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Looking for a start point on a new bike, unsure which way to go.

Old 03-23-21, 01:06 PM
  #1  
Shay Howe 
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Looking for a start point on a new bike, unsure which way to go.

I'm looking at getting my first bike in 30-ish years. I'm a former auto mechanic with phenomenal tinkering ability, and lean more toward "where can I start" than at getting just what I want off the bat. Looking for pleasure cruising around town, almost entirely local road in-city riding. Also working on doctor's demand for exercise. As such, racing type rolling resistance concerns are near irrelevant from my view- a little more work is more exercise which is a plus. Working on "low slow" budget- something cheap-ish to start, that I can modify and refine as I go to avoid a hefty initial purchase.

I like the look of cruisers, but prefer the mechanics and beefiness of mountain/hybrid types. Want wide-ish tires for weight handling (I'll never get under 200 pounds), like disc brakes "just because." Liking multiple speeds, thinking rear derailleur with no front. 7-9 speeds, don't need or want all the fuss of 15-20+. Just at random, I've located a Schwinn "Midway Cruiser" that to my taste is "If it had wider tires and discs that would be it." Same brand, "Boundary Mountian Bike" looks like a fair start- 7 speeds, 29 inch, fairly wide, maybe throw some higher rise bars and a wider seat on, possibly look into adding fenders. Also looked into a Mongoose Hitch, along the same lines- riser bars,little custom tweaking here and there, could work and as long as there's not a massive usability hit I just like the huge fat tire aesthetic.

Curious about front chainwheel size differences on cruiser vs mountain, changeability of same since I'm mainly thinking cruiser type street use a mountain starter might be geared a bit low. Or not, I don't know.

Just looking for critiques/suggestions, I'm still exercising my Google-Fu looking up parts places and bike suppliers to get going, see where I want to start, and where I can end up. Thanks for any input!

Shay
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Old 03-23-21, 02:15 PM
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In general, disc brakes will likely cost you more, and may be something you don't need at all (unless you routinely have: sustained downhill braking, weak grip strength, or wet/muddy conditions). And tires wider than 25 or 28mm aren't "needed" for someone in the 200+ lb. range, for example: I rode 25mm tires at 230 lbs without an issue, though I now ride 28mm at 180 lbs, due to slightly more comfort, and traction on rougher gravel terrain. Wider tires and disc brakes wouldn't hurt, but I wouldn't pigeon hole my bike choices based on "needing" those features. And a wider seat may actually be something you DON'T want to get, since the extra padding on wider seats tends to compress the flesh in your nether regions, causing a restriction of blood flow, thereby causing numbness, but a saddle is easily changed.

The price of that Schwinn Boundary Mountain Bike is pretty good and will likely be a fine starter bike for your needs, without breaking the bank. And if you end up becoming addicted to cycling, you can look for an upgrade then, once you know what you like and don't like about the starter bike.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:42 PM
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Look into the Journeyman Flat Bar Claris 700. It is a baseline that you could build up with stuff.
I'd consider getting the ready to ride Marin Presidio 4 DLX Complete & spend the saved time building up the stuff by enjoying the extended ride times.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:58 PM
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Since you're handy, may wish to peruse bikes direct dot com. The bikes require minor assembly that intimidates some folks. Visit a local bike shop as well to compare/contrast.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:59 PM
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Thanks for the tips, just the sort of information I'm looking for. But to clarify, "need" almost doesn't enter into things at all- the type of riding I'm looking into, entirely city streets, would be adequately served by a single-speed coaster brake cruiser. The discs are less for braking requirements than for personal aesthetic and "gizmo cool" factor, to the tune of "As long as they're not a direct detriment then all's well."

I keep seeing assessments of the Mongoose Hitch discs as being "underpowered" and then have to calibrate for the fact that they probably are for intense mountain trail riding, but are probably between sufficient and massve overkill for my legitimate needs. But I'm the type who doesn't believe in the concept of overkill- too much brake isn't an issue until it sends me over the handlebars.

As for the saddle, the "easily changed" thing is foremost in my mind, but experience from back when suggests I don't like stock to narrows- I'm a wide enough load myself that they're like that joke on the Simpsons where Homer keeps talking about wearing a speedo that constantly disappears and says "I hope they're going someplace good."

