Buying my first Bike

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Shadowhawk100, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Shadowhawk100

    Shadowhawk100 New Member

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    Hi guys,

    I used to be long distance cross country runner and would like to enter the biking field. The choices for buying my first bike are extraordinary and I would naturally like to get the best bang for my buck. I would like to spend about $600 and have found two bikes that are physically appealing to me:

    1) Road Bikes - DawesLightning1200 (in Grey-- of course)
    2) Road Bikes, Roadbikes - 2009 Mercier Orion AL

    I have read the mixed reviews from bikesdirect.com but they seem like they'll deliver, in whatever condition. I will probably be using this bike to ride 15 miles to school, just go for cruises on the road, and even possibly race after becoming familiar with the field. Could anybody instruct me on what I should be looking for in a bike? What to avoid entirely? A better place to shop? (Prices do matter)...

    I don't know I'm just an amateur :rolleyes:... I like the Dawes appearance more, but the mercier was placed in the higher quality category. What should I get... Any suggestions...Advice?
     
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  2. coneofsilence

    coneofsilence Member

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    At that price range its not so much about the bike but more the fit. It would be wise to go to a store and get the right size bike so that you are comfortable on any rides you do. With the correct size bike you will feel so much better and actually enjoy the ride rather then feeling sore during and after rides. You could pay $5000 for a bike and if it doesnt fit, you wont enjoy it.
     
  3. Shadowhawk100

    Shadowhawk100 New Member

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    I will probably take your advice on visiting a local bike shop but my primary concern with that is the carbon fork thing. The website and several forums have endowed high praise for their bikes having them and it seems that other (local stores) cost about $400-$600 more for just that feature. Once again, I'm an amateur... does that really make a big difference. Should I go to the LBS and single out bikes that have this and note their cost? Is it worth it?
     
  4. coneofsilence

    coneofsilence Member

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    The carbon fork is once again there for comfort. It's all about comfort on a bike especially if you are on it for hours and hours. The carbon fork would take a lot of the road harshness out. I ride a bike without the carbon fork and i am pretty fine. I ride up to 4 hours on the bike without too much discomfort. It really depends on how you want to feel on the bike. If you can stand the road buzz then you dont need to spend extra for a carbon fork.
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    The CF fork is more fashion and marketing than something that excels in any particular quality. As with frames, the material is far less important than the design and construction. There are crap carbon forks and good ones, as is the case with steel. In general, carbon fiber is good at damping high frequency vibrations, but "high frequency" is a non-specific term. It all depends on the fork geometry, construction, type of CF matte, density of CF threads in matte, direction of threads in matte and change direction between plies of CF, resin thickness, resin in general.......and so on. It's entirely possible that you could end up with a fork that damps vibrations only with frequencies much higher than you could even sense. It's also possible that same fork could have a lousy response to low and mid-range frequencies.

    Your primary concern should be the fit of the bicycle, as well as how good it looks to you. If the bike doesn't fit well, you'll be uncomfortable; it'll be more difficult to ride; it could result in injury; and in general it'll kill your motivation to ride. The bikes looks? Well, we all get wound up when we get a new bike, and some get wound up every time they think about riding that bike. You can, however, grow to love an ugly bike, but you really can't improve a bike that doesn't fit.

    The Mercier does seem to be built with a little bit more spirited riding in mind.

    Before you make any decision, I suggest you use either the fit calculator at Competitive Cyclist or the one at Wrench Science to see what they suggest in terms of bike fit. Note that one or the other...or both...will give fit in terms of top tube length, maybe head tube length, maybe stand over, maybe other dimensions. Top tube length is the one that'll help you the most, right now. It'll help keep your search simple.
     
  6. Shadowhawk100

    Shadowhawk100 New Member

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    Thank you for your reply... That really helped clarify some things. Considering that BD is just about the cheapest retailer around, I could safely assume that I would be getting a cheap carbon fork for my money... You guys have definitely convinced me to go the LBS rather than order online for my first bike considering that I really don't know what to look for. Thank you... I will see what happens tomorrow.
     
  7. OldGoat

    OldGoat New Member

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