Buying a bike

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Dieharder
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Buying a bike

Post by Dieharder » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:27 pm

I did some online research and visited a LBS, looked at some bikes still not sure which bike to chose from. Looking at Hybrid bikes since I intend to ride mostly on pavement and paved trails, with only occational foray into gravel and hard trails.

So far looked at Charge Scourer, Fuji Absolute 2.0, Canondale Quick. All of them in price range $550 to $800. They all look good, not sure what to pick.

Bike experts here, what do you recommend?

260chrisb
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by 260chrisb » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:39 pm

I have to admit I've never heard of the Charge brand but a Fuji or Cannondale in that range will likely serve you well but you may consider spending a bit more. I have a Trek Hybrid and love it. It's light but not feather weight and serves me well. I've put just under 5K on it with mimimal repairs and spent about $1100.00 or so for it. If you know you will use it, you need to buy one that will last and not buy the cheapo ones. You'll be dissapointed and want to buy another one!! Be careful, bikes are like cars; you can spend a lot of money on them!! Thousands! Good luck, buy a trip odometer, wear gloves, glasses, and a helmet and have fun!

sunnyday
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by sunnyday » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm

Take each out for a spin (the longer the better). Definitely make sure the size is right. Figure out which is the most comfortable and enjoyable. Write down any subtle differences that you notice.

If you still can't decide, compare components. Wheels make a big difference (large rotational weight) and are a big expense. Lower end components will be heavier and not as durable

Also, if the bikes are at different LBS which do you like more and will give you better service.

Most of all just enjoy whatever you decide on and ride it as much as possible :sharebeer

stlutz
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stlutz » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm

I'm assuming you're fairly new to riding? If so, I have two answers:

1) Buy the one that fits you best. If you're not sure, buy from the shop that does the most work to get you fit right on the bike. If the bike fits you well, you'll enjoy riding it. That matters far more than components etc.

2) Go cheaper. Why do I say that? If you get into it, you'll start lusting after another bike (the correct number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number you own now!). Once you've done some riding, you'll make better decisions about what to buy. That the time to start laying out more coin. On the other hand, if you don't get into riding, then you won't have wasted a bunch of money on something you don't ride.

stoptothink
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:29 pm

stlutz wrote:I'm assuming you're fairly new to riding? If so, I have two answers:

1) Buy the one that fits you best. If you're not sure, buy from the shop that does the most work to get you fit right on the bike. If the bike fits you well, you'll enjoy riding it. That matters far more than components etc.

2) Go cheaper. Why do I say that? If you get into it, you'll start lusting after another bike (the correct number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number you own now!). Once you've done some riding, you'll make better decisions about what to buy. That the time to start laying out more coin. On the other hand, if you don't get into riding, then you won't have wasted a bunch of money on something you don't ride.


As someone who has raced competitively(triathlons and crits) for over a decade, does 95% of his commuting on a bike, and currently rides a $4k+ rig...this. I started my racing career on a $400 Craigslist special with Shimano Sora components. I have a friend who wanted to get into riding and asked for help finding something. I went on EBAY and found the cheapest thing that resembled a road bike in componentry and geometry($159 + shipping) and he has been fine on in for about 6 months. It can be an absurdly expensive hobby, at least make sure you enjoy it first.

NAD83
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by NAD83 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:52 pm

I agree with other posters. Fit is extremely important. Make sure the bike fits you and ask the clerk questions about this. You can actually get a professional fitting at most shops, but it costs and isn't necessary in your case. But I think that improperly fitted bicycles are the number one reason people quit riding.

Secondly, you should be able to find a good hybrid style for around $350-500. All the major manufacturers (Trek, GF, Specialized, etc..) will be similar. Just pick a style and size that is right for you.

livesoft
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:02 pm

I don't know any non-riders who just went out and bought a new bike. I know many beginning bike riders and they went out and bought used bikes or borrowed bikes from friends. That way, they figured some things out before plunking down $500+ on a new bike. I have even lent out bikes to my friends who then made better decisions.

So if you already have a bike, good for you. If you don't, try to borrow one for a while, then another one, then another one, then you will know about what you want to buy.
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oneyedfiona
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by oneyedfiona » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:16 pm

I worked at a bike shop for many years and echo what others have said here. The brand is unimportant. Within price points, there are not large differences in quality between the manufacturers. Work with a local bike shop that works on fitting you properly and, if you need it, helps to educate you on how to shift, brake, perform basic maintenance, etc. I would also spend some time asking them about how they go about assembling the bike. Bikes come preassembled to bike shops. At the least, you just put in the front wheel, stick in the handlebars, tighten, and go. This is not enough. Good shops will take time to 1) true and properly tension the wheels, 2) grease the seat post, stem, and pedal threads 3) adjust the brakes properly, and 4) do some preliminary stretching of the shift cables to make sure they stay adjusted. Bring it back in for an adjustment after you've ridden in a bit. Make sure you really like the bike.

