/ Cheapest way to get a half decent road bike?

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Ed F - on 03 Dec 2012

I've always had mountain bikes but now I do pretty much all my cycling on roads. I had a go on a friend's road bike and it was a bit of a revelation - and now I want one!

I'm not after something that goes really fast, or is super-technical. Just something that glides along tarmac a bit more easily than a mountain bike...

What do you reckon the best way of doing it is? I know people who've bought a cheap frame and put nice new tires on it. Is that better than buying a cheap second hand bike?
Neil Williams - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Ed Feldman:

Depends what you mean by "cheap". Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative do good bikes for less than the big names would charge just by virtue of not selling a brand - but still not *really* cheap, for which second-hand is probably the way to go.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Ed Feldman:

Another (not as good, but definitely cheap) option is to fit slicks to your mountain bike, if you haven't already. Not as fast as a road bike, but certainly faster than knobblies, and perhaps more practical if you often ride on e.g. poorly maintained cycle tracks.

Neil
Bob Hughes - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Ed Feldman: Buying a cheap frame and building your own doesn't really save you any money and is more hassle. I think you're always better buying second-hand.
Ed F - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

I'm looking to spend less than 200... Is that unrealistic?
Toby_W on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Ed Feldman: How about:

Ah, no posts to ebay. Have a search for Cannondale, Specialized, Giant and Bianchi. You should find some of their older alu framed bikes within that budget.

They may go a little over budget but if you look out for Cannondale and Specialized alu framed bikes from a few years ago you'll get something with race pedigree and a fantastic ride

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you but I'm sure you could get one of the bench mark 500 pounds bikes for 200.

Cheers

Toby
Ed F - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Toby_W:

Cheers for the suggestion. Problem is that I know so little about road bikes that I really don't know what to be looking for and whether it's good value!

There are a few brand new road bikes out there for ~300. Are they worth looking at? Or are they like any super-budget bits of gear? The sort of thing you regret buying after a year...
John Lewis - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Ed Feldman: I wanted a Road Bike once I had got to a general level of fitness about 2 years ago. Not had one for many years, so popped into a bike shop to try a few out for fit / size. Decided which one I felt right on. They offered a discount on extras but the bike alone was 730. (Not top end obviously but about right for what I wanted) Wanting to think about it a little I went home and checked out Ebay finding the same bike one spec lower then at 185 brand new from a bike shop (same frame & brakes etc, but lower rated drive chain). On the basis we all upgrade bits from time to time ended up buying the one on Ebay (eventually for 320).

Not needed to upgrade anything yet.

Shoes Helmet Computer and pedals I spent about 180 on on top and I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with.

For a Roadie I'd go for new, but now looking at Mountain Bikes and think Secondhand on Ebay would be fine for them. (I'm not to bad for tinkering on them myself)
Bob Hughes - on 03 Dec 2012
Ian Patterson on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Ed Feldman:
> (In reply to Toby_W)
>
> There are a few brand new road bikes out there for ~300. Are they worth looking at? Or are they like any super-budget bits of gear? The sort of thing you regret buying after a year...

The default answer to that is the Triban 3 from Decathlon at 300 - easily the best new bike at it's price point and superb value. I got one for my daughter and am very impressed, the wheels are a little heavy but overall a very good starter road bike. If you've no real road bike experiene it will feel like a different world when compared to you mountain bike.

aligibb - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to Ed Feldman: I bought a 2nd hand one for 160 (with a trangia thrown in!) from a 2nd hand shop in Switzerland. replaced the gear cables and gave it a tlc service at a shop so reckon it cost about 190 in the end. I've had to but a new tyre this year but apart from that its still going strong.
Think its about 20 years old and a steel frame that was a top quality bike in its day. think thats the way forwards as you get more for your dosh. It'd be worth asking around at your local cycling club as someone normally knows someone selling one.
Bloodfire - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to Ed Feldman:
Gumtree is a good place to look, and so is ebay this time of year. Though I have noticed that roadies are holding their prices on eBay of late.

The most important thing to know is your size. The only really way to do this is to ride a bike that fits you.

There is a lot more consideration but look for something with Sora/Tiagra gears and an Aluminium frame and you won't go too far wrong.
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JamButty - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to Bloodfire:
> (In reply to Ed Feldman)
> Gumtree is a good place to look, and so is ebay this time of year. Though I have noticed that roadies are holding their prices on eBay of late.
>
> The most important thing to know is your size. The only really way to do this is to ride a bike that fits you.
>
> There is a lot more consideration but look for something with Sora/Tiagra gears and an Aluminium frame and you won't go too far wrong.

Thats exactly what I did last year and got that spec.
Specialised Allez 2008, in cracking nick for 150!! Had it a year and haven't needed to spend anything.

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