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Starter Bike... are you still riding it?

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Starter Bike... are you still riding it?

Old 07-09-15, 03:32 PM
  #1  
InTheRain
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Starter Bike... are you still riding it?

Seems there are a lot of threads asking for advice on a "starter bike" for riders just "getting into" cycling. I'm just wondering how many experienced riders are still riding the bike they bought when they were just starting out (no, not when you were a seven year old.) It seems many make the mistake of buying the wrong bike when they are starting out... that decisions seems to be very budget driven rather than getting the bike you really need. When I first dipped my toe into the cycling waters as an adult, I went the hybrid route - it was a toy used for putzing around the neighborhood. The first time I tried to ride with some friends on some serious bikes, I was dropped in the first 200 yards of a 30-mile ride (that I couldn't even complete half of.) So, that led to about 10 years of not really riding anywhere except around the neighborhood 3-4 times a year.

In 2006, I decided to try commuting on a bike. Tried the hybrid again. No go. I bought a road bike. Aluminum Specialized Allez. It was relatively fast, but a lousy commuter. Sold it. In 2007 I bought a steel touring bike. There it was! My first really good bike decision. It's still my main commuter. An excellent bike that I see myself riding for another 20+ years. I still had the desire to do long rides and club rides... the steel touring bike was a bit heavy (with my motor.) I bought a carbon fiber cannondale synapse. SCORE! A second great bike decision! I've been riding that bike for the past seven years. It's an occasional commuter on great weather days, but it's the bike for club rides and distance rides (it made a huge difference on my second effort of the Seattle to Portland ride - first effort was unsuccessful on the steel touring bike.)

When I look back to my initial bike purchase decisions, the reason that I made the wrong decision was money. I let myself believe that I would get a bike that would fully satisfy me for a relatively small dollar amount. I think my Trek hybrid cost me $199. Today, I can't realistically recommend a good quality bike (new) for under $800. For myself, I don't think you would find me spending under $1500 - $2000 for a bike I'd be happy riding.

So, I'm interested in knowing... Is your "first bike" (the one you bought when you got serious about riding) still a bike that you ride today? If not, what mistake did you make in your bike purchasing decision. And granted, there have been some really cool bike technologies come about since many of us bought that first bike that may have us pursuing another bike, I understand that... I, myself am looking to disc brakes (something that was not common on road bikes back when I made my purchase.)
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Old 07-09-15, 03:42 PM
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Yes. I use my DS for pulling my son around in his trailer, and going for leisurely rides with my mom
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Old 07-09-15, 03:53 PM
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Yup. My Cannondale Quick gets ridden with the wife, some light trail work, some recovery rides on easy days. Still really like it, super comfy and faster than you might expect. I'm actually thinking about flipping the stem and removing the spacers, taking off the kick stand and a few other bits and bobs and trying it out as a an initial cross bike. But it only gets maybe 5-8% of my miles at this point, if that.
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Old 07-09-15, 04:05 PM
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my first road bike was a new 2005 Felt F90 I got superbowl weekend, I needed a change in my lifestyle, was 250# and very out of shape. Bike was racer red alum frame, carbon fork, sora parts, 3x8 speed, very expensive at the time $515 into into this hobby/sport (the road side of it) as I had a cheap Fuji mtb and bmxers. Those were only about half the price so I thought 500+ was expensive!! These days, that same sora level bike is not 7-800 bucks... crazy

rode the snot out of that bike for about 2 1/2 yrs and 6-8k miles later, many miles with those I met on these forums. Got married in late 07'. the Next day went an bought my wife a new car from toyota/Scion, THAN we went to the LBS and I bought a new Bianchi w/ 10sp ultegra and bits. It was alum w/ carbon stays and rode so good Fit perfect in the back on the new scion XB, wife happy, hubby happy

The Felt went to a good friend that was crit racing w/ downtube shifters. When he upgrade, the Felt went to craigs and sold it for almost 500 and we split it.

