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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Riders,

Just a little background first. Used to ride to school back in the days. Did it for 5 years. Something like 10-12 miles RT everyday. No idea what bike/components it had as it was never discussed where I come from :) ! Now in USA and just 3 miles away from work. Want to start riding again.

Been reading forum for a while and still not able to decide. Please help what's best bet for me. I am buying a road bike for dual purpose. Commute on weekdays, rides on weekends. Have come across really good AL frame and Carbon fork bikes on CL with Ultegra/Dura ace/force group . Been thinking is it better to get a great used frame/groupset off of Craigslist and gradually upgrade or buy aluminium frame-fork with starter(Sora, Tiagra) groupset? For now I definitely want to stay below four figure mark. Have bought used car b4 but scared as not much familiar with all the bike related details! Seems easier to buy a car here!!
 

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Not a rocket surgeon.
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La moto tha si inserisce la migliore guiderà la migliore. A prescindere dalla quali parti sono su di esso. La maggior parte group imposta sono piuttosto buoni e vi servirà bene per un lungo periodo di tempo. L'unica che si adatta. Questo è in italiano. Immagino che lei sia italiano o dello shopping di Campagnolo come si usa il termine "gruppo".
 

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Not a rocket surgeon.
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If you are buying used make sure to have it looked at bya shop you trust. Make sure it fits and dosent have any hidden suprises. Most of all, go out and ride your bike. If it dosent get ridden its not a good deal.
That being said. Depending on your price poing sometimes you are better off to go new. You get the support of a local shop and that is worth a bunch when you are getting started. I believe that a new bike with lets say 105 or Tiagra is worth as much or more than an old bike with Dura ace or the such. Especially when you factor in getting fittd at purchase and having the support of a local shop.
 

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There's a lot of variables to consider.

First and foremost, whatever bike you buy should fit. That will always be the most important part of a purchase. Assuming that you've found a used bike that fits (and it's more than just sitting on it for a second and rationalizing that it fits), the value of a used bike can be all over the map.

Group names stay the same, but with each iteration, the groups improve. So someone could list a bike with "Full Ultegra", but unless you know what you're looking at, it may be a 9 spd Ultegra 6500 group--which is a fine group that will work well if it's in good shape--but isn't worth the premium you may be paying for it. The same applies to frames--frame technology is moving forward at a pretty good clip, so a 6 year old carbon frame (durability concerns aside) may not be worth paying a high price on the used market for, unless you're looking for a specific frame, like a Look 585 or something older and iconic.

So, if you've got an apples to apples comparison on a new bike and a used bike, and they both fit, and they have comparable generations of groups, then if you have no problem doing your own work and don't need LBS support, a used frame is probably going to be a good value. For instance, if you're looking at a used CAAD9 with 6700 ultegra vs. a new CAAD10 with 5700 105, and you can get the 9 at a significant discount, it's probably worth it (IMO).

If you're comparing a 2008 TCR with Dura Ace 7800 to a new super six equipped with 5700 105, it's not so cut and dried and it'll probably take some test rides to know the right answer to that very personal question.
 

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At your current price point I'd recommend the Jamis Satellite Comp, the Giant Defy 3, and the Raleigh Revenio 2 (being sold at REI, right now). These all come with a Sora gruppo. An entry level component groupset, that's just perfect for what you've described. The Satellite Comp is made of chromoly steel...
 

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for under $1000 budget, I'd get a used one no question about it. Or wait to see if any big seller has a huge discount (eg, Performance can have huge discount and you can get a good bike for under $1000 when it's happening
 

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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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Components are much easier to change than a frame.

Worry less about components. Buy the bike with the frame that you think rides and handles the best.

As for components, none of the big three make any junk in their road groups. Set up correctly and maintained well, there's little if any difference between group levels when actually on the road and riding. I rode my Sora bike yesterday. I'll ride my Dura-Ace one today. They both shift cleanly, crisply, precisely, and quietly.

And if I shift like a peasant, I can even make the Dura-Ace bike sound like a Wal-Mart special.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Worry less about components. Buy the bike with the frame that you think rides and handles the best.

Hmm... Can you please point to a good reading on frame selection? So far, I have been trying to read description sellers put in CL and there seems to be more emphasis on gruppo...or I am reading it wrong.
 

