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  1. #1
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    Inexpensive bike for a beginner? I need your opinion

    Hello people,

    I've already done a lot of research and read all the stickies, especially the super useful thread "Clydesdale/Athena Index Thread". However, buying my first personal bike as an adult has proven to be quite a challenge. Especially that there's no LBS to count on, as I live in Ukraine, and I can only order a good brand bike online. I'm not Ukrainian, so even if there is some lbs here, I couldn't find it.

    Some info about me:

    - I'm 34 years old
    - I weigh about 100Kg/220lbs
    - Height is 178cm/5'10"
    - Inseam (barefoot) is 79cm/31"
    - I will be riding regularly, but about 5Km/3miles a day at the beginning.

    I was delighted to find out that the Giant Cypress (2008 or 2009 vanilla, not ST or DX) is available for around $330 (which is a little bit more than I can afford). And I think it's a good bike for a beginner like me. It definitely is better than the bike I rode when I was a teen, and I didn't know that a bike could cost more than $150 then...

    My inseam being 31", the frame I need should be 31 x 0.67 = 20.77 , or 21". Is this formula valid for the Cypress? The geometry page on the official page states that "Stand Over" height for the 21" frame is 31.8", which is a little bit more than my inseam. But I won't be riding barefoot, so I will be able to stand comfortably with my shoes on, right? I just don't want to buy the 19", I don't want it to be too small. Also, the stand over height is based on largest tire size and measured 12 inches forward from center of seat tube.

    So, is the 21" Cypress a good choice for me as a first bike?

    Thank you in advance for your help!
    Last edited by Glottis; 04-22-09 at 07:50 AM. Reason: typo in the title

  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    The Cypress should work well and is a good value. It was the bike I purchased to rediscover cycling.

    I'm 6' 0" with a 33" inseam and use the L/21 size. It's just right for me. I would recommend the M/19" size, this has an effective top tube length of 23.3' or 59cm. A L/21 might produce fully extended elbows to reach the grips if the size is too large.

    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 04-22-09 at 09:01 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Michael!

    Just thought about something: Does a smaller frame have a better chance to fit me than a frame that is a little bit larger than (or equal to) my size?

  4. #4
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
    Just thought about something: Does a smaller frame have a better chance to fit me than a frame that is a little bit larger than (or equal to) my size?
    It is usually easier to make a bike that is a bit small for you fit than a bike that is too big. I'd ride them both but the M/19 will most likely be the best for you.

  5. #5
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    Okay thanks, good to know.

    Do you think I should let them assemble the bike for me, or assemble it myself? I've never done that, but I'd love to try it to know more about the bike. Will it be impossible for a newbie like me?

  6. #6
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
    Okay thanks, good to know.

    Do you think I should let them assemble the bike for me, or assemble it myself? I've never done that, but I'd love to try it to know more about the bike. Will it be impossible for a newbie like me?
    Installing the headset, crank and many other items will require special tools. I would recieve the bike assembled.

    Michael
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Installing the headset, crank and many other items will require special tools. I would recieve the bike assembled.
    And here I thought that I had all the tools necessary. Thanks for letting me know. Out of curiosity, do you know which tools are required?

  8. #8
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    Ask around there might be a bicycling club. They would be very helpfull. Without a LBS how are you going to maintain it? If you see someone on a bike, ask them. If you are not ukranian, try buying a guide book that suggests bicycle rentals.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
    Ask around there might be a bicycling club. They would be very helpfull. Without a LBS how are you going to maintain it? If you see someone on a bike, ask them. If you are not ukranian, try buying a guide book that suggests bicycle rentals.
    Good idea, I didn't think about a club. Thanks!

    I was hoping to learn to maintain it myself, with the help of friends+Internet (this forum and sites like Sheldon Brown's). I'm a control freak, and tend to do everything myself. But if I realize in the future that it's too difficult, I'm sure I'll be able to find professionals.

    Thank you for the help everyone! I think I'll order the Cypress tonight, and maybe tomorrow it'll be here. I'll post some pics and let you know the size/fit just for future reference.

    Now it's helmet time. I hope I'll be able to find one for my 63 cm / 25 inch head.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Wrenching on a bike isn't too hard. Having the right tools for the job and reading up on what you are going to do BEFORE tearing into something the first time will allow you to do pretty much everything. The specialty tools aren't too expensive and I just buy what I need for the job I plan to do. Over the course of a year and a half, I've put together a pretty good cycling tool kit. Park Tools web site is another good site for mechanical information.

  11. #11
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    Thanks, I'll bookmark that site. And I'll definitely be more prepared for the next bike. But now I hope the bike will be delivered tomorrow, so I definitely don't have the time to study. And as I understood, I don't have the right tools for it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
    Okay thanks, good to know.

    Do you think I should let them assemble the bike for me, or assemble it myself? I've never done that, but I'd love to try it to know more about the bike. Will it be impossible for a newbie like me?
    Most bike manufacturers will state right on the box that the bike must be assembled by the shop. The cost of assembly should be included in the cost of the bike. Making sure it is properly set up and adjusted is a good idea.

  13. #13
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Where in the Ukraine are you? If you're in Kiev, for example, this link may be very helpful.:

    http://www.ukrainebicycletours.com/P...%20Outline.htm
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  14. #14
    karma is my higher power w00die's Avatar
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    I am just a shy of 6' and I have a 19" Cypress, I think a 21" would be too big for me. I think you'd be much better off with 19".

