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  1. #1
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    Your lucky day...

    My first very long, boring and possibly incoherent post was mistakenly deleted .

    So I will now try to make it musch shorter!

    I am in the market for my very first road bike. I have a meger budget of 700-800 dollars. I have been to 2 LBS so far. One store I liked very much. They answered questions, showed me several bikes in my price range (couple of Felts, Fujis and a Bianchi), and didn't make me feel like I was wasting their time. They also took my measurements. Provided information about each bike and what was similar and different from the bikes above and below my price range. The second store showed me 2 bikes, (specialized and giant and also reccomended a Trek at thier other store) didn't really ask me anything. I did volunteer what exactly I was looking for right off the bat, so maybe he didn't have any questions. Then walked away. There are also a couple other shops I could visit. They are further away and less convient. These stores, carry Jamis and Scott.

    Since, most bikes in a given price point will have basicly the same equipment. And I will NEED and DEPEND on the bike shop for fitting, advise and other cycling needs. Should I buy from the store I like best and forgo trying out the bikes at the stores I don't get a good vibe (for lack of a better word) from? I mean Bianchi, Felt, and Fuji are good bikes right? I guess I would feel silly or stupid if I bought a bike from one shop and then beg the other shop to help me (even if I pay them).

    I do have a list of bikes I think will suit me and my budget, but didnt want this to be a "pick which" thread. I looked around here enough to pick up on mantra... whichever fits best! LMK, if the particular bike at each shop would be helpful.

    Thanks, your time and patience are appreicated!
    Last edited by runlikeagirl0379; 07-17-2010 at 10:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Meager ?

    Your so called " meager " budget can and will get you a bike you will adore . Trust me . That's what I spent on mine and I absolutely LOVE it . I believe you will have to give the second LBS another chance . Maybe you'll get lucky and get helped by a more enthusiastic employee . Ride as many bikes as you can . When you ride yours , you'll know it . Enjoy the hunting . You probably won't get to do it again for a while .

  3. #3
    Vintage cyclist
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    Don't write off store #2 yet. Perhaps the guy didn't want you to feel like he was pressuring you to buy something. Perhaps he's new and doesn't have a sense of how to gauge whether a customer wants him around or not. Could be anything...

    As for which bike you should buy, you need to test ride them. And not just around the parking lot. Ask the LBS to allow you to take it for a half hour or so, give them your driver's license and then buy the one that feels and fits the best. All of the bikes you are looking at are fine bikes and will serve you well.

  4. #4
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    Oooh, trust me! I know I am lucky to even have what I have for a bike! It was a little tongue in check!:

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMWEL
    Your so called " meager " budget can and will get you a bike you will adore . Trust me . That's what I spent on mine and I absolutely LOVE it . I believe you will have to give the second LBS another chance . Maybe you'll get lucky and get helped by a more enthusiastic employee . Ride as many bikes as you can . When you ride yours , you'll know it . Enjoy the hunting . You probably won't get to do it again for a while .
    +1

    1. I spent close to your budget, not enough more to matter, and I do love my bike.

    2. I had a similar experience with the second LBS I went to, and though I love my bike, I wish I had given the second shop another chance before buying. I have gone back since and had a good experience with a different employee.

    3. Though I knew my bike when I first rode it, I still wish I had done a few more test rides, just in case. IMHO, test ride as many bikes as you can, otherwise the thought might nag you later.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by runlikeagirl0379
    Oooh, trust me! I know I am lucky to even have what I have for a bike! It was a little tongue in check!:
    Sorry, It's a bit of a touchy subject for me . There are a few around here who would say that if you can't spend $1500 or more and get the " right " components, you shouldn't bother . That just steams me !

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMWEL
    Sorry, It's a bit of a touchy subject for me . There are a few around here who would say that if you can't spend $1500 or more and get the " right " components, you shouldn't bother . That just steams me !

    Thats kinda why I put that in, I saw some of those people while poking around here! I forget you can't read sarcasm, I shoulda added a smilie.

