Help me choose right bike for me.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Windowsnt, Apr 28, 2003.

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  1. Windowsnt

    Windowsnt Guest

    Its been about 8 years since I've really ridden a bicycle. When I was a kid I rode around on a
    freestyle bike and did a few tricks and jumps here and there. I'm 6'2" about 230 lbs. Looking for a
    bike to help me get into shape and maybe drop a few pounds, and to have some fun with. I would like
    to eventually be riding about 20 or 30 miles one way on public roads. I would also like to go
    off-road sometimes and maybe do a few jumps and tricks. Someone recommended to me a Haro Backtrail
    X24, since its pretty big with 24" wheels, but would this really be suitable for 30 mile trips on
    public roads ?

    Do I need something with gears like a mountain bike ? The area I live in doesn't really have many
    hills, but I'm thinking with gears I can ride a little faster and not slow down traffic as much. So
    basically I'm trying to choose between something like the Backtrail X24 or a mountain bike. What
    would be the advantages of a mountain bike other than having gears ?
     
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  2. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Tue, 29 Apr 2003 03:00:14 GMT, <[email protected]>, windowsNT
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >What would be the advantages of a mountain bike other than having gears ?

    Wider selection of tires. If you end up riding mostly on roads, you will want smooth tires. The
    26" wheel size would be faster for longer rides. Headwinds can make you wish you had a different
    gear. Generally, a guy your size will want the larger frames that naturally come with the larger
    wheeled bikes.
    --
    zk
     
  3. Justin

    Justin Guest

    What would be the advantages of a mountain bike other
    > than having gears ?

    Shocks, more of a tax write off for a "company vehicle"
     
  4. "windowsNT" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Its been about 8 years since I've really ridden a bicycle. When I was a kid I rode around on a
    > freestyle bike and did a few tricks and jumps here and there. I'm 6'2" about 230 lbs. Looking for
    > a bike to help me get into shape and maybe drop a few pounds, and to have some fun with. I would
    > like to eventually be riding about 20 or 30 miles one way on public roads. I would also like to go
    > off-road sometimes and maybe do a few jumps and tricks. Someone recommended to me a Haro Backtrail
    > X24, since its pretty big with 24" wheels, but would this really be suitable for 30 mile trips on
    > public roads ?
    >
    > Do I need something with gears like a mountain bike ? The area I live in doesn't really have many
    > hills, but I'm thinking with gears I can ride a little faster and not slow down traffic as much.

    Don't worry about traffic, allow other traffic to pass if it builds up behind you (remember you are
    also traffic). An 85 year old going 5 mph has as much right to be there as 25 mph racer type.

    > So basically I'm trying to choose between something like the Backtrail X24 or a mountain bike.
    > What would be the advantages of a mountain bike other than having gears ?

    Size: Your legs have more power when they can extend to the proper angle. You'll need that for
    longer rides, especially if there are any hills.

    Speed: You can go a lot faster with gears and the above mentioned leg efficiency.

    Looks: To anyone except young bmx riders a grown person on a tiny bike with their legs unable to
    extend looks clown like.
     
  5. windowsNT <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Its been about 8 years since I've really ridden a bicycle. When I was a kid I rode around on a
    > freestyle bike and did a few tricks and jumps here and there. I'm 6'2" about 230 lbs. Looking for
    > a bike to help me get into shape and maybe drop a few pounds, and to have some fun with. I would
    > like to eventually be riding about 20 or 30 miles one way on public roads. I would also like to go
    > off-road sometimes and maybe do a few jumps and tricks. Someone recommended to me a Haro Backtrail
    > X24, since its pretty big with 24" wheels, but would this really be suitable for 30 mile trips on
    > public roads ?

    Probably not; 24" wheels are still awfully small, with limited tire availability.

    You will look and feel like a circus bear riding a bicycle. It will undoubtedly be excruciatingly
    uncomfortable after a dozen miles or so.

