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New bike help for a former roadie getting back in....(23 posts)

New bike help for a former roadie getting back in....mtbmon
Nov 6, 2003 11:18 AM
Hey all, first post here since I spend most of my time mtb'ing but I really need some help in getting a new bike.

I'm not sure how to ask this without sounding too vain so I guess I'll just say that I am on a budget (wife imposed! doh!) but I want a decent bike for training and even a little racing (we have a Tues. night crit series about a mile from my home). FYI, my budget is probably going to be inside of $800. I'd like to have 105 (or veloce) on it and a carbon fork but a new 105 bike is gonna put me around $1000 and I'd rather not wait to save that. My other option in new bikes would be to go with something like the Ironhorse Triumph which is 105 shifters and rear and Tiagra front. Is Tiagra really that bad btw? Like I said, Im a bit vain about my bikes and even with a low budget, I don't want to be on a cheap ride (so to speak). Another option is to buy used but I'm not sure if that's smart. Im looking at a bike now that I could get for much less than my budget that is all 105 with Ultegra cranks, and open pro wheels but it's three years old.

I guess Im just not sure what is the best answer and was looking for some wisdom on what you all would do since Im a bit out of touch with the whole scene. Which mfgs would you go with, min component mix, etc. I know some will say not to skimp and its worth spending a little more but in this case, Im maxed at the budget.

Thanks in advance, I cant wait to hear your thoughts.

p.s. let me know if you know anyone selling something that might fit my parameters, my old roadie was a 54cm Bottechia if that helps.
i would..._rt_
Nov 6, 2003 11:35 AM
avoid anything below 105/veloce. tiagra is like alivio.

with your budget i'd aim for used or look for good holiday sales. (Jan, and of course end of summer just before interbike, is probably the best time to look for sales since the holidays have past and spring is still in the distant future). some of the things you want to know about a used bike are:
1. how many miles does it have on it?
2. have any of the parts been replaced/upgraded?
3. how was it kept? who did maintenance & how often
4. was it raced & was it ever crashed?
5. look for dings & dents (harder to do if you're buying online, but ask for lots of pics)

basically, a lot of the info is the same as if you were buying a used mtb, but the most important questions are about crashes. road bikes are not designed to take the abuse the mtbs take, not to mention a high speed crash onto pavement is a lot rougher on a bike than a lower speed crash on the trail.

as far as fit goes, i'd recommend going around to shops and trying out different road bikes just to get a feel for geomentry. you can always get specs from the company on older bikes and compare to what you've tried out. or if you really liked the geometry of the Bottechia you can probably find the specs for it and try to get as close as possible.

cheers & have fun shopping!

good advice thing thoughmtbmon
Nov 6, 2003 12:49 PM
"a lower speed crash on the trail" this quote made me laugh considering some of the great stories I've seen you post about your mishaps. keep em rolling girl and thanks.

Nov 6, 2003 1:01 PM
i have a knack for protecting my bike by throwing my body down in front of it! not to mention i have a talent for maximal damage to my body for minimal crash. ;-P

rt - some talents i wish i didn't have!
Break out the platinum card and get yourself a Dogma Ego. nmNo_sprint
Nov 6, 2003 11:57 AM
Nov 6, 2003 12:38 PM
my attorney would own it eventually when my wife found out what it cost me. good idea though, still, I'll pass, thanks.
New Old Stocktreebound
Nov 6, 2003 12:12 PM
Hit all your local bike shops and see what they have hanging on the walls they may want to get rid of. You might find something in your size that is a good ride, in your price range, with components well beyond your limit in everything but the price. Could be a bike the shop built up that the customer later backed out of, or could be a bike that was in a disliked color scheme, or could even be a bike the shop picked up at a trade show and built up with customer/race-team trade-in upgrade components. There are lots of good deals just for the asking at many shops, sometimes you just have to ask. Set your minimum parameters and start knocking on doors.
This is a MUSTJFR
Nov 7, 2003 4:25 PM
Hit every shop in a reasonable distance.

I stumbled upon my bike at an out-of-town LBS I'd never been to before. It was the end of May and the bike was from the previous year's inventory. It was 20% off, plus some negotiated free upgrades and add-ons.

Good luck mtbmon!
re: New bike help for a former roadie getting back in....utxjohne
Nov 6, 2003 12:57 PM
I recently got back into cycling after a 9 year lay off, which included knee surgery. I would really suggest looking for a nice used bike and spend the difference upgrading a few key components like pedals, tires, handlebars, etc.
Year end closeoutsDave Hickey
Nov 6, 2003 1:18 PM
Supergo and others are all running big sales on year end closeouts. You can get a very nice bike for $800.

Being from a road and MTN background, I'm sure you know how important fit it. Make sure if you buy online, the bike fits.

