I was happy to purchase my first bike used, it got me on the road and I was able to figure what I wanted/needed before dropping any serious money on a bike. I don't think carbon is a must for a beginner ride, I'm a fan of steel myself.
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I am new into the road biking world and am looking to purchase a nice beginner ride. I am 5'2" and have heard the carbon forks are a must. I have been recommended the Specialized Dulce, Raleigh Revenio 2.0, & Felt ZW. Any suggestions or first hand experience would be greatly appreciated. Also, any input on new vs. used for the first purchase? Thanks
Buying used would get you more bike for the money, but it's harder when you don't quite know what you're looking for.
If you're looking to stay within a certain budget, look at steel (Jamis or Surly), or aluminum with a carbon fork. I'd also suggest checking out Giant, Trek and Cannondale. I've ridden a Dolce, and it was a decent bike.
At least I don't leave slime trails.
2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143
2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva
Saving for the next one...
Check the Lexa family of Trek. Lexa's are entry level bikes. I have a Lexa SLX and I'm very happy with my purchase.
'12 Trek Lexa SLX
For a first road bike, I LOVE my Bianchi Eros Donna. Carbon fork and campy components. It's a nice smooth ride, not too twitchy. Much as I love her, I am selling her. She is not what I need anymore and my shoulder cannot take the position on her that I was once so comfortable on. The Bianchi is a great bike for club rides and long Sunday rides! I really want something better suited for touring. I didn't know that when I bought this bike and there is not enough room for wider tires or fenders. If I were starting all over, I would go used until I had a better idea of what I really wanted/needed.
That being said, check out my bike on the classifieds. It's probably small enough for you.
Touring this great country, one State at a time! Michigan Summer 2013.
Where are you going to be riding? What kind of riding do you envision yourself doing? Ratty pavement, through the city, doing errands? On the local MUP (multi-use path)? Maybe a hybrid or a cross bike. Long rides on the road? Maybe a road bike. Want to carry gear on the road, maybe do an overnight? Then maybe a touring bike.
Last edited by goldfinch; 04-30-2012 at 07:25 PM.
Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”
I also bought my first road bike used. Mine's a Trek 2000. After a year of riding it I bought my 2nd road bike which is a Felt F 5. The F series does not have a WSD version and I'm more comfortable on the men's bikes vs the WSD (shorter legs and longer torso than what women are supposed to have). I love my Felt. I agree with Maye to also look at Trek.
I got a really good deal on my used Giant last summer. I did know what size I needed and then started looking around. The used market was tricky up here as most of the bikes were too large.
When this one came up, I scooped it up right away. I then brought it for a bike fitting.
My bike needed some serious tweaking that ended up costing me the same amount as the bike but I'm still ahead from buying a new bike, and my bike is better than what I would have got new.
My advice is to keep in mind if you buy used, you may need to replace a few parts to make it perfect so budget for that as well.
Also, the bike fitting is crucial. I had no idea how off I was and the fitting/new components made a night and day difference.
Speaking as another short person, it may be hard to find a good road bike used. I watched Craigslist in my area for a year, and saw only 3 or 4 bikes in my size during the year, and some were too expensive for me.
Good luck- try the bikes before you buy and make sure it will really fit you!
2011 Specialized Ruby Comp/ Specialized Jett 143
1983 Nishiki Custom Sport / Serfas ???
I just bought an Amira and I'm 5'1!
2012 Specialized Amira Apex Compact
2011 Redline 925
I am buying my first road bike. I had a hybrid for years.
I tried the Amira and Ruby by Specialized and liked them both!
Any comments? I am 5"2" and they seem to fit me the best. The Cannondale was too long in the reach.
How does the Ruby climb? I live in a hilly area
Last edited by tlnbmd; 05-22-2012 at 08:11 PM.
My first road bike after picking cycling back up a in 2009 was a Felt ZW100. She was a good entry level bike with a decent set of components. Did lots of research and she was in my top 3. Just sold it a few months ago, as I upgraded to a carbon Synapse.
My sister also picked up cycling again in 2010, and purchased a Felt as well, without knowing that was the brand I chose, too. She did go one level up to the ZW95 which had a carbon seat stays as well as fork in the 2010 version.
Felt gives you a lot for the money. I'd suggest riding all the contenders and seeing how they feel. I agree about finding a small frame - it's hard finding one second hand. Sometimes toward the end of summer you can find a good deal on a year-end closeout, but the small frames again are the first to go.
If you're doing a lot of hills, consider a triple crank or a compact double. I think all of the Felts now are compact double standard, while mine was a triple.
2009 Felt ZW100 (Gone but not forgotten)
2010 C'Dale Synapse 5 Carbon Fem | Koobi Si Classic | "Cinders"
I'm a big fan of Specialized Bikes, though I also love my Cannondale and Trek. So I would recommend trying that Specialized Dolce. Giant makes a great entry level bike too, and Felts are fantastic and usually a couple hundred dollars cheaper.