Just as added reference, high modularity/modifiability is a major plus. I'm an old school tinkerer/hot rodder, and expect to get as much enjoyment from tweaking and adjusting as from riding, so don't want to get into something loaded with proprietary parts or things that can't (reasonably) easily be swapped out. And my skill levels are such that basically anything that doesn't require welding or a press is within the scope of what I can manage.

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Old 03-23-21, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Outrider1 View Post
Since you're handy, may wish to peruse bikes direct dot com. The bikes require minor assembly that intimidates some folks. Visit a local bike shop as well to compare/contrast.
Outstanding, thanks- good outlets are a great start, and yes I'm handy as a shirt pocket- former auto technician, anything that can be done with hand tools I can rip through and enjoy the process.
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Old 03-23-21, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Look into the Journeyman Flat Bar Claris 700. It is a baseline that you could build up with stuff.
I'd consider getting the ready to ride Marin Presidio 4 DLX Complete & spend the saved time building up the stuff by enjoying the extended ride times.
EEK! Okay, looking at the prices on those I need to spell something out- I'm apparently looking for straight up dirt cheap start points. The Journeyman's price looks like a place I don't mind ending up as total after I've tinkered around, modified, and added parts for a year but the next thing I'm liable to cough up a grand on in one shot would be a new bass guitar or firearm.
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Old 03-23-21, 03:16 PM
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Personally I'd just buy something in the right size and have at it.

Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
In general, disc brakes will likely cost you more, and may be something you don't need at all (unless you routinely have: sustained downhill braking, weak grip strength, or wet/muddy conditions).
I agree with this, plus disc brakes have a bad habit of warping and then just being a pain to deal with.

And tires wider than 25 or 28mm aren't "needed" for someone in the 200+ lb. range, for example: I rode 25mm tires at 230 lbs without an issue, though I now ride 28mm at 180 lbs, due to slightly more comfort, and traction on rougher gravel terrain.
I don't agree with this; I'm 200ish lbs and found my 28mm road bike tyres were awful (because they were at 110psi so like concrete). I've moved to a bike with 40mm tyres (at 60psi) and so much more comfortable, but the roads are awful here.
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Old 03-23-21, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
I don't agree with this; I'm 200ish lbs and found my 28mm road bike tyres were awful (because they were at 110psi so like concrete). I've moved to a bike with 40mm tyres (at 60psi) and so much more comfortable, but the roads are awful here.
Increasing comfort is definitely a very personal thing, as is increasing efficiency at the cost of comfort. At 185-190 lbs, I currently keep the 30 's at 80 psi, 28's at 85 psi, 25's at 95 psi, and the 55 tubeless at 22 psi! 110 psi for 28's sounds a bit high. Wider tires are definitely worth considering if energy efficiency during longer rides is not an issue, as well as not caring about going a bit slower.
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Old 03-23-21, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
I'm looking at getting my first bike in 30-ish years. I'm a former auto mechanic with phenomenal tinkering ability, and lean more toward "where can I start" than at getting just what I want off the bat. Looking for pleasure cruising around town, almost entirely local road in-city riding. Also working on doctor's demand for exercise. As such, racing type rolling resistance concerns are near irrelevant from my view- a little more work is more exercise which is a plus. Working on "low slow" budget- something cheap-ish to start, that I can modify and refine as I go to avoid a hefty initial purchase.

I like the look of cruisers, but prefer the mechanics and beefiness of mountain/hybrid types. Want wide-ish tires for weight handling (I'll never get under 200 pounds), like disc brakes "just because." Liking multiple speeds, thinking rear derailleur with no front. 7-9 speeds, don't need or want all the fuss of 15-20+. Just at random, I've located a Schwinn "Midway Cruiser" that to my taste is "If it had wider tires and discs that would be it." Same brand, "Boundary Mountian Bike" looks like a fair start- 7 speeds, 29 inch, fairly wide, maybe throw some higher rise bars and a wider seat on, possibly look into adding fenders. Also looked into a Mongoose Hitch, along the same lines- riser bars,little custom tweaking here and there, could work and as long as there's not a massive usability hit I just like the huge fat tire aesthetic.

Curious about front chainwheel size differences on cruiser vs mountain, changeability of same since I'm mainly thinking cruiser type street use a mountain starter might be geared a bit low. Or not, I don't know.

