Moving this over to a new thread...

Thanks, sitz!  I am open to any and all advice, and will start with the site you linked below.  The bike I rented in Florida was a Giant (don't remember the model, but was told it retails for about $700)...size was "medium" which the shop owner said is 54/55.  Road great from a tech standpoint, but from a fit standpoint it did feel "short" on the top tube length (like I wanted my hands father out in front of me) and maybe just a tad small on the height (handlebars felt "narrow" as well, see below). 

"Light, durable, inexpensive - pick 2"

Charity rides aside, I ride alone most of the time and don't have plans to start racing any time soon, so my (rather sizable) gut tells me that durable and inexpensive is what I am looking for.  Definition of "inexpensive" is probably subjective, but should I assume under $1500 falls into the inexpensive bucket for sake of discussion?

Question - do drop bars come in varying widths?  As a mountain biker at heart who has been riding a "fitness bike" (essentially a road bike frame with mtn bike handlebars) for the last 2 years, the drop bars on the bike I rented felt narrow to me, as in hands too close together.  Could just be something that I just need to adjust to, but wasn't sure if I should be looking at handlebar width as something that changes depending on make/model/preference?



sitzmark said:

Probably should split off into separate thread to keep things organized, but best place to start is trying to nail down a frame size.  Competitive Cyclist Calculator is a reasonable way to start ... not a guarantee, but gets most people in the ballpark.  3 fit types.

From there you can decide to walk into a retail shop, shop online, or hunt craigslist/eBay.  Be aware not all manufacturers measure frame sizes the same way.  Top tube length will (probably) be the most important dimension.  (Just make sure you can stand over the top tube without ... well, you know.)

Light, durable, inexpensive - pick 2.  Can talk specific objectives, strategies, and bikes offline or dedicated thread.

Zen Master said:

...

So, I'm in the market for a new road bike, where should I start? Want to keep it close to a grand without going over if possible.

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Was just in Birch's shop Sunday to pick up some ZipFit liners.  Didn't see much bike stuff around inside - appears like he's new to bike biz?  Certainly knows his stuff about snow kit.  I like Pivot cycles a lot, but unless he's carrying other brands it's a tough go for entry and mid market customers.  AllSpeed is a significantly higher volume retailer.

Ripsaw said:

I wonder if Birch was ever a consideration for this gig. I don’t know anything about this shop, but I’m guesssing they’re a bit more established in the bike biz.  

Handlebars do come in different widths. I had to play with mine to find something that fit and put my arms in a better position.

800 mm bars!

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