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  1. #1
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    Picking first bicycle

    I am a new user obviously, and live in a small middle of nowhere town in eastern KY, with a lot of mountains around me, and some small elevations on the roads that I have ridden on my $70 wally world bike, which of course didn't last a long time.

    I am about 210, and have been walking as a way to maintain and control weight I guess you could say, but what I've been wanting is to buy a bicycle I can actually use, I have been looking at cruisers for some reason I like the simplicity of them and the fact that they seem to outlast anything else on the road, but never used a coaster break bike, in a few weeks I'll rent one when I go to Virginia Beach.

    Using the Wmrt Roadmaster I would most times have to climb out of it to get up a hill, simply because the gears would be shifting on their own when ever I applied strength trying to climb the hill on it, and most of the time I just stayed in one gear, so here comes the question what would you all recommend for me to use and save money on?

    Been looking at Worksman INB and Republic Aristotle

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I'm more of a road bike "if it can go faster I want it" kind of guy so the bikes you're picking do nothing for me... and they both look like mail order bikes? And heavy. I get nervous when the technical information they list is limited to color.

    Don't let me dissuade you if that's what you want, but I think they'll be heavy and difficult to get up a hill of any magnitude.

    So I guess my advice would be to find a local bike shop with employees that are friendly and knowledgeable and have them help you. Not only can they help you pick out a bike that fits (rather than vague guides like " between 5'8 and 6'2" type sizing) they can also help you keep it adjusted. Your bike shouldn't be shifting gears on its own, that's for sure.

    And ABSOLUTELY test a few different bikes out so you can see if you like it... a ride around the parking lot probably isn't sufficient, but if you really like it, you'll be more likely to ride it.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SocialCow View Post
    I am a new user obviously, and live in a small middle of nowhere town in eastern KY, with a lot of mountains around me, and some small elevations on the roads that I have ridden on my $70 wally world bike, which of course didn't last a long time.

    I am about 210, and have been walking as a way to maintain and control weight I guess you could say, but what I've been wanting is to buy a bicycle I can actually use, I have been looking at cruisers for some reason I like the simplicity of them and the fact that they seem to outlast anything else on the road, but never used a coaster break bike, in a few weeks I'll rent one when I go to Virginia Beach.

    Using the Wmrt Roadmaster I would most times have to climb out of it to get up a hill, simply because the gears would be shifting on their own when ever I applied strength trying to climb the hill on it, and most of the time I just stayed in one gear, so here comes the question what would you all recommend for me to use and save money on?

    Been looking at Worksman INB and Republic Aristotle
    When bikes shift gears on their own, it usually means they are out of adjustment and probably just need a tuneup. Unfortunately Wally world bikes usually use crappy components that don't meet up with the standards specifications that bike shop bikes do, or follow standards that were in use 25 years ago.

    Realise that the Worksman is as heavy as a tank, because it is a tank, the Republic you mentioned has a similar reputation. Before anyone can recommend a bicycle, we need to know a few things, for example what kind of riding do you do, what are the ride conditions, what are you trying to achieve with cycling and what is and how immobile is your budget.

    Let me explain that last one, the general rule is you get what you pay for, but it's not exactly linear, sometimes adding an extra $50 or $100 gets you a much better bicycle, so in making suggestions, we don't need references like cheap as possible, that doesn't really say anything. A budget of $400 and I can toss in another $100 if I have to, is what we need here.

  4. #4
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    Don't know about simplicity, but for durability and hills I'd go with a mountain bike. I bought Cannondale's cheapest mountain bike in 1997 and it's still going strong. Granted, the combination of dropping 300 pounds on it (me) and going up hills so steep I had to hang out over the handle bars to keep the front tire on the ground did tear up a chain ring or two.

    Bought my first road bike two weeks ago and love it, but I actually have to be a little careful with it. No more going airborne.

  5. #5
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    Well let's see, to start I am 5'7" or 170cm, as budget goes, I am trying to save around $400 I figured would get me something "reliable" for my weight, but I am willing to go to $500 or a bit more if that means getting something I will like and want.

    What I am looking to do like I said is ride as a way to get around, I don't drive so it is basically what I would use it for to go places in town no more than let's say 5 miles out of town, it would 100% of the time ridden on black top, and as far as it goes on the routes that I know traffic will be manageable and I say that because of the number of semi trucks on the main roads here in town. As for what I am trying to achieve while biking well... A way to get from A to B while at the same time on a whim I could decide to go on a longer ride and get some exercise before coming home, as far as mileage it will be unlikely that I would take it any further than 10 miles in one sitting simply because, the traffic on the roads here would not allow it, to many semis who can't be trusted on the road with cars not to even mention bicycles.

