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buying my first road bike



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 1st 03, 06:08 PM
Tanya Quinn
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

So I've been riding around (almost always on the road) for the past 5
years on a non-suspension Giant sedona mountain bike I bought used at
the time (no idea how used). A car mashed the rims while it was
parked, I had the bike store fix it with whatever was cheapest. I've
since put slick tires on it. The gears are kinda clonky and the brakes
seem fairly non-responsive if the roads are wet or going down a steep
hill. I've become pretty enthusiastic about biking in the last two
years, I ride about 2000 km a year mostly for transportation but like
going on long day rides (130 km was the highest so far, but I would
probably enjoy going further if the bike was slightly more
comfortable) and basically exploring around on weekends. I figure it
is time to buy a real road bike, nice new and shiny

The new bike will not likely be used for day-to-day urban riding
because I don't want it to get stolen - so I'll use the old bike for
that. I'd like to use a new bike for multi-day touring - I've never
tried this before, and my first trip would likely be a week long
minimally packed trip (stay in motels not camp). I'd like to have the
option of using it for camping touring though. I would also probably
use it for long day rides, either by myself or club rides. I'd like to
be able to try out racing or a triathlon, but that wouldn't be the
primary purpose of the bike.

Any ideas for what to look for? I've never ridden a road bike before.
I had a ten-speed as a teenager and the falls I took on it scared me a
bit from skinny tires (I'm not the world's most balanced person!) but
I imagine good road bikes are much more stable than that was. I went
to the LBS recently and test rode a Cannondale R400. I'm 5'11" and
female, and I tried a 56 cm bike which seemed a good height but the
reach seemed a bit much even though they changed the handlebar stem to
a shorter one for my test ride. I really didn't get to take it for
much of a spin, the bike store is located in a busy urban downtown
area, and while I'm quite comfortable riding my own bike in the area
I'm not so balanced on the new one (as an aside, I also find I can
only balance one handed on my bike with my left hand off but not vice
versa) Plus speed is constrained by the cars moving slower than a bike
would and no open lane. It totally threw me having the brakes on the
front rather than on the top and I nearly took out a pedestrian in the
intersection because I found it weird to brake. Are they easy to get
used to? I imagine I would like better having the choices of riding
positions (only one on my current bike makes for sore long rides) and
also the lower position would be nice going into the wind.

My budget is ideally around $1000 Cdn (750 US) but I would likely
double it if I found a bike I really fell in love with, and would be
good for future touring, and was a good deal. The 2003 Cannondale R400
was 999 on sale end of season, but they had a 2002 that appealed to me
more aesthetic wise (it was orange ) for 849 but only had it left
in 50 or 58. I thought the 58 would be too big so didn't test ride it
(they didn't have the larger one set up)

I also tried a more commuter-style road bike by Cannondale that just
had straight handlebars, (don't remember the model) but in addition to
thinking I would like drop bars if I could get used to them, the big
ring on it didn't seem very big.

What would be a good entry level touring bike to try out? While the
touring bike would be more comfortable for longer loaded rides, is it
more slower than a traditional road bike when I just want to go fast
unloaded? (I'm sure I'll notice a big difference going away from the
mountain bike anyway) The R400 did not have a place for front racks -
I'd only need back for credit card touring but front would be nice if
I decide to go across the country and I think the rack still needed
just to clamp on on the back, as well some of the bikes seemed like
they would be awkward to equip with fenders, which would seem useful
for when it rains in the middle of the tour Do clip on fenders work
okay?

Any tips on bike models to try, questions to ask, things to test out,
and what things to look for would be appreciated. I really am just
happy to ride and don't notice too much things like what the
components are so I wouldn't notice much difference between the models
on a short test ride.
Ads
  #2  
Old October 1st 03, 07:27 PM
Roger Zoul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

The Specialized Sequoia might be to your liking, as they have two sets of
break handles, above the drops and on the top...

http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkFami...m3go4fr.j27004

The Sequioa have comfort features built in which you may appreciate.

