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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted a couple weeks ago about buying my first road bike. I'm looking to participate in several group rides a week and do some longer rides. No racing yet but I won't rule that out completely. $2000-$3000 price range at most and I want something I can work into - i.e. not a bike I'll want to replace in a year or two. I've narrowed it down to 4 choices and I like them all for different reasons. I would be happy with any of them but they're listed in my preference order:

1) '09 Wilier Izoard w/ Shimano Ultegra ($3100) - shop is 4hrs away (closest that sells Wilier) so I lose local service/shop relationship. Also most expensive bike.
2) Demo '08 Specialized Tarmac Pro w/ Dura-Ace ($2800, originally $4000) - same shop 4hrs away, stiffer than the Izoard but still good for me and a good deal. Just like the Izoard a little better...
3) '09 Specialized Tarmac Elite w/ Shimano 105 ($2000) - local shop with guys I like a lot and would like to support/build a relationship with. Bike not as nice as the Wilier, though somewhat cheaper.
4) '08 Orbea Onix w/ Campy Mirage ($1600) - local shop that I don't like near as much as the other, but I like the bike and the Campy components. Also most affordable for first bike.

So, for my first bike should I pay more for the one I really really want (Izoard) and lose a little in local shop service/relationship but support them by going to them for everything else or should I go cheaper and support a LBS to start more of a relationship?

Thanks!!!!
 

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IMO, buy the bike you've fallen in love with our you'll regret it in the long run. (besides I just picked up my Izoard last friday...it ROCKS!)
 

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Get the bike. 'Your' shop will be happy to work on it for you.

Better still, go to the local shop, get a set of tools and a book and learn to work on it yourself.
 

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duh...
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for your first bike you'll prob want service, so I'd suggest the one from the shop you like... also, assume you'll want to upgrade later when you know more... therefore, no need to blow your wad now. whatever you get, make sure the geometry is right for you
 

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It's not like yer ever gonna need to get a frame serviced- carbon frames are either fine or broke. not too much middle ground. If it's fine, no worries, if it's broke, any bike shop worth the name should be able to help you out.

Otherwise, components is components and at worst you'll be out a free tune up.
 

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I'd go with one of the first two if you like them enough to forget about local service. I've never ridden a Wilier but that is a sharp-looking bike. I love my 08 Tarmac Elite but that Pro would be a pretty hard deal to pass up if I were you.

Get whichever has the geometry/fit that is the best, obviously.
 

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buck-50 said:
It's not like yer ever gonna need to get a frame serviced- carbon frames are either fine or broke. not too much middle ground. If it's fine, no worries, if it's broke, any bike shop worth the name should be able to help you out.

Otherwise, components is components and at worst you'll be out a free tune up.


"first bike" is the key... he'll want a good relationship w/ a good shop, and has admitted so. plus why start w/ such high end components when he prob won't know any better? 105 is fine to start (I'd avoid low end campy mirage), and he already said he'd be happy w/ any of 'em. save the $800-1100 and put it towards the next bike (there's always a next bike) when he's more knowledgable on bikes and more clear on what he wants/needs. also fit may change if he's a true n00b, so that would be a good time to upgrade. lastly if he races it (not completely ruled out) he won't want to be on something that he'll cry about if/when it gets crashed
 

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FatTireFred said:
"first bike" is the key... he'll want a good relationship w/ a good shop, and has admitted so. plus why start w/ such high end components when he prob won't know any better? 105 is fine to start (I'd avoid low end campy mirage), and he already said he'd be happy w/ any of 'em. save the $800-1100 and put it towards the next bike (there's always a next bike) when he's more knowledgable on bikes and more clear on what he wants/needs. also fit may change if he's a true n00b, so that would be a good time to upgrade. lastly if he races it (not completely ruled out) he won't want to be on something that he'll cry about if/when it gets crashed
He's also made it pretty clear that one bike stands out to him. The other ones are compromises with perceived benefits that aren't really related to the bike (cheaper, shop is closer, better components but it obviously didn't ride better, etc). That's a good way to guarantee you're buying a new bike in a few years instead of being happy with what you did get (and saving $$ in the long run). In fact it's probably one of the big drivers of the "you'll always want a new bike" rule.

