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RoadBikeReview's Member
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Discussion Starter #1
so okay, here's the deal
my parents agreed to let me get a new bike, provided i come up with a 500 buck down payment. the 500 buck part, i've got covered: i'm at 300 (and unless i do something stupid like buying Assos...), and i have something of a part time job so im bringing in around 200 bucks in the next month i think.
anyways, i've budgeted myself to 2500 bucks for the bike, UNLESS its really really really nice or whatever... like with my 1200, when i bought it i bought it because i fell in love with the DCL levers, i had budgeted myself to $500 (i was looking for a commuter to replace a bruiser giant mtb...), and hopped on the 1200, decided that yes, for $300 more, it was worth it.
in other words, if its over 2500 bucks, but its that much better, its okay with me (though 3000 is my complete and utter limit)
im looking for a bike with mostly ultegra (though its got to be a DA RD, i hate Ultegra RDs)/ centaur or chorus in campagnolo (whichever one is equivalent in price and performance to ultegra?). carbon fork is a yes, im interested in aluminum, ti, or CF, or any combination of those (though carbon fork preferably).

So what bikes would you guys recommend me to look at/test ride/purchase? i intend on racing, i think ive covered everything, but if i havent, ask away please.
Thanks!
 

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estone2 said:
so okay, here's the deal
my parents agreed to let me get a new bike, provided i come up with a 500 buck down payment. the 500 buck part, i've got covered: i'm at 300 (and unless i do something stupid like buying Assos...), and i have something of a part time job so im bringing in around 200 bucks in the next month i think.
anyways, i've budgeted myself to 2500 bucks for the bike, UNLESS its really really really nice or whatever... like with my 1200, when i bought it i bought it because i fell in love with the DCL levers, i had budgeted myself to $500 (i was looking for a commuter to replace a bruiser giant mtb...), and hopped on the 1200, decided that yes, for $300 more, it was worth it.
in other words, if its over 2500 bucks, but its that much better, its okay with me (though 3000 is my complete and utter limit)
im looking for a bike with mostly ultegra (though its got to be a DA RD, i hate Ultegra RDs)/ centaur or chorus in campagnolo (whichever one is equivalent in price and performance to ultegra?). carbon fork is a yes, im interested in aluminum, ti, or CF, or any combination of those (though carbon fork preferably).

So what bikes would you guys recommend me to look at/test ride/purchase? i intend on racing, i think ive covered everything, but if i havent, ask away please.
Thanks!
Don't get hung up on what rear mech is on the bike. Get the best frame, forks & wheels you can. The contact points are the next most important.

I can remember the first time I saw DA STI's in the flesh. It was at a crit in Bungay in England. The reason I remember it so well is that it's owner was being blasted out of the back of the bunch in the Juniors race on his way to being lapped by the entire field.

You can always upgrade later, but it won't make a blind bit of difference to the way the bike rides. The compromises necessary to get the DA mech on there will make a difference that will be more expensive to overcome.

I don't know the market outside the UK, but you might find a local bike shop that has trade ins at this time of year that they want to clear quickly.

Good luck
 

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go to the LBS...

You should make a trip to a couple of the local shops to see what they carry in your price range. Ask what size would fit you and see if you get any decent help. Some shops are notorious for selling you whatever they have, even if it's the wrong size.

The comon brands will be Trek, Cannondale, Giant and Specialized. They all make decent products. Trek's sizing is oddball. A "54cm" will be more like a 52cm in the other brands and the top tubes will be longer, which is fine if you have short legs and a long torso.

A shop without a fitting area, where the bike can be put on a trainer and adjusted to you before you ride it is not a sophisticated shop, catering to lower level buyers.

Since you probably have little mechanical experience, you'll be depending on the shop for service. If 99% of the bikes they stock have Shimano equipment, that's what you better get.

I prefer Campy, but in my area it's rare to see a Campy equipped bike at a shop. If you do, Centaur is the equivalent to Ultegra.

