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Old 06-11-12, 06:04 PM   #1
yiffzer
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NYC Hybrid Biking

Hey guys, I'm doing a little research to see what would work in this environment.

It's for a lady who is seeking to cycle through New York City (road) but also cycle in some of New York City's mountain trails (in Staten Island).

It must have flat bar handles.
Wheels must be strong (i.e. not aluminum) or have more than usual spokes.
Frame should be light but I'm concerned about aluminum -- in my experience, it makes it feel very squirrely -- would steel or aluminum be better for pounding the rocks?
Eyelets for a rear rack.
Tires should be smooth enough so it can go fast on the road but sticky enough for the rocks -- are there such tires out there?
$350 or less.

Obviously, we're going to the used bikes route. But can anyone recommend a particular model that comes to mind? Or even better, since we're looking at Craig's List:

http://newyork.craigslist.org/search...sk=&maxAsk=350

And here's a local bike shop:

http://pedaluniverse.com/catalog/ind...index&cPath=69

Really, lots of thanks.
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Old 06-11-12, 10:23 PM   #2
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Stay away from NYC Craigslist. There's nothing but junk or overpriced bikes there.

As a ny'er I have to ask where and how much you will really use it on dirt. I had an mtb that never once saw a dirt trail. They aren't allowed in the parks because they wear the trails down. Any trail they are allowed on probably doesn't have anything that rough.

Don't use steel wheels either. They'll feel like lead. Aluminum is strong enough for serious mtbs so why do you think it won't be? High spoke count isn't necessary either. 36 spokes are fine. You can choose from a wide array of tires at biketiresdirect.com, and they aren't that expensive.
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Old 06-11-12, 11:01 PM   #3
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Most bicycle wheels are aluminum. Steel wheels are very rare if anyone even makes them anymore.

I do not know about the squirrely feeling you speak of. I've rode various steel and aluminum bikes and they feel different but not squirrely. Maybe you rode an aluminum racing bike with aggressive head angle.

Last edited by jsdavis; 06-11-12 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 06-12-12, 05:40 PM   #4
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I use a Giant Escape 2 ($400).

almost 800 videos of Hybrid NYC riding on my youtube channel, follw a video from my blog linked in my signature if you like.
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Old 06-12-12, 06:30 PM   #5
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I use a Giant Escape 2 ($400).

almost 800 videos of Hybrid NYC riding on my youtube channel, follw a video from my blog linked in my signature if you like.
^I can't vouch for him/her personally, but this certainly seems like a great resource for your needs.
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Old 06-13-12, 08:00 PM   #6
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Really appreciate your responses!

Forgive my ignorance -- I didn't realize that basically all bike wheels were aluminum. As for the frame, should it be steel for comfort? Or aluminum for its light weight but it isn't as comfortable? I've read that most people share the same feeling about aluminum bikes.

And certainly not all bikes advertised on CL are junk. I've seen decently priced good bikes on there.

There are trails designed for bikes such as: Highbridge Park, Cunningham Park, and Wolfe's Pond Park in SI. She wants to ride in these parks and as well as get around the city. The issue is... what sort of tires does both types of terrain effectively?

The Giant Escape 2 -- how do you like it? Have you ridden on the trails? What tires do you have? Is it possible to get these for less than $400?

Thanks, guys.
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Old 06-13-12, 08:59 PM   #7
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Really appreciate your responses!

Forgive my ignorance -- I didn't realize that basically all bike wheels were aluminum. As for the frame, should it be steel for comfort? Or aluminum for its light weight but it isn't as comfortable? I've read that most people share the same feeling about aluminum bikes.

And certainly not all bikes advertised on CL are junk. I've seen decently priced good bikes on there.

There are trails designed for bikes such as: Highbridge Park, Cunningham Park, and Wolfe's Pond Park in SI. She wants to ride in these parks and as well as get around the city. The issue is... what sort of tires does both types of terrain effectively?

The Giant Escape 2 -- how do you like it? Have you ridden on the trails? What tires do you have? Is it possible to get these for less than $400?

Thanks, guys.
The Giant Escape 2 is about 400$, I have not seen it for less anywhere.

I have rode this bike in Highbridge and Cunningham park, and on light trails in yonkers, westchester, and the palisades, and it seemed to hold up well for a fixed fork bike. http://astoriahd.blogspot.com/2012/0...l-and-old.html

I will ONLY ride KEVLAR hybrid tires in NYC.

Without them you will flat.

You may want to give your friend a link to my blog, she can contact me there for any questions she may have.

safe riding!
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Old 06-17-12, 03:37 AM   #8
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I will ONLY ride KEVLAR hybrid tires in NYC.