    >
    > Do I need something with gears like a mountain bike ? The area I live in doesn't really have many
    > hills, but I'm thinking with gears I can ride a little faster and not slow down traffic as much.
    > So basically I'm trying to choose between something like the Backtrail X24 or a mountain bike.
    > What would be the advantages of a mountain bike other than having gears ?

    Fit. Fit. Fit. Fit. Did I mention Fit?

    The mountain bike will be miles better (literally!) because you can choose a gear to maintain an
    adequate cadence and thus not get tired so easily. Your legs will be able to turn the pedals more
    comfortably. You will roll more easily over smaller bumps, thanks to the larger wheels. If the bike
    is rigid--unsuspended--you will be easily able to fit racks to it so that you can carry stuff on the
    bike and not on you. You can put slick tires on it on the road and be pretty fast.

    for the money, get the mountain bike. US$200 at a good bike shop might get you something really nice
    indeed. Beware the department-store bike; a russian-roulette game in terms of assembly quality and
    durability (q.v. another thread on this topic).

    If you know your stuff mechanically, you can look around for a used bike that fits you. But
    used-bike buying is best undertaken when you know exactly what you want/need already....

    -Luigi
     
  6. "one of the six billion" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "windowsNT" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Its been about 8 years since I've really ridden a bicycle. When I was a kid I rode around on a
    > > freestyle bike and did a few tricks and jumps here and there. I'm 6'2" about 230 lbs. Looking
    > > for a bike to help me get into shape and maybe drop a few pounds, and to have some fun with. I
    > > would like to eventually be riding about 20 or 30 miles one way on public roads. I would also
    > > like to go off-road sometimes and maybe do a few jumps and tricks. Someone recommended to me a
    > > Haro Backtrail X24, since its pretty big with 24" wheels, but would this really be suitable for
    > > 30 mile trips on public roads ?
    > >
    > > Do I need something with gears like a mountain bike ? The area I live in doesn't really have
    > > many hills, but I'm thinking with gears I can ride a little faster and not slow down traffic
    > > as much.
    >
    > Don't worry about traffic, allow other traffic to pass if it builds up behind you (remember you
    > are also traffic). An 85 year old going 5 mph has as much right to be there as 25 mph racer type.

    Traffic regulations may vary from state to state--but from what I remember, in the Commonwealth of
    Virginia, you are *not* considered to be blocking traffic if you are within 15 miles per hour of the
    posted limit in perfect conditions (weather, visibility, etc will make the posted limit unsafe,
    legally-speaking, and so you are notionally obliged to slow down in any event).

    >
    >
    > > So basically I'm trying to choose between something like the Backtrail X24 or a mountain bike.
    > > What would be the advantages of a mountain bike other than having gears ?
    >
    > Size: Your legs have more power when they can extend to the proper angle. You'll need that for
    > longer rides, especially if there are any hills.
    >
    > Speed: You can go a lot faster with gears and the above mentioned leg efficiency.
    >
    > Looks: To anyone except young bmx riders a grown person on a tiny bike with their legs unable to
    > extend looks clown like.
     
  7. Smiles

    Smiles Guest

    Someone suggested getting a $200 bike from a local shop ... it will break the first jump you take
    and land hard on. I would get 2 bikes ... a freestyle/dirt jumper for tricks and a comfort or hybrid
    for you commute ... plan on about $450 to $600 for the two.

    As for size a 21" hybrid ... and a BMX 20" with a 21" top tube or the X24

    s http://boardnbike.com
     
  8. "smiles" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Someone suggested getting a $200 bike from a local shop ... it will break the first jump you take
    > and land hard on. I would get 2 bikes ... a freestyle/dirt jumper for tricks and a comfort or
    > hybrid for you commute ... plan on about $450 to $600 for the two.

    If you've got cash for *one* bike, you buy the bike that goes places....

