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First Road Bike Need Advice(22 posts)

First Road Bike Need Advice6pack
Nov 6, 2002 7:18 PM
Looking to buy my first bike looked at the Lemonds, Giants,Jamis,Cannondale, Bianchi. Tried as many as I could in the price range from $1000. to $1600. The Bianchi Vigorell is the one I'm looking at
Can anyone and everyone give me any info on this bike. Or the pros and cons on this bike.

Thanks to all...
re: First Road Bike Need Advicegtx
Nov 6, 2002 8:03 PM
Not sure if this link will work, but Colorado Cyclist is selling the Tommasini Sintesi with full Ultegra for $1499. That's what I would get in your price range, especially if you like Italian steel. Good luck.

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=21301&CGRFNBR=273&CRPCGNBR=273&CI=1,223,273&TextMode=0
re: Thanks gtx6pack
Nov 6, 2002 9:16 PM
The link to Colorado Cyclist still works I'll look in to the Tommasini

Thanks GTX
Hang on!!!!REPO42
Nov 6, 2002 10:40 PM
I'll assume you are looking high performance road bike, right? You might want to take a look at Lemond Zurich if you decide on steel. I've seen slightly used ones on ebay for around $1100. This is an all around good bike. I've actually owned one before. I would not recommend the Bianchi. Very pricey bike. You pay extra for the name. There are a few smaller frame makers you can research. Iron Horse makes one with full ultegra for about a grand. I think it's there victory line. They use reynolds 853 tubing. You have to just keep looking around. I picked up a used, but in excelent condition Giant TCR zero for around $1500. I got an awesome deal.
Most likely for the price range you are talking about you are going to be in the steel or aluminum frame category.
Steel is a bit heavier, but rides smoothly, in contrast Aluminum is lighter, but can beat you to a pulp. Make sure you find a bike with a decent carbon fork. Makes the world of difference. Well I think this one is going to be up to you, because there are so many to choose from, but be patient and you should be able to find a steal of a deal.
Good luck and happy bike hunting
Go new Lemond Buenos Aires in your price range. Check reviews!NMSpunout
Nov 7, 2002 4:58 AM
re: First Road Bike Need Advicefbg111
Nov 7, 2002 5:37 AM
In case you're still considering the others you mentioned:

http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/prodreview/tribikes/giant.html (I have this one, a few others here do too, and can vouch for it. One of the best entry-level racing bikes for the money.)

http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech/2001/k2mod5test.shtml
(Basically same as TCR2, except with the nice addition of Carbon seat stays.)
re: First Road Bike Need Advicetarwheel
Nov 7, 2002 5:39 AM
Just make sure it fits. LeMonds and Bianchis both fit longish across the top and don't work for me. If you like to stretch out, they are both nice frames.
Take your timecydswipe
Nov 7, 2002 6:02 AM
I would offer this advice: Take your time. Look at different web-classifieds. Look on e-Bay. Check out web sites that sell the bikes you are interested in. This time of year, most bikes are starting to come down in price, compared to spring, anyways. If you look around long enough, you could even find a carbon bike in your price range. Used bikes or last year's models might get you more bike for your buck. Don't let that money burn a hole in your pocket! Find the best deal for you. Good Luck!
I'm not going to get into specific makes and models ...Allez Rouge
Nov 7, 2002 6:35 AM
... but I will echo the points tarwheel and cydswipe raised. Make sure the bike fits, and take your time about making your choice.

Unless you are the kind of person who simply MUST have brand-new stuff, or you're a person for whom a warranty is really important, I would urge you to buy used. An unfortunate fact of life for new bike purchasers is that they depreciate hugely (ridiculously, even) the moment they roll out the shop door; a quick check of prices on eBay will reveal that bikes as little as a year old routinely sell for 50 to 60 percent of what they cost new. That means your $1000 to $1600 could in theory buy you a bike that originally cost as much as $2000 to $3200. That's enough to move you from 105/Daytona up to Ultegra/Chorus, maybe even DA/Record; or to get you a Ti frame instead of aluminum or steel. Not that there's anything wrong with those materials ... the point is that you have more options. And if you spend (say) $1200 for a nice used road bike that is only one or two years old, there's an excellent chance you'll be able to ride it for a couple years and sell it for not much less than you paid for it.

