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Road bicycles: I need help deciding ...

Tommy D

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Does anyone have any information/suggestions? I used to ride about 12 years ago, but I'm way out of the loop.

My goal is to get a bike around $1000 for getting into shape, and maybe competing at a very local level. The LeMond Poprad and Trek 1000 have my eye, but I'll take anything into consideration.


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Having toured the Trek plant on business once, I can attest to the quality and care that goes into the assembly of their bikes. Their high end bikes, especially the carbon fibre frames, are practically hand-built.

Yes, there are boutique companies with quality bikes but with Trek, you get the benefit of many hours of R&D and high end assembly technology that the small guys cannot afford.

When my Specialized bike needs replacing, I will go with a Trek.

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The following link is a pretty good article on bike fit. At the bottom of the page there is a link to an online calculator to figure out your bike fit.


I had a bike fit done by a shop and that was really helpfull. I had been sized up visually by three very experienced people and they put me on a 54 cm frame. After my fitting I ended up with a 56 cm frame because I have longer legs than most people my hieght.

One thing to keep in mind with bike fit is that a pro bike fitter might put you on a bike that would be your ideal if you are a racer but not a rec rider. There is a lot to be said for being comfortable rather than aerodynamic. Of course since you are a hardbooter you are most likely fairly technical and hardcore in most of your pursuits so you may lean towards the idea that even though this feels slightly uncomfortable right now I will train for a while and get in shape for this. After all, you will probably be doing century rides by september.

I bought a new bike this year (my old bike was bought used in 1990) and I chose a full carbon fiber frame. I had been riding an aluminum frame and the carbon makes a huge difference. I bought mine new but found a great deal because it was two years old.

I would reccomend searching the local classifieds for a used bike. You will be able to get a lot more bike for $1000 that way. If you are buying new, specialized makes a really good bike that you can pick up for under $1000. There is a chain of shops called Supergo that puts a bike together for about $1000 which will get you ultegra components. It is called a Scattante. It is their brand so they discount it heavily and it is a good bike.


The shimano components go somehting like this.

105 = burton (it is good but not awesome) cost = 1

ultegra = nidecker (better, and really good) cost = 1.5

dura ace = coiler with custom graphic (awesome but not campi) cost = 3

From ultegra to dura ace you get about 15% better performance for 100% increase in cost.

Since you haven't ridden for some time, you are gonna love the new seats. Those seats with a split down the middle are not just for tourists.


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Originally posted by Bob Jenney

Mirror - Yes. Landry's. But specifically the Framingham Shop. I used to work for those guys. In the last few years, they've become way more savvy with road bikes. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

In that case, I can attest to them being an excellent shop, at least from a n00b's standpoint (mine). I've been going there since they were in downtown Framingham, before they expanded into the second half of that shop, and obviously well before they opened up on Rt9. The staff there has always been very friendly and knowledgeable, and every time I've gone in there I've left the store happy, even if I didn't end up buying anything.

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You can get a lot of bike for $1000 ! Definately would agree, go with 105 @ minimum, Ultegra is nice, although I have both and can't honestly tell the difference because I'm always keeping them tuned up.

A year ago I bought a 'Performance' ( Forte SL-1) all aluminum with carbon fiber fork, seat post, aero wheels, Terry Fly (have them on all my bikes) upgraded the calipers to Ultegra, and have less than $850 in it.

Look around, lots of goodies out there............jp

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Tommy D, the LeMond Proprad is what is known as a cyclocross bike, what is cool about this bike is you can ride it on the road as well as off road. It comes with knobby tires usually 700X38 that can handle light duty on the dirt, if you want to ride the road, just buy a set of nice road tires to toss on it when you feel like pounding the pavement while doing your best Lance Armstrong impersonation.

The Poprad also comes with center pull canti brakes, these brakes are considerably more powerful than the current dual pivot sidepulls on road bikes. Plus if you do take the bike off road the center pull brakes provide clearance if you ride in the mud.

LeMond bikes, including the Poprad use steel, one of the few manufacturers left doing this. Steel tends to take some of the road vibrations and irregularties and absorbs them in the frame, carbon and titanium also do this. Aluminum, especially at the price point that you are looking at tend to transmit that vibration into your body. There is a long time debate as to what is a better ,material to build a frame with, you can read all about this debate on: mtbr.com or roadbikereview.com

Hope this helps


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Thanks for the feedback! Back in the day, I used to be all over this stuff, but it amazes me to see how far the sport has progressed. Yesterday I stopped at a shop to get my feet wet, and felt like it was my first time with the "Ice cream Man!" driving through my neighborhood.

Bob: Thank you for the offer. I have a friend closer to home who owns a bike shop, and I'll be picking his brain soon. If I'm not satisfied there, I'll definitely take you up on your offer; I'm from the North Shore, so I'm up there frequently.

Great advice on fit! I plan on test driving a bunch of bikes this weekend before making a decision, and my friend should be able to mix and match stems, etc for a proper fit.

Bling is nice, but for me, it only counts if there is performance to match. I definitely won't be hitting any Cat 2 stuff unless I get real serious about riding, so some of the 'low end' stuff should be fine for the riding I plan on doing. Sure, given unlimited funds, I'd go for a full custom with all the bling I could muster, but as you said, that would be a bit overkill. ;)


Of course since you are a hardbooter you are most likely fairly technical and hardcore in most of your pursuits
Haha! Yeh, you nailed that one.

