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Suggestions for first road bike?

Discussion in 'Sports & Outdoor Adventure' started by tnmike1, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. W9TR

    W9TR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    534
    Location:
    The Neutral Zone
    Sounds like you're on the right track. Find a shop that will fit you to the correct bike and try a few different geometries and frame materials to see what you like best.

    Fit and geometry win over everything else. All the component groups are really good today.

    Tom
     

     

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  2. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,742
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    ^I'd disagree with the above statement that all component groups are really good.

    My GF has two bikes, one that her son gave her (Diamondback rigid MTB) and one that I found for her used and cheap (Trek hybrid) because the Diamondback's drivetrain was slap wore out.

    Both use very similar Shimano Alivio (sp?) components and I'm not impressed. The DB's chainrings are worn out and they are not replaceable, you have to buy all new crank arms to replace the rings? That's crap and cheap on their part. Of course that's how they keep the price down, but now I'm looking at buying not only three rings, a chain, and a cassette, but a whole new crankset just to make this bike rideable again. Were it not for the fact that her son gave it to her it probably wouldn't make sense to even mess with it, just throw it on the scrap pile and move on.

    I found the Trek for $80 and its drivetrain is in good shape so that is way cheaper than fixing the DB, I probably will someday but right now I'm stuck on it, there is no use in my buying parts for it until I get the non drive side crank off (it's stuck on the taper, stripped the threads right out of the crank when I applied my crank puller) and the bottom bracket out of the frame (it's worn out too, and the overall rustiness of the steel stuff on the bike and the fact that it's an aluminum frame leads me to believe that it'll be a fight.) Good times, good times.

    Were it up to me I would not accept anything less than Deore or 105, but then again, she's riding for $80 and a couple hours of cleaning, lubing, and adjusting, so replacing crap components with good ones as they fail on a used bike is a viable strategy if you have the tools and knowledge.

    Agree on the comment that many wheels are crap as well. Don't know what's on the DB but they're pretty banged up, and she managed to bend the rear wheel (Weinmann) on the Trek on an 8 mile ride. Good news is if you shop around you can find a good wheelset for not much over $100 for many bikes.
     
  3. Dingman

    Dingman Do you know where your towel is? Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,402
    Location:
    Des Moines, Ia
    W9TR said it - fit and geometry rules over all other considerations. Make sure the bike fits properly, and it will be a pleasure to ride. Bad fit means pain, unpleasant rides and the bike will just sit.

    Well, true that the bottom of the barrel components won't last long and can't be adjusted properly, that's been my experience.

    Agreed, if you stay at 105 or above, it'll last and works well.
     
  4. jbailey930

    jbailey930 AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    N. Va
    My Trek roadie came with SRam components. I've been pleased with over 2 yrs and 3k miles.
     
  5. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,742
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    I think we're on the same page here. I guess my point is you can actually go to a Real Bike Store, drop $5-600 on a new bike from a respected manufacturer, and still end up with crap components.

    It's a bit shocking how much this stuff costs when you say to yourself "but I can buy a bike at Wal-Mart for $200" but that's not really how to think about it. The way you really should think about it is that it is a form of transportation that you are mixing it up in traffic on public roads at up to 30 MPH with only some Spandex and a goofy foam hat between you and the pavement, don't you really want to pay for quality?

    As with audio, buying used can really help maximize your dollar, so long as you are cognizant of how to check parts for wear and have an idea in your head what wear parts are easily replaceable and which ones are expensive.
     
  6. W9TR

    W9TR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    534
    Location:
    The Neutral Zone
    Yep

    Good points in the really low end components. I was referring the groups generally found on the kilo-buck bikes the OP is looking at. But point taken.

    Again, a great shop will help you steer clear of the bad stuff and get the best fit and geometry. I did not know what I was missing by not having the bike professionally fitted. Huge upgrade in comfort and efficiency.
     

     

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  7. tnmike1

    tnmike1 AK Member Subscriber

    well things have changed here. First after talking with some folks who do 50-60 miles per ride, don't think the road bike is for me. Then I talked to my bike shop--nd don't forget I have a Cannondale hybrid--and they suggest using the hybrid for neighborhood rides and greenways. And Knoxville has miles upon miles of greenways that are only for walkers/bikers. Then they suggested a basic mountain bike. Knoxville and the surrounding 50 or so miles have tons upon tons of trails, everything from beginner to intermediate to extreme. So I think I'm now looking in that direction. Use the hybrid for the greenways and neighboring streets and the mountain bike to getinto the semi-wild.

    another factor I didn't realize is that my shop as a six-months-same-as-cash deal which I can easily afford. So I've upped my outlooks a bit; taking all your suggestions from abhove posts, looking at only quality material in a beginning bike. and lo and behold several of the store employees are avid mountain bikers who host weekly rides for groups in all levels of experience and fitness.
     
  8. chef free

    chef free AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,247
    Location:
    Hayward, Ca
    Now you are on the right track! And it's because of the kind folks at the bike shop. Remember, when you are buying a bike you are buying a bike shop. It seems that you have found one that treats you right, now you are on your way.
     
  9. gogofast

    gogofast AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,977
    Location:
    Seattle
    I also agree that most new bikes these days come with not so great components unless the price tag goes above 1k. I find used bikes that are 10-15 years old to be of a great bargain - especially late 90's and early 00's Trek (both mt and road bikes). I enjoy riding both mt and road bikes - new and old, and even though I don't ride everyday, the way I ride my bikes requires a lot of maintenance. So I started doing most of repair/maintenance myself. It's not a bad idea to invest in a decent maintenance setup. Truing rig, stand, tools, and lots of lubes/grease, and etc. My local shop offers free maintenance for a year when you purchase a new bike, but for some of used and parts bikes I have, maintenance cost can run up to few hundred each annually.
     
  10. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,742
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    ^yup... just bought the girl an Trek hybrid from Goodwill (??!?!?!?!) for about $80

    needed some lubing and adjustment and a non-big, stupid cushy seat to get it on the road and she says it's the best riding bike she's ever had. Still need to repack the wheel bearings when I get free time...

    Disappointment: the crankset is kinda crap. Lower end Shimano triples apparently have non replaceable chainrings. Not a problem now but I'm keeping an eye out for a suitable better one for when the rings inevitably need to be replaced. Need another one for a project bike as well with the same damn crankset.
     
  11. tnmike1

    tnmike1 AK Member Subscriber

    As I stated earlier, my shop offers free adjustments and really nominal fees for major stuff. I'm in no way mechanically inclined so want someone to do all that for me
     

     

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  12. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    25,853
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    Can you drive to Oak Ridge, there's an awesome old school bike shop there. Oak Ridge Bicycle Center, Bill Winters the owner. Known Bill for many years, a class act. Superb service.
     

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