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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after a 7 year vacation from biking, I've finally decided that I'm financially able to afford some starter stuff, and I've composed a list of everything based on posts here, reviews, etc. I'd like some feedback if I could, as I'm planning on making this purchase in the next day or two. This doesn't include extras like tubes, kits, etc, which I'll get from my LBS.

Anyway, please let me know if I'm forgetting something, or if there are better options. Thanks!

Bike:

Motobecane Vent Noir
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/ventnoir_jan_sale.htm
$699.99

After reading comments from people on this site, I had my bike selection narrowed down to the Vent Noir and the Knight. I'm obviously on a pretty strict budget ($1,000), so BD seemed appealing. I chose the Vent Noir simply because it's much more bike than I've ever had, so I'll hardly notice the upgrades the Knight has, and I can splurge a bit more on accessories.

Shorts:

2XU Compression
http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=C10100
$93.90

Everyone's stressed to buy a good pair of shorts, and a friend swears by compression, so I figured I'd splurge a bit on these. I haven't heard any negative reviews.

Jersey:

2XU Compression
http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=C0185
$56.45

Same reasoning as the shorts.

Helmet:

Bell Alchera
http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=NP04275
$50.81

Price seemed good, looks well ventilated.

Shoes:

Lake CX105
http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_STOR20.cgi?Action=Details&ProdID=433
$65.95

These looked like a pretty good deal for shoes that'll work with the Vent Noir pedals. I was thinking of spending another $100 on Sidi shoes at PBK, but they were sold out, and figured it was a sign that I shouldn't spend too much on shoes.

Extras:

Castelli Gloves
http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=C9867
$32.42

2XU Compression Socks
http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=C0225
$21.61

Total: $1021.13 - all sites offer free shipping and are tax free.

Anyway, I've convinced my wife to allow me to go $21 over my budget, but I'm sure I could talk her into a bit more if there's something else you all think I need / should change.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Looks OK to me--not necessarily a bike I'd buy (I'm old and slow and like big tires), but nothing obvious shouts, "Don't get me!"
Do you have to pay 90 bucks for shorts these days? I never seem to have butt problems, so I ride mostly in clearance table MB shorts. I haven't bought Lycra stuff in years, but that seems like a lot of money to me.
FWIW, I think buying the small stuff at a bike shop is a good idea. It helps keep them in business, and it never hurts for them to recognize you as a customer when you walk in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I'm most likely ordering the bike tonight, but going to check out an LBS before I order to accessories just in case they're close in price and get quoted on an assembly.

I was looking at a couple pairs of shorts from 2XU, one was in the $60 range and the other is the $90, and the only reason I went with the $90 pair was the thumbs up I've been getting on compression gear. If someone has used compression gear and doesn't think it's worth it, I'd definitely listen.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Kleh said:
Thanks. I'm most likely ordering the bike tonight, but going to check out an LBS before I order to accessories just in case they're close in price and get quoted on an assembly.

I was looking at a couple pairs of shorts from 2XU, one was in the $60 range and the other is the $90, and the only reason I went with the $90 pair was the thumbs up I've been getting on compression gear. If someone has used compression gear and doesn't think it's worth it, I'd definitely listen.
I've never used Compression gear, so you don't have to listen :)
But I agree with Cory. I actually prefer lighter weight shorts like these:
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_165836_-1_200479__200479
but have heard good things about the Pearl Izumi Quests.
Same with jerseys. I've used higher priced models but have found that these
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_167136_-1_200478__200478
are perfectly fine.

My only other suggestion is to NOT buy shoes without wearing them. Go to your LBS and (wearing cycling socks) try a few. If you're like me and many others you'll dislike more than you'll like, so the odds are stacked aginst you if you buy online.

EDIT: Two thoughts re: shoes. This is where I would consider paying a little extra ($125, max) and... think of shoes and pedals as related items, because they are. They're not all compatable, so it's good to settle on a 'system' that suites you, then check available models.
 

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I'm sure the bike will be fine as long as you size it correctly

Have you tried the shoes and clothing on?

Sizing varies greatly in cycling clothing...you might guess close with shorts and jersey but I'd be very hesitant to buy shoes from the internet without trying them on first. Close doesn't work with cycling shoes
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies, I'm glad I didn't commit to the accessories yet. The bike is ordered, but that's some great tips about shoes. I'll be heading to my LBS tomorrow to check out accessories, and I wouldn't mind paying extra for shoes or even some new pedals.

