bicycle recommendations

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protagonist
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bicycle recommendations

Post by protagonist »

I ride a Puch 10-speed, vintage late 70s, that I purchased for $20 around 1982. For sure, I have gotten my money's worth...disregarding maintenance and a few minor upgrades (saddle especially), that comes to about 60 cents per year.

That said, there are a few issues. It is too large for me, the handlebars are too low for me and cannot be raised, and the gear shifts on the frame rather than on the handlebars are a bit of a nuisance and a bit dangerous. The riding position gets uncomfortable after about 20 miles.

My rides tend to average 10-30 miles, occasionally longer, mostly on smooth bike paths, as well as just bopping around town. I ride frequently though seasonally....I live in MA and do not ride in cold weather. I usually leave my bike in high gear semi-permanently unless I am going up a very steep hill.....I suppose that is largely laziness.

From time to time I think about replacing my bike with a more modern bike that would fit better and be more ergonomic. But I am a bit wed to this bike I have had all these years, and I am not sure that a more modern bike would be a huge improvement. I would probably want a road bike. It could be a used bike.

Questions:
1. Would a modern bike be significantly more efficient and easier to ride?
2. Would I notice much difference between a ~$500 bike, a ~$1000 bike and a ~$2000 bike, given my uses, and if so, what? Of course the more expensive bikes will be lighter, but will I notice much change in comfort or efficiency/speed?
3. What are the most important factors to look for?
4. Any specific recommendations?

Thanks
livesoft
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by livesoft »

Yes a modern bike would be easier. It would be lighter and have index shifting. It would probably have brifters: brake levers and shifters all-in-one. I bought a used titanium frame bike with Shimano 105 and Ultegra components for $500. Something like that is much more than you would need, so I wouldn't spend more than $500.

The last bike thread (within last 3 months) would answer all your questions.

Since you have been riding and know about bikes, I would just find a bike on craigslist and buy it. Although I do wonder how a bike that is too big for you can have handlebars that are too low for you as that would mean the bike is too small for you.

The so-called drop handlebars have about 8 different ways to position one's hands, so that they do not get tired or stressed. I've seen lots of comments about "upright" handlebars which have only one hand position for the most part. I think some folks don't know about all the hand positions on a regular handlebar. Here is a GIF with 6 hand positions, so some hand positions are not shown: http://bikebarn.com/site/images/library ... abel05.gif Changing hand positions also changes the weight distribution between seat and handlebars (back and front wheels) and also the position of one's back, so all these things help make a ride more comfortable and less stressful.
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Topic Author
protagonist
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by protagonist »

livesoft wrote:Yes a modern bike would be easier. It would be lighter and have index shifting. It would probably have brifters: brake levers and shifters all-in-one. I bought a used titanium frame bike with Shimano 105 and Ultegra components for $500. Something like that is much more than you would need, so I wouldn't spend more than $500.

The last bike thread (within last 3 months) would answer all your questions.

Since you have been riding and know about bikes, I would just find a bike on craigslist and buy it. Although I do wonder how a bike that is too big for you can have handlebars that are too low for you as that would mean the bike is too small for you.

The so-called drop handlebars have about 8 different ways to position one's hands, so that they do not get tired or stressed. I've seen lots of comments about "upright" handlebars which have only one hand position for the most part. I think some folks don't know about all the hand positions on a regular handlebar. Here is a GIF with 6 hand positions, so some hand positions are not shown: http://bikebarn.com/site/images/library ... abel05.gif Changing hand positions also changes the weight distribution between seat and handlebars (back and front wheels) and also the position of one's back, so all these things help make a ride more comfortable and less stressful.
My "drop handlebars" (that must be what they are) are much lower than my seat. My seat cannot be lowered, nor can the handlebars be raised or replaced. This was confirmed at two local bike shops.

Thanks for the feedback, livesoft.
livesoft
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by livesoft »

The other different thing that a bike would have would be pedals that one's bike shoe cleats would clip into. That may not be what you want, but pedals can certainly be changed. Maybe you put such pedals on your Puch and like them?
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daveatca
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It is bike

Post by daveatca »

It is a bicycle.
You cannot spend too much.
Campagnolo.
Carbon fibre rims.

I am spending $2000 to build a single speed for around town riding.

Of course, I already have a 1974 Campy bike which I absolutely love. And, my water bottle has a vintage Puch logo.
Last edited by daveatca on Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
livesoft
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by livesoft »

^You left out quite a few smilies in your post. :sharebeer
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stlutz
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by stlutz »

Road bikes today are almost nothing like one from the 1970s due to multiple major revolutions:

1) STI--that is integrating the shift and brake levers and putting them on the handlebar where you can use them from multiple hand positions.

2) The move toward wider gear ranges which is helpful for climbing hills, riding into the wind and the like. Bikes were made with much taller gears back in the 70s. Even most double-chainring setups today have lower gears than most triple chainring bikes from 15 years ago. This was all driven by a Lance Armstrong effect backed by science that pedaling a lower gear is more efficient than pedaling a higher one.

3) Fit has also changed. We've learned that a more comfortable fit is actually more efficient. Your 1970s bike was trying to force you into a riding position instead of having the bike fit you.

