My first road bike

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Seung Ho Park, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. Seung Ho Park

    Seung Ho Park New Member

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    Hey all,

    I'm new to cycling and also to this forum. In fact, I just registered 10 minutes ago. But that's not what we're here for. I'm here to ask some very important questions. So please take your time and respond to these questions in a honest manner. Thanks.

    I'm looking for a bike between 500€ and 900€. I hear that the French manufacturer B'Twin makes great bikes. I'm currently looking into the B'Twin Triban 540 and the Ultra 700AF. They both have 6061 ALU frames and Shimano 105 groupset (2x11) for just under a thousand euros. So they are perfect. I will be using the bike for commuting, training and riding with friends (casually). I've looked on online sites but only found bikes that have the last generation Sora. And they cost up to 1000 euros. So for now I think the B'Twin bikes are the best for their price range. Shimano 105 for a 750 euro bike is really good, and the frame is very comfortable. I like the frame of the Ultra more than the Triban's frame because of the feel, and it's 150 euros cheaper.
    What do you think? Would you recommend other bikes in that price point? Please answer honestly.

    Thanks, Fritz_F
     
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  2. Kerrilacy

    Kerrilacy New Member

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    Welcome to the forum buddy. Enjoy your stay here. lol
     
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of those French bikes you've looked at, but there are alternatives, are they better than what you've seen, I don't know!, but here are two choices from Ribble: https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/checkout/cart/ The Ultra 700AF looks to be the better of the two bikes you saw from what I could tell on the internet.

    The only issue I see with buying either of the bikes you saw or the ones I mentioned is cost, at least the ones you looked at are cheaper which for a beginner that's what you want because about 68% of all new physical activity seekers quit whatever it is their doing in 3 to 6 months. This is why I usually recommend for newbies to find a decent used bike for around $200 to $300 max so you don't end up with expensive garage art; however if you are currently doing something like running religiously every day than get the bike you want.
     
  4. Monat648

    Monat648 New Member

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    The same to me, I have never heard about bikes you have mentioned. Personally, I would recommend you Schwinn Phocus 1600, it is even a bit cheaper than your budget. It is weird, cause in my opinion the real price of this bike should be higher according to his technical details. Have to say it is my own opinion. I have been using this bike for over 3 years, and I had no problem ever.
     
    #4 Monat648, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    IMO ...

    MOST bikes which will be used for commuting should probably either have FENDERS (mud guards) mounted OR be capable of having Fenders installed (bolt-on or clip-on) ...

    So, tire clearance should probably be very high on the list of features which are being considered -- probably , at least enough for a 700x32 tire which would allow a Fender + smaller tire.
    Otherwise, a bike with 105 components + an aluminum frame will probably serve you very well for a very long time.
     
    #5 alfeng, Feb 18, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  6. Seung Ho Park

    Seung Ho Park New Member

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    Thanks for your repy!
    B'Twin is a Decathlon brand (sports store). Now they don't make the Ultra 700 anymore, but they recently released the Ultra 900, for 1020 euros. It has full 105, Mavic Aksium wheels and a decent finishing kit. I like the colour of the 900, but haven't been able to try it out for now (it comes out in March but I saw it hiding in my local store). Rather than commuting, it's for starting up the sport. My budget has expanded, so now I am looking for bikes for around 500-1200 euros. I also looked at the cheapest bikes from the "Big Manufacturers" such as Trek, Cannondale, Scott, Canyon and Pinarello. They all cost around 800 euros, but looking at the bikes with "usable components" such as Sora 2017 or Tiagra (sometimes even 105) they all cost around 1000 euros. Felt makes an endurance option (the F5) that has caught my eye and looks very nice with the smooth welds, Sora R3000 and Disc brakes. Even has my favourite colours! But I think disc brakes are too difficult to service so I really don't want them on any road bike. Currently I have a heavily modified B'Twin Rockrider 340 that I'm willing to change very soon. There aren't any trails near me (closest one is 300 km away from my house) so it's pointless getting a MTB. The best option for me is Decathlon or Online stores because here in Italy there are about 2 stores per 100 km.
    Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Fritz_F
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW ...

