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Windows 7: Bicycle Experts Needed

15 Mar 2011   #1

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 
Bicycle Experts Needed

I am in the market to replace my ancient mountain bike. Since I never actually bike across any mountains, I have decided that I'd like something a little lighter. My budget is quite low by the standards of a dedicated cyclist, so please, no recommendations of the latest $3,000 marvel. I will be typically riding on back city streets, which here in northeastern Ohio are generally pretty beat up and pothole riddled. I wouldn't mind something which could reasonably be expected to be suitable for a longer road trip if the urge hits me.

Budget: $200 to $300
Standard Use: Exercise riding three days a week or so for about an hour at a time.

I'm 5'10 and about 200 lbs of solid rippling muscle, chiseled and buff with the mien of an Adonis. (Alright then, I'm 5'10" and work out regularly; not too awfully chiseled at the moment, which is where the bike comes in.) What size bike should I be looking for?

I'm not sure whether my best fit would be a cheap hybrid, a road bike, the old-fashioned 10-Speed, or whatever. Any advice from the been-there, done-that crowd? I've had back trouble in the past and am not too sure about the old ram's horns handlebars, plus it would be nice to be more upright so I can see cars coming and not get run over.

Given the above, what would you consider my "must-haves" and what is "nice, but not really necessary"?

I've been looking at these:

Amazon.com: Tour De France 700c Packleader Road Bike: Sports & Outdoors

Amazon.com: GMC Denali Pro Road Bike (56cm Frame): Sports & Outdoors

Amazon.com: Men's Schwinn Courier Road Bike - Green (700c): Sports & Outdoors

Amazon.com: Diamondback Menona Men's Sport Hybrid Bike (700c Wheels): Sports & Outdoors

Doesn't have to be from Amazon. I have just started searching and began there since I've had good luck with other purchases from them in the past.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I would not consider a road bike unless you have a very smooth area to ride it on. As an owner of both a Mountain Bike (Gary Fisher) and a road bike (Cannondale), I can assure you that the ride on the road bike is very, very rough without a very smooth road. And all of those bumps and such from the road will travel right up the frame and right into your back. And I don't think if you have back problems that you are going to like the old curl around handlebars.

Do you have any local bike shops in your area. They are your best bet for getting fitted properly. For reference, I'm also 5'10 and I ride a 54cm road bike frame and a 17.5" (44cm) mountain bike frame. On the mountain bike, I choose a smaller frame size as I like being a bit closer to the ground and to provide some extra bar clearance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #3

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by profdlp View Post
I'm 5'10 and about 200 lbs of solid rippling muscle, chiseled and buff with the mien of an Adonis.
Fueled by tiger blood no doubt

And despite not being a cyclist, Warlock to Warlock, I'd have to echo the above about not opting for a road bike considering your locale and requirements.

Something a little more robust and ergonomical sounds more fitting than a jarring roadbike over rougher terrain.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #4

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 (desktop)
 
 

I would just look at a newer mountain bike....it will be lighter than your old one. And you can swap out the knobby tires for some more road-worthy, but I'd stick with relatively fat tires for cushion's sake if your local roads are that rough.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #5

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

Hello!

My opinion is to be wary of "hybrid" bikes. My experience of hybrid bikes is that they got a lot of punctures. My friend bought one, and could never take it off road, or on bad roads. As soon as she did...pop. I would also say only get a road bike if you have very, very smooth roads, and know that a road bike is for you.

So my recommendation would be a mountain bike. This will work nicely everywhere, be the softest on your type of roads, and doesn't really cost any more.

Hydrolic disk brakes are good. They are not essential, but usually show a better spec bike (quality later in post). Double hydrolic disk brakes are the best you can get. Occasionally, they need their brake fluid topping up annually, but buy a bottle, read instructions, easy.

Mountain bikes come in hard tail and soft tail. Soft tail is with rear suspension, hard tail without. A poor quality soft tail is worse than a hard tail. Soft tails only become worth it over the $1000 - $1200 mark.

I would recommend a hard tail for you. This will provide you with a better ride. Look for front suspension only.

The quality of the fork (front suspension) also matters. Quality is directly proportional to price. No problems there.

Would you ever consider second hand? I use second hand. Big retailers such as Halfords (in the UK) would charge me £350. Hydrolic disk brakes. Hard tail. But the quality of the forks would be really bad. In all honesty, without comparison, you probably wouldn't notice.

