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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding mountain bikes for quite a while now, and am getting a road bike soon. I've done some research and ridden a few bikes, and know basically what I want- 105 or better components, 54cm, and a compact or triple ring set. Anyway, I'm looking at two bikes right now. One is a 2004 Roubaix triple with 5300 miles on it for 700. The other is an 2003 Allez pro with about 1500 miles on it for 1000. I'm leaning toward the Roubaix currently, but is that a good price for the miles it has on it? I'm told it has all the service receipts and is in excellent condition. Thanks.
 

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Miles mean next to nothing on a bike. I have a steel frame DeRosa that I bought new in 1994. It's got at least 80,000 miles.

The two bikes you're looking at have great reputations. The Roubaix will ride more smoothly & is a bit more laid back. The Allez is more of a race bike, not that you couldn't race the Roubaix if you wanted to.

Specialized makes several models of both the Roubiax & the Allez. The lower cost models have aluminum frames and relatively low line components like shifters, brakes, derailleurs, tires, etc. Take a look at the Specialized web site and see what the differences are.

Making sure the bikes fit you is vital. It's probably the most important thing about buying a bike. If you can, take a knowledgeble friend with you to help out. You might want to see if you can take the bike to a reputable bike store & get their opinion of it.

Good luck - have fun.
 

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The bikes you mention are different.

The Roubaix is more for touring while the Allez is more aggressive.

Take your riding style into account when you make that choice.

Sport/Racing? Allez.

Touring? Roubaix.

Look beyond the price and mileage.

It could be spanking brand new, but if it wasn't suited to your style of riding,
it'd be a waste of money and 0 miles would'nt help you.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's good to know about the miles (guess its a lot different than buying a used mountain bike); the guy sounds like he has really taken care of it. I know that I need a 54cm top tube, and I have ridden both an allez and a roubaix. in this case, the allez comes outfitted with Ultegra, the roubaix with 105. One concern i have is the wheels- the roubaix comes with a ALX 290 wheelset, while the allex comes with the Mavic Ksyrium Elites. I know the Elites are a better wheel (or more expensive anyway); will the performance of the 290s be subpar? Thanks for your input.
 

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cobra_280z said:
That's good to know about the miles (guess its a lot different than buying a used mountain bike); the guy sounds like he has really taken care of it. I know that I need a 54cm top tube, and I have ridden both an allez and a roubaix. in this case, the allez comes outfitted with Ultegra, the roubaix with 105. One concern i have is the wheels- the roubaix comes with a ALX 290 wheelset, while the allex comes with the Mavic Ksyrium Elites. I know the Elites are a better wheel (or more expensive anyway); will the performance of the 290s be subpar? Thanks for your input.
As an MTBr myself, I think you'd be better off with the Allez hands down.

Besides having better comps, what you'll want on a road bike is speed
(which the Allez is better suited for).

I can't speak for the wheelset, but the comps on the Allez are superior to the Roubaix.
Wheelsets considerations on Road Bikes are different than on MTB's.
I know for MTB's, weight is secondary to strength and the ability to take a hit.
I'd dare to say that it's the other way around for Roadies.

On a 20lb. (for you coming off of an MTB), I doubt you'd notice the difference weight-wise between the two.

My 2 cents.
 

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You can compare the bike specifications here : http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/Default.aspx

It appears the Allez Pro should have Dura-Ace components. Note, 2003 was 9 speed, should be 10 speed.

As far as if either is a "Deal", presuming they fit, go to EBay and look at the completed auctions for any used bike you are looking at. That will give you an idea of what the public is willing to pay for such a bike. If people are paying less, print out the results and show them to the seller. It will provide a good negotaition tool.

Good Luck.
 
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Disregard all other posts. I'm going to help you out here...long term. Don't follow the usual path all other cyclists, including myself, has followed. We all start out with the "starter" bike with 105 components but a few years and quite a few thousand dollars later we all end up with the all carbon Dura Ace/Campy Record Tour de France ready race bike. Just go all the way from the start and save yourself money and the extra time on ebay unloading 2 or 3 bikes along the way.
 

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I am at the Ebay/Craigslist search point for the next better bike. After getting a starter bike, I upgraded various components on it (saddle, wheels, tires, brakes, peddles). But getting a low cost starter is a good way to go to gauge your interest in road riding.
 

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Dissenting view

gnauss said:
Disregard all other posts. I'm going to help you out here...long term. Don't follow the usual path all other cyclists, including myself, has followed. We all start out with the "starter" bike with 105 components but a few years and quite a few thousand dollars later we all end up with the all carbon Dura Ace/Campy Record Tour de France ready race bike. Just go all the way from the start and save yourself money and the extra time on ebay unloading 2 or 3 bikes along the way.
We don't "all" do that. This sport doesn't have to be a money pit for the acquisition-obsessed (not sayin' that's you necessarily, gnauss ;-). Some of us have ridden >100,000 miles over the course of >30 years, and have bought only 3 or 4 new bikes in all that time, happily riding mid-level components (which work beautifully, in both the Shimano and Campy lines), replacing them (sometimes with minor upgrades) when they wear out. Get the bike that feels best to you. It may serve you well for a long time.
 

