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Newbie in need of your bicycle wisdom

Old 11-26-19, 03:55 PM
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Mr.NoWheels
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Newbie in need of your bicycle wisdom

Hey guys & gals! Im totally new to the biking world and dont really know much about it, other than I rode a mongoose when i was 12 . So im looking to get a decent set of wheels to get me to and from work. As of right now its just for transportation and perhaps a leisurely cruise around the neighborhood. So what brands should I check out? How much should I be ready to spend? What advice would you pass to a rookie like myself?
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Old 11-26-19, 04:12 PM
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rollagain
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We need to know more. Are there steep hills? Bad pavement? Inclement weather? What physical condition are you in?

I wouldn't worry so much about brands, but do figure out what features you want first. Get some idea of, for instance, what kind of tires will work for you, what kind of riding position you want, how much you'll want to haul on it. Then you can start shopping.

Oh, and don't ask us how much you should spend, or someone will come along and say you can't get anything for less than a thousand or more. ;-)
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Old 11-26-19, 04:44 PM
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If someone walks into the shop I work at on Saturdays, and provides me this exact description and nothing more, I will point to three bikes. Mountain bike, hybrid, and comfort bike. None of them with top of the line features as it is a transportation bike and general riding around town bike. All very suitable for the job as described. Entry level rider looking for a commuter bike and some city riding to boot. Nothing serious, no intent of long distance days. One really does not need to spend a wallet full of cash to acquire a bike that will do this job.

Cannondale, Giant, Trek, Specialized are the 4 big names. There are plenty of others to choose from as well. Select the shop first. Which shop do you have the best relationship? Which one are you most comfortable? Which one is not feeding you BS?
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Old 11-26-19, 04:46 PM
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If you have any kind of mechanical aptitude buying used will get you much more bike for much less money. And if you live in a decent-sized city you may have a bicycle co-op nearby with tools and knowledge to share.
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Old 11-26-19, 06:25 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Newbie in need of your bicycle wisdom
Originally Posted by Mr.NoWheels View Post
Hey guys & gals! Im totally new to the biking world and dont really know much about it, other than I rode a mongoose when i was 12 .

So im looking to get a decent set of wheels to get me to and from work. As of right now its just for transportation and perhaps a leisurely cruise around the neighborhood. So what brands should I check out? How much should I be ready to spend? What advice would you pass to a rookie like myself?
Originally Posted by rollagain View Post
We need to know more. Are there steep hills? Bad pavement? Inclement weather? What physical condition are you in?

I wouldn't worry so much about brands, but do figure out what features you want first. Get some idea of, for instance, what kind of tires will work for you, what kind of riding position you want, how much you'll want to haul on it. Then you can start shopping.

Oh, and don't ask us how much you should spend, or someone will come along and say you can't get anything for less than a thousand or more. ;-)
Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
If someone walks into the shop I work at on Saturdays, and provides me this exact description and nothing more, I will point to three bikes. Mountain bike, hybrid, and comfort bike.

None of them with top of the line features as it is a transportation bike and general riding around town bike. All very suitable for the job as described. Entry level rider looking for a commuter bike and some city riding to boot. Nothing serious, no intent of long distance days.

One really does not need to spend a wallet full of cash to acquire a bike that will do this job.Cannondale, Giant, Trek, Specialized are the 4 big names. There are plenty of others to choose from as well.

Select the shop first. Which shop do you have the best relationship? Which one are you most comfortable? Which one is not feeding you BS?
FWIW as decades-long lifestyle cyclist (touring, year-round urban commuting and road cycling) I have posted my basic buying strategy, and a specific recommendation from personal experience, IMO consistent with the advice of @TiHabanero:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
# 1, choose a Bike Shop you like, then (2) tell them about what your riding plans are...

(3) test ride some bikes they have..
To add to that good, general basic advice,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Help with choosing a bike."...

My shopping strategy for something important is to look at the high end (expensive) models first, just to know whatís available and then whittle downwards to find whatís acceptable, the so-called sweet spot of price/value.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Whenever Iím asked about buying a bike my questions are what do you want it for, and how much to spend?

