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  • #16
    Grokker-

    (I've spend 8 years working in bike shops doing fittings, mechanic work, sales, etc)

    To answer your original question, I would lean you towards 2 bikes from that website, here are my takes on each (they both have similar parts, so I will comment on frame design)

    The Gravity Liberty
    This bike comes with a straight bladed fork and compact geometry. This basically means that is will be a bit more responsive with a slightly stiffer ride. Think closer to the performance side of things

    Mercier Galaxy AL SC3
    Notice this one has a curved fork, longer wheel base, and adjustable stem. So by looking at it, I would expect it to be a little less responsive (accelarating, turns, etc) but a bit more compliant (smoother ride). The adjustable stem will allow you to raise and lower the handlebar for a more comfortable fit at the sacrifice of some weight.

    Something else to consider is putting it together. You may want to ask the bike shop what they would charge to assemble and tune it. The website probobly says it's ready to go out of the box, but they never are. A proper tune up and build will make it much more enjoyable. You could also see if the bike shop has rentals available. Just be sure to test ride several different kinds of bikes to see what you like best.

    It is always better to by a bike from a local shop to ensure proper fit and have the mechanical support when needed, but I can certainly understand the economics of shopping on line. Feel free to post up any other questions if you'd like more input. Prepare to be addicted!
    Last edited by Boy_Dinosaur; 06-10-2011, 01:50 PM.

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    • #17
      THANK YOU Boy_Dinosaur!!!!! That's totally what I was looking for. I went by a local shop yesterday and they said they do get used bikes, but they go so fast, and no rentals. My Boss rides for the Army cycling team and has many bikes of his own, plus knows many other bikers--he took my height and inseam and is asking around through his network to see what he can find for me. I've got a few weeks before I need an actual bike, I can cover down with a spin bike for now. If I need to order one, I will, and my boss will be able to put it together and whatnot since he builds his own bikes all the time.

      Thanks again for the great info!!!!
      Heidi

      33yo, 5'6", 158lbs, size 10 jeans

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      • #18
        Originally posted by denbro01 View Post
        Craiglist! Like other posters have said...don't buy online. No need to spend a fortune BUT you will get what you pay for. I've read some good reviews about bikedirect.com and some awful reviews.
        Show up w/ $275 cash and you'd get this most likely. Specialized Allez Just a 30 second perusal, I've had pretty good luck w/ CL.
        Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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        • #19
          on bike buying

          Reborn Groker and Tiger Lilly.... the people throwing around "expensive bike jargon" (and honestly there was very little jargon) are trying to help and answer your question. And they are right. It's not really fair to ask for an experienced onion and then berate the people who don't give you the answer you want.

          The best advice was given in the first response. Which bike from bikes direct under $400? None.
          The most frustrating thing with people who are new to bikes, is explain how much fit matters.

          Would you do you Tri in running shoes that were not your size? Of course not. You could do it but I'd pretty much guarantee that you wouldn't enjoy the experience and wouldn't do it again. Same thing with the bike. A bike that is "just one size" to big or small will be detrimental to your experience.

          Also, putting the bike together is a safety issue. Even in your first tri you will be reaching speeds of around 30 mph, and on a bike that was not properly put together this could be very dangerous. It is impossible to ship a bike that is fully assembled, so there will be some assembly required.

          If your boss knows enough to measure and properly fit you to a bike, then he will be able to help you find a used bike for around $400 (or less) that will be much better than any new one on the internet. Also, if you buy a used one in your area you can try it out first. Even if you get the right size, buying a bike without trying it is akin to buying shoes without trying them on (sizes vary between manufacturers). Since a bike is more expensive than shoes, it's a much bigger risk.

          The reason we (experienced cyclists) are giving you this advice, is because WE WANT YOU TO ENJOY CYCLING. I'm sure I speak for the other cyclists on here in saying we would much rather have you enjoy cycling and share our passion, than hate it and never do it again. If you buy a bike online sight unseen the chances of that are very low.

          Sorry for the rant, I hope it gave you a little more insight, and good luck with your race!
          -pete

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          • #20
            Hi Reborn

            Don't listen to the bike snobs, they are talking rubbish. If you are only just dipping your toe into Tri / cycling this is more than good enough: Road Bikes - Dawes Sheila Women Specific Road Bike, for your needs. At the good/elite level the bike makes all the difference if everything else is equal, but ultimately its the engine (you) I am competetive MTB rider and I purchased all my bikes off the internet over the last few years with no problems. Just go to a bike shop and try sizes ask for help, they don't know your not going to buy, also print a web price off and ask them to beat or match it for a similiar or better spec, everyone is fighting for custom so you might as well try.

            Good luck with the race.

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            • #21
              When you buy a bike from a reputable bike shop, your purchase will include usually two years of maintenance plus they will take it in trade-in towards a new bike. And your bike will need maintenance - cable adjustments, chain cleanings/replacement, etc. This will more than make up for any savings from ordering on-line.

