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Buying a New Road Bike

May 18, 2009
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Firstly thanks for anyone that can read and offer some advice, been reading through a lot of the threads here and there's a lot of good information but nothing that quite answers what I'm thinking.

I took up cycling / triathlon relatively recently, and quite enjoy it, but given I'm riding a Used Trek 1000 that is too small for me, I'm finding that the bike really is not quite what I want.

The Sora Groupset is 'ok' but the lack of shifting in the drops is a nuisance at times, the main problem really is the frame size, I just feel quite cramped up in it, It's a Small (52 I think) Frame size, and I'm about 179cm so a 54 would probably be much more comfortable. I do experience a bit of lower back tightness through longer rides, which I think is due to the size of the bike, because it pops up whether it's a hard ride or an easy ride.

The bike shops in my area stock a mix of Trek, Orbea, Scott, Colnago, Pinarello, Ridley, Wilier, Felt, Giant, Fuli, Specialized and Avanti, and at least one of them has orders going for the new line from Malvern Star.

I ride currently 200 - 250km a week, mostly in the form of a ~90km long hills training ride on the weekend, but am looking to really bump up to 400 or 500km / week in the near future as it's warming up again.

Ideally I want a mid-range bike that I won't be spending a fortune on, but will be the sort of purchase I can be happy with for a long time and will be fairly durable in terms of your standard wear and tear.

I like the idea of Campagnolo on a bike, everything I've heard about their Groupsets has been very positive in terms of reliability and cost of replacing components. I also would 'prefer' a full carbon frame if that's the best option of course, I don't know enough about materials and all the things to consider to discount any other material.

I suppose it's a bit hard to narrow down, and I know the deciding factor should be to go with whatever bike 'feels' best, but honestly after riding a 5 or so year old entry level frame that's too small for me, pretty much anything is going to feel great!

I live in Western Melbourne, so I suppose there will be a store with Cervelo available, or even a custom Hillman I know a few others have, but might be beyond a reasonable choice ?

I just know that I was fairly shocked when I first started to realise that 'entry level' in the world of road cycling is ~$1000, and so with bikes running anywhere between that and $20,000 it's hard to know what price range to look at, what type of components would be best and what frames are going to be good enough to get years of use out of.

Cheers
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Try this one

I work in a shop in Denver, Colorado, USA. My primary job is as a fit specialist, but I also help people select new equipment.

Depending on your budget, you have many options. This, you already know.

Your supposition that the most important factor is selecting a frame of the appropriate size is correct. You are also correct in assuming that any bike of the appropriate size is going to feel much better than the bike you are currently on.

In my opinion, the best bike for the money is the specialized Roubaix, entry level. The frame is full carbon, which is very comfortable. The components on the bike are Shimano 105, which offer very good performance for the price. The wheel-set on the Roubaix is mediocre, but adequate for training. You could spend additional money on a high-performance deep-dish wheelset for competition and a good set of clip-on aero-bars for your triathlons.

In the future, you may choose to have a custom tri bike built, and you would already have the high end wheels to match with it.

The Roubaix sells for about $1700 US.

Be certain to purchase the bike from a shop that offers a custom fit. You will likely have to spend about $100-$150 for the service, but it is worth it. Have a quick fit done when you purchase whatever bike you choose, then go and ride for a couple of weeks. After you have gotten used to the new bike, have the comprehensive pro-fit performed.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Like most products, you get a lot of improvement for the first extra dollars you spend; the really high-end stuff may be better than the mid-range stuff, but the differences are small and perhaps only matter if you're racing at the top level.

3000-4000 Australian dollars would get you an exceptionally nice bike, and you can certainly buy something very sweet for less.