Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

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mrb09
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby mrb09 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:20 am

If you wanted to do the best thing regardless of money, go into a full-service bike shop and get fitted for a frame.

Second best thing is to go to a smaller shop, stand over the bike and ride around the parking lot.

But if you're buying used, from a small shop without a selection, or over the internet, you might not be able to try the bike out, you'll need to order. In that case, just make sure the size fits your inseam. It used to be that frame geometries were all the same, so you could get a "52cm frame" and know exactly what that was. Now, with mountain bike geometries and "compact" (sloping top tube) geometries, there's no single standard for a frame, but road bikes and mountain bikes each have their own semi standard. There are rough calculators like this one that will put you in the ballpark.

If you really get into bicycling eventually there's a bunch of other things you want to worry about (like "stack" and "reach") but I wouldn't worry about that now.

Also recommend getting something inexpensive now, and upgrade later if you want. As other folks have mentioned, a mountain bike or hybrid is a good all-around bike. But it won't be good if you decide you like to ride centuries (100 mile events), and likewise a high-end carbon racing bike won't be the best for gravel paths. Just ride on a reasonably well fitting bike until you know what you want out of it, and if you decide you want to something better or different, sell or donate your first bike and upgrade.

alfaspider
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby alfaspider » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:24 am

Andyrunner wrote:
guitarguy wrote:I have also seen a couple mentions here and online for Nashbar brand bikes. Any additional comments on those?


I have two bikesdirect bikes. Love them, much cheaper then the bike shop and are solid bikes. They are made in the same factories as most name brands. There is some work involved to put it together, so you either have to have the right tools, know someone who knows what they are doing or take it to a bike shop.

The big downside with nashbar or motobecane (bikesdirect) besides not test riding them, is most bike shops will either refuse to work on them or not be happy working on them. Bike shops are struggling because of these companies. Think of you bringing your home depot lawn mower to a small engine store/repair shop. The guy may/may not work on it, but regardless he will have a bitter taste in his mouth working on it.


I've ridden a higher-end bikes direct road bike for the last 10-years. I've probably taken it to 5 different shops over the years in several different places in the country. No bike shop has had any issue whatsoever working on it. Several bike mechanics were genuinely interested in my experience with it. My impression is that most bike shops have adapted to the internet age by focusing on making their profits were service rather than on new bike sales. They are happy to take your money regardless of what brand bike you bring them. If a bike shop gives you attitude because of the brand of bike you brought them to work on, find a better bike shop!

Naismith
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby Naismith » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:23 am

Some good advice here, but don't stress or think you must spend a lot. My bicycle is my primary means of transportation: I commute 9 miles a day and we also ride bikes on the weekend for fun. But I don't have a particularly fancy bike. Currently a Fuji Crosstown step-through, which is great for me because of lower-back issues. A lot of folks would sneer at such a low-class bike (right around $400), but it gets me where I want to go.

I endorse the importance of proper fit. I am only 5'2" tall, so getting a smaller frame is crucial.

As a woman, I also struggle to find a comfortable saddle. A lot of good bike shops have "libraries" where you can check out different seats until you find a fit. We went to perhaps the biggest bike shop in our state, but they did not carry any seats from
http://www.terrybicycles.com/
which are ergonomically designed to fit a woman. I love mine!

I also use the hybrid tires that have a row of knobs or indentations on either side. But we run 2" tires, which is perfect for the trails we do. And because I am a commuter, I do invest in the kevlar or other flat-resistant resistant version.

Being over 60, we like the slower pace of cycling. We have taken bike trips of over 200 miles, but not more than 45 miles a day:)

guitarguy
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:52 am

I also found the Fuji Traverse 1.7 bike for $449...

$50 more than the FX 2 from Treck, but has disk brakes.

There hasn't been much mention of Fuji on here but they seem to sell some high end stuff. Any thoughts on this make/model?

Enjoying all the shopping around! 8-)

why3not
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby why3not » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:04 pm

Agree with posters who say you dont need to blow your budget for low speed tooling around town bikes. I have put over 20k miles on my main commuter/century bike. That bike cost about $400 brand new (i bought it a few years old).
My wife runs a single speed beach cruiser around town and loves it. While she only puts 100 miles or so a year on it, she has had it for 4 years now. If/when it breaks we will just buy another $100-150 department store cheapo for her.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby WhyNotUs » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:06 pm

Guitar guy is on the verge of a home run with the Trek bike:

1.) a quality bike for your type of use (paved trail and light off)
2.) purchased from a local bike shop who will assemble it
3.) you can get them to fit it as part of purchase
4.) it is in your price range

What more info is needed? Assuming that it will fit, you have a winner.

FWIW, I have up to four bikes at any time- 29er, hybrid, road, cruiser- and spend the most time on my Fuji hybrid that I bought several years ago on sale for $280. It is a really fun bike to ride and comfortable. I have thousands of miles on my cheapest bike :oops: :oops:
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

Billionaire
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby Billionaire » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:15 pm

I haven't had time to read this entire thread and from little I read you are getting a variety of suggestions. I did see somebody mention getting the proper sized bike and I would also suggest getting properly fitted on the bike. I'm not sure KMART or Walmart has the staff to properly fit you on the bike. I see loads of people riding around with their seats too low and they end up looking like clowns riding tricycles at the circus.

There is a guy in my area who apparently is an expert on fitting people (really hard-core cyclists) on bikes, and charges a lot of money, but most good bike shops include it in the purchase of a new bike.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby WhyNotUs » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:21 pm

FWIW, I would not recommend Bike Direct bikes to anyone who does not have the background and tools to work on their own bike. A local bike shop gets you proper assembly and a fit so that you are enjoying your ride from day one. Also expect a free adjustment after the first 100 miles to tighten cables and make minor adjustments.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby TheGreyingDuke » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:39 pm

I have been riding since I was 20, now almost 70, lots of bikes have passed through. The idea of someone who has not ridden in years buying a bike on Craigslist, something I have done with success, has many pitfalls. Size is critical, not just frame but the top tube, stem, the width of bars, etc. I tink the OP needs an in-person fitting at a bike shop.

In addition, say you buy a five-year-old bike on CL, new it cost $900 and you got it for $450. The first thing you better do is a complete tune/overhaul. If you are not going to do it yourself figure $300 at a shop (chain, cassette, re-pack bottom bracket, new cables. tires and tubes. Sure, you could skip some of these items but you will need them in the nex year of riding anyway so might just as well get it fro the get go.

Now your bike has cost you $750 a big $150 savings over new, which to my mind is chump change to get a proper fit.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

guitarguy
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:57 pm

We've ruled out shopping at a big box store, or on CL, or the like. We're planning on a local shop.

For any Trek people in here, can anyone comment on the FX vs FX 1 vs FX 2 bikes? Last years model of the FX 2 is on sale, slightly more expensive than the FX.

