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Old 10-27-08, 10:02 AM   #1
mikejody
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Please Provide Bike Recommendation

Greetings, I am wanting to begin biking for fitness. I'm 46, 5'8" and 175 pounds. I'm interested in comfort and speed mainly, and then durability. I'll only be riding roads, mainly backroads and they area all paved. There are quite a few hills, too. I'm hoping to ride 20-40 miles at a time several times per week.

Can anybody recommend either style of bike (road or hybrid) and also possible models to choose from? I have read elsewhere about the Gary Fisher Wingra, are there other recommendations?

Thank you for any help you can provide.
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Old 10-27-08, 10:49 AM   #2
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I say go ride some and see what you like. For me a road bike would be far and away most fun for that type of use.
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Old 10-27-08, 10:57 AM   #3
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This thread should help you avoid expensive new bike mistakes and still help
you find a really decent bike for little $$$$.

Riding a 20 yr old clunker to work
__________________
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-27-08, 11:05 AM   #4
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I note the Wingra mountain bike is in the $500 range. Is $500 your ballpark? If you're willing to spend $900 or more, there are plenty of bikes from Trek, Specialized, Fuji, Jamis, Felt, and others, including good entry-level road bikes, to choose from. In the $500-600 range: not so much. I recommend you visit their websites. As a start, you might go to http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/08_bikes/08venturasport.html## and check out the Jamis Ventura Sport.
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Old 10-27-08, 11:12 AM   #5
mikejody
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I think the Wingra is a road bike, not a mountain bike, at least the model that was recommended.

Thank you!
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Old 10-27-08, 11:38 AM   #6
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For your use, I would recommend a road bike. Road bikes are more performance oriented than hybrids. Also road bikes with their handlebars offer more hand positions and that is really an important advantage.

Something to be aware of is that the bike companies do not really make the bikes like car companies make cars. A car company makes the engine, the transmission, the brakes, and so on. A bike company makes the frame. That is it. It hangs on the components: brakes, shifters, deraillers, wheels, etc which it buys from component manufacturers. Shimano components are used on something like 95% of the bikes. So bikes from 2 different makers at the same price point will often have similar if not the same components. They end up being very similar bikes. A good thing is that the market is quite competitive and Local Bike Shops generally do not have anything for sale that isn't a pretty nice bike. If you pay above the lower price ranges, bikes range from good to superb.
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Old 10-27-08, 11:40 AM   #7
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Thanks very much, Pat. Would you have any recommendations? Like I said in the first post, I have read good things (from owners) about the Fisher Wingra, but are there other suggestions?

Thank you again.
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Old 10-27-08, 11:50 AM   #8
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Strategy:

1. Learn all you can about bikes and especially bike fit and repair.
2. Use online bit fit computer to get a starting point (frame size, etc).
3. When a bike that may fit you appears on Craigslist, put a post on this forum asking for advice
4. Go evaluate it.
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Old 10-27-08, 11:52 AM   #9
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Very good, thank you! Where can I find the "online bit fit computer"?
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Old 10-27-08, 01:04 PM   #10
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The Wingra is a flat bar bike and will give you a relatively upright riding position. That tends not to be good for 20+ miles. But different people have different preferences. You should try out a bike with drop bars. Once you decide between drop bars and flat bars, figure out how much you're willing to spend.

You've said you're interested mostly in comfort and speed. These two things tend to be a bit at odds with one another. Up to a certain point, you can have both, but there's a threshhold somewhere where faster bikes are less comfortable to ride. You probably don't need to go that fast, so I would look for a nice comfortable road bike.

If you want something with flat bars, the Jamis Coda and Specialized Sirrus are good options. If you want drops bars, check out the Jamis Ventura or Specialized Allez.

Or ask you local LBS to recommend something. Ride a few bikes and see what you like.
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Old 10-27-08, 01:07 PM   #11
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Excellent, very good advice, thank you. Is the main difference between drop bars and flat bars that with drop bars you are bent over while riding?
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Old 10-27-08, 03:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejody View Post
Excellent, very good advice, thank you. Is the main difference between drop bars and flat bars that with drop bars you are bent over while riding?
The amount you are bent over depends on how high the bars are positioned and the distance from the seat to the bars. On straight bars you have your palms facing backwards, rather than in the natural position facing inwards, but you can fit bar-ends which will allow you to ride in that position. Touring bikes with drop bars usually have them about level with the seat, as opposed to racing bikes that have them several inches lower. If you ride in an upright position you have more weight on your butt, which reduces comfort after an hour. Ride for the length of time that you enjoy, If you force yourself to meet an objective for time in the saddle you may lose the enjoyment and quit - ride for the pleasure of it, other benefits will follow.
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Old 10-27-08, 06:13 PM   #13
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Look for a medium frame drop bar road bike. The drop bars give you several comfortable hand positions, so they are easier on you for longer rides. Most riders spend most of their time "on the hoods". This is with the thumbs and maybe palms resting on top of the brake levers on the forward part of the top of the bars. The drops are only used for sprints and fighting headwinds usually. If you are not comfortable on the hoods at first have your LBS install Cross levers on the tops of the bars. That will let you ride on the flats until you get used to the bike, and give you another hand position when you start going for longer rides. If you haven't had a bike for awhile, make sure you get one with a triple crank.(those are the front gears) Spinning up the hills in low gears is the only way up them when you are just getting used to riding again. I hope this is understandable.
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Old 10-27-08, 06:16 PM   #14
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I would definitely go for a road bike. I would also recommend a used high-end bike versus a brand new lower-end bike. To me, bikes are a little like tools or golf clubs - - used isn't bad at all.
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Old 10-27-08, 06:35 PM   #15
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Yes, this is perfectly understandable, and helps a whole lot. Thank you.

Do you have any suggestions for a medium drop-bar bike? I looked at the Allez Triple someone mentioned on here. Any other suggestions?
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Old 10-27-08, 07:09 PM   #16
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Sorry, the medium was refering to the frame size. That will vary depending on the manufacturer- some will list the size in cm, 54-55cm should be about right. (I am your height) There isn't going to be a big differench in bikes from brand to brand, at the same price point they have basically the same level of components. The Specialized is good, Giant has the OCR3 for their entry level, Raliegh makes... Basically go visit some shops and test ride some bikes, buy from the shop that treats you the best. All the bikes are going to be good, as long as you are comfortable on it.
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