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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Cash in hand, getting ready to purchase...

    So I want to get into cycling. I have a firm budget of $400 and I have narrowed my search down to two bikes:

    Mercier Galaxy AL SC2 - $299
    Road Bikes, Roadbikes - Mercier Galaxy AL

    Mercier Galaxy AL SC3 - $349
    Road Bikes, Roadbikes - Mercier Galaxy AL

    The only differences I see between the two bikes is that the SC3 has adjustable handlebars and a carbon fork. Are these upgrades worth the extra $50?

    Also, I would like to upgrade the tires as the tires it comes with seem to not have very good reviews. I was thinking about getting Continental Gatorskins, but they are around $45 a piece. Are there any other tires that someone would suggest?

    Would it be better to get the SC3 and save up for tires or get the SC2 and buy the tires now? Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    I hate to throw a wrench into the works but imho this is a better bike.

    Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

    I have assembled a bunch of Felts with Microshift and the shifters are way better than the Shimanos at that price point. I think you would be better off then save for better tires if you feel you need them.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=tihsepa;3788112]I hate to throw a wrench into the works but imho this is a better bike.

    Thanks so much for the tip! I am completely up to looking at other bikes. I really need all the help I can get to the best bike I can.

  4. #4
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    Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

    This would be my choice, as well, hands down! Like stated above the Microshifts are better at this level, and it has a carbon fork to smooth out the aluminium frame. I don't know about you but I can't handle long or regular rides on an all aluminium frame.

    This one is also an option if you don't mind downtube shifting, would save you some cash and have a nice feel as it is all steel!

    Road Bikes - Motobecane Mirage

  5. #5
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    For me, the most important aspect of a bike is that it fit me well. That's hard to do over the internet.

    Phone around and see if any of your local shops carry used or consignment bikes. You don't want a bike that costs $400 new, but it's enough to get something nice that's a little older.

  6. #6
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    For me, the most important aspect of a bike is that it fit me well. That's hard to do over the internet.

    Phone around and see if any of your local shops carry used or consignment bikes. You don't want a bike that costs $400 new, but it's enough to get something nice that's a little older.
    +1. This being your first bike, focus (first) on pinning down sizing/ fit requirements, then start looking at bikes in your price range. Going the other way 'round is flying blind on fit, and may very well result in considering bikes with geometry that isn't a good match for your anatomy.

    Also a good suggestion to look local. Doing so gives you the option to test ride bikes, which is important, especially for noobs. Ideally, bring someone along to assess mechanical condition and (better yet) fit. Many shops selling used offer some type of 30 day (or similar) trial.

    Assuming you opt for the online option, sizing/ fit requirements have been determined and a bike chosen, keep in mind that unless you do the final assembly, tuning and initial fitting yourself, you'll need to tap your LBS, incurring additional expense. This isn't to say that buying online can't work, because it can. But key to success is going into the purchase knowing (and avoiding) the potential pitfalls.

  7. #7
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    So, a LBS saw my ad for my mountain bike and they were willing to trade with me. I ended up trading for a Canondale R500. The bike is in perfect shape and fits me great. I feel like I got a good deal, but did I make the right choice in trading?

  8. #8
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    I am going to guess you did fine. That Cannondale is way better thananything you were looking at from the interwebs.

    Pics?

  9. #9
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by bezog View Post
    So, a LBS saw my ad for my mountain bike and they were willing to trade with me. I ended up trading for a Canondale R500. The bike is in perfect shape and fits me great. I feel like I got a good deal, but did I make the right choice in trading?
    Yes, you absolutely made the right choice, and made it the right way.

    Congrats and +1 on the pics!

  10. #10
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    yes as others have mentioned, this pricepoint is best reserved for a used quality bike. you did well and a CDale no less. enjoy

  11. #11
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    Here it is!

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Yes, you absolutely made the right choice, and made it the right way.

    Congrats and +1 on the pics!
    So here it is!
    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-2.../mynewbike.jpg

    I rode it around yesterday and it was my first time ever on a road bike. I loved it. And its so light (compared to my mountain bike). I found this site with the specs: BikePedia - 2005 Cannondale R500 Feminine Triple Complete Bicycle

    From what I can tell, the only differences from what is listed on the site is that the rear derailleur is a Shimano 105, and the saddle is a Serfas Rx gel. Thus far, I am very happy. Thanks for all your help and opinions!

  12. #12
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    Thats a great deal.

    Nice bike. It will serve you well.

  13. #13
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    Congratulations on the bike, and good choice by the way. She's a beauty. Happy Riding!!!
    With people like Peter P. around, I am done posting on this website. Mean people have driven me off after 9 plus years. Good luck newbies beware.

  14. #14
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by bezog View Post
    So here it is!
    Nice bike! Ride often and ride safe!!

  15. #15
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    Very nice- enjoy the ride.
    2005 Lemond Sarthe(the Creamsicle)
    2011 Cannondale Supersix 5

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