10years later, i'm still enjoying all of the bikes in my harem. My 2yo daughter is on a strider and has a pedal bike waiting in the rafters for her when the time comes Can't wait to hit the MTB trails with her!!
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Old 07-09-15, 04:21 PM
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I think I'm on my 7th or 8th bike since I started riding 2 years ago
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Old 07-09-15, 04:38 PM
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When I retired, I got back into cycling. I ride year-round on a Specialized Expedition. It's a comfort bike that has been modified a bit. I just bought a Trek 520 because I find that the comfort bike does a good job of working my legs -- but not my gut. I'll keep the Expedition as a back-up and for my winter commuting. Winters around here are hard on bikes, and the 1.9 inch Nokian studded snow tires on the Expedition seem to me to be the right tool for dealing with winter conditions. Besides, everything is so much harder during the winter that I won't feel under-exerted anywhere on my body then.
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Old 07-09-15, 04:56 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
Seems there are a lot of threads asking for advice on a "starter bike" for riders just "getting into" cycling. I'm just wondering how many experienced riders are still riding the bike they bought when they were just starting out (no, not when you were a seven year old.) It seems many make the mistake of buying the wrong bike when they are starting out... that decisions seems to be very budget driven rather than getting the bike you really need. When I first dipped my toe into the cycling waters as an adult, I went the hybrid route - it was a toy used for putzing around the neighborhood. The first time I tried to ride with some friends on some serious bikes, I was dropped in the first 200 yards of a 30-mile ride (that I couldn't even complete half of.) So, that led to about 10 years of not really riding anywhere except around the neighborhood 3-4 times a year.

In 2006, I decided to try commuting on a bike. Tried the hybrid again. No go. I bought a road bike. Aluminum Specialized Allez. It was relatively fast, but a lousy commuter. Sold it. In 2007 I bought a steel touring bike. There it was! My first really good bike decision. It's still my main commuter. An excellent bike that I see myself riding for another 20+ years. I still had the desire to do long rides and club rides... the steel touring bike was a bit heavy (with my motor.) I bought a carbon fiber cannondale synapse. SCORE! A second great bike decision! I've been riding that bike for the past seven years. It's an occasional commuter on great weather days, but it's the bike for club rides and distance rides (it made a huge difference on my second effort of the Seattle to Portland ride - first effort was unsuccessful on the steel touring bike.)

When I look back to my initial bike purchase decisions, the reason that I made the wrong decision was money. I let myself believe that I would get a bike that would fully satisfy me for a relatively small dollar amount. I think my Trek hybrid cost me $199. Today, I can't realistically recommend a good quality bike (new) for under $800. For myself, I don't think you would find me spending under $1500 - $2000 for a bike I'd be happy riding.

So, I'm interested in knowing... Is your "first bike" (the one you bought when you got serious about riding) still a bike that you ride today? If not, what mistake did you make in your bike purchasing decision. And granted, there have been some really cool bike technologies come about since many of us bought that first bike that may have us pursuing another bike, I understand that... I, myself am looking to disc brakes (something that was not common on road bikes back when I made my purchase.)
Yes. My "starter" bike was a Cannondale H200 from 1996 and I still ride it today... it's one of a very few derailleur based bikes I have as I have since become an internal hub nut.

It is geared quite low, though and tops out at 91 gear inches so I admit I don't ride it as much as a direct result of that anymore, but when I was starting out (and weighed a lot more than I do now) that really low gearing was nice to have. A bike geared too high is no fun to start out on and then gets left in the garage unridden.

And I suppose I could always put a large crank on at some point, though that would likely mean a new front derailleur as well.
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Old 07-09-15, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
..........So, I'm interested in knowing... Is your "first bike" (the one you bought when you got serious about riding) still a bike that you ride today? If not, what mistake did you make.......
I still have it, but I very seldom ride it. No purchase mistake, due to informed friends who helped me make a good decision. Just decided after 30+ it was time to treat myself to an upgrade. Actually, shoulda done that sooner. Recreational/fitness/just for general happiness rider who's preference is for drop bar, endurance frame, road bikes. I'm on an Al frame Synapse right now and I'm really good with it.
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Old 07-09-15, 06:08 PM
  #9  
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When I decided to start cycling last year, I didn't know if I would tend toward mountain biking (of which I did as a kid), or more towards the road. So, I bought a hybrid knowing that it would show itself which way I would lean.

