Newbie on the bike hunt...
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  1. #1

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    Newbie on the bike hunt...

    Hi everyone...

    I'm a SoCal girl and this is my first post on the board...I'm not a biker just yet, but my husband is and I'm going to give it a try and start '05 off on the right foot. I first have to admit that I've been researching my bike purchase for about 3 weeks now. This whole process is overwhelming... I need to be under $1500. Here's where I'm at:

    I'm a sucker for internet and I keep reading about the Motobecane. I don't wanna open a can of worms here (and I'm no fakie), but I'm seriously contemplating the Sprint Tour.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...r_carb1095.htm

    I'm a serious sceptic about buying from BikesDirect.com though. I don't wanna get ditched after the sale, and I know that's just what will happen. What does this bike weigh? Anyone know?

    My hubbie and I have been to almost every Cannondale and Trek dealer in Orange County. I'm seriously exhaused. My husband came home tonight w/ a Felt F50. He's completely convinced that this bike gave him the "Best bang for his buck." Fair enough. Weighs about 18.5 lbs But I'm not gonna ride the same bike as him. Way too much geek factor. He said the Cannondale was more cushioned than the Felt. He grew up on Cannondale and rode Motobecane when it was still the original French company.

    I'm going to test ride a Cannondale r1000si tomorrow in Huntington Beach. Its a 2001, but a new bike, surprisingly. Full Ultegra I guess. I'm 5'4" and the bike is a 48...perhaps a touch small. I saw it already. Ultra clean.

    Finally, I just read about Leader bikes on eBay. Anyone heard or ride one of these? the F780? I've read the paint job and welding are lame. They're out of San Diego...but all the frames are made in Taiwan.

    I better start w/ a triple until I can get in better shape.

    I know all these bikes are pretty much made in Taiwan. Only if I spend over $2K can I get a US frame, albeit full foreign components.

    Can anyone share w/ me what I should expect out of my first bike. I know the frame is important and I've read the post about "You can't put bling on a Kia" (in reference to the high-end components on the Motobecane bikes. Should I go for the sale at bikesdirect.com?

    Sorry so long-winded.

    .aim

  2. #2
    It's not easy being green
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    Welcome to bike shopping

    Hey girl,
    After weeks of surfing the internet and visiting every bike shop in the world I too purchased my second (and nicer) road bike. Your in a better price range than I started with and thats a good start. Before I did anything I would get a fitting from a good bike shop to insure your size (stem length) if you are considering buying off the internet. I wound up with a 2004 Specialized Roubaix Comp (carbon) that was a close out. There are a lot of bike shops that are making room for the 2005[s to arrive. My suggestion is ride everything and see what YOU like. I had looked at Cannondale mountain bikes and was not impressed and the one thing that I have noticed about Trek is they are way over priced. Try and stick with a good well known brand that way if you have problems, adjustments, or changes to parts you will not have trouble. Keep doing your research and this web site is a great start. Consider what your ultimate goal is. Do you want to ride for fitness like I do, or are you going for a tri-bike or road racer. That will make a difference in the bike you get. Once you start riding you'll be hooked. It's a blast and a great workout. I hope I helped. Bike shopping is a blast, but don't settle for a good starter bike like I did because you'll wind up trying to sell it when you upgrade to that FOREVER bike. Good Luck and happy shopping.
    Quote Originally Posted by aimelise
    Hi everyone...

    I'm a SoCal girl and this is my first post on the board...I'm not a biker just yet, but my husband is and I'm going to give it a try and start '05 off on the right foot. I first have to admit that I've been researching my bike purchase for about 3 weeks now. This whole process is overwhelming... I need to be under $1500. Here's where I'm at:

    I'm a sucker for internet and I keep reading about the Motobecane. I don't wanna open a can of worms here (and I'm no fakie), but I'm seriously contemplating the Sprint Tour.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...r_carb1095.htm

    I'm a serious sceptic about buying from BikesDirect.com though. I don't wanna get ditched after the sale, and I know that's just what will happen. What does this bike weigh? Anyone know?

    My hubbie and I have been to almost every Cannondale and Trek dealer in Orange County. I'm seriously exhaused. My husband came home tonight w/ a Felt F50. He's completely convinced that this bike gave him the "Best bang for his buck." Fair enough. Weighs about 18.5 lbs But I'm not gonna ride the same bike as him. Way too much geek factor. He said the Cannondale was more cushioned than the Felt. He grew up on Cannondale and rode Motobecane when it was still the original French company.

