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Seeking advice on buying road bike(18 posts)

Seeking advice on buying road bikeEric F
Sep 21, 2003 7:34 PM
I am a college student in Boone, NC who really wants to start riding road bikes. I ride my mountain and BMX bikes a lot, but everytime I see the roadies ride by I look at them and know I want to do it too. What I want to do is go on long road bikes, probably solo, as well as a few rides with the cycling club at school, which I plan on joining in the spring. I never really plan on racing so all the high tech expensive stuff is not required. Also, I plan on riding it on trainers all winter because its way to cold to go outside.

I have been doing research on road bikes for a couple of months and am right where I started which is nowhere at all.

I will probably have around 1000 dollars to invest in a bike. Someone I know recommended the Bianchi brand heavily to me, especially the Campione. However, the local bike shop that is a Bianchi dealer gives me the run around when I inquire about them. He doesn't have them in stock and when I ask about them he is like Oh you don't need that check out this specialized right here, blablabla here is a Trek. Should I really listen to him? My friend swears by the Bianchi brand and I think they are sharp looking bikes.

So basically here is the too long, didn't read version of my questions.

1) Is Aluminum really the only way to go as the LBS says.
2) Should I not look at the Bianchi Campione?
3) Any other recommendations for 1000 or so dollars.
re: Seeking advice on buying road bikeEric F
Sep 21, 2003 7:36 PM
also does anyone know anything about the 2004 lineup of Bianchi's? I was told they had no 2003 Campiones in my size (54cm) so I guess I will have to wait for 2004
re: Seeking advice on buying road bikelyleseven
Sep 21, 2003 8:28 PM
Your bike dealer is trying to sell the inventory he has and doesn't want to be bothered by anything special order. Does he even carry Bianchi? As for aluminum it is lighter than steel, but harsher riding, especially in the $1,000 class. There is nothing wrong with Specialized or Trek in that price range, but mostly those are aluminum. If you go aluminum, make sure you get at least a carbon fiber fork. I like Bianchi and Raleigh bikes because they put a lot in their bikes for a reasonable amount of money. You can call the Bianchi distributor in Hayward CA and they can tell you which shop has what inventory based upon their records. Good luck.
Save your money....the bull
Sep 21, 2003 8:42 PM
find an old Steel road bike that someone has laying around and fix it up.
My first road bike cost me $250 bucks and worked great for years! Once your working full time and have some money you can splurge and get a nice bike.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with friction shifters!
These older work horse bikes are great for starting out on!
Just get the correct size.
Save your money....Eric F
Sep 21, 2003 9:05 PM
the money is not a huge problem. I worked a ton this summer and have been working, and have earmarked this money for a road bike. It isn't going to bankrupt me. I just happen to have gotten lucky and gotten a great job while attending school.

lyleseven, I figured that. The thing is, after I saw I want to know more about Bianchi he was still a jerk to me. I will call Bianchi tomorrow and see if they can help me out

thanks for the ideas so far
Cycling club and choosing bikes.orange_julius
Sep 22, 2003 6:16 AM
Your school's cycling club might have some sponsorship
deal with LBS-es and/or bike manufacturers. Since you're
new, you won't get a fantastic deal, but a discount is
still as good as a discount.

With regards to people who swear by Bianchi, they are indeed
fine bikes, but they are not necessarily the best for
everybody. I was in your shoes not too long ago, and I just
went with other people's recommendations. You can't really
evaluate a bicycle by riding it for 4 minutes in the store
parking lot, it takes a long time and in the end you have
to be happy with your purchase. This is how you can
take advantage of your school's cycling club: approach
them, fess up that you're looking for a bike, and ask for
recommendations, and what they think about their bikes.

That said, just go with whatever you think will make you
happiest. It will make you want to ride more and more,
and you'll actually enjoy your time. Over time, you'll
develop your own taste and sense for bikes, and you can
make a better purchase in the future, be it far or near.
I bought my first road bike because it was a good deal
and because it looked good, but over time I learned to
identify which aspects of it I liked and which I disliked.
But at least that first bike made me ride a lot, and I
still use it to commute. The salespeople at the LBS are
not necessarily any more informed than you are either.
What do they do with their spare time? Ride 20 different
bikes for 200 miles each? They just repeat what the other
salespeople say about different bikes, or whatever the
adverts say.

If you stay with the mainstream brand names, you can't be
very wrong. The bigger manufacturers focus on mass
production at decent quality anyway. Just be careful
with LBS-es pushing their inventory bikes your way. If
you're set on a Bianchi and your LBS didn't carry it, or
wasn't interested in selling you one, go to another one.

