Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville KY
    My Bikes
    Shopping
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    New here and looking for advise

    Hello everyone I'm new here, but not new to biking. My current knowledge base on mountain biking is ~ 8 years out of date!

    I decided to get back into mountain biking and wandered around the net a bit and found this place.

    So here's the scoop I used to bike like crazy when I lived back on the west coast. I lived up in the San Bernardino mountains and wore out no less than 4 bikes on the trails. Probably rode an easy 20 miles on average a week for 8 years straight.

    Fast forward to today (10 years later...) and after moving around the country and literally almost doubling my body weight I have finally settled down and the wife and I have decided to get into trail riding. I used to be in tip top shape at around 235 pounds, but after being laid up from surgery a few years back, opening my own restaurant/working 18hrs a day (Yes I was the sole cook), quitting smoking while running the restaurant (Food tasted WONDERFUL once I quit smoking) I ballooned up to my present weight of ~425 pounds. - Yeah I'm huge at 32 years old and really wanting to drop the weight to avoid health problems further on down the road. I am 6' tall and "Wear it well" but these tires have got to go!

    At present my job has pushed me into a desk position, not much activity at all. I do live fairly close to work (~ 7 miles) and would like to start riding back and forth instead of driving.

    I have a budget of around $1200, and I am seriously looking into the 29'er bikes. Everything I have ridden with the exception of my last bike was a steel frame. All I have ever had were hard-tails/zero suspension, and I would like to keep it that way. My last bike was aluminum and I wasn't keen on its ride.

    The 3 bikes I have been looking at are these:

    Jamis Dragon Sport:
    http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/h...port_spec.html

    Dawes BullsEye:
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/bullseye.htm

    Motobecane 9Iron Elite:
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...iron_elite.htm

    Now I have been down to my LBS and they basically carry everything in the world - so as long as it is a TREK. No steel there for me. I spoke with them about ordering something/building something, but they pushed Trek...

    The Jamis really looks nice. I really like it on paper and from what I can find online. No one around my area has one for me to check out. I would basically have to take a shot in the dark with my stand over #'s and go from there. I would upgrade the seat post (Thompson), and put on some 203mm break rotors.

    The Dawes I would probably convert to a multi speed right off of the bat. After the conversion I would upgrade the seat post (Thompson), and the axles (skewers), and put on some 203mm breaks. I probably would forgo front suspension for a while to save $.

    The 9 Iron looks good also but I am leery on the adjustable rear dropouts. I am afraid that my lead behind would ruin them in short order. I have looked around and have seen other "Botique" bike builders offering similar rear end setups so maybe my fears are unfounded. Oh yeah ditto on the seat post and break upgrade on this guy also.

    So what do you guys think? I would really like to support my LBS(s) but there isn't really what I want available around here (Louisville KY). The Dragon would have come through a brick and mortar LBS for sure.

    Any other suggestions would be helpful. I kind of am married to the idea of a steel framed bike. Are there other options out there that i have overlooked that are in my stated price range?

    --->APB
    Last edited by apb2772; 03-05-12 at 10:02 PM. Reason: sentence structure

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    My Bikes
    '74 Schwinn Le Tour (x2), '83 Bianchi, '96 Trek 820, '96 Trek 470, '99 Xmart Squishy Bike, '03 Giant Cypress
    Posts
    489
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Are you wanting to do some riding besides back-and-forth to work? Is the commute going to be on roadways, or trails?

    If you're only going to be riding on paved roads, I would definitely get something with slick tires (not knobby mtn. tires), and avoid any suspension parts. You seem to be familiar with mountain bikes, but that doesn't always "translate" to road-riding.

    Steel is great, IMO. Especially for us husky folk. My stable is currently 5/6 steel bikes, and the 1 that isn't is getting sold as soon as spring hits.

  3. #3
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Western Maryland - Appalachian Mountains
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Fantom Cross; Cannondale Supersix replaced the Giant TCR which came to an untimely death by truck
    Posts
    1,703
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome, glad you stopped in.

    The Dawes - It's cheap enough that you could convert it however what would be the cost of the conversion?

    The Motobecane and Jamis are both steel and look to be comparable kit wise.

    Now I am no bike mechanic by any stretch of the imagination but I believe either of those would probably do you just fine.

    What was so bad about the aluminum bike?

