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Noob: Where to begin? Not sure what I want. (have old Suteki & specialize hardrock)

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Noob: Where to begin? Not sure what I want. (have old Suteki & specialize hardrock)

Old 05-11-11, 01:58 PM
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willpower101
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Noob: Where to begin? Not sure what I want. (have old Suteki & specialize hardrock)

So I have a couple random bikes and I'd like to build something as a starter to get back into biking.

One is an old 80's suteki, screwed up brakes, dry rotted sidewalls, torn wrappings, rusted chain, etc. Original derailleur system still in tact.

Other is a specialized Hard rock comp that looks like it had a hybrid conversion attempted. It has slicks (wider and taller than suteki) and a decent seat. However the rear wheel is pretty bent up and the brakes are frozen also.

I'm wondering what I can do with these?
Also wondering what style bike would fit my needs the most?
I understand that cyclocross would be good for my needs but they're expensive.
Commuters also seem good but also seem too heavy?
I'm still a little confused about the difference between commuter & Hybrid, or fixed gear & track & road.

What I want:
  • A light fun bike for 3-5 mile city commuting.
We're talking sidewalks, alleyways, metal grates, all the hazards you could think of that I will probably want to cut in and out of.
  • Tires that can take a beating
Everyone in the road bike forum seems to want to be careful with their rims and say get a cyclocross for city hazards. (which I can't afford) But what are the fixed gear guys using that is able to stand up to wheelies and curb hopping?
  • I hate mountain bike gearing.
I always feel like I'm putting too much effort into going even a moderate speed. So far I like the feel of the gearing on road bikes, but I think I would like a fixed gear with a flip flop better.
  • I like drop bars, but when using the top I don't feel in control. I only feel in control with a wider arm stance like on a mountain bike.
I don't want something heavy.
I'm a pretty small guy (5'9" 135) and heavy hybrid bikes just feel like they take too much effort to move.

So I guess I kinda want an aluminum framed, fixed gear, with heavy duty slicks.

Should I start with the Specialized mountain bike frame because it's lighter than the steel Suteki? Or start with the Suteki frame because it has 'better' angles?
Can I put more robust tires like what's on the hardrock on the suteki's stock wheels?
Is there a drop bar solution that's wide like a mountain bike at the top?

I'm just really not sure what the best options are here with these two bike frames.
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Old 05-11-11, 02:01 PM
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willpower101
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Also has anyone ever fit a fixed gear with the type of hub that locks / brakes when you push backwards but is freewheel going forwards? I grew up riding one of those and absolutely loved it!
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Old 05-11-11, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by willpower101 View Post
Also has anyone ever fit a fixed gear with the type of hub that locks / brakes when you push backwards but is freewheel going forwards? I grew up riding one of those and absolutely loved it!
You can make a bike that does that, but they are not as safe from what I understand.

If you want road gearing try and fix up the Suteki. As long as the frame is ok, you can replace the remaining parts pretty cheap. I recommend you look for a used Suntour Vx or Suntour GT-Luxe drivetrain if your's is too far gone. Sounds like you need to buy a new chain and new cables, but those are usually 10-15$.

You can turn the same bike into a fixie if you think it will benefit your commute, but then you will need a seporate bike if you want to go on longer rides with friends someday.

If your really like straight bars you can actually get some new/used ones and mount them on your road bike.

For wheels I would recommend 36 spoke aluminum ARAYA rims. If youre really concerned about flats you can get some Armadillo tires. I have 27" 36sp ARAYA rims with cheap Cheng Shin tires that have been able to handle everything LA has to offer: potholes, rocks, unpaved roads, sand, some glass. Check your bike, I bet you already have good wheels on there.

Make sure to get a good noise maker, front/rear lights and a helmet.
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Old 05-11-11, 04:12 PM
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well, I got the front Brake loose enough to feel ok road testing it, measured my inseam and set the seat height. The gears are stuck at smallest front, smallest back, which actually felt really good. And I rode a 1/2 mile to the store.
  1. WOW, I did not expect to feel the road that much. It was like riding on a rock. Every single bump in the sidewalk could be felt. (I got on the sidewalk where there weren't bike lanes just cause I haven't ridden in a while)
  2. Grass = Bad. I had to go into the grass to go around a construction sign on the sidewalk and my rear tire slid out from underneath me for a second before I recovered. I do NOT like the lack of traction in grass and gravel.
Any suggestions? Or are these just nuances of a road bike I need to get used to? Would a hybrid or a commuter suffer from these less?
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Old 05-11-11, 10:07 PM
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My suggestion is dont ride on the sidewalk. As you have noticed its more dangerous and road bikes are not built to deal with emergency offroading.

Plus its illegal in most states and cities because cars cant see you as well, and you put pedestrians in danger.

>Also old seats suck. Its amazing what has been done in 20-30 years of engineering since your bike was made. Thats one area where it's worth buying a new one.

Look around, there are a couple threads on which seats are best for men's road bikes.
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Old 05-12-11, 12:11 AM
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These rims apparently are 27" ARAYA's. That's not 700c right? (27.55in)
I took the 80's seat off and my friend let me pop on his avocet which wasn't too bad but still like a rock.
The frame is 23" tall. It seems like I'm REALLY up there compared to the 19/20" mountain bikes I'm used to riding.
Sidewalk riding isn't illegal in my state, though it is in some muni's (not mine, and yes I checked lexis nexus.)

I think I'm just really used to the smoothness from 2.5 inch knobby mtb tires absorbing most of the the shock.
Also, I'm not used to riding at a properly adjusted height. (it's weird not being able to touch the ground from the seat, even on the hardrock)

I took the rear brake off the hardrock convert - so the bent tire doesn't lock it up - and rode it around a bit.
Definitely has a more familiar feel to it.

I'm generally like shorcuts. Eg. I don't like taking the road strictly but rather prefer to take the field behind my house, through the apartment complex, onto the sidewalk, under the overpass, over the train tracks, up the dusty road, etc. popping on and off the road here and there.

Also, people WILL honk at you here if you're on the road and there's not a bike lane. It's weird... and startling.
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