Good luck!
Save your money....vertigo411
Sep 22, 2003 4:00 AM
Hehehe. I'm in exactly the same position as you Eric. Mtb'er trying to break into road biking, 'cept I dunno what to buy. The only difference is that I DO own one of those steel work-horses. It works well enough. I just did my first century on it. But, I gotta say, I can't ride this thing much longer. It has steel rims, so I won't brake for anything. The crank-set and cassette are heavier than a sumo wrestler, so it dosen't accelerate either. Its only redeeming qualities are that 1) due to the predominance of steel components, it takes a POUNDING (as mtb'ers that's something that only we can really appreciate) and 2) I got the bike off a friend for only 20 bucks. So here's the problem I face, any upgrades I could make now will be eclipsed when I buy an all new bike, but somehow, I need to make riding easier on my body. So, I'm with you, a cheap, new, road-bike.

A good bike bike not- a piece of junk!the bull
Sep 22, 2003 7:10 AM
They made Dura-ace and alloy parts back in the 80's as well, ya know!

Not trying to piss ya off but you have to admit for 20 bucks ya did allright!You could probally sell it for that right now.

I just picked up a Dura-ace Pinarello for 50 bucks!I am sticking my new 9 speed group and some new wheels on it and will have less than 800 bucks in it when I am finished.

I would not recomend getting a new cheap bike.After a year it will not be new and it will be just a cheap bike.
Here is a perfect example!the bull
Sep 22, 2003 7:27 AM
I would rather cruise this than a chep new bike!
Very nice bike, but probably wrong for NewB intended useContinental
Sep 22, 2003 9:42 AM
Isn't Boone, NC in the hills? I don't think the narrow gear range on the bike would be good for long, solo rides. Also the price is premium for a used bike with shimano 600 because of the Italian name. A mass produced asian frame would be lower cost and equal or better quality.
Nothing magic about BianchiContinental
Sep 22, 2003 4:39 AM
Don't get hung up on the name. There's a lot of very high quality bikes for well under $1000. Shimano Sora equipped bikes are durable, reliable, and efficient. Better than anything you could have bought 20 years ago, and available for about $500-$600 from Fuji, Giant, Trek, and others. Either aluminum or steel is fine. I prefer steel.

The truth is you can hardly buy a bad road bike for $500 to $1000.

You'll want to buy clipless pedals, shoes, shorts, gloves, a pump, a spare tube, and a multi-tool so budget another $200. It's way better to ride a $600 bike and have these accessoriies than to ride a $1000 bike in gym shorts and running shoes.
Too cold?53T
Sep 22, 2003 5:52 AM
In NC? Too cold to ride to glee club, maybe.
It can get nippy (below 0F) in that part of the state. nmgf99
Sep 22, 2003 5:56 AM
test rideandy02
Sep 22, 2003 6:12 AM
Why don't you test ride a trek 1000 it is less then you can spend so you can get shorts or pedals and shoes as well. It really is a good bike and great way to get strated. But ride as many bike as possible so you can see what fits you the best. Stay away from things like comfort add ons and very high bars (like the trek C line). You will lose to much power and your yong and if in tho bmx and mountian can take a rought ride in exchange for speed.
Sep 22, 2003 8:00 AM
1. probably yes, due to your $$ budget
2. i would look at what's on hand and instock(always best deal) test ride. find a local biker to help you if you aren't that proud.
3. yes..raleigh, cannondale, lemond, trek to name a few. i have seen full ultegra allez comps on sale for $1400 for example.

boone has 3 bike shops. you should be able to find a decent road bike near your budget. i personally prefer Magic cycles on Depot St in downtown area. Boone bike & touring carries cannondale mostly. Rock & Roll is the local trek dealer i believe. Not sure who carries specialized up there.

your school has acess to some of the best riding in the state, especially if you like challenging climbs and nice views of the mtns, vistas, rivers, and girls :)

General ReplyEric F
Sep 22, 2003 9:43 AM
Yes it can get below 0 degrees where I live. Just walking to class in that weather makes me want to move to Flordia.

Marcoxxx, Rock and Roll sports closed recently. I think the owner died on his motorcycle and his wife didn't want to keep the store going. Its a shame because it was a nice store. Magic Cycles has like 6 road bikes and 5 of them are 2000+ litespeeds. Boone Bike and Touring is th shop that I have been going to.

Anyways, I am going to visit my parents in Raleigh, NC. Are there any really good bike shops there? I called the Performance one and they said they have the OCR2 (last years) on sale for something like 550 which I thought sounded like ar really good deal. It seems like a solid bike, all tiagra compenents. Probably would be a nice bike to start out with and I can use the money I saved to but upgrades when the time comes as well as shorts and all that.

thanks for the replies so far everyone
not to drag this out too muchmarcoxxx
Sep 22, 2003 10:54 AM
sorry to hear about the reason for R&R sports closing shop.
raleigh should have several more shops with a better selection in your $$ budget. i guess magic is out of entry level bikes at the end of the season. boone bike guy probably does not want to order bianchi cause he wants to sell current stock. i did not know he carried bianchi anyway, just c-dales & specialized i thought.

but you home, Raleigh will have probably a better selection...remember to get the right fit though
Buy the Bianchi. You'll love it (nm)mapei boy
Sep 22, 2003 11:25 AM