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  1. #1
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    New bike help.

    Hey everyone, I need some pointers on buying a new bike. Little background, I've ridden bmx when I was a kid, stopped riding then road a fixed gear 10 years ago until it was stolen. Now I'm looking to get a new bike. I was looking into gravel/adventure bikes, but a lbs owner said I didn't need that bc 90% of my riding will be on the road. I've heard to aim for higher level components and wheelsets. I'd like to ride 5-6 days a week maybe 10-20 miles a pop (to start). I don't know what I need, shimano 105? Disc brakes? Tire clearance? I was originally set on a steel frame, but I'm open for whatever works, looking to spend no more than $1,500. I'm 37 in decent shape, 6'4 and 205lbs. Any suggestions to point me in the right direction? Thanks,
    Kevin

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    The best advice is to find an LBS you trust and test ride bikes in that price range. They need to fit you, so makes sense to stay local as opposed to trying mail order. Most of the 105 bikes are likely to be aluminum at that price point, you can find disc brakes on some models, but if all you are using the bike for is road use with moderate hills you will likely get better component choices (wheels as example) if staying with rim brakes. Disc's become an advantage if you ride a lot of hills and/or are on wet roads a lot or down the road you can add a 2nd set of wheels with lower gearing and wider tires to ride dirt and gravel roads, discs are good at allowing clearance, IF the frame is set up to handle wide tires.

    The 105 group is Shimano's 3rd from the top component group and is a fantastic group and a good starting point, possibly their most cost effective group in terms of performance vs. price, though Tiagra is very good as well.

    Only you know how you will use the bike. If there are few gravel roads in your area, than I agree with the LBS owner that you might be better sticking to a dedicated road bike. Some versions of what has been known as "racing"" bikes no are setup as "endurance" bikes, really designed with a more upright position, higher handlebar etc.... designed for folks wanting to extend out to longer distance rides and be comfortable. Gravel bikes sometimes come with lower gearing, usually with a wider range cassette, as well as able to handle wide tires. Road race and endurance should at least be able to handle a 28mm tire, gravel gets you up to 36 or so but will typically have disc brakes to allow that larger tire size.

    So it really comes down to test rides and what the local shops have to test. Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Giant likely to be aluminum or carbon in the higher price ranges. Some shops sell All City, Soma or Surly which are the larger makers of steel. If you've an REI near you they have liberal test ride and purchase, letting you buy a bike, have it shipped to a local store for free, get fitted and than ride it for a while on rides and if you don't like it, return. Not all LBS's allow that, my shop where I just purchased a mt. bike only allows exchanges up to 30 days.

  3. #3
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    I would start off with what do you want and be true to that. I'm guessing you probably already have some bike(s) you are looking at. You are suggesting riding almost daily @ 10-20 miles, increasing that later. You are better off buying for the now and deal with the future then. Just about all bikes at your price level fit the criteria you gave. Some maybe better than others but there is always compromises between frames and components as price wiggling takes place. Im not going to start a firestorm by suggesting you need these these components or that frame material.
    First determine what riding you will be doing, (again be honest with yourself) and then go with the style that suits. Don't get too caught up in the details like tire clearance, components brands as they will take care of themselves at each price level. Also use your price level as a guide not an absolute start off with say something at the $1000 range an move up and see what differences. Once you have narrowed that bike list down then ride them if possible to get the feel. You will know pretty quickly which one is right for you.

  4. #4
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    https://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/ge...-105-15-49248/

    You have a ton of choices, you are realistic for an entry level road bike. I have a CAAD 8 and it always impresses me... It’s kind of sporty geometry but not back breaking. Very smooth bike with minimal road buzz. When you put Conti 23s on it you will feel a difference. You may want to upgrade at some point, but you’d have no pressure to do anything, this bike is solid for the long haul. But, as others said, so are a lot of other bikes at this price point. Cannondale does know aluminum.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    Cannondale does know aluminum.
    As much as anybody these days. There was a time, of 25-30 years ago, when Cannondale (and Klein) were the go-to manufacturers for big tubed aluminum. Cannondales were hand made in Pennsylvania, Kleins in Wash. Then C-Dale went bankrupt (and Klein was killed by Trek) and subsequently got bought out over time by 2 other companies. Frame manufacture moved to various Asian countries as well. I like to think there's some company history that drives the current designs, not sure if that's accurate, I like their products and am glad the name is still around.

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    Doesn't sound you need high end components at all. 105 should be fine. also avoid high end wheels. for the mileage you're talking about a total waste of funds. many good alloy wheels that go for a few hundred dollars.

