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  1. #1
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    First Road Bike?

    First things first- Hello! i'm new to this forum and looking to get into road biking, and i need your help on choosing my first bike.

    So i'm just about to get into Road bikes, after riding a mountain bike from target a few years.. I'm thinking about sub-$1000 range, as my dad also wants to get a road bike. As i'm a total beginner, i know absolutely NOTHING, but what i found on the net basically says shimano tiagra is the way to go for a beginner.
    i've searched for almost a week now on a bike to get on, and visited a few of my local bike shops also. for a 2013 ver, i'm thinking on trek 1.2, 1.5, Defy 5, Allez sport. (for sora parts, i'm considering since no more thumb shifters for 2013)
    and i've looked into craigslist like everyone says where there's a great deal- i found a 2009 trek madone 6.2 for $600 with ultegra parts. sounds like an amazing deal to me except i think i have to switch out a few parts to it..(saddle, tire, etc)-(would that cost more than $1000?) and i don't know if a beginner (never ridden a road bike) like me should get this kind of bike.. i'll post pics of it with the post. I really need your opinion on this matter..
    Thanks so much in advance!
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by KP Tim View Post
    First things first- Hello! i'm new to this forum and looking to get into road biking, and i need your help on choosing my first bike.

    So i'm just about to get into Road bikes, after riding a mountain bike from target a few years.. I'm thinking about sub-$1000 range, as my dad also wants to get a road bike. As i'm a total beginner, i know absolutely NOTHING, but what i found on the net basically says shimano tiagra is the way to go for a beginner.
    i've searched for almost a week now on a bike to get on, and visited a few of my local bike shops also. for a 2013 ver, i'm thinking on trek 1.2, 1.5, Defy 5, Allez sport. (for sora parts, i'm considering since no more thumb shifters for 2013)
    and i've looked into craigslist like everyone says where there's a great deal- i found a 2009 trek madone 6.2 for $600 with ultegra parts. sounds like an amazing deal to me except i think i have to switch out a few parts to it..(saddle, tire, etc)-(would that cost more than $1000?) and i don't know if a beginner (never ridden a road bike) like me should get this kind of bike.. i'll post pics of it with the post. I really need your opinion on this matter..
    Thanks so much in advance!
    Welcome to RBR forums!
    No matter what, never purchase a used carbon frame from an absolute stranger, or from a local bicycle shop, if it doesn't also come with a good warranty. Also, when purchasing any used bike, you should have someone accompany you who is knowledgeable about bikes. That's bicycle mechanics and appropriate frame sizes, as well. The bikes you've listed are great beginner bikes! However, I'm personally partial to the GT Corsa 1.0, the Jamis Satellite Comp, and the Giant Defy 2. Also, avoid old aluminum framed bikes of any kind.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    Also, avoid old aluminum framed bikes of any kind.
    On what basis?!?! *nukes popcorn and awaits nonsensical response regarding metal fatigue*

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by headloss View Post
    On what basis? *nukes popcorn and awaits intelligent response regarding metal fatigue, based upon pertinent, scientific, and factual information*
    fify

    Precisely! Old aluminum framed bikes run the risk of being just around the corner from total metal fatigue. That's one thing you don't have to worry about with Ti, steel, or carbon. Usually, when aluminum has been abused, you can readily discern the abuse from certain physical signs, such as scratches, dents, dings, or gouges. It's only the rare case where old aluminum exhibits absolutely no signs of fatigue at all, yet remains on the brink of failure, due to metal fatigue. Unfortunately, metal fatigue is one of aluminum's most salient features. Frame Materials
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-12-2013 at 12:21 AM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post

    Precisely! Old aluminum framed bikes run the risk of being just around the corner from total metal fatigue. That's one thing you don't have to worry about with Ti, steel, or carbon. Usually, when aluminum has been abused, you can readily discern the abuse from certain physical signs, such as scratches, dents, dings, or gouges. It's only the rare case where old aluminum exhibits absolutely no signs of fatigue at all, yet remains on the brink of failure, due to metal fatigue. Unfortunately, metal fatigue is one of aluminum's most salient features. Frame Materials
    Also, the designs of older aluminum frames have proven to be more susceptible to road vibration, than the newer hydroformed aluminum frames.
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-12-2013 at 06:49 AM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  6. #6
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    Make sure the bike fits you. And not just because you can reach the bars/drops when seated.

