Recommendation for a Road Bike
Category: Sports and Recreation > Training
Asked by: kimt-ga
List Price: $10.00
17 Jun 2002 12:24 PDT
Expires: 24 Jun 2002 12:24 PDT
Question ID: 28017
I am interested in taking up road bicycling. I do not have a bike and want a recommendation for a good bike to purchase. Couple of things to consider: 1) I am a beginner, although I am in fairly good shape. I want a bike I can grow into. 2) I plan to compete in races 3) I am a woman, 5'9. 4) I have a bad knee and don't want the biking to exacerbate it. I had reconstrucitve surgery (ACL) about 10 years ago. 5) Ideally, I wouldn't spend more than $800 -- would like to spend a LOT less -- but am flexible if it's going to make a big difference in the quality of the bike.
Re: Recommendation for a Road Bike
Answered By: mcfly-ga on 17 Jun 2002 14:13 PDT
Hi kimt, As an enthusiastic cyclist I hope I can find a range of suitable bikes which would give you a good start in an interest which is great fun AND good for you! Cycling can put extra strain on the knees and unfortunately there are no bicycles which have been designed specifically to reduce pressure to the knees. However, by selecting a bicycle with a wide range of gears, you can choose a lower gear than is absolutely necessary. This means that although you will have to pedal faster for a given speed, the force on your knees will be reduced. The use of an elastic support bandage whilst cycling may also help to prevent exacerbation of your knee injury. In general, gone are the days when medium sized men and women required differently shaped bicycle frames, and most bikes manufactured now are aimed at a unisex market. The only component which I would recommend changing dependent upon an individual's sex is the saddle. However this would probably be an addition to be made after purchase of a complete bike. Bicycle manufacturers tend to release updated models every year, and then reduce the price of the previous year's bikes. Therefore, large financial savings can be made with little difference in performance by specifically looking at 2001 models; a fact which I have used in my suggestions. For a each year's models, the specification level of the components attached to the bicycle frame will vary little for a fixed price band - it tends to be the quality of the frame itself which separates a good buy from a bad one. The best way to select a bicycle is by using the experience of others and referring to bicycle reviews. Useful resources can be found at: Road Bike Review http://www.roadbikereview.com/ Bike Reviews http://www.bikereviews.com/_roadbikes/visreviews.htm A forum posting at http://www.epinions.com/content_1557504132 gives a guide to buying 'your first road bike'. Bearing in mind the suggestion in this posting, it would be a wise idea to find a local bicycle retailer where you can try various differently sized frames for comfort. Ultimately however, purchasing a bicycle online will probably give you much better value for money, and having decided upon a good frame size I would suggest that you should then look at the following bicycles. Looking specifically at the price range of <$800, these bicycles get very good reviews: Schwinn Bicycle Company 2000 Super Sport : MSRP: $ 719.95 http://www.roadbikereview.com/Road,Bike/Schwinn,Bicycle,Company,2000,Super,Sport/PRD_23610_1610crx.aspx Bianchi USA Inc. 2001 Brava : MSRP: $ 669.00 http://www.roadbikereview.com/Road,Bike/Bianchi,USA,Inc.,2001,Brava/PRD_54952_1610crx.aspx Fuji America 2000 Finest : MSRP: $ 649.99 http://www.roadbikereview.com/Road,Bike/Fuji,America,2000,Finest/PRD_22934_1610crx.aspx KHS Inc. 2000 Flite 300 : MSRP: $ 599.00 http://www.roadbikereview.com/Road,Bike/KHS,Inc.,2000,Flite,300/PRD_23073_1610crx.aspx Diamondback 1999 Interval : MSRP: $ 479.99 http://www.roadbikereview.com/Road,Bike/Diamondback,1999,Interval/PRD_18444_1610crx.aspx Having read what satisfied customers have to say about these bicycles, I would not hesistate in recommending any of the above to you. The choice of bike is very much down to the individual in the end, so your final choice should be made on which you personally like the most. Search terms used: road bike reviews ://www.google.co.uk/search?q=road+bike+reviews&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&meta= road bicycle review ://www.google.co.uk/search?q=road+bicycle+review&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&meta= I hope that this answer is useful to you in making your decision of which road bicycle to buy. If you would like any further clarification of my answer, please do not hesitate to ask. Happy cycling! mcfly-ga
Re: Recommendation for a Road Bike
From: raptor-ga on 18 Jun 2002 05:58 PDT