Just looking for critiques/suggestions, I'm still exercising my Google-Fu looking up parts places and bike suppliers to get going, see where I want to start, and where I can end up. Thanks for any input!

Shay
OK, welcome to the forums. First things first. Stay away from big box junk. Especially if you are handy and like to tinker. Also, if you are looking to keep the price down, forget about disc brakes, as they will increase the cost of your bike. But again, no big box junk. Those bikes are just not a good value.

If you are looking for cheap, get a used bike. Something like an old Trek, Cannondale, or Giant hybrid or multi track bike. Or Specialized, Bianchi, Fuji, Jamis, or Kona. Basically any bike that was sold at a bike shop. Or even a hard tail mountain bike. Something like a Trek 7xx, 8xx, or 9xx, for example. They key here is look for something quality but simple. No suspension fork, simple V brakes, solid wheels. Look for Cro Moly steel, or aluminum frame. 7 speed is OK. 8 speed is even better. A lot of those older hybrids had triple front chainrings, which is fine.

Even a bike that has been a little abused can be brought back to service if the frame is in good shape, and you can do the work yourself. New chain, some cleaning, maybe some new tires and you should be good to go.
Good luck and happy hunting.
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Old 03-23-21, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
Increasing comfort is definitely a very personal thing, as is increasing efficiency at the cost of comfort. At 185-190 lbs, I currently keep the 30 's at 80 psi, 28's at 85 psi, 25's at 95 psi, and the 55 tubeless at 22 psi! 110 psi for 28's sounds a bit high. Wider tires are definitely worth considering if energy efficiency during longer rides is not an issue, as well as not caring about going a bit slower.
I ride 700 x 28 at around 85 psi on the front, 90 to 95 psi on the back. And I weight over 250 lbs.
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Old 03-23-21, 06:43 PM
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Giants Roam Disc 3 @$680 US might work for you. It has a suspension fork that can be locked out and 42 mm tires for a good ride/performance balance, it does have a double chainring though. I too wanted a single chaining but couldn't find what I wanted so ended up with a triple. A double is good because it provides a wide range of gears.

There is no need to upgrade this bike as it is just fine as is for your purposes. Better tires is about the only thing I'd upgrade and even then only if speed is important. I bought a 2018 Giant Sedona 3 years ago and love it. Their quality is 2nd to none, Even their lower priced models.

Buying a really cheap new bike to upgrade is like buying a Chevrolet Trax and trying to get Cadillac performance and luxury. Just ain't going to happen. Far better to a buy good used bike and repairing or modifying it.

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Old 03-23-21, 07:46 PM
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I don't know your size but there are a few used things in your neck of the woods that will be better than a big box bike.

https://lexington.craigslist.org/bik...290031311.html

​​​​​​https://lexington.craigslist.org/bik...265059237.html

​​​​​​https://lexington.craigslist.org/bik...273555436.html

​​​​​​https://louisville.craigslist.org/bi...292713503.html
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Old 03-23-21, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
If you are looking for cheap, get a used bike. Something like an old Trek, Cannondale, or Giant hybrid or multi track bike. Or Specialized, Bianchi, Fuji, Jamis, or Kona. Basically any bike that was sold at a bike shop. Or even a hard tail mountain bike. Something like a Trek 7xx, 8xx, or 9xx, for example. They key here is look for something quality but simple. No suspension fork, simple V brakes, solid wheels. Look for Cro Moly steel, or aluminum frame. 7 speed is OK. 8 speed is even better. A lot of those older hybrids had triple front chainrings, which is fine.
As the satisfied rider of a '95 Trek 730 Multitrack, I agree 100% with these suggestions. If one can find the right deal, this a great way to get a "not junk" bike that could serve well for the sort of riding the OP describes - without spending a lot of money.

Straightforward to work on. Keep it mostly stock, or make it your own by upgrading things according to your tastes.
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Old 03-23-21, 09:07 PM
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Lots of good information, thanks all.

Plan was to avoid the big box stuff, started there jsut to see what sort of things are available then come here for the purpose of being to pointed to better outlets and talked out of said big boxes. Bikes Direct has handled that to a T.
At the moment liking the looks of the Gravity X-Rod 8. https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...peed-bikes.htm
This ticks all the boxes- comfort saddle, more upright bars for my worn old 54 year back, and yes- those discs I'm fixated on. I hear and grasp all the potential issues and can see the cost difference clearly. (No mechanical option, only hydraulic? Poo.)

