Coming Back To My Bike

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Psykologic, May 19, 2013.

  1. Psykologic

    Psykologic New Member

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    When I was eight, my father bought me a Raleigh mountain bike for my birthday. Well, I kind of forgot about it until the last few years. But now I'm twenty-two, and not a short as I was back then. I still try to bike when I can, but the size of my bike hinders my efficiency and causes some pain in my wrists/forearms. I'm looking to purchase another bike to fit my current height and size, and whatnot. I haven't had the opportunity to go off roading with my current bike, but I also haven't done any serious cycling either. I need a bike that can handle roads, sidewalks, and grassy, bumpy hills. I'm also planning on this bike to go long distances as part of my new workout routine, along with the fact that I'm trying to cut back on gas consumption. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what brands, etc., of bikes are better for a newer, heavier, rider?
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the frame size which your father originally bought for you AND how much you have grown, you may be able to get by with simply a new stem (e.g., 120mm-or-130mm) & a longer seatpost (if you have less than about 10" of exposed seatpost, then 'I' recommend that you try THAT before you get a new frame)...

    • although the components on your bike are probably dated (i.e., 8-speed ... nothing wrong with that, BTW), if they are LX-or-better then you could theoretically just move them over to a larger Hardtail frame which you could buy separately for between $60 & $600 ...
    • you may eventually want a crankset with different length crank arms
    • OR, installing MOUSTACHE handlebars may be adequate to mitigate your wrist/forearm discomfort

    If you are planning to go off road AND if you are 5'9", or taller, then I would suggest you look at a 29er Hardtail with either a Rigid Fork or a Suspension Fork depending on the type of off road trails you plan to ride on ...

    • you would use a different set of tires/tubes for wheels for pavement and off road
     
  3. Psykologic

    Psykologic New Member

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    I've gone to my local bike shop, and they've pretty much told me that it would be better if I just switched to a different bike. They said my bike doesn't really have any options to swap out parts. My seat post is barely inside the frame right now, and that's only because I think if I moved it any higher, that it would be at risk for wobbling around or something along those lines.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  4. digibud

    digibud New Member

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    roads, sidewalks, and grassy, bumpy hills eh? And you want to do distance. So a pure mtn bike with rear shocks is out. If you want to do bumpy hills a front fork would be a good thing; one you can lock out for when you are road riding. Bumpy hills means a flat bar. If I were you I'd be looking for a cross bike that could take rear pannier racks for commuting or reducing your car use and might carry food/supplies at some point. If bumpy hills are not racing hills where a front suspension is needed but you'll just be on bumpy stuff a little here and there, you can skip the front shock and have a lighter, better rolling city bike that you can simply swap tires on for a day in the hills on dirt. Yes or no to front shock is one big question...they aren't needed or helpful on roads or even on well packed dirt but very nice if things really are rough. At some point you want rear shocks but that doesn't seem the case here. If you want to do real distance you can do a cross bike with drop handlebars which will make longer distance much easier on you at the cost of steering on dirt. You'd limit yourself to well packed dirt roads with drop bars. I'd be looking at hard tail mtn bikes or cross bikes, either would work OK for you depending on whether you want to lean more toward a mtn bike that works ok on the road or a road bike that works ok on dirt. I've done 1000+mile fully loaded tours on hard tail mtn bikes. Totally doable. Just be sure the bike will take the range of tire sizes that will allow you to put on 2.25" knobbies for dirt/mud conditions and 1.5" tires for city slick riding. I swap those sizes regularly with great effect making for a very versatile ride. Actually in the winter I swap out my suspension fork for a standard fork so the cold temps don't destroy the suspension fork. Good luck.
     
  5. Psykologic

    Psykologic New Member

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    Thanks for the info Digibud. I suppose "bumpy hills" should be more defined. I live in Indiana, and in the part of my city I live in there's a lot of sidewalk missing. So "bumpy" doesn't really mean something like an off road hill, per se. That's partially to compensate for all of the curbing I'll have to go over and uneven grass/ground I'll be trekking through. So with that expansion, do you think I should worry about front shocks? I definitely understand you swapping tires for different rides, and I'll take that into consideration for sure, but I'm a bit too poor to have to worry about swapping tires all the time right now. Plus, from what I've been told locally, because of my size and weight, slimmer tires wouldn't do me much good right now. I appreciate your response!
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Most stock seatposts are not as long as the longest available & THAT is why I indicated a length of EXPOSED SEATPOST rather than the extension relative to the post's minimum insertion line ...

    You never indicated how tall you are AND what size frame your father bought for you when you were 8 ... it could very well be that the frame is much too small ...

    BUT, if you have a hankerin' for a new bike, then go for it ...

    • FWIW. Again, I recommend a 29er Hardtail with a RIGID fork + a second set of wheels which will have Road tires for when you want to ride on pavement ...

    BTW. I think that few bike shops would suggest moving components from one frame to another because there isn't very much money in it for them. What components does your current bike have? What are the frame's dimensions. Again, how tall are you, now?

    • Post a picture of your bike as it is currently configured ...
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    If you are on a restrictive budget (most people actually are), then (IMO) you really need to investigate the feasibility of making your current bike viable ...

    1. longer seatpost
    2. longer stem and/or different handlebars

    • WHAT is your budget?

    AGAIN, how tall are YOU + what size (i.e., effective top tube length ... the horizontal measurement between the theoretical center of the seatpost & stem) frame is your Raleigh?

    Unless the components on your current Raleigh are really sub-standard and/or trashed, then regardless of how worthwhile it would be in the world which the in people who work at the bike shop may think it would be to move the components to a different frame, if spending less than $100 for a different Hardtail + YOUR time & DIY effort is all you can budget for in the here-and-now, then that is probably your only realistic alternative.

    Once again, if you want a 'new' bike then look at a 29er Hardtail ...
     
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