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Old 09-08-10, 01:51 PM   #1
retnav94
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upgrade or new bike?

Thanks for looking. I realize there are as many threads on this topic as there are opinions, however, I did not think it would hurt to add another. I recently started riding my Ironhorse Sage hybrid again due to a foot injury that has curtailed my walking. I am 54, overweight but I like to think I was and still maybe somewhat athletic. I've dropped 60 lbs since May, halfway to my goal of 180. Anyway, The ironhorse works but I do not like the grip shifters and from talking to folks at work, a change in technology may be in order.

So basically my thoughts are to either invest in different shifters or buy a new bike. I ride on mostly pavement and hard packed dirt trails. I am leaning toward a mtb (Trek 4300d or Fisher Wahoo) and intend on putting slicks or combo tires on it initially. I have also been checking out the 29ers but have not actually put any saddle time on one. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 09-08-10, 02:10 PM   #2
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First, congratulations on your commitment to reducing your weight. You may be the ambassador for others to do the same after they see what you have accomplished. If you want to really feel good about how much you have already lost, put a backpack on with the equivalent weight. You have accomplished a tremendous achievement already.
Your ride...I don't think that shifters would give you what you really want - a new bike. Why don't you make it a goal that after you lose 90-100 lbs. you can reward yourself with a new ride? You have earned it.
Just a thought.
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Old 09-08-10, 02:32 PM   #3
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If your intention is to ride on pavement and hard packed trails, is there any particular reason that you are looking at MTBs? Have you also considered hybrids or cyclocross bikes?
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Old 09-08-10, 02:39 PM   #4
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Staight away I would say get a new bike. The cost of adapting the bike to your requirements may be a bit on the expensive side and you will still have an old bike. And a new bike will give you N+1 that is always a good idea. A second bike- is always usefull.

So what is wrong with the Hybrid style of bike that means you want to change to an MTB style? You are talking of 29ers and MTB's but to me- there is not a great deal of difference between a hybrid and a 29er for the use you want to give it. Suspension and a heavier bike on the 29er- but for road and hard packed trails, suspension is not necessary.Almost definitely not enough to warrant an MTB.

This is the road side of me talking as I also do a few hard pack trails on my road bikes as link roads between routes. Hard packed trails where unless it was going to be wet and Muddy- an MTB (or 29er) would not be the natural bike choice.

Hybrid bikes Such as the Specialised Sirrus

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...nuItemId=15155

Or the Giant Rapid

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/....3/7298/44052/

Are now termed as fitness bikes and these are two bikes that are based on road bikes but with straight bars. Both would give you a bike suitable for the type of riding you plan on doing and in my mind-do it better.
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Old 09-08-10, 02:48 PM   #5
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I'd recommend the cyclocross for the mix you plan to ride mainly for the more comfortable handlebars. I think the majority on this forum will agree that the strechted out posture with a road or cyclocross is actually more comfortable and easier on your back than an upright position.

I've got a hybrid with grip shift I rarely ride because of the discomfort from the upright ride.

I also have no problem with MTBs used for off road riding. You can get a heck of a workout riding trails.

Congratulations on the lost 60lb!
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Old 09-08-10, 03:34 PM   #6
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As far as your question, I would say neither. Think N+1, and think used. The two bikes are a 1987 and a 1992 (the 1987 Prologue has some significant upgrades, all nine speed Ultegra).

On my last hard packed trail, I took my road bike. It handled fine. I reserve my MTB for the crappy trails.

+1 Road bikes with drops are more comfortable. And much more efficient on pavement or smooth surfaces.




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Old 09-08-10, 03:41 PM   #7
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New bike.
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Old 09-08-10, 03:42 PM   #8
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What is it you don't like about gripshifters? When I came back to biking, these were new to me. A shifter where you don't have to take your hands off the grips! Awesome. They certainly have worked well for me. Are yours working properly? bk
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Old 09-08-10, 03:57 PM   #9
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New bike. I would find a qualified bike-fitter that takes your measurements and then recommends a bike in the right size. This service should include lifetime adjustments. This will provide a great improvement in your ability to continue to improve your fitness by supporting longer and more intense rides.
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Old 09-08-10, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retnav94 View Post

I ride on mostly pavement and hard packed dirt trails.
Buy new and get a Cyclocross bike.

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/ro...bike-8037.html on sale.
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Old 09-08-10, 05:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by kr32 View Post
Buy new and get a Cyclocross bike.

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/ro...bike-8037.html on sale.
Give him your account information and I'll bet he'll be all over it.

