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Cyclists- help me find a good entry bike?
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Cyclists- help me find a good entry bike? - November 30, 2011, 12:02 PM

I need your help in finding a decent entry road bike. While I did some standard and sprint triathlons in college, I had an ancient trek 600 and haven't talked to that crowd in years. I'm looking for something more modern for fun/exercise and possibly getting back into sprint triathlons.

My problem is that I don't know enough to sort through everything I'm reading online. I hear conflicting things between brands and distributing companies. Essentially, I need help finding the SV650 of road bikes and I know the enthusiasts here have the knowledge (and hopefully the will) to help out a fellow rider.


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November 30, 2011, 12:26 PM

price range is everything.....there are $4000 "entry" level bikes


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November 30, 2011, 12:29 PM

Do not worry about a tri specific bike, esp if you're only looking at sprint triathlons. You'll gain a lot more speed simply by riding 3-4 times a week on a normal road bike. Once you've been at it for a year, then you could consider either upgrading your road bike and getting some aero wheels and bars, or looking to purchase a separate tri bike, but for the foreseeable future, don't even worry about tri bikes.


That said, if you're looking at purchasing new, and without knowing your price point....

2.1 - Trek Bicycle -- I recommend this one as a very solid starter bike because it has Shimano's 105 grouping, which is pretty good for the price. The lower Tiagra and Sora groups you might want to stay away from if you can afford to. If that price is a touch too high, then look at the 1.5: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...d_1_series/1_5

Comparibly, the Felt Z85 is a great value, costing a little less than the Trek 2.1, but you get the full 105 grouping: Z85 - Felt Bicycles

Coming in a little under those is the Scott S30, it has 105 in the rear (which you'll use a lot more often), and Tiagra in the front, but it's also about $200 less than the others: SCOTT Speedster S30 - Bike Performance


Now, if you're not opposed to buying used, you'll get a lot more bang for your buck. Lots of pretty wealthy folks in this region who aren't afraid to keep upgrading their bike each year, with essentially brand new bikes hitting CL all the time. If you know your size, look for bikes with at least that 105 group or up. If you can find something with Shimano's Ultegra group...even better!

Also, I've become a huge fan of SRAM products this past year (vs. sticking strictly to the Shimano stuff), so if you see anything with SRAM Apex or Rival, it's quality stuff. My current commuter has the SRAM Rival group, and my real nice road bike has the 2nd to highest SRAM Force stuff. But anything Apex or Rival is good stuff.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions.




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November 30, 2011, 01:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyatt View Post
price range is everything.....there are $4000 "entry" level bikes

Good point- Looking sub $1k. If I find the passion for it, I'll look to upgrade later. If I don't, I won't need a rarely used $4k missile.

sk8nsanta

Thanks for the write up. I'll put the S30 on my short list. Are there any specific brands to stick with? I also had a friend recommend bikesdirect.com since I'm not at a "serious" bike enthusiast level yet. Any thoughts on that?


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November 30, 2011, 01:20 PM

I think i should start riding a bike to work since it's so close


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November 30, 2011, 01:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefitzvh View Post
I think i should start riding a bike to work since it's so close
9 miles = ~30 minutes

Do it phggt.


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November 30, 2011, 01:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle View Post
9 miles = ~30 minutes

Do it phggt.
Yep.... i want to. Money is just super tight lately


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November 30, 2011, 01:42 PM

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Originally Posted by thefitzvh View Post
Yep.... i want to. Money is just super tight lately
Well that's a great way to save money
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November 30, 2011, 02:05 PM

First step is to go to a local dealer and get measured so that you get the right size bike.

Then look at last year's models. Like cars and motorcycles, the 2012 models are coming out now so last year's models will be discounted.

Most tri specific bikes start at over $1000 MSRP new. They are a niche category (though growing rapidly) and very much cutting edge. A road bike with aero bars is more versatile. Tri bikes are specifically designed to allow a better transition between the bike and run stage by having a different seat angle. More open so that your legs don't have as much of a change between biking and running.

Do your research online about the different bikes available. Felt is one of the better known brands. As mentioned earlier, Trek is good also. Another brand is Quintana Roo.

I recently purhcased a Jamis Comet bike on ebay for $850. It was a 2010 dealer display, never ridden. Ultegra rear and 105 front. Dealer even admitted he was losing money on the deal. I will still use my older hybrid bike (2001 Raleigh C500 hybrid) for most of my riding and training. But the Jamis is a great bike.

Watch e-bay and craigslist. The season is over and people will be looking to sell their existing bikes.


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November 30, 2011, 02:23 PM

I wonder what happened to the "top of the line" components of bikes before? I used to ride 10 years ago and had a bike with near top of the line components and they were smooth like butter. Whatever happened to those? I would buy a bike with yesterday's top of the line before I buy a bike with today's entry-level components. Can those even be found anymore? Or is there any reason why they are not? Or any reason why today's entry-level would be considered better than yesterday's top of the line? I'd one of those used for a couple of hundred dollars if they were available.
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November 30, 2011, 02:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by nootherids View Post
I wonder what happened to the "top of the line" components of bikes before? I used to ride 10 years ago and had a bike with near top of the line components and they were smooth like butter. Whatever happened to those? I would buy a bike with yesterday's top of the line before I buy a bike with today's entry-level components. Can those even be found anymore? Or is there any reason why they are not? Or any reason why today's entry-level would be considered better than yesterday's top of the line? I'd one of those used for a couple of hundred dollars if they were available.
wat


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2012 Harley Ultra Limited in Ultra Annoying Orange Sold!
2012 V-Strom 1000 Sold!
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Brace Yourselves... the cries of "It's too cold to ride" are coming...
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November 30, 2011, 02:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8nsanta View Post
Do not worry about a tri specific bike, esp if you're only looking at sprint triathlons. You'll gain a lot more speed simply by riding 3-4 times a week on a normal road bike. Once you've been at it for a year, then you could consider either upgrading your road bike and getting some aero wheels and bars, or looking to purchase a separate tri bike, but for the foreseeable future, don't even worry about tri bikes.
^this

Clip-ons and a road bike will take you much further.

Also, if you start riding with a regular group (RBC for example) tri bikes are frowned upon in packs (something about roadies being afraid of tri bars while drafting ). Of course you can always ride with tri-specific groups like RATS and they don't care what you are on as long as you are there to get seat time .

bikesdirect.com always has great bikes with good components for a really bang up price. Ultegra for $899 for example Save up to 60% off brand new Road Bikes, Roadbikes - 2012 Mercier Corvus AL

Tough to beat that deal but going with a local bike shop also has its benefits


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November 30, 2011, 02:38 PM

Quote:
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9 miles = ~30 minutes

Do it phggt.
is that the time without stopping at stop signs?


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November 30, 2011, 02:41 PM

Very few signs on my way to work. straight shot down a back road


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2012 Harley Ultra Limited in Ultra Annoying Orange Sold!
2012 V-Strom 1000 Sold!
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November 30, 2011, 03:29 PM

What I was saying is that I wouldn't mind buying a 10 year old bike with 10 year old Shimano XTR components (for example). I would pay a couple of hundred for the old stuff if taken care of. They worked wonderfully then, why not now.

What I was asking is, what really makes the new stuff that much more valuable than the old stuff? And how come there aren't any 10 year old bikes for sale, or are there?
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