Yea, 105 is fine. Heck I was happy with my Sora bike until I decided to join a club and get serious. But, if you are committed to spending 2-3k off the bat then IMO you might as well get what you want and not compromise. No point in it at that level. Buying a new bike in 2-3 years if/when you get that whim is much better than wishing you'd bought the bike you really wanted and feeling stuck in just a few months (been there...).

I feel like he must "know better" on some level if he can tell a difference in 2-3k bikes enough to have a preference, so why NOT start off with Ultegra/equivalent?

Also, I don't think you have to buy the bike from a shop to have a good relationship with them. It doesn't hurt, but it's not a requirement (assuming the shop is one worth having a good relationship with in the first place). They'll happily build a relationship with you based on a fitting (if they do that and you want one), parts, and labor...that's the stuff they make their $$ on anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, the Orbea's off the list clearly.

Now do I spend roughly $1000 more for one of two bikes that are definitely worth it but lose a little of the LBS support in doing so? Or do I save the $1,000, get the cheaper Specialized Elite w/ 105 and forget about the others because I'm likely to upgrade in a year or two anyway?

I agree with CougarTrek that going with the lesser of the two bikes means I'm much more likely to lust after an upgrade much sooner. And I would really like to get a bike that I'm happy with for a long time and I'm not itching to upgrade - but I know that depends on individual personality.

I'm new to this but have mountain biked for a while and did some of my own work on my current mountain bike. I'm comfortable adjusting/changing handlebars, stems, seats, etc. - I'm reading up on more complicated things like drive train adjustments, etc. So I kind of know what to look for, have done a lot of research and can appreciate the differences in ride between the ones listed. That being said, they wouldn't be on my list at all if I would not be happy with them. The differences I listed are just the most obvious pros/cons to each bike.

Seems like everyone leans towards go for the bike first and the shop relationship second, but a very close second. And yes, I would support the LBS with other smaller purchases and service of course. Being out a tune-up or two won't make me upset with my choice.

So, lastly, how good a deal is that DEMO '08 Specialized Tarmac Pro? It's ridden but in good shape, comes with Roval star wheels. I need to get over the fact that it's a black and gold bike (too flashy for me) and get it don't I? Local shop I like specializes (pun intended) in Specialized too...

Ride differences between the Izoard and Tarmac were minimal. Tarmac seemed stiffer, especially in the seatstays - more road vibration for my butt. Dura-ace was definitely crisper shifting than Ultegra. Only reason I lean towards Izoard is because it felt more refined - which to me right now I guess means a little smoother on the road while still feeling responsive. I did love the Tarmac though, don't get me wrong.
 

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Maybe you should approach your local shop and tell them of the deal you have on the Tarmac Pro - that is a good deal - and see of they can come close with their own inventory.
 

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terry b said:
#4 - it's Campy, you won't need any service. :D
Or be offered any! Plus Mirage is garbage (sora basically). Anything below Centaur is meant as punishment by Campy.
 

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I may have missed it, but I see no mention of fit anywhere in this thread except for Fred's reference to getting the geometry that's right for you. I take that as a reference to fit and it's good advice, considering (IMO) fit matters most.

That given, I'm going to shuffle your priorities some:

1. Bike that fits best (yes, most can be tweaked, but the right bike for you will take minimal tweaking and will feel 'right' from the start).

2. The best bike overall. By that I mean fun to ride (mostly cuz it fits right), geo that suites your ride/ handling requirements, good components from a value/ performance standpoint and yes, nice to look at.

3. The best bike shop. I agree with those that suggest you hone your wrenching skills, because doing so will pay dividends. Like the day your bike breaks and the shop is closed. Or your shifting is off a little and instead of treking off the the shop, you make a couple of minor adjustments on the spot. Then there's the $$ saved. Beyond that, it sounds as though your Specialized bike shop is high on your list, so considering you have two Spec's on your list, you could have a nice bike and a good shop.

