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Old 02-20-12, 04:52 PM   #1
brando090
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Help me find a bike...

Im not 100% sure if i want a mountain bike. I ride on paved trails, gravel trails, roads, and around town. I first was looking at hybrid bikes as i do want a bike that is somewhat comfortable and is fast like a road bike. That brought be to cross-cycling but i dont like that type of handle bars. So not im back to mountain bikes, but they have full suspension, rear suspension, front suspension, 29er,etc. Im not sure what to get, and if i do get a mountain bike id like to change out the tires so that i am able to go faster instead on using for energy to momentum, i dont think i need such aggressive trail tires that usually come on mb, but i dont need road tires either. I drive about 20-40 miles a day. Id love a titanium bike, but its out of my budget it looks like, which is around $700. And ill be selling my Haro F2 in blue to raise that money or even more on top of that.

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Old 02-20-12, 06:47 PM   #2
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Somewhere, you're going to have to compromise. A mountain bike will work for the riding you describe, but it'll be the slowest of the bunch. You can remedy that slightly with slicks, but it still won't be anywhere near a road bike. A hybrid might be a little faster, and it'll work for the riding you describe, but it still won't be road bike fast. A cx bike would be perfect, and would be my pick, but if you don't want drops, you'd need to swap them out for flat bars, which means you'd also need different shifters and brake levers. If you do go mountain bike, I'd go with a rigid 29er (did I really just recommend that?!), but I still don't think it's the absolute best tool for the job. If it were me, I'd go cx and get used to the drops...but if you really hate 'em, then that's not really an option, and you'll have to compromise elsewhere.
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Old 02-20-12, 07:02 PM   #3
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Zephyr is wise! Something I would like to hear about is stuff like your age, what you like to do on vacations, height and weight. A CX bike with a flatbar and maybe even bar ends keeps you a bit more upright and offers some variation on riding positions. Putting slicks on my mountain bike does make it faster, but there is a real reason why you don't see many Fat Tire bike doing that long race in France.
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Old 02-20-12, 07:12 PM   #4
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Somewhere, you're going to have to compromise. A mountain bike will work for the riding you describe, but it'll be the slowest of the bunch. You can remedy that slightly with slicks, but it still won't be anywhere near a road bike. A hybrid might be a little faster, and it'll work for the riding you describe, but it still won't be road bike fast. A cx bike would be perfect, and would be my pick, but if you don't want drops, you'd need to swap them out for flat bars, which means you'd also need different shifters and brake levers. If you do go mountain bike, I'd go with a rigid 29er (did I really just recommend that?!), but I still don't think it's the absolute best tool for the job. If it were me, I'd go cx and get used to the drops...but if you really hate 'em, then that's not really an option, and you'll have to compromise elsewhere.
What are slicks? Tires? Also i think you are getting the impression i want a road bike which i do, but the slope down bars dont appeal to me and the tires are very fragile for around town ridding. I talked to someone who said i couldn't put thicker better terrain (for me, not mb thicker) tires on a road bike. Also can a bike shop change out the handlebars? I haven't had a lot of experience with drop down handlebars, but family doesn't recommend them as they can hurt your back... Im 15 5'7, and i love the idea of titanium, but i need to forget about it because of price. Should i check out vintage titanium bikes? Anything in the FS forums you recommend? Is there any bespoke measurement sizing that a local bike shop would do compared to you guys telling me im a large or so in a bike size?
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Old 02-20-12, 07:22 PM   #5
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For the $700 you mentioned you can get a good Craigs List bike. Another way to get a good bike is find some local bike clubs. People in clubs have more bikes than they need. They also love to help get people involved in riding. As for the back problems and drops, I'm 58 and have fought back problems for most of my life. Biking is good for your back. Even riding from the drops. You want to set the bike up properly and ease into riding from the lower position. On windy days it can be a real help. The more I think about your comments the more I think a CX is a good choice for starters. Try a couple of options with the handle bars. Learn how to change them out. Its not that big a project. A 29er HT or rigid is also a good starter. Look for Karate Monkey.
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Old 02-20-12, 07:30 PM   #6
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Hey there Brando090!