Getting a new bike will not make a big difference on a 20 mile ride. Getting a new bike will make it possible for you to happily do a 50 mile instead.
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Toons
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Toons »

Bikes from Walmart work for me. :happy
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jabberwockOG
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by jabberwockOG »

Modern day bikes are much more efficient and easy to use. The downside is that in general they ride like bricks due to extremely stiff frames compared to the 60-70s bikes that had much more flexible frames. I'd much rather ride a 70's 10 speed frame than any of the modern road bikes.
pbearn
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by pbearn »

Are you comfortable on the bike, or is the seating position too aggressive for you? That should be your main question. You might need to ride a different bike for a while to figure that out, not just a little test ride. That's a bit of a Catch 22 though, unless you do a 20-mile test ride . Your age may be a big big question here - but at the same time if you've been riding frequently since '82 your body may be quite happy on the bike you have.

EDIT: How do your hands, back & neck feel after a 20 mile ride? Are you too leaned forward or do you feel alright?

Weight is overrated - and that goes 2x for you riding on mostly level paths. 3x if your main goal is exercise & weight loss. Reduced bike weight helps when climbing hills, or in shaving a few seconds off the line. That's it. Bike weight makes no difference at all when cruising slong steadily on the flats. And don't forget the best/fastest/cheapest way to shave a couple pounds is to take a good dump before the ride; next best after that is to lose a few off the belly. Only after those two are taken care of should you be spending money on the bike's weight-loss program.

You say you never shift gears, so indexed shifting won't be of any benefit to you at all. FWIW, you should probably learn to shift, but that's off-topic. More to the point, I still miss friction shifters after 30 years or whatever it is now. Indexed shifters are finicky to keep tuned (silent drivetrain). Friction shifters are always quiet. I'll probably stick with indexed, mostly because it's simply easier to stick with what I have. Fortunately, you can quickly decide this one for yourself on s 1-mile test ride.

Retro bikes are in style. Keep that in mind whether you keep it or get rid of it. Don't just trash it; someone out there would LOVE to have your bike - even if it's only a hipster kid looking to do a fixie conversion on it. There are a lot of people who really really want your bike, sell it or give it away, or keep it in the stable - don't leave it on the curb.

I agree that you should investigate clipless pedals - but they'd screw right into the bike you already have. So not relevant to this discussion.

In short (too late?) I'd say keep the bike you have unless it doesn't fit or it's just time for something new. Don't be too impressed with weight or carbon. Stay away from carbon wheels. Aluminum & steel are OK. Anyone who does not race - not on the bike path, real organized races - should not spend more than maybe $1600 on a new bike, and can do pretty well for $600. Craigslist/used would be a better place to start before a radical geometry change.

My own background: 47yo; 24 mi daily bike commute for about 15-20 yrs now + 1-2 centuries/yr; steel touring bike as a daily commuter (should hit 8000 miles tomorrow!); also had a similar aluminum cross bike that worked well (stolen at 9000 miles); used to do a lot of mountain biking in a past life (sad old dual suspension still sitting in the basement, needs a new shock & new stupid index shifter I don't think they even make anymore, maybe I should convert to friction).

EDIT: I pass plenty of carbon every day on my way to work, on my steel bike with rack & panny bags, headlight, pump & saddle bag. Not because I'm racing - I'm just late to work :) And I'm a 6'-4" 220 lb Clyde with a lot more to lose off the belly before I need to spend any time or money on bicycle weight (200 would be about right). But passing carbon is almost as much fun as passing cars.
Last edited by pbearn on Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
pbearn
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by pbearn »

jabberwock wrote:Modern day bikes are much more efficient and easy to use. The downside is that in general they ride like bricks due to extremely stiff frames compared to the 60-70s bikes that had much more flexible frames. I'd much rather ride a 70's 10 speed frame than any of the modern road bikes.
I mostly agree - except there's been no real change in bicycle efficiency in about 100 years.
southbay
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by southbay »

I just bought a new bike. The best thing I did was just go to a good bike shop and take some test rides. I think a bike is a great investment if you actually get good use out of it. (like gym memberships, some people buy bikes with good intentions and then rarely use it)
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Peter Foley
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Peter Foley »

I like these threads because they go all over the place - from the cheap (old used or new Walmart) to the new carbon fiber or titanium road bike with high end Campagnolo components.

There are a wide range of options available to you, including modifications to your current bike.

Starting there: Unless your seat post is stuck in place and/or your handlebar stem is rusted and can't be removed, you could modify your current bike.

You could have a shop do a hybrid conversion (I'm doing one tomorrow in the shop where I work. I will replace the stem and handlebars and put in a new stem (there are stem extenders as well if you only need more length) and a flat bar. I will also put new brake levers and shifters on the bar. Where I work this is about a $40-$50 job. $10-$20 for used parts and about an hour and a half of labor. If I were to have this done at a higher end bike shop with new parts the cost would be $150 + - simply not worth it.)

The next option is to find a better road bike that fits you -if it is an road bike that you want, if you want a more upright riding position a hybrid is a better choice. Trek is a good brand and you can find a good used Trek for about $200. I own a couple Trek 700 Multi-tracks. I paid about $100 for one of them and built the other one from used parts at the shop for a total cost of $60.00 - I did my own labor.)

If you go the new bike route, I would check out REI. They carry a decent line of bikes and many are in the $400 - $500 range. I've seen too many poorly assembled Walmart bikes to recommend going that route.

