DH and I are buying bicycles

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bungalow10
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DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by bungalow10 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:56 pm

So... buying bicycles. We don't currently ride, but our kids (all under 10) do, so DH and I want bikes for us. We plan to do some fun team rides, 70 miles or so, but nothing strenuous or anything like that.

We are getting a crazy wide array of buying advice. Everything from "buy a bike at a yard sale for $50" to "get professionally fitted and then spend $1000-$1200 on a good bike that will last your whole life". The bike I'm interested in is about $500 brand new, I can get a used one of the same model (about 12 years old) with a tune up and a new seat for $250. I'm tempted to just buy the new one.

DH will also be getting a bike. Finding a used one might be easier for him since he will be easier to fit (I'm short, he's more normal-height at 6'1"), but I'm tempted to just buy new because new doesn't seem to carry that big of a price premium for what we are looking at, and it sure is easier.

Thoughts?
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livesoft
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by livesoft » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:13 pm

70 miles? Team rides? Those would be extremenely strenuous.

I see no reason to not expect to buy more than one bike for each of you. That is, bikes are inexpensive enough that one does not have to make a perfect decision the first time.
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HurdyGurdy
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by HurdyGurdy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:16 pm

70 miles a day? that is a long ride!
Bikes do not decay over time (as a car would), except some obvious parts (brakes, etc). I'd buy the used $250 one.

bungalow10
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by bungalow10 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:19 pm

livesoft wrote:70 miles? Team rides? Those would be extremenely strenuous.

I see no reason to not expect to buy more than one bike for each of you. That is, bikes are inexpensive enough that one does not have to make a perfect decision the first time.

Is 70 miles strenuous? The ride in question is bacon-themed and my dad rode it last year on his recumbent without any training. There are many stops, for, um, bacon. We won't be concerned about time.
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bungalow10
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by bungalow10 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:19 pm

HurdyGurdy wrote:70 miles a day? that is a long ride!
Bikes do not decay over time (as a car would), except some obvious parts (brakes, etc). I'd buy the used $250 one.
Ok, now I'm concerned that my dad is setting me up for a day of bike-induced misery.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

harikaried
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by harikaried » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:24 pm

A relatively casual pace of 10mph would be 7 hours of just riding for that 70mile ride. That's not including rest stops or slow climbing sections (although it's somewhat balanced by the downhill afterwards). The biggest pain is probably just sitting on the seat for that long.

Five years ago, we've purchased two bikes from bikesdirect.com that theoretically is half off of bike shop prices. There's some assembly required, e.g., attaching handles, that you would need tools for (same tools you would want to make any bike adjustments anyway). We're still using those bikes today.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Fallible » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:28 pm

The team rides sound great, but I agree with the previous posters: 70 miles a day is very strenuous no matter how you do it. In my teens, I don't remember biking more than 50 miles in a day and still enjoying the ride.

Check out "Consumer Reports" mag and online for bike ratings, costs, type of bike needed, etc. Also, we have some top bicyclists on the forum and I'm sure you'll be hearing from them.
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Alex Frakt » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:29 pm

bungalow10 wrote:Ok, now I'm concerned that my dad is setting me up for a day of bike-induced misery.
You should be wary. 70 miles is a very long ride for an inexperienced cyclist. Even if the legs and back can handle it, think about sitting on that seat for 5-7 hours :shock: In general, recumbent riders tend to be a bit of a different breed, I wouldn't base what you can do on what your dad has done.

That said, I'd get the $250 bike. If you really get into cycling, you'll want to upgrade to something well over $500 anyway. At which point you can sell this one or keep it as a backup or for bad weather rides.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Rob5TCP » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:32 pm

70 Miles - how often have you ridden lately. What shape are you in; how old are you?
Try renting a bike for a 10-15 mile cruise and see how you feel. IF ok, rent a somewhat
better bike and go for 25 miles or so.
What type of terrain will you be biking on (off road, paved, flat, mountainous)
All these go into what type of bike. Will you be on urban roads (possible need wider
thicker tires to avoid flats on city streets).

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Toons
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Toons » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:35 pm

I get my bikes at Walmart,,I usually replace the seats with Bell equipment. :happy

http://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=4 ... AdultBikes

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywor ... 0bfmodvj_b
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tetractys
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by tetractys » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:43 pm

Bikes with thin tires are a lot easier to pedal, and much faster than bikes with wide tires, smooth or not. So my first piece of advice would be to avoid bikes with trail bike or balloon type tires, unless your really planning most of your riding on trail bike terrain. For most stuff, road bikes blow away mountain bikes hands down.

