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help me choose a bicycle

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
if anyone here knows about current racing bikes, i'd like to hear your opinions. i was into cycling as a teenager but haven't been on a long ride in over ten years.

i'm planning to get something as a daily commuter, and i don't want to spend more than i have to, but i also want good quality and low weight.

i'm willing to spend up to $2k if it's worth it, but i'd rather spend much less.

i'm looking at the specialized sirrus, which has models from $550 to $2400. i think the bike gets lighter as you spend more money, but i don't know that the quality goes up.

i'm also looking at this one:http://2006.lemondbikes.com/2006_bikes/filmore.shtml

what do you know about these fixed gear bicycles?

TIA
post #2 of 26
I think the single-speed thing is more of a purist thing. I could be wrong though. Definitely easier to mantain; I guess it depends where you live if it would be worth it or not. I know it'd be tough to ride around Pittsburgh with all of the hills and whatnot.

I just bought a Felt F75. Love it Love it Love it.

www.feltracing.com
post #3 of 26
I would ride a fixie in LA, unless I lived in the hills.
post #4 of 26
If you're interested in a mountain bike, I happen to have a Gary Fisher Montare on ebay. Bidding ends this Friday.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MESE%3AIT&rd=1
post #5 of 26
how far is your commute? are you going to use it for anything else (centuries, roadracing)?

a singlespeed bike can either be fixed or non-fixed (fly?). fixed gears are the favorite for bikemessengers, trackracers, and hipsters. IMO, unless you're very comfortable/experienced on a bike, I would not recommend it. I like singlespeed non-fixed gear bikes though, they're very simple and easy to maintain (doesn't requiring tuning), and easier for the novice to control than a fixie (arguably). they're very cheap too, since drivetrain and shifting components can add up to $1k to a bike.

a bike is nothing more than a frame, wheels, and components. as you'd expect, price goes up when you upgrade any, and price goes up astronomically when you upgrade all three. As an example, Cannondale used to offer three frames, the CAAD 3, 5 and 7. With each frame, they offered at least three levels of components, Shimano 105, Ultegra and Dura-ace. So you could sort of mix and match frame and components. i think most other makers are the same way.

I think you should get the best frame you can afford, midrange wheelset, and 105 components. Regardless of which components you choose, eventually, you'll need to replace them anyway, which is a good time to slowly upgrade.

Regarding frames, they differ in design and material. Considering cost, I'd go with aluminum over carbon, steel or titanium. It has the best compromise of weight, strength and durability.

You can get a lot of bike for $1200-1800. A lot. Above that, you run into the law of diminishing returns, big time. Don't forget to buy a helmet.
post #6 of 26
Here is an excellent resource: http://www.roadbikereview.com/ Check out their classifieds section, you might find something you like there. If you buy one from someone who's been riding for a while, most likely he's already upgraded to good components. Even for the bikes that cost more than 2 grand, they still use mediocre components. To see the decent stuff, you'll need to spend 3+ grand. But then again, part of the fun is to customize the bike to your exact needs.
post #7 of 26
I just looked up the sirrus. It looks like a hybrid...which is not a racing bike. The scale from comfort to speed/aerodynamic goes something like this: hybrid, touring, racing.
post #8 of 26
Forget the fixed gear unless you plan on racing in a velodrome.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renault78law
how far is your commute? are you going to use it for anything else (centuries, roadracing)?

a singlespeed bike can either be fixed or non-fixed (fly?). fixed gears are the favorite for bikemessengers, trackracers, and hipsters. IMO, unless you're very comfortable/experienced on a bike, I would not recommend it. I like singlespeed non-fixed gear bikes though, they're very simple and easy to maintain (doesn't requiring tuning), and easier for the novice to control than a fixie (arguably). they're very cheap too, since drivetrain and shifting components can add up to $1k to a bike.

a bike is nothing more than a frame, wheels, and components. as you'd expect, price goes up when you upgrade any, and price goes up astronomically when you upgrade all three. As an example, Cannondale used to offer three frames, the CAAD 3, 5 and 7. With each frame, they offered at least three levels of components, Shimano 105, Ultegra and Dura-ace. So you could sort of mix and match frame and components. i think most other makers are the same way.

