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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Locally (within a 40 minute drive) I have two cycle shops...one sells mainly Specialized and the other sells mainly Trek road bikes.

Do either of these brands offer great options for a road cyclist newbie who's looking for a good quality 'bang for your buck' bike?

Or, should I expand my bicycle shop area so I can possibly include other brands?

I would have a couple more shops to choose from if I go to an hour or so away from home. My only concern then is if I need something quick performed on my bike that I'm not comfortable handling I would have to drive 2 to 3 hours round trip. Local stores offer lifetime 'tune-ups' with every bike they sale; even my 2000 $300 GF Mamba...took it in the other day and they checked everything out for me at no charge!

I know a lot of money can be saved by ordering online but I would love to support the local cycle shops if at all possible; assuming Trek or Specialized offer good quality bikes at an affordable (for a middle school teacher) price.

Thanks for all your help and advice with this question as well as my 167 previous one (I know it seems like more).

TripleB
 

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They both make some very nice bikes, but there are also some better value options probably - Giant and Cannondale would be good choices in best bang for the buck if you have a dealer close that carries either of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Giant and Cannondale would be good choices in best bang for the buck if you have a dealer close that carries either of them.
Thanks for the input...the Giant dealer that used to be in town shut down about a year ago but I did a quick search and found a shop that sells both Giant and Cannondale that is 39 minutes away!

TripleB
 

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Specialialized and Trek are huge players. Lots of other guys but a question like yours is going to invite a lot of subjective answers. We all like what we like. Giant is probably the biggest producer followed by Specialized Cannondale, Trek and Felt. Any of the large builders is likely to have something for your needs and have an offering that meets your needs but if it doesn't look at the next guy on the list.

My own opinion is that absent year end sales from a local bike shop bike prices are fairly competitive across builders. Buying a bike from last season can also be a good option for saving. Not much really changes from year to year except the hype.
 

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Yes, they both make bikes worthy of victory on grand tours. Shy of that, yes, they make good bikes. You are looking at a frame when you say Trek or Spesh, essentially... Sure, both have some fully specd components, but drive trains are pretty straight forward. Shimano in this case I believe. Don't hesitate to buy Trek or Spesh. Good frames. Look at the group offering... Getting the right bike in terms of fit is more important than anything else...
 

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For my 3rd road bike I considered a Specialized Roubaix or Trek Emonda both great options and around the same price point. One thing i like about Trek is there lifetime warranty on frames, where other manufacturers don't offer that. Specialized is known for the quality of bikes they build. I have a cannondale caad 10 which I enjoy but I favor my specialized more.

I also tried out a few Giants which were great as well around the same price point. Wound up purchasing a Tarmac Comp di2 2016 for a great close out price.

I had options to buy closer but went 40 minute further because I like the shop and the owner/staff made me feel like home.
 

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The big box brands all compete within a set price range. Basically just look them over, determine price range, fit and ride quality and pick one out. The all have a 1 year marginal warranty. Nashbar has the best warranty out there. You need to assemble the bike and tune it up which many people will not consider.
 

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For my 3rd road bike I considered a Specialized Roubaix or Trek Emonda both great options and around the same price point. One thing i like about Trek is there lifetime warranty on frames, where other manufacturers don't offer that. Specialized is known for the quality of bikes they build. I have a cannondale caad 10 which I enjoy but I favor my specialized more.

I also tried out a few Giants which were great as well around the same price point. Wound up purchasing a Tarmac Comp di2 2016 for a great close out price.

I had options to buy closer but went 40 minute further because I like the shop and the owner/staff made me feel like home.
Specialized also offers a lifetime warranty on frames, FYI
 

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^^ that's great. I was not aware of that.
Google it up. After all the exclusions there is really no warranty of worth. .

Nashbar will give you a refund or exchange flat out for life. That's a warranty. However assembly is required and no free tune ups. Not a problem for me as I do 100% of my own maintenance anyway. Others do not so that could be an important component of a purchase.
 

