What kind of bike should I get?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Renae, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Renae

    Renae New Member

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    I am beginning to look to get a new bike--what I have now is an old mountain bike--it is ok, but I want to get something that fits me better and meets my needs.
    I have thought about a road bike, but live in a big city so traffic limits where I will ride. I like to ride on the paved multi-use paths, but not sure if I necessarily need a road bike for that. I've also thought about a hybrid too.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks!
     
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  2. philso

    philso New Member

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    for starters, go the the top of the Cycling Equipment forum and read Vo2's beginner's guide.

    then, check out the rest of the threads. you'll find similar topics every few pages or so.

    if you're not too sure what kind of riding you'll be doing a cyclocross or hybrid is ok for recreational, commuting type riding.

    this year's models will be coming up on sale in couple of months and since you're probably not sure about what size bike is best for you, it could be a good chance to save some money, get the right fit, and start a relationship with a good bike shop. go to a few and stick with the ones who you feel aren't trying to push something off on you. for a beginner, an entry level bike may be about right. save the second mortgage for when you know exactly which bike you'll need it for.

    good luck shopping and better luck riding ;)
     
  3. wassssup

    wassssup New Member

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  4. bbattle

    bbattle New Member

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    There are bikes with either a lighter mtb-type frame or a road frame but have flat handlebars, adjustable stems, and tires that are wider than road tires but thinner than your mtb ones. These can handle hard-packed trails and pavement just fine. They have a more upright geometry than a road bike which is good for traffic, commuting. Doubtful that you'd need a front fork suspension.

    Most websites of bicycle manufacturers have bike types such as "Fitness", "Hybrid", "Commuter", "Urban", etc. If you are just looking to cruise around town and on some paths, I'd go with one of these.

    Marin, Raleigh, Giant, Specialized, Cannondale, Trek are just a few companies that have bikes in these categories.

    What's your price range? What's your level of fitness?
     
  5. Renae

    Renae New Member

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    I'm not sure on my price range yet--I don't want to get a cheap one, but don't feel that I need the absolute top of the line. I am waiting on a settlement from a car accident, so I don't know exactly how much I will be getting, but a new bike is something that I want to buy with that money--maybe $1,000?

    My fitness level? Well, I hadn't rode for months (too hot in the summer--I can't get up early enough to beat the heat), and about a week ago, I rode 20 miles on a paved path with no problem, but I think I only averaged about 10mph, but that was because I was riding with a couple other people, one of which was 9 years old (she'll soon be able to out-ride me!), so we kept up with her pace. I had no problem with that, and on Sunday I will probably be doing a 25-mile, but will probably be with the 9 year old again. When I am by myself, I can usually keep between 12-14mph without much problem, and can get up to 18mph and maintain that for short durations(3/4 - 1 mile). My furthest ride has been 26 miles--was going to train for a metric century, but didn't have time to commit for it. Even after riding the 20 miles at that pace I was glad to stop because of the heat, but physically I felt I could have continued on.

    I live in a big city and there are plenty of bike lanes on the streets, however even when traffic isn't too bad, there are just so many bad drivers here that don't see cyclists so am a little wary about riding on the streets a lot, otherwise I would probably get a road bike without any hesitation. I have bad knees (I'm 25 years old and have already have had 4 knee surgeries and have 2 more to go once it gets bad enough), and from the accident I have a bad neck, and my lower back gets irritated easily. So, biking is pretty much the only activity that I can do without much problem.
     
  6. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    If you have back and neck injuries you don't want a road bike. I won't recommend a 'bent but look into it.
    My thought would be, get a good mountain bike with hybrid tyres or slicks for road use.
     
  7. Renae

    Renae New Member

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  8. chero

    chero New Member

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    I agree with Don Shipp that you don't want a road bike with congested urban roads and back and neck problems, though since you already have a mtb, you might want to look within the spectrum of hybrids and flat bar road bikes. They give you the upright posture that is easier on your back and neck, and helps you see and be seen in a congested urban environment. They are both plenty sturdy for your purpose since you are not planning anything off road, and don't need beefiness or suspension fork etc. But I would go for sturdy wheels/rims (with at least 32 spokes, and a strong rim, double wall construction or something else as strong, especially if you weigh more than 175 lb, and will negotiate potholes and the occasional curb). More toward the flat bar road bike end gives you a lighter weight bike with a bit more performance, which is where I would look. Keep the tires fairly smooth (urban commuter tread, quiet and relatively low rolling resistence, but a little more rubber to keep out the glass), and medium wide, say 35C-38C. Since you are worried about congestion and crazy drivers, use a strobe on your back seat post. I use mine even in daylight, and put it on the back of my helmet to get it up higher, though the helmet mfg recommends against it. Wear a bright, light colored shirt.

    Chero
     
  9. philso

    philso New Member

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    i'm not sure about the upright-is-better call. i think you should consult your doctor or physical therapist first. it could be that because of the extra weight that would be on your arms with the drop bars on a road bike, your spinal column would be subjected to less stress. of course, you'd have your head tilted up more also. but then again, you'd have more hand positons and the choice of riding on the tops, hoods, or drops.

    i think there are too many variables, that they are all affected by your particular injuries and that, while all of us are well intentioned, probably none of us are doctors. at your age your injuries can (possibly) still heal up fine, but doing the wrong thing now can screw you up for good.

    get your doctors opinion on which type would be better for you first, and then the forum members can better help you with your choice. good luck;)
     
  10. chero

    chero New Member

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    Actually, I am a physician, but philso's point is well taken... I don't want to do a Bill Frist here, I haven't even reviewed the video tape!

    Chero
     
  11. Renae

    Renae New Member

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    I put myself back in Physical Therapy (told my doc I needed more) so I see them on Monday for the first time since April or May (had been there more than less October through April).

    It is mainly my neck that bothers me and I do get some relief if I loosen my grip on the handle bars. I have a hypermobile spine (never had problems before the accident) so have been told to be careful.

    I appreciate all the info and input on the types of bike to get!
    Thanks!
     
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