What is the difference in entry level bikes ?



glukel

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May 24, 2013
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I am about to buy my first bike in 25 years. I am going w/ a road bike and hope to get hooked into the sport of cycling. My main purpose is to get excersise. My wife recently got an entry level Trek, and we both figured that cycling is something we can do together. My delema is choosing the bike. I've been to a buch of bike shops and have narrowed my selection. I can get a Fuji Sportif 5 for $700 or a Cannondale Caad 8 7 Sora for 900. My question is , is the Cannondale worth it. If both have similar components where is the difference. I knows many say test ride. I don't even know what to look for in a rest ride. If both seem to feel the same to a beginner why spend the extra $. Any comments would be appreciated.
 

mpre53

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Feb 20, 2013
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The simple and honest answer? Not much as far as frame quality goes.. Neither company makes their own frames any more. Cannondale is built in Taiwan, and Fuji very likely is, too. Perhaps even on the same assembly line. They may be built to different specifications, though, and Cannondale may have more stringent QC than Fuji. Neither company is independent any more, either. C-dale is owned by Dorel, and Fuji by ASI. At one time, Fuji and the other Japanese brands were considered among the best steel frames. Then the company fell on hard times, and their reputation suffered. They've come a long way back. Their bikes are pretty well regarded, now.

Geometry-wise, however, the Sportif is marketed as an "endurance" frame, while the CAAD is a race or aggressive frame. You have to ride both to find out your preference. Many riders ride long distances comfortably on a well-fitting race geometry frame. I'm one of them. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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Test rides should be a ride of decent length, not just around the parking lot. A 20-30 minute ride is a good start. What you should pay attention to is how the bike fits you (are you comfortable with the position you're in on the bike), how the bike rides, and how it handles.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Basically, you're going to get an aluminum frame with Shimano 2300 or Sora. Some of these bikes are pretty perfunctory; the components chosen from catalogs to meet a price point and hung on the frame. In the not so distant past I used to include Fuji in this group, mainly for their Newest range. They might have learned their lesson.

On the other hand, the choices made on the better cheap bikes can be downright creative. For example, the aluminum fork blades on the Trek 1.1 hold the cost down and really don't diminish the ride.

Ride 'em and see.
 

glukel

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May 24, 2013
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I decided on the Fuji Sportif 1.5. It felt comfortable to me & I didnt want to spend the extra $ on the cannondale. I just picked it up today & rode home from the bike store. I'm psyched to get into cycling. To bad it's going to rain the next 2 days.
 

americandream

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Dec 28, 2011
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Originally Posted by glukel .

I decided on the Fuji Sportif 1.5. It felt comfortable to me & I didnt want to spend the extra $ on the cannondale. I just picked it up today & rode home from the bike store. I'm psyched to get into cycling. To bad it's going to rain the next 2 days.
The rain stinks doesn't it?? I hate it. I wanted to cycle consistently for months but the weather has been so terrible I can hardly get out consistently. I can't stand it. Hopefully it shapes up soon. Back out tomorrow once it clears up should be around 2 o 3 will be a good time.

Enjoy and be safe!
 

alienator

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glukel said:
I decided on the Fuji Sportif 1.5. It felt comfortable to me & I didnt want to spend the extra $ on the cannondale. I just picked it up today & rode home from the bike store. I'm psyched to get into cycling. To bad it's going to rain the next 2 days.
Don't let the rain stop you. It's only water and some dissolved pollutants.
 

americandream

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Dec 28, 2011
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Yea well I spent $500 on my bike and don't want it to rust. I don't have all the oil and everything to slean my chain yet either. This is why I'd like to get a second bike that has fenders and a chain cover.
 

ambal

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Oct 15, 2010
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Originally Posted by americandream .

Yea well I spent $500 on my bike and don't want it to rust. I don't have all the oil and everything to slean my chain yet either. This is why I'd like to get a second bike that has fenders and a chain cover.
It wont rust, if you clean it regularly, especially after really nasty wet rides and store it in a dry shed/garage/room in your house. People all over the world ride bikes in the rain on a daily basis, the industry has had well over 100 years to sort the spontaneous rusting issue.
 

glukel

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May 24, 2013
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Went on my maiden ride today. Did 15 miles in just over an hour. Had to wait out the torrential rain. I hope to do it again tomorrow but I think I need padded shorts. Also I had a scary moment when a car passed I I was forced to go through some sand on the side of the road. Hope that doesn't happen too often.
 

