Need advice picking out a cheap road bike

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by zs_21, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. zs_21

    zs_21 New Member

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    I'm getting increasingly sick of riding my '05 Trek 7100 Hybrid around when i'd much rather be riding a road bike. The 7100 is a bit to small (i'm at the very highest the seat can be raised) and i feel like it's time to upgrade to a road bike anyway.

    My first question is in regards to my ability to ride a road bike. I've never owned (or even tried) a road bike, and i'm wondering if being overweight is a large (no pun intended) problem. I'm using biking as a way to loose weight, so i know i'll be down to 'normal' soon, but until then, should i stay away from road bikes and stick to my hybrid?

    As for the bike itself, i don't have alot of money (i'm going to college in the fall) so my budget is around $700. I know that's very low end, but i figure for my first road bike it'll be fine.

    I've been browsing through a few companies and so far and these are the one's im considering:
    Trek Alpha Aluminum 1000
    Trek Pilot 1.0 (i figure that might be a good transition from hybrid to road)
    Specialized Allez Triple
    LeMond Etape

    Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. mphew1

    mphew1 New Member

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    Hi,

    I was in a very similar state. I only started commuting to help me lose weight and I took it nice and easy. I started in November last year on an old Mountain Bike that had been sitting in my garage for 4 years. I gradually built up my ride from 3km(2 miles) to the closest train station and then I moved along the train line to 15km(10 miles) to a station much closer to work. Now I don't even get on the train any more and I ride all the way in and out (25km / 16 miles). I did this all on an old, uncomfortable, slow and power draining bike. This led me from 103kg down to 90kg. I won a Biggest Loser comp in the office and now my reword is a brand new road bike.

    This of course makes my ride much easier and I won't be shedding the kilos as much as before but I'm now feeling great.

    I would hold off on the new road bike until you reach a weight loss goal, that way it would be an even better reward.

    As far as a budget for you bike goes try to factor in things like commuting costs and other items. I am now saving $9 a day by riding my bike to work and that will pay for my good quality bike in no time.

    Good luck.
     
  3. MrKawamura

    MrKawamura New Member

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    Hi mate,

    I'm trying to choose between these bikes, too. I'm a newb, so this is not expert advice, but anyway. My list is as follows:

    Allez.
    Etape.
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 XENON (I include this as it's a compact crank option, and also designed for extra comfort on long rides. The Campagnolo components are all 10-speed, which might make it easier to upgrade individual parts).
    Pinnacle Sentinel 1.0 (I don't think you can get these outside the UK).

    Bike magazines over here seem to give the Trek and the Allez the best overall reviews for budget road bikes. I've struck the Trek off the list just because I don't like the look of it...

    As far as I can see, the Allez gives the most bang for the buck, probably the closest you'll get to a higher end racing bike for the price. It has the A1 aluminium frame, the same frame that Specialized uses for the higher end Allez Sport and Allez elite. If you compare that to the Lemond, you will see that the Etape has a lower grade metal for the frame than the more expensive Lemonds.

    Generally though, all the specifications are similar enough that the most important thing will be which one fits you the best and which is the most comfortable when you get on it.

    You could have a look around local stores for 2006 models at discount prices. I narrowly missed out on a 2006 Lemond Reno for the same price as an Allez. You have to get lucky.
     
  4. zs_21

    zs_21 New Member

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    I spoke with a classmate of mine (who bikes a lot) and he agrees that the specialized would be the way to go. I will however look around for 06's to see if i can get a discount (i'm really not that picky about the year). But i'm still short on money so i may be forced to wait a while anyway.

    thanks for the help!
     
  5. kk4df

    kk4df New Member

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    My son just bought the Trek Pilot 1.0, and it's a very decent bike for the price. In our case, we chose this over the Trek 1000 because of the carbon fork and the compact frame geometry. My son is still growing, so he was fit into a frame size one larger than necessary, but with a shorter stem. That gives him a few more inches of growing room, so that he doesn't have to buy another bike when he goes off to college.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    If the road bikes you are looking at have almost the SAME length virtual top tube (i.e., the distance from the headtube to the seattube, c-c) as your HYBRID's virtual top tube, then getting a ROAD bike at this point in time should be thought of as mostly a cosmetic & psychological change.