Thing is I've got a deep-seated loathing for any kind of rim rubbers. Per my late father, I could "tear up a cast iron jackass." As such I forget that it's possible to have wheels that aren't bent/dented/curb hop damaged, and then there's that lovely delay when the wheels are wet. Ugh. I know I might be walking face first into a cast iron skillet being swung at me with my eyes wide open, but I want to play around with this new style of toy and accept the risk of high-maintenance annoyance.From a chrome-framed no-name 20 inch Spyder bike with old school calipers and a 3 speed twist grip rear hub to a Schwinn LeTour III with center-pull calipers I hate rim brakes,

Assuming I buy this one, I'm not in a "must order now" rush- but that really does look much like what I had in mind to end up with after construction and alteration to suit. May end up going there, might find something that suits better, don't know.
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Old 03-23-21, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
Lots of good information, thanks all.

Plan was to avoid the big box stuff, started there jsut to see what sort of things are available then come here for the purpose of being to pointed to better outlets and talked out of said big boxes. Bikes Direct has handled that to a T.
At the moment liking the looks of the Gravity X-Rod 8. https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...peed-bikes.htm
This ticks all the boxes- comfort saddle, more upright bars for my worn old 54 year back, and yes- those discs I'm fixated on. I hear and grasp all the potential issues and can see the cost difference clearly. (No mechanical option, only hydraulic? Poo.)

Thing is I've got a deep-seated loathing for any kind of rim rubbers. Per my late father, I could "tear up a cast iron jackass." As such I forget that it's possible to have wheels that aren't bent/dented/curb hop damaged, and then there's that lovely delay when the wheels are wet. Ugh. I know I might be walking face first into a cast iron skillet being swung at me with my eyes wide open, but I want to play around with this new style of toy and accept the risk of high-maintenance annoyance.From a chrome-framed no-name 20 inch Spyder bike with old school calipers and a 3 speed twist grip rear hub to a Schwinn LeTour III with center-pull calipers I hate rim brakes,

Assuming I buy this one, I'm not in a "must order now" rush- but that really does look much like what I had in mind to end up with after construction and alteration to suit. May end up going there, might find something that suits better, don't know.
OK, then, at least you are going into it with your eyes open.
RE: upright bikes and your back. Those high bars on the Gravity look seriously uncomfortable. When you ride completely upright, your back takes more impact from the road than it does if you ride just a little bent over. because the shock from the road goes right up through your spine. Really. And that wide saddle will chafe your thighs like nobody's business. The key is to find a saddle that is wide enough to support you at your sit bones, but not wide like a Lazy Boy recliner. Get it just right and you spread your weight between your legs and butt, with your back and abdominals supporting your upper body. The extreme upright posture of the Gravity bike will become extremely uncomfortable in 15 minutes or less as all your weight is on your butt, and you don't really generate any power when pedaling. And you generate maximum wind resistance as your entire body catches the wind like a big sail. I am not saying you need to be super aero, but just get your body a little lower, like 45 to 55 degrees will be much more comfortable.

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Old 03-23-21, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
I'm looking at getting my first bike in 30-ish years. I'm a former auto mechanic with phenomenal tinkering ability, and lean more toward "where can I start" than at getting just what I want off the bat. Looking for pleasure cruising around town, almost entirely local road in-city riding. Also working on doctor's demand for exercise. As such, racing type rolling resistance concerns are near irrelevant from my view- a little more work is more exercise which is a plus. Working on "low slow" budget- something cheap-ish to start, that I can modify and refine as I go to avoid a hefty initial purchase.

I like the look of cruisers, but prefer the mechanics and beefiness of mountain/hybrid types. Want wide-ish tires for weight handling (I'll never get under 200 pounds), like disc brakes "just because." Liking multiple speeds, thinking rear derailleur with no front. 7-9 speeds, don't need or want all the fuss of 15-20+. Just at random, I've located a Schwinn "Midway Cruiser" that to my taste is "If it had wider tires and discs that would be it." Same brand, "Boundary Mountian Bike" looks like a fair start- 7 speeds, 29 inch, fairly wide, maybe throw some higher rise bars and a wider seat on, possibly look into adding fenders. Also looked into a Mongoose Hitch, along the same lines- riser bars,little custom tweaking here and there, could work and as long as there's not a massive usability hit I just like the huge fat tire aesthetic.

