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NYC casual cyclist, need a suggestion for a more serious bike

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NYC casual cyclist, need a suggestion for a more serious bike

Old 05-18-20, 07:40 AM
  #1  
rebeccasaltz26
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NYC casual cyclist, need a suggestion for a more serious bike

This is my first post here and I'm looking forward to chatting with you all.

For the past few years I've been riding a Kona Dew through Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. I usually commute 7-12 miles a day, or 30 miles on longer rides. I also am venturing into northern NJ roads but the Kona doesn't take the hills so well. I'm looking to upgrade to a more serious bike but I'm not sure to stick with a hybrid or find a more sustainable road bike. I really love to bike and have been wanting a little more out of my rides! I know it's a big decision!

I still feel like I need to learn about bike maintenance and care, so I want to budget around $1,000 until I'm ready for a bigger investment. Any suggestions? I'm female, 5'6".
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Old 05-18-20, 08:36 AM
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You could consider a higher performance wheelset with road tires for the commute and keep the other set for your longer rides.
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Old 05-18-20, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rebeccasaltz26 View Post
This is my first post here and I'm looking forward to chatting with you all.

For the past few years I've been riding a Kona Dew through Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. I usually commute 7-12 miles a day, or 30 miles on longer rides. I also am venturing into northern NJ roads but the Kona doesn't take the hills so well. I'm looking to upgrade to a more serious bike but I'm not sure to stick with a hybrid or find a more sustainable road bike. I really love to bike and have been wanting a little more out of my rides! I know it's a big decision!

I still feel like I need to learn about bike maintenance and care, so I want to budget around $1,000 until I'm ready for a bigger investment. Any suggestions? I'm female, 5'6".

Until I gave it to my son, I used to ride the heck out of my Trek FX 3, which is a hybrid suitable for longer rides. I found it was great for climbing hills, and definitely suitable as a commuter.
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Old 05-18-20, 09:05 AM
  #4  
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Get a trek emonda alr. A great bike that will not break the bank.
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Old 05-18-20, 09:49 AM
  #5  
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It sounds like you are ready to go on longer rides and as another Brooklyn person, I can attest to the much better riding that comes when you cross the George Washington bridge into New Jersey with rolling hills and woods but that is 20 mi from Brooklyn so the distance adds up.
So I think you should progress to a road bike and perhaps clipless pedals as well but stay away from the stretched out racing bikes and go for a more upright "endurance" fit (like the trek emonda alr).
If you want to explore further on a bike in New York and surrounds consider joining one of the cycle clubs like NewYorkCycleClub (NYCC.org) or the 5 borobike club(5bbc.org) . They organize many rides each week and they categorize each ride according to distance and speed. If you say you can ride 30 miles then you'll easily find a ride to join and they pretty much know every decent cycle route within 100 mi of the city so it's also an excellent way to discover new places (and people too).
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Old 05-18-20, 10:03 AM
  #6  
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^ these are good suggestions, but you'll have to try out a few bikes to see what grabs you. $1000 should be enough if you shop carefully. I'm guessing that you don't have bike shops open in your locale yet. That makes it tougher. You can start researching road bike geometry and sizing conventions, though. That would help you recognize the road bike types, and would give you an idea of the dimensions that you want to be "in the range" for a proper fit adjustment. Good luck. It's a fun problem to have. Who doesn't like bikes?
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Old 05-18-20, 10:41 AM
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rebeccasaltz26
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Awesome! Yes I'm trying to meet people in real life (at least once the pandemic lightens up...) to get this kind of advice. Thank you!
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Old 05-18-20, 10:58 AM
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If it were me I'd buy a 2nd bike. You won't get any real money for your used bike. So, if your current bike serves you well for your current riding, use it for that. I'm not sure what you mean by it not doing hills well. Is it too heavy? Gearing not right? Last year I bought a CAAD 12 new for $1350. It was a close out sale at my LBS. That or something like it might work for you. I'd make sure it came with a compact gearing if hills are an issue. FWIW, I put Mavis tubeless on the CAAD 12 for about $400 (the price included the tires) and the bike now weighs 17 lb 11 oz. So, if weight is an issue, that could help.
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Old 05-18-20, 11:07 AM
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Be mindful of aerodynamics.