    No harm, No foul!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by runlikeagirl0379
    Thats kinda why I put that in, I saw some of those people while poking around here! I forget you can't read sarcasm, I shoulda added a smilie.

    No harm, No foul!
    Thanks, and Welcome to RBR .
    Last edited by LMWEL; 07-17-2010 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Clairity

  9. #9
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    I would definitely advise against limiting your options just because one employee at one LBS didn't suite you. As others have offered, visit other shops (and the second shop again, if you have reason to) and talk with them about your price range, etc. as you did in the first shop. Now that you've had both positive and less than positive experiences, you'll know what to look for (and look out for) as you visit other shops.

    Also, while the bikes offered at the first shop are fine choices, there are subtle differences in geometry and between models that you should expose yourself to through test rides - the more the better and out on the road to get a feel for fit, ride and handling. IME I've disliked more bikes I've test ridden than I've liked, but even if you end up buying the first bike you rode, at least you'll do so as an educated consumer.

    Bottom line.. choices are good, so don't limit yours.

  10. #10
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    Not my lucky day..

    Aww jeez.

    None of you are any help! I am a girl who thanks her lucky stars that my foot over-pronates when I run, thereby, greatly reducing the options I have in shoes! I am a horrible decision maker when given so many choices. Right now I have about 10 bikes, from 8 different companies on my short list! The LBS are spread across town and across state lines, of course I live near the state lines, so its not nearly so dramatic!

    Since, I am a terrible decison maker, I guess I'm in the market for a trainer too. It will suck to have to ride my brand new bike through the snow and slush.

    In all seriousness, I will go and check out all my options. I will also give all the stores a fair shot to earn my business!

    Thanks Guys.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by runlikeagirl0379
    Aww jeez.

    None of you are any help! I am a girl who thanks her lucky stars that my foot over-pronates when I run, thereby, greatly reducing the options I have in shoes! I am a horrible decision maker when given so many choices. Right now I have about 10 bikes, from 8 different companies on my short list! The LBS are spread across town and across state lines, of course I live near the state lines, so its not nearly so dramatic!

    Since, I am a terrible decison maker, I guess I'm in the market for a trainer too. It will suck to have to ride my brand new bike through the snow and slush.

    In all seriousness, I will go and check out all my options. I will also give all the stores a fair shot to earn my business!

    Thanks Guys.
    I might have some good news for you. Seeing as you're female, you may not have as many choices as you think. If you happen to be proportioned long legs/ short torso, you could be a good candidate for WSD bikes. Since you like limited options, you'll be happy to know that not all models are offered in WSD, so... limited options!!

    Seriously, look into that option if you fit the description provided, and good luck in your search!!

  12. #12
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    As you say, there really isn't a huge difference in bikes in the same price range. Ride different ones for sure, but I'd place a large value on the quality of the shop.

    Even that can be deceiving, as personnel can often change. You may have been talking to a summer hire. One shop I know hires a different wrench every year, like a greasy spoon hires fry cooks.

    Best bet is to ask around locally for opinions on the shops. Find a bunch of cyclists, and just walk up and start asking questions.

  13. #13
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    Dude,

    I just got my first roadie. It's a Trek 1.1. The bike retails for about 700 buck in the US and is light and feels great to sit on.

    Touching on the subject of money, it's your first bike. I'm sure you could afford a slighlty more expensive one, but why would you want to? As a novice in any sport or activity, beginners see rapid improvements. We also have our biggest learning curve. I've never ridden with clipless pedals. If I'd just gone out and spent $3 grand on a bike and fell over half a dozen times in the few weeks that followed and my bike looked like a $2 ***** from all the scratches and dents, I would be really unhappy.

    If you're not a pro, having a carbon water holder is not going to make a difference in your time just because it weighs 0.02 grams less than a conventional one. Hell, for now, I'd be happy with finishing a race, let alone the time it takes me to do it.

    Good luck with the bike and post some pics. I'm really getting into this Bike Porn!

  14. #14
    Vintage cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolgadxb
    Dude,

    I just got my first roadie. It's a Trek 1.1. The bike retails for about 700 buck in the US and is light and feels great to sit on.

