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  1. #1
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    New to the forum-lots to read

    I've been reading the site on and off since Saturday, trying to learn what I can about bikes, what my goals really are, what I should be looking for in a bike, etc. I had knee surgery last year that went badly, and have a lot of residual issues with my knee from it. I have been running and doing other exercise, and dropped 40 pounds so far. However, the running has been really rough on the bad knee, where spinning class made it feel much better. I figured the next logical step was to get a bike and get moving outdoors.

    I got lost when it came to finding what to ride. I intend to do paved roads/paved trails, and have ambition to get up to 30 miles in a ride with some conditioning. Racing sounds fun, but right now is a more distant thought. I have a limited budget of $200-$250, and haven't had any kind of bike in over 10 years. I'm 6'4" and currently 230 pounds looking to get to 210 (down from an all-time high of 285 in Dec. 2006).

    I went to a couple of lbs (took me a whole day to figure that acronym out), and they showed me a Specialized Sirrus and a Trek "comfort" bike as a good starter bike options. I'm frankly so confused on styles and makers that I have no idea what I am looking for or really need at this point other than to say that used seems the way to go.

    Anyway, advice is always appreciated but I posted to introduce myself and so I could interject questions on the many threads I have been and will be reading. It's a great forum, so much advice and commentary, so thanks for having it. Back to the faq lesson threads I go...

    Alex

  2. #2
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    Welcome Alex.

    I am not going to advise on which bike (too much). There others here a lot smarter than me. You will find lots of different riding styles here, and I think sometimes that influences opinions.

    From my 3 year experience of getting back into riding, i can tell you that a few things now stick out to me like a sore thumb.

    1. Don't buy from Xmart.

    2. If you get a Mountain Bike, that is great. A lot of riders use Mtn bikes as commuters. But if you do, get one either with a rigid fork, or a lock-out. Suspension forks rob clydes of a lot of energy that could otherwise be used for riding and enjoying.

    3. Bigger wheels are good. That is not to say that a 26" is not going to work, but I rode 26 for two year and made the switch to 29 this year and I am never going back.

    4. This will probably not be your last bike.

    Have Fun. That is the most important thing. Ride the style that suits you the best.

    Good to have you here.

    Jay
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  3. #3
    I'm a Cyclist! Missbumble's Avatar
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    Hi Alex! wow spinning will get you skinny in no time. My only advice is to keep spinning as well as road biking. The biking outside whould be considered fun - but to really get weight off as you have been doing - don't stop the spinning or other exercise and conditioning you do. I bought a road bike and I need to remember not to rely on it for my weight loss and conditioning as it takes a lot more time on the bike outside to sweat off what working out will do. Also I need to start doing Core work as well....Just my 2 cents.


    Have fun though!! You are gonna love it!

  4. #4
    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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    First and foremost, especially with knee issues, make sure your fit is correct. Otherwise, you'll contribute to further knee damage.

    Second: Learn to spin in a lighter gear rather than mashing a big gear at slow cadence. Your knees will thank you.

    As to the bike, at your weight, a good 32 spoke wheel will do you well, and can likely go with a 24 spoke if you keep it well maintained as far as spoke tension and alignment. The frame and type of bike won't really be an issue, other than this: Get the bike you fall in lust with. You'll ride it more.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  5. #5
    Senior Member bbeck's Avatar
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    welcome

    good luck on finding the bike you like. if you have the option go to several lbs and test ride till you find something you like in your budget. i started on a mountain bike because i wanted a sturdy bike for me to ride and weighed in at 350 lb. i rode several times but just never could get in to it. and eventually put the bike in storage. i took it out last year and a month later it was stolen so i replaced it with a road bike. i bought a Specialized Sequoia Elite ( not trying to persuade you) because i liked the idea of having interrupter brakes on top as well as on the hoods and i had never road a road bike before. i love riding the road bike compared to the mountain bike. as far as the interrupter brakes they are not as much a necessity now after a year of riding but it made me feel more confident in the beginning.

    good luck in your search. i am sure you will get plenty of helpfull advice here.
    Brandon Gallatin, Tn.
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/bwbeck

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    Thanks everyone. I appreciate the tips. I am stuck on one real thing right now...type of bike: pure road bike (like the Spec. Allez, for example) or a 'hybrid' (like the Spec. Sirrus). Maybe its a matter of getting on a couple of different styles and figuring it out, but I feel like I don't really know what I should be looking for (aside from something that will fit my size).

  7. #7
    I'm a Cyclist! Missbumble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexw View Post
    Thanks everyone. I appreciate the tips. I am stuck on one real thing right now...type of bike: pure road bike (like the Spec. Allez, for example) or a 'hybrid' (like the Spec. Sirrus). Maybe its a matter of getting on a couple of different styles and figuring it out, but I feel like I don't really know what I should be looking for (aside from something that will fit my size).
    One thing to think about....would you like to ride in some group rides? There are a lot of groups that have road bike rides so if you get an authentic road bike you are more likely to be able to keep up with the group. Also do you pan on going up hills? If so talk to your LBS about the type of terrain you want to ride on as well.

  8. #8
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    I do want to work to group rides, and I live in a decently hilly area....Anaheim Hills....

    I've done more reading, and it seems a "road sport" bike is what I really want to be looking for. Now, the hard part...what bikes are "road sport" bikes, esp. in the entry level?