Consider trying bars that are a width like your shoulder span or shorter and getting into a more aggressive riding position that is still upright enough for city riding in traffic. If you get more aero, you'll find those climbs easier.

As an everyday NYC cyclist, I'd recommend toe cages in place of being clipped in or "clipless pedals" so you can still pop off quick at red lights etc and wear regular shoes, but retain the ability to keep your feet in place and add to your power strokes.

Cheers - John
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Old 05-18-20, 11:12 AM
  #10  
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May I congratulate you OP for your willingness to learn bike care and repair. Having at least the knowledge of how things work is a good thing. Most bike repairs can be performed with the tools you probably have laying around in the house. Most bikes do require a few specialty tools but it's hard to say which ones without knowing what bike you have and how adventurous you intend to get. At least at the minimum know how to fix a flat tire and service the chain.
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Old 05-18-20, 11:17 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by rebeccasaltz26 View Post
This is my first post here and I'm looking forward to chatting with you all.

For the past few years I've been riding a Kona Dew through Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. I usually commute 7-12 miles a day, or 30 miles on longer rides. I also am venturing into northern NJ roads but the Kona doesn't take the hills so well. I'm looking to upgrade to a more serious bike but I'm not sure to stick with a hybrid or find a more sustainable road bike. I really love to bike and have been wanting a little more out of my rides! I know it's a big decision!

I still feel like I need to learn about bike maintenance and care, so I want to budget around $1,000 until I'm ready for a bigger investment. Any suggestions? I'm female, 5'6".
For much less than $1,000.00 you could get a very nice 1980's Japanese Touring Road bike that will probably be lighter, faster and take hills better than the one you have now. For instance, a Miyata 610 is an awesome touring road bike that has a relaxed geometry and steel frame for comfort, but at the same time more responsive than the Kona for climbing hills. The 610 usually sells for $200.00 to $300.00.

Last edited by branko_76; 05-18-20 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 05-18-20, 01:37 PM
  #12  
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The best thing for hills is more hills. I moved to North NJ from Queens and was off the bike for awhile. I was used to the hills of the north shore of LI but since getting back to riding NNJ I struggled until riding up Ft Lee Rd to the GWB and into midtown 2 or 3 times a week last year. (I was really sucking wind at first) I bought a craigslist Trek (cheap to overhaul) just to have a bike with a triple chainring but by last fall have only used the smallest gear once or twice.
You will get stronger- keep spinning and BREATH!
If you want a new bike get it but the Kona Dew will get you there too.
Be well.

Last edited by dmark; 05-18-20 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 05-18-20, 04:07 PM
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I, too, send you kudos for learning bike maintenance. The biggest payoff I got from learning to DIY (DIM?) was that most tasks can be done in less time than it takes to get the bike to and from the LBS, and that doesn't even count the time the LBS takes to do the repair. More time to ride at less cost is a great combination....

You know the rider is more important than the bike, right? More riding on hills will make riding hills easier. But if a new bike is calling you, you gotta listen....
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Old 05-18-20, 04:41 PM
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I was coming from an older Hardtail MTB and I went for a gravel bike and put road tires on it, I was scared of the super aggressive race position but wanted something faster than an MTB, you could also look at endurance road bikes, no an exhaustive list but a few things you might want to look up

Endurance bikes
  • Trek Domane
  • Giant Contend
  • Cannondale Synapse

Gravel bikes
  • Trek Checkpoint
  • Specialized Diverge
  • Cannondale Topstone
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Old 05-18-20, 05:47 PM
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I live in Manhattan on the UES on the park. I ride the loop basically every night. It is actually a terrific ride. I am originally from Monmouth County in New Jersey. Great riding there. You can take the ferry down to Atlantic Highlands, long ride and then the beach.

Echelon in Manhattan and Redbeard in DUMBO are great bike shops. Donít rule out a better used bike.
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