  4. #4
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mattoon,Ill
    My Bikes
    Trek 7300 Giant Sedona E-Bike Trek Madone 4.5 Surly Cross Check
    Posts
    1,977
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You seem to know bikes so what you get is up to you. I will state that getting back in shape takes a long time. Less so with your age but still we're talking about at least a year maybe 2 or 3. So the first thing to work on is getting consistent. I think the biggest mistake people do when starting out is going too hard too often. Eventually it becomes just too painful and they quit. So I tell people to hold themselves back. Get off the bike feeling like you could have gone farther.

  5. #5
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,205
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had an aluminum 29er, dumped the frame for cro-mo and it became a much better bike.

    The Motobecane you found seems ideal to me, I wouldn't hesitate.

    Especially with 29ers bike fit is a prime concern. At your size you are going to be tempted to get a big bike. Watch out: Big 29ers are sloppy machines. I would encourage you to look at the effective top tube length carefully, on a big 29er that reach can be enormous. If you recall your preferred size on a 26er you might think about going one size smaller on a 29er. I may be unusual in this respect, I might being riding a 56 or 58cm road bike comfortably at 6 ft, but would pick a 17" 29er as my blind pick if I had to order without knowing the specs. The charts would probably put me on a 19" or 21".

    Better yet, if you are test driving at the LBS, focus on size, tt length, try different sizes; then you can order online with some confidence.

  6. #6
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    My Bikes
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Trek 900, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '92 Schwinn Crosscut, '03 Diamondback Tandem, '94 Yokota Grizzly Peak
    Posts
    2,495
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    I think the biggest mistake people do when starting out is going too hard too often. Eventually it becomes just too painful and they quit. So I tell people to hold themselves back. Get off the bike feeling like you could have gone farther.
    Good advice there. I've had to start from ground zero a couple of times after being off the bike a year or two. I start off with 2 or 3 miles and add another 2 or 3 at a time to the mileage. Once I can do 20, then I can add 5-7 miles at a time.

    I agree with getting a steel bike. Since you know bikes already, and can tell the difference between a good bike and mart junk, have you considered getting an older used bike? Some really good bargains to be had on the used market that would probably suit you perfectly.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville KY
    My Bikes
    Shopping
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks guys I appreciate the input.

    I have tried on some of the local 29'ers. I definitely understand what you guys mean by them being a whole different machine - especially fit wise. At the LBS I tried a couple on and the frame sized they recommended/I tried, always seemed too tall. I really don't like "resting a pair" on the top tube when just ideally standing over the frame flat footed/feet planted. I am definitely thinking about getting a 17"~18" frame. If I end up with a smaller 29'er frame and the cockpit seems a bit short, I'll have to go with a longer stem. I know that it will slow the front end handling down a bit but that's a price I might just have to pay.

    My last bike was an aluminum framed Raleigh M80 (26" wheels), that I had my brother pick up for me. I think it was a 20" frame, and it was a tad uncomfortably tall top tube height wise. The cockpit was ok'ish, but the overall feel of the bike seemed less forgiving than set ups years past. To boot the Raleigh was the only bike I have ever had with front suspension. As far as tires go I am probably going to go with a "Lightly" knobby tire set with a fairly dense center seam to avoid the humming and numbing. I and the wife plan to ride around some of the local parks/lakes at first and then later on this Spring/summer I am going to give riding to work a shot.

    Most of the people I talk with at work keep telling me to go to the local “W”mart and buy a bike there. I can't seem to convince them that they actually don't sell bikes there - more like Bike Shaped Objects (BSO's), and that they wouldn't last more than a month or 2 without a total overhaul.

    --- Coincidentally I was actually at “W” mart yesterday and happened to venture over to the BSO section to look at what all they had (As far as tubes and whatnot for 29" stuff). I ran into some kind of regional inspector (What he implied) that was looking at all of the bikes in the racks and the racks themselves/checking their construction and condition. We spoke about selection they had, and he came out and told me that all of their stuff was made in “100% Chinese” and that they were for "Less than casual use only".

    He flat out told me that they were not:

    To be used off road in any fashion,
    Not to be ridden in the rain, or where it was even damp,
    Not to be ridden at night at,
    They are to be walked up and over small obstacles,
    They were not to be ridden off of sidewalk curbs – even slowly,
    Standing up and pedaling was NOT allowed,
    And lastly - they should not be ridden for more than a couple miles at a time...



    So I replied "So basically they aren't really bikes at all - mostly ornamental then?”…

    He kind of looked at me and blinked. I then exited stage left...