I'm mentioning this one mainly because I just bought one and I like it, and
I know it has breaks on the top. I'm sure there are other brands...

Get lots of gears if you will be riding on roads with lots of hills...(21 to
27 -- 3 chainrings on the front)

Make the LBS order you a bike that fits perfectly....wait on it to come...

Since I just left the website a minute ago, I thought I'd post this...

Consumer Reports recommends these models for "long, demanding road trips"

Bianchi Eros ($1050USD)
Klein Q-Carbon ($1400USD)
Lemond Tourmalet ($1100USB).

They called them "well-rounded" choices.

Honestly, I don't have a clue if you can trust their expertise, however.

Good luck and enjoy!

Tanya Quinn wrote:
:: So I've been riding around (almost always on the road) for the past 5
:: years on a non-suspension Giant sedona mountain bike I bought used at
:: the time (no idea how used). A car mashed the rims while it was
:: parked, I had the bike store fix it with whatever was cheapest. I've
:: since put slick tires on it. The gears are kinda clonky and the
:: brakes seem fairly non-responsive if the roads are wet or going down
:: a steep hill. I've become pretty enthusiastic about biking in the
:: last two years, I ride about 2000 km a year mostly for
:: transportation but like going on long day rides (130 km was the
:: highest so far, but I would probably enjoy going further if the bike
:: was slightly more comfortable) and basically exploring around on
:: weekends. I figure it is time to buy a real road bike, nice new and
:: shiny
::
:: The new bike will not likely be used for day-to-day urban riding
:: because I don't want it to get stolen - so I'll use the old bike for
:: that. I'd like to use a new bike for multi-day touring - I've never
:: tried this before, and my first trip would likely be a week long
:: minimally packed trip (stay in motels not camp). I'd like to have the
:: option of using it for camping touring though. I would also probably
:: use it for long day rides, either by myself or club rides. I'd like
:: to be able to try out racing or a triathlon, but that wouldn't be the
:: primary purpose of the bike.
::
:: Any ideas for what to look for? I've never ridden a road bike before.
:: I had a ten-speed as a teenager and the falls I took on it scared me
:: a bit from skinny tires (I'm not the world's most balanced person!)
:: but I imagine good road bikes are much more stable than that was. I
:: went to the LBS recently and test rode a Cannondale R400. I'm 5'11"
:: and female, and I tried a 56 cm bike which seemed a good height but
:: the reach seemed a bit much even though they changed the handlebar
:: stem to a shorter one for my test ride. I really didn't get to take
:: it for much of a spin, the bike store is located in a busy urban
:: downtown area, and while I'm quite comfortable riding my own bike in
:: the area I'm not so balanced on the new one (as an aside, I also
:: find I can only balance one handed on my bike with my left hand off
:: but not vice versa) Plus speed is constrained by the cars moving
:: slower than a bike would and no open lane. It totally threw me
:: having the brakes on the front rather than on the top and I nearly
:: took out a pedestrian in the intersection because I found it weird
:: to brake. Are they easy to get used to? I imagine I would like
:: better having the choices of riding positions (only one on my
:: current bike makes for sore long rides) and also the lower position
:: would be nice going into the wind.
::
:: My budget is ideally around $1000 Cdn (750 US) but I would likely
:: double it if I found a bike I really fell in love with, and would be
:: good for future touring, and was a good deal. The 2003 Cannondale
:: R400 was 999 on sale end of season, but they had a 2002 that
:: appealed to me more aesthetic wise (it was orange ) for 849 but
:: only had it left in 50 or 58. I thought the 58 would be too big so
:: didn't test ride it (they didn't have the larger one set up)
::
:: I also tried a more commuter-style road bike by Cannondale that just
:: had straight handlebars, (don't remember the model) but in addition
:: to thinking I would like drop bars if I could get used to them, the
:: big ring on it didn't seem very big.
::
:: What would be a good entry level touring bike to try out? While the
:: touring bike would be more comfortable for longer loaded rides, is it
:: more slower than a traditional road bike when I just want to go fast
:: unloaded? (I'm sure I'll notice a big difference going away from the
:: mountain bike anyway) The R400 did not have a place for front racks -
:: I'd only need back for credit card touring but front would be nice if
:: I decide to go across the country and I think the rack still
:: needed just to clamp on on the back, as well some of the bikes
:: seemed like they would be awkward to equip with fenders, which would
:: seem useful for when it rains in the middle of the tour Do clip
:: on fenders work okay?
::
:: Any tips on bike models to try, questions to ask, things to test out,
:: and what things to look for would be appreciated. I really am just
:: happy to ride and don't notice too much things like what the
:: components are so I wouldn't notice much difference between the
:: models on a short test ride.