    Of the bike brands you mentioned, if there is a Pinarello within your budget, then you will probably be happier in the long run if you choose it ...

    Regardless, while some people are perfectly happy with their Shimano shifters, I would not worry about the shifters which come with a bike BECAUSE I would plan to replace the Shimano shifters with a pair of Campagnolo shifters (which are compatible with Shimano drivetrains with a minimal amount of effort) ...

    I would ;probably remove the Shimano shifters as soon as I received the bike & install the Campagnolo shifters in their place ... then, resell the Shimano shifters as "take-offs" on eBay.

    The ONLY (?) caveat is that you will need a T25 driver with a 4"-to-5cm shaft to install the Campagnolo shifter + a 5mm Allen Wrench with a similarly long shaft to remove the Shimano shifters.

    The Campagnolo shifters use cables whose diecast ends are smaller than the "standard" cables used on Shimano shifters ... you can (must?) either use Campagnolo/-compatible cables OR file down the ends to fit (a tedious task) ...​

    IMO, you should avoid SRAM components unless you are a sponsored rider ....

    I would also avoid frames which do not have an English THREADED Bottom Bracket.

     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Again, for a first time bike and a new fantasy at getting in shape that usually ends in failure in about 3 to 6 months time, yeah I know, that won't happen to you, but it does to roughly 76% who try. Anyways, I wouldn't be buying something as expensive as a new 105 equipped bike, I would find a used bike with perhaps 105, but I wouldn't pay more than $300.

    And the advice to replace the shifters as soon as you get the bike is just bizarre, new or used, Shimano shifters are just fine, and will last many thousands of miles; once the shifters are no longer serviceable then get new ones, or a new bike if you're still riding 3 or 4 years from now on a daily basis to replace the used bike. I've used both Campy and Shimano shifters, each had their pros and cons but both are equally fine. Some people like the little thumb clicker that Campy has, hmmm, well that's funny because Shimano 2300 has that same thumb clicker and that's very low end stuff. And the other problem with the little thumb clicker is that people with large hands have trouble operating it. At the end of the day I actually prefer the Shimano shifting system better; but I like the way the Campy front derailleur shifted a bit better, but the rear the difference was too close to call, but the subject wasn't that, it was about the shifters.

    And SRAM is not crap, just different, it was crap not even the pros would want to race on it regardless if they get it for free or not, they can't afford mechanical issues in the middle of race that will cost the team a win. And the SRAM shifter is not a bad unit either, in fact people who've tried it like it better than either Shimano or Campy because SRAM uses a lever behind the brake lever like Shimano does except SRAM's lever does both the up and down shift instead of having to push one lever to shift up and a different one to shift down or push a lever or press a button. I've once read somewhere that SRAM is the love child of Campy mating with Shimano, it has the best of both worlds. However one must admit that arguing over which is better: Campy, Shimano, or SRAM is the same as arguing which is better: Ford, Chevy, or Chrysler.
     
  9. CyclingJunkies

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    B'TWIN is a brand belonging to French sports equipment manufacturer Decathlon S.A.
    Okay ...
    I think you should get one. :D

    Ride it, enjoy it, get your fitness up and then when you're ready for upgrading to your next bike you'll have some experience to go on and know what you do and don't want (or like).

    ETA: Whereabouts in France do you live? We may be able to recommend some stores you can visit to try different brands. :)
     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Life is too short ...

    You inferred that I said that "SRAM is crap." I did not say that ...

    While my disdain for SRAM-as-a-corporation probably knows no bounds ...

    YOU are reading more into what I wrote than was stated ...
    And, while I think that the Double-Tap design which the shifters have is quite elegant, I just don't think that there is any reason to buy what is essentially a proprietary design ... IMO, we should all think of SRAM as being the Commodore 64 of the cycling world -- or if you prefer, an AMIGA , an ATARI, or a SINCLAIR -- good for what it is, but probably a dead end in the long run which will only have a cult-like following.

