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Going to get a bike

Old 06-13-14, 08:15 PM
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fulgentius
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Going to get a bike

Hi all,

First, let me apologize for posting what must be a very common newb question here. I just moved to a new town and got a new job that's about 12 miles away. I've been commuting to work a few times a week on my rather cheap single speed bike and I'm absolutely loving it, and thinking I want to do a lot more biking and get more serious about it. Don't know why I'm suddenly getting into it so much, as I've been commuting for much smaller distances on bikes for a while. But there it is.

The problem is that riding my single speed up any reasonable hill seems to be messing with my knees. I am not as young as I used to be and I'm out of shape. So, between that and my newfound enthusiasm, I think I want to get a decent bike. For the time being it will be used at least 90% for commuting to work. I'm willing to pay up to around $1000, though if I can find something a bit cheaper that I'm happy with, that would be a plus. But I definitely want a good solid bike.

I've been doing some research and I think a cyclocross or similar style of bike sounds like a good fit. I have the option of taking a route which involves well-packed dirt trails; I rode on them on my road bike and it was doable, but something that is a little more versatile would be nice. But I definitely don't want a full on mountain bike or anything like that. I want something that is still sporty and fun to ride on the street, not too heavy, etc.

So, given all that, what bikes would people recommend I consider? The bike shop I am thinking of doing business with mostly has specialized bikes, some treks, and a few surlys. I'm willing to shop around though.

Thanks!
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Old 06-13-14, 08:25 PM
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NormanF
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I find to my liking the Fairdale Weekender. Its made of 4130 double butted cromoly, has disk brakes and has a retro diamond frame cruiser appeal.

You might want to check it out.


Last edited by NormanF; 06-13-14 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 06-13-14, 08:33 PM
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fulgentius
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I'm 6'1".
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Old 06-13-14, 08:40 PM
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NormanF
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Look for a Large/Extra Large frame or 58-60 cm for fit.
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Old 06-13-14, 10:02 PM
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Given everything you've said, I believe cyclocross is absolutely what you want. Which ones are available in the nearby store? Trek Crossrip? Surly Cross-Check?
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Old 06-13-14, 10:43 PM
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Thanks for the feedback so far, everyone!

According to their website, they have a Crossrip

CrossRip Elite - Trek Bicycle

a Tricross,

Specialized Bicycle Components


and a Cross Check.

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check

They also have some less expensive Crosstrails, like this one

Specialized Bicycle Components

Last edited by fulgentius; 06-13-14 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 06-13-14, 10:50 PM
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Surly Cross Check may be what you are looking for.
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Old 06-14-14, 12:52 AM
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Columbus Steel: My Personal Favorite

IMHO, the best time to make your purchase would be this weekend thru Performance, due to their 30% off sale.

I think that I have the perfect bike for you (me). However, it's $155 over budget, after the 30% deduction.

It's called the GT Corsa Disc Brake Road Bike. It comes complete with a 105 Gruppo, a Carbon Fiber fork, a double compact crankset, 35mm wide tires, Mechanical Disc Brakes, rack and bottle mounts. All dressed in a double-butted Columbus Thron Chromoly Steel frame.

Find Bikes, Cycling Clothing, Bike Parts & Bike Shoes Or Your Local Bike Store at Performance.

Checkout the GT Corsa Disc Brake Road Bike @ $1155 (After the 30% deduction)

It's an "Endurance" Road Bike...

* Call customer service for sizing suggestions


Last edited by WestPablo; 06-14-14 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 06-14-14, 05:36 AM
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The following are the best possible choices within your budget with only one more day left at Performance:

Racing CX Bikes

*1) The Fuji Cross 4.0 LE CX Bike @ $630

*2) The Fuji Cross 3.0 LE CX Bike @ $770

* Prices after 30% deduction

www.performancebike.com

Order one of these and test ride it when you pick it up at a nearby Performance bike shop. If you don't like it, you'll receive a 100% refund.

Last edited by WestPablo; 06-14-14 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 06-14-14, 06:50 AM
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OP, where you are located? How old are you? Other joint issues besides knees? I assume by single-speed you mean a fixie? Or single-speed coaster? What kinds of hills?
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Old 06-14-14, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by fulgentius View Post
Thanks for the feedback so far, everyone!

According to their website, they have a Crossrip

CrossRip Elite - Trek Bicycle

a Tricross,

Specialized Bicycle Components


and a Cross Check.

Cross-Check | Bikes | Surly Bikes

They also have some less expensive Crosstrails, like this one

Specialized Bicycle Components
go ride them.

no, really. you are going to be the one riding it. go ride and see which fits you best.

then sleep on it and ride them again.

You've been riding some already, so you should have an idea what good feels like

good luck!
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Old 06-14-14, 10:28 AM
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fulgentius
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Thanks, WestPablo, I will definitely take a look at those deals.

CrankyOne, I live in the south San Francisco bay area (San Jose, to be exact). I'm 41. The only real issue is my left knee, which throbs a bit if I overexert it. The pain itself isn't a big deal, but I want to make sure that while I'm riding I'm not also wrecking my knee for good. Sometimes the ankle acts up slightly too, but not as much.

