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New Guy Questions

Old 06-01-24, 10:47 AM
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New Guy Questions

Hi!

I recently found out I have some health issues that could possibly benefit from some exercise and I have decided that cycling is the method I want. I am in my mid 40s, 5'11 and thin at 135lbs, but have some cholesterol related heart issues that I would like to take control of. Not to mention that some exercise just wouldn't hurt me anyway. I bought a cheap and very used mountain bike off of facebook market place and over the past few weeks of riding it, I found that I REALLY like cycling. So...I want to upgrade to something a bit more suitable.

So far I have found that I think I prefer pavement. I wouldn't be opposed to some off road trails now and then but on road is what I really enjoy. I am considering either a road bike or a gravel bike. I like the idea of a fully dedicated road bike best. Going far and fast sounds fun for sure and quite honestly...I think road bikes also look super cool . The roads around here aren't perfect though. Gravel roads aren't a big priority although they do exist here, more so just that cracked pavement, some pot holes and uneven transitions are pretty common. It's "country roads", I live among farmers, so they are not always in the best condition. So that combined with that I wouldn't be super opposed to a little trails now and then, has me also considering a gravel bike.

What are you thoughts on this decision? Are road bikes ok on roads that aren't super smooth or do you think I would better served with a gravel bike, even though the vast majority of use will be on pavement?

Thank you!

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Old 06-01-24, 11:03 AM
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An endurance road bike should work fine. Something like a Giant Defy, Canyon Endurace, Trek Domane, Specialized Roubaix etc, etc. Lots of choices and all pretty good. Put some quality 32 mm wide tyres on it and you can ride any pavement and light gravel. A gravel bike would work okay too on the same kind of tyres, but maybe overkill for what you are talking about.
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Old 06-01-24, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Higgs_Zaphod
What are you thoughts on this decision? Are road bikes ok on roads that aren't super smooth or do you think I would better better served with a gravel bike, even though the vast majority of use will be on pavement?
Historically, road bikes used narrow tires with high pressure. That set-up works for smooth roads but is less comfortable and slower on rough roads. More recently, road bikes are being fitted with wider tires (28mm instead of 25 or 24). So a new road bike will be OK for rougher pavement. That is, it's the width of tires that you should be considering. (Gravel bikes let you use much wider tires than road bikes.)

There isn't a hard line between road bikes and gravel bikes. You might be able to find something that sits in between a "true" road bike and a "true" gravel bike.

"Gravel" wasn't a good term to apply to gravel bikes. There are quite a lot of unpaved and gravel roads that don't need a "gravel" bike (that a road bike can handle fine).
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Old 06-01-24, 02:02 PM
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Get any bike which fits really well and can handle tires 32-34 (or a little bigger.) Lots of modern "road bikes" now have clearance for what are no no longer considered "wide" tires.
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Old 06-01-24, 02:25 PM
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You don’t mention where “here” is located.
Road bikes tend to come with road bike gearing.
Meaning a little tougher to get up the hills.

Depending on your location and severity of hills, buy road and potentially change gearing, or look at other options, like gravel.

I own 4 road bikes and have modified the gearing on them to better fit me and the SF Bay Area.

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Old 06-01-24, 02:40 PM
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Road or gravel?
Main differences I see are: Clearance for wider tires on gravel and the headtube angle steeper on road bikes.
Yeah, some other things - slightly longer chainstays, more attach points, etc - but those are less critical.

Wider tires is a clear cut issue - pick your preference, hard or soft.
The head tube angle affects handling. Steeper HTA on road bikes gives them best handling for pavement. A lesser HTA on gravel gives more straight line stability. Both work, both will go fast.


I'm a road bike rider - running 22/23/25mm tires is for good pavement. 28mm at lesser PSI gives 'softer' pavement rides and is my optimal width for cracked roads or hard packed trails with light gravel. I have a couple of roadies with supple 33mm Soma Vitesse that I have come to like for 'recovery' rides, that width is more than adequate for the 'packed dirt with some gravel' trails that I ride at times.

