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New biker, which bike should I buy?

Old 02-05-20, 09:10 AM
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Evandris
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New biker, which bike should I buy?

Hi, first day on the forums and first time poster,

Beforehand, I would like to thank the people who will give me answers and hindsight on what I should look for.
To start, I plan on becoming a regular commuter by bike to work and I have bike paths from my home to work. I have a coworker of mine who helps me a bit into what I should be getting and I have found a few listings of used road bikes in my area. I was wondering if I could get some input on which I should be getting and/or none of the following and for what reason.

I don't have much experience biking and I would appreciate if I could get details on why I should go for any bike that you would suggest. Here are the listings....

kijiji (.) ca/v-velo-de-route/ville-de-montreal/velo-de-route-en-carbone/1476293064

kijiji (.) ca/v-view-details.html?adId=1483212657

kijiji (.) ca/v-velo-de-route/ville-de-montreal/look-586-sl-carbon-road-bike/1484934360?undefined

Additional information, I am a 5'9, male of average weight and average fitness level...

Thank you again for your responses
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Old 02-05-20, 09:22 AM
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How far is your commute? With no experience, I am surprised your work friend recommended a road bike . I would think a used Trek fx or Giant Escape type bike would be an excellent starter bike and reasonable in cost. Just my opinion of course.
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Old 02-05-20, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Olefeller77 View Post
How far is your commute? With no experience, I am surprised your work friend recommended a road bike . I would think a used Trek fx or Giant Escape type bike would be an excellent starter bike and reasonable in cost. Just my opinion of course.
I have a commute of 10km. My coworker is a bike enthusiast and seemed to imply that bikes below 800$ were not worth much in terms of value and performance... I am ready to fork out around 800 to 1000 because I do intend to use it a lot and maybe for longer distance afterwards... Do you have an opinions on the listings that I posted?
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Old 02-05-20, 10:01 AM
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I wouldn't buy a bike that has less than 11 sprockets on the rear wheel, or below Shimano 105 drivetrain,
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Old 02-05-20, 10:12 AM
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Even if you are very serious about biking, dont go nuts on spending. Only up to a certain level do you get your monies worth. After that you are only buying a name and snobbery.
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Old 02-05-20, 10:13 AM
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What would you say would be a good amount to spend? and would you have a suggestion for a bike or from those I listed?
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Old 02-05-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I wouldn't buy a bike that has less than 11 sprockets on the rear wheel, or below Shimano 105 drivetrain,
Any particular reason?
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Old 02-05-20, 10:44 AM
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If you are really just going to be doing a 10k commute, you can do that on just about anything. If it were me, I'd find a used hybrid that has been maintained, or not ridden much and start commuting. A couple hundred should be plenty and then spend money on a helmet, and good lighting, and some gear to keep you comfortable in different weather conditions.

If you find yourself wanting to do other types of riding and need something else, you will have a better idea of what to look for.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by chadtrent View Post
Any particular reason?
All of the components on cheap bikes are cheap and won't last nearly as long. If you're not able to make repairs yourself, a cheap bike can become expensive to maintain. A bike with 105 or Ultegra will last longer and will most likely be cheaper to own in the long run.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:11 AM
  #10  
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A lot depends on the bike path. Is it paved? Packed earth? loose stone?

Honestly, for a 10-k ride on a paved path, absolutely any bike which can mount a rear rack would be fine .... or any bike at all if you plan to carry a knapsack. Ten kilometers on a paved road is generally less than half an hour even for a really relaxed pace. if you ride that daily i'd bet you would be doing it in 20-25 minutes if you wanted, before long. Any bike with two wheels, pedals, and a seat would work.

A lot depends on where you would lock it up at work. I wouldn't bring any of my nice bikes to a job site because stuff happens. If you leave it outside, it could be stolen. if it is inside, people could knock it over, move it without permission and bang it up ... run over it with a forklift, perhaps. On the other hand, if there is a safe, secure place to lock your bike where nothing bad will happen, then a nicer, new bike would be fine.

A lot also depends on how much you will actually ride outside of work. A lot of people Think they will ride a lot .... we end up buying their barley used bikes for half price a couple years later (and love doing it, so go ahead. )

I didn't have any luck with the links you posted ... most came back with a notice that the bike had been sold, or simply didn't work, so I din't know whether they were new or used .... However ...

I would definitely get a regular road bike in the $800-$1200 range if your route was paved. I am not in favor of suspension on street bikes ... it rarely seems to be needed nor does enough to offset the weight penalty (my opinion only.) I have many, many thousands of miles as an urban/suburban commuter on which to base this.

EDIT: i got the first link to work .... shows a lot of used road bikes. I cannot tell from the pics or descriptions if any of them are worth anything.

