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Best Road Bike Under 2500$?

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Road Cycling “It 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.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Best Road Bike Under 2500$?

Old 03-31-20, 09:24 AM
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Macdaddy OG
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Best Road Bike Under 2500$?

Finally upgrading from my 300$ entry bike!

Mostly looking for a solid training bike, but I will be using this bike for triathlons so I’d like it to be fast.

I looked into pure triathlon bikes, but I’m just not there yet...

Any advice would be appreciated!!
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Old 03-31-20, 09:40 AM
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How many hours max do you see yourself being in the saddle on this bike? What about average time in the saddle?
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Old 03-31-20, 10:02 AM
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If the bike fits you, and it's appropriate for the length of ride and course conditions, then it's only you that is going to make it fast. So what ever is in your price range. When you get yourself maxed out in performance, then you can figure out where some improvements such as aerodynamic, time trial bike vs road race, endurance or cyclocross might be better.

If you are going to be doing competitions a lot, then consider getting a coach. They'll have a more balanced idea where the big gains can be made for you.
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Old 03-31-20, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
How many hours max do you see yourself being in the saddle on this bike? What about average time in the saddle?
Max time - 2ish hours
Average time - about an hour

Past few triathlon seasons, I put in maybe 2 hours a week (basically nothing, I know). I’ve made a significant adjustment to my training and I’m working past 5 hours a week right now, and hope to be around 6/7 hours a week near summer (with running, swimming, and lifting too).

Appreciate everyone’s responses thus far.
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Old 03-31-20, 11:42 AM
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If there was a best bike, we'd all be riding it. Once you get out of the absolute crap category, all modern bikes are very good, the differences between comparable bikes are mostly preference. Do you prefer sharp handling, or a more stable feel? That kind of thing.

For your needs I'd be looking at aero tubed racing bikes. You don't need 40 mm tire clearance in a tri. You don't need Future Shock or anything to ride for an hour. Etc.

Most of what makes a bike fast is the rider. Whatever you go with, plan to spend about $75 per tire immediately. Maybe you'll get a better deal, but put that in your budget in case you don't. It's amazing how much difference tires make.
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Old 03-31-20, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Macdaddy OG View Post
Finally upgrading from my 300$ entry bike!

Mostly looking for a solid training bike, but I will be using this bike for triathlons so I’d like it to be fast.

I looked into pure triathlon bikes, but I’m just not there yet...

Any advice would be appreciated!!
ProTip: If you are going to be using the bike for regular riding as well as tris, you'll want something you can attach clip-on aero bars to, meaning you want something with traditional circular bars rather than one of those nifty integrated bar/stem aero carbon getups like you see on top-end aero bikes.

As far as what bike to get, your price point is a nice sweet spot for mid-range carbon frames with 105 from virtually every major brand. You definitely don't need anything better than 105 at this point, and I'd stick with rim brakes rather than disc, but that's personal preference. Just go out and test ride a bunch of bikes to see what geometry/frame/setup you prefer.

Another thing to consider is how competitive you are. If you're really looking to go faster in tris but need to stick to a single bike solution, you may be better getting something like a nice aluminum race bike with 105 (CAAD12, Allez, Emonda ALR), and then dropping money on a pair of deep carbon race wheels plus clip on bars. That'd be the best bang for your buck in terms of "buying speed".


Last edited by Dan333SP; 03-31-20 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 03-31-20, 01:12 PM
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I love my Giant Contend SL1 Disc. Paid $1300 for it new. Added 28's (tires) to it after about two months and never looked back man! Cant tell you how much i love this bike and the personal gains ive gotten!
Did 1700 miles last year, goal of 2000 this year, and by next spring (2021) I hope to be doing my first century rides! Right now its only April and I'm at 55mile rides in 3hrs!

JAG

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/contend-sl-1-disc
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Old 03-31-20, 01:25 PM
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You can do a lot in tris without even clip-ons; I won a few local sprints with a mostly-stock S1. Make sure you know the geometry you want and get an aero road bike and have fun.
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Old 03-31-20, 02:14 PM
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Trek Domane with carbon frame and 105 components.
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Old 03-31-20, 02:57 PM
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Best bang for the buck? Giant Defy (Endurance) or TCR (Race).

