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Help a new road biker purchase a bike(10 posts)

Help a new road biker purchase a bikeBikePGH
Oct 17, 2003 8:02 PM
Well, I started mountain biking awhile ago, and now I am looking into a roadbike for fitness, and the fact I just can't get to a trail very often.

I was looking at the Mercier Serpens Al (

But, I found very little information regarding this bike
(no reviews, etc)

So, if anyone has any input or experiences on this bike (or another bike in similar price/goupset range) I would be much appreciative

Thank you very much
Nice bike, but...dgangi
Oct 17, 2003 8:26 PM
There is a bike shop near me that sells the Mercier bike line. They are nice bikes but have a lot to be desired aesthetically. The graphics are just butt-ugly IMHO. But for the price, they come with a nice parts spec. The frame is made by Kinesis, a quality manufacturer who also makes frames for many other brand names.

While looking at the Mercier at this particular shop, I also noticed the Motobecane and Fuji bike lines. The Motobecane came similarly equipped as the Mercier but was much more pleasing on the eye -- no flashy graphics or goofy paint job. Both the Mercier and the Motobecane have frames made by Kinesis. And they both have some off-brand parts, including the stem, seatpost, and handlebars.

This same bike shop also carried the 2003 Fuji Team, and it really caught my eye. The bike has an AWESOME parts spec and the bike looks very nice aesthetically. The bike was on sale for $995, and for that price I got a bike that is equipped just like the Serpiens: full Ultegra, Ritchey Pro wheels, Ritchey pro cranks. The big difference is there are NO off-brand parts -- the entire cockpit is Ritchey Pro (bars, stem, post, etc). Even the seat is a quality Velo Ti seat.

The Mercier Serpens was around $1300 if I remember correctly. They had a Motobecane that I liked better for around $1100. So for $995, the Fuji was the deal to be had. And at 16.7 pounds, it was the flyweight of the bunch.

If you do like the Mercier, try looking into the Motobecane. I think it is a similar bike but you might like the looks better. The website is:

Another excellent option is Iron Horse: The Victory is a similar model to the Mercier Serpens and is a very nice bike. We own an Iron Horse mountain bike and it has been an excellent bike.

Good luck. Researching your first bike is a lot of fun!

Nice bike, but...cyclepath
Oct 17, 2003 9:29 PM
I was looking into getting an iron horse and was wondering if you knew anything their triumph.
Iron Horse Triumphdgangi
Oct 18, 2003 5:14 AM
I think the Triumph is one of the lower-end bikes Iron Horse makes. I personally do not think it is wise to buy the bottom-end bike from any manufacturer, as they always cut corners to make the price "enticing".

Check into the Iron Horse Glory -- I think the price is not much more than the Triumph and the component spec is way better. And the Glory weighs 4 pounds less.

Supergo has the Schwinn Fastback Comp on sale for $699. It has full 105 components and is a great bargain. Of course, you need to live near a Supergo shop to buy one...

Think about visiting a helpfull local bikeshop and test ride....10speedfiend
Oct 18, 2003 1:47 AM
every bike in your price range and the next model up out of your price range. Trust me.
re: Help a new road biker purchase a bikelithiapark
Oct 18, 2003 11:04 AM
No experience with the Mercier but I have another suggestion to consider. I, too, have been a mountain biker (Ellworth Id, FSR Enduro, Bianchi DISS) and I moved to a place that had some breat twisty roads up/down nearby mountains that were enticing. Did them on the MTBs for a while, hard on knobby tires, position not optimum. Since I didn't know if I would like it I bought a Tomasso(house brand)Capri from, $399 plus $25 shipping. Compact geometry (my daughter can ride it too because it has more standover room than conventional frame), low end components, but it all works well, looks nice IMO, and weights about what the Bianchi DISS weighs. It is much better on the road than the MTB with slicks, and is a lot of fun on the steep twisty downhills. I decided I would like to do more road riding so I built up a Serotta frame I got on EBay. I use the Capri when it rains, or when my daughter goes riding with me, I let her ride the Serotta (also compact geometry) and it evens the field because the Serotta weighs 7pounds less. The Capri is not quite as smooth riding, but still shifts and handles as well as the Serotta (in my hands anyway)and goes down the mountains just as fast:). The Serotta cost 10x what the Capri did, but I enjoy them both. On group rides I take the Capri. When I get dropped, it is assumed its the bikes fault, and not just that I'm an old man. If I rode the Serotta, everyone would know it's not the bikes fault.

Is an $800 bike better than a $400 dollar bike? I think it depends on what you want to use it for. Enjoy the road.
Go to your local bike shop!TNRyder
Oct 18, 2003 8:02 PM
I personnally wouldn't buy a bike without riding it first. When I am dropping that kind of money, I want to be sure that the fit is right. I can't do that over the internet! Also, the guy at the LBS can talk to you about what type of riding you plan on doing and give you some options at the same price point. IE, the Specialized Dolce and Allez at the same price point have different riders in mind. You can't tell which one you would prefer to ride just by looking at the pictures on the web site!
Above all else, fit is most importantronniedee
Oct 19, 2003 8:41 AM
I did the samething about a year and a half ago by getting into the roadie-thing because it was hard to get to the trails. Honestly, I love it. I still ride the trails when I get a chance, but having the ability to roll out of my driveway and ride just makes riding a roadbike so convenient.

Although I plan on skipping my Sunday morning longride on the road to spend half a day at the local trails, I would say I prefer the roadbike now.

My first advice to you would be to make sure you get fitted properly. Fit is so very important on a roadbike because you are pretty much confined to the same basic position for what can seem like an eternity at times. Whereas, on a mountain bike, you change positions often to handle the technical conditions of the trails.

Looking back, I wish I had went ahead and paid for a professional fitting on one of those fitting bikes. I think they go for $35-75. The LBS usually will apply the amount to the purchase of one of their bikes. Or you can take the sizing info and take a chance at purchasing a bike online and can be sure it fits.

Trust me, you won't miss that $35-75 dollars as much as you may regret not getting fitted properly!

By the way (this is the longest post I've ever written), the Fuji bikes are very popular around here. I see many good riders on the Fuji's. Don't let the bargain price fool you into thinking it's an inferior product.

Good luck!
Where in PGH?Lone Gunman
Oct 19, 2003 9:58 AM
If you live around the 'burgh and 'nat, Pittsburgh Pro Bike Shop is a place to shop or Ambridge Bike Shop. Tell us more why you want that particular bike or what you are looking for in a frame and components and we can help you further.
Mercier road bikepecangap
Oct 27, 2003 2:00 PM
i have purchased 3 bikes online; and they were all great deals

I got a Fuji; my son got a Motobecane; and my wife got a Mercier ELLE.

She loves that Mercier and I must say it is one of the best looking bikes I have ever seen. Very understated and sexy looking.

Her bike is a Reynolds frame with a carbon fork and she loves the ride; [it is too small for me to ride] but the important thing is that we feel it is a very high quality bike [we were told it is made in the same factory that makes the Fuji Reynolds framerd bikes]