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Old 08-22-05, 11:34 AM   #1
Boge
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New biker needs some advice!

Hello! I haven't ridden a bike since I was about 14 (about 13 years ago). I'm interested in buying a bike for my own riding enjoyment, but I have no idea about bikes. I want to do mostly town riding/commuting, but I don't want to limit myself from going off-road. I prefer more of a comfortable sit with the ability to adjust the seat and handle bars if needs be. I'd also like to be able to start off maybe doing some small jumps too.

What kind of features should I look for? What sizes are there and what would be best for me (about 6'3")? I'd prefer to keep the price in the $200 range. What brand names are good?

If you could just give me the scoop on what bike you think would be good, and where I could purchase one, that would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 08-22-05, 11:49 AM   #2
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It sounds like you need a hybred bike. They are adjustable and pretty much an all round bike. You may need to go up to $250 though. You'll be better of going to a bike shop and let them fit you to the correct size bike. I would'nt recommend getting one from a department store as they frequently need a lot of ajusting just to get them road ready. You're fairily tall and that calls for an exact sizing on the bike. otherwise you won't enjoy riding it. In addition, if there is any problem with the bike, the shop will adjust it for you at no extra charge. Enjoy!
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Old 08-22-05, 03:19 PM   #3
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What about these Shaft Drive bikes? Are they very good?
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Old 08-22-05, 04:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boge
I'd also like to be able to start off maybe doing some small jumps too.
Jumps? Do you mean like stunts? For that you will need a mountain bike, or a more specialized bike designed for stunt riding. A road bike or a hybrid bike have lighter wheels and rims designed for speed, and while the hybrid is perhaps designed to handle rougher ground than the road bike, it still isn't intended to fly. Mountain bikes are intended to handle more jarring conditions. You'd most likely need to learn to ride clipless* to ensure you stay on the bike...so take it one step at a time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boge
What about these Shaft Drive bikes? Are they very good?
There have been lots of debates on these forums about shaft drive bikes but few reports from actual riders, so it's all speculation. They tend to be a bit heavier than chain bikes. As well, none seem to be available (yet) from mainstream manufacturers, making forum participants uneasy about their unknown quality.

Robert

EDIT: *by "clipless", I mean you would get special pedals and special cycling shoes, that lock together using cleats attached to the sole of the shoe which mate with a receptacle on the pedal. Since that would blow your budget, adding $100-$200 in costs, you might want to get a bike with ordinary platform pedals now, and upgrade to clipless pedals at a later date, if you decide to pursue this.
RGC

Last edited by cooker; 08-22-05 at 04:21 PM. Reason: elaboration
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Old 08-23-05, 06:01 AM   #5
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See http://www.pbase.com/kayakbiker/old_bicycles for a 1901 Tribune shaft drive, etc.

Taiwan Sussex Shaft Drive http://customer.manufacture.com.tw/~worldscape/se2.htm

Note that the shaft drive unit is available as a separate component. Up to 7 spds.

Last edited by Cyclepath; 08-23-05 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 08-23-05, 09:19 AM   #6
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Note that the shaft drive unit is available as a separate component. Up to 7 spds.
Shimano offers an 8-speed hub.
Robert
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Old 08-23-05, 03:32 PM   #7
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$200? You'll probably have to look used if that's your price range. That's not a bad thing...it is what it is. Otherwise, if you want reliable quality, I'd plan on spending no less than $300. $300-$500 is probably a decent range for a quality "entry level" bike. Anything less would be at a discount/big box store, most likely.
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Old 08-23-05, 08:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boge
Hello! I haven't ridden a bike since I was about 14 (about 13 years ago). I'm interested in buying a bike for my own riding enjoyment, but I have no idea about bikes. I want to do mostly town riding/commuting, but I don't want to limit myself from going off-road. I prefer more of a comfortable sit with the ability to adjust the seat and handle bars if needs be. I'd also like to be able to start off maybe doing some small jumps too.

What kind of features should I look for? What sizes are there and what would be best for me (about 6'3")? I'd prefer to keep the price in the $200 range. What brand names are good?

If you could just give me the scoop on what bike you think would be good, and where I could purchase one, that would be appreciated. Thanks!
No jumps for $200...maybe a curb hop, but no real jumps. Period. You will have a nice frame that can take many, many miles though. The stock suspension forks on low buck bikes are a different matter. I'd ride that stock fork till it dies, and replace it with a RockShox Judy a few years from now if you are still riding it.

I'd say get a entry level mountain bike, like a DB Outlook, Raleigh M20, or similar. The stance on the lower end MTBs are more upright, allowing for more comfort. You may want to go over by about $40 and buy a more comfortable saddle...I used the Serfas Rx with good results on my old Outlook. To adjust the handlebars, you will want a bike with a "threaded" stem. Here are some examples:

threaded: Notice the stem slides into the headset, and there is a large hollow nut on top of the headset, that this stem also slides through.
http://www.blackbirdsf.org/singer/images/stem.jpg

threadless: Notice no nut on top of headset, and the stem clamps around the fork's steerer tube.
http://www.parktool.com/images/repair_help/fork11.jpg

Reason you want threaded, is it lets you go higher as well, while threadless is only as high as the steerer tube has been cut for. To go any higher on threadless, you have to buy an extension.

Best bet is to go to a bike shop, and try a few bikes out. See what you like. Beware though, don't go upgrade frenzy on a $200 bike...you will end up dropping more than you wish you did.

I did that to my old Outlook...added rapidfire shifters, upgraded saddle/pedals/toeclips/grips/tires....by then I was $130 more into it, not counting labor on the shifters. I don't regret it, but I would probably not do some of those mods if I could do it again.
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