Where I live, we have a wonderful non-profit bike shop that fixes up old bicycles. These are now in many cities (Chicago, NYC, Portland, SF, Pittsburgh). This is also a great way to go. They do all of the above assembly and fitting but on old bikes so you walk out the door with a bike that is at least 1/2 the price of a new one but is just as good as a new bike.

Fallible
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Fallible » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:25 pm

oneyedfiona wrote:I worked at a bike shop for many years and echo what others have said here. The brand is unimportant. Within price points, there are not large differences in quality between the manufacturers. Work with a local bike shop that works on fitting you properly ...

Where I live, we have a wonderful non-profit bike shop that fixes up old bicycles. These are now in many cities (Chicago, NYC, Portland, SF, Pittsburgh). This is also a great way to go. They do all of the above assembly and fitting but on old bikes so you walk out the door with a bike that is at least 1/2 the price of a new one but is just as good as a new bike.


Couldn't agree more about buying the bike that fits and feels right. When I was at a bike shop and had settled on the bike I felt best on, the sales guy said my height (5' 7") meant I should have the next size larger bike. I tried it and immediately didn't like it as well. He said the right size was everything and that I'd get used to it after awhile. I decided to stay with the bike I already liked and some 11 years later still love riding it. I still go to that shop, though, as the repair and maintenance service is excellent.

Really good to hear about the non-profit bike shop and will check to see if there's one in my area as I'd like to see what they have. Thanks for mentioning that.
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hsv_climber
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by hsv_climber » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:30 pm

How long do you think your typical ride is going to be? That is the decision that you need to make before looking for a bike.

If you are planning to take long-ish rides (lets say 10+ miles) then you better get a road bike or at least a bike with drop bars. Otherwise, your hands will go numb from being in the same position for a long time.
OTOH, if your typical ride is going to be a few miles then it is not really important what kind of bike you are going to get, either it fits or not, etc. Any bike works great for riding around the neighborhood.

Dieharder
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Dieharder » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:21 pm

Thanks to all. I figure that I have to go and do a test ride on 3-4 bikes that really like to have a close look at and then decide. I am not sure how much I will ride on it, but I intend to do quite a bit at least until the novelty wear of. My work is probably 7 miles from home and conveniently accessible from a long bike route. We have gym/showers in the building. I have to ride through regular streets for about 2.5 miles may be before I can get into the bike trail. Ride to work is an option I am seriously considering. I am new to riding, but in general I like sporting activities, I run 4-5 miles comfortably, and workout at the gym when I can, so this will be a nice activity I think.

R2
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by R2 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:48 am

Dieharder,

I'm not a bicycle expert but bought a bicycle this morning and have a very similar expected use profile.

I went to a local bicycle shop and discussed options with the staff. They found a bike with a good fit, and I took it out for a test drive.

I opted to purchase a Trek 7.2 FX.

The manager of the shop visited my place of work last year and did a seminar on commuting, and a hybrid bike was recommended. I chose to buy from that shop because of maintenance support, as they even have a van that will come on-site to do maintenance and repair work.

I chose this brand, in part, based on recommendations of coworkers who ride competitively.

Hope this helps.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:10 pm

Since you are new to cycling I would recommend getting some training or instruction. There are a lot of little things you can learn that make cycling easier and prevent injury. There are a few big things to learn that can save your life, particularly how to cycle in traffic. If you try to pick things up from experience it will take years to learn what others can teach you in days or weeks.

The Pennsylvania Bicycle Drivers Manual has instructions on how to ride on the road. It (or something similar) is a must read:
http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/Bureaus/pdBikePed.nsf/infoAcknowledgements?OpenForm

Books I'd suggest are "Effective Cycling" and "Richards Bicycle Book" (They also have sections on selecting bikes, the latter is a bit dated, but the former has a 2012 edition.)

Riding with a Bicycle club can also be a good way to learn from experienced cyclists, your local bike store should be able to point you to a local recreational or touring club (there are also racing clubs if you want to go fast, but the touring clubs tend to be more friendly to newcomers)

There are also formal training programs in some areas, your local bike store or club is probably the best source.

S&L1940
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by S&L1940 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:00 pm

oneyedfiona wrote:Where I live, we have a wonderful non-profit bike shop that fixes up old bicycles. These are now in many cities (Chicago, NYC, Portland, SF, Pittsburgh). This is also a great way to go. They do all of the above assembly and fitting but on old bikes so you walk out the door with a bike that is at least 1/2 the price of a new one but is just as good as a new bike.


