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I was looking into buying a road bike. I have been doing some research and I understand a little bit better about components. I was looking at the trek 1.1 but I saw a generic gravity liberty 1. It actually has better components than the trek 1.1. trek 1.1 claris. gravity liberty sora. Both have carbon fiber fork. the price is 419.95 for the generic and 800 for the trek one. What are most important components that I need to look into buying a road bike? Is a frame from a brand like Trek better than a frame from a brand like Gravity? .

  • This is going to get shut down. Generic is not generic. There are good generics and less than good generics. Branding has a cost so if you can find someone that puts all that money into product then great. I would trust Trek over a generic to honor a warranty. – paparazzo Oct 7 '14 at 23:18
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    Welcome to Bicycles. The problem for us is that we cannot know what you value most, and to cover every option would make an answer that says "it depends". What we are looking for is a definitive question with a definitive answer - check out the Help center to see how to ask a good question. Most of us value our Local Bike Shop, and for it to stay in business we choose to buy there. There are usually many benefits such as discounts, (free) service, (free) help, (free) advice. As always, referral from a local person is worth finding, because shops do vary in quality and service. Happy cycling. – andy256 Oct 8 '14 at 1:39
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    This is a question on market economics rather than cycling. As a cyclist, you just need to understand that these forces apply to your hobby just as much as to anything else in the world. You know, why does a Porsche cost more than a Toyota? It boils down to peoples' perceptions of value, worth, etc. and is not necessarily tangible – PeteH Oct 8 '14 at 10:19
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    A quick google for Gravity Liberty 1 leads to some interesting information. The Gravity Labelled "Sora" only has a Sora derailleur. The shifters, which are generally the most expensive part of the groupset are "Microshift" brand, not Shimano. Also, the Sora equipment they are using is 8 speed, which is not from the current model year. The current Sora is 9 speed. In short it's important to look at and compare every component so you know exactly what you are getting. Just having the word Sora doesn't mean the entire groupset is Sora. – Kibbee Oct 8 '14 at 13:24
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    Thank you all for the answers. I know almost nothing about bikes.I am learning, but thanks to you guys I think I know a little bit more now.And I am trying to make the best decision. Thanks again – CodeEngine Oct 8 '14 at 14:01
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Both bicycles have similar components (the Gravity slightly nicer drivetrain, but with a cheapo looking seatpost, etc) and are manufactured in similar facilities in China or Taiwan. The Trek will be set up and fitted by your local bike shop, which will be very helpful if your local bike shop is competent (some aren't).

The Gravity will be set up & fitted by you unless you can find a bike shop to pay $50-$150 to do that work for you-- many won't want to do that work on a bike they haven't sold.

My girlfriend has a Gravity that she's used as a commuter for the past two years in addition to some touring & road rides, and it's done well— it's a perfectly competent cheap bike.

If you yourself were skilled at working on bikes, or have a friend who's willing to help you fit & assemble your bike in exchange for some beers, you'll get a much better value out of the Gravity. But since it sounds like you're not in that situation, and it's fall when bikes go on sale, you'll probably do better buying a Trek/Giant/whatever from a good bike shop on clearance.

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  • Thank you for the answer! two more questions. when you said be set up & fitted by you. you mean like setting the height of the sit,etc ? and one more question. Is $600 a good price for a "like new" 2011 trek 2.1 ? – CodeEngine Oct 10 '14 at 21:17
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    Fitting is setting the seat height among other things, but the amount of setup will depend on how the bike is packaged from the manufacturer. Derailleurs and brakes will probably need adjusting, stem/handlebars attached and tightened correctly, attaching pedals, etc. None of it is very hard, but there could be a lot of steps between you and your first ride. – AaronN Oct 13 '14 at 23:39
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If you dont have much experience with a bike setup and maintenance, then get a old-stock bike from a local shop. The amount of money you will pay extra will be equal to the money spent for putting the online-bought bike together. Also local dealer will be able to find you proper bike size - just because you are X inches tall, doesn't mean you should by Y-sized frame. Local dealer will be able to let you test ride different sizes and adjust the new bike to fit you the best. You can search YT for fitment videos. It's not an easy process and takes time.

That Gravity bike seems like easy entry-level road bike. But it's limited - if you want to upgrade its components in future, you will have to change whole set, and that's major expense (ie. new Shimano 105 set will cost you $500 on ebay).

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    The upgrading thing is relatively limited - I don't think anyone would start with a cheap BikesDirect frame and then put some nice 105 components on it. Presumably they'd start with a BD bike and then upgrade the whole bike to something else when they have a better idea of what they like. – Batman Oct 15 '14 at 5:00

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