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gnauss said:
Disregard all other posts. I'm going to help you out here...long term. Don't follow the usual path all other cyclists, including myself, has followed. We all start out with the "starter" bike with 105 components but a few years and quite a few thousand dollars later we all end up with the all carbon Dura Ace/Campy Record Tour de France ready race bike. Just go all the way from the start and save yourself money and the extra time on ebay unloading 2 or 3 bikes along the way.
There certainly is truth to that for some people, but not all. In the original poster's case he is looking at used bikes. If he buys an entry level bike at the right price he can resell it and upgrade later with little if any lost funds on the first bike.
That is what I did. I live by the motto "It does not matter what you buy as long as you buy it right" It has served me well, especially with regard to bikes.
 

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Gnauss "has to" be just pulling your leg Cobra, but his post does bring up something that happens a lot.

Someone will post looking for a good entry-level anything with a budget in mind and
the majority of the posts they will get in return will be almost always telling them to spend more.

Of course, there's the common sense that more gets you more, but some people literally mean what they say when they say the only have a set budget. I can only imagine that they get dissappointed when their told that what they have just ain't enough (no matter how much they have). If they posted with a budget of $400., someone would say spend $600. If they said they have a budget of $1000., they'd be told to spend $1500.

Think about it...a $1000. 2003 bike is "still" a 6 year old bike.
How will that compare to a brand new bike with the advances that have come along in the last 5 years?

For $1000., you can get a great 2008 "leftover" that might even have a very upgradeable frameset.
And, "fit" won't be a problem as you'll be able to be fitted to your bike.

Again, all reasonable advice, but not taking into account a new rider's wants.
I don't remember many people just suggesting a bike for the price they wanted
(it's almost as if they were getting a commission! :lol: ).

Maybe this is a little of topic here...sorry.

But to Cobra, get the most for your budget.
Do your research (just like you're doing here).
I think that Allez Pro (speaking for myself) is the far better bike.

How much do you "need" to spend to start roadbiking?

How ever much you have.

You can buy a 10 year old steel road bike and condition yourself on it for a hundred bucks fully tuned and ready to hit the road and as you learn "what style" of riding you prefer (touring, racing, etc...), you can then make a really informed decision from your own experiences. Heck, you can even come across nice riding RB's for a lot less than that. I got a Trek 1000 (mid-90s') for free. I also got an early 90's Giant RS900 for free too. Just keep an eye out on "rubbish" day in your neighborhood (if you live in an urban area).

I bought a great starter bike for about $700. brand new with a great warranty and from a company that provides great service. That was "my" personal decision knowing that I won't upgrade the bike itself much, but will upgrade "to" another bike. I'll personalize the starter bike and keep it as a 2nd bike, but will go all out (ala' Gnauss) when I actually "know" for myself what I want to ride.

How much money does one save if they go and get a $5,000. bike that they then realize they "don't" enjoy?

Then again, you don't have to go super cheap either (my $100. steel roadie was slightly exhaggerated). I think that a great bike today can be had starting at around $300. for a relatively late model bike (less than 5 years old) with decent comps (105's...think Shimano LX grade).

Baby steps...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks for all of the responses guys, its definitely been helpful. Another problem i'm stuck on is the double/compact/triple issue. Where i live, its fairly flat, so a double would be great. But i do want to do some riding in the mountains, so i know a compact would be preferable; however, a lot of the bikes i'm looking at come with standard doubles.
 

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cobra_280z said:
thanks for all of the responses guys, its definitely been helpful. Another problem i'm stuck on is the double/compact/triple issue. Where i live, its fairly flat, so a double would be great. But i do want to do some riding in the mountains, so i know a compact would be preferable; however, a lot of the bikes i'm looking at come with standard doubles.
That's where I'm at too...when is either crank "better"?

When is it beneficial to have a double?

When is it beneficial to have a triple?
 

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2ndGen said:
That's where I'm at too...when is either crank "better"?

When is it beneficial to have a double?

When is it beneficial to have a triple?
A triple will give you a wider gear range. If you are just getting into biking, this is probably good, especially if you want to ride up mountains. Having said that, riding up mountains still hurts like hell :)

A double is lighter and preserves most of the useful gear range of a triple. For instance, a triple might have a 54, 44, and 34 chainrings up front, while a double would have a 53 and a 39 tooth ring. This combination gives you most of the gear you normally use anyway.