I live in South Florida and there is a guy who just fell into fixing bikes for the neighborhood kids and years later runs a shop that employs several people and takes in used bikes to repair. most he passes on through a charity operation and others he sells at low prices to keep the shop running. he even has a website http://www.jackthebikeman.org
there is also an organization called Faith Farms which runs thrift shops with tons of new and used home goods that supports their ministry services.

there must be organizations like this in other communities where you can buy a bike that someone with big eyes - like those who buy expensive exercise equipment to hang their clothes on - has dropped off a great starter bike.
when all else fails there are the local bike shops, well worth the extra bucks for the service as compared to Sports Authority or Dick's or Wal-Mart, Rich
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sunnyday
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by sunnyday » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:07 pm

Dieharder wrote:Thanks to all. I figure that I have to go and do a test ride on 3-4 bikes that really like to have a close look at and then decide. I am not sure how much I will ride on it, but I intend to do quite a bit at least until the novelty wear of. My work is probably 7 miles from home and conveniently accessible from a long bike route. We have gym/showers in the building. I have to ride through regular streets for about 2.5 miles may be before I can get into the bike trail. Ride to work is an option I am seriously considering. I am new to riding, but in general I like sporting activities, I run 4-5 miles comfortably, and workout at the gym when I can, so this will be a nice activity I think.


Sounds like a great activity for you. I bet you'll like it much more than going to the gym, and the bike could pay for itself if it becomes your "gym membership". I never go to the gym anymore because I prefer biking and other outdoor activities much more than gyms.

Yipee-Ki-O
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Yipee-Ki-O » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:34 pm

I just bought a Trek FX 7.3 for $620. It had been a few years (a lot of years!) since I'd ridden last and for awhile thought for no more than I ride my 20-year old moutain bike would be good enough. A 34 mile ride last weekend convinced me it was time to get the right tool for the job. So far I'm really happy with my new bike and figure the purchase price amortized over at least 10 years will be really reasonable.

Yipee-Ki-O
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Yipee-Ki-O » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:16 pm

Upon further review, I'm not so happy with my new bike. While I think it fits ok (despite the salesman only looking at me for a few seconds as I peddled away for a test ride and remarking that it looked ok) over the weekend on a trip to Zion N.P. I found I could shift between the 3 chainrings ok, but I was unable to use 6th gear with any combination of chainrings as it chattered and just wouldn't stay in that gear at all. Upshifting to higher gears from 1 through 8 was fairly smooth other than 6th but when downshifting from 5 down the derailleur (and I was careful not to put a load on when shifting) was unresponsive for lengthy periods of time before shifting abruptly with a chunk. And in those lower gear ranges it would periodically shift out of the selected gear on its own.

Now, I know the FX 7.3 isn't a high dollar bike in the scheme of things in a bike shop but it's not the cheapest bike either. The day I bought it the salesman said he had to adjust a few things and when I offered to leave it with them and come back later he told me it was no problem he'd have it ready in a few minutes. And yes, probably 5-10 minutes later I was out the door. Am I right to think my bike should have been adjusted better out-of-the box? I understand cables stretch over time, etc, but shouldn't the gears at least work as the should to start with? I'm disapponted because I might as well have purchased the bike online if it wasnt going to be any better adjusted than a bike I from a local bike shop. Is my disappointment justified?

livesoft
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by livesoft » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:28 pm

I don't think your disappointment is justified. You should be able to adjust this issue in about 30 seconds all by yourself.
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aja8888
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by aja8888 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:31 pm

That bike shop is not doing you any favors. For a $600+ Trek, it should be dead reliable leaving the shop, especially the gear set workings. They didn't do a fit analysis other than a casual look at you? Shame on them. There is nothing worse than owning a bike with the wrong frame size. An inch or two can make a big difference.

More on bikes (actually, all you want to know..) http://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php

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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Fallible » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:49 pm

Yipee-Ki-O wrote:Upon further review, I'm not so happy with my new bike. While I think it fits ok (despite the salesman only looking at me for a few seconds as I peddled away for a test ride and remarking that it looked ok) over the weekend on a trip to Zion N.P. I found I could shift between the 3 chainrings ok, but I was unable to use 6th gear with any combination of chainrings as it chattered and just wouldn't stay in that gear at all. Upshifting to higher gears from 1 through 8 was fairly smooth other than 6th but when downshifting from 5 down the derailleur (and I was careful not to put a load on when shifting) was unresponsive for lengthy periods of time before shifting abruptly with a chunk. And in those lower gear ranges it would periodically shift out of the selected gear on its own.

Now, I know the FX 7.3 isn't a high dollar bike in the scheme of things in a bike shop but it's not the cheapest bike either. The day I bought it the salesman said he had to adjust a few things and when I offered to leave it with them and come back later he told me it was no problem he'd have it ready in a few minutes. And yes, probably 5-10 minutes later I was out the door. Am I right to think my bike should have been adjusted better out-of-the box? I understand cables stretch over time, etc, but shouldn't the gears at least work as the should to start with? I'm disapponted because I might as well have purchased the bike online if it wasnt going to be any better adjusted than a bike I from a local bike shop. Is my disappointment justified?


