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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone I need some advice. I am hoping to get into road biking and I have no idea what I'm doing. I used to ride BMX bikes a lot when I was younger, so i do have a good amount of general biking knowledge, but when it comes to road biking, im clueless. I am going to be joining the military in a year, so I'm hoping to not only do this for enjoyment but also as a way to do cardio training. my first bike will have to be used, or a low end new one (paying for college tends to drain my wallet), and I am really unsure of what to look for in a good bike, what some good brands are, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Knowing how much you are will to spend would be a big help for us to help you. But there are some brands like Fuji, and Kona that offer a lot for less money then major brands and they can be purchased at local bike shops it they carry one of those brands. If you know what size of a bike you ride there is a place called Bikes Direct; see: Save Up To 60% Off Road Bikes, Bicycles, Mountain Bikes and Bicycles with Bikesdirect.com, New with full warranties they have really decent bikes for less money then local bike shops. Bikes Direct sale bikes are on the home page, if none of those do anything for you or you just want to see more then click on the tabs and go crazy looking at all the models, but you should be able to find something nice at your price range.

Buying a used bike is tricky if you don't know much about different bikes and their components. Try to teach you what to look for here would be impossible. If you have friend who is real familar with bicycles then maybe they can help you. You could find a bike on Craigslist and post what you found here for us to critique it here, problem with that though by the time you got a response the bike could be gone. And you still need to know what size bike you need to look on the used market.
 

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Go to a good bike store (not a big box store) talk to a sales person who specializes in bikes. There advise is the best. If you try to get something cheap you usual pay for it later. Remember a good bike is a good investment. I ended up with last years model of a Trek. and will probably get most of my money out of it when I trade up. Forget craigs list ore internet stuff you will lose in the end. hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@froze. Sorry I forgot to include size. I am 5' 10" tall (177.5 cm) im not sure what size of bike that would be. And price range is pretty low, preferably not more than $300.. And ok I will look at bikes direct, thanks.

@billiejohnson. Ok I agree with most ppl on here, LBS are the best way to go. The BMX shop I used to frequent was awesome, the owner really knew his stuff and wouldn't pressure you. There is a rlly good (supposedly) road bike shop near me too so I'll give that a try. Thank you also
 

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@froze. Sorry I forgot to include size. I am 5' 10" tall (177.5 cm) im not sure what size of bike that would be. And price range is pretty low, preferably not more than $300.. And ok I will look at bikes direct, thanks.

@billiejohnson. Ok I agree with most ppl on here, LBS are the best way to go. The BMX shop I used to frequent was awesome, the owner really knew his stuff and wouldn't pressure you. There is a rlly good (supposedly) road bike shop near me too so I'll give that a try. Thank you also
It's going to be tough to find a bike at an LBS for $300 range. Maybe you can find a model from last year their trying to clear off the floor and get a $500 bike for $300, but that's a pretty big cut on a $500 bike because the profit margins aren't the same as on a $1500 bike for example. But do go to an lbs to see if you can find anything. I know where I live all the LBS's in town do not carry any adult bikes for less then $450, they figure Walmart will take the ones that want a less expensive bike then that figure.

You could get a decent used bike for that money, but again you better know your bikes are you get ripped off bad. Perhaps a LBS in town may have a selection of used bikes you could look at. The good thing about looking for used bike on Craigslist (CL) is that for $300 range those bikes tend not to sell as fast as the $100 ones, so if you see one on CL, call them and get any particulars like the bike size, component package, then post here as quickly as you can with as much details as you can and see if someone can tell you what they think.

Bikes Direct, if you gone over there and looked, has about 10 bike offerings in your price range of $300. This one: Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Avenue B | Save up to 60% off new road bikes is a decent new school type of bike for the money, it is a all aluminum frame which I don't particularly care about aluminum, or carbon fiber for that matter frames, but that's just a personal opinion not shared by thousands!

There is also this bike at the same place, more of a traditional old school approach with a steel frame which would hold up longer, see: Road Bikes - Motobecane Mirage
If you go to the sizing page listed on Bikes Direct they will guide you as to how to find the right size bike for you.

Personally I like the last bike I showed you, it looks like a classic bike, it is a steel frame, it will hold up to years of use without fatigue. The components are just ok, but your only going to use the bike for a short time then store it, but the Microshift components aren't bad either. You can always upgrade as needed later when parts fail.

I do agree with your budget for a bike because this is your first road bike, you don't want to spend a $1,000 for a first bike (even if you had the money) because about 90% of first time buyers use the bike about 3 months then it becomes garage art for the next 30 years or so...which is great for me when I stumble across one that fits, I have a couple of bikes that had less then 250 miles on the bikes that were purchased 25 years ago with great intentions to ride, and I got them cheap.