That was definitely one thing I was worried about; pedals. Should I be worried about the stock clipless? I've never had clipless pedals before, so I'm not sure if one grade is better than another as far as comfort.

I'm considering doing the cheaper shorts/jersey that PJ352 suggested. I have a week or so to decide, but I don't want to get overzealous and buy the most expensive simply because it's the most expensive. I wish I could find someone on these boards that use the compression stuff though.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Kleh said:
That was definitely one thing I was worried about; pedals. Should I be worried about the stock clipless? I've never had clipless pedals before, so I'm not sure if one grade is better than another as far as comfort.
Not sure what you mean by stock clipless, but as I said certain shoes are compatable with certain pedals, so discuss it with your LBS. Some riders prefer the MTB style shoes because they're easier to walk in - something you might want to consider.

Regarding comfort, that'll come mostly from the shoes, although some pedal/ cleat combos offer degrees of float that can help those of us with knee issues. Another topic for discussion with your LBS.

Kleh said:
I'm considering doing the cheaper shorts/jersey that PJ352 suggested. I have a week or so to decide, but I don't want to get overzealous and buy the most expensive simply because it's the most expensive. I wish I could find someone on these boards that use the compression stuff though.
Here's something to consider. You're new to this, so initially get apparel that for now fills the bill. After riding awhile, consider adding to your collection - we all do. :) Then maybe you'll opt for the higher end stuff.

EDIT: I get the stock clipless comment now. I'm not used to pedals coming w/ bikes. :)
Make sure you tell the LBS about them (assuming you're sticking with them). You'll need shoes that accept the 2 bolt cleats.
 

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Two scoops of inertia.
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First off a vaccation is something you enjoy. Let's call this a hiatus.
Second, welcome back.
Why are you so amped on 2XU stuff? Some of it looks pretty nice but it just seems a bit pricy. My shorts are Louis Garneau product I got on sale at nashbar. I don't know better, but I've had no complaints with them. Voler and Decente (usually cheap on PBK) jerseys I can say from experience are very nice quality as is. I like 3/4ths zip though. Make sure the gloves and helmet suit your anatomy. Take this all with a grain of salt. Everyone has their taste, body, and preference so it's hard to say otherwise. I can just say I haven't regreted my own purchases besides a cheap pair of adidas gloves. Happy shopping, and try to make sure you have enough in your budget for maintenance items as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again guys. So perhaps my best bet, if I want to save some money, is go for some cheaper shorts/jerseys until I have the urge to upgrade later on. I'll have to roll a lot by my LBS, and I'm reconsidering trying to save a few bucks on gloves and a helmet by buying them on the net. If I cut down my jersey/shorts, I can afford to buy the stuff I need to be sure will fit at the shop.

As far as maintenance items, I have a few bucks saved for all that, and I'll just grab everything the LBS suggests.

Do you guys recommend spending $125 on a professional fit? That seems to be the going rate out here. I'm going to assume the answer is yes, so I've already budgeted it.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Well, the pro fit is an excellent thought, but it usually comes before the bike and the results are used to determine the best choice for you (based on your measurements and the bikes geo). But at this point I don't think it would hurt to bring the bike and get fitted at your LBS. That type of fitting shouldn't cost $125.

Which brings me to the question... how did you determine what size bike to order?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
PJ, I priced out a "2D fit" today for $75; they also have a basic $25 fit as well that he didn't really explain to me. I actually test road some bikes last year from the LBS and they did a basic fit for me to get my size, 58cm, which is the same size I had when I left biking. I should mention that the shop I talked to charges $125 for assembly, but said it includes replacement of any minor components if necessary. I'm curious if that's a decent price, because it seems kind of high.

The shoes I was looking at were Specialized for about $125, but none of the road shoes they had matched the 2-hole structure my pedals have, so I'd have to spend another $75 on the pedals (or $55 if I order from pbk). But I'm not convinced on the shoes yet, although they were the comfiest I've found yet, they still squeeze my toes, even a size up from my normal shoe size. I may have to do more shopping around for those. Is there a specific brand most people flock to?
 

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Also save money and get some Pearl Izumi gloves, less expensive and they're great. Just use regular socks, seriously.
 

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Sounds like a fairly productive day! I'm not familiar with a 2D fit, so if you wish, explain it more in detail. I will offer that if they take some measurements and use them to fit you to your bike, $75 isn't out of line. IMO the $25 fit is going to be cursory (and not even worth the $25).

