What is the best bike for your buck?

I’ve been looking into buying a road/hybrid bike for RAGBRAI this year. I’m new to the bike scene and have about $550 to invest in a bike. been looking at treks at my local bike shop, along with models on-line specifically the Fuji Absolute 3.0(2011 or 2012). dose anyone know about this bike and is there a better bike for your buck?

Thanks.

61 Replies

Davy Sprocket, February 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I have to be honest, my buck doesn’t ride anything other than other deer. He is very particular however. Seems like he is always chasing a little white tail.

Oh, you mean’t bicycle for the dollar. LOL. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

I bought my wife a trek 1000 about 5-rabrais ago for about $550 and it is still going strong. I would ask why you are looking for a hybrid? What type of riding do you normally do? That is the key. Hybrids are great if you don’t want to be bend over and getting after it. I am sure many will suggest a certain make or model, but the bottom line is that YOU need to hit up the local bike shops that you trust and try a few on for size. Pick the one YOU like.

Good luck!

#56264

GetAClue Blue, February 16, 2012 at 9:11 am

I went through this same situation last year when I started riding longer distances. I posted on yahoo answers basically the same question you are asking. One answer I got back was the hybred is the worst of both worlds. I ended up getting a $450 hybred. It’s really good for shorter rides and even trails on good dry packed dirt. The loner my rides got the more I wished I’d purchased a road bike. So I ended up getting a road bike to do the MS150 Houston to Austin ride. The key is to figure our what type riding you want to do. For long rides, > 25 miles or so, I ride my road bike. For exercise and casual riding, I ride my hybred. For trails, I’m going to invest in a good 29er. The MS150 was 85 miles the first day so I didn’t want to ride a 35 pound hybred 85 miles. I road my 16 pound road bike. I was lucky when I bought my road bike because the salesman I delt with talked me into getting a bike that had an aluminum frame with a carbon front fork and carbon in the rear where the back tire mounts. I couldn’t afford a full carbon bike. The carbon absorbs the shock of the road. Even the cracks and pepples can be felt on an aluminum bike and it adds up after 30 miles or more. The bike he sold me also has 10 sprockets in the back and only two in the front. That extra sprocket in the back made a huge difference in the hill climbing. My riding buddy bought a hybred, then an aluminum road bike with 9 sprockets in the back and 3 in the front, and then a full carbon bike with ten back and 2 front sprockets. If he new then what he knows now, he would have just bought a carbon bike upfront and saved the cost of the other two bikes. So basically you need to fiqure out what kind of riding you want to do and invest in a quality bike even if it does stretch your budget. You can get last years model carbo bikes at really good discounts if you shop at the right place. Long answer and full of my personnal preferences but I hope it helps.

#57320

GetAClue Blue, February 16, 2012 at 9:21 am

Oh yea, My hybred was $450, my road bike was $1200. My riding buddy spent $550 hybred, $900 aluminum road bike with carbon front fork only and wrong gearing, and then $1450 full carbon bike w better gearing. I don’t see a need for me to purchase a full carbon bike because mine has the carbon in the right places and it has the proper gearing for the longer rides and hills. I know people do it but I wouldn’t want to ride 3 days consecutively over 75 miles, as is the case on RAGBRAI this year, on anything but a somewhat comfortable road bike. At my age,59, I want every advantage I can get to help insure success on these rides. lol

#57390

Michrider !!!, February 16, 2012 at 9:35 am

Steel is real. Still!!!!
FUDGE, NOW I’M HAVIN POST PROBLEMS AGAIN!!!!!

This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by  Michrider !!!.

#57514

giantron, February 16, 2012 at 9:38 am

Ditto on what getaclue said. I did my first day or two of RAGBRAI on a hybrid Trek. Comfortable, yes. Heavy, yes. Slow, yes (and admittedly that slowness was partly the engines fault). I couldn’t keep up with friends and such. It was good for trails and casual riding. But not if I wanted to keep up with road bikes and ride 70 miles.I sold that bike after 8 years and I didn’t have to do one thing to it in that time frame. It was a solid bike (maybe too solid!).
So I got a Giant road bike. Really good value for the money and I’ve had it for years with no issues other than needing new wheels after 7000 miles. But they don’t use those wheels anymore since the design was determined to not be the “next great thing”.
So see what you want to do with your bike before you decide. There are those that ride RAGBRAI on mountain and hybrid bikes, but they are the minority. So it’s really up to your riding style and comfort level. But I’d stay away from the bottom of the line Performace Road Bike brand Scattante. We had a friend buy one and had lots of issues with it. Giant, Trek, Fuji and other brand names are good bikes, I just felt I got more for my money with Giant.