Regarding Tiagra, Absolutely nothing wrong with Tiagra. You mentioned the Ironhorse had a Tiagra front derail. Even if you didn't like the Tiagra, you can buy a 105 front for $25.00.

Lastly, I wish you still had your Bottechia, I'd take it off your hands:-)

Welcome back to the road. Please keep us udated with your decision.

this will make you sick then...mtbmon
Nov 6, 2003 2:02 PM
I sold it for $500! Columbus SLX frame, top end Campy sew ups, full Chorus groupo. Possibly the dumbest biking thing I have ever done.

Thanks for the advice, I'll defintiely keep you posted.
Yep we're selling '03 Bianchi's for a little over wholesale! -nmTig
Nov 6, 2003 9:37 PM
You can thank me later!jtbraun
Nov 6, 2003 1:19 PM
Go to this link at Supergo. They are having an incredible blowout on two bikes that would probably work out great for your budget.

First one would be a Schwinn Fastback w/ full 105 for $650 (medium and large available).
Or, sport the extra $50, and get the Scattante w/ full 600 Ultegra for $850 (54cm available).

Good luck.

If you get the Scattante, don't get the full Fakta team kit...innergel
Nov 6, 2003 2:57 PM
and then ask this board to provide feedback on your positioning! You'll get roasted to no end :-)
I successfully purchased used via the internetScot_Gore
Nov 6, 2003 2:30 PM
I test rode a number of bikes and did my research on size and fit. I bought a current model year (in 2001) bike that was on the floor of my LBS for $1999.00 for $1100 used off the RBR classifed ads.

I bet you can do the same on a bike currently retailing for $1500 or so.

Good luck

re: New bike help for a former roadie getting back in....jrm
Nov 6, 2003 2:50 PM
For $800 you should be able to find a 03' closeout with 105. The internet has al kinds of stuff in that price range.
Nov 6, 2003 2:59 PM
Determine your frame size and wish list and go to EBAY. I bot $4,000 S-Works DA Road Bike with no miles on it for $1,400. Your dollar will go the farther on EBAY
Nov 7, 2003 10:39 AM
If you want budget, check out the Leader frames and Tommaso frames/bikes on ebay. It'll get you back into the sport without breaking the bank...

Check the ads here,, rec.bicycles.marketplace, or the classifieds in

If you don't have to have something NOW, you can piece together a bike for pennies on the dollar AND get a better bike than buying a new 105/Veloce bike.

That help?

Try thesedgangi
Nov 6, 2003 3:03 PM
Here's a better Iron Horse w/Campy components for $795: has a sweet looking black Motobecane that is <$800 with full 105 parts and some Ritchey wheels:

BTW - BikesDirect includes shipping, so the $795 price is out the door (most other shops charge another $50 for shipping).

The Schwinn Fastback Comp that is on sale at Supergo is also a great buy.

My brother-in-law has this Schwinn and it's a pretty decent bike. The only downside I see is that Schwinn is now owned by Pacific, and I hear they have crappy customer service should you need warranty work.

Buying a used bike is also a good way to go *if* you know what you want and how to evaluate a used bike. Some people think their used bike is worth way more than it really is, so you have to comparison shop to see what other people are selling their bikes for. Ebay is full of a bunch of complete morons that don't think bikes depreciate.

Good luck!

Try Performancelyleseven
Nov 6, 2003 3:54 PM
If you can get to a Performance shop they are closing out Giant and Fuji bikes for $999 well equipped. Check them out. If not, you should make sure you find a bike that fits you, first and foremost, used or new. A great fit will make up for other shortcomings.
re: New bike help for a former roadie getting back in....TNRyder
Nov 6, 2003 9:44 PM
You can also look at Specialized Allez Sport. MSRP $820 with a carbon fork and seatpost! Mostly Tiagra with 105 Rear Der.

Felt F60 (I think). This one is also $820. It has a Carbon fork and a Tiagra/105 mix.

Tiagra is like Deore for MTBs. It works, just not as silky smooth as 105 (LX) and up. Still very functional though. My only complaint with Tiagra is the shifters get noisy over the rough stuff.
Best Prices are easy to find in your rangewardinside
Nov 7, 2003 7:42 AM
In your price range; it is easy to find great bikes by going online -- you should look on EBAY,, and --- on ebay try to stick to sellers with high ratings of course. You can probably get Ultegra if you go to $1000
TROLL ALERT (ME!!!!)funknuggets
Nov 7, 2003 12:40 PM
Dude, you are in luck. I have a 54cm Fondriest Megalu with nearly brand new 105 and Ultegra gruppo and Open Pros (~500mi, seriously), I just built it in Feb and then bought my LOOK 381 in April... and the Fondy has been ridden twice since. Stellar bike (on the RBR classifieds), but has been there a while and I'm willing to make a deal. A steal, and I will toss IN a carbon fork and headset.

Let me know:

so beggeth the funk