More on my request for help...

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Myriad Of Pain, Apr 16, 2003.

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  1. Thanks for the input so far. Today, I went down to three different bike shops to look around. The
    first one stocked Cannondale and Specialized. The second had Jamis, Trek, and Raleigh. The last had
    Gary Fisher and some other brand that I didn't pay much attention to.

    At the first store, I was recommended a $750.00 Cannondale. I do not remember its model number,
    unfortunately. It did have Cannondale's special front shock, though. I'm not sure what the
    componentry was (I didn't learn much about that until the last store).

    At the second store, I was recommended a Jamis (it was a "Jamis something-that-started-with-a-'D'").
    I was also recommended a Trek 4900 and 6700. They said the 6700 would be better if I'm pretty
    serious about mountain biking, which I think I am -- apparently there are quite a few trails nearby.

    I didn't get to ride any bikes at the first two stores. The first one said it didn't have the right
    size for me in stock--they are supposed to get it within a week or two. The second store was about
    to close for the day when I was there, so they didn't offer to let me try one out. However, at the
    third store I did get to try some bikes out.

    At the third store, I was recommended three different Gary Fisher bikes. The first was the Marlin
    model for $470.00. The second was, I think, the Hoo Koo E Koo for $800.00. The last was the
    Tassajara with disc brakes for $800.00.

    I liked the Marlin quite a lot. It had a cushioned seat, which I liked, but it was suggested that I
    try to get used to a firmer seat for better support. I wasn't crazy about the Hoo Koo E Koo, but
    once I brought it back, it was determined that the tires were probably under-inflated, so I really
    need to go back to try it again with proper tire pressure. The last bike, the Tassajara with disc
    brakes was my favorite of the bunch.

    That being said, I have a few questions and requests:

    -- I'd love to hear any potentially helpful input about my experience today.

    -- When I was test riding bikes, the only 'fitting' that was done was to have me stand over the bike
    and pull it up against my crotch to make sure that the wheels were sufficiently off the floor. Is
    this acceptable? People have said things about how important it is that a shop 'fit' the buyer to
    his bike. Should I expect more? Should I expect more when I finally agree to purchase one?

    -- Are Fisher bikes good bikes? How do they stack up against some of the others?

    -- One person at a shop told me that Cannondale has recently filed for bankruptcy. Is this true? How
    should this impact my buying decision?

    -- Between the Tassajara with disc brakes and the Hoo Koo E Koo (assuming the tire pressure fixes my
    problem with it), I am really torn. The Hoo Koo E Koo has a better frame, it looks like, and it has
    'better' pedals and a better rear derailleur, but it does not have disc brakes. I was told that teh
    Tassajara would cost over $1000.00 if I chose to add the Hayes disc brakes later as an upgrade,
    where as they came with it fo r$800.00. How much would it cost to put disc brakes on the Hoo Koo E
    Koo? Assuming I like the ride just as well, ultimately, should I get the Tassajara with disc brakes
    for $800.00 or the Hoo Koo E Koo with non-disc brakes for $800.00?

    -- Are disc brakes definitely an improvement, or might I never want them at all?

    -- Overall, what should I look for in a shop to know that I am dealing with a competent shop that
    knows how to fit me, etc.? Should I be discouraged that the first shop seemed reluctant to have me
    ride a bike? I had to ask to ride the one that they said they did not have in my size. They didn't
    offer to have me ride any other one.

    -- I forgot to mention above that, not only did the last store have me test ride bikes, but they
    also encouraged me to stay after hours if I had more questions. The salesperson insisted that I not
    feel rushed to leave, even if I ultimately did not wish to buy anything today. I've heard it said
    here that a good shop is worth spending more on their bikes. Is this a sign of a good shop? It is
    worth noting, however, that this place was the only place that did any kind of 'fitting', but they
    are also the one that simply had me straddle the bike and lift it to my crotch.

    Thank you all very much for your help so far. I don't know anything about bikes, and it is extremely
    nice to know that there are unbiased folk here to give me a helping hand...=)

    MoP

    P.S. - I'm thinking I'd like to make a purchase as soon as possible. Is it okay to buy bikes without
    a great deal of 'test driving'? I know with cars they say you should *never* just go out and
    buy one--that it is *always* best to take things very slowly, test drive a lot, and only
    purchase when you know you're getting a good deal on a car you definitely like. Is this the
    same or different with bike purchases?
     