ANYTHING's that's new should work right all the way. Doesn't matter what you paid for it. You need to immediately take the bike to the shop and talk to the salesman and/or somebody in the repair shop, show them the problems you're having. Either you're doing something wrong or the bike has a problem. I'd also read or re-read the instructions that came with the bike and the warranty and even look up that particular model online (bike magazines, etc.)to see if others have had similar problems. Don't take the bike back until it works right. That's what you paid for. If they can't fix the problem, negotiate for a replacement bike that does work. Hopefully it's a minor problem they can fix right away. Good luck.
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stoptothink
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stoptothink » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:59 pm

Yipee-Ki-O wrote:Upon further review, I'm not so happy with my new bike. While I think it fits ok (despite the salesman only looking at me for a few seconds as I peddled away for a test ride and remarking that it looked ok) over the weekend on a trip to Zion N.P. I found I could shift between the 3 chainrings ok, but I was unable to use 6th gear with any combination of chainrings as it chattered and just wouldn't stay in that gear at all. Upshifting to higher gears from 1 through 8 was fairly smooth other than 6th but when downshifting from 5 down the derailleur (and I was careful not to put a load on when shifting) was unresponsive for lengthy periods of time before shifting abruptly with a chunk. And in those lower gear ranges it would periodically shift out of the selected gear on its own.

Now, I know the FX 7.3 isn't a high dollar bike in the scheme of things in a bike shop but it's not the cheapest bike either. The day I bought it the salesman said he had to adjust a few things and when I offered to leave it with them and come back later he told me it was no problem he'd have it ready in a few minutes. And yes, probably 5-10 minutes later I was out the door. Am I right to think my bike should have been adjusted better out-of-the box? I understand cables stretch over time, etc, but shouldn't the gears at least work as the should to start with? I'm disapponted because I might as well have purchased the bike online if it wasnt going to be any better adjusted than a bike I from a local bike shop. Is my disappointment justified?


Walk it into the shop and have them adjust the derailleurs on the spot. Shouldn't take more than 10min to run it through the gears. Considering you just bought from them and it is something that should have been done correctly at point of sale, they should not charge you

The altus and deore derailleurs are on the low-end, but you should not be having any issues keeping it in the correct gear.

stlutz
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stlutz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:31 pm

Cables and housing on on a new bike kind of settle in which knocks everything out of whack after some miles on a new bike--no matter the cost, brand, or shop. Take it back into the shop and have them adjust it--they won't be surprised to see you. :D

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Peter Foley
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Peter Foley » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:16 pm

Back to the original question - There are a lot of good used bikes out there - I volunteer in a bike shop fixing up bikes to give away to those who need bikes for transportation. The shop sells a few of the better bikes that are donated and then fixed/tuned - enough to pay the monthly rent. Unless it is a collectable, a good quality used hybrid goes for about $150, same for a mountain bike in good condition. I own a 10 speedTrek hybrid and a 21 speed Specialized Hard Rock. I bought both of them on Craigs List, paid less than $100 each.

You might consider a mountain bike too. You can always put on narrower tires with less agressive tread and they will work fine for commuting. I ride almost exclusively on paved trails and use both bikes about equally. The hybrid is a little faster while the mountain is easier on hills because I can always find a gear to retain my cadence.

I prefer a grip shift, but the mountain bike has a indexed thumb shift that never misses a beat.

stev
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stev » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:30 pm

Just my 2 cents.
I wanted a bike that was a simple as I could get.
I ended up with a Schwinn Breeze built in the 70's.
It has a 3 speed rear end, with a coaster brake built in.
The front brake is the standard cantilever brakes found on the newer bikes.
I love this bike, easy to shift and 3 speeds are plenty for me.
I sit upright, instead of bent over.
There was a ton of these bikes and similar bikes built and lots for sale.

Dieharder
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Dieharder » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:33 am

Coming back to my story, I ended up buying a Trek 7.2 FX. I liked the riding and handling of this bike the best after riding several among Cannondale, Novara, and Fuji. Bike shop staff mattered as well, because in this shop they were more attending to our needs and looked like they cared than other shops. Also I ended up buying a Trek 3500 with 13" frame for my 9 year old son. I was initially looking for a 24 inch for him, but the bike shop insisted he needed a larger one, at first I was very uncomfortable as he is not an expert at handling bikes. But after several test drives on 24 inches as well as bigger bikes, I realized he is better suited on a small adult bike, since he is quite tall and well built for his age. He is able to ride it well after one day and soon will grow comfortable with it. Bike shop did a good fit for both of us in my opinion. Mine is a 22" frame bike.

I haven't tried all the gear combinations, so I don't know if I will have same problems. The bike shop however offer free periodical adjustments for minor issues or even things like misalignment caused from hitting a curb, so on. They said I should bring it in for adjustments in two weeks of riding as the bike is new.

hsv_climber
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by hsv_climber » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:57 am

Yipee-Ki-O,

Don't take it to the shop yet. At first, spend 20-30+ min and try to fix the problem by yourself. Most likely all that you need to do is to adjust the cable tension (it is usually adjusted by rotating a nut on the cable).
You have a golden opportunity right now - if you'd screw it up, you can take it to the shop and let them fix it for free. Don't lose this opportunity.