$359 - FX: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... rCode=grey

$409 - FX 1: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... Code=black

$399 (on sale from $489) - FX 2: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... rCode=blue

The lack of a "compare" function on the Trek website is a bit disappointing right about now. :annoyed

EDIT: for the FX 2...they do have my size (based on the size chart...hopefully that is reliable since I'm 6'3" and there's no overlap), but I'd have to settle a little bit on color since they don't have black/grey which would've probably been my first choice. But the blue isn't bad either.

chinto
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby chinto » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:22 pm

alfaspider wrote:If it's relatively flat where you live, consider a single speed bike. There's much less to break and maintain if you don't have to shift, and the simplicity can be really nice for a beginner.


Just a comment on this, this is important if you are planning on biking in the winter is a snow/ice area. But I would also consider the older 3 speeds. You get some gearing and yet they are sealed and impervious to weather.

guitarguy
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:37 pm

chinto wrote:
alfaspider wrote:If it's relatively flat where you live, consider a single speed bike. There's much less to break and maintain if you don't have to shift, and the simplicity can be really nice for a beginner.


Just a comment on this, this is important if you are planning on biking in the winter is a snow/ice area. But I would also consider the older 3 speeds. You get some gearing and yet they are sealed and impervious to weather.


We won't be planning on riding in bad weather!

fourniks
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fourniks » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:47 pm

guitarguy wrote:We've ruled out shopping at a big box store, or on CL, or the like. We're planning on a local shop.

For any Trek people in here, can anyone comment on the FX vs FX 1 vs FX 2 bikes? Last years model of the FX 2 is on sale, slightly more expensive than the FX.

$359 - FX: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... rCode=grey

$409 - FX 1: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... Code=black

$399 (on sale from $489) - FX 2: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... rCode=blue

The lack of a "compare" function on the Trek website is a bit disappointing right about now. :annoyed

EDIT: for the FX 2...they do have my size (based on the size chart...hopefully that is reliable since I'm 6'3" and there's no overlap), but I'd have to settle a little bit on color since they don't have black/grey which would've probably been my first choice. But the blue isn't bad either.


I would go with the FX2 - more bike for the money. It is an 8x3 (24 gears) vs 7x3 for the other two and you get an upgrade in the rear derailleur.

Make sure you test ride it first to make sure it fits.

Four

guitarguy
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:55 pm

fourniks wrote:
guitarguy wrote:We've ruled out shopping at a big box store, or on CL, or the like. We're planning on a local shop.

For any Trek people in here, can anyone comment on the FX vs FX 1 vs FX 2 bikes? Last years model of the FX 2 is on sale, slightly more expensive than the FX.

$359 - FX: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... rCode=grey

$409 - FX 1: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... Code=black

$399 (on sale from $489) - FX 2: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... rCode=blue

The lack of a "compare" function on the Trek website is a bit disappointing right about now. :annoyed

EDIT: for the FX 2...they do have my size (based on the size chart...hopefully that is reliable since I'm 6'3" and there's no overlap), but I'd have to settle a little bit on color since they don't have black/grey which would've probably been my first choice. But the blue isn't bad either.


I would go with the FX2 - more bike for the money. It is an 8x3 (24 gears) vs 7x3 for the other two and you get an upgrade in the rear derailleur.

Make sure you test ride it first to make sure it fits.

Four


Those were some of the things I noticed as well when manually comparing the different models.

I'm going to call my local store today since they have it in stock to see if they will match the price. When shopping online (free ship to store and assembly included) the price is on sale from $489 to $399, but the retailer store site doesn't show that sale price.

I'm also going to ask about the return policy. If I use their size chart there is only one frame size (22.5) that fits me at 6'3"...no overlap there like some of the other frame sizes overlap based on rider height. So I'm *guessing* the fit will be correct. But still, if I order online and get to the store and for some reason it doesn't work...I need to see if they'll return or exchange.

fourniks
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fourniks » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:13 pm

guitarguy wrote:
fourniks wrote:
guitarguy wrote:We've ruled out shopping at a big box store, or on CL, or the like. We're planning on a local shop.

For any Trek people in here, can anyone comment on the FX vs FX 1 vs FX 2 bikes? Last years model of the FX 2 is on sale, slightly more expensive than the FX.

$359 - FX: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... rCode=grey

$409 - FX 1: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... Code=black

$399 (on sale from $489) - FX 2: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... rCode=blue

The lack of a "compare" function on the Trek website is a bit disappointing right about now. :annoyed

EDIT: for the FX 2...they do have my size (based on the size chart...hopefully that is reliable since I'm 6'3" and there's no overlap), but I'd have to settle a little bit on color since they don't have black/grey which would've probably been my first choice. But the blue isn't bad either.


I would go with the FX2 - more bike for the money. It is an 8x3 (24 gears) vs 7x3 for the other two and you get an upgrade in the rear derailleur.

Make sure you test ride it first to make sure it fits.

Four


Those were some of the things I noticed as well when manually comparing the different models.

I'm going to call my local store today since they have it in stock to see if they will match the price. When shopping online (free ship to store and assembly included) the price is on sale from $489 to $399, but the retailer store site doesn't show that sale price.

I'm also going to ask about the return policy. If I use their size chart there is only one frame size (22.5) that fits me at 6'3"...no overlap there like some of the other frame sizes overlap based on rider height. So I'm *guessing* the fit will be correct. But still, if I order online and get to the store and for some reason it doesn't work...I need to see if they'll return or exchange.


Guitarguy - ride it at the shop - this is a must. At a minumum take it around the parking lot, if not down the street. Ask the trek salesperson for their opinion if you aren't sure. They should be able to swap out some parts, such as a stem, to make it fit better.

Seat post should be extended so that your legs are almost fully extended when the pedal is at the 6 o'clock position. They can also move the seat fore/aft. They're staff should be giving you plenty of feedback.

stoptothink
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby stoptothink » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:16 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Andyrunner wrote:
guitarguy wrote:I have also seen a couple mentions here and online for Nashbar brand bikes. Any additional comments on those?


I have two bikesdirect bikes. Love them, much cheaper then the bike shop and are solid bikes. They are made in the same factories as most name brands. There is some work involved to put it together, so you either have to have the right tools, know someone who knows what they are doing or take it to a bike shop.

The big downside with nashbar or motobecane (bikesdirect) besides not test riding them, is most bike shops will either refuse to work on them or not be happy working on them. Bike shops are struggling because of these companies. Think of you bringing your home depot lawn mower to a small engine store/repair shop. The guy may/may not work on it, but regardless he will have a bitter taste in his mouth working on it.


I've ridden a higher-end bikes direct road bike for the last 10-years. I've probably taken it to 5 different shops over the years in several different places in the country. No bike shop has had any issue whatsoever working on it. Several bike mechanics were genuinely interested in my experience with it. My impression is that most bike shops have adapted to the internet age by focusing on making their profits were service rather than on new bike sales. They are happy to take your money regardless of what brand bike you bring them. If a bike shop gives you attitude because of the brand of bike you brought them to work on, find a better bike shop!


