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Tell me what bike to buy

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Tell me what bike to buy

Old 06-21-19, 05:38 PM
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Tell me what bike to buy

I see that this forum is generally friendly and open to advice. I appreciate any and all feedback! I am looking to buy a bike to ride on paved roads that is lighter, faster, and more fun than my crappy old mountain bike. I live very near the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park and would like to get into biking the road in the spring/fall when it is closed to vehicles. I would also use the bike for exercise on a few other paved park roads, and for a quick ride to work (2 miles) a few days a week during our short summer season. I don't feel like I need the best bike out there, just a decent, comfortable, lightish bike. I'd like to pay $800 or much less.

A local (very small, new, and selling mostly used) bike shop has in stock a 2018 Fairdale Lookfar that is new for $450. I don't even know what questions to ask or how to gauge if it meets my needs.

I also have pro deals for Dimondback and Raleigh through work.
Any suggestions?

Thank you!

I'm a tall and thinnish woman, if that makes any difference.
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Old 06-21-19, 06:23 PM
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edit: the used shop is fine if they have enough selection in your size to give you more than 1 choice. And for your money the bike should be 'close to new' condition.

Given location in mountains and respective weather, 3 things would be most important to me - gears, tires and brakes.

Gears = low gears for climbing. There are several ways to get there - with a triple chainring, or a mountain oriented double. 1X? not for me.
Tires = depending on the type of roads you ride, more rubber (wider) on the road is better. Mountain roads are often rough so a bike that could handle 38mm might be nice to have, even if your current tire of choice is skinnier. People who like a mild off-road experience (gravel and hardpack) go wider than 38mm.
Brakes = If you are riding mountain descents, discs probably make good sense, especially in the wet. I get by with rim brakes, but have large hands that have been cycling many years.

The bike has to fit well, by being comfortable. So ride a few to see what you like. And the shop has to be willing to work with you in getting a good fit by swapping stem, or saddle or pedals, etc.
The exact brand or model is less important. A large number of bike brands would meet the need. Almost every decent roadie will weigh less than your mountain bike.

*if you plan to ride only good roads on sunny days - then tires at 25-28mm width are lighter.
Vintage, modern, e-road. It is a big cycling universe.

Last edited by Wildwood; 06-21-19 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 06-21-19, 06:40 PM
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If you're getting a decent discount on Diamondbacks, you might consider something from their hybrid "Hanjo" line (or similar type bike), like one of these....
I recently scored one of these flatbar versions cheap on my local craigslist, because I like the concept ( feels like a mtn bike, but simpler, lighter and more nimble, yet a little heavier duty than a straight road bike, and without the weight and cost of front forks, which I don't need).
The Fuji Absolute line is another good (and similar) option to look at. These will scoot comfortably down a road, or a mild trail/path, without the bulk and weight of a traditional mtn bike.

Last edited by Brocephus; 06-21-19 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 06-21-19, 08:39 PM
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Choices you need to decide if you prefer flat bars or drop bars. This is probably the biggest choice you need to make because each opens up different avenues for investigation.

Also, up to a point you get more when you spend more--but not always. The Fuji Absolute 1.9 has a steel fork which will be heavier but ride Much better than the alloy fork on the more expensive 1.7. (Fuji Bikes | Absolute 1.9)

Fuji makes good bikes usually with good value (lower prices than the competition for the same quality----usually.) The Absolute 2.1 or 1.9 both look decent.

The Fairdale looks to be heavier and simpler--only 7 gears---than you might like for daily riding.

I will check D'back in a minute.

I looked really hard at the D'back Haanjo before buying a Fuji Sportif. it is a nice bike---a little heavier than the Sportif, but not a heavy bike.

The Haanjo 1 (https://www.diamondback.com/haanjo-1-d41) looks really nice for the price---2x9 drive train alloy frame and steel fork, mechanical discs---best you can hope for at this price point---If you want a flat-bar bike this should be a good choice. If you want a drop-bar bike, check back in.
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Old 06-21-19, 09:06 PM
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I'd definitely go with disc brakes and look for low gearing (small numbers on the front/chainring, large numbers in the back/cassette).

If you're fairly flexible and do not have back problems, I'd recommend giving a drop bar bike a go. I think it will provide for a more confident descent (assuming you plan to descend Going To The Sun road.)

Some of Raleigh's offerings look pretty good, and depending on your discount, are likely in your price range. In general, the gravel oriented bikes are probably better. They have lower gearing to make climbing easier, and will take wider tires. Wider tires might be better for the random sand, debris, and snow run-off common in off-season riding, and you could even run studded tires and ride in light snow and ice.

As far as a unisex/men's or women-specific bike, IMO it really doesn't matter. Women's bikes tend to come with women's saddles, but saddles are personal and so that does not guarantee comfort. Women's drop-bar bikes tend to have narrow handlebars (38-42mm), but some men's bikes do as well, and handlebars are easy to replace.
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Old 06-23-19, 08:51 AM
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want to come shopping for your bike out here?
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