It always amuses me when people recommend 'getting what you really want' either because it will in some way satisfy you (if it doesn't fit, it won't) or you won't want to upgrade (if that actually did occur, you'd be the first). No matter what enthusiasts spend, there's always that something extra or new or 'better' that they want, and I suspect you'll be the same.

Lastly, check out warranties on the brands you're considering - and if/ when you're ready to race, buy a used Allez or Caad9 and leave your CF bike garaged that day. :)
 

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Why would you lose support from the LBS?

Tubes are among the highest margin items in any shop, and you'll be buying plenty of those from them. You'll also be paying for any service, so they are getting something out of it.
 

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What he said...

danl1 said:
Get the bike. 'Your' shop will be happy to work on it for you.

Better still, go to the local shop, get a set of tools and a book and learn to work on it yourself.
...meaning get the Izoard, and start learning how to wrench. A couple of other thoughts:

- The "first bike" thing is for real. The chances are pretty good that once you get hooked, you're going to be thinking about your next bike. However, regardless of what you end up choosing, you're getting a hot setup that isn't likely to require a lot of upgrades. I've had a bunch of bikes, I just got two Titus Oseo CFs and had them built up exactly the way I wanted, and I really no longer have a "next bike" in mind at all.

- Most shops do a 30 day free tuneup, and the chances are you'll have some minor issues, so it's worth the 4 hour trip for this one. After that, I'd probably pay for local service.

- As far as doing your own wrenching, it's a whole lot less complicated than it used to be because a lot of the bearings are sealed. They usually last a long time and require very little maintenance, and when they do, it's usually a cartridge replacement, and I ain't gonna try that...the LBS gets the call on that one. You're getting some really high end components, and, in my experience, the bearings don't really go out of adjustment all that much, and if they do, either you can figure out how to do it, or have the LBS do it.

- If you're an MTBer, you already know how to mount tires, change tubes, and presumably true wheels. In fact, if you stay out of the potholes, I've found that most of the high end wheelsets don't really go out of true very often.

- So that kind of leaves brakes, derailleurs, and drive train. Again, if you're an MTBer, you probably know how to deal with all that stuff, if not, it's pretty easy to learn.

- A lot of people agonize about frame cleaning. I don't really want to take the time to wipe down, by hand, each and every part. So when the frame gets grungy, I just use some car wash detergent, which is pretty mild, a big sponge, and give the whole bike a car wash and spray off. Yeah, I know...everybody says don't use a hose because it can force doo doo and water into the bearings, but you know what? They're sealed bearings, and as long as you don't use a fire hose, I think you're pretty much okay.

That's it...
 

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get the wilier..as long as it comes with a good fitting. what u dont want to do is end up with an expensive bike that doesnt fit right...if you don't get that one you'll be wishing you did.
 

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Phototurky said:
4) '08 Orbea Onix w/ Campy Mirage ($1600) - local shop that I don't like near as much as the other, but I like the bike and the Campy components. Also most affordable for first bike.

So, for my first bike should I pay more for the one I really really want (Izoard) and lose a little in local shop service/relationship but support them by going to them for everything else or should I go cheaper and support a LBS to start more of a relationship?

Thanks!!!!
Get that bike, then use that money you would have spent on one of the others to upgrade the drivetrain. Problem solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not to change this all around too much, but... Marcos, your idea intrigues me. :confused:

Would you, and others, support buying a cheapo frame (because my fit preferences are likely to change) and investing more money in a better drivetrain, better wheels, etc. I can move those with me and then change frames in a year or two when I know what I want.

I can also get the groupset I really want - Campy Chorus - and build from there. :D

This would also involve the LBS I like as they help me build it. :)

Hmm.....

Good frameset deals for 6'2", 210lb rider, 35" inseam? Anyone? Anyone?
 
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