Advice for the ignorant: Help me get a good bike!

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Myriad Of Pain, Apr 15, 2003.

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  1. Hello,

    I'm no cyclist, and I won't pretend to be. I have rarely had the opportunity to do much cycling, but
    I have always enjoyed it when I've been able to. I am going to be moving in about a month to a place
    where I should be able to ride as often as I like. However, I don't have a bike! I also know
    absolutely nothing about them. The only one I've ever owned was a Huffy, or something like that,
    from K-mart (or something like that). Definitely not anywhere near average, I'm sure. Anyway, I plan
    to drop about $500.00 on a brand new bike, and I want to get a nice one. I will probably be riding
    mostly on sidewalks, but will very likely go ride some trails and such, too. I doubt I'll be doing
    much hardcore mountain biking any time soon, though. What brands should I be looking at, and what
    other 'things' will I definitely want to get? Also, I plan to leave it chained to bike racks fairly
    often; I don't know if that makes a difference either way.

    Well, thank you very much for any advice you can offer. I apologize for not being more specific, but
    I really don't know anything about bikes!...lol! I just learned very recently that they have shocks
    for the things now and that K-mart might not sell the best bikes...=P

    MoP

    P.S. - I would love some links to web sites that have information for absolute beginners, too. I
    don't mind doing a bit of research -- actually, I'd love to be able to do the research! That
    isn't to say that I want anyone to hold back on the advice...=) I need all of the help I can
    get! Thanks again!
     
    Tags:


  2. Beverly

    Beverly Guest

    "Myriad of Pain" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello,
    >
    > I'm no cyclist, and I won't pretend to be. I have rarely had the opportunity to do much cycling,
    > but I have always enjoyed it when I've
    been
    > able to. I am going to be moving in about a month to a place where I
    should
    > be able to ride as often as I like. However, I don't have a bike! I
    also
    > know absolutely nothing about them. The only one I've ever owned was a Huffy, or something like
    > that, from K-mart (or something like that). Definitely not anywhere near average, I'm sure.
    > Anyway, I plan to drop about $500.00 on a brand new bike, and I want to get a nice one. I will
    > probably be riding mostly on sidewalks, but will very likely go ride some trails and such, too. I
    > doubt I'll be doing much hardcore mountain
    biking
    > any time soon, though. What brands should I be looking at, and what
    other
    > 'things' will I definitely want to get? Also, I plan to leave it chained
    to
    > bike racks fairly often; I don't know if that makes a difference either
    way.
    >
    > Well, thank you very much for any advice you can offer. I apologize for
    not
    > being more specific, but I really don't know anything about bikes!...lol!
    I
    > just learned very recently that they have shocks for the things now and
    that
    > K-mart might not sell the best bikes...=P
    >
    > MoP
    >
    > P.S. - I would love some links to web sites that have information for absolute beginners, too. I
    > don't mind doing a bit of research --
    actually,
    > I'd love to be able to do the research! That isn't to say that I want anyone to hold back on the
    > advice...=) I need all of the help I can get! Thanks again!
    >
    >
    Go to your local bike shop. Give them the information on what type of riding you want to do and
    they'll be able to recommend a bike. They'll also ensure the bike fits you properly. I went through
    the same thing 4 years ago as you're facing when I decided I wanted to do more riding and needed a
    better bike. They recommended a hybrid and I bought a Giant. I love it. It's comfortable and I
    haven't had any problems with it. Most riding is done on paved bike trails but I have had it on
    crushed limestone without any problems.

    I also own a Janis hybrid and have had equal satisfaction with it.

    Beverly
     
  3. Tbgibb

    Tbgibb Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Myriad of Pain"
    <[email protected]> writes:

    >I'm no cyclist, and I won't pretend to be. I have rarely had the opportunity to do much cycling,
    >but I have always enjoyed it when I've been able to. I am going to be moving in about a month to a
    >place where I should be able to ride as often as I like. However, I don't have a bike!

    snip

    The advice about the bike shop is good, as long as they are willing to try to actually fit you to
    the bike. There is a web site, Harris Cyclery, that is found at some variant of sheldonbrown.com,
    with a good article about bike fit, I'd strongly recommend you read that. Having a properly fitting
    bike makes a huge difference. If the shop you go to simply has you stand over the bike and check the
    distance between your crotch and the top tube (usually by having you pick the bike up) go find
    another bike shop.

