Sub $1000 Road Bikes



edvard22

New Member
Aug 9, 2011
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Hi all. This is my first post to the forum and im just looking for some quick advice. I'm only sixteen and have been trying to break into cycling for a little while. I was inspired to start after watching a discovery special where they took some average riders, and gave them professional training until they were able to ride a single mountain stage of the Tour. Combined with stories of my father's cycling when he was younger and just watching The Tour itself, I decided to try to get started in the sport. The problem comes with the expense. Just buying the gear to start riding costs hundreds of dollars, never mind the bike itself.

I started riding on my father's old bike: a 1978 Fuji Special Road Racer. While it does work, i'm really frustrated with it and would like shifters and brakes from this decade. After working for a summer, I finally have a little money to spend, and am looking for a new bike. I'm trying to stay in the sub $1000 dollar range (preferably sub 900 range). While i know this really limits my options, i'm sure there's something out there that will work. As a minimum i'd like shimano 105, none of this Sora or Tiagra bs.

So far i've found a few potential bikes:

2011 Scattante r-570

Nashbar AL-2 (exactly the same bike as the scattante I think, just without the decal on the frame)

I found some tantalizing offers on bikes direct, but i'm apprehensive of the brands and the site.

So if anyone can point me in the direction of any sub $1000 bikes with a minimum of a shimano 105 group that would be great, as well as give me some advice on the ones i've already found. Thank you very much. :)
 

Juga

New Member
Jun 13, 2011
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REI has a Cannondale Synapse Alloy 6 for 999.00 although it does has the Tiagra components. Have you gone to your LBS to ride some bikes? Have you tried Sora or Tiagra components?
 

edvard22

New Member
Aug 9, 2011
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I really don't have an lbs without making a significant effort to go out of my way so i confess that a good percentage of my bias and opinions are based off online research. I've just read that the tiagra/sora components aren't worth it, and that there is a very significant difference in performance and reliability between them and the 105's.
 

edvard22

New Member
Aug 9, 2011
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Upon further investigation the Tiagra does seem acceptable, but not the sora. Can anyone verify this?
 

Juga

New Member
Jun 13, 2011
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Just saying because from my brief experience, I am also new, if you are spending 600 and up you are getting a really nice bike. Most bikes that I have seen with all 105 components are upwards of 1500 or more. I understand your position because you have worked really hard for your money and want quality to go a long way.
 

64Paramount

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Jul 25, 2009
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Edvard, a lot of people still grow more after they're 16. So you might want to look into getting a used bike so you won't lose as much money if you out grow it.

You might be able to find a nice used bike and if you take good care of it, you might be able to sell it in a year or 18 months for almost the same price you paid for it.
 
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edvard22

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Aug 9, 2011
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I'm pretty sure i'm just about finished getting taller, or i'm at least at the point where any more growth will be insubstantial. I guess i'm pushing for the new bike because i'm so used to bargain hunting on ebay that for once i just want to buy something new. I know it sounds immature, but now that i actually have the money to spend on a new bike, i want the satisfaction of walking into an lbs and choosing the bike i want instead of having to scour the internet for a used one.

I think i've narrowed it down to either a trek 1.5 or a fuji roubaix 2.0. I think I can get a better deal on the fuji, but if anyone has any feedback on the two i'd really appreciate it. Also if anyone knows of any good deals on these bikes i'd appreciate the help. Right now i'm looking at $999 for the trek and $899 for the fuji. While $100 may not seem important, the psychological impact of $1000 versus $900 is huge when your mother controls your bank account.
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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I agree with 64Paramount but is sounds like you are determined to buy a new bike so I won't bore you with advice you don't want to hear. Both bikes are good bikes. In my opinion. the Roubaix is slightly better, and I am basing this only on the fact that they list the manufacturer of the brake calipers as being Oval and I do have respect for Oval Concept components. I don't know whose calipers Trek uses as they don't lost a manufacturer on their website. I'm a little cautious when bicycle companies don't list the make of the components that they use on their bikes. Since the bikes are pretty much equal in component quality and they are made of the same basic material, the only thing left is to visit the bike shops and test ride them. If you go to the bike shop, don't be surprised if they come out with another bike in your price range that is not a Trek 1.5 or a Roubaix, but has better quality components. At least give it a test ride with an open mind and you might get a better bike for the same price. I know that you have narrowed down your choices to two bikes by looking on the internet, but if you are open minded enough, there are other good bikes in your price range that may just surprise you if you give them a chance.

Just a couple of things that you need to think about when you get your new bike. Have you budgeted any money for clipless pedals and shoes? I suppose you probably have a helmet if you have been riding your father's bike.

BTW, the brands of bikes on Bikes Direct are good bikes. There is nothing wrong with them. The only problem is that they are a mail order company and as such, cannot provide direct support to their customers. There are also a few customer services issues that they have had but I believe that it is more of a communications breakdown more than anything else.
 

jal316

New Member
Jul 14, 2011
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I have a Gravity from BikeDirect. I have one of the two brick and mortar stores nearby so that helped my decision. It has Sora components and I love this bike. Before I purchased it I was caught up on higher end components as well and the frame and name brand but so far, I am very happy with my purchase. Like kdelong said though keep in mind that the budget will grow once you get the bike. Also, I would suggest making the effort if at all possible to go to a LBS and check out some bikes. You might realize that Sora/Tiagra is not that bad.
 

Juga

New Member
Jun 13, 2011
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Originally Posted by edvard22 .

