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-   -   Buyer's remorse? Or did I make a less-than-optimal choice of bike? (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1059663-buyers-remorse-did-i-make-less-than-optimal-choice-bike.html)

nowherebound 04-22-16 06:30 PM

Buyer's remorse? Or did I make a less-than-optimal choice of bike?
 
Hello -- New to the forum. And recently decided to get back into cycling, since my lovely kids have eroded most of my physical activity.

I just purchased a Specialized Sirrus Elite, with V-brake. But I am questioning whether I made the right choice due to the limitation on tire width. It comes with a 30mm tire (on 15 mm rim) and at the shop they told me the widest tire I might be able to put on it is a 32mm due to the V-brakes and fork interfering. I originally had my head and heart set on 35mm tires. From what I have read, that seems to be the sweet-spot for tires for a mix of urban, gravel riding paths, and occasional section of muddy forest paths -- that's mostly what I'll do. Maybe occasionally a 20-40km+ day-ride with the family. Somehow I like the look of a slightly wider tire with a little bit of inverted (?) tread. But when I test-rode the bike at the shop, I was very pleasantly surprised with how smooth the bike was and comfortable over bumps. It's a reputable bike shop, and they were very emphatic that there 30mm was plenty good for my needs, just need to inflate the tires regularly, etc.

I'm not an intense rider, so maybe not worth analyzing as much as I am. But I like to have the right equipment for whatever I do. And I would hate to think I made a bad choice that would limit my options, but would rather know now.

So many different opinions on the web -- but I am reaching out for even more opinions. Did I make a not-so-good choice? Or am I over analyzing and everything will be fine? (I weigh 200lbs/91kg if that matters)

Thanks in advance. Hoping to be a more active member in the future!

cs1 04-22-16 06:54 PM

Over analyzing, enjoy the bike.

cyclist2000 04-22-16 07:38 PM

Yup, over thinking it.

Arizona Nights 04-22-16 08:03 PM

Hmm. I have a Trek DS 8.3, 36mm tires. I occasionally ride on gravely, packed dirt paths (sometimes muddy) and I'm not sure I would want anything less than 36, and there are times when I want even more. Muddy forest paths seem to be asking for more than 30mm. It's ultimately up to you, but it doesn't sound like you got what you really wanted/needed.

I can't consider myself an expert so go over to the hybrid bike forum and ask there too.

peugeot mongrel 04-22-16 08:41 PM

Welcome!
Great bike. Don't regret. Ride it as much as you can. When I get on my bike and ride it does this magic, mind freeing, good feeling thing. Makes me invent things and solve problems. What more can you ask of a thing. A buddy told me once "It's not the arrow it's the Indian" made sense to me :thumb:

StanSeven 04-22-16 08:45 PM

I just got a bike for similar purposes and it has 28. I also had a cyclocross with 32. Both are fine for me. The problem is too wide of tires really slows you are regular pavement. If you really want to ride in mud and lots of dirt, get a mountain bike. But 30s are the best choice of all around tires.

canklecat 04-22-16 08:47 PM

Nice bike. And Specialized tires are very good too. Ride it for six months and then decide.

I resumed cycling again last August after a 30+ hiatus. I snagged a comfort hybrid off Craigslist. Took me six months just to get into good enough condition for 30 miles rides, which is just beginning to push the limits of my bike.

Rather than considering another bike I just lowered the upright handlebars gradually, then flipped and reversed them to get closer to saddle height. Gave me a bit more efficiency riding into the wind or climbing hills.

Those minor mods will probably give me a few more months to decide whether I'll ever really justify a "better" bike. My main limitations will always be age (I'm 58), asthma and a busted up back and neck that make it impossible to ride drops with bars lower than saddle height.

Regarding tires, design may be more important than width. If you enjoy all terrain riding -- including gravel and some off-road rides -- a different tire design in 30 to 32 width may handle anything you can throw at the bike. I like my 700x40 puncture resistant all terrain tires, but they're heavy and slow. It's a tradeoff I'm willing to accept... for now.

ShadowGray 04-22-16 09:02 PM

Remember, cyclocross racing used to have a tire width limit of 33c. If they can race in cyclocross conditions in 33c tires, then you can do the same. Watch a video of a cyclocross race... are you going to be facing worse conditions than what they're riding in?

kickstart 04-22-16 10:04 PM

I started on road bikes, but found them too limiting. I swung to the other extreme of MTB and cruisers and found them limited also. I finally settled on roadsters and hybrids for their do it all nature.
No bike can be great at everything, so the answer to the question is how often one is thinking they took the wrong bike for their ride.

nowherebound 04-22-16 10:22 PM


Originally Posted by kickstart (Post 18711843)
I started on road bikes, but found them too limiting. I swung to the other extreme of MTB and cruisers and found them limited also. I finally settled on roadsters and hybrids for their do it all nature.
No bike can be great at everything, so the answer to the question is how often one is thinking they took the wrong bike for their ride.

