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More first bike questions(19 posts)

More first bike questionsTenny24
Aug 31, 2002 12:07 PM
hey guys,

decided to start a new thread with this.

I am most likely going to go with either the Trek 1000 or 1200. I have never had a road bike before so it will be more then good enough for the first year, and then I will know more for what to look for and what I want. I test road them and I really couldnt notice any difference between the 1000 and the 2300, because of my inexperience.

Here is my question
the 1000 and 1200 comes with those weird peddles that you strap your feet into, i cant remember what they are called. Should I upgrade it to clipless peddles? Anything else that I should upgrade at the time of purchase? Is there anything else that I am going to need to go with it, I already have a bike computer that I will have switched over, i have two mountain biking helmets, will i need one that is designed for the road? I have bike shorts and gloves but I dont have a jersey or socks or shoes designed for cycling, are these necessary? I take it i will have to get the shoes if I go with clipless peddles? Any other things specific to road riding that I need? What tools should I get? I always went mountain biking with my buddy and he had all the tools, but road riding i will most likely be on my own. If there is an article that covers this stuff if you could point me in that direction it would be great.

Thanks guys, Mike
re: More first bike questionsTenny24
Aug 31, 2002 12:10 PM
even with how long that was i left something else :)

the main difference between the 1000 and 1200 seems to be that the 1200 is a 27 speed compared to 24 and the fork is carbon on the 1200. Do you guys thing those two things are worth the extra $400
re: More first bike questionsfz4vgq
Aug 31, 2002 1:16 PM
Hey Tenny24, welcome to the road world (actually i'm fairly new to it myself). I also came from the mt. bike side of things. I can't really comment on the bike choices other than the triple chainring (27 speed) might be nice if you plan on riding in any hilly areas (and you're probably used to a triple chainring front end from mt.biking) I don't know if it's worth $400 though.
On the clipless question, what were you using mt. biking? I think pedals with toes straps are harder to use than clipless pedals especially for a beginner. with toe straps you have to look down and flip the pedal over with your foot then slide your foot in and then cinch the strap down. And than you have to do everything in reverse when you have to come to a stop! with some clipless pedals (Speedplays, Shimano SPD (NOT SPD-R), Crank bros Egg beaters) you can literally just step on the pedal to clip in and twist your heel outwards to get out. You can get a pair of egg beaters for about $80 right now. Definetely get a pair of shoes to go with them even if its a cheaper pair (you can find some good deals on "last years models") i think Performance or Nashbar has a pair of Axos on sale for $50-$60 right now, they're alot better than using sneakers! Good luck.
re: More first bike questionsTenny24
Aug 31, 2002 1:26 PM
For mountain biking I was using my old BMX pedals, I know stop laughing :) but they worked perfect for me, i love them, have had them for about 8 years. They would look down right stupid on a road bike though, they look bad enough on a mountain bike :) I have big feet, size 12 and the bmx pedals are bigger so i always have liked them, never tried clipless. I used the toe strap before with normal shoes but I didnt relaly like it, and that was on a mountain bike.
re: Trek 1000 vs. 1200Fredrico
Aug 31, 2002 1:25 PM
Carbon forks are more comfortable than aluminum forks, 27 gears probably provide closer shifting than 24, but none of this is worth the $400.

The real differences would more likely be the headset, crank and wheel bearings, the saddle, wheel rims perhaps, and component grouppo: brakes, shifters and derailleurs. The more you spend, the more durable all this stuff is, and the longer it stays in adjustment. And it's also usually lighter.

The difference between these two bike isn't that great. Either one will serve you well for several years.

If you fall in love with road biking, you'll want the best, and willingly spend several times more money than the 1200 costs.
re: Trek 1000 vs. 1200Tenny24
Aug 31, 2002 1:33 PM
I should not that is $400 cdn, so about 275 USD.

the trek site says the 1200 has a lighter frame, elliptical chainstays, replaceable derailleur hanger. The 1000 has none of that. Other upgrades include the fork, better and ligther wheels, same tire, stem and headset are the same, the 1200 is "tiagra" instead of "sora", they both have triple chain rings, cassette on the 1200 is an HG-50 and the 1000 is SRAM 5.0. Those are the only differences that I can see, let me know if you guys think its worth the extra cash for a beginer.

