Buying first bike


New Member
Jan 1, 2003
G'day All,<br /><br />I found your forum and would like a bit of advice on my first bike if possible. I have read the other posts on this topic but they do not really address my question.<br /><br />My riding will only be commuting to work which which is 22km each way per day. I am pretty unfit at the moment so will have to work up to riding 5 days a week.<br /><br />The candidates so far are Giant OCR3, Apollo RDZ3000, Merida Road 901, Norco CRD-3 and Avanti Sprint. The Giant ($995), Apollo ($990) and Merida ($1179) all run a full Shimano Sora groupset, with the exception of the Giant which has FSA cranks and triple chainring. The Norco (approx $1150) and Avanti ($999) run Sora STI shifters and Shimano 2200 front and rear derailleur, which is even lower in Shimano's range that the Sora.<br /><br />I really dont want to spend any more on the bike than $1000 as this will leave me some money for essentials (spare tubes, repair kit, helmet etc.)<br /><br />The Merida and Norco rule themselves out on this basis &gt;$1000.<br /><br />I have little knowledge of Apollo but Giant and Avanti seem to have good reputations, with Avanti seeming to have the better quality frame.<br /><br />Should I,<br /><br />a) Buy the Giant or Apollo which have better running gear OR;<br /><br />b) Buy the Avanti (better frame) and upgrade the very cheap front and rear derailleur to something much better when they wear out?<br /><br />I realise that there are many more brands with bikes in my price range but I live in Hobart and these are the brands offered here. I want to buy from a store here so I can get after sales service if required (as I am new to cycling).<br /><br />Any help/comments would be appreciated.<br /><br />Jason
Jason,<br /><br />Have you asked around at the bike shops if they have any old stock of last year's bikes lying around? These can be a great source of discounts, or being able to get more bike for the same $$. If you buy your extras at the time of buying the bike, some shops also give you a discount (e.g. my LBS gives a 10% discount on accessories when you buy a new bike)<br /><br />Another option you might consider is asking to swap-out the low-end stuff for better items at the time of sale. It's often cheaper to do it this way, then buy now and upgrade straight after. You might also consider using this as a bargaining point..<br /><br />One point to note with the Sora drivetrain though; it's not easy to upgrade, as all other Shimano groups are 9-speed and have different measurements/specifications (i.e. you'd probably need to buy a new STI shifter-set at the least -- these are expensive!) <br /><br />A few people here have the Giant OCR3; and I've heard of many people that are happy with them. The fact they use the same frame for the higher-spec OCR2 and OCR1 (albeit with a carbon fork for the '1) suggest that it's of reasonable quality too.<br /><br />The triple front chainring is probably a good idea for starting out; that way when you reach a big hill you won't run out of gears (and perhaps eventually lose interest in riding.) Then as your fitness improves, and if you get bitten by the bug, you can then upgrade to a new double group when the time comes..<br /><br />BTW: if you are going to use it primarily for commuting, have you considered bikes that are designed with that specifically in mind? You might want to take one of those for a test-ride back to back against one of the more 'pure' road bikes you've mentioned. You might find you prefer the comfort/practicality aspect of a commuting bike, or alternatively fall in love with the raw efficiency and performance of a road frame.<br /><br />Peter<br /><br /><br />PS. Shame you aren't in Melbourne .. you could buy my MTB ;)<br />
I've got an OCR 3 and so far its been very good for training on. The Sora groupo is fine as long as you look after it and don't expect it to survive repeated thrashings in races and stuff.<br /><br />you may have problems upgrading bits on a sora bike because its the only 8 speed in shimanos range and if this is a concern i'd suggest saving up a little more and getting the OCR 2 or 1<br /><br />at the moment i'm looking at buying another bike for racing and keeping the OCR 3 for training.<br /><br />hope that helps
Jason,<br /><br />if your are commuting 22k to Hobart i guess you either live at 1. Granton 2. Blackmans Bay 3. Lauderdale.<br /><br />If you are trying to commute from either 2 or 3, forget it. Buy a bus pass and ride on weekends. Whatever bike you buy will end up with the trustees of your estate within a year.<br /><br />If you have access to reasonable roads without lunatic bogans in Toranas, check out a second hand bike. There are plenty of options in Hobart for less than $1,000 which overpaid public servants paid over $2,500 less than 12months ago.<br /><br />Good luck.<br /><br />ps. Don't try to ride on the Brooker Highway during peak hour. Not good for avoiding long hospital stays.<br /><br />pps. If you ignore this, buy a mountain bike for commuting, and a good second hand road bike to have fun on outside work hours. Try a Raceline Peleton.
Blimp,<br /><br />You have got it pretty right. I actually live in Kingston and work in Glenorchy so my proposed route would be bike track to the docks then Sandy Bay Road and Channel Highway to Kingston.<br /><br />I take it that you have had a bad experience on this route or you would not advise against riding it. Is there something in particular that I am missing about riding this route? I have done it once with a mate of mine on his bike (on a Saturday) and found the traffic OK except for one bus drive who cut me off. I currently catch the bus which takes this route and must say that most drivers are very cautious around bikes and give them plenty of room.<br /><br />Some more advice on second hand would be good. Where can I find these bikes? I have checked the Trading Post but most bikes there seem to be either Kmart Specials for $200 or good quality bikes that originally cost 3-4K and selling for 1550-2k.<br /><br />Jason
Its the Channel Highway to Kingston that is the problem. I used to train from Taroona to Verona Sands and return, and was hit by buses three times on the same stretch of road on Bonnet Hill. Many near misses also.<br /><br />The road is just too narrow for cars and bikes to co-exist during peak hour.<br /><br />The Southern Outlet is an obvious alternative, but way too dangerous.<br /><br />Try the Mercury on Saturday for second hand bikes, or talk to your friendly bike shop. They usually have a few.<br /><br />Why not drive to Sandy Bay, and ride from there?
Blimp,<br /><br />Thanks for the heads up. I might just do as you suggest.<br /><br />Cheers<br /><br />Jason
I recomend you get a Giant OCR frameset, seond hand or new, they have a great lifespan, and build it up with tiagra. Then just get yourself standered equipment. This would get you through any races etc. In the UK the Giant OCR is very popular for time trialists and the 2nd hand market is always exchanging frames. People are upgrading to the TCR, not becuase the OCR is rubbish mind!
Guys,<br /><br />Thanks for all your advice. I eventually decided on the Giant OCR3. After having checked out all the bikes in my price range this one stacked up the best, but it was very close. Now all I have to do is pay for it (layby) and get myself out on the road.<br /><br />Jason :)
interested to know how it went with the ocr. i'm thinking of buying one myself. either that or a merida 901
I am looking at several bikes right now myself and I am wondering...does anyone know hwo much the Norco CRD Three weighs???