    Tom Gibb <[email protected]
     
  4. Cycling Joe

    Cycling Joe Guest

    Don't buy goodies for it or too nice a bike. If you leave it chained to a bike rack for long without
    supervision you're going to see parts vanish off it rather quickly.

    Myriad of Pain wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > I'm no cyclist, and I won't pretend to be. I have rarely had the opportunity to do much cycling,
    > but I have always enjoyed it when I've been able to. I am going to be moving in about a month to a
    > place where I should be able to ride as often as I like. However, I don't have a bike! I also know
    > absolutely nothing about them. The only one I've ever owned was a Huffy, or something like that,
    > from K-mart (or something like that). Definitely not anywhere near average, I'm sure. Anyway, I
    > plan to drop about $500.00 on a brand new bike, and I want to get a nice one. I will probably be
    > riding mostly on sidewalks, but will very likely go ride some trails and such, too. I doubt I'll
    > be doing much hardcore mountain biking any time soon, though. What brands should I be looking at,
    > and what other 'things' will I definitely want to get? Also, I plan to leave it chained to bike
    > racks fairly often; I don't know if that makes a difference either way.
    >
    > Well, thank you very much for any advice you can offer. I apologize for not being more specific,
    > but I really don't know anything about bikes!...lol! I just learned very recently that they have
    > shocks for the things now and that K-mart might not sell the best bikes...=P
    >
    > MoP
    >
    > P.S. - I would love some links to web sites that have information for absolute beginners, too. I
    > don't mind doing a bit of research -- actually, I'd love to be able to do the research! That
    > isn't to say that I want anyone to hold back on the advice...=) I need all of the help I can
    > get! Thanks again!
     
  5. "Cycling Joe" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Don't buy goodies for it or too nice a bike. If you leave it chained to a bike rack for long
    > without supervision you're going to see parts vanish off it rather quickly.
    >

    Hmm... That is an unsettling prospect, indeed. What counts for nice stuff, here, though? I don't
    plan to spend more than $800.00 on a bike (after looking around some today, my 'limit' went
    up...=]). I'm pretty new to this, so this may not be the right way to put it, but the bikes I was
    recommended had Shimano Deore componentry. Is that the stuff that might be stolen from it?

    Thanks.

    MoP

    > Myriad of Pain wrote:
    > > Hello,
    > >
    > > I'm no cyclist, and I won't pretend to be. I have rarely had the opportunity to do much cycling,
    > > but I have always enjoyed it when I've
    been
    > > able to. I am going to be moving in about a month to a place where I
    should
    > > be able to ride as often as I like. However, I don't have a bike! I
    also
    > > know absolutely nothing about them. The only one I've ever owned was a Huffy, or something like
    > > that, from K-mart (or something like that). Definitely not anywhere near average, I'm sure.
    > > Anyway, I plan to drop about $500.00 on a brand new bike, and I want to get a nice one. I will
    > > probably be riding mostly on sidewalks, but will very likely go ride
    some
    > > trails and such, too. I doubt I'll be doing much hardcore mountain
    biking
    > > any time soon, though. What brands should I be looking at, and what
    other
    > > 'things' will I definitely want to get? Also, I plan to leave it
    chained to
    > > bike racks fairly often; I don't know if that makes a difference either
    way.
    > >
    > > Well, thank you very much for any advice you can offer. I apologize for
    not
    > > being more specific, but I really don't know anything about
    bikes!...lol! I
    > > just learned very recently that they have shocks for the things now and
    that
    > > K-mart might not sell the best bikes...=P
    > >
    > > MoP
    > >
    > > P.S. - I would love some links to web sites that have information for absolute beginners, too. I
    > > don't mind doing a bit of research --
    actually,
    > > I'd love to be able to do the research! That isn't to say that I want anyone to hold back on the
    > > advice...=) I need all of the help I can
    get!
    > > Thanks again!
    > >
     
