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  1. #1
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    I hate to ask, but...good budget road bike?

    I got talked into riding a century with some friends in September. I'm not worried about the distance but I don't own a road bike.

    I've thought about getting one in the past. I have a 20 year old beater on my trainer in the basement that's on it's last legs even for a trainer bike. And on those days when the trails are closed...a road bike may not be a bad thing.

    But I don't even know where to start looking. Craigslist and Ebay didn't reveal anything inspiring so I'm wondering what my options are.

    I'd love to build up my own but want to keep the price at around a grand so that's probably not feasible.

    Suggestions?
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  2. #2
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    Your friends, craigslist ?
    Round and round we go

  3. #3
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    Grrr whats a road bike.... try bikesdirect.com

  4. #4
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    Roadbike?! Roadbike?! Neg rep for you!!!

    J/K
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  5. #5
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    Yeah yeah, I know...part of me wants to put slicks on my Yeti ASR-5 and kick their roadie asses on my mountain bike. Maybe I'll put slicks on my singlespeed and really show them how it's done...

    ...or maybe I should just borrow a road bike!
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Yeah yeah, I know...part of me wants to put slicks on my Yeti ASR-5 and kick their roadie asses on my mountain bike. Maybe I'll put slicks on my singlespeed and really show them how it's done...

    ...or maybe I should just borrow a road bike!
    In reality, there is nothing wrong with having a second "road worthy" wheel set for your bike. It's been working for me.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't knock riding a road bike. It's AWESOME for fitness, much better than mountain biking I've found. I gained more biking fitness in a couple months of road cycling than I did in two years of mountain biking. It's also a lot of fun especially if you ride with a good group. There's certainly room for both disciplines in a cyclist's life.

  8. #8
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    Road riding is key to being a well-rounded cyclist and will give you the fitness you need to be faster than those that nay-say it. What is your budget? You will want at a min. a carbon fork to help dampen the road vibe a bit. The Bikes Direct bikes are nice; I have experience with the Vent Noir (good friend had one and I built it for him). That should be right around $800 and be a great starter bike. Your LBS will also have big-name bikes that are comparable but likely will be a bit more $$ for the same spec; road bikes are much more finicky about fit so buying one at a shop and having someone who knows how to get them set up is important.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    I wouldn't knock riding a road bike. It's AWESOME for fitness, much better than mountain biking I've found. I gained more biking fitness in a couple months of road cycling than I did in two years of mountain biking. It's also a lot of fun especially if you ride with a good group. There's certainly room for both disciplines in a cyclist's life.
    It's also far more dangerous if you consider that 95% of the drivers out there have no business owning a drivers license.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  10. #10
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    Domane 4.0 Disc - Trek Bicycle
    Decoulped seatpost and disc brakes. If you can work 18% off for cash talking to an owner- not so bad.

  11. #11
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    I find the two totally different yet complimentary and go back and forth between them depending on my mood.

    One option if you are on a tight budget is train on the beater and rent a nice bike for the day of. Probably about $100 bucks or so for something carbon frame with 105 or better components.

    If you want to buy, and I don't know what your budget is but try and look for something in 10 or 11 speed with Shimano 105 or better components (105 is pretty rock solid though) or Sram Rival or better.

    If you do buy, sizing is super critical and one thing that would make it hard to buy sight unseen so you might want to test ride a few from your LBS (although, if you do, you should consider giving them the business).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    It's also far more dangerous if you consider that 95% of the drivers out there have no business owning a drivers license.
    Oh well. I still do it and know a lot of people that do. I'll take better fitness at a slight risk than sitting on my ass all day when I'm not able to make it out to the trails. Road cycling is fun in it's own right but also increases the fun I have on the dirt exponentially.

    That always seems to be the argument that mountain bikers use against riding the road and honestly, it's pretty lame.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperSprite View Post
    If you do buy, sizing is super critical and one thing that would make it hard to buy sight unseen so you might want to test ride a few from your LBS (although, if you do, you should consider giving them the business).
    I've found fit to be much more important on a road bike than a mountain bike.

  14. #14
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    OP,

    For a grand I'd look for a used bike with Shimano 105/ultegra or SRAM Apex/Rival group.
    The bikesdirect suggestion isn't a bad one either. A friend of mine picked up a Vent Noir around the new year for ~$800 (105 group). The frames are supposedly built in the same factory that supplies Trek with their $1500 spec road bikes.