    And from what I read on this forum and others I think a single speed would be a preferred choice for me, mostly for exercise as well as maintenance.

  6. #6
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    If you really want a cruiser, look at an Electra Townie. I think they come mostly with a 3spd internal gear hub, but those are low-maintanence. Their bikes look really durable and should provide you with what you are looking for, a simple comfortable bike to just get around town and get some exercise in!

    You say single speed, but do not over-look the Internal Gear Hubs, like the townie I mentioned. They keep the maintanence low, but provide more of a gear range than a single speed. Coaster brakes work rather well, too, and have for many years
    2012 Diamondback Podium 2 - Ready for spring! :D
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  7. #7
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Take a look on line for the best value in a new bike.

    Three Speed Beach Cruiser 2009 Mango Toucan 3 $395
    Lightweight Aluminum Frame, CrMo Fork, Coaster Brake+ Front V-Brake, Aluminum Wheelset

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/Mango/toucan3.htm
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  8. #8
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    Thank you all for the replies, I just spent around an hour reading the electra townie thread, had to dig through the ads in the middle, but anyway, seems like a nice bicycle but how is it any different from any other cruiser? And wouldn't the so called flat foot pedaling make it... Unsafe/Weird to ride up an elevation?

  9. #9
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    SocialCow, The Electra has a 3spd internal rear hub that will give you a bit more gear range for the local hills. The flat foot pedaling is not unsafe for climbing; consider that people ride recumbents up hills and those pedals are even higher/forward. The flat foot geometry allows you to easily place both feet on the ground while you're butt is on the saddle (seat). This is even more safe because you can easily correct yourself if you're about to tip over. Most cruisers that I've seen use this kind of pedal geometry. Since you are riding on roads and going to/from stores you may want to budget in the following (if it doesn't already exist on the bike):

    - helmet
    - patch kit, tire levers, and knowledge of how to change a tire (bike shops usually offer free classes)
    - lighting / blinkies for road visibility
    - rear and maybe a front rack to carry bags (groceries, etc.)
    - method of holding the bags to your rack (anything from old milk crate to high end panniers)

    With any bike, you will absolutely want to test ride it for fit and comfort. Enjoy the new ride!

  10. #10
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    The Electra Townie 21D may be what you need. It has enough gears to get you up the hills the flat foot technology makes getting up hills a little more difficult but gearing down works great. I love mine and try to ride it as much as possible. It is my only bike I can ride completely pain free. I am nuts for the thing. It is $500 (I think)

  11. #11
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    I like sequimite's suggestion of a mountain bike, as long as you picked up some slicker tires as you will be riding all roads as you say. This will give you an upright position, plenty of gears for hill climbing.

    Some bikes that would be a good start: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...d=10Rockhopper, http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...dtail/820/820/, or http://www.cannondale.com/usa/usaeng...s/1291-0FS5-F5

    I personally think, due to the fact that you said you were going to be riding roads only, you want an upright riding position, and you want som utility out of your bike, why not get something like this?

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...allant/allant/

    Its in your price range, has more road correct tires, upright riding position, utility, etc.

    I'm still very new at this, but I'm very similar to you. My only bikes were a Toys R Us mountain bike, where i'm to big for it and trashed the derailers. So I went out and bought a road bike, and I used it to commute to work.

    Maybe something like this: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/72fx/ will be better?

    Just some suggestions.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for the suggestions, I specially liked both the Treks that you suggested, I have been looking at their website for a while also, I found a bike shop that I have some confidence in so what I will probably next month is go get me a bicycle and more likely will go in with something on my head and come out with something different lol but hopefully with a smile, informed and happy with my choice, I just hope there isn't such a thing as a wrong choice. Again thank you all, will post pic when ever I get it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SocialCow View Post
    Well let's see, to start I am 5'7" or 170cm, as budget goes, I am trying to save around $400 I figured would get me something "reliable" for my weight, but I am willing to go to $500 or a bit more if that means getting something I will like and want.

    What I am looking to do like I said is ride as a way to get around, I don't drive so it is basically what I would use it for to go places in town no more than let's say 5 miles out of town, it would 100% of the time ridden on black top, and as far as it goes on the routes that I know traffic will be manageable and I say that because of the number of semi trucks on the main roads here in town. As for what I am trying to achieve while biking well... A way to get from A to B while at the same time on a whim I could decide to go on a longer ride and get some exercise before coming home, as far as mileage it will be unlikely that I would take it any further than 10 miles in one sitting simply because, the traffic on the roads here would not allow it, to many semis who can't be trusted on the road with cars not to even mention bicycles.