Good luck. The
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Old 06-01-24, 02:44 PM
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OK... the Cats out of the bag

In case you missed it, you're gonna need more bikes !



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Old 06-01-24, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry2
OK... the Cats out of the bag

In case you missed it, you're gonna need more bikes !



Barry
He said he likes cycling and only mid-40s. Lots of bikes in his future. Give him time, he will come to it on his own.

I've covered a lot of terrain between AustroDaimler ..... and .... Zeus.
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Old 06-01-24, 03:56 PM
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If you get a hybrid bike from Trek, Specialized or Cannondale, it will fulfill 90% of your riding needs.
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Old 06-01-24, 03:56 PM
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All comments, above, hit a lot of good points...
But you haven't really said if you have a preferred budget.
You LIKE cycling, so the question is : Would you possibly be open to having more than 1 bike at some point? It means quite a bit in what you might start with.
I have a few too many bikes, but then it's been a par of my life for more than 58 years...
BUT, today, If I could have ONLY ONE bike - it would prolly be a 'Gravel Bike'.
It's not just for 'gravel'. Gravel bikes are just adapted road designs. Adapted to be able to ride just about any surface you might encounter, and just any hill...
As bikes go, they can be just as nice on a paved road as on a dirt road. A lot depends on the tires you decide to use.
So you might consider more of what you might wish in a bike.
I recommend you visit the Gravel/Cyclocross forum here on BF and look at the images of bikes riders have. They go all the way from very dedicated 'offroad' riding to bikes which could easily be confused with Top Line Road/race bikes... A great variety
I could be very happy with just ONE gravel bike setup for my predominant 'roadie' core and now my more often riding a gravel bike on what I call MountainBike-Lite terrain....
Luckily, I have no problems with having many bikes, so I can choose the bike I want to use, depending on what I wish a 'ride' to be.
but having just one bike is very OK also.
...worth considering...
and cycling can certainly be a good component of dealing with the health issues you wish to address.
Ride On Yuri

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Old 06-01-24, 04:04 PM
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You're getting lots of options here but need more info about the terrain you plan to tackle.
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Old 06-01-24, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
If you get a hybrid bike from Trek, Specialized or Cannondale, it will fulfill 90% of your riding needs.
I'm going to disagree. A hybrid bike is not good at anything.
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Old 06-01-24, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I'm going to disagree. A hybrid bike is not good at anything.
Well, that's like, you know, your opinion, man.
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Old 06-01-24, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
If you get a hybrid bike from Trek, Specialized or Cannondale, it will fulfill 90% of your riding needs.
Originally Posted by terrymorse
I'm going to disagree. A hybrid bike is not good at anything.
A hybrid bike has its purpose. At pre-pandemic prices, I bought a $500 basic hybrid bike (Trek FX2) to see if I would want to resume cycling after a quarter century hiatus; I did.

I do agree a basic hybrid bike at current prices is not useful for Higgs_Zaphod who has already gone through the above step (with a cheap, used MTB) and determined to get a road and/or gravel bike.
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Old 06-01-24, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Higgs_Zaphod
... So far I have found that I think I prefer pavement. I wouldn't be opposed to some off road trails now and then but on road is what I really enjoy. I am considering either a road bike or a gravel bike. I like the idea of a fully dedicated road bike best. Going far and fast sounds fun for sure and quite honestly ... Are road bikes ok on roads that aren't super smooth or do you think I would better served with a gravel bike, even though the vast majority of use will be on pavement?