The used bike market is huge and dominated by pro shops, so I would do that. -- Tet
Last edited by tetractys on Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

randomguy
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by randomguy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:45 pm

bungalow10 wrote:So... buying bicycles. We don't currently ride, but our kids (all under 10) do, so DH and I want bikes for us. We plan to do some fun team rides, 70 miles or so, but nothing strenuous or anything like that.

We are getting a crazy wide array of buying advice. Everything from "buy a bike at a yard sale for $50" to "get professionally fitted and then spend $1000-$1200 on a good bike that will last your whole life". The bike I'm interested in is about $500 brand new, I can get a used one of the same model (about 12 years old) with a tune up and a new seat for $250. I'm tempted to just buy the new one.

DH will also be getting a bike. Finding a used one might be easier for him since he will be easier to fit (I'm short, he's more normal-height at 6'1"), but I'm tempted to just buy new because new doesn't seem to carry that big of a price premium for what we are looking at, and it sure is easier.

Thoughts?
Personally I would go with the 500 dollar bike (for a 12 year old bike I would want a lot more than 50% off) and have the store fit you up. If in 3 years your living biking, sell it and get something fancy. Right now if you bought the 1200 bike, you would buy the wrong one:)

And yeah 70 miles in a day is a decent ride. You could work up to that over a summer but I would make sure to do some 2+ hour rides before thinking about signing up for something like that. Even then you don't get a good feeling to what your back and but will feel like around hour 4:)

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Dutch
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Dutch » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:03 pm

Toons wrote:I get my bikes at Walmart,,I usually replace the seats with Bell equipment. :happy

http://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=4 ... AdultBikes

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywor ... 0bfmodvj_b
These are not the type of bikes that you use for a 70 mile ride. I know they are called "adult bikes", but in other countries these would be considered kid's size.

You need a full-size road bike with narrow tires.

Hey bacon :D
Last edited by Dutch on Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

livesoft
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by livesoft » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:04 pm

If you put raw bacon strips between the seat and your bottom, then 70 miles should be no problem. Maybe put the raw bacon inside your shorts for an even more cushiony ride. Don't believe anyone that says that cooked bacon works better. Don't ask me how I know that.
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lightheir
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by lightheir » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:21 pm

Ok here's the deal.

You sound like mostly recreational bike riders, which mean you might train for that 70 miler event, but then only ride sporadically (like less than once/wk) if there are no events.

Unless you actually plan on riding off-road for fun, you should get a pure road bike (it's faster than the other models, which is important so you use less effort to ride that distance), and preferably a "drop-bar handlebar' model (the ones with the curvy U-shaped handles.) The reason being it gives you more positions for comfort on long (70mile) rides for hands/back.

The typical entry level price for a drop-bar road bike is $750. Which is an extremely fair price, and in fact far and away the best deal you will get on a drop-bar bike. The more you spend, the worse the deal for the most part - bikes stores make almost nothing on the sale of the new entry-level bike. Furthermore, these entry level bikes are 100% excellent for even top level amateur hardcore racing; the parts aren't top-notch, but if you're a recreational rider, they will not limit you in any way.

Keep in mind you will almost certainly spend the equiavalent amount of money for the accessories, which is bike clothing, helmet, shoes, cleats, tires, pumps, etc. It racks up really quickly. You should budget at least $1500 for everything if you plan on buying everything new.

Also be forewarned that 'upgraditis' is the absolutely reality of almost every cyclist, especially for husbands! Even if you get an awesome bike now, you WILL want to upgrade it down the road if you are still riding. So try and clear your head of 'latest and greatest' - the truth is that your $750 can race 98% as fast as the $10k bike next to it, for real. All that extra bling gives <2% performance difference in speed. (More differences for smoother shifting and looks and durability, though.)

On the bright side, once you get cycling stuff, it lasts a really long time and then it doesn't cost anywhere near as much as the start. It's can actually be a really frugal activity once you get experienced and have a working set of stuff.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by bungalow10 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:26 pm

lightheir wrote:Ok here's the deal.

You sound like mostly recreational bike riders, which mean you might train for that 70 miler event, but then only ride sporadically (like less than once/wk) if there are no events.

