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Help with new bike dilema - PLEASE(27 posts)

Help with new bike dilema - PLEASEJFR
Apr 18, 2003 8:59 AM
Greetings, and thanks for your time!

I'm a 34 yr old biker of 8 years whose budget has limited me to just one bike, my mountain bike. Two years ago I bought a second set of wheels for it cause I was rode riding as much as I was mtbing and I was sick of changing slicks and knobbies back-n-forth on one set of wheels. I really enjoy rode riding and want to bike commute 23 ea way to my job (95% on a nice bike path, lucky me :).

I just sold some stock options and I'm ready to buy my first rode bike. I really should spend as little as possible and pay off credit debt instead, 1500 is my absolute bike $ ceiling, but it would be way more reponsible to keep it under a grand.

Please help me decide what to buy, here is what I'm considering so far, basically in the order I like them:

New - '03 Specialized Allez Comp Cromo ~1500
Ebay - '99 Trek 5200 ~1500 (like new, bidding may go too high for me)
Ebay - '00 Lemand Zurich ~1500 (like new, bidding may go too high for me)
Ebay - '00 C'Dale R600 ~700
Ebay - '00 Giant TCR ~700

Also, I'm 6'3 with a 34-35 inseem so I'm figuring I need a 62 or 63, which is limiting my ebay options... the ebay bikes above are the only ones right now in my size that are new enough to have SIS (a must have) and are below my $ ceiling.

Thanks for giving me any thoughts you have on my situation... I value your feedback.
re: Help with new bike dilema - PLEASEPdxMark
Apr 18, 2003 9:07 AM
Check out the frames at There are a few in your size that you can get in your price range. Gary can help you sort out the sizing too.
check fit firstkenyee
Apr 18, 2003 9:09 AM
Those aren't all the same geometry. It'd be best if you can try out a few brands at local bike stores first. You're more sensitive to geometry no a road bike because you're in the same position for longer...
Nice problem to have...funknuggets
Apr 18, 2003 9:13 AM
First, are you going to need panniers or not? If you are just going to backpack, or only need somethinglike a seatpost rack, a roadbike would be fine... honestly, I would do two things. Shoot for the 1200-1300s on the bike and then get a second set of wheels, so you can have a good pair, and then a beater pair (to commute on). Now... there are a lot of decent deals out there on bikes your size recently so you do not necessarily need to go the ebay route, and since I dont know if you plan to ride in the rain or not, I would suggest aluminum, but that is up to you. Check the hot deals, I could have sworn that I saw an ultegra-laden ride on the Hot Deals page just yesterday for $1299. You have a lot of options in that price range, even if you went even to the 105 route, you might be able to get a better frame with a minimal downgrade on components.

Just my two cents, which is likely worth a penny.

Best of luck,
Consider alsoSteve_0
Apr 18, 2003 9:14 AM
the Trek 2100...great value in a bike, IMO. Being new to road riding, go to a bikeshop. 1. They'll fit you, 2) You can get a great value in a roadbike for under 1500, despite what the gearheaded bikesnobs say.

Re: Stock and your bike inputJFR
Apr 18, 2003 9:48 AM
I understand your stock question, but...

1) It's healthcare related stock, so it held it's value over the last several years while the rest of the market tanked.

2) I have reason to question it's future value (these were stock "options", I work for the company... you get my drift?).

3) I still kept some, which I hope I don't regret.

4) I REALLY want a rode bike and to pay off some credit debt... which when you seriously consider #2, makes selling not so nuts, eh?

Thanks for your input. I will absolutely check out the 2100, my shop does carry Trek, but they were pushing the Spec Allez Comp Cromo on me in a big way... that and a Lemond Buenas Areis (sp?) that I didn't care for.
Apr 18, 2003 10:33 AM
....sorry, didnt intend for you to justify your investment stragegy; i was just goofing.

Anyhooo, my personal rule of thumb; dont buy anything being 'pushed' by a shop.

Why do you think their's so many suspended mountain-bikes putzing around suburbia with gel-seat covers and bar-ends turned skyward? Likewise the prolifernce of dura-ace on 15 pound bikes owned by 190 pound men? How about the fact the MANY riders are riding frames waaaay too small, and think that their discomfort is due to their saddle, gloves, or frame material? One reason only.

Find a shop which takes an interest in your riding style, needs, and requests. Never spend "only $200 more for this-or-that upgrade", unless you knew you wanted that upgrade before you ever walked in the door.

Good luck, careful on the commute.
What's an SIS and why do you need it? (Nm)ColnagoFE
Apr 18, 2003 9:44 AM
I thought SIS...JFR
Apr 18, 2003 9:53 AM what the integrated brake/shifter levers were called?