    I'm going to test ride a Cannondale r1000si tomorrow in Huntington Beach. Its a 2001, but a new bike, surprisingly. Full Ultegra I guess. I'm 5'4" and the bike is a 48...perhaps a touch small. I saw it already. Ultra clean.

    Finally, I just read about Leader bikes on eBay. Anyone heard or ride one of these? the F780? I've read the paint job and welding are lame. They're out of San Diego...but all the frames are made in Taiwan.

    I better start w/ a triple until I can get in better shape.

    I know all these bikes are pretty much made in Taiwan. Only if I spend over $2K can I get a US frame, albeit full foreign components.

    Can anyone share w/ me what I should expect out of my first bike. I know the frame is important and I've read the post about "You can't put bling on a Kia" (in reference to the high-end components on the Motobecane bikes. Should I go for the sale at bikesdirect.com?

    Sorry so long-winded.

    .aim

  3. #3
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by aimelise
    I don't wanna open a can of worms here (and I'm no fakie), but I'm
    Sorry so long-winded.
    Welcome! I hope you get all the advice you need. My first suggestion is to look at less expensive bikes. You may not know if you will stay in the sport - a good $600 bike will be a nice purchase. If you decide in 3 months that you hate riding, you will be out much less money. If you decide to get a much nicer bike later because you are riding so much, you can keep the cheaper bike to ride when conditions are difficult.

    So - about your questions - Bikesdirect.com is an annoying company. Their products are mostly ok components with interesting historical brand-names. The thing that really bugs me about them is that they spam this board trying to look like neophytes who need information. They try to look like you. After seeing them in action, here on this board, I have decided to never buy a bike from them again. but that's me.

    I know that you aren't a "fakie." You said so. Here is the thing - Bikesdirect is miserable because they would try to make posts like yours, asking for advice. That just isn't right. You wouldn't want anyone to ask FAKE questions like yours because then the really GENUINE people like you wouldn't be able to get good advice. It would be like the boy who cried wolf, over and over and over and over and over - except he would be crying motobecane, mercier and bikesdirect.com. At some point, you get really annoyed with the boy and stuff a sock in his mouth.

    More advice: ALL SORTS of LOCAL BIKE SHOPS have "end of year" sales going on right now. The advice that you got on the Cannondale is probably backwards. They are NOT known for being plush at all, in fact, quite the opposite. They might not be the most harsh ride on the road - but they are not at all plush. Felt doesn't make an F50 this year. They make an F55. It has a compact drive front crank that offers pretty much the same gearing as a triple, with a more simplicity and less weight. The F55 also has some dura-ace and is a great value. Since your hubby bought a Felt, you should ask that dealer what deals they have on other bikes. It will be worth it to you to get a local bike shop that can service you after the sale.

    If you want something like that motobec that you mentioned, and you really WANT to spend something like that - and your hubby is riding a Felt, try the Felt F60. It is better in all respects than the motob. you were looking at, probably wont cost more than 1300 or so, has the new 30 speed ultegra and a very nice components group.

    I recommend joining a local bike club. It will probably get you 10%-25% discounts on your bikes. That would probably get you that Felt F60 for less than the motocane.

    A local bike shop can help with little things after the sale. Things like adjusting cables, truing wheels, giving advice, etc. A local bike shop can also help you find helmets, shoes, pedals, bike jerseys, safety gear like lights, spare tubes, pumps, etc, etc, etc. All that little stuff is important.

    I think that BikesDirect.com is just too annoying, isn't there after the sale, and doesn't offer much in the way of value. And - I ride one of their bikes. My next bike will be from a local bike shop.
    Last edited by jakerson; 12-07-2004 at 05:11 AM.

  4. #4
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    start with fit...

