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trek, cannondale, specialized, bianchi, oh my!(22 posts)

trek, cannondale, specialized, bianchi, oh my!globalhelipimp
Jun 11, 2003 10:19 AM
Right now I have a Trek4900 mountain bike but it's too difficult to ride on the road (no pedals, weight issue, no road tires, etc).

Running has too much of an impact for my knees, and I would like to get into road biking. However, I'm having quite a time trying to figure out what bike is right for me. Now I'm not asking you to choose a bike for me -- I've done some research -- but I am looking for suggestions. Just for the sack of knowledge, I weight 145lbs and am 5'8-9".

I've come to the conclusion (and tell me if I'm wrong) that I should be looking into carbon forks, ATLEAST shimano 105 or ultegra, and phsically going into a bike shop to find out what fits best.

All of this said, I want to spend somewhere in the 500-650 range, and want to try buying online due to the factor of saving money. I want to support my bike shop- but there's no way (assumption) that they will match a bike in their store selling for $1,000 when I find it online for $650. I'd also like to put many miles on the bike I get and have it last for years to come.

I'm just looking for guidance because I'm new to road biking and none of my friends road bike.

Looking forward to some hopefully insightful responses and thank you.

re: trek, cannondale, specialized, bianchi, oh my!mosovich
Jun 11, 2003 10:56 AM
I personally think your going to have to raise your limit a little bit, especially if you want Ultegra. I'll tell you one brand to look at that many and even I used to laugh about and that's Fuji. Yeah, Fuji. A friend of mine races as a Cat. 1 and loves his and the prices are right as well, AND they are super light. Have you ever thought about a cross bike? Their cross bike comes with 105, Carbon fork, and is light as hell, and they sell for a grand. No, I don't have any afiliation with Fuji, but I know several people that have them and love them, I honestly think they are the biggest bang for the buck. If you don't plan on racing, this could be your ticket. Change out the tires, and your ready to roll. I just got one for my wife yesterday, and it is one sweet ride.
Why do you laugh at Fuji?Mel Erickson
Jun 11, 2003 11:38 AM
I don't know anyone who laughs at their bikes. They've been ridden by US pro teams and are known as a value leader. Good bikes at a good price. Never known them any other way. Curious why you used to laugh at them?
Re: Why do you laugh at Fuji?biknben
Jun 11, 2003 12:40 PM
In the '80s they made excellent steel frames. Their touring and racing bikes had a great following. Those that knew Fuji then, respected the brand.

An early Aluminum mtb frame was a disaster for them in the late '80's (I cracked one) and they got real conservative in the MTB market. They stayed with steel too long. They spec'd their high end MTB stuff with Suntour Microdrive which also tanked. At the same time the road bike market was getting more competative while slowing down.

To save themselves, they began selling to a few retail stores (Sports Authority) in '92. They pissed off the majority of their dealers and have been badmouthed ever since.

In the last few years they have been putting out a great product (especially road stuff) at an even better price. Their MTB line is a little lacking. Lot's of Al hardtails and copied FS designs.

BiknBen (former Fuji employee)
Pump it upjptaylorsg
Jun 11, 2003 11:41 AM
You're going to have to spend more than your current budget to even get 105 with a cf fork. Do it, it's worth it. At about the $1000 range, you'll find several sizes and brands with what you want, and you'll be able to pick the one that suits you best. If you go used, you can probably spend a little less, but it'll be harder to find the perfect bike for you. Supergo's house brand, Scattante, seems to have a good price point with an Ultegra bike at right around $1000. They have links on RBR all the time.
I paid $950 for my Giant OCR1 with full 105 and a carbon fork, and it's treated me great.
It's going to be toughMel Erickson
Jun 11, 2003 11:51 AM
to even find a 105 equipped bike for $650. Not that a very serviceable bike can't be had for that price but probably with something less than 105 (maybe Tiagra or Sora). For instance, check out GetawayBikes in the Hot Deals section on this site. They have a Tiagra equipped steel bike for $650 which has some good 105 components, but not all. As an entry level bike it looks pretty good. I would bet a local bike shop could come fairly close for a comparably equipped bike and then you'd also have their expertise in fitting, including changing the stem, etc. to give you a better ride, a free year of tune ups and maybe a percentage off additonal merchandise. I wouldn't go to them and use their expertise on fitting and then buy online, if that's what you're thinking of doing, kinda rude.
Fit and comfort over componentry level...dante
Jun 11, 2003 12:56 PM
The compents on your trek (alivio/deore) are closer to Sora/Tiagra (respectively), 105 is similar to LX, Ultegra to XT and Dura-ace is XTR.