  #3  
Old October 1st 03, 07:38 PM
Rick Onanian
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

On 1 Oct 2003 10:08:34 -0700, (Tanya Quinn)
wrote:
Any ideas for what to look for? I've never ridden a road bike before.
I had a ten-speed as a teenager and the falls I took on it scared me a
bit from skinny tires (I'm not the world's most balanced person!) but


Since you're doing well now on the MTB, your balance
should be improved to the point that a road bike will
be OK. I doubt the width of the tires affects your
balance, but the different position on a road bike does.

I imagine good road bikes are much more stable than that was. I went
to the LBS recently and test rode a Cannondale R400. I'm 5'11" and
female, and I tried a 56 cm bike which seemed a good height but the
reach seemed a bit much even though they changed the handlebar stem to
a shorter one for my test ride. I really didn't get to take it for


Reach is difficult, especially on your first road bike.
Make sure it's good before you buy, rather than buying
and then adjusting.

much of a spin, the bike store is located in a busy urban downtown
area, and while I'm quite comfortable riding my own bike in the area
I'm not so balanced on the new one (as an aside, I also find I can
only balance one handed on my bike with my left hand off but not vice
versa) Plus speed is constrained by the cars moving slower than a bike


You will need a better place to test-ride. If the store
won't accommodate you, you'll need a different store.


would and no open lane. It totally threw me having the brakes on the
front rather than on the top and I nearly took out a pedestrian in the
intersection because I found it weird to brake. Are they easy to get


Yes, they are very easy to get used to.

used to? I imagine I would like better having the choices of riding
positions (only one on my current bike makes for sore long rides) and
also the lower position would be nice going into the wind.


The lower position, over long rides, takes some getting
used to, as it puts more weight on your hands, arms,
and shoulders. That said, it is still a major improvement
over flat bars (even with bar-ends) for having so many
choices.

My budget is ideally around $1000 Cdn (750 US) but I would likely
double it if I found a bike I really fell in love with, and would be


You shouldn't buy a bike that you haven't fallen in
love with, anyway. You'll ride the bike that excites
you more than the one you bought because it was
there.

good for future touring, and was a good deal. The 2003 Cannondale R400
was 999 on sale end of season, but they had a 2002 that appealed to me
more aesthetic wise (it was orange ) for 849 but only had it left
in 50 or 58. I thought the 58 would be too big so didn't test ride it
(they didn't have the larger one set up)


Don't buy anything other than the perfect size,
no matter the price.

I also tried a more commuter-style road bike by Cannondale that just
had straight handlebars, (don't remember the model) but in addition to
thinking I would like drop bars if I could get used to them, the big
ring on it didn't seem very big.


The big ring may be an easy upgrade; the shop should
certainly do it cheaply to sell the bike.

What would be a good entry level touring bike to try out? While the
touring bike would be more comfortable for longer loaded rides, is it
more slower than a traditional road bike when I just want to go fast
unloaded? (I'm sure I'll notice a big difference going away from the


I'll have to defer to others' opinions, but I'm guessing
the tourer would be fine. I went the other way and
bought too aggressive, and really would have been
better off if I hadn't.

mountain bike anyway) The R400 did not have a place for front racks -


You will absolutely enjoy the difference from the MTB.

happy to ride and don't notice too much things like what the
components are so I wouldn't notice much difference between the models
on a short test ride.


