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Hi Everybody! - Thinking of This Entry Level Road Bike...

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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Hi Everybody! - Thinking of This Entry Level Road Bike...

Old 06-29-20, 09:02 AM
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mikecart1
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Hi Everybody! - Thinking of This Entry Level Road Bike...

Just joined today. I'm more of a marathon runner/bodybuilder. My first marathon was a 100K last year; had scheduled 4 this year and so far all have been turned into those virtual ones. I still can deadlift 5 plates (495lbs+) and bench 225lbs for reps. Anyways, with COVID-19 making life suck, I want to get a bicycle again so I'm not running all the time. Had a Giant bicycle in college that I rode to campus and back with. I know bikes can get ******. My coworker long ago used to ride those $10,000+ bikes. Never understood it. Especially when I had a Kawasaki Ninja that cost less. Anyways, thinking of an entry level bike. Coworker recently got a Specialized and then I saw the price and was like what? Looking at the REI Co-Cop ADV 2.1 Bike.

Recommendations? Good/Bad?

No I don't plan to race with it.
No I don't plan to impress people with it.
Want it mostly for roads and flat trails.
I might add a water bottle or GPS kit on handle bars.

Thanks!
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Old 06-29-20, 09:10 AM
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For $1100 bucks I don't think those components/parts are of that great a value. It'll get the job done if you're not riding it into the ground, but eh. Entry level is entry level for a reason. Much better value in used bikes if you're not sure you're really going to ride it much. For $500-800 you can find some pretty decent stuff on craigslist or the like. It'd be older, but still likely have better value.

Personally, I'd buy a 3-4 year old used bike with 11 speed Shimano 105 or Ultegra for a similar price.
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Old 06-29-20, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
For $1100 bucks I don't think those components/parts are of that great a value. It'll get the job done if you're not riding it into the ground, but eh. Entry level is entry level for a reason. Much better value in used bikes if you're not sure you're really going to ride it much. For $500-800 you can find some pretty decent stuff on craigslist or the like. It'd be older, but still likely have better value.

Personally, I'd buy a 3-4 year old used bike with 11 speed Shimano 105 or Ultegra for a similar price.
Thanks man! I did get my motorcycle used long ago. Never had issues with it. My Giant was actually used too. Had some issues with the chain coming off. Hard to decide on bikes though. I know Shimano is the name to get but like anything else, they make things from low tier to top tier. I was looking at the gallery in the sticky thread and those bikes look awesome, but I know they are all $2500+. The weather here only allows riding maybe 6-8 months a year. Ideally, I'd like a bike that can fit in my SUV. I like REI only that they don't plan on going out of business like a lot of bike shops have recently. Also, the bike shops here seems to have mixed reviews on screwing customers over. But yeah mainly the bike would be used 1-2x a week for training purposes when I need a break from running. Basically looking at either Giant, REI, or a very cheap Specialized LOL. Is Craigslist safe for bikes? Don't want the bike to fall apart after I give the person cash haha!
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Old 06-29-20, 09:21 AM
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I wouldn't recommend used unless you really know what you are doing, or have someone help you. Another thing to consider is some makers only warranty their frames to the original owner.
I bought my most recent road bike used and spent money changing things (gearing, saddle, post, bars) to get it the way I wanted it.
I know some people have good luck buying used but I am not a fan.
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Old 06-29-20, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I wouldn't recommend used unless you really know what you are doing, or have someone help you. Another thing to consider is some makers only warranty their frames to the original owner.
I bought my most recent road bike used and spent money changing things (gearing, saddle, post, bars) to get it the way I wanted it.
I know some people have good luck buying used but I am not a fan.
Sort of agree. I just browsed Craigslist and lots of bikes aren't even the size I need. And I don't even know what it means to be fitted. That is something REI does for free. I didn't know bikes came in all these sizes until a few days ago and I started riding bikes in the 1980s haha! I assumed if it didn't fit, I just wouldn't sit. Anyways, yeah I can only imagine that used equals either getting a good deal and then spending $500+ on fixing things or getting a bad deal but the bike is in pretty good shape. Not many people are selling used for a loss. I can already see that when or if I get an REI new, I will have to change the seat (looks like the most uncomfortable design ever), add something for water bottle, and maybe add a light so I have a chance of not getting hit. I will also have to get a helmet since wearing my motorcycle helmet might be frowned upon hah!
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Old 06-29-20, 09:33 AM
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If your budget is around that $1100 figure, I'd look at something like a Cannondale Synapse disc w/Sora. If you can find one, of course. Buying new could be really tough.
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Old 06-29-20, 09:34 AM
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Also, bikes are in short supply right now. I don't know how long that is going to be the case.
If you have friends in your area who ride, ask them about dealers/stores. A good store, even if it's REI, can help with the whole experience. Of all the bike stores I have been to over the years, there are some I would never go back to and there are some where the people will go out of their way to help with anything.
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Old 06-29-20, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mikecart1 View Post
Just joined today. I'm more of a marathon runner/bodybuilder. My first marathon was a 100K last year; had scheduled 4 this year and so far all have been turned into those virtual ones. I still can deadlift 5 plates (495lbs+) and bench 225lbs for reps. Anyways, with COVID-19 making life suck, I want to get a bicycle again so I'm not running all the time. Had a Giant bicycle in college that I rode to campus and back with. I know bikes can get ******. My coworker long ago used to ride those $10,000+ bikes. Never understood it. Especially when I had a Kawasaki Ninja that cost less. Anyways, thinking of an entry level bike. Coworker recently got a Specialized and then I saw the price and was like what? Looking at the REI Co-Cop ADV 2.1 Bike.

