, as you move up the price scale, the bikes will get lighter in weight and everything will work more crisply. It's hard to define quality, but you can sure feel it.

Don't make this purchasing decision harder than it is. The reason there are so many bikes is because there is no consensus among users regarding what's best. If you do what I suggested and try put a few bikes in your price range, one of them will "sing" to you. Don't over-analyze, just go with it. You'll have fun.
re: Looking for advice on new road biketreeman
Aug 3, 2002 12:18 PM
I, too, just got back into biking this summer. However, I haven't been on a bike for 25 years ( too bad I sold my beloved Gitane)! Having no knowledge of what's on the market nowadays, I opted for a used bike until I get back up to speed on what's available and what suits me. Mountain bikes are so popular now, that one can get a used road bike really cheap (at least in my town).

I found two sites that have good literature on many road bike concerns (fit, components, etc.): rivendale and Harris cyclery (sheldon brown articles are humerous, opinionated, and educational). Both of these sites encourage sizing your bike for comfort as opposed to the idea many shops push - that is, pro racer set ups for Lance Armstrong wanna-be's (tiny tires, very low handle bars, smallish frames......).

Hope you have as much fun as I am getting back into biking. Last night, two blondes in a convertable honked to me - good for the ego of a 46 year old with graying hair blowing in his eyes.