alienator

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glukel said:
Went on my maiden ride today. Did 15 miles in just over an hour. Had to wait out the torrential rain. I hope to do it again tomorrow but I think I need padded shorts. Also I had a scary moment when a car passed I I was forced to go through some sand on the side of the road. Hope that doesn't happen too often.
When you encounter sand or rough terrain, it's best to pedal through the kack. Of course the best option would be to avoid it, but that's not alway an option on the road, especially given traffic conditions. Also, be sure to keep your upper body relaxed and don't tense up going through much. In fact, in general when cycling you'll better on the bike; you won't fatigue as quickly; and you'll hopefully avoid unnecessary soreness during and after a ride if you keep your upper body loose on the bike. Upper body includes appendages and digits, so keep that grip loose, too. A death grip achieves nothing good.
 

glukel

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May 24, 2013
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Thanks for the advise. The guys at the LBS told me about relaxing my upper body and engaging my core, but nobody warned me of sand. It was my first experience riding on skinny road tires. I am used to mountain bike tires.
 

americandream

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Dec 28, 2011
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Yea, you have to be careful. Definitely get some padded bike shorts too. I just ordered some myself. One pair came today and I'm waiting for another pair to come Monday. Probably should've just got 2 pairs of the same brand because I really like this one.

I was avoiding the bike shorts at first but eventually I dound that it would be worthwhile to get the padded shorts. Hope you have a helmet too. You may want to get bike gloves and good sport or safety sunglasses are almost essential.
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by americandream .

Yea, you have to be careful. Definitely get some padded bike shorts too. I just ordered some myself. One pair came today and I'm waiting for another pair to come Monday. Probably should've just got 2 pairs of the same brand because I really like this one.
That's good. Riding more than once in the same pair of shorts without washing can lead to a situation that requires dermatological intervention... with a scalpel /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif
 

americandream

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Dec 28, 2011
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Originally Posted by danfoz .


That's good. Riding more than once in the same pair of shorts without washing can lead to a situation that requires dermatological intervention... with a scalpel /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif
I never suggested to wear the sme pair twice wiithout washing. In fast, I won't wear the bike shorts until tomorrow. For now I will stay with the compression shorts and Adidas climalite over them. I have been doing a wash everyday or every two days to make sure I have clean cycling clothes. I will probably order a 2nd pair of these bike shorts I like and just send back the other pair which are the MTB baggy type. That way I won't need to do a wash everytime and much better. I need some shirts/jerseys still too because I don't have too many of them. Maybe I'll hit the store up today.
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by americandream .

I never suggested to wear the sme pair twice wiithout washing. In fast, I won't wear the bike shorts until tomorrow. For now I will stay with the compression shorts and Adidas climalite over them. I have been doing a wash everyday or every two days to make sure I have clean cycling clothes. I will probably order a 2nd pair of these bike shorts I like and just send back the other pair which are the MTB baggy type. That way I won't need to do a wash everytime and much better. I need some shirts/jerseys still too because I don't have too many of them. Maybe I'll hit the store up today.
Didn't say you did. Just spreading the wealth as not everyone is as clever as you, like me once upon a time, who did indeed need saddle sore intervention with a sharp surgical tool. That said there are also other causes for saddle sores than dirty shorts.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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danfoz said:
Didn't say you did. Just spreading the wealth as not everyone is as clever as you, like me once upon a time, who did indeed need saddle sore intervention with a sharp surgical tool. That said there are also other causes for saddle sores than dirty shorts.
Did you have it done in a clean place where they typically use sharp surgical tools, or was it done by the roadside, with you yelling, "Cut me, Mick" beforehand?
 

glukel

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May 24, 2013
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I have the helmet & I wore regular sunglasses. Is there a difference in bike glasses? I did order 1 pair of padded shorts on amazon. I got regular padded shorts. Anyone use gel padded shorts? If so which is better. I read the reviews on amazon & one person said the gel shorts don't hold up in the wash.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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glukel said:
I have the helmet & I wore regular sunglasses. Is there a difference in bike glasses? I did order 1 pair of padded shorts on amazon. I got regular padded shorts. Anyone use gel padded shorts? If so which is better. I read the reviews on amazon & one person said the gel shorts don't hold up in the wash.
The substantive differences between regular sunglasses and cycling glasses is that cycling glasses tend to provide better eye coverage and wind protection. Note the "tend" part. Some cycling glasses also come with greater impact protection. Cycling glasses tend to cost more than regular sunglasses, but not all follow that trend. Check out Tifosi's options as they tend to be a lot less expensive than other brands while getting great reviews. Also some cycling retailers, like Performance Bike, have their own house brand of glasses (which happens to be Scattante for Performance Bike) which will be even less expensive.
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by glukel .

I have the helmet & I wore regular sunglasses. Is there a difference in bike glasses? I did order 1 pair of padded shorts on amazon. I got regular padded shorts. Anyone use gel padded shorts? If so which is better. I read the reviews on amazon & one person said the gel shorts don't hold up in the wash.
Also some sports dedicated eye wear allows for lens changes, particularly useful if you ride at dusk or after dark. Not such a problem during summer hours but off season can be.