New Road Bike Suggestions

Discussion in 'Road Bikes' started by gatorguy, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. gatorguy

    gatorguy New Member

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    In the 70's I did a lot of road biking, couple Iron Mans, a lot of charity rides, in short, I was on my bike a lot - probably like most of you are now. The bike I rode was a Lambert (of the fork of death fame). OK bike, I upgraded most components to Campi or Suntour before I was done. The bike was light and very fast by the standards of the day.

    I migrated into other sports and got married and left my biking days behind.

    Fast-forward 30 years. I am 56 years old, 5'11" and 260lbs (down from 282, I might add). I decided to renew my cycling interest, mostly for the workout. I figured I would just take it easy on a nice comfortable hybrid and put a few miles on here and there to get the heart pumping and shed a few lbs. I didn't care too much about speed or performance so I bought a middle of the line bike for around $800.

    But no, the beast within me awoke again and now after about 1500 miles this year I'm missing the speed and response of a true road bike.

    So now my question to the group: I will look at moving into another road bike ether this fall, or next spring when pricing is attractive. I want a bike that will get me there and will perform on all aspects of a road trip (not so much touring), maybe 50 to 100 miles per day, and I want somthing that will be up to the task both winding around curvy trails and pounding up hills. I will spend in the neighborhood of 2k to 2.5k. I am not interested in racing.

    Any suggestions on brands/models that I should not overlook?

    What are your opinions on buying used bikes on Craigslist or Ebay?

    Thanks
     
  2. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    There are two suggestions that I give to anyone in the market for a new bike. First off, if you are like me and love to work on your own stuff and have a good general knowlege of bikes, used stuff is ok. There are great deals to be had on Craig's list and elsewhere. Around half of my bikes were purchased second hand. I've bought nearly new complete bikes for the price of the frame alone. Even if I don't like some of the components, I simply replace them and then sell off the stuff I don't want.

    If you have no interest in wrenching on your own bike and will take it to your local bike shop for repairs, upgrades, & maintainence, then I suggest that you buy your bike from your LBS. If you're lucky enough to have several to choose from, visit them all. See what they have and what they recommend. You will probably find one that has a brand that you like and good staff. Their are many advantages to buying your bike from your LBS. They will often times offer lifetime tune ups/adjustments, or at least for the first year. Many do not charge for component upgrade or installation of parts that you buy from them. Some have discounts for bike club members. The list goes on...

    Hope this helps and good luck with your new ride!

    -Scott
     

  3. gatorguy

    gatorguy New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I think I fall half into the wrench it yourself category, I'm fine with adjusting derailleurs, truing wheels etc. I am fortunate in that I live in the Twin Cities where there are tons of great bike shops and mechanics. I would go to one and pay for fitting, even if I didn't buy from them.

    What I'm really looking for are suggestions of OEMs and what should I be looking for in terms of frames - pros and cons of material types for what I want to do. The confusing part to me is there are so many manufacturers out there that I know nothing about and I don't want to overlook something just because the name isn't familiar, or the LBS doesn't carry the brand.

    Thanks
     
  4. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Gator, I have no clue about the road bikes brand etc. But I just recently got back on a bike myself. One advantage we now have that we didn't in the 70's is the net. I went and hit the shops looked at what was out there, wrote the information down and came back and researched them online. I had a journal of sorts where I rated the way the bikes that I road felt, the price, components, all the important stuff. Not only was I able to research the brand but also the components. I have yet to not find information on the parts online. I also made notes of where the bikes were. How I was treated at the LBS and the overall feelings about the entire operation. If you are planning on buying later this year or next spring you still have some time. Even bikes on craigslist and ebay have enough info that you can research them before buying. But if I were you I would get me a small notebook and hit the LBS's. Then if you need more info come back here and we will help you spend your hard earned money.

    I have a LBS within 5 minutes yet, I ended up driving 50 miles and spending $400 more than originally budgeted after my research and the way the LBS treated me while looking.
     
  5. glens2422

    glens2422 New Member

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    I agree the way you are treated at the LBS is very important. One that give you little or no hassle is great. I have bought bikes on the net and EBAY and been satisfied with both. If you are looking for comfort, carbon or steel should be in the range you are looking for.The next thing is components, Shimano, SRAM or Campy. I have not tried the top end Campy but I am told by others it is very nice. I do ride SRAM red and Shimano Dura ace and both have their advantages. After you find the frame you like for comfort then see which components you want and will pay for. If you can, try to ride a steel frame they are not that popular today but I was surprized at the comfort it offered over a carbon frame. Hope that helps.
     
  6. gatorguy

    gatorguy New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Just an update, I purchased a 2009 Specialized Robaix Elite from a dealer who was dropping (or was being dropped) the Specialized line. I got it for less than Specialized allows dealers to sell them for, $1599 (at least according to another dealer).

    I love the bike. I think the DT components are OK (105s) but am thinking about making it a triple over the Winter. Not sure about the wheel sets though.
     
  7. chh55

    chh55 Drink plenty of water!!!

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    I see you're from St Paul! Are you going to join TCBC? I'm a Swedish clubrider with roots in MPLS and I ride with TCBC during my summer visits there. I'll keep a lookout for a guy on a Roubaix Elite on the "Tears Fears and Gears" ride... all the major climbs in St Paul. Happy biking!
     
  8. gatorguy

    gatorguy New Member

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    I am definately NOT ready for all those hills in one day. At this point in time my goals are just making it up Ramsey hill and the long hills of Sibly Memorial Highway without having to stop. When I can do those a couple times, then I'll think about 30 miles worth of hills.

    I'm thinking that dropping another 40 or 50 lbs will go a long way toward that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009