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Best road bike under $750???

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Best road bike under $750???

Old 04-03-20, 05:49 PM
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bubbaman
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Best road bike under $750???

Hello friends,
I'm an old fat guy who only rides on roads. I'm trying to lose weight, improve my health, survive the virus, etc.
I just got my '80's Stumpjumper back from the local shop and had a chance to test ride a Specialized Surrus, which of course I really liked. Although my bike is fixed up now and GTG at least thru 2020, the local salesman suggested I consider upgrading at some point to something that is lighter, will roll better, etc.
I may pull the trigger on a new road bike next spring...what do you guys recommend for under $750? Something that was not made by Communist China would be a big plus. Thanks
Pic of my vintage Stumper for fun
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Old 04-03-20, 06:03 PM
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Since you've put some money into the old bike, I'd say ride it for a while. From a fitness standpoint, if you put out x effort over y time, what you are riding doesn't make a difference. You'll go farther and probably faster on a road bike, but it isn't necessarily going to make you fitter.

After you've been riding a while, if you feel like you want to go faster or do long rides or something else that your current bike isn't good for, then you'll have a better idea of what you should be looking for.
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Old 04-03-20, 06:49 PM
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Ogsarg gave some really good advice. Though it may be nice to have a new bike, your bike works just fine. You might get a lighter bike, but it won't roll any better or what ever that means. If I had to buy something, I would pick up a bike computer and maybe a heart rate monitor to track the miles and intensity of yourworkouts. Even that is overkill but it can be fun to look at your metrics and strive for a goal you set for yourself.
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Old 04-03-20, 10:05 PM
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I'd recommend craigslist which is the only place you're finding a good road bike under 750.00 and you'll still have to watch for a non-China bike, might get lucky enough to get a good bike through Amazon warehouse deals for cheap but it will be Chinese.
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Old 04-04-20, 03:50 PM
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Sadly it is extremely hard not to send money to communist China .... the rest of the world has basically abandoned almost all of its manufacturing potential, lured by the lower cost of near-slave labor. We could all have less stuff, but better stuff, and in general a higher standard of living .... or more crap stuff, and a crippled economy like we do now .... And because our leaders chose "more cheap crap" as the most beneficial for themselves and their rich supporters .... we are all screwed. And I am not blaming either "party," as both are owned by the same billionaires ....

For bikes in your budget, it is almost certain that the frame maker is based in Taiwan (good) but the labor was cone in CCP-controlled mainland China. Most of the drive train will likely be be from Mainland China or possibly Malaysia. it sucks, but there aren't many options short of laying out serious cash to a custom frame builder in the U.S. (or .... as far as I know, Lynskey still makes bikes in Tennessee .... about four times your budget.)

if I had to make a suggestion I'd say ride the snot out of your bike for now. With slick tires pumped up pretty hard, it should roll just fine and it will be indestructible. Old rigid MTBs ar prized bikes because you can handle urban as well as off-road, and make super commuters and decent tourers. With your set-up you could ride to work, go shopping, go one a two-eek tour, go slowly over some not-too-gnarly single-track, and have a lot of fun on the road (I had an '88 Bridgestone MB4 I used like that. if a car hadn't eaten it I would still be riding it.)

Also .... check out Bikes Direct, and maybe, do some test rides at local bike shops. You might find that you will want to up your budget a little, and also, try to shop during the off-season or right around the time next year's models come out. You might find a last-year's model deeply discounted .... and unless you are rich or racing it makes zero difference (I got my Fuji for a huge discount simply because it had been sitting around and a "better" (read "newer") model was due. The Fuji was (ans is) better than a comparably priced version of the next year's model---105 instead of Sora, brakes a grade better, etc. I got the Greater, not the Latest.

You might keep an eye on prices and values .... what components groups are on which bikes at which price points----and hopefully, after riding a lot for the rest of this season, come the end of the year you will have a good idea of what you really want.

I am big on "buy once, cry once"---that is, I look at a bike as an investment. if I am going to keep a bike for five or ten years (or more) then a couple hundred extra amortizes out to pennies per ride. On the other hand, upgrading parts or replacing the bike with the better one i should have bought for less a couple years earlier, always costs more.

Only you can gauge your level of interest. No sense buying more than you need (though I always do. ) But it never pays off to scrimp and get something a little less to save a few pennies. Better brakes, better wheels, and possibly a better drive train, pay off in tiny increments in every ride.