I rode a friends older bike with downtube shifters and hated them. My mtb has trigger shifters at my fingertips, without taking my hands off the bars. I want the same sort of shifting ease on the rode bike.
STI (nm)funknuggets
Apr 18, 2003 10:00 AM
or ErgoPower in the case of Campy: "Brifters" for short (nm)ColnagoFE
Apr 18, 2003 12:08 PM
Re: the '99 Trek 5200RickC5
Apr 18, 2003 10:25 AM
IMHO, you shouldn't have to pay $1500 or more for a '99. Seems a bit high to me. More like $1100-1200.

$1500 should be enough to get you a 2000 or even a 2001.

Don't forget, Trek measures their OCLV bikes from the center of the crank to the TOP of the seat tube. The measurement to the top of the top tube (most commonly used method of sizing) will be about 2-3 cm less. Top tubes will also be proportionately shorter too. So a 63 cm 5200 will actually be more like a 60-61 cm for comparison purposes.

Be sure to check out the classifieds here on this site. I have noticed many bikes here where the asking prices appear to be a lot less than what similar bikes wind up selling for on e-bay. There are several other bike classified sites on the web. Check them all out.....
re: Help with new bike dilema - PLEASEgtx
Apr 18, 2003 11:10 AM
at your size I'd hesitate to buy used AL or carbon--you won't have a warranty. $1500 will buy you a nice bike from this guy:
Consider a Giant OCR?ditchbanger
Apr 18, 2003 11:30 AM
The OCR2 is around 750.00 and the OCR1 if I remember is under 1K. LBS has a 2 and it is a pretty nice little bike. My vote would be for the 1 with 105 parts. Neither are a race bike but are solid bikes that should handle commuting and be comfortable. Good luck with your choice.
Check out Surly --Gregory Taylor
Apr 18, 2003 11:41 AM
You can build up a spankin' brand new Surly Cross-Check for about $900, if you don't go hog-wild on the parts. They also offer a fully built-up bike for about $850 or so. I don't own one, but it is on my short list of bikes to upgrade the current fleet. Steel, very versatile, and rugged. It's billed as a cross bike, but I've seen plenty around here rolling around on road tires. They are distributed by Quality Bike Parts, so any decent LBS can order it for you.

Surly also offers a straight up road frame/fork called the Pacer. It got a great review in this month's Dirt Rag. Again, you could put together a perfectly cool bike for under a thousand if you shop smart. A Pacer, built up with Campy Centaur....hmmmm.
Pacer would be my pick, toogtx
Apr 18, 2003 11:45 AM
I was checking one out the other day. Looks very nice for the $$$. I'm thinking of getting one to build up as (another) winter bike. No-nonsense geometry and great tire/brake clearance.
second that--JS Haiku Shop
Apr 18, 2003 12:23 PM
search this board for "surly" and review my post a few weeks back (singing the praises of my cross-check).

get one fully built from, well within your budget. with ultegra and open pros.

btw, i'm 6'2" with a 34" cycling inseam and ride 56-58cm frames. check your fit. we're all built differently, but it'd be wise to be sure.
Some skinny on the fully-assembled Cross-CheckGregory Taylor
Apr 18, 2003 5:56 PM
This is from the Harris Cyclery website by Sheldon Brown, the Avatar of Cycling Mechanical Wisdom.

Sounds like you'd want to price out putting one together yourself to avoid some of the issues inherent in the parts pick from the guys at Quality Bike Parts. You could still do this for about $1,000 if you shopped bargains and classifieds.
excel builds them frame-up, no QBP kits. nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 21, 2003 5:21 AM
Just bought the SpecializedSpecialTater
Apr 18, 2003 12:16 PM
Allez Elite Cromo 1 month and 240 miles ago and love it. The LBS pushed it to me over the Trek...mainly because you get better components for the $ and it's steel. That's a good price for the Comp.

If this weren't my first rb, I would have bought from I also came very close to ordering a Surly (either Pacer or Crosscheck), but I decided a LBS relationship was important to me. I'd be happy to answer any questions about the bike.

Also, be sure and budget for all the other "gear" you will need...I didn't, but I got the LBS to throw in half price helmet, free shoes, pedals and a computer...but remember you get what you pay for. these are good temporary fixes for my gear needs, but I'm on the bike and comfortable.
Apr 18, 2003 12:54 PM
Thanks so much for the replies! You guys have opened up my options tremendously! I'm looking into EVERY suggestion made and considering ALL information given.

If you haven't replied with your input yet, please feel free to do so. I will be checking back (frequently) for at least a day or more. I am very opened minded and I want to know what you think.

Well...if you want ot spend the whole wad o' dough...Ahimsa
Apr 18, 2003 4:02 PM
You could go to and look at the complete road bike at the comp parts spec level with 105.

That would put you on a titanium frame with a Kinesis aluminum fork, 105 components, Open Pro rims, ITM stem and bar, Michelin Axial Carbons, and of course it would all be fully built up.

$1476 (probably a couple bucks less if ya tell them to keep that Nitrox saddle).

Now I'm a little biased since I just recieved my own Habanero 'cross frame the other day, but Mark and Steve were a pleasure to deal with and the frame is beautiful.

