Bicycle opinions

Spook50

I just got an idea....
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Feb 16, 2005
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If I have enough money left over after doing some much needed maintenence when I return home, I'm lookin at buying a road bike so I can take up riding again. Any of you guys ride at all? I want something comfortable, and preferably with disc brakes so I can still ride in wet weather (I hate V brakes). Opinions anyone?
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
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Greenville/Columbia, SC
road bikes do not use disc or linear pull brakes (v-brakes), i'm sure there are exceptions. Mtn. bikes do. any Mtn. bike you find you can upgrade to disc breaks.

also how much $$ are you looking at spending
 

Spook50

I just got an idea....
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Feb 16, 2005
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I saw a road bike at Whistler that had disc brakes, but I can't remember the brand it was. Possible it was a custom job, which I'd like to find out. Not totally sure how much I'll be able to spend, since I won't know how much I'll be starting with and how much I'm going to end up spending on my truck :eek:
 
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CA Bay Area
Use to ride an average of 120 miles a week in the summer and 50 in the winter, for about 5yrs. 90% of it was road riding on my Schwinn Paramount 70 mt bike. I was too lazy to spend the 1500 bucks on a good road bike back then.

Not to sure what's out there now days, its been so long. Sorry Spook.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
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This is kind of a cop out answer, but there's a lot of good stuff out right now. Carbon fiber seems to be the chic material right now, along with titanium. I ride carbon, and it has long-ride comfort qualities that can best be described as follows:

I used to ride a perfectly good Cannondale aluminum frame. I switched to carbon. The geometry was the same (I had it built that way). On my first ride, I noticed that there was no real difference in performance. But THEN, at the end of the ride which happened to be about 75 very fast miles, I got off and noticed that my body was far less fatigued that I expected it to be. The material really dampens the small shocks that wear you out.​

A good and surprisingly reasonable Giant or Trek carbon bike should be more than adequate. Get decent components and they'll last longer. I've got a bike in the garage with 1989 Shimano Dura Ace components that still work perfectly. Oh, and all the manufacturers' dual pivot brakes work pretty well too. You can even get foul weather brake pads for rainy riding.

Good luck.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
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Steel. No disc brakes - more crap to go wrong and when it does you are out of luck. the "old technology" was simple to work on and would not ruin your day of riding like an unusable disc will. (though a failure at speed when you need it will be a problem for both) You don't see disc brakes in pro road racing - that says all you need to know.

While the quality is improving I have seen more than my share of friends' carbon bikes fail. I have also heard a lot of anectodal evidence to suggest that if you never want to worry or have frame failure your best bet is steel or aluminum. However, many people claim aluminum is a harsh ride.

I have always liked steel and get ridiculed for it. It is cheap, light and repairable. Go to a store and get sized - that is the most important comfort factor - then get a good seat/saddle. If you are not comfy you will never ride it. It may take a bike or two to get one you like unfortunately.

There are lots of good bikes for cheap - shop around and ask to try them out. (friends, bike clubs, stores, etc)
 
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Watch for a used Trek 5000 series carbon bike. There were so many sold to posers in the last 10 years, that they're beginning to hit the used market in virtually new condition.

Example- I picked up a used 56 cm, 5500 frame and carbon fork for $400, slapped some Ultegra wheels on it, some random garage parts and have a 17 lb road bike for $1100.00 total investment. Now, granted, since I've worked in a bike shop on and off for forever, I know the right garages to raid, but you could do very much the same thing. Later, Luke
 
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If you want a good road ride w/ discs, the one that comes to mind is the Novara Big Buzz. I'm sure other companies have similar rides. For discs, Avid Mechanicals are good b/c they are easy maintence and adjustment. Hydros are alot better, but if it's just a knockaround bike, probably not the best choice. You can always upgrade to hydros if need be.
http://www.fineliving.com/fine/rejuvenation_selects/text/0,1663,FINE_8070_11819,00.html

If you are going into racing bikes, I think your intended use and parcourses- as well as the geometry of the bike- will have more importance than the material the bike is made of. Pick the right tool for the job, so to speak.
 

Spook50

I just got an idea....
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Lots of good info guys, I appreciate it. Looks like the Novara Big Buzz is a pretty good option, though I haven't researched carbon fiber frames yet. There are several bike shops in and near Spokane that I'll check out too before making the purchase. Looks like I'll be spending between 600-1000 initially with other upgrades down the road as I work my way back into it.
 

crholliday

Frisbeetarianist
Joined
Jun 6, 2004
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OKC, OK
 
 
First, with more information, the "opinions" (I think you really want recommendations) would be a little finer tuned to your needs. Namely, what type of terrain do you ride on, how long will your long rides be, and how much money do you think you will have left over.

The three things you mentioned are comfort, road riding and rain riding. Comfort comes from riding a bike that fits you and is setup for your riding style. Road riding means different things to different people. Riding in the rain comes from the British. Do what they do or get a trainer.