Components are easy to test. Just use them -- shift a
lot on your test ride, brake a lot. Note not only how
smooth and quick the shifts are, but also how the
controls feel. Also note that some models have different
positions for the shifters -- Sora, for example, has one of
the shifters on the side of the hood.

--
Rick Onanian
  #4  
Old October 1st 03, 08:28 PM
sparker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

As you are in Canada, take a look at Devinci (www.devinci.com).

I have the Caribou, and I have been very happy with it, although I think the
Destination fits into your price range.

But really, it fit me the best compared to the Cannondale and Trek I tried,
and the components were a little better for the price.

Alex


  #5  
Old October 1st 03, 11:20 PM
Tanya Quinn
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

"Roger Zoul" wrote in message ...
The Specialized Sequoia might be to your liking, as they have two sets of
break handles, above the drops and on the top...


Cool, the guy at the bike store didn't mention anything about bikes
with dual brake handles. This seems useful, and I imagine if I found a
different bike I liked better I could have the brake levers switched
to these?

http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkFami...m3go4fr.j27004

The Sequioa have comfort features built in which you may appreciate.


Thanks, I'll definitely check it out. The 56 cm seemed to be a good
height and the sequoia only comes in 54 or 57 but I imagine one of
these might also work okay.

Get lots of gears if you will be riding on roads with lots of hills...(21 to
27 -- 3 chainrings on the front)


Yup I want 3 chainrings.

Make the LBS order you a bike that fits perfectly....wait on it to come...


I'd really love a custom-fitted Airborne Carpe Diem tourer but decided
it was definitely out of my price range.

Consumer Reports recommends these models for "long, demanding road trips"

Bianchi Eros ($1050USD)
Klein Q-Carbon ($1400USD)
Lemond Tourmalet ($1100USB).

They called them "well-rounded" choices.

Honestly, I don't have a clue if you can trust their expertise, however.


I guess I just need to test ride a bunch of different types of bikes
by different companies. There's a bike show coming up locally in a few
weeks and I'm hoping to hold out until then to check out a variety of
vendors all in one spot, compare deals, etc. But I'm hoping to have it
narrowed down to a few candidate bikes before I go.
  #6  
Old October 1st 03, 11:28 PM
Tanya Quinn
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

"Roger Zoul" wrote in message ...
The Specialized Sequoia might be to your liking, as they have two sets of
break handles, above the drops and on the top...

http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkFami...m3go4fr.j27004

The Sequioa have comfort features built in which you may appreciate.


Ah I must point out that Specialized seems to have a twisted concept
of comfort when it comes to their Body Geometry saddles. I bought one
on the weekend to replace my current worn out seat (foam had come out
of it) And so far painful.. I'm hoping that breaking it in more will
help. It looks like these saddles are on the Sequoia, do you like the
saddle on yours?
  #7  
Old October 2nd 03, 12:00 AM
Sorni
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

"Tanya Quinn" wrote in message
om...
"Roger Zoul" wrote in message

...
The Specialized Sequoia might be to your liking, as they have two sets

of
break handles, above the drops and on the top...


http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkFami...m3go4fr.j27004

The Sequioa have comfort features built in which you may appreciate.


Ah I must point out that Specialized seems to have a twisted concept
of comfort when it comes to their Body Geometry saddles. I bought one
on the weekend to replace my current worn out seat (foam had come out
of it) And so far painful.. I'm hoping that breaking it in more will
help. It looks like these saddles are on the Sequoia, do you like the
saddle on yours?


FWIW, I tried an early version of the BG saddles years ago, and found the
same as you: TORTURE DEVICE!

Yet others I know love 'em.

Go figure.