I would like to add a few comments to his answer. I think that as far as your knee is concerned one of the main things that you need to have on your bike is a clip-less pedal that has at least 7% of float which will put less strain on your knee as your foot can move around so that torque is not transferred to your knee. I also think that you should buy a frame that is fitted to your body size. Any bike shop that you go to should measure your inseam to make sure the bike is fitted to your size. This is important so that you can adjust your seat properly. The position of the seat is critical to having a smooth pedaling motion that transfers the maximum amount of force to the pedal without stressing any of the joints of the leg. Lastly, it is important that when you are pedaling that a high cadence (90 RPM +) is very desired and places the least amount of stress on your legs and body. I think that if you take these actions you will find that cycling actually benefits your knee joint rather than damages it. As far as buying a bike, I would go for the best frame that you can afford. Even the lesser components are pretty good and they usually can be upgraded as you desire or can afford. However, at that price range you are at the very lower edge of what would be considered a quality bike so you may wish to think about spending a bit more if you intend to be heavily involved in cycling. As far as frame construction, Steel tends to be preferred by many of the top pros as its ride is very compliant although as a material it is heavier than some of the other materials used for bike frames. Aluminum is used in many frames for its lightness although it is very stiff and especially in the lower priced bikes a bit harsh riding. Carbon is very light and can be constructed to give a very nice feel, however, in some makes the frame is known to crack at the joints and probably should not be considered a frame that will last you a lifetime. Titanium is probably not available at the price you list but I include it anyway. It is very strong and light and has a harsher feel than steel and carbon but is very durable and because it often is not painted very easy to care for. Pedals there is a wide variety out there. Look has very good pedals in a wide variety of prices and float (degrees that the foot can rotate on the pedal). Time has excellent pedals but they tend to be more expensive and you might need adapters for their clips on some of the shoes that you might buy. Components As a beginner, if you are in a hilly region you may want to consider a triple cogged crank, as it will give you a wide range of gearings so that you can maintain a smooth easy cadence even on the hills. The 90 + cadence does not apply on the hills but even on the hills a cadence of 70 or so is desired. The one last feature that you should evaluate is the width of the handlebars and the length of the stem. Again the bike shop should measure you to make sure that they are sized to your body type. A lot of shops will just try to sell you a bike without considering how it fits you. Make sure the bike shop takes time to make sure the bike fits you. A well fitted bike will make you more efficient in your riding and as a result your cycling will be even more fun as you increase your fitness. Lastly, remember that a well fitted bike may feel a bit awkward at first if you have never ridden a bike that was fit to you. So take your time adapting to the new feel and I am sure that as you grow accustomed to it you will find that riding for and hour or several hours will seem effortless. In my opinion since your main concern is your knees, pay close attention to getting a bike that fits you the best and get pedals that provide sufficient float to reduce strain to your knee. Within that price range most of the bikes construction and components will be similar so I would focus on best fit first.
Re: Recommendation for a Road Bike
From: raptor-ga on 18 Jun 2002 06:25 PDT
Didn't notice your thoughts about racing. Do not get a bike with a triple cog. A cluster with 9 cogs should give you all the range you need for even the steeper of hills and will give you a set up that can be used for racing. It will also make it easier to get better wheel sets if you desire in the future. Lastly, in my experience road racers tend to be an elitist group that are slow to welcome newcomers especially if they perceive them to be a real newbie. Part of their thinking is ridiculous but part is based upon the fact that someone that is inexperienced and unskilled is just plain dangerous when ridding in a pack. So at least get components that are racing components verses the triple, which is more suited to touring. I also read one of the suggested articles which was pretty good but I would add that you should try to ride the bike you are interested in to see if the ride is acceptable to you. I agree with that author in saying that the lightest frame (aluminum) you can get is a key factor but if the ride is too harsh you will not ride it as often and as long as is necessary to get into any kind of racing shape. Some aluminum frames are not as harsh as others but I road a few Cannondale bikes and found their ride to be unbearable. I also was on several long tours 100+ miles where the guy I was with road a Cannondale and found him to complain about how rough some areas where when I was completely comfortable. There are some benefits to a stiff frame, namely more energy goes to the wheel especially during very aggressive pedaling like during a sprint finish but I would guess in your case this would not be so important a factor.
Re: Recommendation for a Road Bike
From: o0d3lta0o-ga on 30 Oct 2004 16:46 PDT
hello, i am a road cyclist and currently own a trek 5200 and a specialized allez. two completely opposite price ranges. i started cycling at a young age and continue to ride i did read the previous comments and answers and will try to say what they left out. the most important thing about cycling is weight. weight is everything, you want it to be as light as you can. im as picky down to i dont fill my water bottle up too much when its not a hard ride. The lightest material famous among road bikes is carbon fiber. it is material like fiberglass, light and very strong. aluminum is second, and most common because it is cheap and light. The most common type of frame you will be looking at is a full aluminum body, carbon fiber front fork, and possibly carbon fiber seat post. Next is the pedals, you need pedals called clip-less pedals. they are speicaly designed for special shoes that have cleats on the bottums that clip into the pedal. for bad knees, im not saying to get them however it may seem like you want Speedplay which give you unlimited float. I personally prefer the Shimano Dura-ace. The replica for those but cheaper are Shimano Ultegra, which you may also be interested in. as for components, the names Shimano Tiaga, Shimano 105, and Shimano Ultegra will be common. As for an entry level bike, most will be Tiaga and some 105. You do not need to worry about components, all types of components are extremely good. When i ride my trek 5200, i dont notice too much difference in conponents compared to the specialized. (the specialized is a $700 bike, the other trek is a $2,200 bike) for your price rance, i do not recommend a trek. The Trek brand is famous for road bikes, due to lance armstrongs tour de france. However, Trek specializes in high end and mid range bikes. the price you are asking for is somewhat entry level. (yes road bikes are very expensive). The cheapest bike you can by for a trek is Trek 1000 for $630. its kinda heavy and...lower end. the next step up is $1,099 for a Trek 1500. i recommend the brand specialized, they good entry level bikes, but if you want a high end bike, go trek. For specialized they have a womens style model of bike called Dolce. The model for $800 is Dolce 05 Dolce. Another great bike which i recommend more is, 05 Allez Triple for $700. I love talking about cycling and if you have any other comments or questions id be glad to help. --tom sites: Specialized http://www.specialized.com 05 Allez Triple ($700) http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=9358&JServSessionIdroot=l10xbem0fc.j27001 Dolce 05 Dolce ($800) http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=9635&JServSessionIdroot=l10xbem0fc.j27001 Trek http://www2.trekbikes.com/ Trek 1500 WSD http://www2.trekbikes.com/Bikes/Road/Performance_Road/Alpha_Aluminum/1500_WSD/index.php Trek 1000 wsd http://www2.trekbikes.com/Bikes/Road/Performance_Road/Alpha_Aluminum/1000_WSD/index.php
Re: Recommendation for a Road Bike
From: hiker2001-ga on 18 Jan 2005 12:55 PST
Some of the contributors have touched on the accessories that you will need to consider when purchasing a road bike, in particular one that will be likely used in some kind of road bike racing capacity. Eventually you will need to consider a car bike rack system as well. I won't go into the need to buy a bike that is lightweight because this has already been covered previously. But a lightweight bike will perhaps come most in handy when loading and unloading it from the roof of your car too many times to count. Do not bother with the cheaper trunk bike mount systems, as they are not designed for constant use, as it appears you will be using it when travelling to races, group bike rides etc. A fork mount car roof bike rack system will work the best because it is both durable and easy to use. Thule Racks and Yakima Racks make superb systems. And also look into the Rocky Mounts bike rack attachments. They work as well or better than any carrier on the market - at a fraction of the cost. sites to reference: http://www.orsracksdirect.com/yakima-bike-racks.html http://www.orsracksdirect.com/thule-bike-racks.html http://www.orsracksdirect.com/rocky-mounts-bike-racks.html
If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
|Search Google Answers for