Suggestions for a new bike? (Read 1709 times)

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

     

    I only wish.

      Someone stole an entire wheel off Bonkin's ride.

      “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


      Team HTFU NCTR Driver

        Heyo, self-appointed resident bike geek here - we have 14 in our stable (for a family of 3!), and room for more. I'm a USA Cycling certified coach, which means that I paid a fee, studied a largely irrelevant book, and took a test, so, basically, not much - I did it so I could get liability insurance for the low-level coaching I do for a charity cycling team. But I do know that you can't get a therapeutic use exemption for clenbuterol.

         

        Now - what you need, more than anything, is a good bike shop. All the major manufacturers make a full range of really good (and now practically indistinguishable) bikes - you'll be perfectly happy on a Trek or a Specialized or a C'Dale or whatever. They're all excellent. So don't worry too much about the brand or who the shop recommends or pooh-poohs. Did they say the CAAD8 rides rough? Maybe, but no more so than the equivalent Specialized Allez or whatever the Trek aluminum frame is these days. Did they say aluminum fails? Sure, when it's being beat to hell under a massively powerful hammerhead of a dude. Under you, it'll last basically forever.

         

        So you need a good shop. You need a shop that will work with you, will cultivate a relationship with you and take care of you. I can't really tell you what to look for, though I do note some differences between my favorite shop and some of the other area shops: there's a long list of weekly rides posted, the mechanic's area is out in the open not hidden away in back, they have a few quirky bikes tucked in (a $4000 cruiser and a thing that looks like a cross between the Eiffel Tower and a bicycle being two of them), stuff like that. It's hard to say, though, as I've spent so much time and money at one place only. You really need to get a decent fit done, and since you're not spending a huge amount that means you need an experienced fitter, someone who can get you 98% of the way there with the free fit that they need to do for anyone buying a bike.

         

        Bike-wise, getting you fully kitted out for $800 will be a bit of a challenge, but this might be a good time of year to do it as they'll be clearing out 2010 bikes for the 2011 model year. "My" shop often has 20% off on in-stock bikes this time of year. My guess is that you'll want something in the "plush" class - these are full-fledged road bikes, but they'll have more relaxed geometry and put you in a more upright position compared to a "racing" bike. They're great bikes for doing long rides in relative comfort. A CAAD8 (or CAAD10 or SuperSix from C'dale, or an Allez or Tarmac from Spec, or the "race fit" Madones from Trek) probably falls closer to the Racing end of the spectrum, while the C'dale Synapse, Spec Roubaix, and the like are plusher. My main road bike is a Specialized Roubaix, and I absolutely love it.

         

        For frame material, there's no wrong answer any more. Carbon's sexy and light and damps road vibration, but it's more expensive and less tolerant of crashes or rough treatment. Aluminum is light and can be formed in to amazing shapes now, but it does tend to buzz a bit as large diameter tubes are needed to counter it's relative lack of strength. Steel's less buzzy than aluminum, is the most durable of frame materials as long as you keep it from rusting, can be repaired within reason, and looks very classic, but tends to be somewhat heavier. "Steel is Real" is the mantra. Titanium combines the best of steel and aluminum, but it's harder to work with so it's expensive. You can get a bike made of bamboo; I'm told it rides very nicely. I've also seen a bike from the Renovo company that was made of ash and mahogany; it was incredibly pretty.

         

        For components, in your price range, you're pretty much looking at Shimano's Sora group. Nothing wrong with it, really - as long as it's set up well, it's great. If you get really, really lucky, though. or if you spend a little more, you might get something with Sram's new Apex group. It's way, way cool, and I think preferable to the Shimano stuff of similar cost.

         

        Don't forget, you need a helmet, an air pump, some bike shorts, a simple tool to take with you, and a couple of spare inner tubes.

         

        But really, it's about the shop.

         

        Ask me anything...



          This thread needs some bike porn.

           

          Tis the season.

           

            My two bikes.

             

              diddidit, awesome post dude, lots of valuable info.

               

              another thing to dont forget: does the bike come with pedals? you will certainly want toe clips or clipless pedals.

                diddidit, awesome post dude, lots of valuable info.

                 

                another thing to dont forget: does the bike come with pedals? you will certainly want toe clips or clipless pedals.