ProfessorX
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by ProfessorX » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:28 am

I like the GT brand for hybrid city bikes. I have bought two of them over the last 10 years both were approx $500+ bucks. IMO, there is no need to spend more than that for a good bike. (Of course the hardcore bikers will disagree.)

pochax
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by pochax » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:55 am

i bought a Trek hybrid back in 2009 and it is a well-made bike. my only advice is the make sure the seat is very comfortable - you may even consider replacing the seat with whatever you buy with a really nice one - your derriere will thank you for it!

Yipee-Ki-O
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Yipee-Ki-O » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:51 pm

hsv_climber wrote:Yipee-Ki-O,

Don't take it to the shop yet. At first, spend 20-30+ min and try to fix the problem by yourself. Most likely all that you need to do is to adjust the cable tension (it is usually adjusted by rotating a nut on the cable).
You have a golden opportunity right now - if you'd screw it up, you can take it to the shop and let them fix it for free. Don't lose this opportunity.

Thanks for the advice. I found some how-to videos on Youtube so I'll give it a try. I don't have a bike stand but I can either rig something up or buy one. You're right, I might as well try to learn a new trick since I have a 30-day free pass!

livesoft
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by livesoft » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:54 pm

^ Good for you!

I don't have a bike stand, but just turn my bike upside down on the grass or a piece of cardboard so that the seat and handlebars don't get scratched.
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FlyHi
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by FlyHi » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:56 pm

Dieharder,

My partner and I haven't ridden bikes in about 40 years but we decided it was time to get our hearts pumping. We will use the bikes in the same way that you described. Our local bike store has a great reputation so we went by their advice. I bought us a man's and woman's Raleigh Venture (Comfort Bike) for $320 each. If the temperature ever drops below 90 we might even be able to ride them.
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Maid of the Mist
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Maid of the Mist » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:16 pm

The advice about getting a bike that fits is very good advice.

My husband and I started riding bikes about 12 years ago. We went from recumbents (to help with back issues) to hybrids to flat bar road bikes and finally this year we went to real, spanking new carbon road bikes. While this isn't what a boglehead should do, our riding skills and goals have changed over time and we have put many miles on all these bikes. We were able to recover about 50 to 60% of the cost of the first bikes we bought through Ebay and Craigs List. I guess I am presenting a pretty sad case for justifying the bike purchases but I have no regrets. It is a great pastime and a wonderful way to see different areas of the country and an excellent way to keep in shape.

So my advice is don't spend your summer mulling over your options - get moving on a potentially great pastime/hobby/activity before you lose the good weather. I hope you love it as much as we do!

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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Fallible » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:22 pm

Maid of the Mist wrote:The advice about getting a bike that fits is very good advice.

My husband and I started riding bikes about 12 years ago. We went from recumbents (to help with back issues) to hybrids to flat bar road bikes and finally this year we went to real, spanking new carbon road bikes. While this isn't what a boglehead should do, our riding skills and goals have changed over time and we have put many miles on all these bikes. We were able to recover about 50 to 60% of the cost of the first bikes we bought through Ebay and Craigs List. I guess I am presenting a pretty sad case for justifying the bike purchases but I have no regrets. It is a great pastime and a wonderful way to see different areas of the country and an excellent way to keep in shape.

...


I can't think of one reason this "isn't what a Boglehead should do," or that you're presenting a "sad case" for justifying the bike buys other than a misunderstanding of what a Boglehead should do (whatever that really is). You've bought your bikes based on your physical conditions, improving your health, and making yourselves happy - and you've been economical about it. To me, that's being a Boglehead. Happy riding! :D
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Dieharder
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Dieharder » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:28 am

It's just over a week now since I had the bike, like I posted a week back it is a Trek 7.2 hybrid that is closer to a road bike. I believe I can even change the tires into a smoother road bike type if needed.

Its my 4th day of riding to work, and it's so far going great. I have almost the entire distance of about 7 miles covered by bike trails,
with just a short distance of sharing street with cars from /to home, that too only inside residential area.

As someone else said though, it is turning out to be relatively expensive. So far I have spent on helmet, gloves, jersey, shorts, sunglass, and backpack, shoes and cycle computer are on the way. I do consider all these as must have though for the riding experience. I did not spent way too much on any, all falling under $100, and many are $30 purchases. Overall cost including bike + accessories mentioned above running close to $1000. I don't see it recovered anytime in the economic sense, but I am already getting great exercise every morning and evening, and lots of fun too doing that. Also there is no delay in my commute time since I don't sit in traffic and the trails cut through roads making distance shorter.

I am already lusting after better and faster road bikes, but I will hold off for at least an year before considering another one.