However .... if you are mainly interested in low-intensity joyrides, just enjoying being out on the bike, and you really aren't concerned with performance, maximum efficiency, etc. .... then you might be better off keeping your old bike .... and if you want a new bike (who doesn't) then you can go with Claris over Sora, or Tektro brakes over Shimano, and still have just as much fun.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Since you've put some money into the old bike, I'd say ride it for a while. From a fitness standpoint, if you put out x effort over y time, what you are riding doesn't make a difference. You'll go farther and probably faster on a road bike, but it isn't necessarily going to make you fitter.

After you've been riding a while, if you feel like you want to go faster or do long rides or something else that your current bike isn't good for, then you'll have a better idea of what you should be looking for.
Thanks, I think your advice is good, especially since I did just invest $150 in the Stumper. The shop did say it should be fine for awhile, no issues that weren't addressed.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Ogsarg gave some really good advice. Though it may be nice to have a new bike, your bike works just fine. You might get a lighter bike, but it won't roll any better or what ever that means. If I had to buy something, I would pick up a bike computer and maybe a heart rate monitor to track the miles and intensity of yourworkouts. Even that is overkill but it can be fun to look at your metrics and strive for a goal you set for yourself.
Thanks! I think the computer could be interesting...can you recommend one please? Something decent but not too expensive?
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Old 04-04-20, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
I'd recommend craigslist which is the only place you're finding a good road bike under 750.00 and you'll still have to watch for a non-China bike, might get lucky enough to get a good bike through Amazon warehouse deals for cheap but it will be Chinese.
Thanks for your reply!
Sadly, I live in central WI and there's not much activity on CL around here, at least not close enough to drive during this virus craziness. But I have time. My Stumper can be my ride for awhile while I keep my eyes open.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Sadly it is extremely hard not to send money to communist China .... the rest of the world has basically abandoned almost all of its manufacturing potential, lured by the lower cost of near-slave labor. We could all have less stuff, but better stuff, and in general a higher standard of living .... or more crap stuff, and a crippled economy like we do now .... And because our leaders chose "more cheap crap" as the most beneficial for themselves and their rich supporters .... we are all screwed. And I am not blaming either "party," as both are owned by the same billionaires ....

For bikes in your budget, it is almost certain that the frame maker is based in Taiwan (good) but the labor was cone in CCP-controlled mainland China. Most of the drive train will likely be be from Mainland China or possibly Malaysia. it sucks, but there aren't many options short of laying out serious cash to a custom frame builder in the U.S. (or .... as far as I know, Lynskey still makes bikes in Tennessee .... about four times your budget.)

if I had to make a suggestion I'd say ride the snot out of your bike for now. With slick tires pumped up pretty hard, it should roll just fine and it will be indestructible. Old rigid MTBs ar prized bikes because you can handle urban as well as off-road, and make super commuters and decent tourers. With your set-up you could ride to work, go shopping, go one a two-eek tour, go slowly over some not-too-gnarly single-track, and have a lot of fun on the road (I had an '88 Bridgestone MB4 I used like that. if a car hadn't eaten it I would still be riding it.)

Also .... check out Bikes Direct, and maybe, do some test rides at local bike shops. You might find that you will want to up your budget a little, and also, try to shop during the off-season or right around the time next year's models come out. You might find a last-year's model deeply discounted .... and unless you are rich or racing it makes zero difference (I got my Fuji for a huge discount simply because it had been sitting around and a "better" (read "newer") model was due. The Fuji was (ans is) better than a comparably priced version of the next year's model---105 instead of Sora, brakes a grade better, etc. I got the Greater, not the Latest.

You might keep an eye on prices and values .... what components groups are on which bikes at which price points----and hopefully, after riding a lot for the rest of this season, come the end of the year you will have a good idea of what you really want.

I am big on "buy once, cry once"---that is, I look at a bike as an investment. if I am going to keep a bike for five or ten years (or more) then a couple hundred extra amortizes out to pennies per ride. On the other hand, upgrading parts or replacing the bike with the better one i should have bought for less a couple years earlier, always costs more.

Only you can gauge your level of interest. No sense buying more than you need (though I always do. ) But it never pays off to scrimp and get something a little less to save a few pennies. Better brakes, better wheels, and possibly a better drive train, pay off in tiny increments in every ride.