  15. #15
    Mr. Frowny Man Alathea's Avatar
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    Specialized, older model

    Pawn shop specials, or garage sale darlings. I had a Specialized Hardrock hard tail from the late 90s that I put some semi slicks on and a rack bag and some better grips. Smooth, fast, agile, and cheap! I paid 125 for the bike and about 100 in extra stuff and lights. Craigslist is your friend.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    Most bike manufacturers will state right on the box that the bike must be assembled by the shop. The cost of assembly should be included in the cost of the bike. Making sure it is properly set up and adjusted is a good idea.
    The bike was delivered assembled yesterday (Cypress M/19" btw) and I was told I get a free tune up in the next 30 days. I was pleasantly surprised!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Where in the Ukraine are you? If you're in Kiev, for example, this link may be very helpful.:

    http://www.ukrainebicycletours.com/P...%20Outline.htm
    Thanks Tom, I wish I could go on a tour though. I have a 3-year old daughter and my son will be born in June. What I need is just a peaceful place to ride the bike. I will be posting on local forums and will ask about this. Are there any world cycling maps maybe, where I can find such a place?

    Quote Originally Posted by w00die View Post
    I am just a shy of 6' and I have a 19" Cypress, I think a 21" would be too big for me. I think you'd be much better off with 19".
    I got the 19" and I'm glad I did. It's just the right size. I'll post some pics soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alathea View Post
    Pawn shop specials, or garage sale darlings. I had a Specialized Hardrock hard tail from the late 90s that I put some semi slicks on and a rack bag and some better grips. Smooth, fast, agile, and cheap! I paid 125 for the bike and about 100 in extra stuff and lights. Craigslist is your friend.
    Craigslist is not my friend, he's just a foreigner to me. I live in Ukraine, so only Google is my friend.

  17. #17
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
    The bike was delivered assembled yesterday...

    I got the 19" and I'm glad I did. It's just the right size. I'll post some pics soon.

    Great news, Enjoy!
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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  18. #18
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    im almost same exact size / weight as you. i got a 2009 Jamis Coda - Ran me about $400

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Great news, Enjoy!
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by trife86 View Post
    im almost same exact size / weight as you. i got a 2009 Jamis Coda - Ran me about $400
    I've already bought the Cypress, and I loved it on the first ride. But...

    I went on that first ride with my brother-in-law to a store where he wanted to buy some stuff. The round trip distance was a little over 12 km/7.5 miles. It took us several hours to come back though, because he had a flat and had no patch kits, only a pump. Of course, I didn't have anything with me, that being my first ride in a lot of years.

    Then several hours after I came back home, I felt that the pain I was feeling in my buttocks was coming from my coccyx/tailbone. Now, two days later, the pain is still there and I'm starting to think that maybe I fractured the coccyx or bruised it. And of course I can't ride my bike, it's too painful.

    The thing is, I didn't sit on my tailbone and the ride wasn't rough. So how did this happen?!

  20. #20
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
    The thing is, I didn't sit on my tailbone and the ride wasn't rough. So how did this happen?!

    It's most likly a combination of three things.

    A: First ride in many years, your "sit bones" are breaking in. Only time in the saddle will help this, don't force yourself to ride the bike when you are in pain. This has to be enjoyable if you are going to stick with it.

    B: You saddle is a tad too high. Try lowering it by a half inch for your next ride. If you ride with someone have them ride directly behind you for a bit. Ask them to watch your hips to make sure they are not rocking back and forth as you pedal. The only time my tailbone gave me grief from riding was when I had been adjusting my saddle height. No worries and certainly no reason to go to the Emergency Room unless there is bruising and swelling.

    C: Your foot is too far forward and your pedaling with your heel. Remedy this with clipless pedals/shoes, toe straps, or by moving your foot so that the center of the spindal goes across the pads of your feet (the cushon right behind your toes.
    Last edited by bautieri; 04-27-09 at 02:03 PM. Reason: cat-like typing

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    B: You saddle is a tad too high. Try lowering it by a half inch for your next ride. If you ride with someone have them ride directly behind you for a bit. Ask them to watch your hips to make sure they are not rocking back and forth as you pedal. The only time my tailbone gave me grief from riding was when I had been adjusting my saddle height. No worries and certainly no reason to go to the Emergency Room unless there is bruising and swelling.
    Thanks for the reply, bautieri.

    I'll lower the saddle for my next ride, which I hope will be soon (not months from now)! I followed the instructions in the Giant owner's manual to set the saddle height.

  22. #22
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
    Thanks for the reply, bautieri.

    I'll lower the saddle for my next ride, which I hope will be soon (not months from now)! I followed the instructions in the Giant owner's manual to set the saddle height.

    No problem Glottis , I hope it works out for you. The owners manual will get you in the ballpark but it is up to you to adjust the bike so that is perfect for you. As time goes on you might have a riding buddy who is the same heighth as you but if you try to ride his/her bike it won't be even close for you.

    As I recall it took the better part of a week for the pain to go away the time I expirienced the sore tail bone.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    As I recall it took the better part of a week for the pain to go away the time I expirienced the sore tail bone.
    Finally, the pain is almost gone now. And a couple of days ago, while trying to get on the bike, I understood why my coccyx began to hurt! Not because I was sitting on it while riding (which is pretty hard to imagine), but because of my noob's way of getting on the saddle. I'll start riding again tomorrow, a few kilometers only, then a few kilometers more the following day...

    I'll post some pics tomorrow or the day after, as promised.

    Thanks everyone for the advice and the moral support!

  24. #24
    karma is my higher power w00die's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new bike. As you ride and make small adjustments the bike will start to become comfortable for you and your ride distances will increase. I have been adjusting on my new road bike for a couple weeks and made an adjustment yesterday that made a huge difference. Simply moving my seat forward I felt a massive improvement. So give it time and do not be afraid to make changes. I try to mark things down incase I make a totally wrong adjustment I can have a place to go back too. Also by tracking your adjustments and noting how things felt you will see a trend sometimes that points to specific issues to address.

    Best of luck and Happy riding!

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