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$1000 or less road bike suggestion

Old 05-10-21, 04:40 PM
  #1  
TexN
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$1000 or less road bike suggestion

I purchased a XL Giant Roam 2 and turned out that I enjoy it. So much in fact that I'm cranking out 30 and 40 milers on a regular basis.

So! I've decided to train for a Century and to purchase a road bike to do it. I have a limited budget so I am reading out to see if some of you may have some suggestions on a lot of bang for the buck when purchasing a road bike in my cash range. Not opposed to a little more bike out of the used market.

Thanks in advance. I'll be checking back,
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Old 05-10-21, 04:53 PM
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Ride The Roam for The 100 miles.
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Old 05-10-21, 07:30 PM
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I would just ride the bike you have and save up for a nicer road bike. These days it is tough to get a decent road bike for that low and if you already have an entry level hybrid it is always nice to upgrade from that rather than just buy something slightly similar. The Specialized Allez Elite is a great entry into the road bike market.
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Old 05-10-21, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TexN View Post
I purchased a XL Giant Roam 2 and turned out that I enjoy it. So much in fact that I'm cranking out 30 and 40 milers on a regular basis.

So! I've decided to train for a Century and to purchase a road bike to do it. I have a limited budget so I am reading out to see if some of you may have some suggestions on a lot of bang for the buck when purchasing a road bike in my cash range. Not opposed to a little more bike out of the used market.

Thanks in advance. I'll be checking back,
If you want used, look at your local market. Nobody here can guess what's available at any given time, so suggested brands/models will be pretty worthless..
If ou want new, see what your local ships have in stock in your size at that price. It may not be a wide selection right now with the overall limited inventory.
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Old 05-10-21, 10:09 PM
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I don't see why you cannot do it on the Roam. If the bike is comfortable, it is certainly capable. Additionally, as stated above: Bikes these days are in short supply. Wait until you can save up the money
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Old 05-10-21, 11:05 PM
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There are ways you can make your Roam more suitable for century-length rides if it's not quite up to snuff compared to a typical $1k road bike. Upgrade tires, invest in better bars or bar-ends for more hand positions, work on getting a more aerodynamic position that's still comfortable, and so forth. But I can't speak from experience because I do think a drop-bar road bike is the superior option for such endurance rides and have never felt good on any flat bar for that length of riding, and if I were in your position I'd sell the Roam in order to increase my budget for that road bike.

Anyway at the $1K used price tier, you should be looking at no worse than 2x10 gearing, aluminum frame (carbon will likely not be worth it at that price without significantly worse components or sketchy history), and as much tire clearance as you can get. Since you ride a XL, I can't overstate how important wide tire clearance can be to working up to your first century. Thinner tires are not inherently faster, but must be inflated to higher pressures which transmit more vibration to the rider, which over time will cause significant fatigue. A lot of bikes that are a bit less than recent will have clearance for only 25mm or even 23mm tires, which you'll be running at 100+ PSI, and will just feel awful unless your roads are pristine new asphalt.

Another consideration is for low gearing if you plan to ride up steep hills. Again, modern bikes tend to accommodate lower gearing with larger cassettes and compact chainrings, while older stuff could come with narrower range short-cage rear derailleurs and racing size chainrings that won't do you any favors on frequent inclines. Newer bikes tend to come with 50/34 front and can handle 11-32t, even 34t cassettes with medium or long-cage RDs. The more suitable the bike already is to your target riding, the less potential headaches you'll have of needing to adapt it.
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Old 05-11-21, 02:59 AM
  #7  
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My suggestion, ride your current bike more, before getting a new one.
reason, your body will "evolve" some in training - so the road bike that may feel right now - you would "out grow" in a few months as your riding level increases.
The suggestions to update your current bike during this process are good. Updating tires for example. Also getting comfortable doing minor maintenance are good skills. For example - can you easily fix a flat or change a blown tire, operations you might need to do on any ride - long or short ?
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Old 05-11-21, 05:41 AM
  #8  
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https://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_...ls&ProdID=3055

There ^. If you know your frame size, you can search the Scratch and Dent from BikeIsland. Is 62 cm your size? This one is $650 delivered to you. You're welcome.
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Old 05-11-21, 06:22 AM
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for $1000, you'd be looking at something like the base model Allez with Claris brand new, which I have myself and is a great bike. Pre pandemic, it was more in the $700 range, so there's definitely a premium to pay. So you may or may not be able to get more in a used bike. From my perspective, and I've been riding a good number of years now, an 8 speed road bike is plenty good for a good majority of cyclists, and the Allez is a great frame with internal cable routing, I'll be happy riding mine for years. Just my perspective!
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Old 05-11-21, 08:30 AM
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Very helpful/insightful thank you, and please don't stop if you think of something post again. This is all good information to think about and yes, i do need to up my mechanic skills.

Last edited by TexN; 05-11-21 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:13 AM
  #11  
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I don't know what the weight of your Giant Roam is, but my son rode his Trek Marlin 5 on the first century he ever did. Just the other day he was thinking back to that ride and said he doesn't know how he did it on that heavy bike.

