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New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:40 pm
by bobbartley
Hi there,
I am like many other new riders, about to hit 40 and decided that cycling might be the new fitness and pleasure pursuit. As I am a newbie, I am also very conscious of budget vs performance vs this is a phase I am going through!

So with that in mind I have narrowed my choice down to two bikes:

2013 Verite Team S Carbon Road Bike with mostly 105 components for $1199 (weight 7.8kg) Alex R450 wheelset

or

2013 Reid Falco Elite Alloy body and carbon forks with Mavic Aksium Wheels and full 105 groupset $1069 (weight 8.78kgs)

One of my main concerns are the tyres. Where I ride I have been told the roads are a little unforgiving therefore wheels are important. So the trade off is a carbon frame with not full 105 and inferior wheels for more money or the alloy frame with better components and more durable wheels (at least that is what i have concluded from my research).

I am looking for some objective advice (if possible) for a new rider that hopes to get on my bike three times a week.

Appreciative of any suggestions offered.

Cheers,
Bob

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:44 pm
by nickdos
I was in a similar position a tad over a year ago - 41 y.o., a weekend MTB'er and started mid-week rides on my flat bar. Soon got the Strava bug and upgraded to a proper road bike. I ended up getting an entry level full carbon with 105 mixed components for similar money to the Verite. I've been extremely happy with the bike and have not found a fault with the Tektro brakes or FSA cranks. I did upgrade the wheels after 6 months as well as the saddle & tyres. So my 2 cents is go with the carbon frame. If buying online, make sure you test ride a bike with very similar geometry and I'd recommend getting a bike fit soon after buying - I did and ended up getting a longer stem, as a result. Also factor in at least $300 for bib shorts, jersey and shoes+pedals.

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:10 pm
by Nobody
When it comes to which frame type, you won't get much objective opinion around here. Too many people who become one-eyed about their favorite type. Including me.

The Al frame and better wheels would probably end up being better value, but the best bike is the one that fits you the best and you like to ride. So if you can, try them both.

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:21 pm
by jacks1071
You can buy a solid set of training wheels for less than $200 so I wouldn't be too focused on what comes on the bike. It can be quite handy to have a spare set of wheels in the garage as well.

Get the best frame you can afford and if it has at least 105 groupset then you'll have something reasonable.

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:56 am
by bianchi928
jacks1071 wrote:You can buy a solid set of training wheels for less than $200 so I wouldn't be too focused on what comes on the bike. It can be quite handy to have a spare set of wheels in the garage as well.

Get the best frame you can afford and if it has at least 105 groupset then you'll have something reasonable.


+1.

I have no affiliation with Jacks. I purchased a set of Pro-Lite Como's, one of their "training level" wheel sets and they are fantastic. We have some pretty rough roads and paths where we ride.

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:57 am
by sb944
bobbartley wrote:Hi there,
As I am a newbie, I am also very conscious of budget vs performance vs this is a phase I am going through!


The bikes you talk about are sort of the ass about approach to building a good bike. They get a cheaply made frameset, which is the most important part, and then tack on some high quality components. This makes them look like great value compared to more expensive brand names, but for the most part the ride experience is going to be better on a known brand with cheaper components. The brand names build frames for the worlds best, and that R & D makes it all the way down to the lowend bikes. To highlight this, a Specialized Roubaix S Works can cost up to $8500. Quite a few models down, the Roubaix Tiagra is the same frame design, just using cheaper carbon, and can be had for $1799. The Secteur Tiagra is an alloy version of the same design, and can be had for under $1000. Reid builds cheap bikes, and it's top end frame can be had for $669. It's just two very different playing fields.

You also need to consider a bike shop will help fit you to a bike properly, and that brand names often offer choices for different riding styles (search bike geometry). Specialized again has an aggressive seating bike range Tarmac and the more relaxed riding style Roubaix. Most quality brands will offer choices in this, and a bike shop will help fit you properly which is very important.

Finally, I hacked around a little on bikeexchange.com.au and found a couple of spots I'd call milestones in the lower end. Firstly, search road bikes on there, and put in tiagra into search terms. Filter by brands like Cannondale, Giant, Scott, Specialized, Trek, etc and have a look at some of those bikes. They should all be excellent bikes, and a $1K budget will get you a nice alloy frame with a nice groupset. The next search I did was for Ultegra, using the same brand filters. About $2500 (and under) gets you a very nice carbon frame with Ultegra groupset. If it were me, I'd keep using what you had until you could afford the $2500 budget. Buy some 105 pedals ($46 from Wiggle) and SPD SL shoes (cheap ones start around $60, ie Shimano R077), and learn clipless pedals on a cheap bike, then do the upgrade and put those pedals on the nice bike. If you aren't me, you have a tonne of self control and wouldn't be tempted to upgrade again in 3/6/12 months, stick with the $1K budget and get what we be a very nice bike, and worthy of keeping for years.

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:00 pm
by Nobody

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:32 am
by bobbartley
Hey thanks guys for all the advice, i have some things to ponder now and will do a little more research before taking the plunge.

Unfortunately, I don't have any bike at the moment and I want to make sure I don't over spend on my entry to road biking...

But thanks a lot for the advice.

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:42 am
by foo on patrol
Don't underestimate the quality of second hand neither. :wink:

Foo

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:55 am
by jasonc
foo on patrol wrote:Don't underestimate the quality of second hand neither.


+1
I bought my bike 4 and a half years ago on ebay for just over $200. I did about 10000kms on it, then bought a newey, and another one last year.
I do see the advantage in the reid. free servicing for 12 months by memory. but after that time you'd either love or hate cycling and can then invest money in something more to your liking.

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:13 am
by RonK
These are both very ordinary bikes. You really should reconsider your budget.

This risk with these is that if they don't function and perform well, you'll become demotivated and it won't be long before the bike is gathering dust at the back of the garage.

On the other hand a bike which functions smoothly and rides sweetly can be very motivating.

I'd be looking at recognized brands with a minimum 105 spec, preferably carbon.

Most importantly endure that you get properly fitted, not just a stand over the top tube effort.

And don't overlook the proper rider gear too.

Re: New rider with seeking some advice

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:29 am
by Howzat
+ 1 to the advice from sb944 to get your first bike from a good bike shop, where you can make sure you get the right size.

Also, if your funds permit, consider raising your budget to $2K. This will get you an awesome bike that will help you want to ride.

It also won't cost you any more if you end up deciding that cycling is not for you. Resale value is pretty good on lightly-used name-brand bikes. If you give up and sell within a year, you likely stand to be down about $500 whether you start with the $1k cheapie or the $2k name-brand bike.