Advice on Entry level Road Bike

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Roger W, Mar 3, 2003.

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  1. Roger W

    Roger W Guest

    Last year, I got hooked on road biking. I would ride over 100
    mile/week on a knobby fat tired mountain bike with no shocks. I'm ready to make a move towards
    serious roadbiking, However, I'm on a budget.

    I've been looking at three bikes, all priced around $550-$600
    NOTE: I'm 6'1 and have a big frame. I presently weight in close to 240(though I plan on losing down
    to 210, my ideal weight)

    Trek 1000 - This looks like a good option, but I've heard horror stories of heavier riders and spoke
    problems due to cheap wheels. Has this been resolved for 2003? I also understand that the Shamino
    Sora components are questionable.

    Raleigh R500 - This is a 2002 model and is on sale for $599. It has Shamino Tiagra components,
    but I've read questionable reviews to quality, but for $599, is it better than the similar priced
    Trek 1000?

    Fuji Finest - Looks to be a decent bike, but very similar to the Trek 1000. I would opt for the Fuji
    if their wheels would be better suited for my weight.

    What do you think the the best option of the three? Any other recommendations? I'm really stuck in
    the $600 range... I'm just looking for a reliable substantial upgrade from the heavyweight fat tired
    monster I'm riding now.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Tags:


  2. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Roger W" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last year, I got hooked on road biking. I would ride over 100
    > mile/week on a knobby fat tired mountain bike with no shocks. I'm ready to make a move towards
    > serious roadbiking, However, I'm on a budget.
    >
    > I've been looking at three bikes, all priced around $550-$600
    > NOTE: I'm 6'1 and have a big frame. I presently weight in close to 240(though I plan on losing
    > down to 210, my ideal weight)
    >
    > Trek 1000 - This looks like a good option, but I've heard horror stories of heavier riders and
    > spoke problems due to cheap wheels. Has this been resolved for 2003? I also understand that the
    > Shamino Sora components are questionable.
    >
    > Raleigh R500 - This is a 2002 model and is on sale for $599. It has Shamino Tiagra components,
    > but I've read questionable reviews to quality, but for $599, is it better than the similar priced
    > Trek 1000?
    >
    > Fuji Finest - Looks to be a decent bike, but very similar to the Trek 1000. I would opt for the
    > Fuji if their wheels would be better suited for my weight.
    >
    >
    > What do you think the the best option of the three? Any other recommendations? I'm really stuck in
    > the $600 range... I'm just looking for a reliable substantial upgrade from the heavyweight fat
    > tired monster I'm riding now.
    >
    > Thanks in advance.

    The absolute cheapest thing you can do for right now is to change out those knobbies for a pair of
    slick tires. A set of 1.5" slicks will let you go faster with less effort. Even better would be some
    1.25" tires, but they may or may not fit your rims. Your LBS, Performance, or Nashbar can get you
    set up with a pair.

    Have you considered going used? For $600 you'll potentially get a much nicer package. At your size,
    there should be a few bikes around. Check out www.roadbikereview.com or www.bikereview.com (even
    www.mtbr.com has road bikes sometimes) before you commit to a specific bike.

    The other way to get a nicer bike is to look at last year's models. Sometimes you can find
    substantial savings on closeouts.

    You're probably going to become friends with the guys that are taking care of your wheels. If you
    start having problems, you'll probably want to have a stronger set of wheels built. An even better
    solution is to learn how to build and maintain your own wheels. Check out Jobst Brandt's book: The
    Bicycle Wheel for more detail.

