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  1. #1
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    New Bikes

    So my wife and I are getting road bikes to use for fitness/casual riding and also doing a couple duathlons each year. We live in Fargo, ND and are going to get bikes locally because we have no experience with setting them up or working on them.

    We went to the LBS (the guys in there were awesome) in town which sells Specialized, Bianchi, and Raleigh. We road a lot of bikes and I liked the Specialized Allez Elite and she liked the Raleigh Capri 3.0 and we also both liked the Specialized Secteur with the more relaxed geometry. All of these bikes were priced just over $1000.

    Then we went to Scheels, which also services and sets up bikes, and we both spent a lot of time test riding the Trek Domane 4.0 which was on sale for $1600.

    So comparing these bikes is it worth dropping an extra $600 per bike on a full carbon frame when we are both completely new to the sport? I would much rather buy a bike from the LBS than Scheels but the prices just aren't comparable.

    Thanks for all responses, we are going to make a decision this weekend.
    Last edited by tswoboda; 06-21-2013 at 11:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    The most important aspect about the sport of cycling is the level of comfort felt while riding. I say, test ride the Domane 4.0 first, and immediately afterwards, test ride the Allez Elite. Compare the comfort level of both bikes. Make an assessment, and decide accordingly. The carbon framed Domane should feel quite a bit differently from the Allez...Some people don't quite like the feel of carbon, while some just love it! They're all great bikes!
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-21-2013 at 11:58 AM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  3. #3
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    OP, nothing can take the place of a road bike. It's the most efficient means of travel known to man on a paved road. Having a multi-geared bike allows you to exploit the mechanical advantage needed to better climb hills, participate competitively in racing, and effectively slice through headwinds, whenever the wind opposes your forward motion. Some of us here love all kinds of road bikes. That's even when they may only possess a single speed.
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-22-2013 at 02:15 AM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  4. #4
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    I spent about a half hour on each bike last night. Being my first time on a road bike it was hard to tell the minor differences but I think I like the relaxed geometry better so for myself it was between the secteur and the domane

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tswoboda View Post
    I spent about a half hour on each bike last night. Being my first time on a road bike it was hard to tell the minor differences but I think I like the relaxed geometry better so for myself it was between the secteur and the domane
    Alright then...Test ride the Secteur and the Domane one more time, back to back, just about another half hour each, again. If you have to, slip the salesperson a Jackson along with your credit card, for the extra attention given. If you can, test the hill climbing ability of both bikes. One should feel like a better climber than the other...
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-21-2013 at 05:29 PM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice, looks like I'm back to the bike shops again tonight.

    Oh and as far as hill climbing goes, the only hills in a about a 20 mile radius of Fargo are interstate bridges.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tswoboda View Post
    Thanks for the advice, looks like I'm back to the bike shops again tonight.

    Oh and as far as hill climbing goes, the only hills in a about a 20 mile radius of Fargo are interstate bridges.
    You're most welcome! ...Also, just as an aside comment. If you're not seriously racing, but participating in duathlons only twice per year. It's quite possible that you could save tons of cash by purchasing single speeds, if there are no hills to speak of in your area. You can get some top of the line single speeds for less than $800 just about anywhere. Single speeds are less expensive because they have fewer complex components. They are therefore, much easier to maintain and cheaper to repair. Some of the most popular single speeds are the Schwinn Madison, the Fuji Declaration, the Fuji Feather, the Trek Earl, the Raleigh Furley, the and Felt Brougham.
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-21-2013 at 02:58 PM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  8. #8
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    You can checkout the Fuji single speed bikes at Performancebike.com. While you're there, checkout the Schwinn Slicker, too!
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tswoboda View Post
    I spent about a half hour on each bike last night. Being my first time on a road bike it was hard to tell the minor differences but I think I like the relaxed geometry better so for myself it was between the secteur and the domane
    IMO, you should pay attention to this and ask yourself what the extra $600 is going to get you with a CF bike.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of CF bikes. But for a first bike, unless you have money to burn, I advise that you stay at the lower end of your budget.

    Re: single speeds, I'm not a fan, especially for a first bike. Even without hills, you'll still stop, accelerate, decelerate... so you'll avail yourself of more than one gear - and not overly stress your knees while getting up to speed.

    If you stay with the sport, there's time enough to get that 'next' bike. Maybe then, when you know better what you want, it'll be a single speed. But I wouldn't bet on it.

