Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 40
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    369

    Am I ready for a road bike?

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    I've been posting since September and am a newbie when it comes to biking. I currently have a folding bike and absolutely love it. I also have a beater bike that I bought on CL that I'm using on rollers (I am terrible and keep falling which is why my beater bike works) but I was looking to upgrade to a full size bike in the Spring. I thought I wanted a hybrid and was seriously interested in the Jamis Coda. In fact, I was waiting until Black Friday to see if there would be sales.

    Today I went to the LBS who sells Jamis but they were closed. Since I had time on my hands, I ended up going to the other LBS in hopes of trying out a Specialized Vita or some other comparable hybrid. My salesperson (bought my folder from him) started talking to me about my biking style (recreational rider, mostly paved trails). He was shocked when I mentioned the rollers since I've only been biking since the summer. He even had ride on the rollers in the store (I was terrible) to see my form and give me some pointers.

    Long story short, he brought out 2 bikes - a Vita and a Ruby. I have to admit the Ruby felt nice....real nice but I don't think I'm ready for a road bike. For goodness sake, I didn't even know how to use the shifters! Anyway, the LBS said that he could sell me a hybrid but he thinks I'll be back in a year or even less looking to upgrade. He said that he can see I like to ride, and with practice on the trainer, I'll outgrow a hybrid. He suggested that I should maybe wait a bit, save more money and then take the plunge and buy a roadie.

    I'm so unsure. I don't really spend a lot of money on myself and $2k is a lot to drop on a bike when I mostly ride paved trails a couple of times a week (have a family and work full time in a demanding job so hard to ride more often). But, I do think that I might as well buy the best thing I can afford now, rather than buy an interim bike that I'm going to end up upgrading anyway. I'm hopeful that I can find more time to ride, especially as my kids get older.

    What do you think? Buy a hybrid or save and get a road bike. If I go road, I'm going carbon or steel. Thanks in advance for any help/insight you can provide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville area of NC
    Posts
    821
    Another option would be to see if you can find a used bike in your size. Just a thought.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    369
    Thanks Koronin - it's hard to find my size because I'm petite (5'0) but I can start looking on CL. I just am not quite sure what I'm looking for in terms of components.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    What does "being ready" for a road bike mean? Do you want a road bike? Will it make you ride more or make you ride less? If you can afford it and it enhances your enjoyment - get it. That's really the only thing that matters.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    90
    And you don't need a Ruby to start off with. You can start with another one of Specialized's bikes that are NOT $2K!

    I just purchased a Dolce Sport and it's a great bike and it was less than $1000 with discount.

    So, first of all, there are other options than dropping so much money on a road bike you might not like later.

    Secondly, I was given a mountain bike that didn't fit me, but I like bicycling, so I went ahead and purchased a hybrid (relatively new) on CL. It's a good bike, but after a year of using it, I knew I wanted a road bike (and hence my Dolce now).

    For me, it was fine to keep the hybrid because I'll add a basket and maybe some panniers so I can use it to run errands.

    In this case, I would go for a more "entry level" road bike or a hybrid with thinner tires (so you can go faster!).

    Since you don't know how much you will be riding in the future (and especially if you're doing it alone) you may want to stick to the hybrid.

    If you decide you like it, you can get an entry level road bike later and see if that's what you really want. But don't let yourself be talked into buying a $2K bike when you don't really need to right now. Try going to another shop and see if they'll really listen to your needs, rather than just trying to see you something expensive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    How about considering a cyclocross bike? Then you have the option to take it off-road and ride in conditions that are not favorable with a road bike. You can use knobby tires or slick ones.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    369
    Thanks All! You're right, there are other options but I am leaning towards the road since I have the used hybrid already. Perhaps an entry level road bike or a cyclo would work. $2k is a scary number but $1k is more manageable. I did not try any aluminum road bikes but perhaps I will try those out next. I'll see if the Jamis dealer is open today, I know they have some nice bikes that are less expensive than the Ruby. I have to admit that I like the look and feel of the Ruby but the price was a little hard to swallow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,267
    What is your beater bike and what do you like and not like about it?
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    I love my Ruby- but that said, I started with an aluminum Fuji that costs $600 on sale at Performance Bikes. I used it for nearly 2 years, and put 6000 miles on it. I really appreciated the Ruby much more because of that.

    If you want to do a lot of recreational riding go for the road bike. You will be more limited with the hybrid.

    FYI- I am 5'1" and the Ruby 44 cm fits me much better than the Fuji 44 cm did, but the Dolce might be a good option. For gals our size, finding a bike that fits is more challenging but really important for your long term comfort and enjoyment on the bike.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,144
    Excellent thread here where many short and savvy riders pitch in with excellent ideas about a variety of great, affordable bikes for short riders. There are lots of choices out there. Get out there and ride lots of bikes, try different shops.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=44652
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    369
    Thanks All.
    Goldfinch - my beater bike is a Giant Cypress. I feel like I'm riding a sofa - it's very comfortable but certainly doesn't go fast. My folder is a Dahon Speed P8 - great and fun bike to ride with nice fat tires but again not a fast bike. I also had an older Specialized Crossroad (bought on CL and never rode) but gave it my mom so she could ride with me. When i first started riding, I originally wanted comfort but am now thinking I want something more nimble.

    azfiddle - what is the main difference between your fuji and the ruby? Is the Ruby a smoother ride? Funny, I'm 5'0 and he put me on a 48 inch Ruby. I also tried an Amira which was really aggressive in my opinion.