Appreciate everyone's words of experience. "Do it all nature" is what I am looking for.....hopefully this bike and the 15mm rims/30-32mm tires will fit that role.

jefnvk 04-22-16 10:25 PM

I'm about 210#. My crushed limestone/dirt path/crappy pavement rail trail bike has 32s. Never felt like it wasn't adequate.

I did that occasional muddy forest path on 28 slicks last weekend. Not my smartest decision, but for an occasional bit, even those panned out fine.

bikemig 04-23-16 06:41 AM

32c was a standard set up for a long time for anyone touring as well. All in all that a pretty decent sized tire for all different kinds of riding.

badger1 04-23-16 06:51 AM

@nowherebound,

That is a great bike, and should be well-suited to the kinds of riding you describe.

As to tire clearance, what year is your Elite? If it is a 2015 (?; far as I know the '16 is disc only), you should have easy clearance for 32s if you like, and should be able to go as large as 35 with that frame/fork, even with v-brakes. My Sirrus (Comp) is a '10; it has much tighter clearances than yours and I use 32s currently with room for a 33 cyclocross tire if I wanted.

nowherebound 04-23-16 07:19 AM


Originally Posted by badger1 (Post 18712205)
@nowherebound,

That is a great bike, and should be well-suited to the kinds of riding you describe.

As to tire clearance, what year is your Elite? If it is a 2015 (?; far as I know the '16 is disc only), you should have easy clearance for 32s if you like, and should be able to go as large as 35 with that frame/fork, even with v-brakes. My Sirrus (Comp) is a '10; it has much tighter clearances than yours and I use 32s currently with room for a 33 cyclocross tire if I wanted.

Yes, it's a 2015. There's plenty of room in the fork, but the v-brake pads take away a fair bit of it. I have to squeeze the current 30mm tire a little bit through the brake pads to get the wheel off (even after releasing the cable from the v-brake). I assume I could also squeeze the extra 2mm of a 32mm tire through there (depending on construction of the 32s of course, and whether they are actually only 2mm wider). But squeezing the extra 5mm of a 35mm tire through there seems unlikely. The guy at the shop said no way for 35s. (Maybe if I were to deflate the tires a bit first, but not sure that would be a wise set-up?)

(In hind-sight, I might have gone for a disc version just to avoid this limitation on tire width. Live and learn.)

badger1 04-23-16 07:32 AM


Originally Posted by nowherebound (Post 18712245)
Yes, it's a 2015. There's plenty of room in the fork, but the v-brake pads take away a fair bit of it. I have to squeeze the current 30mm tire a little bit through the brake pads to get the wheel off (even after releasing the cable from the v-brake). I assume I could also squeeze the extra 2mm of a 32mm tire through there (depending on construction of the 32s of course, and whether they are actually only 2mm wider). But squeezing the extra 5mm of a 35mm tire through there seems unlikely. The guy at the shop said no way for 35s. (Maybe if I were to deflate the tires a bit first, but not sure that would be a wise set-up?)

(In hind-sight, I might have gone for a disc version just to avoid this limitation on tire width. Live and learn.)

Got it. Two solutions:

1. Leave tire partially deflated -- the irritating option!
2. If you otherwise love the bike and plan to keep it a good while, get a set of these and throw 'em on: TRP

I chose #2 . Best single investment I made in my bike when upspeccing it to my tastes. Brakes use road pads/holders, so they clear the fork blades and flop open when released. They work perfectly well with normal v-brake levers.

JohnDThompson 04-23-16 09:07 AM


Originally Posted by cs1 (Post 18711536)
Over analyzing, enjoy the bike.

And don't forget the "n+1" maxim.

MRT2 04-23-16 09:19 AM


Originally Posted by nowherebound (Post 18711498)
Hello -- New to the forum. And recently decided to get back into cycling, since my lovely kids have eroded most of my physical activity.

I just purchased a Specialized Sirrus Elite, with V-brake. But I am questioning whether I made the right choice due to the limitation on tire width. It comes with a 30mm tire (on 15 mm rim) and at the shop they told me the widest tire I might be able to put on it is a 32mm due to the V-brakes and fork interfering. I originally had my head and heart set on 35mm tires. From what I have read, that seems to be the sweet-spot for tires for a mix of urban, gravel riding paths, and occasional section of muddy forest paths -- that's mostly what I'll do. Maybe occasionally a 20-40km+ day-ride with the family. Somehow I like the look of a slightly wider tire with a little bit of inverted (?) tread. But when I test-rode the bike at the shop, I was very pleasantly surprised with how smooth the bike was and comfortable over bumps. It's a reputable bike shop, and they were very emphatic that there 30mm was plenty good for my needs, just need to inflate the tires regularly, etc.

I'm not an intense rider, so maybe not worth analyzing as much as I am. But I like to have the right equipment for whatever I do. And I would hate to think I made a bad choice that would limit my options, but would rather know now.