To BIKE FORUMS!

We will all do our very best to answer all of your cycling questions!

However, first, I'd like to know what percent of your riding is done or paved roads.

Also, do you ride over many hills or mountains?

What percent of your riding is done on rough dirt mountain trails bearing roots, rocks, and crevices?

TIA

- Slim
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Old 02-20-12, 08:02 PM   #7
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For the $700 you mentioned you can get a good Craigs List bike. Another way to get a good bike is find some local bike clubs. People in clubs have more bikes than they need. They also love to help get people involved in riding. As for the back problems and drops, I'm 58 and have fought back problems for most of my life. Biking is good for your back. Even riding from the drops. You want to set the bike up properly and ease into riding from the lower position. On windy days it can be a real help. The more I think about your comments the more I think a CX is a good choice for starters. Try a couple of options with the handle bars. Learn how to change them out. Its not that big a project. A 29er HT or rigid is also a good starter. Look for Karate Monkey.
Thank you, ive look into those and i know they are great! I know craigslist has good bike deals, its just depending on what "size" im suppose to get,etc. Definitely cheaper than retail, which i dont want to do since i do buy and sell antiques and i know the mark up on things.

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Hey there Brando090!


To BIKE FORUMS!

We will all do our very best to answer all of your cycling questions!

However, first, I'd like to know what percent of your riding is done or paved roads.

Also, do you ride over many hills or mountains?

What percent of your riding is done on rough dirt mountain trails bearing roots, rocks, and crevices?

TIA

- Slim
Paved id say 35%, 10% hills, 20% roads, 45% gravel trails,etc.
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Old 02-20-12, 08:13 PM   #8
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Biking is good for your back. Even riding from the drops. You want to set the bike up properly and ease into riding from the lower position.
+1
If the bike is set up right, it won't hurt your back. If you buy from a bike shop, they should set up up on a trainer and make sure the fit is perfect.

Slicks = skinny tires without knobbies. Also, cx tires are a bit burlier than road bike tires and can take a little more abuse. Obviously they're still not fat mountain bike tires, but I think that for the riding you describe, they'll be more than adequate (and faster than fat tires too!).
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Old 02-20-12, 08:21 PM   #9
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+1
If the bike is set up right, it won't hurt your back. If you buy from a bike shop, they should set up up on a trainer and make sure the fit is perfect.

Slicks = skinny tires without knobbies. Also, cx tires are a bit burlier than road bike tires and can take a little more abuse. Obviously they're still not fat mountain bike tires, but I think that for the riding you describe, they'll be more than adequate (and faster than fat tires too!).
From my height, what size bike do i want? Also ive got 3 flats this summer while using a Trek cruise and i dont want this to happen with this. So with a road bike/cx bike ill be able to get puncture resistant tires. Can i get a titanium crosscycle bike in my budget?
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Old 02-20-12, 08:28 PM   #10
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I highly recommend you go to a bike shop and get fit. Different manufacturers use slightly different geometry, and it's possible you'd be a 53 in one company, a 54 in another, and a 55 in a third.

If I only got 3 flats per summer, I'd throw a party. And that's with mountain bike tires! (I actually get way less flats with my road bike. Possibly because I ride it less, but more likely because of where I ride it).

Unfortunately, I don't think a titanium bike is happening for $700. Sorry.
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Old 02-20-12, 08:33 PM   #11
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I highly recommend you go to a bike shop and get fit. Different manufacturers use slightly different geometry, and it's possible you'd be a 53 in one company, a 54 in another, and a 55 in a third.

If I only got 3 flats per summer, I'd throw a party. And that's with mountain bike tires! (I actually get way less flats with my road bike. Possibly because I ride it less, but more likely because of where I ride it).

