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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My opinion: AllSpeed is the go-to shop in Maine for high end MTB gear and rides. Well established in the Greater Portland market and they do quite well on-line. Couple of great owners with a great team

Of Ski and Bike gurus to support their customers.

check em out sometime on your way north, they’re right off 295 (marginal way exit) in the Trader Joe’s plaza.

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.  

Zen Master said:

The Carrabassett Valley mtn bike scene just took another leap forward...

Posted by Allspeed on a Facebook:

HUGE NEWS: We are incredibly excited to announce that we will be opening a mountain bike shop located at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in Carrabassett Valley. Riders of all abilities will be able to rent high-end bikes from Santa Cruz and full featured kids mountain bikes (yes, real kids mountain bikes!). In addition to rentals, our new Allspeed location will offer guided rides for individuals or groups seeking a guided experience on the best trails to suit their ability level. And just like our shop in Portland, we’ll offer retail sales of bikes, parts & accessories, and the same great repairs and service you know and love.

It is absolutely amazing what has been achieved by the people that have come together to build the Carrabassett Valley trail network. We truly believe in what’s happening in Carrabassett Valley and we look forward to working together with Carrabassett Valley Region NEMBA, the town of Carrabassett Valley, and Sugarloaf to continue the growth and success of the mountain bike scene.

Our new location will open for retail sales and service ~Saturday May 26th depending on trail conditions.

We expect to employ 3-4 full time workers in the shop and an additional 5-6 part time workers as ride guides. If you are interested in working at Allspeed’s new location as either a mechanic, sales person, or ride guide, please email jobs@allspeed.com with a cover letter and resume. Mechanics must have at least one year of experience working in a bike shop.

Expected Hours of Operation:

May 26th - June 30th
Wednesday – Sunday
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

July 1 - September 4
Seven Days a Week
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

September 5 – October 31
Wednesday – Sunday
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

https://www.facebook.com/allspeedcycleryandsnow/posts/1015548963201...

Love All Speed, MD and CC are the best.  They do a ton around Portland for the trail networks, great to se this happen. 

NickelPlated said:

My opinion: AllSpeed is the go-to shop in Maine for high end MTB gear and rides. Well established in the Greater Portland market and they do quite well on-line. Couple of great owners with a great team

Of Ski and Bike gurus to support their customers.

check em out sometime on your way north, they’re right off 295 (marginal way exit) in the Trader Joe’s plaza.

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.  

Zen Master said:

The Carrabassett Valley mtn bike scene just took another leap forward...

Posted by Allspeed on a Facebook:

HUGE NEWS: We are incredibly excited to announce that we will be opening a mountain bike shop located at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in Carrabassett Valley. Riders of all abilities will be able to rent high-end bikes from Santa Cruz and full featured kids mountain bikes (yes, real kids mountain bikes!). In addition to rentals, our new Allspeed location will offer guided rides for individuals or groups seeking a guided experience on the best trails to suit their ability level. And just like our shop in Portland, we’ll offer retail sales of bikes, parts & accessories, and the same great repairs and service you know and love.

It is absolutely amazing what has been achieved by the people that have come together to build the Carrabassett Valley trail network. We truly believe in what’s happening in Carrabassett Valley and we look forward to working together with Carrabassett Valley Region NEMBA, the town of Carrabassett Valley, and Sugarloaf to continue the growth and success of the mountain bike scene.

Our new location will open for retail sales and service ~Saturday May 26th depending on trail conditions.

We expect to employ 3-4 full time workers in the shop and an additional 5-6 part time workers as ride guides. If you are interested in working at Allspeed’s new location as either a mechanic, sales person, or ride guide, please email jobs@allspeed.com with a cover letter and resume. Mechanics must have at least one year of experience working in a bike shop.

Expected Hours of Operation:

May 26th - June 30th
Wednesday – Sunday
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

July 1 - September 4
Seven Days a Week
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

September 5 – October 31
Wednesday – Sunday
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

https://www.facebook.com/allspeedcycleryandsnow/posts/1015548963201...

Sounds like these guys will drag a lot of folks from the Portland area up here, which will be great for the area. I'll be interested to see if they do enough incremental business (over and above what they'd do out of their Portland store) to cover their additional overhead.

I thought all you guys went to Woodstock's shop........no ?

MonkeyBrook said:

Love All Speed, MD and CC are the best.  They do a ton around Portland for the trail networks, great to se this happen. 

