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Trying to choose first road bike...(5 posts)

Trying to choose first road bike...Zenith
Apr 28, 2003 1:21 PM
I borrowed my neighbor's road bike last week as it was too muddy to ride the MTB... I am hooked and now shopping for my first road bike.

I'm a short girl at 5'0". Turns out I take about a 50cm frame (I have a short standover and kinda long reach). I have it narrowed down to two bikes and have reached a stalemate between a 2002 Cannondale R500 Feminine or a 2003 Specialized Allez Sport (the black one).

Just wondering if anyone has any feedback on either bike, company, etc. I am beginning to understand that road bikes tend to become an additional family member so I want to do this right the first time.

get fit at a local bike shopdante
Apr 28, 2003 1:45 PM
fit is MUCH more important on a road bike than a MTB. My girlfriend is 5'1" and she ended up on a 47cm Jamis Ventura (which is 45cm center to center, 47cm center to top).

Once you find out your size, call around to see if anyone has a bike in your size to try. My gf could definitely tell the difference in ride quality between the Jamis (steel) and the Cannondale (Alu). The Jamis was more comfortable and rode smoother. But ride as many as you can, and the differences should be apparant.

Other things to look for would be the difference in smaller wheels, Cannondale has 650 wheels front and back, while I believe the Specialized has 700cm wheels front and back. The Specialized might be a little too stretched out in the TT for someone of your size unless you have longer arms than my gf. The Jamis has a 700cm wheel in the back and a 650 in the front, making it look a little different but at least better than those freak-show bikes, Terry's (no offence to anyone riding them).

Have fun and good luck, each bike rides differently so hopefully you can try several out and see which you like best.

get fit at a local bike shopZenith
Apr 28, 2003 2:06 PM
Thanks for your advice...

It am currently working with my LBS to figure this out. The Cannondale fits well but we decided to order the Specialized just for comparison sake. I sat on a 2002 Allez that was a 52cm and it was too big (although standover was more of an issue than reach).

The Cannondale comes with 650cm wheels in smaller sizes, but the 50cm has 700cm wheels front and back.

I am just wondering what the general conscensis (sp?) is regarding frame and component quality between the two bikes.

hmmm, still think 50cm is too big, butdante
Apr 29, 2003 7:00 AM
as far as frames go, it seems that steel is smoother than Alu, and 700cm wheels give a smoother ride than 650s. Componentry-wise I'm not sure what each has...

Hope this helps, and if possible try each one on a nice long test ride, pref. an hour or so. You'll know what's right for you.

re: Trying to choose first road bike...Rlieto
May 1, 2003 7:09 AM

Consider this, find a Waterford or Serotta bike dealer. They have a "fit machine" you will then know the exact measurements needed for a comfortable road bike. Waterford will custom build one of there bikes at no addition charge, they are expensive but you will not being buying another bike because of proper fit.Yes, road bikes become part of the family. On a personal note, I have a ti, al and an 853 steel road bike, I perfer the steel bike.

PS. Both Waterford and Serotta have web sites.