    Touching on the subject of money, it's your first bike. I'm sure you could afford a slighlty more expensive one, but why would you want to? As a novice in any sport or activity, beginners see rapid improvements. We also have our biggest learning curve. I've never ridden with clipless pedals. If I'd just gone out and spent $3 grand on a bike and fell over half a dozen times in the few weeks that followed and my bike looked like a $2 ***** from all the scratches and dents, I would be really unhappy.

    If you're not a pro, having a carbon water holder is not going to make a difference in your time just because it weighs 0.02 grams less than a conventional one. Hell, for now, I'd be happy with finishing a race, let alone the time it takes me to do it.

    Good luck with the bike and post some pics. I'm really getting into this Bike Porn!
    That's "dudette"...

  15. #15
    Swim, Bike, Run, Fall.
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by frpax
    That's "dudette"...

    Same, Same. Depends who's wearing the trousers.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolgadxb
    Same, Same. Depends who's wearing the trousers.

    Well, I let hubby think he wears the pants

    Yes, 7 of the bikes are WSD. (Felt ZW100, Bianchi She Alu, Jamis Ventura Sport Femme, Trek 1.1, 1.2, Specialized Dolce, Scott Contessa 25, and Giant Avail). I am, I have been told about avg. for a girl of 5'5 so I guess I do get choices, not like the super tenny/tall girls...but, was leaning toward the wsd. They are prettier!

    Going back to my first post. (this is some of what I left out, in my second draft after first draft was deleted!) I have actually dealt with the second bike shop on more than one occasion and service is definitely hit or miss with them, they do have 2 shops so I may have better luck with the second one. I guess I was turned off by the "heres the "cheap" bike section" attitude, plus how when I buy the bike, I should shell out more money for a fitting (which later I found out he told me it would also be 20 bucks more than what the store actually charges for a fitting), what if I buy the wrong size bike? I know I shouldn't let one rotten apple ruin the bunch and all that, but... The other LBS, the one I liked had several bikes in my price range and actually had some starting at less. He showed me a couple models, talked about the differences in the systems on the different price points. Then did a quick measurement for me, and outlined how when/if I come back they will pull out the bikes I want to test give it/them a quick adjustment, send me off, watch me re-adjust then send me out for a longer ride. Now that sounds like service.

    So, this week I will be going out to test ride. I figure mid week would be better than a busy weekend.

    Thanks for all the help, really it is helpful to hears others tell me to ride all the bikes. And I won't be able to make an educated decision by just looking at reviews and specs, I know nothing about! I think this is what hubby has been trying to tell me, I'm not quite sure since I tuned him out when he started to make sense, wouldnt want him to think he's right

    I'll update when I have bike porn to post
    Last edited by runlikeagirl0379; 07-18-2010 at 04:21 AM.

  17. #17
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    Happy Hunting !!

  18. #18
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    I'm not seeing where anyone has suggested the possibility of trying to find a used bike. I am not a fan of spending more money than you can afford...ever.

    You can easily find a dependable bike within your budget either way. If you really enjoy riding, you will get to a point where you are going to want to either upgrade or move up.

    Get what you can afford, make sure it fits and is comfortable....welcome to our little corner of the world. Who knows, some day you could end up like the rest of some of us with a whole stable of bikes suiting various needs and moods!
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

  19. #19
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    I just picked up a used mint condition Cannondale CAAD4 Saeco Team Bike for my wife on Craigslist for $500 with shoes, pedals, flat kit, bottle cages, and computer. If I had known I could score like that, I would not have spent $1300 on my own identically spec'ed bike plus $$$ for shoes, pedals, cages, flat kit, etc... That said, I think there is a lot of value in patronizing a quality LBS. In fact, I will be taking my wife and her new bike to the LBS that sold me mine to get her properly fitted. Also, if you can wait until January, a lot of LBSes run closeouts on last year's models.

  20. #20
    Vintage cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Touch0Gray
    I'm not seeing where anyone has suggested the possibility of trying to find a used bike. I am not a fan of spending more money than you can afford...ever.