Unfortunately, I don't think a titanium bike is happening for $700. Sorry.
Even used? Im looking used as i know i can get more for my money, and how do you feel about the Specialized Crux? Any recommendations? Ive looked at Bianchi before, but in this post it doesn't seem as if it a crosscycle bike, but more of a road bike with something done to it... What has been done? Also i like titanium because its guaranteed to not rust, and in Michigan we get bad weather which can easily rust a bike within a year. Id probably get some sort of bike case if i can to prevent rusting.

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Old 02-20-12, 09:15 PM   #12
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This is something you really need to go to the Cyclocross forum for: http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl.../23-Cyclocross

FWIW, my best friend lives just outside Detroit and rides a Giant something or other aluminum cyclocross bike and it has been fine. She definitely does not keep it in a case.

If you go used, just make sure you bring a friend who knows how to size bikes. I feel like mountain bikes have a little more leeway with fitting than road and cx bikes.

Titanium bikes are expensive. A Lynskey Cooper CX frame (not complete bike, just the frame) costs around $1800. A Seven Mudhoney S is $2800 for the frame, and the cheapest complete is $4600. A Moots Psychlo X frame will run you around $3000. Et cetera. You'd have to be insanely lucky to find a complete titanium bike for $700.

Now, I do have one question. I believe that some cx bikes come with rack mounts. Is that important to you? Because I don't think the CruX has them, but the Tricross does, I think.
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Old 02-20-12, 09:31 PM   #13
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This is something you really need to go to the Cyclocross forum for: http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl.../23-Cyclocross

FWIW, my best friend lives just outside Detroit and rides a Giant something or other aluminum cyclocross bike and it has been fine. She definitely does not keep it in a case.

If you go used, just make sure you bring a friend who knows how to size bikes. I feel like mountain bikes have a little more leeway with fitting than road and cx bikes.

Titanium bikes are expensive. A Lynskey Cooper CX frame (not complete bike, just the frame) costs around $1800. A Seven Mudhoney S is $2800 for the frame, and the cheapest complete is $4600. A Moots Psychlo X frame will run you around $3000. Et cetera. You'd have to be insanely lucky to find a complete titanium bike for $700.

Now, I do have one question. I believe that some cx bikes come with rack mounts. Is that important to you? Because I don't think the CruX has them, but the Tricross does, I think.
Im not sure what id use a rack mount for as im not carrying anything, im only going to keep a small bag on it where ill keep innertubes,etc. Ive been looking at the crosscycle forums, and they have some very nice bikes!
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Old 02-20-12, 11:40 PM   #14
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I'm not 100% sure if i want a mountain bike. I ride on paved trails, gravel trails, roads, and around town. I first was looking at hybrid bikes as i do want a bike that is somewhat comfortable and is fast like a road bike.
I've had a GT hybrid since 93 and found it an excellent commuter bike with light trail duty capabilities. It has decent speed and can handle 1/4 crush gravel trails/paths fairly well. That's about the limit though in my opinion, larger gravel isn't handled well with the smaller width tires. In one of my other posts I mentioned I had bought a Cannondale 26" trail sl 2 and had the LBS change the knobby tires to knobby but with a fuller center rib tread so I could have a smoother ride on concrete. Here's a link to the tires. You'll see the center tread blocks have smaller fillers between them. I pump them up to near max and they give a much better quiet smooth ride than the oem ones. http://www.maxxis.com/Bicycle/Mountain/CrossMark.aspx The Sl2 isn't as fast as the GT but I bought it as I wanted to try some more aggressive trail riding and needed a front suspension fork.
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Old 02-21-12, 12:29 AM   #15
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If you can't land a CX bike to your specifications, at that price point you might start looking at hybrids. If you can get a hybrid that has 38mm wide tires, you'd be in business. Since most hybrids have flat handlebars, there won't be any modifications there. Good hybrids also run cheaper than good MTN bikes. Nice entry level MTN bikes and CX bikes, cost like the Dickens! A good MTB has a really dependable and durable suspension fork. That runs the cost up. The better the suspension fork, the higher the HT MTB price! OTOH, road bikes, like CX bikes, just start off as an expensive proposition, anyway.

