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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wanting to get a road bike, but i have no idea what i am doing, can i get some suggestions? I don't have a lot of money right now, so I can't spend more than $600. Should i just wait and save, or is there a bike out there that can meet me in the middle of needing transportation, recreation, with a reasonable cost?
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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EvanParker said:
I am wanting to get a road bike, but i have no idea what i am doing, can i get some suggestions? I don't have a lot of money right now, so I can't spend more than $600. Should i just wait and save, or is there a bike out there that can meet me in the middle of needing transportation, recreation, with a reasonable cost?
There are lots of decent choices for $600, but more details would be nice. Do you own a bike now? Where will you be riding? Strictly paved roads, or some gravel, dirt? All flat, or some hills? You did mention transportation and recreational, so I'm thinking part commuter, part fun bike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do not own a bike now, Mostly for paved roads, But a little gravel and dirt, no more than about 2 miles of it though (on the way to the light rail to the city), and i can probably find a way around it, and yes, it would be for commuting mostly, to work and what not, if i can find a cheaper one for about $450 or $500 that would be great, (student, no money.)
 

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Have you ever ridden a bike with drop bars before?

If not, you might be most comfortable on a flat bar road bike, and they tend to be a bit more budget priced. It would be a good commuter and you could get your feet wet on some longer rides and decide if you ever want to get a full on road bike.

Something like this might be up your ally:
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=32215

See what your local bike shop offers in that style of ride, don't focus too much on the brand name.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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EvanParker said:
I do not own a bike now, Mostly for paved roads, But a little gravel and dirt, no more than about 2 miles of it though (on the way to the light rail to the city), and i can probably find a way around it, and yes, it would be for commuting mostly, to work and what not, if i can find a cheaper one for about $450 or $500 that would be great, (student, no money.)
Here's one that goes for $475 so it'll leave a little extra for a helmet and, if you're commuting, probably a bag, pump, tire levers, extra tube, etc. in the event of flats. IMO, the tires (28c's) are on the narrow side for trails, unless they're fairly hard packed gravel/ dirt. They'll do for awhile, and the bike may accept wider ones. The fork and frame have eyelets, so you can add fenders in the future.
http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/08_bikes/08coda.html#

This one has larger tires (35's) and an adjustable stem, which you may like. Priced at $445. Both the Marin and Jamis have triple cranksets and 8 speed derailleurs, so hills shouldn't pose a problem.

http://www.marinbikes.com/2008_Marin/bikes/specs_larkspur.php

One thing that is very important is fit. If you're a total newbie and don't know anyone knowledgable regarding fit, work with a LBS that will fit you to your final choice(s). Buying used may save you some $$ short term, but ending up on an ill fitting bike won't serve you well.
 

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Tips for not landing on your face, don't worry about it. Loosen up, you shouldn't be nervous. After getting addicted to cycling only a year and a half ago, I've helped several of my friends get into it too, some chose hybrids, others got into road.

Any was, loosen up, its supposed to be fun. Wear protective gear (aka helmet) when you take it out for a test ride. Before that though, explain to the shop that this is your first foray into modern cycling, and you'd like to see what fits your needs and see how things work. Hopefully they'll be nice (I'm a supporter of the super nice bike shops, don't put up with attitude or bike snobs) and put the bike(s) on a stationary trainer for you to try out the different shifting mechanisms while pedaling. At the very least they can put the bike up on a mechanic's stand and show you if they don't have a convenient trainer out.

My suggestion to friends who got into cycling was to go either hybrid or road bike if they were going to exclusively stay on the road.

However one friend that had some of your needs got a cyclocross bike (look like road bikes with different cantilever type brakes and nubby tires as well as a few other subtle but important differences for the cyclocross racer) and saved money (relatively) over a road bike because he did want to hit some off road trails (but not necessarily full blown mountain bike trails that needed a front shock absorber). It worked out great for him because its a rock solid bike for commuting to work/school and perfect for his off road adventures. He can jump off curbs, hit the occasional pot hole, and be fast on the road all in one. He didn't have the need to be the fastest on the road compared to a pure road bike.

Stay away from single speed bikes which are much cheaper because they have no gears because these are special machines for more advanced and almost cult riders.

You definitely save money with a used bike, but make sure you get the right fit. For cycling, even a few centimeters does make a difference. I personally bought my first bike new and relied on the expertise of the bike shops before learning more on my own. Now I feel comfortable buying used or online.

Take your time too, don't let people try to push you into buying anything right there. I not only came back SEVERAL times, but I took a few weeks visiting different shops with the knowledge that I kept gaining and learned what to ask. Try several different types of bikes and brands.


Enjoy.
 
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