Do you know much about bikes? i cannot recommend buying a used bike to someone who might not know if he was getting a deal or getting robbed. Any bike can look good in a photo and sound good in a description. How worn it is, whether it has been wrecked, whether it has been maintained or abused ... I'd have to see the bike in person.

Also, Fit is one of the most important factors ... and for a new rider, your fit on the bike will change as you ride more miles. If you are sure you know what a good fit is, great. And bikes are somewhat adjustable ... might cost a little money for a new stem, though.

I often recommend this app (https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...ulatorBike.jsp) to help determine fit ... but it works for some better than for others. No guarantee it will work for you.

Your best bet is to leave your cash at home and go to a local bike shop or two. Tell them what you want, see what they offer, and do a bunch of test rides. The caveat here, is that if they present you with something you Know is right, you have to buy it ... it isn't right to cheat them if they find the right bike for you. But do leave your cash at home ... to give yourself time to think. And do ride a bunch of bikes ... at different shops, if possible. tell them upfront you are looking for a bike, and plan to buy one, tell them you hard max price .... and don't sit on something more expensive. Just don't.

That way you can get a feel for some different bikes in different sizes ... see what really seems to fit.

Also, some shops might have used bikes, or last year's models for less.

The problem with buying used, if you don't know a lot about bikes, is that you won't know how to adjust stuff, might not notice stuff that is worn out or broken, and will end up having to go to the shop and paying a lot more money to fix what you didn't know was broken.

You can get a lot of great deals used ... it depends on how confident you are in buying a used bike. If you are sure you know what you are doing, finding a lightly used bike will get you more for your money .... but if you buy a bike with a bent derailleur hanger, bent rims which have been sort of straightened by using insane spoke tension, has a notchy headset or whatever .... that get s expensive really fast.

I don;t know you, so it is hard to say.

How much does your friend know, and how much do you trust him? If he really knows bikes, ask him to go with you when you check out any prospective purchases.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:16 AM
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Commuting is very hard duty for any bike. I commuted in the Montreal area for over 25 years and from my experience a high performance road bike like the ones the OP linked to are not the best choice. Commuters sometimes get caught in the rain and those bikes won't have good clearance for mudguards or for wider tires. During my time commuting, by far the best bike I used was the touring bike I still own. It is still my go to early season bike for the potholes and puddles that abound here in spring. It has a rear rack to carry bags and it has strong wheels that shrug off our frost heaved streets in the spring. For a 10 km commute, I agree that a hybrid or rigid frame mountain bike would do well. My own commute was much longer, almost 30 km, so I found that drop bars worked much better for a longer ride. Touring bikes and cyclocross bikes make great commuters with their wider tires and mudguard clearance.

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Old 02-05-20, 11:17 AM
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If I were offering advice to a complete stranger ... I would say, "Buy a $100 bike at a big-box store and see if you really like riding. If you do, sell the cheap bike for $50 and then we can really start shopping."

I also find a lot of wisdom in what @Osarg says:
Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
If you are really just going to be doing a 10k commute, you can do that on just about anything. If it were me, I'd find a used hybrid that has been maintained, or not ridden much and start commuting. A couple hundred should be plenty and then spend money on a helmet, and good lighting, and some gear to keep you comfortable in different weather conditions.

If you find yourself wanting to do other types of riding and need something else, you will have a better idea of what to look for.
Get q cheap, simple bike to start with. I like old rigid –frame mountain bikes for this sort of thing … spend $100 or $200, slap on a rear rack, pop in some fresh tubes and pedal. A lot of older rigid mountain bikes are built like tanks. They weigh 30 pounds, but they are unbreakable, and with slick tires roll pretty well, and are a ton of fun. On top of that, you can ride them Anywhere, so you can try out a lot of different riding styles.

As Osarg says, after a while you will know better exactly what you want and Then you spend a little more money getting a better bike.

EDIT: I also agree with the advice of @alcjphil
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Old 02-05-20, 11:40 AM
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If you are new to cycling, i wouldn't buy a new bike.....
Beg or borrow a few to see what styles you like. Buy second hand and flip them on after week or two if you can't.

For a 10k commute, i recommend something like a Giant Escape City second hand. They are a great commuting bike and bombproof and a good second hand one with guide your thoughts for a proper new bike and will be easy to sell/trade in when you do.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
All of the components on cheap bikes are cheap and won't last nearly as long. If you're not able to make repairs yourself, a cheap bike can become expensive to maintain. A bike with 105 or Ultegra will last longer and will most likely be cheaper to own in the long run.
I don't know. My gravel bike has 8 year old Sora 9 speed on it and I have probably 10k miles on it. I don't have any bikes with 11 speed cassettes and haven't had any problem with any of them. Some are older 105. Some Tiagra. I don't know that I would go with something with Claris, but anything above that wouldn't scare me off.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:47 AM
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Thank you for your detailed answer. I don't know much about bikes but my friend does seem to know a lot and I do trust him. He also has a dad that works in bike shop.

