Help For The Great White North
Well this is my first post here, though I have been reading this site and several others for the past couple of weeks now. I'll tell you a bit about myself, as I'm seeking some advice on the specifics of what I should go, and of course what I can afford. I'm 25 now, and live in Kitchener Ontario, there are plenty of trails and places to ride around here seeing as I have walked a few of them, very nice much of it. I haven't done any real riding much more then just touring around when I was a bit younger, I did however start going to a couple of cycling classes at my local gym, there where normally early morning classes with resistance training, I took them pretty steadily 2-3 mornings a week for about 6 - 10 months in 2001-2002, then I moved to Kitchener and bought a house, this disrupted things and I started attending a new gym and going to classes, again, this didn't last as long and it was less frequently, I really didn't like the bikes they had. I also did some weight training and running at the time. This was about 3-4 months ago now since I stopped pretty much, got a new job outside town and things now and I can't make it in the morning, and I hate the crowds, so I want to bike, since I did quite enjoy the earlier classes. (wow, kudos to anyone who is still reading this)
The Short of it is my tax return is coming in a couple weeks and with the ever increasingly nice weather I would really like to get on a bike. I've been looking mainly at mountain bikes, but I don't want anything too heavy (big surprise there), and of course I have a budget of $850 CDN. I?m looking at used bikes I found a place in Guelph (30 minutes from home) that is supposed to have a lot of stuff, whole bikes and parts, I?m not at all adverted to building the bike myself, especially to get familiar with it. I'm 6' and weigh in at about 195lbs (also would like to get some exercise so I don't get fat!). I?m thinking of getting a hard tail, possibly with lockout forks seems like I might use that option because I will ride on roads too. I'm just not too sure what exactly I want, how big a frame? Steel or Aluminum? Wheel size and type? I was interested in something with only 3 gears, I never used more then 3 before anyway, and well that's about all I know. I've read a lot of posts on what is available, but I would like to get some ideas that would work best for my situation, so if anyone wants to give their 2 cents I'd certainly like to hear.
Every lane is a bike lane
I'd go for more than the three gears. You could well discover new trails at some point where you'll want more than that. I'm not up on the movements of the Canadian Dollar, but I'd imagine it's reasonably close to the Australian dollar (I think we're about 75 US cents right now), so that shouldn't break your budget.
Front suspension is good, but rear suspension might be a little redundant. As far as sizing goes, you'll probably be looking for something in the 18"-20" range. However, a lot depends on the length of your legs and so on.
"I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
"We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.
Thanks Chris, I wasn't planning on getting rear suspension, too heavy, and I just don't think I'll need it or use it.
As for the gearing, I was looking at those Nexus hubs, with the internal gearing, they have 4 and 7 that I was looking at.
The only thing I can suggest for you is pay the extra to get disc breaks. They are worth their weight in gold.
On a side note, where are the good trails in Kitchener? I go down every so often as I have friends there. I'd enjoy checking out some good trails so long as they're complex. I like a good challenge.
MTB Blood Donor
[QUOTE=earth]The only thing I can suggest for you is pay the extra to get disc breaks. They are worth their weight in gold.
Agreed they are beautiful but for a first bike I'd say they aren't all that necessary. Unless you start riding the muddy trails in K/W that is...
That said I have a few comments for this thread:
If you really want to get in shape there's nothing like bike commuting. A light MTB with slicks would be adequate for this but a road bike might be a little quicker. BTW in my opinion a "hybrid" is the worst of both worlds. If you think you'll do trails go for the MTB you can always swap tires depending on road vs. trail. If you are not into getting muddy and seeking out the trails go for a road bike and enjoy the awesome country roads north of waterloo and east of kitchener.
Nexus hub gears and brakes are a bad idea. Actually they are a good idea poorly executed. They generate tons of heat (wasted energy that could be making you go faster). They are also seriously heavy and force you to use custom built wheels (=$$$). My friend was a bike builder/designer and he experimented with these hubs in his search for the ultimate all weather bike. (we rode year round in Waterloo) Based on his experience I'd say go for a 24 speed (tougher and slightly more reliable than the 27-speeds). I taught my mom to use a 24-speed when she was 55. (she had only ever had 3-speed before). I'm sure you can learn it.
"powerline trails" in waterloo off the dead end of university ave. Fast not really technical but a large network of trails where you can get lost for 2+ hrs and not ride the same piece more than once. Tends to get very muddy if there's been any rain in the past 2wks!
Howdy guy and welcome. hard tails are cool. some folk say sprung rear soaks up pedal energy but it really adds to the cost which i see is a concern for you.
Originally Posted by MrPrefect
Front shocks are good for riding off road & don't bother or detrack on road. Frame size? rough guide stand over top tube. should have a couple inches clearance tween bar and your package.
most bikes have 26 inch wheel and i think at least 2" tires are the way to go. I'm about your size, weigh 220 and i like the fatter tires. softer ride and suck up bumps. 3 gears ain't gonna do much for you. ya need 3 on the chainring and 7 or so on the rear. You got 'em you'll use 'em.
get out on the bike every chance you get. it's not just a great way to lose some poundage it's a great way of life.your price range , with all due respect, is lo end entry range.i'd shop a good shop where they know the meaning of customer service. customer service, trust me, is a really big deal.
but perhaps most important for you is to hit the shops , explain your needs, talk to everyone, ride lots of bikes and then pick the one you'd like to start out with. A good bike shop is a great place to start your search, they'll gladly answer all your questions.ok?
I don't have much advice for you, Mr. Prefect, as we seem to be looking at different bikes. But welcome to the boards. And, FYI - there's at least a few of us from your area, hanging out on BikeForums. I'm one of 'em.
It's a tiny enough city, that you can probably see me right now. I'm waving.
I'll try to bike down from the "TdotOHOHOHthat's how your mum likes it" one weekend and check it out.
Originally Posted by mbeadon