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2013-08-07 8:18 PM


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Subject: Bike talk
So, I'm new to triathlons and new to biking basically. I'm a marathon runner and a good swimmer. I've started looking at bikes and all I can say is eeeekk, I don't feel like I want an entry level bike because I don't want to upgrade components right away. Any suggestions or personal preferences on bikes. Pretty open ended question.


2013-08-07 8:22 PM
in reply to: #4824049

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Subject: RE: Bike talk
Get an entry level road bike. Budget about $1000. Make sure the fit is right.

If you really get serious, you can buy a dedicated tri/TT bike in a year or two and keep the road bike for training and group rides.
2013-08-07 8:25 PM
in reply to: Sbarca

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Subject: RE: Bike talk
get yourself a bike fit. then decide what kind of bike you want, tri/road
2013-08-07 8:43 PM
in reply to: Sbarca

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Subject: RE: Bike talk

Welcome to BT.

First of all, you need to educate yourself on bikes.  If you were going to buy a car and didn't know what the difference between a V6 and a V8 is...or what an airbag is...you probably shouldn't be making a decision to buy a car.  Don't feel bad if you don't know anything about bikes now...you're not supposed to...  But the learning curve is pretty fast.

Talk to the cyclists you know and pick their brains.  Use google and research bikes, bike parts, etc.  Go to a bunch of bike shops and ask them to test ride as many bikes as you can.  Even the ones that are way out of your budget.  Ask questions.  But just go in with an open mind and know that you will get varying opinions.  The better you educate yourself, the better decision you can make.

Eventually you're going to want some sort of fitting.  That may help narrow down your choices.  Bike shopping is fun.  Don't rush the process and enjoy it.

2013-08-07 9:23 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Bike talk
Most important thing about a bike is the fit.

If budget allows, try to get a fit from an independent source that isn't connected to a particular store. There are different 'brands' of fit systems like Retul or Guru (and I think there is 1 other but I forget the name - someone correct me).

Any of the major brands of bikes, like Cannondale, Giant, Specialized, Trek, Felt, etc will work. There really isn't that much different about them. Its more a matter of your fit and the best price for the componants on the bike.

For most beginners a double crank (the gears where you pedal) and a compact cassette (the gear set on the rear wheel) will be a good place to start. You can get a triple as your crank, but unless you are going to ride major hills, its not really nessicary as the compact cassette is geared for hills with decent options for flats too. The triple also makes shifting a little more technical.

The mechanism to switch gears, the derailuers (sp?) is what you need to look at. in terms of Shimano componants, from entry to level to higher level, is 2300 - sora - tiagra - 105 -ultegra (and more).

There was a difference between the shifter styles in 2012 models and older between the entry level bikes and the better ones. Sora/Tiagra (and I assume 2300 but never saw a bike) had thumb buttons on the hoods + brake lever to use for shifting. 105 had all the shifting at your finger tips on the brake levers.
They moved away from the thumb button thing and the shifting is all at the brake levers now.

As a beginner cyclist the light weight aluminum frames are great. Most have a carbon fork (place the front wheel goes) to help stabilization. Carbon is great because you can mold the material into the most aero form possible (even include a built-in water vessel with straw), but stuff like that isn't vital. It depends on your budget.

When I first looked for a bike in the fall 2012, I was thinking i'll spend 600 on an entry level bike (funny looking back on that moment). I had no idea how expensive they were. I also quickly realized how different a truly entry level bike is compared to a more equipped bike. I decided to buy a middle of the road one in terms of componants because I wanted to something that I could grow into a bit and use the bike for many years until I decided to buy a Tri bike (if ever). I bought a bike with all tiagra componants and I'm happy about that decision.

Sorry if I rambled on. Good luck! Feel free to ask questions!

Edited by LPJmom 2013-08-07 9:29 PM
2013-08-07 9:40 PM
in reply to: LPJmom

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Subject: RE: Bike talk

Originally posted by LPJmom Its more a matter of your fit and the best price for the componants on the bike. For most beginners a double crank (the gears where you pedal) and a compact cassette (the gear set on the rear wheel) will be a good place to start. You can get a triple as your crank, but unless you are going to ride major hills, its not really nessicary as the compact cassette is geared for hills with decent options for flats too.

