Advice on new road bike purchase


New Member
Jun 22, 2017
I’ve been riding a Cannondale hybrid (which was my first real purchase) and am ready to move on to a real road bike at this point. I’m looking for some advice on where to look.

My budget is about $400. I realize this is very small, which makes it all the more important to know where to look.

I currently ride about 50 miles a week, all pavement. I ride for fitness and may join some races for fun. I live in the Denver area.

The first place I’ll be looking is my LBS. I’ll then look online. I may also wait until 4th of July to see if any sales pop up. I could go second-hand, but would prefer not to because of the unpredictability.

Do you know of any deal sites or other sites I should look at for bikes in that price range? Any specific models I should be looking at?

Thanks for your help.
The least expensive TREK drop bar bike is $770. I assume the other major players will offer a similarly priced model.

For $400, your options are limited. Bike club 'For Sale' ads, Craigslist, eBay, etc. has a few road bikes in that price range. With some wrenching and a wheel swap they might be 'raceable', but only at a Citizen or Cat. 5 level. And even then only as a stopgap bike until something better came along.
I don't think you will find a suitable bike to race on brand new at $400 range, they will be heavier than everyone else's bikes on the field.

I like CampyBobs suggestion of trying the bike club that you belong to or will belong, and find out if there are any good used racing bikes someone wants to get rid of; or Craigslist for that same type of thing. Otherwise if you're deadset on a new bike you're going to have to increase your budget to get into a bottom of the line true racing bike and there are only two that come to my mind that would be the absolute lowest costing entry level racing bike, one is the Nashbar 105, see: The Nashbar bike is a good deal due to it's cost being on sale, and it comes with 105 so if you by chance crash out your frame in a race you can buy another low cost aluminum frame and transfer all the components to it, and 105 is a quality groupset. Also the Nashbar does not have disk brakes and some races may not allow disk brakes you'll have to check that out.

Problem with mail order bikes is they can't be test rode before buying, but if you know what size of a bike to get you should be ok in getting the right size. Also you need to join a club because once you get your bike you need to get fitted on it to get the most amount of performance on it, which means you may have to buy some parts, so by joining a club the bike shop will give you a discount on the fit and parts.

Racing is expensive, so you need to budget for replacement parts, you can't just think you'll buy a bike and be merry ever after, a minor crash can damage a wheel, a significant crash can wipe out the frame and or fork, tires and tubes, chains and gears, oh my...anyway it's money money and more money not to mention if you get more serious about racing and you have to travel with your bike to a race location you will gas expense, may have to stay overnight so you have lodging and food expenses, plus the race entrance fee, you may need to get a racing license, you have to pay for energy drinks and gels (although the gel drink thing I do have a cheaper alternative). You should have a set of spare tires and tube and even wheels; you'll need to get an indoor trainer, you may have to attend a training camp, race clothing. Attend a mechanic course so you can save the cost of having to drag your bike to a shop every time something goes wrong (the course and tools cost money but in the long run will pay for itself)

A lot of people think bicycle racing is cheap, and it can be IF you only do local events which are sort of like fun racing events with competition thrown in for good measure, but once you decide to go outside of that you better be ready for the cash outlay which could cost at least $2,000 a year.