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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all and thank you in advance for any pointers you can give me.

1. I am 250 lbs, will a road bike support me? Or would I be better off getting some type of fitness/performance hybrid bike? I don't plan on being an extreme rider but would like to ride up to 50 miles. Typically plan on riding 10-20 however just for fun and fitness.

2. My budget is limited. I can spend maybe $1200 at my limit but would prefer to stay under $1000. Bikes I have looked at are cannondale Synapse Alloy, Giant Defy, and Trek 1 series. Is it worth the extra 2 or 3 hundred dollars to buy the upgraded bike package from Shimano 2300 to Sora or Tiagra?

3. If you believe its worth the money for the upgraded components should I consider lesser known brands with upgraded parts. Scattante R570, for example is $800 but comes with Tiagra parts whereas the bikes mentioned earlier would be around $1200. Or Vilano Forza 1 would be another example.

Any help or pointers would be awesome because I have no experience or knowledge outside of what I have found so far in doing research on the Internet.
 

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I think those bikes should be fine for your size, just get the best fitting bike. The Cannondale with Tiagra should be under $1100. Sora used to have two separate levers for shifting with I found not so easy to use, but for 2013 they now have the single lever for up and down, so Sora may not be so bad.

Instead of the Scattante you can get the 2012 Fuji Roubaix SL Road Bike with mostly Ultegra components ( 2 steps above Tiagra) for $1299 and get $130 back in store credit for pedals and shoes. Or the Roubaix 3.0 for $899, mostly Tiagra. You should be able to find a good selection of Aluminum framed, carbon forked, Tiagra based bikes for between $900 & $1000. When I was shopping I found bikes from Orbea, Masi, Felt, Fuji, Scott, Specialized and others and it was just a matter of riding some bikes and picking what fit me the best and what was the best deal. I remember that the Cannondale CAAD 8 was a great riding bike, just was a little cramped for me, but it was a really nice riding bike and gave the impression that it would be a bike that would last for a very long time
 

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Hello all and thank you in advance for any pointers you can give me.

1. I am 250 lbs, will a road bike support me? Or would I be better off getting some type of fitness/performance hybrid bike? I don't plan on being an extreme rider but would like to ride up to 50 miles. Typically plan on riding 10-20 however just for fun and fitness.
At your weight and at your budget, most any frame/ fork will accommodate you, but you do need to consider bikes with more robust wheelsets, which will prove more durable than the low spoke count varieties. Fortunately (and ironically), it's not until you get into the higher end framesets and wheelsets that rider weight is an issue, because weight saving measures are employed in their design/ manufacture.

For rides up to 50 miles, I'd suggest a drop bar road bike over a hybrid. They allow the rider the ability to change hand positions, which helps on longer rides. While they have their place, hybrids tend to have a limited scope of use.

2. My budget is limited. I can spend maybe $1200 at my limit but would prefer to stay under $1000. Bikes I have looked at are cannondale Synapse Alloy, Giant Defy, and Trek 1 series. Is it worth the extra 2 or 3 hundred dollars to buy the upgraded bike package from Shimano 2300 to Sora or Tiagra?
For entry level bikes, your budget isn't really that limited. You can find perfectly acceptable bikes in the $800 range, but (as you indicated), as you go up the model lines, there are some notable upgrades.

IMO, as long as it fits your anatomy, most any bike with an alu frame/ CF fork and 9 speed Sora will meet most recreational riders needs. From there you go to Tiagra, gain 1 cog at the rear and with that some refinement in the feel of shifts, slightly better finish and slightly lower weight.

If, after test riding and comparing the price differences, this is important to you, then go for it. But (again, IMO) this becomes more of a want thing than a need thing. Sora can do the job.

3. If you believe its worth the money for the upgraded components should I consider lesser known brands with upgraded parts. Scattante R570, for example is $800 but comes with Tiagra parts whereas the bikes mentioned earlier would be around $1200. Or Vilano Forza 1 would be another example.
I don't think so . The frameset dictates the way a bike fits, rides and handles, so going with a lesser known brand (and possibly buying online) sets you up for the pitfalls of doing so. You need an LBS's guidance and the ability to test ride some bikes, so my opinion is to consider this purchase more than just buying a bike. Your paying for services that will better ensure you getting the right bike for you.

Any help or pointers would be awesome because I have no experience or knowledge outside of what I have found so far in doing research on the Internet.
Stop researching and go visit some LBS's, discuss your intended uses/ goals, budget and let them set you up on bikes of interest. Head out on test rides (out on the roads and for some duration) to get a feel for the fit, ride and handling of some offerings.

Initially, don't fret over specific brands/ models. Rather, focus on the shops, their helpfulness and how the bikes feel to you. Test ride both race and relaxed geo (there's a thread going on that at topic now) and buy what feels best.
 

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If you are willing to start with dropbars, then I'd avoid the fitness hybrids. I had to transition from flat bars to drop bars... now I'm unlikely to ever go back to flatbars on anything other than a mountain bike.

I think the Tiagra upgrade for $300 is likely worth it... noting that Tiagra is only marginally better. The advantage, in my opinion, is that w/ Tiagra you already have a 10 speed drive train and can easily upgrade parts later if need be. I'd have to see a complete list of the two builds to really get a feel if it's worth the cost.

Scattante and Fuji are likely coming out of the same factories, personally, I'd take either over an over-priced Trek. What matters is what fits you best, not what name is on the tubing. Once you've determined that, figure out who stands by their products best (this is where Trek starts to look better).
 

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PJ your a beast! Thanks for taking the time to frequent the noob area. You always give thought out and insightful answers. This is appreciated by this rookie. Sorry but I have to spread the reputation around before adding to you anymore. Thanks to all the Vets for the help.
 