Compact actually refers to the crank and not the cassette, specifically the bolt circle diameter of the spider and it's ability to accomodate different chain ring sizes.  I point this out not to nit pick the details of this post, but to make a point that educating yourself properly about bikes is important.  It can be confusing, and somewhat overwhelming at first...but if you keep asking questions then it becomes a lot more simple.



2013-08-07 9:59 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike talk
My 02., is prioritize like this:

1) get a bike that fits and that is comfortable - within this, when a bike has good stack / reach numbers, get the bike that requires the least amount of headset spacers for your needs

2) in addition to number 1), find the bike that has a very adjustable cockpit / aerobar setup - you'll end up after a year or so with a different position, so you'll need an adjustable cockpit to accomodate your changes

3) don't worry if it's aluminum or carbon - you can figure that out later after you got some experience

4) get a decent groupset - SRAM rival or Shimano 105 at least, and if you find a decent used bike - then Shimano Ultegra or SRAM Force

5) don't worry about minor details for wheelsets or helmets at the moment (as long as you get a decent branded aero road bike helmet, NOT big box store crap)... you'll have fun and frustration fretting with that stuff later

6) get a decent two piece or 1-piece tri suit

7) go out and train and have fun

My guess is that you can get started for about $2,000 including helmet, new bike, tri suit, not the cheapest sport in the world, for sure, but look at the purchase over time if you keep the bike for 2 years and resell for $700, then the net cost was only $1000.

Edited by tomspharmacy 2013-08-07 10:02 PM
2013-08-08 7:28 AM
in reply to: tomspharmacy

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Subject: RE: Bike talk
What is your budget? There is a big difference in components between a $1000 bike and a $10,000 bike. You can get some really good bikes in the $2500 range. Be sure to save room in your budget for helmet, shoes, shorts...etc. Also, almost no one likes the saddle that comes on their bike.
2013-08-08 7:57 AM
in reply to: happyscientist


3

Subject: RE: Bike talk
$1,200. I have found a GT that has pretty good components Ultegra rear derailluers (sp?) and rides nicely. I have also had a friend who worked for Performance and builds their own bikes helping me, but needed some outside advice. So I will take anything I can get.
2013-08-08 7:58 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Bike talk
Originally posted by Jason N

Originally posted by LPJmom Its more a matter of your fit and the best price for the componants on the bike. For most beginners a double crank (the gears where you pedal) and a compact cassette (the gear set on the rear wheel) will be a good place to start. You can get a triple as your crank, but unless you are going to ride major hills, its not really nessicary as the compact cassette is geared for hills with decent options for flats too.

Compact actually refers to the crank and not the cassette, specifically the bolt circle diameter of the spider and it's ability to accomodate different chain ring sizes.  I point this out not to nit pick the details of this post, but to make a point that educating yourself properly about bikes is important.  It can be confusing, and somewhat overwhelming at first...but if you keep asking questions then it becomes a lot more simple.




That's how it was explained to me. Thanks for the correction.

here is some Wiki Info:

Sizes
Bicycle cranks can vary in length to accommodate different sized riders and different types of cycling. Crank length is measured from the center of the pedal spindle to the center of the bottom bracket spindle or axle. The larger bicycle component manufacturers typically offer crank lengths for adult riders from 165 mm to 180 mm long in 2.5 mm increments, with 170 mm cranks being the most common size. A few small specialty manufacturers make bicycle cranks in a number of sizes smaller than 165 mm and longer than 180 mm. Some manufacturers also make bicycle cranks that can be adjusted to different lengths. While logic would suggest that, all other things being equal, riders with shorter legs should use proportionally shorter cranks and those with longer legs should use proportionally longer cranks, this is not universally accepted. However, very few scientific studies have definitively examined the effect of crank length on sustained cycling performance and the studies' results have been mixed. Bicycle crank length has not been easy to study scientifically for a number reasons, chief among them is that cyclists are able to physiologically adapt to different crank lengths. Cyclists are typically more efficient pedalling cranks with which they have had an adaptation period. Several different formulas exist to calculate appropriate crank length for various riders. In addition to the rider's size, another factor affecting the selection of crank length is the rider's cycling specialty and the type of cycling event. Historically, bicycle riders have typically chosen proportionally shorter cranks for higher cadence cycling such as criterium and track racing, while riders have chosen proportionally longer cranks for lower cadence cycling such as time trial racing and mountain biking. However, the evolution of very low rider torso positions to reduce aerodynamic drag for time trial racing and triathlon cycling can also affect crank selection for such events. Some have suggested that proportionally shorter cranks may have a slight advantage for a rider with a very low torso position and an actute hip angle, especially as the rider pedals near the top-dead-center position of the pedal stroke.