    Mike
     
  3. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Roger W" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last year, I got hooked on road biking. I would ride over 100
    > mile/week on a knobby fat tired mountain bike with no shocks. I'm ready to make a move towards
    > serious roadbiking, However, I'm on a budget.
    >
    > I've been looking at three bikes, all priced around $550-$600
    > NOTE: I'm 6'1 and have a big frame. I presently weight in close to 240(though I plan on losing
    > down to 210, my ideal weight)

    That money will get you a workable bike, but 240 will put a load on the wheels (I'm 230). You should
    be careful to find a good bike shop that can set you up well. With wheels, the most important thing
    is build quality. Many new bikes are sold with the factory-built wheels just as delivered. Most of
    these wheels are under tensioned and have not been stress relieved. For a little background, check
    out the on-line FAQ, especially the section on wheels. Ask the shop if they stress relieve and
    tension wheels on new bikes, they should, heavy riders are apt to have problems with spoke breakage
    and/or loosening if they don't. If you're reasonably mechanically adept, you can learn to do it
    yourself, the only tool needed is a $5 spoke wrench.
     
  4. Trog-Dor

    Trog-Dor Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, khalador2 @yahoo.com says...
    > Last year, I got hooked on road biking. I would ride over 100
    > mile/week on a knobby fat tired mountain bike with no shocks. I'm ready to make a move towards
    > serious roadbiking, However, I'm on a budget.

    I have always been a big fan of Giant bikes (ridden them for years and they have always been
    reliable and comfortable) the you can get the OCR 3 for around 500, I believe with the OCR2 running
    around 750.

    another good option is Felt bikes. They're starting to move into the mainstream road bike market (as
    opposed to just tri bikes) and are priced much lower than most other comparably specced bikes. I
    think their entry level is also around 500. My friend just got their second- model up for around
    700, and it is a great bike. you rarely see a carbon fork and 105 components on a <$1000bike.
     
  5. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >I've been looking at three bikes, all priced around $550-$600
    >NOTE: I'm 6'1 and have a big frame. I presently weight in close to 240(though I plan on losing down
    > to 210, my ideal weight)

    You sound just about like me. At times I will be up to 240 but mostly about 230lbs.

    Guys like us can ride happily on a nice road bike if it has good wheels. The buzz words for good
    wheels are "properly tensioned and stress relieved." On a new bike, a top quality shop will tension
    and stress relieve the wheels. Must be done if you want your wheels to last.

    Wheels on bikes in this price range are machine build and under tensioned. If the shop does em up
    right, they can last nicely. Otherwise, you will be in for some headaches.

    Guys like us need to learn to ride lightly, never hit a pothole or debris in the road. We need to be
    amazed that those little spokes that are designed for 172 lb riders can hold us up for many
    thousands of miles,

    Give your bike respect and it will give you good service.

    Now about that bike. I have already said the magic words, find yourself a good bike shop that is
    willing to take the time to educate you and that knows how to really setup a bike. The bike itself
    is less important than the shop. The shop can help you choose the right bike and make the bike
    work for you.

    Used bikes can be a great bargin, just about everything I own I purchased used.

    But it takes careful evaluation. Spend real money and discover later that the wheels are toast or
    that the frame is cracked. You will have just spent enough money to buy yourself a new bike.

    But with careful shopping, looking around and doing ones homework, you can find some nice bikes at
    bargin prices. If you are willing to settle for a nice decent bike rather than the latest and
    greatest, downtube shifting rather than STI or Ergo, then $100 has bought many a fine ride.

    I have written a few pages on evaluating and buying bikes, both new and used. If you are interested,
    Email me and i will send them to you.

    Jon
     
  6. Roger W wrote:
    >
    >
    > Trek 1000 - This looks like a good option, but I've heard horror stories of heavier riders and
    > spoke problems due to cheap wheels. Has this been resolved for 2003? I also understand that the
    > Shamino Sora components are questionable.
    >

    I was heavier than you when I started road riding on this same bike. The wheels are fine if the shop
    adds some tension to them. There is NOTHING wrong with Sora components, other than they are 8 speed.
    8 speed isn't a problem, but may cause compatibility issues of you decide to upgrade components
    later. Sora rides GREAT when given the same attention as a higher group would get. The Trek used to
    come with 25mm tires, I don't know if it still does. This can be a plus for bigger riders.

