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  1. #1
    <>< michael.hendric's Avatar
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    Want to buy a new bike, but not sure what to get - Need Direction

    My wife and I are in pretty good shape. Running is getting too hard on our joints (not that we are old). We both enjoy bicycling very much. We both know that they can get very expensive. Before we go there, we want to see how much use they will get. I have no idea where to start. My wife would like to find some sort of hybrid. We will be riding on the roads a little, bicycle paths mostly, and maybe some light trail riding. Any advice or guidance would be appreciated?
    "That men and women can go to heaven is an expression of God's love; that they can go to hell is an expression of the value he places on their freedom."
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    "Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts" Proverbs 4:23 (GNT)

  2. #2
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    I'm a bike newbie myself, but when I'm at the bike trail I love to see couples riding their tandems (bicycle built for two) awwwww that's just so pretty to see

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by POLBOSS
    I'm a bike newbie myself, but when I'm at the bike trail I love to see couples riding their tandems (bicycle built for two) awwwww that's just so pretty to see
    Too damn expensive and the quickest way to get a divorce if it does not work out.

    Thats why I ride with a male co-pilot.

    On the hybrid side- You will find Good and bad. Take a look at the Specialised Sirrus as this can be a cheap bike for a beginner or almost as good as a racing bike for those that want something better. Have to admit that I am an offroader that also has a road bike but I should probably have gone for a Hybrid for comfort.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    Feral Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    ^ Sirrus seconded. Try Trek FX range, Stevens Strada range (not sure how common they are in US), Giant, for similar bikes. My recommendations favour more road-oriented bikes. You may want suspension but I don't believe it's necessary in your case. Have a browse through their websites to get a better idea of what you want.

    What's your price range? What makes are available in your area?
    Last edited by Nicodemus; 04-02-07 at 11:25 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    Did you just say "minarchist?" I'm going to start a 10-page vaginathon because only Libertarians can define Libertarianism. Also, you're mean.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael.hendric
    ...We both enjoy bicycling very much. We both know that they can get very expensive. Before we go there, we want to see how much use they will get. I have no idea where to start. ....Any advice or guidance would be appreciated?
    I have a RANS Fusion ($950), it's pricy but quite nice to ride. No seat pain, not really any hand pressure or neck strain either, but it pedals much better than a typical "comfort" bike. It has a huge special type seat, and you will not need padded shorts to ride it. You just get lycra exercise shorts, or you get unpadded "recumbent" riding shorts.

    Two similar bikes are the Lightfoot Cycles Surefoot and the bike from Day6Bicycles (both sold online). I haven't tried these but they do give a similar riding position to the RANS bikes and don't cost as much. They use regular saddles but you could probably use ergo-style seats effectively if you wanted. (Ergo-style seats don't work well on regular bicycles, because the pedals are located too far underneath the seat position)

    Alternately you could get recumbents.
    The difference in comfort is amazing, even better than the bikes above. Most of the pain that is normal on an upright bike never really happens on a recumbent, and once again--no padded shorts are necessary. Transportation can be a hassle but the actual riding is heavenly. Sun EZ-1 and Cycle Genius Starling are two cheaper ones, around $600 each.
    ~

  6. #6
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    If you're riding on both pavement and smooth trails you can ride a hybrid, a mountain bike, or even a road bike designed for limited off road use, ie. either a cyclocross or touring bike. The hybrid and road variants have 700c wheels and somewhat thinner tires than a mountain bike, so they're a little faster on the road than a mountain bike with 26" wheels and fat knobby tires, but the mountain bike can be equipped with
    slick tires that speed it up a bit.

    Paradoxically you want a faster bike if you are cycling for fitness. A sluggish bike might make you work harder, but it also is less enjoyable so you won't ride as much. Stay away from "comfort" and "cruiser" bikes as they will be too slow.

    I've repeated this bit of personal bias a few times before: when you look at a bike on a website, if the handlebars are set higher than the seat, the bike is intended for riding while sitting upright, which means it is for slow, leisurely cruising and not for fitness. A bike for fitness should have the handlebars at the same height as the seat, or, if you are hardcore, well below the seat. This allows you to lean forward to put more weight and power into the pedal downstroke, and to be more aerodynamic.

    If you're riding for fitness, you need a route that allows you to maintain a fairly brisk pace, not too crowded with sightseers (so not all bike paths will be suitable), or a hilly course to make you work.
    Last edited by cooker; 04-02-07 at 12:26 PM.