My goal is to extend the rides to longer duration, over 10 miles up to under 20 miles, than learn to ride using clipless pedals over the next one year period.

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Kashi
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Kashi » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:14 pm

Dieharder wrote:As someone else said though, it is turning out to be relatively expensive. So far I have spent on helmet, gloves, jersey, shorts, sunglass, and backpack, shoes and cycle computer are on the way.


Two years ago I was in your shoes. Just bought a bike after 10 years of not riding, wanting to start commuting, etc. I was taken aback at the initial cost. A year later, I sold my car, to ride full time. I've had some knee issues and some hiccups along the way. But in the end, the initial expense saved me thousands over the price of owning a vehicle...and I've lost 60 pounds, maybe more, as a result of the exercise (and some dietary changes, too). More than anything...it's fun - so much more fun than driving. And the lifestyle just feels great.

But I digress...congratulations on the purchase; it sounds like you got a great value. And I'm glad you're enjoying the bicycle commute. Keep it up!

MP173
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by MP173 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:54 pm

I am a dedicated cyclist, but not a serious one.

My ride is a Trek380 which is a mountain bike, probably 15 years old. It supports my body well (6'7"/ 245 pounds). That is critical for me . I ride about 5x week from my short route (13.7 miles) to the "long" route of 21.3 miles.

Biking is an incredible form of exercize for me. I have "tricked out" my Trek with a more comfortable seat, trigger shifter (much better than grip), minor computer, and road tires rather than the mountain tires. It also has a bag mounted above the rear tire for carrying things. I also have a heart rate monitor (separate) which I check probably every minute or so. My goal is to have my heart rate in the 120 - 140 range for 95% of my ride. There are a few hills that get it to the 150-160 range (which is my maximum before feeling light headed).

There are three possible loops, all branching off or extending from the main route. These are rural (once out of town) and never boring for me. This is my main form of exercize and I can burn off nearly 1000 calories (based on the heart rate monitor and Livestrong.org) in my workouts.

While my bike is old, slow, and heavy, it is what I need.

For years I resisted the colorful jersey type shirts, but two days ago my wife gave me one for my birthday...what a comfortable shirt, and dry.

Never went with the clips, I have been told that is the way to increase speed.

Find what works for you and use the bike, dont let it sit in the garage.

Ed

stoptothink
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:02 pm

Dieharder wrote:As someone else said though, it is turning out to be relatively expensive. So far I have spent on helmet, gloves, jersey, shorts, sunglass, and backpack, shoes and cycle computer are on the way. I do consider all these as must have though for the riding experience. I did not spent way too much on any, all falling under $100, and many are $30 purchases. Overall cost including bike + accessories mentioned above running close to $1000.

I am already lusting after better and faster road bikes, but I will hold off for at least an year before considering another one.



I do 95% of my commuting by bike and have been a competitive cyclist and triathlete for nearly a decade; I have never owned a cyclocomputer, gloves, or a single jersey(I do wear shorts and race in a tri-suit, both of which I get free from my GF's employer). Don't fall into the trap. It is like any other hobby(except even more expensive): a lot of the gear is not compulsory. For the first 8yrs of racing most of my competitors had wheels that cost 2x(or more) than my entire bike and I have never placed below top-5 in my age group in the cycling portion of a triathlon.

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ryuns
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by ryuns » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:10 pm

Dieharder wrote:It's just over a week now since I had the bike, like I posted a week back it is a Trek 7.2 hybrid that is closer to a road bike. I believe I can even change the tires into a smoother road bike type if needed.

Its my 4th day of riding to work, and it's so far going great. I have almost the entire distance of about 7 miles covered by bike trails,
with just a short distance of sharing street with cars from /to home, that too only inside residential area.

As someone else said though, it is turning out to be relatively expensive. So far I have spent on helmet, gloves, jersey, shorts, sunglass, and backpack, shoes and cycle computer are on the way. I do consider all these as must have though for the riding experience. I did not spent way too much on any, all falling under $100, and many are $30 purchases. Overall cost including bike + accessories mentioned above running close to $1000. I don't see it recovered anytime in the economic sense, but I am already getting great exercise every morning and evening, and lots of fun too doing that. Also there is no delay in my commute time since I don't sit in traffic and the trails cut through roads making distance shorter.

I am already lusting after better and faster road bikes, but I will hold off for at least an year before considering another one.

My goal is to extend the rides to longer duration, over 10 miles up to under 20 miles, than learn to ride using clipless pedals over the next one year period.


Hey, that's great! Congrats on starting to bike commute. Stay safe!

Savings do add up pretty quickly--you might be saving ~$5/day from not driving (35 cents/mile), so that would be simple payback of 200 commute days. Not sure how the weather is where you are, but even my easy 20 minute commute has turned me in to a bit of "diehard". Weather's pretty mellow here, but I've definitely commuting in sub-freezing temperatures, and even got caught in a freak hail storm last winter.