    Go to a LBS and try out a few bikes. Take a paper tape measure with you. They will recommend you a few and just note the effective top tube length (ETT) and stem length. This is a good start and eventually you may have additional preferences. ETT is D Actual is E. you can have different bikes with different Es but all with the same D.

    There are websites online where you can put down your body geometry and they will recommend a size of bike for you. Again note the ETT and stem length.

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    Take your time. Sizing is quite important.



    Saddle and tyres do not cost that much.
    eg: tyres or saddle
    You can get good quality ones on ebay too.

    Note: The shifters on the Trek is on the top of the bars and those are clipless pedals which will need cycling shoes with the respective cleats.

    If I were to be in your position, I would just get an entry level road bike from your LBS. Try a few bikes out from a few LBS. (the more the merrier) At least you will have new and more up to date components.
    Last edited by c_h_i_n_a_m_a_n; 06-12-2013 at 02:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    Welcome to RBR forums!
    No matter what, never purchase a used carbon frame from an absolute stranger, or from a local bicycle shop, if it doesn't also come with a good warranty. Also, when purchasing any used bike, you should have someone accompany you who is knowledgeable about bikes. That's bicycle mechanics and appropriate frame sizes, as well. The bikes you've listed are great beginner bikes! However, I'm personally partial to the GT Corsa 1.0, the Jamis Satellite Comp, and the Giant Defy 2. Also, avoid old aluminum framed bikes of any kind.
    Ah, A wealth of misinformation as usual.

    If that trek fits and you like it it will be fine. Take it to a local shop amd get it checked out. Explain to them you are looking to buy this and need to make sure its in good order and the correct size. If all is well, go for it. Then ride, ride, ride.

  8. #8
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    "for a 2013 ver, i'm thinking on trek 1.2, 1.5, Defy 5, Allez sport."

    Fine choices. Just make sure care it taken in getting the right size. Jamis is another brand to consider. Generally most areas will have a shop that carries them and they offer a pretty good price for what you get.

    On paper the Trek sounds like a good deal (again, make sure it fits) but I think I see some pretty good dings on it so I'd definitely have someone who knows bikes have a look at it first.

    As for a beginner getting that type of bike. It might feel awkward at first but as long as you're reasonably athletic, or have the potential to be so, you'll be fine in short order. Depends what type of riding you want to do though. I assume you know what 'road riding' is all about or you wouldn't be looking into getting a road bike but if you picture leasure stolls around town a road bike probably isn't the best choice.

    Seeing as though you don't know much about road bikes it might be beneficial to buy from a shop with a good reputation instead of craigslist. Some shops are about as much help as buying blind on craigslist while others are great so maybe ask around. If you don't know any cyclist in your area to get opinions from maybe check yelp or other on-line review sites for local shops.

    If both you and your Dad are buying bikes, a shop might give you a discount so ask. Although with it being late spring/early summer now I wouldn't get your hopes to high there.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tihsepa View Post
    Ah, A wealth of misinformation as usual.

