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Thread: New to road bikes and wondering between two

  1. #11
    americancyclo's Avatar
    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    you can find Cervelos at Freshbikes in arlington or bethesda, or at bonsai in falls church, va.

    I'd ride anything before buying it strictly on looks, and I definitely think talking to a sales person about what you want in a bike (look, speed, social cache, weight, durability) will help you find the right bike for you. There are a lot of nice bikes in the sub $3000 range you're looking in.

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    Third opinion on fit and feel being what you'll really appreciate in the long run. I hang around at a bike shop and I hear lots of customers say things like "well, I got this one bike that was on sale (or that was highly recommended by a friend, or that got great reviews, or that I read about online), but for some reason it's uncomfortable on my X (or when I X) (or after X miles) etc....

    Oftentimes after trying lots of different brands and frame types, people end up with a bike they absolutely love, but it wasn't at all what they were originally looking for!

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    "Road bike" means a whole lot of things these days and about the only thing in common is drop bars and skinny tires. Road bike frames run the gamut from a tall and upright position for more comfort such as a Specialized Roubaix or Cervelo RS, down to a quicker-handing race geometry with a generally lower riding position such as a Cannondale CAAD10 or Specialized Tarmac. All sorts of variables are different on these frames - wheelbase, trail, rake, head and seat tube angles, and all the little differences combine to make a bike with very different handling, fit, and ride. You can adjust your position somewhat on a bike by fiddling with stem length and angle, seatpost setback, and other factors, but the number one thing in fitting a bike is choosing a frame that fits what you want to do with it. Are you looking to ride centuries or just for fun out on the trails? Are you looking to mix it up at weeknight races? These kinds of things help determine what you should be riding. Any kind of bike shop that doesn't start by asking you those questions isn't worth your time and money. The right bike makes all the difference.

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    I have read a lot of good things about Bonzai and Freshbikes. I live in Rockville, and they are just so far. Thank you for all of the advice, I didn't know "fit" was so important. I just figured all 56 cm would fit like 56ers. I'll go to the shops this weekend and see what they suggest and then go from there.

    Also what's the difference between a Tri bike and a Road bike, besides the handle bars. Why are Tri bikes cheaper?
    Last edited by QuantFail; 02-09-2012 at 12:01 PM.

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    DismalScientist is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantFail View Post
    Also what's the difference between a Tri bike and a Road bike, besides the handle bars. Why are Tri bikes cheaper?
    By road bike, I assume you mean racing road bike. The difference should only the handlebars and the frame geometry. You basically pay for a) frame material and quality, b) wheelset quality, c) component level, and d) brand cachet. For a racing and tri bike with the same frame (except geometry), wheels, and components, the price should be the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
    "Road bike" means a whole lot of things these days and about the only thing in common is drop bars and skinny tires.
    I think road bike these days only means it is not a mountain bike (and perhaps not a hybrid or a cruiser). Certainly fixies with flat bars are considered road bikes by many. Traditional touring bikes don't have all that skinny tires, but are likely considered road bikes. I'm not certain I understand the distinction between cross bikes and touring bikes. Perhaps it is a lack of eyelets for attaching a rack and somewhat shorter stays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I think road bike these days only means it is not a mountain bike (and perhaps not a hybrid or a cruiser). Certainly fixies with flat bars are considered road bikes by many. Traditional touring bikes don't have all that skinny tires, but are likely considered road bikes. I'm not certain I understand the distinction between cross bikes and touring bikes. Perhaps it is a lack of eyelets for attaching a rack and somewhat shorter stays.
    I'd say the clearances built in for mud and gunk have something to do with it, although I've never examined that variable between a dedicated touring bike and a cross bike. Racy cross bikes will have shorter stays, but I find most have a little longer wheelbase and a little slacker front end geometry than your typical road bike. Both traits common to tourers as well. Eyelets can also be found on most low-mid range cross bikes since so many of us (myself included) are using them as commuters.

    Lines are blurring everywhere!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
    These kinds of things help determine what you should be riding. Any kind of bike shop that doesn't start by asking you those questions isn't worth your time and money. The right bike makes all the difference.
    Unfortunately I've found salespeople in LBSs to be a real crapshoot. Sometimes you get someone who is really knowledgeable, attentive and patient; other times, you get someone who doesn't ask any questions, isn't very helpful, and will sell you the first thing you lay your eyes on.

    That said, it's best to visit all of your neighborhood shops a few times each. Time consuming yes, but better than having to replace the bike a year later.

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    You might want to consider a performance recumbent as well. Bikes@Vienna have a wide variety and you would be surprised at how comfortably fast you will be able to go having great visibility at the same time.

    Last edited by WillStewart; 02-09-2012 at 01:39 PM.

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    I don't think you want a Tri-specific bike unless you intend to do triathlons (or maybe time trials.) They are purpose built for riding alone and being as aero as possible, while saving certain muscle groups for the subsequent run phase of a tri.

    You can google various comparison articles. Here's one of the first ones I found:

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/11...riathlon-road/

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