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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings All,

I am pretty much new to the sport of road biking. I've gotten really interested in getting a bike as a result of a lot of spinning at the gym, and hanging with a bunch of guys at work who are big riders. Right now I am looking hard at getting a new bike.

First of all I am 22 (just out of college) and 5'11"

So far I have been looking at the following brands:

Cannondale
Felt (F75 and F80)
Trek (1500 and 1200)
Giant (2005 TCR Limited for $1300)
Specialized
Scattante (R-660 Double for $999)

I am looking for a good bike, that is suitable for entry level but will not be slowing me down in 6-8 months. Anyone have any suggestions as far as brands, I've been to just about all of the LBS's in my area. Only one was actually helpful. I was hoping to be able to get an '05 model on sale, but I am willing to spend up to $1300 on the bike (obviously I'd love to pick one up for less).

Some specific questions:
- Are Shimano 105 good enough or should I hold out for Ultegra's?
- Anyone have any experience with the brand Scattante? I looked around but couldn't find much information.
- Any suggestions on dealing with an LBS?


Thanks in advance for all the help,

Andrew
 

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asdaly3 said:
Greetings All,

I am pretty much new to the sport of road biking. I've gotten really interested in getting a bike as a result of a lot of spinning at the gym, and hanging with a bunch of guys at work who are big riders. Right now I am looking hard at getting a new bike.

First of all I am 22 (just out of college) and 5'11" 180 lbs.

So far I have been looking at the following brands:

Cannondale
Felt (F75 and F80)
Trek (1500 and 1200)
Giant (2005 TCR Limited for $1300)
Specialized
Scattante (R-660 Double for $999)

I am looking for a good bike, that is suitable for entry level but will not be slowing me down in 6-8 months. Anyone have any suggestions as far as brands, I've been to just about all of the LBS's in my area. Only one was actually helpful. I was hoping to be able to get an '05 model on sale, but I am willing to spend up to $1300 on the bike (obviously I'd love to pick one up for less).

Some specific questions:
- Are Shimano 105 good enough or should I hold out for Ultegra's?
- Anyone have any experience with the brand Scattante? I looked around but couldn't find much information.
- Any suggestions on dealing with an LBS?


Thanks in advance for all the help,

Andrew

Have you tried Orbea? Their Marmolata is a nice bike about that range for an 05' bike. I suggest any bike at your LBS, they can help you out the best if your starting out...try as manny bikes out as you can until your hooked on one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick input.

One problem it seems is that all of the bike shops in DC carry different brands of bikes, so its like choosing a bike results in choosing where to buy it.

For Example:

REI carries Cannondale mainly
Revolution Cycles carries GIANT and Trek mainly
Hudson Trail Outfitters Felt and Specialized mainly
Performance Bikes carries Scattante
etc...

I am hoping to take some test rides this weekend so that my narrow my choices down some more.
 

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Test riding is good.

Scattante isn't really a brand, it was Supergo-now-Performance's home-decaled bike. It's just a taiwanese-made aluminum frame, not that different than most entry-level alloy frames.

105 is fine. Pick a bike with newer 10-speed 105 to stay current. Ultegra won't "DO" anything more for you, though its name sounds ULTRA.

Fit is important.

Pick something you think looks cool, too, since liking your bike is important!

Have fun.
 

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asdaly3 said:
Thanks for the quick input.

One problem it seems is that all of the bike shops in DC carry different brands of bikes, so its like choosing a bike results in choosing where to buy it.

For Example:

REI carries Cannondale mainly
Revolution Cycles carries GIANT and Trek mainly
Hudson Trail Outfitters Felt and Specialized mainly
Performance Bikes carries Scattante
etc...

I am hoping to take some test rides this weekend so that my narrow my choices down some more.
REI sells Cannondale?

105 is good enough for a first bike, IMO.

I have a Felt F80--I think it was a pretty good value, but I'd have gotten a Cannondale if I had had the money.
 