There are 4 bikesdirect bikes between my wife and I, and my stepfather and sister also have Motobecanes. We've had our bikes in three different states, at at least a dozen different shops; not once have I ever had a shop have an issue working on one. Of course they would love to be working on bikes which were purchased in their store, but the idea that they would be bitter about working on a bike purchased online is so bizarre that I have a difficult time even believing it.

onthecusp
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby onthecusp » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:56 pm

My wife is bothered by vibration through the handle bars and consistently found the bikes with carbon fiber front forks to be more comfortable. Don't know how much of a difference it makes in the long run if you ride a lot. I personally hardly noticed the difference.

sschoe2
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby sschoe2 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:29 pm

bogleblitz wrote:What is wrong with $99 - $200 bikes at target , Walmart or Kmart? I've been buying those my whole life and no issues with them.

As someone who rides 100 miles rides and is a member of two bike clubs I'll bite.
Department store bikes
-made of cheap heavy steel.
-One size fits all Fit is important.
-Parts are cheap stamped steel and do not last nor hold adjustments. Many are not serviceable much. Poor quality wheels and bearings.
-Assembly is often very poor. Bad cabling, not enough grease, not torqued to correct specs.
-Has a 75 mile life expectancy.

Quality bike
- quality parts that can hold adjustments and function well
-good quality bearings, frame material, wheels make a huge difference
-sized every 2cm of seat tube height and able to be adjusted for perfect fit with parts like stem saddle rails etc.
-With maintenance can last forever. I have a carbon road bike with 16k miles and a steel with 25k miles on it. I replace consumables (chain, tires, cables etc) and parts (wheels, crankset, saddle) as needed.

If you can't afford a bike store bike either try Bikesdirect.com or used. Join a club and they may loan you one and assist you in buying. Most people eventually want a roadbike. Nothing can match the efficiency and most people ride on pavement and most club rides need one. BTW the aforementioned carbon bike with 16k miles is a Bikesdirect Motobecane Immortal Force. It can keep up with $7k Looks, Cervelo's, Seven..

Billionaire
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby Billionaire » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:40 pm

OP,
I own two Trek bikes. A 5.2 Domane carbon fiber road bike AND just three weeks ago I bought a Zektor 3 fitness bike for shorter rides.
I got the Zektor for a slight discount at $799.00. I won't even tell you the price of the Domane.
My left hand has been falling asleep on the Zektor and I probably need to get the handlebar adjusted slightly. Both bikes are fun to ride.
Once you decide on the bike get ready for a walk around the store for a helmet, water bottles, water bottle holder, gloves and who knows what else.
They will also try to sell you front and rear daytime running lights, which I highly recommend. Anything to make yourself visible to automobiles and even people. Brightly colored clothing on moving body parts (socks) are also helpful to make you easy to spot.
Trek owns Bontrager, so you will see plenty of Bontrager product in the Trek store.

Happy riding.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby WhyNotUs » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:50 pm

I don't think that I need to follow the links. The difference will likely be in components- derailleurs, cranks, wheels.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

guitarguy
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:01 am

onthecusp wrote:My wife is bothered by vibration through the handle bars and consistently found the bikes with carbon fiber front forks to be more comfortable. Don't know how much of a difference it makes in the long run if you ride a lot. I personally hardly noticed the difference.


Interesting.

How about these shocks that some bikes have and some don't? Do we want solid front forks or shocks? Any advice for beginner riders there?

I was looking more at Trek bikes and there's the FX 2 on sale for $399, and then the DS1 which is $549 (not on sale). The DS1 seems to be a little more geared for "all around" use...maybe a little easier to take on light trails and still be fine on pavement than the the FX.

I plan on riding both of these at a local shop this week.

Should I be looking hard at any other brands besides Trek here? I feel like - not on purpose - most of my searches are leading to the the Trek brand.

fishboat
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fishboat » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:58 am

You seem to be basing your purchase primarily on price and theory/advice...possibly mixed in with a brief ride around a parking lot(somewhat meaningless if you don't know what you're looking for in terms of fit/geometry..etc.). I think you might be able to make a better decision if you rented a couple-few bikes close in type to what you're looking for and ride as far as you're able to. Pack a bag and go for a picnic. Search bike rental in your area (http://bicycle-rental.regionaldirectory.us/) or just check out local bike shops and see if they rent bikes, not all are listed in the directory. They'll rent hybrids specifically in the market niche you're in. The exercise will answer many of your questions.

guitarguy
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:16 am

fishboat wrote:You seem to be basing your purchase primarily on price and theory/advice...possibly mixed in with a brief ride around a parking lot(somewhat meaningless if you don't know what you're looking for in terms of fit/geometry..etc.). I think you might be able to make a better decision if you rented a couple-few bikes close in type to what you're looking for and ride as far as you're able to. Pack a bag and go for a picnic. Search bike rental in your area (http://bicycle-rental.regionaldirectory.us/) or just check out local bike shops and see if they rent bikes, not all are listed in the directory. They'll rent hybrids specifically in the market niche you're in. The exercise will answer many of your questions.


Thanks for the tip on renting...didn't really know that was an option.

Aside from that I don't know how else I'd base my decision or research other than going to a bike shop for advice on fit and for adjustments and taking a test ride on a few models...which we plan to do.

wfrobinette
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby wfrobinette » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:33 am

lightheir wrote:
bogleblitz wrote:What is wrong with $99 - $200 bikes at target , Walmart or Kmart? I've been buying those my whole life and no issues with them.


Might be fine for the OP, even though I don't recommend them.

It's as said above - if you get one of these, at BEST it'll be a bike you 'tolerate' when the weather is perfect and you're itching to get outdoors. You might like it the first few times you ride it, but it'll get old pretty quickly.

If that's all the OP aspires to do is a few rides a year of short-distance, then sure, such a <$200 bike will be fine.

However, if OP gets a 'real' bike at a local bike shop (which is unfortunately pretty pricey nowadays, $600 is about as low as they get for adult starter bikes), you're opening the door to potential REGULAR bike rides, if that's what the OP is shooting for. You can both ride and maintain a bike-store bike for a long, long time, whereas the bike-shaped objects they sell for $<200 at Target/Walmart are typically good for minimal rides, and the moment anything goes a bit off, it's the end of the bike since it's cheaper to replace it than fix it. The more you ride, the more periodic maintenance will be needed.

ANd yes, there is a big difference in the build and quality of parts between even the cheapest bike store bike and a typical Walmart <$250 bike. The difference becomes really noticeable once you commit to riding regularly for large chunks of the year, rather than 2-4x/yr total.


$600 a bike? In North Jersey I got 3 decent starter bikes from a local bike shop for $1200. Wife's was a Schwinn, mine is a Giant and can't remember what the kid's bike is.