Recommendations? Good/Bad?

No I don't plan to race with it.
No I don't plan to impress people with it.
Want it mostly for roads and flat trails.
I might add a water bottle or GPS kit on handle bars.

Thanks!
So, REI stuff is typically decent. Not always the very best value (bicycle prices are sometimes on the higher side, unless it's a sale, or an MSRP item like a Scott or Cannondale - then there are deals to be had - and I say this as a longtime member). Still lots of advantages to REI though. They are accessible, have a ridiculously good return policy, and tend to be super client focused in my experience. That, and your dividend sometimes helps offset the initial pricing. That said, I've bought plenty of used bikes, but as others have said, you need to know what you are looking at. I'm still finding used bikes in the $200-$800 range daily, and those include carbon framed bikes - locally on Facebook Marketplace usually. My gut would say if you are just jumping back in, try to get in at a low point of entry. If you spend $400-$500 on a used bike and don't love it, you won't lose much on a flip. If you spend $1100 at REI on a new bike, you will lose more on resale (and house brand bikes will also have lower resale than the more established manufacturers). If you fall in love with cycling, you can then sell that starter bike and in turn spend some extra $ when you better know what you want /need. If you have any buddies who cycle, you might ask them to help you check out some used bikes. I'm sure there are guys like me everywhere, who love cycling so much that they jump at the chance to help friends shop and spend their money. :-).
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Old 06-29-20, 07:29 PM
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I agree with the previous post's account of REI, and I too am a longtime REI member and never been disappointed with their service or policies.
They typically don't sell you junk and they typically lean toward satisfying the customer in all matters of service, warranty, return, etc . . . so there's that, it's a solid operation but pricetags are sometimes hefty.

Their Co-Op bike line, even the road models, leans toward trail-worthy and durability. Most bike customers buying REI are buying reliability of the brand and the implied durability of the product, and they might be willing to concede some points of performance or weight that are priority concerns for many road riders. None of this is a problem, just look at closely at what this bike offers you for the price of $1100 and make sure it jibes with your wants / priorities . . .
The 2x8 drivetrain is Shimano Claris, which is Shimano's entry level of road component sets. You might find other brands at same price point running Sora or a sale model equipped with Tiagra, both will be lighter in weight than Claris.
At 2x8 your gearing might be a bit limited compared to a bike set up with 2x10 or 2x11 . . . for your purpose / intend use, this might be fine . . . but if you're really ambitious to climb aggressively or to hit top speeds that thrill, make sure the gearing offered in the 2x8 will do it for your style of riding.

At the $1100 price point, you can shop several options in different brands to get a perfectly good bike for your needs although not top-of-category / carbon fibre / etc. Giant, Specialized and Trek, even Cannondale and Felt, all offer bikes at this prince range that are tuned more specifically for road riding. REI's own description of the model you're specifying states that it's a fine road machine that's ready to take off-road . . . my translation this is a solid drop-bar bike that's durable enough for gravel and trails even if it's a little heavier and a little slower in some circumstances than other brands' bikes at the same price . . . again, this is your decision based on what you want from this bike.

Buying used, as other guys suggest, can save you money and get you more performance for less money . . . but you should know intimately what you want and of course buying used you don't typically have the recourse of return or exchange if you don't love the bike. If you want to buy new, you can get a lot of bike these days for $1100 . . . if you said you want to spend only $500-700, then maybe you shop used to get a better bike than what you'll find in new bikes offered in that price range.

