New, First bike purchase

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Dan Chatten, Mar 12, 2003.

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  1. Dan Chatten

    Dan Chatten Guest

    Hi,

    After reviewing a number of bicycle sites on the web. I have come to the conclusion this is almost
    as bad as purchasing a new car :) I was hoping somebody would give me some solid recommendations on
    a beginner bike purchase.

    1. I have been working out now for 2 months on a stationary bike and running, and this spring (if
    it ever arrives here in Mass) I would like to start riding outside.

    2. My short term goal is to bike to work and back home (24 miles around trip)

    3. My long term goal is to bike 150 Miles for MS with a group of local bickers in work. Over two
    days in June.

    What brand, type, bike style should I consider as a beginner, and also be able to handle my goals
    above. I was hoping to keep my budget in the $500 range, but I am certainly very open minded on
    that front.

    ** Are there e-sites that have better deals?

    ** Is it better to purchase locally?

    ** Can I expect any deals on 2002 bikes or is that only a fall option?

    ** What type of tires should I consider given the climate of Mass?

    Any other help or advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You, Dan [email protected] (remove ZZZ to email)
     
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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    [email protected] (Dan Chatten) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > 3. My long term goal is to bike 150 Miles for MS with a group of local bickers in work. Over two
    > days in June.

    Get a road bike. The number of gears you need depends on your terrain.

    > ** Are there e-sites that have better deals?

    Not really, especially at the lower price ranges.

    > ** Is it better to purchase locally?

    Beginners, especially, should buy from a local dealer who can give them advise on fitting and
    bike models.

    > ** Can I expect any deals on 2002 bikes or is that only a fall option?

    They usually go on sale in the fall, but there may be some left now. Sizes and models will probably
    be very limited.

    > ** What type of tires should I consider given the climate of Mass?

    Start with the tires that come with the bike. If you need more cushioning, you can switch to a wider
    tire later.

    Really, buying a new bike is not very difficult. In the lower price ranges, there are very few
    differences between brands. Get help from the best dealer in your area and buy something they sell.

    Finally, join a local cycling club. They'll show you the best local routes, teach you about riding,
    maintenance, and components, and encourage you to ride more.
     
  3. >1. I have been working out now for 2 months on a stationary bike and running, and this spring (if
    > it ever arrives here in Mass) I would like to start riding outside.

    That's the first step.

    >2. My short term goal is to bike to work and back home (24 miles around trip)

    That's a long commute. Depending on route choice, traffic and fitness level that could represent an
    hour each way. Not impossible or unusual, but certainly a pretty steep goal in and of itself.

    >3. My long term goal is to bike 150 Miles for MS with a group of local bickers in work. Over two
    > days in June.

    Well, you have three months to train, that should be plenty. I'm sure I'd be hard pressed to ride
    two consecutive 75 mile days right now without some serious training, and I've been riding all
    winter :).

    >What brand, type, bike style should I consider as a beginner, and also be able to handle my goals
    >above. I was hoping to keep my budget in the $500 range, but I am certainly very open minded on
    >that front.

    Almost anything that fits you and is not too plush will be fine for the commute part of this. It's
    going to depend on conditions. My advice is to get something simple and basic at first. You don't
    know if you are going to like this yet.

    http://www.geocities.com/cochise_2009/features/rk.html

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  4. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Eric S. Sande" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >>2. My short term goal is to bike to work and back home (24 miles around trip)
    >
    > That's a long commute. Depending on route choice, traffic and fitness level that could represent
    > an hour each way. Not impossible or unusual, but certainly a pretty steep goal in and of itself.

    You don't have to do it every day. Start by biking a couple of days a week. Also, look for public
    transit alternatives in case you get stuck late at work and don't have the energy to bike back
    home at night.
     
  5. >1. I have been working out now for 2 months on a stationary bike and running, and this spring (if
    > it ever arrives here in Mass) I would like to start riding outside.

    That's the first step.

    >2. My short term goal is to bike to work and back home (24 miles around trip)

    That's a long commute. Depending on route choice, traffic and fitness level that could represent an
    hour each way. Not impossible or unusual, but certainly a pretty steep goal in and of itself.

    >3. My long term goal is to bike 150 Miles for MS with a group of local bickers in work. Over two
    > days in June.

    Well, you have three months to train, that should be plenty. I'm sure I'd be hard pressed to ride
    two consecutive 75 mile days right now without some serious training, and I've been riding all
    winter :).

