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Pedal Master
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Go to a freaking bike shop, sit on one, determine your fit, then ride the sumbeeetch around the block. If you dig it...buy it. If not, repeat the forementioned steps until you find one that tickles your undercariage enough to fork out the $$$.

NO ONE CAN ANSWER THE QUESTION EXCEPT YOU.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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real stonie said:
Go to a freaking bike shop, sit on one, determine your fit, then ride the sumbeeetch around the block. If you dig it...buy it. If not, repeat the forementioned steps until you find one that tickles your undercariage enough to fork out the $$$.

NO ONE CAN ANSWER THE QUESTION EXCEPT YOU.
Amen, brother, Amen
 

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Pedal Master
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Please note the harshness of the intitial post was not intentional. I would welcome all of you degenerates into my home (if forced to do so at gunpoint).

I love you!

Stonie Steamer
 

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real stonie said:
Go to a freaking bike shop, sit on one, determine your fit, then ride the sumbeeetch around the block. If you dig it...buy it. If not, repeat the forementioned steps until you find one that tickles your undercariage enough to fork out the $$$.

NO ONE CAN ANSWER THE QUESTION EXCEPT YOU.
I never reply to "pick out my bike for me" threads.
But if I did, I'd guarantee the perfect bike for you is a 53 cm, lugged SLX frame with a pump peg, chain hanger, dropout adjustment screws, 9-speed Shimano DA shifters mounted on Kelly Take-Offs, 44cm Cinelli Eubios bars wrapped with Stella Azzurra Techno Spugna tape, 105mm TTT Status quill stem, Torelli roller bearring headset, Phil Wood bb, 170mm TA cranks, and 32h Ambrosio Excellence rims laced to Ultegra hubs, all riding on Rolly-Poli tires, and Cuissi Elite stainless bottle cages. It's definitely the perfect choice for you. If by some chance it isn't, I'd suggest selling it on ebay with no reserve.
 

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Wow!! You people are LOADS of help. Such insightful and shrewd advice. :rolleyes:

Here's what you gearheads don't realize. This is possible more confusing than buying a car. I know whether a Mercedes is generally better than a Ford or a Hyundai. I know that a V-8 gets me more power, but worse gas mileage. I know that I want airconditioning. I know what a 5 speed manual transmission is.

What I DO NOT know is:

Do I really need a carbon fork?
Do I really need carbon seat stays?
What the HELL Sora, Tiagra, Record, Chorus, Ultegra means and why I need/don't need it?
Does it really matter that the bike weighs 18, 19, 20 pounds, considering that the 2 pound difference between an 18 and 20 pound bike means jack squat since I am plopping my 200+ pound fat ass on the bike?
Is a "no-name" brand like Ibex really OK to buy to save $300-400?
Are $49 clipless pedals OK for recreational cyclists - will they break easily? Is the only thin I'm gaining by spending $100+ for pedals a reduction in weight?

I could go on and on.

And your answer of "ride it around a parking lot" is utterly ridiculous. If I plan to spend 45-hour on it each time I ride it, how the HELL am I to figure out whether the bike is "comfortable" or "feels right" in a 5 minute around a parking lot, or maybe around the block?

While I FULLY understand that picking out a bike is somewhat about personal choice and "feel", there are still a lot of questions that need to be resolved before I go blow $1000 on a bike.

Thank you for your wonderful insight. :rolleyes: Its almost like you people dont want anyone in your little club, so you are stingy with the advice to a newcomer.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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cka1971 said:
What I DO NOT know is:

Do I really need a carbon fork?
Do I really need carbon seat stays?
What the HELL Sora, Tiagra, Record, Chorus, Ultegra means and why I need/don't need it?
Does it really matter that the bike weighs 18, 19, 20 pounds, considering that the 2 pound difference between an 18 and 20 pound bike means jack squat since I am plopping my 200+ pound fat ass on the bike?
Is a "no-name" brand like Ibex really OK to buy to save $300-400?
Are $49 clipless pedals OK for recreational cyclists - will they break easily? Is the only thin I'm gaining by spending $100+ for pedals a reduction in weight?