However, there is a mountain biking centre near me. I buy old £250 bikes off them. They were worth £1000 when new.

I put new saddles on them, new hand grips, top up the hydrolic fluids. This costs me an extra £50. I check the forks before I buy. I now have a really, really good hardtail. The saddle and grips, the things which get damaged have been replaced. The brakes work perfectly, as do the fork. Really, really nice bike, and really cheap.

Check the forks! Forks should be really stiff. You should be able to "jump" over them, and them decend a little, reluctantly, and then return. Forks which go a long way down, seem "spongy", go all the way down, and then "bump" may seem nice, but are in really poor condition.

For you, I would get a hard tail mountain bike, with hydrolic disk brakes a plus.

Also make sure you test ride any bike if you can, especially second hand. Test the brakes.

Richard
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #6

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

You might consider a cyclocross bike for that type of riding. Look for a good used one. I use one to commute on offroad limestone/gravel and dirt trails and on the road. The larger tires will take the shocks of what you are describing.


Attached Thumbnails
Bicycle Experts Needed-991292603_6vilv-l.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smarteyeball View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by profdlp View Post
I'm 5'10 and about 200 lbs of solid rippling muscle, chiseled and buff with the mien of an Adonis.
Fueled by tiger blood no doubt
Good ol' Charlie!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #8

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Fresh out of tiger blood, I'm afraid. Seems there's been a run on the market lately.

Thinking back to mountain bikes, after the advice so far, I'm mostly concerned with the weight. I don't even know what my old one weighs, but I remember riding it to the gym and thinking that if the weight room was closed I could probably get a good workout just lifting the bike and carrying it around.

This is is dirt cheap, 26", weighs 40 lbs:

Amazon.com: Pacific Stratus Men's Mountain Bike (26-Inch Wheels): Sports & Outdoors

Even cheaper, 26", weighs 40 lbs:

Amazon.com: Smith and Wesson Tactician 26-Inch Bicycle: Sports & Outdoors

Seen this one at the local sporting goods store and kinda liked it:

Amazon.com: Diamondback Outlook Mountain Bike (26-Inch Wheels): Sports & Outdoors

Then there's this one, which is apparently new since there are no reviews yet:

Amazon.com: Bike USA Titan Trail 4.0 Men's Front Suspension ATB: Sports & Outdoors

Any thoughts on these?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #9

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

You might want to look for something used on Craigs list. I think many people get the urge to get in shape and think bicycling fits the ticket. They take a couple rides and find out it's actually work then park the bike in the garage for a years then decide to sell it. If you purchase from Amazon I'll assume you will have to assemble it yourself, ever done that before? Modern derailleurs and brake systems are kinda finicky and need precision adjustments to work correctly.
A good place to ride for you would be the bike trail in the Cuyahoga valley on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, mostly flat and crushed limestone surface. I own several bicycles along with motorcycles and enjoy both the same.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #10

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

Hello again!

All bikes are quite heavy, but I think that weight differences are exaggerated in people's minds. A cheap road bike is going to be made of metal, and not light weight carbon fibre or anything like that.

It will have slightly thinner frame tubes. How much metal is actually saved? Not very much.
The frame will be slightly thinner, a little bit of saved metal.
The tires will be thin. A little bit of saved rubber.
The forks will be slightly lighter.

Yes, it will be a bit lighter, but I don't think that the difference will be huge.

Lifting a mountain bike, it will feel heavy. Lift a road bike, it will feel heavy. Compare the two, and yes, there will be a little bit of difference. But they will both feel heavy. Bikes are heavy. Only $1000 contain components which really put the weight up. In your price range, the difference will be marginal.

I think that weight will not be noticable/a problem, but I think that fewer punctures and improved ride are worth it.

I still think mountain bike for you.

Do you know what frame size you are? Getting frame size wrong by even one inch will ruin your ride. You will constantly be having to lean over/fall off to get off (not fall in dust, but crash over to one size) or you will struggle to ride.

The single most important thing is the frame size. Go to a local dealership. Ideally, a proper bike shop, and not a superstore. Get them to measure up your frame size, and then buy in your frame size from anywhere.

If a cheap bike does not have exactly your frame size, don't skimp, but look for another model.

In this price range, the quality of forks will be similar. They only change after a $few hundred. The condition of new forms is perfect. The only thing to look out for in this price range is really hard tail/soft tail, and the brakes.

Richard
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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