Buying a Bike

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Buying a Bike

Postby runJrun » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:07 pm

For quite a few years now I have participated in some sprint tris (750m/20km/5km) and have loved them. Each week I run, swim and bike and love all three sports. Now that I have my insulin pump and am able to get more mileage in on the road, bike and in the pool I am seriously considering buying my first road bike. My sprint tris were all done on my mountain bike due to the short distance.

I thought I would ask for some tips when buying a bike. I will most likely buy used as I have a budget of approximately $1,500. Would it be worth getting fitted for a bike at a shop, pay that fee and then go looking for a used bike? I am 5"7 and 142lbs so not sure if this can help guide me to buying a bike.

Basically I know nothing and any advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance.
Jocelyn

I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby eme » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:11 pm

I would recommend getting the fit done (pay the fee) before you pick a bike, so that you know what works.

It could save you some grief and money.

I tried a bike that was the same size but different brand (a Trek instead of my Specialized) and I hated it. My bike was in for a tune up, so it was worth a try and the bike was at my house (when my son was racing duathlons and he was my height at the time) but I would have been really upset if I had bought a bike for myself and had that result.

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby MINITEE » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:19 pm

second on getting fit. If you can, find someone who is F.I.S.T. certified. It may cost $200, but they should give you several options/brands of bikes, and will apply the cost of the fit to a bike you buy from the shop. That's what we do anyhow.

Get yourself a nice entry level (at least) road bike. For that price, you will get a mix - carbon forks at minimum, Shimano 105 components should be standard for that budget. Also remember that you will need shoes and a pedal system, which will cost $200 or so. Not sure if that is factored into your budget, or separate.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby runJrun » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:24 pm

MINITEE wrote:second on getting fit. If you can, find someone who is F.I.S.T. certified. It may cost $200, but they should give you several options/brands of bikes, and will apply the cost of the fit to a bike you buy from the shop. That's what we do anyhow.

Get yourself a nice entry level (at least) road bike. For that price, you will get a mix - carbon forks at minimum, Shimano 105 components should be standard for that budget. Also remember that you will need shoes and a pedal system, which will cost $200 or so. Not sure if that is factored into your budget, or separate.


I do have shoes and would need to switch out the clips. Good advice, I will book myself into my favorite cycle store in the next couple of weeks. I don't mind paying the fee if I can get the right fit.
Jocelyn



I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!

- Sasha Azevedo

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby Wu wei » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:05 pm

I see you are in Edmonton. FIY, The best fitter in the city is Guri at Pedalhead Road Works.

Are you interested in buying a road or triathlon bike?
Doing triathlon on a road bike is always a compromise, but gives you more options such as riding fondo's.
Know which type of fit you need before you book a fit.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby CinC » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:22 pm

my take - go and try out some bikes with a salesperson who can roughly 'fit' you - to basically know what size of frame you need - and when you try them out, you will see what you like, feels the best, etc. Just given your height, i'm going to guess you'll need a 52.

Most of the other components on a bike can be adjusted (handlbars, seats) with the appropriate spacers, etc. After you buy your bike, then go and get it fitted properly - I don't really see the point of getting a fit done before you've bought the bike, as then you'll likely have to get another fit done. Just my thought.

Also - budget in the $ for a seat that you like. or really, your va-jay-jay does.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby Wu wei » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:29 pm

CinC wrote:Also - budget in the $ for a seat that you like. or really, your va-jay-jay does.


I tell all women that this THE most important thing. More important to spend money on this than a fit! Switching my wife to an Adamo massively increased her comfort while riding.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby MINITEE » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:20 pm

With F.I.S.T. all of the angles are measured on a specific fit bike, and can be done for both tri and road (some major fit differences). Those angles and measurements are then translated to several bike options (along with the size you need) that fit those measurements. As many manufacturers are also making frames in XS, S, M, L... there isn't always the straight translation to xxcm frame.