Anyways, you have some options now, so go forth and conquer a bike!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok thanks for all the help everyone! I think I also need to lower my expectations a little I was hoping to get something like this:

image-2678077002.jpg

When I am looking more at something like this:


image-181699746.jpg

Haha. But I have yet to explore my lbs and see what they have to offer. Again, thank you everyone for your help, and I'll be sure to post some pics once I have a ride.
 

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Ok thanks for all the help everyone! I think I also need to lower my expectations a little I was hoping to get something like this:

View attachment 5095

When I am looking more at something like this:


View attachment 5096

Haha. But I have yet to explore my lbs and see what they have to offer. Again, thank you everyone for your help, and I'll be sure to post some pics once I have a ride.
Well yeah, that Fuji's the bomb...but I have problems with carbon fiber products, but it does look cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Really? What's the problem with carbon?

And unfortunate I don't hav the assistance of someone knowledgeable, I haven't looked that hard for a used bike though
 

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Plenty of people will tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with carbon fiber. The folks that have experienced some sort of failure tend to be less enthusiastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok. What kind of problems happen? I know that when I rode BMX the big thing was chromoly, which was light but really strong. However I met several people who had snapped or bent their frames or forks and weren't too happy
 

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One member on here reported that they cable guy knocked over his bike, in his house, and cracked the frame. Someone else had a failure while riding, but I think their derailleur broke, and took out the frame. Plenty of scary stories about bars and seatposts breaking too.
 

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I certainly don't want to start another thread on the pros/cons of carbon fiber bikes, but my advise is that if you are rough on your equipment, then a CF bike is probably something you want to stay away from. You have to treat them like the delicate machines they are. I have one, know the risks associated with the material and I still love my bike and would buy another in a heart beat. But as Hack mentioned, knock one over and it hits the ground just right, or wreck on one and you may well be buying a new frame. Just be aware and informed!
 

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I certainly don't want to start another thread on the pros/cons of carbon fiber bikes, but my advise is that if you are rough on your equipment, then a CF bike is probably something you want to stay away from. You have to treat them like the delicate machines they are. I have one, know the risks associated with the material and I still love my bike and would buy another in a heart beat. But as Hack mentioned, knock one over and it hits the ground just right, or wreck on one and you may well be buying a new frame. Just be aware and informed!
+1; and Poolie, thank you for putting is so elegantly; I stayed away from answering the question because I knew it would cause an uproar the way I would have worded it.

And Hack is correct, in fact kind of spooky right! I had a friend who had a Trek Modone; he had the bike leaning against his work bench in his garage. His 7 year old daughter went into the garage and accidentally bumped the bike, the bike started sliding and fell to the floor hitting a vice he had sitting on the floor. He called me when he discovered a deep scratch with what appeared to be real short hairs showing. I told him he needed to take it the LBS and have them look at it. The IBS totaled the frame.

Nowadays however this sort of damaged can be repaired, back when my friends frame was damaged there was nobody who could do it. Calfee is the leader in such repairs and would probably cost him around $150 plus paint to match and shipping both ways-still far cheaper then a new frame. More serious damage will cost more.

If my friend would have had a steel or titanium frame he would have had just an ugly scratch.

Certain mechanical failures can have disastrous consequences to a CF framed bike; failures like chain suck, over torquing a component, there's been quite a few CF fork failures etc. I think there are some CF frame builders that do a fantastic job building their bikes, but the onslaught of made in China CF frames, forks, cranks, bars and wheels leaves me a bit leery of stuff from there. There's a lot that can go wrong in the manufacturing process that if not caught by quality control or engineered out can make for a slew of problems.
 

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To me a prime consideration is what you want to do with the bike. Will you be carrying stuff, shopping? Make sure the bike has mounting lugs for a rack if you want one. I like to carry books, groceries, dogs and dog food, so I make sure my bike is practical not just an exercise thing. Does "road bike" always mean drop handlebars etc? I'm an old timer now but even in my younger days that low riding position got old fast. For me it was never about speed but getting somewhere, anywhere, even far away, and I wanted to see where I was going. And somewhere you'll need to fix a spare tube and a pump etc, and the tire levers. I like a allen wrench or two also. For me a trip to the grocery store is 20 miles round trip, so my bikes need to serve that purpose. Spend enough money to get a nice machine, one that you will ride and one that fits you well, and learn how to fit it to you, that is critically important. If it gets uncomfortable and you are fighting the bike you won't ride, and we need you to ride, not buy fossil fuel.
 

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Plenty of people will tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with carbon fiber. The folks that have experienced some sort of failure tend to be less enthusiastic.
Me me me me!I have jumped ship and foresee my next ride being ti :cool:
 

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Me me me me!I have jumped ship and foresee my next ride being ti :cool:
I have an eye on a Motobecane LeChamp SL Titanium at Bikes Direct I'm hoping to get this spring...but it depends on some investments that did poorly this year how they do next year.
 
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