NickelPlated said:

My opinion: AllSpeed is the go-to shop in Maine for high end MTB gear and rides. Well established in the Greater Portland market and they do quite well on-line. Couple of great owners with a great team

Of Ski and Bike gurus to support their customers.

check em out sometime on your way north, they’re right off 295 (marginal way exit) in the Trader Joe’s plaza.

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.  

Zen Master said:

The Carrabassett Valley mtn bike scene just took another leap forward...

Posted by Allspeed on a Facebook:

HUGE NEWS: We are incredibly excited to announce that we will be opening a mountain bike shop located at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in Carrabassett Valley. Riders of all abilities will be able to rent high-end bikes from Santa Cruz and full featured kids mountain bikes (yes, real kids mountain bikes!). In addition to rentals, our new Allspeed location will offer guided rides for individuals or groups seeking a guided experience on the best trails to suit their ability level. And just like our shop in Portland, we’ll offer retail sales of bikes, parts & accessories, and the same great repairs and service you know and love.

It is absolutely amazing what has been achieved by the people that have come together to build the Carrabassett Valley trail network. We truly believe in what’s happening in Carrabassett Valley and we look forward to working together with Carrabassett Valley Region NEMBA, the town of Carrabassett Valley, and Sugarloaf to continue the growth and success of the mountain bike scene.

Our new location will open for retail sales and service ~Saturday May 26th depending on trail conditions.

We expect to employ 3-4 full time workers in the shop and an additional 5-6 part time workers as ride guides. If you are interested in working at Allspeed’s new location as either a mechanic, sales person, or ride guide, please email jobs@allspeed.com with a cover letter and resume. Mechanics must have at least one year of experience working in a bike shop.

Expected Hours of Operation:

May 26th - June 30th
Wednesday – Sunday
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

July 1 - September 4
Seven Days a Week
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

September 5 – October 31
Wednesday – Sunday
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

https://www.facebook.com/allspeedcycleryandsnow/posts/1015548963201...

When in Bethel, Barker Mountain Bikes is my place.  When in Portland, Allspeed is the place.  Love both shops. 

Ripsaw said:

Sounds like these guys will drag a lot of folks from the Portland area up here, which will be great for the area. I'll be interested to see if they do enough incremental business (over and above what they'd do out of their Portland store) to cover their additional overhead.

I thought all you guys went to Woodstock's shop........no ?

MonkeyBrook said:

Love All Speed, MD and CC are the best.  They do a ton around Portland for the trail networks, great to se this happen. 

NickelPlated said:

My opinion: AllSpeed is the go-to shop in Maine for high end MTB gear and rides. Well established in the Greater Portland market and they do quite well on-line. Couple of great owners with a great team

Of Ski and Bike gurus to support their customers.

check em out sometime on your way north, they’re right off 295 (marginal way exit) in the Trader Joe’s plaza.

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.  

Zen Master said:

The Carrabassett Valley mtn bike scene just took another leap forward...

Posted by Allspeed on a Facebook:

HUGE NEWS: We are incredibly excited to announce that we will be opening a mountain bike shop located at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in Carrabassett Valley. Riders of all abilities will be able to rent high-end bikes from Santa Cruz and full featured kids mountain bikes (yes, real kids mountain bikes!). In addition to rentals, our new Allspeed location will offer guided rides for individuals or groups seeking a guided experience on the best trails to suit their ability level. And just like our shop in Portland, we’ll offer retail sales of bikes, parts & accessories, and the same great repairs and service you know and love.

It is absolutely amazing what has been achieved by the people that have come together to build the Carrabassett Valley trail network. We truly believe in what’s happening in Carrabassett Valley and we look forward to working together with Carrabassett Valley Region NEMBA, the town of Carrabassett Valley, and Sugarloaf to continue the growth and success of the mountain bike scene.

Our new location will open for retail sales and service ~Saturday May 26th depending on trail conditions.

We expect to employ 3-4 full time workers in the shop and an additional 5-6 part time workers as ride guides. If you are interested in working at Allspeed’s new location as either a mechanic, sales person, or ride guide, please email jobs@allspeed.com with a cover letter and resume. Mechanics must have at least one year of experience working in a bike shop.

Expected Hours of Operation:

May 26th - June 30th
Wednesday – Sunday
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

July 1 - September 4
Seven Days a Week
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

September 5 – October 31
Wednesday – Sunday
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

https://www.facebook.com/allspeedcycleryandsnow/posts/1015548963201...

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.  

He does bike stuff in the summer. 

sitzmark said:

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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