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  1. #1
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    Kind of second guessing myself for buying a comfort bike.

    Hey guys new here and planning on replacing my car with a bicycle eventually! I recently purchased a 19" Northrock SC7 comfort bike from Costco. I know just from reading a bit on these forums that many will sneer at my decision to purchase from a big box store, but Costco is my employer and I was able to procure an AmEx card through them to fund my purchase of $300 which as at the top of my budget. I am a poor college student so I hope I do not get many flames stating that I should have went to a LBS or gotten this or that model but I digress. With that out of the way... I sat on the 17" model in the store and it did feel nice but after I measured my in seem I was advised to purchase a 19" frame. I have the 19" now and I have the seat all of the way down but the bike still feels too tall for me. Is this normal to a new bicycle rider? I can stand on my tippy toes on both sides with the seat all the way down and when I stand over the cross bar I have ~1.5" to my crotch. From all of the literature I have read, this is the correct size bike for me but I feel awkward being that high up. Will I get used to this or should I return it for the 17" and just adjust the seat and handlebars accordingly? My next issue with the comfort bike is that I hear its popular amongst the geriatric crowd and isn't really good for much of anything. My commute will entail 3 miles one way to school and 3 miles to work one way with my house being dead center. From what I read, any bike will do for a 6 mile round trip commute; is this true? I'm actually starting to wish I bought the Northrock XC6 mountain bike as I would like to do some off road riding in the future but it only has 26" tires. So what do you guys think? Will the knobby 26" tires really make that much of a difference on pavement for a 3 mile commute if I return the SC7 for the XC6? Looking at the components, do you guys think the SC7 could do some off roading with a tire change? From the looks of it the frames look similar I think. I am just looking for the bike that will be able to do a 6 mile round trip commute relatively easy as I am new to cycling and be able to go off road once I gain experience. I thought the SC7 would fit this bill because I thought it was a hybrid and could therefore do some off roading, but now I am not entirely sure. They have a nice cannondale 29er that I think would be perfect but its twice the price and out of my budget unless I sell my car. I appreciate any help. SC7 http://www.northrockbikes.com/comfort-sc7.php XC6 http://www.northrockbikes.com/mountain-xc6.php

  2. #2
    Senior Member Clarabelle's Avatar
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    Sounds like the bike fits okay. As for feeling you are up too high, I think you'll get accustomed to it in short time. As for the tires, if the XC6's tires are real knobby, it will make a difference on pavement. If you are serious about going off road, you might want to swap the bikes. You could always get a pair of 26 inch street tires for commuting.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarabelle View Post
    Sounds like the bike fits okay. As for feeling you are up too high, I think you'll get accustomed to it in short time. As for the tires, if the XC6's tires are real knobby, it will make a difference on pavement. If you are serious about going off road, you might want to swap the bikes. You could always get a pair of 26 inch street tires for commuting.
    Wow, thanks for your quick reply! That's what I'm thinking now and should have done in the first place but what held me back was reading that 29" tires are the best for commuting and off roading. The SC7 has 29" tires but the XC6 doesn't. Is there a discernable difference between 26 and 29 for both commuting and off road. Ideally I could save for the Cannondale Trail SL29er but my warehouse manager tells me that we're not getting any more once the last 4 sell...

  4. #4
    tougher than a boiled owl droy45's Avatar
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    The 19in is a good all around size frame. I am 5ft 8in tall and use a 21in because I like a large frame. As for the height, You should not be able to touch the ground with your feet when in the saddle. The saddle should be set so your leg has a slight bend at the knee when your pedal is at the low end of a stroke. When you stop, simply slide off the saddle and straddle the bike. If your commute is only 6 miles round trip, that bike should do fine for you. You can upgrade later on as you get experience and want to do longer and faster rides.
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

  5. #5
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    agree with ^^^^^^^^^^
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  6. #6
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by supremekizzle View Post
    I can stand on my tippy toes on both sides with the seat all the way down
    Standing over the saddle is not how you measure a bike. Touching the ground with your feet while on the saddle also is not how you set saddle height. If you can do that, your saddle is too low--much too low. Saddle height should be set for while you're *riding* the bike, not standing. When you stop, you hop off the saddle to stand. Hop back on it to ride again.

    As for buyer's remorse, I started out on a "geriatric" comfort bike, doing a commute of similar length. It was a good starter bike, nothing at all wrong with it.

    What it did was teach me. I learned the basics of commuting, shopping, and general transportation from it. I learned how to maintain bikes. And I learned what sort of cyclist I am and what I wanted and needed in my second bike. For those things alone, I got my money's worth.

    So raise your saddle, quit worrying, and ride your bike.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Standing over the saddle is not how you measure a bike. Touching the ground with your feet while on the saddle also is not how you set saddle height. If you can do that, your saddle is too low--much too low. Saddle height should be set for while you're *riding* the bike, not standing. When you stop, you hop off the saddle to stand. Hop back on it to ride again.

    As for buyer's remorse, I started out on a "geriatric" comfort bike, doing a commute of similar length. It was a good starter bike, nothing at all wrong with it.