I do have a safe place to put them at work where no one would take it and it wouldn't be damaged... I have tried the links again if you are willing to take another look. The first link is in french but he is essentially saying that it is a barely used bike 50km of kuota brand in new condition.
First is kuota k9000 2019 listed at 1000$ cad
second is a 2012 Look 586 SL full carbon Components are all Ultegra 6700 2x10 speed listed at 1000$ cad

kijiji (.) ca/v-velo-de-route/ville-de-montreal/velo-kuota-super-aubaine/1483212657

kijiji (.) ca/v-velo-de-route/ville-de-montreal/look-586-sl-carbon-road-bike/1484934360


It is on a paved road
I do think I will go to a bike shop beforehand to talk to professionals and get suggestions though

Last edited by Evandris; 02-05-20 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:50 AM
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When you commuted was it on a bike path or on the side of the road? I feel like since I will be going on a bike path I wouldn't have as many potholes. Altough the mudguard does seem like an interesting add-on....
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Old 02-05-20, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Evandris View Post
When you commuted was it on a bike path or on the side of the road? I feel like since I will be going on a bike path I wouldn't have as many potholes. Altough the mudguard does seem like an interesting add-on....
My commuting was partly on bike paths (Lachine canal) and partly on roads. Even bike paths can have rough sections, some in the Montreal area have not been repaved for over 25 years and are in poor condition. No idea which path you would be using, but don't count on it being perfectly smooth. Mudguards are great, but many road bikes don't have good clearance for them

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Old 02-05-20, 01:53 PM
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The Kuota looks very nice. Of course, any photo can look nice. If it really is in as-new condition (moins de 50 km roule) then it is a bargain. 105 is about the perfect groupset.

However, it looks like a pure road bike, with competition leanings, which means it might not fit wider tires, and certainly no fenders (I never used fenders and rode in hard rains, but it does get very wet and messy, and in cold weather it Really isn’t pleasant.) I don’t see hardware for mounting a rack, which is fine for a 10-k commute, and there are options---depending on how much gear you need to carry.

I used to carry a lot of gear, because my riding clothes were either soaked in sweat, or soaked in rain, by the time I reached work, so I needed a full change, including shoes—plus lunch and dinner, tools and parts for the bike, other stuff, some extra weather gear, plus stuff …. Too much for knapsack for a long commute, IMO, so a rack was essential.

As far as just getting a nice bike and riding it … that Looks like a good find. It is definitely more of a fast bike than a commuter, but there is nothing wrong with that.

I would want to know the model, and the wheel/tire width and capacity.

Also, it is a medium. I would want to know more about actual dimensions (the Kuota site has very specific geometry lists (Kryon 2018 | Kuota Official site) for instance) and an M seems to have a 540 top tube, 375 reach, 555 stack, which are possibly okay for you … you might find the reach a little long, but you could get compact handlebars and/or a shorter stem. It depends on your precise proportions.

As with any bike online, no one except the seller knows if it is good until you pay a visit and check it out.

The Look is just too old, and it has damage. Yes, it was repaired professionally and is probably better than new, but why risk it? Also, the shifters Could be getting old. If the guy rode the bike for eight years, a lot of parts are getting to be old …. And you don’t want to be putting the bike in the shop. You want to be riding it five days a week.

It also has a weird proprietary seat post, which means you will have to spend a lot if you need to repair or replace it.

The Look is a great deal for someone …. But not you. I think.
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Old 02-05-20, 02:32 PM
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thank you for your response I believe the model is Kuota k9000 so the specs would be
frame aluminum
fork carbon Kuota
speed levers shimano 105
Derailleur gears front and back shimano 105 11vts
doubled walled alloy rims V
tires 700 x 25c

sorry if I made a mistake, I lack knowledge of bikes and made a translations of what I thought it was in english from french.

Also I would have about a backpack full of gear. I do think a rack would be a good add-on. I guess I should definitely go to a bike shop beforehand to ask a few questions about how I could modify a bike like this to fit my needs.

I read a bit about the model and it seems that it could fit wheels up to 35mm. The reason you suggest widder tires, is it only for the early spring and late fall season or just to commute in general?
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Old 02-05-20, 03:13 PM
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I will look at the Kuota later .... finally going riding now.