    -Luigi
     
  9. Windowsnt

    Windowsnt Guest

    On Mon, 28 Apr 2003 20:12:45 -0700, Zoot Katz <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Tue, 29 Apr 2003 03:00:14 GMT, <[email protected]>, windowsNT
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>What would be the advantages of a mountain bike other than having gears ?
    >
    >Wider selection of tires. If you end up riding mostly on roads, you will want smooth tires. The
    >26" wheel size would be faster for longer rides. Headwinds can make you wish you had a different
    >gear. Generally, a guy your size will want the larger frames that naturally come with the larger
    >wheeled bikes.

    Thanks for responses. I think I'll get a mountain bike for now, and maybe another one later on if I
    feel the need. So you think one with 26" wheels would be best for me? What would be a good top tube
    length? I want something that will be comfortable and where I won't have to bend forward too much.
    Any recommendations that are around $300 and not over $400. I would prefer something with a strong
    frame so the rest of the parts can just be upgraded gradually if needed. I don't really know of any
    bike shops in my area but you are right about the department store bikes. I used to have one and
    they are made very cheaply.
     
  10. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Tue, 29 Apr 2003 16:18:34 GMT, <[email protected]>, windowsNT
    <[email protected]> wrote: \
    >Thanks for responses. I think I'll get a mountain bike for now, and maybe another one later on if I
    >feel the need. So you think one with 26" wheels would be best for me? What would be a good top tube
    >length? I want something that will be comfortable and where I won't have to bend forward too much.
    >Any recommendations that are around $300 and not over $400. I would prefer something with a strong
    >frame so the rest of the parts can just be upgraded gradually if needed. I don't really know of any
    >bike shops in my area but you are right about the department store bikes. I used to have one and
    >they are made very cheaply.

    MTB geometry is all over the board so saying what a top tube length is, let alone what it should be,
    is difficult. Every manufacturer seems to have their own way of specifying that. You'll get a better
    idea by spending more time researching it on their websites. You'll be at the "large" end of
    whatever sizes are offered. You should be able to get a good cro-mo steel frame in that price range.

    Normally proportioned people generally have an easier time of getting something to fit. Adjustment
    can be made with stem sizes and handlebar styles but the geometry of the frame and size of the tires
    will determine the way the bike feels. You can't get that from reading specs.

    I'd look at Kona, Norco and Rocky Mountain bikes because they're local to me. Almost all the bikes
    in that price range are excellent values and similarly equipped. The hardest part is finding the
    right shop. Maybe there's somebody here who can point you in the right direction. (You're around
    Tampa, Florida?)

    It's somewhat harder to get reasonably priced MTB with rigid forks because cheap suspension forks
    are what sell. If you have to get a suspension fork then you're better off to spend near the high
    end of your limit and/or be prepared to upgrade it. You don't need it on the road and you don't need
    it to fail anywhere.

    Necessary accessories add to the initial expense so allow for that.

    My rigid bike (1985 Norco Sasquatch) lands solidly on bunny trail jumps. The bike is set up as a
    city commuter with lights, rack, fenders, slicks and heavy duty wheels.

    You need to get to a bike shop that can take the time and let you try different bikes. You might end
    up with a cyclo-cross bike or hybrid on 700C wheels because that's what felt best and would also
    fulfill the tasks you outlined. Ya gotta ride something before you can know how your next bike will
    be different.

    It's hard to beat a rigid MTB for a good all-around bicycle. If you're handy with wrenches and a
    toothbrush, they're dirt cheap too.
    --
    zk
     
  11. Illchyld

    Illchyld Guest

    windowsNT <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Its been about 8 years since I've really ridden a bicycle. When I was a kid I rode around on a
    > freestyle bike and did a few tricks and jumps here and there. I'm 6'2" about 230 lbs. Looking for
    > a bike to help me get into shape and maybe drop a few pounds, and to have some fun with. I would
    > like to eventually be riding about 20 or 30 miles one way on public roads. I would also like to go
    > off-road sometimes and maybe do a few jumps and tricks. Someone recommended to me a Haro Backtrail
    > X24, since its pretty big with 24" wheels, but would this really be suitable for 30 mile trips on
    > public roads ?