I think you should get the best frame you can afford, midrange wheelset, and 105 components. Regardless of which components you choose, eventually, you'll need to replace them anyway, which is a good time to slowly upgrade.

Regarding frames, they differ in design and material. Considering cost, I'd go with aluminum over carbon, steel or titanium. It has the best compromise of weight, strength and durability.

You can get a lot of bike for $1200-1800. A lot. Above that, you run into the law of diminishing returns, big time. Don't forget to buy a helmet.

thank you all for your replies. the sirrus was a mistake. i'm looking at something like this:
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...keTab=techspec

it's an aluminum frame and it has excellent reviews on the site darknworn suggested.

i know a little about cars, but i'm not really mechanically inclined. i liked the idea of the fixed gear bike because i figure there is less to go wrong. being stuck with one gear doesn't sound good.

i've seen quite a few guys lately riding on those velodrome bikes without brakes! i rode a bike without brakes when i was 14, but i'm not as fearless as i once was.

so it looks like a lot of bikes have the shimano 105 components, regardless of the price of the bike. is campagnolo out of business?

i'm going to check out the bike shops later this week.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
i've seen quite a few guys lately riding on those velodrome bikes without brakes!
very popular around my way, as well.

Quote:
is campagnolo out of business?
No. http://www.campagnolo.com/home.php
post #11 of 26
The Allez you linked would be a great choice. If you can swing it, get the Allez Comp. Much better wheels, and it's full 105 (the Allez is mixed, missing 105 cranks and brakes). Further, the Allez is using old 105, whereas the Allez Comp is using the new, 10-speed stuff. It'll make future upgrades easier because all the new stuff is 10-speed and incompatible with 9-speed.

Campagnolo is still alive and well. I didn't mention it because 1) I wanted to keep my post simple, and 2) Campagnolo stuff is generally more expensive. Arguably, it's better, but not so much better as to justify the cost, IMO. If money was no object, I'd get Campagnolo over Shimano, particularly on an Italian frame.

By the way, if you're patient or resourceful, you can score pretty good deals on bikes. They go on sale when the new models come out, usually starting in late April until they sell out. If you go shopping this weekend, keep an eye out for sale 2006 bikes in your size.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
i just visited a couple of bike shops. i test rode the bianchi san mateo and as soon as i got on the thing, i remembered why i stopped riding to begin with; i'm not very good on a bike. it was terrifying. i rode around the block, in rush hour traffic, on santa monica blvd, and nearly killed myself twice.

when i pulled back into the store's parking lot, the salesman said the seat was too high for me, and he adjusted the handlebars upward a little. he suggested i give it another try, and i did feel an immediate difference, but once i started pedaling, i felt that 'sitting duck' feeling again. i went around the block again, and almost got hit by a car, twice.

i'm going to stick with walking.
post #13 of 26
Try mountain bike, there're no cars around up in the mountains. But then again, there're plenty of trees to run into.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNWorn
Try mountain bike, there're no cars around up in the mountains.

But then again, there're plenty of trees to run into.


it's just been a while. i'm going to give it another chance, but i may go for something with a more comfortable riding position.
post #15 of 26
Santa Monica Blvd is not the greatest place to try getting back on the bike. Most cyclists I know avoid that street, it's dangerous. Anyway, don't worry, I felt the same way. I hadn't ridden for years, then I bought a shiney new bike and tried to ride down PCH. Bad idea. I lost a lot of confidence.
Racing bikes are inherently a little squirrely. It's because they're so responsive; the best analogy is to a true sports car. They're also initially uncomfortable, most people are not used to sitting on a racing saddle, and having their weight so far forward. These things get better over time, believe me.
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