    > Raleigh R500 - This is a 2002 model and is on sale for $599. It has Shamino Tiagra components,
    > but I've read questionable reviews to quality, but for $599, is it better than the similar priced
    > Trek 1000?

    Tiagra is a step up from Sora, and is 9-speed. This is a decent bike, as is the 1000.

    > Fuji Finest - Looks to be a decent bike, but very similar to the Trek 1000. I would opt for the
    > Fuji if their wheels would be better suited for my weight.

    All of these bike are going to have similar quality wheels. Have the shop tension them up on the
    bike you choose.

    > What do you think the the best option of the three? Any other recommendations?

    Which one feels better when YOU ride it? RIDE ALL THREE! All are good bikes, and $600 buys a far
    better bike than adjusted-for-inflation money would have years ago. Pick one and have fun!

    Barry
     
  7. Jake Khuon

    Jake Khuon Guest

    ### On Tue, 04 Mar 2003 12:13:49 GMT, "B a r r y B u r k e J r ." <"keep it in the newsgroup
    ### "@thankyou.com> [BarryBurkeJr] casually decided to expound upon rec.bicycles.misc the following
    ### thoughts about Re: Advice on Entry level Road Bike:

    BarryBurkeJr> NOTHING wrong with Sora components, other than they are 8 speed. 8 speed isn't a
    BarryBurkeJr> problem, but may cause compatibility issues of you decide to upgrade components later.
    BarryBurkeJr> Sora rides GREAT when given the same attention as a higher group would get.

    I too think Sora will hold up fine if cared for properly. My issue with Sora is a personal one. I
    don't like the placement of the thumb toggle on the shifter. It's probably because my hands are
    small but I can't reach it when I'm in the drops. I don't seem to have as much a problem with Campy
    Ergos though but I still find regular STIs (Tiagra and above) more comfortable to operate overall.
    This has been my main reason for sticking with Shimano rather than going over to Campy. I'm not sure
    if anyone specs a bike with mixed Sora drivetrain and Tiagra brifters but I think that would be
    ideal as an entry level group. Maybe the bikeshop could do a swap. Yes, I realise there'd still be
    the 8-speed issue. Perhaps Tiagra rear der., cassette and brifters with the rest being Sora...

    --
    /*===================[ Jake Khuon <[email protected]> ]======================+
    | Packet Plumber, Network Engineers /| / [~ [~ |) | | --------------- | for Effective Bandwidth
    | Utilisation / |/ [_ [_ |) |_| N E T W O R K S |
    +=========================================================================*/
     
  8. I second the advice of others to 1) consider buying used and 2) quality built wheels will hold your
    weight just fine. I'm in the 200 lb range myself and I put in between 6K-10K miles/year on 32 spoke
    rims without problems.

    The only thing I can add is that finding a local bike shop that will build quality wheels is not an
    easy task. All will tell you that they can build a properly tensioned and stress-relieved wheel.
    Most will not do it. Even asking local cyclists may not always help you find a good wheel builder.

    You may consider going thru the internet and getting your wheels from someone like Sheldon Brown.

    Enjoy, Tom

    [email protected] (Roger W) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Last year, I got hooked on road biking. I would ride over 100
    > mile/week on a knobby fat tired mountain bike with no shocks. I'm ready to make a move towards
    > serious roadbiking, However, I'm on a budget.
    >
    > I've been looking at three bikes, all priced around $550-$600
    > NOTE: I'm 6'1 and have a big frame. I presently weight in close to 240(though I plan on losing
    > down to 210, my ideal weight)
    >
    > Trek 1000 - This looks like a good option, but I've heard horror stories of heavier riders and
    > spoke problems due to cheap wheels. Has this been resolved for 2003? I also understand that the
    > Shamino Sora components are questionable.
    >
    > Raleigh R500 - This is a 2002 model and is on sale for $599. It has Shamino Tiagra components,
    > but I've read questionable reviews to quality, but for $599, is it better than the similar priced
    > Trek 1000?
    >
    > Fuji Finest - Looks to be a decent bike, but very similar to the Trek 1000. I would opt for the
    > Fuji if their wheels would be better suited for my weight.
    >
    >
    > What do you think the the best option of the three? Any other recommendations? I'm really stuck in
    > the $600 range... I'm just looking for a reliable substantial upgrade from the heavyweight fat
    > tired monster I'm riding now.
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
     
  9. Roger W

    Roger W Guest

    Thanks to everyone for their advice.