    Tags:


  2. Here are the differences between the Hoo Koo E Koo and the Tassajara with disc breaks I
    mentioned. Please help me understand the differences and if one is clearly better than the other.
    Thanks! -- MoP:

    Frame:

    HKEK: Gold Series 6061 T6 aluminum | Genesis Geometry -vs.-
    T: Silver Series 7005 aluminum | Genesis Geometry

    Fork:

    HKEK: Manitou Axel Super | 80mm travel -vs.-
    U: RockShox Pilot XC | 80mm travel

    Pedals:

    HKEK: Shimano M515, clipless -vs.-
    V: Alloy ATB platform

    Rear derailleur:

    HKEK: Shimano Deore LX SGS -vs.-
    W: Shimano Deore SGS

    Front rim:

    HKEK: Bontrager Corvair -vs.-
    X: Bontrager Corvair OSB

    Rear hub:

    HKEK: Shimano M470 -vs.-
    Y: Alloy sealed disc

    Front brake:

    HKEK: Alloy linear pull -vs.-
    Z: Hayes HFX-1 mechanical disc

    Rear brake:

    HKEK: Alloy linear pull -vs.-
    Z: Hayes HFX-1 mechanical disc
     
  3. Archer

    Archer Guest

    I can't answer all of them, but here's my take.

    First, wrt stuff being stolen off the bike, I think that's mostly the easily removable stuff like
    bags, computers, etc, not the bolted-on stuff like derailleurs. Nobody's going to steal a Deore
    group, though. DuraAce might be a different matter.

    In article <Rxqna.78$l75.63@tornadotest1.news.pas.earthlink.net>, MoP@noneofyobzNS.com says...

    ...

    > I liked the Marlin quite a lot. It had a cushioned seat, which I liked, but it was suggested that
    > I try to get used to a firmer seat for better support. I wasn't crazy about the Hoo Koo E Koo, but
    > once I brought it back, it was determined that the tires were probably under-inflated, so I really
    > need to go back to try it again with proper tire pressure. The last bike, the Tassajara with disc
    > brakes was my favorite of the bunch.
    >
    > That being said, I have a few questions and requests:

    Liking it is a good point in its favor!

    > -- I'd love to hear any potentially helpful input about my experience today.
    >
    > -- When I was test riding bikes, the only 'fitting' that was done was to have me stand over the
    > bike and pull it up against my crotch to make sure that the wheels were sufficiently off the
    > floor. Is this acceptable? People have said things about how important it is that a shop 'fit'
    > the buyer to his bike. Should I expect more? Should I expect more when I finally agree to
    > purchase one?
    >
    > -- Are Fisher bikes good bikes? How do they stack up against some of the others?
    >
    > -- One person at a shop told me that Cannondale has recently filed for bankruptcy. Is this true?
    > How should this impact my buying decision?

    Actually it was a while ago (several months), and they have restarted their bicycle production. It
    looks like the bike group is going to come out of it ok; it was the attempt at making motorcycles
    and other motorized vehicles which killed the parent company.

    ...

    > -- Are disc brakes definitely an improvement, or might I never want them at all?

    For extensive mountain (off-road) biking, yes. Otherwise they don't add much to a bike.

    ...

    > -- I forgot to mention above that, not only did the last store have me test ride bikes, but they
    > also encouraged me to stay after hours if I had more questions. The salesperson insisted that I
    > not feel rushed to leave, even if I ultimately did not wish to buy anything today. I've heard it
    > said here that a good shop is worth spending more on their bikes. Is this a sign of a

    I would say yes.

    > good shop? It is worth noting, however, that this place was the only place that did any kind
    > of 'fitting', but they are also the one that simply had me straddle the bike and lift it to
    > my crotch.

    It's a start, but that's basically a test to see if it's safe for you to ride the bike (too high a
    tt is unsafe). Did they check the seat height above the pedals, too?

    ...

    > P.S. - I'm thinking I'd like to make a purchase as soon as possible. Is it okay to buy bikes
    > without a great deal of 'test driving'? I know with cars they say you should *never* just go
    > out and buy one--that it is *always* best to take things very slowly, test drive a lot, and
    > only purchase when you know you're getting a good deal on a car you definitely like. Is this
    > the same or different with bike purchases?

