New and seriously thinking about road cycling

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Branflake, May 8, 2011.

  1. Branflake

    Branflake New Member

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    Sorry for the long read here guys,
    Ok so im 18 live in cali, about 153 lbs ,5ft 10in tall. in highschool i played football untill i was diagnosed with chrons disease my sophmore year. continued lifting weights untill about 6 months ago. i torn my my labral had to have surgery. i just got done with all my therapy and now im having a piece of my intestine takin out and my appendix to relieve stomach pain on the 19th of this month. Since i hurt my shoulder iv been incredibly bored not being able to be physically active so iv been looking for things to do. I think iv decided to start cycling when i get done with my next surgery/nonsense.
    Some concerns i have
    Being out of shape- im usually a very healthy guy. running, swimming etc but for the past 6 months i havent done anything haha. im not overweight or anything just out of it i guess
    Bike-What type/brand/specs of bike to buy
    Any other advice/suggestions/questions would be nice.
    thanks
     
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  2. trapspeed

    trapspeed New Member

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    First things first. What is your price range?
     
  3. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    What type of bike you need depends on the terrain and the road surface.

    Long or steep hill require lower gearing. A triple (30(??) small chain ring in front) or a compact double (34 small chain ring in front) might be better than a standard double (39 small chain ring in front) if you are forced to ride long or steep hills.

    Rough or litter strewn roads tend to favor wider tires - the bike needs enough clearance for the tire width.

    There is no need to go top of the line. The lower level to mid level Shimano or Campolgono components are sufficient.

    ---

    Whatever you buy will require a bit more than just a bicycle: Helmet, pump, tube repair kit (I just carry spare tubes), a few tools.

    Always carry a cell phone. It really helps.
     
  4. Branflake

    Branflake New Member

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    My price range is 500-1000. Cheaper the better my parents are paying since its gonna be my graduation present. But i dont want something cheap and not good. its gotta last a while.
    I live in Bakersfield Cali. Very hot and flat haha. so no hills (yet id like to be able to one day. lots of mountains near) The roads are a little rough in some areas though. What else am i going to need beside the bike. i know a helmet but what exactly. sometime this week i think ill be going to a bike shop in town
     
  5. ProdigalCyclist

    ProdigalCyclist New Member

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    Hey Bran...

    As far as the being out of shape stuff is concerned... don't worry about it.... that's why you're getting the bike in the first place (along with it being something to do) You may not be in great shape now, but if you are serious about riding... you will be in short order.

    I terms of how the terrain will dictate your needs for the bike. I'm familiar with Bakersfield, I lived there for a bit and live about 250 miles due north of you now. If you want to go with a road bike I wouldn't bother with the triple chainrings. You don't need them in your area, and if you get to the point where you want to tackle the mountains later you'll be in good enough shape to do it with Double Chainrings.

    Things you'll need
    A GOOD bike. The better the bike the more happy you'll be. A better bike is easier to maintain, shifts better, brakes better, breaks down less often (in terms of bearings etc going bad)
    Then you'll definately need Water Bottles, Bottle cages, a pump, spare tubes, Helmet, (Highly suggest) road biking shoes, clipless pedals, gloves. You don't "need" cycling shorts or jerseys, but they sure make life a LOT better while you're on the bike.

    There are a few models of Specialized and Felt road bikes that are in your price range... check with your local bike shop and see if they carry either brand.

    I'm offering you this advise from the unique perspective of a former competitive cyclist, that is just getting back on the bike myself. I wish you lots of luck!

    If you get a chance... follow a rider's return to the bike after a 15+ year "offseason" http://theprodigalcyclistca.blogspot.com/
     
  6. ProdigalCyclist

    ProdigalCyclist New Member

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    Bran

    I'm familiar with the Bakersfield area.. I lived there for a little while and now live about 250 miles north of you.

    Go check out your local bike SHOPS (plural) and see what they have to say. The reason I say to go to more than one is unfortunately many bike shops out there will just try and sell you as much as they can get you to buy rather than listening and trying to get you what you need. Have a listen to what they are telling you and see if it differs greatly from one shop to the next... make your decision on your bike according to the bike you like and the shop you trust... because the bike is a pretty good sized investment and if you have any issues, or need any warranty, you want to be dealing with the trustworthy shop.

    With that said... A couple brands that I'd like to suggest that would have some models in your price range are Specialized and Felt. They both have some pretty good models that fit within the amount you have to spend. Just keep in mind that as bikes get more expensive they become easier to maintain, lighter, more reliable etc, so buy as much bike as you are comfortable with.

    You will also need:
    A helmet... do NOT think of this as an optional piece of equipment.
    You will also need to buy pedals, as most bikes in the range you are looking at don't come with any.
    Shoes... if you go with clipless pedals (highly recomended)
    Spare tubes and a pump.... (you don't want to get stranded out in BFE with no way to get home)
    Water bottles and Cages
    Cycle computer (not a mandatory item, but if you want to track your progress this is a good way to start)
    Shorts... they have a pad in the rear, which makes the seat on the bike a bit more bearable)
    Jersey.... the pockets in the back are a good place to store your tubes, a bite to eat, and your Cell phone.


    If you get a chance.... Follow a riders return to the bike after a 15+ year "offseason" http://theprodigalcyclistca.blogspot.com/
     
  7. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    I agree that you should visit more than one bike shop. I would also like to add that while visiting these shops talk to them about your need to purchase accessories. Most shops discount these when bundled in with a new bike purchase.