              Any reputable bike shop will have any entry level bike at your price point. Personally, I stay away from the big names - Trek, Specialized, etc - where you are paying for their huge marketing budgets. Jamis is one example of a company that makes frames every bit as good as a Trek for hundreds less only because they don't spend billions on advertising which is why you don't hear of them.
              Grass Fed Beef Restaurants

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              • #22
                name calling?

                Originally posted by Bootneck View Post
                Hi Reborn

                Don't listen to the bike snobs, they are talking rubbish. If you are only just dipping your toe into Tri / cycling this is more than good enough: Road Bikes - Dawes Sheila Women Specific Road Bike, for your needs. At the good/elite level the bike makes all the difference if everything else is equal, but ultimately its the engine (you) I am competetive MTB rider and I purchased all my bikes off the internet over the last few years with no problems. Just go to a bike shop and try sizes ask for help, they don't know your not going to buy, also print a web price off and ask them to beat or match it for a similiar or better spec, everyone is fighting for custom so you might as well try.

                Good luck with the race.
                Boot neck I don't think name calling and insults are appropriate here. We are all doing our best to help. I'm glad your online purchases worked out, but you say you were a competitive mtn biker so you already knew something about bikes (I presume).

                If you don't have a moral problem with wasting a local businesses time by misleading them and then sending your money to an international company, then by all means go ahead and do as bootstrap suggested to get fit. Also, when you bring in a sheet and ask them to match the components you are not understanding the transaction. When you buy from a bike shop not only are you getting the bike, but you are getting professional guaranteed assembly and warranty, as well as free service and fitting. What will you do if you have a warranty problem with your online bike purchase? Mail it back? Are you aware that shipping a bike will cost between $40-60 each way (and no they will not cover it). And that's if you know how to disassemble it for shipping! AND that's assuming they even have a warranty!!

                Asking a bike shop to match the price of an online bike is akin to going to a steakhouse and asking them to match the price of raw steak at your local grocery store. In other words: ignorant.

                Again, good luck with your race, and I stand by my recommendation to AVOID an online bike purchase at all cost. To save money: buy a used bike locally that you can try first.
                -pete
                Last edited by urpeite; 06-14-2011, 11:08 AM. Reason: spelling

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                • #23
                  Thanks for all of the advice. My boss said he'll be able to get me some bikes to borrow/try out on rides and he'll help me find the "best bang for my buck" when I go to buy.
                  Heidi

                  33yo, 5'6", 158lbs, size 10 jeans

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by urpeite View Post
                    Boot neck I don't think name calling and insults are appropriate here. We are all doing our best to help. I'm glad your online purchases worked out, but you say you were a competitive mtn biker so you already knew something about bikes (I presume).

                    If you don't have a moral problem with wasting a local businesses time by misleading them and then sending your money to an international company, then by all means go ahead and do as bootstrap suggested to get fit. Also, when you bring in a sheet and ask them to match the components you are not understanding the transaction. When you buy from a bike shop not only are you getting the bike, but you are getting professional guaranteed assembly and warranty, as well as free service and fitting. What will you do if you have a warranty problem with your online bike purchase? Mail it back? Are you aware that shipping a bike will cost between $40-60 each way (and no they will not cover it). And that's if you know how to disassemble it for shipping! AND that's assuming they even have a warranty!!

                    Asking a bike shop to match the price of an online bike is akin to going to a steakhouse and asking them to match the price of raw steak at your local grocery store. In other words: ignorant.

                    Again, good luck with your race, and I stand by my recommendation to AVOID an online bike purchase at all cost. To save money: buy a used bike locally that you can try first.
                    -pete
                    Pete

                    If you consider "snob" to be an insult? Then you are a little over sensitive bud.

                    Also if you don't think 'shopping around' to get value for money for a product makes sense, then you are obviously rich or stupid? I want the best I can get for my money, and in know way is that immoral

                    Also from what I can makeout the American bike websites must be very poor as I have never come across one issue with bike web dealers in the UK they have been nothing but helpful.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Bootneck View Post
                      Pete

                      If you consider "snob" to be an insult? Then you are a little over sensitive bud.
                      Now I'm a snob, and I talk rubbish, and I'm oversensitive..... haha this just keeps getting better.

                      Shopping around is not immoral, misleading a bike shop employee into performing a service for free is a grey area. If you don't have a problem with it, then maybe karma will take care of it or maybe there's no such thing as karma. I bet you don't tip your server at a restaurant either. To each his own I guess.

                      When you shop around you need to compare the prices on equal products. Comparing a bike from the website suggested above is like comparing a McDonalds Cheeseburger to a grass-fed steak. Yes they are both beef. I guess that makes me a food snob too?
                      -pete

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