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Trying to get back into riding after well over a decade, frustrated

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Trying to get back into riding after well over a decade, frustrated

Old 12-09-15, 11:33 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
???

There are 5 out of 13 Roubaixs that use "old fashioned" caliper brakes (at $1800 or more). Plus 1 mechanical (wired) disk brake bike.

Specialized Bicycle Components

The Tricross doesn't appear to be available anymore. If so, then you are talking about a year or more ago. When even more Roubaixs had "old fashioned" brakes.
Yup, it was two years ago.

The point of course is that the salesperson tried to upsell to a completely inappropriate bike, and was using incorrect terminology to try and make perfectly fine brakes sound like they were undesirable.
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Old 12-09-15, 11:39 AM
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Oh for the wheel truing I will likely bite the bullet and just pay the shop to do that. It's pretty cheap around here, I just checked it out
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Old 12-09-15, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
Oh for the wheel truing I will likely bite the bullet and just pay the shop to do that. It's pretty cheap around here, I just checked it out

That, plus inability to adjust a dérailleur leads me to strongly urge you to buy from an LBS. All the big manufacturers have a rigid-fork hybrid in your price range, the FX 7 mentioned above would serve as well as an escape.

I just did what you are doing now (came back after a decade off). Right now you have no clue what type of riding you will ultimately do. Get an affordable generalist bike like a geared hybrid and worry about something else later when you are logging 100 miles a week. Until then, the hybrid will do excellently, and a halfway decent LBS will keep the bike in good working order for you for free.

If you want to learn, adjusting dérailleurs isn't rocket science. If you don't, start a relationship with your LBS and they won't charge you $25 for something so basic.
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Old 12-09-15, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
lol okay bare with me on the terminology, but the metal clamps that hold the actual brake pads were permanently welded to the frame rather than being bolted on. Brake pads not replaceable, so without being able to replace the entire assembly short of drilling and tapping the frame, which was beyond the scope of our ability as 14 year olds, the bike just had no brakes. At least not ones that worked better than a foot shove between the fork and tire anyways.
"Frame" would seem to refer to the bicycle frame. I suppose you might have meant welded to the brake caliper arms. It's still not clear...
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Old 12-09-15, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
"Frame" would seem to refer to the bicycle frame. I suppose you might have meant welded to the brake caliper arms. It's still not clear...
By frame I meant bike frame. The brake caliper arms were welded to the bike frame, so it wasn't like you could unbolt them and bolt a new pair on with replaceable pads. Once the pads were gone from the original set, that was pretty much it.
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Old 12-09-15, 01:07 PM
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Take a 3 hour road trip and buy from Bike Island in Garland, TX. BD scratch 'n' dent outlet.

No WalMart frame will fit you.

Derailleur bikes operate for thousands of miles needing little maintenance besides lubrication and chain replacement.

Lot of questionable assumptions in this thread.
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Old 12-09-15, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
I keep thinking back to when I was younger...it seemed like the only reason anyone's bike ever sat unused was because it had issues with the gears, where the BMX bikes I generally rode would just last forever no matter how cheap they were and how bad we would abuse them. There just wasn't much on them that could break that could not be rigged up or fixed.
Shifting systems have come a long way. I can't conceive of purchasing a modern bike without gears but that's just me. I rarely adjust my shifters/derailleurs. They just work. I ride 100% road.
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Old 12-09-15, 01:47 PM
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I keep thinking back on the experience I had with the bike shops I went into an as well as the one I paid to fix my derailleur, which never got fixed. Couple that with the "it's not rocket science" comments and I am going to pass on the LBS, for sure. I'll figure it all out with youtube. I saw how the bikes get shipped on youtube. The back tire and forks were already installed. It looks super easy to finish.

However I am going to go against my gut feeling and likely get a geared bike, since most of you seem to be saying that is a better decision.
I really liked that Mercier flat bar bike that PepeM posted, but their flat bar bike frames don't come in XL, so instead I am looking at this one:

Save up to 60% off new Disc Brake Flatbar Road Bikes - Gravity Avenue FXD | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

Does this one seem decent? It has disc brakes. I can get the one without the disc brakes for something like 30 dollars less.
Should I go with the disc or is it better to use the old fashioned style brakes on a bike this cheap? Again it's pretty flat around here...
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Old 12-09-15, 01:58 PM
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Not all bike shops are created equal. That bike will have minimal clearance for big tires. Unless you live in a land of perfect pavement, I'd want bigger tires. 32c is as narrow as I'll ever go again, and I jammed some 50c Big Bens on my Escape.
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Old 12-09-15, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ph0rk
Not all bike shops are created equal. That bike will have minimal clearance for big tires. Unless you live in a land of perfect pavement, I'd want bigger tires. 32c is as narrow as I'll ever go again, and I jammed some 50c Big Bens on my Escape.
I think it will fit a 32c tire. There is the motobecane that is just like this one, but has a warning saying it will only fit a max 32c tire and it comes with the same size 28 on it. I am thinking since there is no warning note on this bike you may even be able to fit bigger than 32c on it...honestly I'd wait until the stock ones failed somehow to change them out more than likely anyways.
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Old 12-09-15, 02:06 PM
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Discs are an added layer of complexity and need frequent adjustment, and cheap discs on a bargain bike will likely need more. I'd get rim brakes myself. I love the idea of discs (exclusively for rain rides) but in truth I don't ride in the rain much any more and when I did frequently, I made do just fine with rim brakes.

