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Seeking advice on which bike.

Old 10-01-15, 07:43 AM
  #1  
YogaKat
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Seeking advice on which bike.

I am working on my amazon list and found three bikes that I would like opinions on.

I am a 5' tall female and have put just over 500 miles on my beach cruiser over the last month and a half. Which of these three would you recommend for an upgrade?


* Vilano Tuono Performance Hybrid Flat Bar Commuter Road Bike (700c, 21 Speed Shimano) - 50 cm

* GMC Denali Road Bike, 41cm/X-Small, Black/Pink

* Merax Finiss Aluminum Road Bike Racing Bicycle (Red & white, 54 cm)

Last edited by YogaKat; 10-05-15 at 06:59 AM. Reason: nevermind, I can't do maths
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Old 10-01-15, 07:58 AM
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To make it easier for others to compare, I have provided the links. You're not going to get many people who know all three bikes.

Vilano

GMC Denali

Merax Finiss

For my opinion, they are all similar pick the one that speaks to you. I personally prefer flat bars over drops and will be closer in feel to your beach cruiser. Bikes that come from box stores or the internet typically need a go over by a qualified mechanic but that is your call.

You could also do a search on this site, I know the Denali has quite a bit of network traffic and same with the Vilano.
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Old 10-01-15, 08:03 AM
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Thank you blakcloud. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to post the links.

Another thing I forgot to add is that while riding my cruiser, I do spend a lot of time riding with my arms resting on the handlebars with my back in a downward position than riding sitting straight upright. I just find this to be more comfortable.

Here's an example:

Attached Images

Last edited by YogaKat; 10-01-15 at 08:08 AM. Reason: added picture
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Old 10-01-15, 01:04 PM
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Change the handlebar. Keep the cruiser. Or put a 3 speed IGH wheel on it if it is now a single speed.
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Old 10-01-15, 01:46 PM
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The first thing that strikes me is that if you are 5' tall, a 54cm frame will be miles too big for you.

The second thing is that if you could wait a while, it would be much bettwr to save a few bucks and then buy a rather better bike. You're doing OK with the cruiser, stick with it until you can make a bigger step up.
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Old 10-01-15, 02:58 PM
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If you are by Tulsa or OK City there should be bike shops or used sporting good shops that have better used bikes in that price range. At least you'd be able to ride them side by side, beforehand and see what feels "right" to you. The bikes you chose are going to have less reliable components that may make braking and shifting a chore rather than a joy. A local independent bike shop that deals in refurbished bikes would be my first choice. There, they can let you ride and feel the difference between bikes, and help you find what you want, which may be slightly different than what you aim for. Look for a sales person who wants to help you, not just make a sale.
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Old 10-01-15, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by YogaKat View Post
Thank you blakcloud. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to post the links.

Another thing I forgot to add is that while riding my cruiser, I do spend a lot of time riding with my arms resting on the handlebars with my back in a downward position than riding sitting straight upright. I just find this to be more comfortable.

Here's an example:

I agree with the advice to change the handlebar or add aerobars to your current handlebar. It's a relatively low-cost upgrade to your current bike that you can enjoy while saving up for your next bike or just taking the time to research bikes and decide.

My bike came with swept handlebar similar to yours. I swapped it for a trekking bar because I wanted more hand positions and am quite happy with it. I also considered a Velo Orange Crazy Bar but decided in favor of the trekking bar after reading that bikes with bar ends are banned from a lot of group rides, due to concerns over things and people being caught in the bar ends. Also, knowing my own clumsiness, I thought that I'd be frequently getting those front bullhorns tangled in bushes, tree branches, stuff on my coworkers' bikes, etc.
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Old 10-01-15, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by YogaKat View Post
Thank you blakcloud. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to post the links.

Another thing I forgot to add is that while riding my cruiser, I do spend a lot of time riding with my arms resting on the handlebars with my back in a downward position than riding sitting straight upright. I just find this to be more comfortable.

Here's an example:

My thought is that if you like riding in that position, then you really should consider a bike with drop bars. They'll give you that position by having your hands on the top flat part of the bar. And they also give you many more positions.

Drop bar hand positions

If you hadn't shown the picture, I wouldn't have bothered to suggest it. But that position looks more like a road bike position than a hybrid position.

GH
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Old 10-01-15, 04:16 PM
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Many thanks to you all. This really gives me some things to consider since I know next to nothing about bikes aside from a single gear, pedal break cruiser.

I will be doing a 44 mile tour on Saturday with some really crazy elevations and wondering if I will need to get some more gears in the future.

I do like the idea of doing some upgrades here and there on what I have and doing more research in the meantime. I will also check out some of the LBS as well.
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Old 10-01-15, 04:22 PM
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Skip amazon, shop in person..

Walk into Bike shops, try several, pick the shop you like best first , then talk to them about what your bike needs are.


If you really want long distance internet shopping Go to https://www.bikefriday.com/
I happen to like My Bike Friday, (made in Oregon)

By using a 20" wheel the fit for smaller riders is dialed in easier .

where it involves compromises when the wheels are Bigger..