I believe $1100 buys you plenty these days to satisfy your stated purpose, with one notable compromise you might want to accept -- the stock wheelset. Most bikes under $2000 are going to give you a fine aluminum or alloy frame and solid compenentry that will hold up for years. The bike brands are selling you mostly the frame-and-fork, that's where they make their return on their development costs and they almost all outsource their wheelsets . . . they tend to put bargain wheels (not junk, but heavy) on very good frames because adding excellent wheelsets will drive up their costs and the buyer's price, so just know that all bikes in this price range have wheels you might want to upgrade if you're keeping the bike more than a couple years. But you'll probably see no need to upgrade your components to higher-end lightweight stuff unless you're focused on incremental weight decreases, unless you have a longterm plan to upgrade everything as you go and spread your costs over a couple years. Don't get caught up (in your price range) with ideas of upgrading your handlebars / stem / seat post etc to higher priced offerings. If you're weight training and carrying pounds of muscle, don't spend hundreds of dollars trying to save GRAMS of weight on those parts of the bike. If you want one bike for road + trail riding, the REI bike is probably a fine choice . . . other brands might give you a bike better suited to road performance but not as durable for any offroading you want to do. Keep in mind you'll spend another $150-200 for good clipless pedals (they don't come stock) and then repeat that cost for your shoes as well -- so $300-400 for that right away, after you've bought your bike. And then a helmet if you don't already have one you like for daily use.

My own experience, just for the hell of it -- I returned to road riding a couple years ago with a $1000 price limit. I bought a single-speed aluminum Specialized model (it's basically a track frame on stock wheelset) for $750, and my Shimano pedals and shoes put me just over $1000. I ride ONLY FLAT ROUTES here, no hills, so I had no need for lightweight components to aid in climbing and I have no need for disc brakes as I'm never going downhill. Disc brakes are definitely better at stopping you at high speeds, but how fast am I going to go on flat roads? This year I bought a $600 wheelset and this bike now goes as fast as I can push it (on one gear). Yeah I'm spent after 30 or 40 miles, but it's a GREAT fitness tool. I could do 20 more miles with a geared bike, but I don't often have 3+ hours to ride anyway, so I'm good for my current riding habits.

I hope this lends some perspective without adding confusion.
I think the most effective way to make this purchase is to really hone in on how you intend to use the bike, and target your spending for those priorities.
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Old 06-29-20, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
So, REI stuff is typically decent. Not always the very best value (bicycle prices are sometimes on the higher side, unless it's a sale, or an MSRP item like a Scott or Cannondale - then there are deals to be had - and I say this as a longtime member). Still lots of advantages to REI though. They are accessible, have a ridiculously good return policy, and tend to be super client focused in my experience. That, and your dividend sometimes helps offset the initial pricing. That said, I've bought plenty of used bikes, but as others have said, you need to know what you are looking at. I'm still finding used bikes in the $200-$800 range daily, and those include carbon framed bikes - locally on Facebook Marketplace usually. My gut would say if you are just jumping back in, try to get in at a low point of entry. If you spend $400-$500 on a used bike and don't love it, you won't lose much on a flip. If you spend $1100 at REI on a new bike, you will lose more on resale (and house brand bikes will also have lower resale than the more established manufacturers). If you fall in love with cycling, you can then sell that starter bike and in turn spend some extra $ when you better know what you want /need. If you have any buddies who cycle, you might ask them to help you check out some used bikes. I'm sure there are guys like me everywhere, who love cycling so much that they jump at the chance to help friends shop and spend their money. :-).
Thanks! I will have to decide this week as REI has a huge sale now. But yeah the dividend policy makes that bike under $1000 which is nice. It doesn't come with pedals though, but that's not a bad thing. I'd rather be able to get my some of my own stuff.
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Old 06-29-20, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmyodonnell View Post
I agree with the previous post's account of REI, and I too am a longtime REI member and never been disappointed with their service or policies.
They typically don't sell you junk and they typically lean toward satisfying the customer in all matters of service, warranty, return, etc . . . so there's that, it's a solid operation but pricetags are sometimes hefty.

Their Co-Op bike line, even the road models, leans toward trail-worthy and durability. Most bike customers buying REI are buying reliability of the brand and the implied durability of the product, and they might be willing to concede some points of performance or weight that are priority concerns for many road riders. None of this is a problem, just look at closely at what this bike offers you for the price of $1100 and make sure it jibes with your wants / priorities . . .
The 2x8 drivetrain is Shimano Claris, which is Shimano's entry level of road component sets. You might find other brands at same price point running Sora or a sale model equipped with Tiagra, both will be lighter in weight than Claris.
At 2x8 your gearing might be a bit limited compared to a bike set up with 2x10 or 2x11 . . . for your purpose / intend use, this might be fine . . . but if you're really ambitious to climb aggressively or to hit top speeds that thrill, make sure the gearing offered in the 2x8 will do it for your style of riding.

At the $1100 price point, you can shop several options in different brands to get a perfectly good bike for your needs although not top-of-category / carbon fibre / etc. Giant, Specialized and Trek, even Cannondale and Felt, all offer bikes at this prince range that are tuned more specifically for road riding. REI's own description of the model you're specifying states that it's a fine road machine that's ready to take off-road . . . my translation this is a solid drop-bar bike that's durable enough for gravel and trails even if it's a little heavier and a little slower in some circumstances than other brands' bikes at the same price . . . again, this is your decision based on what you want from this bike.