    Trek - great thread! I do remember reading it back when I wasn't looking for a road bike! I'm going to reread it to see if I can get ideas.

    I do appreciate the advice. It's funny because I really was looking just for a hybrid but am now thinking that a road may be better. I haven't tried any aluminum road bikes but will give those a shot as they seem to be less $ than the carbon.
    Last edited by jyyanks; 11-26-2011 at 01:01 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    Maybe it was because I changed some things on the set up after a while, but I was more stretched out on the Fuji. I could never ride comfortably in the hoods and use the brakes from that position. I used the extra "cheater brakes" most of the time. The Ruby is definitely more comfortable and performs better. The components are all better quality and it is carbon instead of aluminum, so all that helps.

    I didn't even consider trying an Amira!

    Your proportions may be a lot different from mine- I have a very short torso and a 48 is just too big for me.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,267
    Quote Originally Posted by jyyanks View Post
    Thanks All.
    Goldfinch - my beater bike is a Giant Cypress. I feel like I'm riding a sofa - it's very comfortable but certainly doesn't go fast. My folder is a Dahon Speed P8 - great and fun bike to ride with nice fat tires but again not a fast bike. I also had a Specialized Crosstail (bought on CL and never rode) but gave it my mom so she could ride with me. When i first started riding, I originally wanted comfort but am now thinking I want something more nimble.

    azfiddle - what is the main difference between your fuji and the ruby? Is the Ruby a smoother ride? Funny, I'm 5'0 and he put me on a 48 inch Ruby. I also tried an Amira which was really aggressive in my opinion.

    Trek - great thread! I do remember reading it back when I wasn't looking for a road bike! I'm going to reread it to see if I can get ideas.

    I do appreciate the advice. It's funny because I really was looking just for a hybrid but am now thinking that a road may be better. I haven't tried any aluminum road bikes but will give those a shot as they seem to be less $ than the carbon.
    It sounds like a road bike or a cross bike may be in your future! You like fast. You like nimble.

    Be careful about size. I have had a number of bike shops try to put me on bikes that are way too big just because that happened to be their smallest size. It is hard to tell if something fits for the long haul on a test ride.

    It is possible that a 44cm Specialized Ruby or a Dolce will fit you. The 48 sounds too big for your height but it depends on your own build. These are all too big for me but I have very short arms and am an inch and a half shorter than you are. Do you have an idea if you are long in the torso or long in the legs, comparatively? Do you know your inseam from crotch to floor?

    Jamis has a number of 44cm, smaller bikes but again they were all too big for me. They have some that are very reasonably priced. Felt is another option. Heck, most of these options are discussed in the thread Trek linked to.

    The Surly Crosscheck is really cool but too big for me. It might be hard to find one to try, depends on where you live. I didn't look at cross bikes because none would fit.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Putting in my 2 cents worth.
    I rode a mountain bike with slicks for a year and a half and then I bought my first road bike, an alu Cannondale. It fit me, but the components were crappy, and I kept dropping the chain, and never was able to shift well into the big ring. I also felt every bump on the road. A year later I bought a Trek 5200 (carbon) and the upgrade in components made a huge difference, as well as the comfort. I am not saying absolutely don't buy aluminum, but I ended up spending about $1300 and a year later, spending $2500. I still wonder if I should have kept my Trek, which I sold for the bike I have now.
    I also had a Jamis Coda for 4 years, which I used as an errand/fun bike. It's a great bike for the money, and I would go for steel over alu. any day. However, it has flat bars, it's heavy, and the components are lower end (although I never had any issues with them).
    A good friend started with the Vita and now has a Ruby Elite. She kept the Vita for a second bike. At first she said she would never buy a road bike, but she was wanting that Ruby pretty badly after the test ride! The bike is sweet and sexy. My friend is not a fast rider, but she is a committed rider.
    Of course, I am an enabler and I say go for it.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    369
    Muirenn - Thanks for the suggestion - I actually have a Surly dealer near me so I will go check it out

    azfiddle- good to know. I'm going to try a bunch of different bikes and if I go the Ruby route, I'll have to PM you with questions. Either way,now that I'm interested in a road, I have to save a little more. I do get a bonus in Feb which is probably when I can make my big purchase

    Goldfinch - I thought it was odd that he put me on a 48 though he did make a bunch of adjustments. If I go down this route, I will insist on trying out a 44 as well. I have to check my measurements - I have no idea what my inseam is but I should have them on hand. Going to see the Jamis dealer tomorrow. There is another Felt dealer nearby.

    Crankin - Your post really cleared things up. I never thought I would buy a road bike because I'm not the best rider. Furthermore, I always "cheap out" and regret it later. What you said about your friend hit home, I'm not fast and I don't ride as much as others but I am committed and see myself riding for a long time.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •