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  1. #1
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    Australian looking to buy a bike

    All,

    I haven't owned a bike in over 10 years, but for health reasons am looking to buy one.

    I will be mainly riding it on the road (to get some fresh air and exercise) - mainly at night (once the kids are in bed). It will be casual riding - not racing or anything like that. Bike tracks are not a priority - it is fairly unlikely I will be riding on anything other than suburban roads / footpaths.

    Being a cheap bastard, my first instinct was to buy a cheapie from KMart etc. But mates and http://sponsored.uwa.edu.au/bug/welcome/buying_a_bike have convinced me that that might not be a good idea.

    So, this morning I went into my local bike shop to get some advice and information. But the guy there seemed more interested in getting my money than actually giving me any advice or information. And that is where you come in.

    So, I would love some advice. Very specific advice would be great - particular brands and models would be more helpful than 'buy a mountain bike' for example.

    My parameters / requirements are below:

    * I am 30 years old, weighing 52 kg (yes, I am light). I am not 100% sure of my height - about 160cm I think.
    * I will be mainly riding on suburban roads. Probably 1-3 hours a week of riding all up.
    * I don't have a garage, but am hoping to store the bike out the front (I have a carport with brick pylons) because my backyard is very small. I will therefore need some kind of locking and storage system. Do things like BBQ covers exist for bikes (to protect them from the weather)? Any thoughts on weather and theft protection?
    * I need everything. Bike, helmet, spare tyres, patch kits, lights etc. Anything else?
    * My budget is a little fluid. I am hoping to spend as little as possible (surprise, surprise) but I am willing to spend up to $1000 (this would include everything except storage system for the bike) if need be. I would be interested in options at different price points. What does $1000 get that $500 doesn't or $700 doesn't. And what does $1200 get that $1000 doesn't (if you think $1000 isn't sufficient).
    * I live in Panania, NSW (south west Sydney - near Hurstville and Bankstown). I would prefer to buy somewhat locally.
    * From the research on the internet I have done this morning, it looks like a hybrid might be the best style of bike for me. But I am very new to this, so I am open to more information and suggestions.

    Thanks
    Matthew

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Get a Giant. Either a flat bar road bike, or one of their hybrids with 700C wheels. Plenty to choose from in your price range. If you're going to Newcastle anytime soon, Rob and Bret at Hadleys will take good care of you. Call ahead to make sure they have your size, and they'll even spend time fitting your bike.

    Oh, try posting in The Aussie Thread - there's a lot of guys from Newcastle to Gosford on there.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by That Forum Guy
    Plenty to choose from in your price range.
    Can you give me some examples of models to consider? I am very new to this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    I took at a look at their '07 models for down under, and there are several bikes in their comfort range. Look at the Sedona, Elwood, Cypress and Farrago. More money does not buy more comfort, but it will buy better quality components. While even the low end Shimano stuff is perfectly serviceable, you will find that if your bike shifts easily, has good brakes, and feels reasonably solid, you are more apt to ride it. I would avoid anything at the bottom of the range, and look for a deal on an '06, if possible. Last year's bike is not the same as last year's car.

    Things to consider:

    On cheaper models, the suspension fork is hardly a worthwhile feature. For the added weight, it doesn't do much in the way of making a more comfortable ride. Anatomical grips are a better choice. The suspension seatpost is also no biggie. While they absorb some vibration, they are rarely adjustable enough to be tuned to suit very light or very heavy riders. At your weight, you probably wouldn't budge it.

    The different wheel sizes can be a factor in which bike you get, but don't get hung up on that. You can maintain higher speeds over longer distance with 700C wheels, at the expense of somewhat narrower tyre choices. 26" wheels are a bit smaller, but you can fit a wider tyre for crappy roads, or a narrow slick for smooth MUPs.

    Does that give you a start? Trek also makes similar bikes, but I am not as familiar with their line. Giant is the largest manufacturer in the world, and I think they offer the best value.