When you actually choose a bike, those measurements are simply transferred to the stem, seat height, bars and everything else, so that when you pick up the bike, all that is needed is a quick "once over" to confirm everything is bang on.

eta how oddball some sizes can seem: if you are 5'7' would probably have you in a SMALL frame in both their road and tri in an Argon 18, which is comparable to (off the top of my head) about a 51cm frame.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby runJrun » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:41 pm

I really am most likely to use the bike for tris so would it be best to then look at a triathlon bike? Good advice on the seat. I find that after a 90 min spin class my bits are sore, lol.

Thanks for the recommendation for a fitter here in Edmonton.

I do see some good sales however am not familiar with brands etc. will do my own research, any initial thoughts/ experiences?

Thanks!
Jocelyn



I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!

- Sasha Azevedo

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Buying a Bike

Postby eme » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:05 pm

I currently use a road bike for up to the Half Iron distance, I'd that helps you out at all.

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby runJrun » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:08 pm

eme wrote:I currently use a road bike for up to the Half Iron distance, I'd that helps you out at all.


Thanks! This does help.
Jocelyn



I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!

- Sasha Azevedo

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby Jwolf » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:31 pm

I'm sort of in the same boat as you (and almost the same size) but I don't even have a mountain bike of my own now. I might be crazy but my budget is much less than yours- about half if I buy used. I don't want anything fancy, just something I can ride comfortably. I've been measured to be about a 52 also; leg and arm length is also important in fit so you can't only go by height. Since you ride a bike a lot already, you will be able to tell pretty quickly whether something is comfortable or not.

I'll let you know how I do.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby carm » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:30 pm

You can definitely buy a new entry-level road bike with that budget. I bought mine new (Cannondale CAAD9) for about $1000 4 years ago and I've since upgraded to a compact crank to help with some hills around here and in the Adirondacks. I'm quite happy with this bike and have done up to the half-iron distance although most of my races are sprints and Olys.

Fit is paramount. I'm not sure if you have anything like this where you live but we have a local physio in Ottawa who is a bike fit expert and can provide a receipt if you have private physio coverage. I'm sure that there must be similar health professionals who do this sort of thing across Canada.
http://bike2body.ca/
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby runJrun » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:02 pm

carm wrote:You can definitely buy a new entry-level road bike with that budget. I bought mine new (Cannondale CAAD9) for about $1000 4 years ago and I've since upgraded to a compact crank to help with some hills around here and in the Adirondacks. I'm quite happy with this bike and have done up to the half-iron distance although most of my races are sprints and Olys.

Fit is paramount. I'm not sure if you have anything like this where you live but we have a local physio in Ottawa who is a bike fit expert and can provide a receipt if you have private physio coverage. I'm sure that there must be similar health professionals who do this sort of thing across Canada.
http://bike2body.ca/


Thanks for this info! I shall definitely look into this. Going to start looking sooner rather than later to make a good decision. I have seen a few used ones on pink bike and quite a lot are local. Thanks everyone, your input helps a lot!
Jocelyn



I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!

- Sasha Azevedo

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby La » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:36 am

My 5 cents on the topic: If you are only going to have one bike, used primarily for sprint tris and you're not a top age grouper, then I'd get a road bike, not a tri bike. A tri bike is a very specialized machine that's meant to go straight and fast. It's not very good for cornering or climbing/descending. When I bought my tri bike I thought I'd sell my road bike, but now I'm glad I didn't. I much prefer riding my road bike. The tri bike isn't very good for getting around the city since the the gear shifters are at the end of the aerobars.

As for frame sizes, the top tube is the one measurement that's the most difficult to adjust for if you get it wrong. Height (in and of itself) isn't really a valuable measurement - torso length is.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby Jwolf » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:14 am

La wrote:My 5 cents on the topic: If you are only going to have one bike, used primarily for sprint tris and you're not a top age grouper, then I'd get a road bike, not a tri bike. A tri bike is a very specialized machine that's meant to go straight and fast. It's not very good for cornering or climbing/descending. When I bought my tri bike I thought I'd sell my road bike, but now I'm glad I didn't. I much prefer riding my road bike. The tri bike isn't very good for getting around the city since the the gear shifters are at the end of the aerobars.

