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Old 03-08-03, 01:45 PM   #1
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Help choosing a bike

Hi all.

Im going to bye a new bike but ive got absolutley no idea what i should be looking for.
I used to ride a little with freinds about 8 years ago and im looking to get back in to it.

Im in the UK and am looking to spend 700-800($1100-1300) for everything. Bike, helmet and anything else that is essential. I wont be in any competitions. Just riding up and down mountains/hills/whatever at the weekend sort of thing. So an allround type of bike? But id like something that will last me a while.

Ive been looking at the Specialized website. Would something like a Rockhopper be ok? Which one? What others should i consider?

I would rather not have rear suspension.
What about pedals? Should i go for those that clip in(sorry dont know the real term ) or just normall ones to start with?
Who makes decent helmets and how much or are they all pretty much the same?
Any other important equipment i need apart from tools/clothes etc?

Do frames come in different sizes? Im about 6ft3 so would a standard size be ok or not? How do i know what size i need?

Does anyone know of any decent bike shops in West Yorkshire(UK)? Or online shops that everyone uses?

And finally \o/, i wear glasses. Would i need some type of eye protection or special glasses? I dont wont to fall off and have them smash.

Wow, a lot of questions but im done now. But im sure ill be back to ask lots more . If there is a website that explains most of this please point me to it, ive had a look but cant see much.
Thank you for any help.

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Old 03-08-03, 01:55 PM   #2
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Hi mate.

I am also in the UK although i aint a brit. For 700-800 pounds you could get a number of nice race-fr hardtails. I prefer specialized in my opinion. For 700 you can get the Specialized rockhopper with deore hydro discs. It is a great frame for big riders . I am 6.2 200lbs so we are of a similar stature and i have a rockhopper 19" frame. You may need the 20" though.

Sites.

www.teamskene.com
www.chainreactioncycles.com
www.wiggle.co.uk

Yannis
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Old 03-08-03, 06:15 PM   #3
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As far as helmets go, I've always been happy with Bell's. I had a giro that was nice also at one time. The style of pedals you are referring to are known as clipless, because they lack the clips and straps that were found on pedals with the cages on them. As for glasses, many companies will custom make a prescription order for you if you want sunglasses. Otherwise, your regular glasses should be fine for riding. If your prescription glasses will break when you fall, so will your sunglasses if you were to pick some up. I have had good luck with Sunglasses from Rudy Project. Any decent bike shop will fit you to a size of bike that you will need. Fit includes much more than just a frame size. Sometimes stems need to be changed out, crank length looked at, etc. A Rockhopper would provide you with a quality bicycle, though there are tons of other companies as well. Head to their sites and check out some of the bikes. Most sites will at least supply an MSRP price so you can guage what you should be looking at. I would stay away from an online shop since it seems that you will be doing this for the first time (At least in a while.) Fit is escpecially critical, and just can't be guaranteed over the internet. Those who use internet shops often usually have tons of expereince and can tell what will fit them size-wise and stem-length wise.

There are some decent full-suspension bikes in that price range if you are interested at all when you start searching. With a hardtail, however, you will get better mix of quality components/quality frame than with a full-suspension bike for the same money.

As for an LBS in your area - I can't help you from over here in NH, USA. Most sites, though, have a dealer-finder feature that might point you to some shops in the area that you didn't know about. You could also think to see if you know any other cyclists in the area. Chances are that they will have formed some strong opinions about which shops are worth visiting.

There are several other threads on the forums that deal with buying a bike in this price range that would come up with some searching. Visiting www.mtbr.com would be a good bet to get some longer-term reviews of the bikes that you are considering.

Good luck!

