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buying the first bike(5 posts)

buying the first bikelilgeerts72
Dec 9, 2001 9:53 PM
i have been looking around at bikes for a few months now, but i don't have any experience to draw from. i am looking at road, because that is what is in my price range and i will be training and competing on this bike. the three bikes i was looking at were the trek 1200, cannondale r400, and giant ocr 2. my lbs has been leaning me towards the giant because it has a better frame than trek, its cheaper than cannondale, and the compact frame is supposed to make me more aero. i just researched the 2002 model, it is upgraded to tiagra components instead of the sora on the 2001 at my lbs. is it worth getting the 2002 for the better components, or saving the 100 bucks and getting the 2001. also, since i am a first timer, i need to buy shoes to train and compete in, so if you have any suggestions i am all ears. thanks.
re: buying the first bikebrider
Dec 10, 2001 10:13 AM
Go with the best frame in the package that fits. The reason for fit is that the bike will feel better, and you will want to ride it more (or avoid it less, as the case may be). Parts can be upgraded as needed (as they break/wear out or as you find the desire). These parts can be swapped over to a new frame when the time arises.
re: Buying a first bikeMarlon
Dec 12, 2001 11:29 AM
I also have a friend who's also getting into duathlons/triathlons and perhaps a bit of road racing.

If you're crimped for cash, go used. If you want brand new, at the pricepoint that you've implied with those 3 bikes, go with anything with Tiagra - it'll last longer than Sora, you have one more cog in the rear for fine-tuning your shifting, shifting performance is slightly better, and Tiagra's a fairly significant step up as you can actually shift when you're in the drops - you can't with Sora. Mind you, it's not that critical in triathlon, as you'll be spending most of your time on your aerobars anyways, but for training, group rides, and even some road racing, Tiagra will be the better way to go. As well, you're getting almost the full Tiagra group for $100, so I figure it's worth it, especially if you're crimped for cash.

Your LBS is right in that the giant has the better geometry for triathletes - because it's more adjustable, if you get the right size, you can fine-tweak your aerodynamic position on the bike. But if your LBS says the frame is more aero than other frames, I'd be inclined to take it with a grain of salt; the aerodynamics of a frame don't really affect your riding unless you're at a pro level.

I'd say be sure to re-examine your choices for a bike: Cannondale has an excellent frame (CAAD 3), and while the components aren't that great, if you can live with Sora for a year or two, when you upgrade, you'll be able to just get good parts for the bike rather than buying a new replacement bike. Giant is probably the cheapest, and yes, it offers more adjustibility with its frame, but bear in mind the limited 5 year warranty, which also doesn't cover racing or training for races. Trek probably has the worst frame of the three, but the frame itself isn't that bad, and the warranty is lifetime and covers normal usage, including what a bike is made for: racing and training. My friend's getting a Trek 1200, by the way.

About shoes, I'd say buy the shoe that fits first then buy pedals if necessary. If you already have pedals, make sure the shoe is compatible. If you're going to use the bike as a training/racing bike only, think about single-sided road pedals, like SPD-R, Look, or Time shoes, or go with Pyro Platforms (allow you to use normal runners) if you're serious about triathloning. Road cycling shoes such as the Carnac Ellipse give you performance and stiffness, but are impossible to walk around in and are harder to get into than triathlon shoes like the Sidi T-1. Mountain bike shoes like the Diadora Jalapenos aren't quite as stiff, but are good for commuting and for normal riding. The bottom line: for racing, buy triathlon shoes. For more training, I'd buy a road shoe and take the penalty when in transition. For more all-purpose use, buy a mountain biking shoe. Good common brands for all three types are Diadora, Sidi, Carnac, Shimano, and Vittoria. My personal favourite is the Sidi Genius 3, but then again, I'm a roadie who does triathlons for fun.
re: buying the first bikecolosipm
Dec 16, 2001 2:34 PM
I don't get it. If your going to get a bike to race tris in but a tri bike. There are sev. intro bikes now on the market for 1200-1400. Not bad by standards. You can always go used and save a lot of money.

If aero is what your looking for I'd take a look at some studies that have been done on compact frames. The latest data from the windtunnel shows these bikes are actually LESS aerodynamic than regular triangle frames. The article should be at either slowtwitch.com or bicyclesports.com. Check it out.

As far as a shoe, if you going to race in it, make sure it doesn't have laces. Road specific shoes often have laces underneath velcro, making for a very long transistion.
re: buying the first bikeclink
Jan 10, 2002 8:41 PM
Hi.. i've been doing triathlons for 2 years now.. and have just (3 days ago) bought a new bike.. I did my first triathlon on my fathers old (1970) bottechia (s/p??) and did well.. liked the sport and decided a newer bike was in order.. but because i couldn't spend alot of cash I bought a used nishiki tri bike for $350 canadian.. (thats like $2 for all you US folks) it had full 600 group, and I used it for 1 season.. outgrew it, and this year bought a 2001 Devinci silverstone.. so to make a long story short, I would look for a good used bike and either save the money for race entries and a good pair of shoes.. (bike and running) I use SIDI T1s which I love, i've put 1700km on them so far, with the longest ride being 180km and have had no problems with them.. though I also have used mountian bike shoes for 2 triathlons as well, but i would say if your thinking about getting serious get good tri or road bike shoes. For the bikes that you have listed, I would go with the ORC 2.. simply because you get the most bang for your buck..
cheers and good luck
David