    You can easily find a dependable bike within your budget either way. If you really enjoy riding, you will get to a point where you are going to want to either upgrade or move up.

    Get what you can afford, make sure it fits and is comfortable....welcome to our little corner of the world. Who knows, some day you could end up like the rest of some of us with a whole stable of bikes suiting various needs and moods!
    Doh! And I almost ALWAYS suggest that!

    Good call, ToG (good Dead song, BTW)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Touch0Gray
    I'm not seeing where anyone has suggested the possibility of trying to find a used bike. I am not a fan of spending more money than you can afford...ever.

    You can easily find a dependable bike within your budget either way. If you really enjoy riding, you will get to a point where you are going to want to either upgrade or move up.

    Get what you can afford, make sure it fits and is comfortable....welcome to our little corner of the world. Who knows, some day you could end up like the rest of some of us with a whole stable of bikes suiting various needs and moods!
    Considering the OP's price range and the fact that this is her first road bike, IMO it would be in her best interest to work with LBS's where she'll get sizing/ fitting assistance, tuneups/ adjustments, a warranty (and assistance, if need be). Buying used is a gamble that pays off sometimes, but the other times (when opting for an ill fitting bike, as one example) can end up costing more in the long run.

  22. #22
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    I never said not to get a bike from a local shop.....

    Bicycles and fit ain't rocket science.....bikes are virtually unchanged for the past 100 years or more, fit......well.....a person should be able to tell with a bit of research and a test ride or two. I mean, basic fit.....a bit of tweaking MAY be necessary, but she should sure as he!! be able to get it in the ballpark.

    I have been riding for a LONG time.....I have vintage steel, modern steel, alloy and carbon.....geared, fixed gear and single speed
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Touch0Gray
    I never said not to get a bike from a local shop.....

    Bicycles and fit ain't rocket science.....bikes are virtually unchanged for the past 100 years or more, fit......well.....a person should be able to tell with a bit of research and a test ride or two. I mean, basic fit.....a bit of tweaking MAY be necessary, but she should sure as he!! be able to get it in the ballpark.

    I have been riding for a LONG time.....I have vintage steel, modern steel, alloy and carbon.....geared, fixed gear and single speed
    And I never said you did, but I disagree with you on the importance (or lack thereof) of fit.

    For whatever reason you may have gotten lucky on your sizing/ fits, but there are countless posts here on RBR from riders that aren't so lucky. For them, getting the right fit IS rocket science and riding pain free remains elusive.

    I, like you, have been riding a long time, but noobs aren't us. That given, I think their odds of attaining a good fit are better when provided assistance from a reputable LBS.

  24. #24
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    I would love to find a used bike, I've been scouring CL. If I found one, that seemed to be a reasonably comfy fit, I would be happy to pay a LBS to fit me, tune it up, etc.

    Mostly what I have been finding are "big box" store bikes, vintage (or old junk, depending on your knowledge level ) kids bikes.

    Hubby has his first Tri tomorrow. There is a LBS near the race that just started to sell cannondale and scott, so I'm hopng to go check those out.

  25. #25
    Doubleplusgood
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    Quote Originally Posted by runlikeagirl0379
    I would love to find a used bike, I've been scouring CL. If I found one, that seemed to be a reasonably comfy fit, I would be happy to pay a LBS to fit me, tune it up, etc.

    Mostly what I have been finding are "big box" store bikes, vintage (or old junk, depending on your knowledge level ) kids bikes.

    Hubby has his first Tri tomorrow. There is a LBS near the race that just started to sell cannondale and scott, so I'm hopng to go check those out.
    One "trick" I know for searching CL is to search in the bikes by frame size. Some people list it as "54 cm" and others list the size as "54cm." To see every listing for both of those, you need to type "54 |54cm" in the search block minus the quotes, of course. The '|' symbol is located on the '\' key above the 'enter' key on most Windows keyboards. I say that because when I learned this trick, I didn't know that symbol existed. The reason to search by size is that everyone who rides a road bike knows that size matters. That will filter out all the trash bikes.

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