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Hmm... Can you please point to a good reading on frame selection? So far, I have been trying to read description sellers put in CL and there seems to be more emphasis on gruppo...or I am reading it wrong.
riding a bike will tell you more about a frame than words ever could. post up some of the bikes you're looking at and we can weigh in, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
riding a bike will tell you more about a frame than words ever could. post up some of the bikes you're looking at and we can weigh in, though.
Been thinking Specialized Allez Sport or Trek 2.1 in the used category(~800$). OR may b Trek 1.1 or Defy 5 if brand new... That way I keep aside some cash for gear/accessories.
 

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Aluminum bikes with higher end component builds are what I'm into. They're abuse-ready really, likely solid even if pre-owned (a lot of people quit on CAAD's and Allez's). IMO they're the best deal out there because so many people underrate aluminum bikes.
 

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+1 on getting a new bike. There are some pretty good opitions out there even in the $800-$1000 range. The bike will likely come with a basic fit session if it comes from any shop worth its salt (even REI will fit you on a basic level these days) and a warranty (which has come in handy for a number of people). Alloy bikes can be REALLY good places to start. You can even upgrade them with wheels and components down the road and ride it when you are pretty good if you make the right choice. Wiggle.com & Nashbar.com have multiple options in that price category, but you can really get a nice Felt F85, F75 or Z85, Specialized Allez, or Cannondale Synapse or Caad 8 brand new in that price range or close brand new. You could also look at copy brands like Stradalli or Rossetti and get a carbon bike or frame for pretty close to that as well. That's my two cents. There are online reviews for some of these bikes out there if you search as well.
 

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I should also add the new Diamondback Podium bikess to the list of those you should check out. I have heard good things about their carbon versions and you can ow even order htem on Amazon.com or through Jenson USA and REI. They have some more affordable alloy versions as well.
 

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Hmm... Can you please point to a good reading on frame selection? So far, I have been trying to read description sellers put in CL and there seems to be more emphasis on gruppo...or I am reading it wrong.
Frame material is really only important, when it comes to either racing, or concerns about durability and lifespan. If you are a racer, or a cyclist who enjoys speed, then carbon is usually the preferred material by most cyclists. Although there are some lighter steels and specifically designed racing bikes in aluminum, as well. Usually, racers are more concerned about speed and performance than the lifespan of a particular bicycle. OTOH, if a longer lifespan and greater durability are of your greatest demands of a bicycle, then steel would be the most likely frame material of choice for you. www.brightspoke.com/c/understanding/bike-frame-materials.html
 

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Frame material is really only important, when it comes to either racing, or concerns about durability and lifespan. If you are a racer, or a cyclist who enjoys speed, then carbon is usually the preferred material by most cyclists. Although there are some lighter steels and specifically designed racing bikes in aluminum, as well. Usually, racers are more concerned about speed and performance than the lifespan of a particular bicycle. OTOH, if a longer lifespan and greater durability are of your greatest demands of a bicycle, then steel would be the most likely frame material of choice for you. www.brightspoke.com/c/understanding/bike-frame-materials.html
Frame Materials
 

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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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Hmm... Can you please point to a good reading on frame selection? So far, I have been trying to read description sellers put in CL and there seems to be more emphasis on gruppo...or I am reading it wrong.
The reason CL sellers sell by the groupset is because that's the only they have to sell. They generally don't know enough about frame design and construction, or ride and handling to be able to succinctly sell the bike on that basis.

As for frames, for now, forget reading material. Test ride. That'll tell you what you need to know.

It takes time and experience to learn how to read a geometry chart. Then you need to know about tubesets, tube length and butting (or in the case of carbon, layup). All that needs to be backed up with miles and miles of riding. By then, you'll know enough to design bikes.

But a test ride can tell you if a bike works for you in no time.

For anything in a commuting or dual-use bike, I'd stick to metal frames at this point, since few carbon frames have fender eyelets, and fewer still (I can't think of any at all) have rack eyelets. These are two things I consider essential in a daily commuter. Even if it's not equipped with eyelets, a metal frame has no issues with clamping force when installing racks with P-clips. You wouldn't want to do that with a carbon frame or rear triangle.

FWIW, both of my commuters are aluminum with carbon forks. Both have eyelets for a rear rack and full fenders at both ends. They ride just great. I had an older one that rode like a brick. One test ride on one of the current commuters told me that it's design and construction, not material, that makes the difference. In the ride department, neither one of my aluminum commuters takes a back seat to my club ride bikes--one is steel and the other is titanium.
 
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