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Old 04-23-03, 02:17 PM   #1
radioflier
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component questions

I've been looking at cross/hybrid/comfort bikes in the $400 - 450 range, and I've noticed most have about the same level of components (low-mid level Shimano). If I go up to the $550 price point, the components are typically a couple of levels higher.

I'm going to be riding 10 miles/day (every day weather permitting) as part of my exercise/fitness routine. One side of my brain says go with the cheaper bike now and upgrade the components if/when they need replacing. The other side of my brain says just go for the better components now and be done with it.

What's the best way to sort this out? Will I be able to tell the difference between the components, given my level of riding?

Ron
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Old 04-23-03, 02:27 PM   #2
Bean Counter
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It's easy to say buy the better bike when it's your money, but just like tools, always buy the best that you can afford. You'll never be disappointed buying quality.
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Old 04-24-03, 07:19 AM   #3
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I use a mixture of mid and low-end Shimano components on my everyday bike, and Im currently riding 20miles/day. My hubs are Altus (but handbuilt), the rear mech and brakes are 105, and the BB is UN72 (Ultegra type high quality).

Ive used the lower end components such as derailleurs and reckon on 2 years regular use before junking it. In my experience, the lowish end Shimano stuff is very good, it works well and is quite reliable till it wears out
Their midrange components (LX, 105) are probably the best value, and are capable of hard riding, extended touring, racing at a very good price. If you can afford these, then get them.
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Old 04-24-03, 10:47 AM   #4
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buy cheap...then when you JUST GOTTA HAVE a new high end road bike, it won't bother you so much to hang the hybred in the garage.

I thing everyone that has started riding and continued has done this, and many LBS make there money off of selling hybred > then road.
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Old 04-25-03, 07:01 AM   #5
DanFromDetroit
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I bought one of these a few months back. I love it. It's cheap, simple, and a good quality aluminum bike with a 7-speed Shimano hub.

They will ship to either your home or your LBS.

I added fenders, rack, and a kickstand. This runs the cost up just a bit beyond
where you are looking but not much.

Dan
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Old 04-25-03, 09:04 AM   #6
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wow, cool bike dan! This is almost exactly the kind of bike i wanted to build recently... What do you think of the Nexus hub? Does it shift well? How well do the gear ratios work for you? Does the coaster brake work well? How much does the bike weigh? Sorry for all the questions, but it seems you have a unique bike!
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Old 04-25-03, 09:44 AM   #7
DanFromDetroit
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I bought this bike because I commuted this winter on a mountain bike with two deraillers and cable operated brakes.

When the temperature got into the single digits nothing cable operated worked anymore. The brakes required almost constant adjustment. The derailler bent when I took a tumble on ice and never really was the same again. By the end of the winter, I was so frustrated with this bike, I wanted to throw it under the wheels of a a bus just to hear the sound of crunching metal.

This bike has the advantage of having only one fully enclosed cable. Hopefully it will work better in cold and freezing rain. The Nexus hub works well after you put about 100-150 miles on it. Before this shifting is a little clunky and stiff. It smooths out after these few miles. This could just be a matter of cable stretch and fine adjustment with the barrel adjuster on the twist grip though. The gear ratios work fine for me. I use 4th gear most of the time. First gear is 30 something gear inches and seventh gear is 80 something gear inches. I am told that this is about 95% of the range of a 21 speed bike. Since I tend to vary my cadence rather than my gears, this works well for me. Die hard spinners will notice the slightly bigger difference between gears make the transition to "cruising" speed less smooth. I am just very happy that the low gear is low enough. Shifting while at a complete stop (impossible with a derailler) is also a nice feature when dealing with many stop lights on my commute.

The bike weights about 24lbs (before rack, fenders, toe clips, lights, etc). I will probably change the stock tires out for "semi-slick" (knobs on the edges, smooth in the center) tires for this winter.

The coaster brake is my favorite feature of this bike. Absolutely no adjustments, *ever*. It works even when wet and icy. It did take me a little while to get used to braking with the pedals at 9 and 3 o'clock and then setting the pedals up at 12 and 6 o'clock for pulling away from a stop light. This is a little clumsy with toe clips, but in just a little while I got used to it. Panic stops require a bit of practice to avoid locking up the rear wheel. In order to get maximum braking you need to release and re-apply the brake just before it locks, much like old-fashioned (pre-ABS) brakes on a car. With no front brake and a locked up rear wheel you essentially are ballistic, so unless you plan on sliding into or under something, this is a situation to be avoided.

The moustache bars are comfortable but have little room for gadgetry.

Dan
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Old 04-26-03, 07:01 AM   #8
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Hi Dan, I'm in Mich also and use a KHS Fleetwood for bombing around town. The 7 speed Nexus has been great. I even rode this bike on the 6 day Michigander a couple of years ago and had no problems.
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