Shiny-new toys are nice, but there's a lot to be said for buying used. I think it's especially advantageous for a first-time buyer who may not yet know what his preferences are in frame material, components, etc.
How are you going to ride?PEDDLEFOOT
Nov 7, 2002 6:37 AM
You don't say what your purpose for the bike will be.Are you planning on raceing or will you just be useing it for recreational riding.Do you plan on getting into group rides where the pace might be fast or more social club riding.

Think about how you want to ride and then base your decision on that.My first bike was a Trek aluminum which was fine at first.Then I caught the century bug and found the stiff aluminum frame was not A good match for my future plans.I'm currently looking for a steel frame myself.

There are many great bikes out there at your price range in various materials.I second the opinion on taking your time.The extra effort will be rewarded by getting the right bike for your needs.
re: First Road Bike Need AdviceVVS
Nov 7, 2002 6:47 AM
Just like these posters are saying, I took my time, did my research, made sure I knew my size and found a great deal on a used carbon bike with full DA. It's not perfect but it sure is cost effective. I used all my budget. I could have bought at 2/3 budget a gently used version of what my budget would have bought new; again, not perfect but also cost effective.
Sounds like you're doing the right thingpmf1
Nov 7, 2002 7:19 AM
You've looked around, test rode some models, taken your time. What else can you do?

Lots of people here will try to steer you to their idea of what the best bike is. This is merely their opinion. Want another one? OK, Giants are butt ugly bikes!

Its the end of the cycling season and you should expect to get a good deal on whatever you buy. Lots of 2002 models being closed out for the 2003 models coming out. This is the time of the year to get deals. If the shop you're going to isn't dropping prices, look elsewhere.

For $1600, you should be able to swing decent components (at least 105 and preferably Ultegra if Shimano). Unless you have strange body proportions, most frames of a given size are going to fit you if you have the right stem size. You know your frame size, so don't be afraid to look on the web, or at used bikes. A friend of mine just bought a 2 year old Lemond Zurich with Ultegra, Rolf wheels and Look pedals for $1400. Aside from a biffed up tire, it was mint.

Remember too that you'll have to buy pedals and shoes as well as shorts and a jersey.
re: First Road Bike Need AdviceDave L
Nov 7, 2002 7:38 AM
Price is not everything in finding your first road bike, fit and comfort is. You are not going to ride a bike very far if it is uncomfortable. Fit goes way beyond just frame size but includes design. Most American bike companies use a shorter top tube design that gives a very fast response to steering. Most European manufactures use a longer top tube design that makes the steering less responsive, but in my opinion gives more enjoyable recreational ride. Also, on hills you will spend less time out of the seat with a longer top tube. Frame material can make a big difference in comfort on longer rides i.e. more than 50 miles. I bought my first road bike last year (trek aluminum frame) and replaced it with a Lemond steel frame this spring because of comfort. After riding about 4,000 miles on the Lemond this year, I am a firm believer in steel frames. I also like the long top tube design of the Lemond. The only way you can find out the frame design the fits you best is by test riding many bikes by different manufactures. This year I test rode 5 different bikes for at least 50 miles before I finally decided on the Lemond. I wish I would have done that last year and saved $1,000 (Loss on selling my one year old bike)by shopping for price only last year.
be careful with usedgtx
Nov 7, 2002 7:42 AM
A lot of people are recommending used. Unless you want to save a bunch of money (spend less than your stated price range) know EXACTLY what you're looking and feel comfortable working on your own bike I'd say new is better. Especially with AL bikes you're gonna want a warranty, and you also want a bike that will fit, and a good shop should help you with that. I listed the Tommassini because it was a great deal at it's normal price of $1700 and a smoking deal at $1500. The frame on that bike is hand built and pretty much gives up nothing to the really high dollar steel frames out there. You would want to make sure it fit. I'd also check out gvhbikes.com for great deals. Good luck.
be careful with new OR usedAllez Rouge
Nov 7, 2002 8:02 AM
I meant to include in my first post that if the buyer isn't knowledgable about bikes, he should get a friend who is to accompany him while shopping. Bike shops are full of well-meaning, enthusiastic, but not-very-experienced college-age salespeople who too often recommend what appeals to them, not what is necessarily best for the customer. This is NOT a knock against LBS personnel; it's just the way things are (and the problem is hardly limited to bikes and bike shops).