However, nice hybrids can be purchased for a milder price and can take dirt trails just as well, as any HT MTB. The only place where a hybrid, will be totally outclassed by a MTB, will be like traveling downhill over roots, rocks, and crevices, because that would be the job of a fully suspended MTB. Possibly another instance, would be over heavily graveled roads, where traction could get lost. A hybrid could do it, but a hardtail MTB could do it a little better. In most cases, I've found that most hybrids can take most country and wooded trails, almost as well as hardtails, when they have 38mm wide tires.

These are the hybrids that just might suit your prescription:

1) Schwinn Sporterra Comp ~ $660 (Comes complete with 38mm tires)

2) Cannondale Quick CX4 ~ $725 (Comes with 37mm tires and that's just fine)

3) Jamis Coda ~ $560 ( Comes with 32mm, but can be fitted with 38mm tires)

4) Raleigh Misceo 1.0 ~ $600 (Comes complete with 38mm tires)

The Coda can take fenders and a rack, for sure!

Of course OTOH, you could always buy an inexpensive entry level HT MTB with a mediocre suspension fork and when its time to replace it, go with a really nice Rockshox fork with lockout.

Here's some entry level MTN bikes you might want to consider:

1) Trek 3900 Disc ~ $650 (Tire width = 2.0 inches)

2) Trek Marlin 29'er Sport ~ $720 (Tire width = 2.1 inches)

3) Cannondale Trail 5 ~ $700 (Tire width = 2.1 inches)

4) Jamis Durango Sport ~ $660 (Tire width = 2.1 inches)

5) Raleigh Talus 5.0 ~ $600 (Tire width = 2.2 inches)

- Slim

PS.

* In general, hybrids are faster than MTN bikes!


38mm X 1cm/10mm X 1in/2.54cm = 1.5 in

38mm = 1.5 inches

1 inch=2.54 cm. ---> Use this equality as a conversion factor!

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Old 02-21-12, 09:47 AM   #16
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Hybrids and cyclocross bikes work great if you're just doing gravel fire roads. If you get into MTB singletrack trails, you will need a MTB. These trails are where you will find the roots and rocks Slim was referring to. Even a hybrid with a suspension fork will be ill-suited to this work because you can't fit a wide, large volume tire.

Trust me. I'm riding a hybrid on singletrack right now on 700x45mm tires. It works great on smooth trails, horrible on rocks and so-so on roots.


Anyway, if I had to do it all over again I'd buy a road or cyclocross bike and a MTB. If I have only one bike to do everything listed in post #7 I would get a hardtail 29er MTB. At the point to where you think you want to buy an extra set of wheels with road tires, then consider getting a road or cyclocross bike.
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Old 02-21-12, 09:50 AM   #17
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Any of the bikes you are looking at could be made to work with just a few swaps. On a mtn bike just swap tires to something like Schwalbe Big Apples. On a Cross bike just swap for something like a Schwalbe Marathon Dureme or Xr in 700x38, 700x40 or bigger. Put a flat bar on the thing and ride it like you stole it
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Old 02-21-12, 11:38 AM   #18
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Are you looking to ride 20-40 miles a day?
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Old 02-21-12, 07:52 PM   #19
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Are you looking to ride 20-40 miles a day?
Correct, but possibly even more since im even more into it than last year. Id like a cyclocross even if that means me getting used to drop down handlebars, people just gave me a bad stigma that it was bad for my back which you guys say if properly aligned wont happen. Like everything in life, there will be a learning curve.
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Old 02-21-12, 09:15 PM   #20
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Your only problem then, becomes finding a CX bike at your pricepoint.

So these are your best options, if buying new:

www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_526536_-1_203072_10000_202339

Nashbar Steel Cyclocross Bike ~ $750 (drop handlebar)

www.cannondale.com/2012/bikes/recreation-urban/recreation/quick-cx/2012-quick-cx-4-21069

Cannondale Quick CX 4 ~ $725 (flat handlebar)

- Slim

PS.

