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Anything wrong with lower-end road bikes?(16 posts)

Anything wrong with lower-end road bikes?girchygirchy
Oct 15, 2002 1:32 PM
I thought my semi-slicks on my mt bike would cure my yearnings for a roadie, I find myself on the road much more than a trail, since the closest one is a half hour away, and am tired of compromising. So here I am, asking for advice. I don't want to spend too much, so I'm looking at something like the Specialized Allez Sport has a mix of Tiagra/105 components, and retails for $820, I should be able to get it for about $720 at my LBS.

So, I'm asking...some people say, "don't go lower than 105!" For me, that translates to something like "don't go lower than Deore!" for mountain components. My mt bike has Alivio shifters and a front der, and a Deore rear, which is like the Tiagra/105 mix on the Allez, and my drivetrain works perfeclty well. Shifts are great, and when adjusted correctly, I have no problems.

I figure, I can get along fine with a few lower-end stuff until it breaks, then replace it, slowly on my mtb. Sound like a good plan? Any thoughts appreciated, thanks everybody.
Sounds like a good start to me ...Humma Hah
Oct 15, 2002 1:46 PM
I think its just MARVELOUS when somebody can plunk down $2200 for a new Trek, or even more for a Colnago or a custom bike with the highest-zoot gruppo. If they've either got more money than they need, or KNOW for a fact that they will appreciate the extra quality or slight weight savings. What the heck -- nothing in cycling is really all that expensive compared to many hobbies.

But my wife would cut off cherished body parts if I ever spent that on a bike. Good thing for me I'm into retro bikes. The 27-year-old relic I'm building now will probably end up costing about what you spent, or less. I expect I'll appreciate it as much as I would a custom-built $4000 bike.

Performance-wise, what you have is probably 95 to 98% as good as any bike in the forum. Quality-wise, if you're happy with it for now, what more is there to say? We've had at least one real success story in this forum, a lady who bought a comparably-priced bike to yours, used it to help her shed a huge amount of weight, and before long she was riding centuries and other impressive stuff.

Enjoy it, learn with it, and if the time comes when you want to throw some $$$ at a nicer bike, you'll know. But with no standard for comparison, how would you ever know if it would be worth the extra money?
Agree with Humma Hahcastrello
Oct 16, 2002 1:03 AM
I totally agree with Humma Hah. I would spend a extra 200 if I had the money. My mtb is lx/xt super v (2 years old) and I´ve found that I get along quite ok with my road bike with rsx parts. It´s not in any way slick, but it works. However, Im planning on buying a cannondale r800 (105, carbon fork, nice frame a lot lighter) because I dont like the frame on my old bike, the fork is sooo rigid (in the wrong way) and hey, why not get some fancier gears. What I mean is that you´ll probably appreciate any of these specialized bikes, but if you have the money, spend the extra 200. You wont regret it (as long as it doesnt leave you completely broke).
Nothing, and at the same time, everything,TJeanloz
Oct 15, 2002 1:49 PM
Different road bikes suit different people's riding very well. A Record equipped Merak is not the best bike for every rider, contrary to what many believe. My opinion on the subject is that $1000 is about the best value in a road bike. It's pricy enough to get you into good components, while still being a rational purchase.

But to specifically address your question: The Allez Sport isn't really a Tiagra/105 mix, it's a Tiagra bike with a 105 rear derailluer. Bike companies up-spec the rear derailluer because it is a very visable component, and the cost differential is minimal (it's probably only costing Specialized $2-$3 more to put the 105 one on). But performance doesn't really change from derailluer to derailluer, and the weight savings are practically nil.
How will it work? Fine. Shimano components are consistently very good.

The begged question though, is whether the Allez Elite is worth the $200 jump (to ~$1020). And I think it is. You're going to spend a lot more than $200 upgrading your Sport to a bike comparable to the Elite- with a better fork, and better components all the way around. Note that the Elite has brand-name Shimano brakes, as opposed to the generics on the sport. Splined 105 Bottom bracket, as opposed to the UN-25. The bottom line is that most every corner was cut to get the Sport to a price point, while the next model up retains many of the features of a higher-end bike for not much more money (well, 25% more money).
Nope. Although if you look around a bit you might.....rtyszko
Oct 15, 2002 1:50 PM
find a better deal on a used bike. Carefully consider this because often times LBS's as well as the classifieds here and on Ebay can reveal smart deals. (Of course there is the fact that you need to really know what you're after) I've personally always had good success at my LBS's when searching for used stuff. There is always a shop rat that has something to sell, or knows someone who has something to sell, etc.

