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Getting back to biking

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Getting back to biking

Old 09-22-21, 07:46 PM
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Senathon
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Getting back to biking

I have edited this so many times it is not funny before posting. I used to enjoy running for a very long time and biking to everywhere I wanted to go. I quit for a knee injury and became an overweight's gamer. Now after having a major surgery, my old sports doctor/coach is advising me to get in biking full time(slow speeds, and working on endurance). I went from 240 pounds to 155 pounds and lost 20% of my good muscle mass due to the surgery.


Due to my current health, I am restricted to town biking or using an indoor bike conversion. Initially I am going to start training in my home at low speeds to build my endurance to adjust to bike riding. I am currently on a budget to $500 initial for a bike(or bike and upgrade parts), which I can upgrade later.


So what bike do you recommend me buying that I can use with an indoor bike conversion for a few months and then I can also use in town initially, then for upgrade longer distances(20 to 30k a day) for endurance training? I know I want a road bike since everything is flat and paved around here.
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Old 09-22-21, 07:51 PM
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Given your budget, do you already have the indoor trainer, or do you need that too?
Tim
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Old 09-22-21, 08:03 PM
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Back into cycling ...

Hi.

if you have a mag or windtrainer then lots is within your reach. Even if you hav3 to buy one, there should be many suitable bikes available locally via Marketplace, kijiji, etc. Look for a bike that fits you without major adjustments or fitting super long or short reach stems, seatposts stc. As you'll be riding in urban or very easy suburban settings almost any reasonable bike will do as long as it fits. An example: I recently bought an old late 80's/early 90's Kuwahara Cascade in essentially brand new condition for CAD $95 (USD $75). No rust, no tire rot, excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition. Everything is stock and perfect. I should give it a tuneup, but it works flawlessly now.

if you don't know, the Cascade used a mix of Deore DX and LX parts, and Ritchey Vantage Sport rims.
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Old 09-22-21, 08:38 PM
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Since winter is fast approaching, I would think an indoor trainer, like a mag, would work. Any older road bike, preferably a brand name, that is in decent condition would let you see if that style would work for you in the comfort of your own home.

By spring you’ll raring to go.

John
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Old 09-22-21, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Senathon View Post
I have edited this so many times it is not funny before posting.
it isn't any funnier after posting.
Originally Posted by Senathon View Post
I went from 240 pounds to 155 pounds and lost 20% of my good muscle mass due to the surgery.
I am jealous. I need to get on your weight-loss program.
Originally Posted by Senathon View Post
. I am currently on a budget to $500 initial for a bike(or bike and upgrade parts), which I can upgrade later.
If I might make an unpleasant and unpopular suggestion .... join a gym. Your $500 will be much better spent.

Well .... probably but not necessarily ...

You would need to find a miracle bike---a used bike in tremendous shape which just happened to fit you and didn't need any repair. They are out there, but they are rare. It depends where you are, and how the market is in that place.

A trainer will set you back a few hundred dollars by itself probably. That leaves very little for a bike, new tubes, maybe new tires and cables .... I assume you can do your own work and can tell a good bike from a bad one, and can tell if a bike fits ..... Even so, if you are going to be riding you will probably want gloves, maybe a helmet, lights, a water bottle, a seat bag, and tools and tubes so you can get back home if you get a flat. Suddenly your bike budget is $100. (Besides, riding on a trainer in your garage is about as boring as painting grass and watching it die.)

Note: You can take your risks with a $50 trainer like this (I hate Amazon, but it was the first listing) https://www.amazon.com/BalanceFrom-T...dp/B0872255PS/ That thing might even last the first three rides, who knows? But by then you would be ready for the road anyway. Here is an interesting list: https://heavy.com/sports/best-bike-trainer/

I assume since you lost most of your muscle you will want to rebuild your whole body, your overall fitness anyway .... a few dumbbells, or ..... a cheap gym membership (they range from sales of $10 per month to $30 around here.) The gym where I am a member has a whole room full of exercise bikes which only get used for an hour every morning. if you don't take the class you can use the bikes whenever there are no classes.