Here's a bit of fit info to get you started.

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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Well I have no idea your level of experience, but it seems like you're spending more than you need to. If you intend to race, I'd go find the club you intend to ride with, and start talking to the team. If you're just beginning to race, you'll probably crash a bit, and you don't want to do that on really nice bike. Also, not sure how old you are, but if you're sharing this with your parents, I'm guessing you may still be growing...It's really really important that a bike fits you, so you can't really buy one that's too big and grow in to it. See if someone in your club that you trust will sell you a used bike that fits. This years model or last years model won't make any difference in how fast you go or how comfortable you are. None. Spend money on a nice pair of shoes if your feet are not still growing too fast.
 

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you've gotten some good advice already.


as already written, seeing as your 15 (if that's still your age, as indictade in your profile) then i'd be concerned about outgrowing the bike.

i agree that buying used is a logical way to go, but if you want to buy new, here's one suggestion. if you can find a closeout 2005 giant tcr comp limited (all ultegra iirc) then you'll get yourself a very nice bike, well within your budget.


estone2 said:
so okay, here's the deal
my parents agreed to let me get a new bike, provided i come up with a 500 buck down payment. the 500 buck part, i've got covered: i'm at 300 (and unless i do something stupid like buying Assos...), and i have something of a part time job so im bringing in around 200 bucks in the next month i think.
anyways, i've budgeted myself to 2500 bucks for the bike, UNLESS its really really really nice or whatever... like with my 1200, when i bought it i bought it because i fell in love with the DCL levers, i had budgeted myself to $500 (i was looking for a commuter to replace a bruiser giant mtb...), and hopped on the 1200, decided that yes, for $300 more, it was worth it.
in other words, if its over 2500 bucks, but its that much better, its okay with me (though 3000 is my complete and utter limit)
im looking for a bike with mostly ultegra (though its got to be a DA RD, i hate Ultegra RDs)/ centaur or chorus in campagnolo (whichever one is equivalent in price and performance to ultegra?). carbon fork is a yes, im interested in aluminum, ti, or CF, or any combination of those (though carbon fork preferably).

So what bikes would you guys recommend me to look at/test ride/purchase? i intend on racing, i think ive covered everything, but if i havent, ask away please.
Thanks!
 

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RoadBikeReview's Member
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Discussion Starter #7
Don't get hung up on what rear mech is on the bike. Get the best frame, forks & wheels you can.
The contact points are the next most important.
agreed, i dont want the DA because its DA, i want it because i guess its my pedaling style,
or something, but when i shift with ultegra, i always feel it slip a tooth, it doesnt
feel very steady to me; i put ultegra on my 1200 for a month, got sick of it, put the 105
RD back on. DA just feels solid to me, and i like the feel, not the price/performance (hey...
i live in illinois, its not like DA gives that much of a performance advantage on flat land)





You should make a trip to a couple of the local shops to see what they carry in your
price range. Ask what size would fit you and see if you get any decent help. Some shops
are notorious for selling you whatever they have, even if it's the wrong size.

I have two local shops, Champaign Cycle Co. (very very good) and Durst Cycle (good, but not excellent)
durst sells c'dales and giants, CCCo sells Treks/Lemonds/whatever other trek stuff.
I've been fitted to a bike, i know what measurements i need, and ive grown a half inch in
2 years, so i think i'm covered in terms of growth being done. i would buy from one of the
two places, but C'dale's six13s/synapses dont fit my taste (well. the synapses dont fit my
budget :p), and giant felt flexy underneath me. OCLV carbon just felt dead so that was out
of it too... i want a bike not a piece of cork.

CCCo is exclusively shimano (though i've seen campy there often for tuneups and stuff,)
Durst is about half campy.


