New to bike buying- looking to replace old Fuji Touring

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by whimsical, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. whimsical

    whimsical New Member

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    Hey everyone! I'm a longtime rider, but my past 2 bikes (Raleigh road bike and a Fuji Touring bike) were all suggested to me by a friend, so I've never bought my own bike before and I don't know what to look for.

    This is the bike I currently have: http://pedalrevolutionblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/094.jpg (mine has a rack on it though). I love it to pieces, but unfortunately I'm permanently separated from it, so I'm looking to get a new one.

    Here are a few comments on my search:

    • I will be using the bike on a day to day basis for city commuting (~11-15 minute commute, not far at all). However, I also plan on going on longer rides (12-30 miles) at least once or twice a week. I am also hoping to do my first 60+ mile ride by the end of the summer
    • My budget is around the $1,000 mark.
    • I would like a carbon frame if possible, but I understand it's difficult to come by them in my price range.
    • Weight, speed, and ability to install a bike rack are all factors that matter to me.
    • I live in Chicago (if that's helpful to know at all)

    My issue is that I don't know too much about the quality of specific parts, so it's difficult for me to tell what's a good deal and what isn't. Any advice is greatly appreciated. TYIA!!!
     
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  2. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    like we suggested to another poster, keep your current commuter and buy another road bike, with 1K you can find a reasonably good bike,
     
  3. whimsical

    whimsical New Member

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    I can't keep my current bike because I recently moved and it's not in the same state as me (and we cannot ship it).

    I know there are plenty of great bikes for 1K, that's the problem. I don't know which one to pick. My question was for any advice or suggestions in what a good bike for 1K would be, or advice on how to tell (ie, what brand of gears and etc etc to look for in a bike).

    Thanks for the response!
     
  4. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    If you purchase the bike at a bike shop the brand will likely be good. Any of the big manufactures Giant, Specialized, Cannondale, Trek, etc., and many of the smaller ones (Jamis, Bianchi, yada, yada, yadda) will often spec bikes identically in a given $$ range, on frames which are manufactured very similarly with similar materials. Shimano, SRAM, both good. Campy's not really spec'd on bikes in that range and not many in the higher ranges either.

    The days of "bad" bikes are over, unless you are shopping at a department store. Making sure it fits is more important than almost any other criteria, except for how it looks of course (that's a joke). Even experienced folks around here will be likely giving you advice based on notions of what they have ridden or have absorbed from marketing propaganda, which I myself would be guilty off.

    My advice, go to a reputable bike shop, tell them the kind of riding you are planning on doing, test ride the bikes they recommend, and if you are feeling judicious, do the same at another reputable shop. The two big buckets these days will be "endurance" bikes and "race" bikes. Sometimes the only difference between those is some geometry incl. head tube length which dictates how "aggressive" (how leaned over a rider is) or not the bike is. You may want a triple chainring if you live in very mountainous regions and riding with panniers, otherwise "compact" gearing (meaning smaller chainring combo) which is available on most except bona fide race bikes will cover most everyone's gearing needs. Be honest with the salesperson, let them know your needs, if they seem green or are you feel they are pushing something on you, ask another person on the floor, ot hit another LBS.

    Feel free to list some bikes you've seen. The peanut gallery will emerge soon enough.

    Carbon may not be in your future unless you buy used or increase your budget. Some great alu bikes out there - Treks, Cannondales CAADs, the Jamis Icon which just hit the street (and which might be one of the top picks on my short list), and my very own Cinelli Experience (which is unfortunately waaay off budget for $1k). Others too. You will have to try very, very hard to go wrong with $1k at a proper bike shop.

    Edit: Some of the bikes I like in that range are the Trek 1.2 and Specialized Allez but there's so much more. The Jamis Icon might be a bit more $$ for some reason I thought there was one in the 1k range. Both of these are a bit more racy than than your current bike, not sure if you are looking for something along those lines. Your Fuji's very nice btw, and makes me think cyclocross bikes may be worth looking at as well. Many shops these days carry a selection of CX bikes. But unless you can properly secure your bike (as a commuter), I wouldn't trust the two models I mentioned left unattended in an unsecure location even with locks, or any $1k bike for that matter.
     
  5. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Also in case it was unknown, rear rack mounting hardware is available for most any bike. The fact that a bike doesn't come with braze ons like your Fuji shouldn't be a limiting factor in choice. I can tell you were passionate about that bike, the next one should be the same.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote:Originally Posted by whimsical . I can't keep my current bike because I recently moved and it's not in the same state as me (and we cannot ship it).




    WAIT!

    So, just why is it that you can't have your FUJI shipped to you?

    Even if it cost $200 (which it shouldn't) that's certainly less than the cost of a new bike!

    Which begs the question: Why didn't you bring your bike with you when you moved?!?
     
  7. whimsical

    whimsical New Member

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    Yeah, it's ridiculous I know. This is going to sound silly but here goes:

    I can't have it shipped to me because it is at my parents' home (I recently moved across the country for grad school, and lived there for a short period in the transition time). I've asked my father to ship my bike to me MULTIPLE TIMES, and recently after procrastinating for almost an entire year, he just said that they didn't want to deal with shipping it, and they told me I should leave it at their house for my younger sister to use (she's 18), and they would buy me a new bike and ship it directly to my current address. They also set the budget of about $1,000.

