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  1. #1
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    Newbie lookin to get a new bike..

    Use to ride all the time as a kid and recently started jogging down some paths round my way to try and get back in shape. Seeing all those nice bikes flyin past me got me to thinking that i'd like to do some riding of my own. There are alot of nice bike paths to explore too so most of my riding would be on these trails.

    So i'm looking at two bikes that I like which are the following.

    Trek 7.3 fx

    and the Marin Muirwood

    Now the gearing aspects are all foreign to me but between the two bikes I see that they are the same. I'm looking for something that is fairly fast but that will also help me up those hills untill I get my stamina back.

    I had used my Brother in law's cheap mountain bike to go on a nice ride last weekend and noticed that even in the fastest gears I was still slow and had to pedal like crazy to keep up a good speed.

    I went to a local bike shop and the guy was kinda pushy and not that helpful. He kept tryin to put me on some HUGE hybrid that I had trouble even standing on. I felt like I was riding an SUV of the bike world. I mean they felt nice and comfortable and all but I'm looking for more of an agressive, somewhat fast, fitness type bike. I guess cuz he saw that I'm a fairly tall/big guy he wanted to put me on such a big bike (I'm 6ft tall). That's where I saw the Muirwood but they only had it in the 17" and he was telling me it was too small to me even though it felt pretty good to me. But if I do go with the Muirwood I would go with the 18.5".

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Since you're just getting back into cycling suggest that
    you keep it simple at first. Strongly suggest that you
    consider buying a 3 speed bike at first for the joyful
    simplicty of them. Often your can find a great used
    3 speed if new is not availble.

    Sure many here will tell you that this bike or that bike with
    all these gears is just what you need but how do they know?
    So, at first, keep it simple and fun. Along the way you can
    learn what kinda bike you'd like and how many gears you
    can really use. Many find that 3 speeds for Sunday rides
    in town ride is more than enough.

    Go slow and enjoy the ride, mate.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madquiqnezz
    Use to ride all the time as a kid and recently started jogging down some paths round my way to try and get back in shape. Seeing all those nice bikes flyin past me got me to thinking that i'd like to do some riding of my own. There are alot of nice bike paths to explore too so most of my riding would be on these trails.

    So i'm looking at two bikes that I like which are the following.

    Trek 7.3 fx

    and the Marin Muirwood

    Now the gearing aspects are all foreign to me but between the two bikes I see that they are the same. I'm looking for something that is fairly fast but that will also help me up those hills untill I get my stamina back.

    I had used my Brother in law's cheap mountain bike to go on a nice ride last weekend and noticed that even in the fastest gears I was still slow and had to pedal like crazy to keep up a good speed.

    I went to a local bike shop and the guy was kinda pushy and not that helpful. He kept tryin to put me on some HUGE hybrid that I had trouble even standing on. I felt like I was riding an SUV of the bike world. I mean they felt nice and comfortable and all but I'm looking for more of an agressive, somewhat fast, fitness type bike. I guess cuz he saw that I'm a fairly tall/big guy he wanted to put me on such a big bike (I'm 6ft tall). That's where I saw the Muirwood but they only had it in the 17" and he was telling me it was too small to me even though it felt pretty good to me. But if I do go with the Muirwood I would go with the 18.5".

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Height does not dictate the size of bike you need- Feeling comfortable and stand over height are a lot more important. I am only 5'6" short and use a 15" frame- or 42 if its a road one. Reach to the bars- height of the bars relative to the saddle are important. Main thing is how you feel on the bike.

    Marin and Trek make respectable bikes. Depends on what you want it for though- Offroad- Cycle trails- onroad? Plenty of other manufacturers out there- but Wait a bit before buying- The "New" 07 bikes will be out soon- which means that the 06 bikes will take a drop in price. This could save you an apreciable amount of money or even allow you to go up in quality.
    Attachment of my bikes- Short bloke I know but even smaller bike- Both these are comfortable, both are light and both work.

    Edit---- Sounds like your shop are not helpfull. Look for another one- Try a shop that is "Racing" Orientated- Better quality of bikes- better quality of information and better Blokes behind the counter that can offer you the right advice.
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  4. #4
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    The 2 bikes are a bit different.
    The Trek fx bikes are designed for speedy road riding but are quite capable on good trails.
    The Muirwoods has MTB wheels and fatter tyres/lower gears so is more suitable for rougher trails but is designed as a tough urban bike.
    Both would do for mixed riding but you have to decide where your emphasis is.