I could go on and on.
And unless the search function is broken (and it sometimes has been), all these questions have been answered, patiently and thoroughly, approximately 1 meeeellion times on this and other forums. Apparently being a newbie means never having to use the search.

If you want answers to one of your specific questions above and it hasn't been answered before (very unlikely), ask. You'll probably get a number of prompt answers. Don't just ask "what bike should I get?" You find the bike world confusing because there are so many options, but you think we could just narrow those down for you without knowing anything about you? Get real.

I don't agree with Stonie's tone, but the core of his message is true--no matter how unhelpful it might seem to a confused newbie.

The most important element in getting a bike is getting one that fits, and oddly enough, even a new rider can tell the difference between bikes. If you haven't ridden a few different bikes, you just won't know which ones seem to fit, and those of us on here definitely can't help you with that over the 'net.

So the answer to all "what bike should I get" questions, especially when they don't throw out any bikes they're considering, is: Which one that you can afford feels best and fits you? Buy that one. Don't go outside your budget for bling if you don't know why you'd need it.

If you throw in a couple of suggested bikes, the answer doesn't change all that much, simply because if your bikes are at all similar in price, they're likely to perform pretty much the same. So buy the one that you like best that fits.

So if you've got a specific question, do a search, then ask here if you can't find an answer. I guarantee you'll get a lot less flak, and more satisfying answers too. By the way, your own "help me buy a bike" thread was totally answerable, so good on you, though it probably could also have been avoided by a search or 10.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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cka1971 said:
Wow!! You people are LOADS of help. Such insightful and shrewd advice. :rolleyes:

Here's what you gearheads don't realize. This is possible more confusing than buying a car. I know whether a Mercedes is generally better than a Ford or a Hyundai. I know that a V-8 gets me more power, but worse gas mileage. I know that I want airconditioning. I know what a 5 speed manual transmission is.

What I DO NOT know is:

Do I really need a carbon fork?
Do I really need carbon seat stays?
What the HELL Sora, Tiagra, Record, Chorus, Ultegra means and why I need/don't need it?
Does it really matter that the bike weighs 18, 19, 20 pounds, considering that the 2 pound difference between an 18 and 20 pound bike means jack squat since I am plopping my 200+ pound fat ass on the bike?
Is a "no-name" brand like Ibex really OK to buy to save $300-400?
Are $49 clipless pedals OK for recreational cyclists - will they break easily? Is the only thin I'm gaining by spending $100+ for pedals a reduction in weight?

I could go on and on.

And your answer of "ride it around a parking lot" is utterly ridiculous. If I plan to spend 45-hour on it each time I ride it, how the HELL am I to figure out whether the bike is "comfortable" or "feels right" in a 5 minute around a parking lot, or maybe around the block?

While I FULLY understand that picking out a bike is somewhat about personal choice and "feel", there are still a lot of questions that need to be resolved before I go blow $1000 on a bike.

Thank you for your wonderful insight. :rolleyes: Its almost like you people dont want anyone in your little club, so you are stingy with the advice to a newcomer.
We're not trying to be difficult, part of this post is in jest. I was a new to road cycling cyclist last year and had a LOT of the same questions. Here's the deal though, for a new cyclist with no preconcieved notions of what is better or feels better, etc. Most of the information is not useful. Cycling is a peculiar sport in that there is a BOATLOAD of technology, but there is really no right or wrong, it is what works and is comfortable for you. At the pricepoint that most beginners, myself included, want to purchase a bike, there is VERY little difference in any of the bikes offered. Almost all will be aluminum taiwanese frames, many will offer a carbon fork, and most will come with Sora/Tiagra. The main differences will be in fit, style, and comfort, and these are very personal things. There is no right or wrong. You will not find any bikes, at least new, in this price range that offer DuraAce or Record, None will be full carbon or ti frames. You may find some e-retailers with 105 or Ultegra, but probably not at your LBS. Here's what I've found.

