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First time bike purchaser

Old 08-15-17, 05:34 PM
  #1  
Sarbear
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First time bike purchaser

I'm looking to buy my first commuter bike for mostly city riding for short distances. I'm looking to buy a used bike. So something under 400. I am seeking a bike with somewhat more upright posture as I have a bad back and road bike posture would not be ideal.. I'm female, 5'6-7 with a relatively proportionate body type, I don't have abnormally long legs/torso etc. I have no idea what sizes to look for. I am new to biking so I'd like ANY tips regarding what to avoid etc. And any specific models anyone recommends would be appreciated. I live in a pretty heavily bike populated area so there are always bikes for sale but I never know what will last or what will be the most low maintenance for someone who knows very little about working on them!
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Old 08-15-17, 06:31 PM
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Hey, Sarbear! Keep in mind that you can buy certain components inexpensive and pay a mechanic to make a change. I am a male, 5'10", riding avidly for a few years. I have tried many styles, including road bikes. For a bad back you might like a lightweight road bicycle with a horizontal top tube (high top tube/men's not step through/women's).

I have had luck with small bicycles. You probably want to look at the seat tube measurement first and go for the smallest you can find with a 700c wheel or 27" wheel. You want the headset stem to have a relatively short neck (around 60mm) and you want that handlebars as close as possible, or very nearly, without hitting your knees on the handlebar. If the reach to the stem feels good but the stem neck is too long you can probably purchase a new stem relatively inexpensively.

A 5 degree handlebar or similar degree handlebar will probably be best for your back. I believe head tube angles usually range from around 67 degrees to around 72 degrees, with 67 degrees being a common size for a road bike. Track bikes may often have head tubes that are more upright but a track bike may have narrower tubes and will have tighter spacing in the back, and that spacing and tube setup may not be great for your back on city streets.

I was looking at a brand called All City because I've seen them on here. The website looks nice but at least their track bike is well above your price point. You could try craigslist. There are flip flop hub fixed gear bicycles you could find around $400, like Pure Cycles and Pake, but you may learn that $100+ of labor and parts can go a long way in making those bicycles safer or more reliable or more fun (re: freewheel or cog or crankset for example). I bet others can recommend similar brands potentially producing bicycles with similar concerns.
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Old 08-15-17, 06:38 PM
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Also, make sure your saddle isn't too big or too small. Think about different size tires and whether you want regular tubes or thorn resistant. I could help you more with wheels, tires, and tubes if you need me to.
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Old 08-15-17, 06:48 PM
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Find out if there is a recreational bike club in your area and then contact them and ask if a member of the club would mentor you in finding a bike that fits you well, is decent quality, within your budget, and doesn't need a lot of repairs or upgrades. If you know nothing about what makes a bike worth buying, you may well end up with an overpriced piece of junk. If I look at my local CL, most of the bikes are entry level junk and many are way overpriced. Just google on "bike clubs in name of your town" to find if there are any.
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Old 08-16-17, 06:50 AM
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If you post a general location you are at, or what local Craigslist you are looking in, people here are generally happy to look over the listings and point you towards some good options.

Are you mechanically inclined? If not, I'd suggest looking at a bike shop that sells used bikes near you, where you can get something that has been gone over and may feature a short warranty or free adjustments. Part of dealing with Craigslist in that price range is that whatever you buy is likely to need at least some of the following done: new cables/housings, bearings repacked, new brake pads, derailleurs tuned, seatpost/stem unstuck, wheels trued. None of it is particularly hard (minus stuck posts), but it does require some learning and work.
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Old 08-16-17, 07:10 AM
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for 5'6/7 I would say 17 inch measured from the center of the crank to the top of the seat tube.
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Old 08-16-17, 07:53 AM
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I don't know where her back pain is, but it may be best to have something between a racing stance and the smallest possible reach. She might be able to use a 15" or 16" or 17" though bikes are different in other relevant measurements. Having more than one size may be best.
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Old 08-16-17, 08:46 AM
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A suspension seat post can absorb some compression jolts to the discs of the spine, if that is your problem.

but .. Sarbear .. go visit a number of bike shops and pick a shop you like.. then talk about what you find there ...

linking to brand and model on the company website.


other than that its a big world with many hundreds of bike brands and models , so answer is like '42'..




...

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-16-17 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 08-17-17, 11:28 AM
  #9  
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How about this: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ory-46-cm.html May be on the big side.
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Old 08-17-17, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by eric044 View Post
How about this: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ory-46-cm.html May be on the big side.
O p said she was 5'6"-5'7" ,,,,, 46 might be on the small side for her,,,,,
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Old 08-17-17, 08:01 PM
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Yeah, the Colnago will likely be too small for her. I am nearly 5'4 and a 46 is too small for me, if that's what the Colnago is. I can ride 48-51, or so. 48 is pushing it on the small side though.
I wouldn't suggest that bike for what she's seems to be looking for anyway. The price (if it were for sale), type, size, etc.
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