Flat bar advice needed

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Damien Lin, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Damien Lin

    Damien Lin New Member

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    I am a 57 year old female paddler who’s shoulders just informed me I need a new sport. I live in SW Florida and was looking into a hybrid for mostly road use. Looking at 20-40 kn rides for fitness. Florida Is flat and NOT bike friendly. Hoping to participate later in group rides. I would like to use clip in pedals and have tubeless tires. Lightweight a priority. I “think” I want disc brakes. Budget total needs to be under 1k including any taxes and upgrades. This is my short list in no particular order. I am bike ignorant so feel free to educate me as far as priorities/brands/models. Wanted to buy from a local store. The brands seem confusing as far as model and components. I don’t understand how different grades of components effect me. I also don't understand why I need so many gears if Florida is FLAT. Thanks in advance.
    1. Liv Thrive 2019
    2. Specialized Sirrus disc
    3. Cannondale 3,4,5 Quick ??? All the model numbers confound me
    4. Trek FX3 2019.
    As far as I know, only the Liv comes with tube less tires...
     
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  2. Damien Lin

    Damien Lin New Member

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    So I just read previous replies to similar question and the jist I get is it doesn't really matter.....
     
  3. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    The bike biz is very homogenous. Comparable money will buy you comparable bikes, regardless of whose logo it is on the frame.
    With that budget you don’t need to worry about component series.
    All will be perfectly serviceable and it’ll take several hundreds of miles befor you become accustomed enough to MAYBE notice any differences between one and another.
    Don’t worry about which tires the bike comes with.
    If you think you might want to go tubeless later, simply make sure the rims are tubeless-ready.
    Tires wear out eventually, giving you an excellent opportunity to switch then.
    Keep in mind that tubeless rely on a liquid sealant being present in the tire. This sealant has a limited life, so tubeless bikes are generally sold tubed, to get the shop away from having to do the upkeep on ”true” tubeless setups.
    Discs are nice, mainly from two perspectives, more consistent braking in rain, and not needing as much hand force for a set amount of braking.
    As to why you need gears:
    Humans, like all engines, work best in a range of rate-of-turn and resistance. Gears allows you to stay in that range regardless if there’s a head- or tailwind, climb or descent.
    If your car benefits from gears to choose between, so do you.
    Test rides are the key.
    As a rookie rider, you WILL need the support of your LBS. Do they seem impatient and/or snotty at one place - don’t shop there.
    Is there one style of shifters your hands simply can’t agree with - don’t buy that bike.
    FUNCTIONALLY, it probably doesn’t matter.
    But that doesn’t mean a rider can’t have a preference.
    Your problem as a rookie rider is that you don’t have any references.
    How’d you know what to prefer?
     
    #3 dabac, Nov 7, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  4. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Member

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    I'm wondering why you want clip in pedals. Are you talking about the cages that your feet go into, or are you talking about clipless pedals. With the latter you need cleats to fit on your shoes so your feet attach to the pedals. I think those are mostly used by professional race cyclists, and some keen hobbyists. And some of those have been known to not put a foot down in time when they stop, and over they go because their foot is firmly attached to the pedal.

    My rides are about the same as you are proposing, distance-wise, and I just use flat pedals. They have small spikes molded into the plastic for your shoes to get a good grip. I ride a hybrid bike and a fat bike, both of which have flat pedals and have never given me any trouble such as shoes slipping off of them. I've ridden the hybrid for over 3,000 miles (4,900 km) and the fatty for 5,500 miles (9,000 km).

    Regarding gears, Florida may be flat (I live in central FL) but there are places with gradients that you wouldn't want to ride a single speed bike up unless you're an athlete. Also gears are great in a strong headwind. My fatty has 20 speeds because of a double chainring, but I seldom use the small chainring. Ten gears is more than enough for me, and I seldom use the highest gear unless I've got a good tailwind.

    I looked into tubeless tires, and I wouldn't want them, but that's a personal choice. As Dabac pointed out, they do need maintenance such as replacing the sealer inside the tire. I've never had a flat on the hybrid bike, and only one with the fatty when a screw went into the tire, so for me it would be pointless going to the expense of tubeless. Other riders will give you all kinds of reasons why you should go tubeless, but bear in mind everyone has their preferences, so in the end it comes down to you picking what you want and perhaps learning from it. And, incidentally, my LBS turned out to be a nightmare as far as botched mechanical work, and wrong information. That's why I do my own wrenching. If you go with a bike shop, I hope you get a good one.

    Good luck with your new venture!
     
  5. Damien Lin

    Damien Lin New Member

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    UPDATE...after obsessing for months my husband took me to the store and said for God’s sake, buy a bike. I chose a Trek because the store is very close, and that was important to me. He got a Townie and is very happy. I hemmed and hawed over a Domane CF and Trek FX4. I got the 4 and so far I am happy. I have 30 days to change my mind but I think I’ll keep it. I am 5’6 and went with a large frame which felt more comfortable. Right now I have to ride one handed half the time because of my shoulder. I’m sure that willl improve slowly. Ultimately, Florida is a death trap for cyclist and I am hoping my choice will allow me to freelance between road, shoulders, paths and sidewalks. As far as speed goes I was able to keep it at close to 16mph pretty easy on the sidewalk so I might be able to do slower group rides in time. Just gotta find the right group!
     
  6. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Member

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    According to a recent article, Florida has the highest death rates among cyclists. That doesn't surprise me, seeing the number of stupid cyclists who take to the roads and sidewalks. At night, I see quite a few of them in dark clothing and no lights on their bikes. Apparently, it's not something cops want to deal with. Others just go wherever they want, and hope car drivers will miss them.

    Most of my riding is on sidewalks and pathways. The only place I care to be on the road is in quiet residential areas with little to no traffic. Even bike lanes are not safe because of drivers using phones or being distracted in other ways.

    I ride my Specialized fat bike all over the county and have had no problems with drivers or even come close to accidents. With over 5,500 miles on the fat bike, I think that's a pretty good record, but I've had twenty-seven years of motorcycle riding, and the skills I learned in that also work well with a bicycle. I'd guess that a properly equipped and maintained bicycle goes a long way to safer riding.
     
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