If you are into status, go to a high end bike shop and spend a few thousand dollars. They will make it easy for you to do so.
itstoomuch
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by itstoomuch »

protagonist wrote:I ride a Puch 10-speed, vintage late 70s, that I purchased for $20 around 1982.
[...snip...] It is too large for me, the handlebars are too low for me and cannot be raised, and the gear shifts on the frame rather than on the handlebars are a bit of a nuisance and a bit dangerous. The riding position gets uncomfortable after about 20 miles.

[...snop]
4. Any specific recommendations?

Thanks
You have been riding this bike since 1982-2016? ~34 years :?:

Nothing wrong with the handle bars or the saddle. You said the bike is too small now. You are becoming uncomfortable in the ride because you are getting OLD. :annoyed You need to upgrade to a cro-mo (aircraft tubing) bike, vintage 1985-1995, garage sale special $75-$150.

otherwise get a modern Trek 7.3. :idea:
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123
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by 123 »

As a result of another thread here on bikes I bought a new Trek FX 7.3 about 2 months ago. It was at a beginning of season sale so it was about $600. I was very tempted to get a model that had disc brakes but when I realized how much maintenance costs could be for them I decided to just get regular cable brakes.

I had a Diamond Back bike that was about 30 years old that I rode a lot. I decided that I wasn't getting any younger so I reasoned I could go ahead and get a new bike and not worry about it anymore. I do rides mostly on flat pavement about 12 - 15 miles at a time usually 4 - 6 times a week year round.

The Trek is lighter with sleeker tires then my Diamond Back. The Trek does have a harsher ride then the older bike. I figure I get about a 15% performance boost with the new bike in terms of riding faster and farther overall. The older bike kind of made me an old fuddy-duddy compared to the other riders since it had a lot of noises and creaks.

I had another bike in the interim that eventually got stolen.

The nice thing about a new bike is that I find that I get 3 to 4 years of use before any maintenance issues show up (chain wear, broken spokes, etc). I just ride and enjoy it. The cost divided by the hours of use makes it extraordinarily cheap entertainment.

I'm still keeping my old Diamond Back as a back-up or alternative ride.
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pbearn
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by pbearn »

Given that you posted this question on Bogleheads rather than a bicycle forum, I feel compelled to point out that you need to determine an appropriate bicycle-motorcycle allocation, and that an efficient allocation can be achieved *without* use of e-bikes. Moreover, as you clearly lean towards bicycles, you should consider going further out the efficient frontier towards bicycles by shorting motorcycles - that is, borrowing a friend"s or neighbor's motorcycle and then immediately selling it, possibly using the proceeds to purchase more bicycles.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Epsilon Delta »

protagonist wrote:I usually leave my bike in high gear semi-permanently unless I am going up a very steep hill.....I suppose that is largely laziness.
I have to say this is the complete opposite of laziness. :D Being in the right gear lets you cover the maximum of ground for the minimum of effort.

The most important thing is fit. If you need to adjust the seat or handlebars and they won't move you either need a bigger hammer or another bike. Or possibly a bigger hammer then another bike. :twisted:

As for hybrids having a more upright position, this is true. But it's also possible to raise the drop bars, either by moving the stem or getting a longer stem. To the untrained eye a traditional touring bike will look identical to a racing bike. However most touring bikes have the bars level with or above the seat while most racing bikes the bars will be several inches lower than the seat. This makes a big difference. So if you've been relatively happy with drop bars I'd suggest sticking with them on any new bike, just make sure they are high enough for comfort.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Epsilon Delta »

123 wrote:The nice thing about a new bike is that I find that I get 3 to 4 years of use before any maintenance issues show up (chain wear, broken spokes, etc). I just ride and enjoy it.
Lack of use is bike abuse.

You really should need a new chain by the 30 day tune up. :twisted:
SpaethCo
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by SpaethCo »

pbearn wrote:Given that you posted this question on Bogleheads rather than a bicycle forum...
This is a perfect time to re-frame N+1 in a Boglehead context! :idea:

Why would you invest all of your potential for growth in happiness into a single bicycle? Sure you've had success with the 10-speed road bike so far, but past performance is no guarantee of future results. You need to be prepared for whatever environment exists when you decide you want to ride; you don't want to be in a position where you have to outlast a bear riding down singletrack trails on a road bike. You want a bicycle that can help you stay alive, and have a high quality of life!

You have to be careful about where you get your bicycle buying advice. You can go to a shop and talk to a "bicycle advisor" but they're just going to steer you towards the bikes that give them the most commission. They'll also try and push features like inflation protection (for the tires), but won't tell you about how much it drags down your potential gains from pedaling.

Really the only reasonable solution is to diversify your investment and buy the whole market to ensure your future biking happiness. You'll want to balance your investment across road race, road endurance, cyclocross, adventure/gravel, time trial, triathlon, city, comfort, fitness hybrid, performance hybrid, dual sport hybrid, mountain trail hardtail, mountain trail full suspension, mountain cross country, mountain downhill, fatbike, ebike, and BMX bikes. Through diversification you can ensure you have the appropriate vehicle to get you through whatever environment is present when you decide to ride. You can acquire the bikes by leveraging indexes such as those assembled by Bicycling.com, BikeRadar, or OutsideOnline. While you can go straight for the Top x bikes, be aware that because the information about them is universally available they are priced much higher in the market. A better option may be to seek out an index based on budget or value bikes, as these are positioned well to have the highest growth potential. (albeit at slightly higher risk)

Buy a good mix of high quality bikes, and keep them forever. Sure, you can buy gold, but all gold can do is sit around and look pretty. A bike you can use to get around year after year!

