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  1. #1
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    Getting back into cycling: bike recs for <$1600?

    Hey everyone. Considering giving cycling another go after 6-7 years off and am wondering what might be a good deal to get these days.

    I'm an ex-Cat 1 and would jump back into the Pro,1,2 field so would like a bike that's reasonably stiff and light (<18 lbs) with ultegra or equivalent components. Does such a bike still exist for <$1600 or will I need to up my range a bit. I haven't followed any cycling for a long time so I'm not up to speed on any of the new tech or anything yet.

    Any good sites to check out? I've looked on bikesdirect and excel sports and nashbar. Any other places that might have some good deals? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by runabike View Post
    Hey everyone. Considering giving cycling another go after 6-7 years off and am wondering what might be a good deal to get these days.

    I'm an ex-Cat 1 and would jump back into the Pro,1,2 field so would like a bike that's reasonably stiff and light (<18 lbs) with ultegra or equivalent components. Does such a bike still exist for <$1600 or will I need to up my range a bit. I haven't followed any cycling for a long time so I'm not up to speed on any of the new tech or anything yet.

    Any good sites to check out? I've looked on bikesdirect and excel sports and nashbar. Any other places that might have some good deals? Thanks!
    Fuji Gran Fondo 3.0 LE
    www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1131004_-1_400309__400309
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

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    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  4. #4
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    Shimano 105, 20 Speed Kestrel RT1000 Carbon $1,649

    Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes, Roadbikes - Kestrel RT1000


  5. #5
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    Wow, that Fuji is a sharp bike. Compact crankset wouldn't do, but I suppose that could be swapped out. I hadn't checked performance before. They have a few nice deals on there.

    I saw that Motobecane before. Really sharp, too. I'm about a 56 and they're out of those (seems like most of their good stuff is out of stock,) but a 54 might work, too. It's a shame that don't have just those simple al frames (they had Fujis for a while) decked out with Ritchey WCS and ultegra and stuff. Those bikes were awesome. That Motobecane Gravity looks decent enough, especially with a new seat and wheels. But no size. Eh.

    I always thought Kestrel's were super gimmicky and hideous, but I like that one quite a bit. I'm not sure 105 would work, though, unless its longevity has really increased. Seemed to wear out pretty quickly before in my experience.

    Thanks for these, recs, though.
    Any more?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by runabike View Post
    Wow, that Fuji is a sharp bike. Compact crankset wouldn't do, but I suppose that could be swapped out. I hadn't checked performance before. They have a few nice deals on there.

    I saw that Motobecane before. Really sharp, too. I'm about a 56 and they're out of those (seems like most of their good stuff is out of stock,) but a 54 might work, too. It's a shame that don't have just those simple al frames (they had Fujis for a while) decked out with Ritchey WCS and ultegra and stuff. Those bikes were awesome. That Motobecane Gravity looks decent enough, especially with a new seat and wheels. But no size. Eh.

    I always thought Kestrel's were super gimmicky and hideous, but I like that one quite a bit. I'm not sure 105 would work, though, unless its longevity has really increased. Seemed to wear out pretty quickly before in my experience.

    Thanks for these, recs, though.
    Any more?
    105 will work fine. There are no issues with 105 and the way it works or lasts.
    Look around for a CAAD10. You can get one in your price and its a hell of a bike. Some would argue it is as good or better than most entry carbon frames.

  7. #7
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    I'm afraid that Ultegra is simply not going to be within your budget. However that's alright, because you can race with 105, just as well as Ultegra. Yesterday's Ultegra matches up pretty well with today's 105, anyways. Therefore, well within your reach is the highly respected and sought after Giant Defy 1. Perhaps an even better choice near that same price point would be the Fuji Roubaix 1.3 at $1320. Though they're both equipped with 105, they will serve your racing needs just fine, I'm sure. Of course, if you could scrape up a couple hundred more bucks, you could afford a 631 chromoly Jamis Quest (19.7 lbs.) for just about $1800.
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-19-2013 at 04:04 AM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    I'm afraid that Ultegra is simply not going to be within your budget. However that's alright, because you can race with 105, just as well as Ultegra. Yesterday's Ultegra matches up pretty well with today's 105, anyways. Therefore, well within your reach is the highly respected and sought after Giant Defy 1. Though it's equipped with 105, it will serve your racing needs just fine, I'm sure. Of course, if you could scrape up a couple hundred more bucks, you could afford a Jamis Quest (19.7 lbs.) at about $1800.
    OTOH, you could always go with the Nashbar CF road bike too: www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_533667_-1__200613
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-19-2013 at 04:02 AM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  9. #9
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    CAAD10 105. Don't think you'll be disappointed. The new 105 will likely perform better than the Ultegra you remember since you're saying it's been a while.
    My other chainring is a 39...
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  10. #10
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    Re: Getting back into cycling: bike recs for <$1600?

    I think the Specialized Allez is the nicest bike in that range. Basically the best aluminum bike IMO. Sure others will disagree.

  11. #11
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    Are any of those bikes < 18 lbs ???
    Only the dead shall know the end of war.