Buying used, as other guys suggest, can save you money and get you more performance for less money . . . but you should know intimately what you want and of course buying used you don't typically have the recourse of return or exchange if you don't love the bike. If you want to buy new, you can get a lot of bike these days for $1100 . . . if you said you want to spend only $500-700, then maybe you shop used to get a better bike than what you'll find in new bikes offered in that price range.

I believe $1100 buys you plenty these days to satisfy your stated purpose, with one notable compromise you might want to accept -- the stock wheelset. Most bikes under $2000 are going to give you a fine aluminum or alloy frame and solid compenentry that will hold up for years. The bike brands are selling you mostly the frame-and-fork, that's where they make their return on their development costs and they almost all outsource their wheelsets . . . they tend to put bargain wheels (not junk, but heavy) on very good frames because adding excellent wheelsets will drive up their costs and the buyer's price, so just know that all bikes in this price range have wheels you might want to upgrade if you're keeping the bike more than a couple years. But you'll probably see no need to upgrade your components to higher-end lightweight stuff unless you're focused on incremental weight decreases, unless you have a longterm plan to upgrade everything as you go and spread your costs over a couple years. Don't get caught up (in your price range) with ideas of upgrading your handlebars / stem / seat post etc to higher priced offerings. If you're weight training and carrying pounds of muscle, don't spend hundreds of dollars trying to save GRAMS of weight on those parts of the bike. If you want one bike for road + trail riding, the REI bike is probably a fine choice . . . other brands might give you a bike better suited to road performance but not as durable for any offroading you want to do. Keep in mind you'll spend another $150-200 for good clipless pedals (they don't come stock) and then repeat that cost for your shoes as well -- so $300-400 for that right away, after you've bought your bike. And then a helmet if you don't already have one you like for daily use.

My own experience, just for the hell of it -- I returned to road riding a couple years ago with a $1000 price limit. I bought a single-speed aluminum Specialized model (it's basically a track frame on stock wheelset) for $750, and my Shimano pedals and shoes put me just over $1000. I ride ONLY FLAT ROUTES here, no hills, so I had no need for lightweight components to aid in climbing and I have no need for disc brakes as I'm never going downhill. Disc brakes are definitely better at stopping you at high speeds, but how fast am I going to go on flat roads? This year I bought a $600 wheelset and this bike now goes as fast as I can push it (on one gear). Yeah I'm spent after 30 or 40 miles, but it's a GREAT fitness tool. I could do 20 more miles with a geared bike, but I don't often have 3+ hours to ride anyway, so I'm good for my current riding habits.

I hope this lends some perspective without adding confusion.
I think the most effective way to make this purchase is to really hone in on how you intend to use the bike, and target your spending for those priorities.
Awesome post. Everything you said makes sense. I'm going to go to REI in person to see the bikes before I buy just to make sure. But yeah I know about weight of bikes. For every lb lighter, you are paying for it. But I'm not racing and probably bigger than most pro bikers haha. I just need a bike that has a few gear, has reliable brakes and chain, and nice tires while being fitted for my body which is something REI says they will do. If I spend $500 on Craigslist and the bike even wobbles a little or clicks, I will be mad because I will have no way to fix it for cheap if even possible. There were more bike places around here a few years ago. I guess no one went. I saw some of the ones that are left are charging $2000+ for entry level bikes. But yeah REI is close and accessible and their customer service is always strangely nice (I guess having customer service comes off weird in a world where no one cares about anyone LOL).
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Old 06-30-20, 08:35 AM
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Good luck to you! It's kind of a seller's market right now, but still some deals to be had if you keep your eyes peeled. Check out your other local shops too, and no matter what, take test rides. Treat it like you would buying a car or a motorcycle. FWIW, the MSRP on an aluminum 2020 Trek Domane (their Endurance bike) is only $860 right now with Claris, and that's without any special 4th of July or Tour sales. All depends on what is in stock. I would expect entry level for Specialized, Giant, Scott, etc to be similarly priced. Now that's a rim brake bike, but my order of preference (just personal) would be hydraulic disc, rim brake, then mechanical disc. Others may disagree completely, I just didn't have the best experience with a mech disc bike. But at $1k, you have options. I'm not a Trek rep (I no longer even have a Trek), but just jumped on their site to compare. Looks like a Checkpoint AL3 Gravel bike with Disc Brakes (mech) and Sora 9 speed is just under $1200 there, so again options. Happy shopping!

