newbie needs advise

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Anonymous's picture

I'm new to biking, want to make the right decision on buying a road bike and where to buy it, any advise would be appreciatedd. thanks

Anonymous's picture
Jenn (not verified)
road bike

I, too, have this question. I've had a hybrid for a few years and done a couple centuries on it. Rented a Trek 5200 last weekend and was very happy to pick up the pace. I'm wondering, though, if I need to spend that much or if I should be looking at bikes with carbon fiber forks only. Any advice would be appreciated.

Anonymous's picture
Bob Shay (not verified)
I'm a Trek Fan

I've been riding Trek bikes since 1992 and have logged over 50,000 miles on them. I purchased Trek originally because it had a good reputation and lifetime warranty on the frame. My frame broke in 2004 and they replaced it very fast and at no cost.

My workhorse is the 2300, carbon forks and carbon fiber top rear triangle of frame. I also have a full carbon Madone 5.2SL. My impression of the Madone 5.2SL is that I get slightly better direct power transfer from the pedals to the rear wheel and the 5.2SL soaks up road bumps a little better. The reason could be a combination of the full carbon frame and different crank - I don't know. I am very happy with each model and really don't favor one over the other.

If I were going to do it again, I would choose based on my budget. The alpha aluminum 1500 for $900, or the 2300 for $2,100, or the Madone 5.2SL for $3,100. See If your budget allows for the 2300, you'll get Ultegra components which I have found to be durable and very functional. I have never ridden a 1500, but I understand the 105 shimano components on a double crank - especially shifters - work quite well. You may want to check out just to get a sense of what other users think of Trek and different brands.

As far as dealers go, I purchased one of my bikes in the Metro store on 87th and Lex. But, I am sure there are several great Trek dealers in NYC.

Good luck,


Anonymous's picture
Rich Conroy (not verified)

"Here's my advice:
1. Get a useful gear range. After watching many athletic looking riders on superlight racing bikes grind their way slowly up hills in the Ramapo Rally, it occured to me that they lacked adequate gears to put their leg muscles to better use. At least get a wide as possible range in the back, and either a triple or a compact double crank in the front. Gears can be changed if you decide to get into racing.

2. If you don't intend to race, consider either a touring or a cyclocross bike: with skinny tires they can still go fast; yet they will still accomodate fenders and racks if you want to do some touring or commuting.

3. Do test rides to see what frame materials (steel, carbon, aluminum, or titanium) and what frame design (compact, like Giant, or traditional, like Lemond) feel best within your price range.

4. As for shops, judge them by how they treat you, how well they answer questions, what kind of ""vibe"" you get from them.

5. Within a given price point, the bikes may be remarkably similar, with similar quality wheels, same level of componentry. An $800 trek is not going to vastly superior to an $800 specialized, though frame warranty is important."

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
I suggest a simple steel setup for newbies

A cyclocross setup will let you add things like fenders and wide tires for loaded touring. If you can afford it, I'd upgrade to Shimano 105 STD components as a base.

Also, handbuilt wheels don't need to cost a lot and they will last longer.

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