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  1. #1
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    Bike purchase advice

    Hi

    First my vital stats :-)
    260lbs, 6ft 4, 24 years old

    I have been cycling for 6 months now; ever since I moved into the city. It started out as transport and is now a growing hobby. I bought a Barrucada Jacana mountain bike a couple of years ago - which has been a complete nightmare.

    • I have had to replace the pedals, as my weight ripped off the plastic ones it came with after my first real trip.
    • I had to tighten everything up again (built in-shop, poorly)
    • I have been through 2 chains - my current chain constantly slips - its a bit rusty as I have to leave it outside at work.
    • The front wheel is totally bent up


    I use my bike for cycling to work everyday which is a short 4-5 mile round trip. I go on weekend trips, 30-50 miles every weekend. So in total about 70 miles a week.

    My usage is steadily growing as I get fitter and enjoy it more.

    I'd like some advice on my next bike - its really important to me that every part of it lasts 5 years. I want a bike strong enough to handle me - without me worrying about the chain every time I power up a hill. I would also like stronger wheels - perhaps more spokes is the answer?

    My budgets about £500//$1000

    Thanks for any help,
    Dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member theetruscan's Avatar
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    The chain won't last 5 years. But, if you take care of the bike, everything but chain, tires, bar tape, and possibly the cassette should last 5 years. If you don't take care of the bike, the chain will take the cassette and chainrings with it, and the BB and hubs will suck too. Bikes need a bit of maintenance.

  3. #3
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    Hello Dave, and welcome to the forums.

    I don't have a specific recommendation on a bike for you, however, if you mainly ride paved road surfaces I'd highly recommend a good road bike over a mountain, hybrid, comfort bike. I started out riding a comfort bike because I was mainly interested in riding wooded trails. However, due to wet conditions I found myself riding my comfort bike on road surfaces, and after 15 - 20 miles I was definitely feeling it. I purchased a road bike a couple of weeks ago and it was a world of difference. I'm able to ride many time father (and faster) on the road bike that I ever could with the comfort bike. Again, I'm only recommending this if you are not interested in riding trails.

    I would recommend that you visit your local bike shop (LBS) and talk to a sales associate with your interests and test ride some bikes.

    Also, expecting 5 years of worry free maintenance probably isn't a realistic expectation. Bicycles require constant maintenance...mostly preventative....but a rider should be knowledgeable in routine maintenance for their bike.

    Good luck with your search!

    Best,
    Brian

  4. #4
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    Maintenance is probably something I need to work on. I've stopped taking it down the bike shop now... I replaced an inner tube the other day - that was an achievement :-)

  5. #5
    Member scummy's Avatar
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    For low maintenance, may I suggest a fixed-gear bike? No shifters, no derailleurs, no cassettes... You can use the money you save from all that stuff on upgrading the stock wheels to a set of Deep Vs, and there are always people on craigslist who are interested in buying fixed gear wheelsets for their conversions. I definitely take my fixed-gear bike out on rides of the length you describe, and I love it. I even think I like climbing hills more on my fixed-gear than on my geared road bike.

  6. #6
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    single speed would be better over a true fixie. fixie generally means no brakes/front brake...single speeds generally still have breaks. I personally dont wanna be without brakes! Fixie would be great for velodrome or something...but again, thats my personal opinion!

    If you store the bike outside at work, there ARE bike covers that would probably fit into a smallish bike bag/panniers...bike cover might also keep thieving eyes at bay...or not? http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=6600 theres one from performance bike. Just an idea!

  7. #7
    Senior Member theetruscan's Avatar
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    Fixed gear means no coasting. That's it. Lots of people don't run brakes on them, but there's nothing keeping you from doing so. My fixed gear has front and rear brakes.

  8. #8
    Member scummy's Avatar
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    Yeah. I wondered if I needed to say "make sure you put a brake on," but that seemed obvious. I wouldn't say a rear brake is, since your legs are basically the rear brake, and the front one has more stopping power anyway.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperBOB View Post
    Hi

    First my vital stats :-)
    260lbs, 6ft 4, 24 years old

    I have been cycling for 6 months now; ever since I moved into the city. It started out as transport and is now a growing hobby. I bought a Barrucada Jacana mountain bike a couple of years ago - which has been a complete nightmare.

    • I have had to replace the pedals, as my weight ripped off the plastic ones it came with after my first real trip.
    • I had to tighten everything up again (built in-shop, poorly)
    • I have been through 2 chains - my current chain constantly slips - its a bit rusty as I have to leave it outside at work.
    • The front wheel is totally bent up


    I use my bike for cycling to work everyday which is a short 4-5 mile round trip. I go on weekend trips, 30-50 miles every weekend. So in total about 70 miles a week.

    My usage is steadily growing as I get fitter and enjoy it more.

    I'd like some advice on my next bike - its really important to me that every part of it lasts 5 years. I want a bike strong enough to handle me - without me worrying about the chain every time I power up a hill. I would also like stronger wheels - perhaps more spokes is the answer?

    My budgets about £500//$1000

    Thanks for any help,
    Dave
    No bike will run maintenance free for 5 years, unless it sits unused in the garage. What is important is to learn to do much of the maintenance yourself. This will save you needing to buy a lot of parts early.

    Chain, once a week or so, get a clean rag, and a bottle of degreaser (I like a spray bottle), put a small amount of degreaser on the rag, and then wipe off the chain, by holding the rag to it, while running the pedals backward, until it looks clean.

    Pop off the rear wheel, protect the end of the cassette, where the axle goes through, and spray some degreaser on the cassette. Wash the cassette, scrub a little, make sure nothing is stuck between the individual gears, and let dry. Pluck the spokes, to make sure that none are loose, if they are, then take the wheel to a shop for a true and tension. Go over the chainrings as well, when the entire drive train is clean, check the brake pads, if any of them look overly worn, then replace. Wash the rest of your bike. Get a ruler, that measures 15", pick a point on the chain in the middle of a rivet, measure 12" it should fall to the middle of a rivet, if it is more then 12⅛" replace the chain. Check the tires, look for excessive wear, stuff stuck in the tread, etc.

    Now, lube the chain, the pivots in the dérailleurs, and the cables once everything is dry. Shift through all of the gears, listen to make sure the chain doesn't rattle in any gear, if it does, give the adjusting barrel a ¼ turn and that should fix it.

    If you learn to spend ½ to 1 hour a week, looking after your bike, it will look after you.

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