  6. Tanya Quinn

    Tanya Quinn Guest

    "Myriad of Pain" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > about $500.00 on a brand new bike, and I want to get a nice one. I will probably be riding mostly
    > on sidewalks, but will very likely go ride some trails and such, too. I doubt I'll be doing much
    > hardcore mountain biking

    Hi MoP, Riding on the sidewalks is not generally a good idea, and it actually increases your odds
    of having an accident with a car (not just with pedestrians..). That's because cars expect
    pedestrians on sidewalks but not faster moving vehicles. So if someone is backing out of their
    driveway they may not see you, and at intersections cars will be looking for traffic on the road
    but not on the sidewalk.

    I would recommend finding some quiet residential roads to practice on until you get more comfortable
    on the bike.

    If there is somewhere you need to go and the traffic is uncomfortably speedy, and you feel most
    comfortable on the sidewalk, be sure to be extra aware at driveways and intersections, and slow down
    to ped speed at intersections, and also slow down to near ped speed when passing pedestrians, and
    consider walking the bike in sections if the sidewalk is busy with people.

    Tanya
     
  7. Tanya Quinn

    Tanya Quinn Guest

    "Myriad of Pain" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Cycling Joe" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > Don't buy goodies for it or too nice a bike. If you leave it chained to a bike rack for long
    > > without supervision you're going to see parts vanish off it rather quickly.
    > >
    >
    > Hmm... That is an unsettling prospect, indeed. What counts for nice stuff, here, though? I don't
    > plan to spend more than $800.00 on a bike (after looking around some today, my 'limit' went
    > up...=]). I'm pretty new to this, so this may not be the right way to put it, but the bikes I was
    > recommended had Shimano Deore componentry. Is that the stuff that might be stolen from it?

    Bike thieves are evil and don't often make sense in what they steal. I've had a rusty bolt-on front
    wheel stolen from a crappy bike. Buy a decent U-lock for the bike, and also a flexible cable lock. I
    usually lock front wheel and frame with the U-lock to the bike rack. Then use flexible lock to lock
    frame, seat and back wheel to the bike rack. Try to lock the U-lock in such a way that its difficult
    to get leverage with a tool to pry it open. I had same crappy bike locked to a porch once (only the
    frame with a u-lock) and someone attempted to steal it by lifting it up and banging it against the
    railing to try and break the lock (they were unsuccessful as someone scared them off but it did dent
    crappy bike frame) The two types of locks are also handy because you will foil a thief with only one
    type of tool with them.

    Lock the bike in busy areas (or conversely places a bike thief wouldn't likely see it) and never
    leave your bike locked outside all night if you can help it. Lock your bike near other better
    bikes.. that way yours doesn't look like the best target :) Bike thieves will generally steal a)
    anything that's easily stealable, crappy lock, unlocked parts etc. or b) anything that's expensive
    they will go to much more effort for.

    Things like bar ends easily disappear. A nice suspension fork or extra nice pedals could be other
    interesting targets. When you leave your bike locked, take any parts with you that could be easily
    removed, such as headlight/taillight, odometer etc.

    New and shiny looking is also a nice target... some people paint their bikes etc. to make them look
    less appealing but that doesn't sound like a very fun option. If you want a *really* nice bike get
    two: a nice bike that you don't lock up, and a beater bike that you use to commute/get around town.
    Otherwise go reasonbly moderate.