The logical answer is to get a road bike that would fit wider tires, as everyone else has suggested. However, my approach would be as follows:

1. Understand that most 2x gravel bikes would fit road wheels and tires, whereas many road bike would not fit gravel width tires; I consider 40 mm the minimum gravel width.
2. Buy a gravel bike and enjoy riding it everywhere but realize that you still have a need for speed.
3. Buy road wheels and tires for said gravel bike to satisfy said need for speed.
4. Recognize that a gravel bike with road wheels and tires look a bit chunky, and that you are still leaving a tiny bit of speed on the table.
5. Buy a road bike, since you already have a decent set of road wheels and tires.
6. Reinstall the gravel wheels and tires on the gravel bike and ride it through your neighbors' farms.
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Old 06-01-24, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
If you get a hybrid bike from Trek, Specialized or Cannondale, it will fulfill 90% of your riding needs.
A hybrid is not likely to cut it against a road or gravel bike for what the OP is talking about.
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Old 06-02-24, 04:27 AM
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I haven't read all the post so if this is a duplication my apologies. I have 5 road bikes and a cross bike.But, I am 95% roadie. And, I too, live in a farming community. If I had to choose an all around bike I'd pick my CAAD 12 and I'd get an additional set of wider wheels and tires,.I also think PeteHski suggestion of an endurance bike is a good one.
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Old 06-02-24, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
If you get a hybrid bike from Trek, Specialized or Cannondale, it will fulfill 90% of your riding needs.
Or get a gravel or endurance road bike if youd prefer 100%.
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Old 06-02-24, 06:10 AM
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I would go to a LBS and check out the gravel and road bikes. Then if one is in your price range get it, or after learning about what bikes you like figure out what you can find on the used market. If the bike comes with anything like a 28-32c tire with room to spare you will be fine on whatever roads you have.
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Old 06-02-24, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bboy314
Or get a gravel or endurance road bike if youd prefer 100%.
Definitely the way to go, but expensive. Not sure if OP mentioned budget, but I'm thinking hybrid would make a smooth transition from old Mt bike for only a couple hundred bucks.
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Old 06-02-24, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Higgs_Zaphod
I bought a cheap and very used mountain bike off of facebook market place and over the past few weeks of riding it, I found that I REALLY like cycling.
I don't see any reason to buy an "interim" or "transition" bike if the OP already knows he loves cycling. He already bought a "transition" bike, the “very used mountain bike.”

I am not anti-hybrid … they are perfect for some people in some situations. But repeatedly suggesting the Wrong bike for the Wrong person …….

Originally Posted by Higgs_Zaphod
So far I have found that I think I prefer pavement. I wouldn't be opposed to some off road trails now and then but on road is what I really enjoy.
The guy doesn’t want to ride a heavy bike which is not focused on a specific type of terrain but instead is built like a do-it-all multi-tool. He isn’t talking about tough singletrack, so suspension is pointless.

He says he thinks road bikes look really cool, so he is looking for a drop-bar bike. He wants to ride almost exclusively on paved roads, but sometimes the pavement isn’t so good, and he wants the option of riding some mild trails …..

The bike he is describing is NOT a hybrid, and the type of riding he is describing would NOT be best done on a hybrid.

Not putting down hybrids … but if a person told me “I need to transport six or seven people at a time” I would not suggest a two-seat pickup. If person said “I need to travel long distances, solo, on highways” I would not suggest a AWD SUV. The job determines the tool.

Hybrids are great for people who are not top-speed oriented, who want a very comfortable and relaxed ride, who want to be able to ride very mild trails with almost no technique---just sit on the saddle and let the fork do the work. Great for mild urban riding because the fork and wider tires soak up all the bumps, giving an old-school Cadillac land yacht-type ride.

However … you don’t see a lot of people racing in 1974 El Dorados …..

The guy obviously wants a road bike which can handle wider tires or a gravel bike and set of road wheels … with a lot of modern endurance frames, there is clearance for 34s …. Which would work for packed gravel.

BUT …. The guy Says he wants a road bike or a road-style bike and says he prefers pavement.

The guy is Not looking for a Hybrid. So maybe consider What the OP Says He Wants when making suggestions?

I mean, this thread is about helping the OP right? Not about promoting our own preferences or defending ourselves or winning debates among ourselves or any of that … we are trying to help the OP get the ride which will make him most happy …. Right?
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Old 06-02-24, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
I don't see any reason to buy an "interim" or "transition" bike if the OP already knows he loves cycling. He already bought a "transition" bike, the “very used mountain bike.”