                Team HTFU NCTR Driver

                  diddidit, awesome post dude, lots of valuable info.

                   

                  another thing to dont forget: does the bike come with pedals? you will certainly want toe clips or clipless pedals.

                   

                  That was worth saying twice!

                   

                  did



                    Thanks for all the information and suggestions - and the bike porn. Shocked I do already have shoes and pedals - the cheapest I could find and I bit it hard a couple days ago when my clip malfunctioned & I couldn't get out. I'm trying to step it up on the bike though, I'm learning from my tightwad ways. It seems like for my budget I can get a lesser bike with great service and complete satisfaction of the fit or I can get more bike if I buy online. I'm pretty in love with the bike on bikesdirect. I'm going to try to wait until February to buy (birthday) so maybe I can find a good deal on a 2010 model. I think I want to make sure I buy enough of a bike so I get the Shimano 105 gear set. This is all so new to me, I really appreciate the information.

                    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

                     

                      diddidit, awesome post dude, lots of valuable info.

                       

                      another thing to dont forget: does the bike come with pedals? you will certainly want toe clips or clipless pedals.

                       

                      I would say - you certainly want clipless pedals and you certainly don't want toe clips Smile


                      Team HTFU NCTR Driver

                        Thanks for all the information and suggestions - and the bike porn. Shocked I do already have shoes and pedals - the cheapest I could find and I bit it hard a couple days ago when my clip malfunctioned & I couldn't get out. I'm trying to step it up on the bike though, I'm learning from my tightwad ways. It seems like for my budget I can get a lesser bike with great service and complete satisfaction of the fit or I can get more bike if I buy online. I'm pretty in love with the bike on bikesdirect. I'm going to try to wait until February to buy (birthday) so maybe I can find a good deal on a 2010 model. I think I want to make sure I buy enough of a bike so I get the Shimano 105 gear set. This is all so new to me, I really appreciate the information.

                         

                         

                        If you can find it, I'd suggest going for Sram Apex or Rival over the 105; I think you get more bang for the buck with Sram components, and they're especially good if you've got smaller hands as the shifter/brake levers have adjustable reach. 105's fine and dandy, though, so don't worry much about it. 

                         

                        did



                           

                           

                          If you can find it, I'd suggest going for Sram Apex or Rival over the 105; I think you get more bang for the buck with Sram components, and they're especially good if you've got smaller hands as the shifter/brake levers have adjustable reach. 105's fine and dandy, though, so don't worry much about it. 

                           

                          did

                          I absolutely agree with SRAM over Shimano, but that is my preference. However, Apex is better than 105 and cost less. Bikesdirect has a few bikes with Apex.  This bike is almost in your price range and has the Apex Groupo.

                          http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/super_strada.htm

                           


                          Needs more cowbell!

                            Bike porn...heh, better than anything in Vegas. Big grin

                            Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                              Okay so when I was working through college one of my jobs was at a bike shop.  It was perhaps the best job I ever had.  I would agree that a bike shop is the magical peice in buying a new entry level bike for a fairly new entry level rider.  The owner of my bike store used to rip people off with repair and upgrade work when their bike was not bought at one of the local (within a 50 mile radius) shops.  Each local shop was carriers of different brands so they all understood that the bike owner had to visually like the ride they were on.  We would almost work for free on the other bikes that came in.  he was a cool cat that would buy back an entry level bike after a year or so if you either didn't use it as much as anticipated and or you wanted to upgrade.  A relationship with a bike shop is key.  I currently use one in japan and I bought one of my kids bike there and since have been given the run of the shop when I need it.  I know some mechanics and some of my very neccessary tools are in storage in the states (by accident).

                               

                              I agree that if you jump in on one of the premium brands they will all basically be the same bike minus some small differences.

                               

                              As for the bike shop snobbery it may all have changed in the past 15 or so years so I may be off on that but I doubt it.

                              "You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas"  Davy Crockett

                                Most bike shops now-a-days realize that the majority of their money is coming from repairs, and so don't really do that anymore boomer. Plus, people move from other places. However, I had a good relationship with my bike shop and they, imo, treated me well. Then again, they also joked that I was the reason they were still open.