If you don't have any steep hills, you are likely to do well on the Roam. However if you are in an area of constantly rolling terrain with a few hills that have a section of grade around 10% or more, then you might be well worn out before the finish. Not that you won't finish, but you certainly won't have the desire to ride any further.

I've no idea what is down in your price range, but my son bought a Trek Emonda ALR of some sort back in 2017 for a little more. It's been a nice bike for him. Pretty light too, around 18 or 19 pounds with all his bottle mounts, bag and gizmos on it.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Ride The Roam for The100 miles.

I did my first century on a "comfort" bike. Took forever, but it wasn't bad at all.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by TexN View Post
Very helpful/insightful thank you, and please don't stop if you think of something post again. This is all good information to think about and yes, i do need to up my mechanic skills.

Just so you know, I've done several centuries and even much longer on a Trek FX 3. If you get bar ends, a century is quite doable on the Roam. I have, however, converted entirely to riding drop bars which are better for the purpose, but this is really a terrible time to be bike shopping.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:43 AM
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Unless your century is a gran fondo type with considerable climbing, your Roam should not be an issue. Put on some narrower slicks and bar ends to assist your ride. Weight will not be an issue on a flattish ride but wind resistance will be. Your choice of a form fitting kit will also aid your ride.

Start kicking up your mileage on the Roam on terrain you plan on riding your century.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:51 AM
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For $1K, I don’t think that you’re going to get a much better bike than what you have, the main difference will be that it has drop bars.

Of course, drop bars make a big difference to me on long rides. However if you’re already doing 40 milers with the flat bars and are comfortable on them, then you’ll probably be fine for 100 miles - possibly with some bar or bar and modifications.

Unless you are set on drop bars, here is what I would do:

1- Consider playing around with your bars, grips, or bar ends. My wife found that a little back-sweep and some ergon grips were the key to comfort on long rides on her flat bar road bike.

2- Get good tires. Once you cockpit comfort is addressed (saddle and bar/grip configuration), good tires are the best bang for buck investment, IMO. I am a big fan of Rene Herse Tires, but there are other good ones as well - do a search on this.

3- Consider swapping out the suspension fork for a rigid one. This really depends on what else you use the bike for.
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Old 05-11-21, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
for $1000, you'd be looking at something like the base model Allez with Claris brand new, which I have myself and is a great bike....From my perspective, and I've been riding a good number of years now, an 8 speed road bike is plenty good for a good majority of cyclists, and the Allez is a great frame with internal cable routing, I'll be happy riding mine for years. Just my perspective!
It's the fashion in modern times to drag entry level road bikes, but compared to the 'ten speed' bikes we rode 50 years ago, a 2021 Specialized Allez is a veritable Starship.
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Old 05-11-21, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
It's the fashion in modern times to drag entry level road bikes, but compared to the 'ten speed' bikes we rode 50 years ago, a 2021 Specialized Allez is a veritable Starship.
the allez is a great bike, in my biased opinion. I have the 2018 model and it has internal cable routing and a carbon fork, plus the current gen Claris is tidy as far as cabling goes. I don’t feel an incredible need for 11 speed (my CX bike is 11 speed), but it could be easily upgraded to be at the level of the elite. and as someone who is pretty well trained, I can ride pretty fast on the thing. I recommend with zero hesitation, even with it being rim brake
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Old 05-11-21, 10:58 AM
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Once your centuries are done, longer rides after that?
Really, any good decent road bike should work. Depending on the terrain will dictate your gearing, and based off your username, I assume Texas. Any 2x gearing should work.
You should really focus on good tires, Continental Grand Prix tires or something. Go with 28-32mm if possible.
I've done centuries and 200k brevets on older steel bikes and my aluminum bikes with carbon and steel forks. My favorite bike for even longer rides is my aluminum 2004 Fuji Ace with a steel fork.

You mentioned you could go used. That is good too, The Fuji Ace mentioned in my last paragraph was bought used for only $100 (with wheel/tire/groupset/bars upgrades afterwards)
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Old 06-07-21, 03:19 PM
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what is a form fitting kit?
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Old 06-07-21, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TexN View Post
what is a form fitting kit?
Skin tight bike clothing.
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Old 06-07-21, 04:14 PM
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In my view, the only reason to choose a drop bar bike is if you really expect that it will more comfortable and pleasurable to ride. This is certainly true for the many riders who love drop bars, but there are also many who don't. If there's a way for you to borrow and try a drop bar bike for a few of those 40 milers, it would be a great chance to see how you like it.
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Old 06-07-21, 07:32 PM
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For century ride I would probably get gp5000 tires in size 32.

Converting a flat bar to a drop can get expensive converting your brakes/shifters.

If you get one of these handle bars you can keep your brakes/shifters and have more hand positions to help with comfort on your long ride.

https://surlybikes.com/parts/handlebars
https://www.cyclingabout.com/all-abo...ng-handlebars/

I don't know how much of an upgrade a less than 1k road bike would be over your current bike. I would just ride your current bike until you could save up for a road bike that has shimano 105 (2 x 11 ), disc brakes, through axles.