I'm pretty sure i'm just about finished getting taller, or i'm at least at the point where any more growth will be insubstantial. I guess i'm pushing for the new bike because i'm so used to bargain hunting on ebay that for once i just want to buy something new. I know it sounds immature, but now that i actually have the money to spend on a new bike, i want the satisfaction of walking into an lbs and choosing the bike i want instead of having to scour the internet for a used one.

I think i've narrowed it down to either a trek 1.5 or a fuji roubaix 2.0. I think I can get a better deal on the fuji, but if anyone has any feedback on the two i'd really appreciate it. Also if anyone knows of any good deals on these bikes i'd appreciate the help. Right now i'm looking at $999 for the trek and $899 for the fuji. While $100 may not seem important, the psychological impact of $1000 versus $900 is huge when your mother controls your bank account.
I personally like the Fuji but Trek makes a great bike as well. You would have to ride both to get a comfy feeling before actually purchasing.
 

edvard22

New Member
Aug 9, 2011
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About the gravity bikes from bikesdirect. The components are great, but how are the frames and wheels? Are they comparable to what you would get on a Giant, or are they extremely cheesy to make up for the cost?

@kdelong, i'd really like a new bike... but grudgingly ill accept any advice you'll give me. While i want the new bike, if i can find a good enough deal ill jump on it. I also already have clipless pedals and shoes, but thank you for the concern. :)

@jal316. At first i thought the sora and tiagra were the same, but now i realize they're different. Im not knocking the sora's as i have no experience with them, but i'd like the tiagras because the format matches the more expensive setups.
 

finnrambo

New Member
Jun 6, 2010
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Originally Posted by edvard22 .

About the gravity bikes from bikesdirect. The components are great, but how are the frames and wheels? Are they comparable to what you would get on a Giant, or are they extremely cheesy to make up for the cost?

@kdelong, i'd really like a new bike... but grudgingly ill accept any advice you'll give me. While i want the new bike, if i can find a good enough deal ill jump on it. I also already have clipless pedals and shoes, but thank you for the concern. :)

@jal316. At first i thought the sora and tiagra were the same, but now i realize they're different. Im not knocking the sora's as i have no experience with them, but i'd like the tiagras because the format matches the more expensive setups.
I'd go with a nice frame with tiagra and slowly upgrade, I hated my Gravity as an XC MTB because it broke on the second ride straight through the chainstay on a fairly smooth trail but road might be different though I'm suspicious of them being like the modern equivalent of Zeus bikes. Used is still a good bet for a nice bike thats affordable.
 

Adam-from-SLO

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Nov 30, 2003
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I'll be offering a used (3-years) TST polished Titanium 56cm frame, Alpha-Q full carbon fork, Shimano 105 9-speed shifters/rear-derailleur, (2) Elite Stainless Steel water bottle cages- the best!!, Dura-Ace 32-hole hubs on Mavic CXP30 rims, Campy Athena dual-pivot brakes, Campy Chorus 10-speed F-derailleur. New components: SRAM 11-26 cassette, chain, Truvativ 9/10 speed outer bearing crank, Cannondale carbon seatpost, FSA stem(I have a few sizes avail) and Easton EA50 handlebar = all for just under $1000 !!
 

CyclinYooper

New Member
Jan 9, 2011
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I'm not familiar with the Scattante bike, but I've had experience with Performance Bike, and I would definitely recommend trying to buy from a LBS (sounds like there's not one readily available, however?). You can get a good deal at Performance, but in my experience, they can't fit the bike very well. Or, conversely, if you buy a bike from there, allow for some extra money in your budget to get a fit at another shop later (I had to pay $125 for a good fit at a LBS), or have an experienced cyclist help you with fit.

With that said, I bought a $600 GT Series 4, with Sora compoents, from Performance, and I've used it to train for and complete two century rides. You can definitely do it on your budget. I haven't had any reliability issues, with ~3000 miles on the bike.

Scott
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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Originally Posted by CyclinYooper .

I'm not familiar with the Scattante bike, but I've had experience with Performance Bike, and I would definitely recommend trying to buy from a LBS (sounds like there's not one readily available, however?). You can get a good deal at Performance, but in my experience, they can't fit the bike very well. Or, conversely, if you buy a bike from there, allow for some extra money in your budget to get a fit at another shop later (I had to pay $125 for a good fit at a LBS), or have an experienced cyclist help you with fit.

With that said, I bought a $600 GT Series 4, with Sora compoents, from Performance, and I've used it to train for and complete two century rides. You can definitely do it on your budget. I haven't had any reliability issues, with ~3000 miles on the bike.

Scott
I think (hope) that your fit issues were just an isolated incident. My local Performance shop fitted my lady friend perfectly when we went there to get her a road bike. My personal dealings with them have been for parts and accessories and they have always been knowledgeable and helpful. With a large chain like they are, I am sure that some of their shops are better than others and some have better trained personnel than others.
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
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Originally Posted by edvard22 .

Upon further investigation the Tiagra does seem acceptable, but not the sora. Can anyone verify this?

Tiagra is quite nice, sort of like 105 (the older 5600 version) but for 9-speed drivetrains. Since 2009 Tiagra has been very acceptable, in my book.

Tiagra 10-speed is appearing on the 2012 bikes that are starting to hit the stores. I assembled one (I think it was a Trek Lexa) last week and everybody in the shop was impressed with the quality and finish.

I also got my first look at SRAM Apex today, on a Trek 2.1. Very slick, all the range of a triple but on a compact double, but the ergonomics takes a bit of an open mind. Credit SRAM for getting Shimano off its butt and innovating at the lower end of its range.