Meanwhile, save up for a bike. The late '80s/early '90s rigid MTBs are awesome .... upright riding positions, carrying capacity, lots of gears which are useful when starting out even if the road seems flat. They are tanks, which means both heavy and nearly indestructible. They are also 30+ years old, so finding one in good shape ..... good luck.

if it were me, I would be hitting up flea markets and swap meets and yard sales, and building a Frankenbike .... but if you can find a bike that has been garaged for 30 years .... nab it. But seriously, most 30-year-old bikes need at least tires, tubes, and cables.

If I were you I might look for decent used flat-bar road bikes from more modern eras, and I would be saving up cash and pumping up my budget. If I had a hard budget of $500, I would go to Bikes Direct if I needed new, but to be honest, there aren't many bikes I would be interested in buying at today's prices---and limited availability.

I would shop Craigs List for used bikes otherwise---but you could check every day for weeks on CL before you saw the right bike, only to have someone like me buy it first. And I would buy absolutely as much bike as I could afford, because I would want to be able to enjoy the thing for a few years before I needed to upgrade.

Here is another suggestion which will get the peanut gallery howling-----consider spending $75 on a single-speed Big-Box bike. After all, what you really need right now is exercise less boring than jogging in place in your living room. if you are riding flat roads, and for the first many months will mainly be building a base of fitness, a single-speed wouldn't hold you back. Get the $50 trainer, a cheap single-speed, and forget about water bottles and such---for the first year you will be rebuilding fitness and saving money so that when you cannot tolerate doing one more loop of your neighborhood and Have to get out into the wider world, you can buy a bike you won't mind keeping for a few years.

Or .... do something else. As long as you stay alive and get steadily healthier, I don't care how, really. Buy roller blades, whatever. Enjoy life.
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Old 09-22-21, 10:16 PM
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Already got one from someone, still in the plastic missing the package. The instruction calls is a Fluid Bike Trainer Stand.

"Given your budget, do you already have the indoor trainer, or do you need that too?"
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Old 09-22-21, 10:35 PM
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I would love to help you get back on a bike. At the moment bike stocks are really tight, and many non-existent, so not the best time to be in the market.
But there are bikes out there.
If, you're not really aware of what to expect and what to look for then some expertise from a decent bike shop would be the best avenue. But the $500 limit may not be possible at a bike shop, short of a beach cruiser...
Buying 'used' will give the best bang for the buck, if you know what to look for. And even thinking that you know enough, I will be sorry to say, is not going to be enough to keep you away from the dark hole of bikes which need some special attention (read expensive parts and repair).
I took a quick look at Craigslist for your area - https://delaware.craigslist.org/d/bicycles/search/bia , and its a wide assortment of stuff, much of which you can't consider.
$500 is a sizeable amount of money, but sadly, these days, doesn't often buy a nice,good bike.
Is there someone local to you, who has bike knowledge who can help you?
If $500 is the total budget, and you need stuff, I would allocate $350 max. for the bike, $75-$100 for needed stuff, ,like a helmet (which can be bought for $30ish) foot pump (ir cheap electric pump), Clothing can be some 'active' wear stuff, but avoid any cotton. And then $50 to $75 for any small parts, consumables, like tubes, etc.
Buying from a Big Box, like Target. I don;t know anyhting about their bike selections, but there seem to be plenty of these rolling around the UCSB campus here, are not well cared for but still seem to be serviceable for the year or longer. I have no real interest in knowing what they sell, so I don;t know...
If you were to give us, the bikeforum, more of an idea of your dimensions, age; we can at least give you and idea of what a workable size range of bike, might work for you. Next would be an inseam measurement, reference you can find with an internet search - good if you can go that far. Best is to start within that reasonable size range. Further adjustments can then be made . But likely you'll ride the bike with gear as it comes on the bike you buy, Seat height adjustment, maybe handlebar adjustment, and then ride the bike for however long you might keep it...
AN under $500 bike is normally not going to warrent any 'upgrades'. Ride it, and when ready or wanting 'better', expect to buy something else.
But others have posted info and images of bikes they are considering, and have gotten a good range of 'opinion' from others.
Give us your height and we can give a bike size range.Then you can look around and if you see something you like in the size range, post info and images (or listing) and get more opinion from Bikeforums members.
Best of luck
Yuri

Last edited by cyclezen; 09-22-21 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 09-22-21, 10:45 PM
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Since you have a trainer, you just need a bike that shifts and has a good crank and rear wheel. You don’t really need brakes; and any front wheel that isn’t tacoed will work.