    Unsolicited advice:
    100 miles is a long way. On the day of the event ride what you trained on or things could get real bad late in the day. In my experience if one can ride 30 miles one can gut out 60 miles; however if one can ride 60 miles, 90 can be really difficult. Ignore my 0.02 if you're confident a road century is within your ability.

    Regardless, sounds like fun! I've decided to start riding more to be able to do the Belgian Waffle Ride next year, here in north county San Diego.

  15. #15
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    I agree with Nubster on both counts.

    Yes, if I get hit by an automobile while on my road bike I will lose, badly. However, I think the chances of that happening are small given where I ride and my riding habits. Locale and how one conducts themselves on the road play a big factor in the risk assesment.

    On the other hand, every time I get on my mtb I assess how I feel about pushing it in the first mile or so of a ride. Because I've sustained far more, granted relatively minor, injuries and experienced many more near catastrophies mtbing.

    And yeah, road bike fit has tighter tolerances for most people.

  16. #16
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    What size frame are you looking for? I have a 60cm Trek Madone in California that I have been wanting to get rid of but I am terrible about selling stuff...

  17. #17
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    Don't discount steel. Long standing and we'll earned rep for soaking up road vibration.
    My old road is steel/aluminum (top, down, seat tube is aluminum. Rest of frame & fork is steel).
    Don't "need" 105 components especially since it sounds like a occasional ride.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk

  18. #18
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    Nothing on Craigslist? I found a very nice Kona Zing a couple years ago on craigslist with Shimano 105/Ultegra group set and carbon fork. Practically brand new for $700. Awesome bike for training and everyday road riding. I am in Socal however so the used bike market is quite large. I personally wouldn't go less than shimano 105.

    And As for , Hawg C'mon Man!- strap on some lycra and hit the roads you know you want to. I hear you about drivers though. That's why i stick to L.A. River and Griffith park for most of my rides.

  19. #19
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    I'd suggest you consider a cyclocross bike instead of a pure road bike. The frames and wheels are typically tougher, there's more clearance for bigger tires and if you want to use it on relatively tame singletrack just for the hell of it, you can. Cyclocross bikes can handle bumps, jumping curbs and general road hoolaganism a lot better than a skinny tire twitchy road bike. If you put a set of road tires on a cyclocross bike it transforms into a capable road bike. Cyclocross bikes are the most versatile of road style bikes and some even come with all the touring friendly features as well. With the right tires, I have absolutely no problem keeping up with "road" bikes. You should have no problem at all finding a good used cyclocross bike around $1,000 or even a decent new one on the discount internet sites.
    Are you really sure about that?

  20. #20
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    I'd keep looking on CL, until I found something. Of course, knowing what size you need is critical in the search. Several years ago, I decided to get a road bike, and I found a completely decked out one, that was hardly used, for 1/3 the price. Since a roadbike doesn't take much abuse, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used one, as long as it passes inspection.

  21. #21
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    I owned a Hybrid for about 2 months, I just found it real boring compared to mountain biking. I got lucky and sold it for 100 bucks less than what I paid for it.

  22. #22
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    Riding a hybrid and a proper road bike are quite a bit different.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Riding a hybrid and a proper toad bike are quite a bit different.
    whats a toad bike?

  24. #24
    meh... whatever
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    the surly pacer is a great bike. good geometry (i.e. not ricky racer), nice ride, good components, room for big tyres, and eyelets for racks and fenders.

    same with the cross check, only with room for even larger tyres.

    i see them on ebay all the time in your price range.

    don't discount good steel bikes. my steamroller was far more comfy than my roubaix expert and is as comfy as my scott cr1-sl.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  25. #25
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    I picked up a nice used road bike a couple years back. I had a $400 budget and was looking n craigslist and had a hard time. Then a local guy on MTBR told me about his. I went and checked it out. $500 for 2002 Trek 5200, Carbon with Full Ultegra group. I have been very happy with bike. Pretty much zero maintenance as compared to the mtn bike and is so much smoother and faster. A 100 road ride is about 6 hrs so you will need time to trail and get comfortable on the bike, It can be done any just about any bike so long as the fit is good. Road bike sizing is alot more particular than mtn bikes.

    If you are used to shimano Mtn bike component groups then LX/Deora= Tiagra SLX = 105, XT = Ultegra, XTR = Durace,
    Modern (last 3 years or so) Tiagra is about the min spec I would get. Older than that looks for 105. 105 is a good "work horse" component group. Not refined as the others, but very useable. I don't know much about sram groups.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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