  7. #7
    <>< michael.hendric's Avatar
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    "Specialized"

    I just got done looking at a couple of bikes made by this company; "Specialized". They had a 06 hybrid that looked good. the 07 looks a little weird. Is a good company? The guy at the bike shop wasn't a "sales guy", but did a good job selling the quality of the bike and company. I sat on it and it was REALLY comfortable.
    "That men and women can go to heaven is an expression of God's love; that they can go to hell is an expression of the value he places on their freedom."
    -- John Fischer

    "Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts" Proverbs 4:23 (GNT)

  8. #8
    Accuracy is Speed
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    "trail riding" ?

    "We will be riding on the roads a little, bicycle paths mostly, and maybe some light trail riding."

    Do you mean unpaved trails (no asphalt, just loose dirt)? Sounds like you don't need a racing style bike (which is what is mostly offered nowadays), but a more flexible bike that allows larger tire diameters (700x32) for comfort and durability on "trails". Avoid any tire under 700x32 because you will not be benefitting from these slimmer tires made for the "serious cyclist".

    The Bianchi Volpe sells for around $800, and is equipped for city streets, bike paths, and loose dirt trails. It's a flexible bike for long rides on all types of roads. Check out the model details: http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_volpe.html

    I love Bianchis because they have a great selection of entry level bikes for those who don't care to "race", but still want the romantic allure of Italian history and bike making experience. Treks also have a good selection of these type of bikes.

    You can ignore the "benefits" of the Carbon fiber vs. Steel vs. Aluminum debate completely for what you intend to do with these bikes.

  9. #9
    Accuracy is Speed
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    Michael, sitting on the bike alone (without riding around for quite a bit) is not enough for you to conclude that it's "comfortable" because the discomfort arises after a bit of riding, for example, people complain that certain bikes are too "stiff" and it feels like their fillings were being shaken loose after 20 minutes on the bike, while others don't like the soreness in their lower back from being bent over after 15 minutes of riding.

    Specialized makes a great selection of bikes and I love their Roubaix road model, myself. They were the ones that started the mountain bike craze in the 80's and were the first to mass produce good mountainbikes for the every-man.

  10. #10
    <>< michael.hendric's Avatar
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    What do you guys know about:
    Jamis
    Marin
    Bianchi
    "That men and women can go to heaven is an expression of God's love; that they can go to hell is an expression of the value he places on their freedom."
    -- John Fischer

    "Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts" Proverbs 4:23 (GNT)

  11. #11
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael.hendric
    What do you guys know about:
    Jamis
    Marin
    Bianchi
    They're all reputable and sell good quality bikes.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  12. #12
    Proxymoron
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael.hendric
    What do you guys know about:
    Jamis
    Marin
    Bianchi
    Hi Michael,

    I ride a Jamis Coda Sport and recommend that you check out the Coda models during your selection process. They have their share of admirers on these forums as do some of the other selections. I`ve also owned a Marin Muirwoods and a Bianchi Brava, both good bikes but my favorite is the Jamis for urban commuting and overall riding enjoyment. It has the speed and ride qualities of the Bianchi and the agility of the Marin. It also does fine on the bike trails here in Austin. It`s my do-it-all bike.
    We`re all Bozos on this bus.

  13. #13
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael.hendric
    Specialized". They had a 06 hybrid that looked good. the 07 looks a little weird. Is a good company?
    Yes, Specialized is a good company, and they have a wide range of models. If you compare these two bikes (from their Canadian website, so I don't know if the same are offered where you are), you can see the point I was making before about bikes optimized for speed vs comfort. If you're fit and cycling to maintain fitness, you would likely want the faster bike, in this case more like the Sirrus rather than the Expedition.
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22265
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22031

    Sirrus

    Expedition

  14. #14
    Recumbent Ninja
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    I'm going to be a bit of a pain and beg you not to get a hybrid. They're heavy, slow, and more uncomfortable as you progress to longer rides. Since you two are already healthy, you'll likely "outdistance" the hybrid's capability for comfort very quickly and end up buying another bike within a year. Happened to me and my wife.

    I would recommend a flat bar road bike or a recumbent. Much more miles and smiles that way.

  15. #15
    Accuracy is Speed
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    What exactly is this "hybrid" people speak of? Is it a hybrid between MTB and road bike? Or hybrid between "serious" and "recreational" riders?

    Sorry, haven't spent enough time in the forums to pick up the lingo.