In the end, it doesn't really matter what label is on your bike. Get something that fits your body and your budget. Buying from a local bike shop will help to ensure that there is always someone around to fix, adjust, replace and repair whatever you need.

C.
 
Joined
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Red Triangle
Disc brakes are not used for road racing because they are far heavier than standard brakes and bike racers are professional who know the fine line where to brake and when not to in wet conditions. I would personally buy a cyclo-cross bike. It is built a bit heavier like a mountain bike, can be ridden offroad in moderate conditions, is not as fast as a road bike but is still faster than a mountain bike, and they are fay superior to a road bike in wet condition. There are a lot of mobels out there, but I will mention a few. I used to ride cyclo-cross bikes a lot, but they are mainly ridden in Europe. There are still a few races in the Western US though.
The bikes pictured are the Redline Conquest and the Cannondale Cyclocross Si Disc. Both are good bikes and can be purchased for around $1200-1400. Look for a 2004 model on a showroom floor, and you'll save a lot of money.

Redline Conquest Disc-R
http://www.yellowjersey.org/rlcros04.html

The race pic is from the 2003 season Milagra Ridge race. http://www.denisondesign.com/bikes/racephotos/milagra.htm

The Cannondale is from:
http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/05/cusa/model-5XR1.html
 
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I don't have a road bike, but I really have enjoyed the quality of my Trek 930. It's older now, and still very smooth. Which reminds me, I should get it tuned up someday.
 
Joined
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Edmond, OK
 
 
Once you get 'bent, you'll never go back...

I have a '99 Rans V-Rex that I dearly love. I can ride 50 miles non-stop and get right off and walk normally with no pain at all. The wife and I both had "wedgies" (traditional upright drop-bar road bikes), hers was a Cannondale and mine was a Giant, but we now ride recumbents on the road exclusively. She has a Lightening Stealth. We both have mountain bikes as well -- they have their place in the dirt.

 

Cube Dweller

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I second Shark's cross bike suggestion. If I could own only 1 bike, it would be a disc Redline Conquest. Riding off road on a road bike is really fun too. You can climb fireroads FAST.

Check ebay, I saw a bunch on there when I was looking. If you want to be a purist, look for steel Euro bikes on ebay too...Colnago, Merckx, Bottechia, etc.
 

MaddBaggins

Remember the KnightRider!
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I've always been partial to Cannondales and GT's. I like to get it as a mountain bike then buy another set of handle bars and tires to make it a rugged road bike. Right now i have a 02 Cannondale F900sl. Orange metallic, front headshock, and disc brakes. All Shimano upper end (for 02) components. I have a pair of semi-road tires(smooth in the center with nobbies on the edges) on it and wider upswept handle bars with bar ends. It doesn't weigh squat, and at the time was $1700. :cheers:
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
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I would recommend a 29ER, look at the Karate Monkey from Surly, or some of the Gary Fisher models. You get the benefits of all worlds. You can run 700C road bike rims w/road tires or cyclocross tires or 2.3" mountain tires for off-road fun. A 29er is similar to a cross frame but will have slightly more relaxed geometry and room for larger tires.

'dales are ok, I've broken a couple of frames though, so now I stick to steel and Carbon. For road I would recommend steel then carbon in that order for the amount of money you have to spend. You might run accross a hybid steel/carbon or aluminum/carbon frame, don't bother, they are generally heavier and don't offer any benefit over a steel frame or carbon frame.



Kelly
 

Cube Dweller

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Oh, personally I don't care for the cable actuated disc brakes..I found it difficult to modulate the amount of brake force you're applying, seemed like it was either barely dragging or locked up. I've got first gen Shimano hydraulics on my mtn bike now and have been very happy with them.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2004
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Rockville, MD
I didn't expect to see such good insight on a 4-wheel drive website :D :D . I'd second the cyclo cross bike option.

More rake on the front fork = less squirely on the road (easier to ride in a straight line)
slightly more substaintal wheelset
More frame clearance for fenders
Braze on's for fenders and rear rack for commuting
Slightly higher bottom bracket = more stable
MUCH better brakes

Stay away from disc brakes on a road bike. Not only are they heavier but there's not enough traction between the tire and the road to make them pratical. If you're riding in the rain lightly pull the brakes to "wipe" the rims off. Don't worry about old stories of Aluminum frames. They used to be way too ridged and broke (espically the c-dale right by the BB) but they've come a long way since then. My corss bike was driven across by a Subaru Forester BOTH tires across the rear wheel/bottom bracket/the center of the top tube. Replaced the trashed crank and wheels and it's good as new. Frame is still within factory specs for alignment :eek: .

I'd go with Trek bikes. Been wrenching on them for 5 years and they seem to be the most well rounded as far as components go and customer support.

Bike nerd
Chris
 
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