    Read up on bike fitting first so some unscrupulous LBS doesn't talk you into a frame that you can barely straddle. Take an accurate cycling inseam mesurement at the minimum and be sure to use saddle-like pressure, or the measurement will be too small. I prefer to use a bike with a horizontal top tube with the wheels blocked up until it provides the saddle-like crotch pressure. Then I measure from the floor to the top of the top tube for an accurate inseam.

    www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit

    Small, light riders (like us) should avoid overly stiff frames that will produce a harsh ride. Aluminum frames have improved, but they still rarely match a good Ti or carbon fiber frame when it comes to a smooth ride. Unfortuantely, C'dales, particularly in the small sizes are likely to be harsh. I have owned a sloping top tube Al frame with carbon seat stays recently (Fondriest MDC) and was surprised that it rode pretty smooth, so I know it's at possible to get decent ride from an Al frame.

    The Motobecane in a 50cm might be small enough, but they don't publish the geometry, so how would a buyer make an intelligent decision? All they say is it's sized like Trek and Fuji, which means that a "50cm" is really a 48cm measured center to top (like C'dale).. Also don't be surprised if the bike needs a significant amount of readjustment when you get it. The bike in the picture, for example has the shift levers mounted way too low. If you can't do the work yourself, the LBS won't be thrilled if you bring in your bought-elsewhere bike to be refitted.

  5. #5
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    What kind of riding will you do?

    Nobody can give you any valid advice without knowing what type of riding you will do. Generally speaking, most people end up buying a racing style bike even though they never race. Racing bikes compromise comfort, reliability and durability for very, very small gains in efficiency at high speed. Most fitness, recreation, and/or day touring riders would be better off on a bike that is not designed for racing. If you don't get sold on a racing bike you can get a more comfortable, durable bike for less money that will be less than 1 minute slower on a 25 mile ride. Those seconds mean everything to a competitive racer and nothing to most of the rest of us. A $1500 bike is way good. You can get a perfectly good bike for half of that. For a good non-racing perspecitve on bicycles and bicycling look at this site:

    www.rivendellbicycles.com
    Lugged Steel Treks

  6. #6
    633
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    Despite bikesdirect's habit of spamming the board, and the general dislike for them some folks here have, it's very hard to find a better deal on a comparably equipped new bike. I have one riding buddy who bought a Fuji from Cycle Spectrum, their storefront sister company, and was quite happy with it, and another acquantance who bought a Motobecane from them and was pretty happy with it. I test-rode a couple of the Motobecanes a couple of years ago. I ended up buying a Lemond at the time, but the Motobecane was a decent frame with very good components. It's very hard to beat $1095 for a brand new bike with Ultegra 9 and a decent (not great, but pretty good) wheelset. Note, though, that now that Ultegra 10 is out, resale value of Ultegra-9 equipped bikes will fall.

    Felt is also a big leader in bang-for-the-buck, and Jakerson's comments about them are well taken. If your LBS is a good one that's interested in providing help and advice (not all are), I'd probably agree with his statements about the value of buying at an LBS where you can get service. When I started out years ago, though, a shop sold me a bike that didn't fit that great (because they wanted to get it off the floor), and didn't provide much service, so YMMV.

    Another thought - you might consider stepping down to a Tiagra or 105 bike for your first bike. No matter how good a fit you get on the first bike, you learn a lot about your riding style and position as you ride for a few months, and if you really get into the sport, you may find yourself wanting a new bike 6-12 months into it. Quality used bikes are another option. See some thoughts on there here: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=20249

    Good luck.
    Michael



    You see lots of happy cyclists. When was the last time you saw a runner smiling?

  7. #7
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    OC Help Here

    Aim - I was in a very similar situation a few months ago. I wanted to buy a road bike and didn't know where to begin. I, too, was at least partially tempted by the online bike ads, but I just couldn't do it. Fit is SOOOOOO important with a road bike and as such it's crucial to work with a good shop to get you set-up properly. To that end, it is definitely in your best interest to look locally.

    I also happen to live in OC (just moved from Aliso Viejo to Irvine) and in my quest to buy a road bike, I must have checked out just about every shop in the area. It's not as easy as calling around for the best price. You want a shop that will answer your questions, provide great service, fit you correctly, and so on. Customer service is a lost art, so finding a good shop isn't easy. I'd be more than happy to provide you with my thoughts and experiences as well as some local recommendations (shops and bikes) if you'd like. Rather than litter this board with specific local information, why don't you send me an email if you'd like the info. My email address is BTORIO at COX dot NET.

    One other thing I wanted to mention is that the total cost you're looking at is much more than just the bike itself. You'll need to add pedals, shoes, shorts, a jersey, a pump (or CO2), tubes, a saddle, and so on. In reality, if your budget is $1500, you probably want to be looking for a bike in the $1000 range so you have something left over for all the other "necessities." Just something to think about ahead of time so your $1500 bike purchase doesn't turn into a $2000 (or more) experience.

    Good luck ... and feel free to send me an email. I'm more than happy to help, especially since I just went through the same process twice (once for me and once for my girlfriend).

  8. #8
    Windrider (Stubborn)
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    Lot's of good advice so far......

    Quote Originally Posted by aimelise
    Hi everyone...

    I'm a SoCal girl and this is my first post on the board...I'm not a biker just yet, but my husband is and I'm going to give it a try and start '05 off on the right foot. I first have to admit that I've been researching my bike purchase for about 3 weeks now. This whole process is overwhelming... I need to be under $1500. Here's where I'm at:

    I'm a sucker for internet and I keep reading about the Motobecane. I don't wanna open a can of worms here (and I'm no fakie), but I'm seriously contemplating the Sprint Tour.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...r_carb1095.htm

    I'm a serious sceptic about buying from BikesDirect.com though. I don't wanna get ditched after the sale, and I know that's just what will happen. What does this bike weigh? Anyone know?

    My hubbie and I have been to almost every Cannondale and Trek dealer in Orange County. I'm seriously exhaused. My husband came home tonight w/ a Felt F50. He's completely convinced that this bike gave him the "Best bang for his buck." Fair enough. Weighs about 18.5 lbs But I'm not gonna ride the same bike as him. Way too much geek factor. He said the Cannondale was more cushioned than the Felt. He grew up on Cannondale and rode Motobecane when it was still the original French company.

    I'm going to test ride a Cannondale r1000si tomorrow in Huntington Beach. Its a 2001, but a new bike, surprisingly. Full Ultegra I guess. I'm 5'4" and the bike is a 48...perhaps a touch small. I saw it already. Ultra clean.

    Finally, I just read about Leader bikes on eBay. Anyone heard or ride one of these? the F780? I've read the paint job and welding are lame. They're out of San Diego...but all the frames are made in Taiwan.

    I better start w/ a triple until I can get in better shape.

    I know all these bikes are pretty much made in Taiwan. Only if I spend over $2K can I get a US frame, albeit full foreign components.

    Can anyone share w/ me what I should expect out of my first bike. I know the frame is important and I've read the post about "You can't put bling on a Kia" (in reference to the high-end components on the Motobecane bikes. Should I go for the sale at bikesdirect.com?

    Sorry so long-winded.

    .aim
    I would only add/emphasize the following:

    1.) Start with a good idea of fit. If you have to, pay for a fit session, otherwise use the various fit calculators on the web.....but be sure of the fit you need. If you know this...then....

    2.) Buy used. Look at the classified on this site or e-bay and buy used. You will either get more bike for the same money, or the same bike for less money. Either way, until you get some miles under you, it is the most cost effective way to buy a bike. Used can be scary, but if you reduce your search to a few models that you know you will like from your LBS shopping, and know your size....the rest is just patience.

    3.) As someone else said, don't forget the periphery equipment. Helmet, Shoes, Pedals, Riding pack etc. Can easily run you $300 + depending on what you buy.

    Good Luck and keep asking questions as you go thru your search.

    Len



    "Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"

    ""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

    No one is as bad as the worst thing they have done & no one is as good as the best thing they have done.........think of that when you feel like you understand someone.

  9. #9
    cmg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len J
    I would only add/emphasize the following:

    1.) Start with a good idea of fit. If you have to, pay for a fit session, otherwise use the various fit calculators on the web.....but be sure of the fit you need. If you know this...then....

    2.) Buy used. Look at the classified on this site or e-bay and buy used. You will either get more bike for the same money, or the same bike for less money. Either way, until you get some miles under you, it is the most cost effective way to buy a bike. Used can be scary, but if you reduce your search to a few models that you know you will like from your LBS shopping, and know your size....the rest is just patience.

    3.) As someone else said, don't forget the periphery equipment. Helmet, Shoes, Pedals, Riding pack etc. Can easily run you $300 + depending on what you buy.

    Good Luck and keep asking questions as you go thru your search.

    Len

    More info. to muddy the waters,
    for self sizing try; http://www.wrenchscience.com/WS1/Sec...ing/Height.asp , http://www.bsn.com/Cycling/ergobike.html, an article for newbies
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/beginners/index.html

    for online complete bikes at the price your talking about http://www.gvhbikes.com/ , http://www.labicicletta.com/, http://www.ital-tecno.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=88
    there are many others.

    I strongly recommend buying on eBay. I wish I had. I wouldn't recommend aluminum, in the smaller sizes the rides going to be harsh, look for for longer chainstays for a plush ride, a Klein might be the way to go. Don't rule out steel either, not light, but definetly not harsh and an 853 frame or equal is going for less than $500 on ebay, have your LBS build it up. Don't also rule out 9 speeds, the parts and repair for them will be around for a while, parts are still available for the 8 sds, they're predecessor. Your first bike should fit you, be pain free to ride, have a fairly decent component package (Campy veloce/centaur or shimano 105/ultegra) and have enough value to warrant switching them to next frame if moneys tight. Lots of luck don't let the barage of information discourage you, enjoy the journey.
    cmg

  10. #10

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    Everyone on this board is incredible!

    Thanks for all the awesome advice! This input is really helping me sort things out. I did manage to score a pair of shoes this weekend at REI...go figure, the shoes before the bike. haha! And no, I'm not a gurly-gurl who's way concerned w/ the outfit ;) They just happened to be half off and had my size. But those extras are gonna add up real fast.

    I have yet to ride the new Ultegra, but a new LBS suggested its better than DuraAce. What do I know...newbie, right? Anyhow, yes, I'm a bargain hunter and am trying not to let it get the best of me.

    I'm going to test ride this Cannondale r1000si tonight. The shop owner seems anxious to get rid of it since its a 2001. He's asking $900 and its brand new. He bought it from another shop two years ago when they closed, lended it to his Spinning Instructor friend who wanted to try road biking but never got to it. Alas, it ended up in her garage and he just now got the bike back. Its totally clean, but the fit has gotta be right. Its only a 48 and I'm 5'4". Trouble is, if he's anxious to sell, he might not be honest w/ me about the fit. I'm not confident I can make a decision on a 10 minute test ride. Anyhow...I'll see how it goes and let everyone know.

    Still haven't ruled out BikesDirect.com yet. Anne wrote back today and said that SprintTour is just a hair over 18 lbs. Makes me wonder.

    .aim

  11. #11
    cnm
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    If you like the ride of the cannondale I would recommend trying a 2005 R700. It comes with the CAAD7 frame and 105/Ult components for under $1200

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/05/c...del-5RR7T.html

  12. #12

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    I'm from So Cal as Well

    Hi Amie, I bought a bike in the same price range as you earlier this year and I have far less experience than most posters. I'm not sure what's the best bang for your buck, but you can get a nice 2005 Trek 2100 for about $1500. I got my 2004 2100 for 1250 but the new ones has some upgraded components, thus higher price. I am very happy with my Trek and ready to take it in for a 1,000 mile tune up.
    They are available at three major bike shops in the So Cal Area. I happened to order one sight unseen but that isn't the best way. Get fitted and don't compromise based on what frame is in stock.
    If you want a Motorbecane, there is a reputable (I think) LBS in Fountain Valley that has great prices on them.
    Good luck

    Quote Originally Posted by aimelise
    Hi everyone...

    I'm a SoCal girl and this is my first post on the board...I'm not a biker just yet, but my husband is and I'm going to give it a try and start '05 off on the right foot. I first have to admit that I've been researching my bike purchase for about 3 weeks now. This whole process is overwhelming... I need to be under $1500. Here's where I'm at:

    I'm a sucker for internet and I keep reading about the Motobecane. I don't wanna open a can of worms here (and I'm no fakie), but I'm seriously contemplating the Sprint Tour.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...r_carb1095.htm

    I'm a serious sceptic about buying from BikesDirect.com though. I don't wanna get ditched after the sale, and I know that's just what will happen. What does this bike weigh? Anyone know?