    >What brand, type, bike style should I consider as a beginner, and also be able to handle my goals
    >above. I was hoping to keep my budget in the $500 range, but I am certainly very open minded on
    >that front.

    Almost anything that fits you and is not too plush will be fine for the commute part of this. It's
    going to depend on conditions. My advice is to get something simple and basic at first. You don't
    know if you are going to like this yet.

    http://www.geocities.com/cochise_20009/features/rk.html

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  6. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >2. My short term goal is to bike to work and back home (24 miles around trip)

    A nice distance but you would probably be wise to try to start with a couple of times a week, maybe
    one way to start. Lots to learn about riding in traffic. I suggest taking an Effective Cycling
    course, it saves learning the hard way.

    >3. My long term goal is to bike 150 Miles for MS with a group of local bickers in work. Over two
    > days in June.

    Sounds like fun. Should be doable.

    >What brand, type, bike style should I consider as a beginner, and also be able to handle my goals
    >above. I was hoping to keep my budget in the $500 range, but I am certainly very open minded on
    >that front.

    You have lots of options for this. A hybrid or any one of a variety of road bikes would suit your
    needs. You should be able to get a nice hybrid for $500, that same money will only buy and entry
    level road bike.

    But the most important thing is to find a good shop that will take the time to listen to your needs,
    taket he time to educate you and take the time let you choose without pressuring you.

    Getting a bike that fits is important, a nice bike that is the wrong size will be uncomfortable.
    Since you are in Mass, I suggest considering www.sheldonbrown.com

    >** Are there e-sites that have better deals?>
    >* Is it better to purchase locally?

    You might find a slightly lower price on line, but since you are not sure what sort of bike you want
    or even what size you want, it would be foolish to buy without first riding several bikes and
    discovering what you like first hand. Most certainly buying locally is your best bet. The worst deal
    is saving a few bucks to buy a bike that is just "wrong."

    A good shop not only will provide you help buying your bike but will provide you with support and
    information as you become a more and more experienced rider.

    >** Can I expect any deals on 2002 bikes or is that only a fall option?

    Might still be possible. But don't buy the wrong size just to save a few bucks.

    >** What type of tires should I consider given the climate of Mass?
    >

    Tires are always the big trade off. Thin high pressure road tires (700C x 23 or 25) will be faster,
    ride harder, and be subject to more flats, both puncture and pinch flats that wider tires like might
    come on a Hybrid.

    >Any other help or advise would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    >Thank You,

    My advice is "Ride to Ride." Enjoy every mile you ride. Your long term goal is to ride the MS150 in
    June. My long term goal is to get you on a bike and riding for the rest of your life. To do that, I
    believe the motivation has to come from a deeper place than a goal oriented focus.

    In my view, the only thing that can keep one riding day in day out, year after year is the pure joy
    and pleasure of riding a bicycle.

    So I say set those short term goals like riding to work and doing the MS-150 but don't let those
    goals get in the way of learning to enjoy riding.

    And again, I suggest taking an Effective Cycling course.

    Best of luck, find a good shop, get a good bike and have some good rides.

    jon isaacs
     
  7. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    >2. My short term goal is to bike to work and back home (24 miles around trip)

    I used to do a commute of that distance. I would suggest using a bit bigger tires than normal. When
    riding along a busy road, it is nice to have tires that can go through something without a problem.
    I don't mean huge - just 25mm or 28mm.

    >
    >3. My long term goal is to bike 150 Miles for MS with a group of local bickers in work. Over two
    > days in June.
    >

    My rule of thumb is that with weekend rides and aerobic training during the week, nearly anyone can
    get in shape to ride 100 miles in about 10 weeks. There are a number of training schedules on the
    web for training for a century. You might want to check them out. Doing back to back 75s is a bit
    like doing a century.

    >What brand, type, bike style should I consider as a beginner, and also be able to handle my goals
    >above. I was hoping to keep my budget in the $500 range, but I am certainly very open minded on
    >that front.

    Well for people who are riding on pavement, I recommend a road bike. They can LOOK intimidating, but
    the learning curve is not that long.
     
  8. Dan Chatten

    Dan Chatten Guest

    Ken/Eric:

    Thank you both very much.

    Yes, I agree the goals are a bit lofty at this stage, but it is something to reach for.

