major newbie

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Lil_ivy, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Lil_ivy

    Lil_ivy Guest

    Hi all-

    I am a major newbie, never really ridden at all. I would
    like to take it up for fitness purposes....or at least I
    think I would like to. I guess my question is, how do I go
    about finding a decent bike that I can find out if I really
    want to get into it. I would only be riding paved
    neighborhood roads...not like long distances..maybe light
    trails..nothing major. What sort of bike should I be looking
    at to start out on without having to spend a lot of money at
    first...road bike? MTB? or am I way off?! I would appreciate
    any input.

    Thanks! lil ivy
     
    Tags:


  2. Dulcie

    Dulcie Guest

    Ivy,

    I just asked the same question more of less... have a look
    at thread below.."Advice on buying bike" - might give you
    some hints..

    Dulcie.

    "lil_ivy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all-
    >
    > I am a major newbie, never really ridden at all. I would
    > like to take it up for fitness purposes....or at least I
    > think I would like to. I guess my question is, how do I go
    > about finding a decent bike that I can find out if I
    > really want to get into it. I would only be riding paved
    > neighborhood roads...not like long distances..maybe light
    > trails..nothing major. What sort of bike should I be
    > looking at to start out on without having to spend a lot
    > of money at first...road bike? MTB? or am I way off?! I
    > would appreciate any input.
    >
    > Thanks! lil ivy
     
  3. Ken

    Ken Guest

    [email protected] (lil_ivy) wrote in
    news:[email protected]:
    > I would only be riding paved neighborhood roads...not like
    > long distances..maybe light trails..nothing major.

    That's exactly the kind of riding that hybrid bikes are
    designed for. They have lighter weight frames than mountain
    bikes (no suspension), but fatter tires than road bikes for
    the off-road stuff.
     
  4. In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (lil_ivy) wrote:

    > Hi all-
    >
    > I am a major newbie, never really ridden at all. I would
    > like to take it up for fitness purposes....or at least I
    > think I would like to. I guess my question is, how do I go
    > about finding a decent bike that I can find out if I
    > really want to get into it. I would only be riding paved
    > neighborhood roads...not like long distances..maybe light
    > trails..nothing major. What sort of bike should I be
    > looking at to start out on without having to spend a lot
    > of money at first...road bike? MTB? or am I way off?! I
    > would appreciate any input.
    >
    > Thanks! lil ivy

    The answer is, it depends, even given the riding you will
    do.

    The easiest, cheapest way to start is probably to go to a
    local bike shop (rather than a department store that happens
    to sell bikes), poke around at their cheap bikes, and ask
    them for some advice.

    They will probably steer you towards a "comfort" or "hybrid"
    bike, which will have lightly treaded tires, flat bars
    probably a suspension fork, and maybe a suspension seatpost.
    It's not my idea of an ideal bike, but the flat bars will be
    less intimidating than drop bars, and while the front
    suspension won't be terribly important, it won't harm
    anything either.

    Most importantly, they will make sure you fit the bike and
    hopefully let you test a few models. Just pick the one that
    feels nicest and looks good to you. The latter is
    frighteningly important, because you'll want to ride the
    bike more if you like the looks of it.

    Plan to spend a couple hundred, plan to keep it for a year.

    After a year, you'll either hang it up on the wall (or sell
    it), or you'll be using it a lot. If the latter, you may
    eventually run into this bike's limitations, but we'll talk
    about that later.

    If you have less money, mechanical aptitude, and are
    confident you can achieve proper bike fit on your own, haunt
    garage sales and scavenge an old road bike or no-suspension
    mountain bike.

    Now, this advice begs a question: almost nobody here
    actually rides a bike like I've suggested for you. What
    gives? Well, we're experienced, and our bikes are
    specialized.

    A road bike would be the fastest choice over the terrain
    you're talking about, for example, but riding on a drop-bar
    is a bit intimidating as a first bike, and the advantages
    only come up at faster speeds and longer distances. But test
    ride a road bike (or 'cross bike; they're often a bit less
    expensive than low-end road equipment, and have no
    disadvantages until you're into organized racing) If you
    like the feel of the drop-bar, go for one! Just ask the shop
    to set the handlebar a little higher than they would like
    to. They'll make faces, but it will be easier on your body,
    at the cost of a small amount of aerodynamics.

    A mountain bike is really a wonderful, specialized tool.
    Modern decent-quality MTBs only come into their own when a
    trail becomes truly rough: significant roots, 1' or greater
    drops, heavy mut, etc. Outside of such conditions, they can
    be used, but the sacrifice in performance when taken on-road
    (mostly down to tires that roll slowly on pavement) or even
    when used on light trails makes them a poor choice for your
    usage. Full suspension: when you start dropping more than 2'
    or doing multi-hour serious trail rides, then you can
    consider such a beast.