Sora/Tiagra-acceptable, I am racing now, so I upgraded everything to DA and 105, but Sora works fine for a beginner.

Carbon Fork-Helps a little, but don't expect dramatic results

Carbon Seatpost-doesn't help me at all, seems like a marketing gimick

Weight reductions on the bike mean nothing for a beginner, unless you are planning on racing

No name bikes are fine if it's what is right for you and it gets you riding

cheap pedals are probably better at the start until you are sure you are committed to the sport


Carbon seatstays probably help a little, I question how much, but neither of my bikes has them, and I've only ridden one with them for a short distance, so I'm probably not the best one to ask on that.
 

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Thanks for the constructive criticism/response. Please see my other thread. I am not really asking "Should I buy the Scott or the Felt?" I have more general equipment related questions so that I am informed when I go into a store and see a Sora equipped bike at $699 and a leftover 105 bike at $999 to know that the 105 might be better quality and last longer or allow me to grow into the bike.

And as a veteran of another message board, I understand the search function and how frustrating it may seem for veterans to respond to the same questions over and over. But, newbies just find it easier to ask the specific questions we have. Might I suggest a sticky thread with the "Top 10 Equipment Questions/Answers for Newbies"
 

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gazing from the shadows
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People, please consider this:

Being a beginner means, among other things, NOT KNOWING WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK!

Beginner's Corner is a place where they can ask these questions. It was created for that purpose. Yes, the same questions that have been asked. If you don't like answering the questions, don't click on the link, don't come to the forum. Search function, sure, but maybe they don't know about it, did not see it, or don't know what terms to use to find the answers.

Be gentle or don't post here.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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dr hoo said:
People, please consider this:

Being a beginner means, among other things, NOT KNOWING WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK!

Beginner's Corner is a place where they can ask these questions. It was created for that purpose. Yes, the same questions that have been asked. If you don't like answering the questions, don't click on the link, don't come to the forum. Search function, sure, but maybe they don't know about it, did not see it, or don't know what terms to use to find the answers.

Be gentle or don't post here.

You know I loves ya Hoo but I can't totally agree here. If we really say that no one can address the fact that there are nearly a dozen threads looking to buy a first bike on a budget and wondering about Trek 1000 vs. Giant OCR3 vs. Motobecane, then we're also risking making the beginner board useless.

Those of us who do try to be helpful and address those questions DO get burned out, and it would sure be nice if people would just use the search function first. Recently, one rider in search of a new bike on a budget started a new thread each time he considered a different strategy/bike.

Perhaps a sticky thread on "Buying One's First Bike on a Budget." Even then, it is all a matter of opinion. Some folks jump in every time and say "Sora sucks; don't buy anything less than 105" and "Don't buy new, buy used" ... both of which IMO can be really lousy pieces of advice (depending). And there are folks who really want to persuade you that there's a significant difference in feel between two different sub-$700 aluminum bikes. Well, if we have to have that discussion, it would be nice to collect it into one place.
 

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I think many people ask, "What bike should I buy," but their real question is, "How much should I spend." A newbie fears that he might spend $1000 only to later find out that he could have spent $500 and been just as happy. I like the simple "two bucks a ride" guideline. Estimate how many rides you will take over the first five years, multiply by two, and spend that much on the bike that feels the best. This isn't precise, but it's not so far wrong that you'll have buyers' remorse. It can also be comforting to know that most $1000 bikes will be of roughly the same quality.
 

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gazing from the shadows
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jtolleson said:
Perhaps a sticky thread on "Buying One's First Bike on a Budget."
Done.

But really, this place is designed to suck the repeated questions out of general and bikes. You are right it can lead to burnout. But that is the nature of the beast.
 

