If you've been riding a mountain bike with knoby tires on pavement- you'll notice a huge difference on a road bike! (not to mention the lighter weight of the roadie) Don't forget you can buy slick tires to make your mountain bike more pavement friendly if you still plan to ride off road more then on.
Have fun shopping and try everything. Visit a bunch of shops so you really get a feel for what's out there. I would worry less about spending lots of money on a fancy frame and put your hard earned $$$ into some of your components. Hub, headset, cassette/derailleurs- the things that do most of the work and take the most abuse. Don't forget to take a look at the smaller companies or less obvious choices. I ride a Santa Cruz. I first got to know the brand from their excellent mountain bikes. They only make one road bike model so I almost overlooked them when I decided to get a road bike- I ended up with one and LOVE it! And it has a LIFETIME warranty! Awesome.
I went out last weekend and tried my first road bike. VERY different from the mountain bike I've been riding for years. Now to find which one is best for me.
The guy that helped me was very informative, but kept steering me toward one particular bike. I wasn't too thrilled about that - this weekend I plan on visiting a different store.
It's a learning process, so don't plan on buying the first bike you see.
"I have achieved oneness with the road - Please dial 911 for me" - Unknown
"A bicycle ride is a flight from sadness." ó James E. Starrs, The Literary Cyclist
"We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves...The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom." -Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile
current weight: 130.0
Fitness Minutes: (439) Posts: 3,641 2/17/09 12:01 P
There are lots of great bikes out there. It is hard to go wrong with any major bike shop brand. When I worked in bike shops I sold lots of brands and while there were sometimes advantages and disadvantages between lines I never sold anything I considered a bad product.
Ride as many bikes as you can in your price range. Also consider the bike shop. You should buy your bike from the best bike shop in town since saving a few bucks at a cheesy bike shop won't be much good if they go out of business or give you bad advice.
As far as materials go, great bikes can be made from any material, it is just an engineering exercise to figure out how to get the best out of your materials. I like steel frames because good ones have a lively feel that I haven't felt elsewhere. I've ridden some really good aluminum and carbon frames but to me there was always something missing. Since I have many tens of thousands of miles on steel frames that is probably why they feel right to me but your mileage may vary.
The only limit is your wallet. Don't get hung up on brand. 1. Very few brands are being produced outside of Asia and what's not being made there usually is spendy 2. Steel is great and supple but you lose power 3. Carbon can vary greatly 4. Aluminum can be harsh but if you are a bigger guy it's not that bad especially if you have carbon seat stays and a carbon fork 5. Race bikes are harsh but powerful 6. Components matter 7. Wheels matter 8. Unless you weigh 170 lbs or less stay away from ultra light tube sets(I am talking frame materials not inner tunes) 9. Bike fit is crucially important 10. Shoes, pedals, saddles and Shorts all make a huge difference I would suggest at minimum find a bike with full Shimano 105 components. Bike companies often skimp on wheelsets or mix and match components. I would be happy to send you further info.
One more thing, Chamois Butt'r, Get Some!
Edited by: RBOLDSTG at: 2/17/2009 (12:13)
current weight: 252.0
Fitness Minutes: (12,378) Posts: 2,178 2/17/09 11:45 A
What fun to get to go shopping! I would visit as many bike shops as you can in your area, try everything. I like the lesser known brands, IMO the world doesn't revolve around Trek and Specialized. Ride as many bikes as you can, tell whoever is working the shopping exactly what you are looking for, what do you tend to do now, and what you want to do in the future. Research as much as you can. I am about the carbon myself, but some folks like aluminum or steel. I have a Ridley that I wouldn't get rid of for anything. I plan on having it for years.
Get fitted. Very important.
I'm envious, nothing more fun for me than piecing together another bike. It's exciting and I turn into a kid again. LOL
Marnie RENO, NEVADA
A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.
If you convert to a road bike you will find a world of difference! The difficulty is that there are tons of good bikes out there only limited by the amount of money you want to spend. Your first choice is what frame material - Carbon, Aluminum, Steel, Titanium. My personal preference is steel because it kinder to my body. Aluminum is harsher. Carbon and Titanium are somewhere in between. Above all else, make sure you get someone to fit the bike to you. That can make all the difference in comfort doing those long rides.
I am looking to buy a road bike, I have been riding now for about 6 months on a trek navigator. But I hear a road bike is a world of difference for longer distance. But there are so many out there not sure if one brand is better than the other, etc. Any help would be appreciated. thanks
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