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Buying advice for new bike

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Buying advice for new bike

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Old 05-10-18, 07:17 AM
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StickSpike
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Buying advice for new bike

I want to buy my first ever bike and I would really appreciate some advice.I'll tell you what I think I want ,let me know what is unrealistic.

First of all,the purpose of the bike will be commuting. I will buy it second hand and my budget is around 700 dollars. Here in Romania there are plenty of really good deals on most stuff and I'm willing to wait quite a few months until I find a great one.
I would love for the bike to be under 12kg or so.
  1. I understand that the geometry of the bike,reach and stack in particular, is very important. I totally understand how those work and I am not necessarily looking for a very up-right position,since I am quite flexible.
  2. Frame->I guess my options for the frame are steel or aluminium. I'm not sure on what to choose. For this price,is steel usually that much heavier than aluminum? I am leaning towards steel because I assume it's more durable,let me know if I'm wrong. I know that there are plenty of different types of steel and heard a lot of good things about chromoly 4130 and some reynolds,but I am clearly not well informed in this subject,nor the price for that matter. Other than the type of steel used and of course,the geometry, is there anything else I need to look for in a steel frame? what about an aluminum one?
  3. Fenders+racks->another point to make is that I really want full-coverage fenders and a rear bike rack with panniers for carrying groceries and stuff. I know this is probably a really dumb question,but since this is my first bike and I'm buying it online,how can I tell if it can take fenders and racks? Should I be looking for specific holes or something? For the rack,I think they are called seatstay eylets and dropout eylets. Am I correct? is that everything that's needed to take a regular rack? How about the fenders? I really want wide tyres and I don't know if it's even possible to get them paired with fenders. Is there a way to tell how much clearance do I have for the tyres with fenders before I even buy it?
  4. Fork->All I know is that I don't want any suspensions. I plan on running tyres as wide as I can and ride on the road for the most part,so I don't need suspensions. Would an aluminum fork be better than a steel one? I think steel would dampen more road vibrations,right? Is there anything else I have to look for?Maybe the design of it? I assume this is the part that dictates the maximum width of the tyre,so I need to check for that. Is there any other part of the bike that might not allow me get a bit wider tyres,other than the fork and the rim ?
  5. Handlebars-> a wide compact dropped handlebar sounds the most appealing to me. Even though I would be in a lower,more aggresive position with dropped handlebars compared to flat,the multitude of hand positions still seems more comfortable to me. When choosing handlebars,is it all about the shape? From what I've read,aluminum handlebars are very durable and people don't really recommend going for steel ones,so aluminum it is?
  6. wheels+tyres-> I guess 700c rims are the most common. As I said,I want as wide tyres as I can fit with fenders..so I need to check that the rims fit wider than 28mm,right? Since I am not the lightest of riders at 80kg and I also plan on carrying stuff around in panniers,I guess the number of spokes matter? Would it make my bike be able to carry much more stuff without a problem or does it not really matter for me? I don't really know anything about choosing my rims,so maybe you guys could help me out.
  7. Crankset-> 50/34 Compact crankset seems great for me,especially as a beginner. There are some climbs where I live,but none of them are that steep. Should I be also looking in 52/36 cranksets if I find good deals? From what I know,I will be looking for either Shimano Tiagra or Shimano 105. I know that there are plenty of versions of them and that they upgrade them quite often. I think the tiagra used to be 9-speed and now it is 10-speed,for example. are there specific models of each that I should look for? Or better said,are there any models that I should stay away from? Are there any other good alternatives to shimano? SRAM tends to be a bit more expensive here in Romania,but in case I find a better deal,are the SRAM Rival or the SRAM Force good alternatives to the tiagra/105?
  8. Cassettes-> well,I'm pretty sure that if I choose a 105 crankset,I have to get a shimano 105 11-speed cassette. And so it's the case for any crankset I think. I will be looking to get as wide range as possible on the tooth options. I think the widest range on 105 is 11-32,while the widest on tiagra is 11-34. Anything else I should look into?
  9. Brakes-> I don't mind the extra weight of disc brakes and I think they require less maintanance and are also more effective in wet conditions,so I will probably go with disc brakes. I couldn't really find any clear recommendations for mechanical disc brakes,other than TRP Spyre and BB7. These seem fairly expensive. Is there really no other cheaper disc brakes that stand out from the others? I really don't need extremely good performance,I'm only commuting. But I don't want to have awful brakes either. I did however find plenty recommendations for hidraulic disk brakes. And they aren't even that expensive. What is the deal with them,should I look for hydraulics? I think the levers are much more expensive,right? So It probably wouldn't be worth it to search for a bike with hydraulic disk breakes in my budget.
  10. Levers-> I honestly don't know anything about these. I guess it depends on the crankset you get? So does a tiagra crankset only work with tiagra levers? I also don't know if they have to be specifically made for disk brakes. Because I'm wondering wether there are different models that are good that I need to look for.
  11. Derailleurs-> again,i don't know much about these. I assume you need suitable front and back derailleurs for the type of crankset/cassettes you have. So again,should I only look for tiagra derailleurs if I have tiagra crankset/cassette?
  12. Other stuff-> Stem,seat post,pedals .. anything I need to look for? I get that stems can change the reach and stack of the bike and that the longer the stem,the better control you have. As for pedals,I want flat pedals because I want to be able to use the bike in regular shoes.
Is there anything else? Thank you so much by the way for helping me!! Truly appreciate it if you do.
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Old 05-10-18, 09:11 AM
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Best advice for first bike ever?

Skip all those questions you have.