^Also, I'd agree with the above, though not necessarily regarding gloves. Any trip >5 miles, I appreciate the comfort of a pair of padded gloves. And I'd add, don't spare any expense on safety stuff, the most important of which is lighting. It's probably light on both your commute rides now, but don't let autumn darkness stop you. You can ride at night, but you definitely need good head and rear lights.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

chuppi
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by chuppi » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:45 pm

Dieharder wrote:It's just over a week now since I had the bike, like I posted a week back it is a Trek 7.2 hybrid that is closer to a road bike. I believe I can even change the tires into a smoother road bike type if needed.

Congratulations to you on making this leap.
Trek FX are great bikes. My wife has FX 7.5 which I ride at times.

Dieharder wrote:Its my 4th day of riding to work, and it's so far going great. I have almost the entire distance of about 7 miles covered by bike trails,
with just a short distance of sharing street with cars from /to home, that too only inside residential area.

Be safe on the road. Avoid wearing headphones when you are riding on the streets. I have a backpack that I carry to work and it comes with a rain cover which is a bright orange. I always keep it on to make sure that people see me. You can even wear bright clothes or vest. Lights are a must in the dark. Make eye contacts with drivers at crossings.

Dieharder wrote:As someone else said though, it is turning out to be relatively expensive. So far I have spent on helmet, gloves, jersey, shorts, sunglass, and backpack, shoes and cycle computer are on the way. I do consider all these as must have though for the riding experience. I did not spent way too much on any, all falling under $100, and many are $30 purchases. Overall cost including bike + accessories mentioned above running close to $1000. I don't see it recovered anytime in the economic sense, but I am already getting great exercise every morning and evening, and lots of fun too doing that. Also there is no delay in my commute time since I don't sit in traffic and the trails cut through roads making distance shorter.
I am already lusting after better and faster road bikes, but I will hold off for at least an year before considering another one.


I agree it is expensive business and you always feel like upgrading. I have been very conservative. I have been buying, trying out and selling bikes on craigslist. I don't want to waste $$$ on wrong bikes. I think I know what I want. I am looking for a titanium bike with good components which I plan to keep forever.
I sold the second car in the family 2 years ago and even since have been commuting by train/bike. If you can drop the car insurance and bike depreciation, it will definitely make financial sense.

Dieharder wrote:My goal is to extend the rides to longer duration, over 10 miles up to under 20 miles, than learn to ride using clipless pedals over the next one year period.

You will begin to enjoy riding. Take your time in learning to ride clipless. I fell a few times embarrassing myself in front of a lot of people. But now I can clip off without thinking. You will get used to it and it will help with the riding efficiency.

hsv_climber
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by hsv_climber » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:00 pm

stoptothink wrote: I have never owned a cyclocomputer, gloves, or a single jersey(I do wear shorts and race in a tri-suit, both of which I get free from my GF's employer).


Got to ask - what cavity do you use to carry your cell phone?

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Toons
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by Toons » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:06 pm

Im not an expert but I have ridden my trail bike that I purchased at Walmart approx 50 miles the last two days,,,,owned it for a couple years,no complaints,might get another one for a "spare" :sharebeer

check it out

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Schwinn-Alumi ... e/16913452
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

stoptothink
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:17 pm

hsv_climber wrote:
stoptothink wrote: I have never owned a cyclocomputer, gloves, or a single jersey(I do wear shorts and race in a tri-suit, both of which I get free from my GF's employer).


Got to ask - what cavity do you use to carry your cell phone?


75% of my riding is commuting, with a backpack. I also have a seatpost bag. Why exactly do you need a jersey to hold your cell phone when a $7 stem/seatpost/top tube bag from Nashbar does the same thing, except more comfortably and for a fraction of the cost? My "jerseys" are old, stinky race shirts.

hsv_climber
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by hsv_climber » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:28 pm

stoptothink wrote:75% of my riding is commuting, with a backpack. I also have a seatpost bag. Why exactly do you need a jersey to hold your cell phone when a $7 stem/seatpost/top tube bag from Nashbar does the same thing, except more comfortably and for a fraction of the cost? My "jerseys" are old, stinky race shirts.


To carry Halt!, cell phone, spare tube, garage door opener, and a bunch of bars.
Ok, try to get a bar from your seatpost bag while riding. :beer

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roymeo
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by roymeo » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:41 pm

hsv_climber wrote:
stoptothink wrote:75% of my riding is commuting, with a backpack. I also have a seatpost bag. Why exactly do you need a jersey to hold your cell phone when a $7 stem/seatpost/top tube bag from Nashbar does the same thing, except more comfortably and for a fraction of the cost? My "jerseys" are old, stinky race shirts.


To carry Halt!, cell phone, spare tube, garage door opener, and a bunch of bars.
Ok, try to get a bar from your seatpost bag while riding. :beer


You forgot toolset, cargo net, USB cable for charging your lights, 6-pack of beer (it's the carrot AND the stick!), change of jersey in case you ride past someone wearing the same one who looks better in theirs, glasses cleaning kit, reusable shopping bags, Ulock and cable lock.