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El Greco
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby El Greco » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:54 am

Guitar guy:

I think you'll be pleased with the FX2. If you haven't bought a new bike since you're a kid, you'll be amazed at how good it feels to ride and shift. It's a good quality bike and it won't break the bank so don't make it complicated. Go to the bike shop to be sure you have a proper fit and buy new. If you haven't biked in many years, you'll probably want to upgrade the saddle, as you'll doubtlessly noticed quite a bit of numbness in the "ahem" nether regions at first after riding for a significant distance. When I bought my Trek Hybrid years ago, I bought a seat with a slot cut through the middle, which I still use, to alleviate this problem. If you really take to biking again, you can upgrade down the line. As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought a Trek Hybrid about 10 years ago. I will probably upgrade to a higher end Trek Hybrid in the next couple of years, more as a treat than a necessity. So get thee to the dealer, get a bike, and enjoy the rest of the summer!

sschoe2
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby sschoe2 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:56 am

guitarguy wrote:
onthecusp wrote:My wife is bothered by vibration through the handle bars and consistently found the bikes with carbon fiber front forks to be more comfortable. Don't know how much of a difference it makes in the long run if you ride a lot. I personally hardly noticed the difference.


Interesting.

How about these shocks that some bikes have and some don't? Do we want solid front forks or shocks? Any advice for beginner riders there?

I was looking more at Trek bikes and there's the FX 2 on sale for $399, and then the DS1 which is $549 (not on sale). The DS1 seems to be a little more geared for "all around" use...maybe a little easier to take on light trails and still be fine on pavement than the the FX.

I plan on riding both of these at a local shop this week.

Should I be looking hard at any other brands besides Trek here? I feel like - not on purpose - most of my searches are leading to the the Trek brand.


Shocks not only add weight they make the bike more inefficient. You want a very rigid frame to transfer power from your legs to the drive train and the movement of the suspension joints and yourself are going to remove a significant amount of that power. Suspension is for off road cycling where you are doing jumps and drops even cyclocross bikes don't have suspension. Your bent knees and hips are the only suspension you need.

Any brand that doesn't come from a store that also sells regular underpants it likely to fit the bill, Motobecane, Trek, Specialized, Giant, Seven, Cannondale, Fuji, the in house brand at Performance Bike Shop Scattante.

fishboat
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fishboat » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:19 am

guitarguy wrote:
fishboat wrote:You seem to be basing your purchase primarily on price and theory/advice...possibly mixed in with a brief ride around a parking lot(somewhat meaningless if you don't know what you're looking for in terms of fit/geometry..etc.). I think you might be able to make a better decision if you rented a couple-few bikes close in type to what you're looking for and ride as far as you're able to. Pack a bag and go for a picnic. Search bike rental in your area (http://bicycle-rental.regionaldirectory.us/) or just check out local bike shops and see if they rent bikes, not all are listed in the directory. They'll rent hybrids specifically in the market niche you're in. The exercise will answer many of your questions.


Thanks for the tip on renting...didn't really know that was an option.

Aside from that I don't know how else I'd base my decision or research other than going to a bike shop for advice on fit and for adjustments and taking a test ride on a few models...which we plan to do.


"There ain't nuthin' like the real thing.." Renting, while not free, is inexpensive and some seat-time can focus things for you. You may well be able to rent the model you're looking at.

One reason there's so many very good deals on bikes on the used market is that people buy a new bike, ride it a couple times, decide it isn't for them, let it sit for a few years, and then sell the bike. This is true for $400 hybrids up through $5k+ carbon bikes. You may rent and find..nope..not for us. Sadly, people tend to bail on biking too soon. Your body needs to be accustomed to riding. People feel a sore spot after they ride (neck, butt, weak legs...) and they bail..poof. The primary reason people bail is a sore butt..that (your butt, sit bones specifically) takes breaking in, in conjunction with a proper saddle. It goes away after you ride more. Avoid the thick gel seat covers or gel seats..they only make things worse.

Some worth-while reading on seat selection:
https://www.cervelo.com/en/engineering- ... ad-saddles

My previous(early) post in this thread is still the most useful/least expensive (nearly free) entry into biking..given what you're looking for, but it takes more work..and possibly time, so it's less desirable. New from a bike shop is a safe/good option. Renting offers a more first-person experience choice.

p.s. Short version of saddle selection: 1) Determine your sit-bone width(sit on tin foil, in a riding position, on a carpeted stair, measure distance between sit bone indents). 2) Add 20mm to your sit bone width and find a saddle width that overall width. Saddle cutouts may or may not make any difference. You're not sitting on the center of the saddle..you're sitting on your sit bones on the outer lobes of the rear saddle.

financeidiot
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:10 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby financeidiot » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:50 am

guitarguy wrote:DW and I have decided to buy bikes! Yay!

Since we have not had bikes since we were children and much of our friend/family circle is bike-less, we are looking for some recommendations and advice to help aside from what we can find on google.

Our usage expectation: 80% riding on pavement in a city type atmosphere commuting to restaurants and light shopping, and on paved bike routes thorough local parks, but we also would like to have something that can handle some light trail riding on other terrain without too much issue. I could see myself getting into other non-pavement trails and that type of terrain more easily than DW, but we'd both like the option to be there even though we know the primary use will be on pavement.

Our budget is hopefully in the $400 range (or under of course) to find something of decent quality for beginner riders with our usage expectations.

Any advice or recommendations would be helpful!


Can you describe more about:
1. How much distance will you be riding and how often? Do you see yourself riding more than 10 miles at a time? (The further you ride, the more you need to optimize for durability and performance)
2. Do you live in a flat or hilly area? (Gears are good for hills, weight is annoying for hills)

Bikes are pretty simple machines, even a crappy bike should be good enough for a 1 -5 mile daily commute. I ride a 1992 steel frame Nishiki I got for $65 in 2008. A ran into someone upgrading to a new bike at a bike store and bought his old one from him on the spot. I ride every day in Washington, DC, but rarely more than 5 miles. I'm not in love with my bike, but it's durable (though heavy), it's not a target for bike theft, it gets me where I need to go, and wheel replacements are reasonable if I get hit by a car (already happened once, driver was turning right while looking left). The further you go and the more performance needed, the more you should spend.

If you start off with a used bike (or renting) you can sell the used bike for close to what you bought it for and upgrade to a bike you truly appreciate. You can also test how much often you ride. There's a lot of nice bikes bought with good intentions but the owners just don't like biking.

guitarguy
Posts: 1573
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:34 am

financeidiot wrote:Can you describe more about:
1. How much distance will you be riding and how often? Do you see yourself riding more than 10 miles at a time? (The further you ride, the more you need to optimize for durability and performance)
2. Do you live in a flat or hilly area? (Gears are good for hills, weight is annoying for hills)


1. I can see several types of uses/distances for us...but I honestly would like to go minimalist style and have one bike that can be the most versatile and cover a wide variety of scenarios. At least right now I really can't see myself collecting a stable of bikes to have the best fit for each ride, so even though a "one-size-fits-all" bike of course isn't going to give me the best tool suited for each scenario, I'm hoping to find one bike that would be at least serviceable for all. For example:

First, there are several local trails/paths that are within 30 mins driving distance from our house. These range from maybe 5-25 miles in length and are mostly paved/asphalt - so fairly smooth terrain. DW and I were talking about getting a little bike rack and trying to set aside time for a ride on some of these trails about once a week as an effort to do something active together that we both enjoy aside from walking the dog. We won't be trying to break any speed records here...just leisurely and fun rides.