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In defense of my specific thread, I wasn't really asking whether the Giant or Trek was better. In fact, I didn't ride a Giant and didn't like the Trek. And its not about the money. Maybe that's the problem, too. Without sounding crass or boastful, I can afford a $1500 bike. But do I NEED it.

Also, perhaps its that we are blessed with an overabundance of LBS here in Atlanta. We must have a dozen. Each has 3-5 options. I dont think there is a brand of bike I can't test ride from Trek to Litespeed to Colnago to Blue (custom built here in GA).

So, its a bit daunting. Perhaps if my choice was the LBS in BFE (that's Bum Flipping Egypt or some variation thereof), and they had 3 brands, it might be easier.

And I would bet that I am not the only one who feels that even though I am 30+ years old, there is still the part of me that wants the "cool" bike and doesn't want to get snickered by the shaved-leg crowd at if I decide to join a group ride because I ride some KMart-esque bike.

I know all about the benefits of technology and high performance sporting equipment. I used to race GS skiing in highschool. I had top of the line equipment. I carry a low handicap in golf. I use custom built forged irons and proline woods. I am just trying to get educated.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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dr hoo said:
Done.

But really, this place is designed to suck the repeated questions out of general and bikes. You are right it can lead to burnout. But that is the nature of the beast.

So true, so true. Thanks for the Sticky. Hope it helps folks. The last week has just been pretty intense in trying to discuss the $500-$700 "how do I choose" niche.
 

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cka1971 said:
Wow!! You people are LOADS of help. Such insightful and shrewd advice. :rolleyes:

Here's what you gearheads don't realize. This is possible more confusing than buying a car. I know whether a Mercedes is generally better than a Ford or a Hyundai. I know that a V-8 gets me more power, but worse gas mileage. I know that I want airconditioning. I know what a 5 speed manual transmission is.

What I DO NOT know is:

Do I really need a carbon fork?
Do I really need carbon seat stays?
What the HELL Sora, Tiagra, Record, Chorus, Ultegra means and why I need/don't need it?
Does it really matter that the bike weighs 18, 19, 20 pounds, considering that the 2 pound difference between an 18 and 20 pound bike means jack squat since I am plopping my 200+ pound fat ass on the bike?
Is a "no-name" brand like Ibex really OK to buy to save $300-400?
Are $49 clipless pedals OK for recreational cyclists - will they break easily? Is the only thin I'm gaining by spending $100+ for pedals a reduction in weight?

I could go on and on.

And your answer of "ride it around a parking lot" is utterly ridiculous. If I plan to spend 45-hour on it each time I ride it, how the HELL am I to figure out whether the bike is "comfortable" or "feels right" in a 5 minute around a parking lot, or maybe around the block?

While I FULLY understand that picking out a bike is somewhat about personal choice and "feel", there are still a lot of questions that need to be resolved before I go blow $1000 on a bike.



Thank you for your wonderful insight. :rolleyes: Its almost like you people dont want anyone in your little club, so you are stingy with the advice to a newcomer.
You don't need a carbon fork or seatstays. But since my income doesn't depend on whether I upsell you on miraculous benefits of either, you can expect to hear different advice from a bike shop. But most bikes will probably come with a carbon fork anyways. There's nothing wrong with them, and the price of them has become very reasonable. By now, they're probably more cost effective to make than a steel forks.
Sora etc. are the different component groups offered by Campy and Shimano. Shimano 105 is about the best group for a beginner who intends on biking for more than a year. It's as durable as anything more expensive. If all labels were erased, and you were given two bikes to ride for a year, you'd never be able to tell the difference. Two pounds won't mean a thing.
I have personal experience with an Ibex mountain bike. It saw me through 2000 kilometers of winter commuting in Maine. I'd be willing to bet their road bikes are just as reliable. I know their customer service is great and their shipping is very fast.
$49 pedals are fine for a beginner. It's better than spending $300 and finding out you don't like the way the pedals feels.
Go to this site http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO
and go through all the measurements. It's a long process, but if you enjoy sweating the details, you'll probably love road cycling. You'll get a very accurate estimate on what size bike you need. Then, if you go to a bike shop and they do a fitting, and they come very close to your estimate, you at least know they have a clue about bike fitting and you can start to trust their advice. Unless you have the arms of an orangutang and the legs of a weiner dog, stock sizing will work fine for you. What you won't know about comfort, and it's a VERY big deal, is which shoes and saddle to get. That process is something only you can find out by trial and error. Some people can be comfortable on any saddle. Some people get lucky by finding a comfortable one on the first try. Some people are comfortable on a saddle, then a couple months later, they can't sit on it and must change.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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cka1971 said:
What I DO NOT know is:

