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Old 04-28-14, 11:41 PM   #1
lawlessbeanr
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What kind of bike will suit what I'm looking for

Hello, I am new to the forums and I want to know what kind of bike you guys would recommend for my needs.

I'm a little overweight but not obese or anything and it got me thinking about how fit I was back when I was a teen in middle/HS and I rode my BMX bike everywhere I went (and giving my friends a lift on the pegs lol). Now I have a car to my disposal and use it to get everywhere, and I feel like that's part of my weight gain. I no longer have that bike and I'm looking to buy a new one but not a BMX and mainly for exercise.

I absolutely loved the versatility and strength of my BMX bike as a teen and being able to jump off of curbs with a friend on the pegs not having to worry about the bike or it's parts breaking apart. I also loved how I could pretty much ride in every terrain with no problems, the strong breaks, and being able to coast while going downhill or after picking up speed. As an adult now I don't really want a BMX.

I have a path that consists of concrete near my house that goes for many miles in each direction following the sewer line or riverbed whatever it's called and I want to take advantage of this.

I took a quick look through the bikes on Amazon (which is where I plan to buy with Prime), and it appears the MTB, Road Bikes, and Fixie/Fixed Gear bikes are what I'm looking for. I just can't decide which one. I almost eliminated MTB from my considerations because I don't plan on riding on any terrain other than concrete but I do love the versatility of them.

With the concrete trail in mind, and exercise being the main focus, what kind of bike should I go for? I want something that won't break from going over a curb or bumpy/uneven terrain for a few moments....something versatile and solid in every aspect but doesn't necessarily have to be "great" in every aspect.

These are the ones I've had my eye on so far:

Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike


Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike


Both have the freewheel option which I would use because the idea of having to pedal at all times and not being able to coast is ridiculous to me. I have no experience with fixie bikes but I have to say they are intriguing, I kinda like how they're pretty close to BMX bikes without being BMX bikes...
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Old 04-29-14, 12:50 AM   #2
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Just looking at the ad copy for both, I'd say neither- I have this aversion to anyone trying to pass off a mass produced frame as "handmade" or "handcrafted".

That being said, you have any idea of what size frame that you need? Fit is the most critical aspect to buying a bike- too big or too small and you'll be in the market for another bike in no time.
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Old 04-29-14, 04:03 AM   #3
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Get a used solid fork mountain bike with slick or semi slick tires. Durable, versatile, and solid. Don't think I would go with fixed gear or single speed.
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Old 04-29-14, 05:51 AM   #4
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Get a used solid fork mountain bike with slick or semi slick tires. Durable, versatile, and solid. Don't think I would go with fixed gear or single speed.
^^ Agreed. By 'slick' tires, that is not to say drag-race slick smooth since those would not be good in any sort of rain, but rather city tires - a bit thinner than knobby MTB tires that take a higher pressure for less rolling resistance and some tread, but not knobby. Look at the tires on 'hybrid' or 'comfort' bikes for inspiration.. I picked my Schwinn Woodlands out of the trash - and all it needed was tires/tubes, and my 'Mutt' I bought off Craigslist for $40 with city tires.

Tires like this: Nashbar Streetwise Kevlar Belt City Tire - City Bike Tires
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Old 04-29-14, 05:55 AM   #5
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Neither of those bikes would be considered much more than disposable experiments about whether you like fixies or not.

A lot - a LOT - of people start out thinking they'd like a fixie/singlespeed. They frequently end up showing up on Craigslist within a few months after they discover it's not for them. As such, you're reasonably likely to be able to find a better quality fixie/SS there for around the same price that, if you eventually decide it's not for you, you can re-sell without losing much or any money you have invested. You would take a financial bath if you tried to resell the Amazon bikes.
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Old 04-29-14, 06:34 AM   #6
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^^ Agreed. By 'slick' tires, that is not to say drag-race slick smooth since those would not be good in any sort of rain, but rather city tires - a bit thinner than knobby MTB tires that take a higher pressure for less rolling resistance and some tread, but not knobby. Look at the tires on 'hybrid' or 'comfort' bikes for inspiration.. I picked my Schwinn Woodlands out of the trash - and all it needed was tires/tubes, and my 'Mutt' I bought off Craigslist for $40 with city tires.

Tires like this: Nashbar Streetwise Kevlar Belt City Tire - City Bike Tires
actually a completely smooth tire would be fine in the rain. Seriously. Bicycles aren't cars. But a semi slick is fine as well.
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Old 04-29-14, 07:16 AM   #7
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Checkout the Mongoose Sinsure and the Beast at Uncle Wally's

* Kids seem to enjoy both the Sinsure and the Beast quite a bit!

