Suggestions for a new bike? (Read 1709 times)

    I finally talked DH into a new road bike, but I know next to nothing about them. I don't ride tons so I don't need anything super nice but I want to be happy with my bike too. I have a road bike, but it was a $150 Walmart special and I hate it. A friend suggested a Cannondale CAAD8, but someone at a bike shop today had bad things to say about them. I don't think I can talk DH into spending more than about $800 - preferably less. Can someone please help with suggestions?

    Thanks!

    I don't half-ass anything

     

    "I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death' and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up." - Celia Rivenbark, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning

     

      $800 will get you a new intro road bike. You can find used one's that are nicer for about that money. The key thing about bikes is getting a proper fit, so I new intro level bike will be good enough for most people as long as it is fitted correctly. The best way to get a proper fit is to go into your Local Bike Shop (LBS) and get fitted. Unfortunately, for a proper fitting it cost money. However, they can give you guidelines for free. You can also check out www.bikesdirect.com for cheap bikes. But, be aware they are not assembled very well and you will want to take it in immediately to your LBS to get properly checked out.

       

        lvleph has some good advice, go with it. i wanted to add that many of the bike shops ive been in have a very biased opinion about products, they are a stubborn breed and it seems like they always want to push one or two key brands. you already know, thanks to wal mart, that you get what you pay for in a bike. $800 will get you plenty of bike to start with. shop with the same attitude you would buying a car, you want something that fits your needs without any overkill, and it should be a ride that suits your personality. ill see what i can muster up before i finally fall asleep.

          so heres what i pulled up http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/liberty_3.htm

           

          i think youre better off taking it from there, theres plenty of good options. i would steer clear of anything under $400 in the entry level bikes, they dont have the quality crankset or shifters that i believe are necessary. also, inquire some other females for advice on fitting, or just get a womens bike.

            I have bought both an entry level road bike and a mountain bike from www.bikesdirect.com and been satisfied with each one.  Check out the spec sheets listed for each bike you may be interested in for details on the exact setups and compare.  They do come partly assembled - I took one to a Sports Authority bike shop who assembled and tuned it for $25 (didn't get a professional fit though), and the other to a LBS which cost $40 for tuning but I'm sure probably did a better job.  Since I ride for pleasure and not competition, this method worked well for me.  BTW, I think Roy is right-on about bike shops in general, from my limited experience. 

             

             

            I can do 440 in 220      Half Fanatic #846      90% of running is half mental     I ran half of my last race on my left foot!

             

              If you have a particular budget in mind I would go with a bike from one of the big manufacturers (Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Giant...) around that price point. I wouldn't want to spend less than $800 on a new road bike... you're probably better off trying to find a good quality second hand bike than getting a new bike for less than that.

               

              Go to bike shops in your area who'll let you try bikes out - fit and feel are very individual things and a good bike shop will take the time to help find a bike that fits you well.

                Thanks! I'm going to head to a consignment shop one day next week to see what they have. I found this http://www.rei.com/product/814097 online for $512, thanks to an extra %20 off. Does it look like it's worth it? Thanks for the bikesdirect link - that bike is great looking. I'm going to show it to DH. I can't wait for a new bike!

                I don't half-ass anything

                 

                "I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death' and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up." - Celia Rivenbark, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning

                 

                  Thanks! I'm going to head to a consignment shop one day next week to see what they have. I found this http://www.rei.com/product/814097 online for $512, thanks to an extra %20 off. Does it look like it's worth it? Thanks for the bikesdirect link - that bike is great looking. I'm going to show it to DH. I can't wait for a new bike!

                   

                  That Marin looks like a decent value in your price range. If at all possible try to ride the bike before you buy. You would never make a multi-year commitment to an $800 dollar pair of shoes without trying them on so I don't recommend doing this with a bike. Another tip on getting a good bike value is to look for "last year's model" in bike shops. Also, there is ebay and the list of craig. I and others I know have stolen good stuff from both places but you need to know what your looking at.

