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Old 08-10-05, 06:48 PM   #1
crutchgirl
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Dumb it down for me, please.

So, I broke my leg recently, got a real big cast to show for it. Doc tells me that I'm going to need rehab on my knee and ankle if the thing ever comes off (okay, he said when, it just feels like if). Now I've started thinking, maybe I should get myself a road bike when the time comes and see if that helps. Then came the big realization... I haven't got a clue about bikes, at all! And coming here, well, so far it's just made things worse... comfort bike? what's a comfort bike? Or maybe a recumbent bike would be a better choice. Or maybe I am way off base and biking won't help a thing?

So please. Calm me down. Tell me this isn't so hard. I did find, upon searching, instructions on how to size a bike, so I got that going for me. Now I just need to know everything else. What do I look for in a used bike? Where do I look for a used bike? When I go into a shop, how do I know that they're not trying to sell me a thirty year old huffy with a new paint job? What other important information can send me all deer in the headlights that I haven't thought of yet?

Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-10-05, 07:05 PM   #2
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The best advice is, once you're all healed up, get your hiney down to the Local Bike Shop, and try some bikes for size/comfort.

Everyone is different. Everyone is a freak.
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Old 08-10-05, 07:09 PM   #3
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Comfort bike, more upright, wider seat higher handlebars. Fine for going around town or to class or the store. But go on a 25 mile ride with the local social riding club and you find you are the slowest and some of the things that were comfortable for a short distance are not so comfortable any more.

If you can find a local club that is a great place to get info. I assume crutchgirl means you are a girl. You have to work at it to find a club where men do not outnumber women by a large margin. There should be several that are very happy to help, and some of them should be knowledgeable. (Hmm for that matter the few women are apt to be helpful, hoping to get one more woman in the club).

Check out a couple of local shops, they may have some used bikes. Make it clear you are shopping, not buying right away and at least one of them should have someone smart enough to realize that explaining things will work better than trying to snow you.

Oh and no matter what test ride before you buy. If possible a ride of at least a couple of miles before the final decision (Many bikes you will know are not right much sooner than that).
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Old 08-11-05, 04:39 AM   #4
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Cycling is a good excercise, but it does not use all the leg muscles equally. Brisk walking is probably better for initial rehab.
The advantage of cycling over walking is that is is so much more fun and useful, so you tend to do it more often. You can use a bike to get to work and do all your local errands, saving time and money.
A race bike is good for speed and fun. If you are considering using the bike for commuting or all-weather riding, then you need something a bit more practical. Most riders have a clutch of bikes for different uses.
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Old 08-11-05, 05:48 AM   #5
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To find out the difference between "road", "Mountain", "comfort", ... Pick a brand or two like Trek, Bianchi, Specialized, or whatever and go to their websites.

The club idea is great you need to find folks to talk to. They will know what shops won't try to sell you junk.

Ride lots of bicycles - some of each type so you can feel the difference.

The rehab folks will have you do lots of different motions and will know when you should start on a stationary bike and then to a real bike.

Going to some shops while still on crutches might be very informative.

Good luck and welcome to the club.

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Old 08-11-05, 06:42 AM   #6
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I don't know what you did, but I broke my leg and then walked several miles to the road. In the walk or the fall, I tore the ligaments attached to my ankle and it dislocated as well as fractured. Once I got the cast off (12 weeks in a non weight bearing cast) I rehab'd myself by rocking in a rocking chair to regain the flex in my ankle and just walking. Don't worry, you will be able to figure out what needs to be done once the initial injuries are healed. A bike would be great no matter what the injury. Look for therapies that are gentle stretching and strengthening exercises and build up. They thought I would need formal physical therapy but once the doctor did the checkup to decide what therapist and therapy to prescribe, he decided my rocking chair was doing the trick. I have more than 90% flex in my ankle, no arthritis, and plenty of strength in that leg and joint.
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Old 08-11-05, 07:29 AM   #7
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As mentioned the best thing is to get to your local shop and try some bikes out. If you are worried about getting screwed by the shop then let us know where you are located because some one here will most likely be able to let you know which shops around your area are good. Once you find a shop or two that you generally like (base you decision on their attitude rather then prices) go and pick their brains while you still have the cast on so you can get a better idea of what you will be looking for.

As for the type of bike, you should get what ever feels right for you when you test them. It may be a beach cruiser or a full on road race or xc rig.


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Old 08-11-05, 09:02 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the info! As for rehab, I was very lucky when I broke my leg, I managed to get a good enough splint on it that even after two days of rowing a raft to where I could get out and to a hospital, I emerged relatively unscathed, so, once the cast comes off, I'm more worried about recovering strength than repairing anything.

