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bumpy roads on a budget

Old 07-08-16, 12:24 PM
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eposka23
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bumpy roads on a budget

Not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but I'm looking for advice on a bike. I live in Pittsburgh, PA, so not the smoothest roads or sidewalks. I'm currently riding my 26" Walmart mountain bike but I need a 29", and that's about all I know. With all the potholes and such, I feel like I need the thick tires of a mountain bike, and some kind of suspension, but I don't know. I see people with thin tires all the time but I feel like that would be risky? I'd like to spend less than $300, as I'm on a budget and only needing something to last at least a few years. Are used bikes in my range worth it?
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Old 07-08-16, 12:28 PM
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I ride crappy chipseal every day on 700x32C. I wouldn't call it comfortable, but even with 26x2.125s on my previous utility bike it was rough.

Personally, I'd go for a CX or touring specific bike, or any solid road bike that can take 32 or 35mm tires. A suspension fork soft enough to do more than keep your elbows from hurting after every pothole is going to be too mushy to ever feel right anyway.
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Old 07-08-16, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by eposka23
I'd like to spend less than $300, as I'm on a budget and only needing something to last at least a few years. Are used bikes in my range worth it?
My advice is keep the Walmart bike but put the widest set of these tires on it that will fit: Compass Tires. You will be very pleasantly surprised at the comfort level that supple tires run on low pressures can bring you.

Caution sales talk here(Take it with the appropriate amount of salt): "Supple tires are the most dramatic change you can make to the feel and performance of your bike. They roll more smoothly over the irregularities of the road surface, making them more comfortable and faster. They also absorb less energy as they deform with each tire revolution, which also increases your speed. Most of all, supple tires make your bike feel alive.

With supple tires, you can run wider tires at lower pressures, making your bike more comfortable and sure-footed, with no loss in performance. Professional racers have benefited from this research, but the bike industry continues to lag behind this trend and still reinforces most wide tires with puncture-proof belts and sturdy casings.

Our Compass tires provide the amazing ride of high-end tubular tires, but with the convenience of clinchers: There is no need to glue tires onto your rims any longer to experience the wonderful ride of supple tires. Thanks to their wider sections and lower pressures, Compass tires roll over debris that gets hammered into narrower tires, making them remarkably puncture-resistant. The tread is thick enough in the center to make our tires long-lasting. The tread pattern is designed to interlock with the road surface, so our tires offer amazing cornering grip, both in wet and dry conditions.

Compass tires are available in a variety of sizes to fit most bikes. Once you ride them, you won’t be able to go back to 'normal' tires!"

I suppose for comparison's sake you can consider this offer on CL in your area. You might like this if the frame is in your size and it's within your price range: https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bik/5627683107.html It seems like a pretty good deal.

Last edited by hilltowner; 07-08-16 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 07-08-16, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hilltowner
Caution sales talk here(Take it with the appropriate amount of salt)
I think I finished a bulk size salt lick about halfway through; they lost me at claiming wide, low pressure tires are faster.
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Old 07-08-16, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH
I think I finished a bulk size salt lick about halfway through; they lost me at claiming wide, low pressure tires are faster.
Believe it or not there is proof of that: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2010/...-and-pressure/
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Old 07-08-16, 05:10 PM
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Used hybrid is your best bet. 700c tires up to 38mm wide. It would help to know your height.

https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bik/5606444968.html

https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bik/5631619094.html

Only $20 for a Trek
https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bik/5627399079.html
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Old 07-08-16, 05:14 PM
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+1 find the fattest tires that will fit your current setup.
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Old 07-08-16, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by hilltowner
My advice is keep the Walmart bike but put the widest set of these tires on it that will fit: Compass Tires.
You are really suggesting putting $150 of tires on a $100 bike?
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Old 07-08-16, 05:43 PM
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32's will survive anything you could reasonably describe as a road so long as you don't dive into potholes on purpose, but the 38's that come with hybrids are better for smoothing things out, for sure. There are also a ton of commuter MTB tires that come in this width.
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Old 07-08-16, 06:03 PM
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Thanks for the help, guys. @oddjob2 I'm 6'1", 225 if that matters.
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Old 07-08-16, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by eposka23
Thanks for the help, guys. @oddjob2 I'm 6'1", 225 if that matters.
Nice price on a Specialized HardRock that's in your size.
https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bik/5635925464.html

After you buy the bike above, treat yourself to a pair of these and get rid of the knobby buzz.
https://www.rei.com/product/724622/s...y-tire-26-x-20
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Old 07-08-16, 08:15 PM
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I am with Hilltowner on this one for the most part. I have the original Grand Bois Hetres on my bike and they certainly transformed the bike. Supple tires make the world of difference. With that said I don't I use them for commuting because they aren't flat resistant, for that I use Schwalbe Marathons. They ride like crap but I am not fixing flats all the time and getting to work is more important than having a more comfortable ride.