I know what you mean about spending a lot more money on a better bike, I was going to get the better one to start, but I just dont have enough saddle time to know which one really is better, and which one fits me better. So I want to go fairly cheap for now, and then down the road in a couple years move up to a 5200 or something along those lines. Thanks guys

re: Trek 1000 vs. 1200Fredrico
Aug 31, 2002 2:28 PM
Well, I suspect if you're serious and into it, you'd really appreciate the slightly better performance and durability of the 1200 set-up. Sora is rock bottom. So is Sram 5.0. It won't last as long as Tiagra and the HG-50 stuff. One vote here for the 1200!
re: Trek 1000 vs. 1200jtolleson
Aug 31, 2002 3:22 PM
and don't forget that the 1200 has a different frame; this isn't just the difference between Sora and Tiagra.
Do a fit kit and 105 minimum < $999teamsloppy
Aug 31, 2002 3:35 PM
1) You should do a "Fit Kit". More about that below.

2) Look around for a bike with better components that the trek. For the price of a Trek 1200 (list $989) you can get a bike with Shimano 105 for $10 more (instead of the questionable Tiagra).

Of the two treks, the 1200 is better ($989). But for $10 more, why not try a KHS Trek, with Shimano 105, carbon fork, lighter weight.

Why spend money (A $1000 bucks) for a throw away bike if you might be able to apply the $1000 to a keeper. Of the Tek and KHS, the KHS is more of a keeper. There might be even better deals out there. I just went to the hot deals page and clicked around 4 or 5 times looking for shimano 105 and under $1000. If you clicked around maybe 20 times, you might find 105 for even less and maybe Ultegra (a real keeper).

I think you should buy the bike with the lightest frame (and best fitting frame) with the most expensive components you can afford. The quality of the componets (in shifting response) will greatly improve any bike ride. I have used rental bikes on bike tours in Europe with low quality Tiagra and it is so disappointing. The name of the bike manufacturer is a marketing feature only; not a contributor to the riding experience. With the components, you definitley get what you pay for: 105 is a minimum for a $1000 bike.

As an a-side remark to the Trek advertising, you don't need to replace the derailleur hanger on a road bike (that's a mountain bike feature where you are expected to crash or dump the bike). That is a non-sense feature; they are stretching the feature list with un-needed features.

Back to 1)
About 10 years ago, I was at the same point as you. Someone recommended a "fit kit". A local bike shop (Palo Alto Bikes) did it for $20 with the 20 refundable if I purchased bike from them. I still ride the same bike frame daily to work, with many of the same Ultegra components: cranks arms, stem, front derailler, head set, seat post and brake calipers.

Wrench Science has an online fit kit (where you have to measure your inseam, shoulder width, etc.). It might be a guide to start

3) Tools

Like the others have mentioned, You will also need a Pump (or Co2 Cartridges and Inflater), spare tube(s), tire irons (levers), and a tube patch kit (spares get damaged in the little saddle bag; buy a Jandd).

A tool you also need, but not mentioned is a "multi-tool" that has a chain break tool (to fix a broken chain) and various other bolt and nut fasteners. I prefer the Ritchey CPR 13, but Performance and others havesimilar versions. Its about 2 inches square by 1 inch tall.

4) Clipless Pedals

The shoes are more improtant that the pedals. I would recommend Mountain Biking Shoes and Time ATAC or Time Cyclo for a begineer.

Clipless pedals are safer for getting out of than strapped clips. They are also more efficient allowing you to pedal farther faster.

But avoid road shoes. Use a Mountain Bike shoe to start. Road Shoes today are nasty things with hard plastic soles that slip. They slip everywhere: off the pedal, off the street (if you have to stop for a light), off the floor if you are walking from the curb to your apartment. Never try to climb 12 flights of stairs in a road shoe; that's aone time experience. I Commute to work with a Mt. Bike Shoe; I can beat any road Bike shoer off the line at a stop light because of better traction (I can push off like a track sprinter) and confidence that if I miss the "plug-in" my foot can still stay on the pedal. With a road shoe, you have to tread gingerly, step petitely into your pedals, with no push off, and if you miss the "plug-in" with your cleat forward, your foot slides off like you are doing a goose-step.

OK end of this rant.
Do a fit kit and 105 minimum < $999Tenny24
Aug 31, 2002 4:25 PM
wow, thanks for the awesome reply this is an awesome site, I am really glad that I have found it.