    Well, your not too much bigger than I am, I am 6'2" and 200lbs, I ride a mosh brass four star and
    love the bike, its a 20" and I somtimes ride for up to 7-9 hours a day. Comfort isnt an issue with
    it it seems, if you plan on doing tricks...well...you may have to replace the handlebars forks and
    pedals, thats what I have had to change, but thats it, no other problems to speak of, its about a
    year old now, I have kept the spokes tight and havent knocked the wheels out of true at all, and I
    have broken some brake levers, but I have a grip like a gorilla and I have a tendacy to do that...I
    bent the axle, but that was from throwing the bike, I am also getting ready to change the
    chainwheel/chain/rear cog as a maintnence thing, its been a GREAT bike, with the proper maintnence,
    I believe it is one of if not the best complete bike on the market for the money.

    > Do I need something with gears like a mountain bike?

    No, its just more shit to break

    > The area I live in doesn't really have many hills, but I'm thinking with gears I can ride a little
    > faster and not slow down traffic as much.

    I just ride on the sidewalk, and if I have to ride the road, the drivers seem to have ample
    respect for my 10-15 mph speed average. just dont make any unpredictable or irrational turns, and
    always signal.

    > So basically I'm trying to choose between something like the Backtrail X24
    or a
    > mountain bike.

    > What would be the advantages of a mountain bike other than having gears ?

    Probably comfort. Better fitting bike, but like I said, if you want to play on a mountain bike you
    will likley destroy it, I did mine anyway...I was trying to learn trials, bashed the frame, and a
    month later it was cracking....as for distance to speed efficency, you will be better off on a
    mountain bike as well, but there are just some things you cannot do on a mountain bike...and those
    things are my reasons for riding...riding a mountain bike is like driving a bently with a
    v12...fast, comfortable, expencive, too valuble to be of any use for anything but storing in a
    garage and unless you have money to throw out the window, you wont be taking it to a skatepark :p
     
  12. "ILLchyld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    >and those things are my reasons for riding...riding a mountain bike is like driving a bently with a
    >v12...fast, comfortable, expencive, too valuble to be of any use for anything but storing in a
    >garage and unless you have money to throw out the window, you wont be taking it to a skatepark :p

    "Too valuable to be of any use for anything but storing in a garage????"

    Please. The mountain bike fits better and more comfortably over more miles. It gets you from point A
    to point B. You can mount racks on it and carry stuff--try hauling home a 25-kilogram sack of rice
    on your BMX. Not fun, eh? No problem on a mountain bike. Try riding more than a few kilometers on
    the BMX--no problem on a mountain bike.

    Bikes are made for more than jumping; jumping is not the end of cycling. You want to jump, jump on
    your BMX--but in terms of absolute utility, your BMX loses to a mountain bike. Someone else on the
    thread suggested a two-bike solution: BMX for tricks, MTB for living. That'd be ideal, given cash.
    But the OP was contemplating trips over 30 miles on public roadways; A BMX is totally unsuitable.

    [given the same money, i'd have gone for a secondhand tourer or late-80s sport-tourer bike; drop
    bars, fender clearances, rack mounts.]

    -Luigi if you're gonna change the world you won't do it at the skatepark.
     
  13. F1filter

    F1filter Guest

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> Newsgroups:
    rec.bicycles.misc,alt.bmx Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 2:43 AM Subject: Re: Help me choose right bike
    for me. <snipped>

    > -Luigi if you're gonna change the world you won't do it at the skatepark.

    Nor will you do it posting argumentative opinions on USENET either...
     