For highly trained cyclists, a double has another advantage: lateral pedal spacing. A triple will have a wider pedal spacing than a double. Most people's knees are highly sensitive to any changes in foot position, simply because your feet go around so many times on a ride. Spacing your feet further apart puts a little additional stress on your knees.

For instance, my road/race bike is a double. My mountain bike is a triple, and I have trouble riding it more than 20 miles because of the difference in pedal spacing: my knees just get sore and feel a little "funny". This might not be a problem for you, but it is something to keep in mind.
 

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crispy010 said:
A triple will give you a wider gear range. If you are just getting into biking, this is probably good, especially if you want to ride up mountains. Having said that, riding up mountains still hurts like hell :)

A double is lighter and preserves most of the useful gear range of a triple. For instance, a triple might have a 54, 44, and 34 chainrings up front, while a double would have a 53 and a 39 tooth ring. This combination gives you most of the gear you normally use anyway.

For highly trained cyclists, a double has another advantage: lateral pedal spacing. A triple will have a wider pedal spacing than a double. Most people's knees are highly sensitive to any changes in foot position, simply because your feet go around so many times on a ride. Spacing your feet further apart puts a little additional stress on your knees.

For instance, my road/race bike is a double. My mountain bike is a triple, and I have trouble riding it more than 20 miles because of the difference in pedal spacing: my knees just get sore and feel a little "funny". This might not be a problem for you, but it is something to keep in mind.
I have triples on my MTB too...and I find myself only using the highest gear when I'm riding home from a trail and I'm beat after a 4 hour run. I mostly use the larger gears for most riding.

I was just thinking about a crank upgrade...if I should go with a double.
From what I've read so far, it shifts easier and it's always a good thing
(IMO) when whatever isn't being used on a bike is done away with.

Makes sense to have a double at a higher skill level.

Less is more.

For example, I always saw a pure MTB as a SS/Freewheel Hardtail with a suspension seatpost (to help with comfort in the rear). You'd keep the efficiency of a hardtail. But that would be for XC/light trail use with V-Brakes. No shifters. No rear suspension to set up. Just hop on and ride. But I love the idea of a 5"+ FS MTB with tons of tech (like the Roscoes) too.
 

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2ndGen said:
How much money does one save if they go and get a $5,000. bike that they then realize they "don't" enjoy?
Well, it depends. If you go used, maybe nothing. Try this, click on my screen name and then click on public profile. You will see a bike that I bought when it was 3 years old. The specs are there too. When it was new it was a $5-6k bike. I got it for a little over $1k and have riden it for 2 years. If I didn't like it I am sure I could sell it for a profit.

While there have been some improvements in technology over the 5 year life of my bike they have been more subtle than significant.
 

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cobra_280z said:
thanks for all of the responses guys, its definitely been helpful. Another problem i'm stuck on is the double/compact/triple issue. Where i live, its fairly flat, so a double would be great. But i do want to do some riding in the mountains, so i know a compact would be preferable; however, a lot of the bikes i'm looking at come with standard doubles.
If it's fairly flat, get a standard double.

You can purchase a compact double if / when you go to spend some time in the mountains, but many climbs can be done on a standard double with a wide range cassette. Swapping out a crank takes around 15 minutes - especially if you are using same brand / bottom bracket.

Triples are for large women, small children, and the elderly :)
 

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Blue CheeseHead said:
Well, it depends. If you go used, maybe nothing. Try this, click on my screen name and then click on public profile. You will see a bike that I bought when it was 3 years old. The specs are there too. When it was new it was a $5-6k bike. I got it for a little over $1k and have riden it for 2 years. If I didn't like it I am sure I could sell it for a profit.

While there have been some improvements in technology over the 5 year life of my bike they have been more subtle than significant.

Hey BCH,

No doubt that there are great deals on Carbon Bikes for around $1000. (I've found several myself).
One can even purchase a brand new Carbon Bike from a reputable manufacturer with decent comps for under $2000.

Personally, if I'm plunking down $1000. for anything, I'd buy new (and get something with a solid warranty and company that backs up the product, not to mention the perks that come with new bike ownership like tune ups and free tire changes locally).

I (again, speaking personally) as a "new rider" would'nt get into a bike that if it broke down would cost me 2 or 3 times what an entry level bike would cost to fix (for example, to replace a DA crank with another DA crank would more than double what it would cost to replace a 105 crank for a 105 crank).

It's like buying a Mercedes. They are great cars, solidly built, but once they start to need parts,
expect to pay way more than what you'd pay for say a Toyota.

This leads to another question:

What's better for a new driver, a new Toyota or a used Mercedes?
(provided that both cost the same)

:idea:

I guess that also leads to another question...should a "new rider" purchase an uber bike just because he could?
 
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