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  1. #1
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    Looking for a New Bike Specific for my needs>

    Hi everyone i'm new to this forum and was just looking for some feedback or suggestions on a new bike. I currently own a 1998 Schwinn Mesa. I ride that bike everyday. I have a medical condition and biking never used to bother me until about a month ago. I cannot walk far with my problem which is why i always bike for exercise and thats how i "walk" my dog --

    Anyways i'm starting to look for a new bike, one that is lighter and easier to pedal then my current bike. I don't know where to start looking though bc there are hundreds of different bikes out there and I don't know much about bikes or what to look for in a bike.

    Last summer, I upgraded the tires on my Schwinn bike from mountain bike tires to more like road tires - w/ much less tread but, the tires are still wide enough but less friction allowing me to pedal more easily but, it's not good enough.

    My price range is btwn 400-800 dollars though, if it's an excellent bike, i'd be willing to pay up to $1,000 for one.

    I just need a bike that is extremely easy to pedal as the medical problem i have is in my legs/feet. I bike ride often. I bike 3 times a day w/ my dog and i go on several long bike rides a month but, right now, i need a better bike.

    I'd appreciate any feedback/suggestions you may have or even if you give me good bike brands/models that will fit my price range/specifications.

  2. #2
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    I am also looking for a bike w/ both front and rear shocks as i believe the rear shocks may take some pressure off on my legs/back?!?

    Also, I wanted to state that, my Schwinn bike, was bought new back in 1998. I have no idea how many miles are on it but, i did calculate that from last march to this march, i put 1200 miles on it. A few years ago, i would take long bike rides, and would go around 40 miles a day, 3-4 days a week. I've been giving this Schwinn bike tuneups, changing the tires/inner tubes when need be and, i believe it's in very good condition still but, if i had to take a guess, it may have around 100,000 miles on or possibly even more then that, i have no idea.

  3. #3
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    I would really stay away from any suspension at all. Suspensions are found on mountain bikes and anything less than 1200 or so with full suspension is going to be substandard. If you must have shocks, get a hardtail with only front shocks.

    I would look at a fitness or hybrid bike myself. You won't find any suspension in them though but as far as i'm concerned, unless you are doing off road biking, you don't need suspensions. The nice skinny tires of a hybrid or fitness bike will provide much less friction than the wide tires of a mountain bike. If you get a suspended mountain bike, you will be working just as hard or harder than your current bike. The suspensions themselves absorb your pedaling which equates to wasted energy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    The bike I use for commuting has fat slick tyres and a sprung saddle. This, combined with a more upright riding position, makes it very comfortable to ride, if a little slow in a headwind. The tyres absorb a lot of the shock from road bumps. At most, get a bike with short-travel front suspension. Anything else is unnecessary on the road. If you really want a comfortable ride, buy or build a recumbent.
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  5. #5
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    The Schwin Mesa is an aluminium MTB with rockshox forks which is a fairly good base for an everyday cruiser. You may be able to lighten up the Mesa but I'm not sure the frame is high enough quality to be worthy of a lightweight re-build.

    My commuter bike came with Schwalbe Big Apple tyres on 26" MTB wheels. The fat slicks are very efficient at cruising speed ( but not so efficient at higher speeds). They absorb a lot of rough terrain for very little extra weight. Pumping them to the max pressure keeps them more efficient for a lightweight rider like me.
    Full suspension only works well at the higher end of the market, otherwise it is a lot of extra weight to haul around and a lot of bobbing around for the rider.
    A Brooks sprung saddle also takes the sting out of big pumps.

    What to do?
    I cant think of any new bike at $400 that would significantly lighter and more comfortable and more efficient. The std market offering, Specialized Hardrock is a heavy brute.
    Have you considered recumbent bikes? people with health issues often find them better and many of them come with suspension.

    maybe just get a track pump to keep your tyres well inflated.

  6. #6
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    I have foot/leg problems, too, though not so severe that I can't ride. You're not very specific about what you want or need, so it's hard to give precise recommendations. A few shots in the dark:
    Tires make a huge difference in a bike's feel and performance. Something like a Panaracer Pasela in a fairly large size (I use 700x37) would be light, roll well and still have enough volume to cushion the ride.
    Sometimes, just more time in the saddle will help. Maybe not in your case, but for me, small increases in time and distance over several months got me from struggling to do 10 miles to riding 25 with ease.
    Is your position right? Fiddle with the seat and bars to see what works. The "correct" setup for racers doesn't work for everybody.
    Have you tried different pedals and shoes? They don't have to be bike shoes and expensive pedals. After 30+ years of riding, I've gone back to old-style pedals with toe clips and loose straps, with running shoes or lug-sole mountain bike shoes without cleats. Bonus: the change didn't slow me down at all, and I can stop for coffee without walking like a duck.
    Recumbents are also a good suggestion. I've looked at them and may wind up with one eventually, but it's hard to do for less than $1200-$1500.

  7. #7
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    Last edited by NightShift; 05-15-12 at 05:25 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprockets View Post
    I talk to myself regularly - crazy is the technical term I believe. The only time I shut up is when I'm riding. (that's the best time to listen to all those voices in your head :D )

  8. #8
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    Welcome To Bike Forums, Sk8brdkd!

    I vote for a recumbent, as well. Either that or perhaps even a folder...

    You could most probably visit recumbent and folder bike shops, just to test the feel of the various rides.

    Good Luck, my friend!