However .... if you are mainly interested in low-intensity joyrides, just enjoying being out on the bike, and you really aren't concerned with performance, maximum efficiency, etc. .... then you might be better off keeping your old bike .... and if you want a new bike (who doesn't) then you can go with Claris over Sora, or Tektro brakes over Shimano, and still have just as much fun.

So much good information here, thank you. And I believe you are 100% spot-on in your assessment about the political situation that created the mess we have now.
I do think my old bike can be my ride at least through 2020...and if I "earn it" this summer I can consider shopping for something off-season. I totally agree with that philosophy, I am too old to worry about being one of the "cool kids" with the newest model.
Thanks again!
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Old 04-05-20, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bubbaman View Post
Thanks for your reply!
Sadly, I live in central WI and there's not much activity on CL around here, at least not close enough to drive during this virus craziness. But I have time. My Stumper can be my ride for awhile while I keep my eyes open.
While things are shut down is a perfect time(as any) to take a drive and pick something up, if you find the right bike/deal. I live in SE WI and drove to Rochester for like-new Lemond Maillot Jaune..long day, but well worth it in the long run. A (long) drive to pick something up only lasts a day, while owning/riding/enjoying the bike can last....many years.

If you create and monitor a regional search (via searchtempest) from your area..say 300 miles..you'll note that the largest volume of decent bikes seem to come out of the Minneapolis-Plymouth area. You'll see some reasonable activity in Madison and then Milwaukee & Chicago.

All that being said, Maelochs' post is spot-on. Use the next 3-6 months to learn the market and more about what you're looking for..and watch a regional search..and see where you end up. Without too much trouble, you can find premium-component road bikes that originally sold for (in today's dollars) $2000-$4000 going for $600-$1000.

Know your frame size so when a deal pops up you can move fast. If you see a nice bike at a decent deal on CL(or wherever) don't ponder on it for long(like a day or two) or it'll be gone. If you need any help in the Milwaukee area..send me a PM.

edit:..P.S. What is your road-bike frame size? I'm guessing 54cm-ish??

Last edited by fishboat; 04-05-20 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 04-05-20, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bubbaman View Post
Thanks! I think the computer could be interesting...can you recommend one please? Something decent but not too expensive?
You can't beat the Cat Eye computers. They have about 25 different models and they are inexpensive. Look at the Velo 9 ($30) for a wired version or Velo Wireless ($40). If you want heart rate, then you have to go up the range but heart rate might be overkill at this point. Cadence is another feature that I think is unwarranted for your needs. Distance, speed, average speed and time will give you the basics. Good luck with your riding.
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Old 04-05-20, 07:40 AM
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..just wandering through the searches I usually monitor.

This is a nice ride..very good steel, Ultegra components, I'm guessing (don't know this model really well) it's an early-mid 2000's model that sold for $2000+ (CL is $540 asking)

https://madison.craigslist.org/bik/d...100574555.html
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Old 04-05-20, 10:17 AM
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I got a Specialized Diverge A1 new in 2017 for under $750, but I would caution against getting one with Claris and FSA cranks. A decent used one with Tiagra can probably be had for under 750. It's a smooth-riding bike and versatile in terms of tire widths, 25mm tire is fairly aero with the rim, but it can go up to 40mm if I remember correctly. Disc brakes, too, somewhat relaxed geometry. Great on gravel or pavement.
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Old 04-06-20, 08:42 PM
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Hey thanks for looking out!
I'm not even exactly sure about my exact frame size, but the size Medium Sirrus I rode the other day was perfect, and my Stumpjumper is perfect for me too. I'm 5'9" with average proportions (but heavy) and 56 yrs old. That Bianchi Virata looks great and since it's a medium it would probably also be right, but I'm for sure looking for a straight handlebar bike, racing handlbars DESTROY my back!
Thanks again!
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Old 04-06-20, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Since you've put some money into the old bike, I'd say ride it for a while. From a fitness standpoint, if you put out x effort over y time, what you are riding doesn't make a difference. You'll go farther and probably faster on a road bike, but it isn't necessarily going to make you fitter.