    I don't feel like I know enough to shop for a good used bike. At least the shop I'm going through
    will stand behind their product, which has a full warranty.

    I rode the Trek 1000 and Raleigh R500 today. It might be adjustments, but I was slightly more
    comfortable on the Trek 1000, though it's a minor adjustment.

    The Raleigh is better deal for the money as it has Tiagra and 105 components(except for Soro brakes)
    and it's 9 speed. As opposed to an all 8 speed soro componets. I don't have clip shoes, so I'll
    probably have to pay to replace the pedals, which perhaps I should just pay the difference and buy
    the shoes.

    So my question is this... Is there anything wrong with the raleigh? Do you go with the Trek with the
    8 speed and lesser components for the same price? If I ever up the components, it will be less
    costly on the raleigh.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Roger W" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Thanks to everyone for their advice.
    >
    > I don't feel like I know enough to shop for a good used bike. At least the shop I'm going through
    > will stand behind their product, which has a full warranty.
    >
    > I rode the Trek 1000 and Raleigh R500 today. It might be adjustments, but I was slightly more
    > comfortable on the Trek 1000, though it's a minor adjustment.
    >
    > The Raleigh is better deal for the money as it has Tiagra and 105 components(except for Soro
    > brakes) and it's 9 speed. As opposed to an all 8 speed soro componets. I don't have clip shoes, so
    > I'll probably have to pay to replace the pedals, which perhaps I should just pay the difference
    > and buy the shoes.
    >
    > So my question is this... Is there anything wrong with the raleigh? Do you go with the Trek with
    > the 8 speed and lesser components for the same price? If I ever up the components, it will be less
    > costly on the raleigh.
    >
    > Thanks again.

    From what I've seen of Raleighs, you get more bang for your buck across the line. As far as I can
    tell, they make good bikes, but don't have the name the Trek has.

    Another recommendation: keep the clipless pedals that come on the bike even if you're not going to
    ride them right now. You'll have them for later when/if you DO decided to try them, saving money in
    the long run.

    OK riders turn big gears, Good riders spin little gears, Great riders spin big gears.

    Mike
     
  11. Roger W wrote:
    >
    >
    > So my question is this... Is there anything wrong with the raleigh?

    Nope!

    > Do you go with the Trek with the 8 speed and lesser components for the same price? If I ever up
    > the components, it will be less costly on the raleigh.
    >
    > Thanks again.

    I'd go with the one that felt like it fit me better. If they seem identical, I'd go with the
    Raleigh. I'm one of the people who suggested that Sora may be harder to upgrade due to 8/9 speed
    incompatibilities, but keep one thing in mind about upgrading components. This is your first good
    road bike. <G> If the pavement bug bites you as it has some of us, you may end up lusting after a
    carbon, ti, or high-end steel bike. This will result in not upgrading the first bike at all, but
    keeping it as a second bike, or selling it complete on the used market.

    Nothing wrong with either bike.

    Barry
     
  12. Jkpoulos7

    Jkpoulos7 Guest

    > have always been a big fan of Giant bikes (ridden them for years and they have always been
    > reliable and comfortable) the you can get the OCR 3 for around 500, I believe with the OCR2
    > running around 750.
    >

    The Giant OCR 3 feels incredibly cheap and has a harsh brutal ride. For $700 you can get a Lemond
    and a plush steel ride. Check www.bikesdirect.com and www.bikeswholesale.com . Of the brands
    mentioned my choice would be Fuji.
     
