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OK, bike-a-holics, here's your chance

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Moderator1, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    to share your knowledge.

    Thanks to a suggestion by my good friend and fellow coffee freak Ducky, I have been reading this:


    Now, there's no way I do what this guy did. He had a background of cycling. I don't.
    But my knees can't take another running program, I fear. My neighborhood has grown and expanded and stretched and reached to the point where I can ride and ride and ride on wide, safe streets - some flat, some hilly, some very hilly - and never go near a major roadway.

    I don't want a mega-bike, something that costs more than my car. What's a good, solid, safe, easy bike for someone who wants some exercise?
  2. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    I have a Trek. Love it. Cost me around $300 and isn't one of those insane speed street racing bikes, but isn't just a regular ole Huffy either.
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    That sounds like exactly my speed. I can do that price.
  4. JR

    JR Well-Known Member


    I don't mean this to be a "my bike is more expensive than yours" thread but for my 50th I treated myself to a $1200. Rocky Mountain Solo.

    The difference between it and my older bike (a Peugeot road bike) was significant .

    I can pick the damn think up with one finger, it switches gears effortlessly, the brakes are damn solid. And at our age, all these things (particularly the weight) are a factor.

    I still regret slightly my purchase--in retrospect I probably should have bought a hybrid or a tourning bike.

    If Idaho's around he should chime in. He's he bike expert.

    My advice is if you're serious; spend as much as you can. You won't regret it.

    As someone told me, the difference between a $300 bike and a $1000 bike is huge The difference between a $1000 and a $5000 one, not so much, unless you're doing really serious racing.
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    There will be no serious racing.
  6. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    The folks bought a really nice Cannondale for about $600 new a few years back. My stepfather's health has failed, and they sold the bike to me at half-price.

    Given the quality, a genuine bargain. It's a quality piece that any quality bike shop will perform repairs (and is actually worth such). It's very light and highly functional, the only drawback with mine is that the gear shifts are on the inside of the handgrips, and the texture of the plastic/rubber makes gloves a requirement.

    Trek or Cannondale ... maybe even Specialized, makes very, very good bikes at somewhat digestible prices, Moddy. Not only is it fun, but given my knees, but it's also the only way to go. Let us know what you decide.
  7. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Over the past year, I haven't ridden much, but previously I rode all over the place.
    I bought a great second-hand bike. The local police station has a regular bike auction for recovered stolen and abandoned bikes that go unclaimed. Nobody ever comes to pick them up. They hold them and then eventually auction them off. Some of the local bike shops by them and fix them up.
    I got a great bike for $70. Don't use it for real trail riding. Don't use it for racing. Just use it for getting around and some exercise.
  8. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Somebody get Idaho on here STAT.
  9. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    I looked at a Cannondale but in the end chose my Rocky Mountain.

    It was literally a flip of the coin.

    Also, I'd also suggest that if you do even any semi-serious--say out for a 30 or 40 km ride on a regular basus, gloves are a necessity. As are a helmet, riding shorts and bike shoes. They all make riding much more enjoyable. No calluses on the fingers, no sadlle sores, and no sore feet. (Bike shoes make all the difference)
  10. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Moddy, Like everything, you sort of get what you pay for, but if it is just going to be for around the neighborhood you should be able to get by in the $300 to $500 range. It won't be a superbike and the components will be scaled down, but the technology has gotten so good that you really will only be riding the equivalent of what was top of the line 10 or 15 years ago and those bikes were light years ahead of the bikes we grew up on. They mostly have figured out ways to make components lighter and less complicated. You will be getting heavier and more bulky in that price range, which makes you work harder because you have to pull along a heavier bike with you.

    You have to decide what kind of bike you want. A road bike, hybrid or mountain bike. If it is going to be a combo of riding the streets and on paths, I'd recommend the hybrid. I can't make a great recommendation, though, because I have never owned one. I have only ever owned road bikes. A road bike is going to be hard on you -- they are build for speed more than comfort, depending on the bike you get. A good road bike can be uncomfortable until you get used to riding. Look for a hybrid that is road biased. It will have a modified road frame, but rims that are wider and more durable than the wheels on a road bike. It can handle a trail or rough surfaces better because of the thicker wheels.

    In that price range, don't get too caught up in components. You'll get what you get for that price. Test out aluminum and steel bikes to get a feel for how the frames differ (you won't be able to afford titanium or carbon). The aluminum bike is lighter and has a bouncier ride. I personally can't stand aluminum bikes, but some people love them. The steel frame will be heavier (although if you pay, you can get an incredibly light steel frame) and will hug the road better. I personally love steel-framed bikes, and I took an old steel road bike I used to live on and converted it into a fixed gear this year that I am not afraid to ride through Manhattan's pothole-filled roads--even though it is this tiny, light, road frame.

    As for make, you really have to find a few good bikes shops (they'll all deal in different brands) and try out a lot of different bikes to see who makes a frame that fits your build and the way you ride. The geometry is a function of the head and seat tube angles and how big a wheel base there is. I have personally done well with LeMond bikes, because they have really relaxed angles that fit my body and keep my weight evenly between the saddle and my hands. They probably won't work for you and most of those bikes aren't cheap, although you can go new with an older model if you can find it and save a lot off of sticker price.

    If you upgrade anything, look at the fork if the one on your bike is subpar (although this might be too pricey an upgrade, depending on what you get) and the saddle (usual cheaper upgrade that can make a big difference). I'm a huge fan of some of the Terry Saddles, such as the Terry Fly, which has a cutout in the middle to relieve pressure. You can find similar saddles online at performancebike.com, nashbar.com. among others.

    Good luck.
  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    My 2007 cycling log is wildly inaccurate, by the way.
    I rode 5-10 miles a day every day through almost all of 2006 and 2007.
  12. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Moddy, I can tell you that you don't want a road bike.

    I'd suggest either a hybrid or a mountain bike but if you choose the latter put street tires on.

    The knobby tires on the mountain bike are less efficient if you're only doing street or path riding.
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