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Buying a new bike for a newbie



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 15th 05, 05:56 PM
kramer
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Posts: n/a
Default Buying a new bike for a newbie

Okay, the last time I bought a bike (Centurian 10-speed in 1982 @ 12 yrs
old) the choice was between the Centurian and either a Mongoose or
Diamondback BMX bike (or a CFX I believe). Anyway, I just took my 4 year
old son in to get his first bike (a simple Trek 16" Jet) and I was thinking
about getting myself a bike, but I am lost as to what to get. I am hoping
for some recommendations based on the following probable use
characteristics:

I live in Portland, OR and we do have hills....

I will be riding on the street/sidewalk/hard trail most likely 80-90% of the
time, but may venture a little more off-road once in a while.

I want something 'light'

I would like to stay under $500.

I think Disk brakes are cool, but do I need them????

I like to go fast, but comfort is also important....

Thats what I have thought about so far, any help?

Thanks for your time.


K


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  #2  
Old March 15th 05, 07:01 PM
jj
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Default

On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 08:56:29 -0800, "kramer" wrote:

Okay, the last time I bought a bike (Centurian 10-speed in 1982 @ 12 yrs
old) the choice was between the Centurian and either a Mongoose or
Diamondback BMX bike (or a CFX I believe). Anyway, I just took my 4 year
old son in to get his first bike (a simple Trek 16" Jet) and I was thinking
about getting myself a bike, but I am lost as to what to get. I am hoping
for some recommendations based on the following probable use
characteristics:

I live in Portland, OR and we do have hills....

I will be riding on the street/sidewalk/hard trail most likely 80-90% of the
time, but may venture a little more off-road once in a while.


If you use wider tires, 32mm, or even 26mm you can ride virtually
everything you like except mud and light loose gravel or sand.

I want something 'light'


Most MTB are not going to be light because of the shock absorbers. What do
you consider 'light'? 24lbs is the lightest you're going to get in your
price range.

I would like to stay under $500.


Go for a Trek 1000. $540, Tiagra components, carbon forks.

I think Disk brakes are cool, but do I need them????


You do not need disk brakes. They add weight.

I like to go fast, but comfort is also important....


What do you consider 'fast'? What are your comfort concerns?

I'm a larger rider and I ride a Trek 1000, and I've never not been
comfortable on that bike. I'm not sure I understand this over-concern for
'comfort'. Modern bikes are more than comfortable. If you start adding
suspensions, and fat knobby tires and big heavy saddles believe me your
'lungs' are not going to be comfortable. ;-)

If you are riding to get somewhere or for fitness, a 24lb road bike is
perfect. Don't fall for the idea of 'get a heavy bike it will make you
fitter', or conversely that a 'too light' bike will not let you train hard
enough. A heavy bike (40-45lbs) might make you struggle more, but soon
you'll be cussing at it because you can't get up the hill to town.

Now if you mean 'comfort' in terms of overall position on the bike, just
get your saddle set at the right height and raise your stem so that it's
within in a half-inch, or even level with the saddle (you may need to get a
longer stem - most LBS will swap one out for free if you buy your bike
there). It may take a few weeks to get 'comfortable' with the position, but
you have several hand positions and it's fairly easy to get comfortable.

jj

Thats what I have thought about so far, any help?

Thanks for your time.


K


  #3  
Old March 15th 05, 07:18 PM
Chris Zacho The Wheelman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

(kramer) Asked:
snip
I was thinking about getting myself a
bike, but I am lost as to what to get. I am
hoping for some recommendations
based on the following probable use
characteristics:


This question is best answered by one of our members who sell bikes, as
they are more knowledgeable about the various brands/models on the
market. But as a general recommendation I would say an entry level
touring bike or hybrid should fit the bill rather nicely.

I live in Portland, OR and we do have
hills....


Tourers and hybrids have triple cranks with wide ranges, which will give
you low lows without sacrificing the high end.

I will be riding on the
street/sidewalk/hard trail most likely
80-90% of the time, but may venture a
little more off-road once in a while.


Tourers are built tougher than "road" (racing) bikes, and with the
addition of wider (1-3/8") tires, can venture onto fire roads and smooth
trails, although you can't do the nastier stuff. Hybrids are tougher
still. A mountain bike may be more than you need, since most of the
riding you wish to do doesn't seem to need all the bells and whistles.

I want something 'light'


Hybrids are not as light as a touring machine, but they are lighter than
mountain bikes, at least within the same price range.

I would like to stay under $500.