-Moab
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Old 03-08-03, 08:33 PM   #4
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Here is another good place to buy. I order from them alot

BikeDoc

They are located at ;
792 Shore Road, Newtownabby, BT36 7DG

The other sites above are good but i got better service from these guys.
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Old 03-09-03, 12:28 PM   #5
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I don't think you can go wrong with any of the bikes in Specialized's line up. Great bikes. As an entry level thing, I'd go for the Rockhopper either the FSR or the base .... depending on whether you want to delve into the full suspension scene.
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Old 03-09-03, 03:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice. Ill be buying as soon as i get back from holiday in a few weeks. Havent decided on a bike yet. Will go to a few shops in my area and see what they can do for me.

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Old 03-10-03, 10:39 AM   #7
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Some helpful tips and some general info:

Go to a bike shop and get fitted! Since you're a newbie, you need their guidance to get you on the right sized bike. Your decision to stick with a hardtail is wise, you'll get a better component package and a good bike.

Helmets: Bell and Giro are both owned by the same Co. and made in the same factory. Bell's tend to fit a rounder head, Giro's a longer (oval) head. There are a lot of other co.'s as well, Briko, Louis Garneau, Pryme,....etc.

Pedals: I'd stick with regular platform pedals for at least a year. Learn how to ride your bike and bunny-hop/jump with platforms, then next year upgrade to clipless. You'll be a better rider learning to manuever (sp?) your bike w/platforms, and it'll pay off once you switch to clipless.

Other things to consider: I'd highly recommend some padded cycling shorts, you can get either lycra or baggies. Also, get some gloves. I recommend full fingered, for more protection. I also use a jersey made of a performance wicking material. I like using a Camelback for carrying my water, spare tubes and tools. I find it better than water bottles and a seat bag.

Things to carry on your bike (Tools): A spare tube, a patch kit, a mini-pump, a mini-tool (folding tool with 4,5, & 6 mm allen tools, flat blade, and phillips blade as a minimum), a first aid kit,(gauze bandages, antiseptic, latex glove & tape), a chain tool, and a spoke wrench. I also carry some change, and a couple of dollars. What else, I carry some zip ties, and a spare crank bolt. Obviously I carry a lot of stuff, but I throw it all in my Camelback and hardly notice after a few minutes.

With everything mentioned, you should be able to handle any trailside repair, and if not, you'll have change to call home for a ride! BTW, if you rip your sidewall on your tire (not tube) a dollar bill is a great temporary patch fit inside where the blowout occurs. I also wrap some duct tape around my seatpost numerous time. Duct tape is a wonderful thing! I have a black post and I found some black duct tape and you can hardly notice it!

As far as glasses go, I recommend one of those straps that keeps your glasses on your head. Here in the US, there is a brand made of a neoprene material called Croakies that works great!

Good Luck & L8R
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Old 03-10-03, 02:12 PM   #8
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Could someone explain some of these terms to me? I see them all over and cant find anything that explains what they mean. Bikes seem to be in certain groups and its a little hard not know ing what im looking at :-p

XC, cross country?
Trials?
DH, down hill id guess. Wheres the fun in that? You just go down hills?
DJ, jumping at a guess.
BSX, eh?
Freeride, i may just be imagining seeing this one.

Any other ive missed? Thanks

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Old 03-10-03, 02:49 PM   #9
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Any,

XC = cross country riding. Most bikes you are familiar with would be considered XC. Usually involves up and down, but not the extremes of downhill at the speed that you see in that category.

Downhill = Going down real knarly stuff real fast. The bikes are always suspended and tend to be on the expensive side. The bikes are designed, from the amount of suspension to the geometry of the bike, to go downhill fast. Usually, these bikes don't pedal well uphill. This is tons of fun - you just haven't experienced it yet.

Freeride = Get out on the bike and have fun. There are freeride specific bikes. They are a mix between downhill and XC rides, because some pedaling efficiency is needed but lots of suspension to soak up hits is also needed. Freeriding, as commonly portrayed, involves drops and stunts.

Trials = Specially designed bikes are ridden in a test of balance and biking skill. These usaully occur at slow speeds while riders perform what appear to be impossiblle stunts on their bikes. Riders are usally judged by how many times they "dab" or put their foot down while completing the course.

-Moab
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