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I have heard the 2400 is kind of hard to shift but otherwise I think I'm interested in this bike 2016 Specialized ALLEZ BASE | Road Bikes | ERIK'S

It has a carbon fork, which I hear makes the bike lighter and easier with bumps. Is that true?

I have an 8 speed on my mountain bike. Would this bike go about the same speed? Dumb question but does the speed really dictate how fast the bike can go?

Otherwise if the 2400 and the carbon fork arent a big deal I was thinking about going with this bike

2015 Specialized ALLEZ BASE | Road Bikes | ERIK'S

and then theres this bike thats all carbon if i want to go crazy

Trek Emonda S 4 - penncycle.com

Otherwise the cheapest bike that looks pretty good

Giant Contend 3 - penncycle.com
 

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The less wind cross section you have, on level ground the faster you go. A drop handlebar bike will allow you to get your head down more and achieve that minimal cross section. Compared to the more vertical position of a mountain bike.
Weight of a steel cycle these days is much less than one's body, so saving weight with carbon is important IMHO for extreme racers, and those riding up hills a lot. What is your desired terrain? I've a 1986, a 199? and a 201? mountain bikes, all steel. Each later one is five pounds or more less than the previous. I haven't broken any of them whereas I did brake a frame in the fifties, so tighter quality control with more instruments allows them to drop weight even with steel.
Gear ratio matters more than number of speeds, to top an crawler speeds. Mountain bikes tend to accentuate the lower speeds, to get up the hills. Count the large front cog and the small back cog, divide, that is the max speed gear. Count the small front cog and large back cog, divide, that is your min speed gear.
I find on my mountain bike, even on the downside of a freeway overpass, the top gear is not as fast as gravity will carry me. Hopefully a road bike will have some taller gear ratios.
Quality of shifter is important to price point. Shimano SIS is the standard, but I've found the later ones (than 1986) bend and break more often than the 1986 ones. **** for steel, imho. Look around for opinions on other brands, I've already broken one 201? SIS axle, bent two post 2000 SIS takeup arms, and am looking for an alternative. Number of speeds is not the most important feature IMHO. Walking home with a broken axle is a P***. At least a bent takeup arm gives you one gear to get home. Got trash in the chain/cog is what bent the arms.
Fit is most important to a good experience. Unless you are quite knowledgeable, buying at high markup from a dealer that will fit you may lead to better results than buying a bike off the internet. Warning, the dealer in my town was not much help. Larger cities or college towns may find dealers that are more knowledgeable.
Choosing your shoes, and whether you are going to pull up with your feet on special ones, is a decision to make early.
Best of luck. Don't forget the helmet of course.
 

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The less wind cross section you have...
the internet is a strange and curious place...

what does a failed frame that occurred in the '50s or the quality of shifters made in the '80s have to do with the OP's question regarding currently available bikes?

the shoe comment is simply off-the-wall. no idea what info it intends to convey...possibly something about using clipless pedals...?

OP, if you're a total noob with no previous road experience, I'd suggest just buying something used to see if you like road cycling before investing in a new bike. gotta be cheaper and more likely to fit than just getting something off a website...
 

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I have heard the 2400 is kind of hard to shift but otherwise I think I'm interested in this bike 2016 Specialized ALLEZ BASE | Road Bikes | ERIK'S
Everything's built to a price point, but generally speaking, when installed/ tuned correctly Shimano groupsets perform well. More important (IMO) is that gearing matches your terrain and rider fitness.

It has a carbon fork, which I hear makes the bike lighter and easier with bumps. Is that true?
There are heavy steel, alu/ CF forks and light counterparts. Again, everything is built to a price point. IMO riders fret a bit too much about bike weight and maybe not enough about rider weight.

As to ride quality, highly subjective. Some cyclists will (rightfully) point out that tire size/ quality and tire pressures have more influence on ride quality than *just* materials.

I have an 8 speed on my mountain bike. Would this bike go about the same speed? Dumb question but does the speed really dictate how fast the bike can go?
Power to weight ratio (among other factors, like environmentals - terrain, wind) will dictate speed. Generally, the lighter the total bike weight and the more power the rider outputs, the higher the speed.

My only other advice is 1) for a first bike, don't break the bank. Side with *need* versus *want* and 2) take the steps to get a bike that fits correctly, or you won't ride it for long.
 

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None of the bikes you have mentioned are bad first choices if they fit you well. Most people can find a good fit with those brands. I pretty much agree with everyone else. Get thee to a bike shop, get fit, try a test ride and just go with the one you like best. I recommend close looks at the Allez and Contend. Lots of people have been pleased with both and they are relatively affordable bikes to get started with.
 

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I pretty much agree with everybody else on this one. I have a bike that has 2400 on it that I have been riding regularly for the past year. I have been really happy with its performance so far. I have had to play with my barrel adjusters a time or to as the cables have stretched over time, but that really isn't all that hard to do.

If the person who is trying 2400 to review it regularly rides a bike with Ultegra, it probably does feel sloppy and hard to shift. To someone who got their feet wet riding a $200 bike from a department store (guilty), 2400 feels like a finely tuned machine.

If you try out a bike with Claris, I don't think you will be disappointed with it, as long as you don't try a better bike out at the same time.



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