    Have fun,
    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected]
    http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine/wiredcola/ President, Fabrizio
    Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (lil_ivy) wrote:

    > Hi all-
    >
    > I am a major newbie, never really ridden at all. I would
    > like to take it up for fitness purposes....or at least I
    > think I would like to. I guess my question is, how do I go
    > about finding a decent bike that I can find out if I
    > really want to get into it. I would only be riding paved
    > neighborhood roads...not like long distances..maybe light
    > trails..nothing major. What sort of bike should I be
    > looking at to start out on without having to spend a lot
    > of money at first...road bike? MTB? or am I way off?! I
    > would appreciate any input.
    >
    > Thanks! lil ivy

    The answer is, it depends, even given the riding you will
    do.

    The easiest, cheapest way to start is probably to go to a
    local bike shop (rather than a department store that happens
    to sell bikes), poke around at their cheap bikes, and ask
    them for some advice.

    They will probably steer you towards a "comfort" or "hybrid"
    bike, which will have lightly treaded tires, flat bars
    probably a suspension fork, and maybe a suspension seatpost.
    It's not my idea of an ideal bike, but the flat bars will be
    less intimidating than drop bars, and while the front
    suspension won't be terribly important, it won't harm
    anything either.

    Most importantly, they will make sure you fit the bike and
    hopefully let you test a few models. Just pick the one that
    feels nicest and looks good to you. The latter is
    frighteningly important, because you'll want to ride the
    bike more if you like the looks of it.

    Plan to spend a couple hundred, plan to keep it for a year.

    After a year, you'll either hang it up on the wall (or sell
    it), or you'll be using it a lot. If the latter, you may
    eventually run into this bike's limitations, but we'll talk
    about that later.

    If you have less money, mechanical aptitude, and are
    confident you can achieve proper bike fit on your own, haunt
    garage sales and scavenge an old road bike or no-suspension
    mountain bike.

    Now, this advice begs a question: almost nobody here
    actually rides a bike like I've suggested for you. What
    gives? Well, we're experienced, and our bikes are
    specialized.

    A road bike would be the fastest choice over the terrain
    you're talking about, for example, but riding on a drop-bar
    is a bit intimidating as a first bike, and the advantages
    only come up at faster speeds and longer distances. But test
    ride a road bike (or 'cross bike; they're often a bit less
    expensive than low-end road equipment, and have no
    disadvantages until you're into organized racing) If you
    like the feel of the drop-bar, go for one! Just ask the shop
    to set the handlebar a little higher than they would like
    to. They'll make faces, but it will be easier on your body,
    at the cost of a small amount of aerodynamics.

    A mountain bike is really a wonderful, specialized tool.
    Modern decent-quality MTBs only come into their own when a
    trail becomes truly rough: significant roots, 1' or greater
    drops, heavy mut, etc. Outside of such conditions, they can
    be used, but the sacrifice in performance when taken on-road
    (mostly down to tires that roll slowly on pavement) or even
    when used on light trails makes them a poor choice for your
    usage. Full suspension: when you start dropping more than 2'
    or doing multi-hour serious trail rides, then you can
    consider such a beast.

    Have fun,
    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected]
    http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine/wiredcola/ President, Fabrizio
    Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  6. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On 9 Mar 2004 06:06:46 -0800, [email protected] (lil_ivy) wrote:

    >Hi all-
    >
    >I am a major newbie, never really ridden at all. I would
    >like to take it up for fitness purposes....or at least I
    >think I would like to. I guess my question is, how do I go
    >about finding a decent bike that I can find out if I really
    >want to get into it. I would only be riding paved
    >neighborhood roads...not like long distances..maybe light
    >trails..nothing major. What sort of bike should I be
    >looking at to start out on without having to spend a lot of
    >money at first...road bike? MTB? or am I way off?! I would
    >appreciate any input.
    >
    >Thanks! lil ivy

    Along with everything else people have said-

    Shop for a bike shop. Visit a few stores. Ask some
    questions. At some point you will realize that you are
    talking to a shop that is actually listening. Being new, you
    will probably be returning to the shop again and again over
    the months. You want it to be a place where you are
    comfortable.
     
  7. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On 9 Mar 2004 06:06:46 -0800, [email protected] (lil_ivy) wrote:

    >Hi all-
    >
    >I am a major newbie, never really ridden at all. I would
    >like to take it up for fitness purposes....or at least I
    >think I would like to. I guess my question is, how do I go
    >about finding a decent bike that I can find out if I really
    >want to get into it. I would only be riding paved
    >neighborhood roads...not like long distances..maybe light
    >trails..nothing major. What sort of bike should I be
    >looking at to start out on without having to spend a lot of
    >money at first...road bike? MTB? or am I way off?! I would
    >appreciate any input.
    >
    >Thanks! lil ivy

    Along with everything else people have said-

    Shop for a bike shop. Visit a few stores. Ask some
    questions. At some point you will realize that you are
    talking to a shop that is actually listening. Being new, you
    will probably be returning to the shop again and again over
    the months. You want it to be a place where you are
    comfortable.
     