While 105 is nice, I would place more emphasis on sizing and comfort than on 105 over Tiagra. Go to a LBS and they can fit you and get you set up correctly, and even if you get a Tiagra bike if it fits better you'll enjoy it more.

One bike to look into besides the fuji mentioned above is the Jamis Ventura, $850 for a steel frame (more comfortable than Alu), carbon fork, tiagra components, ritchey everything else. My GF got one and she loves it.

If you do decide to buy online, I'd say first do a quick and dirty sizing from one of the places online to get an idea of what overall size you want (seat tube size), then buy and get a professional fitting done at a shop. It'll cost you more for the fitting and the parts swap, but you might come out spending less than you would in a shop.

Anyway, good luck, and don't forget about your mtn. bike once you start doing the road thing...

Jun 11, 2003 4:04 PM
We just purchased a specialized for my wife that is Columbus AL tubing with a carbon fork, Ultegra shifters and rear deraileur, Tiagra front deraileur (??), and Specialized brakes and crank for $1099 new. This had barely a discount off MSRP. It had a carbon fork and seat tube. The wheels aren't the greatest, but they are a common upgrade and I don't like to pay much up front anyway (almost ALL bike arrive underspec'ed with wheels).

With a compact frame, it really isn't that much heavier than my all-carbon Look. Frankly, it is a LOT of bike for the money new (it was close enough to what we could find used that we decided not to risk it: lifetime warranty on everything with the Specialized- and she likely won't be as much of a gearhead as I am and will keep it awhile).

Bottom line- I WOULD get at least 105 and a carbon fork. BTW- the fastest guy I usually ride with (he really is an animal) has a 105 triple setup. He runs circles around the guys with their sevens, merlins, colnagos, etc... and no one ever laughs at his triple. He just happens to have other priorities in life besides owning the "most bike."
re: trek, cannondale, specialized, bianchi, oh my!rkalik
Jun 11, 2003 4:36 PM
It'll cost u more, but get yourself a Klein. Carbon rear stays rock!
Felt Racingrkalik
Jun 11, 2003 4:41 PM
Actually, seriously check-into Felt bikes. I believe one of the owners was part of the team that developed Easton frames (a good thing) and the bikes are price pointed near the $500-900 range with 105 or better components. And, they are light and fast as ......
re: trek, cannondale, specialized, bianchi, oh my!russw19
Jun 11, 2003 4:42 PM
Dave, I don't know if you saw my last reply to you about this question, but you really need to buy from a shop. They will set you up right... and the money you save buying a bike on ebay is an illusion for the most part. You still have to pay to have the bike shipped. Some people will charge you just to have it boxed by a shop. You will have to have a shop build it for you unless you can do it yourself... all in all that could very easily and realisticly raise the price of your $600 bike to over $700 right away. Try finding a shop that sells used bikes and take a look there first. Even paying tax locally at a really high tax rate won't raise the price of a local bike $100.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to tell you to stay away from ebay or online deals, but you need to be fully aware of the hidden costs involved in those deals. What happens when your stem is too short... no shop will swap it out for free if you bought it on ebay... things like that need to be fully considered before you jump in with both feet into a deal that from the surface looks good, so keep that in mind.

Just trying to help you out.