Compact crankset
In the context of mountain biking the term compact crankset, or micro drive, refers to smaller triple cranksets, giving a small benefit in weight at the expense of increased wear and also giving the bike better clearance over obstacles. Typical ratios would be 22/32/44 teeth as opposed to 28/38/48 or 24/36/46 teeth. These would be used with smaller cassettes (Generally cassettes are available with 11 tooth minimum gear sizes for compact chainsets while standard chainsets were designed for cassettes with a 13 or 14 tooth top gear), giving the same overall ratio. Compact chainrings are the dominant standard for mountain bike cranks for the past decade or so.

In the context of road cycling, compact drivetrain typically refers to double cranksets with a smaller (usually 110mm) bolt circle diameter than the standard 130mm or Campagnolo's 135mm. As of 2006, all of the major component manufacturers such as Shimano and Campagnolo offer compact cranks in their midrange and high-end product lines. The compact crankset provides a compromise between the standard road double crankset (with 39/52 or 39/53 tooth chainrings) and the road triple (with 30/42/52 or 30/39/53 tooth chainrings). The compact crankset has two chainrings and typical ratios are 34/48, 34/50 and 36/50. This provides nearly the same lower gear ratios as a triple but without the need for a third chainring, a triple front derailleur and a long cage rear derailleur. Both Shimano and Campagnolo recommend and sell front derailleurs specifically designed for compact cranksets, claiming better shifting.

Compact gearing is not necessarily lower than standard gearing if cassettes with smaller sprockets (such as 11–23) are used. A high gear of 50×11 on a compact drivechain is actually slightly higher than the 53×12 of a standard set.

Compact gearing usually has a large percentage jump between the two chainrings. In balance, it may also allow small jumps in the rear by allowing a closer ratio cassette to be used, except for the 9% jump at the high end between the 11 and 12 tooth sprockets
2013-08-08 8:30 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Bike talk
Originally posted by Sbarca

$1,200. I have found a GT that has pretty good components Ultegra rear derailluers (sp?) and rides nicely. I have also had a friend who worked for Performance and builds their own bikes helping me, but needed some outside advice. So I will take anything I can get.


Remember, I understand that your excited and anxious to get a bike, but get a fitting first, not just a free dealer-oh-this-looks-about-your-size fit, but with a qualified fitter... to make sure that your angles, esp. someone that evaluates your flexibility, are appropriate, then find a bike that accomodates your angles, I think that this is the first step before the purchase.

Locally, Specialized and Trek dealers are blowing out '12 and '13's and low prices... you can get a SHIV aluminum or Speed Concept 2.5 for under $1500, but there are many other brands and dealers doing the same, so this time of your is a good time to shop. Don't know much about GT brands, they might have a good name in BMX and Mountain bike, but not so much of a reputation in triathlon or road... I'd avoid since you've got to look down the road at reselling and a name brand sells better than an off brand. Folks will stumble over themselves to get a used Specialized, Trek, BMC, Scott, Felt or Cannondale or other sexy name.



Edited by tomspharmacy 2013-08-08 8:31 AM


2013-08-08 11:59 AM
in reply to: Sbarca

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Subject: RE: Bike talk
Originally posted by Sbarca

So, I'm new to triathlons and new to biking basically. I'm a marathon runner and a good swimmer. I've started looking at bikes and all I can say is eeeekk, I don't feel like I want an entry level bike because I don't want to upgrade components right away. Any suggestions or personal preferences on bikes. Pretty open ended question.