    My work commute will be "slow" to start - per your advice. My goal is to ride one-way in the first
    few weeks. I plan on dropping my truck off in work the night before, and that way I have wheels to
    get home in case it turns out to be a bit too much or just a pain given the road conditions around
    here. I'm in the BURB's so public transport is not an option. Although, I could tap a work mate for
    a ride home in a worst case situation. It will be a little bit of a pain at first, but I'll deal
    with it to cover the bases.

    I agree with the local dealership route, and that is the advice that I am getting here in work from
    folks who bike in the company club. I don't mind spending in the $500-$600 range, because, worst
    case I do give it up, my 2 boys would LOVE a new bike :)

    You're right on the money in terms of spending vs. long term commitment. These mid-life passions
    more often then not turn out to be just that, but my hope is this one will not. My three children
    enjoy biking, so it will provide another opportunity to have some fun, and we take in Cape Cod quite
    a bit during the summer, and there are just great biking opportunities down there.

    I have joined the cycle club here in work, and they have already given me some terrific advice and
    guidance. I will be biking with them this June, and training with them between now and then. They
    told me the race is more "fun" then anything, good for a beginner, and it will be to raise money for
    a good cause.

    Thanks again,

    Dan
     
  9. Dan Chatten wrote:

    > 1. I have been working out now for 2 months on a stationary bike and running, and this spring (if
    > it ever arrives here in Mass) I would like to start riding outside.

    The roads aren't too bad right now. I'm in western Mass and have been riding all winter. You should
    be able to get out right now to start getting some miles in!

    Ooops, I spoke too soon! I see it's snowing like crazy out the window right now. Looks like the
    knobby tires are going to get a workout again on the commute home!

    > 2. My short term goal is to bike to work and back home (24 miles around trip)

    My "base" commute is about exactly that distance. About 55 minutes (one way) on the slow MTB in
    winter and 35-40 during summer on a road bike.

    Commuting by bike is more a state of mind thing than real physcial conditioning. There are always
    reasons for not biking today. It must become a life style choice above simply a goal.

    I own a truck and love to drive; but I commute pretty much by bike. And even after years of doing
    so, there are still days my mind says it's too wet or dry, too hot or cold, or not enough time due
    to some other consideration before or after work, to bother with the bike today.

    So attain your goal by doing a few 10-20 mile rides over a weekend, in the early part of the year.
    Get your bike properly set up. It may take a few miles of seat adjustments to get things settled.
    When you've done a few 20 milers, plan your D-Day assault on the office commute.

    Try it once or twice a week, then more as you come to be confident you can do it. There's really no
    reason a person can not be physically capable of riding a bike 20-25 miles in a reasonable amount of
    time in a very short time...unless you live up in the Berkshires or some other demanding bicycling
    environment!

    > 3. My long term goal is to bike 150 Miles for MS with a group of local bickers in work. Over two
    > days in June.

    So that's roughly 70-80 miles per day. This again should be no problem by the June deadline.

    But be advised that "things happen" riding 70-80 miles that do not happen when riding 20-30. Seat
    issues may be the dominant problem, which is primarily an adjustment thing, but sometimes an
    inadequacy: it's simply not the right seat for biking over 30 miles!

    So by all means, do a 60 mile ride several times before your June date. I've found that people who
    can ride 60 miles can ride 100.

    > What brand, type, bike style should I consider as a beginner, and also be able to handle my goals
    > above. I was hoping to keep my budget in the $500 range, but I am certainly very open minded on
    > that front.

    A road bike is made for covering distance quickly, but unfortunately, *new* $500 road bikes are hard
    to come by. You'd have to probably go to the second hand market to find one.

    A mountain bike can be modified to cover distance with simply a change of tires. And they are very
    versatile bikes for general use, and very easy to find in your price range.

    The so called hybrid bikes can also be found in your price range, and might be just what you need
    requiring no modification, as they will already be road friendly, with wider, more comfortable tires
    on it, along with the more upright seating position that new bicyclists (or bicyclists from decades
    past) seem to prefer.

    > ** Are there e-sites that have better deals?

    Can't answer this question.

    > ** Is it better to purchase locally?

    General consensus here is to buy at a local bike shop. My view is mixed.

    There are no shortage of local shops that are no better than buying at a department store. They'll
    point out a bike, take your money, and send you out the door with little interaction or advice.
    They'll not remember they even sold you the bike next week when you ask about adjustment.