Stay the course.
alfaspider
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Re: It is bike

Post by alfaspider »

daveatca wrote:It is a bicycle.
You cannot spend too much.
Within a degree of reason. A lot of the ultra high-end stuff ($10k+) is going to have qualities that only going to matter for racers, and will render a casual rider uncomfortable and no faster. That said, most newbies and less serious riders don't spend enough and end up not realizing what they are missing out on. The $600 REI special will get you around town just fine, but it's not a good deal if buying the better bike is going to get you really riding. Road bike last a long time if cared for. An initial purchase price of $2,000 isn't much if you consider that the bike can easily last you 20 years and tens of thousands of riding miles.
stoptothink
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Re: It is bike

Post by stoptothink »

alfaspider wrote:
daveatca wrote:It is a bicycle.
You cannot spend too much.
Within a degree of reason. A lot of the ultra high-end stuff ($10k+) is going to have qualities that only going to matter for racers, and will render a casual rider uncomfortable and no faster. That said, most newbies and less serious riders don't spend enough and end up not realizing what they are missing out on. The $600 REI special will get you around town just fine, but it's not a good deal if buying the better bike is going to get you really riding. Road bike last a long time if cared for. An initial purchase price of $2,000 isn't much if you consider that the bike can easily last you 20 years and tens of thousands of riding miles.
Nobody can tell the difference in function between the ultra high-end stuff and something decent, I've had both (and everything in-between). The perceived value in bike parts is measured in grams and almost imperceivable differences in Cd. No longer racing, currently I ride a cyclocross bike that set me back ~$1k. Great for towing the bike trailer (with my 2 kids) around town and on some light trails. I honestly can not tell the difference in the shifting of the 105/tiagra mix over the Dura-Ace and SRAM red I had on my previous two ($5k+) rigs, and the disc brakes are superior in performance (but not aero, obviously). I have never tried e-shifting though.

I'm impressed that some people have kept their bikes so long. They definitely last that long, but most people who ride a lot "upgrade" every few years. Been there, done that.
dbr
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by dbr »

protagonist wrote:
My "drop handlebars" (that must be what they are) are much lower than my seat. My seat cannot be lowered, nor can the handlebars be raised or replaced. This was confirmed at two local bike shops.
When you buy a new bike that problem will be taken care of as the fit of the bike can be made correct. Seat adjustment together with frame size is determined by leg length to the pedals. Handlebar height can be adjusted and will be most comfortable depending on selecting he best frame geometry for you together with adjustments. For example, my bike fits me very well but we installed a short riser to the handle bars so that I am comfortable in all the positions on drop handlebars. A person trained for bike racing would laugh at my set-up but it is perfect for my age and flexibility. My handlebars are not lower than my seat. A bona-fide racing bike for a twenty-five year old trained professional might have as much as a two or three inch drop. That is not us.

I personally would not tend to go too cheap on a bike as the total cost over use is a nearly negligible item anyway, at least if you ride frequently in the 10-30 mile range. You should be spending more on maintenance per year than writing off the purchase price anyway, unless you do your own bike maintenance. My opinion is that the sweet spot for quality of components is about a $2000 bike, meaning spending more than that is unjustified. There are certainly credible offerings for less. Buying a used bike is always an option but the problem there is giving up on choosing and adjusting to a good fit. I would buy a new bike from a shop that would work with me on fit.

I ride a Jamis Quest and have been very happy with it. You might look at the Jamis line of bikes, but there are may others.
MP173
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by MP173 »

I have a Trek 7.2 and have been very happy. It replaced a 20 year old Trek 380 and my performance improved dramatically as the 7.2 is lighter and much better bike. The cost was about $500 with accessories.

I ride 20 miles about 4x a week from April thru October. I am 60 years old and am 6'7" - 250 pounds. The bike fits which is critical. The local bike shop took the time (I am a regular customer for repairs) to fit the bike and actually order it for me. It is critical (IMHO) to use a local shop as they will provide you with great service at a slight premium in cost.

Ed
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dratkinson
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by dratkinson »

Your Puch has "road bike" geometry. You have many new bike geometries to investigate before buying your next---to ensure you get what fits you now.

Most upright: road bike -- hybrid -- semi-recumbent (legs forward, back upright) -- recumbent :most laid back

Suggest stopping by a local bike shop and testing some.

Trek makes a popular hybrid that is often recommended here.

An Electra Townie is the most crank-forward semi-recumbent I've seen locally. A very comfortable bike, but maybe not the best geometry for quickly covering distance

New bike geometries offer many comfort improvements over old road bikes.

The most important requirement is that your new bike better fit you and the riding you do.


Disclosure. I have an early '70s Raleigh Sprite 27 that I've ridden since the early '80s, until it became just too uncomfortable to ride long distances. Not because it changed, but because my body changed.

My LBS visits helped identified possible candidates, but I wasn't sure 5-minutes on a bike was enough time to know if I could live with any bike for the long term. I needed to do a long-term test ride, but LBS's don't do that.

