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Old 07-14-09, 02:36 PM   #1
deathwantsme
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Lots of quesions/looking for information

I'm new to cycling. Got a Denali from Wal-Mart. Didn't know anything about bikes, or cycling, but still, fell in love with it. I should have thought of craigslist, and gotten a used bike off there, I know, but I didn't think of it. Plus, my only time using a self check out to date is by wheeling the front wheel of my bike over the scanner while I held the bike pretty high in the air. That's almost worth the money, right there. Now, I'm looking for a new bike, and I don't really want it to be just a bike I get before I get a good bike. I want it to be the last bike I ever need to own, unless I trash this current one. Now, onto the questions.

What determines a bike's "fit"? I know size has a good deal to do with it, I'm sure seat height, and angle does too. What else matters to how a bike "fits" a person?

What material(s) should I be looking at? I'm looking for a bike I can replace my car with. Carbon is light, but rather expensive, and if I were to fall and scratch it, it could unravel. I'm not a fan of that idea. I hear steel is pretty much the best material for "ride quality", unless you go with a bike that's got a steel spine, and a carbon cock pit. Evidently, you get the benefits of both, where they count, without the draw backs? Is that true? Other places say material doesn't matter at all, and its just a myth. I have no idea.

How rust prone is a steel frame?

What level of components should I be looking at? I know I'm not going to go for Campy, unless I find it cheap, but do you think SRAM or Shimano would be a better value? I haven't ever used SRAM. I figure its about the same as Shimano, but don't know what the value would be. I know if I'm doing Shimano, I'd prefer at least ultegra, but don't think 105 would bother me. I tend to get competitive, so racing could be an option I pursue in the future. But, I'm pretty sure I'd want to keep the drops on. I don't think I'd like the feel of rams or areo bars too much.

I'm a fan of trying to keep my bike around 15-20 pounds before I toss anything extra on it. What does a typical "Super light", "light", "average" and "heavy" frame weigh? What about component group sets, including cables and that jazz? How about wheels? I realize this will cost me extra. I figure the frame and the components should be what i worry about first, and wheels later.

How easy is it to paint a bike? There doesn't seem to be anything in green, which, I'd really like my bike to be.
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Old 07-14-09, 03:14 PM   #2
AndrewP
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It will only be you last bike if you only want to do one type of riding - road racing, time trial, cyclocross, triathlon, long distance solo rides, touring, grocery shopping. Aluminum is fine for a frame material, but for anything much under 20 lb you will need carbon. Steep steering angle gives more agility which you would want for road racing.
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Old 07-14-09, 03:24 PM   #3
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You have an encyclopedic amount of questions. I'm not trying to give you the brush off, but Sheldon Browns site should answer many of your questions in a knowledgable manner. Especially regarding how to fit a bike. You may be better served referring to his highly informative site, many people on this forum do.

http://sheldonbrown.com/beginners/index.html

The question of material, steel vs carbon vs aluminum is the type of thing that tends to set off a flame war on this, or any bike forum. So you may not get a straight up answer. As you seem to have found out already.

Last edited by DX Rider; 07-14-09 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 07-15-09, 09:15 PM   #4
deathwantsme
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I found that site rather informative. Thank you very much. I already stumbled upon it when looking up saddle info, which, I just gave to a friend today

As far as fit goes, I'm gathering that these matter: Frame size, seat height, stem height, seat angle and cleat position. Anything else? How rust-prone is steel?

I'll stay away from the aspect of "what material is better/best", I don't want to start anything.

I could probably find weights for stuff online, but I don't know where to look. Looking for the approximate weight of stuff like Wheels, complete group sets (including cables and what not for a 56-59 CM bike) Frame, Fork, Drop handle bars (with tape) I know there will be wide varieties, but a rough estimate would be nice. Trying to see where I would see the most weight to price differences.

How paintable are bikes? I'd like to be able to paint mine, without worrying about it coming off too easy. I know spray paint isn't the answer.

Thanks for the info so far. I already feel like I actually know something about what I'm looking for now, which is a big improvement.

Last edited by deathwantsme; 07-15-09 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Formating
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Old 07-17-09, 06:12 PM   #5
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I'm sorry if this isn't allowed. I looked for the rules, and found nothing. BUMP.
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Old 07-17-09, 07:46 PM   #6
KevinF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathwantsme View Post
I found that site rather informative. Thank you very much. I already stumbled upon it when looking up saddle info, which, I just gave to a friend today

As far as fit goes, I'm gathering that these matter: Frame size, seat height, stem height, seat angle and cleat position. Anything else? How rust-prone is steel?

I'll stay away from the aspect of "what material is better/best", I don't want to start anything.

I could probably find weights for stuff online, but I don't know where to look. Looking for the approximate weight of stuff like Wheels, complete group sets (including cables and what not for a 56-59 CM bike) Frame, Fork, Drop handle bars (with tape) I know there will be wide varieties, but a rough estimate would be nice. Trying to see where I would see the most weight to price differences.

How paintable are bikes? I'd like to be able to paint mine, without worrying about it coming off too easy. I know spray paint isn't the answer.

Thanks for the info so far. I already feel like I actually know something about what I'm looking for now, which is a big improvement.
The rust-proofness of steel... You can get frame saver which you spray inside the tubes (involves taking pretty much everything off the bike first, so you either need to be a good mechanic or get a shop to do it). As for the outside... just keeping it clean, wash it periodically, etc., and it can last a long, long, long, long time.

As for bike weights... unless you're racing or living in a really hilly place, it honestly doesn't matter that much. Also, if you want to replace your car with a bike, you're going to need a way to carry stuff on the bike, and no "super light fancy road bike" has the necessary frame attachment points for racks, etc. anymore anyway. "Minimal weight" and the "ability to carry stuff" really don't go hand-in-hand.

Painting a bike... I've never tried it. People on this forum occasionally post pictures of some DIY paint-job, and sorry to say, it usually looks like a DIY paint job. Painting a round metallic surface takes some skill. There is the Joe Bell Bicycle Painting company, based out of California. If you're really interested, then do some searches on this forum; somebody must have posted a "how to" guide by now.
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