Unless you actually plan on riding off-road for fun, you should get a pure road bike (it's faster than the other models, which is important so you use less effort to ride that distance), and preferably a "drop-bar handlebar' model (the ones with the curvy U-shaped handles.) The reason being it gives you more positions for comfort on long (70mile) rides for hands/back.

The typical entry level price for a drop-bar road bike is $750. Which is an extremely fair price, and in fact far and away the best deal you will get on a drop-bar bike. The more you spend, the worse the deal for the most part - bikes stores make almost nothing on the sale of the new entry-level bike. Furthermore, these entry level bikes are 100% excellent for even top level amateur hardcore racing; the parts aren't top-notch, but if you're a recreational rider, they will not limit you in any way.

Keep in mind you will almost certainly spend the equiavalent amount of money for the accessories, which is bike clothing, helmet, shoes, cleats, tires, pumps, etc. It racks up really quickly. You should budget at least $1500 for everything if you plan on buying everything new.

Also be forewarned that 'upgraditis' is the absolutely reality of almost every cyclist, especially for husbands! Even if you get an awesome bike now, you WILL want to upgrade it down the road if you are still riding. So try and clear your head of 'latest and greatest' - the truth is that your $750 can race 98% as fast as the $10k bike next to it, for real. All that extra bling gives <2% performance difference in speed. (More differences for smoother shifting and looks and durability, though.)

On the bright side, once you get cycling stuff, it lasts a really long time and then it doesn't cost anywhere near as much as the start. It's can actually be a really frugal activity once you get experienced and have a working set of stuff.
I think you just talked me into a used bike. I'm afraid to walk into a bike store now :D
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:27 pm

Dutch wrote:
Toons wrote:I get my bikes at Walmart,,I usually replace the seats with Bell equipment. :happy

http://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=4 ... AdultBikes

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywor ... 0bfmodvj_b
These are not the type of bikes that you use for a 70 mile ride. I know they are called "adult bikes", but in other countries these would be considered kid's size.

You need a full-size road bike with narrow tires.

Hey bacon :D
That's a full (adult) size bicycle, mountain bikes traditionally have 26" wheels. Not something you'd want to ride for 70 miles, but size isn't the issue.

You can spend anywhere from $600 to $15k+ for a road bike, anything above about a $1k pricepoint and you can't really tell the difference and they'll all last pretty much forever with regular maintenance. I've had everything from a $6500 full carbon, SRAM red, with cf wheels TT bike to now doing 90% of my commuting with a 105-equipped cyclocross bike that I bought new for $900. As long as it fits and has anything higher than Shimano tiagra, a road bike is a road bike.

Any adult in decent shape shouldn't have much issue doing 70 miles in a day, at over 10mph, on a road bike if they occasionally stop. Your backside and back, that's a different story altogether. I'd just buy a used one and see if I liked it first, you can always buy something new (or nicer) later if it is something you decide to make part of your life. A used one isn't going to change the experience any and a ton of people go all out and end up using it for nothing but garage ornamentation.

Oh, and listen to what Lightheir has to say; he knows about bikes.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by jbdiver » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:56 pm

I bought a $500 bike 10 years ago and never used it much despite the fact that I live in one of the most bike-friendly areas in the country. The handling of the bike just never felt that great. I was always screwing around with the caliper brakes or the seat post. The shifter indexing was constantly off. After several years, I thought that maybe I just didn't like biking.

I decided to try cycling again three years ago -- paying around $2k for a touring bike. I will never ever go back to a sub-$500 bike. Absolutely no comparison in handling and reliability. I enjoy cycling so much that I commute daily on a bike to work now -- 20mi/day, even in the winter.

I honestly think that the reason most people give up on cycling is that they bought a cheap bike and didn't enjoy the experience. The problem really was the bike. It might feel fine when you ride it around the shop's parking lot, but its real flaws start to show after you break it in.

