Newbie wondering why so many cyclists seem snobby, shopping list, & training question.

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by grandamn, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. grandamn

    grandamn New Member

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    I used to be big into bmx. I spent the good 1st half of my life riding a bike every day. I still have my Mongoose Decade. I have been thinking of buying a road bike for a very long time and finally said screw it, I'm going to finally buy one. I saw a very nice article for beginners here

    http://zenhabits.net/beginners-guide-to-cycling/

    After countless hours of research regarding sizes, quality, etc I decided to buy the following

    Bike:
    GMC Denali 700c Men's Road Bike
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/700C-GMC-Denali-Men-s-Road-Bike/12080282

    Helmet:
    Schwinn Thrasher Adult Micro Bicycle Helmet http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00012M5MS

    Storage/Repair:

    Topeak Wedge Pack with Survival Tool http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FICAX2

    Frame Pump:

    Topeak Pocket Rocket Master Blaster Bike Pump http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FI6XGC

    Computer:

    Arkon Bicycle Mount for BlackBerry Curve http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002CQTYEI
    with
    Bike-O-Meter
    https://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/9112

    What do you think of my list so far?

    I have read a million reviews about the Kent GMC Denali and it mainly seemed to be either one of two extremes. I found a really good article that gave me a lot of confidence in buying this bike from

    http://hubpages.com/hub/GMC-Denali-Road-Bike-A-Balanced-Look

    It's a $150 bike and if i get to use it for the summer to see if road cycling is something that I want to pursue then I will look at getting a high caliber bike. I think this bike will be great for this situation. Why would I go buy a $400-500 bike just to buy a better one next season? I have read a lot of really biased and snobby reviews about this bike and was wondering why dont more of the novice and expert riders give an unbiased (economical) response regarding this bike?


    2nd Part

    I would like to participate in the ride to Montauk on June 18th from Manhattan.
    http://www.ridetomontauk.com/Home_Page.html

    Is it possible to get enough training in to ride 119 miles in 2 months? Any ideas of a training schedule?
     
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  2. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    Have you bought the bike? How tall are you? Have you looked at the
    shifters?

    I am 6', 31" inseam, and the bike is way to small for me. The shifters
    are almost unusable. You have to take your hands off the bars to
    shift. I rode one at Walmart, about a mile and I pushed it back to
    the store. The Huffy Savannah is a far better bike for half the money.
    I rode one several thousand miles last summer and really liked it.
    Kind of sorry I put it in the yard sale, but I did make some on it.

    The shifters on the Denali are in the center of the bars. See if they
    will let you ride one first. If you already have it, at least you can
    return it within 90 days.

    You might check the local thrift shops if you are able to do a little
    work on it your self. I have bought several and had good luck and
    some great bargains.
     
  3. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    And yes you are going to find a lot of snobs in the biking
    world. But there are a lot of nice folks willing to take time
    and help when you need it.

    I met a gentleman on the trail one morning, an avid biker.
    He was a great help, pointing out my errors in riding style.
    Mostly in the gears I was trying to use. His advice added
    miles a day to my rides and really boosted my enjoyment.

    It is about being out there riding, not what you are riding.
    Not what you are wearing.
    I did over 10k miles last year in Wrangler shorts and Fruit
    of the Looms t shirts and Payless sneakers.
     
  4. grandamn

    grandamn New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. What were the errors in your riding style. I'm 6'2.5" with short legs, short arms, and a long torso. My inseam is about 32-33". I didn't think about having to take my hands off the bars to shift. This seemed to be the only bike with drop down bars that fit me for the price.

    I also accidentally ordered this bike but realized it was way to small for me, I think. I ordered it to the store and planned on just walking it over to the service counter to return it.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Triace-24-Speed-Aluminum-Road-Bike/14089734

    If I return this bike (the Denali) within 90 days can someone recommend a bike around $500 that I will use for a couple of years. I have went to several bike shops on Long Island and I'm surprised they don't initially ask me to bend over when I walk in the door. Last weekend Commack Bike shop tried selling me a single speed road bike for $600. I know good quality cost money but I get a sense of being ripped off at local bike stores. Any suggestions for the Long Island area?