Curious about front chainwheel size differences on cruiser vs mountain, changeability of same since I'm mainly thinking cruiser type street use a mountain starter might be geared a bit low. Or not, I don't know.

Just looking for critiques/suggestions, I'm still exercising my Google-Fu looking up parts places and bike suppliers to get going, see where I want to start, and where I can end up. Thanks for any input!

Shay
OK, more thoughts.

The key here isn't so much rolling resistance, as it is efficiency. An efficient set up will give you a way better workout than an inefficient one. Hence, the cruiser isn't really the way to go when looking for a little exercise. And if you are worried you will have too easy a time, don't worry. Riding up hills, and especially into the wind will take care of that. I have two bikes currently, and have owned many more in the past. My road bike is my go to for most riding, my mountain bike mostly sits, but is my bike for single track, which I rarely do. And the mountain bike is a real slug on the road. You would think it would be my go to choice more for getting a workout, but it isn't. Because it really isn't enjoyable riding my mountain bike, with its wide knobby tires and suspension fork on pavement, or even packed dirt.

I would suggest going a little more sporty/roadie than you initially might be comfortable with. Forget about cruisers and mountain bikes and go for a city bike or hybrid. It might not be the fat tire aesthetic you like, but also might be more enjoyable to ride on city streets, and you just might ride a little further than you thought you ever could.
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Old 03-24-21, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
This ticks all the boxes- comfort saddle, more upright bars for my worn old 54 year back, and yes- those discs I'm fixated on. I hear and grasp all the potential issues and can see the cost difference clearly. (No mechanical option, only hydraulic? Poo.)
Hydraulic disc brakes are generally the better option, unless you're touring and need to be sure everything on your bike can be easily fixed roadside. Some people will say hydraulics require a lot of messy maintenance, which just isn't true in my experience - they're virtually maintenace free. Brake pad change is a very simple job, done in minutes; caliper alignment is perhaps the easiest of all brake types; slightly warped discs can be trued by hand. The only potentially messy part is the bleeding, which is also a fairly straightforward process with the right tools and shouldn't be required more often than once a year or two.

Even the low end hydraulic brakes by reputed brands (Shimano, Tektro, etc.) work well and offer great stopping power and modulation. Now that I'm used to one finger braking, I'm not going back to anything else.
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Old 03-24-21, 03:37 AM
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Shay Howe is a person that speaks my language. I am a trained auto tech, have worked as a motorcycle tech, and worked on turbines all in a past life when I was younger. Tinkering is what I do in my spare time. I suggest going down the used bike road. If you go vintage disc brakes will not be an option, but the price can be very agreeable.

Example: I have a 1985 Miyata Ridge Runner, a top of the line bike in 1985. It is sporting a riser stem, cruiser handle bar, big ol' Cloud 9 saddle, and a 6 speed drive train. I converted it from a mountain bike to a simple 6 gear cruiser all with used parts. Nothing near as complex as anything automotive, but fun to do, and even more fun to ride.

One thing about disc brakes you need to know. Cheap disc brakes are nothing more than BS. They don't work any better than rim brakes, are consistantly frustrating to work on, and are not worth considering. I consider them the Yugo of brakes.
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Old 03-24-21, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
OK, then, at least you are going into it with your eyes open.
Aye. Also want to clarify just in case, don't want to seem contrarian for its own sake- I'm just picky as they get, and never met an idea so simple I couldn't drastically overthink it.

RE: upright bikes and your back. Those high bars on the Gravity look seriously uncomfortable. When you ride completely upright, your back takes more impact from the road than it does if you ride just a little bent over. because the shock from the road goes right up through your spine. Really.
I'm working from dated information wrt personal experience, but in mine it worked exactly the opposite when I was in my 20s switching between the aforementioned chrome 3-speed spyder and the Schwinn LeTour III that finally succumbed to an ugly impact involving soaked rim-rubbers, traffic constricting swerve options, and a car backing out in front of me when I was doing a good 25 MPH. (When all was said and done the front wheel's rear edge was 3 inches behind the lower frame tube and the gooseneck had put the hurt on my jewels)

