I need help purchasing my first road bike

As the title states I am trying to purchase my first road bike. I have only done mountain biking in the past. I got a great deal on a Wahoo Kickr smart trainer and my intention is to use the bike indoors with Zwift about 75% of the time and some outdoor rides the other 25% of the time. No crazy distances. I have no current intentions of doing any racing, but I would like to purchase something that would perform halfway decent if I decide to do some sprint tris down the road. I was originally hoping to spend around $500, but I have quickly realized that doesn’t buy much. That being said, I don’t want to spend an unnecessary amount of money, but I also want a decent bike that will perform well and be reliable.

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Have you looked on the FB Groups? I purchased my first road bike for $300. My roommate purchased his road bike off of Facebook for $200 as well and did a century with it the next week. If you aren’t in a rush to buy a road bike there are deals out there if you’re willing to lurk for a while.

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Definitely check out Ebay for some really good deals. Also, if you are willing to spend a little more money, it is worth purchasing a bike from a shop. That way everything will be under warranty and they will do minor maintenance for free. Check out the Giant Contend’s. I picked up one a few years ago as my first road bike and loved it.

My opinion as an ex-shop employee: get an aluminum frame with Shimano components. Your price range is tricky but doable and like others have said, look in the used market. The good news is that a lot of people unload entry level road bikes after using them as dust collectors. I’m seeing even high end road bikes sell for much less than they used to.

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The market for used road bikes in your local facebook group is likely bursting with options.

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A lot of good advice here. I second looking for an aluminum frame bike with entry-level Shimano components, although you may get lucky with the used market in your area and find something a bit better than entry-level. $500 is not too low as a good starting point. I think it’s best to cut your teeth on something you didn’t spend very much on so that when you do feel you are ready to upgrade (and understand what is important to you in a bike), you will be further ahead than if you spent more on what you ultimately didn’t want.

The only parts of the bike that really matter on the trainer, assuming you get one that fits you properly, are the drivetrain and the seat.

x2 on the local FB bike classified group or Craig’s list. $500 might be tough for quality but $700-$1000 can get you a great used road bike if you can shop for a month or so and you’re not in need a size at either end of the range (that can take longer to find)

I’d be shopping for a used Cannondale CAAD (any generation, but 10s are nice) with SRAM Rival or Shimano 105. Stock wheels are fine for your purpose. Good luck.

ride a handful of them, and the one that feels the best is the one for you. at even $1000 they’re all very similar with minor tweaks that don’t matter for a while

Brendan

You want an aluminum bike with Shimano components like others have said. For $500 or a little more, i’d really look to buying a used bike.

I know that you’ve just said you don’t want to race. But you really should get a road bike that has a somewhat racey look to it just in case you change your mind. Then you don’t have to buy another bike.

If you don’t want a used bike you could think about maybe looking to a Diamondback or Raleigh which are not top tier bikes, but they’ll get the job done.

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Ask around with the MTB folks as well. If you are not techie, ask those you ride or race with for suggestions. Used bikes become available all the time. Life will be easier if you know what size you need.