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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My gf and I are looking into getting road bikes to get in shape. We are hoping to get decent bikes in a price range around 500-600 excluding shoes and other accessories.

I was just wondering if there is anything decent in that price range. We live in NYC and we went to paragon sports. The cheapest bike they had for herb size was a felt bike for 899. She is petit which makes finding a bike for her a little tougher. Like 5'.

I am average height so I figure if we can find something for her then there is definitely something for me out there.

Any recommendations? Are there decent beginner bikes for that much?
 

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I'd buy used, but you have to do some research, talk to some local bike shop people, and try riding some bikes to get acquainted with fitments so that you know what you need. Buying used is the easy way to get more bike for your money....and there are some good deals to be had, as people need money these days. There's pros and cons, but to me, just going out and buying a sub-$500 new bike will leave you wanting more later.

Lots of opinions in another thread started just the other day:
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=222233

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"To get in shape"...buying a road bike may not be the way to go. If you want a bike so you can become more active and that may result in getting "in shape" you may want to ride a few different types of bikes before plunging into a typical road bike.
Perhaps try out a hybrid and a mountain bike. They are just fine on the road...actually providing a better workout than a road bike...and are very at home on unpaved surfaces making them much more versatile and possible a lot more fun to ride in a wider variety of areas thus you may ride more, enjoy the experience more and "get in shape" while having a great time doing it.
Prices are also more in your range.
Good luck and let us know what you wind up doing.
 

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Kai Winters said:
"To get in shape"...buying a road bike may not be the way to go. If you want a bike so you can become more active and that may result in getting "in shape" you may want to ride a few different types of bikes before plunging into a typical road bike.
Perhaps try out a hybrid and a mountain bike. They are just fine on the road...actually providing a better workout than a road bike...and are very at home on unpaved surfaces making them much more versatile and possible a lot more fun to ride in a wider variety of areas thus you may ride more, enjoy the experience more and "get in shape" while having a great time doing it.
Prices are also more in your range.
Good luck and let us know what you wind up doing.
Assuming by 'road bike' the OP means drop bar bike, I agree this is a good option.

If the OP does consider this route I suggest discussing intended uses with the LBS's visited, because some hybrids are wannabe road bikes running 28c tires (not great for some looser surfaces) while others are wannabe mtn bikes running 38c's. Reputable shops will steer you towards models better suited to specific use(s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the reason for considering road bikes over other bikes is because we live in NYC and all of our riding will be on roads or paved paths. I happen to completely suck at mountain biking, always end up flying over the handle bars, so I am very happy with sticking to paved surfaces.

Also, based on the other thread linked in here, it seems that for $200 more we can get decent bikes that will last a good amount of time. Would it make sense to get a nicer bike and skip out on the shoes and special pedals until we have more money to afford them?
 

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Sinfolmatt said:
the reason for considering road bikes over other bikes is because we live in NYC and all of our riding will be on roads or paved paths. I happen to completely suck at mountain biking, always end up flying over the handle bars, so I am very happy with sticking to paved surfaces.

Also, based on the other thread linked in here, it seems that for $200 more we can get decent bikes that will last a good amount of time. Would it make sense to get a nicer bike and skip out on the shoes and special pedals until we have more money to afford them?
Points taken regarding the road bike and intended uses, but just a FYI... road bikers can fly over the handlebars as well. Trust me on this one. :eek:

But yes, IMO that makes a lot of sense. That extra $200 will put many high quality, entry level road bikes within your reach and get you the all important sizing/ fitting assistance from a reputable LBS. Generally speaking, they're priced around $750 +/-, so discounted they're in your range.

Besides a helmet and the essentials for repairing a flat, most other 'accessories' can be purchased piecemeal, as finances permit.
 

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To me, living/riding in NYC is all the more reason to condsider something like a hybrid.
I live in Boston and find a hybrid much better suited for city riding. With the exception of early Sunday mornings there seems to never be a time where a road bike can be used as a road bike should in the city. Perhaps where you live in NYC has some better options but for gereral fitness city and city bike path riding I don't think a full on road bike would be best. I just find the upright position of a hybrid useful with with so much going on around me and the ability to ride off curbs without concern is good too. And handleing in tight quarters. Road bikes and their riding position handle well at speeds but not so much in a lot of tight city situations I run into.
 