As it happens, I liked the road aspect of cycling more. I just recently sold my hybrid to a friend of mine who is also now wanting to get into cycling, but doesn't know what he wants to do. I don't, at all, regret this path. And before I got my road bike, I got a cyclocross bike due to its do-anything-geometry and easier gearing. I think it was an expensive, but necessary progression for getting me where I am. And the cross bike stays in the stable as my social ride and single track bike. Win-win!
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Old 07-09-15, 07:02 PM
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I started one year ago at 350 with a used Townie 3i. Destroyed the rear wheel, had a new one built and kept riding. I put around 800 miles on that bike then bought a Trek Shift 4 that is rated at 350 pounds in December. By then I was about 330. I've ridden that 1500 miles with no problem and now at 270. Last week I traded the Townie in on a Surly Disc Trucker and a Brooks B17 saddle. I've only ridden it 91 miles but the difference in geometry is really taking some getting used to. At 60 years old, it's going to take a little time to feel comfortable on it but not about to give up. I don't care about going fast, just wanted something to work the core muscles a little more and get a little more endurance. My rides on the Shift 4 were usually 20-30 miles each. I'm hoping to double that eventually on the DT.
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Old 07-09-15, 07:07 PM
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First bike was the Cannondale Adventure 400, a hybrid. Rode it on two 300+ mile tours before I tried a steel frame tourer. That one, a Trek 620 from the mid 1980s, didn't wind up fitting me well; the components got stripped off of it and used for other projects. Now I have a titanium tourer, and use the hybrid as a commuter. It gets ridden more often, but the Ti bike gets more mileage.
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Old 07-09-15, 07:20 PM
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I went from a hybrid to a road style bike though I still ride my hybrid here and there.
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Old 07-09-15, 07:42 PM
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My starter bike is very special to me. I drug the heap out of the garage and rode the hell out of it when I first got back into cycling last year. I had all kinds of other bikes, but this was always my favorite bike. I love it so much that I transformed it through the last year and a half and it's now my daily commuter. Here is "Thunder" going through it's stages I took it through.........

Here it is after 12 years sitting in my garage and I took it on it's very first ride last year which I will never forget...........





Here it is after upgrading the wheels...........



After the 700C wheel conversion and Diacompe brake conversion...........



Drop bar conversion............



Custom built rear rack project.........



Swapped over to 27" wheels.............



Swapped over to mountain bike bars to become more visible in traffic. This is how it currently is as my commuter.........

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Old 07-09-15, 08:15 PM
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My first "serious" bike was a Bikes Direct Windsor Tourist. Then I won a Janis Commuter in a contest. I have back problems so I moved to a recumbent trike, then to a recumbent bike. I ended up on my current recumbent bike, a Bacchetta Corsa.

I still have the Windsor Tourist but I haven't ridden it in a year.
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Old 07-10-15, 05:48 AM
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No. The Centurion DX 500 I bought in '86 was hit by a car after only a couple of months. Fortunately, the car missed me. Then I crashed the Maruishi and bent the frame. The used Trek 660 lasted a until '91, when one of the seat stays cracked while on the trainers. The Schwinn 760 or whatever it was was a piece of junk. Then came the Bianchi SLX frame. That got hit by a car in '93. It was replaced by a Guerciotti with TXS tubing. Then came the Colnago Dream Plus in 2001. That was also a piece of junk. Frame crack developed early on. Then the replacement cracked outside of the warranty. It was replaced in 2004 by my custom IF Steel Crown Jewel SE, which is sitting in the basement. Now I am riding a custom Ti frame from Engin.

I left out a '92 Trek MTB, the cheap Cannondale MTB that I won in a photo contest, the Bike Friday, which I will ride to work this morning since I am waiting for my LHT to return from South Dakota and two other touring bikes, one which was stolen. Actually, my custom racks were stolen. The bike just happened to be attached to them.
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Old 07-10-15, 06:19 AM
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My GT Zaskar from 1990 something is still in use. I put thousands of trail miles on that thing, rebuilt it a bunch of times, taco'd a few rims, but the frame and main components just wouldn't quit, so I still have it. More recently I have added a recumbent trike and now this year a proper road bike. I ride all three of these depending on where I am going and who I'm going with.
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Old 07-10-15, 08:06 AM
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I don't know if I would call it my "starter bike" - that was really a Raleigh Budgie that I rode as a 4 year old, however the bike that I got "back into" cycling with is my Rockhopper and I was actually riding it last night. Crashed it too. Ouch!
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Old 07-10-15, 08:15 AM
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Yes and no... In high school I had a Schwinn Varsity. That bike was stolen 25 years ago... In 1991 I bought a Cannondale M400 in way too small of a frame for me. Barely rode it and sold it. When I got back into cycling I bought a Cannondale CAAD9/4, the last of the USA made bikes, and I think literally the last one sold in the country new in my size. Still riding it almost every day and I plan on keeping it, but I'm also planning on a Gunnar as a weight loss goal reward. I'll be building it up with Rival 22 - unless 24 or 26 hits the market before I buy. I'm also toying with a Fastlane instead of the Sport so I can run discs.
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Old 07-10-15, 08:42 AM
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Great question.