After you've been riding a while, if you feel like you want to go faster or do long rides or something else that your current bike isn't good for, then you'll have a better idea of what you should be looking for.
How are we supposed to argue for 10 pages when you give excellent advice like this?
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Old 04-07-20, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bubbaman View Post
Hey thanks for looking out!
I'm not even exactly sure about my exact frame size, but the size Medium Sirrus I rode the other day was perfect, and my Stumpjumper is perfect for me too. I'm 5'9" with average proportions (but heavy) and 56 yrs old. That Bianchi Virata looks great and since it's a medium it would probably also be right, but I'm for sure looking for a straight handlebar bike, racing handlbars DESTROY my back!
Thanks again!
Few people your age(I was there a while back) ride on the down portion of drop bars..the tops and top corners of drop bars see all the use...and this is the same height as straight bars...basically. You'll find straight-bar "road bikes" are a much harder animal to find. You may be looking for a fast hybrid bike. At 5'9"..you'll be looking for about a 54cm frame. The key point in your fit will be primarily the effective top tube length..if you get that right, most everything else will fall into place.
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Old 04-07-20, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bubbaman View Post
Hello friends,
I'm an old fat guy who only rides on roads. I'm trying to lose weight, improve my health, survive the virus, etc.
I just got my '80's Stumpjumper back from the local shop and had a chance to test ride a Specialized Surrus, which of course I really liked. Although my bike is fixed up now and GTG at least thru 2020, the local salesman suggested I consider upgrading at some point to something that is lighter, will roll better, etc.
I may pull the trigger on a new road bike next spring...what do you guys recommend for under $750? Something that was not made by Communist China would be a big plus. Thanks
Pic of my vintage Stumper for fun
Giant Contend?

At this budget, I am guessing that you are not really sure on liking this sport or not, so might as well get the best bang for your buck. At 750$, you will most likely need to stick with made in China though if you want good quality...

Another good option is to keep your current bike since you have recently invested in it.
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Old 04-07-20, 08:51 PM
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You do realize that an 80s Stumpumper is a grail bike for some riders? Mid-80s to late-90s rigid MTBs are durable, reliable, versatile .... good for anything except multi-hour road rides (though bar-ends help with that some.) Can carry a load, take some abuse, work on- or off-road, handle commuting over every sort of terrain, suck up pot holes and curb hops .... Not so good for fast group rides with dedicated roadies, but otherwise ....

I did a ton of commuting/joyriding on an '88 Bridgestone MB4 with 1.6" tires, and it never felt slow or heavy (except carrying it up the very steep stairs to my apartment. I did weekend touring, camping, used it to carry half a drum set, all my laundry and groceries .... whatever I could bungee on or cram in he panniers.

If you don't want that beautiful machine, consider listing it in C&V here, or some such. I am sure someone will be thrilled to own it.

(I have a garage full of bikes which I cannot find enough time to ride already, and while I can always find room for more, i also like being married.)
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Old 04-07-20, 09:39 PM
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How mechanically inclined are you?
https://planetcyclery.com/bikes/fram...c-1-0-frameset
229.00 for a frame, fork, headset, seat collar.
Head over to randombikeparts and get a wheelset, handlebars, stem, saddle, post, tiagra ders, brakes, brake levers, chain, cassette.
Don't forget with both of these to use discount codes.
Head over to Amazon or do a quick search for cheaper and get a tiagra flat bar shifter, crank and bb.
Just remember with tiagra all 4600 series or all 4700, the name might be the same but the model number means they don't mix.
One Belgian made carbon frame, fork isn't, with 10sp road group in a flat bar and I'm betting under 750.00 with a little effort.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bubbaman View Post
I believe you are 100% spot-on in your assessment about the political situation that created the mess we have now.
Well, I dunno how insightful it is to mention the parties are owned by the billionaire class... Let me try a bit harder.

If you cast a critical eye back over the last century or two, it should be reasonably obvious that the super rich have always had it in for democracy (for instance, how about the fascist coup exposed by Smedley Butler back in the thirties).

But they've come a long way from such hamfisted efforts; manufacturing consent became the name of the game. Foul and dastardly means a hallmark; look at what the bastards did to the field of economics, only now being guided back to respectability after forty years of madness, by the likes of Piketty. Academia infiltrated and defiled. Now it's barely more than a commodity; a rubber stamp.

The primacy of the shareholders must be unquestioned, so a few decades of constant pressure to break the unions was in order; check. Taxes, regulations, they're not for Rugged Individualists like you and me. Fight tooth and nail every step of the way to avoid any responsibility to the community, society, ecosystem, anything that isn't further empowering the last people who should have more power.

