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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am have been looking on ebay and would like to get a used carbon bike with a decent group. I have seen a few (08-11) fuji team.105 and some ultegra bikes in my price range. I currently ride a fuji roubaix and have been happy with it but I'm a noob. I plan to be saving my money up so that this time next year I can go new for a CF >$2K.

The reason I'm looking now - vs saving more - got a few charity rides I'm signed up for and the roads I ride are typically chip seal crap. also please include any links about great deals if you have any - really hate the TC folks on other forums who say - thats too much or thats crap i got a "insert brand" for $1 - but never back it up.

thanks.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Because CF can fail differently that steel or alu - and requires special equipment to detect those failures - I don't recommend buying used CF.

Assuming it fits you well, my advice is to keep your present bike, tailor your tire pressures to rider weight, tire size/ construction and road conditions and save up for a new CF bike.

Also, consider running a wider tire. Between this and tailoring f/r pressures, you'll improve ride quality substantially.
 

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Agree with PJ352 about the wider tire lower pressure option. Much cheaper to try that first as even a carbon fiber bike can rattle your teeth with narrow tires pumped rock hard when traveling over rough roads. The larger volume of air will enable you to lower the pressure which will give you some cushioning over the bumps but still leave you with enough air to not have pinch flats ( which could happen if you reduce the pressure on narrower tires).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Agree with PJ352 about the wider tire lower pressure option. Much cheaper to try that first as even a carbon fiber bike can rattle your teeth with narrow tires pumped rock hard when traveling over rough roads. The larger volume of air will enable you to lower the pressure which will give you some cushioning over the bumps but still leave you with enough air to not have pinch flats ( which could happen if you reduce the pressure on narrower tires).
thanks for the info - I will try a 25 and see how that feels. wish list has the fuji gran fondo on it - so I'll just keep saving. LBS carries fuji and typically gets good deals - seems like the best bang for the buck..thinking ultegra version gran fondo 2.0. any others in the 1500 price range I maybe overlooking?
 

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If I may, why so set on Ultegra? Unless you are a weight weenie, there is not a huge difference between Ultegra and 105. But the options that open up by considering slightly lower components are huge.

I agree with what others have said, your biggest difference is going to be in the tires with regards to ride quality. I see a huge difference between my CX bike running 32s at 55/65 PSI and my road bike running 23s at 90/100 psi. Both are aluminum frame.

As for options, some may look down their nose for my mentioning it but consider a BikesDirect.com bike. You already have a bike that fits well, so you can use its geo to find a comparable one online. If you are not comfortable assembling/adjusting it, get a LBS to do that for about $100.

BikesDirect has several in house brands that are decent. My CX bike is a Motobeacane and I love it. You probably don't want to get their lowest end carbon models because you are paying for a frame and nothing else, but there are a number of options for $1,500+-. They even sell a couple Fuji bikes (not the model you mentioned, not sure of the geo difference). There is great debate online on if the BikesDirect Motobecanes are the same frame as the Fujis, or just shave very similar geos. But if you like Fuji, you may check them out and get a deal on a decent new carbon in your budget.
 

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There is nothing wrong with the gran fondo. The bike gets good reviews from what I remember, and Fuji is a great brand. Most importantly it seems you have a good relationship with your LBS which as a beginner can be very helpful. The gran fondo I believe is considered an endurance/plush/classics caegory of bikes, meaning more relaxed/upright geometry designed to be comfortable over the long haul which sounds like the type of riding you will be doing. Ultegra is a very good component group IMO the best bang for the buck in the Shimano line. Other bikes in the category are the Specialized Roubaix and the Giant Defy series. I ride a Defy Advanced 1 which is equipped with Ultegra (love it) that has won the best endurance/plush/classics bike several times over the past few years ($3300). The roubaix pioneered the category so they are another good choice, I just dont own one so I know less about them.

I don't think I would change from what you are looking at as at that price point you are getting a great bike.
 

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If you're riding chip seal, don't think "25." And my hands and butt hurt just thinking about you riding that stuff on 23. Figure out what the biggest tire you can fit is, and do that.

I had thought the Fuji Roubaix was positioned to compete with other companies' relaxed/endurance bikes. But glancing at the product page, I see they're positioning it as a racer. So you may be pretty limited as to what tire you can fit. Still, if you can get the smooth ride you're looking for for $100, that leaves you with over $1900 to spend going on vacations.

Do you have a LBS or is it Performance? I know that Fuji is carried by both... Performance's house-branded bikes and the closeouts they carry can really hit the bang-for-the-buck goal well.
 

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Generally I agree with Andrew but another factor to be considered is rider weight. I at 230lbs I ride 28c or more exclusively. The more you weigh the larger tire will permit lower inflation pressures to soften the ride yet still avoid pinch flats. If you are significantly lighter, 25c may be ok and 28c or more may be too soft as you lose feeling of the road during cornering and accelerations are sluggish you get that balloon tire feeling (for me this takes away they fun of riding a bike).

Another tip as it relates to tire pressure, no reason front and rear need to be same. I usually run 10-15psi lower in front than rear this can take a bit of the road buzz away from the hands as well.
 

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thanks for the info - I will try a 25 and see how that feels. wish list has the fuji gran fondo on it - so I'll just keep saving. LBS carries fuji and typically gets good deals - seems like the best bang for the buck..thinking ultegra version gran fondo 2.0. any others in the 1500 price range I maybe overlooking?
If you're going to take some time to save for that next bike, I suggest branching out and test riding a few other makes/ models - both relaxed and race geo and SRAM/ Shimano equipped. IMO/E that's really the best way to determine your preferences and make an educated decision.

BTW, JMO, but as a recreational rider I wouldn't get too hung up on any one groupset. How most perform will be determined in large part on how well they're set up/ tuned. More importantly, focus on shifting method, ergonomics and gearing - ideally, matched to your fitness/ terrain.
 

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Hop on some 'cross and touring bikes too. They can take really big tires - great for crappy surfaces, if you find you want more than the 28 or 30 mm or so that people tend to stick to with on current-model endurance road bikes.

My first or second road bike was an old Trek Sport Touring bike. I think it had 1-1/4" tires? It's really a very versatile class of bike, and I think a lot of people would be well served by them. I think they fall in between current-model endurance road bikes and current-model touring bikes, although a few companies are revisiting the class. Stripped, they're pretty efficient and fun, with a rack, they can go on tour, and whatever the configuration, a real choice of tires is a nice thing to have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Generally I agree with Andrew but another factor to be considered is rider weight. I at 230lbs I ride 28c or more exclusively. The more you weigh the larger tire will permit lower inflation pressures to soften the ride yet still avoid pinch flats. If you are significantly lighter, 25c may be ok and 28c or more may be too soft as you lose feeling of the road during cornering and accelerations are sluggish you get that balloon tire feeling (for me this takes away they fun of riding a bike).

Another tip as it relates to tire pressure, no reason front and rear need to be same. I usually run 10-15psi lower in front than rear this can take a bit of the road buzz away from the hands as well.
I hit the scales at 200 - I am looking for a set of 25 to give me a nicer ride and continue to save up.

I have a LBS and a performance nearby-both have given great service and haven't been really pushy. My LBS has a limited road bike inventory so I haven't been able to test ride too many bikes. I test drove altamira and fondo last week at the local performance. both were nice - new bike effect or really that much better-I don't know. I think I will try to keep riding different bikes in my price range. Keep the advice coming - really appreciate your expertise all...
 
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