Second, we live in the burbs, but we live very close to 3 different smaller downtown type areas that we could definitely see ourselves biking to for a date night out or whatever. We otherwise don't frequent these areas because at say 3-8 miles each way they are a little too far out for walking, and it's a pain in the butt to park most of the time. So we normally stay out. Having the option to bike to these places will be great!

Third, there are also single track type mountain biking trails accessible to us at a local metro park, which I would personally love to try out at the beginner/moderate stage. Nothing too crazy here...but I honestly could see myself really enjoying this type of riding.

2. Aside from the mountain biking type trails mentioned above, our area is mostly flat.

Based on all of the above, I'm still wondering if a hybrid bike is right, or maybe a mountain bike with an extra set of road tires that I could change out if I want to ride a long distance on pavement would be better? I dunno. So many types of bikes! More than I knew existed. What is going to be the most versatile for the above scenarios?

alfaspider
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby alfaspider » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:26 pm

guitarguy wrote:
financeidiot wrote:Can you describe more about:
1. How much distance will you be riding and how often? Do you see yourself riding more than 10 miles at a time? (The further you ride, the more you need to optimize for durability and performance)
2. Do you live in a flat or hilly area? (Gears are good for hills, weight is annoying for hills)


1. I can see several types of uses/distances for us...but I honestly would like to go minimalist style and have one bike that can be the most versatile and cover a wide variety of scenarios. At least right now I really can't see myself collecting a stable of bikes to have the best fit for each ride, so even though a "one-size-fits-all" bike of course isn't going to give me the best tool suited for each scenario, I'm hoping to find one bike that would be at least serviceable for all. For example:

First, there are several local trails/paths that are within 30 mins driving distance from our house. These range from maybe 5-25 miles in length and are mostly paved/asphalt - so fairly smooth terrain. DW and I were talking about getting a little bike rack and trying to set aside time for a ride on some of these trails about once a week as an effort to do something active together that we both enjoy aside from walking the dog. We won't be trying to break any speed records here...just leisurely and fun rides.

Second, we live in the burbs, but we live very close to 3 different smaller downtown type areas that we could definitely see ourselves biking to for a date night out or whatever. We otherwise don't frequent these areas because at say 3-8 miles each way they are a little too far out for walking, and it's a pain in the butt to park most of the time. So we normally stay out. Having the option to bike to these places will be great!

Third, there are also single track type mountain biking trails accessible to us at a local metro park, which I would personally love to try out at the beginner/moderate stage. Nothing too crazy here...but I honestly could see myself really enjoying this type of riding.

2. Aside from the mountain biking type trails mentioned above, our area is mostly flat.

Based on all of the above, I'm still wondering if a hybrid bike is right, or maybe a mountain bike with an extra set of road tires that I could change out if I want to ride a long distance on pavement would be better? I dunno. So many types of bikes! More than I knew existed. What is going to be the most versatile for the above scenarios?



A mountain bike would be strongly preferred if you are doing anything more than butter-smooth single track trails. A second set of would be nice, but keep in mind that swapping out tires is a bit of a pain- you'd really want another set of wheels, but that's a substantial additional cost. Realistically, you won't want to swap tires between rides. Another thing I'd mention if you are going that route is to avoid full suspension unless your budget is well over $1k- stick to hardtails.

guitarguy
Posts: 1573
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:43 pm

alfaspider wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
financeidiot wrote:Can you describe more about:
1. How much distance will you be riding and how often? Do you see yourself riding more than 10 miles at a time? (The further you ride, the more you need to optimize for durability and performance)
2. Do you live in a flat or hilly area? (Gears are good for hills, weight is annoying for hills)


1. I can see several types of uses/distances for us...but I honestly would like to go minimalist style and have one bike that can be the most versatile and cover a wide variety of scenarios. At least right now I really can't see myself collecting a stable of bikes to have the best fit for each ride, so even though a "one-size-fits-all" bike of course isn't going to give me the best tool suited for each scenario, I'm hoping to find one bike that would be at least serviceable for all. For example:

First, there are several local trails/paths that are within 30 mins driving distance from our house. These range from maybe 5-25 miles in length and are mostly paved/asphalt - so fairly smooth terrain. DW and I were talking about getting a little bike rack and trying to set aside time for a ride on some of these trails about once a week as an effort to do something active together that we both enjoy aside from walking the dog. We won't be trying to break any speed records here...just leisurely and fun rides.

Second, we live in the burbs, but we live very close to 3 different smaller downtown type areas that we could definitely see ourselves biking to for a date night out or whatever. We otherwise don't frequent these areas because at say 3-8 miles each way they are a little too far out for walking, and it's a pain in the butt to park most of the time. So we normally stay out. Having the option to bike to these places will be great!

Third, there are also single track type mountain biking trails accessible to us at a local metro park, which I would personally love to try out at the beginner/moderate stage. Nothing too crazy here...but I honestly could see myself really enjoying this type of riding.

2. Aside from the mountain biking type trails mentioned above, our area is mostly flat.

Based on all of the above, I'm still wondering if a hybrid bike is right, or maybe a mountain bike with an extra set of road tires that I could change out if I want to ride a long distance on pavement would be better? I dunno. So many types of bikes! More than I knew existed. What is going to be the most versatile for the above scenarios?



A mountain bike would be strongly preferred if you are doing anything more than butter-smooth single track trails. A second set of would be nice, but keep in mind that swapping out tires is a bit of a pain- you'd really want another set of wheels, but that's a substantial additional cost. Realistically, you won't want to swap tires between rides. Another thing I'd mention if you are going that route is to avoid full suspension unless your budget is well over $1k- stick to hardtails.


The more I read, the more I think a mountain bike is going to be the way to go. I keep reading that a mountain bike can be used on pavement and it might be a bit slow, but still can be serviceable. Even better with a change of tires if I want to complicate things. For my purposes, as I mentioned, my pavement riding isn't going to be geared towards breaking any speed records. But the reverse - taking a hybrid type bike onto the trails...which I just flat out know I'm going to want to do - isn't going to be so good.

Currently looking at the Trek Marlin 5 and Specialized Rockhopper 29...both in stock at local shops. Both have 29" wheels (I'm 6'3") and disc brakes.

Obviously I'm excited to get there and try some of these out! Online info can only take me so far.
Last edited by guitarguy on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

financeidiot
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:10 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby financeidiot » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:44 pm

For what you describe, cheap new or used mountain bikes are your best option over hybrids. A hybrid will be lighter and slightly better for road biking but much worse for trail riding.

Mountain bikes are heavier, but that won't be too inconvenient for 3-8 miles of flat biking into town and it will give you what you need for trail riding. The shocks are pretty comfy on roads too if you're not going far. It doesn't sound like you're going to be pushing your gear to the limits so no need to worry about top performance. I wouldn't even bother having a separate set of road tires until you're biking more than once per week or in icy conditions.

