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My first road bike (sorry if this is a repost)(10 posts)

My first road bike (sorry if this is a repost)BenL
Sep 5, 2003 11:32 PM
My last bike was a mountain bike that I bought from Sears and that was 14 years ago. I have not ridden a bike for at least eight or nine years and I am looking into buying my first road bike mainly for fitness reason. There are so many brands out there that I just don't know where to start. I know visiting a local bike shop would help, but since I just moved to Vancouver, so I need some help identifying reputable shops in the area. I really don't have much knowledge regarding bikes so I need a dependable shop to guide me, not to scam me.

I am about 5' 4" tall and weight around 155 lbs. My budget is about $3000. From my brief search in this and other cycling gorms, it seems Cannondale bikes are a bit too stiff for the road, Is there any brands that I should stay away due to my size and weight? What brands would you guys recommend me to look into? I really appreciate for all your responses.
Plenty of answers here...Matno
Sep 6, 2003 4:45 AM
But unfortunately, I'm pretty sure there's no one "correct" answer. Lots of high end bikes will be awesome, it's just a matter of finding what's a good deal and what fits you best. Don't believe everything you hear about Cannondales. Older models were stiff, newer ones are great with their shock absorbing design. The very best aluminum bikes on the market, IMHO. (And almost certainly the best bang for your buck). I have a CAAD4 and I recently rode 370 miles in 3 days on it (with full touring gear). It was smooth as butter the whole way. Even better than my previous steel bike. (And I weigh 15 lbs less than you).
second that about CanondalesNigeyy
Sep 6, 2003 11:25 AM
I don't think you should believe everything you hear. Not that I'm an expert, but often it seems people who have extreme opinions aren't necessarily people who've actually owned C'dales. One good thing about C'dales in my opinion is that they are great at converting pedal pressure -I do feel like going up hills is easier on one.

That said, maybe early models were super stiff -all I can say is that I have a CAAD4 and find it very smooth -smoother than a very old Fuji steel frame I had. The bottom line is that you've got to test ride as much as possible to try to get a feel of a bike and whether you like it.

Good luck.
a drop in the bucket..Frith
Sep 6, 2003 6:49 AM
I'll name a few brands to have a look at but keep in mind that these are opinions and everyone's got 'em.
First of all there's the choice of materials...and all of the stereotypes that usually go along with them. Fortunately most of the stereotypes are true...just not to the extent that people make them out to be.
In the Carbon fiber category a Giant TCR comp 1 is what I have/love...It just meets your pricepoint (I suppose your talking about Canadian $$$?) but it will leave you nothing left over for taxes or the various extras. - You'll also come across the Trek 5200 in this price range.
Aluminum...You've got canondale. Great bikes a bit more expensive and if you plan on racing for 3000CDN you'll have everything you need. On the lower end of that scale have a look at fuji bikes. There's some really great value there...The fuji cross (technically a cycle-cross bike but great for road too) can be had for about $1600CDN(taxes inc.)...
Steel...If you want a bike for really long days in the saddle yet quick enough for the group rides you should be thinking seriously about steel bikes. Since you are in Canada I would look no further than marinoni. They build high quality steel (and other types) bikes for a great price and you can even get custom geometry and paint for only about $100-$200 extra. just looking on there website they have a dealer in van.....Great Western Bicycle Company, 233 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. (604) 872-2424

finally the most important thing is fit... Make sure you go to someone who is willing to take the time to get you properly measured up and spend a bit of time going through your options and price considerations. I don't know reputable shops in Van. but I do know that Marinoni won't let just *any* shop sell their bikes so great western must be ok.
re: My first road bike (sorry if this is a repost)pump
Sep 6, 2003 6:56 AM
I'm also searcing for my first road bike for fitness and can say that I've been pleased with the carbon frames. Giant and Trek carbons are the current leaders. However, a LBS has turned me on to a Lemond Ti bike that seems interesting also. I've narrowed my choices down to these two/three and it's taken a month of research, riding and comparing. For $3K, you can get a nice bike. Good Luck!
A $1500 bike is 99.5% as good as a $3000 bike, and a $600 bikeContinental
Sep 6, 2003 9:58 AM
is 99.5% as good as a $1500 bike. There's no reason to spend anywhere near $3000 for your bike and all necessary gear. For $1000 you can get a nice bike, shoes, pedals, shorts, pump, helmet, basic tools, etc. I ride a $500 Fuji Finest and it is a very good sport/training bike.
re: My first road bike (sorry if this is a repost)Jay18
Sep 6, 2003 1:07 PM
I assume you are talking about Canadian dollars, not US. I don't know what the prices of bikes are like in Canada, but in the US you can get an excellent bike for fitness and recreational purposes for $1,000-$1,500 US. If this is your first road bike then I would not recommend spending more than this, or whatever the comparable figure would be in Canada.

There are various cycling magazines and books where you can read about materials and components. In the price range I mentioned, you are probably talking about an aluminum bike, with Shimano 105 components, with maybe some Dura-ace thrown in. If you want to spend more then you can look at titanium or carbon, and some better components. Cannondale makes great bikes (I have one) as do a number of other manufacturers. Select several bikes in your price range and then ride them. You need to find a bike store that has one or more bikes in your size. Don't buy a first bike without riding it at least a couple of times. If you are undecided between a couple of bikes, try riding them one after another. It could take a few months to do this, but we're getting into the cold season, and you probably aren't going to be doing too much road riding in Canada in the winter.

Good luck.

Jay
Thank you for all your responses.BenL
Sep 6, 2003 5:59 PM
You guys are right on, there is no easy answer to my question. FYI, my budget is in USD. I know that's a lot of money, but I want my bike to be very durable and last a long time. I am wary of steel because of potential rusting problem, but I will definitely ride a few steel ones before I make up my mind.

Frith - Thanks for the address and number. Another bike shop by the name of La Bicicletta is located at where Great Western Bicycle Company was standing, maybe they are even the same company since they have the same telephone number. I still don't have a chance to visit the shop yet, but I know they carry Litespeed bikes.
well if they're anything like the toronto labiciclettaFrith
Sep 7, 2003 8:10 AM
then you'll be in very good hands. Ask them about rusting and they'll probably put your mind at ease. A properly maintained steel frame (even a somewhat neglected one) is in less danger of failure due to rust then a alu one is in danger of failing under repetetive stress. Don't take my word for it (I ride carbon fiber :-). Ask the folks at labicicletta and I'm sure they'll be able to give you all the answers you need. The kind of money your spending entitles you to ask any questions you want, test ride anything you're interested in, and be properly fit. Don't accept anything less.
re: My first road bike (sorry if this is a repost)lyleseven
Sep 7, 2003 11:57 AM
You have tons of choices. My first advice would be to go with a steel bike for comfort. Aluminum with carbon fiber seatstays and fork is okay, too. I love steel bikes and you can get a good one from Bianchi or Raleigh for well under $2,000 with nice components. If you want to spend a bit more and get a terrific steel bike, look at Torelli or Seven, but these will run in the mid two's for Ultegra or Campy Centaur.