I had a nice hybrid that was 1 x 9; 650b wheels/tires/QR with flat bar handle bars. I started to want to go faster and wanted to upgrade my bike. I quickly found out it was not going to be cost effective.
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Old 06-07-21, 09:46 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I don't know what the weight of your Giant Roam is, but my son rode his Trek Marlin 5 on the first century he ever did. Just the other day he was thinking back to that ride and said he doesn't know how he did it on that heavy bike.

If you don't have any steep hills, you are likely to do well on the Roam. However if you are in an area of constantly rolling terrain with a few hills that have a section of grade around 10% or more, then you might be well worn out before the finish. Not that you won't finish, but you certainly won't have the desire to ride any further.

I've no idea what is down in your price range, but my son bought a Trek Emonda ALR of some sort back in 2017 for a little more. It's been a nice bike for him. Pretty light too, around 18 or 19 pounds with all his bottle mounts, bag and gizmos on it.
I did a solo mountain century with 38 lbs bike. I simply went slow on the climbs on the lowest gear.

Pace it well, take it slow, have low enough gear, and you'll make it without problems.
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Old 06-08-21, 02:02 AM
  #24  
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If you want a road bike, and can afford it, then go ahead. You may well enjoy it.

If you post a lot of info about yourself, we may be able to help in the search.

Location, height, bike size, perhaps weight, preferred frame material, brakes, etc. We may be able to come up with some suggestions.
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Old 06-08-21, 06:58 AM
  #25  
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I consider a bike to be "durable good"--that is a long-lasting, high-upfront-cost item where upfront investment pays off over the length of the item's lifetime. Buy all the hardware up front, I say, because all the later upgrades will Not be cost-effective.

If you buy a road bike and really like it, you might find yourself shopping for a new and better road bike in a few years .... but if you ride your Roam another year and save up, you can buy a better road bike right off.

In truth, modern Claris or Sora is so good you don't need 105---but 105 is so good you don't need Ultegra .... you don't need to save a few pounds of bike weight, but you might wish you did some day on a particularly hilly ride. You don't need light wheels, but you will sure feel them when you get them and you Will like them.

And generally, the better stuff lasts a little longer and/or stays adjusted a little longer. Not a big deal .... but if I am going to be riding a bike for seven or 15 or 22 years (let's see how long I live) I'd rather spend an extra several hundred and enjoy the ride more every time than think about the .03 cents per week I saved by going cheap.

I too have done "you can't do that ride on a flat-bar bike" rides on a flat-bar bike, no problem. As others have said, you can get some bar ends and/or ergo grips and get a lot of hand positions with a flat bar---or get a Jones bar, or H bar or trekking bar (various names for various weirdly-shaped but very functional flat bars) and have More hand positions than drop bars offer. Fitness is probably the most important aspect of comfort on long rides, followed by good tires and a properly adjusted cockpit. Just because the people who race on TV use drop bars, means nothing.( Well, it means they don't show cross-country MTB racing on TV much ... )

If you are going to buy a new bike, I have a few recommendations (or rather, I have a strong need to pretend I have something to say .... )

First .... Test Ride. Maybe even rent a drop-bar bike if you can. Any bike can feel super doing circles in a parking lot for ten minutes but riding a road bike can be very different than a flat-bar bike, depending on how it is set up. You can set up a road bike so the ramps of the brifters are basically where the grips would be on a flat-bar bike, but a lot of shops set up the bikes long and low ("Looks like the guys racing on TV so it must be better, right?"") which can put a lot of strain on different parts of the body and might feel pretty bad after a while. I once borrowed a Cannondale 6-13---Amazing bike, best of everything at the time--which felt tremendous for 57 minutes and was agonizingly painful after an hour.

Frame sizing is a little different on a flat-bar compared to a drop-bar bike, because the flat-bar bike will usually have a longer top tube, while the drop-bar bike will gain some reach from the reach of the bars. A 56 flat-bar and a 56 drop bar won't necessarily both fit. Of course a lot can be done with stems length and angle and spacers and all, but you don't want to use up all your adjustability just to get a comfortable beginning position---you want some room to adjust later as your body develops to suit the bike.

For these reasons I'd suggest trying out drop-bar bikes to the greatest degree possible. Get the wrong size and you might regret buying it.

That said ..... @Phil_gretz recommends a great source. Bike island and its parent site, Bikes Direct, sell high-quality bikes for a little bit less. You get most of the same parts as bikes costing a lot more, and the frames are as good as everything but the latest, cutting-edge, super-overpriced designer frames, but you don't get to brag about the decals on the down tube---you don't get a fancy brand name. However if you prefer to ride your bike rather than talk about it, .......

I have a decent amount of experience with BikesDirect, and I believe Bike Island sells BikesDirect scratch-and-dent models. Definitely the way to go if value is more important than bling to you.
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