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I have been riding varioius bikes on a regular basis for more than 50 years (I'm 67 yrs. old). I raced criteriums, road races, time trials, and on the velodrome (Northfield, IL; Major Taylor in Indy; Washington Park, Kenosha, WI; NSC at Blaine, MN). I've been a college racing team coach and ran a coaching service with a client list of numerous amateurs and a pro.

The suggestion by a poster below to find a good bicycle fitter is an excellent first step even if you think you know what size frame you need. Once a cyclists knows their flexibility level and geometric preferences, finding the right bike is a more likely prospect.

Second, assuming you have set your budget, try riding demo bikes set up to your prefereed geometry with frames of various materials and determine whether you can tell the difference and, if so, what you prefer. As in audio, try to compare bikes with similar group sets (components) rather than comparing one bike with an entry level drive train to another with top-of-the-line compenents.

Some additional notes to consider:

Whether buying new or used, have the bike checked out by a bicycle mechanic or very knowledgeable cyclist before you close the deal.

Steel and aluminum frames of various alloys and plastic (carbon fibre) can be made to ride from stiff to flexy. Pay more attention to the actual feel of the bike than to it's material.

Bike shops typically have a low margin (unlike in audio), so deep discounts on "new" bikes is usually limited to older year models in non-standard sizes (the left-overs).

If you are sure absolutely of what you want and you plan to buy on line, get a commitment from the seller (whether a retailer or private person) for return rights within 10 days to 2 weeks.

Today, you can buy at retail a very comfortable, light road or adventure bicycle with decent components in a range from $2,000 to $22,000. A new brand-name bike with factory spec'd components will almost always be less expensive and offer better value than buying a frame separately and hanging sale-priced components on it.

Good hunting!



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  • Yep. - lochrider 06:00:11 06/14/17 (1)
    • RE: Yep. - howard 23:36:25 06/15/17 (0)


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