Not Sure What To Buy / What I Need



mcmurphy510

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Jul 10, 2015
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So when it comes to cycling, I'm totally clueless. I think I still know how to ride, but that's about it.

I'm looking at starting to cycle for a couple of reasons. I'd like to lose some weight, get out of the house more, and drive less.

I'm not really sure which kind of bike is right for me. I'm leaning toward Hybrid, as it seems a nice compromise between Road and Mountain. I think 90% my time will be spent on city roads and paved trails. The rest of the time will probably be on gravel trails or semi paved surfaces. On a rare occassion, I'd like to be able to take my bike up camping or on vacation to ride a bit on trails, but that's only once or twice a year.

I'd like something that's gonna be comfortable to ride fairly long distances (I'd like to work up to about 30 miles a day), and not kill my back. Couple hours hunched over on a road bike and I'll be in traction (unless there's more comfortable options). But also something that's gonna be a fairly easy ride. I don't want to have to feel like I'm fighting with the petals.

I'd like to keep my budget around $600 USD, but could go as much as double if I need to.

So I've got a couple of questions:
What category would you recommend (Road, Hybrid or Mountian)?
Are there any brands or models that you'd recommend?
Any other advise that'll help inform my decision.

Thanks in advance.

McM
 

Volnix

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Feb 19, 2011
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All these threads are the same. :D

When I reply I feel like a hairdresser listening this "I want them short, but not too short" phrase. :D

Forget about the hybrid, unless you will be riding on trails with rocks and you need the suspension travel.

What I always suggest is a cyclocross bike. You might even get away with an Endurance road bike.

Check ones made from Aluminium. These are often picked for commuting use and often have Rack and Fender fittings.

For Cyclocross aluminium bikes check Bianchi and Ridley. Ridley especially is very big in cyclocross and makes some nice ones.

Also check some alrounders like the Surly cross check.

Specialized made a bike recently called the Diverge which is ment to go offroad but its not so offroad-y like a cyclocross bike.

You don't have to ride the bike on the drop bar all the time. You can hold the bar from top and just use the drops for windy days - sprinting etc.

Btw, you, like the others, mentioned weight loss. Bikes are kinda limited to 100kg of mixed load. You are not more then that yeah?

And btw... Cycling can cause weight gain if you start eating triple portions after a 10 min ride. :D
 
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mcmurphy510

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Jul 10, 2015
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Sorry about the triple threads. The site was giving me an error when posting... lol

Thanks for the reply.

Cyclocross does seem like a good fit. My only concern is (looking at photos), the handlebars seem to be of the looped down variety (I think they're called "Drop Bars"). I'm concerned I'll be a bit hunched over too far while riding, which'll probably kill my back (although I'm sure after losing a few pounds that won't be as much of an issue... lol). I think that even holding those from the top might be a bit much for me over the long haul.

With a bit of gear, I'd be right at about 100kg. Does this change anything?

Thanks for the suggestions, and I'll try to watch my portion control. :)
 

Volnix

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Feb 19, 2011
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Have you been to a bike shop? Alot of times you can test ride a bike.

Holding the handlebar from the top should be as comfortable as a flat bar bike, if the bike is not ment for sprinting. (Like these semi-aero bikes).

Climbing bikes usually have a geometry that allows for a comfortable position when holding the handlebar from the top.

The drawback is that since that position is ment for climbing there is no easy access to brakes and shifting controls. This can be worked around by installing a second pair of brake levers on the top of the handlebars.

You can also get different kinds of shifters on the handlebars etc. If you go for electronic shifting you can place a shifting keypad almost anywhere.

Btw, if you start cycling you might also notice some neck strain too. Probably more than back strain too.

Cycling is a much more strenuous excersize than swimming. It's just less boring than running. I suspect that us who do it is just because we like it and not that much because its a "good excersize".

And then are the accidents, spills, gear cost, traffic troubles, finding cycling buddies etc. ;)

Yeah the weight... Sounds like you'll be fine. Thing is that every summer some of these 130kg couch Jabba The Hutts decides to lose weight and they think of getting a bike instead of swimming and eating smarter.

