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questions, bike purchase (beginner)(3 posts)

questions, bike purchase (beginner)Infini
Apr 21, 2003 4:15 PM
Currently I have a 1989 Trek 330. It works ok but its pretty old and everything. So I'm thinking about getting something new (or newer). I probably shouldn't be spending any more than like $1,000 (this is at MOST). I've been thinking about stuff in the $600-$700 range I guess.

Any reccomendations? Any comments on bikes like: Trek 1000, Giant OCR 2 or 3, Fuji Finest, Newest, etc. etc..

Basically I am wondering if there is a general conclusion that any bike in this price range is generally better than the others...

at a LBS, they had these used bikes:
2000 trek 1200: $650
1997 trek 2100 (carbon frame) $765

I'll probably just ride the bike for fun and exercise mostly (as an alternative to running), maybe I'll do some group rides or some low-key races or something.

How big of a difference is there in the components, say sora compared to tiagra, ultegra. is the difference mainly weight? efficiency? strength? all? I really doubt I would notice much difference. I think overall bike weight would make more diff. to me, so I think I might like the 97 2100.

any thoughts?
(I hope I don't bore everyone w/ my rookie question!)
re: questions, bike purchase (beginner)Akirasho
Apr 21, 2003 7:28 PM
... the general concensus is, you get more bang for your road bike buck today than a few years ago.

Part of that concensus is validated by the number of road bikes now being offered by the major players in the price range you mentioned.

You can get a decent road bike at this price point... and the best judge of the overall efficiency of the ones mentioned will be you. Are you able to test ride these rigs? None of the frames will be worthy of extensive "upgrades" but are fine in and of themselves... and could possibly be the stepping stone to something a bit nicer in the future (once we get you thoroughly hooked on road cycling).

And, as you've noted, the used bike market can offer some values... as long as you know what you're getting into (make sure the frames are in good condition... older frames may be limited in the type of replacement parts that will be available in the future... I've got an older quality frame with a lowend gruppo that still functions well). In fact, I've been able to capitalize on the used end of the market quite well (one person's trash is my treasure). Of course, the cost is mute if the abovementioned don't fit. Have you been sized for a road bike??

There are descernable differences 'tween Sora and Dura Ace 9weight and overall crispness of performance being the most noticable), but as you'd suspect... there is deminishing return as you move up the price/performanc scale (Tiagra is better than Sora... 105 is better than Tiagra... Ultegra is marginally better than 105... Dura Ace is marginally better than Ultegra). At your price point, you'd be lucky to see a complete gruppo... you're more likely to see a mix of Sora and Tiagra... with an odd 105 at the upper end (this is not a bad deal... most of these components work well together).

Again, make sure you get a proper sizing from your LBS (or do it yourself with the help of a friend http://www.psycle-therapy.great-ride.com/fit_links.htm ) before you commit to anything. Nothing will defeat your intended goals faster than an ill fitting rig.

Lastly, consider trying a few bikes above your price point for compare and contrast. You may find that it's worth your while to pad your budget a bit (also, remember to include accessories in your budget (shorts, helmets, shoes and clipless pedals (optional), etc.)

Be the bike.
re: questions, bike purchase (beginner)wielerpret
Apr 22, 2003 3:11 AM
It could also be worth wile to buy a second hand bike via the internet or an add in a paper or magazine. Considering all the above you could do well to also wait a while for the right bargain to turn up. If you're impulsive, you may end up not entirely satisfied.
For your purposes I'd go for a lugged steel bike. Aluminium is a more harsh ride, and its durability is not always guaranteed. The 1997 carbon frame you mentioned... I don't know. Sounds good, but since those days the material has evolved a great deal. Some of these frames had trouble with the attachment of the Bottom Bracket, again in the long run. Lugged steel has proved itself for 100+ years. there is plenty of it on the market and a good frame may easily last you another 20 years or so. Even a 12 year old Colnago, Pinarello, Tommasini, Cinelli, Coppi, etc. etc. with a Campagnolo Veloce gruppo has tad more class than an old Trek with some flimsy Shimano Tiagra stuff, and should't cost more. If you become more serious, you'll still appreciate it. Good luck. Luke. Amsterdam. www.iwaarden.com