Help selecting bike



camhabib

New Member
Jul 14, 2005
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I apologize for the stupidity of this question, but I'm really pretty clueless. I used be into downhill skiing pretty deeply (went to college on scholarship, etc). I did cycling in the off season to keep in shape, however I got into an accident a few years ago (knee and hip injury while skiing), and had to give up both for a while. I'm healthy now, although rather out of shape. I've been racing cars since, but would like to get back into cycling, if for nothing else, just to get back into shape. I sold my bike when I got into the accident, because at the time I didn't think I would be cycling ever again. That said, I am in need of a new bike.

I'm in my early 20's, 5'10", ~130lbs, won't be competing any time soon, but will be riding daily. I know I don't NEED anything very fancy or nice, but I would rather do it right the first time then have to upgrade later. I have about $10k to spend on equipment, as I have all my clothes and shoes already. I've heard some good things about the Cervelo S3, but thats about it. I don't mind building myself, as long as it doesn't require any special skills or equipment to assemble (instruments to align, tune, etc). I'm assuming the top of the line Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, etc are all up there, but would any of them be any more well suited to me then another? I have the money, and I don't mind spending it, but I don't want to just throw it away. Any help or direction is appreciated. Thanks.
 
Dec 30, 2007
2,111
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camhabib said:
I apologize for the stupidity of this question, but I'm really pretty clueless. I used be into downhill skiing pretty deeply (went to college on scholarship, etc). I did cycling in the off season to keep in shape, however I got into an accident a few years ago (knee and hip injury while skiing), and had to give up both for a while. I'm healthy now, although rather out of shape. I've been racing cars since, but would like to get back into cycling, if for nothing else, just to get back into shape. I sold my bike when I got into the accident, because at the time I didn't think I would be cycling ever again. That said, I am in need of a new bike.

I'm in my early 20's, 5'10", ~130lbs, won't be competing any time soon, but will be riding daily. I know I don't NEED anything very fancy or nice, but I would rather do it right the first time then have to upgrade later. I have about $10k to spend on equipment, as I have all my clothes and shoes already. I've heard some good things about the Cervelo S3, but thats about it. I don't mind building myself, as long as it doesn't require any special skills or equipment to assemble (instruments to align, tune, etc). I'm assuming the top of the line Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, etc are all up there, but would any of them be any more well suited to me then another? I have the money, and I don't mind spending it, but I don't want to just throw it away. Any help or direction is appreciated. Thanks.

No such thing as a 'bad bike' in a bike shop, only bad bike shops. Choose a good LBS by their ability to do good anatomical bike fits, on a fit cycle. No 'standover clearance, ride around the parking lot' fits please.

Then their eagerness to let you do an extended test ride. All bikes feel good for 10 minutes.

Then service after the sale. Swapping stems, saddles, recheck of fit, etc.

Stay away from hype, gadgets and gizmos. Only 2 things you can measure on a bicycle, Weight and price. Less weight does NOT equal better bike, just one that weighs less. The 'test' is how it feels to you, which is 100% subjective. Also remember components, like cogsets, chains, are consumables. Modern shifting systems all work well. Like the bicycle, choose the one that feels the best in your hand, the one you LIKE the most.
 

bikebot

New Member
Jun 17, 2008
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The most important part of getting a bike is finding one that fits so do some research on the subject so you're an informed consumer and don't fall victim to shops that are more interested in offloading old merchandise instead of getting you on the right bike. You have a large budget and since you're just starting out you can spend a fraction of that on a bike that will suit your needs. Cannondales are good bikes and I always recommend the CAAD9 series as it's a great frame for the money and if you do race it's not an expensive bike you'd be nervous racing on. The BMC Streetfire is another great bike I've been really enjoying and is also race worthy.
 

randochap

New Member
Oct 21, 2008
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Yes, fit is important. Have an idea before you shop. Then it's a matter of honestly assessing your needs (you said you're not going to be competing "any time soon."

If most people are honest with themselves, they aren't either, but that doesn't stop many from buying a twitchy, racing-style bike that won't accommodate rack or fenders.

You can still have a very quick bike that will give clearance for fenders and wider, more comfortable (and in most cases, faster) tyres.

I own several sport touring bikes that rob not one ounce of speed from me and are very comfortable over the long haul, which is what I'm interested in. They also have all braze-ons and eyelets to take racks and fenders. Unless you live in the desert, fenders are a good thing.

I also have a superbly plush French style "randonneuse" that takes to rough roads and trails like a duck to water ... and it isn't slow either. Contrary to common orthodoxy, wider tyres are a joy to ride on and don't slow you down, unless you often ride over 50kph, when aerodynamics might play a part.
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
2,214
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Peter, those are great words of wisdom, especially from someone having a stake in an LBS :)

Speaking of weight, while stopping at my friendly LBS last week, the owner showed me his latest ultra-light wonder, a STORCK from Germany, with CF frame built in Taiwan and an ultralight OS front fork. As built with Campy Record and Eurus wheels, he said the weight was well under 15 lbs.

