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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering purchasing a bike. I have no idea what an entry level road bike costs, and would like some ideas on what to expect to pay from a LBS.
Since I would be new to the sport, I am not interested in online purchasing. I simply do not know enough to make an intelligent online purchase. I might consider something local used, but suspect used isn’t always the money saver that it fist appears.

A little information:
1. I have not been on a bike in years. I’m middle aged and haven’t ridden a bike since my teen years.
2. I am more interested in function then technology, yet recognize that technology can have a positive effect on function.
3. I am interested in recreational riding, not racing or fast group riding.
4. I am looking for something for fitness and enjoyment now. I really don’t know what I might look for in the future, but some weekend touring sounds enjoyable. I can always deal with the future needs when the time comes.
5. I am way out of shape. Currently I’m 6’ / 225 lbs. And it isn’t muscle. I don’t expect the height to change, but hope the weight (or at least the waist size) does.
6. I expect that I would ride maybe an hour or so in the evening during the week 2 days / week and maybe work up to 2 – 3 hours (or more) one weekend day. I have no idea how many miles that would be, but expect it wouldn’t be many to start with.


So can any of you give me an idea what to expect to pay for an entry level road bike taking the above in consideration?
Also what would I get in the way of “better” if I spend say $300 more then the basic entry level. In other words if an entry level bike cost $500 what improvements would I expect see if I were to spend say $800.

If you could throw out some recommendations for specific bike models that would be great. Looking at some websites for LBS it appears the brands handled locally would be Trek, Gary Fisher, Specialize, Cannondale, Giant, Raleigh, and maybe a few others. There is also a Performance bike shop and REI in the area. I believe they have “house” brands.

Any suggestion are greatly appreciated.
 

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I think you need to get a feel for what is available out there, and maybe a little sticker shock.

My advice is, make a list of every bike shop in your area. Go to each one, tell them what your intentions are and get their recommendations.
Test ride as many bike as possible. If they won’t let you test ride a bike, go somewhere else.
Make some room in your budget for day one essentials – floor pump, blow out kit with bag, pedals and shoes. Do a search. There are more than a few threads about essential bike gear.

IMO
I like REI. They carry some nice stuff and can have some decent sales, but they are lacking in bike service and support. I wouldn’t recommend them to a first time buyer. Stick with dedicated bike shops.
 

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Immerle has you pointed in the right direction. It would be up to you to allot money for a helmet or not as well. If you don't own a helmet, the shops should provide one for any test rides. Different helmets fit different shapes of heads.

With regard to finding the bike. Once you get an idea of what you desire, what size it should be and how much money you have (or lack) take a deep breath and relax.

It's still the time of year to find deals. For instance one of my LBS's is having a massive sale where they rent a space at the local convention center to combine the inventory of their 5 locations. With an experienced eye deals can be found.

It's also the time of year where someone might be looking to upgrade from one bike to another. If selling their current bike will fund the next, you could benefit from that need.

craigslist.org will have options. It won't be as many as ebay, but the prices might be better and you could see the bike in person since craigslist sellers are more local. You could also post an ad that you are seeking a bike and someone might find you.

Garage sales could be worth a look as well.

Failing all that, you might end up back at the LBS after saving a bit more money or using a credit card.

Again, there are other threads regarding the equipment basics, fitting, styles and other concerns.

good luck
 

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A new entry-level road bike with decent components will probably cost around $1000. You almost definitely cannot buy a decent road bike for less than $800.

I would recommend Shimano Tiagra, not Sora (these are groupsets. If they are unfamiliar to you now don't worry). While you could save money buying a used bike, you probably do not have the expertise to properly choose a bike yourself - assessing size, mechanical condition, and price all requires some familiarity with the world of cycling. If you want to try this route, make sure you have a cyclist friend come with you.

The bike you start out on should allow a fairly upright posture - most people do not have the flexibility to immediately ride in a stretched out racing/fast position without time in the saddle.

Don't buy the most cushy saddle you can find - cushy saddles are not comfortable for long rides (anything over 5 miles). Understand that as you ride more, lose weight, and become more comfortable on the bike, you will want a different saddle. This is normal.
 

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Well...

The posts above have some very good information. Go to the LBS and see what they have. Expect to pay:

Tiagra equipped bike: $1300
Helmet: $50-100
Clipless shoes: $75-100
Clipless pedals: $75-100
Seat bag for tube and pump: $25
Extra tube: Maybe free with the bike? If not, around $10
Water bottle cages: Should be free with bike, if not, maybe $30 for a pair
Water bottles: Should be free with the bike.
Tire pump: $20-50
Bike shorts: if desired: $70-100
Jersey: if desired: $50-100

Total: $1785 + $143 (tax @ 8%) = $1,928.00

Expect considerable sticker shock.

Consider buying a used bike. There are lots of good used bikes in the $500-$800 range and no sales tax. Some might also come with accessories like clipless pedals, tire pump, etc. I do recommend a NEW helmet though. Bikes deppreciate fast. You can get a 2002-2005 model for LESS THAN HALF of the new cost, often with few miles on them. Clipless pedals are a MUST. Toe clips (cages) are a death trap.

I also recommend that you look at how SORA works versus Tiagra (and above). Sora uses a thumb down-shifter that is quite different froim higher level gear. For a recreational rider, it works OK, but for just a little more money, Tiagra is significantly better and you'll get used to the action, which will make it easier if you ever REALLY get into cycling and decide to upgrade.

Either way, get a bike and get to riding. Spring is here!!!!! Good luck in your decision.

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info

Thanks for the information....
Actually the sticker shock isn't as much as you may think. While I am not involved in cycling (yet) I am involved in other equipment intensive activeties such as SCUBA diving and recreational kayaking. Both of which will set one back a few dollors for the initial gear, but the gear lasts for a long time if cared for. There are always upgrades to be done, even if they aren't always neccesary. I expect cycling to be the same.

The prices you suggested are about what I was expecting.... $800 - 1200 for an entry level bike plus $300 or so for other gear, so pretty much what I expected.

Thanks for the suggestions on the minimum grouping to consider. This is the information that I was looking for before going to the LBS.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to post.
 

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OWSI said:
Thanks for the information....
Actually the sticker shock isn't as much as you may think. While I am not involved in cycling (yet) I am involved in other equipment intensive activeties such as SCUBA diving and recreational kayaking. Both of which will set one back a few dollors for the initial gear, but the gear lasts for a long time if cared for. There are always upgrades to be done, even if they aren't always neccesary. I expect cycling to be the same.

The prices you suggested are about what I was expecting.... $800 - 1200 for an entry level bike plus $300 or so for other gear, so pretty much what I expected.

Thanks for the suggestions on the minimum grouping to consider. This is the information that I was looking for before going to the LBS.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to post.
I'm going to offer an option that may minimize your sticker shock, but still get you a warranty and LBS support. Sure, you can always spend more. If you said your budget was $2k, I could show you a bike for $3k.. and on, and on.. :)

But for a first ride and considering some of the criteria offered initially, here (in general) is something that may work well for you.
http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/09_codasport.html
I say in general because there are several other brands with similar offerings. If this piques your interest, we can find them for you. Or just poke around on the web sites of brands carried by your LBS. Just remember, fit matters most! :thumbsup:
 
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