    Anyways, as far as building up the Dawes the parts needed for the multi speed upgrade the breaks and seat post + initial purchase would probably end up maxing out my budget. Between the Dragon (Sexy looking!), and the 9Iron they do spec out the same'ish. If I bought the Dragon somewhere locally it would be at the top of my budget as is, before taxes even. It would have to stay parked until I at least picked up the Thompson seat post. The 9Iron comes in delivered with no taxes a bit under max budget and leaves me room for at least a good seat post and brake rotor upgrade. I haven’t wrenched on a derailleur set up in a while, and I kind of don’t want to bring my steak to the LBS so they can cook it for me (As far as bike set up/wheel tensioning goes). That said I would probably have a custom 40 count rear wheel built a little while down the road by the same shop. The only other “Special thing I might have done eventually is have a front wheel re-laced with one of those generator/dynamo hubs for a light.

    --->APB
    Last edited by apb2772; 03-06-12 at 10:10 AM. Reason: copy paste fail...

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    My Bikes
    '74 Schwinn Le Tour (x2), '83 Bianchi, '96 Trek 820, '96 Trek 470, '99 Xmart Squishy Bike, '03 Giant Cypress
    Posts
    489
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Why the insistance on Thompson seat posts? I'm just curious. I know they're good, but they aren't the only "usable" posts, even for a big ole' clyde.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville KY
    My Bikes
    Shopping
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just want the longer legnth sleeved down into the frame , that and they are SUPER strong and my lead behind hopefully won't bent it while riding.

    --->APB

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    My Bikes
    '74 Schwinn Le Tour (x2), '83 Bianchi, '96 Trek 820, '96 Trek 470, '99 Xmart Squishy Bike, '03 Giant Cypress
    Posts
    489
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I get all that, but I can't understand, "It would have to stay parked until I at least picked up the Thompson seat post."

    Have you ever had a normal seatpost fail on you, during non-abusive use?

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    My Bikes
    '74 Schwinn Le Tour (x2), '83 Bianchi, '96 Trek 820, '96 Trek 470, '99 Xmart Squishy Bike, '03 Giant Cypress
    Posts
    489
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    BTW, I'm not trying to talk you out of it... I just like reading about somebody's experiences with things that leaves them with that type of faith (for lack of a better term) in a single product.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville KY
    My Bikes
    Shopping
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You are coming in 5X5. I guess I wouldn't have to "Park it" until I got the post. The specs on the Thompson post bring me a little piece of mind, at my rotund level of mass I am leery of crashing and breaking something. In all actuality I really don't know how likely it would be for the stock unit to fail - I might be over thinking things.

    Self generated tactical padding aside, I would rather buy once/cry once and have it ready to pull chalks and go from the start as I have built it in my minds eye. With what I do/build professionally it is what I recommend others do. With what I build surprises/failures are a very bad thing.

    --->APB

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    My Bikes
    '74 Schwinn Le Tour (x2), '83 Bianchi, '96 Trek 820, '96 Trek 470, '99 Xmart Squishy Bike, '03 Giant Cypress
    Posts
    489
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Gotcha. I'm an "over-builder" too.


    tactical padding
    HAHA.

  14. #14
    Senior Member tergal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Logan, QLD ,Australia
    My Bikes
    Trek 4300
    Posts
    788
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    @ Bike Shaped Objects (BSO's),

    That has to be one of the best line I have seen on here.
    welcome to the club mate,

    Depending on how often you Switch between trail/park and commute riding it may pay to have two sets of tyres, as they are not overly hard to switch over .
    Tact is for people who aren’t witty enough to use sarcasm.

    Early helplessness is the price we pay for later brilliance. Or, at least our later capacity for non-idiocy

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville KY
    My Bikes
    Shopping
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As far as tires go I've been told that the larger in diameter the easier they are to change. That does bring up one question though. With 29"er stuff being so "New", are they all Presta type tubes, or are they Schrader type? I have seen both, and on a mix of both upper end bikes and on bottom of the barrel quality bikes.

    tergal - I appreciate the welcome! I am definitely wanting to visit Australia here one day! I get immigration E-mails periodically from your brother country. I would be mightily tempted if i had a solid work/industry sponsor!

    --->APB

  16. #16
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,205
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thompson seatpost: They're fine, but not all that special. You might wonder why those Thompson seatpost replacement bolts seem to be such a regular item on eBay. I know the bolts on their stems tend to seize, big fun drilling them out.

    I had a cheapo LBS two bolt seatpost fail, it wasn't the big deal you might expect. However, it means walking your bike home or stand-pedal all the way if the stores are closed. Not fun.

