Lincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8 Posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3068 times:
After saying "I want to buy a bike" for 2+ years and not owning a bike for something like 12 years (and that was my first bike, a single speed Target special) I walked down to my local bike shop* yesterday and chatted with one of the sales folks and what seemed to be the owner.
I made it clear that I wasn't going to be buying today -- or even this week -- but wanted to get a feel for my options. After chatting with them for a while we narrowed the selection down to two models, one at about $650, one at about $990 + about $150 for clipless shoes .
I talking to them, it seems like the $990 option, a Bianchi Volpe is a good fit (not to mention it comes in under my own self-imposed "I will not spend more than $1,000-ish on a bike"-limit, and it's reasonably light.
Anyway... I'm not too concerned about the sum, but I feel like I need to do more research before I make a large purchase -- but I have no idea what specific details I should be researching -- and what other accessories (aside from a helmet, of course) I need to consider vs just being up-sells.
My intent is recreactional suburban on-road riding, perhaps some light on-trail riding, though ultimately I have aspirations of riding in to the office on occassion (about 8-12 miles depending on route, all paved roads with some decent hills)
* - "Local" as in located on the same street and less than 5 minutes by foot. I love where I live
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Johns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3051 times:
Finding a bike that can do both roads and trails is hard to do. I'm a road biker so I'll stick with what I know best. Don't buy anything with Shimano Sora or Tiagra components. Stick with the 105 group. Depending on the hills around where you live, get a triple crankset. It'll save your knees on the steep ones. I just checked out the Bianchi website. The Volpe doesn't do anything well. This time of year many shops have end of year sales where they mark a few hundred off of this year's models. My brother just bought a Giant OCR1 for $110 and loves it. Besides for carbon fiber fork, look for either carbon fiber seatstays or seatpost. They'll get rid of a lot of the "road buzz". Get yourself a GOOD pair of bike shorts. Your butt will thank you. Fingerless gloves are also good. Other good options are the Felt Z series, Specialized Roubaix and the Trek Pilots.
JBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3185 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3046 times:
Echo what Johns said-- finding a bike that will be good on roads and trails is extremely tough. As I type this, I'm wrapping up a 75 day cross-country cycling trip with my fraternity from Seattle to Washington, DC. (It's called the Journey of Hope... raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities).
My experience is with road bikes, but I can tell you that our team has a lot of brands represented. Our Specialized bikes have been having the most technical problems (excluding tires and tubes, since that's not brand specific). The Giants and Treks have been holding up well, but I have to hand it to the Bianchis on the team-- they have not had any problems whatsoever for this entire 4,000 mile trip. I'm getting a new bike when this is over, and I'll for sure buy Bianchi or Giant.
Lincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3034 times:
Thanks for both of your replies!
I guess I should carify intent (and the more I type about it the more clarity I have for myself ) -- I think virtually all of my riding will be on paved roads-- there's just not that much "unpaved" in my area. In fact, I'm almost positive that all of the "trails" (in local metroparks) that I'm thinking of riding are paved as well.
The thing that sucks about the hills -- or rather hill is that of the three routes I can think of to get to work they're all more-or less flat (or have very gradual grades) and then you get to a valley with a decent drop and a steep grade (On the downhill side I can gain 15-20 MPH if I don't ride the brake; on the uphill side I have to really push the gas) -- definately not the "Ride to work the first week" type of environment, but definately something to work up to [and I know it's possible because I see at least a dozen or so cyclists every week]
I'm embarassed to ask but by "the 105 group" are you referring to, for example, "928 Carbon/105 Mix Compact", "Via Nirone 7/Ultegra/105 Compact", and the "Via Nirone 7/105 Mix Compact"? Or does 105 mean something else?
Those three would definately be pushing my price range to say the least, which brings me to...
Quoting Johns624 (Reply 1): This time of year many shops have end of year sales where they mark a few hundred off of this year's models.
What is "Bike Haggling Ettiquite"? Is it like buying a car where only an idiot pays sticker, or is it what the sticker says goes? For example the local shop quoted me "About $990" for the model I was looking at; Bianchi's website lists MSRP at $999 -- in my industry nothing moves at MSRP, some products move significantly above (with value-added services), some move as much as 75% under.
Johns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3028 times:
Shimano has five dedicated road groups. From worst to best are Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra and Dura Ace. I just looked at the Bianchi website and yeah, that's what "105" means. Check out the bike specs and it says what series the brakes, shifters, derailleurs, etc are. Like JBL mentioned, check out other bike brands as well. The Cleveland area should have quite a few. Find one that specializes in road bikes. That way, they'll have good stock and sell you what you need, not what they have gathering dust in the storeroom. Spin Bike Shop in Willoughby and Lakewood looks like a good one. They are Serotta dealers (very expensive) and so have the Fitcycle to measure you best for the right size.
CanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3424 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3019 times:
Well I'm more of a trail rider myself, but I will say that I went with a Giant a couple years ago, and with the abuse I've thrown at it it's held up rather well. Only maintenance I've had to do really have been things that are either a) normal stuff such as changing worn brake pads, b) things I've chosen to do such as replace the grips with ones I like better, or c) minor stuff that was entirely my fault and probably would have happened to most bikes out there.
Considering the relatively low price, I do have to say I'm 100% satisfied with my Giant Boulder se. Works very well for the riding I do, which includes both fun and riding to/from work or school, which were/are all a combination of road and trails.
Check out a store with a Cannondale. I own two CDs, a R900 hybrid and a Cyclocross 6.
You can purchase an extra set of wheels and tires for any of the hybrids Cannondale makes and use them off road. It's an awesome feature and you can easily get a great price.
If you want a Mountain bike look at Rocky Mountain. Canadian made and excellent. I own an ETSX 50 and an Element 70. There website is www.bikes.com so I'd say they know a little about how to build and market a bike.
Please don't hesitate to ask any questions before making a purchase. It's a big deal for a first time buyer. Check out your local Craig's List for these brands.