Think of it as your trainer bike, not a bike you will actually ride anywhere. That will come next year, or whenever you are ready to get out on the street.

It makes your $500 budget much more manageable.

John
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Old 09-22-21, 10:46 PM
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Senathon
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Thanks for the information. You gave me more to think about. Your "Get the $50 trainer, a cheap single-speed, " idea might be the best way for me now. I already got a trainer free,so I just need to get a bike to get me started. Do you recommend any cheap single-speed so I can feel a custom to riding a road bike?

My current bike budget is $500(just for the bike), but I am aware of all the extras. I been doing a lot of research online and asking around. There are bikers(riding around) around but not many bike shops close by. Walmart is horrible for asking any bike questions.

I was just going to buy one of the cheap bikes on amazon as a rider and try to upgrade it later but that sounds like a bad idea now.
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Old 09-22-21, 11:02 PM
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I am 45 years old, I am 5 foot 11 3/4 inch(almost 6 ft) . inseam is 30 inches(from heel to inside). I was looking at a 56cm or a 58cm bike sizes(reading of differnet charts on different bikes).

From previous casual biking trips(15 years ago) and cross county runs, I used to have high levels of endurance. I never got into sprinting or climbing with bikes(my races were always running). I hope that help you a little.


Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
I would love to help you get back on a bike. At the moment bike stocks are really tight, and many non-existent, so not the best time to be in the market.
But there are bikes out there.
If, you're not really aware of what to expect and what to look for then some expertise from a decent bike shop would be the best avenue. But the $500 limit may not be possible at a bike shop, short of a beach cruiser...
Buying 'used' will give the best bang for the buck, if you know what to look for. And even thinking that you know enough, I will be sorry to say, is not going to be enough to keep you away from the dark hole of bikes which need some special attention (read expensive parts and repair).
I took a quick look at Craigslist for your area - , and its a wide assortment of stuff, much of which you can't consider.
$500 is a sizeable amount of money, but sadly, these days, doesn't often buy a nice,good bike.
Is there someone local to you, who has bike knowledge who can help you?
If $500 is the total budget, and you need stuff, I would allocate $350 max. for the bike, $75-$100 for needed stuff, ,like a helmet (which can be bought for $30ish) foot pump (ir cheap electric pump), Clothing can be some 'active' wear stuff, but avoid any cotton. And then $50 to $75 for any small parts, consumables, like tubes, etc.
Buying from a Big Box, like Target. I don;t know anyhting about their bike selections, but there seem to be plenty of these rolling around the UCSB campus here, are not well cared for but still seem to be serviceable for the year or longer. I have no real interest in knowing what they sell, so I don;t know...
If you were to give us, the bikeforum, more of an idea of your dimensions, age; we can at least give you and idea of what a workable size range of bike, might work for you. Next would be an inseam measurement, reference you can find with an internet search - good if you can go that far. Best is to start within that reasonable size range. Further adjustments can then be made . But likely you'll ride the bike with gear as it comes on the bike you buy, Seat height adjustment, maybe handlebar adjustment, and then ride the bike for however long you might keep it...
AN under $500 bike is normally not going to warrent any 'upgrades'. Ride it, and when ready or wanting 'better', expect to buy something else.
But others have posted info and images of bikes they are considering, and have gotten a good range of 'opinion' from others.
Give us your height and we can give a bike size range.Then you can look around and if you see something you like in the size range, post info and images (or listing) and get more opinion from Bikeforums members.
Best of luck
Yuri
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Old 09-22-21, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Senathon View Post
I am 45 years old, I am 5 foot 11 3/4 inch(almost 6 ft) . inseam is 30 inches(from heel to inside). I was looking at a 56cm or a 58cm bike sizes(reading of differnet charts on different bikes).