Wider tires tend to be more comfortable and pretty much as fast up to a point, but it isn't a big deal if the pavement is pretty good. The bike I am about to take out has 23s, but i think i prefer 28s for most bikes. Wider tires just soften impacts a little bit---but it really doesn't matter unless you are riding in dirt or snow.

if the frame is aluminum, there are mounts you can bolt onto the chain stays and seat-post binder bolt to hang a strong rack, and otherwise, if the seat post is metal, you can get a seat post rack that can hold about 25 kg I think. But you can also hang a giant bag under the saddle, and another off the handlebars, and even one in the frame (check out "bikepacking.") no rack is not a deal-breaker.
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Old 02-05-20, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
It also has a weird proprietary seat post, which means you will have to spend a lot if you need to repair or replace it.

I think.
I take issue with this statement. Yes, the seatpost design is proprietary, but weird it is not. Unlike most integrated seat mast designs which do not allow any ability for raising the saddle once the mast has been cut, the Epost will allow about 3 cm of upward adjustment. In addition, this seatpost includes a suspension feature which can provide an amazing amount of additional comfort on bad roads. How do I know this? The original Epost did not include this micro suspension. I have ridden the same bike (a Look 595) with both versions and it was night and day the second version turned my 595 from a hard riding race bike into an all day comfort road bike. In addition, the Epost offers a huge amount of fore/aft adjustment to help with fit. No, this product is not weird, it is a brilliant piece of design. Look had been approached by other companies to license this design but they refused
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Old 02-05-20, 05:24 PM
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Suspension on commuter bikes is given an unfair rap imho.

I have suspension forks on my CRX bike and I love them.
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Old 02-06-20, 05:25 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The Look .... has a weird proprietary seat post, which means you will have to spend a lot if you need to repair or replace it. .
Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
I take issue with this statement. Yes, the seatpost design is proprietary, but weird it is not. . No, this product is not weird, it is a brilliant piece of design. Look had been approached by other companies to license this design but they refused
If it is unique, it is odd and unusual, which is the definition of "weird."
Merriam-Webster: weird (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weird)
Definition of weird
1: of strange or extraordinary character : ODD, FANTASTIC

But the real point remains. Since Look and Only Look makes it, and it is eight years old .... it is going to be hard to repair or replace. Also, since it is a seat mast, it cannot get much taller and has to be sawn off to get shorter .... so if a new rider cannot properly judge fit, and saws a bit too much, s/he is out of luck. If the seller is considerably shorter than the buyer ... out of luck. I never said it didn't function as intended, I said it wasn't readily available and therefore would be expensive to repair or replace.

This isn't about any particular rider's affection for a specific bike or bike part---at least to me. To me it is about making sure this new cyclist gets a bike s/he can enjoy fully, adjust as needed, and ride daily with great enjoyment. An eight-year-old not particularly adjustable proprietary seat post doesn't lend itself to those functions.

As I said, the Look is a super deal, just not as an only bike for a first-time commuter. It is a $4K bike selling to $1K, but it doesn't compare well, IMO .... to a much newer low-to-no-miles Kuota for a new rider/commuter.

It is too small for me and I don't need another :"fast' bike, but I would be a better potential customer ... i have a 105 groupset in a box waiting for such a frame
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Old 02-06-20, 11:42 AM
  #24  
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I would commute, and did commute years ago, on a hybrid. I second the recommendation of a Trek FX similar. It's unlikely you'll be riding quickly, even if you're in good shape, as you'll probably not want to arrive sweaty or anything.My choice would be something with 32-40mm tires, places to mount a rack if you need the storage space and don't want a backpack.

You don't need anything fancy, just functional and in good shape.
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Old 02-06-20, 11:54 AM
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I don't know much about Trek FX, but I did a lot of commuting on a flat-bar Bridgestone MB4 .... a rigid MTB---and now haul the working gear on a Fuji Sportiv---a drop-bar version of what the Trek FX looks like.

The trek looks good but for longer rides you will probably want more hand positions than flat bars offer. So, you can get a drop-bar bike or get H-bars or trekking bars for a flat-bar bike.

Wide tires are okay if you ride rough pavement or carry a really big load, but not necessary---I did a lot of commuting and touring on 28-32 mm tires or a little bigger or smaller, without a problem. never hurts to have a little more rubber, but rotating weight can make the bike feel sluggish on the days you want to go for a ride without all the work baggage.

I tell pretty much anyone who is looking at a new bike, top do a Lot of test rides on a lot of different bikes, in different styles .... flat bar, drop bar, rigid fork, suspension fork, steel , aluminum, CF, whatever. Whatever is in your price range.

Almost any bike can work as a commuter ... the only requirement I ever made was that it had a rack, but with bike-packing bags you can get around that even. I have used every kind of bike except a tricycle. They all got the job done. it really matters what works best For You .... and you might spend a couple seasons homing in on that.
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