This is dangerous as some bikes can't handle the weight and also bad for the rider. Running whilst overweight can put alot stress on knees, bones etc. Swimming is much better if you let the flab uncontrolled for too long. It also burns more calories and all you need is a swimming suit and a towel. :D

Heavier rider - The bike will break faster. Out of specs heavy and you have problems with breaking the bike from start, not to mention braking performance etc.

What about a nice steel bike? Like the Surly cross check? :)
 

mcmurphy510

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Jul 10, 2015
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Thanks for the replies.

I visited Performance Bicycles today. I'm really liking the cyclocross type you mentioned. They do test rides there, but I did not have time today.

The rep there also said I should be fine with a drop bar.

Brands he recommended where Fuji. How do they stack up in the market? And in terms of quality / performance for the money?

Also, do you think that I need to be concerned about potential neck strain? My neck's another sore point (pun only mildly intended). If so, what would you recommend to avert that?

I think I'm good on the weight. I'm just a touch over 90kg... so nowhere near 130... lol.

Thanks again.
 

Darktone

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Jul 1, 2015
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For me the Hybred was the way to go. I am mostly on paved trails where there are enough users I don't feel safe going over 20mph- don't want to look like I am in training for the tour De France either. And really I am doing this for fun and to stay fit. Being comfy and fit is my goal and the hybrid does it for me. Now if your ultimate goal is to have the cool riding outfit and ride with a group of other roadies on the streets then I think the road bike is your only choice.
 

Volnix

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Feb 19, 2011
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I'm not sure of the bike shops over there... I suppose you are in the US yeah?

There are small bike shops, oftenly called the LBS (local bike shops) which usually carry some quality brands.

In such shops you might have a more personalized experience and a bit less stressful aftermarket help. ;)

Big box stores sometimes make nice offers too if you know what you are after, but also do the LBS' s.

Yeah, the neck pain. For me it starts at about 100km in the ride... You might experience that earlier or later depending on your riding style, position etc.

A good fit is a good way to work around this, but you don't need to pay for an expensive bike fitting session yet. Just set up the bike seat height and handlebars into a correct range and see how it goes.

Then you can start adjusting the horizontal position of the seat, the hood's position (the rubber hood's on the brifters from where you hold the handlebars) and the handlebar stem angle. You can flip the stem to higher or lower positions, or change the stem altogether.

Then you can also change handlebar tape, wear padded gloves, run the tires at lower pressure, get wider tires, or, or, or... There are lots of options. ;)

Fuji is another big brand like Specialized, Trek, Cannondale etc. You should be fine quality wise and these big brands do have lengthy warranties for their frames etc.

If I remember correctly, Fuji, like Specialized offer some of their frames with lower scale Shimano components making them more affordable. For example you can pick a bike for 800 Euro that can go up to 1200 Euro with different components.

I would suggest getting a campagnolo equipped bike, as Campagnolo parts are serviceable throughout the range in contrast with Shimano.

Italian brands like Bianchi offer some models equipped with Campagnolo.

Check the specs coz if you get the parts with a complete bike from start, you save alot of money in comparison with upgrading later.

#Darktone

The shorts and jerseys are not just for looks. They help with sweat and the back pockets are also useful.
 

Darktone

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Jul 1, 2015
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Also for a beginner it might be best to buy a bike that is comfy right off the start to get acclimated to biking. If you buy the full on road bike right away it might be too much for a novice.
 

Volnix

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Feb 19, 2011
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Yeah I like solid colour ones too, but I also like trolling ones. :D

Like ones with skulls, advertising booze etc. :D

A cyclocross bike is not exactly a road bike, but you can equip it with road only components. They are quite comfy. :)


This is my bike at the moment and no, it's -not- comfy in every aspect. :D

2i23bs0.jpg
 

mcmurphy510

New Member
Jul 10, 2015
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Thanks for all your help.

After some test rides, I think cyclocross is out, and pretty much anything with drop bars. I'm leaning Hybrid or maybe even Flat Bar Road at this point.

I'm narrowing in on some bikes:

Fuji Absolute 1.3: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10052&productId=1126671&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=&top_category=

GT Transeo 3.0: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10052&productId=1147438&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=&top_category=

Trek 7.3 FX: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/city/fitness/fx/7_3_fx/

Trek 8.3 DS: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/city/dual_sport/ds_series/8_3_ds/

Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/multi-use/crosstrail/crosstrail-sport-disc

Daimondback Insight Disc: http://www.diamondback.com/bikes-road-performance-hybrid-insight-disc

I really dig the Trek 7.3. It seems to ride nice, comfortable, and fits pretty good. Only thing I might want to change is it's ability to handle a tiny bit of dirt. The store suggested the 8.3, which they would have to special order, so I'm unsure about it.