Keep it simple and have fun!

alfaspider
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby alfaspider » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:20 pm

guitarguy wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
financeidiot wrote:Can you describe more about:
1. How much distance will you be riding and how often? Do you see yourself riding more than 10 miles at a time? (The further you ride, the more you need to optimize for durability and performance)
2. Do you live in a flat or hilly area? (Gears are good for hills, weight is annoying for hills)


1. I can see several types of uses/distances for us...but I honestly would like to go minimalist style and have one bike that can be the most versatile and cover a wide variety of scenarios. At least right now I really can't see myself collecting a stable of bikes to have the best fit for each ride, so even though a "one-size-fits-all" bike of course isn't going to give me the best tool suited for each scenario, I'm hoping to find one bike that would be at least serviceable for all. For example:

First, there are several local trails/paths that are within 30 mins driving distance from our house. These range from maybe 5-25 miles in length and are mostly paved/asphalt - so fairly smooth terrain. DW and I were talking about getting a little bike rack and trying to set aside time for a ride on some of these trails about once a week as an effort to do something active together that we both enjoy aside from walking the dog. We won't be trying to break any speed records here...just leisurely and fun rides.

Second, we live in the burbs, but we live very close to 3 different smaller downtown type areas that we could definitely see ourselves biking to for a date night out or whatever. We otherwise don't frequent these areas because at say 3-8 miles each way they are a little too far out for walking, and it's a pain in the butt to park most of the time. So we normally stay out. Having the option to bike to these places will be great!

Third, there are also single track type mountain biking trails accessible to us at a local metro park, which I would personally love to try out at the beginner/moderate stage. Nothing too crazy here...but I honestly could see myself really enjoying this type of riding.

2. Aside from the mountain biking type trails mentioned above, our area is mostly flat.

Based on all of the above, I'm still wondering if a hybrid bike is right, or maybe a mountain bike with an extra set of road tires that I could change out if I want to ride a long distance on pavement would be better? I dunno. So many types of bikes! More than I knew existed. What is going to be the most versatile for the above scenarios?



A mountain bike would be strongly preferred if you are doing anything more than butter-smooth single track trails. A second set of would be nice, but keep in mind that swapping out tires is a bit of a pain- you'd really want another set of wheels, but that's a substantial additional cost. Realistically, you won't want to swap tires between rides. Another thing I'd mention if you are going that route is to avoid full suspension unless your budget is well over $1k- stick to hardtails.


The more I read, the more I think a mountain bike is going to be the way to go. I keep reading that a mountain bike can be used on pavement and it might be a bit slow, but still can be serviceable. Even better with a change of tires if I want to complicate things. For my purposes, as I mentioned, my pavement riding isn't going to be geared towards breaking any speed records. But the reverse - taking a hybrid type bike onto the trails...which I just flat out know I'm going to want to do - isn't going to be so good.

Currently looking at the Trek Marlin 5 and Specialized Rockhopper 29...both in stock at local shops. Both have 29" wheels (I'm 6'3") and disc brakes.

Obviously I'm excited to get there and try some of these out! Online info can only take me so far.


The Trek or Specialized will be fine for an entry level mountain bike- that's what they are designed to be. Be careful - the bug might bite you. I started with a specialized Rockhopper in your price range and now ride a Trek Top Fuel when I venture offroad, which was a $5k bike new :oops:

alfaspider
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby alfaspider » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:30 pm

financeidiot wrote:
Mountain bikes are heavier, but that won't be too inconvenient for 3-8 miles of flat biking into town and it will give you what you need for trail riding.


That's not even necessarily the case. Mountain bikes can get quite light, and there are some very heavy hybrids out there. The biggest difference between road/hybrid/cyclocross/mountain bikes is geometry. A time trial road bike will have the most aggressive geometry- you are leaning forward with your weight on your upper body. A downhill mountain bike would have the least aggressive geometry- you are leaning way back so you are actually almost hanging back on the handlebars when you are in the saddle. Geometry will impact comfort, balance, and power output. The aggressive geometry of the time trial bike is ideal for putting power down on flat ground but makes the handling very twitchy. The slack geometry of a downhill mountain bike makes it very difficult to put power down, but keeps your balance back so the suspension can better absorb bumps and you are not at risk of flipping forward.

Many hybrids have geometry that is essentially identical to many cross country mountain bikes. The biggest difference is that the mountain bike will have clearance for wider tires and usually have a suspension fork. Most hybrids will come with tires that are way too narrow for serious off-road use.

You can ride quite a ways on a mountain bike- I've done a century on one (100 miles), but I wouldn't really recommend it. No problem for a 3-8 mile ride, but you will take a bit longer to get there. To use an obvious car analogy: a mountain bike feels like driving a jeep wrangler, a hybrid is like driving a crossover like a Honda CRV, and a roadbike is like a sports car.

guitarguy
Posts: 1573
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:46 am

Well...for those on the edge of their seat...I have an update!

I went to a local shop yesterday and test rode a Trek Marlin 5 mountain bike. In exchange for leaving my drivers license with them I was able to take the bike through the neighborhood and even took the "opportunity" to hop up a curb and over a couple hills onto grass. It felt GREAT. Really comfortable overall over my approx 30 minute ride. Being tall, I think a "29er" might be for me. And bonus...on sale for $449 so a fairly reasonable price. This was a 2017 model.

They also let me know that at another local store they have a 2018 model in my size...the LAST one available anywhere around me, and I can get that for the same price as the 2017 model. Plus I like the color better. The 2018 also has upgrades to a better fork (supposedly...although online reviews say they're basically the same), and hydraulic disc brakes. They are moving this model over to their store with my name on it, and if I like that one as much as the 2017 I will prob jump on it!

http://www.wheelworx.ie/Marlin%205%2020 ... 20Gunmetal

In the meantime, I'm going to a different store today to hopefully try a Giant Talon 3 model...hoping they have one my size in stock. It'll be interesting to try the 27.5" wheels vs the 29. This model is $70 more at $520 - a little more than I wanted to spend honestly, but it has a mix of Altus and Acera components as opposed to a mix of Tourney and Altus on the Marlin...so it looks like a bit of a step up on that. Everything else appears to be pretty equal between the two.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/talon-3

fishboat
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fishboat » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:18 pm

guitarguy wrote:\ It'll be interesting to try the 27.5" wheels vs the 29.


Wheel size doesn't matter. The "29er" is a marketing thing more than anything else..it creates a "buzz". 29ers are the same wheel size as 700c road bike tires. Typically mountain bikes came with 26 inch wheels. I believe 26 inch wheels are also more of a standard available size when you leave the USA.

In general no one tire size is faster than another (26, 29er/700c, 650b/27.5.............) as your gearing compensates for different sizes. Tires themselves(profile, composition..) do matter in useful attributes like rolling resistance and holding in wet-pavement.