I agree that $125 to assemble that bike is on the high side. I believe BD offers a video (I'm not sure about any online instructions) but if you've got some wrenching skills and basic bike tools, you can probably assemble the bike yourself. Alternately, get a price for some other shops in your area.

Coincidentally I use Specialized road shoes and IME they're one of the best. Mine (the Elites) went for around $115, so you were probably looking at a comparable model. I can't go to the higher end models because they use a rachet system for the top strap that pinches the top of my foot. And yes, the two bolt cleats are not compatable with the Spec road shoes, but you could sell off your OEM pedals and get compatable pedals/ cleats if you decide on the Spec's. BTW, be careful of going up a size with cycling shoes, because although they'll feel ok standing in a bike shop, they won't fit right while pedaling. The right size shoe should fit fairly comfortably.

To answer your question re: other brands that are popular, some members here swear by Sidi, others Shimano, Diadora, Northwave, but there are others. You can probably do a search and see what threads come up, but as we've discussed previously, likes and dislikes regarding shoes is very personal, so as you say, maybe keep shopping till you find what's best for you.
 

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Peanya said:
Also save money and get some Pearl Izumi gloves, less expensive and they're great. Just use regular socks, seriously.
+1 on the Pearl Izumi's - been using them for years.

Gotta disagree on the socks, though. For me, cycling specific socks work best. Even just Performance brand...
 

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I very much agree on lower priced cycling clothes. You can get perfectly good, if not superior shorts, jersey, and socks from Performance or Nashbar. Personally, I don't buy very much from Nashbar. I'm not sure why, because Nashbar & Performance are the same company. Performance brand jerseys and shorts have served me well over the years. Are they the absolute best on the market? Of course not, but they're comfortable and long wearing, good looking, and inexpensive.
 

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Weldome back to riding Kleh! I've just purchased a BD bike and couldn't be happier with the experience. You should, however, set aside some of your budget for a nice saddle. Stock saddles tend to be on the cheap side and regardless of shorts you may find you need to upgrade fairly quickly.

I'm on a tight budget too, and Performance and Nashbar get a lot of my business. Performance in particular since there's a store about a mile from my house. Their return policy is second to none!
 

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For 700 you could probably get a really good 2-3 year old bike much better than one of those new selections. Also there is plenty of much better socks for less that 21 dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the responses, again.

PJ, I had a chance to stop at another shop and fell in love with what turned out to be some spendier shoes, of course. I can't seem to get anything to fit as well as the Sidi Genius 5. They aren't too terrible, at the shop they were $210, but I found a pair online for $150 from Performance. I've pretty much sold myself on them, they fit me perfectly, and Specialized and Shimano were killing my toes.

I checked with 3 different shops on assembly, all are quoting $100-125, and all three are saying it's because of the time of year; apparently I'm picking the month they're typically slammed. I'm sure I could manage to bumble my way through assembly, but just wanted the comfort of having someone else set it up.

Thanks Cycle, I figured I'd have to throw in a few more bucks for components that annoy me, so I'm prepared for that much :).

jtw1n, understandable, but I really don't have the patience to hunt used bike listings and ebay. Unfortunately my LBS don't carry any decent used bikes, even as the season ends, they're ridiculously expensive. As far as ebay, I wasn't too impressed, as most of the decently priced bikes would be sniped on the last day with outrageous bids, and after shipping they wouldn't be too much better than BD.

As far as clothes, you guys have convinced me not to spend so much, at least not until I get picky :).
 

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Kleh said:
PJ, I had a chance to stop at another shop and fell in love with what turned out to be some spendier shoes, of course. I can't seem to get anything to fit as well as the Sidi Genius 5. They aren't too terrible, at the shop they were $210, but I found a pair online for $150 from Performance. I've pretty much sold myself on them, they fit me perfectly, and Specialized and Shimano were killing my toes.

I checked with 3 different shops on assembly, all are quoting $100-125, and all three are saying it's because of the time of year; apparently I'm picking the month they're typically slammed. I'm sure I could manage to bumble my way through assembly, but just wanted the comfort of having someone else set it up.
I've heard/ read good things about the Sidi Genius and $150 isn't a bad price, so all in all, ya done good! :thumbsup:

I understand how you feel about bike assembly, so if it makes you feel better, go for it. If you're at all mechanical, I'd suggest investing in a few basic bike tools. They'll save you time, money and (most importantly to me) minimize downtime. Sometimes problems can be somewhat involved, but many times it's just a simple adjustment or cleaning/ lube.
 
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