looking for advice on buying a decent roadbike, I know nothing about the different brands and there seems to be so many out there. I dont want to spend a fortune but I'd like something I wouldnt be looking to upgrade in a years time either. New or second hand.
Stephen in Cycle Plus in Greystones is a WicklowTri member and I've found them very knowledgeable and reasonable. They'll recommend a bike for you and size it for you, etc. And if you use the bike to work scheme you could end up only having to pay half for it and any other gear you need (up to €1,000). I've found their after-sales service to be very good too.
There's probably loads of good deals for second-hand bikes on donedeal.ie but you really have to know exactly what you're looking for and what frame size you need, so I'd be a bit wary of that.
I would do some research beforehand. And then ask people in the club what they recommend and what they ride. Brands are a matter of personal taste and some fit better than others. If you are buying new then make sure you get the bike shop to do a proper fit for you. This is really important as a bike that does not fit you will be a waste of money and will cause you pain.
If you buy second hand make sure all the gears work properly, take it for a test spin, has it been raced? crashed? and also make sure its the right fit for you. 2 people that are the same height can be fitted to different bike frames because of longer torso, shorter arms etc so be aware of that if buying online/second hand.
There are loads of online shops where they deliver free to Ireland, or your LBS can stock some (not all) brands.
Some questions for you:
-what is your budget.
-what groupset are you looking for? More expensive groupsets are slicker to change and are lighter. There is a hierarchy which you can google and different brands(Shimano, Sram, Campagnola etc)
-Alloy frame or carbon frame?
-Do you want a ladies specific frame or mens? (I ride mens frames but change out the stem as the reach is too long for me)You will have less choice in a ladies specific though.
Most people starting off get an alloy entry level road bike and then after a while know what they like and then upgrade. But ask around the club-the guys will give you lots of advice. Feel free to ask any questions here on the forum too if you see something you like and we can critique it ! Someone in the club might also be looking to sell a bike?
Hope that helps for now!