    To quote myself (!) from an earlier thread:

    AFAIK, there has never been a retail version of a SRAM front shifter which has had any trim capability for the front derailleur ...

    It's a philosophical choice by their bean counters which their "engineers" do not try to over-rule ...

    Instead, SRAM's solution was to convince people that they do not need more than one Chainring!!!!.

    While you may not think it is the case right now, having "trim" is a good thing!
    Regardless, on the other hand, I know that I can walk into ANY bike shop and buy a replacement component for a Shimano-equipped bike ... even if the component is not identical, it will be functionally usable ...

    While SRAM's Road components have been around for a long time, now, I am not certain that true critical mass has been achieved because, unlike Shimano, there seems to be very little attempt to ensure backward compatibility which may-or-may-not exist with SRAM's stuff ...
    Other than their mechanical Road shifters, I love Shimano components ...

    Based on MY direct experience + what I have read others say over the past 16+ years regarding their experience with various mechanical & electronic shifters, it was not until Shimano introduced their Di2 shifters-and-derailleurs that Campagnolo's mechanical shifters were apparently matched with regard to shifting efficiency ...

    Just as some (i.e., YOU) feel that "Life is too short to run crappy slow tires" I have to say that life is too short to put up with less efficient shifting ...

    I know better (i.e., that efficient mechanical shifters exist) AND I'm not a glutton for punishment.
    Certainly, for Flatlanders or those who are strong enough riders to have only a one-tooth-per-cog-differential on their Cassette, Shimano's shifters are more-than-fine ...

    And, for the Pied Piper's followers, many think that 1x shifting is certainly the cool-way-to-set-up-a-bike in the here-and-now ...

    However, I think that for us more plebeian riders, the "dwell" which is a consequence of the eccentric take-up spool causes enough lag to result in occasionally balky shifting which one simply doesn't need to put up with ...

    And, I think that if people want to eschew a Double-or-Triple set of chainrings, then if they aren't riding a competitive CX bike OR a MTB, then they might as well ride a properly geared Single Speed OR a bike with an internally geared 3-speed hub -- why pay more?
    I do not know what the situation is in Europe (or, Asia), but in the Lower-48 a pair of NEW Campagnolo shifters (with cables) can be bought online for under $200 ... a wise shopper can reduce that by $50 ... a frugal shopper can simply pony up about $120 +/- if s/he is willing to reduce the diecast ends of a "standard" set of cables to the size needed to be used in the Campagnolo shifters ...

    Certainly, most take-off Shimano shifters can certainly be sold for $120+ ... usually, much more; so, the net cost of the swap will be either zero or there will actually be a RETURN ON THE INVESTMENT ... that is, less cost!

    Better shifting ... less cost ... WHY WOULDN'T A PERSON SWAP SHIFTERS?​

    Because Campagnolo shifters can be used with almost ANY cable actuated front derailleur AND with any vintage chainrings, it also means a person can buy that used, under-$300 bike and eventually make it "modern" by simply adding a pair of Campagnolo shifters + a Cassette-or-Freewheel with ramped Cogs. When the time possibly comes for a more serious investment in a bicycle, the Campagnolo shifters can be moved over without requiring a full complement of matching components.

    As far as Shimano's low end, thumb-actuated Road shifters ... I have only seen pictures. Even if the placement of the thumb lever is the same as one finds on a set of Campagnolo shifters, the eccentric take-up spool remains as being problematic, IMO.

    I have to believe that someone in Osaka thinks that by having an externally similarly design on their least expensive Road shifters is intended to influence how cyclist perceive Campagnolo's design ...

    A clever ploy if it is intentional, wouldn't you say?

    After all, YOU are apparently, duly influenced ....
    And, if it is not an intentional marketing ploy, then one should wonder "Why bother?"​
     
    #10 alfeng, Feb 26, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  11. nguyenthao

    nguyenthao New Member

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    thanks you for share
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    LOL. these forums just keep getting better and better. LOL!!!!
     
    CyclingJunkies likes this.
  13. Seung Ho Park

    Seung Ho Park New Member

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    Thank you for your replies.