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You're in the DC area? I go to school around here, and the bike shops I'd suggest visiting include the Bicycle Pro Shop on M Street in Georgetown, and it's neighbor, Revolution Cycles. Also, the City Bikes in Chevy Chase is an excellent shop, good guys there.

Pro Shop: Aimed towards The Serious Bike Rider. Colnago, Scott, Orbea, Cannondale, Specialized, and a few others. Maybe a bit out of your price range for some brands, but there are a ton of options. 3403 M St.

Revolution: A big Trek dealer; also carries Gunnar and Waterford, great options for steel. Right next to the Pro Shop.

City Bikes carries Specialized, Moots, Cannondale, Bianchi; great service department, friendly guys.

I'd stay away from REI or Hudson Trail; I've had dubious experiences with their service department, and their main focus is not bikes.

Just head around, get a feel for the shops and the services they provide; along with the bike, fit is also very important. As Argentius said, Test Riding is Good.

A side recommendation, if you're in the area, look around for a team or riding club to join. A great way to make friends in the sport, and learn a hell of a lot about riding and racing.
A few of my friends are members of the National Capital Velo Club; http://www.ncvc.net if you're interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, the REI in my area carries Cannondale Bikes.

I agree with you maestro, REI and HTO are not bike focused shops, in fact they didnt seem to interested in helping me out with information or even selling me a bike when I was in there.

I really liked Revolution Cycles (I went to the one in Clarendon) , seemed to be interested in what I was looking to get out of a bike. I'll try the one in Georgetown this weekend, along with the other shops you recommended.

As for clubs, thanks for the heads up about joining one in DC.
 

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I think Giant will be the only manufacturer in your price range ooffering 105 10 speed right now. I would say try to stick with a bike from a lbs and not REI or Performance, they will offer you better service in the long run. 105 is more than adequate for bike componentry and is even race worthy. I see no need in going with Ultegra, I have been riding and racing for 5 years and still see no need for Ultegra for my personal needs.
 

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I live in California, but my LBS was able to special order me a 2005 Specialized Elite Allez (105 groupo) for $800 (33% off MSRP) from the Specialized distributor website. LBS said there are 17 left -that was two weeks ago. I'd go for the most expensive bike you can afford. Is that TCR limited a carbon frame bike?

Sorry for generalizing (I'm new) but this is what I learned about those names:
Cannondale
Felt - spends less money on advertising & sponsorships passes savings to consumer
Trek - entry level bike has heavier wheels than competition
Giant - heavier entry-level frame than competition
Specialized -
Scattant

REI here in CA carries Cannondale too. Though I think they are clearing them out, and won't be selling them anymore. Performance just finished clearing out their big names here.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes the TCR Limited is a carbon frame. I am going to test ride it this weekend, along with some felts and treks
 

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I am also trying to buy my first road bike. I've been mountain biking for a couple of years now and want to get a bike that I can put some miles on. I won't be racing, but will be doing a couple of centuries and some other long rides. I went to a bike shop near my apartment last night to get a better idea of what I'm looking for and then did some more research online. They sized me at a 60cm, while the other shop I had gone to said 58cm. The 60 did seem to fit better, so that's what I'm now looking for.

Here are some of the bikes that seem to be pretty good component-wise. It seems like they are all priced around 1100 or more (new) to have 105 and possibly Ultegra.

Bianchi Eros - $1299 (Campognoli Mirage front/rear)
Cannondale R700 - $1250 (105 front/ultegra rear)
Giant OCR1 - $1100 (105 front/rear)
Iron Horse Excelsior Comp (105 front/rear)
Lemond Tourmalet - $1200 (105 front/ultegra rear)
Specialized Allez Elite Triple - $1300 (105 front/rear)
Specialized Allez Elite Double - $1200 (105 front/rear)
Trek 1500 - $1100 (105 front/ultegra rear)

Am I missing any good companies here or are any of these bikes known to suck? I'm trying to have as wide of a range of bikes as possible so I can hopefully find a good deal. The shop had an '05 Trek 1500 but it was only $50 off. Quite honestly, I'm kind of surprised that Trek had Ultegra for that price since they tend to have lesser components than companies such as Giant in the same price range for mtn. bikes. It seems like they mark bikes up to compensate for all the money they pay Lance.