I understand that it's hard to make a proper investment in something that you may not use regularly. You could look for a popular $1k bike brand/model, and then wait for someone to sell one on Craigslist at a 50% discount. That's a common price point for more substantial bikes and you should find lots of them for sale in the market. Note that you might need to replace some of the drivetrain components and get a proper tuning. However, you will have a much better bike that should enhance your cycling experience in the long run.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Postmon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:59 pm

I won't jump into spending a lot until you're sure you're gonna stick with it. I'd strongly suggest you first go to a real bike shop and try out a hybrid and then an entry level road bike and MAKE SURE THEY FIT YOU. When I say try it out, I mean go for a decent ride on both. This way you'll see the difference and know if a road bike is for you. After that, I'd keep checking Craigslist for something that meets your needs. If you're in a large area, there should be lots of bikes for sale and new listings constantly popping up.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by lightheir » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:03 pm

While I sort of agree with the above, the reality is that a $750 drop-bar bike like I suggested will almost equal the feel and comfort of any bike more expensive than it, regardless of price. Yes, that carbon-fiber super aerodynamic $10k bike will only feel as comfortable as your $750 entry level drop-bar road bike.

For sure though, once you start gonig under $750 for retail, the quality of the bike starts to significantly impact your riding. You lose the drop-bars so you're stuck up in the wind (big aero penalty=more energy), a lot heavier bike weight (a drag on hills), and inferior shifting/parts.

Used is great ONLY if you find a bike that fits you well. An awesome deal on a used bike that slightly doesn't fit is worse than a not-good deal on an new bike that fits perfectly. That's the challenge with used bikes if you don't know what you're doing or exactly what you're looking for in terms of size.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:12 pm

jbdiver wrote:I bought a $500 bike 10 years ago and never used it much despite the fact that I live in one of the most bike-friendly areas in the country. The handling of the bike just never felt that great. I was always screwing around with the caliper brakes or the seat post. The shifter indexing was constantly off. After several years, I thought that maybe I just didn't like biking.

I decided to try cycling again three years ago -- paying around $2k for a touring bike. I will never ever go back to a sub-$500 bike. Absolutely no comparison in handling and reliability. I enjoy cycling so much that I commute daily on a bike to work now -- 20mi/day, even in the winter.

I honestly think that the reason most people give up on cycling is that they bought a cheap bike and didn't enjoy the experience. The problem really was the bike. It might feel fine when you ride it around the shop's parking lot, but its real flaws start to show after you break it in.

I understand that it's hard to make a proper investment in something that you may not use regularly. You could look for a popular $1k bike brand/model, and then wait for someone to sell one on Craigslist at a 50% discount. That's a common price point for more substantial bikes and you should find lots of them for sale in the market. Note that you might need to replace some of the drivetrain components and get a proper tuning. However, you will have a much better bike that should enhance your cycling experience in the long run.
Out of curiosity, what do you believe was the difference in handling between your cheap bike and the nicer one? Were they different types of bikes; different geometry or bars? I've owned over a dozen road bikes, ranging from my first tiagra-equipped aluminum ($500 used) to two I paid over $5k for, couldn't tell any difference in handling, shifting, nothing, and maintenance was the same...I did look cooler on the all CF bikes with deep wheels. My current ride, $900 on bikesdirect.com might be my favorite ever, probably because it is my first cyclocross bike and I get to ride it to work towing my daughter behind me. If it is made by a well-known manufacturer(and didn't have some bizarre geometry and/or different bars) and fits, I have a hard time believing you could tell the difference in handling.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Kiter » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:37 pm

You need to train for 50-100 mile rides.The amount of training and bike that would be best could be determined by terrain .Bikes last a good amount of time ,but things wear out and need work.A $250 bike that needs a new chain,chain ring,tires.brake pads and gear adjustment would not be worth it.Those items go quick .I started cheap and incrementally bought a better bike .I did not go big $ until I was riding 2k a year and found a deal.I ride almost everywhere I travel .If you ride a bit you will find 50 to 75 miles a regular weekend event. I think the $500 bike would be the one

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by derosa » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:40 pm

The key thing is fit not price. And if you are not sure how to properly fit a bike then go to a bike shop and have them do it.

If you are going to ride on the road buy a road bike. Don't buy a tank - otherwise known as mountain bike or off road. Those are great for maybe bombing around town for 4 miles but at mile 50 on the road you will hate it, trust me. There is a reason road bikes are built like that.

Get as much air in your road tires as possible 120 - 130 lbs to start. That keeps resistance down. Those fat, partly inflated tires on a mountain bike are nothing but dead resistance on the road.

Oh yeah and wear a helmet. Its not how far you ride - its how far down you fall. And when you hit something and it all wobbles and you are going over the handlebars - you are not going to have any idea what is happening.