First kid yourself, then everyone else via your media empire, that you're the product of a genuine meritocracy. Not only do you deserve your gold-plated toilets, but those at the bottom deserve to be ground into dust under your boots; it's the natural order.

Yadda yadda globalisation, wham bam free trade agreement, abracadabra outsourcing and retrenchments, you get the picture.
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Old 04-10-20, 09:20 AM
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Actually, the primacy of the shareholder is rather more recent .... the attack on unions began near the start of the last century, failed for a while, and then became more successful as the unions were co-opted by the same greedy slimes which had taken over everything else.

Academia started to slide after the artist class got infected with Marxist-Stalinist-Lenninist propaganda in the 1920's .... the kids read their favorite authors extolling the virtue of massive starvation---sorry, the glories of kommunism---and fell for it. After they graduated, they started teaching the lies that Stalin had told the Western creative class whole he was busy purging his own intellectuals and starving farmers by collecting all their grain---"for the collective."

Maximizing shareholder value started after WWI and was pretty firmly enshrined by the start of WWII (https://2012books.lardbucket.org/boo...older-int.html)

But yeah ....I tried to keep things simple because after all, this is a bike website. I can go on for quite a while about the CCP, the CCP virus, the CCP deliberately spreading the CCP virus, the CCP supporting North Korea and through North Korea spreading nuclear weapons technology to Iran and everywhere else ....

And as far as astro-turf groups ....

I'd rather not dive into the cesspool. Everything is closed for the holiday, and it is not raining yet, so I am going for a bike ride .... on my Chinese-manufactured CF road bike.
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Old 04-10-20, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bubbaman View Post
Hello friends,
I'm an old fat guy who only rides on roads. I'm trying to lose weight, improve my health, survive the virus, etc.
I just got my '80's Stumpjumper back from the local shop and had a chance to test ride a Specialized Surrus, which of course I really liked. Although my bike is fixed up now and GTG at least thru 2020, the local salesman suggested I consider upgrading at some point to something that is lighter, will roll better, etc.
I may pull the trigger on a new road bike next spring...what do you guys recommend for under $750? Something that was not made by Communist China would be a big plus. Thanks
Pic of my vintage Stumper for fun
You won't find a new road bike for $750 that isn't made in China these days. But if you are serious about going to a roadbike, I found this deal at Wheel and Sprocket, just a few hours drive away from you in central Wisconsin. Closeout deal on a Felt road bike for $700. https://www.wheelandsprocket.com/pro...0-350798-1.htm
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Old 04-11-20, 11:46 AM
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While your existing bike is plenty good, it is definitely more fun to ride a road bike on the road. Puts a grin on your face and also encourages you to ride more. So from that point. And if you do go down that route, i'll recommend buying new - and getting atleast a basic fit from a good bike shop - as opposed to taking a chance with a used bike (unless you have a friend who can help set you up on the road bike).

Giant has a Contend and Revolt, each at $1000, and you should be able to get a reasonable discount on it (I believe all their bikes are made in Taiwan, not China - although i am sure it has some Chinese parts in it).

I am helping a friend get into cycling as well, at around a similar budget, and have suggested the same 2 models to him as well.
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Old 04-11-20, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
While your existing bike is plenty good, it is definitely more fun to ride a road bike on the road. Puts a grin on your face and also encourages you to ride more. So from that point. And if you do go down that route, i'll recommend buying new - and getting atleast a basic fit from a good bike shop - as opposed to taking a chance with a used bike (unless you have a friend who can help set you up on the road bike).

Giant has a Contend and Revolt, each at $1000, and you should be able to get a reasonable discount on it (I believe all their bikes are made in Taiwan, not China - although i am sure it has some Chinese parts in it).

I am helping a friend get into cycling as well, at around a similar budget, and have suggested the same 2 models to him as well.
No. Giant is a Taiwanese company, but they manufacture bikes in China.
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Old 04-11-20, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
No. Giant is a Taiwanese company, but they manufacture bikes in China.
I believe they recently have moved to Taiwan. Had this discussion only recently with the regional importer for Giant, and he said that every Giant bike sold worldwide is now made in Taiwan. Not sure how true that is, to be honest (it took me by surprise as well), but this does seem to support it to some degree:
https://road.cc/content/news/262468-...-blames-donald

That said, a lot of Swiss watches have the movements and cases made in China and just assembled in Switzerland, and yet meet the "Swiss Made" requirement. So it wouldnt surprise me if there is still some production in China.
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