Check out the Defy or TCR Advanced 2 (105) or Advanced 1 (Ultegra).
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Old 03-31-20, 04:24 PM
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Hard to beat a canyon ultimate 8.0, rim brakes, full ultegra on a carbon frame for $2500 and it actually comes with good Conti tires as stock so you don't have to buy new tires right away. That being said, it's not the most aero thing in the world (but can you really get a new aero bike under 2500 anyway?) And this canyon has the one piece stem/bar that would be hard to mount aero bars to. If you downgrade to the 105 version it's only 1800 bucks and has a normal handlebar which would be easier to add aero bars to. As with any direct sales place it takes a little more knowledge to get the right size, but it's a heck of a lot of bike for the money.

Something like a 105 aluminum bike and some deep carbon wheels could be a good plan too, like an specialized allezelite with lightbicycle brand carbon wheels

Plenty of budget to get a nice bike at 2500!
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Old 03-31-20, 08:51 PM
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Why not try something a bit more off the beaten path? Bianchi? Pinarello? Something not everyone has? Just a thought...
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Old 03-31-20, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
🌮
Great screen name!
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Old 04-01-20, 03:52 AM
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Just hunt around:
eg
https://www.racycles.com/bikes/road/...eam-bike-14199
https://www.racycles.com/bikes/road/...105-bike-14458
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Old 04-01-20, 05:06 AM
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Used Madone.
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Old 04-01-20, 07:48 AM
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Normally I'd agree with the aluminum 105/clipons/new wheels suggestion for the one bike option, but 2 hours a week? Maybe a Schwinn Typhoon?

I also see tons of cheap but very nice older 650c tri bikes on CL now that 650c is out of fashion.
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Old 04-01-20, 08:01 AM
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I saw a lot of these at the Oceanside Triathlon a few years ago. Well within your budget and made especially for speed. Money also left over for a better wheel set too.
https://www.kestrelbicycles.com/bike...himano-105-tri
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Old 04-01-20, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Great screen name!
Hahahaha amazing it was still available.

Cheers!
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Old 04-02-20, 11:03 AM
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Lynskey Helix Pro road bike. Beautiful stiff titanium frame that should last a lifetime. Solid Shimano 105 components. With their 25% off sale and free shipping comes out to a shade under $2400. Hand made in the USA as a bonus.
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Old 04-02-20, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
Used Madone.
+1
Actually, any decent brand used bike: Specialized, Cannondale, Trek, Giant etc etc.
WAY more bang for the $$$. Buy a 2-5 year old bike -that was probably used very little- ride the snot out of it, and sell it for what you paid for it next year. You will also know much better what you really do want out of a bike after you put in a few thousand kms.
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Old 04-05-20, 11:04 AM
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I recently picked up a 5 yr old Giant TCR SL 0 with Sram Red 11 speed, new cassette, chain, cables, tires, etc for <$2000. The quarq power meter eats batteries (I think it has a short) and is out of warranty, but for the price I don't mind. I upgraded to the Favero Duo pedals and haven't looked back. IMO the 3-5 yr old market is where the good deals are, unless you are sponsored or just want the latest and greatest.
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Old 04-05-20, 11:51 AM
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Lots of good responses here. I would only add that for the same price, an AL bike will get you better components than a CF bike.
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Old 04-05-20, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Lots of good responses here. I would only add that for the same price, an AL bike will get you better components than a CF bike.
Yep. The late model Cannondale CAAD frames are fast and stiff, great handling too.
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Old 04-05-20, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by procrit View Post
Yep. The late model Cannondale CAAD frames are fast and stiff, great handling too.
I bought a 2018 CAAD12 last June and it is perfect for me. Cost me $1350 new.
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Old 04-05-20, 04:03 PM
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I personally would be looking at one of Canyon’s offerings. Their direct-to-consumer model means you can get a lot more bike for the money.

If you aren’t quite at the point of getting a tri bike, I would look at one of the aerodynamic oriented bikes like the Aeroad.

https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bi...rahmenfarbe=BK
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