And get some bike shorts. Just like all tools there is a reason they are made and built like that. Cotton underwear and baggy shorts? - let us know about how that chafing feels at mile 50.

Oh yeah - and have fun.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by William Million » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:46 pm

Go to the local bike shop and try out a number of different bikes. You'll probably settle on a hybrid with front suspension (for your needs). Nowadays relatively cheap bikes come in multiple sizes, so you can get the bike to fit you. If you pay less than $500, upgrade to more comfortable seat and grips. Surprisingly, many people who find biking uncomfortable would be happy if they were fitted to the bike and upgraded on a few comfort issues. But you won't get that kind of advice at Target or Walmart.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Peter Foley » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:00 pm

First off, I work part time in a bike shop. I only work on used bikes, fixing them for sale, repair or charitable donation. I fix well over 100 bikes a year. I personally own 6 bikes.

While you do need a bike that fits you well, equally as important is to have a bike that accommodates your riding style. Then you need to decide on the right mix of price and quality.

Let's start with the basics. Do you like to ride more upright or bent over? While you can ride fairly upright on a road bike, doing so makes shifting gears a little less instantaneous (unless you go really high end). My neck hurts if I do longer rides on my road bike.

So if upright is you preference, you can choose between a hybrid and a mountain bike. The mountain bike will be geared a little lower, better for hills, worse for cruising speed. A hybrid will have a little narrower tires that take slightly higher pressure. (700 X 35) is not uncommon. Most mountain bikes come with 26 X 1.95 tires. You can make them into more of a road bike/hybrid by swapping out the tires and going with a higher pressure 26 X 1.5. Shifting on hybrids and mountain bikes is instantaneous - the flip of a lever with your thumb or the twist of your wrist (grip shift).

Do not buy a cheap big box store bike. The components are cheap and the quality control is horrible. They come with loose spokes, untrued wheels, and very often no grease in the wheel or bottom bracket ball bearings. They are also heavy. Better bike shops won't work on them because they are hard to adjust for a smooth ride (brakes and shifting) because the components are so poor.

Of my six bikes I ride my Trek hybrid 75% of the time. I very rarely ride my road bike. I prefer being a little more upright in terms of seeing the road and in terms of conversing with the people I ride with. Two of my mountain bikes (one a Specialized and the other a Giant) I run with narrower tires. [Remember this is a matter of personal preference.]

I've purchased two of my bikes from the bike shop where I work (one I rebuilt, one I converted from a road to a hybrid). Two others I bought on Craigslist for about $150.00 each.
If you know enough to tell that the bike is not damaged, Craigslist is not a bad way to go. The $250 bike you describe will probably be fine if it is a good quality bike and fits you well.

My brand preference is Trek. Bianchi and Cannondale make excellent bikes as well, but they are a bit more pricey.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by ChrisB » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:07 pm

I'd start by just going into your local bike shop and talking with someone there. Talk to them about what kind of riding you want to build towards, what your experience level currently is, what you are apprehensive about, etc. A good bike shop will be excited about helping somebody eager to become a cyclist, become a cyclist! (If they are not and you have other shops around, try the next shop.)

I have bikes ranging from $50 craigslist cruisers to $2000+ full suspension mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes and have to say my favorite is the touring bike/city bike (steel; read skinny, but not too skinny tires (32c); drop handlebars; fenders; mounts for fenders or racks if wanted; more upright position than a true road bike) that I bought for around $750.

Many cheap bikes (sub $350) might be decent. However, it is not uncommon for them to be built up by the box store employees incorrectly. I have seen missing or incorrectly tightened bolts, forks on backwards, brakes on backwards, you name it... Components are usually bottom of the line as well. Things will quickly fail or not work as smoothly. A box store bike may just drive you away from wanting to ride a bike. Buyer beware!

I believe anybody can work their way up to 70-mile rides. I've worked week long events where 70-mile days are the norm and you see the full spectrum of humanity.

Find a bike that is comfortable and fits right, get in some saddle time to get used to hours in your seat, and get ready for a great new addiction!

(A few years ago I bought my sister a Novara Randonee. Novara is the REI brand name bike. I have been very impressed with it. Plus, the REI dividend if you are a member and the 20% off coupon that came with the dividend made for a pretty sweet deal!)