    Do a little online investigation before setting out. Find out what brands are carried by your various LBS's and search on sites like Bikepedia and the manufacture web sites. Print down spec sheets for bikes you can afford. Bring your print outs of the spec sheets with you when you go out shopping.

    Buying a bike is just like buying a car. If you walk into the dealership and tell them what you are looking for they will tend to help you. If you walk in and tell them you are not sure you will be led around to a bike they think you need or just want to move along.

    Also dont forget to keep your eye open for leftover models. These are sometimes discounted and are just as good as the latest model in your price range.
     
  8. ProdigalCyclist

    ProdigalCyclist New Member

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    LOL... I love how posts around here appear and diappear randomly... sorry bout the double posts above but when I posted my second the first was no where to be found.
     
  9. Branflake

    Branflake New Member

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    haha one store i know has a lot of specialized and the other one i know of carries a lot of felts haha and my parents told me they will be giving me 1000$ for my grad
    http://finishlinebikes.com/product/felt-bicycles-f95-74645-1.htm of there website
    so if i get a bike around that price range it will leave me about 150$ for helmet and other things. is that about right?
     
  10. ProdigalCyclist

    ProdigalCyclist New Member

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    That's about right Bran... put keep in mind there will be taxes.

    That F-95 is a pretty solid bike. And Felts tend to be a little bit cheaper than Specialized when you compare models with the same range of components on them. The reason being is that Felt is a fairly new brand and they are wanting to get their product out, Specialized is one of the big dogs so they don't need to get their product out there.... it already is out there. Felt is a pretty badass bike though. My Fav LBS (my friend owns it) is selling them and I've looked at quite a few of them. Felt will also be the bike brand that the US Womens team will be using in the next Olympics if I'm not mistaken.

    If you stay within that $1000 window it's going to be tight, if you're getting shoes and pedals and helmet etc. But see if the Bike Shop will "package" all the stuff together. Sometimes when you're buying a bike from a shop they will give you a break on the accessories.

    Some suggestions on keeping the price down on accessories if they wont package are...
    A Giro Transfer Helmet goes for around $40
    Shimano PD-R540 Pedals go for about $65
    You can probably find a pair of Shimano Road shoes for around $70-$80
    But then you're going to need water bottles and Bottle cages, a pump, spare tubes, cycling shorts and probably jersey (cause it has pockets for your spare tubes, a bite to eat, and your phone)


    Don't be discouraged though... you are on the right track. That Felt bike is a VERY nice starter bike. I've test riden one and I really liked it, and Felt is a really good brand and has AWESOME customer service. Like I said... the bike shop that my friend owns sells them, and he's told me stories about how good the Felt Customer Service is. Just no matter how tight the budget is... do NOT think you can just get the helmet later.


    If you get a chance... Follow a riders return to the bike after a 15+ year "offseason" http://theprodigalcyclistca.blogspot.com/
     
  11. Branflake

    Branflake New Member

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    ok theres lots of felts at that store for around that price so i think i will go down and test ride them.
    ill see if i can get a extra hundred or 2 from my parents if i tell them about the tax and stuff i gotta get with it they should be on board.
    Also any good places to ride here?
     
  12. ProdigalCyclist

    ProdigalCyclist New Member

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    Unfortunately I wasn't riding when I lived in Bakersfield so I don't know any places to ride personally. But I would just about guess that if the shop you are looking at carries Felt, they probably either have a club out of the shop or one of the guys in the shop knows one. If you get in contact with a club you can get involved in club rides with other riders and learn some of the good routes that way.

    You can also go here http://www.usacycling.org/road/ and you can search for local clubs in your area that are registered with the USCF.

    And it would be a great idea to test a few Felts. They have a couple different lines.... The F series and the Z series. The F series (I believe) is the one with less of a reverse slope on the top tube. The Z series has a more pronounced reverse slope to the top tube which causes the handlebars to be more upright. Either one is fine, it's just a matter of which feels better for you.


    If you get a chance.... Follow a riders return to the bike after a 15+ year "offseason" http://theprodigalcyclistca.blogspot.com/
     
  13. Branflake

    Branflake New Member

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    Well today i went and there was two bikes i liked. the specialized Allez and the felt f95.
    i dont know which to pick
    also im 5,10 and the guy thought id be a medium/54 but i stepped over the frame and he said i have long legs so i needed a 56. does that sound right?
     
  14. Branflake

    Branflake New Member

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    [​IMG]

    There it is =] paid 840 for the bike ended up spending 1100 after taxes and excesories. as soon as i took it home i road it down the street it felt great then it started to down pour haha.
    going to go for my first ride tomorrow i cant wait. thanks for the help guys
     
  15. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Great looking ride. Good luck with your first ride. I wish I could keep my bike in my bedroom. Some guys are just lucky.
     
  16. Branflake

    Branflake New Member

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    haha i have just enough room for it.
    just got back from my ride it was great.
    did 6.1 miles in 23 min,, averaged 18 mph top speed was 22. (had one really long stop light haha) also stopped at about 3 miles (had to say hi to my grandma who lives 3 miles away) for about 5 min then went back.
    i felt a lot better then i thought i would since i havent really done anything since September. Unfortunatly i am having part of my small intestine removed due to my chrons on thursday so this is probably the last time i can ride for a while
     
  17. swordbeach

    swordbeach New Member

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    I'm also new to road cycling and I'm also at the entry level pricing. After weeks of research (which drives you crazy) I opted for a Cannondale Caad8 Sora. Bought for 799 euro. I've had it just over a week and covered over 100 miles and I'm really happy with it. Good luck with your search!
     
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