I think the answer will depend on *when* people bought their starter bike. Technology and prices have come a long way.

The starter bike I bought 3 months ago is pretty darn good for $400. STIs, good shifting via indexed Claris FD/RD, quiet as a whisper etc. I'll keep it as a touring bike for sure.

But my friends starter bike he bought 10 years ago for $500 in 2005 is well ... Down tube friction shifters, clunky shifting etc. He got rid of it fairly quickly once technology improved.

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Old 07-10-15, 08:43 AM
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My Specialized Globe. Total comfort bike, very entry level. Within weeks I'd busted out all kinds of spokes, busted the suspension seat post and the seat rail. After changing the wheel, post and seat, I haven't really had to do much else to it. Then I got the road bike itch - got an old Schwinn, tried my hand at fixing it up. Gave it to my son and went back to the Globe. Then I got my '79 Fuji and really went to town fixing it up. Put several hundred miles on the Fuji but am now at a crossroads - there's probably $400 to $500 I'll need to sink into that (new wheels, paint) if I'm going to commit to the Fuji, or do I just put that into a new bike? Picked up what I thought was my dream bike, Bridgestone RB-1 - and I love that bike but frankly am too big for it unless I go and beef up the wheels, maybe put a higher stem on it... again, do I do that or do I pour the money into the new bike. So while I ponder all that, I'm back to old faithful, the Globe. I'm always amazed at how nicely it rides when I get back onto it.. not sure if it's because it's fairly new (at least compared to all the other bikes I've been flirting with). I feel like a bike philanderer.
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Old 07-10-15, 08:47 AM
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I still ride the Detour I bought back in 2013, my first bike as an adult. Bought a used 80s circa? Schwinn Continental earlier this year, put about $300 into it to get it road worthy again and ended up only riding it for about a month before returning the Detour. I've got over 4000 miles on it currently, I use it daily to run errands, commuted to work 25 miles one way much of last year and early this year, some recreation trail rides with my kid, as well as on a few weekend bike-camping trips. What I like most about it is how low maintenance it is on top of it being comfortable to ride any distance (for me, YMMV), sure it's geometry makes me work hard to get anywhere but I kind of like that.. Although I have been in the market for a new road bike, to simply fit in, I don't think I'll ever quit riding the Detour.
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Old 07-10-15, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
So, I'm interested in knowing... Is your "first bike" (the one you bought when you got serious about riding) still a bike that you ride today? If not, what mistake did you make in your bike purchasing decision. And granted, there have been some really cool bike technologies come about since many of us bought that first bike that may have us pursuing another bike, I understand that... I, myself am looking to disc brakes (something that was not common on road bikes back when I made my purchase.)
No longer own my first bicycle. It was a white Fuji mountain bike that I bought because it looked cool (and it was on sale). Turns out the white paint meant it always looked dirty and I ended up riding it almost exclusively on the street. Sold the Fuji after a few months and bought a Trek road bike, which I owned for quite a while.
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Old 07-10-15, 10:29 AM
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I bought a Schwinn beach cruiser about 25 years ago, after we moved we rode for a while, then work got buy and I got lazy. About 5 years ago after a 15 year hiatus I started to get back into biking. Being in the Ozarks an old steel 5 speed just wasn't cutting it any more on the hills. I went to the LBS and tried a few new bikes out, being a relative "newbie" again I still wanted a comfort bike. So I bought a Giant Sedona. That was OK for a year or so till I really got the feel back for it. I remember trying a large and XL frame and felt awkward on the XL so opted for the large. I was right on the cusp.

So another year goes by and I increase in strength and stamina and this comfort bike seems to be limiting me again. The frame is just a tad too small and there is a big jump between 1st and second on the rear DL. So back I went to get a more aggressive bike, this time a Giant Roam 2 with hydra brakes. This seems to do it for me and until I can get more time to invest in riding this will be the bike I use till it's broke or I die.

So I got rid of the "original" bike and still have the Sedona as a backup bike.
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Old 07-10-15, 03:09 PM
  #24  
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Yes my first real bike i won last year in a raffle for the benifit of a bike club for kids.

A great Cannondale Synapse carbon 5 105
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Old 07-10-15, 03:33 PM
  #25  
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this bike changed my life in 2005

I think this is somewhere on Palomar Mt
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