I am some what limited in that I want to deal with the bike shop that i bought my last bike at, cyclepath. I have had excellant service in there, they do bike tune ups while im having lunch, usually an hour and its done, no waiting a day or two there. Plus he is willing to bargain a bit on the price and throw in any extras(not upgrades, but helmet, locks, etc.) for 50% off at the time of purchase of the bike. I have had bad experiences at other bike stores, and this one has been more then perfect so far. The main reason though is that they are willing to give me an excellent trade in value on my mountain bike, I paid $499 for it, used it all summer and they are going to give me $400 for it, so that means a lot. I took it to another shop and they offered $250. He is just giving me a deal because its the 4th bike i will have bought off him in less then a year (mine, gf's and mom's so far). I dont plan on throwing the bike away, I will use it for a couple years and then trade it in on another bike. What model of Trek would you recommend?

I believe its the 2000 that comes with the 105 components? On the test ride (i tried the 1000, 1200 and 2300) I could not notice any difference at all between the bikes in shifting, braking and overall feel. The 1000 had more vibration in the handle bars, that was the only real difference. I am sure though that this is because of my inexperience with road bikes. If I was to go with the 1200 could I upgrade it down the road to 105 components? The local bike shop's website says that for road bikes they carry "trek and oryx". Oryx i believe is a canadian company, I am not sure of there reputation and I have never saw any of them in the store. The website is if someone could check out the site and maybe recommend a couple of bikes I could get a price on them as well.

I know that they also carry Gary Fisher, Klein, Miele, nirve and hoffman. Would you have any recommendations from those brands? I am sure that they could order one in no problem, but then I couldnt get a end of the year price on it. I am most likely going to be getting the 1200 for approx $650 USD. plus 50% off accesories and $400CDN for my bike. That price is set yet though, it depneds on if he sells them to anyone else, I am waiting for winter :)Bbut if he had to order one in, I doubt I could get as much of a deal, but it still maybe worth it. Thansk for all the great posts guys, sorry about this being so long, I just want to make sure that I make the right choice.
Welcome to road riding!!! Get the 1200.spyderman
Aug 31, 2002 9:34 PM
I know people who bought the 1000 and wish they got at least the 2000.

The carbon fork on the 1200 will dampen the road vibrations which will let you enjoy riding more, and allow you to ride longer... which will give you better cardio conditioning...

The frame is as important as the groupo... Only, the better the groupo the longer it will stay in tune. Of course, if you get a life-time tune-up deal the groupo doesn't matter as much at the beginner level.

How many hours a week do you plan to ride???
Welcome to road riding!!! Get the 1200.Tenny24
Sep 1, 2002 4:26 AM
Well I plan on joining the local club, which has a recreational lesirure paced ride every sunday and a self paced time trial that is once a week as well. In addition I want to ride for 2 hours every second day, so I would with all that in together about 12 hours a week. Thats about what i did mountain biking.
So, have you decided?spyderman
Sep 2, 2002 10:48 PM
Logging that many hours a week is quite ambitious... I wish I had that much free time. Considering your mountain experience, I'm sure you'd appreciate something higher-end, like the 2000 or even 2300.

Good luck!
re: toe clips and strapsFredrico
Aug 31, 2002 1:05 PM
Hey Tenny 24, if you have to be cool, go with clipless pedals. You can always take them with you to your next bike.

But there's nothing wrong with platform pedals with toe clips and straps: You can ride them with street shoes, touring shoes, and racing shoes with slotted cleats. The straps hold your feet on the pedal as good as clipless. In fact, trackies still use straps. They prevent the shoes from stretching on the upstroke.

So if you don't have "shoes designed for cycling" you can still ride toe clips and straps. When you get cycling shoes, just mount slotted cleats on them and keep riding until you can upgrade to clipless, then mount clipless cleats on the same shoes.

Your helmets will work as well on roads as off. Leave the visors on. A jersey would be nice for the three pockets that carry spare tube, wallet and keys, and a banana or Powerbar.

The only tools you really need on a ride are tire levers and a frame pump, if you check out the bike beforehand. Bolts come loose, spokes loosen up, tires get little pieces of glass imbedded in cuts. All of this can be detected before a ride and fixed. No reason to weigh your bike down with alot of tools you might use once every two years. Better to carry a cell phone, if you're worried about a breakdown. A well maintained bike will let you down far less than a car, even though it might seem the opposite.