From previous casual biking trips(15 years ago) and cross county runs, I used to have high levels of endurance. I never got into sprinting or climbing with bikes(my races were always running). I hope that help you a little.
Ok, so almost 6 ft, - inseam sounds like a pants inseam - what you might use for sizing some jeans... but still a bit on the shorter side for your height.
So for road bike sizing my best estimate would be 56cm , 58 cm might be the top MAX and usable and 54 bottom and not best - 55, 56, 57 - in US 22 1/2 - 23 inch
These numbers are frame sizing for road bikes - sometimes, especially on listing for used bikes, sizing stated is NOT the actual frame size, just some number the owner cooked up, like off the tire size... LOL!
I would shy away from 54, because the size would necessitate more forward lean, and so more adjustment to get accustomed to and also make your re-entry a bit more difficult. Better to err to the larger frame sizes than smaller. SO, yeah, I'd check out 58s before considering 54s, in your case.
I did a quick look again at the CL listing, in light of your sizing. There are a nice assortment of bikes in and close to your price, BUT they are all really small ! There must be a lot of really short people in Delaware... LOL!
But CL changes often, so when something interesting in your size range pops up there, re-post here in your thread, with a listing link, and I'm sure you'll get some good opinion about.
Good Luck
Yuri
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Old 09-23-21, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
Ok, so almost 6 ft, - inseam sounds like a pants inseam - what you might use for sizing some jeans... but still a bit on the shorter side for your height.
So for road bike sizing my best estimate would be 56cm , 58 cm might be the top MAX and usable and 54 bottom and not best - 55, 56, 57 - in US 22 1/2 - 23 inch
These numbers are frame sizing for road bikes - sometimes, especially on listing for used bikes, sizing stated is NOT the actual frame size, just some number the owner cooked up, like off the tire size... LOL!
I would shy away from 54, because the size would necessitate more forward lean, and so more adjustment to get accustomed to and also make your re-entry a bit more difficult. Better to err to the larger frame sizes than smaller. SO, yeah, I'd check out 58s before considering 54s, in your case.
I did a quick look again at the CL listing, in light of your sizing. There are a nice assortment of bikes in and close to your price, BUT they are all really small ! There must be a lot of really short people in Delaware... LOL!
But CL changes often, so when something interesting in your size range pops up there, re-post here in your thread, with a listing link, and I'm sure you'll get some good opinion about.
Good Luck
Yuri
This Diamond Back Expert looks good. Very good. Gorgeous, in fact. I think it's even about his size. For more of a project, this Diamond Back Ascent might work too.

Senathon , when bike people say "inseam", what they mean is this.

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Old 09-23-21, 07:42 AM
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I think this might be backwards if we're going to be of any help. Maybe you should see what's actually available near you, then get our opinions on the actual options available to you. Right now, the market is so spotty, there's not much use in us sending you on wild goose chases for bikes you can't get.
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Old 09-23-21, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
This Diamond Back Expert looks good. Very good. Gorgeous, in fact. I think it's even about his size. For more of a project, this Diamond Back Ascent might work too.

Senathon , when bike people say "inseam", what they mean is this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGUTPmnrRJM
Yeah Korina, I saw that also... a nice bike, prolly v-nice if under $400. My concern would be size... The inseam thing is key - that youtube would get it !
OP, Senathon, do this measurement - it would help immensely !
The Diamondback has a few other considerations, once we consider inseam/bike size. But a 'possible'...
worth some discussion...
ride on
Yuri
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Old 09-23-21, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
This Diamond Back Expert looks good. Very good. Gorgeous, in fact. I think it's even about his size. For more of a project, this Diamond Back Ascent might work too.

Senathon , when bike people say "inseam", what they mean is this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGUTPmnrRJM
Wow. I wasn't expecting to see Steve. He's a friend and the guy who did my fit. Very good at what he does and his LBS is among the best. His video is right on the money. This is what I've been doing for 40 years. In my case a 32.5" inseam yields a 55 cm frame.
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Old 09-23-21, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Senathon View Post
So what bike do you recommend me buying that I can use with an indoor bike conversion for a few months and then I can also use in town initially, then for upgrade longer distances(20 to 30k a day) for endurance training? I know I want a road bike since everything is flat and paved around here.
Look into a rigid fork flat bar bike. Companies call them different things- sport hybrid, flat bar road bike, fitness bike, etc.
Trek FX, Giant Escape, Specialized Sirrus, etc.