    From what you're describing you're most likely looking at an off the shelf bike that has all that done for you. Find a good local bike store that is reputable and can trust. You're probably going to focus on geometry which is just another way of saying the bike feels comfortable to ride.

    If you want to do some off road perhaps a model that has 28 mm tires whic would be a good compromise that allows you to do road and off road. Bigger than that will work but then its more gravel than road.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin.holz.16 View Post
    Hey everyone, I need some pointers on buying a new bike. Little background, I've ridden bmx when I was a kid, stopped riding then road a fixed gear 10 years ago until it was stolen. Now I'm looking to get a new bike. I was looking into gravel/adventure bikes, but a lbs owner said I didn't need that bc 90% of my riding will be on the road. I've heard to aim for higher level components and wheelsets. I'd like to ride 5-6 days a week maybe 10-20 miles a pop (to start). I don't know what I need, shimano 105? Disc brakes? Tire clearance? I was originally set on a steel frame, but I'm open for whatever works, looking to spend no more than $1,500. I'm 37 in decent shape, 6'4 and 205lbs. Any suggestions to point me in the right direction? Thanks,
    Kevin

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    You're going to put a lot of miles on that bike! 6'4" eh?

    https://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_...ls&ProdID=2295

    They have Motobecane Le Champion aluminum, 10 speeds with Ultegra for $649. Regular price was $2000. Here's the thing: all the bikes are 61 cm! Just your size. Maybe they'll give you two for the price of one.

    61 cm frames move very slowly finding tall enough riders. Motobecane is an old French brand, competent bikes that'll perform as well as the others at that $2000. price point, where bikes deliver the most bang for the buck.

  8. #8
    ngl
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    I'd recommend buying (new, new-old-stock or used) through a trusted bike shop. They can offer:
    1. test rides
    2. proper bike sizing
    3. proper fitting
    4. free tune-ups
    5. quick turn-around on service & maintenance
    6. discount on additional purchases
    7. bike maintenance courses
    If none of these items appeal to you then save a few $ and buy through the internet.

  9. #9
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    The first thing to do is visit a few bike shops and take some test rides. Choosing your bike shop is as important as choosing your bike. A good bike shop will give you a detailed fitting with your purchase where they put you and your new bike on their trainer, watch you pedal and make adjustments to get your fit just right.

    Test ride some bikes and see what wows you. Which one makes you smile and want to ride it until you're exhausted?

    I would not buy a bike off the internet from places like Bikesdirect or Bikeisland. Motobecane used to be a reputable brand, but they have since become a generic budget brand the same way Schwinn has.

    As others here have said, don't worry too much about high end components and high end wheels. Anything above Shimano 105 is unnecessary. Even Tiagra is good. I have bikes with 105 and Ultegra and cannot tell the difference - they both shift flawlessly.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    The first thing to do is visit a few bike shops and take some test rides. Choosing your bike shop is as important as choosing your bike. A good bike shop will give you a detailed fitting with your purchase where they put you and your new bike on their trainer, watch you pedal and make adjustments to get your fit just right.

    Test ride some bikes and see what wows you. Which one makes you smile and want to ride it until you're exhausted?

    I would not buy a bike off the internet from places like Bikesdirect or Bikeisland. Motobecane used to be a reputable brand, but they have since become a generic budget brand the same way Schwinn has.

    As others here have said, don't worry too much about high end components and high end wheels. Anything above Shimano 105 is unnecessary. Even Tiagra is good. I have bikes with 105 and Ultegra and cannot tell the difference - they both shift flawlessly.
    The LBS I went to sells Fuji, Jamis, GT, Schwinn, but his main focus was Fuji, he didn't pressure me at all and took time to speak with me. I've heard mixed reviews about Fuji's quality as of recent years. I was looking at Jamis and Cannondale as well, but he doesn't sell Cannondale. I will check out some other shops as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    You're going to put a lot of miles on that bike! 6'4" eh?

    https://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_...ls&ProdID=2295

    They have Motobecane Le Champion aluminum, 10 speeds with Ultegra for $649. Regular price was $2000. Here's the thing: all the bikes are 61 cm! Just your size. Maybe they'll give you two for the price of one.

    61 cm frames move very slowly finding tall enough riders. Motobecane is an old French brand, competent bikes that'll perform as well as the others at that $2000. price point, where bikes deliver the most bang for the buck.
    This is very tempting, but I'm afraid about fitment and set up. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, but I'd feel better if a shop set up and tuned my first bike.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I would not buy a bike off the internet from places like Bikesdirect or Bikeisland. Motobecane used to be a reputable brand, but they have since become a generic budget brand the same way Schwinn has.
    Well, yeah, Motobecane isn't what it used to be, but generally, if the bike is equipped with Ultegra and sold for $2000., it's competitive with other bikes in that price point, and 1500-2000 is the most crowded market. The frame will match the components. If it's cheaped out to reduce the price, you can tell by looking at the quality of the welds. Aluminum frames at Ultegra price points are considerably better than entry level.