I am not anti-hybrid … they are perfect for some people in some situations. But repeatedly suggesting the Wrong bike for the Wrong person …….

The guy doesn’t want to ride a heavy bike which is not focused on a specific type of terrain but instead is built like a do-it-all multi-tool. He isn’t talking about tough singletrack, so suspension is pointless.

He says he thinks road bikes look really cool, so he is looking for a drop-bar bike. He wants to ride almost exclusively on paved roads, but sometimes the pavement isn’t so good, and he wants the option of riding some mild trails …..

The bike he is describing is NOT a hybrid, and the type of riding he is describing would NOT be best done on a hybrid.

Not putting down hybrids … but if a person told me “I need to transport six or seven people at a time” I would not suggest a two-seat pickup. If person said “I need to travel long distances, solo, on highways” I would not suggest a AWD SUV. The job determines the tool.

Hybrids are great for people who are not top-speed oriented, who want a very comfortable and relaxed ride, who want to be able to ride very mild trails with almost no technique---just sit on the saddle and let the fork do the work. Great for mild urban riding because the fork and wider tires soak up all the bumps, giving an old-school Cadillac land yacht-type ride.

However … you don’t see a lot of people racing in 1974 El Dorados …..

The guy obviously wants a road bike which can handle wider tires or a gravel bike and set of road wheels … with a lot of modern endurance frames, there is clearance for 34s …. Which would work for packed gravel.

BUT …. The guy Says he wants a road bike or a road-style bike and says he prefers pavement.

The guy is Not looking for a Hybrid. So maybe consider What the OP Says He Wants when making suggestions?

I mean, this thread is about helping the OP right? Not about promoting our own preferences or defending ourselves or winning debates among ourselves or any of that … we are trying to help the OP get the ride which will make him most happy …. Right?
Let me just clarify, are you saying he shouldn't get a hybrid? I agree, not sure what I was thinking yesterday. Gravel it is.

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Old 06-02-24, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
Let me just clarify, are you saying he shouldn't get a hybrid? I agree, not sure what I was thinking yesterday. Gravel it is.
I agree with you.
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Old 06-02-24, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Higgs_Zaphod
Hi!

I recently found out I have some health issues that could possibly benefit from some exercise and I have decided that cycling is the method I want. I am in my mid 40s, 5'11 and thin at 135lbs, but have some cholesterol related heart issues that I would like to take control of. Not to mention that some exercise just wouldn't hurt me anyway. I bought a cheap and very used mountain bike off of facebook market place and over the past few weeks of riding it, I found that I REALLY like cycling. So...I want to upgrade to something a bit more suitable.

So far I have found that I think I prefer pavement. I wouldn't be opposed to some off road trails now and then but on road is what I really enjoy. I am considering either a road bike or a gravel bike. I like the idea of a fully dedicated road bike best. Going far and fast sounds fun for sure and quite honestly...I think road bikes also look super cool . The roads around here aren't perfect though. Gravel roads aren't a big priority although they do exist here, more so just that cracked pavement, some pot holes and uneven transitions are pretty common. It's "country roads", I live among farmers, so they are not always in the best condition. So that combined with that I wouldn't be super opposed to a little trails now and then, has me also considering a gravel bike.

What are you thoughts on this decision? Are road bikes ok on roads that aren't super smooth or do you think I would better served with a gravel bike, even though the vast majority of use will be on pavement?

Thank you!
Get a road bike that can fit wider tires. With tires in the 28-32 mm width range and your light weight, you will be able to run them at pretty low pressures and therefore soak up the rough roads. While you'll get some arguments, a lot of gravel bikes are very close to road bikes. Regards you blood lipids issues, consider adding soluble fiber to your diet (oat bran is readily available). It's cheap and you can mix it with cereal, etc. Try a half cup per day for several weeks before your next blood test. It might lower your numbers significantly. And exercise will boost your HDL.
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Old 06-02-24, 02:24 PM
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Make sure you like the position a road bike will put you in. Bent forward with a good amount of neck extension for hours isn't for everyone.
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