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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm a 23 year-old runner with a strong passion for cycling; I just haven't been able to afford a bike yet. Now's my chance, and I'm off to learn as much as I can before I dive in and buy a potentially terrible bike. Please PLEASE throw me some advice. Here's my thinking:
I'm sitting on about $800... so that really limits me
I'm in great physical shape. AKA, I'll put a lot of stress on a bike
I've no idea what to look out for, what's new, and what's any good.

There's a Specialized Allez ('08) sitting at the bike shop with my frame size... I'm just a little nervous about buying it. I mean, my truck is only worth about $500! Let me know what you've tried or are riding that's under $1,000 and maybe I'll sing a song and dance!
 

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I just helped a friend pick out a specialized allez elite and he loves it. His was $1200 but the frame is the important part and your will be the same. Specialized will give you an awesome frame for your dollar but the components wont be so great. However a couple of $40 trips to ebay over the next couple months will help you out big time. he just got a pair of ultegra calipers and plans on some shifters next. Fuji will give you great components for the price but even my friend noticed immediately that the frame was flexy and chose the allez instead. Also for reference one of the bike magazines recently did a sub$1000 shootout and the Scott speedster won it. Not sure of the model but scottusa.com has all the models and msrp's so check em out. I ride a scott s10 and love it but those are like $2000 msrp. None the less scott or specialized are probably safe bets. Feel free to check out cannondale too as i think they have a caad framed bike thats reasonably priced and itll be plenty stiff for you.... depending on your local roads maybe too stiff but thats for you to decide. Just be sure to ride all of them and feel it out. In that price range components will be very similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a lot you guys! So far, I'm thinking I'll try to talk the local bike shop down a little, get the essentials (pedals, shoes, helmet, etc) from them, and ebay for the upgrades. At least the Allez has a carbon fork and frame KNOWN for its quality. thanks for the Scott recommendation B15; I'll look into that one too. You guys are great. Sorry, no song and dance!
 

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bagels said:
So, I'm a 23 year-old runner with a strong passion for cycling; I just haven't been able to afford a bike yet. Now's my chance, and I'm off to learn as much as I can before I dive in and buy a potentially terrible bike. Please PLEASE throw me some advice. Here's my thinking:
I'm sitting on about $800... so that really limits me
I'm in great physical shape. AKA, I'll put a lot of stress on a bike
I've no idea what to look out for, what's new, and what's any good.

There's a Specialized Allez ('08) sitting at the bike shop with my frame size... I'm just a little nervous about buying it. I mean, my truck is only worth about $500! Let me know what you've tried or are riding that's under $1,000 and maybe I'll sing a song and dance!
Hi
I think I understand your mindset - my wife is a committed runner [does boston every year and normally a couple other marathons - and she has just started tris with a half ironman]
Runners like performance equipment. And I do not think you will be happy with anything less than 10-speed level shifters and system; that is: I do not think Tiagra will keep you happy long.

The Mercier Corvus AL does sell out as quick as we get it; due to great specs under $800 delivered. This includes 105/Ultegra with 30-speed

We show on the site shipping July 31st - BUT these unloaded Thursday and will be shipping next week {July 7th}

I think this is the highest level best performing new bike you can get within your budget.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/corvus_al8.htm
 

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bd bikes can be a deal, but keep in mind that minor assemby and adjustments are often needed out of the box (check their board for customers' experiences). if you can't do it yourself or know somebody that can (no tools and/or know-how), figure a bit of your budget for the local bike shop doing it
 

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Since you are a runner and probably not carrying much extra weight. You will appreciate a light bike more than the regular guy. I would look to ebay for great deals. Alumium is light and cheap but usually has a ride on the harsh side. Carbon may be more to your liking. You have Trek (USA)and my fav LOOK (France), along with many Asian made frames. Really, the most important thing for you to do first is to find what size and geometry frame fits you best. Most will agree that this is the place to start. You can pay to have this done at a high-end shop or find a frame builder in your area (best). After many years of riding, I find the amount of cogs you have on the back wheel matters little. I was happier shifting one gear on my seven speed bike compaired to shifting two gears at once on my todays ten speed. My 2 cents......
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There's a high end shop in my area (mostly canondale and Orbea) and they said they'd size me. The guy that set me up was hopefully new to the company, seeing as I knew more about the stuff than him. He didn't even know the difference in shifters, der's! I'm about 6'4" and he put me on a 56cm! It was like putting a cougar in a hamster wheel (sorry, best mental picture). I'm a little worried about trusting them to figure out a frame geometry, let alone a color of my bike. Any other ideas about determining frame size?
 