  16. #16
    M_S
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    I've repeated this bit of personal bias a few times before: when you look at a bike on a website, if the handlebars are set higher than the seat, the bike is intended for riding while sitting upright, which means it is for slow, leisurely cruising and not for fitness. A bike for fitness should have the handlebars at the same height as the seat, or, if you are hardcore, well below the seat. This allows you to lean forward to put more weight and power into the pedal downstroke, and to be more aerodynamic.
    That's not entirely true. Some touring bikes come with adjustable stems that can be raised to about an inch above the level of the seat (depends where your seat is too I suppose). Nevertheless, your point is mostly correct. A bike shop should be able to help you distinguish between these sorts of things with individual models, as it is much easier to describe when you have the bike right in front of you.

  17. #17
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S
    That's not entirely true. Some touring bikes come with adjustable stems that can be raised to about an inch above the level of the seat (depends where your seat is too I suppose).
    An inch is ok. But did you see that Specialized Expedition I posted? It needs streamers and an ice cream cone holder.

  18. #18
    Brusheda
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    Cyclocross bikes are awesome and can go anywhere.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adagio Corse
    What exactly is this "hybrid" people speak of? Is it a hybrid between MTB and road bike? Or hybrid between "serious" and "recreational" riders?

    Sorry, haven't spent enough time in the forums to pick up the lingo.
    Hybrid bikes are a cross between a road bike and mountain bike.

    Some of the time, you'll see a mountain bike with road bike tires.

    Some of the time, it'll be road bikes with mountain bike handlebars.

    And of course, there is tons and tons of stuff in between, which is where most people (myself included) call "hybrids."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael.hendric
    What do you guys know about:
    Jamis
    Marin
    Bianchi
    I know it's been said already, but these 3 are very good brands. You might wanna check out the Marin Urban and City models if you are looking for a hybrid-type. Jamis, also the commuting models, and if you feel the need for speed, go with the Jamis Coda models. They're like road bikes with mountain bike handlebars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael.hendric
    My wife and I are in pretty good shape. Running is getting too hard on our joints (not that we are old). We both enjoy bicycling very much. We both know that they can get very expensive. Before we go there, we want to see how much use they will get. I have no idea where to start. My wife would like to find some sort of hybrid. We will be riding on the roads a little, bicycle paths mostly, and maybe some light trail riding. Any advice or guidance would be appreciated?
    My best advice is to try to find a good local bike shop, which will be able to show you various options in different price ranges.

    I think that hybrids are probaby a good starting point for you, though if you get into bicycling, you may have road bikes in your future.
    Eric

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  22. #22
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Get a bicycle you will guys will be comfortable with. Nothing matters more than that. If you aren't comfortable, you aren't riding. Simple as that.

    Hybrid, road bike, mountain bike.... all will give you plenty of exercise and fun.

    Go to a place that will allow you try them out.

  23. #23
    Feral Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adagio Corse
    What exactly is this "hybrid" people speak of? Is it a hybrid between MTB and road bike? Or hybrid between "serious" and "recreational" riders?

    Sorry, haven't spent enough time in the forums to pick up the lingo.
    Hybrid is a vague term encompassing everything between pure MTB and pure racer. Not very useful as a result.

    A straight-handlebar road bike is a hybrid, as is a 'comfort' bike (again 'comfort' encompasses a range of styles too).
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    Did you just say "minarchist?" I'm going to start a 10-page vaginathon because only Libertarians can define Libertarianism. Also, you're mean.

  24. #24
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael.hendric
    I sat on it and it was REALLY comfortable.
    What's comfortable when you sit and when you ride can be quite different. It's actually hard to "just sit" on a good riding bike. You're up too high to easily put foot on the ground (maybe just the toes of one foot), and the seat may seem too firm and narrow and feel a bit like a "wedgie". However on a long ride you need a firm, somewhat narrow seat to avoid chafing, and numbness "down there". Your arms, feet and "sit bones" all share the weight, and you arch your back and sit towards the back of the seat where it should be wide enough for those bones to rest on it. You also need the seat high enough to allow nearly full leg extension at the bottom of the pedal stroke, to avoid knee discomfort.

  25. #25
    <>< michael.hendric's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think I am moving past the "Specialized, Expedition" I went to another bike shop today and looked at the Jamis and Marin. What does everyone think about a bike without front fork suspension?
    "That men and women can go to heaven is an expression of God's love; that they can go to hell is an expression of the value he places on their freedom."
    -- John Fischer

    "Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts" Proverbs 4:23 (GNT)

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