Unless you're decision about handlebars change, you should go with Nashbar. The components are just so much better!

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Old 02-21-12, 10:41 PM   #21
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Your only problem then, becomes finding a CX bike at your pricepoint.

So these are your best options, if buying new:

www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_526536_-1_203072_10000_202339

Nashbar Steel Cyclocross Bike ~ $750 (drop handlebar)

www.cannondale.com/2012/bikes/recreation-urban/recreation/quick-cx/2012-quick-cx-4-21069

Cannondale Quick CX 4 ~ $725 (flat handlebar)

- Slim

PS.

Unless you're decision about handlebars change, you should go with Nashbar. The components are just so much better!
Woww! $1400 to $750... Now not trying to disrespect, but at $1400 do you feel people were buying these bikes and at $750 the quality of the components is well worth it?
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Old 02-21-12, 10:44 PM   #22
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Correct, but possibly even more since im even more into it than last year. Id like a cyclocross even if that means me getting used to drop down handlebars, people just gave me a bad stigma that it was bad for my back which you guys say if properly aligned wont happen. Like everything in life, there will be a learning curve.

Hey there Brando!

Try to locate a bicycle co-op in your area. If you can, they will assist you with the proper assembly of your bicycle. I will also post a couple of extra links that may also help you in the assembly of your bicycle.

Also, you might want to visit a few bicycle shops within your area, just to make certain that this is the type of bike that you really want. Therefore, test-ride a few road bikes from different manufacturers, like Trek, Raleigh, Cannondale, etc..
Make certain that you find your comfort level on each bike. Write down the sizes of the bikes, that you feel most comfortable riding.

If you feel most comfortable riding one of their bikes and you really want that bike, then just buy that bike, right there. However, if you should decide to go ahead with the Nashbar.com bike, then at least you'll already know your size.

You should be very satisfied with this chromoly steel bicycle. Chances are, you'll possess this bicycle for the rest of your life. Chromoly steel can last for decades, if you take good care of your bicycle. I still have the Nishiki Sebring that I purchased back in 1986. It's still my favorite riding bicycle!

- Slim

PS.

These links may be of some further assistance to you:

www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm
(Watch the video as many times as you like for assembly)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2X1ZN75BLk
(How to adjust your cantilever brakes)

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Old 02-21-12, 10:55 PM   #23
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That Nashbar has 105 level components, which is pretty sweet, especially for that price. You save money because it's a Nashbar rather than some actual name brand. My road bike has 105, and it's probably the equivalent of Deore on a mountain bike. The one catch is that it's steel. Now, it is chromoly, so it's high quality steel and not hi-ten or some crap like that, but you will have to keep it dry so it doesn't rust.

The Cannondale has trash components. It has discs, which is cool and I believe is becoming more common on some cx bikes, but that doesn't make up for its junk drivetrain IMO.

The issue with buying online rather than at a shop is that you'll have to guess at your size and then set it up to fit you by yourself. And I was under the impression that fit was something you were concerned about.
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Old 02-22-12, 01:44 AM   #24
SlimRider
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Hey there Brando!

Make certain that you volunteer at your nearest bicycle co-op. Eventually, you'll want to learn everything about repairing your bicycle. You can learn bicycle mechanics! Within a few months, if you're good, you could most probably land a job assisting at a real bicycle shop to earn a legit paycheck!

(See post # 22)

- Slim
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Old 02-22-12, 03:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
Hey there Brando!

Make certain that you volunteer at your nearest bicycle co-op. Eventually, you'll want to learn everything about repairing your bicycle. You can learn bicycle mechanics! Within a few months, if you're good, you could most probably land a job assisting at a real bicycle shop to earn a legit paycheck!

(See post # 22)

- Slim
Thanks for the suggestion! I do plan on learning how to do routine maintenance on it and how to change a tube, ture,etc. I dont want flats, so ill be keeping an few extra tubes and CO2 in my pouch so when it happens i can easily keep ridding.
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