Did I mention "entry level"?

I think Disk brakes are cool, but do I
need them????


No. Disks are good for muddy, wet conditions, as they stay out of the
muck due to their position near the hub, and for carrying heavy loads
(expedition touring (self contained) and tandems) as they provide more
stopping power without the danger of overheating the rims, possibly
causing the tires to blow out. But for regular, "dry", unladen biking,
they are not necessary.

I like to go fast, but comfort is also
important....


Speed is mostly in the strength of the rider, however, touring bikes
generally have less rolling resistance than hybrids, and hybrids less
than MTN bikes due to their narrower, higher pressure tires, and the
touring bike's drop bars offer more choices of handlebar positions, from
upright and comfy to down and streamlined . Both have geometry which
leans towards comfort, stability and smooth ride.

That's what I have thought about so far,
any help?


Thanks for your time.
K


Hope the other's can be more specific, leading you towards a definite
choice. As always, visit the LBS (Local Bike Shops) and check out what
is available. You wouldn't buy a car without test driving it, would you?
Also, a good LBS will fit you to the bike, like a good tailor. and will
often offer free tune ups for a period. Usually 90 days.

- -

"May you have the winds at your back,
And a really low gear for the hills!"

Chris Zacho ~ "Your Friendly Neighborhood Wheelman"

Chris'Z Corner
http://www.geocities.com/czcorner

  #4  
Old March 15th 05, 08:23 PM
kramer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks for the responses so far. I know $500 may not get much of a bike
in the eyes of an enthusiest, but it's no Huffy either I suppose I would
like to get a good, solid bike and if I really get into riding, I will know
exactly what I want before I drop considerably more cash. Another piece of
the puzzle is that I am primarily looking at 2 neighborhood bike shops (one
by my office and one by my house) and they carry mainly TREK, Gary Fisher,
K2, Harro, Fuji, Cannondale and Klein, but the best selection seems to be
either Trek or Harro, fwiw. Unless anyone has a specific dealer in
Portland, OR they would recommend. I would even consider used.


"Chris Zacho "The Wheelman"" wrote in message
...
(kramer) Asked:
snip
I was thinking about getting myself a
bike, but I am lost as to what to get. I am
hoping for some recommendations
based on the following probable use
characteristics:


This question is best answered by one of our members who sell bikes, as
they are more knowledgeable about the various brands/models on the
market. But as a general recommendation I would say an entry level
touring bike or hybrid should fit the bill rather nicely.

I live in Portland, OR and we do have
hills....


Tourers and hybrids have triple cranks with wide ranges, which will give
you low lows without sacrificing the high end.

I will be riding on the
street/sidewalk/hard trail most likely
80-90% of the time, but may venture a
little more off-road once in a while.


Tourers are built tougher than "road" (racing) bikes, and with the
addition of wider (1-3/8") tires, can venture onto fire roads and smooth
trails, although you can't do the nastier stuff. Hybrids are tougher
still. A mountain bike may be more than you need, since most of the
riding you wish to do doesn't seem to need all the bells and whistles.

I want something 'light'


Hybrids are not as light as a touring machine, but they are lighter than
mountain bikes, at least within the same price range.

I would like to stay under $500.


Did I mention "entry level"?

I think Disk brakes are cool, but do I
need them????


No. Disks are good for muddy, wet conditions, as they stay out of the
muck due to their position near the hub, and for carrying heavy loads
(expedition touring (self contained) and tandems) as they provide more
stopping power without the danger of overheating the rims, possibly
causing the tires to blow out. But for regular, "dry", unladen biking,
they are not necessary.

I like to go fast, but comfort is also
important....


Speed is mostly in the strength of the rider, however, touring bikes
generally have less rolling resistance than hybrids, and hybrids less
than MTN bikes due to their narrower, higher pressure tires, and the
touring bike's drop bars offer more choices of handlebar positions, from
upright and comfy to down and streamlined . Both have geometry which
leans towards comfort, stability and smooth ride.

That's what I have thought about so far,
any help?


Thanks for your time.
K


Hope the other's can be more specific, leading you towards a definite
choice. As always, visit the LBS (Local Bike Shops) and check out what
is available. You wouldn't buy a car without test driving it, would you?
Also, a good LBS will fit you to the bike, like a good tailor. and will
often offer free tune ups for a period. Usually 90 days.

- -

"May you have the winds at your back,
And a really low gear for the hills!"

