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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352

    Things you wish someone had told you

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    So I have my Trek 820 wsd on layaway (expect to have it out by Sept) and it will be my kick around bike and for the local park dirt trails and subdivision riding for now.

    But, in February I'll have some extra money and I want to get a nicer bike that will hopefully last me for several years. I've done a boatload of reading and plan on doing more, but I wanted to ask y'alls opinion on things you wish someone had told you when you had shopped for your first "serious" bike. "Serious" is relative because my price range will be around $1500.

    I do plan on shopping just about every bike manufacturer available in Houston. At this point I'm thinking I'd like a bike that's a little more upright in position, but still with drop bars, maybe a cyclocross. They've really caught my attention. I've had the thoughts that possibly down the road I could get a second set of wheels and just swap as the mood strikes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    240
    Congrats on your new bike (s)!

    My budget was also $1500 for my "serious" bike. Last year I bought a Trek Lexa SLX, which is a more relaxed geometry bike.

    Although folks did tell me to do this, I didn't really listen ......
    I would recommend taking a long test ride, more than just a few times around the block. I moved from a triple to a double when i bought this bike, so I wish I would have tried it on a hill. Although I am fine iwth the double now, it is just something to consider.
    If you fall in between bikes in terms of sizing, be sure to give both sizes a good test ride.

    Also, are you going to get clipless pedals? If so, that is something to consider for your budget. I kept the platforms on my bike for a few months, because I had a lot to learn about riding a road bike. I waited until I felt comfortable on it, and then moved to clipless. But, if you want to have them put on there right away, that might be another couple of hundred $$ to factor in.

    Good luck and have fun!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    Do the shops let you take longer rides? When I tried out my Trek the guy stood outside and watched me while I rode it around for about 10 minutes.

    I think clipless pedals are out for now. I'm super clumsy and haven't ridden a bike in many years so I think I'll need some time to get acquainted before i jump into that, though who knows? As I always say, I'm a woman, my opinion is subject to change

    Thanks for the suggestions, they are good ones! PS.....they had a beautiful Lexa in the shop when I got my 820.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    Do the shops let you take longer rides? When I tried out my Trek the guy stood outside and watched me while I rode it around for about 10 minutes.
    It depends on the shop and, even then, sometimes on their relationship with you. I've had it both ways. It never hurts to ask.

    I had good luck with my first road bike, but in general, I'd steer you toward shops that employ a trained fitter. Now, even with that, most won't do a comprehensive fitting unless and until you buy a bike, but you should at least be able to converse with them about any fit issues or concerns. I'm wary of shops who just eyeball you and then ask you to stand over a bike before declaring "yep, it fits."

    Beyond that, just take your time in looking at bikes. Now's not a bad time because you might get a 2012 bike for a good deal and new 2013s are starting to hit the shops.

    Try not to pay too much attention to anything that sounds like marketing hype or hyperbole. Some shops will try to convince you that you need to spend more than you've budgeted to get a bike worth riding. I don't think that's true.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,827
    I was able to do a 30-mile test ride when I got my new bike. But I shop so much at that LBS that I know most of the people there by name, and they know me too. So they could have tracked me down if I had not come back and paid for the bike.

    I agree that working with a good fitter is important.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Agreed. I tested a Giant FCR out at one shop, and the guy watched me pedal around the parking lot for five minutes. Two years later, same shop: I tried out a Dolce and a CAAD10. They let me do as long a test ride as I wanted (provided I stayed in the general area of the shop, of course), and pretty much said "Have fun!" Of course, it helped that I left everything there except my wallet (I don't compromise on having ID with me on the road!).
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    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...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,827
    I should add that the reason I went for the long test ride was because the bike had a compact double and I wanted to make sure it would work for me on hills. I told the LBS manager I'd like to try it on a specific hill that he includes on his weekly shop rides, and he said yes.

    I got my first road bike from the same people but at their original store location (they have two now) and I didn't ride it for that long but they did encourage me to ride in a nearby residential neighborhood that had some hills.

    I think having some variety in terrain is important, so you can see if the gears shift well and if they are sufficient for your needs. (Unless you live in a really flat area, in which case I guess you test riding in a headwind vs a tailwind??)

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    We have hills here in Houston, but we call them over passes ;-) Just kidding..but in all seriousness it doesn't come much flatter than here and the only time there's wind is if there's a storm. Pretty much have to head a couple hours west for hills.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    467
    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    Do the shops let you take longer rides? When I tried out my Trek the guy stood outside and watched me while I rode it around for about 10 minutes.
    Mine told me to bring it back in an hour

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    51
    From a fellow houstonian: ride it on typical Houston pavement. Though we don't have have hills until you get to Austin Houston does have plenty of crappy roads! Those will most likely be the roads you will be riding on, also even where there are paved trails those are pretty bumpy too. It's what we get for living on a swamp with a constantly moving water table. Don't let the lbs point you to the newest paved road nearby. Do stay close to the bike shop until you think everything is adjusted properly, don't be afraid to go back and ride the same bike over again, several times if needed.
    2005 Specialized Roubaix

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    Quote Originally Posted by barrelgal View Post
    From a fellow houstonian: ride it on typical Houston pavement. Though we don't have have hills until you get to Austin Houston does have plenty of crappy roads! Those will most likely be the roads you will be riding on, also even where there are paved trails those are pretty bumpy too. It's what we get for living on a swamp with a constantly moving water table. Don't let the lbs point you to the newest paved road nearby. Do stay close to the bike shop until you think everything is adjusted properly, don't be afraid to go back and ride the same bike over again, several times if needed.
    Very good point. One of the many reasons I'm leaning a bit to a cyclocross. I know how the crazy pavement is here

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I wish someone had told me that a saddle is supposed to fit me.

    If you haven't already read the saddle fit threads here, do it.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Plantation, FL
    Posts
    45
    I would second all of that. When I bought my Lexa SLX I should have ridden it longer. Interestingly I think the shop was more than willing to let me ride as long as I wanted and pointed me in the direction of a hill to try it on. He seemed surprised that I came back so soon. However, I didn't know what the expectations were--so that might be something you want to ask before you take the bike out. I think my bike may be too big for me, but for now it feels fine so I'm going with it, so definitely take time to make a decision and don't buy the first one you try, but you sound like you are already on that road...good luck!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    Everyone has given great advice. I'm taking notes. I truly appreciate it.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    -Don't listen to your SO. He/she is not the same person as you, so their recommendations won't necessarily work for you.
    -Buy the nice bike. Entry-level bikes are fine...until you outgrow them.
    -Cycling is addictive.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    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...

 

 

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