And that wide saddle will chafe your thighs like nobody's business. The key is to find a saddle that is wide enough to support you at your sit bones, but not wide like a Lazy Boy recliner. Get it just right and you spread your weight between your legs and butt,
Memory again- the "standard" (for the time, best as I recall) saddle on that LeTour III was the worst thing about riding it- and just doing my routine errands 10 miles a day stop and go was common. And where it rode up and caused friction between the ol' cheeks once I got to sweating made chafing seem like an insufficient term. Not saying you're wrong per se, only that I recall things working differently in my case. Also, RE: both the bars and seat, easily changed to suit on top of (Big "tell me if I'm wrong here) what I'm looking at and where I'm considering buying looks like the epitome of something pieced together from off the shelf parts, lending to just such easy customization.

with your back and abdominals supporting your upper body. The extreme upright posture of the Gravity bike will become extremely uncomfortable in 15 minutes or less as all your weight is on your butt, and you don't really generate any power when pedaling. And you generate maximum wind resistance as your entire body catches the wind like a big sail. I am not saying you need to be super aero, but just get your body a little lower, like 45 to 55 degrees will be much more comfortable.
Ah, and here's the crux of the biscuit- I effectively don't have any abdominals to support anything with. Backstory: in 2018 I was laid low with a bacterial infection that nearly took me off the planet 3 times over. In a month I lost about 40 pounds, most of it muscle mass. Lost about 60% of my muscle mass and about 85% of my muscle memory. Took a week to get proficient at even feeding myself in a hospital bed, and 6 weeks of occupational therapy to make basic "point A to point B" walking even a viable possibility. Comfortably walking without wobbles or the need for a walking stick is as recent as around June-July 2020. Anything that requires me to support myself on muscles is still an iffy proposition at best- a place I may reach once I'm in a position to work toward, but not someplace I am now by any stretch.

In that same vein, I don't see getting enough speed for wind (aside from any ambient weather-induced headwinds) to be an issue early on, likewise needing someplace semi-comfortable to rest my mass between bouts where standing on the pedals is even viable. While I hope to extend things over time, as a start I'm looking at half an hour being a long, extended ride.and would be surprised if that's not taxing. (Not that I'll mind being surprised, for sure.) But I'm currently thinking far more "leisurely cruise with the possibility to exert a little then break" than any real extended exertion. Hence my assertion that a single-speed cruiser with coasters would probably work fine- I just don't want to go there.

But sure, please keep the ideas coming- while so far I think I've got things figured, there's always food for thought to be gleaned.

OH- something that did just occur to me- browsing the forums, I've run across a couple of threads regarding tire valve types- what looks like some debate about Schraeders vs some other variant, and in light of that the valve stems on that Gravity (maybe it's just me) look pretty slim. I wasn't even aware there was anything other than Schraeders. Reminded me of the old days and computer geeks feuding over IDE vs SCSI disk drives or music fans arguing about the minimal sound quality difference between vinyl and digital (that I can't even hear, too much time in the '70s shooting on the farm before realizing hearing protection was even a thing) but I don't have enough background to even be certain what all the fuss was except people griping about which pumps/chucks work or don't and how well.
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Old 03-24-21, 05:44 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
OH- something that did just occur to me- browsing the forums, I've run across a couple of threads regarding tire valve types- what looks like some debate about Schraeders vs some other variant, and in light of that the valve stems on that Gravity (maybe it's just me) look pretty slim. I wasn't even aware there was anything other than Schraeders. Reminded me of the old days and computer geeks feuding over IDE vs SCSI disk drives or music fans arguing about the minimal sound quality difference between vinyl and digital (that I can't even hear, too much time in the '70s shooting on the farm before realizing hearing protection was even a thing) but I don't have enough background to even be certain what all the fuss was except people griping about which pumps/chucks work or don't and how well.
Generally, Prestas (the other one) are lighter smaller so tend to be on higher end bikes, but in practical terms it makes no real difference. Just make sure you've got a pump that fits whatever valves that are on the bike you buy.
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Old 03-24-21, 06:42 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
Aye. Also want to clarify just in case, don't want to seem contrarian for its own sake- I'm just picky as they get, and never met an idea so simple I couldn't drastically overthink it.