  14. "F1Filter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> Newsgroups:
    > rec.bicycles.misc,alt.bmx Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 2:43 AM Subject: Re: Help me choose right
    > bike for me. <snipped>
    >
    > > -Luigi if you're gonna change the world you won't do it at the skatepark.
    >
    > Nor will you do it posting argumentative opinions on USENET either...

    usenet was made argumentative opinions.....

    -Luigi

    "Individual calculations rationally arrived-at from the point of view of each of the calculators
    considered separately do not, in a condition of anarchy, automatically result in social harmony."
    - Kenneth Waltz, _Man, the State, and War_
     
  15. Illchyld

    Illchyld Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "ILLchyld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > >and those things are my reasons for riding...riding a mountain bike is like driving a bently with
    > >a v12...fast, comfortable, expencive, too valuble to be of any use for anything but storing in a
    garage
    > > and unless you have money to throw out the window, you wont be taking it
    to
    > > a skatepark :p
    >
    > "Too valuable to be of any use for anything but storing in a garage????"

    yeah, thats what I think.

    > Please. The mountain bike fits better and more comfortably over more miles. It gets you from point
    > A to point B. You can mount racks on it and carry stuff--try hauling home a 25-kilogram sack of
    > rice on your BMX. Not fun, eh? No problem on a mountain bike. Try riding more than a few
    > kilometers on the BMX--no problem on a mountain bike.

    hehe...I carried my friends destroyed bike on my back while towing him on my pegs for what was
    approxamatly a 50 minute ride. However had I a mountain bike equipped with pegs, I am absolutley
    sure it would have been easier./

    > Bikes are made for more than jumping; jumping is not the end of cycling. You want to jump, jump on
    > your BMX--but in terms of absolute utility, your BMX loses to a mountain bike.

    Yur right!!

    >Someone else on the thread suggested a two-bike solution: BMX for tricks, MTB for living. That'd be
    >ideal, given cash. But the OP was contemplating trips over 30 miles on public roadways; A BMX is
    >totally unsuitable.

    I beg to differ! if its a leasurely ride, and you arent trying to break any speed records, a
    freestyle bike can be as comfortable as any MTB or racing/touring bike I actually find them slightly
    more comfortable because I can set upright with my bmx, and I had to lean down with my mtb. I have
    easily covered 50-60 miles in a leasurely day of riding.

    >
    > [given the same money, i'd have gone for a secondhand tourer or late-80s sport-tourer bike; drop
    > bars, fender clearances, rack mounts.]

    yeah, agreed.

    > -Luigi if you're gonna change the world you won't do it at the skatepark.
     
  16. "ILLchyld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > > "Too valuable to be of any use for anything but storing in a garage????"
    >
    > yeah, thats what I think.
    >

    Depends what you figure 'mountain bike' to be. Kilobuck and up dual-sus freeride bikes fit for
    mounting major invasions (preemptive or otherwise) are too much...

    But a rigid, fairly good-quality bike at about 200 bucks, well that's another beastie altogether in
    terms of overall utility.

    <snip>

    > >Someone else on the thread suggested a two-bike solution: BMX for tricks, MTB for living. That'd
    > >be ideal, given cash. But the OP was contemplating trips over 30 miles on public roadways; A BMX
    > >is totally unsuitable.
    >
    > I beg to differ! if its a leasurely ride, and you arent trying to break any speed records, a
    > freestyle bike can be as comfortable as any MTB or racing/touring bike I actually find them
    > slightly more comfortable because I can set upright with my bmx, and I had to lean down with my
    > mtb. I have easily covered 50-60 miles in a leasurely day of riding.

    Depends what your'e used to, I guess. The last time I rode a bike with 20 inch wheels, I was 10
    years old, and a lot smaller than I am now. Sitting on a 20-inch BMX makes me feel like a circus
    bear on a bike--I'm too cramped, I find myself doing weird things with my knees and back to reach
    the pedals and bars......