  10. #10
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    You can checkout the Fuji single speed bikes at Performancebike.com. While you're there, checkout the Schwinn Slicker, too!
    Because of your apparent interest in duathlons, I would pass on the single-speed bikes. It takes considerable riding experience to pick the proper gear for a certain course and weather condition. In addition, changing from one gear ratio to another means removing the rear wheel, taking off the cog, threading on a different cog and re-installing the wheel. Finally, a single-speed bike could seriously handicap you in a duathlon in some conditions. If there are strong winds for example, you could be woefully under-geared or over-geared for long stretches of the course if not the entire course.

  11. #11
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    Really, I don't even know how single-speeds came up in this thread!!
    These people want road bikes!!! We're not here to steer them off into left field.

    That said, I wouldn't spend the extra for a carbon frame as a first bike.

    I don't know Scheels but it is almost as important for a new cyclist to find a good LBS as it is which bike they actually buy.
    The dealers' help in selecting the sizes and fitting them to you are very important, as you will learn. Fit is everything because riding an ill-fitting bike can hurt you, literally.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  12. #12
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    Hey guys, the OP states that he and his wife are getting bikes primarily for the purposes of exercise and recreation. The OP also states that they would like to participate in two duathlons per year. Some people see duathlons and triathlons very competitively, while others are less competitive and finishing amongst the first half suits them just fine. Others simply want to participate and have zero concern about their final placement. There are also different types of duathlons. Some are off road and it would behoove you to bring a MTB. Others involve many hills and a single speed would be highly impractical. OTOH, there are some duathlons that don't really involve any major hills. These types of duathlons regularly allow for Tri bikes, standard road bikes, mtbikes, and single speeds. For those participants who aren't particularly interested in top placement, but only want to complete the duathlon along with the bulk of the registered participants, then single speeds are just fine. Some cyclists might also be strong runners and may feel that a single speed will not handicap themselves.
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-22-2013 at 09:16 AM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    Hey guys, the OP states that he and his wife are getting bikes primarily for the purposes of exercise and recreation. The OP also states that they would like to participate in two duathlons per year. Some people see duathlons and triathlons very competitively, while others are less competitive and finishing amongst the first half suits them just fine. Others simply want to participate and have zero concern about their final placement. There are also different types of duathlons. Some are off road and it would behoove you to bring a MTB. Others involve many hills and a single speed would be highly impractical. OTOH, there some duathlons that don't really involve any major hills. These types of duathlons regularly allow for Tri bikes, standard road bikes, mtbikes, and single speeds. For those participants who aren't particularly interested in top placement, but only want to complete the duathlon along with the bulk of the registered participants, then single speeds are just fine. Some cyclists might also be strong runners and may feel that a single speed will not handicap themselves.
    Of course, I do get your point. The OP appears to be fundamentally interested in a standard road bike. However, I just wanted to remind the OP that there is another option available. That's especially so, if exercise and recreation are the major cycling objectives. Heck! Most times, I'm cycling using only one specific gear, anyways...
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  14. #14
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    I recently bought my first road bike. I found that there are a lot of great choices for between $900 and $1000. Felt, Cannondale, Fuji, Masi, Orbea, Specialized are some of the options I found. These bikes were all Alumimum frame, carbon fork, Tiagra components and great bikes. Just have to find what fits you the best and is most comfortable and from a LBS that you like. Hopefully you have several shops that carry a variety of brands.

    In the end I did end up with a full carbon Fuji. Because it was $1000. I would probably not have gone for the $1400 price tag normally, but the fathers day specials at the shop made it a deal I could not pass up

  15. #15
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
    These people want road bikes!!! We're not here to steer them off into left field.
    Calm down, no one is steering anyone into left field. :-) And really, single-speed bikes ridden on a road could also be considered road bikes. For that matter, single-speed and fixed-gear bikes have been used successfully in road time trials. Way back when, you could see people in the UK time-trialing on fixed gear bikes on public roads, with quite a few turning the 25-mile distance in well under one hour ( > 25 mph average speed!). Gearing was usually in the low-to-mid 80s. But a number of sub-hour 25-mile rides were done in a 75" gear in so-called "75-inch restricted time trials."

    But single-speed and fixed gear competitive riding requires a high degree of expertise and superb fitness. For a beginner and as said above, competing on a single-speed bike could put you at a serious disadvantage if you go up against geared riders.
    Last edited by wim; 06-22-2013 at 05:40 AM.

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