Chris Zacho ~ "Your Friendly Neighborhood Wheelman"

Chris'Z Corner
http://www.geocities.com/czcorner



  #5  
Old March 15th 05, 08:42 PM
catzz66
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

kramer wrote:
Thanks for the responses so far. I know $500 may not get much of a bike
in the eyes of an enthusiest, but it's no Huffy either I suppose I would
like to get a good, solid bike and if I really get into riding, I will know
exactly what I want before I drop considerably more cash. Another piece of
the puzzle is that I am primarily looking at 2 neighborhood bike shops (one
by my office and one by my house) and they carry mainly TREK, Gary Fisher,
K2, Harro, Fuji, Cannondale and Klein, but the best selection seems to be
either Trek or Harro, fwiw. Unless anyone has a specific dealer in
Portland, OR they would recommend. I would even consider used.



If you are open to getting used, you can often get some pretty good
deals. Many shops will take tradeins of brands that they sell. If you
do your homework and are not in a big hurry, you can sometimes find a
good used model. Trek for example offers several different models new,
assuming your shops carry most of them. You can check out the MSRP on
line to make sure the price you are being quoted is reasonable.
  #6  
Old March 15th 05, 08:47 PM
jj
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:23:48 -0800, "kramer" wrote:

Thanks for the responses so far. I know $500 may not get much of a bike
in the eyes of an enthusiest, but it's no Huffy either I suppose I would
like to get a good, solid bike and if I really get into riding, I will know
exactly what I want before I drop considerably more cash. Another piece of
the puzzle is that I am primarily looking at 2 neighborhood bike shops (one
by my office and one by my house) and they carry mainly TREK, Gary Fisher,
K2, Harro, Fuji, Cannondale and Klein, but the best selection seems to be
either Trek or Harro, fwiw. Unless anyone has a specific dealer in
Portland, OR they would recommend. I would even consider used.


Trek is a good buy, though they may be slightly higher prices due to the
Armstrong hype. Gary Fisher is OK, but they mainly focus on MTB, iirc.
Cannondale and Klein are great bikes. You'll pay more for a Klein for the
fine workmanship.

The important thing is to go test ride several bikes. Next most important
is your sense of the bike shop. If they seem helpful and stay with you, and
promote test riding all is well. If they seem elitist or standoffish or
don't really seem to want to let you test ride more than two or three bikes
you might do better elsewhere.

jj

  #7  
Old March 16th 05, 05:06 AM
Ben A Gozar
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Posts: n/a
Default

I was impressed with the Trek line as mentioned in an earlier post. Marin's
wre also worth a look. I bought a Kona Dew, and I am very happy with it, I
can't imagine riding anything else.

I own a used mountain bike, and street bike also, used is a good value way
to buy.
  #8  
Old March 16th 05, 02:52 PM
Peter Cole
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Posts: n/a
Default


kramer wrote:
I was thinking
about getting myself a bike, but I am lost as to what to get. I am

hoping
for some recommendations based on the following probable use
characteristics:

I live in Portland, OR and we do have hills....

I will be riding on the street/sidewalk/hard trail most likely 80-90%

of the
time, but may venture a little more off-road once in a while.

I want something 'light'

I would like to stay under $500.

I think Disk brakes are cool, but do I need them????

I like to go fast, but comfort is also important....


You're going to have to decide between a mountain bike, a hybrid or a
road bike variant.

In your price range (remember to budget for accessories), I don't think
there's much in road bikes. Off-road can be so diffent from road
riding, if you get into true single track. A mountain bike (even entry
level) can be used there and on the street. A hybrid is the ultimate
compromise bike, adequate at most things, not great at any.

It's hard to know when you're just starting out what kind of riding
you'll do, or even whether you'll stick with it. If I could only have
one bike (I have 5), I'd go with a mountain bike, because it's the only
bike that can do all the things I like to do.

You don't need disk brakes.

  #9  
Old March 16th 05, 06:50 PM
kramer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

A couple of Trek bikes have caught my eye. Anyone have an opinion about the
4300, 7200 or 7300??? Or similar bikes?


  #10  
Old March 16th 05, 07:28 PM
catzz66
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Posts: n/a
Default

kramer wrote:
A couple of Trek bikes have caught my eye. Anyone have an opinion about the
4300, 7200 or 7300??? Or similar bikes?




My first bike after starting up again was a used 4300. I've been happy
with it and still ride it some weekly, though my main ride is a road
bike now. The 4300 has decent equipment and has been very reliable.
About the only thing I have done is swap out the knobby tires for some
low priced Continental street tires since I ride mostly on the pavement.
 




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