So I build myself a laboratory bike by adding removable parts to my mid '80s BCA Rocky mountain bike: stem riser, adjustable stem, and built an adjustable setback (0-7") seat post (DOM tubing, strong stuff, heavy). I tired multiple combinations of handlebar height, handlebar forward-rear offset, seat setback. I put a little over 1K miles on my lab bike before deciding on my next bike. I'm now firmly in the semi-recumbent bike camp for my around the neighborhood, bike path riding.

When I went looking for my next bike, I made/carried a small cardboard template that matched my lab bike's preferred configuration: handlebar placement, crank placement, seat placement. Eye ---> preferred bike geometry template ---> bike. So I was able to reject most bike's visually. My new/old bike is a K2 Big Easy Deuce purchased off CL for $100. It was not stocked by LBS, but they don't mind servicing it.

I still take my Raleigh out occasionally for short spins---after all, it is a cool old bike. But it's generally once around the block and I'm done. It's road bike geometry puts constant weight on my hands so I now feel like I'm doing inclined push-ups.


To whatever bike geometry you find to be most comfortable, can consider adding these to your list of requirements:
If you have hills, then granny gears front and rear.
If you have rough streets/bike paths, then a Thudbuster seat post.
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.
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telemark
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by telemark »

Would a modern bike be significantly more efficient and easier to ride?
Don't ride a bicycle that doesn't fit you. Even the cheapest bike that fits you will be a vast improvement over the present situation. More money should produce incremental improvements.
Last edited by telemark on Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
dbr
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by dbr »

I think mention of road conditions by someone above is appropriate. I would add that use of the bike looking forward might be considered. If you think you might extend your riding to roads and paved trails at longer distances, maybe routinely riding 30-40 miles, you would focus on road bike geometry and higher quality components. If you suspect your use might include unpaved trails, rougher pavement, shorter urban rides, etc. a hybrid style, somewhat wider tires, more upright position, etc. is indicated. If you intend some commuting that might affect your choices, especially for attachment of panniers or other ways to carry things. Some people get into bike touring which indicates something similar to a road bike without the extreme geometry and some provision for carrying stuff. Recumbents are helpful in case of joint and muscle problems that preclude an upright bike. Some people simply enjoy them. I think they are awkward in traffic though.

There are so many choices and such a range in practical pricing that looking over the whole range in bike shops is certainly indicated. It is still true that cheap can be a bad bargain and that unproductive expense without limit is always available.
alfaspider
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Re: It is bike

Post by alfaspider »

stoptothink wrote: Nobody can tell the difference in function between the ultra high-end stuff and something decent, I've had both (and everything in-between). The perceived value in bike parts is measured in grams and almost imperceivable differences in Cd. No longer racing, currently I ride a cyclocross bike that set me back ~$1k. Great for towing the bike trailer (with my 2 kids) around town and on some light trails. I honestly can not tell the difference in the shifting of the 105/tiagra mix over the Dura-Ace and SRAM red I had on my previous two ($5k+) rigs, and the disc brakes are superior in performance (but not aero, obviously). I have never tried e-shifting though.

I'm impressed that some people have kept their bikes so long. They definitely last that long, but most people who ride a lot "upgrade" every few years. Been there, done that.
Eh- the difference between a $15k bike and a $1,000 bike is going to be more than a few grams. The former could be well under UCI weight (13.5 lbs, potentially), while the latter could be 20lbs or more. People will say "oh, just lose the weight off your waist line", but I personally notice a massive difference stepping onto a bike that is 5lbs lighter, especially when a lot of that weight is in the wheels. I do not notice any difference when I lose or gain 5lbs. My commuter bike is a $500 bike that is a total tank (likely over 30lbs), and I feel much, much, slower on it than my main road bike.

That said, the $1k-2k bike is a pretty good sweet spot for someone who is not a racer. It's good enough quality to last a long time. I've had my $1.5k bike (18lbs and ultegra) for 10 years now, and I've never felt particularly compelled to upgrade (even when I've experienced better bikes). My bike is good enough that if I am slow, it's me, not the bike. As they say, "don't buy upgrades, ride up grades!"
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IFRider
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by IFRider »

After years on the road, this looks intriguing to me:

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/ogre

But at 1500 it's spendy.

I never thought I would look at hybrids, but I don't feel safe on the road anymore.
livesoft
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by livesoft »

MP173 wrote:I have a Trek 7.2 and have been very happy. ....

I ride 20 miles about 4x a week from April thru October. I am 60 years old and am 6'7" - 250 pounds. The bike fits which is critical. The local bike shop took the time (I am a regular customer for repairs) ...
That last sentence doesn't look right. A bike should need no repairs for years and years after it has been set up correctly, so no one should be a regular customer for repairs. :)
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jerkstore
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by jerkstore »

Questions:
1. Would a modern bike be significantly more efficient and easier to ride?
2. Would I notice much difference between a ~$500 bike, a ~$1000 bike and a ~$2000 bike, given my uses, and if so, what? Of course the more expensive bikes will be lighter, but will I notice much change in comfort or efficiency/speed?
3. What are the most important factors to look for?
4. Any specific recommendations?
Go to a local bike store and get sized for a bike or even pay for a bike fitting. Hands down, the most important thing about a bike is that it fits you.