Buy something used and really cheap. (Not sure how easy that is in Romania) But I mean CHEAP. Some old clunker that doesn't look like much but has round wheels and works for $50 will do. Ride that for a couple months and see what you like and dislike about it. Make sure you actually enjoy biking and actually want to spend $700 on a nice bike.

Then once you have a feel for what you like and don't like about the clunker bike, start shopping for what you really want now that you have a better feel for what you actually like.

There are just so many options and opinions on bikes and components and having never owned a bike before you are flying totally blind. All the research on components and brands and riding styles are just other people's opinions. There is no right answer to any of it. The ONLY opinion that matters if what YOU like. And you can't research that. You have to ride and figure it out for yourself.

Here's the upside to my plan....you'll like being on the cheap bike. But it'll get old. You'll start wanting different things. Then when you buy a new on that's got all the specific stuff you like and nothing you now know you hate, you'll love it 10 times more than you will love the bike you buy based on research and no riding experience.
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Old 05-13-18, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by StickSpike View Post
I want to buy my first ever bike and I would r.
Your over analyzing way way way too much,

there's no such a thing as a perfect bike just simply because your tastes and your preferences might change in six months or so,

Just find a place where they sell used bikes, test ride one or two, If you like the ride and the price is is right, buy and go ride.
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Old 05-14-18, 06:40 AM
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A good Hybrid bicycle, with eyelets in the rear for a pannier rack or that already has a rack on it and fenders, there should be plenty of these used or even brand new for 700 dollars from your local bicycle shop. It is important that the bicycle is the right size for you also, so try a few bicycles out for size before making a decision.
You should be able to get a bicycle that weighs under 12 kgs for your budget and that is a Hybrid also that will accomdate wider tyres and fenders, with gearing for climbs also.
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Old 05-15-18, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Best advice for first bike ever?

Skip all those questions you have.

Buy something used and really cheap. (Not sure how easy that is in Romania) But I mean CHEAP. Some old clunker that doesn't look like much but has round wheels and works for $50 will do. Ride that for a couple months and see what you like and dislike about it. Make sure you actually enjoy biking and actually want to spend $700 on a nice bike.

Then once you have a feel for what you like and don't like about the clunker bike, start shopping for what you really want now that you have a better feel for what you actually like.

There are just so many options and opinions on bikes and components and having never owned a bike before you are flying totally blind. All the research on components and brands and riding styles are just other people's opinions. There is no right answer to any of it. The ONLY opinion that matters if what YOU like. And you can't research that. You have to ride and figure it out for yourself.

Here's the upside to my plan....you'll like being on the cheap bike. But it'll get old. You'll start wanting different things. Then when you buy a new on that's got all the specific stuff you like and nothing you now know you hate, you'll love it 10 times more than you will love the bike you buy based on research and no riding experience.
+1

To quote user tsl, the point of your 1st bike is to figure out what you want in your 2nd bike.
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Old 05-15-18, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
+1

To quote user tsl, the point of your 1st bike is to figure out what you want in your 2nd bike.
Hehe. I remember him writing that on more than one occasion, and so much truth and wisdom to that.

I wonder what happened to him.
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Old 05-15-18, 05:47 PM
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I used to come across him in the annual Commuter Cycling Century Challenge threads over at bikejournal.com, but this year I haven't signed up to do that daily logging (I'm still commuting though). I expect he's fine, he had changed jobs so perhaps life/priorities have shifted, not as much time to be online?
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Old 05-16-18, 01:58 AM
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I only have experience with carbon bikes and it seems to be more in line with your weight requirements.
But you didn't mention the road situation.
If it is a flat road, I recommend the ICAN carbon fiber road Wheelset.
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Old 05-16-18, 10:32 AM
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Well, you've certainly done your homework. After taking the time to make such a thorough post I'm sure it's less than helpful to suggest you're over thinking this, but, that pretty much sums it up. My best advice would be to buy something - anything - close to what you've outlined. Don't sweat the details. Live with it for some time. Let your experiences with this first bike shape the decisions you make on the next. You've listed 12 items that each of us could express very valid reasons for choosing one way or the other, and not one of us would be wrong. Much of the info you're asking about is opinion based; a matter of taste and/or preference. There simply is no "best" or "worst," there is whatever's right for YOU. Only by buying, riding, and living the experiences will you learn what's best for YOU.

I going to contradict Skipjacks advice to buy something cheap. Too cheap is usually a waste of money. Your post demonstrates a fairly thorough level of research which suggests to me you could probably find something very close to what you're looking for. Close enough, in fact, that you will probably keep it as you buy your next, "more perfect" bike (n+1). Buying junk means you'll be left with nothing but junk to get rid of. Again, there's no right or wrong here, just opinionated advice.

Welcome to the disfunctionality that is BF. Keep us posted on your progress.


-Kedosto
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Old 05-17-18, 12:07 AM
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I was writing a really long post but then deleted everything to try again, more concisely.

Test ride some bikes just like other posters have said. If you feel that you don't know enough about individual components to evaluate whether some used bike is a good deal, then you either need a knowledgeable friend to check out the bike with you or buy a new bike. At least in the US, you can get extremely adequate new bikes for $700 and you won't have to deal with stuff like older groupsets that are difficult to get replacement parts for or crank lengths that don't make sense for the rider size, plus you can just ask the manufacturer or retailer about stuff like rack mounts and tire clearance. If you don't have any new bike options, then narrow your search to bikes where the seller knows whether their bike can handle climbs, wider tires, and fenders. Don't overthink or plan to upgrade components just because you read that they're good -- get some miles on the bike first so you know if you need to replace anything.
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Old 05-22-18, 09:54 AM
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Good luck!
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