The bike I have now is a Jamis Beatnik in single-speed coaster mode. It has one of those wheels that is fixed on one side and coasts on the other, you just have to flip it around. I tried riding it fixed for a while but didn't perceive any real advantage to it personally, so I flipped the wheel back to coast mode. I got it maybe three years ago. Anyway, it was fine in the previous place I lived, which was totally flat and my commute was fairly short. I've been missing having gears though, I'm not in love with fixies or anything like that.

The south bay is actually very flat, but the thing is you are constantly going up and down overpasses, pedestrian walkways, etc. So they really aren't challenging hills, but it's enough of a challenge for me with no gears.
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Old 06-14-14, 10:51 AM
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Hey, Fulgentius!

Google image: "Interrupter Brakes", Bicycle

...that might be a nice convenience on your new dropbar road bike!
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Old 06-14-14, 11:18 AM
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You can commute on many types of bikes. The companies sell hybrids, mountain bikes, road bikes, and blends of same with rack and fender mounts. The "cross" bikes are the ones to go with if you like drop bars. Keep an eye out for gearing - cross racing bikes have narrow gearing and knobby tires, and that shows up in some commuterized versions.
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Old 06-14-14, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by fulgentius View Post

The south bay is actually very flat, but the thing is you are constantly going up and down overpasses, pedestrian walkways, etc. So they really aren't challenging hills, but it's enough of a challenge for me with no gears.
Maybe your gear ratio is too high and that's why you find it challenging. What gear ratio are you using ??. Singlespeed shouldn't cause knee problems, unless you're mashing big gears. Change to a lower gear ratio and spin more, spinning is healthier for the knees.
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Old 06-14-14, 12:01 PM
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Wolfchild: I believe the ratio is 16:46. Honestly, I think it's mainly because I am overweight, otherwise known as fat. I'm already dropping some of it, but until I am back to a reasonable weight I doubt I can keep doing those hills with the bike I have. I should probably also point out that this is not an isolated incident. My knee has been like this for some time: if I exert it too much (like, playing tennis at my current weight) it hurts later and continues to do so until I've rested it for a while. I feel pretty confident having more than one gear is going to help in this regard.

WestPablo: Those do look pretty cool!

Darth Lefty: Thanks for the heads up, I don't think I'd want really narrow gears.
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Old 06-14-14, 12:35 PM
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fulgentius
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Although I am probably going to keep this bike, so maybe it would be worth putting a larger freewheel/cog on it? I wonder if an 18 would be a big difference? I don't know much about this stuff, obviously.
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Old 06-14-14, 01:07 PM
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I do think a Cross bike would be a good choice given everything you mentioned. I am with others and think you should ride all the cross bikes you can find and decide which one you like best.
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Old 06-15-14, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by datsme40 View Post
go ride them.

no, really. you are going to be the one riding it. go ride and see which fits you best.

then sleep on it and ride them again.

You've been riding some already, so you should have an idea what good feels like

good luck!
Good advice right there. A cx bike sounds exactly like what your looking for. If the one you like has knobby tires, the dealer will usually work out a trade for something more suited for the road as part of the deal.
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Old 06-15-14, 05:56 AM
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At 41 you've still got about 10 years before the general aches and pains begin. Something to look forward to. Good you're loosing weight and getting active now. You should have an ortho take a look at your knee just to make sure you're not causing increased damage by pushing it when it hurts. Nothing like finding out as you schedule surgery that it could have been avoided with a little bit of care.


Pushing too low of gear on hard exertion can cause knee and back problems, especially if your bike fit is off. Having some lower gear options would likely help considerably as would making sure you've got a proper fit.


Might be worth it to make a trip to Streetbike Named Desire in Pala Alto and have a look at their city bikes. Much better from a knee/back standpoint.

Last edited by CrankyOne; 06-15-14 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 06-15-14, 05:58 AM
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I would suggest these two:

Breezer Bikes - Uptown EX - Bike Overview

Fuji Bikes | LIFESTYLE | PAVEMENT - ALL-TERRAIN | TRAVERSE 1.9

Good luck keep us posted!

- Andy
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Old 06-15-14, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
At 41 you've still got about 10 years before the general aches and pains begin.
I'm 54. When will mine start?
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Old 06-15-14, 06:46 AM
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No bike advice (plenty of good suggestions have already been made) but I do have a suggestion relative to the knee pain. I used to have an issue with my right knee while riding up hills or if I pushed too hard. This was when I was about 40. I got a new job and started taking the stairs when ever I could. Came to about 12 -14 flights each day. After having the job for a week the knee pain went away and has pretty much stayed away for the past 10 years.

Good luck with the bike search.
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Old 06-17-14, 09:55 PM
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Thanks, everyone. You've been a lot of help. After all the research I'm leaning toward the Surly Cross Check, but as several people have pointed out I won't know until I ride a bunch of bikes around, and that should happen this weekend. Pretty excited!
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Old 06-18-14, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by fulgentius View Post
Thanks, everyone. You've been a lot of help. After all the research I'm leaning toward the Surly Cross Check, but as several people have pointed out I won't know until I ride a bunch of bikes around, and that should happen this weekend. Pretty excited!
Any progress on choosing a bike?
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