    I don't mind working on bikes at all. I have built countless bmx bikes from scratch and even have created a few Frankensteins, one of my favorites was a bike that every part was from a different manufacturer. I also have swapped a v6 motor for a 5.0 in my old Mustang so I'm pretty handy, especially for an architect.

    Are there any recommended brands that just deal with parts and upgrades? In bmx I used to love Odyssey parts especially their cranks. ( I think they make bikes now)
     
  5. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    Seat too low, biggest thing, I was trying to run it too high
    a gear all the time. Killing my legs. I was riding an $80
    Walmart mountain bike and he recommended some road
    tread tires to make it easier to pedal.

    Don't push too hard at first, ride at a pace you enjoy and
    pick it up a bit as you go.

    Not up on road bikes, after some problems with a Schwinn
    Avenue I went back to a mountain bike with slicks.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    There's snobs in every sport/hobby. You have to live with it but you don't have to become like them. I use to race at a cat 3 level and I got snobbed a lot because I didn't ride the most expensive Italian made bicycle, and they really looked down on me because I didn't ride on anything Italian! This was back in the mid 70's to mid 80's. I rode on Japanese components and either a Trek or a Miyata which were considered to be a poor mans bike even though they were top of line of those companies. I always stop to help stranded cyclists no matter if they look like their handling it or not, I also stop to help stranded motorists while riding.

    Anyway, don't let snobbery become your way just because you get into cycling heavily, ignore those that do and help them when their down. It's kind of weird, but if you help one of those that had snobbed you in the past they may become your friend in the future.
     
  7. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    Father Froze has spoken! These words should be etched in the forums
    first line on every post.
     
  8. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I was right there with you Froze, on my Centurion and Raliegh USA bikes. All chrome-moly butted tubing , and running Shimano 500EX to start and then Shimano 105 after the change over. Trained and played alot with old Suntour and I miss that stuff.

    Grandamn, you can pick up some decent new bikes for around $500 at Bikes Direct http://www.bikesdirect.com. A lot of guys seem to like the Dawes Lightening. If you don't mind riding used, you can also search on eBay for a gently used bike but be sure to budget for shipping. You can also look at Craig's List and look at yard sales. Just be sure that you know your size prior to buying the bike. Here is an online fit calculator that I have used with great success http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO . Good luck whichever way you go.
     
  9. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Interesting comment, considering your sig - jus' sayin'...
     
  10. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Oh, about the Ride to Montauk.......If you haven't been riding distances for a couple of years, then you really don't have a base to start with so it would almost be impossible to do a 119 mile ride in two months and enjoy it. All that I can suggest is that you get your bike asap and start logging miles. There seems to be several different lengths and you don't have to commit to any certain one until the day of the ride, and there is SAG Support so go for it. Just ride a lot to build up a base and then ride the distance that you feel is within your fittness level. The worst that can happen is that you finish riding in the SAG rather than on your bike.

    You are not in the best part of the country for finding good prices. Everything seems to cost more the closer you are to NYC. That is why buying online or getting a used bike might be the best way for you to go.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    No, I resent that; that's Father Time to you pal!!
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    My first racing bike was a Trek TX 900 with Campy Super Record which even though it had Campy crap I still got snobbed because I was on an unknown bike brand...1st year Trek came out and no one knew anything about a Trek. I got all kinds of kidding from friends about Star Trek related jokes. My last Trek I bought in 84, a 660 I had built with all Suntour Superbe components and it still works great today even after a rough estimated 150,000 miles. I also still have my back up racing bike a 87 Miyata Team with Shimano Dura Ace, the mileage on it is low at around 30,000 miles but it all still works great. Both of those have cromo steel. Then I have some other bikes, 87 Giant Rincon, 88 Miyata 712 I bought used, 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe I bought used but looks new with less then 250 miles on it, 07 Mercian Vincitore, and a 08 Kona Lava Dome I found in a dumpster...and it's in great shape for a dumpster diver.

    The Bikes Direct site is a great place to get decent bikes at low prices. The Dawes and the Motobecane's all have gotten high reviews by buyers.
     
  13. grandamn

    grandamn New Member

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    Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their reply and advice. I really look forward to getting into cycling and hope to ride with you guys one day. I just signed up for a 30 mile ride on Saturday with the Huntington Bicycle Club so hopefully it wont be to bad. Thanks again!
     
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