    - Slim

  9. #9
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    Hi everyone -- thanks for your responses -- I'm surprised that many of you suggested a recumbant bike. First off, before I even looked them up, all i thought a recumbant bike was, was a stationary bike but, I saw that it was totally wrong. The only time I think i've ever seen that type of bike out on the road is when I was visiting Ohio/Indiana and saw the Amish riding bikes like that. I would never have even thought of a bike that like for me. It looks awkward. Would i be able to ride fast? 90% of the time, when I bike ride now, I go w/ my dog by putting her leash over my handlebar. If i were to get a recumbent bike, where would i be able to put her leash and how would i steer it?

    Slimrider -- the foldable bikes -- i remember seeing a few of them some years ago and they looked so flimsy but, maybe they've changed them now? i don't mind looking into them to see what they have.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    I have foot/leg problems, too, though not so severe that I can't ride. You're not very specific about what you want or need, so it's hard to give precise recommendations. A few shots in the dark:
    Tires make a huge difference in a bike's feel and performance. Something like a Panaracer Pasela in a fairly large size (I use 700x37) would be light, roll well and still have enough volume to cushion the ride.
    Sometimes, just more time in the saddle will help. Maybe not in your case, but for me, small increases in time and distance over several months got me from struggling to do 10 miles to riding 25 with ease.
    Is your position right? Fiddle with the seat and bars to see what works. The "correct" setup for racers doesn't work for everybody.
    Have you tried different pedals and shoes? They don't have to be bike shoes and expensive pedals. After 30+ years of riding, I've gone back to old-style pedals with toe clips and loose straps, with running shoes or lug-sole mountain bike shoes without cleats. Bonus: the change didn't slow me down at all, and I can stop for coffee without walking like a duck.
    Recumbents are also a good suggestion. I've looked at them and may wind up with one eventually, but it's hard to do for less than $1200-$1500.
    Sorry -- I really don't know much about bicycles so that's why i didn't add a lotta detail about what i want/need. All i'm basically looking for is a bike that pedals more easily and coasts a lot better/further then my current bike which is a 1998 schwinn mesa. For my current bike, I haven the seat up pretty high (i can't reach the ground at this height) but, i have to do it that way as it puts less pressure on my legs having it up that high but, yes, makes for a weird position for the rest of my body since i can't up the handlebars too much. I ride w/ my dog 2-3 times a day everyday and have done this for the last 4 years w/ her and each time I go out w/ my dog, we ride 2-3 miles each time -- average speed is btwn 6-8 mph bc my dog is lazy. I'll have to go out later and see what tires i have on my bike. I replaced the mountain bike tires w/ more like a road bike tire which has worked better but not good enough. I have good metal pedals on my bike. Replaced the plastic ones for these years ago bc they gave more stability when riding. Thank you for your suggestions though -- i appreciate it and will look into it.

  11. #11
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    What are the top rated, lightweight bikes (MTB or roadbike or whatever other type of bike) under $1,000? Just looking for brand names. I wish i could give you better info on what i'm looking for. But, it's hard bc i don't kno much about bikes. Have only ever owned 2 bikes in my lifetime and they've both been mountain bikes. I looked at one website and there were well over 100 brands of bicycles and probably over 1000 bicycles in all w/ all the diff models -- i don't have time to read through every single brand and model to see which one fits me. Maybe I will have to go to a bike shop but, the bike shops near me, mostly seem to sell MTB. Someone said hybrid bikes? what is that exactly?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    I would really stay away from any suspension at all. Suspensions are found on mountain bikes and anything less than 1200 or so with full suspension is going to be substandard. If you must have shocks, get a hardtail with only front shocks.

    I would look at a fitness or hybrid bike myself. You won't find any suspension in them though but as far as i'm concerned, unless you are doing off road biking, you don't need suspensions. The nice skinny tires of a hybrid or fitness bike will provide much less friction than the wide tires of a mountain bike. If you get a suspended mountain bike, you will be working just as hard or harder than your current bike. The suspensions themselves absorb your pedaling which equates to wasted energy.
    Road Bike Vs. Mountain Bike -- I do go off roading too but, i guess i could keep my current bike and use that as my off roading bike and just use whatever new bike i get for roads only. For the suspension on the bikes, i thought all bikes nowadays had the suspension? i guess i'm wrong -- But, for me, the shocks on the front of my bike, helped to absorb a lotta the bumps n what no on the road surfaces -- which helped me out a lot -- i figured getting a bike w/ rear suspension/shocks would help me out even more -- i can understand that the shocks add more weight to the bikes, but, oh, i don't know -- nevermind.

    I will have to look up these hybrid, suspended mountain bike just to see what they are but, i think from the way you're talking to stay away from the suspended mountain bike.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Heh - recumbent stationary bikes are modeled after the real thing. Riding them is different, but they're still bikes. Just like with upright bikes, speeds vary greatly; and you can get ones that are slow or ones that are amazingly fast. The UCI didn't ban them from competitions because they were slow or because they looked funny, the did it because they were deemed an 'unfair advantage!'

    Recumbents tend to be more expensive than uprights, but you should be able to set your sights relatively high if you're willing to look around. For dog-walking, I would be leaning toward a trike; but it might be harder finding a trike that is both speedy and inexpensive. An older long wheelbase, like a TourEasy might also be a good choice. A leash could be attached to a rear rack, keeping it well away from your pedals; and the long wheelbase would make it more stable.

  14. #14
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    Check out the Walky Dog and Walky Dog Lowrider Attachment. The lowride attachment to the base of the seat on some recumbents, which for a small wheel bike works better than the rear axle.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprockets View Post
    I talk to myself regularly - crazy is the technical term I believe. The only time I shut up is when I'm riding. (that's the best time to listen to all those voices in your head :D )

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