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Thread: Shopping for a bike

  1. #1
    Proudly humble LarsMac's Avatar
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    Shopping for a bike

    So, might as well start right off.
    I am beginning the hunt for a new bike.
    My last one was stolen before we moved back to Colorado, and a not-so minor health issue kept me from looking for one until now.
    My last bike was a hybridized thing. Street tires, and something of a trail frame. The wheel base was a little shorter than I think I would like.
    I have been browsing Craigslist, but having little actual knowledge about the equipment, I have no idea how to go about find what I need.

    I guess just going about and looking at the things, and trying them out may work, but that seems a bit time-consuming. I am not really a "Shopper". I like to go to where the thing I want is, giving somebody some money, and take what I came for.

    I have great success with cars, because I know about cars, and a quick browse through eBay or Craigslist, I find the car I am looking for, go take a look at it, and I am done. I either walk away, or drive my newly found vehicle home.
    Simple as that.

    But I have no knowledge of the finer points of bicycles.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    "Learn from the mistakes of others---you can never live long enough to make them all yourself."
    - Anon

  2. #2
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    Re: New Forum

    Wow, that was quick! Thanks Bryn; but now it looks like we have to put the time in to make your effort worthwhile.

    Lars, before you start shopping for that new bike, you need to have already figured out what sort of riding you'll be doing. It's not a lot different than buying a car....if you're doing a long commute to work, you might go for one of those little shoeboxes with high mileage...but if you're going to be driving kids around or shopping....or if you're getting older and having trouble bending (like one of my older brothers) you might buy a minivan or one of the high-clearance sedans...which is why he bought a Toyota Camry! It wasn't the only factor influencing his buying decision; but his number one concern was how easy he and his wife could get in and out of the car.

    So, same thing goes here with bikes: what sort of riding will you be doing? From what you said previously, it seems you'll be road cycling on a relatively level surface. If you want to make it up steep hills you might go for a lighter weight road bike or hybrid that has a lower range than the average off-the-rack road bike.

    And, you may find that you can't get everything you need in one bike...and have to buy a second bike for different uses. For example, for the last 20 years, I have consistently had a road bike and mountain bike in the garage. The mountain bike is strictly for urban cycling...short rides, and it's set up with saddlebags and used mostly for quick, little shopping trips...not for actual trail riding. Mountain bikes are safer if you have to deal with traffic, potholes etc., or even riding in winter. I don't do it myself, but I have a neighbour who rides her bike to work even in last year's snow storms. She had it fitted with studded tires...which are expensive, but I guess it just goes to show that you can ride a bike in any conditions that you can manage to drive a car...and you don't have to shovel the driveway to get it out!

    Leaving that aside, it seems what you are asking for, is a bike that is comfortable and relatively quicker to ride out on the open road. I noticed from a quick check here, that hybrid and road bikes are subdivided into separate categories. So, when I gave up on trying to keep my older touring bike roadworthy, and bought an off-the-rack road bike on impulse to be honest, at a department store a couple of years ago, I wasn't aware that it's specific category is referred to as "relaxed geometry" road bike:


    I picked it up on a spring sale for $300.00 even though I had no intention of buying a bike when I walked into the store! But it wasn't totally an impulse buy, since I had already been looking for something lighter weight than a straight touring bike in the bike shops, and this one had enough features that I wanted: aluminum frame (there are some detractors, but I find them comfortable and a lot, lot cheaper than alloys); and it was a 20" frame with a measured inseam ranging from 30 to 34" recommended for a rider up to 6' tall. So, I could tell just from the specs that it would be the right fit for me.

    I was a little dubious about the wheels though. This one has the narrow rims (23 to 25 mm) of a real racing bike, and I was a little concerned that it would be a rough ride on some of the remote country roads that I ride. But, I've been pleased to discover that the bike is very comfortable for me to ride, even up to 50 miles. I had one incident a couple of months back where I blew out an inner tube after hitting an unexpected pothole (that's what makes a maintenance kit an essential), but the wheels seem to be holding up pretty well!

    From the picture, the "relaxed geometry" mostly refers to that raised front tube; which seems to help absorb road shock, although the main purpose is so the rider doesn't have to crouch as low as on a racing road bike. I don't care for that aspect of it, so I tilted the handlebars forward, so I can get a little lower when I've got my hands on the drops.

    When it comes to speed....well, my bike doesn't really have it! I noticed when I tried to top it out on a flat road with a wind at my back, that, even at a 100 rpm's (the quickest cadence I'm capable of) that it tops out at 25 mph....so I guess I won't be qualifying for the Tour de France! But, for the average rider...especially the older rider, having a higher gear range would be a waste of cogs; since it would only be of use on a downhill!

    Anyway, that's my story. Everyone has different needs because of size, build, fitness level, and the kind of riding they intend to use the bike for. I would advise having it decided what sort of rider you are and what you need in a bike before you walk into the bike shop, since the experience could be equivalent to walking into a car dealership without knowing what kind of car you need!

    Choosing the right bike for you

    Bicycle Buying Guide: Bike Shopping | Bicycling Magazine

    Bicycles: How to Choose

  3. #3
    Proudly humble LarsMac's Avatar
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    Shopping for a bike

    Moving some posts that were placed into new forum thread
    "Learn from the mistakes of others---you can never live long enough to make them all yourself."
    - Anon

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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a bike





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    Senior Member Bruv's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a bike

    That is a bit random even for you Spot.
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

  6. #6
    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a bike

    It is? The post had too little expliquation perhaps. The local bike cooperative is using its expertise to put a bike together for me from the part-bike I took in, and that's how far it's got - I saw the thread and thought it a reasonable place to drop the pictures. I got the wheels and frame from a local half-a-BMX I found on eBay for £35, the forks are new and a lot of the rest came out of spares boxes. The chain set is next, but it's starting to look pretty good I thought.
    Nullius in verba|||||||||||
    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruv's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a bike

    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    It is? The post had too little expliquation perhaps.
    Do you mean explication ?

    Any way you are always an eduction.
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

  8. #8
    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruv View Post
    Do you mean explication ?
    Ah.

    As Jean de La Fontaine might once have said, the oyster is for the judge.

    Except he wouldn't, he'd have said l'huître est pour le juge, being French and all, but it explains how the bear ended up with all the honey.

    I'm not sure I've managed to put my idea across with my usual clarté. Zut!
    Nullius in verba|||||||||||
    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bruv's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a bike

    Repetition doesn't make the message any clearer..................not to me anyway.
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

  10. #10
    Senior Member FourPart's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a bike

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    I had mine custom built to order, years before Mountain Bikes were even heard of in the general market. It cost about £800 all in all. The reason I needed it was that back then my epilepsy wasn't controlled too well & kept getting involved in smash ups, which invariably resulted in the frame getting buckled at the point of the handlebar stem, so this sturdy beast, with front fork suspension & Triple A Frame was ideal. In all the time I've had it it's only needed a couple of new tyres & tubes & a new chain (which has never broken in on the 7th cog wheel). It does show, though, that going for the higher price for a long term investment does work out cheaper in the long run.

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