Buying my first real rode I have lots of questions



eric1231

New Member
Jul 18, 2011
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I am looking to buy my first real rode bike this fall/next spring. I plan to spend 1000-1300. I am currently riding 70 miles a week on an old cross between a mountain bike and road bike. My new bike will be used for road only cross training for motocross and maybe a couple triathlon 15 mile bike section and at the most a 50 mile road ride. I have looked online at several different brands Trek 1.5 & 2.1, Giant Defy 1 & 2 , Canondale . Price wise all the brands seem about equal for the components you get How much of a difference is there between 105 components and Tiagra? Is there any other bike I should consider? What is the advantage of a local bike store. What do they usually do for a proper fitting? I have been thinking about getting a left over model this fall is there any major changes from year to year in entry level models.
 

PalmettoRider

New Member
Jul 21, 2011
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Hi. Just got back into road biking and purchased a 2011 Trek 2.1. I shopped around and finally decided on the 2.1 as I already have a Trek mountain bike and the Shimano 105 group had very good reviews and the 2.1 was in the price range I was comfortable with. All things considered, I stayed with Trek. As for the 2.1, I absolutely love the bike. I ride every morning before work and then some again on weekends. It's been several years since I've had a road bike and the one word that comes to mind for the 2.1 is smooooth. I live on the SC coast and 99% of my riding is on relatively level ground, so I went with the compact crank set. The 105 cassette (11-28) serves me very well. Shifting is very smooth and positive. No complaints with the brakes, but since I ride in the early morning to avoid traffic, they haven't been a big concern. As for the LBS, I'm pretty fortunate to have a good shop nearby and would recommend getting a good fitting session before purchasing any bike. I chose the H3 as I prefer a more upright riding position. Am considering swapping the 100mm stem for an 80mm, bit otherwise, I'm completely satisfied with the 2.1. Can't wait for each morning's ride!
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
3,477
134
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There is not going to be a lot of difference in performance between Tiagra and 105 for what the bicycling usage that you have described. 105 is just a little lighter and will last a little longer because of the use of metal parts versus some of the plastic parts on Tiagra. But this issue is really a non-issue as Tiagra components will last tens of thousands of miles with proper care and most people upgrade before they even start to wear out the components.

There is a big advantage to getting a bike at your Local Bike Shop(LBS). You get to test ride the bikes that they carry that you might be interested in before you make your purchase. If your first choice of bike shop doesn't carry all of the bikes that you want to try, then it is entirely acceptable to go to another bike shop that carries a bike brand that you want to try. Shopping around is not t problem when you are willing to spend $1000+ on your bike and most shop owners realize that.

Often they will do a fitting and will throw it in for free for the purchase of a bike over $1000. Otherwise, it usually costs around $100 but it is really worth it in terms of comfort. What they usually will do in a fitting is outlined in this video. http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO and watch the video about how to tke the measurements. This is what you LBS does when they fit you. Although you can use this website to try to get your fit, it is best left to your LBS unless you have done this before. They use these measurements to find the "best" fit in terms of frame size, stem length, pedal length, and saddle height. Then they set up your bike like that. They then put you on the bike and start tweaking different aspects, maybe changing the stem or the crank length to get the best personal fit for you.

The big advantage to purchasing your bike at your LBS is the support after you purchase your bike. Nearly every bike shop will do a free tune-up of the bike that you purchased from them after 30 days of purchase. This is to re-adjust all of the cable actuated components to compensate for the cable stretch that happens to all bicycles and to check for any problems in other components that may be starting to arise. Your LBS is there to take care of any warranty issues that you might have with a bike that you purchased from them. Buying online is less expensive unless you have a warranty issue or need to take your bike to a shop for adjustments and/or repairs. If you purchase your bike and some of your gear at your LBS and get to know them a little, they usually will treat you right. My bike shop has pushed orders to the front of the line for me and helped me with technical issues when I was learning how to repair my own bikes. They have given me on the spot deals and given me some of the sample promotional items that they receive from vendors trying to win their business to evaluate for them.

If you can find a left over model from last year, it would be a good investment. As far as I now, there have been no major changes between the entry level 2011 models and what will be coming out in 2012. Just some color combinations and a change in the stock saddles of one company.

If your LBS has a bike that they want you to try, don't hesitate just because it is not one of the top 5 or 10 brands that you have heard of. There are a lot of bike manufacturers out there that make a lot of good bikes but they either don't have a big presence in the US or they are fairly new. Some of these bikes are real gems. Everyone has their favorite bikes that work great for them but might not work well for you, so in the end, let your test rides be your guide to the bike that you buy.