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    Giant TCR Composite 2 if you are doing short races like crits. A tiny bit over your price range but my local shop gives 15% off if you are a member of the local cycling community group so you might be able to find one. Or you could go with the TCR SL 2. Its aluminum so you wouldnt really have to worry about damaging it in a wreck and IIRC, in a 56 frame is only .5 lbs heavier.

  13. #13
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    Motobecane Immortal Heat? It's not Shimano, it's Sram Rival, I'm not sure if that's something that will work for you. Anyway from here it's well in your budget.
    BikeIsland.com - Bicycle Parts, Accessories and Clothing at Affordable Prices with Free Shipping

  14. #14
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    A 105 level bike would definitely work for you and it fits in your prce range. Not sure why one of the answers questioned 105's longevity. It is the workhorse of the Shimano line and has been out for a good 30 years. Shimano 105 is the jack of all trades; People race on 105; they tour on 105 and everything in between. I would go with 105 in a heartbeat if I had a budget of under $2,500.
    Last edited by terbennett; 06-19-2013 at 09:05 AM.

  15. #15
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    Thanks so much for all the replies. I'll have to go through and research all of those a bit more.

    Frame isn't important to me; any frame with reasonable stiffness and lightness will do. Things have obviously changed a bit in the last 6-7 years so I guess I need to educate myself a bit better, but I'd still take an al frame with ultegra over a carbon with 105 at similar price points.

    Quote Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
    A 105 level bike would definitely work for you and it fits in your prce range. Not sure why one of the answers questioned 105's longevity. It is the workhorse of the Shimano line and has been out for a good 30 years. Shimano 105 is the jack of all trades; People race on 105; they tour on 105 and everything in between. I would go with 105 in a heartbeat if I had a budget of under $2,500.
    I don't know about that. I wrenched for a couple of years in addition to my riding and racing and 105 was great for what it was, but "workhorse" or "jack of all trades" doesn't really fit that. I wouldn't expect it to hold up as well as ultegra throughout all the training and racing. But maybe it'd be fine for just getting back into it. I don't know if I'd be out doing 20-25 hours a week any time soon, anyway.

    If the new 105 is comparable to old ultegra, then that's pretty cool, but then I'd have to assume that the new ultegra is that much better, too!

    Alright, thanks again for all the help. Lots of great, informative posts. If I can finally decide and pull the trigger I'll try to update.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    OTOH, you could always go with the Nashbar CF road bike too: www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_533667_-1__200613


    Thanks for the info. I don't think I'd consider a 105/tiagra mix, and I'm not a big fan of steel due to weight and stiffness.

    I need something to really "snap" out of corners hard with crisp, fast shifts mile after mile.

    Heh, I think I'm starting to come off as one of those super irritating people that ask a question and then try to argue about the responses!

    Appreciate the ideas, though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by runabike View Post
    Thanks for the info. I don't think I'd consider a 105/tiagra mix, and I'm not a big fan of steel due to weight and stiffness.

    I need something to really "snap" out of corners hard with fast and crisp, fast shifts mile after mile.

    Heh, I think I'm starting to come off as one of those super irritating people that ask a question and then try to argue about the responses!

    Appreciate the ideas, though!
    How does Sram's offerings compare to what you're looking for? I've seen tri bikes with Ultegra in the price range you're looking at.

  18. #18
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    Re: Getting back into cycling: bike recs for <$1600?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mavtek View Post
    How does Sram's offerings compare to what you're looking for? I've seen tri bikes with Ultegra in the price range you're looking at.
    Sram v Shimano is a dozen threads. How do they compare? Sram is less expensive and lighter. Shimano is more durable. The rest seems to be personal preference. I like Sram shifting but might consider switching my front derailleur from Red to Ultegra while keeping the rest as is.

  19. #19
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    A friend has the Motobecane Immortal frame, seems nice for the money. If you can stretch to $1,800:
    Save Up To 60% on Road Bikes with Shimano Ultegra 6700 Carbon fiber Road Bikes, Roadbikes - 2013 Motobecane Immortal Force

    Nice frame, almost full Ultegra, really nice crank and OK wheels. It's a racier frame than the LeChamp.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    A friend has the Motobecane Immortal frame, seems nice for the money. If you can stretch to $1,800:
    Save Up To 60% on Road Bikes with Shimano Ultegra 6700 Carbon fiber Road Bikes, Roadbikes - 2013 Motobecane Immortal Force

    Nice frame, almost full Ultegra, really nice crank and OK wheels. It's a racier frame than the LeChamp.
    I suggested this earlier, but the one I linked is only $1500, but it's Rival.... I got crickets...

  21. #21
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    Dudes, for a cat 1, there is only one real choice

    Caad10
    Simple as that

    I haven't left, but have ridden many, just picked up a caad10 and am amazed
    Better by far than my Ridley Damocles, better than my pinarello Paris ALU, better than the old canny by a mile

    Good for the money

  22. #22
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    Assuming it fits ... I agree with ph0enix, and would suggest the CAAD10 5 with 105 components.

    It has a proven race frame, has a good ride, quality components and is the choice of many, many racers, even those that can afford more bike. The only weak point of the bike (or any bike in this price range) is the wheels ... replace those and you have a 17 pound, very nice race/training bike.
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