Road Biking: Convince Me

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  1. #1

    Talking Road Biking: Convince Me

    I'd been toying with the idea of picking up a road bike... It's not always easy to get childcare so I can drive to the trail and get into the woods. But I did get up early quite a few times last summer and ride the roads from my house--on the mountain bike. Thinking that since it's more likely I'll be able to get rides in that way, maybe I should have the right tool for the job.

    I don't know though... Do I want to spend the money? I kind of had my heart set on the iPad 2 instead.

    My budget is very low... no more than $600, which won't get me much of a bike but it would be more suited to road riding than my Specialized Hardtail...



    Convince me!
    "Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own." ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

  2. #2
    If you want to do it for fitness, I will say that I lost 20lbs last year getting back into road biking. You'll certainly enjoy riding paved roads on a road bike much more than a mountain bike, I would imagine.

    I always pedal right out the door (excepting group rides though sometimes I'll ride to the start location if it is a short ride) so you're definitely more likely to get more days in if you find driving to a trail head is difficult. You can get in a full ride in the time of round trip driving.

    Hope you don't mind speed. When S got her first road bike (having only been on rec bikes before), I think it was a little intimidating for her.

    Given the Mr. Green emoticon in the subject line, I wonder if you really need convincing or if you are fishing for the MTB crowd to pull you back from the dark side?
    -Steve
    TheSnowWay.com "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Just get a pair of road tires for it and the ipad
    2009/2010 - 28

    2009 mtb-19 rides- 113.58 miles

    2008/09 - 33

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by o3jeff View Post
    Just get a pair of road tires for it and the ipad
    I like your thinking!

    I definitely want one... but I'm afraid I'll get it and I won't use it. Sort of like my gym membership. I hate getting up super early but that's the easiest time to get exercise in--before B goes to work. Clocks will be changing next weekend so it'll be a little easier to get up earlier.

    Luckily, I still had my big chain ring on my mountain bike. But would top out pretty fast. I think my fastest was 28 mph, according to the GPS, and that freaked me out a bit when I realized it. Speed is scary. But kind of cool, too.
    "Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own." ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

  5. #5
    marcski's Avatar
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    I love my road bike. I have been in the best shape of my life since I bought it about 5 years ago. I have come to really love road biking....and before this bike its something I hadn't done in like 20+ years. (had only been Mtn biking during those yrs). The speed, feel of a smooth road, climbing........the mental aspects of the physical challenges and pushing myself in order to get faster and stronger is something I have come to crave in my life.

    Here's an idea try and borrow someone's or demo/rent one a few times and see if you like it before taking the splurge....

    Also think about where you'd ride....quiet roads ...near your house....good shoulders, etc. I tend to enjoy riding alone or with just one or two others as opposed to large groups. Lots of variables.

  6. #6
    Don't know anyone I could borrow one from, but that's a good suggestion. Maybe I'll go talk to the guys at Suburban Sports and see what they have to say. I think they do demos or something there. Though it's kind of slim pickins with my budget...

    I don't like stopping a lot so the ride from my house is basically about 1.5 miles of residential roads then a state highway where the speed limit is 45mph (and people go 60mph). The other direction would be the same. Most likely by myself. Don't know anyone in the area to ride with and my decision to ride is often last minute.
    "Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own." ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

  7. #7
    I guess where I'm going with this is that if I can get the job done with the mountain bike, should I even bother investing in a cheap road bike anyway? It's not like I can get something substantial so maybe just getting some road tires like o3jeff suggested will do the trick, making it a little more pleasant anyway.
    Last edited by severine; Mar 6, 2011 at 11:40 PM.
    "Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own." ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

  8. #8
    Bikes Direct has some pretty nice road bikes for under $600. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/road_bikes.htm
    There's even one with a carbon fork and full Tiagra group for $549.00. You couldn't buy the components for that! An equivalent Trek at a bike shop would go for about $1100.
    Some people have great experience with Bikes Direct others not. It does help if you or a friend are handy making small adjustments etc.

    If you still use your mountain bike off road I think a second wheelset with road tires mounted for your existing mountain bike might be the cheapest way to enjoy the road more. You can pick up a wheelset for less than $200. With tires you're ready to go for $200-$300.
    Or look for a used road bike. Last year I sold a perfectly functioning road bike for $120. Yes it was 1992 technology but it worked perfectly.

  9. #9
    bvibert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlctvt View Post
    Bikes Direct has some pretty nice road bikes for under $600. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/road_bikes.htm
    There's even one with a carbon fork and full Tiagra group for $549.00. You couldn't buy the components for that! An equivalent Trek at a bike shop would go for about $1100.
    Some people have great experience with Bikes Direct others not. It does help if you or a friend are handy making small adjustments etc.

    If you still use your mountain bike off road I think a second wheelset with road tires mounted for your existing mountain bike might be the cheapest way to enjoy the road more. You can pick up a wheelset for less than $200. With tires you're ready to go for $200-$300.
    Or look for a used road bike. Last year I sold a perfectly functioning road bike for $120. Yes it was 1992 technology but it worked perfectly.
    Yeah, she has a friend who is okay with adjustments. Not convinced on Bikes Direct though, might be worth looking into. Used is a good option. My problem is, while I know a fair amount about MTB, I know nothing about road bikes. I wouldn't really know what I was looking at on a used road bike, nor do I really know anything about fit.

    The second wheelset isn't all that appealing to me since she has rim brakes on her MTB. I don't want to be futzing with readjusting the brakes every time we switch wheels.
    Brian

  10. #10
    Short answer: DO IT. A lot of crossover fun between skiing and roadbiking, and the ease of going out your front door can't be beat.

    Long answer: With $600 and a little patience you can get a really nice road bike if you watch your local Craigslist. I'd suggest reading up a bit here: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/forumdisplay.php?f=98 . And then figure out your fit parameters here using the online fit calculator here: http://www.wrenchscience.com/. It is not that complicated though bike nerds can out-nerd ski nerds any day. If you like biking, great; if not, then sell it next year and take a modest loss if any.

    Even more than ski tech, bike tech goes through fads and model year "upgrades" that are meaningless to most riders. With your budget you'd have much more fun on a 10-y/o mid to high level performance bike than you would on new gear, and you'd probably have $$ left over for shoes, shorts, and helmet (the real essentials). Don't worry too much about frame material -- IMHO the aluminum frame/carbon fork combo on most budget bikes these days rides great -- nor should you really care that much about name brands, there are just a couple of factories that pump out similar quality bikes with different paint jobs -- and Shimano 105 level components are cheap and reliable as is the competing group from SRAM (though that's going to be mostly on newer bikes). Depreciation is your friend -- I've bought a couple of really nice road bikes for myself and family or friends, spending $300 - $500 on bikes that were in the $1500-2000 range new.
    Last edited by ts01; Mar 7, 2011 at 10:00 AM.

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