    My hubbie and I have been to almost every Cannondale and Trek dealer in Orange County. I'm seriously exhaused. My husband came home tonight w/ a Felt F50. He's completely convinced that this bike gave him the "Best bang for his buck." Fair enough. Weighs about 18.5 lbs But I'm not gonna ride the same bike as him. Way too much geek factor. He said the Cannondale was more cushioned than the Felt. He grew up on Cannondale and rode Motobecane when it was still the original French company.

    I'm going to test ride a Cannondale r1000si tomorrow in Huntington Beach. Its a 2001, but a new bike, surprisingly. Full Ultegra I guess. I'm 5'4" and the bike is a 48...perhaps a touch small. I saw it already. Ultra clean.

    Finally, I just read about Leader bikes on eBay. Anyone heard or ride one of these? the F780? I've read the paint job and welding are lame. They're out of San Diego...but all the frames are made in Taiwan.

    I better start w/ a triple until I can get in better shape.

    I know all these bikes are pretty much made in Taiwan. Only if I spend over $2K can I get a US frame, albeit full foreign components.

    Can anyone share w/ me what I should expect out of my first bike. I know the frame is important and I've read the post about "You can't put bling on a Kia" (in reference to the high-end components on the Motobecane bikes. Should I go for the sale at bikesdirect.com?

    Sorry so long-winded.

    .aim

  13. #13

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    As others have said, fit, fit and fit are important. At the price point you are looking at you can get some really great bikes and should also be looking at womens specfic designs. I would suggest taking a close look at the Specialized Dolce line and the WSD bikes. While neither company has the cache (sp) of a small manufacture, they both offer excellent bikes for the money backed by real lifetime warrantees on the frames. While you say it looks funny you having a felt like your husband, Felt does make great bikes for the price. Cannondales are good bikes, but tend to stiff riding (in fact thinking of my old Cannondale road bike still makes me cringe).

  14. #14
    Cannot bench own weight
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    Just wanted to point out that Cannondale is handmade right here in the USA (not in Taiwan as you suggested in your opening post).

    I have a 2004 R1000 and love it.

  15. #15
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    Welcome to the board, aimelise. Without recommending any particular bike, I second fit, fit, fit, again. Find a LBS you like and trust. LBS can be your best friend when you are just getting started. Most all will troubleshoot the inevetiable new bike sounds that appear in the first 500 miles. Many will offer parts swaps at the time of sale. Some will offer stem swaps within a reasonable time period. The bike that fits for a test ride may need tweaked after a thousand miles. After about 5K mine needed a different stem. Now it is Barcolounger comfy ;-)

    Throw your leg over as many bikes as you can. You will find some $1000 bikes are more comfortable than $2000 bikes. Ride a couple of highend bikes. This will pin point some of your complaints with other bikes. Keep an eye out for components on bikes that feel good. A good tire will ride worlds better than a cheap tire. After you get it narrowed to two or three bikes, go back for a real test ride. By real, I mean one hour rides.

    Good show on buying shoes first! Pick up a pair mid range shorts, too. While you are at it you might want to pick up pedals. Most bikes come without. Or, if they come with pedals, the pedals they come with are crap. Look, SpeedPlay and Shimano SPD-SL are all great pedals, This makes test rides much easier.
    I don't give a damn for a man who can spell a word only one way.
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  16. #16
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    Fit and type of riding

    Hello Aimelise and welcome to you and husband.

    As everyone says, fit is essential and try not to sacrifice in any way on that. Most LBS will make adjustments, some even will swap out parts like stem lengths to make it right. Make sure you never hear the dreaded words of, "you'll get used to it." If you do, take a walk. It is good to see as well that you are willing to buy what you need right now, like a triple until your fitness level improves, vs just buying what you might think you will want to have or might feel others will think you should have.

    Type of riding comes in a close second to fit. You are talking about weight which is a good thing to consider but don't sacrifice ride comfort. Personally, I can't take the rougher ride of AL frames unless they have carbon forks and rear ends which generally puts them out of my price range. But I train for distances of 50 - 150 miles where riding comfort comes into play, not 25 mile rides where stiffness and sprinting might be more important. Personally, I have a LeMond Buenos Aires which is a steel frame with carbon. My local Trek shop in San Diego is selling a '04 right now with combo 105/Ultegra triple for roughly $1300 (not sure if that is $1395 in store special only - they have it listed for higher on the website). Why steel? It rides very smooth and mine weighs in a just 21 lbs so isn't a huge sacrifice on weight over AL.