Without them you will flat.
I've been riding Continental GP4000 tires around NYC for years now and don't get flats. These are serious lightweight road training/racing tires. It depends on a few factors. #1, pump your tires every time you ride, #2, watch for potholes and glass, #3, replace the tires when they wear out. You won't get flats that way. I've even been on the dirt trail through Van Cortland park to the South County trail in Westchester on my road bike with these tires. Carefully of course.

As far as my original comment about Craigslist, I'll stand by it. I've scoured CL over the years and have never found any bike worth the money being asked. A large percentage of offers are from the garage mechanics that pick up junk bikes from garage sales, dumpsters and wherever that are "serviced", a service that may include wiping the dust off and oiling the chain so it doesn't squeak. Frequently the bikes were discount store bikes that weren't any good in the first place. If you have the patience to check daily through hundreds of postings you may find a private seller that has a gem, but you and how many others found the same one?
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Old 06-17-12, 10:55 AM   #9
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I've been riding Continental GP4000 tires around NYC for years now and don't get flats. These are serious lightweight road training/racing tires. It depends on a few factors. #1, pump your tires every time you ride, #2, watch for potholes and glass, #3, replace the tires when they wear out. You won't get flats that way. I've even been on the dirt trail through Van Cortland park to the South County trail in Westchester on my road bike with these tires. Carefully of course.

As far as my original comment about Craigslist, I'll stand by it. I've scoured CL over the years and have never found any bike worth the money being asked. A large percentage of offers are from the garage mechanics that pick up junk bikes from garage sales, dumpsters and wherever that are "serviced", a service that may include wiping the dust off and oiling the chain so it doesn't squeak. Frequently the bikes were discount store bikes that weren't any good in the first place. If you have the patience to check daily through hundreds of postings you may find a private seller that has a gem, but you and how many others found the same one?
I guess I should be more specific to state that this is my experience as a 260 pound rider. It's possible I do things which would not be wise with road tires at any weight. I would be impressed if you could follow me at speed over giant chunks of gravel and thick wood chip filled mud, but I guess anything's possible.


Sorry for the audio interference on this one, I was testing out a different microphone and I don't think the wind screen I have is big enough to protect some areas of this mic. I will experiment with it in the future to see if I can get that mic to work properly while riding, but I went back to my original helmet cam setup for the century I rode yesterday (the Ride to Montauk). I'll have that footage up in a day or 2....
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Old 06-17-12, 11:45 AM   #10
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^ At first I was thinking "...ok a little bit of tight-packed dirt, a few pebbles, not too bad" and then those huge, sharp, chunks of gravel came in at 1:18...

But that little path at the end was just gorgeous.
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Old 06-17-12, 02:11 PM   #11
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I guess I should be more specific to state that this is my experience as a 260 pound rider. It's possible I do things which would not be wise with road tires at any weight. I would be impressed if you could follow me at speed over giant chunks of gravel and thick wood chip filled mud, but I guess anything's possible.


Sorry for the audio interference on this one, I was testing out a different microphone and I don't think the wind screen I have is big enough to protect some areas of this mic. I will experiment with it in the future to see if I can get that mic to work properly while riding, but I went back to my original helmet cam setup for the century I rode yesterday (the Ride to Montauk). I'll have that footage up in a day or 2....
I don't ride that kind of stuff on a road bike. Packed dirt and the old Rockaway boardwalk is as rough as it'll get. I was at Duke Farms in NJ, now a public park, previously the estate of Doris Duke, and had to ride gravel to get onto the paved trails. I got a flat almost instantly.

BTW, where is that you're riding?

Different kinds of riding and different needs I guess...

Last edited by zacster; 06-17-12 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 06-20-12, 01:52 PM   #12
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I don't ride that kind of stuff on a road bike. Packed dirt and the old Rockaway boardwalk is as rough as it'll get. I was at Duke Farms in NJ, now a public park, previously the estate of Doris Duke, and had to ride gravel to get onto the paved trails. I got a flat almost instantly.

BTW, where is that you're riding?

Different kinds of riding and different needs I guess...
Totally.

That is the ramp descending the Triboro Bridge to Wards Island, the winding path is part of the "Wards Island Loop". This is about half a mile from my apartment in Astoria.
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Old 06-20-12, 10:07 PM   #13
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When I looked at the video again I figured it must be somewhere around the Triboro. I've only done that bridge a few times, it isn't particularly bike friendly but you can at least use it. On the NYC Century a few years back I was going down towards Randalls (or is it Wards?) and someone bumped me into the concrete wall where I scraped a bunch of skin off.
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Old 06-20-12, 10:11 PM   #14
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Exactly, the Triboro is useable but not great for bikes.

They just finished refurbishing the Wards Island Bridge which connects Wards Island to Manhattan at 103rd Street making for easy access to the East River Esplanade.
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