Bill "different seats for different seats" S.


  #8  
Old October 2nd 03, 12:32 AM
Roger Zoul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

Tanya Quinn wrote:
:: "Roger Zoul" wrote in message
:: ...
::: The Specialized Sequoia might be to your liking, as they have two
::: sets of
::: break handles, above the drops and on the top...
:::
:::
http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkFami...m3go4fr.j27004
:::
::: The Sequioa have comfort features built in which you may appreciate.
::
:: Ah I must point out that Specialized seems to have a twisted concept
:: of comfort when it comes to their Body Geometry saddles. I bought one
:: on the weekend to replace my current worn out seat (foam had come out
:: of it) And so far painful.. I'm hoping that breaking it in more will
:: help. It looks like these saddles are on the Sequoia, do you like the
:: saddle on yours?

So far, yes. I can't speak for long-term.....we'll see on taht one...I've
heard that some people don't like them...


  #9  
Old October 2nd 03, 12:46 AM
Roger Zoul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

Tanya Quinn wrote:
:: "Roger Zoul" wrote in message
:: ...
::: The Specialized Sequoia might be to your liking, as they have two
::: sets of
::: break handles, above the drops and on the top...
::
:: Cool, the guy at the bike store didn't mention anything about bikes
:: with dual brake handles. This seems useful, and I imagine if I found
:: a
:: different bike I liked better I could have the brake levers switched
:: to these?

I would guess....one thing to note...there is less room on the bars because
of those extra brake handles...I have a computer and a light on mine, but
just a slight bit of room to spare. Not sure if a bigger more powerful
light would fit. Just something to think about.

::
:::
http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkFami...m3go4fr.j27004
:::
::: The Sequioa have comfort features built in which you may appreciate.
::
:: Thanks, I'll definitely check it out. The 56 cm seemed to be a good
:: height and the sequoia only comes in 54 or 57 but I imagine one of
:: these might also work okay.
::
::: Get lots of gears if you will be riding on roads with lots of
::: hills...(21 to 27 -- 3 chainrings on the front)
::
:: Yup I want 3 chainrings.
::
::: Make the LBS order you a bike that fits perfectly....wait on it to
::: come...
::
:: I'd really love a custom-fitted Airborne Carpe Diem tourer but
:: decided
:: it was definitely out of my price range.
::

Well....

::: Consumer Reports recommends these models for "long, demanding road
::: trips"
:::
::: Bianchi Eros ($1050USD)
::: Klein Q-Carbon ($1400USD)
::: Lemond Tourmalet ($1100USB).
:::
::: They called them "well-rounded" choices.
:::
::: Honestly, I don't have a clue if you can trust their expertise,
::: however.
::
:: I guess I just need to test ride a bunch of different types of bikes
:: by different companies. There's a bike show coming up locally in a
:: few
:: weeks and I'm hoping to hold out until then to check out a variety of
:: vendors all in one spot, compare deals, etc. But I'm hoping to have
:: it
:: narrowed down to a few candidate bikes before I go.

Right. Ride, ride, and ride some more before you buy. Try to go to the LBS
a different times....traffic conditions can be very different a different
times of day, changing the parking lot ride a lot. Also, be sure to check
out more than one LBS and talk to the support people who you likely will be
dealing with for future service. You need to like and get along with these
people. If they seem like a*sholes, shop elsewhere.