    If you really like the Motobecane have you found a LBS that sells them so you can at least ride it? Frankly if you know you like the ride and it fits and bikesdirect.com has a great price go for it. Remember some LBS might offer free lifetime tuneups so factor that into your price vs buying with a .com company unless you are doing all your own maintenance. A friend of mine just bought the bike you are considering from Bike Discovery in Pacific Beach (San Diego) for $900 and they threw in pedals, helmet and jersey for $30. Obviously, I can't guarantee they do the same for each customer but it might be possible.

    I don't know the exact situation with components "aging" but consider that a 2001 bike with Ultegra might not be better than a newer bike with even 105 components. Perhaps the newer 105 has some of the tech from the older Ultegra. Someone else might have better insight on this but it might be worth considering when looking at a 2001 Cannondale even if it is new.

    I don't necessarily agree with the idea of buying a $600 bike to see if you will like it only to have to buy a better bike later. Frankly, the wrong $600 bike could keep you from riding and it is harder to find a good lower priced bike than several higher priced models that might work for you and give you some options.

    I know what you mean about perhaps a LBS not being completely upfront with you in order to sell something. Fortunately, I found a great LBS in S. Oceanside. He sells Felt and Rivendell and I believe Chuck would never send you astray. His shop is Pacific Coast Cycles.

    That's my $.02 and I hope you find what you are looking for and enjoy the sport.
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    Last edited by pedaling pyrate; 12-08-2004 at 02:07 AM.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    some "comfort" options

    I'm searching for my first bike myself...someone mentioned the Roubaix Comp, which is carbon, but is outside your price range. You might try the Roubaix, which is an aluminum frame with carbon seat stays - I think it offers a really smooth ride, with slightly relaxed geometry. I've seen the 2004 going for about $1200. Also, the 05 Giant TCRs (carbon frame) are starting to dribble into stores, and the TCR2 has a list price of $1600 - I rode one that was a little big for me, but I think it's an amazingly nice bike for the money and definitely on my short list.

    Keep us posted when you make your decision!

  18. #18
    Climbin' Clyde
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    NorCal response here

    The LeMonds are beautiful this year. I'm not as much of a Specialized fan as I used to be, but I think their Allez Cromo double & triple are great deals. Full Ultegra, nice Columbus Foco frame, good welds & nice blue/white paint scheme, all for $1400 at my LBS.

  19. #19
    pillage! plunder! 4 parts
    Reputation: pedaling pyrate's Avatar
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    Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

    Have you made a decision yet?

  20. #20
    when is it obsession?
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    Hey Aims...welcome!
    great advice thus far... I would also emphasize the importance of fit and trying out as many bikes as is humanly possible...it is therefore fortuitous that you got the shoes first! Bring them with you when you go for test rides!

    as far as internet purchases go...if you are comfortable with your size...check out:

    www.GVHbikes.com

    Gary will take great care of you...

    b~
    "Oz was wrong: a heart should be judged by how much one loves...not by how much one is loved by others..."

  21. #21
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    I've said this before on the boards but i found a local LBS owner who fitted me (knowing I was buying elsewhere - very cool guy) and then bought from GVH. perfect fit.

  22. #22
    pillage! plunder! 4 parts
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    That might happen but be careful of...

    Be careful of having someone fit you for a bike that you aren't buying unless they come right out and offer. It is time for them and they are investing in the sale. For you to walk out can pose problems for you in the future as well as others that will need assistance. Many LBS don't even want to hear the word "internet" or things like price matching etc. They sell service and bikes and feel that the discounts on the internet are because they can't provide the service. Just be careful you don't abuse their kindness.

    Also, and LBS might charge you for the fitting if you don't buy the bike. Make sure you know in advance.

  23. #23
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    Hi,
    Welcome to the cycling world! Hey do yourself a favor and visit velo pasadena! It's the LBS that has the best professionals in your area. It might be a drive, but it's worth it. I live in Texas and every time I'm in town, I visit the shop. Tell Hrach I said hi!

    Velo Pasadena
    2562 Colorado Blvd.
    www.velopasadena.com

    The owner is the former national cycling champion from Armenia. He's cool and a real pro.
    To many shops in LA are too small to give you the truth. Don't buy internet until you are sure about your size and fit.
    Take care and good luck!

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