What are some good places that I can look for deals online other than E-Bay? I find that a lot of companies don't allow their bikes to be sold outside of shops (ie Lemond, Giant). It seems that most of the shops around don't really have any good deals going right now.
 
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Most of the bikes in your price range will have a mix of Ultegra and 105 componenets. Both of these work well. Whatever bike you get you can upgrade components when you buy it, or later on buy stuff off Ebay - or your local bike club. All the bikes you mentioned, and anything in this price range, will work well, and you won't outgrow it anytime soon.

Among the different companies, the main differences are the frames (Some, like Cannondale and Trek, use 'tradional geometry', come in more sizes, and have a top bar that is parrallel to the ground. Giant uses 'compact geometry' and has a sloping top tube (Like a mountain bike) Both work well, you have to decide what YOU like.

Most of the bikes you are looking at have Aluminium frames. Currently, the hot material is carbon, and you will read here that Aluminium has a harsh ride. (Carbon is said to be smoother.) I ride a Cannondale R700, usually between 20 and 50 miles at a time, and it seems fine to me. I have ridden one of my friends Giant TCR composite over the same distance, and can tell little difference, if any, in the way I feel when I get off. As an experiment, I put some 700x28, which made much more of a difference in the ride. (Slower too, I think, but the wind was worse that day.)

The LBS will give you some help to fit the thing, which is important. Buy the bike that you like the way it looks.

I warn you, however, that road riding is addictive.
 

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Don't buy anything over 105, its just excessive for you now.
unless you can pick up a sweet used deal but you'd better be good at judging equipment. Or know someone that is.

spend around 800. there are a lot of quality bikes in that range. Rike it for a while. 10k miles plus. Then treat yourself to something you lust after. But make yourself earn it. That way you won't regret your puchase of a dust collector
 

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LBS's

asdaly3 said:
Yes, the REI in my area carries Cannondale Bikes.

I agree with you maestro, REI and HTO are not bike focused shops, in fact they didnt seem to interested in helping me out with information or even selling me a bike when I was in there.

I really liked Revolution Cycles (I went to the one in Clarendon) , seemed to be interested in what I was looking to get out of a bike. I'll try the one in Georgetown this weekend, along with the other shops you recommended.

As for clubs, thanks for the heads up about joining one in DC.
REI in Rockville has a decent and well versed mechanic on hand. I think Dan is his name. I've gotten loads of help from the College Park sales guys, too.
If you're looking at Felts, does that mean you've found the Bicycle Place in Silver Spring (Grubb Rd)? I didn't see them on that list provided, but, if you haven't tried them yet, do. www.thebicycleplace.com They carry Trek, Orbea, Colnago, Felt, and a whole bunch of other stuff that is right in your ballpark - plus their location to Rock Creek Park makes them great for putting a bike thru its paces on a test ride.
 

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dfleck said:
Don't buy anything over 105, its just excessive for you now.
unless you can pick up a sweet used deal but you'd better be good at judging equipment. Or know someone that is.

spend around 800. there are a lot of quality bikes in that range. Rike it for a while. 10k miles plus. Then treat yourself to something you lust after. But make yourself earn it. That way you won't regret your puchase of a dust collector
A lot of the sentiment I have heard is not to buy anything under 105. Pretty much all of the bikes in the $800 range don't have 105 front derailleurs. If I'm going to be spending $800, wouldn't it be worth the couple hundred dollars to upgrade now instead of outgrowing a bike in a few years?

The bikes I've been looking at are about 1100-1200 new but I'm looking to try and find a deal on them. I do not plan to pay full price for the bike if possible. There are a couple of bike swaps I'm planning for and I've been checking around for last year's models. So far, I have yet to find those deals, but if anyone sees anything in the New England area or online for a new or slightly used bike I'm all ears.
 
