New to road biking, could use some advice!

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by VolFan24, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. VolFan24

    VolFan24 New Member

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    Howdy all!

    I've recently decided to get into road biking. My roommate is big into it and after discussing it with him and looking into the sport, i'm hooked! I am having trouble deciding which bike I should buy. My budget is around 3500, but could go more if it was a fantastic bike and deal. Right now, there are a few bikes i'm looking at that i've narrowed my choices down to and was hoping some of ya'll could give me some insight on.

    Oh, and just so FYI, im 6'2" 220lbs.

    The first is the Trek Madone. I'm looking at both the 5.2 and 5.5. So far as i can tell, the only big difference in the two is the wheels. the 5.2 uses ultegra and the 5.5 uses sram force, but from what i've read those are pretty comprable and thus really a non issue. However, is there a huge difference in the bontrager race wheels on the 5.2 vs the Bontrager Race Lites on the 5.5? I really like the madones for their bigger bottom bracket, which i was told adds stiffness to the bike and could be beneficial since i'm a bigger rider.

    The other two bikes i'm looking at are Felts. I really like the F3 and the AR4. The F3 comes with SRAM Red and the AR4 comes with ultegra. i dont know a whole lot about felt, but a guy i spoke to who has raced both felt and trek in the past said felt's were not as smooth.

    So those are them. those are the 4 that i'm really looking at and i'm pretty sure my first real road bike will come from these. Does anybody have any suggestions on these particular bikes or maybe some others that i could look at? i've gone through and looked at specialized, cannondale and some others but these seem like they are some of the best bikes for the buck. any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Oh, and one last question. I'm trying to figure out if i would need to get different wheels because of my size. i'm in the process of dropping weight and hope to get down to 185lbs when i start to hit the bike. i've read on different forums that guys my size need at least 32 spokes, but i've also seen where guys my size or bigger use 18/20 or 20/24s and are fine. I have thought about upgrading to some mavic ksyrium elites or SLs, but if the wheels that come stock on these bikes are fine to start with, then i probably wont do it.

    again, any help you guys could give would be awesome. thanks alot!
     
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  2. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    I can't help you with which bike is right for you, but I can tell you that you are going to be spending a lot more money than just on a bicycle. You may want to factor that into your purchasing decision. The bicycle might just turn out to be the least expensive thing you buy; helmets, gloves, eyewear, bicycle rack, hydration pack, tire levers, multi-tool, floor pump, mini-pump, clipless pedals, shoes, bicycle shorts, trip computer, spare inner-tubes, etc.

    Also, while I applaud your enthusiasm for wanting to get into cycling, $3500 is a lot of scratch to be spending on a bicycle, especially if you're not sure you're going to like cycling once you start doing it. I know you said you were "hooked" on it after discussing it with your buddy, but if you haven't actually gotten out there and done it, you really don't know for sure you're going to like it.

    Given how heavily your buddy is into the sport, I'll say it's safe to assume he has an older bicycle, or knows someone who does. I'd see if him or someone he knows would lend it to you for an evening, and go take a few rides that are held by a local bicycle shop prior to buying. You'll get a taste of what to expect. At that point, if you're sure it's something you are going to enjoy, go treat yourself to the $3500 bicycle.

    Just my $.02.
     
  3. Fat t-cube

    Fat t-cube New Member

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    Buy a cheaper aluminium bike and loose the weight on that. Buy a new carbon bike next year as a reward.
     
  4. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    Good idea.
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Any bike in the price range you've targeted will be a good bike. As for BB, stiffness, the salesman was just feeding you marketing BS. Modern bikes have stiff bottom brackets, and besides, there's been no testing done that shows any performance benefits from stiffer bottom brackets or stiffer bikes in general. What you need to do is find bikes in which your interested at you local bike shops. Test ride said bikes, and buy the one which fits best, feels best, and makes your grollies tingle with joy. If a bike shop won't let you test ride a bike, they're not worthy of your business.

    As for wheels, don't go for low spoke count wheels, at least not yet, anyway. If you're interested in wheels, have a custom set made. You can have that done cheaper than you can buy an equivalent boutique set, and you can end up with a better wheel in the process, one made for your needs.
     
  6. CdnRider

    CdnRider New Member

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    Buy Aluminum..lose the weight....then reward with Carbon next year....

    Love this suggestion. I've said the same thing to a couple friends just this year!!
     
  7. maddogbubba

    maddogbubba New Member

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    borrow a bike.get 3 or 4 rides in. make sure that you are still gung ho.if this is for you, than buy the bike that you dig the most. of course test ride it and make sure that the bike is the correct size and feels good underneath you.purchasing two bikes over the course of 1-2 years starts to get expensive.your not just buying a bike but you are entering a lifestyle.surround yourself in excellence,you only live once.I have ridden sram force (cervelo bike -approx-4500.00)and also (felt bike ar4 - approx-3000.00) and I prefer the felt with shimano ultegra thats my current ride.it just seems to be smoother. if I had it to do over again I would step up to shimano dura ace and never look back.dont short change yourself ,go for the good stuff the first time around.
     
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