Last edited by WestPablo; 04-29-14 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 04-29-14, 01:56 PM   #8
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Oh my gosh. Another person intrigued by a fixie. Yes, a lot of them show up on my local CL but not a lot of decent quality, reasonably priced road or MTBs do. People hang on the them even if they don't ride them often. I'm one who is old enough to remember when a lot of adult bikes were one-speeds. Not fixies like a track bike but just a fat tire cruiser type. You can't imagine how nice it was to graduate from a 3-speed bike to a genuine, lightweight 10-speed road bike. Suddenly I could ride long distances and not drop dead at the end of the ride. I don't own a regular bike with less than 27 speeds and that one is two decades old. There's a reason why multi-speed bikes are so popular. They are far more comfortable to ride if you live any place but the flatlands like North Dakota. MTB or road bike? If you are just going to ride on paved trails or local roads, either will do. I'd get a second set of road tires if you buy an MTB with knobby tires. If you intend to ride MTB trails then a road bike is out. Decent bikes don't fall apart. If you buy a road bike with narrow, high pressure tires, then jumping curbs isn't wise but just hitting a bump isn't going to break anything. I treat my MTB the same way I used to treated my road bike but know that if I go off road it is a lot more stable than a road bike. It is more rugged but I don't abuse it. You get faster speeds out of a road bike with narrow tires than a similar weight MTB with knobby tires for the same effort. Whatever you do, stay away from the mass-merchandiser bikes that you find at places like Target and WalMart. A good used bike is a far wiser purchase than one of them.
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Old 04-29-14, 02:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies so far guys, very helpful info.

I would likely use a "medium" sized frame maybe 53", or 54" cm.

This is also another one I am looking at, it's a road bike single speed though.

Amazon.com: Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike: Sports & Outdoors
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Old 04-29-14, 03:34 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies so far guys, very helpful info.

I would likely use a "medium" sized frame maybe 53", or 54" cm.

This is also another one I am looking at, it's a road bike single speed though.

Amazon.com: Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike: Sports & Outdoors
Looks pretty fair for the price...

It's made of hi-tensile steel, just like the Mongoose Sinsure and the Beast.

You'll have to pay for shipping too don't forget!

Last edited by WestPablo; 04-30-14 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 04-30-14, 07:27 AM   #11
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Try bikesdirect.com if you aren't wedded to Amazon. You get a lot more bike for the money.
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Old 04-30-14, 09:10 AM   #12
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If you want to read some of the comments made here on this bike go to: Is the Takara Kabuto a decent beginner road bike?

Of course the discussion degenerated pretty fast. Here are a few excerpts:

No, it is not a decent anything. It is a cheap bike. To get a decent bike, you have to pay decent money. There's no way around it.
The Takara is listed as 29.5 pounds. As a singlespeed.

The average Bikesdirect SS/FG bike is ~20-21 pounds.

I don't need firsthand experience to tell you that the Takara probably rides like a brick.

The only people who would purchase that bike are people who know NOTHING about bikes.
Of course its the best bike they've ever had, when they have never had a bike. <--- AKA GOOD REVIEWS
That's not a bike, its B.S.O.

It got worse from there on. The price is cheap because you are not getting a lot of drive train components like FD, RD, shifters, cables, multispeed rear cluster, and chainrings. If you can live with one speed, so be it. I prefer to save my knees by not mashing on pedals when I come to a hill or start out from a stop. There's also the question of gaining and maintaining speed on a one-speed bike. If the single gear range is low enough to climb a hill, it is too low for sustaining a decent speed on a long straight stretch or going fast downhill. That's too many compromises for my liking.
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Old 04-30-14, 09:22 AM   #13
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Try bikesdirect.com if you aren't wedded to Amazon. You get a lot more bike for the money.
Yep. We've bought two bikes for my kids from bikesdirect, and they have been perfectly fine. The welds aren't neat and the paint was slightly marginal, but the frames, components, and wheels were amazing deals for the price.
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Old 04-30-14, 09:25 AM   #14
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Don't think I would go with fixed gear or single speed.
I certainly Didn't .. had one for a while ..

Tore it back down and put the parts back in the bin.. most of them were dumpster rescue , but the crank and BB..
common freewheel hubs are usable with 1 or more 'Speed' freewheels..
dish in the rim-hub relationship, and the axle is altered .


3 speed internal gear hubs .. at least, is my preference.. not living in a big flat town (and being 65+)

as to Kind .. 1st pick a wheel type.. 700c 35 width is good, or perhaps a 26" wheel a 1.5" width is close.

though 1.75 " is my choice.

good luck with avoiding a bike shop . (amazon /bikesdirect, etc.)

BF commonly seems to want to just get it over the web , then ask questions here

when you dont have the mechanics background, to figure it out DIY.

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Old 04-30-14, 09:32 AM   #15
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Amazon Prime is great for a lot of things. But don't fall into the trap of thinking you have to use it for everything. There are sometimes better deals out there. You just have to spend time looking and researching.
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Old 04-30-14, 09:04 PM   #16
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I looked again at the specifications listed on Amazon. The single gear is 74.1 gear inches. What I ride has a gear range of 21.9 to 124 gear inches and I change gears a lot in order to keep a comfortable cadence.

