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begginer's questions please help(3 posts)

begginer's questions please helpetai
Jan 8, 2004 12:26 PM
Hello all, I am originally a mountain biker looking to getting into the road bike world. I am completely in the dark when it comes to road bikes, what should I look for when buying bike? How would I know if it is good or not? What about sizes? Used or new?
I am leaving in Italy at the moment which means a lot of possibilities yet I don't know if I am not better off buying off the internet (supergo?) I leave in the south of Italy and speak no Italian which makes it a bitmore difficult. Any help would be highly appreciated and thanked for. Etai
re: begginer's questions please helpeschelon
Jan 8, 2004 2:00 PM
The more you spend...the more likely quality of the equipment won't be a question. If you want to race, you gotta bite the bullet and spend the bucks...I'd say you would have to spend around 1500 dollars for a raceable bike and work on up from there. Component spec should be at least Shimano 105 and to hell with Campagnolo :). I'd say one of the best sites to date that allows you to be a better informed consumer on getting the right bike for your needs is Litespeed.com...they have these great bar charts that shows a varity of factors and criteria as to which bike is right for each type of consumer. Check it out.
re: begginer's questions please helpbiketx
Jan 8, 2004 2:31 PM
You will get more for your money with a used bike. However, being new to road biking, the advice of a good shop can be quite valuable. Even without a shop, though, there's a very good bike fit calculator/explanation at www.competitivecyclist.com that I consider pretty safe for a newbie to use for bike sizing.

A lot of what you need beyond that depends on what you're going to do with the bike. I see you've already gotten one answer focused on racing - if that's your plan, go with that advice. If you just want something to do road rides with friends, or for variety from your MTB, then you can get a good entry-level road bike for a quite reasonable price. Today's components are really good. I see a lot of people over-spend starting out, when maybe they don't need to.

Shimano's component line runs Sora (entry level), Tiagra, 105, Ultegra and Dura Ace. I spent years riding 105, and it was perfectly fine. I now ride a Lemond Zurich with Ultegra. I ride 3-4x/week, don't race, but like to get in some distance occasionally. Ultegra was a great fit for me. My wife is primarily a runner, also has an MTB, but wanted a road bike. I just bought her a 2003 closeout with Tiagra for USD 360. She'll ride it a time or two a week, maybe 20 miles per time, and that'll be fine for what she needs. I've known of people who rode Tiagra for years. Today's Tiagra is probably better than the 105 equipment I had on my bike 15 years ago.

This is getting kind of long, but the point is, it really depends on a lot of factors - what you expect to do, what level of rider you are on the MTB side and how much you expect to go roading, how much disposable income you have (if dropping a couple of tousand bucks is no big deal to you, then go get a nice Ultegra-equipped bike), how sensitive you are to riding "lower-end" equipment (like Tiagra) if everyone else in your group rides 105 or Ultegra, etc.

Good luck.

Michael