No pedals? That must be rough!Kerry
Jun 11, 2003 5:42 PM
Given your criteria, you should be looking at used bikes. You will be able to get a 2-3 year old bike that sold for $1500+ new. That's a WHOLE lot more bike than you can get for $650 retail. Make sure it fits, and you're good to go.
No pedals? That must be rough!rkalik
Jun 11, 2003 6:15 PM
I disagree with that last post, if you look at the value of a Felt Racing bike, you will be surprised at the overall bang for your buck in a new bike, warranty etc....
A few things;KG 361
Jun 11, 2003 6:22 PM
You will have to raise your limits or lower your component choices.Another good value for the buck is Iron Horse. Nice bikes and you can get an Ultegra equipped bike for about $1k. Additionally, Raliegh isn't a bad choice, either.
Dave I can relateJeff Rage
Jun 11, 2003 6:42 PM
I'm also a Mtn. biker looking for a road bike and it is very frustrating. Road bikes are way more expensive than an equally equipped Mtn. bike. You could easily get a great hardtail with LX components for $600. But to get that same quality in a road bike, you're looking at least $1100.

I would get a used one, but between local bike shops, ebay, and the classifieds on this site, I'm not finding anything that would fit me.
I went through the same thing...Zenith
Jun 12, 2003 8:03 AM
I was looking around for a road bike as a second bike... I am a woman and pretty small, no one had anything in my size... (well, one guy wanted to sell me a bike so big, we needed to cut off the seat tube to get the seat down enough. Walked away from that one)

Three weeks later I actually gave up and was in the lbs ordering a new Specialized that was back-ordered and way over my budget when the guy says... "wait a minute... I totally forgot..." he dissapears in the back and returns with a 2002 WSD Cannondale that somebody ordered a year ago and never picked up. I felt like Cinderella. It fits really well and he gave me a good deal on it. My bike and I are living happily ever after and I actually am beginning to like riding on the road more than dirt.

Good luck
I went through the same thing...Jeff Rage
Jun 12, 2003 8:14 AM
That's my problem - I'm really short. There's only a handful of bikes that fit me, and the odds of finding one used are pretty slim.

You like the road better now? Hmmm.... no logs, roots, jumps???
I went through the same thing...Zenith
Jun 12, 2003 8:59 AM
Don't get me wrong...
Still love the thrill of dirt but there is something meditative and addictive about finding the right cadence and spinning along, gracefully arcing through turns and listening to the hum of skinny tires on pavement...

It's like my inner voice turns up the volume and listening to myself think becomes the focus... magic.

At least it's magic between intermitant near-death experiences on Metro Boston bike lanes which incidently seem to double as bus stops and auto standing zones.

And to think that all of this happened because of the lousy northeastern weather this spring... got sick of fat tires on the road.
I went through the same thing...Jeff Rage
Jun 12, 2003 9:11 AM
I'm in the same boat. I have biked in MONTHS, due to the rain. So, that's why I'm looking for a road bike. They're just so expensive if you want a 1/2 way decent ride.
Try looking for last year's model collecting dust at a LBSRushfan
Jun 11, 2003 9:02 PM
You might want to prowl around bike shops in your area once you have an idea of your size looking for leftovers from the previous year. These bikes are normally just as good as the current year's model, but have been discounted. I saw a Litespeed frame for $1200 today (discounted down from $2000), but fortunately for my bank account, it was too big.

Specialized's 105 equipped road bike is the Allez Elite. Lists for $1050 in an aluminum frame, got mine on sale for $900.
re: trek, cannondale, specialized, bianchi, oh my!aliensporebomb
Jun 12, 2003 7:03 AM
My LBS was still selling last years Giant TCR2 (full 105)
for $999 which is an unbelievable deal. Check it out if
you get a chance.

Same frame, fork and seatpost as was used in the tour de
re: trek, cannondale, specialized, bianchi, oh my!Jeff Rage
Jun 12, 2003 8:11 AM
Geez, where are these shops at? ONe close to my house was selling one for $1200, another for $1250!