You may be able to find one at a large sporting goods store new for under $500, totally depends on local inventory.
Finding one at a bike shop for under $500 may be difficult as I think all the new ones start out at over $500 at this point.
Maybe finding one used on craigslist, facebook marketplace, a local bike co-op, or a bike shop that sells used would be the answer.

A rigid fork(no suspension) hybrid will work on your trainer indoors without much fussing and easily then transfer to riding outside.
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Old 09-23-21, 12:13 PM
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Personally, I always recommend to people looking to get into biking (for any reason) to get outside as often as possible. There's a sense of adventure when you're outside, even when it's freezing, that indoor training doesn't give you. There's a sense of accomplishment getting back from a ride that was at your limits (hard effort, long distance, etc) that isn't quite the same as indoor training. You don't need all of the high end clothing to start out. Just layer up with what you have and face the winter head-on. Show it who's boss! I've always found so much more enjoyment doing that then sitting on a stationary bike inside. It builds a lot of mental toughness too, which is useful in cycling. (although sitting on a stationary trainer for extended periods of time also builds up mental toughness, just different).

As for which bike you should get, I have only ever purchased used and have been very happy with that. If you search around, you're bound to find a good deal for $500 that wouldn't even get you close at Walmart, Target, Dicks, etc. You can find a quality bike for that budget.

Just my thoughts!
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Old 09-23-21, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by themrbruceguy View Post
Personally, I always recommend to people looking to get into biking (for any reason) to get outside as often as possible. There's a sense of adventure when you're outside, even when it's freezing, that indoor training doesn't give you. There's a sense of accomplishment getting back from a ride that was at your limits (hard effort, long distance, etc) that isn't quite the same as indoor training. You don't need all of the high end clothing to start out. Just layer up with what you have and face the winter head-on. Show it who's boss! I've always found so much more enjoyment doing that then sitting on a stationary bike inside. It builds a lot of mental toughness too, which is useful in cycling. (although sitting on a stationary trainer for extended periods of time also builds up mental toughness, just different).

As for which bike you should get, I have only ever purchased used and have been very happy with that. If you search around, you're bound to find a good deal for $500 that wouldn't even get you close at Walmart, Target, Dicks, etc. You can find a quality bike for that budget.

Just my thoughts!
Yeah that's IF you get back without getting hit by a truck in bad light or falling off on the icy road. Sometimes it's just more convenient and safer to train inside. Especially when you are starting from scratch and in recovery from major surgery.
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Old 09-23-21, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
Yeah Korina, I saw that also... a nice bike, prolly v-nice if under $400. My concern would be size... The inseam thing is key - that youtube would get it !
OP, Senathon, do this measurement - it would help immensely !
The Diamondback has a few other considerations, once we consider inseam/bike size. But a 'possible'...
worth some discussion...
ride on
Yuri
Yes, the Expert is overpriced, but not by that much if you add in the COVID tax, and it's been up for nearly a month, so the seller might be willing to go down a bit. But if it's in as good a shape as it looks, I'd happily pay $400 for it; it's a nicer bike than you can buy new for the price.

If it's a bit small, it can be at least partly mitigated with a longer stem, assuming the OP is a roadie and wants the laid out position. The Ascent would make a great townie with some work.
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Old 09-23-21, 02:08 PM
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Quijote
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I understand the difficulty in finding a bike right now in that range. I am sitting at a shoestring budget right now and just looking each day on the normal sites to see if anything has popped up. Luckily for me, I still have a Walmart special to at least get out and ride around until I can find something else.

One place that might be a good source is somewhere that donates bikes to the less fortunate. We have one around here that raises funds to support its efforts by selling the nicer bikes that it gets in. I have friends that have gotten some nice used bikes from there for right around your budget.
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