Nice breakdown of the Shimano components. That was going to be my next question. Last time I looked into this, Shimano XT was cool!

Skategoat: Trek. Yeah, I'm a bit of a Trek snob too. I bought a Trek 7000 mb back in '94, and I'm still riding it today. The Shimano components are still hanging on (Barely) and the Manitou front elastomer shock still works well! (Would you believe no blown elastomers in 10 years?) But the frame is in great shape, and I expect it to last through a few more component and wheel generations.

oldvolvosrule: Yes, I didn't realize that the Poprad was a cyclocross bike until later yesterday evening, but the more I thought about it, a cyclocross bike might be the way to go, especially if I swap those knobbies for slicks. Many of the tertiary roads I'll be riding on are very rough, and if I train through the winter months, the knobbies would benefit on the sandy roads. I'm definitely keeping cyclocross bikes on my list.

Thanks again for all the advice. Keep it coming! :)

This forum rules. :)

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Guest Ghostrider

I picked up a Trek 1000 two years ago, and I've had no major complaints with it yet. It has never needed to go into the shop and we've had many happy miles together. If I could change one minor thing about it, I'd probably pick up a carbon fork for a little extra dampening up front since we dont ahve the best roads in Michigan. But otherwise it gets the job done and I've been happy so far.

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Originally posted by Tommy D

Yes, I didn't realize that the Poprad was a cyclocross bike until later yesterday evening, but the more I thought about it, a cyclocross bike might be the way to go, especially if I swap those knobbies for slicks.

I'm not such a technical biker as everyone, but I have an old Kona Hoo-ha hybrid with the 700X38 tires. I use Tioga City Slicker 2 tires, they work very well on the road and if I have to take it across a field or whatever they can handle it. No worries at all about jumping curbs or hitting railroad tracks. I thought about getting a full-on road bike but for the commuting I do I think I'd destroy those fragile wheels/tires in a hurry.

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Guest Ghostrider
Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill

I think I'd destroy those fragile wheels/tires in a hurry.

Yea..I'm normally a mtn biker..and an agressive one at that. So when I get on the road bike i forget that its not the same bike. I've never gone through so many tubes in my life. Pinch flats are a common occurance for me.

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I am surprised no-one has mentioned Cannnondale so far - because of the cost maybe?

I built my roadbike from bits bought from various shops, ebay and other online outlets. It currently has a Cannondale CAAD3 frame ($200 ebay NOS), Campag Neutron wheels ($400 SH online), Campag Record/Chorus 9 Speed groupset (bought piecemeal and now running to around $500) with carbon seatpost and stem.

If would heartily recommend the carbon seatpost, stem and anything else that can dampen out the posterior effects of large diameter alloy frames and stiff aero wheels.

If I did this again I would probably buy a complete Shimano groupset off the shelf, not that my Record stuff doesn't bling and zing, but because it took me ages to collect the complete set of compatible Ergos, front and rear mechs, etc.

Roll on Tour d'France

Al G

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Guest johann

Placid Planet bikes in Lake Placid has all sorts of crazy devices for bike fit. They even will change the placement of your cleats to tweak bike fit.

They do a ton of business with ironman atheletes, any road bike ya get that has a reasonable fit for you, you can take it to them and they'll have you ride it on a trainer with some gizmos, then they'll tweak ya.

I've heard of people going in making 260watts on their bike getting fitted and coming out making 300watts.

(may be a little off on the numbers but i know it was something big lik 30-50watt upgrade)

I love my swhinn fastback pro.

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Al G is the winner! :-D

I picked up a Cannondale R600 double over the weekend. The fit is very nice and comfortable, and the ride is great. I test drove a LeMond Reno too, and it was nice, but I felt like I could apply more power to my strokes on the 'Dale.

I'm happy with it; on Sunday I did almost 30 miles of hilly roads with no complaint or discomfort, though today my legs are talking to me a wee-bit.

Thanks for all the advice! I made sure not to leave that shop until the fit was just where I wanted it.

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Congrats on the bike; I'm gald you took the time to get the fit right.

Don't be afraid to reassess and fine-tune the fit, either; as you put on more miles, you might find that you need slight changes in your position to improve comfort and efficiency.

I mentioned the shop I'm wrenching in this summer in another post about tri's in New England, but since the business is dedicated to bike fitting, be it road or tri, it's worth plugging again here.

Fit Werx is a small shop in the Mad River Valley (Waitsfield, VT; think Sugarbush North) that specializes in bike fitting. Having worked in the bike industry for a number of years I felt I had a pretty good handle on how my bike fit, but after going through a fitting session at the shop (be prepared to spend half a day), the sutble adjustments to my position have definitely made an improvement in the comfort and efficiency of my riding.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me say again that I am the mechanic at this shop during the summer months; but we do regularly get clients who come from throughout New England, and from cities with very reputable LBS's, because of the services that we offer.

As a long-time alpiner, I can appreciate the effects seemingly miniscule changes in position can have on performance. I never thought that principle could carry over to cycling as well.

Anyway, check us out! And tell Sarah and Ian that Eddie sent you.


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Guest johann


I'll be up in lp for the weekend of the 24th.

Won't be around on Monday, but I will be down for foos fri/sat/sun.. Although you'll prolly be super busy sunday. heh heh.

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