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Each brand has its good and not-so-good points, but are pretty much equal along the various price points. I've owned bikes from just about every major brand and a whole lot of minor ones. Some I liked, others I didn't, and it was more of a subjective thing usually than a objective difference. I have my preferences in bicycle design.

My suggestion? Test ride as many bikes as you can, and buy the one that inspires you. Maybe it's the paint job or positioning or whatever, but the big thing is to buy a bike that makes you want to get out on the road. Little differences between brands don't matter much- miles do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Greatly appreciate all the help and advice so far!

One more question (somewhat related so I don't start another thread):


Is there a type of shifter that is now most common on road bikes? Or is there a type that is easier to use and less prone to problems?

I ask because my Mamba mountain bike (that I'm now riding on road with 'roadish' tires) has thumb/finger shifters. To be honest I didn't really care for them much back when I was mountain biking but on the road they are working really well for me.

Again, thanks for all the helpful advice so far!

TripleB
 

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It's a matter of preference. A well tuned and maintained group will work wonderfully. Like suggested, try different ones and see which appeals to you the most.
Oh, some shops will de-tune the cheaper stuff to make the choice to go to higher end bikes an easier upsell.

Greatly appreciate all the help and advice so far!

One more question (somewhat related so I don't start another thread):


Is there a type of shifter that is now most common on road bikes? Or is there a type that is easier to use and less prone to problems?

I ask because my Mamba mountain bike (that I'm now riding on road with 'roadish' tires) has thumb/finger shifters. To be honest I didn't really care for them much back when I was mountain biking but on the road they are working really well for me.

Again, thanks for all the helpful advice so far!

TripleB
 

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Specialized claims that they design every frame to the median body type of its size, as compared to designing for a target frame and simply making other sizes larger or smaller. Not sure if this design philosophy covers their entire product range, but its a good advantage and you don't hear about this from other bike outfits. It's a very Italian philosophy. Contrast this to a Cervelo which varies frame geometry very little across sizes. Something to keep in mind.
 

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Specialized claims that they design every frame to the median body type of its size, as compared to designing for a target frame and simply making other sizes larger or smaller. Not sure if this design philosophy covers their entire product range, but its a good advantage and you don't hear about this from other bike outfits. It's a very Italian philosophy. Contrast this to a Cervelo which varies frame geometry very little across sizes. Something to keep in mind.

I recently stopped in the Morgan Hill Headquarters to view their bicycle museum. It was great and they gave me a tour of the entire facility. On the tour they told me that starting with 2016 all Specialized frames are designed according to size. A small frame would have lighter tubing then a large frame was the basic premise. Probably more to it then that but that is how it was explained.

I got a free water bottle for stopping in.
 

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I recently stopped in the Morgan Hill Headquarters to view their bicycle museum. It was great and they gave me a tour of the entire facility. On the tour they told me that starting with 2016 all Specialized frames are designed according to size. A small frame would have lighter tubing then a large frame was the basic premise. Probably more to it then that but that is how it was explained.



I got a free water bottle for stopping in.
I would strongly consider Specialized for simply this one reason. Reminds me of how my Colnago C-59 is built as well. Too many focus on things like grams, aero or integrated brakes forgetting a well designed and proper geometry is way more important. What specialized doing is as close to custom without being custom. Very important especially if your body does not aproximate the single median size the engineers at the bike company chose in their specs.
 

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If you have Specialized, Trek and Giant to chose from then I would go with Giant, then Trek and lastly Specialized.

I've owned all 3, the value is going to be better with Giant and Trek right off of the bat over Specialized. All I own now is Giant and for anything I can see in the near future it will be all that I own. They make a top notch bike and are as much of a player in the market as any other brand out there.

One thing to consider is budget, how much are you willing to spend and what are you wanting the bike to do and what are you wanting to get out of the bike? Basically what are your expectations?
 

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i don't know if Fuji as sold by Performance Bike is a better or worse frame than Spec or Trek or Giant but if you assume they are equals it would seem Fuji from PB is by far the best value out there (on sale days).

I personally would not order a bike online. I want a human being other than myself involved in sizing and final tweaks to get it just right. also for warranty issues although as mentioned that may be of marginal value.
 
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