Your parents are gonna kick in $2k for a bike? Man, what kind of car are they gonna buy you when you turn 16?
hahahah i wish. no they just green lighted me; if i raise $500 bucks, im allowed to get a bike -
i then pay X dollars per month for the rest of my life :p

Well I have no idea your level of experience, but it seems like you're spending more than
you need to. If you intend to race, I'd go find the club you intend to ride with,
and start talking to the team. If you're just beginning to race, you'll probably crash a
bit, and you don't want to do that on really nice bike. Also, not sure how old you are,
but if you're sharing this with your parents, I'm guessing you may still be growing...
It's really really important that a bike fits you, so you can't really buy one that's too
big and grow in to it. See if someone in your club that you trust will sell you a used
bike that fits. This years model or last years model won't make any difference in how
fast you go or how comfortable you are. None. Spend money on a nice pair of shoes if your
feet are not still growing too fast.

I'm done growing, and i've spent $750 in upgrades to my 1200, it occured to me at a certain
point that if i wanted better shifting, lighter weight, etc, i should write out everything i
wanted and budget it.
the result was that it would be cheaper and lighter to get an entirely new frame/bike


the reason i asked the question on this thread was because due to the limited selection of
bikes in town i was hoping i could get the names of several types of bikes you guys would
recommend so i could find a bike shop within 50 or so miles, to bike over to and test
their bikes.

thanks for your input!
-estone2
 

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you sound kind of picky...

Poor Lance Armstrong had to suffer through all those tours with a Trek. Somehow he got by on his piece of cork.

Just how large are you, since Giants felt too flexy? Poor Jan Ulrich has to suffer with a Giant.

About the Ultegra/DA RD. If the Ultegra didn't work right, it was case of poor installation/adjustment or a fluke.

You don't want flexy or dead carbon, so what's wrong with a stiff lower level aluminum C'dale?

Specialized is a common brand that you haven't mentioned rejecting yet. In your price range, you can get the top of the line Allez or bottom line Roubaix. You might also consider Fuji. They offer a lot of bike for the money. The geometry is different, with a 1cm higher BB than most any other and the sizing is odd, like Trek.

http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=9639&bikeTab=features

I can't see how a rider in the flat lands can need a real sophisticated bike. From your description, you'd probably like a number of big name frames, but they mostly out of your price range. One thing I can tell you, I've owned an $800 aluminum Fondriest frame and a C-40 frame that cost over $3000 and their wasn't a significant difference in the performance. You might find that frames in the $3-4000 range are only marginally better than those costing half as much. Usually, the difference is 1 pound or less in weight. In the flat lands, weight difference is insignificant.

I can highly recommend LOOK frames, but the most you can afford is a closeout KG461. Also it would be rare to find one built to test ride. I really like mine, but I only weigh 135, so excessive flex isn't a problem. FWIW, I haven't test ridden any of the many frames that I've bought since 1992 and I only got one that wasn't to my liking, a '98 Litespeed Ultimate (too stiff for me).

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=PRODUCT_CLOSEOUTS&BRAND.ID=11

Don't kid yourself about keeping a bike for 12 years. If you don't outgrow it, it will break, get wrecked or you'll just get tired of it. There's also the possibility that rear dropout spacing will be widened in the future, obsoleting everything out there.
 

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Incredibly slow
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I'll take your word that you are done growing, although plenty of people aren't done at 15 or 16. However, you probably aren't done gaining weight, so if you decide that this is a bike you are going to keep for more than 10 years, factor in an extra 30 to 50 pounds. The caloric requirement for a teenaged boy is right around 2700/day, whereas by the early 20s that has dropped to around 2000/day. Unfortunately, most of us don't eat less. On top of that, evidently food at colleges has gotten considerably better than when I was in school in the 70s, since every school I visit with my daughter mentions the Freshman 15, referring to the average weight gain during the first semester in college.
 

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Ok estone, since I gave you [email protected] with my first reply...

