Old 06-16-09, 09:39 PM
  #3  
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
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Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

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If you are mostly riding on roads, you are better off without suspension. That is more intended for hard-core off-road riding. Some "comfort bikes" offer suspension seat posts, but on smoother surfaces the bounce is annoying and actually adds to your efforts.

To ride curbs you are better off with a mountain bike, but some road bikes (tour and cyclocross models) have heavier duty tires that can cushion the wheel from some impact. However most road riders even on those bikes won't take curbs aggressively for fear of harming their rim or causing a pinched flat tire.

If you enjoy working on cars, maybe you will want to buy and improve used bikes. You could check out the classic and vintage forum.

Bike weight is not very important unless you will be riding uphill a lot, or racing competitively, or you are status conscious. Much more important is comfort and fit.

If you are thinking of riding with a group, you need to find out about how they ride. Is it a leisurely cruise along a boardwalk or a fast group ride that's almost a race?

It's probably not productive to spend hundreds of hours (exaggerating) researching to find the "perfect bike". Get something cheap or used, ride for a while and then figure out what you want to buy as a "good bike", once you have some experience. The problem with paying too much up front is - you may not end up with what you want, and also, you have not anticipated the "n+1" rule. That is: if the number of bikes you own is "n", the number you need is always "n+1".

Good luck.

Robert (n=4).

Last edited by cooker; 06-16-09 at 09:45 PM.
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