    Lots of riders have had disappointing experiences getting a bike with cheap components and then upgrading. He'll still have a cheap, underperforming frame. OTOH if the components are quality, they can be transferred onto an upgraded frame cheaper than the other way around. So there's something to be said about buying a cheap bike with great components vs. a cheap bike with cheap components. .

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin.holz.16 View Post
    The LBS I went to sells Fuji, Jamis, GT, Schwinn, but his main focus was Fuji, he didn't pressure me at all and took time to speak with me. I've heard mixed reviews about Fuji's quality as of recent years. I was looking at Jamis and Cannondale as well, but he doesn't sell Cannondale. I will check out some other shops as well.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    Jamis is really a good lesser known brand. I have a Jamis Renegade Exploit and love it! They spec their bikes really well and don't skimp.

    Check out the Quest Elite. That's a lot of bang for the buck and has full 105.

    It's cool he doesn't try to bait and switch you to Fuji. If he does, move on to a different shop.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin.holz.16 View Post
    This is very tempting, but I'm afraid about fitment and set up. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, but I'd feel better if a shop set up and tuned my first bike.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    No big deal. This is later in the game, when collecting parts for your dream bike. I was in love with a lower midrange bike with heavy components and wheels that wouldn't stay true. Bought new wheels and components over time, watching for sales, and upgraded to top of the line Campy. Trouble was, the frame still rode like a noodle. But two years later, I had all the components for a custom frame, and haven't looked back in 75,000 miles.

    But you're right. Learn what its all about from a competent LBS, and take it from there. A year's experience will pay off.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Jamis is really a good lesser known brand. I have a Jamis Renegade Exploit and love it! They spec their bikes really well and don't skimp.

    Check out the Quest Elite. That's a lot of bang for the buck and has full 105.

    It's cool he doesn't try to bait and switch you to Fuji. If he does, move on to a different shop.
    Yep, Jamis is a great brand in the lower mid-range price points. The shop I worked sold a few of those. No complaints. A bike doesn't have to be expensive to ride like a dream and last a long time. Giant and Fuji are just as good, though, and probably spec'd close to the same at the same price points.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    The best advice is to find an LBS you trust and test ride bikes in that price range. They need to fit you, so makes sense to stay local as opposed to trying mail order. Most of the 105 bikes are likely to be aluminum at that price point, you can find disc brakes on some models, but if all you are using the bike for is road use with moderate hills you will likely get better component choices (wheels as example) if staying with rim brakes. Disc's become an advantage if you ride a lot of hills and/or are on wet roads a lot or down the road you can add a 2nd set of wheels with lower gearing and wider tires to ride dirt and gravel roads, discs are good at allowing clearance, IF the frame is set up to handle wide tires.

    The 105 group is Shimano's 3rd from the top component group and is a fantastic group and a good starting point, possibly their most cost effective group in terms of performance vs. price, though Tiagra is very good as well.

    Only you know how you will use the bike. If there are few gravel roads in your area, than I agree with the LBS owner that you might be better sticking to a dedicated road bike. Some versions of what has been known as "racing"" bikes no are setup as "endurance" bikes, really designed with a more upright position, higher handlebar etc.... designed for folks wanting to extend out to longer distance rides and be comfortable. Gravel bikes sometimes come with lower gearing, usually with a wider range cassette, as well as able to handle wide tires. Road race and endurance should at least be able to handle a 28mm tire, gravel gets you up to 36 or so but will typically have disc brakes to allow that larger tire size.

    So it really comes down to test rides and what the local shops have to test. Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Giant likely to be aluminum or carbon in the higher price ranges. Some shops sell All City, Soma or Surly which are the larger makers of steel. If you've an REI near you they have liberal test ride and purchase, letting you buy a bike, have it shipped to a local store for free, get fitted and than ride it for a while on rides and if you don't like it, return. Not all LBS's allow that, my shop where I just purchased a mt. bike only allows exchanges up to 30 days.
    I have an REI literally 2 minutes from my house, I'm going to stop in and check out some Cannondale's. I've been looking at the synapse and optimo's. I will still check out more local stores as well, I want to check all their older stock and see if I can get any deals. Maybe during sales deals will start being promoted, hopefully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngl View Post
    I'd recommend buying (new, new-old-stock or used) through a trusted bike shop. They can offer:
    1. test rides
    2. proper bike sizing
    3. proper fitting
    4. free tune-ups
    5. quick turn-around on service & maintenance
    6. discount on additional purchases
    7. bike maintenance courses
    If none of these items appeal to you then save a few $ and buy through the internet.
    Agreed, all things dtc sites can't provide. I have a bunch of shops to check out.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin.holz.16 View Post
    Little background, I've ridden bmx when I was a kid...
    I'm now 44 and have two BMX bikes I built last year. Join the insanity: http://www.bmxmuseum.com/

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    Wound up getting a Cannondale Topstone 105 (hydraulic) for $1,600. Now I have to break her in!