As for frame sizes, the top tube is the one measurement that's the most difficult to adjust for if you get it wrong. Height (in and of itself) isn't really a valuable measurement - torso length is.



I am considering a cross bike, so I can also use it on some rough trails if I switch the tires. I know that a cross bike won't be the speediest for triathlons, but I don't care. Jocelyn- If you are keeping your mountain bike, I would agree that a road bike would be the way to go.

Funny story- I was talking to a girl in the locker room after the triathlon last week. It was also her first triathlon, but she did the sprint-- she is a more regular cyclist with daily commuting. She used her commuter bike for the tri-- which was a cross bike-- and she said she was passing lots of people who had fancy road bikes.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby La » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:30 am

Jwolf wrote:Funny story- I was talking to a girl in the locker room after the triathlon last week. It was also her first triathlon, but she did the sprint-- she is a more regular cyclist with daily commuting. She used her commuter bike for the tri-- which was a cross bike-- and she said she was passing lots of people who had fancy road bikes.

Sure, the "engine" is as (sometimes more) important as the bike itself. But the weight, gearing, tires and position on the bike will still have an effect. There wouldn't be that much difference between a cross bike and a road bike (compared to a mountain bike vs a road bike, where there would be).
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby runJrun » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:16 pm

La wrote:
Jwolf wrote:Funny story- I was talking to a girl in the locker room after the triathlon last week. It was also her first triathlon, but she did the sprint-- she is a more regular cyclist with daily commuting. She used her commuter bike for the tri-- which was a cross bike-- and she said she was passing lots of people who had fancy road bikes.

Sure, the "engine" is as (sometimes more) important as the bike itself. But the weight, gearing, tires and position on the bike will still have an effect. There wouldn't be that much difference between a cross bike and a road bike (compared to a mountain bike vs a road bike, where there would be).


I think a road bike will be the way to go. So many things to consider, very excited! My plan is to do more sprints to get used to managing my diabetes while doing all three sports at once. My blood sugars react different to each so that will be a work in progress. I definitely want to get to the Half IM distance and also would want a bike that is going to last me 4 to 5 years.

Thanks again for all the advice! I will let you know how it goes :)
Jocelyn



I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!

- Sasha Azevedo

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby Engmomma » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:39 pm

With a budget of $1500 you should have a decent amount of choice. I got my Trek 1500 in 2007 for about $1200. The similar model Trek 1.5 still runs around the same price. I have been very happy with the Trek and have no plans on switching it out anytime soon.

Having said that...I just bought a Ghost brand mountain bike from MEC. Ghost is only distributed via MEC. They are a German made bike that isn't widely known in NAmerica but very popular in Europe. Speaking only about mountain bikes the components are upgrades to similar priced Rocky Mountain, Scott, and Treks that I looked at. (ie. I paid $1200 for a bike with components that would have cost me over $2000 on the Rocky, Scott or Trek bikes)

They have some pretty nice road bikes in their line up. Worth a look.

One final note. I have a co-worker who rides competitively (3 time National champ; recently came in 14th in the worlds in his age grouping)....I ran the idea of a Ghost past him. He himself was looking at the brand.

Anyways...good luck with whatever you choose.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby Sir Crashalot » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:33 pm

Cyclocross bike is the way to go :roll:
:lol: :lol: :lol:
All jokes aside, a 'cross bike is quite the versatile beast. I will never be good at duathlons but have done quite a few with 'cross tires even. Yes, at times, I am too lazy to switch to road tires which, in case you are curious, will add 3-5kph without you doing anything more special concerning the way you ride. The right tool for the right job. Since the head tube is a bit higher than that of a road bike, you will be slightly more upright thus more comfortable on those long days in the saddle with a bit of deficit on the aero department. My 2001 Trek XO1 is still chugging away perfectly as an all season commuter (yes even in winter) & the odd race thrown in just for kicks. The newer Ridley CrossBow handles the cyclocross racing department for the past few years. Though I am not remotely close to being Andy, I too am in the market for a new bike :D
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby Jwolf » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:15 am

Joc-
As you saw on FB I ended up getting a cross bike. But I think my needs are a bit different from your because this will be my only bike. I assume you're still keeping your MTB bike. I also am just building up to the sprint distance tris which you've done already on your MTB bike. I can't see myself getting into very long rides any time soon. I wanted something more versatile than a straight road bike, which I may look into if I decide to eventually do longer rides.

