Advice on new bike purchase

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by SchullieRinger, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. SchullieRinger

    SchullieRinger New Member

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    Hello All,

    This is my second day on cycling forums and my first post. It's also my second year cycling. I bought a cheap mountain bike at Wal-Mart at the beginning of last summer because I was looking for some kind of exercise that was not as boring as a treadmill and easier on my feet (bad arches) than running or walking. I figure $99.95 was not a bad price to pay just to see if I would like it.

    Anyway, now I'm hooked and am ready to buy a more serious bike. Here is what I have in mind and am hoping for some feedback and advice:

    I ride to and from work (not a long commute, only about 3 miles one way), and do a lot of riding just for the sheer pleasure of exploration. I also want to tour, maybe some light touring later this summer and something more serious next year. The idea of century riding appeals to me also. But I also have a couple friends who have lighter road bikes that would like me to come along with them occasionally and maybe more.

    Ideally I would like to have 2 bikes. One for commuting and touring and one for just getting out there and riding. BUT that is not an option. I must stick with one bike and I want to get the right one now so I don’t have to worry about changing or upgrading too soon. I would like to have something comfortable and not TOO slow for daily commuting and "sight seeing" that will also be able to handle touring when I get more into it. I also want to know that I can hold my own in an occasional century ride and to be able to ride with my friends and their road bikes without slowing them down TOO awful much. I would like to spend around $700 but am prepared to spend up to $1100 if I need too.

    Just based on things I’ve found on the internet I’m thinking about looking into the Trek 520, Jamis Nova or Aurora, Fuji Touring or Giant OCR Touring.

    Any thoughts on these given my funky criteria? Any advice on what I should ask the dealers and any advice on equipment swapping for the kind of riding I want to do? Naturally I will try out some different bikes, but I want to go into the shops with at least a little knowledge so I don’t get taken advantage of.

    I would appreciate as much or as little advice as anyone would care to share. Also, can anyone recommend a reputable dealer in the Toledo, Ohio area or is that a no no on these boards?
     
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  2. mjw_byrne

    mjw_byrne New Member

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    So, if I read you right, it's about commuting, touring and some riding purely for fitness/fun. I'd personally put the emphasis on durability - commuting is surprisingly hard on a bike and touring, especially if you will be carrying a lot of stuff, requires a tough bike too. Flat-barred hybrids with v-brakes are worth a look, because flat bars and v-brakes are (IMO) much better for commuting than drop bars and calipers or cantilevers. It depends on how hectic your commute is. On the other hand, drop bars are likely to be comfier and more aerodynamic for longer rides. Don't go for fancy-looking wheelsets (your budget doesn't really allow it, anyway) - the more spokes, the better.
     
  3. Vuh

    Vuh New Member

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    I used to race about 8 years ago...after a long layoff from riding I got back in...knowing that I'd probably not race again, I never felt confortable on my Bianchi when riding with my GF, she is on a Gary Fisher Tassajara...I went looking for a hybrid..came down to three bikes:

    Bianchi Boardwalk
    Specialized Sirrus
    Trek 7300FX

    The price range was obviously $500...my bias was toward the Bianchi...unfortunately, when I was out to test ride, I could never find a shop with the Boardwalk in my size...only could get it by ordering it...so the Bianchi was out...

    The component group between the two were similar...The ride on the Sirrus was very comfortable with the suspension seat post...The 7300FX felt unfinished...

    Been riding the Sirrus since after Mother's day and love it. Very solid and great looking bike...

    With the Sirrus, or any of the Hybrids above, you get two bikes...Leave it as is for commuting, light off road and touring...grab some areo bars and 700x20c tires and keep up with the roadies..or you could get a second wheelset...
     
  4. SchullieRinger

    SchullieRinger New Member

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    Thanks for the advice so far. Sounds like I've got LOTS of options. I hadn't considered the notion of having two wheelsets, that sounds like a good idea.

    I have found good reports on the Trek 520. If anyone has any personal experience with the Jamis bikes (nova or aurora) I would love to hear what you think.

    Looking forward to hitting the bike shops tomorrow. Haven't been able to all week since they're all closed by the time I get off work.
     
  5. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Pay attention to the hub over locknut dimension. Hybrids may be be built around 135mm and 700 c road wheels are 130.
     
  6. Vuh

    Vuh New Member

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    Or, you could just buy the same rim/hub setup and use thinner tires...say Deore Hubs and 700c Road rims like Mavic
     
  7. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

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    Is getting a new bike for faster/longer rides, and keeping your WalMart bike as your commuter an option?

    That would give you an ability to enjoy a pure road bike experience with something like a Giant OCR 3 http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/03...section=8834&range=143&model=10875&lYear=2004 or a Specialized Sequoia http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=6001&JServSessionIdroot=1fcdmczt66.j27005
    but still allow for a more comfortable/upright commute. Two bikes are definitely more than twice as good as one!

    If you don't have space for 2 bikes then I guess two pairs of wheels is an option, but it sounds like a pain to me, and anyways a pair of wheels takes up almost as much space a second bike.
     
  8. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    Well, you deserve a better bike becuase you road that Wally World clunker for a year. Most rookies spend $$$ and never really ride. Pick a LBS you trust and have fun shopping-- it's all good!
     
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