View Full Version : Road bike buying tips for noob
04-20-2007, 05:27 PM
I'm looking to get a road bike and I want to spend my money wisely.
I know fit is numero uno. I've never ridden a road bike before, so how do I determine what fits? No one that I know with a road bike is about my height so I can't really try one out for a while to get comfortable.
After fit, what's worth spending some extra dough on and what isn't?
I've heard that wheels can make a huge difference, but on the other hand me lady has some racing wheels and they go out of true all the time.
Seems like most people on here recommend buying from a shop, but it just seems like a waste to me with all the used bikes floating around out there.
04-20-2007, 05:55 PM
rather new to roadie stuff too, but here is what i think
as far as fit goes, do a search, there is a thread that someone gave me a fit website, all the measurements you can do yourself to determine at least frame size, which is paramount.
best money spent or more like most important componet is probably brakes, which is where a lot of bikes wind up coming up short. brakes, then wheels.
If you are a newb, might want to go with a shop, unless you have someone holding your hand with all the rest of the stuff you need. fit can be done if you get the right frame size by a pro
04-20-2007, 06:16 PM
Well, if you're starting out, buying from a shop is prolly your best bet. Not only for dialing in the fit, but they can give you all kinds of general, and specific, advice.
(Be warned though, that might mean not getting that shiny metallic roadie you like the look of, and going for the dull Hybrid/Cross instead. If it fits your needs better :redface: )
Plus, often, you'll get free/cheap servicing for a year/whatever.
But, if moneys tight, and you don't plan to be riding that much. Just go with the flow. Good Luck.
04-20-2007, 06:19 PM
I am definately in the bike shop camp.
I'd find a reputable shop and have them take measurements on you. Either fitkit or serotta or whatever. That will be a good place to start and the cost will probably be knocked off the price of the bike.
You'll never know what you'll like until you ride a few bikes. I was dead set on getting a Scott. They looked cool, it was Carbon fiber, I could pro-form one...but in the end when I rode the Cannondale I have now... it was no contest.
If you want to be somewhat serious, meaning ride more than bike paths on weekends, I would look at at least Shimano 105 or Campy Veloce. Good quality/durability/performance balanced with Cost. As a whole the Felt Brand is good bang for your buck, but sometimes things like brakes are swapped out for cheapo's to keep the price point.
Wheels are a good investment, but probably not right now. I'd think things like Saddles, shoes, pedals, are more important because they are comfort AND performance related. Wheels help you go fast, but the ones that are worth the upgrade are ungodly expensive.
I was in your shoes and I bought used. A refurbished 30yr. old steel raleigh.
I didn't really feel like dumping over 1-2K on a road bike when I had no experience riding and no idea how it should fit/feel (and I was uneasy having some stranger at a store tell me how it should feel... everyone's different). So I did some measurements and found a used bike that seemed like a good fit.
As I figure out what I like and dislike about this ride, I think I'll be a little better educated as to my wants/needs when I finally decide to go in to get a more serious road bike (and the raleigh will be demoted to commutes).
But for now it kicks ass. Shifting on the downtube took some getting used to, but I have a lot of fun passing people on bikes that cost 10X what mine did. Just do your homework so you don't end up spending a shit ton of money on a bike that doesn't get used.
04-21-2007, 01:49 AM
I think that the website Crinkle is talking about is www.wrenchscience.com. Pretty decent stuff, and they'll even sell you a bike.
As said, there are definite advantages to buying a bike from a shop, just make sure it's a good shop. Testrides are the best way to figure out what you want and what feels good. A good salesperson should be able to say, "you liked X more than Y? Then you should try Z!" He/she will base this on comparative fit and road feel. They'll also be able to get your fit comfortable and dialed.
04-21-2007, 10:42 PM
Depends on how much you want to spend, and how you want to ride.
If you want to ride hard with a bunch of spandex clad men, go to a shop and get that type of fit for you. you'll spend more, but you'll get a well tuned and responsive bike that makes riding fun.
If your more into expeditionary rides (Centuries, good 60 or 70 miles through beautiful scenery at a hard, but not kick your ass, pace) You could get a used steel frame bike with slightly relaxed, old school race bike geometry. There has to be a bike exchange somewhere near you in Washington, so this would be relatively easy to find. This would be a bit heavier (and come to think of, I remember Washington as essentially one giant hill, so this is probably a bigger drawback), but a more comfortable ride.
04-22-2007, 07:13 AM
Bike shop camp. The service and fit was worth it to me.
Also, a good piece of advice I got was to get shoes that are tighter than you think necessary.
Free Range Lobster
04-22-2007, 07:40 AM
Get fitted properly.
Get fitted properly.
Get fitted properly.
If you don't, its like buying ski boots in a size you THINK might fit and you'll be miserable.
Your LBS is just like your ski shop.
They like beer too for going above and beyond. :D
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