    A good bike shop is well worth shopping. They have expertise and can help you make choices based on
    matching the best product to you. Also, you can build a relationship with a local bike shop. I've
    walked out of my favorite shops with parts virtually for free because they know me; I've purchased a
    bike from them, or have had wheels built or tuneups done. That can be worth a great deal over time.

    > ** Can I expect any deals on 2002 bikes or is that only a fall option?

    Well the year model run often starts in spring. I think Trek used to start around March. If that is
    still so, a 2002 laying about may be had for some savings. But I've generally never been too
    impressed with the discounts offered on "old" new bikes.

    > ** What type of tires should I consider given the climate of Mass?

    Massachusetts climate doesn't offer anything pecular to bike tire demands. Depending on the bike you
    buy, purchase a road tire of some sort. Wider tires will be more comfortable for the bumpy roads,
    while narrow ones at higher pressures will offer less rolling resistance. But be aware that some
    bikes will allow wider, and more varied tire selection than others.

    Many road bikes will only allow 19-25mm tire sizes, hybrids a much wider selection of size and
    pattern, and mountain bikes the most varied of all.

    But if you're going to ride the road, get a road tire.

    > Any other help or advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Goals are good to help motivate and measure progress. But don't be too goal driven in your pursuit,
    unless your objective is competitively based.

    If you are only interested in watching miles rolling over, you might just as well be on your trainer
    in the basement.

    Ride to enjoy! If you can't quite get to 100 miles one day, there's nothing wrong with
    stopping at 99!

    SMH
     
  10. Dan Chatten

    Dan Chatten Guest

    Thanks Stephen. I appreciate all the terrific advise, and time you put into the post.

    My goal is fun and enjoyment for sure; as well as keeping in shape. I really enjoy being outside,
    and this just helps with my excuse to get out of the house.

    I have no interest in a competitive biking, and if I can ride 1 or 2 days a week to work - cool. The
    150 mile bike in June is more of a personal challenge, and the split of 75 each way makes it seem a
    little better to handle. The team that I am riding with told me it is a fun ride, 10 mile stops (if
    you want), and lots of great support along the way.

    I am slowly finding out that my budget is not adequate, so I'll consider up to $1000, and hope to do
    a little better. I'm in Central Mass, and most of the riders around these parts like a shop called
    Landry's in Westborough. My work mate told me he spent 4 hours with the sales person, made lots of
    changes, and ended up with more of a hybrid - he loves it.

    Thanks again. Happy Riding!

    Dan
     
  11. Dan Chatten wrote:

    > I have no interest in a competitive biking, and if I can ride 1 or 2 days a week to work - cool.
    > The 150 mile bike in June is more of a personal challenge, and the split of 75 each way makes it
    > seem a little better to handle. The team that I am riding with told me it is a fun ride, 10 mile
    > stops (if you want), and lots of great support along the way.

    I'm a cruiser too; not into competition.

    I do the MS Martha's Vineyard ride in early May. They put on a pretty good ride of up to 100K. I
    would expect your MS 150 to be well done too.

    > I am slowly finding out that my budget is not adequate, so I'll consider up to $1000, and hope to
    > do a little better. I'm in Central Mass, and most of the riders around these parts like a shop
    > called Landry's in Westborough. My work mate told me he spent 4 hours with the sales person, made
    > lots of changes, and ended up with more of a hybrid - he loves it.

    My sister and brother-in-law live out in Sutton, just below Worcester. It's a tough area for them to
    get into biking since no matter what route they choose, there are some pretty decent hills to deal
    with. Sort of saps motivation when you're just getting started for the season, or the sport.

    I know Trek makes a couple road bikes up to that price. I have a Trek 2000 that was a $1000. Good
    bike and I'm pleased with it. Had it two years now.

    Looks like the newer ones are actually better though, with 105 group (mine is Tiagra) and a carbon
    fork (mine is AL). The Trek 1000 is around $800 IIRC.

    A hybrid can be a good choice for your needs. Some hybrids come with a somewhat "off road" tire
    (small knobs, or sort of dual purpose tread). A good bike shop should be happy to swap a road tread
    (wider or narrower as you wish) without costing you. And you should be able to buy a very good
    hybrid for a grand; actually a very good one for significantly less.

    > Thanks again. Happy Riding!

    You too! Good luck on your ride.

    SMH
     
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