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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to road bikes and am looking for a bike that is suitable for olympic length tri's and maybe longer training/recreation rides. I am on a budget but don't want a bike that I am just going to turn around and want/need to upgrade. Because of that I am leaning towards a bike with shimano 105s. Beyond that I have no idea what bike would offer the most bang for the buck. The Felt Z85 looks interesting but wondered what everyone thinks would be good options.
 

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I am new to road bikes and am looking for a bike that is suitable for olympic length tri's and maybe longer training/recreation rides. I am on a budget but don't want a bike that I am just going to turn around and want/need to upgrade. Because of that I am leaning towards a bike with shimano 105s. Beyond that I have no idea what bike would offer the most bang for the buck. The Felt Z85 looks interesting but wondered what everyone thinks would be good options.
Nothing wrong with setting a price range, but I suggest being open to straying some from 105. The current 10 speed Tiagra is very good and (IMO/E) will easily meet the needs of most recreational riders.

Also, while the Felt mentioned is a very nice bike, I suggest (again) being open to straying some and visiting LBS's carrying different makes/ models for comparison purposes. Discuss your intended uses, goals, cycling experiences, price range, get set up on a few bikes and head out on test rides - out on the roads.

On the test rides, focus on fit/ feel, ride, handling as well as control placement and function. That (IMO/E) is the best way to narrow the field (of bikes as well as LBS's) and whittle the choices from there.

Lastly, the Felt 'Z' series are what's commonly referred to as endurance or relaxed geo bikes. They offer a slightly more upright rider position and slightly slower (some say predicable) steering/ handling as opposed to the 'F' series, which are race bikes. Try both (and different brands to determine which you prefer.
 

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Competitive Cyclist has had some killer closeout deals lately. But hard to say without knowing price ceiling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As far as pricepoint goes I was ok with the Felt Z85 price of 1200-1300ish. I guess the amount of options are a bit overwhelming. I liked the price of the bike linked above. Whats not to like about a 50 percent discount. Just hesitant to buy a bike unseen.
 

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Chainlove (which is linked to Backcountry/Compettive Cyclist) had a Ridley Damocles earlier today for $1800 with full Ultegra. Pretty good deal. Buying online isn't that bad, once you realize where you fall on the geo chart. Ridley's do run small.
 

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I am new to road bikes and am looking for a bike that is suitable for olympic length tri's and maybe longer training/recreation rides. I am on a budget but don't want a bike that I am just going to turn around and want/need to upgrade. Because of that I am leaning towards a bike with shimano 105s. Beyond that I have no idea what bike would offer the most bang for the buck. The Felt Z85 looks interesting but wondered what everyone thinks would be good options.
That's a great bike for the cost. Let's of folks love theirs.
 

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As far as pricepoint goes I was ok with the Felt Z85 price of 1200-1300ish. I guess the amount of options are a bit overwhelming. I liked the price of the bike linked above. Whats not to like about a 50 percent discount. Just hesitant to buy a bike unseen.
Unseen, with no test rides and a guess on sizing. For a number of reasons, I would advise against buying a first bike online (no test ride, no sizing/ fit assistance, several hidden fees for final assembly, tuning, adjustments to fit IF you got sizing right...).

Find a reputable LBS and have some assurance you'll get this right.
 

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Quite the introduction. Have you done a tri? Do you want to be competitive about it? Do you want to enjoy riding for the sake of riding, or is it all about doing triathlons?

With regard to pricing - you really need to ride a bunch of bikes locally. Sizing is not the same from brand to brand or model to model within most brands. I'm actually transitioning to a less expensive bike that I think I can get to fit me better than a bike that I've had for a while with 105 on it that's just slightly too big. Kind of frustrating because of how close they are. The point being, I think it's more important to get the fit right than to have 105 (or Ultegra, on my fancier one) shifters. Which is something that local support can really help you with.

An easy way to pare down your options is to find out what your local shops carry. Don't worry about the other stuff.
 

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I am new to road bikes and am looking for a bike that is suitable for olympic length tri's and maybe longer training/recreation rides. I am on a budget but don't want a bike that I am just going to turn around and want/need to upgrade. Because of that I am leaning towards a bike with shimano 105s. Beyond that I have no idea what bike would offer the most bang for the buck. The Felt Z85 looks interesting but wondered what everyone thinks would be good options.
Back over last summer I was looking for a road bike to do some tris and general road riding. I had been mtn biking for years and wanted to add something new that was capable, but also affordable. I look at new bikes with 105 and up and Tiaga bikes too. I end up going for a used carbon trek 5200 with ultegra. It is an older bike to be sure, but works great and was a good price. Buying use has two risk. 1) Fit can bit hit or miss since you don't get as many choices and poor fitting bike is no value at any price 2) Maintenance risk because it is used. I do all my own work on my mtn bike so I was willing to roll the dice on maintenance and I seem to have dialed in my fit pretty well by doing research before hand. Still the frame could be 1 size too small, but I kind of think most frames are ok within a size or so. Meaning that the next size up could be a little big anyway. I replace the stem with a slightly longer one (90 mm to 110) and with time on the bike I have found it comfortable. Even so after 475 miles I am thinking moving the seat forward a few mm to get a more forward knee vs pedal position. I think this will help my power in the drops as I am finding it better to ride farther forward on the saddle. I think it has to do with hip angle. So now after riding it more what I want from my fit is changing slightly.

So used is an option if you are willing to deal with some risks. As for a good new bike.... a Tiaga bike should well and be a good all around bike. New bike in this range will be $1000 or so. 105 is nice too, but I don't know it will make much difference unless you are really familiar with bikes. I am used XT on my mtn bike which is similar to Ultegra on road bikes so that is one reason I want to keep the group higher. I did not want to get a bike with poor shifting feel compared to what I was used to.

As for turning around and upgrading later... if you really get competitive at tris then maybe tri bike is the upgrade. This can be bid dollar upgrade and only makes sense if you really seek a extra few seconds on the bike leg. Most tri people will be fine on decent road bike and if you need more can always go with clip on aerobars and aero helmet for 75% of the effect of full tri set-up at much lower cost.
 

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I was able to source out a 2012 used Diamondback Podium 3 on CL for $600. Majority of the components on the bike are 105 and it was in my size. There are deals out there but you will have to be patient and keep an eye out for them.
 

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