Nobody here knows how strong of a rider you are(or will be) and what kind of roads you ride on. Not to mention everybody's perception of a strong rider and hills is different. As this is your first bike and you do not know if you will stay in the sport or not it is wise to stick with an entry level road bike. Almost everyone with a tri bike also has a road bike and started on a road bike. You will always use the road bike. Do not worry too much about the resale value of the bike, if you like riding chances are you will continue to ride this bike that you are buying.

You can get a good entry level Aluminum bike for around $1000. Most of these bikes at this level come with a carbon fiber fork, this generally gives you a smoother ride. If you live in a hilly area you would most likely be better off with a compact crank, they are usually mated with a 12-25 cassette. (12 is the smallest gear and 25 is the largest gear on the cassette).

Most bikes in this range will come with sora or Tiagra components on them however if you find a bike that fits and has 105 components for the same price, it is a nice step up.

Getting the right size/fit bike is important, because you want to be comfortable on it. Use you friend that worked in a shop to help you get on a properly fitting bike, that friend is probably the best resource you have to getting on the right bike.

I have a road bike and a tri bike, my road bike is still the original entry level bike I bought 8 years ago and the only parts I've replaced are parts that I have worn out. With this entry level bike I blow away people on $10,000 bikes all the time, its the engine(you) that's important not how much you spend on a bike. My bike had tiagra components on them and as they wear out I replace them with 105's.

I suggest you go to at least 3 different shops that carry at least 3 brands of bikes and see what they suggest. hopefully they all suggest the same size bike, however this time of year when they are clearing out old models some shop will just sell you what they have in stock which may or may not fit.

2013-08-08 2:16 PM
in reply to: LPJmom

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Subject: RE: Bike talk
Originally posted by LPJmom
Originally posted by Jason N

Originally posted by LPJmom Its more a matter of your fit and the best price for the componants on the bike. For most beginners a double crank (the gears where you pedal) and a compact cassette (the gear set on the rear wheel) will be a good place to start. You can get a triple as your crank, but unless you are going to ride major hills, its not really nessicary as the compact cassette is geared for hills with decent options for flats too.

Compact actually refers to the crank and not the cassette, specifically the bolt circle diameter of the spider and it's ability to accomodate different chain ring sizes.  I point this out not to nit pick the details of this post, but to make a point that educating yourself properly about bikes is important.  It can be confusing, and somewhat overwhelming at first...but if you keep asking questions then it becomes a lot more simple.

That's how it was explained to me.

Thanks for the correction.

here is some Wiki Info: .../snip

And a perfect example of how you can use google (or ask questions) to educate yourself about bikes.  I remember researching for 2-3 weeks before actually going into a LBS to talk to the sales people about potential bikes I was interested in.  I felt 1000% more confident I was buying the bike I wanted when I could actually talk to the sales person about the different parts of the bikes, and when I asked him questions, the answers made sense to me. 

When I walk into bike shops now and listen to sales people make their "pitch" to uneducated shoppers, I sort of cringe because all the shoppers do is nod their head and don't know how to ask the right questions.  It's not to say that all or most sales people are purposely trying to mislead customers, but just that they may not know exactly what the customer wants...and if the customer doesn't know how to convey to the sales person what exactly they are looking for, it makes the process a lot harder and increases the chance of buyers remorse once the customer does become educated.

2013-08-08 3:00 PM
in reply to: Sbarca

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Subject: RE: Bike talk

There is one experience I could relate to beginners (I am still a beginner myself) it would be that I bought an entry level bike last year that had a great frame but lower end components. I will say out right that was a mistake for me. I ride a lot and the low end components have been nothing but trouble. I will refrain from naming brands but at this point I am not sure if I should hang onto it and spend a bunch on newer higher end components or just get a new bike.

2013-08-08 3:13 PM
in reply to: 1Dude

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Subject: RE: Bike talk
Check out this site; http://fitwerx.com/fitting-services
http://fitwerx.com/about-us/travel-to-fit-savings

Not sure where you live, but if you are in New England?Northeast, this is worth your time and money. (or call them to see if they can recommend/know of a fitter in your area) They also have some good articles/videos about 1st bike purchases. I had a custom fit done and they recommended which bikes were the best match for my size/riding style, etc. The entire process took about 2 hours and I felt as though I walked away with the "right" bike for me.
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