  13. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >The Giant OCR 3 feels incredibly cheap and has a harsh brutal ride.

    Mr. Poulos forgot to notice that the tires were missing.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  14. Matt J

    Matt J Guest

    [email protected] (Roger W) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > Fuji Finest - Looks to be a decent bike, but very similar to the Trek 1000. I would opt for the
    > Fuji if their wheels would be better suited for my weight.
    >
    >
    > What do you think the the best option of the three? Any other recommendations?

    A friend of mine, a speed skater, just got a Fuji Finest Al (the aluminum rather than steel version)
    about a year ago. He only weighs about 140 lbs, and his wheels are still true. However, he often
    complains about the "harsh ride" of the bike. I don't know how much of this is related to simply his
    tires and his mind, but it might be a factor to consider. Also, the 8-speed Sora gruppo could hinder
    future upgrades, as someone else mentioned. Good luck! Matt
     
  15. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Matt J" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > A friend of mine, a speed skater, just got a Fuji Finest Al (the aluminum rather than steel
    > version) about a year ago. He only weighs about 140 lbs, and his wheels are still true. However,
    > he often complains about the "harsh ride" of the bike. I don't know how much of this is related to
    > simply his tires and his mind, but it might be a factor to consider. Also, the 8-speed Sora gruppo
    > could hinder future upgrades, as someone else mentioned. Good luck! Matt

    Tell him to stick a bigger set of tires on and run them at a lower pressure. This will do more for
    the "harshness" of the bike than anything. If he doubts you, tell him to google this newsgroup
    (groups.google.com) and search for aluminum AND steel AND harsh. He will get the entire debate to
    peruse at his leisure.

    -Buck
     
  16. "Matt J" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
    > A friend of mine, a speed skater, aluminum rather than steel version). He only weighs about 140
    > lbs, However, he often complains about the "harsh ride" of the bike.

    The harsh feel will go away once your friend gets his weight under control. Speed skaters never make
    really good riders even though many of them use the bike for off-season training.

    Take Eric Heiden for example, he was a 3-time world speed skater and won all 5 men's gold medals at
    the 1980 Olympics, setting records in each, yet he was terrible on the bike when he turned pro for
    team 7-eleven and quit cycling after a very poor showing at the '86 TdF. The only real win to his
    credit was the '85 USPro Championship and getting his picture on the Wheaties cereal box.

    Now he's ended up just doing orthopedic surgery to get by. [ and he's really fat now ]

    So, your friend must lose that useless upperbody mass, he must weigh no more than 128.5 lbs at tops
    and then he can ride an AL frame.
     
  17. Golightly F.

    Golightly F. Guest

    "Fabrizio Mazzoleni" <[email protected]>
    > "Matt J" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
    > > A friend of mine, a speed skater, aluminum rather than steel version). He only weighs about 140
    > > lbs, However, he often complains about the "harsh ride" of the bike.
    >
    > The harsh feel will go away once your friend gets his weight under control.

    Yeah... all good speed skaters should weigh less than 140 lbs. <eyes rolling
     
  18. "Golightly F." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >

    >
    > Yeah... all good speed skaters should weigh less than 140 lbs. <eyes
    > rolling>
    >
    What the heck are you doing inside an elite roadie post? Now move along please.
     
  19. "Golightly F." <[email protected]> wrote in message ... .
    >
    > Yeah... all good speed skaters should weigh less than 140 lbs. <eyes
    > rolling>
    >

    Maybe not skaters but good cyclists must.

    Here's a fact to put this in perseptive.

    Stage 5 of the Giro d' Italia last May 17th Tyler Hamilton who tips the scales at 140lbs resorted to
    using a gear combo of 39 x 25 for the Colletto del Moro climb !

    I sure Stefano Garzelli wasn't doing that gear that day.

    Now that's not something for Tyler to be proud about.
     
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