First road bike; I've done some research, now I need opinions on my options :)



nola-ron

New Member
Mar 6, 2013
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Hi all! I've been researching a bike for a couple of weeks now. My girlfriend is doing her first tri in a few weeks and has decided to buy a bike, so in my quest to get in shape I am going to join her. I used to love my BMX and MTBs when I was a kid, so I'm hoping I love this AND lose weight in the process. I love speed and racing, whether it's go karts or cars or anything with wheels so I have high hopes for really getting into this.

I've narrowed my search down to 2 bikes. So far I have been fitted to the bikes (58cm) but have not been on a trainer nor taken either for a test drive. Tomorrow I will be test driving a 13' Specialized Allez, and on Friday I'll be test driving a brand new assembled remaining 12' model Trek 1.0.

The 13 Specialized Allez is $750ish
The 12 Trek 1.1 is $559 (remaining stock discount + additional discount)

I LOVE the Allez... it just looks awesome and has the color scheme I want in my size. However, the Trek is almost $200 cheaper for a brand new bike that still has to be built.

I still have to test drive both of these... and will obviously buy whichever fits the best, even if it's $250 more. But if I ride both of these bikes and they feel the same, is there any reason for me to pony up for the Allez other than the aesthetics of the bike that I like? Also, I'm 290lbs and will be using this bike primarily for fitness and weight loss. I really believe I'll get into this and enjoy it 100 times more than the gym. I've lost 40 pounds there and now I'm SICK of being inside those walls!
 

vspa

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Jan 11, 2009
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they are both similar, shimano 2300 STI 8 speed, aluminium framesets, 32 spokes wheels i think, (which is good for a 290 pounds cyclist), both good brands with support and accessories at hand, both bikes deliver an excellent performance for their money value, it is a tricky situation because 200 usd. is not that much in cycling equipment, a single wheel can cost you that, on the other hand 200 usd. is a big difference for the prices of these bikes, 740 usd. each but you love the Allez.. why not go for it,
 

Brian in VA

Member
Jul 10, 2011
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Since the bikes are, essentially, the same you should base your purchase on the test ride.

I have only been riding for about 18 months. Last year, I rode 1908 miles which is nothing compared to many on this forum. That's over 120 hours or so in the saddle plus another couple dozen hours on the trainer when the weather wasn't happening. If they bike doesn't feel right, you're going to hate to be on it at some point in every ride. And then, you'll be wishing you'd bought something different.

Analogy that I like to use is, would you wear a pair of shoes that really look great if they made your feet ache after a few minutes?

If it's a coin flip on the ride, then you can worry about aesthetics.

$200 is nothing when you spread it out over a couple of years of complaining about how you wish you'd spent it. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

Good luck!

Brian in VA
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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The usual considerations apply: buy the bike that fits best, rides best, handles best, best tickles your aesthetic pleasures, and makes your wallet happy. Note that having an extra $200 in hand would allow you to buy $200 in other bike kit.
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by alienator .

Note that having an extra $200 in hand would allow you to buy $200 in other bike kit.
Helmet, shorts, pump, patch kit, and at least an Allen/multi-tool. Maybe even a red seatpost tail-light if riding after dark or in the rain. if you already got the money in the bank for those goodies I'd go for the Allez for no good reason. But that's me. Word to yer mams. Good luck.

PS. at 290, you may need slightly more robust wheels than come stock. Despite the moniker "custom" wheels, they are usually available cheaper then pre-built boutique wheels. You'll want something with at least 36 spokes. Folks at your LBS should be able to give you more info regarding that, and may be willing to discount the price if you are buying your bike from them.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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danfoz said:
PS. at 290, you may need slightly more robust wheels than come stock. Despite the moniker "custom" wheels, they are usually available cheaper then pre-built boutique wheels. You'll want something with at least 36 spokes. Folks at your LBS should be able to give you more info regarding that, and may be willing to discount the price if you are buying your bike from them.
Absolutely. $200 goes a long way to getting that more appropriate set of wheels. You might even be able to work out a deal with the LBS wherein they offset some of the cost of the custom wheels by taking back the OEM wheels on the bike.
 