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Old 06-30-20, 11:32 AM
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Without reading through all the post I would say a new bike is going to be almost impossible to find and highly dependent of location and maybe luck as well. The advantages of both new and used are as follows:

New- Well, its new of course, full warranty, you know it hasnít been misrepresented, and it is like Christmas any time of the year when you get it.

Used- Money saved, usually more bang for the buck, bikers usually keep their bikes in primo condition < well, road cyclist that is, money saved on a low end you can afford to upgrade components where they count and still have less than a new lower end bike.

But if you do not know what to look for used, you could get hosed or pay more than you should. Would I be afraid of a used bike? Nope! I have had many new and a few used over the many years. None have disappointed me yet. But I also have built many bikes from the ground up so I know prices of components and my way around the wrenching of bikes too.

Good luck and keep us up to date on what you get......as to a $10K bike you mentioned, if the owner needed it and they do in fact race and are into cycling that much, it is not a waste of money. Remember, value of an object can only be determined by the user.
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Old 06-30-20, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
Good luck to you! It's kind of a seller's market right now, but still some deals to be had if you keep your eyes peeled. Check out your other local shops too, and no matter what, take test rides. Treat it like you would buying a car or a motorcycle. FWIW, the MSRP on an aluminum 2020 Trek Domane (their Endurance bike) is only $860 right now with Claris, and that's without any special 4th of July or Tour sales. All depends on what is in stock. I would expect entry level for Specialized, Giant, Scott, etc to be similarly priced. Now that's a rim brake bike, but my order of preference (just personal) would be hydraulic disc, rim brake, then mechanical disc. Others may disagree completely, I just didn't have the best experience with a mech disc bike. But at $1k, you have options. I'm not a Trek rep (I no longer even have a Trek), but just jumped on their site to compare. Looks like a Checkpoint AL3 Gravel bike with Disc Brakes (mech) and Sora 9 speed is just under $1200 there, so again options. Happy shopping!
I have never rode on a disc brake bike but see a lot of them have it now. I've always used rim brakes. I will have to do more research on this. I will look up the Trek bike. Do you buy these bikes online or go to a dealer? I saw some Giant entry bikes in the $400-800 range, but they all direct you to a dealer. Then I go to that dealer's website and they show everything is sold out LOL. Maybe they don't update their webpages. Anyways, I plan to check out REI today or tomorrow. Thanks!

Originally Posted by Germanrazor View Post
Without reading through all the post I would say a new bike is going to be almost impossible to find and highly dependent of location and maybe luck as well. The advantages of both new and used are as follows:

New- Well, its new of course, full warranty, you know it hasnít been misrepresented, and it is like Christmas any time of the year when you get it.

Used- Money saved, usually more bang for the buck, bikers usually keep their bikes in primo condition < well, road cyclist that is, money saved on a low end you can afford to upgrade components where they count and still have less than a new lower end bike.

But if you do not know what to look for used, you could get hosed or pay more than you should. Would I be afraid of a used bike? Nope! I have had many new and a few used over the many years. None have disappointed me yet. But I also have built many bikes from the ground up so I know prices of components and my way around the wrenching of bikes too.

Good luck and keep us up to date on what you get......as to a $10K bike you mentioned, if the owner needed it and they do in fact race and are into cycling that much, it is not a waste of money. Remember, value of an object can only be determined by the user.
No the owner never races. He was an older guy who drank beer regularly. I will post what I get on this thread. Maybe I can inspire people to get into riding haha!
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Old 06-30-20, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mikecart1 View Post
I have never rode on a disc brake bike but see a lot of them have it now. I've always used rim brakes. I will have to do more research on this. I will look up the Trek bike. Do you buy these bikes online or go to a dealer? I saw some Giant entry bikes in the $400-800 range, but they all direct you to a dealer. Then I go to that dealer's website and they show everything is sold out LOL. Maybe they don't update their webpages. Anyways, I plan to check out REI today or tomorrow. Thanks!



No the owner never races. He was an older guy who drank beer regularly.
You say that like it's a bad thing.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mikecart1 View Post
No the owner never races. He was an older guy who drank beer regularly.
Hmmmmmm, be careful poking the cat. Many old ex-pro cyclist do and some look like they could not ride a bike to the end of the drive to check their mailbox without dying. But in fact they can ride you under the asphalt.

I once rode with a 75 year old retired cyclist like that who was just a semi-pro racer. He went by me up a 14% grade like I was on a flat in my nirvana at a time in life when I was a pretty darn good advanced amateur. I felt like a piss-ant in stature when I got to the top of the climb and he was waiting because he was worried!

