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Tips for a newbie

Well looking at buying a road bike and got a second hand ride for the weekend. I absolutely loved it even with the puncture, I've been spoilt with tubeless offroad riding where i just fill with air. I was wondering about anything a newbie should be looking for in the bike or just some tips to look out for that you may want to pass on. I'm coming from a mountain biking background so I have the saddle time so it isn't going to be a complete shock to the system:D
You should plan on spending ~$1,200 USD.

If you want to be as frugal as possible get something with full Shimano 105. (I think that's really all the groupset us amateurs need, anyway.) For extra style points, try Campagnolo Veloce or Sram Rival, but these might cost a bit more (especially the former). I wouldn't even bother with Sora, Tiagra, Mirage, or Xenon.

You're already a cyclist, so you probably know this, but I'm gonna say it anyway: Don't skimp on the wheelset. If you can afford it I think it's worth spending a few hundred bucks more to upgrade.

Lots of people are very opinionated about frame material. Just go ride all the options in your price range and see what you like.

Also feel free to disregard anything I've said; I am, after all, just an internet superhero blowhard. :eek: The best person to talk to (and, more importantly, buy from) is the clerk at your local bike shop.
Mar 13, 2009
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Yeah I think 105 is about where it starts for Groups
We don't know any budget issues, but buying sometimes 2-3 year old second hand maybe a way to go, or new old stock. I have dome that before and been very happy.
I also mave the attitute that you need to be able to afford to crash it, especially if you are looking at racing
Try to ignore the really fashionable brands, they don't give the value
Some of the Asian stuff isn't too bad any more (like Giant's) but they are a shorter term consideration, I think. They focus on a headlines like weight and ticking "hot spec" the boxes, marketing driven again. My mate rides Giant's and churns through them every couple of years, I spent more on a Look, but it is a 5 year bike)
As you know it is the engine that matters anyway
Mar 10, 2009
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E-Bay! And the assorted on-line vendors, I use the British on-line stores a ton and they have the dirt cheap prices and they deliver! (I'll PM them if desired don't want to kill the adverts on the site). Shipping's on time and usually FREE! You'll spend a lot less doing the on-line method but you have to know what you're getting at the same time, as in if you don't know how to build the bike, you're better off going to your local bike shop. Us do it your self-ers will rip any price posted anywhere wheeling and dealing via the web and e-bay. You'll end up with a much better quality bike and components but you do have to wait and get your deals piecemeal.

Then there's the buy a whole bike cheap and sell off what you don't want and then buy what you want with the proceeds, upgrade or downgrade as needed.

But the take home message is shop around, don't buy the first bike you see or you'll end up kicking yourself later.
Mar 18, 2009
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Agree with Mr. Tibbs - you cannot beat your local bike shop. They may be a little more expensive initially, but they'll look after you in the long run. Ride different makes and models, and decide based on your expectations of what you want out of road biking (enjoyment, training for MTB, road racing, etc) and your finances. If you're in for long rides, then I would probably avoid aluminum as the ride tends to be harsher and not as enjoyable (compared to titanium and some carbon). If you want to race, then there is a plethora of opportunities which your bike shop guys are the best to help with. Wheels and componentry are important: start with bomb proof training wheels (such as Mavic Open Pro, but plenty of other choices) and good quality components (Shimano 105 or better; SRAM Rival or better; Campy Centaur or better). Most important thing: enjoy your ride and your riding!