  #10  
Old October 2nd 03, 12:58 AM
Kerry Nikolaisen
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default buying my first road bike

Tanya Quinn wrote:
So I've been riding around (almost always on the road) for the past 5
years on a non-suspension Giant sedona mountain bike I bought used at
the time (no idea how used). A car mashed the rims while it was
parked, I had the bike store fix it with whatever was cheapest. I've
since put slick tires on it. The gears are kinda clonky and the brakes
seem fairly non-responsive if the roads are wet or going down a steep
hill. I've become pretty enthusiastic about biking in the last two
years, I ride about 2000 km a year mostly for transportation but like
going on long day rides (130 km was the highest so far, but I would
probably enjoy going further if the bike was slightly more
comfortable) and basically exploring around on weekends. I figure it
is time to buy a real road bike, nice new and shiny

The new bike will not likely be used for day-to-day urban riding
because I don't want it to get stolen - so I'll use the old bike for
that. I'd like to use a new bike for multi-day touring - I've never
tried this before, and my first trip would likely be a week long
minimally packed trip (stay in motels not camp). I'd like to have the
option of using it for camping touring though. I would also probably
use it for long day rides, either by myself or club rides. I'd like to
be able to try out racing or a triathlon, but that wouldn't be the
primary purpose of the bike.

Any ideas for what to look for? I've never ridden a road bike before.
I had a ten-speed as a teenager and the falls I took on it scared me a
bit from skinny tires (I'm not the world's most balanced person!) but
I imagine good road bikes are much more stable than that was. I went
to the LBS recently and test rode a Cannondale R400. I'm 5'11" and
female, and I tried a 56 cm bike which seemed a good height but the
reach seemed a bit much even though they changed the handlebar stem to
a shorter one for my test ride. I really didn't get to take it for
much of a spin, the bike store is located in a busy urban downtown
area, and while I'm quite comfortable riding my own bike in the area
I'm not so balanced on the new one (as an aside, I also find I can
only balance one handed on my bike with my left hand off but not vice
versa) Plus speed is constrained by the cars moving slower than a bike
would and no open lane. It totally threw me having the brakes on the
front rather than on the top and I nearly took out a pedestrian in the
intersection because I found it weird to brake. Are they easy to get
used to? I imagine I would like better having the choices of riding
positions (only one on my current bike makes for sore long rides) and
also the lower position would be nice going into the wind.

My budget is ideally around $1000 Cdn (750 US) but I would likely
double it if I found a bike I really fell in love with, and would be
good for future touring, and was a good deal. The 2003 Cannondale R400
was 999 on sale end of season, but they had a 2002 that appealed to me
more aesthetic wise (it was orange ) for 849 but only had it left
in 50 or 58. I thought the 58 would be too big so didn't test ride it
(they didn't have the larger one set up)

I also tried a more commuter-style road bike by Cannondale that just
had straight handlebars, (don't remember the model) but in addition to
thinking I would like drop bars if I could get used to them, the big
ring on it didn't seem very big.

What would be a good entry level touring bike to try out? While the
touring bike would be more comfortable for longer loaded rides, is it
more slower than a traditional road bike when I just want to go fast
unloaded? (I'm sure I'll notice a big difference going away from the
mountain bike anyway) The R400 did not have a place for front racks -
I'd only need back for credit card touring but front would be nice if
I decide to go across the country and I think the rack still needed
just to clamp on on the back, as well some of the bikes seemed like
they would be awkward to equip with fenders, which would seem useful
for when it rains in the middle of the tour Do clip on fenders work
okay?

Any tips on bike models to try, questions to ask, things to test out,
and what things to look for would be appreciated. I really am just
happy to ride and don't notice too much things like what the
components are so I wouldn't notice much difference between the models
on a short test ride.

You might try the Fuji line. For under 800 bucks you can get the Newest
or Fuji Touring. The Fuji Newest for 2003 will get you a Tiagra 9-speed
triple (a step up from Sora) in Aluminum. The only thing you may want
to switch out is the cassette, which has close gearing. I know someone
on this list has a Fuji Touring and may be able to give you specifics.
I am sure it has much wider gearing, and may be steel. The Fuji Finest
is a step down from the Newest and will have Sora components. All three
of these can accept racks on the front fork and rear stays. You may be
able to get a Newest for under 600 bills for a 2003 clearance model, and
less than 500 for a Finest. Not sure what the Touring model goes for.

Suggestion - spend the most you possibly can on whatever model fits best
and rides best.

Kerry

 




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