  8. On 9 Mar 2004 06:06:46 -0800, [email protected] (lil_ivy) wrote:

    >Hi all-
    >
    >I am a major newbie, never really ridden at all.

    Do I understand this to mean that youv'e *never* ridden a
    bicycle, *ever* before in your *entire* life?

    This is just for clarification, since, believe it or not, we
    do get a lot of posts on here from people who have never
    actually thrown a leg over a top tube, ever, and the advice
    that you give to an absolute rank beginner is different even
    to the advice you give to someone who hasn't ridden a
    bicycle in 40 years....

    >I would like to take it up for fitness purposes....or at
    >least I think I would like to. I guess my question is, how
    >do I go about finding a decent bike that I can find out if
    >I really want to get into it.

    Others have suggested it, others will suggest it. Find a
    nice local bike shop and poke around their "cheap" bikes. A
    good shop will talk to you, find out what you intend to do,
    determine your skill level, and help you find a bicycle that
    will suit you.

    Stay away from the sporting-goods or department-store bikes.
    Leaving aside the quality of their construction and
    assembly, none of these outlets will have anyone on hand who
    can really help you.

    > I would only be riding paved neighborhood roads...not
    > like long distances..maybe light trails..nothing major.
    > What sort of bike should I be looking at to start out
    > on without having to spend a lot of money at
    > first...road bike? MTB? or am I way off?! I would
    > appreciate any input.

    If you have *never* ridden a bicycle before, I would
    definitely not suggest a road bike. Road bikes are
    specialized beasties--a lot of truths about them are
    counterintuitive (narrow saddles good, high saddle position
    good, drop bars good, hands on tops not so good, hands in
    drops good only sometimes, etc). Not for the novice, but
    the best thing going this side of a recumbent for distances
    on pavement.

    Likewise, a trail-spec MTB is overkill for the beginner. The
    shopdude will steer you towards a "hybrid" or "comfort"
    bike. These will probably suit you just fine.

    You will discover that as you ride more, your idea of "long"
    distances will change slowly....

    -Luigi

    >
    >Thanks! lil ivy
     
  9. On 9 Mar 2004 06:06:46 -0800, [email protected] (lil_ivy) wrote:

    >Hi all-
    >
    >I am a major newbie, never really ridden at all.

    Do I understand this to mean that youv'e *never* ridden a
    bicycle, *ever* before in your *entire* life?

    This is just for clarification, since, believe it or not, we
    do get a lot of posts on here from people who have never
    actually thrown a leg over a top tube, ever, and the advice
    that you give to an absolute rank beginner is different even
    to the advice you give to someone who hasn't ridden a
    bicycle in 40 years....

    >I would like to take it up for fitness purposes....or at
    >least I think I would like to. I guess my question is, how
    >do I go about finding a decent bike that I can find out if
    >I really want to get into it.

    Others have suggested it, others will suggest it. Find a
    nice local bike shop and poke around their "cheap" bikes. A
    good shop will talk to you, find out what you intend to do,
    determine your skill level, and help you find a bicycle that
    will suit you.

    Stay away from the sporting-goods or department-store bikes.
    Leaving aside the quality of their construction and
    assembly, none of these outlets will have anyone on hand who
    can really help you.

    > I would only be riding paved neighborhood roads...not
    > like long distances..maybe light trails..nothing major.
    > What sort of bike should I be looking at to start out
    > on without having to spend a lot of money at
    > first...road bike? MTB? or am I way off?! I would
    > appreciate any input.

    If you have *never* ridden a bicycle before, I would
    definitely not suggest a road bike. Road bikes are
    specialized beasties--a lot of truths about them are
    counterintuitive (narrow saddles good, high saddle position
    good, drop bars good, hands on tops not so good, hands in
    drops good only sometimes, etc). Not for the novice, but
    the best thing going this side of a recumbent for distances
    on pavement.

    Likewise, a trail-spec MTB is overkill for the beginner. The
    shopdude will steer you towards a "hybrid" or "comfort"
    bike. These will probably suit you just fine.

    You will discover that as you ride more, your idea of "long"
    distances will change slowly....

    -Luigi

    >
    >Thanks! lil ivy
     
  10. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    luigi12081 @cox.net says...

    ...