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by TFinator » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:14 pm

If he did it on a recumbent with no training then you'll be fine. I bet it's pretty flat, huh? I can do an easy 70 along the coast. One of the hardest rides I ever did was only 95 miles, but we gained 14k feet of vertical :twisted:
Hills matter!

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by lightheir » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:33 pm

I still would actually avoid mtn and hybrid bikes.

They are MARKEDLY slower than drop-bar road bikes. For a 70 mile road ride, this means a significantly harder effort, just to keep up. It's such a big penalty that I wouldn't be sure I could keep up with regular recreational cyclists on that 70 mile ride despite being a regular triathlete and occasional bike racer, if you made me ride a mountain bike.

Since you're new to this sport, this means a 70 miler will already be decently challenging, and riding a mtn bike will make it significantly harder.

I'd only go mtn/hybrid if you specifically want the bike for other purposes (errands around town are great for hybrids where distances are short), but be warned about the increased difficulty no the long rides.

A flat-bar road bike (no curvey handlebars) would also work fairly well if you have neck issues, but most folks who are taking on a 70 miler can train to accomodate drop-bar bikes.

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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by livesoft » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:52 pm

There is a big difference in riding 70 miles in 4 hours without stopping and riding 70 miles in 12 hours with 5 hours off the bike for bacon stops.
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HurdyGurdy
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by HurdyGurdy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:56 pm

Could you borrow your dad's bike, train with it, and for the big day, rent one?

boglebill
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 1:08 pm

Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by boglebill » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:15 pm

There's a lot of info in this thread already.

Honestly - try and RENT a bike first. Rent a bike and go on this bacon ride!
If the ride is flat and paved, and you're in average shape, 30 miles won't kill you. 70 certainly won't be as much fun. Most large organized rides have bailout points or vehicles to pick you up if you run out of steam.

All of the gear you can buy isn't just to make money. Cycling helmets, gloves, shorts, shirts, shoes, etc. all serve a purpose. As with anything, the sky is the limit in terms of amount you could spend. Plenty of people are happy with old steel frames, KISS t-shirts, and jean shorts. Find a bike shop that makes you comfortable and sounds knowledgeable.

stlutz
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by stlutz » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:47 pm

+1 to everything lightheir has said. You should spend at least a little bit of money here. Some of the advice to buy the cheapest thing you could find would be like asking about buying a car and getting recommendations to buy a 1985 Olds Delta 88 with 674,000 miles--and make sure it has at least 3 wheels on it!

One piece of advice I commonly give is to buy the store more than the bike. That means, find a store who will spend the time to get you on a bike that fits you, and then you can comfortably buy what they are selling (again, following lightheir's overall recommendations incl. price points).

After you have the bikes, then just focus on riding, getting in shape, and having fun. Once you've done it for a while, then decide what types of events you want to do, if any. If you focus on loving the bike, you'll ride it for a long time; if you're just oriented around doing one event then once it's done you'll put the bike in the garage and never ride it again.
There is a big difference in riding 70 miles in 4 hours without stopping and riding 70 miles in 12 hours with 5 hours off the bike for bacon stops.
While I don't know that 70 miles in 4 hours needs to be the goal, people who do 70 miles in 5 or 6 hours have a lot more fun than those who do it in 12. Again, do things in this order:

a) Get bike
b) Ride bike
c) Sign up for events.

8-)

Naismith
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Naismith » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:13 pm

Why would you want to train for a 70-mile ride when you have children under 10 and could be doing family rides on paved trails together or whatever? Which might be a different bike.

One thing is that a surprising percentage of bike shops are incredibly sexist and don't even carry a seat that is comfortable for women who have children. I ordered my first Terry bike seat online, and when I tried it out, I shrieked with delight--my husband thought I had hurt myself somehow:) We ended up doing our first long trail ride (about 250 miles) later that year, which would not have been possible without a seat that actually fit.

Since then, a bike shop opened in our town that has a lending library of Terry seats that people can check out and try for a few days before buying. Great idea. (Oh, they also have choices for men to try.) I now use them for all my business on principle.

And yes, at 5'2", I also need a 16" frame, so I understand the frustration of trying t find used or a rental.

I'm grateful that the aging of the baby boomers has made a variety of bicycle styles readily available that weren't even 10 years ago. About a year ago I switched to a U-frame, which is common in Europe but rare in most of the US. It is much better for my back because my sacroiliac joint is not being pulled apart as much as it was even with a mixte frame.

I wonder how many people think they can't ride a bike, when it is really a matter of finding one that suits them?

tigermilk
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by tigermilk » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:35 pm

derosa wrote:Get as much air in your road tires as possible 120 - 130 lbs to start. That keeps resistance down. Those fat, partly inflated tires on a mountain bike are nothing but dead resistance on the road.
only if you are really heavy. 120-130 psi may actually make you slower. Over-inflated is not faster. Certain tires and also latex tubes, however, will keep rolling resistance down. In my time trialing days a pair of low resistance, but extremely susceptible to flats, tires were good for a mere 200-300 miles before needing to be replaced. Contrast that with my everyday durable (I.e., slow) tires that get several thousand miles before they need to be changed.

But once you get fast, tire resistance pales compared to aero drag.

Clumsum
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Location: Champaign, IL

Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Clumsum » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:36 pm

My first bike was a Cannondale hybrid that I brought 1/2 price for $500. I rode it for about 7 years. September 2013 I brought a road bike and love it (Speciaized Roubiax) . Carbon fiber frame. Never thought I would ever spend that much on a bike but I would do it again after riding it. I had looked over two years before finally buying. Just could not justify spending the money. I rode 1700 miles over the summer. Did not ride for 2 months due to back being out. I do a lot of 30 mile rides which take around 2 hours. 70 miles is serious riding.

tigermilk
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by tigermilk » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:48 pm

I've got a full stable of bikes including several road bikes, time trial bikes, 'cross bike, track bike, and leisure bike. Aside from the track and leisure bike (both are fixed gear or single speed), the important feature they all share is quality components. Frames can be sexy, particularly when touting low weight, but longevity comes more from a quality set of shifters and the rear derailleur. Cheap bikes usually have cheap components.

Buying used can be a fantastic way to get a quality setup on the cheap.

MoneyIsntEverything
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by MoneyIsntEverything » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:49 pm

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davebarnes
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Location: Berkeley, Denver, Colorado USA

local bike shop

Post by davebarnes » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:59 pm

Find a LBS you feel comfortable with.
Buy a bike with their help. Maybe even used.
Get it fitted for you.
A nerd living in Denver

itstoomuch
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:22 pm

The newer~$700 bikes from a bike shop are very good and you do get service and knowledgeable information.
I'd stay away from bigbox bikes.
My best bike is a steel cro-moly/hi-tensil, touring bike, 1980's. No shocks. My better bike is also steel, with front shocks/mountain style, which gives a very soft ride but more energy to pedal. I changed tires from knobby tires to 1-1/8 street tires. My good bike is an aluminum road bike, which is very fast but a harsh ride. All were bought used, with the only maintenance being tires and chain.

Your #1 problem will be discovering a saddle that works for you & for the style of bike. :beer
Wear Very BRIGHT clothing. Avoid dark colors that you would wear to the gym but camouflage you outdoors.
I discovered that a WalMart $30 helmet fits me better than the $120 LBS helmet.
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

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Peter Foley
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Re: DH and I are buying bicycles

Post by Peter Foley » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:59 pm

tigermilk » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:35 pm

derosa wrote:
Get as much air in your road tires as possible 120 - 130 lbs to start. That keeps resistance down. Those fat, partly inflated tires on a mountain bike are nothing but dead resistance on the road.

only if you are really heavy. 120-130 psi may actually make you slower. Over-inflated is not faster. Certain tires and also latex tubes, however, will keep rolling resistance down. In my time trialing days a pair of low resistance, but extremely susceptible to flats, tires were good for a mere 200-300 miles before needing to be replaced. Contrast that with my everyday durable (I.e., slow) tires that get several thousand miles before they need to be changed.

But once you get fast, tire resistance pales compared to aero drag.
tigermilk's comments are worth repeating, especially:
But once you get fast, tire resistance pales compared to aero drag


Let's get back to the couple that want to ride with their kids . . . they are riding leisurely, not racing. Of course, keep your tires properly inflated - there is a range printed on most tires. For everyday riding I would recommend about 5 PSI under the maximum. Yes, this is not ideal for rolling resistance, but it allows the tire to take up a bit of the shock on an uneven surface. You get a more comfortable ride, have fewer flats and you will be less likely to to have to replace a wheel with a bent rim. The downside is a little more effort. But isn't one of your goals for doing this the exercise?

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