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I'm 6'2" with an inseam of 35". I ride a 62cm center to center. You my man may need at least a 62. Stay away from that shop you went to. What stat do you live in? Some of the guys on this forum may be able to point you to the right guy to get fitted. I was sold a 18" MTB and a 58 road bike from the same shop and was pissed to find out much later that neither bike fit me. That was back in 89'. I
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm living in central Oklahoma, outside of OKC. I'll keep on the search for a good bike shop, but I don't know if driving 30miles to get my bike worked on would be a good idea. Surely there is a good shop in my area (Norman). I'll be looking for a 62cm to try out. Maybe I can hone my unicycle skills, make some street money, and save up to buy some ultegra (or at least 105/Tiagra).
 

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bagels said:
There's a high end shop in my area (mostly canondale and Orbea) and they said they'd size me. The guy that set me up was hopefully new to the company, seeing as I knew more about the stuff than him. He didn't even know the difference in shifters, der's! I'm about 6'4" and he put me on a 56cm! It was like putting a cougar in a hamster wheel (sorry, best mental picture). I'm a little worried about trusting them to figure out a frame geometry, let alone a color of my bike. Any other ideas about determining frame size?
Yes. Go on the Wrench Science site and use their fit kit. I've used their formula to fit a couple bikes now and I really think it'll get you very close to the specs you should seek.

As a a strong athlete, with a desire to get into road biking, I'd do whatever you can to get the best equipment possible. It sounds like you're the kind of person that will appreciate it. I realize you only have so much to spend, but I guarantee in the end you will regret under spending more than you will regret overspending. As for Scattante, I've never felt comfortable on their bikes. A comparably priced Felt for example just rode so much better. I second the Craiglist idea. Armed with the exact spec info from the fit kit, you can make sure you're looking at a bike that will work for you. Good luck!
 

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bagels said:
There's a high end shop in my area (mostly canondale and Orbea) and they said they'd size me. The guy that set me up was hopefully new to the company, seeing as I knew more about the stuff than him. He didn't even know the difference in shifters, der's! I'm about 6'4" and he put me on a 56cm! It was like putting a cougar in a hamster wheel (sorry, best mental picture). I'm a little worried about trusting them to figure out a frame geometry, let alone a color of my bike. Any other ideas about determining frame size?
Two things:

1 - In a Traditional frame - like Trek, Motobecane, Fuji, Windsor - you need a 62cm [a few factors later on in life might put you on a 64cm years from now]

2 - You should never go back to the shop that tried to sell you a 56c -- they are not interested in your cycling needs
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'll check out the wrench science website. I've gotta be at least a 62cm. There are tons of brands out there, but very few (I can find) with bikes in the $800 range. I figure that I'm looking at spending at least $200 on gear. That's a very conservative estimate, from what I can tell.
 

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bagels said:
I'll check out the wrench science website. I've gotta be at least a 62cm. There are tons of brands out there, but very few (I can find) with bikes in the $800 range. I figure that I'm looking at spending at least $200 on gear. That's a very conservative estimate, from what I can tell.
You can spend that much; if you wish
But you can get a perfectly fine bike with Ultegra 20 or 30 speed for under $1000
and you can get full carbon at under $1500

it pays to shop
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How's Motobecane and Mercier been doing since the 1980's? Could I really ride on a bike-by-mail frame like those and not tell the difference? How could I know what I'm paying for? Also, how could I talk the local bike shops into working on a motobecane?
 
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