I also liked the Fuji 1.3; not quite as much as the Trek. But I'm told it has better (or comparable) parts, at a lower price (450 vs 670).

The others are a bit beefier, in-case I ever want to take it on dirt. But I'm told I'll really feel it if I do a 30 mile ride in the city. Not sure its worth the trade off.

Any pros / cons stand out on any of these rides?

Thanks again.
 

Volnix

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Feb 19, 2011
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Mmmm, Volnix is out! You are alone from now on. :)

I totally bet that after any off these bikes your next bike will be something a bit more roady. ;)

There is nothing to comment about them, except more complicated overhauls due to (probably not required) suspension and disco brakes. :)

If it gets windy you'll be like "Fuuuuuu I want a drop bar". :D

"Dirtiest" I'll go on recommending is a Specialized Diverge. :) Or maybe an Aluminium Ridley cyclocross.

A really nice one would be a Specialized "Tricross" but good luck finding these anymore. :)

So what was the deal breaker with the drop bar ones? The vertical brakes operation? You know that you can have some horizontal ones too yeah?

Everything else is the same, if not better. But if you -have- to have less positions and a 3kg fork its your funeral lol. :D


Kore_cyclocross_cockpit.jpg
 

mcmurphy510

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Jul 10, 2015
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Ah! Sorry! :)

You may be right... after talking to the staff at several shops, I'm left with the feeling that I'll ultimately need two bikes. One for my daily ride, and another when I want to take it out on a bit rougher trail.

I'm just very uncomfortable on drop bars... even using the top. Those horizontal brakes would help a bit, but it's mostly just my back. I'm not upright enough. I think on a long ride, they'd kill my back. If there was a cyclocross that allowed me to ride more upright (perhaps a bit higher and a bit back), I'd be all over that.

I live in a semi-rural part of California. So there's lots of hills, crappy roads and tons of trails (many paved, many not).

I could probably do without the suspension (which is what I think I prefer). That would put me between the Trex 7.3 and the Fuji 1.3.
 

Volnix

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Feb 19, 2011
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The Specialized Diverge is kinda based on endurance geometry. That also means higher handlebars.

If you start from there and swap a stem for something higher you'll probably be fine...

And then you can go directly to carbon without tossing the one year and 500 moneyzzz of riding on a hybrid before. :D

Seriously though... Check "Roubaix" type bikes. Some of these have enough tyre clearance for dirt tires. (which is the most important part in riding wherever, dirt or road).

There is no bike that can handle it all... Yet! :D

One of us! One of us! :D


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEGZxhwgzZo
 

Darktone

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Jul 1, 2015
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I think getting the bike that is comfortable is best for your first bike. If you get one that is not fun to ride you probably won't stay with it. Right now I would buy the bike you think would make you keep cycling. If you stay with it and grow into a road bike this is still money well spent.
 

Volnix

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Feb 19, 2011
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Flat bars are bad luck! Mark my words!!! :D


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfPYuI1cBpc
 

Darktone

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Jul 1, 2015
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Yes , you could say that, when the snow comes my cross country skis come out and yes those too are what you would call a hybrid between cross country, off trail, and down hill. :)
 

mcmurphy510

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Jul 10, 2015
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So another round of test rides and I've narrowed it down even further.

Fuji Absolute 1.3: http://www.performan...=&top_category=

GT Transeo 3.0: http://www.performan...=&top_category=

Trek 7.3 FX: http://www.trekbikes...ness/fx/7_3_fx/

Daimondback Insight Disc: http://www.diamondba...id-insight-disc

@Volnix, you're right about the fork and the extra weight of those traditional "hybrids". I took a couple on a slightly longer ride and can really feel the difference between those and "road" or "comfort" hybrids, like the 7.3. I still don't dig those drop bars though. lol.

@Darktone. Reading some of your other posts it almost sounds like we're in a similar terrain. What part of the country do you live in?