First off, shifting: I doubt anyone could tell a difference between an Ultegra rear der and a DA rear der if everything else was the same and adjusted properly.

Are you SURE you are done growing?

If this is a loan I would seriously reconsider spending that much money.

What did you upgrade for $750? Why not take all that stuff and hang it on a new frame?

Since you ruled out the AL and carbon stuff ridden by the top pro teams, hmmmm... sounds like a nice steel frame should do the trick. Why not swap all those upgraded parts onto a Gunnar Roadie?

http://www.gunnarbikes.com/roadie.php
 

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RoadBikeReview's Member
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Discussion Starter #11
Henry Chinaski said:
Ok estone, since I gave you [email protected] with my first reply...

First off, shifting: I doubt anyone could tell a difference between an Ultegra rear der and a DA rear der if everything else was the same and adjusted properly.

Are you SURE you are done growing?

If this is a loan I would seriously reconsider spending that much money.

What did you upgrade for $750? Why not take all that stuff and hang it on a new frame?

Since you ruled out the AL and carbon stuff ridden by the top pro teams, hmmmm... sounds like a nice steel frame should do the trick. Why not swap all those upgraded parts onto a Gunnar Roadie?

http://www.gunnarbikes.com/roadie.php
o_O
i think i misstated myself, i dont have a problem with AL or Carbon, i dont liek the ride of the c'dale six13s/treks, tis all
like, in trek, the 5000 and 5200 are what would be in my price range as carbon, they're designed, quoting the lbs owner (very honest, straight forward guy) "for older people who dont want to feel the road". the madone felt much more alive, and i liked it, but $3200 is outta my price range. i dont know what it was about the ultegra, ive ridden 5 bikes and got the same feeling, from C'dale 9s +10s straight out of the shop, from Trek 9s and 10s straight out of the shop, from Trek 9s that've been on the road for 7000 miles, from 5 diff shops, and i didnt liek the feel from any of them. maybe im just nuts :p . i upgraded the stuff bit by bit which explains the $750 in upgrades, if i realized i was gonna spend that much i woulda just gone for a better bike with the stuff to start with.
the c'dale r*number here* series, such as like r5000, r3000 etc felt pretty nice, they're AL
but i think one thing you guys dont get (i probably didnt manage to portray it) is that i'm not necessarily saying NO to these frames (okay the 5000/5200 yes i am, and the c'dales, the lbs that sells them has underperformed and im kind of scared from making that big of a purchase from them), i just want to try some other stuff; sample everything before you make your purchase
as some of you said, this is an expensive budget for a 15 y/o. since im done growing according to everything ive seen (save weight), im expecting that whatever bike i buy will last me 7-12 years as my primary racing bike, and will last me well beyond that as at least a recreational bike, so high quality parts are important to me do to higher longevity.
 

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OMG. This kid better be Breaking Away to Indiana U. if he's too tough for Ultegra (but not 105?) equipment.

You want a CF, Ti, or AL bike that will last 10 years. No. This will not happen. You will sell your POS whatever for EPO money before your car insurance rates go down. And besides, you're going to start racing, and that means you will hit the deck regularly like an extra in a Jackie Chan film.

Skip the dodgy Cannondale dealer, and if you don't want the fuddy-duddy Trek, then fine. Get on the internet and look for other bikes. Like a Cervelo AL Soloist. Get the Centaur version if you say you can twist Jap steel like no other.
 

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estone2 said:
so okay, here's the deal
my parents agreed to let me get a new bike, provided i come up with a 500 buck down payment. the 500 buck part, i've got covered: i'm at 300 (and unless i do something stupid like buying Assos...), and i have something of a part time job so im bringing in around 200 bucks in the next month i think.
anyways, i've budgeted myself to 2500 bucks for the bike, UNLESS its really really really nice or whatever... like with my 1200, when i bought it i bought it because i fell in love with the DCL levers, i had budgeted myself to $500 (i was looking for a commuter to replace a bruiser giant mtb...), and hopped on the 1200, decided that yes, for $300 more, it was worth it.
in other words, if its over 2500 bucks, but its that much better, its okay with me (though 3000 is my complete and utter limit)
im looking for a bike with mostly ultegra (though its got to be a DA RD, i hate Ultegra RDs)/ centaur or chorus in campagnolo (whichever one is equivalent in price and performance to ultegra?). carbon fork is a yes, im interested in aluminum, ti, or CF, or any combination of those (though carbon fork preferably).