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Check craigslist. If you're in the Philly area I saw the other day a shop that was having closeout prices on some Scott Speedsters because they stopped dealing with Scott apparently. But the bikes were brand new going for 3-400$ below retail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for the advice. I plan to look more at the hybrids, but my girlfriend seems very intensly set on road bikes right now. If she refuses to go hybrid then I will be going road also, things get more complicated if we have different types of bikes.

helmets, we have skating helmets that we intend to use for the time being.

As for the essentials to repair flats, what do those cost and how often do flats happen? Flats is probably the main reason I would consider a hybrid. I feel like their tires would be more durable.
 

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Flats really only happen when you aren't paying attention. Pinch flats are probably the most common. That's when you hit a sharp bump and pinch the tube causing a small hole usually. Glass and debris I'd say are probably the other major cause. As long as you're paying attention and keep your tires inflated properly flats don't happen that often. As for repair tubes are anywhere from 2-10 dollars depending on brand etc. I stick to the cheap tunbes. And tube is really the only cost in most flat cases.


Edit: forgot about co2. If you go the co2 refill route cartridges are 2-5 dollars depending on brand and type etc.
 

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I've seen a lot of people take hybrids/city bikes and put on drop bars and change out the shifters pretty easily...heck, there are some mtn bikers out there that ride drops! the biggest difference is the geometry/etc and usually come with a wider wheel for nice comfy ride which would be a big help with potholes and rough roads. I've seen folks do MS-150 events on flat bars no problem, but they're usually saying by the end of the ride they wish that had more hand position options. You can always add a set of Ergon grips pretty cheaply too if you keep the flat bars.
 

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stay away from paragon and stay away from used. shops that dont specialize in bicycles are not right for new buyers. go with the pros. six seven hundred should get you a new specialized allez, which is a dyanmite bike at a dynamite price. be careful with anyone who tells you you need to spend more, especially if that advice is at a shop, may be out to git ya

in terms of shops, the ones i see downtown are a bit expensive, like habitat, good service, smiles all around, but pricey. uptown, toga same thing, metro pricey too. rennaisance has excellent selection and fair pricing. i like the cats at renaissance personally, they have a lot of bikes and if you are honest and straightforward with them, they will steer you in the right direction, they do a good job with women's bikes too. they stock felt and allez---look to the clearance on last year's models, great way to save big if you find a bike that fits on the floor. but generally,

specialized allez is an excellent entry/intermediate level bike. retails for 7, WELL worth it.
 

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hxcadam said:
Flats really only happen when you aren't paying attention. Pinch flats are probably the most common. That's when you hit a sharp bump and pinch the tube causing a small hole usually. Glass and debris I'd say are probably the other major cause. As long as you're paying attention and keep your tires inflated properly flats don't happen that often. As for repair tubes are anywhere from 2-10 dollars depending on brand etc. I stick to the cheap tunbes. And tube is really the only cost in most flat cases.


Edit: forgot about co2. If you go the co2 refill route cartridges are 2-5 dollars depending on brand and type etc.
Not IME. Last time I had a flat there were a couple of standard duty staples in my tire/ tube like someone stapled them in. I had near zero chance of seeing them (let alone avoiding them while cruising at 20+ MPH).

Flats happen, whether riders exercise caution or not. Sure, carelessness and insufficient tire pressures are contributing factors, but IMO having the tools and knowledge to repair flats are requirements.
 

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josephr said:
I've seen a lot of people take hybrids/city bikes and put on drop bars and change out the shifters pretty easily...heck, there are some mtn bikers out there that ride drops! the biggest difference is the geometry/etc and usually come with a wider wheel for nice comfy ride which would be a big help with potholes and rough roads. I've seen folks do MS-150 events on flat bars no problem, but they're usually saying by the end of the ride they wish that had more hand position options. You can always add a set of Ergon grips pretty cheaply too if you keep the flat bars.
I don't disagree, but to clarify for the OP, there are some hybrids that are close to road bike geo, so conversion to drop bars is possible, but there are also some hybrids that are closer to mtn bike geo, where doing so would (at minimum) adversely affect handling.