    What it did was teach me. I learned the basics of commuting, shopping, and general transportation from it. I learned how to maintain bikes. And I learned what sort of cyclist I am and what I wanted and needed in my second bike. For those things alone, I got my money's worth.

    So raise your saddle, quit worrying, and ride your bike.
    Wise advice +1

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    I think you got the right bike. The SC7 should be able to ride on your standard gravel and packed dirt trails just fine, and from my experience will be *A LOT* easier to commute with.
    I would not use that bike for serious off road use with roots, rocks, and jumping, but for general use that the hybrid will be easier to pedal.
    With your main stated use being commuting, the hybrid is a better choice.

  9. #9
    Randomhead
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    wear that bike out and by that time you should know better what you want to replace it with

  10. #10
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    Your First Bike is a Learning bike.

    You will learn much from that one.

    Ride Safe.
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  11. #11
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    You'll be fine. Ride your bike.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  12. #12
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    You'll be fine. Ride your bike.
    Exactly, ride your bike and decide for yourself what you like. Read less electronic gossip, don't listen to the idle chatter you hear about what you need or should ride.

  13. #13
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    Thanks to everyone for the helpful advice. I will keep the 19" and learn how to ride once the 10 inches of snow we have here in Rochester goes away. I suppose that after a season of riding and learning, I should be able to sell the bike for a higher end 29er mountain bike that I'll be able to outfit with a gooseneck and road tires for a dual purpose bike. Thanks again.

    Update: I went to Costco again and sat on the XC6 and am happy that I didn't get it. With 26" wheels, small frame, and bent over position, I would have felt too scrunched up on it. Just for arguments sake; if I were to get the 17" SC7 and just raise the seat post and handlebars would this, in effect, make it similar to the 19"? Thank you
    Last edited by supremekizzle; 03-05-13 at 11:12 AM.

  14. #14
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like the bike fits perfectly.
    I am 5'11" and have a 19" hybrid "comfort" bike which I paid $300 for and have put 29,000 miles on in the last 8 years. I have had to replace a few things on it - you can't expect a $300 bike to go more than about 1000 miles without some work. once I replaced the rear wheel though, it does go thousands of miles between necessary maintenance.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  15. #15
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    FWIW, you should try to get used to that size. If you ride a bike where you can comfortably put your feet on the ground, obviously either your legs will never straighten out when you're pedaling, which means you will not be using your legs at their strongest positions and you may be damaging your knees, or the pedals will be so close to the ground that you'll scrape them and dump the bike on corners.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  16. #16
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    When I rode the Great Allegheny Passage Trail (150 miles of fine packed gravel), my ride partner rode a Northrock SC-7. It was fine and up to the task. Ride it to death; by then, you'll be more informed as to what you want next.

  17. #17
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    +1 to what everyone else posted and welcome to bike commuting!
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
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  18. #18
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    Thanks for the replies everyone! Just one more quick question... Would it stand to reason that a 17" frame would work for me as long as I raise the saddle height to have the proper leg extension? The reason I ask is because I feel a lot more comfortable on the smaller frame because it is much easier to throw around and I don't feel like my center of gravity is in the stratosphere. If it is possible to have proper riding position by adjusting the saddle and the stem that would be ideal. Any input?

  19. #19
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Most people can fit a range of frame sizes. Personally, I have shortish legs so if I am in between sizes I will typically go with the smaller frame and make up the difference with a longer stem.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Northrock SC7 comfort bike from Costco.
    they are some what better than the wally World Bikes , but the assembly is still by an un trained shop employee

    so You would be wise to have the LBS give it a safety check/tune up.

    yes we have a Costco Here., Wally World is threatening to invade.

    The natural wetlands have been destroyed in advance. Mitigation is a Joke.

  21. #21
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by supremekizzle View Post
    once the 10 inches of snow we have here in Rochester goes away
    Oh wait. You live in the other Rochester.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Oh wait. You live in the other Rochester.
    Yes, the Rochester in MN. We got dumped on big time...

  23. #23
    Senior Member terrapin44's Avatar
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    Just to echo what everyone else said, you'll be fine with the bike you have. After you ride it for a while, you'll find you love it or will figure out what you want on your next bike.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrapin44 View Post
    Just to echo what everyone else said, you'll be fine with the bike you have. After you ride it for a while, you'll find you love it or will figure out what you want on your next bike.
    In all likelihood I will be keeping the 19" size so that I don't come to regret having a small bike once I am experienced, but if I were to find a used 17" bike (for all intents and purposes, lets say it's a Northrock SC7 to keep things simple) on CL or the like, theoretically would raising the saddle and handlebars be equivalent, or at least acceptable, to a 19"?

  25. #25
    jyl
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    Get the 17" if you are 5' 9" or shorter, the 19" if you are 5' 10" or taller.

    I would lean toward getting the smaller size if you are in between or if you have only 1.5" crotch clearance.

    Reason: this bike has a very sloped top tube. When you are standing with feet flat on the ground and straddling the bike, there should be quite a bit more than 1.5" crotch clearance. I'd say 3-4". That would not be true if the top tube were horizontal, but it is true on this bike.

    And anyway, that's what the website says . . .
    Last edited by jyl; 03-05-13 at 08:40 PM.
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