Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
10 posts • Page 1 of 1
I'm new around here so please forgive me in advance if I ask stupid questions.
I'm in the market for a roadie after being out of the scene for almost 20 years.. to put that in perspective my last road bike was a Repco Superlite that I upgraded with a 105 groupset and a few other little bits and pieces. I will admit to currently owning a Scott P3 Hybrid though.
Anyway, I've been trying to read and process the vast array of information relating to frame materials, geometry, brands etc but the task is overwhelming and the choices are endless.
So, I seek some learned opinions, bearing in mind that I begin this process without having planted my posterior on a single saddle.
From what I can glean carbon seems to be the preferred frame material for ride comfort compared with aluminium but there are obviously exceptions to the rule.
I'm probably looking to spend up to around $2500. With this in mind, is there going to much difference in the quality of framesets from manufacturers like Fuji, Scott, Trek, Merida etc. I'm interested (at this stage without having ridden any of these bikes) in the Fuji Altamira 3.0 or 2.0, Scott Foil 40, Trek Madone 4.5/4.7 and perhaps the Merida Scultura although I haven't ruled any other brands out just yet.
Obviously frame geometry plays a big part in the "feel" of a bike but given a similar setup will I, as a novice really be able to tell the difference between a good frame and and an average frame?
And is there much difference in the wheelsets at this pricepoint?
I guess I should also add that at this stage I'm not looking to race unless of course the riding bug bites hard. My riding will be predominantly training/fitness and social with the desire to ride some longer group rides.
I really can't give you any worthwhile advice on any of the bike models you list. However I can give a different viewpoint on your strategy for buying a top-level bike.
Can I suggest that you throw a little bit less at the bike (whichever one you choose) with the understanding that it is an 'education expense'. No-one, as a newbie starting off, is going to be able to come up with the ideal bike, and as your riding progresses your skills, interests and future desires will change. Better to pay a lesser amount (say $1200) on a basic road bike then do further research while gaining experience towards your dream bike. Maybe even look at a second-hand road bike, even an old steelie that'll still get you plenty of fitness kms in. That way you avoid outlaying a big slab of $$$$ on a bike that may prove to be not quite what you want.
BTW, brand differences are generally very much over-rated. Better to look at the frame quality and component kit, and decide on what level of gear you are aiming at. Then you can compare similarly equipped bikes at that level on price.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
il padrone thanks for the reply. Your advice seems sound.
I guess I was coming at this equation from the point of getting something that would develop with me and as I don't know if my wife will let me upgrade bikes in the near future! I understand the upgraditis thing and my wife knows me all too well!!
I had initially planned to keep this bike for maybe 5 years or so.. Perhaps attempting to future-proof this decision is not all that practical.
The best way to tackle it then is going to be to get a cheap, but sound bike... like I said second hand, maybe for $400-800, maybe even an old classic steel bike. Ride it lots, then when she sees your waistline dropping and the smile on your dial (maybe even some new energy in the evenings ) she'll be a lot happier about your new recreation. When it comes time for an upgrade there is not such a loss, and you can keep the old bike for a commuter or shopping ride. Once you decide on a real dream bike it may well last you for a long time.
Although carbon is not so good in this respect. Now a nice Baum Ti would be another thing entirely - a good 15-20 year lifespan makes it so much more economical in the long run
Those bikes you listed seem to have pretty aggresive geometry.
If you're not looking to race at the moment, then perhaps the more upright bikes would suit e.g. Defy, Felt Z series, Roubaix, Synapse, Focus Ergoride...the list goes on.
If you know what to look for, secondhand might be the go e.g. Ebay / Gumtree.
I've been watching Ebay lately and there are some bargains going, if the bike is in good knick.
Merida is great, ive posted many times that i bought one a few months ago, and its great. I also would recommend trying out the Ultra.
http://www.bikes.com.au/p/6309642/2012- ... -bike.html
Has full carbon with Ultegra Di2. Seems like a pretty sweet deal, its currently on special from around 3700 i think to 2500. Havent personally ridden one but seems sweet.
2012 Merida Race Lite 904
+1 For the Merida's i have Reacto907E, very nice bike IMO.
You may also want to factor into your budget $3-500 for clothing, accessories, and of course pedals because if you are buying new, most likely they aren't included.
On buying second hand, I'd be a little bit wary of buying a Carbon bike second hand off ebay, not through my experience as a buyer but as a seller. There is no way for a potential buyer to really know how a bike has been ridden and for how long it has been ridden. I sold my old bike which had done 9000+ KM's in around 9months and while was relatively well looked after, i wasn't exactly boasting to the seller how much I'd ridden and that i ride rain or shine. Infact the buyer took the bike to my LBS to have it serviced or setup after purchasing it, and even the LBS remarked to me afterwards at what good $$$ i had gotten considering how much i'd used it. Not that i set out to deceive the potential purchaser I would still have the bike if it wasn't for the need for $$$, but others may.
That being said i know a guy who purchased a really nice MTB second hand, the only weird thing about his story was he had to meet the seller at 2am in a back alley
Thanks for your replies.
Unfortunately I still haven't been able to get out and try any bikes which has been disappointing but I guess life is sometimes like that.
I think that a more relaxed geometry might be what I'm after so I'll keep that in mind.. I also am not polarised by any brand bias at this stage so I'm happy to look at whatever is around.. With this in mind are there any brands that I should steer clear of?
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