    You can, for a couple of hundred dollars (US), put a drop handlebar (& handlebar tape) + "integrated" shifters on your current bike + 700x28 tires & tubes. You will need the MINIMAL amount of tools (long shaft 5mm Allen wrench ... maybe, a 4mm Allen wrench ... plus, tire irons).

    If you aren't familiar with eBay, become so!

    Get a 44cm (c-c) handlbar + tape (you can get the tape at your LBS) ... under $30, shipped. Just be certain that the CENTER SECTION is the same size as the size of your bike's stem -- either 31.8 (OS), or not.

    A pair of CAMPAGNOLO Veloce 10-speed shifters (yes, I know your drivetrain is probably Shimano) & cables ... probably under $120, shipped ... the CAMPAGNOLO 10-speed shifters will index to 9-/8-/7-speed Shimano drivetrains with a minimal effort AND, of course, Campagnolo "stuff."

    Tires (smaller than 700x28 probably won't fit well on your current rims) & tubes ... under $50. Think of changing tires as optional for the time being ...

    Tools ... well under $15 ... you can get METRIC Allen Wrenches for a couple of dollars OR you can spend a lot ... tire irons are optional (whether you need them depends on your hand strength AND/OR the tires, themselves).

    BTW. Oh, and if your front fork has a V-brake, then you'll need a travel agent (about $18US + tax) or a pair of cantilever brake calipers (also, probably about $18US, OR more if you get snookered). You do NOT need a travel agent for a REAR V-brake.

    You'll need scissors & masking tape ... perhaps, a pair of pliers and/or good diagonal cutter (dikes).
     
  7. manisha reddy

    manisha reddy New Member

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    Bike magazines over here seem to give the Trek and the Allez the best overall reviews for budget road bikes. I've struck the Trek off the list just because I don't like the look of it...
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Have you looked at the Giant Contend 1 or 3? Giant is the worlds largest frame builder, they make frames for roughly 98% of the bicycle companies on the planet, so a Giant bike would be a very good bike. I think this bike comes with 32mm tires, you could go as narrow as 28 or as wide as possibly 36 but you'll need to ask to make sure a 36 would fit. It comes with the Sora groupset.

    Another good value is the Diamondback Century 2 (or Century 1) or the Haanjo 2. both also comes with the Sora groupset, this bike has narrower 28mm tires which means it can run as narrower as 25 and as wide as 32 for the Century 2, but the Haanjo 2 comes with wider 37 tires so your range is going to be about 34 to 40; again on the wide side you have to make sure it would fit a 32, the brakes may not have the clearance on the Century.

    Otherwise I would go with the Specialized because I from what I've seen they have the best quality control for their frame and fork building then other companies require...other than Giant.

    Anyways, the wider tires some bikes come with you may not want if you're not going to be riding on hard pack dirt or gravel roads, or you're not a Clydesdale, and will only ride on roads.

    If you increase your budget to $1,000 you will get better Sora components vs Claris or Tourney, and slightly better wheel sets.
     
  9. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Active Member

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    Over the years I've come to the conclusion that all bikes made by reputable manufacturers at a specific pricepoint are equally good.

    Just pick the one you like the best and it will be fine.
     
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  10. Daniel88Marsden

    Daniel88Marsden New Member

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    I would suggest Giant Contend 1. Because after my divorce ( Thanks to my best Santa Ana divorce attorney) I started cycling, many suggested Giant Contend 1. & it doest disappoint you.
     
  11. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if the OP has a bike yet? :D:p:D

    I am glad I bought a Trek bike, which was actually a Lemond. $1000 bike, frame cracked after 13,000 miles. Free upgrade to partial carbon/alum. That frame cracked after 13,000 miles. That frame cracked at the alum section and another free upgrade to a full carbon Madone. Frame of a $2200 bike.

    So far 16,000 miles and no problem.

    The reason I like Trek is because if you are the original owner, they stand behind their product and do you good on warranty issues.

    As far as what others are riding, I used to matter to me when I was a young dumb rider with bike envy. Now I just ride my bike and don't really care what the bike looks like as long as it fits, clean, and the drive train is smooth operating. You can put me on one of my bikes and I would not be able to tell which one I am on after 2 minutes. Design, color, logos, all worthless things to worry about.

    I guess I could spend $8000 to ride a bike not many others are riding but having a couple of friends who have and had broken frame issues and did not receive any kind of replacement, screw that! If I pay 8 grand for a bike, I better get free frame replacements for life. And maybe even expect the bike to pedal for me. :D
     
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