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-01-15 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 10-01-15, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by YogaKat View Post
Many thanks to you all. This really gives me some things to consider since I know next to nothing about bikes aside from a single gear, pedal break cruiser.

I will be doing a 44 mile tour on Saturday with some really crazy elevations and wondering if I will need to get some more gears in the future.

I do like the idea of doing some upgrades here and there on what I have and doing more research in the meantime. I will also check out some of the LBS as well.
In that case, I'd suggest renting a bike - one that is lighter than a cruiser (those tend to be heavy), with real brakes (not "pedal brake") for riding down hills, and gears for easier climbing of hills. Lighter bike weight of course will also make climbing easier. And for that distance, you'll want a drop bar bike.

Try asking the LBS's in your area about rentals. At the LBS's in my area, $20 a day seems to be the going rate. The bike rental will give you a chance to get to know the bike really well, because it's a much more involved "test ride" of the bike than just a 15-30 min. test ride on the parking lot, street, etc. near an LBS.
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Old 10-01-15, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver View Post
In that case, I'd suggest renting a bike - one that is lighter than a cruiser (those tend to be heavy), with real brakes (not "pedal brake") for riding down hills, and gears for easier climbing of hills. Lighter bike weight of course will also make climbing easier. And for that distance, you'll want a drop bar bike.

Try asking the LBS's in your area about rentals. At the LBS's in my area, $20 a day seems to be the going rate. The bike rental will give you a chance to get to know the bike really well, because it's a much more involved "test ride" of the bike than just a 15-30 min. test ride on the parking lot, street, etc. near an LBS.
Shoot. I now wish I had asked this question question earlier than two days before. I'm traveling 1.5 hours to ride with some friends of mine that are local to that area. (They talked me into it and we are taking the ride at a casual fun pace.) I may ask them if there is a rental shop there. I'm a little nervous about dropping a chain while cruising down a big hill.
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Old 10-02-15, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by yogakat View Post
thank you blakcloud. I wasn't sure if i was allowed to post the links.

Another thing i forgot to add is that while riding my cruiser, i do spend a lot of time riding with my arms resting on the handlebars with my back in a downward position than riding sitting straight upright. I just find this to be more comfortable.

Here's an example:

nice pic

Last edited by jeichelberg87; 10-02-15 at 09:59 AM. Reason: REPHRASE THE POST
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Old 10-02-15, 10:45 AM
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I like the idea of aerobars on a cruiser.
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Old 10-02-15, 10:59 AM
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Its More Dutch Style , no special Bars to buy, you just lean forward and put your Elbows on the handgrips.
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Old 10-02-15, 11:05 AM
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Aerobars look pretty comfy. I had considered wrapping them in a faux fur material but that would be problematic in the rain.
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Old 10-02-15, 11:14 AM
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Aero bars with the elbows on the pads so close together is not so controllable..
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Old 10-02-15, 11:20 AM
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I can see your point. I will have to try some out first. I'm starting to get a little excited about revamping my ride.
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Old 10-02-15, 11:50 AM
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For someone 5" tall, a Retrospect mini velo would be right up your alley.

A 20" wheel rigid bike would be a substantial improvement over your cruiser.


As the other posters have said, you really need to visit a bike shop and find a bike suited to your height, weight and physical abilities and how you like to ride.

I'm 5'7" and a 54 is spot on for me. Its way too big for you and you need a much smaller bike to ride it comfortable and safely.
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Old 10-02-15, 12:31 PM
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Look around for used. You can get a decent entry level aluminum road bike with carbon fork and Tiagra components for what the bikes you listed are selling for. Not to offend, but all three of those bikes are going to have issues with the mileage you plan to put on them.
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Old 10-02-15, 02:15 PM
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Bikes Direct sometimes has nice cheaper bikes. I have a cruiser I bought from there I really like.

This road bike is $240 and has your size: Save Up to 60% Off Shimano Road Bikes - Dawes Lightning Sport AL
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Old 10-02-15, 04:30 PM
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Once again thanks for the replies.

No offense taken, that's why I asked for advice. This is good education for me.
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Old 10-02-15, 05:51 PM
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700c wheel is too large for a 5' rider. 26" max, either 26"mtb or 650c.
You won't find a lot in 24"
Youth cyclo-cross bikes in 26" mtb might be worth a look, eg Trek KRX

Moda Major CX 26" has old wheel size 650A which is not mtb, 650c or 650b. Why o why not use mtb rims.

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Old 10-02-15, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wayne2000 View Post
Bikes Direct sometimes has nice cheaper bikes. I have a cruiser I bought from there I really like.

This road bike is $240 and has your size: Save Up to 60% Off Shimano Road Bikes - Dawes Lightning Sport AL
This is a good entry level bike. The 42cm bike will fit you.
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Old 10-03-15, 04:18 AM
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Regarding sizing, this makes a lot of sense. My Cranbrook is a 26"
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