I'm working from dated information wrt personal experience, but in mine it worked exactly the opposite when I was in my 20s switching between the aforementioned chrome 3-speed spyder and the Schwinn LeTour III that finally succumbed to an ugly impact involving soaked rim-rubbers, traffic constricting swerve options, and a car backing out in front of me when I was doing a good 25 MPH. (When all was said and done the front wheel's rear edge was 3 inches behind the lower frame tube and the gooseneck had put the hurt on my jewels)



Memory again- the "standard" (for the time, best as I recall) saddle on that LeTour III was the worst thing about riding it- and just doing my routine errands 10 miles a day stop and go was common. And where it rode up and caused friction between the ol' cheeks once I got to sweating made chafing seem like an insufficient term. Not saying you're wrong per se, only that I recall things working differently in my case. Also, RE: both the bars and seat, easily changed to suit on top of (Big "tell me if I'm wrong here) what I'm looking at and where I'm considering buying looks like the epitome of something pieced together from off the shelf parts, lending to just such easy customization.



Ah, and here's the crux of the biscuit- I effectively don't have any abdominals to support anything with. Backstory: in 2018 I was laid low with a bacterial infection that nearly took me off the planet 3 times over. In a month I lost about 40 pounds, most of it muscle mass. Lost about 60% of my muscle mass and about 85% of my muscle memory. Took a week to get proficient at even feeding myself in a hospital bed, and 6 weeks of occupational therapy to make basic "point A to point B" walking even a viable possibility. Comfortably walking without wobbles or the need for a walking stick is as recent as around June-July 2020. Anything that requires me to support myself on muscles is still an iffy proposition at best- a place I may reach once I'm in a position to work toward, but not someplace I am now by any stretch.

In that same vein, I don't see getting enough speed for wind (aside from any ambient weather-induced headwinds) to be an issue early on, likewise needing someplace semi-comfortable to rest my mass between bouts where standing on the pedals is even viable. While I hope to extend things over time, as a start I'm looking at half an hour being a long, extended ride.and would be surprised if that's not taxing. (Not that I'll mind being surprised, for sure.) But I'm currently thinking far more "leisurely cruise with the possibility to exert a little then break" than any real extended exertion. Hence my assertion that a single-speed cruiser with coasters would probably work fine- I just don't want to go there.

But sure, please keep the ideas coming- while so far I think I've got things figured, there's always food for thought to be gleaned.

OH- something that did just occur to me- browsing the forums, I've run across a couple of threads regarding tire valve types- what looks like some debate about Schraeders vs some other variant, and in light of that the valve stems on that Gravity (maybe it's just me) look pretty slim. I wasn't even aware there was anything other than Schraeders. Reminded me of the old days and computer geeks feuding over IDE vs SCSI disk drives or music fans arguing about the minimal sound quality difference between vinyl and digital (that I can't even hear, too much time in the '70s shooting on the farm before realizing hearing protection was even a thing) but I don't have enough background to even be certain what all the fuss was except people griping about which pumps/chucks work or don't and how well.
You state you are fairly new to all of this and are asking for random advice from strangers yet you appear to be exceedingly opinionated, obsessed with minutiae, and ofc have already expressed many deep-seated personal beliefs.
You sir are a perfect addition to BF
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Old 03-24-21, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
You state you are fairly new to all of this and are asking for random advice from strangers yet you appear to be exceedingly opinionated, obsessed with minutiae, and ofc have already expressed many deep-seated personal beliefs.
You sir are a perfect addition to BF
LOL Glad to know I'm fitting in well!
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Old 03-24-21, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
Aye. Also want to clarify just in case, don't want to seem contrarian for its own sake- I'm just picky as they get, and never met an idea so simple I couldn't drastically overthink it.



I'm working from dated information wrt personal experience, but in mine it worked exactly the opposite when I was in my 20s switching between the aforementioned chrome 3-speed spyder and the Schwinn LeTour III that finally succumbed to an ugly impact involving soaked rim-rubbers, traffic constricting swerve options, and a car backing out in front of me when I was doing a good 25 MPH. (When all was said and done the front wheel's rear edge was 3 inches behind the lower frame tube and the gooseneck had put the hurt on my jewels)



Memory again- the "standard" (for the time, best as I recall) saddle on that LeTour III was the worst thing about riding it- and just doing my routine errands 10 miles a day stop and go was common. where it rodeAnd up and caused friction between the ol' cheeks once I got to sweating made chafing seem like an insufficient term. Not saying you're wrong per se, only that I recall things working differently in my case. Also, RE: both the bars and seat, easily changed to suit on top of (Big "tell me if I'm wrong here) what I'm looking at and where I'm considering buying looks like the epitome of something pieced together from off the shelf parts, lending to just such easy customization.