nola-ron

New Member
Mar 6, 2013
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alienator said:
danfoz said:
PS. at 290, you may need slightly more robust wheels than come stock. Despite the moniker "custom" wheels, they are usually available cheaper then pre-built boutique wheels. You'll want something with at least 36 spokes. Folks at your LBS should be able to give you more info regarding that, and may be willing to discount the price if you are buying your bike from them.
Absolutely. $200 goes a long way to getting that more appropriate set of wheels. You might even be able to work out a deal with the LBS wherein they offset some of the cost of the custom wheels by taking back the OEM wheels on the bike.
The LBS with the Allez said I may need upgraded wheels and may not (I had to swear I weigh 290.. he really thought I was around 250). The guy at the other LbS with the trek said those wheels are warrantied for 2 years and he has had 300+ pound guys on thrm with no problem and that the wheel maker doesn't have a weight limit on them. He said when a 300+lb guy first came in he called and asked the manufacturer. Think he is bsing me and just wants to get rid of this 2012 left? Thanks all!
 

nola-ron

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Mar 6, 2013
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Originally Posted by danfoz .


Helmet, shorts, pump, patch kit, and at least an Allen/multi-tool. Maybe even a red seatpost tail-light if riding after dark or in the rain. if you already got the money in the bank for those goodies I'd go for the Allez for no good reason. But that's me. Word to yer mams. Good luck.

PS. at 290, you may need slightly more robust wheels than come stock. Despite the moniker "custom" wheels, they are usually available cheaper then pre-built boutique wheels. You'll want something with at least 36 spokes. Folks at your LBS should be able to give you more info regarding that, and may be willing to discount the price if you are buying your bike from them.
That's a concern I have - the wheels. The 1st LBS with the Allez said that I MAY need to get some double walled wheels, or whatever he called them. He said they are stronger. He also didn't believe me when I said I'm 290 and thought I was about 250, but w/e.

The guy at the 2nd LBS (with the Trek) said that the wheel manufacturer that Trek uses make some of the strongest wheels available. He went on to elaborate that the company essentially made an 18 spoke wheel years ago that was as strong as a 36 or whatever, and that they kept developing that process blah blah blah). He said there was a guy that was like 350lbs once that came in for a road bike. He was concerned so he called Trek. Trek then told him that it was fine and that there is a 2 year warranty on the wheels because they're that good.

I then looked up what he said online... the 2 year warranty on the wheels is true, but Trek's website DOES list a 250lb rating for the 1.0 I am looking at. So, is this guy BSing me or will I really be fine on this bike? Either way, if I save $200 and need new wheels I guess that's better than buying the Allez and then dumping even more on new wheels. I am starting to wonder though if he just told me that to get rid of this last 2012 they have left....thoughts?
 

danfoz

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2011
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It's possible the wheels could hold up. I do know that warantee or not it can be a pain in the butt breaking a spoke on a ride far from home. The gent at the 2nd store could be well intentioned and may just be mis-informed, or he could be bs'ing you. Tough to say. At least the guy at the shop with the Allez seems to understand it may be an issue and sounds on the level.

And while I have experienced different results on low spoke count wheels (I had one pair that needed truing every couple of weeks under my 160-170lb weight, and one pair I beat the **** out of and were as true a year later as the day they rolled out of assembly), in no universe is an 18 spoke wheel going to be as strong as a well built 36 spoke wheel.
 

nola-ron

New Member
Mar 6, 2013
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Sorry guys for the double post... I posted on my phone and it never showed up so I posted again... then next thing you know a day later both responses come up.

Anyways, my GF and I got our bikes today! After all the grueling shopping, research and comparisons I ended up with the '12 Trek 1.1 in silver/blue/black and she got a '13 Giant (can't remember the model but it was entry level women's). The bike felt comfortable after being fitted, and it put a huge smile on my face when I took it for a test drive so I went ahead and bought it. $559 closeout and was freshly assembled that morning. With the money I saved I managed to buy a Giro Savant helmet and also bought my GF one.

Thanks to everyone for the help! I think I made the right purchase and this seems to be even more fun than I thought it would be.
 

vspa

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Jan 11, 2009
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nola-ron said:
Thanks to everyone for the help!  I think I made the right purchase and this seems to be even more fun than thought it would be.  
cycling can be fun for a lifetime, congratulations