IMO bikes of similar quality by brand names stratify in groups of about approximately $US 200 intervals.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Help with choosing a bike."

...Now hereís where Iím coming from. I have described myself as a decades-long, year-round lifestyle cyclist, and my favored bike is a high-end carbon fiber bike costing thousands of dollars...

I also have a aluminum beater road bike costing about $1500, and for me that was a minimal road bike, to be used in bad weather.


FWIW, I also have a Giant Escape hybrid bike that I recently bought for rehabilitation, because I was having trouble with my neck and shoulders riding the drop bars.

That bike cost about $600, and IMO was a good value as an all-round bike, certainly more amenable to off-road riding than my expensive carbon fiber road bike, and sturdy for my urban commute on the mean streets of Boston.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...In general all my [happy] bike purchases are more serendipitous than researched.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-26-19 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 11-26-19, 09:43 PM
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I mostly ride an 88 Bianchi road bike I've had set up a bunch of different ways, currently 3sp Sturmey Archer. I bought it for $40 15 years ago, been my main commuter ever since. I found it at a bike swap, in ok rider shape. It has been 5sp rear, road double with Shimano SIS, 8sp rear with cross double and Shimano 105 (1056), and now 3 sp Sturmey Archer with a downturn shifter. I don't know what it's going to be next.
I had a carbon road bike, but didn't ride it enough. I sold it to buy my BMX race bike. I've also got a winter bike that was a 90's hybrid that has drop bars and studded tires, and just bought an old Specialized Allez to ride on the trainer, maybe do a Tri.

My advice is to buy a used bike with 8 gears or more on the rear that you like the look of, then learn to do basic maintenance and change what you want as you go.
8sp as those hubs will fit up to 10sp, and the exact details of the rest doesn't matter if you don't like it enough to ride regularly. Internal Gear Hubs have their advantages and proponents, but the gearing range of a derailleur drivetrain is far more versatile.
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Old 11-26-19, 09:43 PM
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Hi. That's cool that you want to try bike commuting to work. In addition to what others mentioned, it might help us help you if you mentioned how long your commute would be (e.g. 4 miles, 10 miles) and whether your commute would only be on paved roads or include a few dirt roads.
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Old 11-26-19, 11:04 PM
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A second vote for checking out a bicycle co-op. Good co-op's build up great rides out of mostly used parts and keep older bikes on the road. A reputable one will take the time to listen to your needs and sell you a sturdy, safe bike hopefully with some sort of guarantee on the workmanship. Take a little time on the computer and see if there's one by you that you can visit. It can be a completely different experience than a LBS (local bike shop). Either way, don't let anybody try to sell you anything more than you really need. Hope you love your bike and that you really enjoy re-discovering the joy of cycling!
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Old 11-27-19, 08:02 PM
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First: Find that Mongoose you rode as a twelve year old, and if it mid 70's you can sell it for more than enough to buy any new bike you want. Back in the early 70's we sold just about every kid a Mongoose frame and customized it weekly. They rode them off roofs, around town, and made local jump ramps. And they raced at every ABA and NBA race in a 50 mile radius and even wider when their parents would take them. I was a mechanic at the NBA nationals at Indy and there must have been a thousand kids there. What a glorious time for BMX ! Smiles, MH
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Old 11-27-19, 10:37 PM
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I also want to share with you but it seems the people above them have said more details than me already.
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Old 12-02-19, 01:45 AM
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Consider how you are going to store it. Especially if you are locking it up in a public space. I have had a bike stolen at work, and while attending Sunday mass. I have had two separate incidents where bikes were stolen lock to a post in my front porch.
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Old 12-02-19, 05:59 AM
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Watch some kev central videos (a lot to be learned their)
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Old 12-02-19, 09:17 AM
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A bicycle is a simple machine. Don't try to make this too complicated. Two important things to consider:

1. Bicycles, like shoes, come in sizes. How you fit on your bicycle affects your comfort, performance and enjoyment every single minute that you're on it. Nothing else even comes close in terms of importance.
2. Where is your bike going to live when you're not riding it? Do you have a secure place to park it while you are at work? Nothing worse than getting off work and discovering the bike that you were planning to ride home, is gone.
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