    And from what I read on this forum and others I think a single speed would be a preferred choice for me, mostly for exercise as well as maintenance.
    Single speed is great if you live in a place like Saskatchewan, where you could go 1000km and climb less then 1m, your in the mountains, trust me, you want some low gears. Your probably best with a mountain bike, make sure though that it has the holes to mount at least a rear rack, this will give you the ability to carry stuff. You also will want fenders, if you look at this frame photo, you will see where the wheels go a small hole behind the wheel, you need these holes to mount racks and fenders, most frames will have the rear ones, solid forks generally have them but but few suspension forks have them.


    Some of the hybrid bikes also have fairly low gears, and will fall into your budget, if you can add a rear rack then you can use it for shopping and riding around, add a couple of bungee cords to the bike and you can carry an incredible amount of stuff, you do need to be careful that weight is evenly distributed though. Panniers can be helpful, in that they lower the centre of gravity, but you don't need those at first.

  14. #14
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    I just got back from Virginia Beach (yes rode around on boardwalk like a tourist, no helmet) where I rented two bikes not very different but they both offered big eye openers when it comes to choosing one bicycle for a ignorant beginner.

    One bike I can identify it is a Sun Bicycle Drifter, 1spd, aluminium frame with coaster break, the other one I can't identify, all I can say is that it is a Fuji cruiser 1spd, steel, with a frame geometry of almost a MTB, the forks on both appeared to have the same angle leaning forward, so let me tell you a few things this newbie learned.

    * Aluminium makes a bicycle a whole lot lighter!!! (duh...) I rode the Drifter and it light to pick up if need to and it seems strong enough to hold me, and almost effortless to start pedaling up the boardwalk

    * I had never ridden a bicycle with a coaster break before, and I have to say that I like this type of breaking system didn't think it would be safe or that I would like it but having tried it now, it just feels safer than a handbreak that feels like it could throw you off your bike with the slightest grip

    *Switched from the Drifter to the Fuji, and didn't stay on the Fuji but for 5 mins, it was like riding a tank, can't say that the gear was the same ration I thought that that was the problem, but it just felt someone just added five 10lbs bags of potatos on me and told me to go on, and with that remark I see why the Worksman wouldn't be for me.

    *Sizing the bicycle makes a whole lot more sense to me now, having ridden the cruisers for two hours, I can see now that it can be vital for the sake of being able to ride it safely, I can say that the upright position is not exacly what I had in mind, it can be a back breaker after an hour, felt better position on the Fuji with my body leaned forward a bit more, and the flat footed may not be good either, pardon my ignorance but is the crankset just longer on cruisers? It felt that if turned to sharply it would very easily hit blacktop and crash.

    *Turning, I don't know if this has to do with the type of fork or the type of metal, or just the combined weight of the bicycle, the fact is that the Fuji had a much better steering than the Drifer, which turned very easily with little control which I may also be able to blame on the handlebars? I found myself wanting to hold on the bike below the hand grips, the entire cruiser handle bar just didn't feel natural on either one, but cruising was much better on the Fuji which had MTB knobbed tires and the Drifter's were not knobbed but they weren't skinny either, I think 26*1.75 but I could be wrong...

    With all this in mind I have got a much better idea of what to get and what not to get, and a Cruiser seems definitly something I don't need to get, might get me run over. I have two LBS in the area that I think I can trust, and out of the two I have my eyes now a few bicycles, mostly within the Town/Commuting and Cross/Hybrid categories. I realize that by prefering Aluminium frame it will be more costly which is not cool. Oh well, I am looking at the cheapest bikes in these two stores, 10 Trek 7000 for around $360, Giant Cypress ST for around $310, with these add also the cost for +Tax+Fenders+Lights+Helmet+Lock. I'd like everyones opinion if possible and please do appoligise any of my ignorance when it comes to the technical knowledge.

    http://pedalpowerbikeshop.com/produc...st-58356-1.htm

    http://schellers.com/product/10-trek-7000-37425-1.htm

    One last question, these bikes can all hold my weight right?

  15. #15
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with the two bikes you linked, but they both seem perfectly practical propositions for what you say you want. Ride them and see which one makes you feel most confident and comfortable. And forget about your weight. At 210lbs you can ride whatever you like.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  16. #16
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    I would choose the trek, as the longer looking frame would put my weight more over the pedals, and the ability to adjust the angle of the stem would make it easier to get the right handle bar position. It is probably lighter with the al frame. If you find the ride too harsh you could switch to fatter tires when the ones that come on the bike show signs of wear (or thinner ones if you want more speed). This would be a low cost change.