    Tanya
     
  8. Another thing you can try is to fill in all of the allen head bolts with silicone, or other similar
    substance. It means a thief will have to get the silicone out before they can put an allen wrench in
    the bolt. That will slow them down, something they don't want to happen.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  9. Geno

    Geno Guest

    [email protected] (Tanya Quinn) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Myriad of Pain" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > about $500.00 on a brand new bike, and I want to get a nice one. I will probably be riding
    > > mostly on sidewalks, but will very likely go ride some trails and such, too. I doubt I'll be
    > > doing much hardcore mountain biking
    >
    > Hi MoP, Riding on the sidewalks is not generally a good idea, and it actually increases your odds
    > of having an accident with a car (not just with pedestrians..). That's because cars expect
    > pedestrians on sidewalks but not faster moving vehicles. So if someone is backing out of their
    > driveway they may not see you, and at intersections cars will be looking for traffic on the road
    > but not on the sidewalk.
    >
    > I would recommend finding some quiet residential roads to practice on until you get more
    > comfortable on the bike.
    >
    > If there is somewhere you need to go and the traffic is uncomfortably speedy, and you feel most
    > comfortable on the sidewalk, be sure to be extra aware at driveways and intersections, and slow
    > down to ped speed at intersections, and also slow down to near ped speed when passing pedestrians,
    > and consider walking the bike in sections if the sidewalk is busy with people.
    >
    > Tanya

    hello! I am an experienced rider and the best advice is to get your bike at your local bike
    shop NOT at k-mart or a sporting goods store.this is well known among riders. The reason is,
    that the bike at a bike shop is built by a trained bike mechanic, the one at the sporting goods
    store is built by a high school kid who knows nothing. $500 will get you a fine bike. consider
    what is called a "crossover" bike, which can handle dirt paths, but is not a true mountain
    bike. these bikes have skinnier tires and more upright handlebars. if you are young and fit and
    love the outdoors get a mountain bike, you will love the sport. always wear a helmet and
    gloves! I never ride without them.
     
  10. Geno

    Geno Guest

    [email protected] (Tanya Quinn) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Myriad of Pain" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > about $500.00 on a brand new bike, and I want to get a nice one. I will probably be riding
    > > mostly on sidewalks, but will very likely go ride some trails and such, too. I doubt I'll be
    > > doing much hardcore mountain biking
    >
    > Hi MoP, Riding on the sidewalks is not generally a good idea, and it actually increases your odds
    > of having an accident with a car (not just with pedestrians..). That's because cars expect
    > pedestrians on sidewalks but not faster moving vehicles. So if someone is backing out of their
    > driveway they may not see you, and at intersections cars will be looking for traffic on the road
    > but not on the sidewalk.
    >
    > I would recommend finding some quiet residential roads to practice on until you get more
    > comfortable on the bike.
    >
    > If there is somewhere you need to go and the traffic is uncomfortably speedy, and you feel most
    > comfortable on the sidewalk, be sure to be extra aware at driveways and intersections, and slow
    > down to ped speed at intersections, and also slow down to near ped speed when passing pedestrians,
    > and consider walking the bike in sections if the sidewalk is busy with people.
    >
    > Tanya

    Hello again. I just read the entire post. Cambria bikes has a good website. it is in california. the
    shimano deore components are fine.not the top of the line but definitly not junk. $800 will get you
    an excellent bike. get an excellent lock. the components arent what will dissapear from thieves.
    they might take easily removable things like your front wheel or seatbag. lock them and dont leave
    your seatbag on the bike when locked. dont get a regular padlock. get a real good cable type lock
    with the type of key that is round and cylindrical.all the advice others have given is sound. Have
    fun! it's hard not to smile while biking!
     
  11. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Tanya Quinn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > Bike thieves are evil and don't often make sense in what they steal.
    ...
    >
    > Things like bar ends easily disappear. A nice suspension fork or extra nice pedals could be other
    > interesting targets. When you leave your bike locked, take any parts with you that could be easily
    > removed, such as headlight/taillight, odometer etc.

    Conversely, I've always just left my helmet sitting on the bike, unlocked, and never had one taken
    in over 25 years.

    Used helmets seem to be beneath even thieves.
     