    If that trek fits and you like it it will be fine. Take it to a local shop amd get it checked out. Explain to them you are looking to buy this and need to make sure its in good order and the correct size. If all is well, go for it. Then ride, ride, ride.
    Ah, So where's the misinformation? Aluminum does fatigue, unlike the other frame materials, and carbon fiber is notorious for concealing damage. You can't just visually inspect a used carbon fiber bike for damage and assume that it's frame has the same integrity it had the first day it rolled out of the local bike shop. To tell a newbie that buying a used carbon fiber bicycle is perfectly fine, as long as it fits, is simply irresponsible. Everyone has to know that there are certain risks involved whenever buying used bicycles, that's especially where carbon fiber and old aluminum bicycles are concerned. Buying a used bicycle can quite often require some type of expertise. Both Craigslist and eBay are frequently burdened by unemployed con artists who misrepresent both themselves and their wares, as they blatantly attempt to defraud the public.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    Ah, So where's the misinformation? Aluminum does fatigue, unlike the other frame materials, and carbon fiber is notorious for concealing damage. You can't just visually inspect a used carbon fiber bike for damage and assume that it's frame has the same integrity it had the first day it rolled out of the local bike shop. To tell a newbie that buying a used carbon fiber bicycle is perfectly fine, as long as it fits, is simply irresponsible. Everyone has to know that there are certain risks involved whenever buying used bicycles, that's especially where carbon fiber and old aluminum bicycles are concerned. Buying a used bicycle can quite often require some type of expertise. Both Craigslist and eBay are frequently burdened by unemployed con artists who misrepresent both themselves and their wares, as they blatantly attempt to defraud the public.
    If you disagree with any of the above statements, then just point out the errors with either scientific facts or any evidence to the contrary whatsoever, and I'll gladly delete anything I've stated that's untrue.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    Ah, So where's the misinformation? Aluminum does fatigue, unlike the other frame materials, and carbon fiber is notorious for concealing damage. You can't just visually inspect a used carbon fiber bike for damage and assume that it's frame has the same integrity it had the first day it rolled out of the local bike shop. To tell a newbie that buying a used carbon fiber bicycle is perfectly fine, as long as it fits, is simply irresponsible. Everyone has to know that there are certain risks involved whenever buying used bicycles, that's especially where carbon fiber and old aluminum bicycles are concerned. Buying a used bicycle can quite often require some type of expertise. Both Craigslist and eBay are frequently burdened by unemployed con artists who misrepresent both themselves and their wares, as they blatantly attempt to defraud the public.
    So, you set the rules. No used carbon, no used aluminum.

    Got it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tihsepa View Post
    So, you set the rules. No used carbon, no used aluminum.

    Got it.
    It's not wise to purchase used CF bikes unless they've been professionally evaluated by experts. That within itself is an expensive proposition, but it's better than buying a compromised or faulty CF framed bicycle. Therefore, if you want to purchase a used CF bike, have it professional evaluated, first. However, most cyclists in need of a bicycle, aren't going to be willing to go thru this added expense, while most CF bicycle owners aren't going to be forthright by admitting that they've crashed their bikes, either. Therefore, my advice is just to skip this step and move on to either a new CF bike or perhaps used in another frame material. There's absolutely nothing wrong with buying an aluminum bicycle that's just a few years old (in most cases). However, I would not advise a newbie (or anyone else for that matter), to purchase a ten year old aluminum bicycle that's been in continuous service since the day it was purchased. Age has nothing to do with it! It's the use factor that contributes to its fatigue. An old and well-used aluminum frame presents a certain risk, because the potential buyer has absolutely no idea how that bicycle was used, or how often it was used. Was that aluminum road bicycle used for DH MTBiking on the weekends and used in messenger service everyday during the week? OR- Did that brand new aluminum road bicycle just sit in the garage for nine years, after its owner broke his leg at work? Usually, aluminum frames will show signs of abuse or signs of wear. However, sometimes they don't.
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-12-2013 at 09:26 PM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  13. #13
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    here's some useful information - the Trek in the pics is definitely NOT a 2009 madone 6.2. It looks more like an early 2000s 5200. The pics are small but it looks like the components are outdated (vintage) Shimano (e.g., octalink bottom bracket). It still may be an OK bike, but I wouldn't trust a seller who is misrepresenting it.

    Ignore the 'experts' on materials and focus on specific bike comments.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike View Post
    here's some useful information - the Trek in the pics is definitely NOT a 2009 madone 6.2. It looks more like an early 2000s 5200. The pics are small but it looks like the components are outdated (vintage) Shimano (e.g., octalink bottom bracket). It still may be an OK bike, but I wouldn't trust a seller who is misrepresenting it.

    Ignore the 'experts' on materials and focus on specific bike comments.
    +1 ^ Mostly great advice here! However, you must always remember that the frame is the heart of the bicycle. Of what use are the very best of components when they're on a faulty frame?...Always listen to everything with a discerning mind.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  15. #15
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by KP Tim View Post
    and i've looked into craigslist like everyone says where there's a great deal- i found a 2009 trek madone 6.2 for $600 with ultegra parts. sounds like an amazing deal to me
    RUN AWAY from this "deal"!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike View Post
    here's some useful information - the Trek in the pics is definitely NOT a 2009 madone 6.2. It looks more like an early 2000s 5200. The pics are small but it looks like the components are outdated (vintage) Shimano (e.g., octalink bottom bracket). It still may be an OK bike, but I wouldn't trust a seller who is misrepresenting it.
    Yup! It's a Frankenbike.
    There is no 2009 madone 6.2. I don't think there was ever a 6.2.
    Components are much older than 2009.
    Looks to have damage to the seat tube.