Also..see if the bike shop will swap out your (presumably) knobby tires with more of a street tire. Profiles like the following. You'll need to search for similar profiles in whatever tire size you need. Particularly for your wife. Riding knobby mountain bike tires on smooth pavement is somewhat an exercise in futility. The rolling resistance is terrible & it'll make riding so much less fun...sort of like always riding in soft sand even when you're on hard pavement. Cycling is supposed to be fun..and is if you do it right.

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/product ... tire?fltr=

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/product ... -inch-tire

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/product ... -inch-tire

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/product ... ur-26-inch

I'm not finding my mtb tires on the web. They're basically mild-tread slicks in the center with cleated-ribs on the far edges. They're fast on streets, rail trails, and off trail. If I get too far off trail the cleats on the front-side walls grip the trail so I don't move around much.

alfaspider
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby alfaspider » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:28 pm

fishboat wrote:
guitarguy wrote:\ It'll be interesting to try the 27.5" wheels vs the 29.


Wheel size doesn't matter. The "29er" is a marketing thing more than anything else..it creates a "buzz". 29ers are the same wheel size as 700c road bike tires. Typically mountain bikes came with 26 inch wheels. I believe 26 inch wheels are also more of a standard available size when you leave the USA.



I would say it's more than just marketing. The advantage of the 29er is that it rolls better over obstacles such as roots and rocks, and can provide better ground clearance as compared to a 26er. The disadvantage is additional rotating mass to overcome and generally less sharp rhandling response. For mountain bike duty, a people feel the tradeoff is worth it. The 27.5 splits the difference with a 26.

lightheir
Posts: 2060
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby lightheir » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:32 pm

alfaspider wrote:
fishboat wrote:
guitarguy wrote:\ It'll be interesting to try the 27.5" wheels vs the 29.


Wheel size doesn't matter. The "29er" is a marketing thing more than anything else..it creates a "buzz". 29ers are the same wheel size as 700c road bike tires. Typically mountain bikes came with 26 inch wheels. I believe 26 inch wheels are also more of a standard available size when you leave the USA.



I would say it's more than just marketing. The advantage of the 29er is that it rolls better over obstacles such as roots and rocks, and can provide better ground clearance as compared to a 26er. The disadvantage is additional rotating mass to overcome and generally less sharp rhandling response. For mountain bike duty, a people feel the tradeoff is worth it. The 27.5 splits the difference with a 26.


I def agree with this - it's a small, but real benefit of the larger 29" wheels. (We're now off-topic, but it's interesting!)

I have a friend who upgraded recently from the 26 to 29" wheels. There's a local steep climb stretch with lots of debris that he could NEVER get up on a 26" - I can barely do it on my 26" if I go all-out hammering to keep the wheels moving on the sliding gravel and rock debris.

He upgraded to a 29", and instantly went up it like it wasn't that big a deal. He could also pedal slower/easier to get up it whereas I had to hammer just to stay forward moving. Since he went to a 29", he now can successfully go up some similarly steep sections that I routinely fail on or barely survive, and he's no stronger than he was before (I crush him on nontechnical ascents by as big a margin.) That convinced me that it's the real deal.

fishboat
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fishboat » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:52 pm

alfaspider wrote:
fishboat wrote:
guitarguy wrote:\ It'll be interesting to try the 27.5" wheels vs the 29.


Wheel size doesn't matter. The "29er" is a marketing thing more than anything else..it creates a "buzz". 29ers are the same wheel size as 700c road bike tires. Typically mountain bikes came with 26 inch wheels. I believe 26 inch wheels are also more of a standard available size when you leave the USA.



I would say it's more than just marketing. The advantage of the 29er is that it rolls better over obstacles such as roots and rocks, and can provide better ground clearance as compared to a 26er. The disadvantage is additional rotating mass to overcome and generally less sharp rhandling response. For mountain bike duty, a people feel the tradeoff is worth it. The 27.5 splits the difference with a 26.


Within the context of this discussion, for the OP's intended utility
it doesn't matter. On the street..it doesn't matter. For more aggressive riders on more aggressive trails..it's a marginal improvement. Primarily, for most people, on most trails, "29er" is a way for marketeers to create a buzz and sell new stuff to people who already own all the other stuff. Much like selling a remastered Clapton CD to people that already own that same Clapton CD. Of course, if one is buying a new bike, there's no reason not to buy a 29er...just another option.

guitarguy
Posts: 1573
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:03 pm

Interesting info!

I was curious just to see if there was a different "feel" with the 27.5 vs the 29. Being a tall guy, not sure if I'll have any difference of opinion or not.

If nothing else, the Giant bike seems to have a level up on some of the components and seems worth a look/ride.

But true...I'm not going to really be pushing the bike to its limits so performance wise it probably doesn't matter.

guitarguy
Posts: 1573
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:11 pm

fishboat wrote:I'm not finding my mtb tires on the web. They're basically mild-tread slicks in the center with cleated-ribs on the far edges. They're fast on streets, rail trails, and off trail. If I get too far off trail the cleats on the front-side walls grip the trail so I don't move around much.


That sounds kind of like exactly what would fit my riding purposes. Do you have any make/model info?

Does this type of tire have any downsides? Sounds like the best of both worlds.

fishboat
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fishboat » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:23 pm

You're looking at Trek & Giant..might as well look at Specialized too (the big three)

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/b ... 50b/115480

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/b ... -29/115566

Fuji, Diamondback, and GT are other options(Performance has brick and mortar stores to ship to):

http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/w ... &metaData=

guitarguy
Posts: 1573
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:34 pm

fishboat wrote:You're looking at Trek & Giant..might as well look at Specialized too (the big three)

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/b ... 50b/115480

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/b ... -29/115566

Fuji, Diamondback, and GT are other options(Performance has brick and mortar stores to ship to):

http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/w ... &metaData=


I actually was looking at the Rockhopper also but didn't type it up on here.

I notice that the Giant and the Specialized both have the Acera rear derailleur whereas the Treck has the Tourney which is "2 levels down" on the quality scale as far as I can find.

How "important" is the rear derailleur for durability and reliabliy? Assuming negligible difference in price at call it $70 difference, is this particular advantage really worth high attention?

I'm still a little new to judging these components and I know these are all entry level bikes, but if there is a clear winner at this price point for reasons I don't know, assuming all 3 are about equally comfortable to ride, I'd appreciate that feedback!

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bltkmt
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby bltkmt » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:38 pm


fishboat
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fishboat » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:44 pm

guitarguy wrote:
fishboat wrote:I'm not finding my mtb tires on the web. They're basically mild-tread slicks in the center with cleated-ribs on the far edges. They're fast on streets, rail trails, and off trail. If I get too far off trail the cleats on the front-side walls grip the trail so I don't move around much.


That sounds kind of like exactly what would fit my riding purposes. Do you have any make/model info?

Does this type of tire have any downsides? Sounds like the best of both worlds.


I bought my tires (26 inch) several years ago..they are Bontragers, but they probably don't sell them anymore. You'll need to settle on (identify) a tires size first and then see what's available in that size. Looking at Bontrager tires..this is close:

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/equi ... Code=black

or this:

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/equi ... Code=black

Mine also have a kevlar lining built in to prevent punctures. Nice tires.