So what bikes would you guys recommend me to look at/test ride/purchase? i intend on racing, i think ive covered everything, but if i havent, ask away please.
Thanks!
Look, this is an excellent time of the year to buy a bike in the North. Most people are just not thinking biking right now, it is January, so I think you will find your LBS will be willing to deal just to make a sale. I live in Wisconsin and believe me, not a lot of bikes are going out of shops right now.
Don't accept the first price they quote you - lowball them. Buying a bike from a good LBS is like buying the car, the sticker price is not the real price. Don't be afraid to bargain. Also, look at '05s and demos. You make some sweet deals on those.
And, what most of these other posters don't seem to know is just how windy it gets in Central Illinois. I went to college there many years ago and rode. You need a stable, responsive bike. Trek, Bianchi, Giant would all work. when I was your age, I rode a Raleigh and loved it. It is still hanging on my wall. I don't know if they sell them in Urbana.
As for stopping growing, I doubt it. Treat this bike as an intermediate one - the one you will ride until you are 18 or 19 and really grow. So, that's three or four years. What I would do is buy a medium level frame with higher end components. You won't outgrow a derailler. When it is time to buy the next frame, you can always strip the components off your old bike and put them on a new frame.
And, head over to Peoria and do some hill training. Good luck
 

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check out felt

Felt is a lesser known brand but great bike. I am not a seasoned rider and have not ridden a lot of road bikes but my Felt F55 feels great. It is stiff with the give of a carbon fork and carbon seat stay. There are other levels of Felt that give more or less. It will be close to impossible to find a Felt to test ride. My friend mentioned them and I bought one on a (extremely researched) whim. Haven't looked back. The main buying point of my bike was frame+components vs. price. I think I ripped Felt off by buying that bike. Just my input, listen to the vets, i just wanted to throw another brand out for you to research.
 

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I can offer two pieces of advice...First, (being 19 and have raced since I was 12 ) You really dont need a DA bike. I had a Trek 2200 (not a lowend bike by any means) for the last 6 years and it served me great. If you are going to be racing and training excusively on one bike you should get something with parts that you can afford to replace. And dropping $100 and up for every part that breaks on your bike is no fun...and trust me, if you race juniors, you will most likely crash...
Second, $2500 for a bike at your age is alot of money...you might think you are done growing, but you never know when you might grow 2 or 3 inches. And if you are on the margin of frame sizes now, that 2 to 3 inches might make the bike fit horribly...and when you get up into the $2500 range for bikes, the frames arent cheap...
But...I can offer you 2 suggestions for bikes...Cannondale R1000, the CAAD8 frame is an amazing riding aluminum frame, and it has a great parts spec.
Or a Felt..I have a felt cross bike and I love the quality of it...
Whatever you choose...good luck! and dont think you have to spend $2500 to get the bike you need...
 

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Incredibly slow
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A few posts back I said that I would take the OP's word that he is done growing at 15, but during 10th grade, when I was 15, I grew one inch per month, from 5' 1" at the start of the year to 5' 10" at the end of the year. And somehow in my 20s I grew another inch. So estone2, I think all the advice you are getting is spend less now. Besides, in a few years you just know that Shimano and Campy will have 500 speed rear ends (well, maybe just 12), and frames will be made of unobtanium that will be half the weight and twice the stiffness of current bikes, yet still ride like 531 steel.
 
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