Me too, please, sir.
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Old 09-08-10, 11:06 PM   #12
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Many thanks for the input. I road a few bikes today, I really liked the feel of the 29ers and was impressed with the newer components. Everything felt pretty smooth on all the bikes, I especially liked shifting with my thumbs versus the grip shifters. I have not made a final choice but am leaning toward the Fisher marlin. It felt great, gets great reviews and is definitely within my price range. Again thanks for the advice.
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Old 09-09-10, 12:19 AM   #13
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New bike, trigger shifters.
Unless you go drop bar and then the new bifters will impress you to no end.
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Old 09-09-10, 01:17 PM   #14
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Gripshifters are a problem for me. I seem to change gear whenever I change hand position- whenever I run over a lummpy bit of the trail and what makes it worse- those inadvertant gear changes always come at the wrong time.

And if you want the ultimate in shifers- Sun Friction shifters fron the early 90's. They were marvelous.
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Old 09-09-10, 01:30 PM   #15
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Take a look at a Specialized Sirrus flat bar road bike. I bought one a few weeks ago and ride it everywhere. It's perfect for riding on the road as well as the trails here in Wisconsin, paved or unpaved.
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Old 09-10-10, 02:35 AM   #16
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OK, After much research and open debate on upgrading or new, New it will be. However, now I am as undecided as I was initially on the bike to get, mainly type. I thought mtb was the way to go but the more I read the more I think maybe a road bike would suit me better. As I stated earlier my reason for riding is going to be weight loss initially, ( that whole Plantar fasciitis thing preventing me from walking again ). So if a road bike is the way to go I have to decide on the bike at my price point $600 or so. Also I am still at 250lb so I am a bit concerned about the narrow tires and comfort. I think I just hope to get a bike I cant wait to get home and ride.
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Old 09-10-10, 03:10 AM   #17
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Upgrade or new bike?
Both. Never hurts to have a spare bike and one that you can use for errands and things like that where it will not cost you as much if it is vandalized or stolen, but you might as well put the shifters you like on it then you'll be more likely to use it for errands. You might well be able to get a used pair of shifters for practically nothing from someone who is upgrading theirs. Most people on this forum have at least six bikes but you can work up to it. Anyway, remember every time you are driving your car you are missing an opportunity to exercise. At first there will be things you think you can't possibly do by bike but as time goes by you will find that the bicycle is more adaptable than you thought. Next purchase after the road bike is a cargo bike ...
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Old 09-10-10, 06:34 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by kr32 View Post
Buy new and get a Cyclocross bike.

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/ro...bike-8037.html on sale.
I agree with that. A classic open and shut case of needsanewcrossbikeitis.
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Old 09-10-10, 01:08 PM   #19
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but the more I read the more I think maybe a road bike would suit me better. As I stated earlier my reason for riding is going to be weight loss initially, ( that whole Plantar fasciitis thing preventing me from walking again ). So if a road bike is the way to go I have to decide on the bike at my price point $600 or so. Also I am still at 250lb so I am a bit concerned about the narrow tires and comfort. I think I just hope to get a bike I cant wait to get home and ride.
Definitely look at the Specialised Sirrus or Giant Rapid or the equivalent in whatever your LBS stocks. These are road bikes with straight bars. Road bikes with drop handlebars are definitely what most of us "roadies" will recommend- but that is what we ride. I only changed from MTB's to road bikes 4 years ago and for road riding- they are definitely the way to go. You may have a problem with the drop position on the bars but that will come with practice and there are other hand positions that will be comfortable.

On the narrow tyres-they will take your weight but the Wheels may cause a problem. The wheels on the basic Bikes are machine built and can cause problems with carrying your weight. The ideal would be to upgrade the wheels on purchase with a stronger wheel with a trade in on the original wheels.

OR the alternative is to buy the bike with the proviso that the wheels are Retensioned and trued after about 100 miles by the LBS. That will be enough time to run the wheels in and if retensioned and trued regularly will not cause you a problem. And by the time you get below 200- what problem?
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Old 09-10-10, 07:09 PM   #20
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New bike. Based on what I have read, look at the Diamondback Insight line before you buy anything. To me about the best compromise for combo road/mup riding I have seen and price right for the equipment. Who needs a front shock for this kind of riding? Just extra weight and not much comfort.
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Old 09-10-10, 08:04 PM   #21
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A cyclocross bike sounds like the right direction to me.

On my annual vacation, I ride roads like this

all day long on my cyclocross bike. Okay, maybe not all day, but generally any ride is 35 to 50 miles. I even ride 4 miles of this road to the pavement on my (gasp!) road bike.

I'd say, rather than buy a $600 bike now, put off the purchase to a bit later in the season, or early next year, continue to save up, and step up to a cyclocross bike the $900 to $1,100 range, with a set of 32mm road tires and 34mm cyclocross tires. That will also get you out of entry-level into more mid-line stuff, with better wheels.

EDIT: I advised a friend of mine, when stepping up from a hybrid to consider this bike, the $1100 Bianchi Volpe.

She rides about half on the trails and half on the road, and she's just tickled with it.

I have other friends who are equally pleased with the $900 Specialized Tricross.


Just two examples.

Last edited by tsl; 09-10-10 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Added stuff about bikes
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