1. not because of being modern, only because an older bike may not have been maintained. if maintained than no.
2. depends, but if we're talking new bikes, then yes probably for $500 to $1000, not likely for $1000 to $2000.
3. FIT and COMFORT.
4. get measured for a bike (56 cm frames vary in size, and have different riding positions.) you can measure yourself by spending some time online (youtube and getting a measuring tape), but if you have someone that knows what they're doing it will be quick and easy. test ride a new bike at a local bike store before buying. the bike may feel fine at the store, but as you've observed, the longer you ride the more FIT MATTERS. anyone can ride a bike that doesn't fit them for a few miles.

imo order of priority: fit > frame > wheels > components (drive/brakes)
inbox788
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by inbox788 »

livesoft wrote:
MP173 wrote:I have a Trek 7.2 and have been very happy. ....

I ride 20 miles about 4x a week from April thru October. I am 60 years old and am 6'7" - 250 pounds. The bike fits which is critical. The local bike shop took the time (I am a regular customer for repairs) ...
That last sentence doesn't look right. A bike should need no repairs for years and years after it has been set up correctly, so no one should be a regular customer for repairs. :)
What about the accident prone rider? I know a fellow with lots of war stories about bike vs. car, bike vs. road, etc. He's constantly changing flat tires. Oh, and it seems like he's upgrading to a new bike very year.
livesoft
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by livesoft »

inbox788 wrote:What about the accident prone rider? I know a fellow with lots of war stories about bike vs. car, bike vs. road, etc. He's constantly changing flat tires. Oh, and it seems like he's upgrading to a new bike very year.
I would hope one would not get a flat tire repaired at the bike shop. One can buy tubes and tires at a shop (cheaper online though), but I would not consider the purchase of these a "repair."
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Rodc
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Rodc »

inbox788 wrote:
livesoft wrote:
MP173 wrote:I have a Trek 7.2 and have been very happy. ....

I ride 20 miles about 4x a week from April thru October. I am 60 years old and am 6'7" - 250 pounds. The bike fits which is critical. The local bike shop took the time (I am a regular customer for repairs) ...
That last sentence doesn't look right. A bike should need no repairs for years and years after it has been set up correctly, so no one should be a regular customer for repairs. :)
What about the accident prone rider? I know a fellow with lots of war stories about bike vs. car, bike vs. road, etc. He's constantly changing flat tires. Oh, and it seems like he's upgrading to a new bike very year.
That may tend to happen if you keep running into cars....

A better approach might be to buy ever sturdier bikes...
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Peter Foley
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Peter Foley »

If riding comfort (harsh ride) is an issue, use 700 X 35 or 700 X 38 tires. The tires that are less than 30 are fine but there is a noticeable difference in ride.
gips
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by gips »

I was doing a lot of analysis on this and someone on a bike forum recommended Just Ride, saved me a lot of time and money.

"Forget the ultralight, uncomfortable bikes, flashy jerseys, clunky shoes that clip onto tiny pedals, the grinding out of endless miles. Instead, ride like you did when you were a kid—just get on your bike and discover the pure joy of riding it.
A reformed racer who’s commuted by bike every day since 1980, whose writings and opinions appear in major bicycling and outdoor magazines, and whose company, Rivendell Bicycle Works, makes bikes for riders ready to opt out of a culture overrun by racing '"

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Ride-Radica ... =just+ride
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JaneyLH
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by JaneyLH »

Toons wrote:Bikes from Walmart work for me. :happy
Mine cost $169 at Walmart and is a beautiful lime green with handlebars in just the right place. I added a really big, cushy seat. That said, it weighs about 300 pounds when I try to lift it onto my bike rack. :( But I use it only a couple of times a year for a couple of weeks in a national park where it would cost more to rent the bike for 3 days than I paid for it.
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protagonist
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by protagonist »

Here is Sweethome's take on the best bike, which is in line with what many people said in this thread: http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-hy ... uter-bike/
TonyDAntonio
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by TonyDAntonio »

I rode a Cannondale aluminum touring/sport bike from the 1980-90s until a couple of years ago. It is a nice bike and I still have it. I was interested in getting better brakes, the STI shifters (the ones in the brake levers) and 700c wheels so I would have better tire options (my Cannondale has 27 inch wheels...don't know why Cannondale did this even back in the 80s-90s). I bought a Giant Defy x (can't remember the number) for $1000 two or three years ago. The only reason I bought a Giant is because it was the brand carried by the local bike store (now out of business). It has been great but I'm sure comparable brands would be too. The braking is better, the shifters are everything I'd hoped for and it is an easier bike to ride longer and faster. And I'm not a long, fast rider (a little too big to be a 'champion' bike rider). So I would say spend $1000 dollars for a new road bike or buy a similar one for cheaper on craigslist/ebay. You won't be sorry.
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by tludwig23 »