    I think that Campagnolo is a very good brand judging by the shifters and I am searching for bikes with Campagnolo components.
    After some visits to the LBS, I found two new bikes from Bianchi. They're both aluminum and have nice components. I'm looking into the -1000 euro range, so their lower end bikes are nice.
    The bikes I'm talking about are the Via Nirone 7s. There's the Sora, Tiagra and Campy's Xenon models, but I kind of dislike the colour option (the only option) of the Tiagra and Xenon models (signature Bianchi green). The Sora model has a matte black paint job with some green accents that looks very nice but the only bad thing is that the crankset is not the RS3000 but a non-series Shimano crankset. It looks very old and doesn't feel or seem reliable. The other options are fantastic (full Shimano Tiagra except for the brakes/full Camagnolo Xenon) but the finish is not my liking. My fourth choice would be the B'Twin Ultra 700AF, but after checking at my local Decathlon they only have an Ex-Demo bike with some cosmetic damages (Frame is slightly scratched, cables are rusty and it surprisingly has dirt on some parts). I don't think getting an ex-demo bike is worth it because I don't know what kind of rides it went through (judging by the dirt, cables, brakes, wheels and frame) and I don't think this bike is maintained correctly. Worst thing is, they won't even give me a discount even though it's an Ex-Demo. The dealer told me he would give me a 15 euro sale. Like what the hell.

    Should I give up on a good bike just for the colour option or should I get a bike with good specs and size but that I'll dislike?

    Please take some time to answer and consider the fact that I can't get online bikes.

    Thanks again, Fritz_F
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    If you dislike the bike you want be as motivated to ride it, so get what you like.

    No mark down for a demo? that's plain nuts. That LBS plays hardball, I'm not so sure I would buy from a place like that because if you go in for any kind of repair they'll gouge you, and if they haven't maintain the demo bike that also should tell you about the quality of the shop. I'm sorry, I know they have a bike you like but I personally wouldn't do business with them.

    I would find another shop that carries Bianchi.
     
  15. Lia Rener

    Lia Rener New Member

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    To skate well you need to choose a powerful bike, I even chose not for a city bike, but a mountain bike. No bardyury not terrible. I love to drive fast, I orderedmy bike here http://bestadviser.net/: Schwinn High Timber for $ 202.06. It's powerful, but there's no limit to perfection, next month I'll take Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bike for $ 282.70 per share. I read that the performance is more powerful and faster.
     
  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Personally I would stay away from low end suspension bikes because the suspension parts fail rather quickly making getting a replacement fork an expensive repair, and they're very heavy, in addition to that they are poor at aggressive off road use which makes the purpose they're intended for completely useless, and they take more power from the rider to ride on smooth surfaces (not to mention the weight issue) due to the suspension flexing and absorbing the power instead of applying it to the surface. In addition suspension forks, even cheap ones, cost money thus in order to make the bike a low cost point they have to make up for the cost of the fork someplace so they give you low end components which will also not last long and weigh more, and a low end frame that is also heavy. To get a good suspension mtb you would have to spend at least $1,200!

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/460333-the-advantages-of-a-fully-rigid-classic-mountain-bike/

    I would either find a classic (used) rigid mtb since it's now difficult to find one new, or buy a hybrid. I did find a couple of fully rigid mtb at a low cost, see: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gt/gt_peace9er_multi.htm
    https://www.diamondback.com/mountain-bikes/trace
    https://www.diamondback.com/mountain-bikes/trace-st
    DiamondBack bikes are decent bikes too, these can be found or ordered at any Dicks Sporting Store.
     
  17. Lia Rener

    Lia Rener New Member

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    To skate well you need to choose a powerful bike. For myself, I choose a mountain bike. In my opinion it is more powerful than city bicycles. I ordered my bike here http://bestadviser.net/: Schwinn High Timber for $ 202.06. It's powerful, but there's no limit to perfection, next month I'll take Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bike for $ 282.70 per share. I read that the performance is more powerful and faster. velo7.jpeg
     
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