Advice sought: building or buying a new or used road bike

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4 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"I'm a mountain biker who wants to start road racing. I'm in the market for a road bike or triathlon bike but I'm on a tight budget.

I'm not really happy with the quality that I'm seeing in bike stores for my budget (under $600, firm... if you have a line on a decent entry-level bike for this range, and you're about 5'9', please let me know and I'll buy it from you.) I do see what look like great deals in used bikes and kits online but I'm very nervous about fit. Also, I don't have enough mechanical skill to build up a kit myself, let alone cobble together a frame with a fork, wheel set, etc. that are all bought separately.

If you're a bike lover / expert, I'd like to get your advice on how to get a decent used bike / kit / cobbled together bike at a decent price and with proper fitting. (Is it possible to get a properly sized bike sight unseen, for starters?)

If you have time and the resources, I'd look into paying you to help me assemble a kit or cobbled together bike after you gave me some guidance on what to buy. (I have no idea how we could price this, but I'm sure we could reach some kind of agreement that would make it worth your while... I have friends who are in the same boat so you might get more than one ""client"" out of this arrangement.)

Please drop me a line if you think this is possible and worth your time. Thank you for your interest

Anonymous's picture
JB (not verified)

Have you checked out Iron Horse road bikes. They seem to be a great value. I think you could get a decent racing bike from them in your price range.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

Used bikes by mail, who'da thunk it? Sounds like the perfect recipe for a ripoff but in fact the guy has an impeccable reputation. Do a google search.

The TA web page ( has suggestions on how to buy a used bike with links to local used bike shops. Good luck.

Anonymous's picture
jon (not verified)

One thing to remember when fitting a new bike is that frame is only part of the fit - when you know what frame size you need, a good bike shop guy is key to getting the fit right - the fine tuning adjustments of stem, seatpost, etc. Especially if it's your first road racing bike, make sure you're dealing with a BSG who really knows how to fit you. That is at least as important as the price of your frame and components. You can still get a decent bike with 105...

Anonymous's picture
Art (not verified)
What kind of racing?

"There's much more to consider for proper fit than just your height. Your cycling inseam (not the same as trouser size) is one important measurement. But torso, arm length, and riding style should all be considered when choosing a frame. A bike's top tube length and seat tube angle are a least as important as ""frame size.""

You say you want to try road racing, but are considering a triathlon bike. Triathlon bikes are quite specialized (steep seat tube, aero bars, disk wheel, etc.) and generally are not suitable for criterium type races. In fact, aero bars are only permitted in time trials.

Until you've ridden a road bike for a while, you won't really know what your preferences are in a bike. But I think the first thing you need to do is decide whether you want to do triathlons (where you do not ride in a pack) or mass start road races.


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