Do I really need a carbon fork?
Do I really need carbon seat stays?
What the HELL Sora, Tiagra, Record, Chorus, Ultegra means and why I need/don't need it?
Does it really matter that the bike weighs 18, 19, 20 pounds, considering that the 2 pound difference between an 18 and 20 pound bike means jack squat since I am plopping my 200+ pound fat ass on the bike?
Is a "no-name" brand like Ibex really OK to buy to save $300-400?
Are $49 clipless pedals OK for recreational cyclists - will they break easily? Is the only thin I'm gaining by spending $100+ for pedals a reduction in weight?
But your questions assume that there are "right" answers and that we are like the Oracle at Delphi. To me, hearing "do I really need a carbon fork" falls on my ears like "is a blue shirt better than a green shirt." I have opinions, sort of, and can share them. But make no mistake, there's no magical true answers to any of the questions you ask.

1. Do I need a carbon fork? Umm, no. There are some sweet forks made of other materials. But carbon provides the right combination of weight and ride quality, and frankly is going to be on almost every bike you look at.

2. Does bike weight matter? Ummmm, not much. I'm most aware of the weight difference between my titanium Seven and my retro-steel commuter when I'm putting 'em on the roof of a car. That being said, on hill climbs or very, very long rides, weight savings beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

3. What's the difference between various component gruppos? Weight and durability. The trade off is the price. You've got at least one person saying a beginner should buy nothing less than 105. I think that's hooey. Who is right? Who is wrong? It is like buying a suit from Walmart vs. Neiman Marcus. There is a quality difference, but sometimes ya only got enough dough for Walmart.

4. Cheap pedals. SOME do suck. The no-name SPD knockoffs from Wellgo and Onza, for example. But within the Shimano lineup, the lower end pedals are mostly just heavier, with slightly stiffer bearings. Will they break? Nah. The pair on my spinner bike is 15 years old.

I do think that an LBS can be a great resource for info, too.
 

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Shirtcocker
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John Nelson said:
I think many people ask, "What bike should I buy," but their real question is, "How much should I spend." A newbie fears that he might spend $1000 only to later find out that he could have spent $500 and been just as happy. I like the simple "two bucks a ride" guideline. Estimate how many rides you will take over the first five years, multiply by two, and spend that much on the bike that feels the best. This isn't precise, but it's not so far wrong that you'll have buyers' remorse. It can also be comforting to know that most $1000 bikes will be of roughly the same quality.
I think a good rule of thumb is that if you don't know whether or not you "need" a certain component level or bike doo-dad you probably don't need it.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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John Nelson said:
I think many people ask, "What bike should I buy," but their real question is, "How much should I spend." A newbie fears that he might spend $1000 only to later find out that he could have spent $500 and been just as happy. I like the simple "two bucks a ride" guideline. Estimate how many rides you will take over the first five years, multiply by two, and spend that much on the bike that feels the best. This isn't precise, but it's not so far wrong that you'll have buyers' remorse. It can also be comforting to know that most $1000 bikes will be of roughly the same quality.
I like my bikes to earn out at $1 a mile, but it's roughly the same thing.

Of course for a newb, I imagine that the idea of putting 1000 miles on a bike (much less the kind of miles I "owe" on mine still) sounds daft. But that's just because they don't yet know how addictive it is.
 
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