The local shops... I went into one a while ago, and was not very comfortable with the interaction. Anybody around here familiar with Ogden, UT?
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Old 08-11-05, 09:07 AM   #9
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Lots of information, especially for beginners, at www.sheldonbrown.com, including a complete glossary of terms and descriptions of the different kinds of bikes.

Heal well, happy cycling, and welcome to the forum!
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Old 08-11-05, 11:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutchgirl
Thanks for all the info! As for rehab, I was very lucky when I broke my leg, I managed to get a good enough splint on it that even after two days of rowing a raft to where I could get out and to a hospital, I emerged relatively unscathed, so, once the cast comes off, I'm more worried about recovering strength than repairing anything.

The local shops... I went into one a while ago, and was not very comfortable with the interaction. Anybody around here familiar with Ogden, UT?

I was in Ogden last year. There are 4 local shops and a few more with in 30 or 40 min drive. I can not give advice on which shop is the best to deal with since I did not get to all of them.

There is some great riding up there though. I would say a good trail bike would work for you. Lots of trail systems all over. I was realy pissed I did not have my mtb when I was there. One trail I realy wanted to ride was Waterfall Cyn. That is an awesome trail and during the week not very crowded. Also, Snow Basin is now allowing mtb's on their trails and there were some nice rides there as well.

If you decide to go with a road bike there are pleanty of long secluded roads with out to much climbing. Seeing as you live there you probably already know that


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Old 08-11-05, 11:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutchgirl
Thanks for all the info! As for rehab, I was very lucky when I broke my leg, I managed to get a good enough splint on it that even after two days of rowing a raft to where I could get out and to a hospital, I emerged relatively unscathed, so, once the cast comes off, I'm more worried about recovering strength than repairing anything.

The local shops... I went into one a while ago, and was not very comfortable with the interaction. Anybody around here familiar with Ogden, UT?
Based on having to raft out a couple of days with the broken leg and that you are in Utah, a state with some very interesting off road riding I would suggest you should at least consider a mountian bike. (Based on the same things look for a mountian bike that can be set up with paniers for multiday off road rides. That might not be how you start, but I have a feeling that is pretty apt to be something you end up doing).

BTW this advice is coming from a guy who almost exclusively rides on road.
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Old 08-11-05, 11:29 AM   #12
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Hehe- I've tried mtn biking a couple of times. Learned that I am, in fact, capable of flight, not so much a good lander, and I don't want to break myself again so soon. Of course, it didn't stop me from laughing all the way down....

I'll have to look for those three other shops I guess, thanks for the tip.

And ya don't want to ride waterfall canyon this year, unless you really like moose! I've run into a pair (almost literally on two occasions) everytime I've hiked up there this year.
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Old 08-11-05, 02:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
The best advice is, once you're all healed up, get your hiney down to the Local Bike Shop, and try some bikes for size/comfort.

Everyone is different. Everyone is a freak.
^^ agree with him.

If you're looking to do some general riding to rehab a knee/leg then a hybrid wouldn't make a bad choice unless you want to really keep with it later - then an entry road bike may be a better bet. But the best thing to do is go down to your local bike shop (read NOT WALMART OR SOME BIG 'SPORTS' CHAIN STORE PLEASE) and sit and/or ride on several different style bikes. Maybe a mountain bike with street tires would be best - we aren't you - so go test them out.
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Old 08-11-05, 03:22 PM   #14
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Get the pdf version of the jargon of cycling, so you don't not understand what people are trying to tell you and spend money on the wrong things and you don't learn it's wrong until the next year.

http://sheldonbrown.com/glossary.html
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Old 08-11-05, 04:22 PM   #15
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Must... resist... urge... to ask... cheesy... who was that masked man.... question....


Thank you!!!!

Now we're getting down to my level of dumb! I mean, seriously, I speak two languages, am studying two more, and I'm not even counting pig latin, and yet, when I look around and talked to the one store, I don't understand a word.... I mean, I started doubting the things I thought I did understand, like that one thingy. What was that word? Oh yeah, chain.
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Old 08-11-05, 05:19 PM   #16
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As far a rehab goes do exactly what your told to do. And when your are told to do it. Get all the rehab your insurance will pay for. It will make the recovery time much faster.

While bike riding is low impact there is still a lot of pressure on leg bones. It would be a bad thing to rebreak you leg from just going down the street on the bike. And, there is the issure of what is going to feel like when you put the broken leg down when you stop.

After you have been told it ok to ride a bike then go to the LBS and get fitted for the type of bike you like best.