#57519

jwsknk, February 16, 2012 at 11:05 am

Michrider: Steel is real. Still!!!!FUDGE, NOW I’M HAVIN POST PROBLEMS AGAIN!!!!!

3 steel and 1 aluminum in the stable. Newest is Burley steel touring bike, 27 speed, 7 RAGBRAI’s and 2300 miles up the Mississippi River. Aluminum Trek 21 speed road bike, probably around 18 “BRAI’s and 1 trip 5,2000 mile from LA to DC. KHS steel road bike, 18 speed, probably 4-5 RAGBRAI’s and a 2 1/2 week tour in England.
But to get back to your question, buy what fits right and will give you more that 1 hand position. you can always up-grade on a good frame if you find the gearing isn’t quite what you want, wheels too. If you don’t replace the chain enough, you’ll be replacing that rear cluster in a few years anyway.

#57940

Sandaltan ., February 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Michrider:
Steel is real.Still!!!!
FUDGE, NOW I’M HAVIN POST PROBLEMS AGAIN!!!!!

If your fudge does not “set” you have made chocolate sauce and you pour it over ice cream.

RIDE RIGHT

#58362

Anonymous, February 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm

9 bikes..all steel and one carbon
Will not ride a bike made out of melted down beer cans.
What size bike do you need?
Check out Raleigh, Bianchi, even Univega

#58678

jwsknk, February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm

thinking about that Trek 1100, wheels replaced, new stem, different handlebars, new saddle, rear cluster replaced at least once, replaced pedals with Look then Shimmano,lets see, whats left as original??? the frame.. oh no it’s not either, replaced that in ’95 after a rack drop-out broke off in Wyoming. Maybe the crank arms are original.

#58715

Phil1961, February 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Trek Madone 5.2…………the only way to go!

#58949

SFC JKL 2, February 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Buy the one that fits you. Everything else is something you’ll upgrade in the future.

#58986

rjjensenia, February 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Phil1961:
Trek Madone 5.2…………the only way to go!

It will be easier to buy the trek Madone 5.2 if you win the lottery first!

#59054

murphymp, February 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I have done three Ragbrai on a Raleigh Grand Sport cost around $800 after I changed pedals. It did a great job and I was so glad that I didn’t try to do Ragbrai on my hybrid bike. Just purchased a Cervelo RS full carbon and a bit more expensive, I am really looking forward to riding it this summer. The bottom line is that an entry level road bike is the best way to start for Ragbrai.

#59240

Guy, February 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

So paraphrasing this thread; IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS DISTANCE DO NOT BUY A HYBRID!!!
That is definitely a huge help because it was tempting to save the extra buck (Or dollar, Davy Sprocket)and go the hybrid route. I am wildly unprepared in a scene that I don’t know what frame size to buy, although I have have looked at the formula to find my right size, I just haven’t measured myself. Again I’m pretty new into biking. So i guess my only other question is: am I underfundeded to buy a decent road bike for $550? and if so by how by much?

#59318

Michrider !!!, February 17, 2012 at 7:53 am

Guy:
So paraphrasing this thread; IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS DISTANCE DO NOT BUY A HYBRID!!!
That is definitely a huge help because it was tempting to save the extra buck (Or dollar, Davy Sprocket)and go the hybrid route. I am wildly unprepared in a scene that I don’t know what frame size to buy, although I have have looked at the formula to find my right size, I just haven’t measured myself. Again I’m pretty new into biking. So i guess my only other question is: am I underfundeded to buy a decent road bike for $550? and if so by how by much?

In your price range, you should be able to find a good used, road bike. Check with your local bike shop, to see if they handle used bikes. Craiglist is a good source. I used them last fall and found a used Santana tandem, at a great price. Above all else, make sure the bike fits!

#60575

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