..just checked my bike. I have Bontrager Hard Case-Plus 26x2 tires. Though the available tires now look different. The above links are close.

As for downsides? If you get into a rough and/or wet trail that really needs a heavily lugged tire, then you'll wish you had a more aggressive tire. If it were me..and I planned more street/light trail use than rougher trails, I'd go with a tire like above as it'll be better for most of my use rather than buy a tire for occasional rough use and pay the price of poor performance for most of my use(the street).

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artthomp
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby artthomp » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:45 pm

When I was 73 years old and recovering from hip surgery I discovered I could more easily ride a stationary bike than walk any distance. The physical therapist suggested I might investigate the purchase of a "surfer" bike. The first bike I purchased was a Schwinn 7 speed bike for $200 at Kmart. I rode that bike, mostly on flat ground, for about a year. When I decided I would like to be able o ride up hills once in a while I purchased a Trek Verve 3 with 24 speeds for $650. I now ride 10-20 miles a day but I still can't comfortably walk a couple of miles.
Art

fishboat
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fishboat » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:01 pm

guitarguy wrote:
How "important" is the rear derailleur for durability and reliabliy? Assuming negligible difference in price at call it $70 difference, is this particular advantage really worth high attention?

I'm still a little new to judging these components and I know these are all entry level bikes, but if there is a clear winner at this price point for reasons I don't know, assuming all 3 are about equally comfortable to ride, I'd appreciate that feedback!


This will sound lousy, but I'm not well versed in components used on entry-level mountain bikes. I bought my mtb bike nearly 30 years ago with Shimano Exage on it..never had a spec of trouble with the group. Investing in good components is worthwhile. A bike that doesn't shift right is a PITA, while easy, flawless shifting is a real pleasure.

As a rule of thumb, when faced with a more expensive bike with cheaper components on it (wheels, derailleurs, brakes, crank...) or a less expensive bike(frame) with better components..pick the latter. You'll notice defects in cheaper components long before you feel some deficiency in a frame.

Make sure mounting a rack on the back of the bike is easy(hard-tail bikes only, no rear suspension)..sounds like you'll need one. Nashbar has good, inexpensive panniers/bags.

fishboat
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fishboat » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:17 pm

artthomp wrote:When I was 73 years old and recovering from hip surgery I discovered I could more easily ride a stationary bike than walk any distance. The physical therapist suggested I might investigate the purchase of a "surfer" bike. The first bike I purchased was a Schwinn 7 speed bike for $200 at Kmart. I rode that bike, mostly on flat ground, for about a year. When I decided I would like to be able o ride up hills once in a while I purchased a Trek Verve 3 with 24 speeds for $650. I now ride 10-20 miles a day but I still can't comfortably walk a couple of miles.


10-20 every day is awesome..good on you. Cycling is a fountain of youth. Fun to do, easy on your bones, and good aerobic training. A friend of mine just came back from a family reunion up north where her 80 year old father lead the family of nearly 25 people on a 28 mile bike ride. Most of them completed the entire route..some half his age didn't..very few kept up with him all the way.

guitarguy
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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby guitarguy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:53 pm

fishboat wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
How "important" is the rear derailleur for durability and reliabliy? Assuming negligible difference in price at call it $70 difference, is this particular advantage really worth high attention?

I'm still a little new to judging these components and I know these are all entry level bikes, but if there is a clear winner at this price point for reasons I don't know, assuming all 3 are about equally comfortable to ride, I'd appreciate that feedback!


This will sound lousy, but I'm not well versed in components used on entry-level mountain bikes. I bought my mtb bike nearly 30 years ago with Shimano Exage on it..never had a spec of trouble with the group. Investing in good components is worthwhile. A bike that doesn't shift right is a PITA, while easy, flawless shifting is a real pleasure.

As a rule of thumb, when faced with a more expensive bike with cheaper components on it (wheels, derailleurs, brakes, crank...) or a less expensive bike(frame) with better components..pick the latter. You'll notice defects in cheaper components long before you feel some deficiency in a frame.

Make sure mounting a rack on the back of the bike is easy(hard-tail bikes only, no rear suspension)..sounds like you'll need one. Nashbar has good, inexpensive panniers/bags.


It's not lousy. If 2 steps up from "crap" is still "crap" to your knowledge then so be it. It's cool. I normally don't buy cheap and then multiple times...tools, music gear, etc etc...buy once cry once. The difference though, is those are things I know I will use long term, and I know what my needs are. I can't OTOH justify spending twice (or more) the money on a bike that's honestly more than I really need at the moment being a beginner and non-serious rider. On top of that what will my real needs be long term? Will I take up mountain biking more seriously? Or maybe I'll ride on pavement often and trails infrequently...so when I want to upgrade it won't even be a mtb. So...that lead me to the decision of not buying a big box piece of total crap, but instead just something of overall serviceable quality. Entry level components or not.

The thing is, I'm looking at a situation different than what you described for your rule of thumb. A slightly more expensive bike with supposedly slightly better components. What I would like to understand is just how much better are the upgrades? What's better about Acera than Altus? Altus vs Tourney? I can't really find the answer to this. Durability? Reliability? Performance? And if so, under what conditions will I see the difference? Stuff like that. What are the most important components to make sure are the best that I can afford? Hoping to find a better answer than "all" if I can! But if the real answer is "they're all the same entry level crap and you have to jump higher to notice a difference" then that's good info to know too!

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Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

Postby fishboat » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:56 pm

I'd think a couple levels up from the bottom would work fine. Derailleur groups are so much better than they were years ago. How much better you might see with each level may be a good question, or has been discussed already, on the bikeforum.net forum.

Parts that really matter are first the derailleurs (front & rear) themselves, then the shifting mechanism connected to them, and then the brakes. Other components(stem, bars, seatpost, crank), when they're inexpensive, don't break, they just weigh more and are less serviceable. Example..my GF's bike (hybrid) had poorly designed gearing. I redesigned something much better and discussed the upgrade with a bike shop. On my road bike this would involve switching out the chainrings on the crank and readjusting the front derailleur. On my GF's bike it required replacing the entire crank that had the new chainrings installed(non-serviceable). Seems like a waste..but..that's how they're built. Cost is more too. All in all it was well worth it though as she now moves on the bike..fast. I'm looking for a road bike for her now...a real one.

Comparing bikes with different components and costs is a slippery slope. Better components work smoother, engage faster, and are quieter. People place different values on such things. The way I look at it..if I'm committed to spending $400 and I'm considering something else at $475..I'm really looking at $75 over the time I use it. Next year..I don't remember the $75..

Ride both bikes and note how they shift/feel. Pick the one that fits what you need. I'd think any component set on that level of bike should be fine. Shimano is good stuff. You might take a peak on the bikeforum.net Hybrid or Mountain Bike forums as I'm sure this has been discussed (do a search at top right of the forum-threads). Hybrids and Mtb bikes often use the same components as the shifting requirements are much the same.


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