So many different opinions on the web -- but I am reaching out for even more opinions. Did I make a not-so-good choice? Or am I over analyzing and everything will be fine? (I weigh 200lbs/91kg if that matters)

Thanks in advance. Hoping to be a more active member in the future!

The bike you bought is fine, even optimal for all but muddy forrest paths. But for those kind of conditions, you might need a mountain bike or a fat bike, which would be less than optimal for everything else. But realistically, how many times do you plan to ride in the mud? My guess is if you are a recreational rider, maybe never?

dr_lha 04-23-16 09:43 AM


Originally Posted by badger1 (Post 18712261)
Got it. Two solutions:

1. Leave tire partially deflated -- the irritating option!
2. If you otherwise love the bike and plan to keep it a good while, get a set of these and throw 'em on: TRP

I chose #2 . Best single investment I made in my bike when upspeccing it to my tastes. Brakes use road pads/holders, so they clear the fork blades and flop open when released. They work perfectly well with normal v-brake levers.

They're designed to work with STI shifters. Define "perfectly well"? Mini-V and V-brakes are not considered to be compatible. I'm guessing they're pretty grabby.

Retro Grouch 04-23-16 09:58 AM

Back in the days when men were men and all bike frames were steel we only had one bike which had to do everything. We (most of us anyway) survived. Don't let yourself get freaked out over a few silly millimeters. You'll be fine. FWIW, I think that those 30 mm tires are ideal for the kind of riding you indicated.

MuddyBikeRider 04-23-16 10:12 AM

I've ridden a few bikes that just didn't fit me right. If you were on the bike and loved how it felt, then I think you made a good decision.

nowherebound 04-23-16 10:26 AM

Thanks all. I tend to hyperventilate on things like this on something that's new to me. So the reassurances from experience are helpful.

Anyone aware of some type of quick release for the break pads themselves? If I turn one of the pads vertical, the calipers can open further without hitting the fork. Easy enough to do with a hex-key but prefer to have tool-less option, just in case. That would allow me to easily get a larger tire in if ever I decide.

Having said that, I'm reassured by the comments that the 30mm or 32mm should be good for what I need.

badger1 04-23-16 11:02 AM


Originally Posted by dr_lha (Post 18712506)
They're designed to work with STI shifters. Define "perfectly well"? Mini-V and V-brakes are not considered to be compatible. I'm guessing they're pretty grabby.

Yes, you are guessing. I've had these on my bike since April 2011, using standard v-brake levers (Avid SD7). They replaced stock Tektro mini-vs.

I ride about 7000kms/year (three seasons) -- a mix of road (including stop/start in traffic), MUP, and non-technical off-road. They have never once 'grabbed'. They are powerful, smooth, and easy to modulate. I'd say that qualifies as "perfectly well."

dr_lha 04-23-16 12:11 PM


Originally Posted by badger1 (Post 18712660)
Yes, you are guessing. I've had these on my bike since April 2011, using standard v-brake levers (Avid SD7). They replaced stock Tektro mini-vs.

I ride about 7000kms/year (three seasons) -- a mix of road (including stop/start in traffic), MUP, and non-technical off-road. They have never once 'grabbed'. They are powerful, smooth, and easy to modulate. I'd say that qualifies as "perfectly well."

OK, but you left out a vital piece of information: You replaced mini-V with mini-V, of course they are fine!

I would not advise the OP to replace their regular V-brakes with mini-Vs, unless their brake levers can be set up for different pulls (many can).

1989Pre 04-23-16 01:45 PM


Originally Posted by StanSeven (Post 18711731)
I just got a bike for similar purposes and it has 28. I also had a cyclocross with 32. Both are fine for me. The problem is too wide of tires really slows you are regular pavement. If you really want to ride in mud and lots of dirt, get a mountain bike. But 30s are the best choice of all around tires.

This says it better than I can. I think 28mm would be the ideal medium between road and trail. 32 will be easier to pedal than 35mm. Enjoy.

badger1 04-23-16 07:21 PM


Originally Posted by dr_lha (Post 18712771)
OK, but you left out a vital piece of information: You replaced mini-V with mini-V, of course they are fine!

I would not advise the OP to replace their regular V-brakes with mini-Vs, unless their brake levers can be set up for different pulls (many can).

Yes, the TRPs replaced the stock Tektro mini-vs.

These came stock w/ Avid FR5 flat-rate -- and non-adjustable -- levers, which were designed to work with any linear-pull (v) brake and Avid BB7s. The TRPs worked perfectly well (as I defined that above) with those; I then swapped out the FR5s for the SD7s on my mtb -- simply because the latter are nicer/better made.

Whatever. For you, some sort of theory trumps practice/experience. Fine; for me, there have been no compatibility issues whatsoever, so practical application trumps 'theory'. I'm out of this tedious exchange.


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