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Newbie Question...Please Help(7 posts)

Newbie Question...Please Helpaprilsnow
Apr 14, 2003 3:25 PM
I am a runner who normaly runs 15 to 20 miles a week, and I am looking to get into cycling. I currently live in the mountains of NC. I am curious to some recommendations on a good road bike for under $500. I appreciate any opinions...thanks in advance...
you must live in Boone?abicirider
Apr 14, 2003 4:07 PM
Sorry to say but if you are looking for a complete Road bike used even it is going to be very hard to find anything of quality for $500.00
Your best bet check out the review forum at this site, then take a look at either the Roadbikereview classified section, Ebay (be carefull at Ebay a lot of fradulent scamers) or google recreation bicycle market place.
sorry to sound so negative but $500 its going to be very diffucult to find anything half way decent especially if you plan on riding in the boone area.
Be Safe Out On The Roads!!!!!!!!!
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
Analogy....coonass
Apr 14, 2003 4:19 PM
As you already know; "good running shoes" and "under $50.00" don't belong in the same sentence.....conversely, "good [dependable] road bike" and "under $500.00" also don't belong in the same sentence (at least not new merchandise).....Now would be a good time to visit your LBS and inquire if anyone is 'upgrading' to a new bike...and you may just get lucky and get their old (good)bike at a bargain price. First get fitted and determine WHAT size frame you need....then seek the 'For Sale' bargains...also get familiar with the various components' qualities; just to protect yourself from paying too much for a low-end ride??? Have a good friend that is a biker for advice BEFORE you decide to purchase new or used.
Good adviceSteve_0
Apr 15, 2003 3:31 AM
also, spend a few weekends at garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores. Those in the know know you can find fine machinery for well under 100 bucks (by fine machinery, I mean quality build and componentry; not the latest wiz-bang STI, carbon, and wheelsetoftheweek).
Go usedKerry
Apr 14, 2003 4:29 PM
For $500, you're getting a fairly basic bike. Some would say it's entry level. For $500, you can get a very nice 3-4 year old bike that will give you far better ride, more performance, more durability, and more enjoyment than a new bike for the same $$. Whatever you do, make sure it fits:

http://www.bsn.com/cycling/ergobike.html
http://www.coloradocyclist.com/BikeFit/index.cfm
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harart-frames.html
http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/frameinfo/Frame_Sizing.htm
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

For adjusting the fit of the bike, there are roughly five starting points:

1. Seat height (top of saddle to center of pedal axle) at 108-110% of inseam.
2. Saddle parallel to ground.
3. Saddle fore/aft adjusted so that a plumb bob from the bony protrusion just below the kneecap passes through the pedal axle when the cranks are horizontal. This is known as KOPS (Knee Over Pedal Spindle)
4. Front hub axle obscured by the handlebars when riding in your "regular" position (drops, hoods, or tops).
5. Top of handlebars 1 to 4.5+ inches below the top of the saddle depending on your flexibility and size.

These are all starting points for "average" proportioned people, and many folks like to move away from these starting points as they learn what makes them more comfortable, powerful, or efficient. You want to get the fit of the frame as close as you can, then do minor adjustments with the stem, seat post, saddle position, etc.

A lot of this is personal comfort, and we all tend to adapt to a given position over time. For example, a given stem length may be right for you, but it may feel long at first. I use the "handle bar obscures the front hub" rule for my fit, but others claim better position (for them) with the hub in front of or behind the bar. I'm 6' tall and ride with 11.5 cm drop from saddle to bar, probably more than most people would like but fine for me. Some are suggesting zero drop from saddle to bars - it's about comfort, efficiency, and aerodynamics. The ERGOBIKE calculator is pretty good, but it is not infallible. I would suggest riding some miles (over 100 total, and over 500 would be better) and see if you adapt to the position. There are no hard and fast rules, just general guidelines, when it comes to these things.
re: Newbie Question...Please Helpgrammy
Apr 15, 2003 6:03 AM
A year and a half ago I bought an entry level Trek 1000, for under $600 to find out if I liked road biking. After 3000 miles on the Trek I LOVE road biking (and even loved the Trek until I test rode better bikes) My dear husband just bought me a much better bike. Depending on your size, it's hard to find a used bike to fit a woman. Buy a triple crank for those hills and have a blast!
If possible, a little extra $$ would go a long way...dante
Apr 15, 2003 7:21 AM
The difference in quality between a $700 or $800 bike and a $500 is really quite large. My girlfriend went for this one http://jamisbikes.com/bikes/03_2ventura.html which was a couple hundred over her price range b/c it offered better componentry (she had trouble shifting the bottom-level components) and was a more comfortable ride than the aluminum bikes she'd tried.

The advantages of buying new include a proper fit from a bike shop (*much* more important than any other type of biking), plus adjustments when your cables stretch or brakes need adjusting.

The advantages of buying used are of course more value for your dollar, which would be fine if you know your measurements and are handy with a wrench.

I'd say try as many as possible, not sure what your size is, but the smaller frames tend to be less available, but we were able to try both a women's cannondale and the smallest Jamis and she could definitely tell the difference in ride quality between the two.

Good luck!
dante

oh yeah, and if you're worried about outlaying cash for something that you might not like, keep in mind that road bikes hold their resale value very well, so if you sell it on ebay you could probably get 60-75% of your money back if it's in great condition.