Unless someone knows a fair amount about bike geo, I wouldn't advise going into a hybrid purchase with that conversion in mind.
 

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PJ352 said:
Not IME. Last time I had a flat there were a couple of standard duty staples in my tire/ tube like someone stapled them in. I had near zero chance of seeing them (let alone avoiding them while cruising at 20+ MPH).

Flats happen, whether riders exercise caution or not. Sure, carelessness and insufficient tire pressures are contributing factors, but IMO having the tools and knowledge to repair flats are requirements.
Thats just unlucky haha.
 

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Even though it's not the best way to go for it, you can also buy on line and get a decent bike in your price range. Buying on line you lose the fitting services, and being built up properly.
Buying used can yield more bike for the money, but finding the right fitting ones can take a long time if you use craigslist, and there is a small gamble using Ebay.
 

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Sinfolmatt said:
the reason for considering road bikes over other bikes is because we live in NYC and all of our riding will be on roads or paved paths. I happen to completely suck at mountain biking, always end up flying over the handle bars, so I am very happy with sticking to paved surfaces.

Also, based on the other thread linked in here, it seems that for $200 more we can get decent bikes that will last a good amount of time. Would it make sense to get a nicer bike and skip out on the shoes and special pedals until we have more money to afford them?
to answer your last question again, in case you missed it above, the answer is yes. i refer my right honorable friend to the answer i gave some moments ago...


stay away from paragon and stay away from used. shops that dont specialize in bicycles are not right for new buyers. go with the pros. six seven hundred should get you a new specialized allez, which is a dyanmite bike at a dynamite price. be careful with anyone who tells you you need to spend more, especially if that advice is at a shop, may be out to git ya

in terms of shops, the ones i see downtown are a bit expensive, like habitat, good service, smiles all around, but pricey. uptown, toga same thing, metro pricey too. rennaisance has excellent selection and fair pricing. i like the cats at renaissance personally, they have a lot of bikes and if you are honest and straightforward with them, they will steer you in the right direction, they do a good job with women's bikes too. they stock felt and allez---look to the clearance on last year's models, great way to save big if you find a bike that fits on the floor. but generally,

specialized allez is an excellent entry/intermediate level bike. retails for 7, WELL worth it.
 

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Peanya said:
Even though it's not the best way to go for it, you can also buy on line and get a decent bike in your price range. Buying on line you lose the fitting services, and being built up properly.
Buying used can yield more bike for the money, but finding the right fitting ones can take a long time if you use craigslist, and there is a small gamble using Ebay.

i think you lose a lot only going online. locally there are so many shops, so much competition in the city, the first time buyer benefits from the hands on experience. first, he gets to feel and ride, test ride, actual equipment. pretty pictures online cant do that. the experienced rider might have better luck online, because he is more familiar with specifications and what happens when what's written and pictured actually touches down in reality--when the rubber meets the road, as it were. but the inexperienced rider has no standard against which to judge the representations online. he takes a relatively bigger risk buying sight unseen.

i think online is a good way to learn generally about specifications, bicycle models, companies and prices--who is shimano, for xample, what is sram, who is specialized, what does trek market, what's the difference generally between road and hybrid, etc. but at the entry level price, its worth it for the first time guy to start to familiarize himself with the market, experiencing bikes, talking to other consumers and experienced bikers, shopkeepers, mechs, sales clerks, etc. its probably the best way to start to learn what you really need to know before you actually make a bike purchase...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think i am definitely going to buy in a store. I am going to NJ this weekend, hoping bikes will be a little cheaper there. Found some stores that carry specialized and trek in my price range to check out. Including a Specialized Dolce size 44 clearance item that I think wil be great for my GF if she fits on it.

Thanks for the help, definitely gave me a better idea of where to go as well as everything i need to get set up properly
 
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