Looks are deceptive in cycling.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:37 PM
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There are two sales models, dealer and direct to consumer. In the US, most of what you get are through a dealer (and by most I'm talking about the major brands most are familiar with in road cycling). Canyon is now available in the US direct to consumer, has great bank for the buck IMO, but I don't think you can find a road bike under $1500 (but you get a nice bike for $1500). That said, a lot depends on your location and what size you need. Have you already shared that info with us? I may have missed it. As others have said though, new bikes are becoming slim pickings right now. Looking at Sept-Nov for some to be re-stocked. Local shops where I live still have bikes in stock, but it is hit or miss as to whether they will have the size, color, and spec you want. We have really good manufacturer representation close by, and can drive to look at Scott, Trek, Giant, Specialized, BMC, Pinarello, Cannondale, Co-op, etc within no more than 20 minutes. If you know your size, you can call around to dealers to see what they have on hand.
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Old 06-30-20, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
You say that like it's a bad thing.
Haha

Originally Posted by Germanrazor View Post
Hmmmmmm, be careful poking the cat. Many old ex-pro cyclist do and some look like they could not ride a bike to the end of the drive to check their mailbox without dying. But in fact they can ride you under the asphalt.

I once rode with a 75 year old retired cyclist like that who was just a semi-pro racer. He went by me up a 14% grade like I was on a flat in my nirvana at a time in life when I was a pretty darn good advanced amateur. I felt like a piss-ant in stature when I got to the top of the climb and he was waiting because he was worried!

Looks are deceptive in cycling.
I guess you are right. I just don't want to lose my abs haha.

Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
There are two sales models, dealer and direct to consumer. In the US, most of what you get are through a dealer (and by most I'm talking about the major brands most are familiar with in road cycling). Canyon is now available in the US direct to consumer, has great bank for the buck IMO, but I don't think you can find a road bike under $1500 (but you get a nice bike for $1500). That said, a lot depends on your location and what size you need. Have you already shared that info with us? I may have missed it. As others have said though, new bikes are becoming slim pickings right now. Looking at Sept-Nov for some to be re-stocked. Local shops where I live still have bikes in stock, but it is hit or miss as to whether they will have the size, color, and spec you want. We have really good manufacturer representation close by, and can drive to look at Scott, Trek, Giant, Specialized, BMC, Pinarello, Cannondale, Co-op, etc within no more than 20 minutes. If you know your size, you can call around to dealers to see what they have on hand.
Never thought of buying bikes like it was buying a car. That stinks. I wish you could just buy the stuff online and have the bike shipped directly to you for you to assemble. I know you can do that with some brands. But popular brands just give you a list of dealers and say to call those if you want this bike. I will go to REI tomorrow to see what's up! My budget since I'm not hardcore and just want it for about 6-8 months of the year for maybe 2x a week at most just for fitness (not trying to travel 100s of miles) is around $1000. It was less until I saw less gets you almost nothing but Wal-Mart bikes or cheap used bikes. I think I can get the bike I want from REI and use the dividend to get a cheap helmet and some decent pedals.
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Old 06-30-20, 11:15 PM
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Personally I would look for better, at 1100 the bike is a rip-off in my view. I've got one claris equipped bike in the house, its for my 7yo as it was clearanced for 150.00 and I could justify that price for the group. From my experience Claris doesn't maintain a tune well and is annoying to adjust, the quality feels cheap and the indexing isn't crisp. Which is amazing since the previous 8sp bike I bought was over 20 years prior and it still works better then new Claris.
For 1200 Cannondale has offered both a gravel and cross bike with 10sp Tiagra which is the lowest grade of components I like, actually find myself impressed with the group and between the wife and I we have 3 tiagra 4700 series equipped bikes. Besides C-dale, Trek and Giant both have gravel bikes in the same 1150-1200 range with Tiagra. You might have to call around but the quality difference between Claris and Tiagra is significant and for 1100 I'd at least expect Sora which I haven't dealt with in a couple generations so I can't speak to the current quality. I'd spend some time looking for better or waiting a month for something else.

As to cable disc brakes, only complaint I can really think of with them is that they're more prone to squeaking or squealing then hydraulic but I find the stopping power fine. All three of the Tiagra equipped bikes in my house have some variation or another of cable discs and they're good. Only concern I've ever had with cable was for the kids, and while I'm sure cable was fine their ability to stop with a finger on a MTB trail was better. Which is the other up side to cable disc, you can always upgrade easily. Just converted my tandem to disc and used a TRP hy/rd brake set; cable actuated hydraulic brakes and the work great. Juin Tech makes another version I'll be buying for the wife's cross bike to get rid of the noise.
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Old 07-01-20, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Personally I would look for better, at 1100 the bike is a rip-off in my view. I've got one claris equipped bike in the house, its for my 7yo as it was clearanced for 150.00 and I could justify that price for the group. From my experience Claris doesn't maintain a tune well and is annoying to adjust, the quality feels cheap and the indexing isn't crisp. Which is amazing since the previous 8sp bike I bought was over 20 years prior and it still works better then new Claris.
For 1200 Cannondale has offered both a gravel and cross bike with 10sp Tiagra which is the lowest grade of components I like, actually find myself impressed with the group and between the wife and I we have 3 tiagra 4700 series equipped bikes. Besides C-dale, Trek and Giant both have gravel bikes in the same 1150-1200 range with Tiagra. You might have to call around but the quality difference between Claris and Tiagra is significant and for 1100 I'd at least expect Sora which I haven't dealt with in a couple generations so I can't speak to the current quality. I'd spend some time looking for better or waiting a month for something else.