    Ridiculous, right? I guess in a sense they're buying my bike off me for the market price of whatever my new bike will cost. It's not exactly the most economical of decisions, but I really want to be able to start riding again and I can't exactly compel him to ship my Fuji to me. So I'm in the market for a new bike.
     
  8. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    oh ok, its not ridiculous, parents like to maintain a link with the children and keep the family together, in your case the Fuji has become that emotional link,
     
  9. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Here's the real truth. Many road bikes in the $1000 range will be made by the same factory in Taiwan or China. The bigger companies will provide their own specs on geometry, but the basic material will be 6061 aluminum alloy. Smaller companies may just order generic frames and have their own labeling put on them.

    They'll be comparably equipped. Almost all will have a carbon fiber fork for helping to absorb road vibrations to the bars. Some will have slighter better wheels, but for $1000 you're going to get Shimano Sora or Tiagra drive trains, a FSA crank, and Tektro brakes.

    So, what's the difference? Two things. Fit and warranty.

    The big 4---that would be Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, and Giant---give the original purchaser a limited lifetime frame warranty. And will have better reputations for resolving warranty issues. Lesser known brands may only offer 3-5 year warranties, and may be harder to deal with if you run into problems.

    Fit is something you have to decide on with guidance from someone knowledgeable. That's one of the reasons why many people suggest a local bike shop--or "LBS" in bike-speak--for your first purchase. Even if you use frame size as a general guide based on your height and inseam, there are other factors in choosing a bike that fits. And some $1000 bikes might have a more relaxed geometry that lets you ride more upright, and some might have a more aggressive geometry that requires a more stretched out and aerodynamic riding position---which you may find perfectly comfortable or not---but you won't know until you ride it.
     
  10. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    I would disagree with that statement, marketing people are being very clever when it comes to accessories and bike equipment. Almost always when you compare two bikes in the same price segment you will find one bike to be better at some specific thing and the other better in another specific part.
     
  11. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    I've yet to see any current model year bike in the $1000 price range with 105 or Apex shifters and derailleurs. At least not in the US market. You might get a R565 crank instead of a FSA crank, or 105 brakes instead of Tektro, but as you said, they'll cheapen out in some other area. Which is not to say that you couldn't get a deal on a leftover year model from an online source.
     
  12. whimsical

    whimsical New Member

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    Is it more beneficial to have HQ parts (ie, 105 instead of Tiagra), or more beneficial to have a light carbon frame? Assuming my priorities are ease + speed of riding. Can I get your group opinions on these bikes?

    CARBON FRAMES (slightly above $1,000, but I could make up the difference myself)

    2012 Fuji Supreme 3.0 Women's Road Bike ($1,299.99) http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1117161_-1_400306__400306


    2012 Fuji Gran Fondo 4.0 Road Bike ($1,249.99) http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1118336_-1_400306__400306

    ALUMINUM FRAMES


    2012 Fuji Roubaix 1.0 Road Bike ($999.99) http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1117089_-1_400306__400306


    2013 Fuji Roubaix 1.5 C Road Bike ($1099.98) http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1127348_-1_400306__400306


    Of course, any/all bike suggestions would be welcome as well. Thanks, everyone!
     
  13. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    ok, the women bike is the first to discard, women bikes have different geometries of the 2 aluminium bikes the 2012 has 105 STI levers, i would chose that one but carbon fiber is the prefered choice nowadays, so there you have a good sale price for that, the 2012 carbon frame, ok now the size problem, how tall are you ? only the 2013 aluminium fuji has all the different sizes you cannot buy a bike not of your size, no matter how good the deal might be,
     
  14. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Actually I wouldn't discard any bike just because it's made for a man, a woman, or is unisex. There guys who found their best fits on women's bikes just as there are loads of women who have found good fits on men's bikes. I would also not value a carbon fiber bike over a bike made from any other material. There is nothing inherently better about carbon fiber bikes, and there are plenty of aluminum bikes that work very well. All that is important is that a bike fits correctly, that the rider likes the way the bike handles and rides, that the bike is appealing to the rider, and that the bike fits into the rider's budget. How a bike rides has is based on so much more than what material it's made from. There is no objective reason why carbon fiber should be the preferred choice except for one: it has been marketed as the "premiere material for bikes", i.e. it's the marketing, not the facts.
     
  15. whimsical

    whimsical New Member

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    Hahah for what it's worth, I'm a woman, so the women's road bike should work just fine for me!

    I'm 5 ft 7 in with a 31.5" inseam, so I'm a size 53 I think. I totally forgot to look at sizes, d'oh -_-;;
     
  16. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Well, now that you've been IN Chicago for a bit of time, you know that MOST of it is FLAT ...

    So, the type of bike you will need for your future 60+ mile ride, or shorter, will most likely be very different from the bike you will want for commuting ... particularly, depending on whether you are on the South Side (e.g., Hyde Park) or North Side (e.g., near Rogers Park, and environs) OR elsewhere in the city ...