SpaethCo wrote: Really the only reasonable solution is to diversify your investment and buy the whole market to ensure your future biking happiness. You'll want to balance your investment across road race, road endurance, cyclocross, adventure/gravel, time trial, triathlon, city, comfort, fitness hybrid, performance hybrid, dual sport hybrid, mountain trail hardtail, mountain trail full suspension, mountain cross country, mountain downhill, fatbike, ebike, and BMX bikes. Through diversification you can ensure you have the appropriate vehicle to get you through whatever environment is present when you decide to ride. You can acquire the bikes by leveraging indexes such as those assembled by Bicycling.com, BikeRadar, or OutsideOnline. While you can go straight for the Top x bikes, be aware that because the information about them is universally available they are priced much higher in the market. A better option may be to seek out an index based on budget or value bikes, as these are positioned well to have the highest growth potential. (albeit at slightly higher risk)
I think you can further diversify this portfolio by adding cargo and folding bikes. And then you can argue as to whether recumbent bikes are their own asset class...
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Epsilon Delta »

tludwig23 wrote:
SpaethCo wrote: Really the only reasonable solution is to diversify your investment and buy the whole market to ensure your future biking happiness. You'll want to balance your investment across road race, road endurance, cyclocross, adventure/gravel, time trial, triathlon, city, comfort, fitness hybrid, performance hybrid, dual sport hybrid, mountain trail hardtail, mountain trail full suspension, mountain cross country, mountain downhill, fatbike, ebike, and BMX bikes. Through diversification you can ensure you have the appropriate vehicle to get you through whatever environment is present when you decide to ride. You can acquire the bikes by leveraging indexes such as those assembled by Bicycling.com, BikeRadar, or OutsideOnline. While you can go straight for the Top x bikes, be aware that because the information about them is universally available they are priced much higher in the market. A better option may be to seek out an index based on budget or value bikes, as these are positioned well to have the highest growth potential. (albeit at slightly higher risk)
I think you can further diversify this portfolio by adding cargo and folding bikes. And then you can argue as to whether recumbent bikes are their own asset class...
The wheel to seat ratio on this portfolio is too high. A suitable allocation to tandems and unicycles will correct this.
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Toons
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Toons »

JaneyLH wrote:
Toons wrote:Bikes from Walmart work for me. :happy
Mine cost $169 at Walmart and is a beautiful lime green with handlebars in just the right place. I added a really big, cushy seat. That said, it weighs about 300 pounds when I try to lift it onto my bike rack. :( But I use it only a couple of times a year for a couple of weeks in a national park where it would cost more to rent the bike for 3 days than I paid for it.

+1
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4nursebee
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by 4nursebee »

I'd suggest trying a few 2 or 3 wheel recumbents. We like the three wheel stability factor. No shoulder, neck, butt, etc aches or pains. We ride ICE but there are many brands to look at.
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by alfaspider »

JaneyLH wrote:
Toons wrote:Bikes from Walmart work for me. :happy
Mine cost $169 at Walmart and is a beautiful lime green with handlebars in just the right place. I added a really big, cushy seat. That said, it weighs about 300 pounds when I try to lift it onto my bike rack. :( But I use it only a couple of times a year for a couple of weeks in a national park where it would cost more to rent the bike for 3 days than I paid for it.
I would gently suggest that part of the reason you only ride it a couple of times a year is that it's a pretty poor bike. People who've only experienced Walmart bikes and low-end 10 speeds from the 70s and 80s often don't realize what they are missing out on. My first time on a proper road bike was a revelation. I never knew a bike could be so quick or responsive, and it got me riding a LOT more than a few times a year. My cost per mile for my $1,500 road bike is almost certainly much lower than your Walmart bike.
dbr
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by dbr »

I would tend to repeat some previous points. The main one is the use of the bicycle. What I read was rides on roads and paved trails of ten to thirty miles fairly often. If that thirty miles is to be taken seriously or even increased, a moderate priced road bike or a high quality hybrid bike is almost certainly indicated. A bike somewhere in the $1000-$2000 range would be a really good option for such use. That does not mean it is unreasonable to look at a lower priced bike, but the cost over time and use is minimal anywhere in that range. I don't think OP is talking about a commuting bike or a bike for short jaunts around town, short being the less than ten mile range. That would be a different issue.

The other, and original, issue was fit. That is a bit of a red herring as the current bike is obviously ill suited but it is a given that a new bike would be chosen appropriately, hopefully with the assistance of a competent bike shop. It is an easy problem to fix.

The bicycle is a marvelous invention and one can do well on virtually any version of it. But people are correct that one may not know what one is missing if one does not investigate all the options.
Rodc
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Rodc »

I was going to chime in that bikes are like beer, but decided wine was a better analogy because there is such a wide range of prices. But in the end in thinking about Boglehead threads I decided a better analogy was suits. :)

(costs comparisons below are for new bikes and suits, not used)

Some will tell you that you really should get a bespoke suit or at least a very high end off the rack suit, but of course then you need to have it carefully retailored. Cost $5000+

Others will say, no, you don’t need to spend that much. You can do just fine by getting something like a Brooks Brothers suit for $1500-$2000 or so. Hardly anyone can really tell the difference between custom and a BB suit.

Others will say the sweet spot is spending $800-$1000 at a good department store, like Nordstrom’s, (not heaven forbid Macy’s).

Yet others will say a $250-$500 suit from Macy’s, or maybe 2 (or is it 3?) from Jos A Banks for $700 will do just fine.

And lastly someone will say you guys are all wasting money – just go to Target or Walmart. Everyone says I look really sharp in my $100 suit and “dress” hiking/walking shoes.

Personally I think something in the ballpark of $500-$1000 is the sweet spot for many people, suit or bike, or at least is for me. Agree it depends of course on intended use - here I am thinking about what I would guess is the vast middle of the use curve. But that is a guess on the use curve.

On a related note, bikes are like beer, wine, and suits, in that once you get used to the “good stuff” it is hard to go back. And hard to remember that some people really do like Bud Light (I don’t get it myself, but it is true. :) ) or a $250 suit. (Not sure what beer compares to a $100 suit. :) ) If one is used to a high end bike a $2000 bike may feel cheap while if used to a $200 bike a $600 bike will feel really nice.