As to cable disc brakes, only complaint I can really think of with them is that they're more prone to squeaking or squealing then hydraulic but I find the stopping power fine. All three of the Tiagra equipped bikes in my house have some variation or another of cable discs and they're good. Only concern I've ever had with cable was for the kids, and while I'm sure cable was fine their ability to stop with a finger on a MTB trail was better. Which is the other up side to cable disc, you can always upgrade easily. Just converted my tandem to disc and used a TRP hy/rd brake set; cable actuated hydraulic brakes and the work great. Juin Tech makes another version I'll be buying for the wife's cross bike to get rid of the noise.
Hi. I've definitely been reading the replies and researching all week. I'm actually going to look at a few bike shops before going to REI. I'm leaning towards Trek because it's American (no I'm not one of those people - both my cars are Japanese LOL) so it has a long history and lots of quick support at multiple shops (some have gone out of business like the Performance Bike shop that was like walking distance up the street), it's ranked #3 according to a website I saw out of 35 bikes (REI was #3 1 LOL), and because their website specs seem to be better for less the price of REI. Now it's hard to compare right now because I know REI is legit in customer service and repairs. But I want to see what it takes to get a Trek bike at one of these shops, how much fitting and repairs will be, and then decide.

I'm leaning towards the FX line since those are aimed at fitness purposes. The one flaw with REI is that they are relatively new to bikes and have a small selection. Also I think if I get a bike there, I'm stuck with REI for life for that bike. Trek seems to have a wider selection. The FX line starts around $500 and seems to have everything I would want. I can use the savings on upgrades I can do immediately. I will see. Planning to go today through Friday at the different places.
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Old 07-01-20, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mikecart1 View Post
Hi. I've definitely been reading the replies and researching all week. I'm actually going to look at a few bike shops before going to REI. I'm leaning towards Trek because it's American (no I'm not one of those people - both my cars are Japanese LOL) so it has a long history and lots of quick support at multiple shops (some have gone out of business like the Performance Bike shop that was like walking distance up the street), it's ranked #3 according to a website I saw out of 35 bikes (REI was #3 1 LOL), and because their website specs seem to be better for less the price of REI. Now it's hard to compare right now because I know REI is legit in customer service and repairs. But I want to see what it takes to get a Trek bike at one of these shops, how much fitting and repairs will be, and then decide.