I did get mine at MEC but they have their own brand name for the cross bikes-- it's not a Ghost. Apparently the one I got is similar to a Kona Jake cross bike.
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby runJrun » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:12 pm

Jwolf wrote:Joc-
As you saw on FB I ended up getting a cross bike. But I think my needs are a bit different from your because this will be my only bike. I assume you're still keeping your MTB bike. I also am just building up to the sprint distance tris which you've done already on your MTB bike. I can't see myself getting into very long rides any time soon. I wanted something more versatile than a straight road bike, which I may look into if I decide to eventually do longer rides.

I did get mine at MEC but they have their own brand name for the cross bikes-- it's not a Ghost. Apparently the one I got is similar to a Kona Jake cross bike.


I did see that you had gotten a cross bike and it sounds wonderful, how are you enjoying that so far?
Jocelyn



I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!

- Sasha Azevedo

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Buying a Bike

Postby Jwolf » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:16 pm

runJrun wrote:
Jwolf wrote:Joc-
As you saw on FB I ended up getting a cross bike. But I think my needs are a bit different from your because this will be my only bike. I assume you're still keeping your MTB bike. I also am just building up to the sprint distance tris which you've done already on your MTB bike. I can't see myself getting into very long rides any time soon. I wanted something more versatile than a straight road bike, which I may look into if I decide to eventually do longer rides.

I did get mine at MEC but they have their own brand name for the cross bikes-- it's not a Ghost. Apparently the one I got is similar to a Kona Jake cross bike.


I did see that you had gotten a cross bike and it sounds wonderful, how are you enjoying that so far?

Loving it so far, although I've only been out three times. :)
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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby Wu wei » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:34 pm

Jwolf wrote:
runJrun wrote:
Jwolf wrote:Joc-
As you saw on FB I ended up getting a cross bike. But I think my needs are a bit different from your because this will be my only bike. I assume you're still keeping your MTB bike. I also am just building up to the sprint distance tris which you've done already on your MTB bike. I can't see myself getting into very long rides any time soon. I wanted something more versatile than a straight road bike, which I may look into if I decide to eventually do longer rides.

I did get mine at MEC but they have their own brand name for the cross bikes-- it's not a Ghost. Apparently the one I got is similar to a Kona Jake cross bike.


I did see that you had gotten a cross bike and it sounds wonderful, how are you enjoying that so far?

Loving it so far, although I've only been out three times. :)


It's time to sign up for Strava now. ;-)
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Buying a Bike

Postby Jwolf » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:36 pm

Wu wei wrote:
Jwolf wrote:
runJrun wrote:
Jwolf wrote:Joc-
As you saw on FB I ended up getting a cross bike. But I think my needs are a bit different from your because this will be my only bike. I assume you're still keeping your MTB bike. I also am just building up to the sprint distance tris which you've done already on your MTB bike. I can't see myself getting into very long rides any time soon. I wanted something more versatile than a straight road bike, which I may look into if I decide to eventually do longer rides.

I did get mine at MEC but they have their own brand name for the cross bikes-- it's not a Ghost. Apparently the one I got is similar to a Kona Jake cross bike.


I did see that you had gotten a cross bike and it sounds wonderful, how are you enjoying that so far?

Loving it so far, although I've only been out three times. :)


It's time to sign up for Strava now. ;-)

I think I'm already signed up but I have no idea why I need to be on there.

I think what I REALLY need is to stop talking to cyclists. ;)
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