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Old 01-23-11, 08:36 PM   #1
jrh1
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New member and new to biking

Hi all, I'm new to this complete scene, forums and bikes. I sold my walmart bike that I hated to ride and about to buy a Jamis Allegro 3 and start riding.Being 56 this looks like the place for me to hang out. can't wait to get started. I need some opinions on the gearing of the Jamis. Is 18 speeds enough for Florida or should I go for a bike with more speeds.
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Old 01-23-11, 08:48 PM   #2
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Mate, considering that fixed gear (only one gear) and single speed (one gear with a freewheel) bikes are used everywhere, 18 gears is plenty. Just buy the bike you fall in love with, the rest is irrelevant ... but fascinating. If you haven't fallen in love with a bike, DON'T BUY IT and whatever you do, don't buy a bike based on pragmatic reasonning, that always results in a new purchase within the year. Interestingly enough, the 'buy the bike you fall in love with' theory usually results in a bike that ticks all the pragmatic boxes anyway, even if you don't realise it at the time.

Welcome to the forum. The resident old gits will tell you how it works - I'm just a mug aussie who keeps getting it wrong (they only tolerate me because it makes them feel as though their doing their bit for the disadvantaged).

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Old 01-23-11, 08:51 PM   #3
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1 speed is enough for Florida.

Now go out there and ride and send back updates.
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Old 01-23-11, 09:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for your input, I have done test rides on on at least 19 differant bikes from trek,specialized,jamis,cannondale and giant. I got so confused I had to stop for 2 weeks and start over and Now the Allegro 3 fits very well and rides great. I will post pics after I purchase.
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Old 01-23-11, 09:18 PM   #5
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You will be fine with the gear clusters on the Jamis. I rode all over the place on a true 10 speed Raleigh International on the 70's so you should be fine. And, welcome to BF, post up ride reports when you can.

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Old 01-23-11, 09:19 PM   #6
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I checked out the 2010 and 2011 models... for all practical purposes they are the same bike.
18 speeds in the range on the Allegro will be just great for you as I understand it, Florida is mostly flat. You will have lower gears to go over highway overpasses or if you get off paved bicycle trails onto dirt trails.

The allegro is a good bike for city streets, general fitness riding, and commuting to work.

I don't think you will be able to install proper fenders but it doesn't rain much in Florida and I don't expect you will be cycling in hurricanes.

You won't be able to install a regular rear rack, but you will be able to use a rack that attached to your seat post. This provides a place to carry a pump, spare tire, and a couple tools. Or you could use a handlebar bag.

The Allegro is designed for casual riding including errands around town and general fitness, the occasional trip to the beach.

There are other specialized bicycles for road racing, long distance touring, mountain biking, off road cross country riding, downhill racing, etc... The allegro is not designed for these purposes but I assume you are not planning this right away.

I think it is an excellent choice for someone wanting to get back into biking without having a special purpose in mind.

Welcome to the Forum.
And happy cycling.
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Old 01-23-11, 09:22 PM   #7
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Don't forget to get good bike shorts and gloves. I am sure you already have a helmet. When you get get used to riding, get a bicycle computer with a cadence sensor, and try increasing your cadence to around 90 rpm with a smooth motion. You will find that you will find it easier to get your cadence up if you use toe clips or clipless pedals.
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Old 01-23-11, 09:26 PM   #8
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Buy the bike you like. Ride it. Post pictures.
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Old 01-23-11, 09:41 PM   #9
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I agree make sure you have a computer and use your cadence to help you know what gear to be in. 80 to 90
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Old 01-23-11, 09:42 PM   #10
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That should be a fine first nice bike. It will help you learn what you want in your next bike. Unlike the Wally bike, you'll keep this one.
(Gotta have a Backup Bike)
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Old 01-23-11, 09:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrh1 View Post
I got so confused I had to stop for 2 weeks and start over .
That's pretty normal and an essential part of the process. Keep looking around and you'll soon find yourself going straight to one part of the shop and to one bike in particular ... which sounds like what is happening now.

Best of luck.

Richard
Can I tell him to ditch all them gears and go fixed? Please?
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Old 01-24-11, 07:25 AM   #12
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Just do it!

The one thing that I would avoid is riding the same course every day. If you keep exploring new places to ride, longer and faster will come naturally.
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Old 01-24-11, 07:37 AM   #13
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Welcome to BF jrh1! I was in your shoes last year. The bike shops recommended bikes that would fit my fitness/riding level at that time, which was low and slow. But I had already spent a considerable amount of time researching and reading here, and that helped me "see my future": get stronger, ride longer and faster . . which is happening. I knew which type of bike I would want in the near future and decided to buy it right off. So something you might find helpful is to try to predict what you'll be using the bike for now and in the future. Then see which bike meets all your goals.
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Old 01-24-11, 11:34 AM   #14
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That first bike is always a problem- So many choices and what style to get.

You are making the right decidion in getting a bike to start riding but start saving. When the fitness goes up and the milage and the speed- You "May" want something better.

