Looking to purchase first road bike

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Tim05, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. yishunsandy

    yishunsandy New Member

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    [​IMG]
    chosen hub+mac aero 494 cnspokes+alloy external system nipples+Ti QR.
    how do you guys think of this wheelset?
     


  2. spangola

    spangola New Member

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    Hi,
    I'm joining the cycle to work scheme at my place and I have seen a Cannondale CAAD 8 that is in stock, which I like the look of and is within my price range. However, the supplier won't let us test the bike before buying as they have a tied in policy with my company..!!?? I have tried to find a Cannondale at my LDS but to no avail. Can anyone advise me on these bikes before I buy. Do I need specialist tools for them or not? And would a 56cm frame be the right size for a 5'10'' medium build guy? I am currently cycling 20 miles a day to work and back on a mountain bike which is very comfortable but a little slow and tiring. Are Cannondales fairly comfortable?
    Many thanks
     
  3. look 586

    look 586 New Member

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    just written in the forum and think the same
     
  4. jkyle

    jkyle New Member

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    I personally wouldn't buy a bike without riding it first if I was spending any significant amount on it. If I was just picking up a chromoly from bikes direct for a couple of hundred or some such, I wouldn't sweat it as much. Though, I have several friends with those bikes and I'd hop on one of them.

    As far as tools, standard tools are fine but depending on how many you own you may need to purchase a couple if you want to do your own maintenance. As a middle way, your town may have a bike coop. In Los Angeles, we have several such as Bikerowave where you can pay around 5 bucks per hour to use their workshop where all tools and fluids are provided, you provide the labor.

    For bike size, measure your inseam for the proper sized bike. This link provides a walk through. A google search for "bike frame size" turns up many others.

    My newbie self has found two things seem to play the biggest role in road bike comfort. The first is getting a proper bike fit from a local shop. The second is a decent set of tires. Tires made a world of difference for me that was immediately noticeable.

    I can't stress how important bike fit was for me and from what other, more experience cyclists have reported I'm not alone in that. Fits can range from 50 to 200 dollars. I'd ask around some bike clubs to find a reputable fitter in your area.

    One saying that now rings very true to me is:

    "It's better to buy a $1,000 dollar bike and a $200 dollar fit than it is to buy a $5,000 dollar bike and no fit at all."

    When you decide what your upper limit on spending for a bike will be, include the cost of a fit.
     
  5. reichard117

    reichard117 New Member

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    I just got my first bike, cannondale caad8 and I absolutely love it, the dealer I went to sold cannondale giant specialized and I believe fisher but he recommended for around my 800 dollar price range that cannondale makes the best bike, I never got to ride others but I'm happy with mine
     
  6. look 586

    look 586 New Member

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    just written in the forum and think the same
     
  7. look 586

    look 586 New Member

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    [​IMG]
    this is my bike
     
  8. VTTimC

    VTTimC New Member

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    I have to agree with this

    Can't agree with this more. I got a very comprehensive (almost insanely so - look up BGFit) fitting done as part of my bike purchase, and good god it made a huge difference. The normal $200 price was discounted down to $100 with a bike purchase, and he changed almost everything: found a saddle that actually fits, changed saddle height, added washers to space out the pedals a touch, added footbeds and shims inside my shoes, tweaked cleat position and pedal tension, un/rewrapped handlebars to change the hood positions, found the best handlebar rotation, tweaked the brake lever extension.... and probably more I'm forgetting. Seriously - it took 3 hours, and its worth it - this is now not only the most comfortable riding I've ever had, but from the before/after form video you can even see changes in my form. (Better back and wrist position, knees actually tracking straight.)

    Don't think twice. If you happen to be in the Burlington VT area, call Skirack and set up a fit session.

    Keep the rubber side down,
    -Tim
     
  9. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Tim, you are lucky! What you got was a true fitting, and for $100....WOW! It makes such a big difference and it is a shame that they are not more common. Too often a customer is told to straddle the bike and if the top tube is within 1 - 2 inches of their crotch, the LBS staff says that it is the right size. No thought is given to different torso lengths compared to leg length, reach, sit bones width, or riding style. If you are getting fitted right, it is going to take 2 - 3 hours and you will be doing a lot more than just standing over a bike.
     