    I would say it depends on how well you know exactly what you want in the bike. If you know exactly
    what you want, then there's no reason not to go ahead and buy the one which has it, once you can
    verify that it fits you. If you aren't so sure what you want, test driving is probably more
    important; maybe you can find one which gives you the "this is the perfect bike for me" feeling.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  4. Pat Clancy

    Pat Clancy Guest

    > -- When I was test riding bikes, the only 'fitting' that was done was to have me stand over the
    > bike and pull it up against my crotch to make sure that the wheels were sufficiently off the
    > floor. Is this acceptable? People have said things about how important it is that a shop 'fit'
    > the buyer to his bike. Should I expect more? Should I expect more when I finally agree to
    > purchase one?

    Fit is always critical, although perhaps a little less so on a mountain bike. Still, I'd be
    skeptical about a shop that simply looks at the stand-over height. Do some research on the web. A
    good starting point is the Colorado Cyclist site. Check out http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/

    >
    > -- Are Fisher bikes good bikes? How do they stack up against some of the others?

    Fisher makes good, competitive bikes for the $$.

    >
    > -- One person at a shop told me that Cannondale has recently filed for bankruptcy. Is this true?
    > How should this impact my buying decision?

    I wouldn't worry much about Cannondale's solvency. It looks as though the bike division is going
    to survive.

    >
    > -- Are disc brakes definitely an improvement, or might I never want them at all?

    Unless you plan to do a lot of wet/muddy riding, IMHO disc brakes are a luxury you can do without.

    >
    > -- Overall, what should I look for in a shop to know that I am dealing with a competent shop that
    > knows how to fit me, etc.? Should I be discouraged that the first shop seemed reluctant to have me
    > ride a bike? I had to ask to ride the one that they said they did not have in my size. They didn't
    > offer to have me ride any other one.
    >
    > -- I forgot to mention above that, not only did the last store have me test ride bikes, but they
    > also encouraged me to stay after hours if I had more questions. The salesperson insisted that I
    > not feel rushed to leave, even if I ultimately did not wish to buy anything today. I've heard it
    > said here that a good shop is worth spending more on their bikes. Is this a sign of a good shop?
    > It is worth noting, however, that this place was the only place that did any kind of 'fitting',
    > but they are also the one that simply had me straddle the bike and lift it to my crotch.

    Friendliness does not guaranty technical competence, but everything else being equal, you want to
    reward good customer service.

    >
    >
    > Thank you all very much for your help so far. I don't know anything about bikes, and it is
    > extremely nice to know that there are unbiased folk here to give me a helping hand...=)
    >
    > MoP
    >
    > P.S. - I'm thinking I'd like to make a purchase as soon as possible. Is it okay to buy bikes
    > without a great deal of 'test driving'? I know with cars they say you should *never* just go
    > out and buy one--that it is *always* best to take things very slowly, test drive a lot, and
    > only purchase when you know you're getting a good deal on a car you definitely like. Is this
    > the same or different with bike purchases?

    As a new rider, you have little or no background for making comparisons. So try to get all the test
    riding in that you can, but don't worry too much if you don't seem to be seeing big differences.
    Consider this first purchase a learning experience both for the purchase process as well as the
    subsequent riding. Maybe spend a little less, get a year or two under your belt, and then if the
    bike isn't perfect for your needs, replace it or add another steed to your stable.

    Pat Clancy
     
  5. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Myriad of Pain" <MoP@noneofyobzNS.com> wrote in message
    news:Rxqna.78$l75.63@tornadotest1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    >
    > At the first store, I was recommended a $750.00 Cannondale. I do not remember its model number,
    > unfortunately. It did have Cannondale's
    special
    > front shock, though. I'm not sure what the componentry was (I didn't
    learn
    > much about that until the last store).

    First off, it's going to be hard for anyone to comment without a specific model number.

    > They said the 6700 would be better if I'm pretty serious about mountain biking, which I think I am
    > -- apparently there are quite a few trails nearby.

    OK. So one approach is to find a nice day, and go out hiking on those trails. Notice what people
    are riding (and, if they are stopped, ask them how they like the bike and their opinion about
    local shops.)

    >
    > I didn't get to ride any bikes at the first two stores. The first one
    said
    > it didn't have the right size for me in stock--they are supposed to get it within a week or two.
    > The second store was about to close for the day
    when
    > I was there, so they didn't offer to let me try one out. However, at the third store I did get to
    > try some bikes out.

    It's not important that we know the size, but it's important that you keep track of it. While
    measurements do vary by model (and particularly by type of bike), you may find that you are
    generally comfortable with about a size X plus or minus 1 cm, and unhappy outside that range. This
    is valuable info.