Just one more option for you to consider.



PS. Comes with a free chain hanger too ( ;
re: Help with new bike dilema - PLEASEdjg
Apr 19, 2003 8:38 AM
Well, there's no way you should pay 1500 bucks for a 2-3 year old Zurich, even if it's in great shape. It's not that it's not a reasonable bike for you to consider, it's just that a Y2k model bike should be discounted more than that.

First, make sure you know the fit you need. If that means springing 50 bucks for a fit session, it's probably worth it (at a good shop). Second, your thought to look at used bikes is a good one. As an experienced cyclist--even if you're not an experienced road cyclist--you ought to be fairly well positioned to actually evaluate the used offerings. I'd be inclined to start locally. Check the RBR listings to see if there's anything the right size within an easy drive. Also check the bulletin boards at the local shops. There are some very good deals to be had on used bikes. Ebay can be great, but besides the risk there's always the possibility that the bidding gets out of control.
I have an offer for you...DanoK
Apr 19, 2003 9:52 AM
I am also 6'3" tall, 34-35" inseam, 175 lbs. I have 7 road bikes and don't have the time to ride them all they way they deserve to be ridden. I'm willing to part with one for you. Its a Serotta TG with Shimano Ultegra 9-speed STI groupset (except for the wheels which are from the older 600 Ultegra set---still very nice wheels) Price is $900 nearly complete...the wheels have no rimstrip, tubes or tires...I need the wheels I normally use for another bike, but I have another older wheelset that is still very nice. We can split the shipping. Its in excellent condition with low miles (remember, I have 7 road bikes I need to split my riding amongst.) See photo below. Here's the specs:

Frame: Serotta TG, TIG-welded steel, seattube 60cm center-to-center, toptube also 60cm center-to-center. Champaign mettalic color. This frame was Serotta's "entry-level frame" in the mid-90s. Mind you, entry level for Serotta means it didn't cost $2000+. I bought it with the fork brand new in 2000 and built it up myself.

Fork: Aluminum 1" threaded steerer. Original with frame and painted to match.

Stem: Deda Murex quill, 140mm, two-bolt open face (neat stem...the open face is hidden underneath instead of in the front...looks like a single bolt quill stem)

Bar: Deda 250, Ambrosio bike ribbon tape. 44cm wide.

Shifters: Shimano Ultegra 9-speed STI
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra (9-speed group)
Front derailleuer: Shimano Ultegra 9-speed clamp-on.
Rear derailleuer: Shimano Ultegra 9-speed.
Crankset: Shimano Ultegra 9-speed, 175mm, 39/53 teeth chainrings
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 9-speed, 12-25 teeth.
Seatpost: Ritchey Comp
Saddle: San Marco Rolls (all-time classic great saddle)
Wheels: 36-spoke Mavic SUP clinchers (machined seamless braking surfaces) on Shimano 600 Ultegra hubs. Shimano skewers. Front is Mavic Reflex (predecessor to Open Pro...bought from Colorado Cyclist in 1996.) Rear is Mavic Open Pro...hub is from same purchase as front but rim was replaced in 1999 due to crash damage...wheel completely rebuilt around undamaged hub. Brand-new freehub body and bearings. Wheels are very tough with 36 spokes and well suited to your intended use...good shape...just don't have rimstrip, tubes, or tires.

Pedals: Again, I need the pedals for another bike, but I can include an older pair of Look road clipless pedals or an older pair of Shimano SPD MTB pedals, or I can include no pedals...your choice.

This is a very nice bike in very good shape. It's straight, well-made, good looking, and all-day comfortable. Has a lively feel that steel bikes used to have before they started trying to compete with aluminum and titanium on weight and stiffness. Has certain touches that are typical Serotta (conical-shaped tubes, curved seatstays, engraved rear brake bridge).

If its so nice, why am I choosing this one to part with? Well, all my other bikes except for one are equipped with Campy Ergopower (which I prefer). The others are also either custom made for me or have some other personal attachment (such as the Pinarello I bought in Italy and rode all over the Dolomite mountains for the next 4 years.)

Think it over and let me know if you are interested.
great deal nmgtx
Apr 19, 2003 12:19 PM
You bet I'm inerested...JFR
Apr 19, 2003 12:29 PM
...very intrested indeed. Your offer appears generous and I appreciate not only the apparent $ value, but the "helping hand" from a seasoned rider and the idea that my first rode bike may have the "soul" of Serotta and come from the stable of a true biker with biking in his heart.

I live in Sacramento CA. Here is my contact info: (work, M-F, 9-5, remove NOSPAM4) (home, I hope my addy doesn't put you off, I might be changing it soon :)
(916) 851-9262 (home)
(916) 374-3762 (work, direct line, feel free to use)

Sounds like a great deal to me.KG 361
Apr 20, 2003 5:58 PM
Serottas are great bikes.