  12. "Tanya Quinn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Myriad of Pain" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > about $500.00 on a brand new bike, and I want to get a nice one. I will probably be riding
    > > mostly on sidewalks, but will very likely go ride
    some
    > > trails and such, too. I doubt I'll be doing much hardcore mountain
    biking
    >
    > Hi MoP, Riding on the sidewalks is not generally a good idea, and it actually increases your odds
    > of having an accident with a car (not just with pedestrians..). That's because cars expect
    > pedestrians on sidewalks but not faster moving vehicles. So if someone is backing out of their
    > driveway they may not see you, and at intersections cars will be looking for traffic on the road
    > but not on the sidewalk.
    >
    > I would recommend finding some quiet residential roads to practice on until you get more
    > comfortable on the bike.
    >
    > If there is somewhere you need to go and the traffic is uncomfortably speedy, and you feel most
    > comfortable on the sidewalk, be sure to be extra aware at driveways and intersections, and slow
    > down to ped speed at intersections, and also slow down to near ped speed when passing pedestrians,
    > and consider walking the bike in sections if the sidewalk is busy with people.
    >
    > Tanya

    Thanks for the advice...=)

    I'm pretty afraid of the road, because I don't like to go very fast on a bike, and I'm not very used
    to riding yet. However, I realize it may be necessary to ride on the street sometimes. Fortunately,
    where I will probably do most of my street/sidewalk riding, it is usually pretty controlled: lots of
    street lights for the cars, and walk/don't walk signs for pedestrians, etc. But, I hadn't thought
    about cars and driveways!--I'll be sure to watch out for that! Thanks for the warning...=)

    MoP

    P.S. - There are also a lot of cyclists in the area, so I hope most of the regulars through the
    region expect them...=)
     
  13. "Geno" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Tanya Quinn) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > "Myriad of Pain" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > > about $500.00 on a brand new bike, and I want to get a nice one. I
    will
    > > > probably be riding mostly on sidewalks, but will very likely go ride
    some
    > > > trails and such, too. I doubt I'll be doing much hardcore mountain
    biking
    > >
    > > Hi MoP, Riding on the sidewalks is not generally a good idea, and it actually increases your
    > > odds of having an accident with a car (not just with pedestrians..). That's because cars expect
    > > pedestrians on sidewalks but not faster moving vehicles. So if someone is backing out of their
    > > driveway they may not see you, and at intersections cars will be looking for traffic on the road
    > > but not on the sidewalk.
    > >
    > > I would recommend finding some quiet residential roads to practice on until you get more
    > > comfortable on the bike.
    > >
    > > If there is somewhere you need to go and the traffic is uncomfortably speedy, and you feel most
    > > comfortable on the sidewalk, be sure to be extra aware at driveways and intersections, and slow
    > > down to ped speed at intersections, and also slow down to near ped speed when passing
    > > pedestrians, and consider walking the bike in sections if the sidewalk is busy with people.
    > >
    > > Tanya
    >
    > hello! I am an experienced rider and the best advice is to get your bike at your local bike
    > shop NOT at k-mart or a sporting goods store.this is well known among riders. The reason is,
    > that the bike at a bike shop is built by a trained bike mechanic, the one at the sporting
    > goods store is built by a high school kid who knows nothing. $500 will get you a fine bike.
    > consider what is called a "crossover" bike, which can handle dirt paths, but is not a true
    > mountain bike. these bikes have skinnier tires and more upright handlebars. if you are young
    > and fit and love the outdoors get a mountain bike, you will love the sport. always wear a
    > helmet and gloves! I never ride without them.

    Hi!

    I ended up purchasing a Trek 6700 with disc brakes. I absolutely love it, so far, but I managed to
    burst the front tire trying to hop a curb yesterday...=*( So, I don't get to ride it until I get
    that fixed, hopefully on Monday. The more I thought about it, the more I thought I'd like mountain
    biking, so I decided to lean as heavily in that direction as I could afford...=)

    I wanted to ask you about the gloves you mentioned. I didn't realize gloves were recommended. Are
    there gloves specifically for mountain bikers? What do they do that is beneficial? Is there anything
    specific I need to know about them?

    Thanks!

    MoP
     
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