He said the frame was solid and wobblefree; not a century bike but rather a quick-handling and stiff racer. Here's the "cool" part: you could flex in the top tube with thumb pressure, due to the minimal amount of resin used.....not exactly want I want from a $6K frame :)
 

randochap

New Member
Oct 21, 2008
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dhk2 said:
Here's the "cool" part: you could flex in the top tube with thumb pressure, due to the minimal amount of resin used.....not exactly want I want from a $6K frame :)

Nope, not exactly practical. Amazing how many will be taken in by such "features" though. Weight is not all it's cracked up to be (pun intended).
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
12,596
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Weight is not--unless you mean body weight--the performance factor that riders imagine it to be; however, for some riders--not a small few, either--it's an interesting exercise to build the lightest every day rideable bike possible. I know a guy who's been riding a sub-12 lb bike as his everyday ride for the last couple of years. He's not a small guy, and his bike holds up fine.
 
Dec 30, 2007
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dhk2 said:
Peter, those are great words of wisdom, especially from someone having a stake in an LBS :)

Speaking of weight, while stopping at my friendly LBS last week, the owner showed me his latest ultra-light wonder, a STORCK from Germany, with CF frame built in Taiwan and an ultralight OS front fork. As built with Campy Record and Eurus wheels, he said the weight was well under 15 lbs.

He said the frame was solid and wobblefree; not a century bike but rather a quick-handling and stiff racer. Here's the "cool" part: you could flex in the top tube with thumb pressure, due to the minimal amount of resin used.....not exactly want I want from a $6K frame :)

Storck is known to push the envelope of light weight. How 'stiff' and 'quick handling' is subjective, altho I'm not surprised a sales guy would try to put these ideas into your noggin....hopefully before an extended test ride.

Like so many carbon bikes out there, all are different, all are made with different carbon 'threads', weaves, orientation, amount of glue, etc. So all ride differently. The one you like is the one you buy. If a shop gives you that 'thousand yard stare' when you ask to ride the bike for an hour or two, go elsewhere.

A $6000 frame 'may ride worse than a $1000 frame of another material. Remember, only 2 things can be measured, weight and price. Light and expensive does not automatically equal 'great ride'.
 
Dec 30, 2007
2,111
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randochap said:
Yes, fit is important. Have an idea before you shop. Then it's a matter of honestly assessing your needs (you said you're not going to be competing "any time soon."

If most people are honest with themselves, they aren't either, but that doesn't stop many from buying a twitchy, racing-style bike that won't accommodate rack or fenders.

You can still have a very quick bike that will give clearance for fenders and wider, more comfortable (and in most cases, faster) tyres.

I own several sport touring bikes that rob not one ounce of speed from me and are very comfortable over the long haul, which is what I'm interested in. They also have all braze-ons and eyelets to take racks and fenders. Unless you live in the desert, fenders are a good thing.

I also have a superbly plush French style "randonneuse" that takes to rough roads and trails like a duck to water ... and it isn't slow either. Contrary to common orthodoxy, wider tyres are a joy to ride on and don't slow you down, unless you often ride over 50kph, when aerodynamics might play a part.

I understand what you are saying BUT I ride daily(about 7000 miles per year, year round), don't live in a desert and neither of my bikes have eyelets for racks or fenders. Great for some in some instances but not a show stopper for many who want to ride 'everyday'.

If the gent finds a bike that fits, is fun to ride, and comes from a good bike shop and is w/i his budget, I don't think he shouldn't buy it if it doesn't come with eyelets.
 

randochap

New Member
Oct 21, 2008
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As I said, assessing needs is the first step.

I need eyelets/bosses for fenders and racks, because I ride in the rain (it rains a lot here) and I carry things (not on my back).

I ride 8-10,000 km a year in all weather and my events are long-distance -- therefore, I look for the best balance between performance and comfort.

If I was looking for a very light and responsive bike for day rides in dry weather, then I'd forego braze-ons and comfortable geometry. As it is, this bike comes closest to serving both purposes (long-distanve and -- stripped down -- fast training rides) ... and it has all braze-ons required for securing rack and fenders.

Working in bicycle retail, I always encourage a customer to honestly assess their intended uses of the bike. Then it is possible to choose a practical machine, based on purpose.

If someone will only have one bike, then it should easily as possible accommodate all needs foreseen. Eyelets do not weigh anything and appropriate geometry costs nothing.

Only racing bikes need short chainstays and associated characteristics. So, again, I recommend choosing a bike that will work best for the purpose(s) required, be that racing or hauling groceries.
 

graemeh72

New Member
Aug 16, 2009
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3826587966
3826587966


After my experience with BMC, I wouldn't recommend their frames.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/graemeaharrison/3826587966/

This happened on my bike and BMC claim that its normal and there's nothing wrong.

Not impressed to say the least.

bikebot said:
The most important part of getting a bike is finding one that fits so do some research on the subject so you're an informed consumer and don't fall victim to shops that are more interested in offloading old merchandise instead of getting you on the right bike. You have a large budget and since you're just starting out you can spend a fraction of that on a bike that will suit your needs. Cannondales are good bikes and I always recommend the CAAD9 series as it's a great frame for the money and if you do race it's not an expensive bike you'd be nervous racing on. The BMC Streetfire is another great bike I've been really enjoying and is also race worthy.