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MTB'er going to the road(6 posts)

MTB'er going to the roadSparky351
Nov 17, 2003 7:52 PM
Mountain biking will always be my first preference but it's just to easy to walk out the door and ride so now I'm looking to purchase my first road bike and trying to figure out/ justify what I want to spend. My LBS carries Cannondale, LeMond, Specialized and Merlin. I know the Merlin is way out of my range. I'm looking to spend between $1000 to $1500. I need something to ride between 30-75 miles a week, and occasional charity rides but no plans for racing. Is this too much to spend on a first bike? Should I be more concerned with the Frame or the parts? I'm hoping to get 3 to 5 years out of this bike. I'm leaning toward the Cannondale R600 or R800 but I can be easily persuaded to look at something else. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
my suggestionslaffeaux
Nov 17, 2003 10:08 PM
A good road bike seems to cost a bit more than a similarly equipped MTB, so your price range seems good for a first road bike for someone that already rides bikes.

I think that frames are the most important "component" on the bike. Find a frame that is comfortable and fits you well. Once you have the fit down, look at components. 105 is probably the best bang for the buck and equates to LX components on a MTB. You should be able to get a nice frame with 105 components in the range you're looking.

Try several bikes as each bike will ride differently. There's no "best" bike, it's all what you prefer.

Lastly, be sure to buy from a shop that will fit you to the bike. Be sure that they will swap out stems and adjust the bike for you (for free). If they don't look else where for your first bike.
that's good advice...IDH2
Nov 18, 2003 7:11 AM
I agree, find a frame that "fits" and worry about components later. That can be a bit difficult considering that saddle, stem length/height and width are hard to look past. Your best bet, imo, is to find a good shop that will spend some time with you taking measurements and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each frame material as well as your riding expectations.

You may want to look into the Raleigh line-up...while the model names escape me, I have seen some sweet deals at the 105 level that include carbon forks and carbon rear triangles (like in the 1200 range).

As far as price goes, I have always felt that you should buy at the level you see yourself 6 months to a year down the road. A lot of people buy entry-level bikes and later, having blown through their learning curve, find themselves in the used bike market trying to replace their tiagra bike with an ultegra/da bike and losing money in the process. 1000 dollars buys a reasonable starting bike, but if you think you're going to get into the rb thing, then buy equipment that will live up to your near-future abilities.

btw, I am also coming from a strict mtb background and ime, riding road is not terribly different, if you like riding, you like riding...they complement one another well.

just did the same!namaSSte
Nov 18, 2003 6:51 AM
Former roadie turned mtber (single speed to be exact) and just last night, I got back on the road for the first time in years and loved it!

Here's my recommendations, look at steel over aluminum (it provides a much smoother ride in my opinion and I agree with laffeaux, it's the most important part of the bike. On top of that, a good steel frame is a lifetime bike if you care for it. As for components, I'd start at 105, it'll do what you need. Wheels are also something you don't want to have to fidle with. I can't help much on those but plenty of folks here can.

Next, I'd strongly consider looking at used bikes. You can find some unreal bargains (I did) if you look around. Ask lots of questions and get pics but deals are out there. I say this because, I personally think you're budget is pretty high for a first bike. You can easily find even new bikes with 105 below a grand. Supergo even has the Scattante with Ultegra for less than a grand. Shop well and reconsider your budget or use it on upgrades later (or more mtb stuff!!!! Can I say that here, lol!)

Have fun and don't hesitate to email me or ask more ?'s here. I think you'll find a sweet ride if you look around a bit. One last thing, there is a listing on ebay for a Gunnar roadie (55 cm) with all 105 starting at $700. The bike was a demo and I know its being relisted with NR because it didn't trade last time around. IF you can get that for anywhere near that price, you are getting a great deal on an 853/OX steel frame with great components.

Good luck man.

for instance, here's one in the classifieds...namaSSte
Nov 18, 2003 9:20 AM

not steel but a great deal if all is right with the bike!
Just as with a mtn bike ...HouseMoney
Nov 18, 2003 9:26 AM
... test ride, test ride, test ride.

I was in the same boat as you last Nov, with a similar budget. Primarily a mtb'er who was looking to cross over to the road. Look to the frame first. I test rode several bikes in both steel & aluminum. I liked the ride of a C'dale CAAD5 the best (Bianchi was 2nd), but preferred Campy over Shimano. One shop had a CAAD5 frame in my size hanging on the wall so we built it up with Centaur. With a Shimano build, you should be able to get no worse than 105 at your price range. Many shops are blowing out 2003's at a discount so you can get more bang for your buck with a leftover.

Don't be surprised if you start spending more time on the road. I have a pimped out full-sus mtn bike, but since the summer, my road bike has been ridden ~75% of the time!