One other point: it's one thing to shop around and look at the various brands, both in local shops and online. But NEVER take advantage of an LBS to help you suss out the fit of a bike you intend all along to order from an online vendor just because they happen to be $116 cheaper. That's major league uncool and your karma will surely get you ...
I agree with that..Support your LBS.....PEDDLEFOOT
Nov 7, 2002 8:18 AM
since thy're the ones you'll be going to with problems.
I agree with that..Support your LBS.....plus...Scottland
Nov 7, 2002 8:34 AM
...this is a time when all(or most) of the bike shops have sale on their 2002 or older bikes. Gotta sit on that bike and see how do you like it. I bought my first road bike used just reading reviews. The reviews were cool and the price was even better, but as soon I got the bike I DIDN'T LIKE IT!!! The bike was great I just didn't like the ride. Then i had to sell it and buy a new one...
You don't owe your LBS a thingpmf1
Nov 7, 2002 8:48 AM
They need to compete just like everyone else. Expect to pay a bit more at a LBS. The extra money you spend mainly buys you some goodwill. Sure, they'll also include that all important lifetime free tune-up, but that's usually worth what you pay for it. If anything really goes wrong, you'll have to pay for it to get fixed. Bikes these days are relatively trouble free.

However, if they're gouging you for 30% - 40%+ more for something you can buy on-line, then get it on-line. If you have your heart set on a C-40 and the LBS price for the frame is $3900, while the net price is $2800, you're being silly supporting the LBS. They're a business, not a charity.

I buy things from my LBS and know the folks who work there. I've never bought a bike from them and they don't really seem to care. LBS have one thing that the net can never provide -- service. They make most of their money on low end mtn bikes and service. I think that aspect will keep good ones afloat.
You don't owe your LBS a thingJackie Chan
Nov 7, 2002 8:56 AM
Bought my Lemond Zurich online for $650. Bought my C'dale R1000 ultegra CAAD 3 for $550, both bikes in excelent condition. Can't find that in no bike shop. Of course sometimes there's deal here and there.
"Support your LBS if you can" ...Allez Rouge
Nov 7, 2002 9:21 AM
... might've been a better way to phrase it ('scuse me, PEDDLEFOOT, for ghost-writing you after the fact) but I don't think anyone said a buyer OWES anything to his LBS. My point was that one should not take advantage of an LBS by pretending to be a serious buyer and having them figure out your proper size for that $3900 frame, only to say "Thanks, I'll think about it" and walk out and go home and order it from an online vendor for $2800. You're absolutely right: an LBS is not a charity. They're competing in a tough market and they shouldn't have to waste time on "customers" whose intent all along was to order online.

(Do understand that I'm not implying that you, personally, would do what I just described. I'm just saying that NO ONE should do this.)
LBS should just charge for fitting. . .czardonic
Nov 7, 2002 3:58 PM
and refund the charge if you actually buy from them. Seems like the and best of both worlds for the cost-concious consumer who still wants to pay for services rendered.
re: First Road Bike Need AdviceHeron Todd
Nov 7, 2002 9:21 AM
You can get some really nice bikes in that price range. Check out Gunnar: made by Waterford in the US and a great alternative to Lemond. Of course, if you like lugs, you can always get a $1600 Heron: http://www.heronbicycles.com/complete.html

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
http://www.heronbicycles.com