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skibum1321 said:
A lot of the sentiment I have heard is not to buy anything under 105. Pretty much all of the bikes in the $800 range don't have 105 front derailleurs. If I'm going to be spending $800, wouldn't it be worth the couple hundred dollars to upgrade now instead of outgrowing a bike in a few years? (Quote)

There is a noticable difference in the way 105's work and Sora's and Tiagra's. However, the front derailur is used less seldom than the rear, and due to its only being a double or triple crank, the movement is not so delicate feeling. You can, if desired, upgrade the front derailur to 105, Ultegra, or Dura Ace. Parts are plentiful and it is easy to do yourself. (One of the advantages of buying from a local bike shop is that they can this for you, and won't charge much for the higher end components - but you must buy them at the time of purchase.)

Some LBS have used bikes. If you can find one at a swap that fits, great! I looked for a used road bike, but could not find anything in the right size. (I am about 6'2") but saw plenty of frame in the 555cm size.)

Good luck.
 

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Before you worry about 105 or ultegra, I would look at the wheelset and the controls. Upgrading to ultegra der's later will be a relatively inexpensive upgrade, whereas buying a bike with ultegra and a lesser wheelset, saddle, bars etc. to offset the ultegra cost will cost you much more in upgrading at a later date.

You will notice the difference in nice wheels/ tires first, I'd even say before you can tell the differences in comparable aluminum frames, assuming that it fits.
 

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I'm surprised by the answers here..

as no one is really telling you much about the most important things (in my opinion of course)....first is FIT. do not buy a bike that the bike shop won't fit you to by swapping out stems, headset spacers, etc. Make sure the frame is fit to your leg length and DO NOT let a shop sell you something that doesn't seem right. you'll regret it later.
Secondly, you can almost be assured that the saddle won't work for your comfort...we all have to go through the motions to find a saddle that fits and is somewhat comfortable. With that said...it does happen that the occasional saddle fits just fine (I got lucky on my last bike purchase through Felt). Thirdly (and sometimes most importantly)...make sure the darn bike has a good warranty (5 years + at least). You'll thank yourself later if a chainstay breaks or a piece of carbons splits...I speak from experience.

My advice would be to steer clear of REI...they don't have real experienced bike people...they're there to move merchandise...and the darn thing is already marked up 10%. Scattante would be a fine brand but if you deal with performance, purchase their "team performance" card for something like 20$...you'll save yourself a wad of cash in the long run and with the bike purchase.

Dont' forget that with most bike purchases, your total cost will be increased by pedals, helmets, tubes, pumps, most likely a new saddle, shorts, etc.

There are lots of great models out there for your prices range. My buying criteria is usually based on componentry and wheelsets (weight). Wheelsets around 1700grams are good for a beginning bike...with that said, I'd stay clear of the Shimano 550 wheelsets (something like a pound heavier). 105, Ultegra are basically teh same thing with different names...DA only gives a slightly improvement in shifting "crispness" and weight reduction (measured in grams). Dont let anyone tell you anything different...

Good luck and let us know what you get...
 

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Trek 1500 out of your list. Comes with ult rear der. And FULL 105 everything else. Some other bikes might have no-name brakes or cranks.

$1100 for a new aluminum frame carbon fork / seatpost with ultegra rear derallieurs, bontrager select wheels, and no a single no-name part. Seems like a deal to me.

But I love TREK, so don't listen to me.
 

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I think go with Trek 1500

I like the 1500 Trek I am also going to buy soon, Been to 5 bike shops in Pa and NJ. I looked at Specialized Allez elite etc. But for some reason keep going back to Trek.
I will most likely buy a pump, shorts,gloves water bottle etc. The extras add up. I will look at sports stores for shirts instead of high priced jerseys I can buy cheaper and get the same material for keeping dry and cool. ( work out gear ) This is also my first road bike in 20 years. as for the pedals I will use the straps for a few months while I save for shoes and pedals, I will buy for comfort and not speed something I can walk in.Good luck At tell us what you deside on.
Thanks
 
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