    >
    > At the third store, I was recommended three different Gary Fisher bikes. The first was the Marlin
    > model for $470.00. The second was, I think, the Hoo Koo E Koo for $800.00. The last was the
    > Tassajara with disc brakes
    for
    > $800.00.
    >
    > I liked the Marlin quite a lot. It had a cushioned seat, which I liked,
    but
    > it was suggested that I try to get used to a firmer seat for better
    support.
    > I wasn't crazy about the Hoo Koo E Koo, but once I brought it back, it was determined that the
    > tires were probably under-inflated, so I really need
    to
    > go back to try it again with proper tire pressure.

    They let you test ride a bike with underinflated tires? This MAY indicate a shop that doesn't pay
    much attention to details.

    > -- When I was test riding bikes, the only 'fitting' that was done was to have me stand over the
    > bike and pull it up against my crotch to make sure that the wheels were sufficiently off the
    > floor. Is this acceptable?

    It's pretty minimal, but also pretty common, unfortunately. Why don't you help the process along by
    asking things like "How do I know this fits?" or "Does it seem like I'm leaning too far forward?" or
    "Will having the seat this high/low hurt my knees?"

    > -- I forgot to mention above that, not only did the last store have me
    test
    > ride bikes, but they also encouraged me to stay after hours if I had more questions. The
    > salesperson insisted that I not feel rushed to leave, even if I ultimately did not wish to buy
    > anything today. I've heard it said
    here
    > that a good shop is worth spending more on their bikes. Is this a sign of
    a
    > good shop?

    It's probably a good sign, although a better sign is a shop that seems to do a lot of repair work.
    Sometimes it's pretty interesting just to listen to the service people handle incoming service
    calls. Does everything take a week? Do they charge $10 if they touch the bike? Do they attempt to
    diagnose the problem, or immediately jump to a "replace" solution? Do they laugh at the guy who
    just left?

    By the way, if you are really going to take up a fair amount of their time, try to show up when
    the sales guy isn't busy. Saturday afternoons in the spring will not get "browsers" as much
    attention, anywhere.

    The really good time to show up is some time like Tuesday morning in February ;)
     
  6. Thank you all for your help. This past Thursday I went to a shop that sold Trek, Raleigh, and Jamis.
    I had compared the Trek 6700 with the Hoo Koo E Koo the night before, and, on paper, they seemed
    very similar. When I rode the 6700, I liked it a lot. I also liked its appearance a lot better than
    I liked the appearance of most of the other bikes I'd seen. Unfortunately, it had been raining all
    day, so I was hanging around the store for a *LONG* time before the weather allowed me to take a
    test ride. However, during that time I was able to get a pretty good 'feel' for the customer service
    and what-not of this store. I was very pleased. The salesperson politely answered my questions for
    nearly three hours and didn't seem the least bit irritated. I finally decided to purchase the Trek
    6700, and I decided to get it with disc brakes since I hope to do a lot of mountain biking and may
    have to bike when it rains, too.

    The next day I rode it all around my house (I live on a farm, so it was pretty tough riding, and I
    found out I'm probably not in the best shape of my life...=P). It was great fun, and I managed to
    teach myself how to jump the front wheel up over obstacles -- only very small ones, though. The day
    after, a friend and I took our bikes to a nearby lake where there is a lengthy paved area that is
    great for taking a leisurely stroll or bike ride. There are also lots of curbs. I was jumping the
    curbs when convenient, but, unfortunately, on one attempt I somehow managed to get a flat on my
    front tire...=*( Now, since I don't know how to fix this, I have to take it to the bike shop on
    Monday, and I will not be able to ride until then...=\ However, I plan to have the repairperson show
    me how to fix this so that I don't have to rely on others for such a simple problem.

    I really don't know how I managed to burst the tire. I approached the curb and was wanting to jump
    as high as I could over it. I pushed down on the shocks, as I had been, and I went to pull the front
    tire up, but something just didn't work right. I saw that I wasn't going to jump, so I dove off of
    the bike before I hit the curb -- thinking I might get hurt if I actually hit and was thrown off.
    I'm pretty sure the front tire did not hit the curb until I was off of the bike, but it did hit and
    bounce off. It fell on its side -- scratching the side of my new pedal, unfortunately (but mountain
    bikes get banged up, anyway, right? -- so I shouldn't worry too much?) -- and I heard a loud hissing
    as the air left the front tire. My friend said I must have hit the curb and popped the tire, but I
    'felt' like it popped when I pushed down on the front tire to prepare for the jump. Anyway, is there
    any advice that might do me well regarding this? Is there something I could have likely done wrong?
    I thought that the tires may have been over-inflated, but I'm not sure what pressure they're
    supposed to be at. Does it say on the tire or something?