  9. #9
    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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    An Allez Triple is very nice. It's aggressive enough to compete in a Criterium, but comfortable enough to ride long distance on.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  10. #10
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    I do know about the Allez, but so far haven't seen one close to my price-range. Would the comparable Trek/Cannondale/Other bikes be of the same price?

  11. #11
    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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    Yep....they'd be near the same price.

    You might look at used, too, like this little number over in Garden Grove.

    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/1223592006.html

    It should be just about a perfect fit, sizewise at 62 cm, and is $120 and was a pretty decent sports/touring bike back in the day. I have a 1971 Nishiki Custom Sport as a Fixed Gear. Throw on a more modern wheelset and group, and you could have a primo Classic/Modern Road bike. Just have the rear stays cold set for the wider hub. Or just ride it as is as a vintage steed while you shop around for a modern road bike, too.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  12. #12
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    Can't say enough how appreciative I am of the help. It's amazing what a little knowledge will do. I saw that posting, flew right by it because I had NO idea what I was looking at....now I have to google some of the other terms you listed to figure it out. Still, I like the idea and better I think the wife would like it too. The price of a "new bike" nearly had me sleeping on the couch just for talking about it...

    Incidentally, I understand wheelset, but does "group" mean the gearing set? I'm feel like such a moron, but assuming you can change out the cartridge, derailuer, (crank?), how much do I need to expect to spend for that.

    I'll go search around, see what I can figure out in terms of "modernizing" the bike.
    Last edited by P4D; 06-16-09 at 07:48 PM.

  13. #13
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Buy used and/or vintage is a killer way to get a lot of bike for not a lot of money.

    The thing to do is to replace only things that break but have a plan for an eventual "modernization" if that is what you want to do. Unless you are handy with tools and aren't afraid to do your own work it can get expensive, even with buying used parts from the forum, Craigs List, or the 'bay. The LBS labor for installation can get pricey. My recommendation to folks who want to get an old bike and modernize it over time is to collect the parts and when you have all you need or want take them in all at once and pay to have a "super tune-up" when they take off your existing parts to service everything, just have them use the new parts. Much cheaper than piecemeal.

    It does have the advantage of letting you do it over time though.

  14. #14
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by alexw View Post
    Can't say enough how appreciative I am of the help. It's amazing what a little knowledge will do. I saw that posting, flew right by it because I had NO idea what I was looking at....now I have to google some of the other terms you listed to figure it out. Still, I like the idea and better I think the wife would like it too. The price of a "new bike" nearly had me sleeping on the couch just for talking about it...

    Incidentally, I understand wheelset, but does "group" mean the gearing set? I'm feel like such a moron, but assuming you can change out the cartridge, derailuer, (crank?), how much do I need to expect to spend for that.

    I'll go search around, see what I can figure out in terms of "modernizing" the bike.
    Derraileurs, converting to indexed brifters instead of friction stem shifters. That kind of thing. That bike is likely from the very early 70's by the way, since it's a true 10 speed. It may even have Maillard hubs and likely has suntour derraileurs and brakes (The company Shimano copied from). If it's a 1970's model, look for the name Kawamura on the lower chainstay, if so, it was also a signature model. A handbuillt frame by Nishiki's Master Framebuilder, Kawamura. That would make it a much more valuable bike than you might otherwise think. Either way, thouh, it's not a "gaspipe tubing" bike.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  15. #15
    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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    Bad link
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    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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    It's a bit small for someone 6'4", but Bianchi is a good bike and it's well equipped. It has friction downtube shifters on it, by the way, which will take a bt of getting used to, but I actually like DT shifters.

    Keep an eye on it. It's near the top of it's price range around here, though, so I wouldn't get into a huge bidding war on it.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the advice...I let it go without bid and it hit $260. I liked the look overall, and after reading some things (including some Sheldon Brown articles), I might wish I had made a move on it because I think the Bioforce crank might be good for my bad knee. Oh well, plenty more to look around for.

    I went through EBay and saw a bunch of stuff including some local stuff, so I'll keep sifting through to get something. I haven't searched this yet, but assuming I didn't go crazy on the parts, what does it cost to build out a frame that only has the frame and headset? I appreciate how generic that question is, but I am just trying to find a ballpark.

    BTW-thanks again for all the thoughts and advice.

  19. #19
    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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    JUst llook in the 62 cm frame range for now. Once we have your start point, we can start figuring long term cost, if needed.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  20. #20
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    62cm, eh? I found a nice looking 60cm Miyata 712 (which from reading this forum seems like a nice bike). It's completely out of my price-range, but I think overpriced. Probably too small, I guess. Well, saves the trouble of trying to get it to a price I can afford...

    I'll continue looking around. I deeply appreciate all your comments.

  21. #21
    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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    60 might work for you as well. If it's local, then you can test ride it.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  22. #22
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    Good hour and a half drive down there, will have to see if I can set some time aside. Is this bike overpriced? Seems to me it is, but I can't determine what fair value is:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=330337721164

  23. #23
    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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    I think it is, as well. It's a nice bike, and Campag equipped, but not that special.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  24. #24
    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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    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  25. #25
    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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    This is about 62 CM
    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/1229692310.html $150 and looks in very nice shape. I'm pretty sure it's actually from the 80's though.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

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