Otherwise, discs are just one more thing to go wrong which are complicated and difficult to fix (compared to rim brakes.)

Looks like a reasonable set of components. Big plus on the adjustable-angle stem. And real 7-speed with a cassette and freehub, not a freewheel.

Others may feel differently but I think you'd find this met your needs for the first year or two, by which time you'd either know you wanted something a little different, or continue riding this because it is a decent bike which should last well.

(If this doesn't work out for you, i will swear my wife came in and typed this while I was sleeping ... but I feel pretty good about this. I think we have infected one more person with the cycling bug ... We Are Taking Over!)
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Old 12-09-15, 02:12 PM
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I know several people have mentioned this before, but there are plenty of bikes that would meet your needs and budget at a local store. I just googled "Giant bike dealers houston" and came up with a few. Bicycle World is a "Big Box" LBS and they have the Giant Escape 3 for $360. The spec is nearly identical to the Gravity from BD. It does not have disc brakes. If you are looking for simplicity that would be advantageous. The main advantages in buying from the bike shop is that you should get a years worth of free adjustments, the bike will be fully assembled from the start, most shops offer discounts on accesories (clothing, tubes, pumps...) at the time of purchase, and, most importantly, if you have any issues with the bike they will be able to help you with warranty claims. Giant, and most other major manufacturers, have a lifetime warranty on the frame.

As for the attitude at the LBS, the bigger stores tend not to be as bad. Go into the shop and say "I have been looking online and I want to see this (these) bike(s). I have a budget of XXX and they seem to be a good bike for that price." Then look at that bike, test ride it and, if you like it, buy it. You are the one who is control of this conversation. Pick up a helmet, some extra tubes, a seat bag, tire levers and a small pump. Take the bike back after a month or so to get things adjusted. Watch them work on the bike. Enjoy the smell of the shop and lust after the next bike. Build a relationship with them. It will save you a ton of money down the road.
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Old 12-09-15, 02:12 PM
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I think that BD bike looks pretty nice. I disagree with Maelochs assessment of disc brakes, but in reality it doesn't make a whole lot of difference for 99% of the riding you will be doing.
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Old 12-09-15, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Frreed
Bicycle World is a "Big Box" LBS and they have the Giant Escape 3 for $360. The spec is nearly identical to the Gravity from BD.
One significant difference is that the Giant has a freewheel rear wheel and the BD bike has a freehub and cassette. The difference in durability between the two is strongly in favour of BD.
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Old 12-09-15, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier
One significant difference is that the Giant has a freewheel rear wheel and the BD bike has a freehub and cassette. The difference in durability between the two is strongly in favour of BD.
The derailleurs also seem to be different. The Gravity has a Sora 8 speed rear and a triple FD in front. the Giant has a Tourney on front and rear. I'm assuming the ones on the gravity are considered better?
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Old 12-09-15, 02:24 PM
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I would skip the discs tbh.
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Old 12-09-15, 02:34 PM
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No to quibble, but the link you posted shows the Graviy having 7 speed which would be Tourney. If it is Sora, it wold be a better level. If am not mistaken, Sora is 9 speed and Claris is 8. As for the "durability" advantage of cassette over freehweel, that wouldn't be a huge issue. Freewheels have been used on bikes for a long time and their durabiltiy has never been issue. Either bike would be okay. I still think there are advantages to buying from a dealer who will offer you service down the road.
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Old 12-09-15, 02:35 PM
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Yeah I honestly just pointed out the discs because I didn't notice them until after I posted the link for the version of that bike with the discs. The whole idea screaming wal-mart bike to me...where as you go up in price they don't get higher quality, they just add more neat looking junk on there lol.

So yeah I think I am going to go with the Gravity without the disc brakes. I'm just going to double check and make sure no other models catch my eye before ordering. As an added bonus it's only 319, so that leaves room to get the wheels trued and maybe even for me to upgrade my cheap helmet I have, too. I already have a good air pump and gauge that I actually use for my motorcycle.

This is exciting guys, it's like Christmas time as a kid again lol...BTW I think I already had the bug, just got lazy for about 15 years or so there...actually I also quit drinking so on top of getting back into shape this also keeps me busy in my free time.
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Old 12-09-15, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Frreed
No to quibble, but the link you posted shows the Graviy having 7 speed which would be Tourney. If it is Sora, it wold be a better level. If am not mistaken, Sora is 9 speed and Claris is 8. As for the "durability" advantage of cassette over freehweel, that wouldn't be a huge issue. Freewheels have been used on bikes for a long time and their durabiltiy has never been issue. Either bike would be okay. I still think there are advantages to buying from a dealer who will offer you service down the road.
Sorry for the confusion. I noticed that too! the version with the disc brakes has different derailleurs...check it out, here's a link to the non disc brake version.

Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Avenue FB | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

It says "sora for 8 speed" so maybe they started making an 8 speed after the fact?...strange

The discrepancy between that and the version with disc brakes makes me wonder if the product is misrepresented now
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Old 12-09-15, 02:40 PM
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Sora is two grades above Tourney. Both would work well, but why not get something a little better? And the cassette/freehub vs. cluster/freewheel thing is huge as far as durability goes. That right there would decide it for me.

Looks like it's a 130mm hub as well, which means you could slap 8,9 or even 10-speed cassette on there, upgrade the shifters, and be rolling with more gears if that's what you wanted, somewhere down the road.

EDIT: the issue with freewheels vs. freehubs as I understand it is that there is less axle supported by bearings in the freewheel---freehub bearings are closer to the outer end of the axle. Axle-bending can be an issue with longer axles on 7- (or 8-) speed freewheels.

Freewheels were used for decades, but most were 5- and 6-speeds, with 120 or max 126mm axles.

Anyway ... whatever. The real point is that there are good bikes out there in this guy's price range.

EDIT TWO: Sora 3300 was apparently an 8-speed group.

Last edited by Maelochs; 12-09-15 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 12-09-15, 02:47 PM
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Then yes the Gravity will have a better drivetrain. Most likely, the shifters are the last generation of Sora, which were 8 speed. That is not a problem at all. Sora is a pretty good group.
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Old 12-09-15, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Frreed
As for the "durability" advantage of cassette over freehweel, that wouldn't be a huge issue. Freewheels have been used on bikes for a long time and their durabiltiy has never been issue.
Originally Posted by Maelochs
Sora is two grades above Tourney. Both would work well, but why not get something a little better? And the cassette/freehub vs. cluster/freewheel thing is huge as far as durability goes. That right there would decide it for me...


...EDIT: the issue with freewheels vs. freehubs as I understand it is that there is less axle supported by bearings in the freewheel---freehub bearings are closer to the outer end of the axle. Axle-bending can be an issue with longer axles on 7- (or 8-) speed freewheels.

Freewheels were used for decades, but most were 5- and 6-speeds, with 120 or max 126mm axles.
Correct. The possibility of bending or breaking an axle on a freewheel hub became a major issue when 7 speed freewheels were first conceived. But even earlier than that, hubs that had been re-spaced to go from 5 speed to six speed freewheels had a reputation for bending axles. The Shimano Freehub design fixed that,

Originally Posted by Maelochs
Looks like it's a 130mm hub as well, which means you could slap 8,9 or even 10-speed cassette on there, upgrade the shifters, and be rolling with more gears if that's what you wanted, somewhere down the road.
Actually, it is most likely a 7 speed cassette body that will not accommodate 8- or more speeds. 7 speed freehubs were available in both 126 and 130mm for a short while in the late 80s/early 90s, then 126mm went away, but 7 speed cassettes and freehub bodies are still available. A 7 speed cassette body can actually result in a wheel that has less dish and is therefore stronger - although the machine built wheels on most factory bikes require the spoke tension to be checked and possibly adjusted by an experienced person if you hope to take advantage of the added strength.
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Old 12-09-15, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
The derailleurs also seem to be different. The Gravity has a Sora 8 speed rear and a triple FD in front. the Giant has a Tourney on front and rear. I'm assuming the ones on the gravity are considered better?

Sora are road components (I have mostly Sora on my crossrip) and the stuff on the Giant is mountain stuff. My 2013/2014 Escape 2 had 8-speed Altus, and if you look around you are likely to find one gathering dust. Houston is a big place.

It (the BD bike) has trigger shifters anyway, so it is probably just the rear derailleur - should be good for up to a 34t rear cog.

Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier
One significant difference is that the Giant has a freewheel rear wheel and the BD bike has a freehub and cassette. The difference in durability between the two is strongly in favour of BD.
Especially if he has to work through BD for any warranty issues!
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Old 12-09-15, 03:41 PM
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I bought my Specialized Crosstrail at a very popular LBS near me (Starts with an "S" and ends with a "ger's", for those who live in the Beaver County area). They weren't all that professional about fitting the bike to me, or my wife (I actually bought two bikes). The fitting consisted of each of us sitting on the bikes, and answering the repeated question, "How does that feel?" after each minor adjustment.

Since then, I've ridden hundreds of miles, and adjusted just about everything on the bike to better fit me, including the saddle height, stem length and angle, and bar length. I picked the frame, based on my research. The LBS wanted to put me on a smaller frame (because they had that one in stock).

So, don't count on the LBS being all that helpful with fitting. Get a frame that's the right size, for you, and plan to spend some time and a little money making it perfect.
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Old 12-09-15, 03:42 PM
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Pulled the trigger on the gravity without disc brakes. I'm still confused if it comes with SORA or microshift(or even if they are maybe the same thing), but from what I understand either is good.

I'll let you guys know how it works out and if it doesn't...I am holding Maelochs PERSONALLY responsible.
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