    Thanks again for all of the help, and I hope you'll all continue to help me out with these little
    mishaps as I get used to riding...=) Hopefully, I can repay the favor somehow in the future...=)

    MoP
     
  7. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <2VEoa.1095$l75.262@tornadotest1.news.pas.earthlink.net>, MoP@noneofyobzNS.com says...

    ...

    > I really don't know how I managed to burst the tire. I approached the curb and was wanting to jump
    > as high as I could over it. I pushed down on the shocks, as I had been, and I went to pull the
    > front tire up, but something just didn't work right. I saw that I wasn't going to jump, so I dove
    > off of the bike before I hit the curb -- thinking I might get hurt if I actually hit and was
    > thrown off. I'm pretty sure the front tire did not hit the curb until I was off of the bike, but
    > it did hit and bounce off. It fell on its side -- scratching the side of my new pedal,
    > unfortunately (but mountain bikes get banged up, anyway, right? -- so I shouldn't worry too much?)
    > -- and I heard a loud hissing as the air left the front tire. My friend said I must have hit the
    > curb and popped the tire, but I 'felt' like it popped when I pushed down on the front tire to
    > prepare for the jump. Anyway, is there any advice that might do me well regarding this? Is there
    > something I could have likely done wrong? I thought that the tires may have been over-inflated,
    > but I'm not sure what pressure they're supposed to be at. Does it say on the tire or something?

    Sounds like you are giving your bike a good break-in!!! Yes, the max pressure should be on the side
    of the tire, and it should be pumped up to the max. It's a lot easier to pop a tire if it's
    under-inflated than over-inflated, because if you hit a curb or a sharp bump, you can compress it to
    the point where the rim pinches the inner tube and makes "snake-bite" flats; so-called because the
    two holes look a bit like a snake bite.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  8. "archer" <ns_archer1960@ns_hotmail.com> wrote in message news:MPG.190da71f7d39ea452a@news.ids.net...
    > In article <2VEoa.1095$l75.262@tornadotest1.news.pas.earthlink.net>, MoP@noneofyobzNS.com says...
    >
    > ...
    >
    > > I really don't know how I managed to burst the tire. I approached the
    curb
    > > and was wanting to jump as high as I could over it. I pushed down on
    the
    > > shocks, as I had been, and I went to pull the front tire up, but
    something
    > > just didn't work right. I saw that I wasn't going to jump, so I dove
    off of
    > > the bike before I hit the curb -- thinking I might get hurt if I
    actually
    > > hit and was thrown off. I'm pretty sure the front tire did not hit the
    curb
    > > until I was off of the bike, but it did hit and bounce off. It fell on
    its
    > > side -- scratching the side of my new pedal, unfortunately (but mountain bikes get banged up,
    > > anyway, right? -- so I shouldn't worry too
    much?) --
    > > and I heard a loud hissing as the air left the front tire. My friend
    said I
    > > must have hit the curb and popped the tire, but I 'felt' like it popped
    when
    > > I pushed down on the front tire to prepare for the jump. Anyway, is
    there
    > > any advice that might do me well regarding this? Is there something I
    could
    > > have likely done wrong? I thought that the tires may have been over-inflated, but I'm not sure
    > > what pressure they're supposed to be at. Does it say on the tire or something?
    >
    > Sounds like you are giving your bike a good break-in!!! Yes, the max pressure should be on the
    > side of the tire, and it should be pumped up to the max. It's a lot easier to pop a tire if it's
    > under-inflated than over-inflated, because if you hit a curb or a sharp bump, you can compress it
    > to the point where the rim pinches the inner tube and makes "snake-bite" flats; so-called because
    > the two holes look a bit like a snake bite.
    >

    Thanks! That's probably the problem, then--underinflation. I checked the rear tire last night, and
    it was at 44 psi. The tire says 40-60, I think. In any case, it was very close to the low end of
    that spectrum.

    I've heard that it is good to let some air out for mountain biking. Is this true? How much should
    I let out?

    Thanks again!

    MoP

    >
    > --
    > David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord, it's
    > morning".
    >
    > Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
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