  17. #17
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    Went to a LBS in Centerville, OH who I have nothing but great things to say about, they helped me out a lot on picking a bike out, I got a Giant Cypress ST, I am aware that in this forum this may not be considered a real bike, but I guess I could say that I am not a cyclist as much as a I am bike rider, don't flame me for that.

    Overall I like the bike, and thank everyone here for the helpful comments, but one thing I realized thinking to myself when feeling the weight of the Cypress DX compared to the ST was that the aluminum frame is light, which may be good if you're carrying it on your hands or riding it fast for less weight resistance I guess but while riding it I think I'd be afraid of it, I've done my fair share of scrapping for cash, so I've dealt with several metals a lot of them aluminum, boats, sheets of it, solid blobs, and I just keep thinking of a pop can, which is solid and light until you put the slightest ding on it which is very easy to do, and from then on crushing it is only the next step, I realize that is a ridiculous analogy but I went with the CroMo frame.

    Even though this bike is steel I was amazed how light it was (compared to a wally world roadmaster) I have had NO problems climbing hills without even going on lower gears, this bike is extremely silent. I did make one huge mistake while buying a bike, I got it without riding it first, which may be a big no no but I didn't have a choice, the place was closed on Sundays and it closed at 6PM that day, I was only going to be in Dayton for one night and one morning, plus on top of that it was pouring the rain, and my budget pretty much mandated that I picked this one as well.

    I do have an issue though, carrying it home in a 4' truck bed the bike itself was not moving but managed to get a small scratch on the fork, was wondering how to make a small fix on that, I was thinking since I ride at night anyway, I could get reflective tape and just put some on that scratch, along with a small coat of black finger nail polish underneath, what do you guys think?
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  18. #18
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Glad you like it. Don't worry about it being a "proper bike" - a proper bike is one that you'll ride, and will last - and giant make good bikes. You'd have been fine with the aluminium, really - the steel tubing on one of my bikes is only 0.4mm thick, if you made it into a pop can you could crush that, too - but if you're happier with the cro-mo that's fine too.

    Personally I wouldn't worry about the scratch, but if you want you can touch it up with one of the little pots of paint you buy to do the same job on cars. Since it's black you'll have no problem matching the colour.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  19. #19
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I always thought that a proper bicycle had 2 wheels and is pedaled by the rider? What makes yours so different?
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  20. #20
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    I see you went with the Giant, those are good bikes; but I thought I'd chime in about the Worksman INB since others were recommending the Electra cruisers over it.

    If you want a cruiser get a WORKSMAN! Hands Down the BEST! I ride them everyday at my job. They are MADE IN AMERICA and the quality of one of these over any of the other cruisers out there isn't even comparable. These bikes are that much more robust. The bulk of the bikes we have at our factory are 30 years old or more and have been used and abused and are still going, it's a tank and will last you a lifetime. They're great for lugging stuff around and running errands over a short distance.

    I've seen 400# guys pedal the INB around my factory and they do it day in and day out, I don't think a Townie could hold up to that abuse. At one of our companies facilities out in California they wanted to "GO GREEN" and purchased a few "Breezer Citizens" and in a year of use, half those bikes were completely trashed!

  21. #21
    invisible friend seenoweevil's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new bike, and yes, it is a REAL bike(2 wheels,etc. as stated above), and as soon as you get on it and are bitten by the "must ride more" bug, consider yourself a "real" cyclist!

    Again - congrats!
    Faster than a sundial.

  22. #22
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Any bike that depends for locomotion on the rotation of a crank by human muscles is a real bike. Don't let anyone tell you different. Congrats on getting one that suits you well. Now get out there and use it!

    Re the scratch - see if the LBS you got it from has factory touch-up paint. Many do, specifically in their line of frame colors. That would be my first choice.
    Craig in Indy

  23. #23
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    Just wanted to chime in and say I recently bought a slightly used Giant Cypress off of craigslist and couldn't be happier with it! I am new to biking, too (as an adult, anyway) and the Cypress has been a great fit for the type of riding I do (low-traffic/neighborhood urban-type streets). Can't wait to get it out on some of the paved trails in the area, as well. I've been looking for a bike on craiggers for a little bit, and it seems this brand/model tends to hold its value reasonably well (at least in my neck of the woods) so if I decide at some point that I want something new/better, it shouldn't be too difficult to find it a new home while offsetting the cost of the new purchase at least a little bit. (ps: I have a couple of inches & about 20 lbs on you; the bike fits me really well).

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