    > If you have *never* ridden a bicycle before, I would
    > definitely not suggest a road bike. Road bikes are
    > specialized beasties--a lot of truths about them are
    > counterintuitive (narrow saddles good, high saddle
    > position good, drop bars good, hands on tops not so good,
    > hands in drops good only sometimes, etc). Not for the
    > novice, but the best thing going this side of a recumbent
    > for distances on pavement.
    >
    > Likewise, a trail-spec MTB is overkill for the beginner.
    > The shopdude will steer you towards a "hybrid" or
    > "comfort" bike. These will probably suit you just fine.
    >
    > You will discover that as you ride more, your idea of
    > "long" distances will change slowly....

    ... or quickly <GGG>:

    When I got back on my bike 3 years ago after 2 decades of
    not riding, my first ride was about an 8 mile round trip to
    a local convenience store and back (I decided to turn
    around there, that is), and I could hardly walk when I got
    back home, nor for about 3 days after. Now I do that same
    ride routinely to get ice cream or milk without even
    thinking about
    it. Last fall, I did a 62 mile ride with a friend and felt
    fine except for a slightly sore neck the next day, and
    I've been doing 20 to 35 mile solo and club rides this
    winter just for fun and exercise.

    --
    Remove the ns_ from if replying by e-mail (but keep posts in
    the newsgroups if possible).
     
  11. > I would like to take it up for fitness purposes....

    Take it up for FUN purposes and the fitness will come
    naturally. Take itup for fitness purposes, and you likely
    will not bike very long.

    or at least I think I would like to. I
    >guess my question is, how do I go about finding a decent
    >bike that I can find out if I really want to get into it. I
    >would only be riding paved neighborhood roads...not like
    >long distances..maybe light trails..nothing major.

    Famous last words. Biking is very addictive for many, and it
    likely will not be long before you want a faster and better
    bike to go new and exciting places!

    http://members.aol.com/foxcondorsrvtns (Colorado
    rental condo)

    http://members.aol.com/dnvrfox (Family Web Page)
     
  12. Lil_ivy

    Lil_ivy Guest

    Wow!!! Thanks to everyone who responded so quickly and with
    such great advice. Thankfully I have a coworker who is a
    bike addict...when I asked her, she said the same thing that
    pretty much all of you said. Go hybrid, she suggested a
    local bike shop that I will most likely be comfortable
    with...suggested the right time and such to go. Thanks again
    for all of your replied, I reall appreciate it! Oh and by
    the way, I have actually ridden a bike before, as a
    kid/teenager and such..lol....it's just been a few years,
    and it was never serious, just up and down the dirt roads at
    my childhood home. One more question, what is the worst
    terrain a hybrid bike can withstand? Say I start biking and
    I like it, but wish to go on a few trails, no rough trails,
    just some light bike trails.

    thanks again!!
     
  13. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On 10 Mar 2004 05:52:38 -0800, [email protected] (lil_ivy) wrote:
    >One more question, what is the worst terrain a hybrid bike
    >can withstand? Say I start biking and I like it, but wish
    >to go on a few trails, no rough trails, just some light
    >bike trails.

    The issues will be handling, off-road prowess, and long-term
    durability. The hybrid will be fine for exploring semi-rough
    trails, but won't handle well on very rough ones. You will
    be a bit slower on semi-rough trails than if you were on a
    proper MTB. If you end up using the hybrid for rough off-
    roading constantly, you may have minor mechanical issues
    somewhat often, and occasional major ones.

    In practice, I would say to get whatever bike you want to
    start out with. You'll use it to "find yourself" as that
    cliche applies to bicycling; then you may end up with any or
    all of a bunch of different bike styles...MTB, road racer,
    tourer, cross, etc, and so on, and so forth......
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  14. On 10 Mar 2004 05:52:38 -0800, [email protected] (lil_ivy) wrote:

    >Wow!!! Thanks to everyone who responded so quickly and with
    >such great advice. Thankfully I have a coworker who is a
    >bike addict...when I asked her, she said the same thing
    >that pretty much all of you said. Go hybrid, she suggested
    >a local bike shop that I will most likely be comfortable
    >with...suggested the right time and such to go. Thanks
    >again for all of your replied, I reall appreciate it! Oh
    >and by the way, I have actually ridden a bike before, as a
    >kid/teenager and such..lol....it's just been a few years,
    >and it was never serious, just up and down the dirt roads
    >at my childhood home.

    as a kid, riding a bike on a dirt road is very very very
    serious indeed.

    I'll race you to the mailbox!

    -Luigi

    >One more question, what is the worst terrain a hybrid bike
    >can withstand? Say I start biking and I like it, but wish
    >to go on a few trails, no rough trails, just some light
    >bike trails.
    >
    >thanks again!!
     
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