I had my leg in a cast for almost 8 weeks in 2001 and then in a strap on boot for 4 weeks and it took a year befor I could walk right. Ruptured Achelese (sp?) tenden. Riding an exercise bike help a lot with the recovery. Very stiff ankle. After 4 years my injured leg calf is just not getting back to the same strength as the right calf.

Joe
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Old 08-11-05, 06:39 PM   #17
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Okay, just so we're clear. I don't harbor any wild fantasies about springing out of a cast, landing on a bike, and riding off into the sunset. However , I gave up a car a year ago, walk everywhere I go, hike a lot, and want something new that I can try so that I don't always compare how tired I am getting with how far I used to be able to go.... I still walk my dog to the park on crutches every morning, and when the doc tells me I will be skiing by Christmas, I have visions of lots of uncontrollable circles in my head. I've done the physical therapy thing before and fully intend to milk it for all it's worth.

Now, back to bikes, I am worried about the local bike shop deal, because I think I will need to buy a used bike after the medical bills are taken care of. What can I reasonably expect to spend if I buy at a shop vs. finding one somewhere else?
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Old 08-11-05, 07:25 PM   #18
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You're welcome.

You're way ahead of the game. Best steps:
1. figure out what you need
2. figure out what you want
3. figure out what you want to pay based on #1 and #2
4. Narrow your choice down to 7 bikes
5. visit LBS, at least 3, within 30 miles and talk to them and see if you might eliminate any of the 7
6. Go back another day and test ride for at least 10 minutes 1 or 2 bikes at each LBS
7. Narrow down your choice to 2 bikes
8. See which LBS will give you the most bang for the dollar
9. Google your 2 bikes and see if any great sales.
10. Decide which you will buy
11. Go buy it.
12. Lowest costs are usually in slow season, Mid Nov to mid Dec, Mid Jan to end of Feb, as LBS and manufacturers try to clear out old models. Sometimes they will offer 0% financing to get you to buy their new old bike instead of a used bike.

Finally, after you get your new horsey, don't forget to exercise it regularly. If you just put it out to pasture, the joy will be lost. Don't work out too hard. It will take roughly 500 miles of biking before it all comes together. The good news is you don't have to saddle train the horse, just the rider.

Later...
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Old 08-11-05, 07:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutchgirl
Hehe- I've tried mtn biking a couple of times. Learned that I am, in fact, capable of flight, not so much a good lander, and I don't want to break myself again so soon. Of course, it didn't stop me from laughing all the way down....

I'll have to look for those three other shops I guess, thanks for the tip.

And ya don't want to ride waterfall canyon this year, unless you really like moose! I've run into a pair (almost literally on two occasions) everytime I've hiked up there this year.
No probs. I like my moose with just a very light seasoning and not to over done

Do you have any idea what will be left after the bills are paid?

If you want new then you can get a decent confort/hybrid bike that will get you from point a to point b and even a little farther for around 200$. A good road bike will be starting in the 500 to 600$ range as well as a good ht (hard tail, meaning no rear suspension, only a suspension fork in the front) mountain bike. For some thing in the 300 to 400 range then you would be looking at a nice ridged(no suspension at all) mtb (mountain bike).


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Old 08-11-05, 07:35 PM   #20
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IF you have access to the facilities, check out your local gym and try an exercise bike, for a start. Also, if they have a rowing machine, that's a good thing too.

The local shop near me has some nice Trek "city bikes" or "Commuter bikes" for $350-$400, the main thing is get your bike at a bike shop not wally-mart.
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Old 08-12-05, 07:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutchgirl
Thanks for all the info! As for rehab, I was very lucky when I broke my leg, I managed to get a good enough splint on it that even after two days of rowing a raft to where I could get out and to a hospital, I emerged relatively unscathed, so, once the cast comes off, I'm more worried about recovering strength than repairing anything.
Will you marry me?

MasterSez pretty much got it down. Without knowing your budget and exactly what you're going to use the bike for, it's hard to see where you are going to fit in, but I'd use his estimates as a base. Find a friendly shop and bring your bicycle glossary with you

Buying used with a very limited knowledge of bicycles is very hit or miss. We don't want you to end up on something that doesn't fit or works poorly and give up cycling completely.

Good luck.
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Old 08-12-05, 08:48 AM   #22
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Hey crutchgirl...I live around the Ogden area! (Roy, to be exact.) Viper driver at Hill AFB. If you have any questions, or you want to send me a PM, feel free. Perhaps I can be of some assistance to you. I bike commute to work 90% of the time anymore, and have two bikes. Again, if you need any help, feel free to try to contact me.
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