  10. 7Wizzard

    7Wizzard New Member

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    Very true! A good fitting makes a world of difference! I worked with Chris Smith at Harpeth Bicycles in Franklin, TN. Spent about 3 hours with the fitting. Great job, great bike, great fun to ride it!
     
  11. Mark George

    Mark George New Member

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  12. rxter

    rxter New Member

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    Same bad "fitting" experience here. Seat adjustment was it - jeeze even I could have figured that out. As it is I've done most of the adjustments with cleats and saddle myself. When it hurts I move it. If it hurts less I leave it, if it hurts more I move it again. Very slow and inefficient way to get me fitted to the bike. I spent a lot of time riding the bike before I bought it and insisting that the bike shop adjust on it in the store. More trial and error, but it's pretty close to super comfortable now.
     
  13. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    A poster mentioned Titanium is great material for a bike frame, and I agree, but it's doesn't have to be all that expensive. Bikes Direct at http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/road_bikes.htm have about 11 Titanium bike ranging from $1500 to $2800 from road bikes to touring bikes to cross bikes. They do have a section for titanium bikes, but there are a few more not listed in that section scattered through the sections. And they don't charge extra for shipping to the lower 48 states.
     
  14. Mark George

    Mark George New Member

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    Bikes Direct is a great place to buy a bike IF you know EXACTLY what you want. I bought a mountain bike there for a winter rat and was pleasantly surprised. BUT I've been at this a long long time. Hell I have 7 grandkids! Point is I'm perty hard to fool at this point in my cycling career. I know what I want and know how its going to fit by the specs . I DONT know how its going to ride until I ride it, but I've never been disappointed when buying a quality bike. The wheels and tires make the biggest difference in ride quality. A lively set of wheels and supple tires makes a much better ride out of any bike. (I love tubulars but cant justify the cost anymore) And heavy sluggish wheels and tires ruin a ride. Thats why I hate riding mountain bikes on the road. Feels just plain awful. But thats not what they were designed for. Can you imagine riding a Felt f5 off road? Same thing. Got a little off the track, Ha! Point is that there are alot of great used ti bikes out there, but you gotta KNOW what you need. And that takes experience. And experience can be a harsh teacher. Stick with your LBS for now, you will be glad you did in the long run. or ride.
     
  15. yishunbicycle

    yishunbicycle New Member

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    a comfortable bike can take you to the good place
     
  16. TylerC85

    TylerC85 New Member

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    Okay, I know that I'm probably going to get some of the same responses as the ones above. Years ago before I joined the Navy I rode a Kona MTB. Mostly I just rode on gravel paths as I lived in a small town area where we did not have sidewalks. I probably rode between 25-50 miles a day about six days a week for as much of the year as I could tolerate (winters in South Dakota get very cold). I would have considered myself a reasonably strong rider at the time however, it has been 9 years since I have even sat on a bike let alone rode one. I have always been drawn towards the road bikes and long, fast rides but, the only thing I know about road bikes is that they have very skinny tires and Lance Armstrong rides a TREK. I have now been to two LBS and to be honest the "hole in the wall" place that sells GIANT seems like a much "better" shop than the TREK retailer albeit the TREK store is larger, cleaner, and seems better equiped for maintenance. My ultimate goal is to ride in a triathalon. I'm trying to get a reasonable bike that isn't going to fall apart on me but at the same time I don't want to spend a fortune in case of the off chance I do not get back into riding as much as I anticipate.

    Thanks,

    El Bandito
     
  17. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    A frequently asked question. Its hard to answer because if you get a cheap bike and then find that you reallly love cycling, you are stuck with a cheap bike until you can afford a better one. On the flip side, if you buy a better quality bike to start and you find out that you don't like cycling, you are stuck with an expensive toy that you really don't want. There is Bikes Direct mentioned three posts up. They offer some decent bikes at a good price but they are mail order and if you don't know what you are doing, you could get a bike the wrong size, etc. If you have a friend who is a cyclist or if you have a cycling club in your area, they might be able to help you in your search. If I were in your situation, I would find a friend willing to help, get a basic fitting, and then start looking on Craig's List.
     
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