Road riding is great. You can go anywhere on a road bike, cover much greater distances than off-road. The city and countryside are far more interesting from a bike than from a car.

Enjoy a new world,

re: toe clips and strapsTenny24
Aug 31, 2002 1:23 PM
Hi Fredrico,

How much of an upgrade would it be for the clipless pedals? I can upgrade them when I buy the bike so it would be cheaper to do it when I buy it then down the road. I may even be able to get them thrown in with the deal or something. What do you think it would cost for the upgrade? Shoes are about what $100 on top of that and i am pretty sure that you have to special shoes for them. Decisions decisions.

I know what you mean about exploring the country side, my favorite ride of the summer was a trip out to a cheese factory in the middle of no where, it was 60 miles, on a mountain bike, took me FOREVER but it was worth it, I absolutley loved it.

Another area that I am concerned about is my size, I am 6'3 and 230-240 lbs, what size bike will I need? Or am I simply to big for a road bike?

Thanks again
re: toe clips and strapsFredrico
Aug 31, 2002 2:21 PM

Ok, a big powerful guy needs a good pair of shoes, $100, with straps across the uppers, and a sturdy pair of clipless pedals, like the basic Looks or Shimanos, another $100. I'd also stay away from those wimpy 24 or less spoked wheels. Go for at least 32 front and rear, and ride on 28C tires instead of those wimply 23Cs that come standard. I have never been dropped because of my 36 spoked wheels, or 28C tires for that matter, and they have never given me any problems. They've lasted forever, one pair for 10 years, another about 8.

Others can weigh in here, but you wouldn't ride anything less than a 60 cm frame, probably more like 62 cm. An aluminum Trek 1000 or 1200 (I think it's the same frame except for the fork) would probably be stiff enough in that size. A competent "pro" bike shop, one that takes measurements and has fit charts, could dial in the right frame size for you pretty well. You can fine tune saddle height and setback with the seatpost, and reach with the stem. Get all that stuff dialed in on a cheaper bike, and you'll know exactly what you need when you upgrade.

Eventually, a big guy would really appreciate a slightly heavier and stronger lugged steel frame, like a Merckx or Rivendell.

We're getting ahead of ourselves, but you're definitely no too big for a road bike. You just have to go for a little more strength. Stay away from this wimpy lightweight quasi-racing stuff. You'll break it up, wear it out.

You also don't need it. A big, heavy guy can power a big, heavy bike with the same efficiency as a wimpy guy powers a wimpy bike. It's all a matter of strength to weight ratio. Big guys can become stronger and develope more power, but they have to worry about a slightly more solid bike to work with.
re: toe clips and strapsTenny24
Aug 31, 2002 3:31 PM
Thanks for another great reply! I am saving all this information in a file so that I can take it into the bike shop and try and work out a deal with them.

I just noticed that the 1000 comes in a 63cm frame, while the 1200 only come as big as 60cm. They seem to alternate in 63cm availability as they move up. So if I need a 63 I will have to go with either a 1000 or 2000. I know with my mountain bike i always prefered one size smaller then what the shop said, so I think i will be fine with 60cm. I think that I will stay away from the 1000 since it has all rock bottom parts, probably not much better then a department store brand bike. Come to think of it, I have not noticed road bikes at department stores at all anymore. Anyone know why that is?
re: toe clips and strapsTenny24
Aug 31, 2002 3:31 PM
also, how mcuh should i expect to pay to upgrade the spokes and tires? to upgrade the spokes i take it i need a new rim?
re: toe clips and strapsakatdog
Sep 1, 2002 8:58 AM
Sometimes you can swing deals on individual parts. I road a 1200 for 10 years and loved everyday. I sold it to a friend because over the years I grew and it didn't. It began to look like one of those mini monkey bikes. Anyway my suggestion is to get the 1200 and try to get at the very least 105 sti shifters installed otherwise you can do it next year WHEN the sora or tiagra break or start rattling more than you can stand. Read the reviews on this site. 105 is basically the entry level racing series more durable but less expensive because it ways more. Sora and Tiagra are generally accepted as recreational gear not meant to have a lot of mile piled on. If I hadn't gone hog wild when I built my latest bike I was considering another 1200 or a FELT they have some really nice value bikes but it depends on whether you shop carries them.

ride on