    (for the record I'm 5'11"/178cm and 235 lb/ 108kg--not terribly small)

    but i sure as hell would be able to jump it a lot easier than my present, 700C wheeled bikes!

    Pithy observation: I find that 26" wheels are about as big as I can go if I want to be able to
    bunnyhop or wheelie or otherwise jump. I just find it a lot harder to do it with my 700C bikes.
    maybe I'm just not used to it anymore; these days I ride my bike to get from point a to point b, and
    I don't spend any time pottering about trying to jump, or do any sort of tricks. I'd look pretty
    silly trying to do tricks with my tourer...

    -Luigi

    >
    > >
    > > [given the same money, i'd have gone for a secondhand tourer or late-80s sport-tourer bike; drop
    > > bars, fender clearances, rack mounts.]
    >
    > yeah, agreed.
    >
    > > -Luigi if you're gonna change the world you won't do it at the skatepark.
     
  17. Illchyld

    Illchyld Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "ILLchyld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >
    > > > "Too valuable to be of any use for anything but storing in a garage????"
    > >
    > > yeah, thats what I think.
    > >
    >
    > Depends what you figure 'mountain bike' to be. Kilobuck and up dual-sus freeride bikes fit for
    > mounting major invasions (preemptive or otherwise) are too much...
    >
    > But a rigid, fairly good-quality bike at about 200 bucks, well that's another beastie altogether
    > in terms of overall utility.

    I used to race a 1998 caloi elite hardtail with a shimano stx component group, and a cheapo rock
    shox fork (it was an elastomer style fork, very low maintnence, but it didnt help much either),
    cost me in the neighborhood of $600, it was a great ride. Till I cracked the frame trying to
    ride trials on
    it.

    Last time I destroy a bike that cost me too much money in the first place while doing somthing it
    wasnt intended for!

    > <snip>
    >
    > > >Someone else on the thread suggested a two-bike solution: BMX for tricks, MTB for living.
    > > >That'd be ideal, given cash. But the OP was contemplating trips over 30 miles on public
    > > >roadways; A BMX is totally unsuitable.
    > >
    > > I beg to differ! if its a leasurely ride, and you arent trying to break
    any
    > > speed records, a freestyle bike can be as comfortable as any MTB or racing/touring bike I
    > > actually find them slightly more comfortable
    because I
    > > can set upright with my bmx, and I had to lean down with my mtb. I have easily covered 50-60
    > > miles in a leasurely day of riding.
    >
    > Depends what your'e used to, I guess. The last time I rode a bike with 20 inch wheels, I was 10
    > years old, and a lot smaller than I am now. Sitting on a 20-inch BMX makes me feel like a circus
    > bear on a bike--I'm too cramped, I find myself doing weird things with my knees and back to reach
    > the pedals and bars......

    My bmx has a pretty long frame as bmx's go, I'm comfy on it.

    > (for the record I'm 5'11"/178cm and 235 lb/ 108kg--not terribly small)

    We are in the same size range, I'm 6'2" and 200lbs.

    > but i sure as hell would be able to jump it a lot easier than my present, 700C wheeled bikes!

    I tried jumping my MTB when I had it it was tough.

    > Pithy observation: I find that 26" wheels are about as big as I can go if I want to be able to
    > bunnyhop or wheelie or otherwise jump. I just find it a lot harder to do it with my 700C bikes.
    > maybe I'm just not used to it anymore; these days I ride my bike to get from point a to point b,
    > and I don't spend any time pottering about trying to jump, or do any sort of tricks. I'd look
    > pretty silly trying to do tricks with my tourer...

    probably!

    > -Luigi
    >
    > >
    > > >
    > > > [given the same money, i'd have gone for a secondhand tourer or late-80s sport-tourer bike;
    > > > drop bars, fender clearances, rack mounts.]
    > >
    > > yeah, agreed.
    > >
    > > > -Luigi if you're gonna change the world you won't do it at the skatepark.
    >
     
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