    Ti bolts are your friend.

  17. #17
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Spokane WA
    My Bikes
    Seven Axiom Ti, Trek 620, Klein Aura x, Masi cylocross (steel). Masi Souleville 8spd, Fat Chance Mtn (steel), Electra Amsterdam (Steel), Bianchi (Japanese) set up as "fixie", Scwinn Triple Bar cruiser,
    Posts
    1,123
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I saw a great looking (green) steel salsa 29r in my local yoda's shop, he ships stuff all over, even Europe http://stevesoncannonstreet.com/
    Last edited by pat5319; 03-09-12 at 02:15 AM.
    Pat5319


  18. #18
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Da UP, eh.
    My Bikes
    Kona Hoss, Kona Jake, Trek 1500
    Posts
    415
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by apb2772 View Post
    Now I have been down to my LBS and they basically carry everything in the world - so as long as it is a TREK. No steel there for me. I spoke with them about ordering something/building something, but they pushed Trek...
    Your trek dealer isn't very knowledgeable about their product line: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ountry/sawyer/

    Also with sliding rear dropouts, but I've got a Kona Unit with a similar setup, and it's never given me any trouble other than maybe a periodic adjustment now and then.

    Might also check out the Surly Karate Monkey and Ogre. Might be tough to find one in person, but any bike shop should be able to get them.

    I'm not a big fan of the Jamis steel bikes. I rode a SS 29er of theirs and found it a little too flexy for my tastes.

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    12
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    APB,

    I have read a bit about the Dawes Deadeye and Bullseye, both are a lot of bang for the buck. This winter I have been riding a single speed most of the time, I do enjoy a single and multi-speeds.

    If I were longer legged and wanted a 29er, I'd consider a Dawes. I would recommend that you lower the gear ratio for the first 1000 miles or so, you need to retrain your muscles and there is more of you to haul. When you start to ride again start with short flat rides, hold some energy back, your rides need to be pleasant experiences, not forced marches. And yes, I am speaking from experience.

    BobH.

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville KY
    My Bikes
    Shopping
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tried replying sooner, but my browser had a seizure and went TU.

    Askel – good find on the Sawyer. I like the looks a lot, kind of like a Black Sheep. The sweep on the front fork is a little awkward looking, but after a bit shocks would probably replace it anyway if I did indeed end up with it. I think that tomorrow I might go talk to the LBS(s) in the area tomorrow.

    I have been really thinking about the 9Iron Elite by Motobecane and I have decided against it. I really do not care for the horizontal dropouts. I just don’t like the position of the hub/axle in relation to where the rear frame all comes together. The leverage point seems kind of far away and to the rear compared to other sliding dropout designs presently out there including the Sawyer that Askel brought to my attention, (Which seems to be better structurally supported and located underneath the rear down stays). The Dawes is still in the running – I am just trying to find the best deal on parts to piece one together the way I would like.

    I have considered the Ogre and the Karate Monkey (Gotta love that name!) but I really need a Multi speed rig and the Ogre is a bit out of my reach $ wise at the moment.


    FrenchFit – Thanks for the info on the seat post, I will keep it in mind. I have access to all kinds of machinery to pretty much fix/make anything with what I do – I guess if I was really inclined I could fire up a 4 axis and turn one out of solid Ti if I wanted to. Maybe not practical, but fun/educational maybe!

    I definitely want to get back on the saddle as far as bikes go, but I will do my best to pace myself. (I really miss the trails!)

    I was dinking around online last night and for the heck of it I took a pot shot and looked for Jamis dealers in my brothers AO (in NE) and came across one a short jaunt away. (I have to go up that way soonish for a wedding anyway). I gave the place a call and found out that they have a TON of inventory. They basically bought out a couple dealers that were going out of business about 2 years back and picked up stuff for a steal (Jamis, and a bunch of other brands also). They have a bunch of 2008-2010 NOS bikes in the box stored in their basement. The owner was really cool on the phone and was willing to make a hell of a package deal if it included some NOS stuff. They have one little rig (12” frame) that is PERFECT for my wife, one for my brother’s wife, and they have two 2012 Dragons in stock - one each in my brothers size and my own also. He would cut the wives bikes prices in more than half and knock ~ 200 bucks each off of the Dragons. We talked turkey and if my brother shows up next week and verifies everything is kosher than we might come out really good on 4 brand new bikes and some upgrades to boot.


    I like having choices!

    --->APB

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •