What I Learned When Buying My First Road Bike

When I first set a budget when setting out to buy my first road bike I figured I would just set a price and go from there. My target was $1,800. From everything I read I could get a decent starter bike in that price range. So I set out and as I already posted found the Jamis Ventura Elite. It came in right around that price with tax. Great, goal accomplished, I hit my target budget…….wrong. Here is what I did not account for because I did not know what I did not know.

For a road bike you need clip in peddles, they are the best option to maximize your effort. Fine, I added them, I landed a set of Looks in the mid price range, translated a little over $100. If you get clip in peddles you need biking shoes. Biking shoes come in as many varieties as bikes and in as many price ranges. I knew nothing about bike shoes so I opted for a beginner pair. Translated a beginner pair of Specialized, hit the cash register for about $125. You need water when you bike and thus you need water bottles, OK ones $5 each, you need at least two on your bike and maybe an extra, ding ding $15. You need a way to carry your water bottles on your bike, translate that to water bottle holders. Get cheap ones for $9.99 and they will be heavy and add a lot of weight, if you do not care plan on $20, if you care, which did, plan on getting carbon fiber and paying at least $45…each! I got mine on Amazon because they were the best price I could find. The ones I found were the lightest out there called Topeak Carbon Fiber Waterbottle Cage, $90.

Having fun yet? It’s not over.

Then you need riding shorts and a few jerseys. I took the advice from everyone and bought the best I could afford, sitting on your butt on a small seat for hours will remind you that the bitterness of a sore ass will remain long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. $100/pair for good riding shorts, at least that much, more for bibs which apparently the pro or experienced riders use. I opted for regular shorts to start. Another $200.

Biking jerseys I learned as like fashion clothing. With out going into it too much, plan on paying at least $50 jersey if you find them on sale. I found mine on Amazon at OK prices.

If you want to log your miles and cadence which apparently is a good idea, you need a computer. I got a cheap one to start that does not do your heart rate, but does miles and cadence. $79.

Gloves, you can not ride with out gloves, your hands will get sore, so I am told. At least $20 for a starter pair, I got two $40

Helmet. For me not an option not to get. Given I figure I will only get one head I bought the best I could afford, a Giro. $150. There are better ones that are apparently lighter, too hard for me to tell if they protect you any more then others, but it’s all about weight in this sport I am learning.

Bike light. I tend to try to be as safe as possible. I used to ride a Harley and learned real quick how cars can not see things on two wheels on the road. I opted for a blinking right for the rear seat. $15

Bike pump. You need a decent one that has a guage. I got a Specialized, $45.

Tire repair kit. You need a spare bike tube, multi tool, manual compack bike pump and CO2 cartridges with the attachment so you can get it on your tube stem.   Then a bag to carry it all. Or you can carry it in your back pocket of your shirt, I opted to start with a pouch for the back of my seat. Let’s call it $25 all in depending on the type of portable pump you get, they come in all shapes sizes and price ranges.

Socks. I did not have any low cut socks so I bought cycling socks. A few bucks a piece, you can probably get decent ones at Target if you wanted, I went for the “cool” look.

I’m not going to add up, but you get the idea of the other stuff you are going to need if you get into road biking. Don’t do what I did buy a bike that fits your budget number, figure in this stuff, subtract it from your budget and then you will have an idea of the price range of the bike you can afford.

Why I picked the 2009 Jamis Ventura Elite Road Bike

2009 Jamis Ventura Elite Bycycling Magazine Editors Pick 2009Since the rain has not stopped I figured I would explain why I picked the 2009 Ventura Elite as my first road bike. First, I am not sure how deep I will get into the road biking thing. So to borrow a pun from my fishing world, I wanted to wade in slow. I really do not know all that much about road bikes other then what I have been reading the last few months online in forums, review sites and in magazines. I wanted to start with something that was middle of road, not a total beginner, but not near the top. I had a budget of not more then $2000. I had picked up a copy of Bicycling Magazine Editors Pick edition in 2009 while at an airport and in it listed the Jamis Ventura Elite as their recreational pick and best value for the money. I figured I could not go that wrong with an editors pick for a respected magazine. I picked the 2009 model for two reasons, first, I figured I could get a deal on a close out since the new bikes are arriving in 2010 which would save me a few hundred, which it did, and also I liked the color scheme for the 2009. Mostly about the money at this point, but the color scheme did play into it.

I do not expect this thing to be a road racer, but it does have some good parts on it and decent wheels, at least in the sense of weight, that should at least get me started. It’s not all carbon, but a combination frame which at least should give me a better feel then all aluminum and all and all the weight in my 51 size is not terrible.  We will see how it all plays out, but for the money I’m feeling pretty good.

Jamis Ventura Elite Road Ready

Jamis Ventura Elite BikePicked up my new Jamis Ventura Elite road bike from the Bike Doctor in Easton, MD tonight. Paul and his staff did a great job getting my fit right and all set up… now all we need is this rain to get out of here and I’m hitting the open road.