    Take care with sizing, you need adaquate standover but length or reach is more critical. Some bikes are designed to fit with more standover clearance , these usually have a sloping top tube.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    The 2 bikes are a bit different.
    The Trek fx bikes are designed for speedy road riding but are quite capable on good trails.
    The Muirwoods has MTB wheels and fatter tyres/lower gears so is more suitable for rougher trails but is designed as a tough urban bike.
    Both would do for mixed riding but you have to decide where your emphasis is.

    Take care with sizing, you need adaquate standover but length or reach is more critical. Some bikes are designed to fit with more standover clearance , these usually have a sloping top tube.
    Thanks to all for your input but this is what I was looking for. I think the thicker tires of the Muirwood would do me well as I will be taking out my little one with me now and then for some short easy rides so there will be added weight.

    So how much of a difference in speed would the thinner tires and gears have on the FX over the Muirwood? I'm guessing the Muirwood would still be plenty fast for me regardless. I will go to the local bike shop again and actually ride the smaller Muirwood just to get a feel for it and it's gears. And can anyone tell me how many "speeds" both bikes have?

    My next question would be in regards to standover, by this i'm assuming you mean the distince between the top tube and your groin area right? If so, how much distance should their normally be?

  6. #6
    Lost in Los Angeles Bizurke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madquiqnezz

    My next question would be in regards to standover, by this i'm assuming you mean the distince between the top tube and your groin area right? If so, how much distance should their normally be?
    This varies by the person and is more of a personal thing (imho). Generally a 1.5" to 2" gap is pretty good. But when it really comes down to it just get the one that feels right. A good bike shop will have staff that will fit a bike for you and make sure it's something that you'll be able to ride comfortably. But as I said it can vary by the person. I personally ride MTB trails ona frame that is too small for me, I like it because it is more maneuverable. My commuter bike is a MTB that is actually too big for me but offers a great smooth comfortable ride. And my Road bike has almost exactly 1.5" of clearance from from the top tube.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizurke
    This varies by the person and is more of a personal thing (imho). Generally a 1.5" to 2" gap is pretty good. But when it really comes down to it just get the one that feels right. A good bike shop will have staff that will fit a bike for you and make sure it's something that you'll be able to ride comfortably. But as I said it can vary by the person. I personally ride MTB trails ona frame that is too small for me, I like it because it is more maneuverable. My commuter bike is a MTB that is actually too big for me but offers a great smooth comfortable ride. And my Road bike has almost exactly 1.5" of clearance from from the top tube.
    YES! The cheap mountain bike that I'm riding right now is a standard 26" that for me at least seems to fit me perfectly. My wife seems to think it's a tad too small however but I disagree. It feels comfortable and very maneuverable as you say, it's just slow as all hell.

    Again, that huge bike that they let me test ride felt really comfortable and smooth and i'm sure that it would most perfecty do the job on those easy weekend rides with the family. But I feel it would be too cumbersom and heavy for those brisk paced trail runs i'm looking to do.

    I think i'll be having two bikes at some point as many on here seem to have for different purposes, but for my immediate needs I think i'll take the smaller quicker more maneuverable bike.

    I also noticed that the gear components have come a LONG way from when I rode. Those new bikes had some pretty nice shifters that were ICE smooth and very precise. The ones I took out for a spin had ones that shifted up and down by using the thumb and index finger. Are these the standard now? Are they better then those "grip" type shifters that other bikes have?

    Thanks alot.

  8. #8
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    If the top tube (TT) is horizontal you need about 1-2" of clearance when straddling the bike. If you have a sloping TT design, then 3-6" would be about right.
    If you like your current bike setup then measure the distance from the saddle nose to bars so you can replicate it on your new bike.
    The gearing on modern bikes is usually 3x8 (or9). In practice this gives you about 12 separate usable gears. the range and upper/lower limits are more significant than the number of gears.
    Any MTB can be made speedier by fitting narrower, high pressure , slick tyres.

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