I'm leaning towards the FX line since those are aimed at fitness purposes. The one flaw with REI is that they are relatively new to bikes and have a small selection. Also I think if I get a bike there, I'm stuck with REI for life for that bike. Trek seems to have a wider selection. The FX line starts around $500 and seems to have everything I would want. I can use the savings on upgrades I can do immediately. I will see. Planning to go today through Friday at the different places.
I will say this about Trek. I bought an aluminum framed bike from them in 2005 with a carbon fork and seat stays. I always said I would upgrade it when it failed. After 12 years I finally sold it (miss that bike), and the guy I sold it to is still riding it. It wasnít heavy, but man was it well built! If you are more about fitness and flat bar riding than pure road cycling, the FX is a good option. The Specialized Sirrus is similar in build and also a quality bike. I have a Cannondale Quick for a fitness bike, and it is fantastic! Can still ride quickly if I want, but I have platform pedals on it and itís nice to be able to just hop on the bike and go. Also didnít cost an arm and a leg. Enjoy the hunt!
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Old 07-01-20, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
I will say this about Trek. I bought an aluminum framed bike from them in 2005 with a carbon fork and seat stays. I always said I would upgrade it when it failed. After 12 years I finally sold it (miss that bike), and the guy I sold it to is still riding it. It wasnít heavy, but man was it well built! If you are more about fitness and flat bar riding than pure road cycling, the FX is a good option. The Specialized Sirrus is similar in build and also a quality bike. I have a Cannondale Quick for a fitness bike, and it is fantastic! Can still ride quickly if I want, but I have platform pedals on it and itís nice to be able to just hop on the bike and go. Also didnít cost an arm and a leg. Enjoy the hunt!
Haha kind of excited to see what they have. So glad I found this forum. I think REI is banking on their dividend and support over actually giving a bike worth $1000. Anyways, I do see lots of options from Trek at far cheaper prices but with better parts. I was looking at road bikes, but learned that the handlebars and seat setup are generally designed for people looking for pure speed on flat roads. Thinking of how I will use the bike, I'd rather get something more geared for fitness and the ability to ride flat trails. I can just imagine using a road bike on trails and hitting some rocks or hole and having the bike get damaged because it's the wrong bike for the trail. One of the trails I plan on using is the C&O Canal trail. Not sure if you heard of it. I use it for my ultra marathons. When I did it last year I remember thinking, "man this would be a lot easier if I had a bike LOL". The place I'm going to today has a fitting system so maybe after I explain everything, they will give me something I wasn't thinking about. Thanks again!
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Old 07-01-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mikecart1 View Post
Haha kind of excited to see what they have. So glad I found this forum. I think REI is banking on their dividend and support over actually giving a bike worth $1000. Anyways, I do see lots of options from Trek at far cheaper prices but with better parts. I was looking at road bikes, but learned that the handlebars and seat setup are generally designed for people looking for pure speed on flat roads. Thinking of how I will use the bike, I'd rather get something more geared for fitness and the ability to ride flat trails. I can just imagine using a road bike on trails and hitting some rocks or hole and having the bike get damaged because it's the wrong bike for the trail. One of the trails I plan on using is the C&O Canal trail. Not sure if you heard of it. I use it for my ultra marathons. When I did it last year I remember thinking, "man this would be a lot easier if I had a bike LOL". The place I'm going to today has a fitting system so maybe after I explain everything, they will give me something I wasn't thinking about. Thanks again!
Hope you have fun during the process, and please be sure to let us know what you wind up with!
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Old 07-01-20, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
Hope you have fun during the process, and please be sure to let us know what you wind up with!
Just got back from the bike shop. It was pretty crowded. Had to wait outside for social distancing. Anyways, after discussing it, it looks like I'm 56" for bike size and gravel is the type. However, it seems like customers have bought out nearly all the stock. They did have a 2020 Checkpoint ALR 5 for $2100. It matches the website for Trek. It is way more than what I wanted. Didn't buy. Said it could be until November to get the bike I wanted (lower tier of the Checkpoint series).

Anyways, what is your opinion on the ALR 5? It has almost perfect reviews on Trek. However, $2100 for an entry-level bike... man. Maintenance is lifetime and free at this place though. They seem legit. Super high Yelp scores with lots of reviews. Talked to the guy like 30 minutes. He asked if I wanted to ride, but I didn't want to fall so I said no hah. He tried to explain the gears and I forgot. Will have to re-teach myself.

TLDR: Only bike that meets my needs is 2020 Checkpoint ALR 5 for $2100. Buy now and have it this weekend or wait months or until November 2020. COVID-19 sucks!

EDIT:
LOL. I searched Trek website for ALR 3 for $1200 and the only store is 396.2 miles away? I swear the bike industry needs to step it up. They are losing a ton of business. Or should I make the drive haha

Last edited by mikecart1; 07-01-20 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 07-02-20, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mikecart1 View Post
Just got back from the bike shop. It was pretty crowded. Had to wait outside for social distancing. Anyways, after discussing it, it looks like I'm 56" for bike size and gravel is the type. However, it seems like customers have bought out nearly all the stock. They did have a 2020 Checkpoint ALR 5 for $2100. It matches the website for Trek. It is way more than what I wanted. Didn't buy. Said it could be until November to get the bike I wanted (lower tier of the Checkpoint series).

Anyways, what is your opinion on the ALR 5? It has almost perfect reviews on Trek. However, $2100 for an entry-level bike... man. Maintenance is lifetime and free at this place though. They seem legit. Super high Yelp scores with lots of reviews. Talked to the guy like 30 minutes. He asked if I wanted to ride, but I didn't want to fall so I said no hah. He tried to explain the gears and I forgot. Will have to re-teach myself.

TLDR: Only bike that meets my needs is 2020 Checkpoint ALR 5 for $2100. Buy now and have it this weekend or wait months or until November 2020. COVID-19 sucks!

EDIT:
LOL. I searched Trek website for ALR 3 for $1200 and the only store is 396.2 miles away? I swear the bike industry needs to step it up. They are losing a ton of business. Or should I make the drive haha
Several of my friends are shop owners. They all wish they had more stock for sure. This has been the biggest bike sale boon in the past 25 years. Iím sure that if they could have predicted the impact Covid would have on sales they would have all bought as much stock as possible. A great time to be in bike sales, but a little tough to be a buyer at this moment. I expect it to level out for next year, as you wouldnít expect continued exponential growth in bike sales. Couple that with what I hope is at least a slight increase in production, and maybe we can anticipate a more stable supply next year.
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