I don't think I've ever gone on a ride far enough that I really had to bring food with me.
The sewer system is a form of welfare state. | -- "Libra", Don DeLillo

hsv_climber
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by hsv_climber » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:54 pm

roymeo wrote:You forgot toolset, cargo net, USB cable for charging your lights, 6-pack of beer (it's the carrot AND the stick!), change of jersey in case you ride past someone wearing the same one who looks better in theirs, glasses cleaning kit, reusable shopping bags, Ulock and cable lock.

I don't think I've ever gone on a ride far enough that I really had to bring food with me.


That just mean that you've never done a long ride.
What is your point? Please specify an item from the list that I've mentioned that you think is useless to have.

stoptothink
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:08 pm

roymeo wrote:
hsv_climber wrote:
stoptothink wrote:75% of my riding is commuting, with a backpack. I also have a seatpost bag. Why exactly do you need a jersey to hold your cell phone when a $7 stem/seatpost/top tube bag from Nashbar does the same thing, except more comfortably and for a fraction of the cost? My "jerseys" are old, stinky race shirts.


To carry Halt!, cell phone, spare tube, garage door opener, and a bunch of bars.
Ok, try to get a bar from your seatpost bag while riding. :beer


You forgot toolset, cargo net, USB cable for charging your lights, 6-pack of beer (it's the carrot AND the stick!), change of jersey in case you ride past someone wearing the same one who looks better in theirs, glasses cleaning kit, reusable shopping bags, Ulock and cable lock.

I don't think I've ever gone on a ride far enough that I really had to bring food with me.


I am assuming his response was a joke. A $50-100+ dri-fit shirt with a pocket(gloves, Garmin cyclocomputer, $200 Rudy Project glasses, $400 Sidi shoes, Zipp wheel skewers...) is the farthest thing from a necessity, except in the eyes of the weekend warrior cyclist. Cycling is unfortunately one of the most consumerist hobbies out there, all the gear is not necessary to enjoy the experience. I have an inkling that the OP isn't really worried about how to get to his overpriced bar of maltodextrin and fructose as he is making his long and treacherous 7-mile commute...and neither am I unless it is a 3+hr ride without the slightest possibility of stopping along the way.

Bike, helmet, ride.

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Re: Buying a bike

Post by hsv_climber » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:22 pm

stoptothink, it looks like you can see only Black & White. From your posts, I know that you either don't have a bike or have a $3000+ bike. No jersey or assumption that the jersey should cost $100, and so on.
Fortunately, there are shades of grey. I've paid $15 for my jersey with 3 pockets. Sure, MSRP probably was $80 or whatever. I also think that glasses are essential and more important than helmet. Helmet will save you once (maybe). Glasses protect your eyes every minute that you are on the road from gravel, bugs, etc. Again, I've paid ~$10 for mine (racketball).
And so on... There are a few more items that are very important. like water bottles, etc..

Safety first... Unless you are a 20 years old or a super athlete who don't believe in it. But there are no old bold pilots. :happy

stoptothink
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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:31 pm

hsv_climber wrote:stoptothink, it looks like you can see only Black & White. From your posts, I know that you either don't have a bike or have a $3000+ bike. No jersey or assumption that the jersey should cost $100, and so on.
Fortunately, there are shades of grey. I've paid $15 for my jersey with 3 pockets. Sure, MSRP probably was $80 or whatever. I also think that glasses are essential and more important than helmet. Helmet will save you once (maybe). Glasses protect your eyes every minute that you are on the road from gravel, bugs, etc. Again, I've paid ~$10 for mine (racketball).
And so on... There are a few more items that are very important. like water bottles, etc..

Safety first... Unless you are a 20 years old or a super athlete who don't believe in it. But there are no old bold pilots. :happy


No, I in fact have a $3k bike after winning local tris and crits for nearly 8yrs on a $400 used Motobecane with Shimano 105. Somehow I have managed to ride 500+ miles every single month for the past decade, completely injury free, without some of these "necessities." Just my perspective, which certainly did not need your snarky remark.

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Re: Buying a bike

Post by hsv_climber » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:00 pm

stoptothink wrote:Somehow I have managed to ride 500+ miles every single month for the past decade, completely injury free, without some of these "necessities."


Luck is not a strategy...
I think that it might be irresponsible of you to teach OP, who is just starting, your bad habits.

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Re: Buying a bike

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:11 pm

hsv_climber wrote:
stoptothink wrote:Somehow I have managed to ride 500+ miles every single month for the past decade, completely injury free, without some of these "necessities."


Luck is not a strategy...
I think that it might be irresponsible of you to teach OP, who is just starting, your bad habits.


:oops: Are you for real? Not riding in a jersey or with gloves or with a cyclocomputer is a bad habit? You mind explaining the safety features offered by those items?

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