I'm going to have to put one of my mountain bikes in that gear and go for a ride without changing gears and see how it performs. My old Cannondale SM800 is a few pounds lighter than that bike but it should be interesting.

One more thing. Does one size fit all riders? Apparently this one does. It says it will fit 5'8" to 6'. Most men's frames come in about 6 different sizes to fit people over a range from about 5'2" to 6'2". One frame size for about every two inches in height.
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Old 04-30-14, 10:52 PM   #17
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I know you want to order online but. DON'T DO IT!!! Go get fitted at a local bike shop and pay the little extra(if it is extra at all) The frame might say it fits you, but it might not. And can you do the maintenance and setup properly?

I just bought a new bike. I ended up going to 4 shops and trying out about 10 bikes. All were the same frame size. Guess what? Only one of them was actually comfortable and had the proper stand-over height. I paid LESS than what it goes for online, they assembled it, adjusted everything, and changed out a couple components to make it fit perfectly. All that was included in the price of the bike. And oh yeah, after I put 200 miles on it, I take it back in and they adjust everything after it breaks in.

Take test rides, see what you like. You may end up with something TOTALLY different than you thought.
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Old 05-01-14, 08:24 AM   #18
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I know you want to order online but. DON'T DO IT!!! Go get fitted at a local bike shop and pay the little extra(if it is extra at all) The frame might say it fits you, but it might not. And can you do the maintenance and setup properly?

I just bought a new bike. I ended up going to 4 shops and trying out about 10 bikes. All were the same frame size. Guess what? Only one of them was actually comfortable and had the proper stand-over height. I paid LESS than what it goes for online, they assembled it, adjusted everything, and changed out a couple components to make it fit perfectly. All that was included in the price of the bike. And oh yeah, after I put 200 miles on it, I take it back in and they adjust everything after it breaks in.

Take test rides, see what you like. You may end up with something TOTALLY different than you thought.
I am of a totally different personality from this poster. I see nothing wrong with trying different bikes to find what you like and fits. Then do your own cost-benefit analysis and buy based on particulars that are important to you. To me, it is a bigger PITA to take my bike to a shop than to do it myself. What he considers advantages are to me impediments.
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Old 05-01-14, 08:36 AM   #19
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I am of a totally different personality from this poster. I see nothing wrong with trying different bikes to find what you like and fits. Then do your own cost-benefit analysis and buy based on particulars that are important to you. To me, it is a bigger PITA to take my bike to a shop than to do it myself. What he considers advantages are to me impediments.
If the OP was experienced and knew what they wanted I would agree. But they haven't ridden in a while on newer styles of bike. I would bet they don't have the knowledge to set a bike up and the like. It seems to be a quick way to have a clothes hanger in the basement or another bike at a garage sale.
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Old 05-01-14, 09:42 AM   #20
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Reading the original post and thinking about it... He wants something to ride mostly on pavement, but would like to have the versatility to go off-road. Sounds like what I was thinking when I bought a cyclocross bike.

Most of the guys here know what a cyclocross bike is, but for the original poster's sake: Cyclocross is a form of racing that takes place on a variety of terrain like pavement, trails, grass, and obstacles. It's kind of like steeplechase or cross-country running, but for bicycles. The bikes used for cyclocross resemble road bikes, but have some adaptations for off-road use like cantilever or disc brakes and the ability to take wider tires.

Cyclocross bike come in both single- and multi-speed configurations. If you prefer to shop online, bikesdirect.com and nashbar.com both offer (relatively) inexpensive decent-quality bikes in both flavors. Nashbar's current 10% off sale puts their single-speed cyclocross bike at $360. The 24-speed Gravity Liberty CX is about $400 from Bikes Direct. Ordering online, you can save money but lose the benefit of a proper fitting and assembly by a mechanic. It's a trade-off.
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Old 05-01-14, 10:00 AM   #21
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Maybe handlebar preference would help nudge you in one direction or the other here. Would you prefer drop bars or flat bars? If drop bars, I would say cyclocross. Flat bars, I would recommend a rigid fork MTB.
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Old 05-02-14, 02:01 PM   #22
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Checkout www.performancebike.com
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Old 05-03-14, 02:07 PM   #23
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Decent inexpensive bikes are not hard to find

As I was riding around the neighborhood this morning I saw a garage sale and stopped because I could see a bike sitting there. It was an older Diamondback Outlook with a bike store sticker from one of the local independent bike shops. I looked it up online and from the fact that it had no front suspension had to date back more than a decade. Other than being a little dusty, it was just as nice as when it left the bike shop. The price was $50 FIRM. It included a few accessories such as a rack and a frame pump. It had 21 speeds and the typical MTB gear range - lower than a road bike but much better than a single speed. I checked it out and all it needed was to have the tires inflated and a good going over for adjustments and lubrication. The original MSRP was about $230 which makes $50 OK but no real bargain. I didn't buy it because I don't know anyone who is looking for an inexpensive bike right now. It sure beats any of the crap sold by the mass-merchandisers in the area.
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