Advice about the helmet- gloves and shorts are right but add to that a pump and puncture repair stuff held in a "Wedge" under the saddle.
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Old 01-24-11, 12:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrh1 View Post
Thanks for your input, I have done test rides on on at least 19 differant bikes from trek,specialized,jamis,cannondale and giant. I got so confused I had to stop for 2 weeks and start over and Now the Allegro 3 fits very well and rides great. I will post pics after I purchase.
Bingo!

A triple will cover all kinds of riding. You should be able to keep the chain on the middle chainring and change gears using the rear shifter. Save the big shainring for speeds over 20 mph and the little chainring for substantual hills.

At some point, consider getting a bike computer with a cadence function. Use the computer to monitor your cadence: Cadence is the rate, in RPM, that the crank (and your feet) are spinning. Develop a cadence range that is comfortable for you. Most people discover that they can increase the cadence to improve performance and protect the knees from stress. I like to spin in the 85 to 110 rpm range, but everyone is different.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 01-24-11 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 01-24-11, 05:19 PM   #16
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Welcome. You should be fine with your purchase. If you want to change to something more specialized later the Allegro will still be a keeper. N+1 is the rule here.
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Old 01-24-11, 05:21 PM   #17
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thanks everyone some very good info. This being my first real bike I was worried that I was buying to much bike for my level of experience. I do as much research as I can and found the comfort bikes are to upright for me and I may grow tired of it to soon. My daughter gave me a bike computer for xmas. now I just need the bike to hang it on! we plan to ride mainly paved paths and trails around south Florida and should get started by the end of the week.
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Old 01-24-11, 06:31 PM   #18
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"This being my first real bike I was worried that I was buying to much bike"


Yeah, right. Talk to us in 8 months or so. Quick learning and wanting curve with bikes. I went from Walmart to vintage steel, to Carbon to Italian in 4 years. I would have gone faster if I had more money.
No such thing as "too much bike" my friend. :>)
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Old 01-24-11, 07:17 PM   #19
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Hey jrh - that looks like a fine bike for smooth pavement, and a good choice for first bike. Welcome to the forum, and we do hope you'll stop by and share your experiences as you learn - we're all learning, even if we've been riding for decades!

I am all in favor of the advice from folks who recommend a computer with cadence function for one who is new to biking. As your muscles develop as you ride, and you aim to keep your cadence within the 80-90 rpm target, you will find that you can work your way up to higher gears than those you typically use at the outset while keeping the same cadence.

Even with the relatively flat terrain you have, you'll learn how this works - you'll end up covering the same distance in decreased time, and find that you venture farther afield and become more adventuresome. Have fun by changing your route often enough so you don't get bored - keep your senses open, and enjoy you new found freedom. Maybe take a small camera to stop and take things in as you travel.

Don't worry if you find that you mostly only use one or two gears - some people who are starting out by themselves make the mistake that "the higher gears give you more exercise 'cause they're harder" - that's what the cadence function is designed to avoid. It'll keep you from wearing out your knees and help you to become stronger.

Oh, and please learn to drive defensively - there's a lot of distracted/inattentive/sleeping motorists out there! Always assume that they can't see you, and that they'll do something unexpected even if they've seen you.
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Old 01-24-11, 07:35 PM   #20
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I'm 56 too and live in (mostly flat) south Louisiana. My early 1980s ("12 speed") Ciocc has gearing that provides seven very usable gears with no double-shifts. I normally use only four of 'em. 18 in my book is overkill, but if you've got 'em why not flaunt 'em?
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Old 01-24-11, 07:46 PM   #21
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Welcome!

I'm confident that the Jamis will serve you well. The main factor is your comfort and you have addressed that already. As far as 18 speeds being enough...3 speeds is enough as long as the range between low and high is sufficient. I'm a firm believer that gear range is more important than number of gears, but that is just my opinion.

I ride single speed, three speed, five speed, 10 speed, 15 speed, 18 speed, 21 speed, 24 speed, and 27 speed bikes all in the same geographic area. The more gears I have means smaller jumps between gears but has no negetive effect on my ability to get where I'm going.

Oh, it may be possible to pop a rear rack on the bike with some after market adapters. I've done it with a few of my bikes.

Anxiously awaiting rides reports and pictures.

Last edited by cranky old dude; 01-24-11 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 01-24-11, 08:23 PM   #22
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Congrats on the new bike and getting into biking. Have your bike shop give you a fitting so that you will be comfortable on your rides. Bike shorts are a big plus and well worth the cost and don't skimp on the cost of your helmet. Keep posting your progress and photos when you can.
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Old 01-24-11, 09:49 PM   #23
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jrh,
I live a few miles from you in Bonita Springs. I have several road bikes all with Dura-Ace groupos, 53/42 chain rings, 9 gears, but you will never need more than three or four gears around here. You will find great bike lanes and any distance you choose to go. North into Ft. Myers and South to Naples. All flat as others have said. The best you will find to do a little climbing will be the overpass over I 75. But even for that 53X12 out of the saddle will do fine.
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