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    I'm looking to buy my first road bicycle. I will be using it for exercise and training. I also will be competing in an upcoming triathlon (also my first). My max price range is at least $800. I definitely want index shifting. What type of componentry should I be looking for given my budget? Sram vs. Shimano? Wheelset? Bottom bracket? etc. I test rode the Specialized Allez Sport Compact. I also found what I believe a 2007 Orbea Volata for $800 on Craigslist. Any input is much appreciated!
    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013
    If you are buying new look to spend just over 1000. The difference between an 800 dollar bike and a 1000 dollar bike is huge. Look for something from a good brand (trek specialized giant jamis ect) and go to a good local shop who can help you with a fitting and whatnot
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013
    I don't like jamis, I've seen to many fail locally
    Three teams at Redlands rode Jamis, the Beaumont road course has some ridiculously horrible steep pavement. If anything would cause frame failure its the road and those conditions.
    I haven't had time to download the video I took.
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013
    My dislike has more to do with how Jamis handled it, I'm not saying they are sub-par frames
    through the shop you work at? I'd imagine a guy that worked at a Ford dealer would see a lo of crappy customer service, and not much of the same involving Dodge. must be the same way with the brands a shop deals with.
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013
    No, friends of my dads. Three separate people.
    I helped out in a shop that was a Haro dealer back in 91-92, when there was an issue it completely depended on what tech you got hold of, we learned to hang up when certain people answered and just call back, remember, this was way before caller ID.
    Seems like a trend lately on aluminum bikes is a carbon fiber fork. Any merit to them, besides a smoother ride? That and compact cranks. Can anyone explain?

    I've found a few bikes costing between $720-$900. Most have similar components like the Shimano 2300 set, but I know the fit of the bike is very important too. Doesn't sound like Jamis is all that popular but the Ventura Sport seems decent -- notably the wheelset and crankset. But I like Cannondale, Giant and Orbea since they use a few of their own components. I'm looking at the Cannondale Synapse 8, Giant Defy 5 and Orbea Aqua TSR. Time to head out to the LBS.
    I would attend an event in person and talk to the people you would likely be competing against and get there input, you'd be way better served to spend a few hundred extra now than be saddled with a ride you felt was pretty nice only to discover you have huge buyers remorse and a mediocre bike.
    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2013
    At a minimum look to get tiagra components. Their durability and better design are well worth he extra money you will spend. About carbon forks: they are lighter weight and produce a smoother ride than the aluminum or cheap steel forks on the most entry level road bikes. Compact gearing is geared with a 50-34 crank instead of standard 53-39 the idea being to give a lower low end on the gearing without resorting to a clunky triple. I would reccomend it.

    Don't by a bike with 2300 or sora. They're terrible and you'll regret it quickly. Spend the extra to get what can truly be considered an entry level road bike. Look for tiagra parts aluminum frame carbon fork. Even of it means waiting a little bit longer to spend the extra 2-300 bucks
    Thanks Haegan. Duly noted. I agree. I test rode the Defy 5 today and the thumb shifters were obnoxious.
    CL has been fruitful. I'm gonna look at a 2007 Felt T43, 2011 Trek 2.1 and a Specialized Tricross. Out of curiosity, anyone know which bicycles have the Sram Apex group? It's above my budget, but I've read it's a good alt to Shimano 105.
    there is a glut of nice tri bikes on San Diego CL, Take a look and if you see something I can help out with pickup, boxing and shipping.
    Thanks socal3rensho! That's a mighty offer. Unfortunately, I can't accept (but some other time perhaps!). I'm going to need a bicycle soon so I can train on it for my race on May 5th.

    After doing some research, I've narrowed in on what I'm looking for. The Trek 2.1 is a nice one, with the Shimano 105 groupo, Bontrager components and it's a 10 speed with compact cranks. Here's a photo the owner took. It's a 2011 model. Asking price is $750. I'm gonna go check it out today.
    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2013
    i'd pull the trigger on that real quick if it fits.
    It's going to need some work. At the minimum the brakes needs adjustment, needs new bar tape, the wheels need to be trued, the whole drive train needs to be greased and cleaned of grime. But the gears did shift seamlessly and it fit me just as fine. I know it has great components and wheels, but I did manage to bring the price down.

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