                    Thanks! I'm going to head to a consignment shop one day next week to see what they have. I found this http://www.rei.com/product/814097 online for $512, thanks to an extra %20 off. Does it look like it's worth it? Thanks for the bikesdirect link - that bike is great looking. I'm going to show it to DH. I can't wait for a new bike!

                    Another suggestion I would make is that components are a bit more important than the frame. The frame is easy enough to replace when you want to upgrade. So if you choice between a bike with nice components but a okay frame versus a bike with a nice frame and okay components, you should go with the one with the nice components.

                     

                    That being said the Bike on bikesdirect that beastieroy pointed out is all around better than the one on REI. First, the bikesdirect bike has Tiagra and 105 components compared to the REI that only has SORA. The other thing is the gear spread in the back is 12-25 on both of them, but the bikesdirect bike has one extra speed in there, so it is automatically nicer. The gear spread up front is 52/42/30 on both of them, so that doesn't factor in at all. Everything else is comparable. It is difficult to say anything about the frame material, because bikesdirect makes up some stupid name for their aluminum. However, I am betting it is 6061 aluminum and so the REI bike has the same material. However, REI allows you to return anything you purchase from them anytime. Meaning if you decide to return it 20 yrs from now they will let you.

                     

                      Another suggestion I would make is that components are a bit more important than the frame. The frame is easy enough to replace when you want to upgrade. So if you choice between a bike with nice components but a okay frame versus a bike with a nice frame and okay components, you should go with the one with the nice components.

                       

                      No offense, and it may just be my bias, but I'd reverse this. The frame is what gives a bike it's unique ride and fit - so much more than any component. Let's say you wanted to upgrade the frame on an 800 bike, have you any idea what a bike shop would charge for this? It's not going to be pretty. In fact it's going to be a significant percentage of the bike's value.

                       

                      Typically you don't see lower end frames for sale either and I wouldn't recommend building up a more expensive frame with Tiagra or Sora. Let's say there is a particular component that isn't to kunland's liking, the seat for example, It's an easy and relativity inexpensive swap. Stem too short/long. Swap it. Same goes for most everything else on a bike in this price range but she'd do best getting the best complete bike she can find in her price range and leave it at that.

                         

                        No offense, and it may just be my bias, but I'd reverse this. The frame is what gives a bike it's unique ride and fit - so much more than any component. Let's say you wanted to upgrade the frame on an 800 bike, have you any idea what a bike shop would charge for this? It's not going to be pretty. In fact it's going to be a significant percentage of the bike's value.

                         

                        Typically you don't see lower end frames for sale either and I wouldn't recommend building up a more expensive frame with Tiagra or Sora. Let's say there is a particular component that isn't to kunland's liking, the seat for example, It's an easy and relativity inexpensive swap. Stem too short/long. Swap it. Same goes for most everything else on a bike in this price range but she'd do best getting the best complete bike she can find in her price range and leave it at that.

                        Yeah, I guess I was thinking more that later you just get a different frame. But if you aren't consider a frame upgrade then the frame is more important than the components. It is what provides comfort after all. Either way the BD bike is better than the REI bike.

                         

                          FWIW, I bought a used Specialized Allez on craigslist for $350, and I loved it. I am not an experienced cyclist, but I had a friend who helped me figure out my size--rode it around for a bit, and I bought it. It was a good decision; I rode it a bunch when injured a couple years ago.

                           

                          People who ride a whole lot get very focused on getting a "perfect fit." Most likely if you are a beginning cyclist you are not experienced enough to even know what a perfect fit feels like--so even if you try it's going to be a crapshoot. So, I'd say figure out what size bike you need and go hunting for something that size on craigslist.

                           

                          My bike:


                          Doughboy

                            Careful there, Jeff. Somebody stole your pedals and your bell.


                            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                              Careful there, Jeff. Somebody stole your pedals and your bell.

                              Also his light. And kickstand. And his streamers. And playing cards from the wheels. Dude just got really ripped off.

                              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                                Also his light. And kickstand. And his streamers. And playing cards from the wheels. Dude just got really ripped off.

                                I can't believe you missed the engine being stolen.