Ah, and here's the crux of the biscuit- I effectively don't have any abdominals to support anything with. Backstory: in 2018 I was laid low with a bacterial infection that nearly took me off the planet 3 times over. In a month I lost about 40 pounds, most of it muscle mass. Lost about 60% of my muscle mass and about 85% of my muscle memory. Took a week to get proficient at even feeding myself in a hospital bed, and 6 weeks of occupational therapy to make basic "point A to point B" walking even a viable possibility. Comfortably walking without wobbles or the need for a walking stick is as recent as around June-July 2020. Anything that requires me to support myself on muscles is still an iffy proposition at best- a place I may reach once I'm in a position to work toward, but not someplace I am now by any stretch.

In that same vein, I don't see getting enough speed for wind (aside from any ambient weather-indus) ced headwindto be an issue early on, likewise needing someplace semi-comfortable to rest my mass between bouts where standing on the pedals is even viable. While I hope to extend things over time, as a start I'm looking at half an hour being a long, extended ride.and would be surprised if that's not taxing. (Not that I'll mind being surprised, for sure.) But I'm currently thinking far more "leisurely cruise with the possibility to exert a little then break" than any real extended exertion. Hence my assertion that a single-speed cruiser with coasters would probably work fine- I just don't want to go there.

But sure, please keep the ideas coming- while so far I think I've got things figured, there's always food for thought to be gleaned.

OH- something that did just occur to me- browsing the forums, I've run across a couple of threads regarding tire valve types- what looks like some debate about Schraeders vs some other variant, and in light of that the valve stems on that Gravity (maybe it's just me) look pretty slim. I wasn't even aware there was anything other than Schraeders. Reminded me of the old days and computer geeks feuding over IDE vs SCSI disk drives or music fans arguing about the minimal sound quality difference between vinyl and digital (that I can't even hear, too much time in the '70s shooting on the farm before realizing hearing protection was even a thing) but I don't have enough background to even be certain what all the fuss was except people griping about which pumps/chucks work or don't and how well.
OK, for one, yes, your knowledge base is dated and some things have changed.

Like you, until I came back to cycling in the late 90s, my experience was with those old uncomfortable hard saddles, and wearing jeans or denim cutoffs and cotton underwear. Wearing compression underwear or better yet cycling shorts to keep everything tidy and reduce friction and chafing. Once I had that sorted out, which didn't happen until the 90s, it was a revelation. In the old days, the discomfort caused me to want to stop riding after 8 or 10 miles, but once I was able to get comfortable, I found myself riding 20, 30 miles or more.

Second, you may be remembering a time when bike rims were made of steel, and those were indeed very dangerous in wet weather. That also got sorted out in the 90s and beyond, with even cheap wheels made out of aluminum and better braking surfaces. Pair that with quality brake pads like the Kool Stop Salmon pads and braking isn't an issue. Not to say hydraulic discs aren't an improvement. They are. But they cost, and you are asking for trouble going cheap, but getting low end hydraulic discs is not how I would go. I will leave it at that. Also, re: your accident where you hit a car at 25 mph, regardless of the brakes you have, if a car pulls out in front of you at 25 mph, you are going down. Either that, or you are going over the handlebars.

Finally, if you can balance on a bike with 2 wheels, you have abs. And I am not talking about a 6 pack. I have a gut despite years of riding. One of the reasons I can't ride anything too aero. And yes, headwinds are a thing. But even at 54, you can do more than you think you can, if you get the right bike.

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Old 03-24-21, 08:23 AM
  #25  
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may get a used one like Trek 4x mountain bike. 10 yrs ago, when MSRP was about $500, I got a new one at a half price of that and still have it. My go-anywhere bike. a used one should cost under $200. the rear free hub broke once, and other small thing went bad (plus buying new tires, brake shoes, chains, etc.), which is normal for an entry level bike. I fixed it all by myself.
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