Also, if someone asks for advice on a modest pair of walking shoes and an inexpensive daypack, and if they get talked into spending $2000-$5000 on high end hiking boots, super fine ultra-light high-tech backpack and a bunch of gear they just might take up technical mountaineering. Or maybe, just maybe, all they really want to do is go for a pleasant stroll now and again in the local woods and that is way overkill.

And lastly, I have owned a “Walmart” quality bike or two over the years, and they really were very lousy bikes in my opinion and did not work nearly as well as my friends’ only modestly more expensive bikes, and did not hold up well either. Last weekend I went on a scout biking trip where one adult had a newly purchased $100 Walmart bike which had several issues we had to repeatedly stop and address. (While another had a nice used roadbike she picked up at a community sale, put on a new saddle and handlebar tape and fenders, $200 total, and has a “new” commuter bike since her daughter adopted her previous one. If you want to go cheap, go used). While one might get a bike they like at Walmart, I suggest the odds are not great. As with most consumer items, rarely is the cheapest item the best value. Also the most expensive is rarely the best value for most people, unless one is truly a high end enthusiast, and even then mostly not. The best value is generally somewhere in the middle of the range and lower middle or upper middle will depend on the person.

Wife and I recently upgraded our 20-year-old bottom of the line Specialized mountain bikes with ~$600 hybrid/cross bikes which are lighter and smoother and better fit the sort of riding we do. We like them a lot. We might have liked ~$1000 bikes more, and thought about it, hard to say without more time on them. But I doubt much above that would have made sense for us.

Happy riding!
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t3chiman
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by t3chiman »

4nursebee wrote:I'd suggest trying a few 2 or 3 wheel recumbents. We like the three wheel stability factor. No shoulder, neck, butt, etc aches or pains. We ride ICE but there are many brands to look at.
I recently picked up a used ICE Adventure HD. It is a jewel of precision and a joy to ride. I have some health issues, so I added a seat riser and helper handles, makes it easier to get in and out of the trike. Compared to a traditional bike, it is 80% of the speed with zero of the muscle aches. The list prices of these machines is pretty shocking, but used prices can be reasonable if you shop around.
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Toons
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Toons »

alfaspider wrote:
JaneyLH wrote:
Toons wrote:Bikes from Walmart work for me. :happy
Mine cost $169 at Walmart and is a beautiful lime green with handlebars in just the right place. I added a really big, cushy seat. That said, it weighs about 300 pounds when I try to lift it onto my bike rack. :( But I use it only a couple of times a year for a couple of weeks in a national park where it would cost more to rent the bike for 3 days than I paid for it.
I would gently suggest that part of the reason you only ride it a couple of times a year is that it's a pretty poor bike. People who've only experienced Walmart bikes and low-end 10 speeds from the 70s and 80s often don't realize what they are missing out on. My first time on a proper road bike was a revelation. I never knew a bike could be so quick or responsive, and it got me riding a LOT more than a few times a year. My cost per mile for my $1,500 road bike is almost certainly much lower than your Walmart bike.

Congratulations!
Sounds like you have found what works for you
Thats all that matters :sharebeer
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pbearn
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by pbearn »

livesoft wrote:
MP173 wrote:I have a Trek 7.2 and have been very happy. ....

I ride 20 miles about 4x a week from April thru October. I am 60 years old and am 6'7" - 250 pounds. The bike fits which is critical. The local bike shop took the time (I am a regular customer for repairs) ...
That last sentence doesn't look right. A bike should need no repairs for years and years after it has been set up correctly, so no one should be a regular customer for repairs. :)
Riding 80 miles a week - especially if some of that riding is in the rain - will result in a surprising maintenance bill for replacement chains, casettes, tires, and cables. Most of those won't go more than about 3 years. Derailleur pullies won't go more than maybe 5-7 years. Brake pads may fall somewhere in there too. Chainrings & bottom brackets seem to go no more than 8. Other things, like shifters and pedals, may last forever or may randomly fail. I've never had a derailleur wear out, but I've bent a couple over the years.

And us Clydes have additional issues with wheels. I finally (knock wood) have found some touring rims that seem to go & go. I was buying about one wheel a year prior to coming across those. Factory laced or hand, no matter how gently I treated them (no curbs!), a few spokes would break and eventually the rim would crack at a spoke hole. I'm happy that's a thing of the past.

I similarly cracked a fork - on a 3yo steel touring bike - which thankfully was covered under warranty (that took a long time to resolve though, and the new paint color clashes horribly with the rest of the bike). That fork never saw a curb; I suspect the stresses from the disk brakes may be a contributing factor in addition to my own Clydeness. But maybe that was just a manufacturing defect, who knows.

I'm convinced that bicycle designers have a max rider weight of around 180 in mind.
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Tycoon
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Tycoon »

Bikes are personal, you'll just have to ride a few and find the bike for you.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a Jamis Icon Pro. It wasn't the bike I wanted, but for $960 dollars off MSRP it became the bike I wanted. I know it's not a recommendation, but dang I got a good deal.
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Pharmacist
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Re: bicycle recommendations

Post by Pharmacist »

Dude it's a bike. Go to Walmart and buy one.
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