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  20. #20
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    Will, well! Nice bike! Great choice. Enjoy and ride the miles!
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin.holz.16 View Post
    Hey everyone, I need some pointers on buying a new bike. Little background, I've ridden bmx when I was a kid, stopped riding then road a fixed gear 10 years ago until it was stolen. Now I'm looking to get a new bike. I was looking into gravel/adventure bikes, but a lbs owner said I didn't need that bc 90% of my riding will be on the road. I've heard to aim for higher level components and wheelsets. I'd like to ride 5-6 days a week maybe 10-20 miles a pop (to start). I don't know what I need, shimano 105? Disc brakes? Tire clearance? I was originally set on a steel frame, but I'm open for whatever works, looking to spend no more than $1,500. I'm 37 in decent shape, 6'4 and 205lbs. Any suggestions to point me in the right direction? Thanks,
    Kevin

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    Find something that is properly fitted. That is first and foremost. Everything else is secondary. The reality is that Shimano 105 components will perform almost as well as Dura Ace, and the lightest components and the lightest bicycle won’t make you any better.

    As for frame material, I’ll put my plug in for titanium, but I’ve only ridden one carbon fiber frame (which was overly stiff and not particularly comfortable to ride), and haven’t sampled all that carbon fiber has to offer with regard to ride quality.

  22. #22
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    Good choice, good bike.

    A buddy is about to order that same bike.

    Best of luck and many happy miles.

  23. #23
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    Honestly, that bike checks off a whole lot of items, making it an extremely versatile road bike. You did well, as long as it makes you want to ride every time you think about it. Go explore and see what's around the next corner.

  24. #24
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    Nice bike! A do everything bike, hard packed single track to fast road riding, "fast touring." Thru axles on 105 disc brakes. Nice.

    You could experiment with 25 or 28 mm tires if on roads all the time, unloaded. Or train over the winter on the tires in the picture and get a training effect switching over to skinnier, slicker tires in the spring.

    If you slide forward while riding, raise the nose of the saddle to the same height as the back and plunk the sit bones on the back. They'll stay there.

    Next year, or 5000 miles, you'll probably want to lean forward a little more to distribute weight more like 60% on seat and 40% on handlebars. You a$$ won't get as sore on long rides. The bike will become an extension of the body and ride more intuitively.

    You could flip the stem and rotate the hoods down a little, so your hands are resting on a more horizontal surface, rather than crooked upwards. Hoods crooked up, every road vibration is forced directly into the hands, goes up the arms and stresses the shoulders. Sitting too upright puts too much weight on the butt, and also the lower back.

    Leaning forward, elbows bent, the forearms can act as shock absorbers, relieving pressure on the hands over the miles. The hands are resting on horizontal hoods, so will pick up shock waves perpendicular to the hands, much more comfortable all the way up to the shoulders. Taking weight off the saddle reduces stress on the lower back, and allows more range of motion for the legs.

    Toe clips and straps later. Or clipless with cleated shoes. That'll give the legs better range of motion, and when you want to pedal fast, they won't come off the pedals.

    A dove greeted me this morning just outside the window. Spring is here!
    Last edited by Fredrico; 04-06-2019 at 11:48 PM.

  25. #25
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    ]I was looking into gravel/adventure bikes, but a lbs owner said I didn't need that bc 90% of my riding will be on the road.


    Now, this strikes me as rather odd. Did the LBS Owner just pull this out of his hat so to speak, or was it base on a conversation, and information you provided?

    I haven't yet found in this thread information about your intended riding surface. I do see you were considering a gravel/adventure bike. Why?

    My point is; I hope that bike is not for the road, and is used for 90% dirt, gravel, stone, surfaces.

    If you think you can simply swap tires to say 28mm for the road, .. what you will have then, is a bike that is not intended for the road. The oversized front fork, as well as the tall head tube, and geometry, will be like wearing ski boots to the beach.

    Id like to know more about your primary riding surface.

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