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Beginner questions

Old 10-02-11, 10:04 AM
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Mrblurr
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Beginner questions

Hi all, I got a bike a month or so ago and have been riding it around town with some friends a few times a week. Getting up to 16-ish miles a trip without feeling like I'm going to die. Me and a buddy are talking about riding to work and back everyday and my question is should I get different tires?

The ones i currently have are Mountain bike tires (I have a Schwinn Sidewinder 26") and while I can keep up with everyone just fine, he tells me it would be an easier ride if I had hybrid or road tires. The whole trip is on the street so maybe he's right, what do you guys think?

Also, I have another Schwinn sidewinder I've been fixing up and going to sell and the back rim seems to be slightly distorted. Any idea where I can buy rims online for a good price?

Finally, with Christmas getting near and me getting more serious about riding, I'm thinking of getting a better (lighter) bike and was wondering if anyone knew of a really good bike in the $200-400 range?
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Old 10-02-11, 10:32 AM
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As far as tyres are concerned, your friend is right. You'll find that your ride on-road is easier and quicker if you put on slick or semi-slick tyres.

With regard to the rim, are you sure you need a new one? Is it that the rim itself is damaged, or is the wheel just out of true? If the latter, it may just be that the spokes need tensioning correctly. If you know how to do that for yourself, fine. If you don't, and a new rim is really required, you're going to need some expert assistance anyway to build up the new wheel.

Can't help with cheap bikes, I'm afraid, I don't know the US market. But at that money I think you'll be looking at buying used if you want something reasonably light.
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Old 10-02-11, 10:43 AM
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Ok, I figured as much on the tires.

Yeah, I guess I'd have to switch out all the gears for the back rim to the new one. I have no clue how to tension the spokes, but Youtube is my ally. TO YOUTUBE!

Thanks for the info, I made a BUNCH of adjustments on my bike last night to tune it up and half the time I had no idea what I was doing until I found a video telling me what to do.

As far as bikes, I guess brands would work too. What brands are really good for a semi-budget price? I've heard of Fuji (EXPENSIVE!) and picked one up. It was REALLY light, I almost threw it up in the air cause I was used to carrying mine. lol
But yeah, any good, trusted manufacturers would be helpful as well, and I know there are more than 1 and not everyone will agree, but I'm just looking for input for now and I'll do some searching afterward.
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Old 10-02-11, 10:55 AM
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The issue with building a wheel is not switching the cassette, it is lacing the spokes. You can teach yourself, but it isn't the easiest skill to acquire.

As for brands, most of the big brands making road bikes are similarly priced, to tell the truth. That is, you'll get a similar quality frame and components for similar money. If you are buying new, and you want a light bike at a reasonable price, you'll be looking at aluminium frames. A giant defy 5 is a good entry-level road bike but it is about $700. American members here will be able to help you more, or it might be worth visiting a LBS and talking to them about what you might get for your money.
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Old 10-02-11, 11:36 AM
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I switched tires on my Mtn. bike a long time ago. First I want from knobby to hybrid tires, then realized I never ride off road and went to all street tires. I am using Kendra tires. they hold 80PSI and are excellent.

They do have some tread, so are good if caught in the rain.

If you are riding only hard surfaces, consider getting tires just for this purpose.
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Old 10-02-11, 12:52 PM
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Thanks goreman, I'll switch 'em out next time I see a deal.

Ok, at that price maybe I'd be better off finding a good used bike. As long as the frame is good I can fix a lot of other things, and anything I can't fix I can take to my LBS. Thanks guys, you've been a huge help!
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Old 10-02-11, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrblurr View Post
Hi all, I got a bike a month or so ago and have been riding it around town with some friends a few times a week. Getting up to 16-ish miles a trip without feeling like I'm going to die. Me and a buddy are talking about riding to work and back everyday and my question is should I get different tires?

The ones i currently have are Mountain bike tires (I have a Schwinn Sidewinder 26") and while I can keep up with everyone just fine, he tells me it would be an easier ride if I had hybrid or road tires. The whole trip is on the street so maybe he's right, what do you guys think?

Also, I have another Schwinn sidewinder I've been fixing up and going to sell and the back rim seems to be slightly distorted. Any idea where I can buy rims online for a good price?

Finally, with Christmas getting near and me getting more serious about riding, I'm thinking of getting a better (lighter) bike and was wondering if anyone knew of a really good bike in the $200-400 range?
Hey there MrBlurr!

Yes, road bike tires will assist you with speed, but don't return to the mountains with them. Thinner and smoother means faster. Thicker and treaded means slower.

Within your price range, you can get a couple really nice bikes by Giant. One is called the Sedona and the other one is called the Cypress. The cost of each is $350.

Check them out below:

www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/sedona.st/9025/48885/
The Sedona ST


www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/cypress.st/9019/48871/
The Cypress ST

These are both great bikes at a wonderful price. However, you should plan on up grading the shifters and derailleurs within about a year or so...

- Slim


Link Corrected

Last edited by SlimRider; 10-02-11 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 10-02-11, 02:54 PM
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I think I've posted this before but I guess I'll post it again. For Shimano, the list of quality levels goes like this: Tourney < Altus < Acera < Alivio < Deore < Deore SLX or LX < Deore XT < Deore XTR

Now, sometimes they put a rear derailleur of higher quality on a bike like for example an Altus front derailleur with an Acera rear derailleur. I think if someone wanted reasonable quality, the Altus/Acera combination I think would be the minimum. As a side note, if you wanted to use Falcon friction shifters, you wouldn't have to adjust the derailleurs as often. You can use friction shifters more easilly with a 7 or 8 speed drivetrain although some people claim they can friction shift with a 9 speed cassette.

And I can understand everyone has their own personal opinions but, I would lean more toward a hybrid, mountain, or touring bike with flatbars if I were you. I think road bikes have sensitive steering and sometimes cannot accommodate wider tires to allow you to go off-road.

When I bought my bicycle, I sat on a bunch of bikes and sometimes even tried them out right in the aisles of the store to see how they'd fit. I found one that fit pretty well.

And these days there are often hybrids and comfort bikes. Comfort bikes often have 26 inch tires, wider saddles and somewhat more relaxed frame geometry from what I've seen. I prefer hybrid. But to each his own.
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