Budget Road Bike advice

Budget Road Bike advice

Postby manlyman » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:24 pm

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. I used to cycle competitively in high school and early uni both road/track and I have been away from the sport for about 10 years. Despite this I know nothing about brands etc. I want to ride to and from work 3 days a week and join a weekend ride. After about three - six months of training I want to start entering in races again.

Now here comes the problem - I have a very young family and very very tight budget... why did I not buy a bike before kids??? I am realistic that what you pay for is what you get so I am going to have to enforce to adage 98% fitness - 2% bike! Obviously I need best bang for buck for the $1000 - $1500 range...the cheaper the better. I am struggling as there are so many brands and bike shops out there. There are a few carbon bikes around just under the $2000 mark - how much do stores move in price to get the sale if you haggle a bit?

I've been measured twice now and am recommended a size 54.

Advice, tips, recommendations would be greatly appreciated - the sooner I sort this out the quicker I will be on the road!!!

Many thanks in advance.
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by BNA » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:28 pm

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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby manlyman » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:36 pm

Thanks Crawf, great advice and a good price. What is your pic of the bunch? Any recommended LBS in Brisbane for to get a feel of these suggestions...
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby DoogleDave » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:01 pm

IMO you need to visit a few shops and give them your budget and see what bikes are available...then test ride ALL of them and see which one feels the best.
THIS will be the best bang for buck bike (FOR YOU).
Otherwise, you may end up buying a bike simply on price (or recommendation alone) and then after riding it for a while you may hate the bike and want to off-load it to buy a more suitable bike...which will end up costing you more money in the long run (resulting in less bang for buck).
Much better to try and get it right first time around...as much as you can.
You're still going to want to upgrade in time but if you find a bike you're happy with then living with it for longer than you want to isn't such a chore.

Personally, you don't need carbon fiber but if the bike in your price range that feels the best is a CF bike then go for it. If its an ALU bike, go for that one.

For that price range you should get a reasonable training bike, but I wouldn't expect much from it in a racing environment - where your competitors will be riding much lighter bikes. Whilst weight isnt everything when riding, it does help during acceleration and uphill riding.

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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby bychosis » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:11 pm

Your budget doesn't sound to low to me. You can surely get a great bike for that price. OK it may not be equivalent to what 'everyone else' races on, but like you say it's 98% rider. If you have a decent bike, and your budget says you will, you will just have to make up the difference in fitness! Many riders will tell you their flash bike makes them faster, but in reality they upgraded because they had funds available and would ride to a very similar level without it.

What is most important is that you get a bike that you will ride and feel comfortable on. more comfort => more riding => better fitness => competetive racer.

Dont forget to budget for helmet, shoes, clothing etc.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby MREJ » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:15 pm

I recently bought a Felt F75 on runout for a negotiated $1250. Great bike! It's lively and comfortable. Quite quick steering which is good for crits, but still nice for just rolling along. With my race wheels on, its weight and performance are not far off my top-level carbon bike which has a RRP 3 times the price. If you can get one of the few remaining, I'd recommend it.

Re test riding, that's got some merit but you need to keep in mind the impact of whether the bike has been set up for you, the type of tyres (and wheels) which are easily changed, and different road conditions.
2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Felt F75, 2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL, 2014 Wabi Lightning SE
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby manlyman » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:32 pm

Thanks for the advice guys - I am continuing my search. There appears to be a few ex-demos out there in my size and price range too (I have not gone on any test rides yet). One was a Avanti quantum 2011, shimano ultegra groupset,mavic ksyrium equipe wheels and welgo cleats for just over my budget at $1700. Any thoughts?

Also any further recommendations out there?
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby munga » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:44 pm

you may even find that going 105 over ultegra might free up some money for better wheels.
i'm going to say that wheels make more difference than groupsets.
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby Wal42 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:27 pm

Have a look at the Polygon range of bikes, my mechanic has built a few of them & is fairly impressed with the groupo level & frame quality for the price.
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby manlyman » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:15 pm

Thanks for the tip. The polygon helios seems well priced from the specs and you are not the first to mention them. However from reading the other advice it seems I should test ride it rather than internet sale. Cell and Polygon seem to be in Sydney NSW. Does anyone know of a Brisbane retailer?
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby DavidI » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:11 am

Have you considered a Reid? They tend to polarise opinion a bit but they're very affordable AND have a shop in Brisbane so you can check them out.
If you'd rather a better known name (Merida/Giant/Avanti/Fuji etc) you're still going to get a pretty good bike in the <$1500 range, and this time of year there are usually a lot of runout specials as they try to clear last year's models to make way for the new ones (which are generally the same but with new colours!). To be honest you can't really go too wrong with whatever you get (what I'm trying to say is don't stress about it too much), the most important factor is how well it fits you, and even then things like stems can be changed fairly easily to adjust that.
When you take the next step and start racing don't be intimidated by how flashy/expensive everyone else's gear is, it's more about the motor :)
Things to look for: Minimum of Tiagra (Sora works well enough but will disappoint if you put in a lot of hard miles), you should even get 105 in your price range; Don't sweat which brand of frame it is, 70% of them come from the same manufacturer (and 25% of the rest come from one other); Set aside enough for extras - clothing, helmet, shoes, pedals, spares - you might be able to haggle for these to be included at a discount; Don't pay the full list price - ever; A top of the line Alloy frame is probably better than a bottom of the line Carbon frame - probably; And finally, when you get it, remember Fausto Coppi's 3 pieces of advice about becoming a better rider: 1) ride your bike, 2) ride your bike, and 3)most importantly, ride your bike :lol:
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby vbplease » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:02 pm

How about second hand? Two year old Cervelo S2 for only $1500 in Brisbane.
http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles ... /102127133
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby manlyman » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:28 am

Thanks for your time and advice guys. Some great tips there David. I have heard mixed reviews of the Reid (on this forum) but I will go down and check it out. Thanks for the link to the second hand bike I will look into it. The internet is far cheeper for the extras ie shoes, floor pump, lights and clothing - which is good.

Keep the recommendations com=ming!!!
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby manlyman » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:04 pm

Hi guys,

Thank you all for your advice. My mate has lent me his 2004 Apollo Race Line Giro to commute to work in and begin training. This will allow me to save for a better bike, increase my fitness and knowledge base to ensure I get something I will be happy with to race.

Very nice gesture from my mate. He says its collecting dust and taking up too much space in his garage. Its a size for so too big and the stem is about 125 mm - so I have ordered a 60 mm stem which should make a okay short term fix.

Cheers
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby Wal42 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:16 pm

Just on second hand bikes (considering I ride & procure retro bikes regularly), with a new bike you'll get some kind of warranty on the frame (yes void if you race it & if you ride lots of kms they'll say that the 'lifetime' of the warranty was achieved), whereas with a used bike, if it breaks the first time you ride it, you're left with just a groupset, even the seller maybe unaware that the frame has a major structural defect or damage.

To start out, maybe look at buying something 'bottom end' of a manufacturers range (providing they use the same frame through their range), it'll have low end groupset, these are normally a bit heavier & work a little more agricultural but will last ages, as you get better, wear stuff out, get the upgrade bug, you can fit better items to your bike, yes in the long run it'll cost more but you have the fun of saving/shopping for that 'bit' you just 'have to have'.

Just my thoughts, guess everyone has a different one but that's what makes us individuals.
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Re: Budget Road Bike advice

Postby themerlin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:23 am

cycling express that the ultegra verite for $1500 last week, if you don't mind all the cyclingexpress adverts on the frame.
Crawf wrote:Not big name brands but you'll get more bang for your buck...
http://www.cyclingexpress.com/cycle/bik ... e-blk.aspx
http://www.bicyclesonline.com.au/2011-p ... bon-frame/
http://www.cellbikes.com.au/Jamis-Xenit ... gory=12632
http://www.cellbikes.com.au/Cell-Cyclon ... gory=12632
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