Help buying a bike!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Todorov, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Dear HTFers,
    This is probably the wrong place to ask, but hey...
    I badly need to buy a road/touring/sport bicycle, don't have a clue and need help. I totaled my second hand Raleigh a couple of years ago, and can wait and live off borrowed bikes no longer. I need a new one before I leave for my vacation in 10 days.
    Here is what I don't want -- hybrid, mountain, off road, super fancy, expensive, etc. etc.
    Here is what I do want -- a traditional road bike with conventional drop handlebars, light frame (very important, I live in a third floor walk-up), under $1000 (and under $750, really, I want to occasionally lock the thing without having to worry too much), better for long rides than speed (more touring than racing, though sport is OK, I mostly just ride in Central Park, where zipping along is fun). I prefer buying stuff on line, but recognize I may have to deal with a B&M store and living sales people [​IMG]
    I went into a B&M (Bicycle Renaissance on Columbus Ave.) yesterday. The cheapest road bike they had was a $750 Specialized "Allez" (don't remember the model number). It was light, seemed fine, frame fit. I though, "screw it, I should just buy the thing and get it over with". I do a google search this morning, top hit for Allez bikes -- recalled by the Feds due to handle bars falling off on their own. AARGH: I will actually have to learn about bikes before buying one...
    Thank you for any and all help!
    Ted
     
  2. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Hey Ted, welcome to the splinter HTF bike-forum "After Hours" crew. Burp..Sorry, just came back from a Chinese buffet. We're a little goofy over here, especially on Wednesdays (after Chinese buffet) so bear with me.
    Special Ed... I mean Specialized has made some form of the Allez for many years, I wouldn't go running to a different brand just because you saw a recall on a handlebar. I'm guessing but the Allez, in some fashion, has been around for 10+ years and that's a long time.
    http://www.safetyalerts.com/rcls/cpsc/pr/99/99145.htm
    Is that the recall you're talking about? If so, simply comfirm the year of the Allez you saw and if it has been affected by the recall, tell them to replace the stem. If it's a threadless stem like most newer bikes, it's a simple matter of replacing the stem (connects the fork ('s steerer tube) to the handlebar).
    Ride different bikes in your price range, most likely the bikes under $1000 will have Shimano components, perhaps 105 gruppos and some inexpensive parts like seatpost, handlebars, wheels, etc.
    Things you should look for in a touring bike: Look for eyelets on the front fork and rear. Many more expensive racing bikes are meant for racing and wont come with eyelets. A couple years down the road when you decide to put on a rear rack to do some touring, eyelets would be helpful.
    A touring bike will probably have a longer rise stem, perhaps even slightly higher than the seat (when level) but that's your comfort factor. Choose a bike that has a good top tube length that you feel comfortable in riding long distances rather than speed. Try different bikes from different models, Giant, Raleigh, Lemond, Trek, Specialized, Bianchi, cannondale. Things are typically replaceable too, you may be able to negotiate a different saddle or a different stem length or angle and stuff like that. But you want a top tube length that's not too long for touring...
    Shoot, if you're riding in NYC, I would imagine you'd want to just tape up all the tubes and make it look 100 years old.. [​IMG]
    Deal with a local shop, you'll get more opportunity to play with parts and customize it and you'll typically get a free 30-day tune up after the chain stretches and sometimes even free labor for stuff within 1 year of purchase. I did that with my first mountain bike (rigid) they installed a suspension fork for free when I bought my bike there...
    Jay
     
  3. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    Backing up what Jay said in his post - try a bunch of different bikes & see what feels right. End of last year I was looking for a mountain bike, was riding all kinds of bikes. On some bikes I felt like my back and shoulders were really scrunched up, on some it was really stretched out. When I rode the right bike, it all just felt right.

    If you can find a good store with people that seem like they know what they're talking about (as opposed to a sales droid just trying to foist a bike on you), that could be worth a fair amount down the road. Have some problem, or after a month or 2 of riding you find that something is just not right on the bike? Likely they'll try and work with you to keep you a happy customer. Plus they'll give you free tune-ups for a while - I can bring in my bike for up to a year and they'll do a tuneup for free on it.

    Andrej
     
  4. CameronJ

    CameronJ Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted,

    I'll second what everyone else said.

    Also, if you plan on doing some true touring (with racks and panniers, etc.), I'd look into getting a bike with a triple chainring (three rings in front instead of just two). This makes the extra weight that much easier to push up hills.

    That being said, I wouldn't worry about the Specialized recall at all. I've had a few components recalled in the last ten years, and in all cases the manufacturers fixed the problems in all subsequent production runs.

     
  5. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  6. CameronJ

    CameronJ Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  8. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  9. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    It sounds like the model you're looking at is the Allez A1 24.
    One thing you might wanna budget for is swapping out those old-fashioned cage pedals for SPD pedals and a pair of cycling shoes. Once you get used to clipping in and out of the pedals (it might take you a ride or two before it becomes second nature), you'll find it a lot more efficient and safer, as you won't be turning that pedal around to find the cage everytime you start up from a standing start, just click in and go. The stiff soles on cycling shoes also help ensure the proper transfer of energy from your legs to the bike. And there are plenty of leisure-shoe type models that recess the SPD cleat slightly so you can walk around easily when you're off the bike.
     
  10. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    Absolutely shops will let you ride the bike, how else are you going to know if it fits you. True for road / touring bikes, true for mountain bikes. Generally there won't be any gnarly off-roading by where the shop is to test out MTB's, but you can find some curbs or hop or whatever.

    Be that as it may, I test rode my bike (a Klein Attitude), came back and said I'll take it if you're willing to talk price. They lowered the price some, I laid down my credit card & took the bike home.

    Andrej
     
  11. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Bahhh, a 53/39 and a 11-21 is all you'll ever need...
    Just kidding Ted, if you think a triple on a road bike is low, try a mountain bike's gearing. I think I could ride upside down it's that low, I'll spin so fast, I'll suck myself up into the air [​IMG]
     

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