    So, before you get a NICE looking bike, I think that you should ask your campus police whether they know the level of bicycle thefts in-and-around where you live ...

    Now, as to whether or not a Carbon Fiber bike is better than an aluminum bike ... or, even a steel bike ... THAT (IMO) depends mostly on whether you live in a third floor walk up or a building with an elevator BECAUSE the weight of a bicycle is most evident when you are hoisting it on your shoulder or otherwise picking it up off of the ground.

    For commuting to school, a Single Speed from WalMart/KMart will more than suffice PLUS a really good lock -- the old adage is the lighter the bike the heavier the lock.

    For the longer rides, 'I' would look at something similar to your FUJI rather than the particular Road bikes which you selected (which ARE certainly a nice selection) ...

    And, choose something like a JAMIS CODA ... onto which I would either put the same type of Moustache handlebars which you have on your Fuji OR a set of DROP handlebars + Campagnolo shifters.

    • and, change the V-brakes to either Cantilever brake calipers or MINI-V-Brake calipers ...

    Campagnolo shifters can be mated to a huge variety of (i.e., most) Shimano drivetrains & provide you with superior shifting + subjectively better ergonomics.

    The shifters which will come on the Jamis can simply be transferred to a Moustache Handlebar.

    FYI. The Jamis Coda line of bikes start at an MSRP of below $600 for the steel version with V-brakes (that is the ONE which 'I' would choose because MY preference is for steel framed bikes ... and, I would amend it with the fore mentioned Campagnolo shifters + Drop Handlebars -- if you buy the shifters on eBay & DIY then the cost is easily under $200 ... you will need a minimum amount of hand tools + time PLUS the skill level required to open & close a jar of pickles ... more time will probably be spent wrapping the handlebars than doing the mechanical work ... a shop will probably charge you 2x that amount) to an aluminum framed version with disc brakes (disc brakes are still a moving target, technologically) which is about 2x the MSRP the last time I looked.
     
  17. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know, it sounds like you have pretty long legs. Of course, women and men may measure their inseams differently, but FWIW I'm more than half a foot taller than you, and my inseam is 32". If you do have long legs, and as a consequence have a relatively short upper body, a women's specific design frame with a shorter reach may be what you need. I think you should go to some shops and test ride some similar frame types, rather than just buy a frame size blind from an online retailer.

    The other thing you need to consider is that you have a mixed bag of frame geometries there--the Grand Fondo is a more relaxed, "endurance" type frame, than the other 3. Probably has a higher head tube and a longer wheelbase.

    Given those choices, I'd be leaning towards the carbon women's model. But, you need to be sure of the proper size before ordering. The gap between Tiagra and 105 really narrowed, once Shimano introduced Tiagra in 10 speeds a couple of years ago. Both shift systems operate the same way---no thumb button on Tiagra, that you can't reach to shift if you're riding on the drops.
     
  18. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I'm a 5'9" dude with a 32.25 inseam, whimsical doesn't sound that out of the ordinary. Easy way fro either sex to measure inseam: grab a hardcover book, stand against wall, place said book between legs and move toward stomach till it cant go any higher, mark spot with pen and measure distance from floor. 52cm/53cm sounds about right for 5'7". It's certainly ballpark. At 5'9" my size is a 54 but I can work with a 55 or 53 if need be, using different length stems and/or spacers under the stem to fine tune. Ideally any bike should of course be test ridden.

    And as far as whether to get a better frame or better parts using the same budget is an age old question and for one there is no good answer considering the choices listed. They're all pretty well equipped on decent enough frames.

    Edit: be sure to really check on sizing if you cant take a test ride for any reason. The horizontal top tube bikes seem to size in a different convention to the sloping top tube bikes. Both would be a SM/M as Fuji indicates on the site but the number size (i.e. 52, 53, 54) refs seem to vary between their model buckets (competition vs. endurance). Of the bikes you've listed I like the Fuji Supreme 3.0 women's - Nothing to do with alu vs CF. I like the color and it's available in the size, and is SIGNIFICANTLY discounted from 2012. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif. It will also have you very slightly more upright than the alu model available in your size (145mm headtube on the Supreme vs. 130mm headtube on the Roubaix), and looking at the position your old Fuji seemed to be setup with maybe you want to be slightly less aggressive. This of course can be tweaked to some degree.

    PS And while I'd certainly be weary of commuting on a bike that originally retailed for $2k (not the riding part, the storing part) you must utimately also consider the bikes primary intended purpose. There is also a family of bikes that while being able to handle 60 mile roadtrips easily, can also be a little more versatile: http://www.rei.com/product/848610/raleigh-port-townsend-bike-2013. Just something else to consider.
     
  19. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    And yup, this will be the only place you really feel any weight difference on the bike.

    Of the bikes you've listed any, weight differences between those models will have zero impact on the speed of the bike when actually riding.
     
  20. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    To add to what danfoz said, Company X's size 53 is likely to not have the same geometry as Company Y's size 53. That's why you can basically ignore the bike "size". Test rides are the best way to find the bike that fits. Once you find a frame that fits, you can find bikes afterward that have share certain dimensions.
     
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