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A beginner needs some advice . . .(10 posts)

A beginner needs some advice . . .Natalya
Jul 9, 2003 9:24 AM
I'm just getting into biking, and I've been going for 1-1.5 hour bike rides several times a week - probably about 40-50 miles total every week. I've been using a mountain bike, but would really like to get a good road bike. I've been doing some shopping and research, but would like some advice on what to look for. Thanks!
re: A beginner needs some advice . . .aarontoy
Jul 9, 2003 9:44 AM
I started out like you and while still new, am up to about 100-120 miles a week. I can only ride on my lunch hours but average about 20-24 miles over 60 minutes. I started with a decent used bike, a 12 speed Miyata to see if I was gonna like road riding. I ended up liking it and after about 4 months of hard riding, I upgraded to a really nice carbon bike with Ultegra. I have found several deals for friends on bikes as well as myself by checking the bike ads on www.craigslist.org. Good luck.
First thing to look forpitt83
Jul 9, 2003 9:47 AM
A good bike shop. They'll likely steer you in the right direction with fit and function. Fit is the first consideration with a road bike. Second is frame. Third is components. Fourth is price (Although it's hardly un-important). Work with a shop you trust and a contact at that shop you trust. Then you'll be able to make better choices.

Know those things first; the rest of your season will be great fun.

PS: Skinny tires rule!
First thing to look fordzrider
Jul 9, 2003 10:23 AM
I'd agree. I've been riding a long time and am for the most part self-sufficient. Still I find a relationship with my local shop an asset that enhances my riding.

A few other recommendations:

Look for a sport-touring or cyclo-cross bike that will allow lots of types of riding.

Expect a learning curve for getting comfortable on drop bars. Few riders are immediately comfortable leaning forward to ride. Too many riders respond by jacking up the handlebars, shortening the stem, or both before they've had enough time to get used to a better position.

Try as many seats as the shop will let you try. If you have one on your mtb that you like, try to get one just like it.

If you don't yet know how to change a tire, take one off, put it back on, and inflate it b4 you leave the shop. Get all the instructions you need, but go off by yourself and do it.

Have fun riding.
A link that I found helpful...loki_1
Jul 9, 2003 9:49 AM
http://www.chainreaction.com/roadbiketestrides.htm

Good luck!
re: A beginner needs some advice . . .03Vortex
Jul 9, 2003 9:52 AM
I agree with another post here. A good local bike shop (LBS) and get fitted. Work your way from there. have fun!!!
More info, please!jtolleson
Jul 9, 2003 10:44 AM
Ditto, of course, to the suggestions that you will get lots of good information by spending 90 minutes at a good local bike shop.

How much do you think you want to spend?
What kind of riding do you hope to do (charity rides, long training rides, centuries, races?)?
What kind of terrain do you expect to ride (how hilly is it and do you want to be able to take the bike off road at all?)
More info, please!Natalya
Jul 9, 2003 4:22 PM
I would like to spend about $500-600 - if possible - I know that road bikes are generally a lot more, but I would be happy with a good used bike. The thing that I'm not sure about is what brand(s) I should be looking for. I've gone to a couple of local bike shops and gotten their recommendations, and I've been to the cycling shop at REI.

I have very little knowledge of what materials and types of products are best. So, some of my questions are: all of the bikes they were recommending were made with aluminum - is that good? Are Shimano products/parts the best that a bike should be made with? I was noticing that some road bikes are for women, and some seem to be for both sexes. Are the bikes for women made differently?

As for my goals: I would LOVE to do a century, and maybe some cross-country traveling by bike.

The terrain I'm currently riding is pretty flat, with some moderate to steep hills. And there are some hills that I have yet to conquer, so I want a bike that I will be able to grow into. Also, I'm not planning to take the bike off-road.

Thank you all so much for your replies! It is really helpful to get your input.
More info, please!jtolleson
Jul 10, 2003 7:26 AM
In that price range, almost all new bikes will be aluminum equipped with Shimano Sora components. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Aluminum is lighter than steel (the only other frame material you'll see at that price point) but is also stiffer. Some prefer the ride quality of steel, but I can assure you there is no wrong answer.

The main difference between manufacturers in that price range is that some bikes will fit a little differently than others. The Trek 1000, Giant OCR3, Fuji Finest, etc. are all competitive options.

Buying used will enable you to get a much higher end bicycle for the same money. That will mean a higher end group of components, a higher-zoot frame, maybe a carbon fork. All of those things can contribute to ride quality and durability, but the differences are incremental as you move up the money chain. Just like cars, in some respects.

The main problem with buying used is being sure you are buying a bike that fits properly and that you are paying a fair price. Unless you have a friend who can help you shop the used market, it can be kind of hard to do on your own. You can't just assume because you are 5'6" (for example) that you ride a 52 cm frame from all companies.

This is not really that helpful, I guess. But get thee to a bike shop and look around. You'll have fun.
re: A beginner needs some advice . . .mapei boy
Jul 9, 2003 5:11 PM
Here are some bike brands you might want to check out. They are all major makers. They all have their fans.

Bianchi
Trek
Cannondale
LeMond
Marin
Giant

Schwinn, sorry to say, no longer truly exists.

If you can, try to buy the bike at a good bike shop, not an all-purpose sporting goods store like REI...even if REI is one of the better ones. Don't worry about frame material. In your price range, aluminum is about all you'll find, anyway. Take the plunge and make sure you get clipless pedals. When you wear them, you are instantly, significantly faster. By the way, a good road bike will put wings on your feet. On a mountain bike you trudge. On a road bike you fly.