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Bike buying advice needed(15 posts)

Bike buying advice neededtrigirl74
Nov 20, 2002 10:50 AM
I'm a novice roadie/triathlete and am looking to buy a new road bike. I'm poor though and can only spend about $700. I think this would buy me a good bike for my needs (i.e., I don't have any intentions of racing).

I am wondering if bike buying is like car buying...are there better times of the year to purchase a new bike? Like around the holidays or in the winter?

Any/all tips welcome. Thanks!
Are you a small person?Sintesi
Nov 20, 2002 10:55 AM
Here's a pretty nice deal.,263,375&TextMode=0
Here's another.Sintesi
Nov 20, 2002 11:00 AM
Colorado Cyclist is wheeling and dealing.

$699 for this one.,263,375&TextMode=0
That's a good dealpmf1
Nov 20, 2002 11:27 AM
Yep, now is the time to get a bike on close-out.

A tri bike has pretty limited applications, she'd be better off getting a regular road bike. Hard to find anything for $700 close to that.

I've bought bikes from CC before. Then came expertly built and there was only a little bit of assembly required. Only tools needed were a hex wrench, pump and dustpan for all those damn styrofoam peanuts. I've been happy with them.

Better not wait long, those deals won't last.
re: Bike buying advice neededNo_sprint
Nov 20, 2002 11:06 AM
Yes, and now is a great time. The 2003s should nearly all have arrived at the stores and they typically look at clearing out 2002s. For someone in your type of position, I've recommended a store like Supergo before. If you've got something like it in your area, check it out. They have really large inventories and won't pigeon hole you into something like an LBS who wants to dump the corner non-seller.
re: Bike buying advice neededtrigirl74
Nov 20, 2002 1:43 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. I'm a pretty big woman (5'9", 180 pounds), so I am hesitant to buy this first one online without really knowing what I need.

Although, going the online route I realize I could find much better deals. What about tweaks/maintence to bikes bought online? Just take it to the local shop or figure it out yourself?

Also, what's the deal with being fit tested at the shop prior to buying? Is it a good thing or not necessary? How much does it usually cost?

(Sorry, I said I was a novice :)
re: Bike buying advice neededNo_sprint
Nov 20, 2002 2:01 PM
You definitely want to buy in person being such a novice. Go to a large shop with a lot of inventory. Small LBS's are notorious for fitting you to what they've got rather than what is right. Yes, ask them for a real fitting and tell them you'd like an exchange guarantee if you don't it in a week or two. Supergo type shops will work with you somewhat. They do so much volume it works in their interest. Fittings can cost up to $150 which they'll typically chop out of your purchase price. Shops will typically give you free basic maintenance and check ups for at least a year, some forever. This doesn't include parts or anything you mess up. Don't forget all the goodies you'll now have to get. Multiple sunglasses, shoes, pedals, tires, spare tubes, pumps, gloves, helmets, shorts, jerseys, knee warmers, headbands, computers, etc.

Where are you located? There is surely someone in here from just about anywhere and can steer you to a shop that hopefully won't rip you off.
I think you should consider...cydswipe
Nov 21, 2002 5:24 AM
..getting fit at your LBS. AS good as the deal may be on-line, if you get the bike and for some reason you aren't comfortable on the bike, it could be a real pain to get things settled with the on-line retailer no matter how great their customer service is. I agree with some of the early posts. Most small LBS will try and move out their stock, might try to push you towards a bike that isn't your best choice. A larger shop will be your best option. It's your money. You have to do what makes you comfortable. If you are the least bit hesitant, don't buy. You can always wait and save for next year. Hope things work out and I see you on the road!
She's only got $700pmf1
Nov 21, 2002 6:19 AM
Unless you live near a big discounter like Supergo, you're not going to get much for $700. Do you know anyone who rides road bikes that can help you? Once you know your size, you can order something from somewhere on-line with some help. Worse comes to worse, you change the stem (maybe that costs $50). Ask around. Where do you live? Maybe someone here will give you a hand.

I helped a coleague at my office a couple years ago. He was riding some ancient, rusty 5-speed and wanted a new road bike. The guy's knowledghe level was pretty low -- he didn't even know how to fix a flat. He looked at LBS in the area for bikes in the $1200 price range. The best he could find was a Specialized bike with some 105 on it. We figured out what size he was and ordered a Fuji Team from Colorado Cyclist. A much better deal for the same money. I had it shipped to my house and did the little bit of assembly required. Its not much -- the peanuts took the most time to clean up.

The guy now knows how to fix flats and is pretty self sufficient. He says the new bike is a world of difference.
She's only got $700trigirl74
Nov 21, 2002 7:51 AM
Yeah, I realize that for $700 I cannot get the standard 105 set up. I have been doing some reading and research on groupos...pros and cons of each. But with my other half in school, I just cannot drop more than that right now. Especially when you throw in all the extras I will need, like a bike rack, clipless pedals and shoes. Plus, I just don't think for my skill level it's necessary. I cycle for fun and fitness. Looking cool b/c I dropped $1500+ and having the best brands does not matter to me.

I have been cycling/doing tris for a year on an old rusty Cannondale. I'm thinking it's about a '91 or '92 based on similar bikes I've seen on e-bay. I bought it used from a friend whose husband found it abandoned in the back of an old house. I checked into upgrading it but it needs MAJOR work. And, for a little more I figure I could get a brand new bike that fits me properly.

I live in Bryan/College Station, Texas. With Texas A&M University right here, most of the local shops cater to college students wanting mountain bikes. I do belong to our local cycling club and was going to start picking their brains as well.

With Austin & Houston both less than 2 hours away, I plan to do most of my browsing there. With Austin being such a hub for roadies, I figure I could find more knowledgable salespeople and competitive prices.

Just trying to get the most bang for my buck. Even though $700 isn't a drop in the bucket to what most people spend, it's a lot of money to me right now and I just want to find a bike that fits me and is fun to ride.
She's only got $700pmf1
Nov 21, 2002 8:07 AM
It sounds like you are not as clueless as you make yourself out to be. If you shop around the web, or look at used bikes, you can probably get a bike with 105 or better for $700. If I were you, I'd get some idea of what size you want and find a used bike. Forget getting carefully sized at some shop for $40. You're not in the market for that kind of pampering. Save that for the $4000 custom ti bike. I think people here over emphasize fit. I could fit fine on a 55, 56, or 57 cm bike. Bike geometries are not that different. If you have a general idea of the right size, you can be made to fit with a stem change and a saddle adjustment. I'm sure I'll get flamed by the experts for saying this, but I think its true. What you get is bound to be way better than a 12 year old Cannondale found in someone's abandoned house. Did you get carefully fit for that?

Here is but one example I found here on the classifieds. I looked only at the first page. If you're 5'8", it probably fits you. And no, I'm not the person selling it.
Nov 21, 2002 2:03 PM
I'm 5'8" and would never fit on a 55cm. I didn't like the 53s I was sized to many years ago either. I prefer my 52s.

I do agree though, just get on to the playing field as far as size goes. If you like the size of what you're riding now, go for that. Ask the most knowledgeable cyclist you can find how they think it fits you and where a better fit might be achieved, go from there. Ask the shop workers the same thing. Good luck and keep us up to date.
Rusty C'dale?! Not the frameset, right? (nm)jtferraro
Nov 21, 2002 10:39 AM
Nov 21, 2002 10:41 AM
WTF is this?! (nm)jtferraro
Nov 21, 2002 10:45 AM