    And the worst part... it has gripshifters and regular brake hoods!
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  16. #16
    Cranky Old Bastard
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    Tihsepa, I didn't know you could turn off PMs?
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    It's not wise to purchase used CF bikes unless they've been professionally evaluated by experts.
    This is true for any frame material. Honestly, I'd feel more comfortable sending a friend out to buy an aluminum bike sight-unseen than a steel bike where there is a possibility of rust (where you can't even see it). Fatigue of aluminum is a non issue to me, unless it's been wrecked. Steel will bend back, aluminum wont... but, I'm not going to buy a steel frame that has been wrecked and bent back either.

    The comment about older aluminum tubing design vs newer aluminum tubing design... there's truth there, but I see it as more of a negotiating point on price than a reason to avoid an older aluminum frame.

  18. #18
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    And the worst part... it has gripshifters and regular brake hoods!
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    Eeeeuuuw -- I was wondering what those things were on the bars. Grip shifters? That's even worse than flat handlebars.

    Yes, run away fast.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Eeeeuuuw -- I was wondering what those things were on the bars. Grip shifters? That's even worse than flat handlebars.

    Yes, run away fast.
    And, they could be a sign that it was crashed. Broke the original brifters and cheaped out on the replacements. Coupled with the possible damage to the seat tube.

    I'd pass.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by headloss View Post
    This is true for any frame material. Honestly, I'd feel more comfortable sending a friend out to buy an aluminum bike sight-unseen than a steel bike where there is a possibility of rust (where you can't even see it). Fatigue of aluminum is a non issue to me, unless it's been wrecked. Steel will bend back, aluminum wont... but, I'm not going to buy a steel frame that has been wrecked and bent back either.

    The comment about older aluminum tubing design vs newer aluminum tubing design... there's truth there, but I see it as more of a negotiating point on price than a reason to avoid an older aluminum frame.
    Yeah, but the point is that, an aluminum or steel frame can just be visually inspected. You can simply visually check the weld points. For steel you can remove the seat post and use a mini flashlight to inspect the seat tube. If there's any hint of rust, it will be observed near the BB area. That's where moisture is more apt to collect. OTOH, with CF, you can't do anything visually at all. You need an expert evaluation which will only be completed via use of either ultrasonic or electromagnetic detection methods. BTW- Friends don't send friends out to buy fifteen year old aluminum bicycles sight unseen!
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for blowing up the pic. I see this on an Ipad mini and it is had to see that stuff.

    I am with Zeet here. Move on.

    If the OP would have taken it to a good shop they hopefully would have noticed this.

  22. #22
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    However, you must always remember that the frame is the heart of the bicycle.
    Well, that was true back in the day. With decent frames being available nowadays for relatively little money, the component set (starting with the brake-shifters) has really become the heart of the bike, both in terms of expense and performance. Time to unremember those old slogans, I think.

    To the OP: if you do go see this bike, ask the seller how they got those shifters on the handlebar. I'm curious.

  23. #23
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    Thanks so much you guys!
    I'm really glad that i joined this forum.
    I read all the posts, and i see really good/helpful comments and advices.
    well, since the used trek is out of the question,
    i'm debating on trek 1.2-LBS$990-sora
    vs fuji roubaix 1.0(why is it cheap&better parts than trek/allez? bad frame?)-internet $850-105
    vs allez sport-LBS$950-sora
    vs allez elite-LBS$1100-tiagra (employee there recommended this to me when i said "entry- level bike")
    --- now that's what i want.. any of those would be great for me, as a starter bike
    -- here's what my dad suggests- "buy a cheap ~$500 road bike, when you get into the sport for more than like 1 year I'll buy you a ~$1500 bike.."- are there any entry road bikes under $700? trek 1.1 is $750 in my LBS.. he's looked at the big-box stores with tiagra parts ~$500.. i've never heard of those brands but they look like great deals on the paper.

  24. #24
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    The 1.1 is not a bad bike. It will get you on the saddle, ride well and last you a long time.
    You will want to upgrade way before you need to upgrade. You will only want to upgrade because you can, not because you have to.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the response!
    I know it's a decent bike, but I'm kind of worried about the thumb shifters since most of the people in road biking abhor those shifters.

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