I am not convinced you need to change your bike, if it works mechanically then change your tires to something more supple, lower the pressure to help absorb the road shock. Spending $150 on tires on a $100 bike is still cheaper than buying an unknown condition $300 bike.
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Old 07-08-16, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
You are really suggesting putting $150 of tires on a $100 bike?
He saves $150 that way. If what he wants is a smoother ride he won't get that just by spending $300 on a different bike.
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Old 07-08-16, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud
I am with Hilltowner on this one for the most part. I have the original Grand Bois Hetres on my bike and they certainly transformed the bike. Supple tires make the world of difference. With that said I don't I use them for commuting because they aren't flat resistant, for that I use Schwalbe Marathons. They ride like crap but I am not fixing flats all the time and getting to work is more important than having a more comfortable ride.
I'm not sure about this, since Compass/GB doesn't recommend running them tubeless but here is one way to keep the supple tires on and still avoid flats: https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...s-convert.html

I am using Hetres myself, with tubes, but this guy isn't the only one who's posted trying them tubeless and one at least with the kind of rims I use (Velocity A23) and I'm tempted to try it. I just wonder if he neglected to post the follow-up to that experiment where he gets to tell about rolling a tire in a corner.

Last edited by hilltowner; 07-08-16 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 08-08-16, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH
I think I finished a bulk size salt lick about halfway through; they lost me at claiming wide, low pressure tires are faster.
Originally Posted by hilltowner
Believe it or not there is proof of that: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2010/...-and-pressure/
More proof, or at least additional explanation (take it or leave it): https://janheine.wordpress.com/2016/...ension-losses/

Last edited by hilltowner; 08-08-16 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 08-21-16, 10:01 PM
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Some more food for thought on the subject: CyclingTips Podcast, Episode 9: Rethinking road bike tire sizes and pressures | CyclingTips
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Old 08-21-16, 10:41 PM
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[QUOTE=hilltowner;19001433]Some more food for thought on the subject: [url=https://cyclingtips.com/2016/08/cyclingtips-podcast-episode-9-rethinking-road-bike-tire-sizes-and-pressures/]CyclingTips Pods


started to listen to that podcast but had to go to bed. i will race any rider on the same bike who matches me equally over some distant miles on the bike lanes - but who then rides fat tires and I'll run my 28c's during our race
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Old 08-22-16, 10:24 AM
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[QUOTE=idiotekniQues;19001485]
Originally Posted by hilltowner
Some more food for thought on the subject: [url=https://cyclingtips.com/2016/08/cyclingtips-podcast-episode-9-rethinking-road-bike-tire-sizes-and-pressures/]CyclingTips Pods


started to listen to that podcast but had to go to bed. i will race any rider on the same bike who matches me equally over some distant miles on the bike lanes - but who then rides fat tires and I'll run my 28c's during our race
The tests have been done already but you can try them yourself. The means you suggest above contain too many variables: two different riders on two different bikes with "equal" ability hard to prove. Try a roll down test with different sized tires or even just the same tire with different pressures. Try climbing a hill and vary tire size or pressure and use a power meter to compare watts expended. Try the rumble strip test using a power meter. Google Jan Heine's blog posts on the subject and see the tests he has done.

In the end though, what you believe makes you faster might have a bigger influence on the outcome than what actually might be faster, all other things being equal.
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Old 08-29-16, 07:11 PM
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[QUOTE=idiotekniQues;19001485]
Originally Posted by hilltowner
i will race any rider on the same bike who matches me equally over some distant miles on the bike lanes - but who then rides fat tires and I'll run my 28c's during our race
28c's?! So then YOU will be riding the fat tires? For realio trulio racers, 25 is already a fat tire reserved for cobbles
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Old 08-29-16, 07:18 PM
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Bumpy roads are everywhere, don't pay a toll.
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Old 08-29-16, 07:38 PM
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[QUOTE=RubeRad;19019850]
Originally Posted by idiotekniQues
28c's?! So then YOU will be riding the fat tires? For realio trulio racers, 25 is already a fat tire reserved for cobbles
The way I understand it though, the pro 25c cobble tire is a tubular (sew up) and those have the capacity to absorb shock better at narrower diameters than clinchers.
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Old 08-29-16, 07:55 PM
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[QUOTE=RubeRad;19019850]
Originally Posted by idiotekniQues
28c's?! So then YOU will be riding the fat tires? For realio trulio racers, 25 is already a fat tire reserved for cobbles
yes 28c's. like when you buy a 28mm wide tire and on the actual tire it says 700x28C. or when you buy a tube it will say 28c-32c. basic stuff.
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Old 08-29-16, 07:56 PM
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[QUOTE=hilltowner;19002444]
Originally Posted by idiotekniQues

The tests have been done already but you can try them yourself. The means you suggest above contain too many variables: two different riders on two different bikes with "equal" ability hard to prove. Try a roll down test with different sized tires or even just the same tire with different pressures. Try climbing a hill and vary tire size or pressure and use a power meter to compare watts expended. Try the rumble strip test using a power meter. Google Jan Heine's blog posts on the subject and see the tests he has done.

In the end though, what you believe makes you faster might have a bigger influence on the outcome than what actually might be faster, all other things being equal.
let's do it with robots.
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Old 08-29-16, 11:02 PM
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[QUOTE=idiotekniQues;19019951]
Originally Posted by hilltowner

let's do it with robots.
And lasers! Can we do lasers!
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Old 08-30-16, 07:46 AM
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If you can fit them, Schwalbe Big Apples are luxurious. They roll surprisingly well and feel like riding on a mattress.
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