  5. #5
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    ill trade you my bike for your physique!!!!!!!!! then id be cooking with gas

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecnetsixe
    ill trade you my bike for your physique!!!!!!!!! then id be cooking with gas
    Its a deal.

    My metabolism is ultra fast. I can eat anything (and I mean anything) and I don't gain weight. Trust me, I have tried.

    Maybe a bit of exercise will help...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by That Forum Guy
    Look at the Sedona, Elwood, Cypress and Farrago.
    I like the Farrago - saw one today (along with the Cypress). I am leaning towards the Farrago at present...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Wouldn't be a bad choice. But it comes in the very un-Australian colour of UPS brown.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by That Forum Guy
    Wouldn't be a bad choice. But it comes in the very un-Australian colour of UPS brown.
    Yes, I didn't like the colour much. But it won't be a fashion accessory, so I can live with it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    UPS brown = poo.

  11. #11
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    Matthew, just out of curiousity which of the forums you have posted this question to have you found most useful in terms of information?

    I can't offer any advice on mountain bikes I'm afraid, since I have absolutely no interest in them. However, you could take a drive down to Tahmoor (near Picton) and check out Phantom Cycles, we bought our nephew's Giant Yukon from there and they threw in a whole bunch of stuff for him. (He's 17, so we aren't talking cheap kid's stuff here)

    A brand worth considering if you are looking at a flat bar road bike is Vivente. They are new to the market this year and are very good value for money. They come with some pretty low end running gear (C102 FD and Acera RD) but upgrading wouldn't be a big deal.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    As long as it's a Giant dealer, he can't make a bad choice.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by matagi
    Matthew, just out of curiousity which of the forums you have posted this question to have you found most useful in terms of information?


    Probably this one and bicycles.net.au. Both have been very helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by matagi
    I can't offer any advice on mountain bikes I'm afraid, since I have absolutely no interest in them. However, you could take a drive down to Tahmoor (near Picton) and check out Phantom Cycles, we bought our nephew's Giant Yukon from there and they threw in a whole bunch of stuff for him. (He's 17, so we aren't talking cheap kid's stuff here)

    A brand worth considering if you are looking at a flat bar road bike is Vivente. They are new to the market this year and are very good value for money. They come with some pretty low end running gear (C102 FD and Acera RD) but upgrading wouldn't be a big deal.
    Thanks for the tips.

  14. #14
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    Does anyone know if you can disable (is that the right word?) the suspension on the front wheel of the Farrago, given I will be riding it almost exclusively on the road?

    The Innova says it has a 'SR NCX Magnesium 1 1/8th 50mm Travel w/Lockout', while the Farrago has 'SR suspension 1 1/8th 60mm travel, w/preload'.

    I have googled to try and workout what the difference is between them (what is lockout? what is preload?), but no luck...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Lockout allows you to disable the action - your fork will effectively be rigid. Preload is an adjustment that allows you to compensate for your weight. Speaking of which, you are unlikely to get either fork to budge through that very narrow range anyway, so don't sweat it.

  16. #16
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    I picked up my Farrago yesterday and gave it a spin.

    Was very pleasant to ride, at least for a beginner like me.

  17. #17
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    Giant

    Sorry - just read the rest of the threads and see that you already chose your bike. Congrats! Looks like you made a good choice.

    Happy trails...

    ----------------------
    I'm very impressed with Giant bikes these days. Probably the CRX (like another user suggested) would be great for what you're looking for. http://giantbicycles.com/en-AU/bikes/road/77/

    If you wanted something a little more sporty then this one would be an excellent choice:

    http://giantbicycles.com/en-AU/bikes/road/76/22457/

    It's a good time of year since the summer is almost over lots of things will be going on sale.

    I've also bought a few things from these guys: www.twobikeguys.com. I actually bought from them on eBay but they have a site up now. I think they get overstocked items and discontinued lines and sell them for really cheap. Sometimes they have what you're looking for, sometimes they don't.

    Good luck!

    Wade
    Last edited by wewallac; 03-08-07 at 07:55 PM.

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