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Old 07-27-04, 10:47 AM   #1
SusanJ15
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Need advice

Im planing on buying a bike but Im not sure what qualities to look for, when I tried to compare a couple of the ones I liked at trek.com I realized that I have no idea what most of parts are for example: front derailleur, fork, crankset. Does anybody know what things to look for when buying a bike? So far I've narrowed it down to 4500WSD, 7300FX and 3700
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Old 07-27-04, 12:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanJ15
Im planing on buying a bike but Im not sure what qualities to look for, when I tried to compare a couple of the ones I liked at trek.com I realized that I have no idea what most of parts are for example: front derailleur, fork, crankset. Does anybody know what things to look for when buying a bike? So far I've narrowed it down to 4500WSD, 7300FX and 3700
Use, fit and budget.

It's important to have a picture in your mind of how you visualize yourself riding your new bike. That will drive the kind of bike you will be looking for.

The second cut is fit. When you sit on your bike with your seat properly adjusted, you shouldn't have to think about where the handlebars are. Your hands should naturally fall onto them. A GOOD bike sales person can be hugely helpful in this process. In fact, I think that the sales person is more important than bicycle brand.

Your budget will probably drive your selection of everything else. Be sure to hold out some money for a helmet and a pair of cycling shorts.
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Old 07-27-04, 09:46 PM   #3
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http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-49198

Test ride everything you are interested in. Spend about $100 more than you can afford, then spend another $100 on accessories - you wont regret it. The extra $s will get noticably better stuff (comfort, speed, handling, braking, maybe all of these) after that there will be diminishing returns on money spent. Good luck.
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Old 07-27-04, 10:04 PM   #4
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Yes, definately don't sell yourself short on a bike, or say that you aren't going to be going fast so you'll get a hybrid instead of a true roadbike. Truthfully, I would say half of the people we sell hybrids to come back in a year or two, often times less than a year, and buy a full on roadbike so they can go on group rides with the local cycling club.

We'll break down the parts a bit here so you can feel a bit more educated before you hit the shops...


Front fork- the two legs that hold the front wheel in place

Rear triangle- the rear portion of the bike shaped like a triangle that support the rear wheel

Front derailleur- the front mechanism that moves the chain across the front gears from one ring to another

Rear derailleur- same as the front mechanism, but on the rear triangle... moves the chain across the cassette, which is what the group of gears attached to the rear wheel is referred to as

Shifters- control the action of the derailleurs

Hubs- the part of the wheel the axle goes through, held to the rim (outer part of the wheel) via the spokes

Crankset- name given to the front gear assembly, including the arms that the pedals thread into
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Old 07-28-04, 11:55 AM   #5
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Most components are made by Shimano and come as part of a groupset. There are different grades, but they are all good. Check out the Shimano website for the names and details, but in practice a bike is more than the sum of its parts. A nice fitting bike with Sora level components will ride better than a swanky Dura-Ace level that doesnt fit.

Within any reasonable price band, there is little difference in quality between the major brands. It makes more sense to pick your bike shop first.

When chosing a style of bike, it really helps to have an idea of what you will use it for. Most riders have a primary use and bunch of other things they do as well. eg. fitness, racing, commuting, local transport, shopping, riding trails, expedition touring, supported touring, all weather riding etc....

It also helps to know roughly how tall you are. Smaller riders esp (<5'2") have to pick bikes with care, since so few manufacturers can make decent small bikes.

Last edited by MichaelW; 07-28-04 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 07-28-04, 12:07 PM   #6
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If you have a friend who cycles, get them to bring you up to date on bike types.

It can be recreational or a serious sports equiptment purchase. The later is what you should be considering. Why?
-A poorly fit, designed bike will not be enjoyable. You will not want to use it.

Transportation is a bit different, but long distances, the same HQ factor comes in, you need performance.

Not a HUGE learning curve, maybe just spend some time reading old posts in BF and using the search program. Get lots of information to use as a cyclist and for purchase.

If you state your weight, hight, budget etc and what terrain/style of cyling you intend to do, the 'guys' can prob recommend a build good for you.

Trek are great bikes, yeech. Hate 'em.

>jef.
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Old 07-28-04, 05:23 PM   #7
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I'll echo the advice about the bike shop and sales person. A good bike shop will let you test ride some bikes and will help you pick out a bike that fits. It will also include adjustments for a period of time.
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Old 07-29-04, 06:07 AM   #8
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There are many choices of bikes and each has is particular purpose. In any event make sure the bike fits you correctly and you feel comfortable and safe on it. Use the internet, and pick the LBS guy's brains to learn something about your new bike. Learn how to do minor adjustments, and minor maintanance, how to make sure the tires are propperly inflated, etc. Don't be afraid to try several different types of bikes. Each type of bike has a specific purpose so keep that in mind as you look. I'm going to have to agree with Merton on this though: Try a recumbent. They are fun, fast, and you don't have some of the issues you have (sore butt, neck, hands) on a regular bike. It made the difference for me between doing 5 mile rides (in pain and numbness) on my road bike compared a fun 18 mile commute from work on the recumbent. There are two health risks associated with recumbents and they permanent. The first is the silly grin that contorts your face the moment your butt touches the seat, and the second is the addiction. You get addicted to riding. It is more powerful than the strongest narcotic known to man. There is no cure other than riding your bike.

I agree with the point about cost. Get whatever bike works for you, price is secondary. Above all, get and use a helmet. Good luck on your search!

'bent Brian
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