Sorry, to answer your question more directly. The 105/Tiagra stuff is viable for an entry level bike. If you ever upgrade, just make sure that the frame that you buy is worth upgrading, otherwise, buy a whole new rig (sorry, mountain bike reference there), uh, I mean, Steed.

Good ideagirchygirchy
Oct 15, 2002 3:24 PM
about the used bike. The reason I'm looking at a Specialized is because of the LBS here that carries them. When I got my Specialized mtb last May, it was an '01 model, so it was a leftover. They had it priced very well, and the owner dropped a bit more off, so I got the thing for 2/3 of the original price. For a brand new bike! So I'm a bit partial to that store, and I've had good luck with Specialized accessories and my bike, and their tech support is good. The other stores around here carry Trek and Giant, who I'd also consider, but from experience, they're nowhere near as good.

Sorry to ramble, but I'll check around. Thanks! :)
$800 will buy a GREAT used bike! (nm)Kerry
Oct 15, 2002 4:11 PM
re: Anything wrong with lower-end road bikes?UncleMoe
Oct 15, 2002 2:01 PM
See my note below in response to the compact cockpit question. My Bianchi Brava has suited me just fine, entry level at $700, Sora components which is lower than what you are spec'ing out.

Just take care of it and just about any entry level bike from a good manufacturer will do just fine for getting started.
re: Anything wrong with lower-end road bikes?moabbiker
Oct 15, 2002 3:25 PM
Since it's your first road bike (I assume), best to get the bike that feels the most comfortable for you. Make sure it fits properly -- road bikes are much more crucial to fit issues than mtb's so don't get confused on this issue -- you must get the bike that fits you or else it's just a complete waste, regardless of price.
re: Anything wrong with lower-end road bikes? - Not at allzmarke
Oct 15, 2002 3:32 PM
I too am a mountain bike rider getting sick of using my bike on the road with slicks and yearn for a proper road bike. I have been reding the internet boards and soliciting advice from the master himself, Sheldon Brown, of

His inspiring words, "go for a better frame because even the low end Shimano stuff works great and will last a long time".

I have a litespeed with full Shimano XT now wish I had not spent all that money since although it is a great bike a less expensive one would have been fine.

Look at the following bikes which are great buys:

I would go to a local bike shop since they will soon begin discounting '02 road bikes and great deals can be had.
No. You ride thr bike,not the image.TREKY
Oct 15, 2002 4:26 PM
Now, about getting a good fit....any tips?girchygirchy
Oct 15, 2002 7:24 PM
So I hear to go for the most comfortable frame. What are some things to look for? Main thing, frame size; I'm about 6'1", with a 33" or so inseam, so would I be looking around a 56-58?

Also, how should I feel when I find a bike that fits well? Will I know? I guess I'll have to find a few different bikes and compare them.
Sounds like a plan...therepublican
Oct 15, 2002 10:49 PM
I underwent the same process this summer. There aren't a whole lot of good trails in south Jersey, so I ended up with a hankerin' for a road bike. Though I had originally only intended to to spend around $500, I ended up getting a Schwinn Fastback Comp with all 105 (you could translate this to LX) for $900. If you plan on getting better components at some point, it wouldn't be a bad idea to try to scrape together a bit more money now and get a better package to begin with. But 105/Tiagra mix should serve you well in any case.

No. Sounds like a good plan. nmMXL02
Oct 16, 2002 8:32 AM
Sounds like a good deal! nmLeroy
Oct 16, 2002 8:51 AM
Go used...julio
Oct 16, 2002 3:04 PM
I see 1-2 year old midlevel bikes with full ultegra selling for $6-800 all the time. Chances are you'll also get a much better wheelset with the bike too.