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I agree with the advice that the drop bar bike will be a better choice for longer rides. I have a hybrid and a road bike, and ride them both on a regular basis. The hybrid is fine for up to 20 miles or so, but the road bike is more comfortable for longer rides. I’ll take the hybrid (platform pedals) when I ride in town, as clipless pedals are a nuisance if you have to make a lot of stops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PJ your a beast! Thanks for taking the time to frequent the noob area. You always give thought out and insightful answers. This is appreciated by this rookie. Sorry but I have to spread the reputation around before adding to you anymore. Thanks to all the Vets for the help.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks PJ and others for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I went to test ride bikes at several different bike shops last week but at that time I thought I wanted a Hybrid so thats what I rode. Now after looking around everyone says I will eventually want a rode bike. I now agree, road bike is probably the way to go. Hope to get out and ride different bikes and make a choice by the end of this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So would everyone agree that I should pass on the Shimano 2300 component bikes. Like the Giant Defy, Trek 1 Series, Scott Speedster, Cannondale Synapse, and Fuji Sportif all have a bike that is around 700-800 dollars and is equipped with the 2300 components. The next level in all of these bikes is the Sora and they are around 900-1000. I think ther general consensus is that the Sora are good enough, but what about the 2300 series? Thanks
 

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When it comes to bikes, there are five major criteria with which to concern yourself. They are in this order: budget, comfort or fit, the type of terrain upon which you'll be cycling, the distance you'll typically be traveling, and a warranty. With your current budget, you are quite capable of either purchasing a nice performance hybrid, or a road bike. Either bike you select must fit and be comfortable. Otherwise, you won't ride it and it will prove to be a large waste of money, as a futile investment. If you're primarily cycling upon paved roads, then a road bike will most likely suit you best. That's especially so, if you're cycling for distances over 50 miles. Sora and Tiagra are great entry level road bike gruppos. I would recommend either the Jamis Satellite Comp or the GT Corsa 1.0. Both have very strong steel frames that pose no future potential fatigue or stress issues. Make certain that you get cross lever brakes. View attachment 282805
 

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When it comes to bikes, there are five major criteria with which to concern yourself. They are in this order: budget, comfort or fit, the type of terrain upon which you'll be cycling, the distance you'll typically be traveling, and a warranty. With your current budget, you are quite capable of either purchasing a nice performance hybrid, or a road bike. Either bike you select must fit and be comfortable. Otherwise, you won't ride it and it will prove to be a large waste of money, as a futile investment. If you're primarily cycling upon paved roads, then a road bike will most likely suit you best. That's especially so, if you're cycling for distances over 50 miles. Sora and Tiagra are great entry level road bike gruppos. I would recommend either the Jamis Satellite Comp or the GT Corsa 1.0. Both have very strong steel frames that pose no future potential fatigue or stress issues. Make certain that you get cross lever brakes. View attachment 282805
Currently, REI Outlet has the Marin Four Corners touring road bike for sale @ $880, if you're close to six feet tall. Touring bikes aren't racing road bikes, but they are good for traveling long distances and commuting in particular, when they have cross lever brakes.
 

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2300 is good enough. You get eight speeds in back. Cheapest.
Sora is good enough. You get nine speeds in back. Cheaper.
Tiagra is good enough. You get ten speeds in the back. Cheap.

The higher the groupset, the more miles it is built for. If the bike sits against your wall most of the time, they will all last the same amount of time. I imagine that the quality of the shift (i.e. the ability to change gear) would be the same for all three, but the feel of the shift will be different due to tighter manufacturing tolerances as you go up the line.

What really matters if if you like the way one feels over another... no one on an internet forum can answer that for you. Go try one of each and see if you can tell the difference. If you can't feel a difference, then it becomes an issue of what gears you want/need. It's a matter of how far you want the gears to range and how many gaps are between gears. Generally speaking, more gears equals better... but ultimately it depends on your budget.
 

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I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks PJ and others for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I went to test ride bikes at several different bike shops last week but at that time I thought I wanted a Hybrid so thats what I rode. Now after looking around everyone says I will eventually want a rode bike. I now agree, road bike is probably the way to go. Hope to get out and ride different bikes and make a choice by the end of this weekend.
I third the thanks PJ and others with experience and knowledge. I would also recommend a relaxed geo road bike over a hybrid.
 

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In general, the more cash spent at the point of sale, the more enjoyable the ride, and the less cash needed to spend later on upgrades. If your budget includes accessories, just get them sometime later, unless you stand to jeopardize safety or property.
 

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What really matters if if you like the way one feels over another... no one on an internet forum can answer that for you. Go try one of each and see if you can tell the difference. If you can't feel a difference, then it becomes an issue of what gears you want/need. It's a matter of how far you want the gears to range and how many gaps are between gears. Generally speaking, more gears equals better... but ultimately it depends on your budget.
I agree with this. You really have to get out, visit some shops, discuss your fitness/ terrain (to determine gearing requirements) and ride some bikes. Try 2300, Sora and Tiagra and decide from there.

Personally, similar to what I offered previously, I think all will suite your needs, but if you prefer one over the other for some reason and your budget allows for it, by all means, go for it. Assuming you stay with the sport, I doubt you'll regret it.

And just a note to say "thanks" to those of you posting re: my input here on RBR. I'm genuinely happy to help, but know that it's the collective wisdom of members that makes this forum so valuable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My New Wheels

View attachment 282898
Thanks for all the help everyone. I road several bikes and decided that this was the winner! I got the the Trek 1.5. Also got a great deal on it for $899 and MSRP was $1240. LBS said that Trek was going to put it on sale in 2 weeks so they went ahead and gave me the on sale price! Anyone else looking to get an entry level road bike at a great price look for this sale soon!
 
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