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help me save my life/delay my death

Old 12-10-14, 05:12 PM
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Remek
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help me save my life/delay my death

years of bad behavior and i am finlly on the path back to health. i decided to return to biking after 20 years of working for the man and ignoring my health.

what i have is financial stability, but i lack modern biking wisdom, and patience. I used to have a peugeot and a centaurion back in the 80s-early 90s.

with that in mind, I'd like opinions on a new starter road touring bike for me. i am after light, comfortable, and solid value. i dont want it to fall apart the first year. ideally, it'd get me through a year or two until i figured out what i really want and not hold me back from regular 20 mile trips to my marina. heres the criteria

below $1000US (no need to max my budget guys, seriously, name means nothing to me, quality means all, so a $100 no name thats awesome is better than a major label)
light weight
10 speed or more (never really used more than 3-5 gears in my old 18 and 21 speed bikes)
drop bar
regular pedals that i can mount clips on
comfy, but no need for shocks
low diameter tubes, i want an effortless pedal

what models should i be looking at?

thanks for helping me guys and girls!
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Old 12-10-14, 06:29 PM
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Congratulations on your decision! I didn't go back to biking until after my heart attack. As to what to look for, I would suggest a friend who does a lot of riding and a good local bike store. Talk to the people who know bikes and you. The LBS people can get to know you pretty quickly. I was fortunate to know what kind of riding I wanted to do and had a friend who took me shopping at a great local store. He upped my price range significantly but told me I would never have to buy another bike. I have since bought additional bikes (Tandem, beater, spare) but the Trek I got 5 years ago is still my favorite and the one that gets ridden the most and I recognize that I don't "need" the others. I just want them. Good luck with your riding.
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Old 12-10-14, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jhazel View Post
Congratulations on your decision! I didn't go back to biking until after my heart attack. As to what to look for, I would suggest a friend who does a lot of riding and a good local bike store. Talk to the people who know bikes and you. The LBS people can get to know you pretty quickly. I was fortunate to know what kind of riding I wanted to do and had a friend who took me shopping at a great local store. He upped my price range significantly but told me I would never have to buy another bike. I have since bought additional bikes (Tandem, beater, spare) but the Trek I got 5 years ago is still my favorite and the one that gets ridden the most and I recognize that I don't "need" the others. I just want them. Good luck with your riding.

Thanks JH! Sorry to hear it took you longer, but glad you came out for the better!

I am headed to visit the local bike shops tomorrow. I will update you on progress.

Meantime, any suggestions from anyone else?
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Old 12-10-14, 10:42 PM
  #4  
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I always tell people to start cheap, figure out if you're even going to keep up with cycling or not before going "all in" on a $1000 frame. There are some great frames for around the $1k mark, but it'll be a waste of money if it turns out you hate cycling or don't have time.
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Old 12-10-14, 11:20 PM
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Good idea to go drool over bikes at the local bike shop.
If you don't end up with a new bike in your garage, then there's always Craigslist.

10 speed or more (never really used more than 3-5 gears in my old 18 and 21 speed bikes)
I assume you mean the old 5x2 standard. It will be hard to find in a "new" bike. Most of the bikes count only the rear, so (10 or 11) x (2 or 3) is standard giving you 20 to 33 speeds. Anything with less than 9 in the rear is generally pretty bottom quality.
drop bar
Good
regular pedals that i can mount clips on
I think there is a resurgence in toeclips, especially in the commuter market. However, consider the clipless and good cycling shoes. I've chosen to use Shimano SPD clips and MTB(ish) shoes that allow some walking around. But there are a variety of clips and shoes to meet a person's needs.
comfy, but no need for shocks
Shocks are a MTB thing, and generally quite heavy. Road bikes don't have shocks, although some brands intentionally add some extra flex to the frames. The larger tires may give a bit of extra cusioning too
low diameter tubes, i want an effortless pedal
Oh, I'd like effortless pedalling too 23mm and 25mm are common with road bikes today (for people weighing under 200 lbs). I'll use either depending on my mood, but there has been a lot of discussion about the 25mm tires being more comfortable with the same road resistance as the 23mm.
what models should i be looking at?
ALL OF THEM
Seriously, take a look at what is available at the shop.
Most of the new frames are either Aluminum or Carbon Fiber, although there are still some high quality steel frames being made by small builders, and competitive with the others. And, also Titanium.
I wouldn't stress too much about getting Carbon Fiber.
Originally Posted by GhostSS View Post
I always tell people to start cheap, figure out if you're even going to keep up with cycling or not before going "all in" on a $1000 frame. There are some great frames for around the $1k mark, but it'll be a waste of money if it turns out you hate cycling or don't have time.
Good advice. Especially for a person that has hardly ridden in a couple of decades. There may be a reason why the bike was put away. Consider what percent of expensive exercise machines are used as expensive clothes racks.

Of course, you need a bike that is "good enough", otherwise it won't be fun to ride either.

$1K is a good budget. Drop down to $500, and the bikes start getting pretty junky. Up to $2K or $3K, and you have a lot tied up in the bike.

There are occasionally some really good deals on Craigslist.

Don't forget to ACCESSORIZE.
I'm not big on the fancy onesie clothes... but you should consider a good helmet. Possibly cycling shoes and pedals. Spare tubes, patch kit, seat pouch, puimp, water bottle... And, if you're considering winter cycling, lights and wet weather clothes helps, unless you're in a nice temperate environment.
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Old 12-11-14, 07:53 AM
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thanks for that advice, everyone, i do appreciate it. i really didnt expect an answer to "What model?" but i figured, if you dont ask, youll never know. i do, however already have a better understanding, so i can start out today with a little knowledge, and be dangerous!

i am still listening if anyone has more to say. thanks again!
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Old 12-11-14, 08:17 AM
  #7  
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Looks as you may have some hills in your area.

Go with a Triple Crank Set for more gears.
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Old 12-11-14, 08:43 AM
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Use the search function on this forum. there are, literally, hundreds of discussions on this topic. I won't go into an exhaustive list of brands because this has been covered before in great detail. Then get to a bike shop and test ride some bikes.

You won't go far wrong if you stick with the major bike shop brands. If you are buying a new bike, you really get what you pay for. $500 to $1,000 is a reasonable budget. At the bottom of your budget, you are talking about a so called performance or road hybrid, at the top of the budget, a basic road bike. Which is right for you really depends on your riding style and what you hope to do going forward. A flat bar hybrid is, perhaps, better suited for shorter trips (10 to 20 miles) and urban riding, with its more upright position, wide range gearing, wider tires, and flat bar. A road bike would be better suited for longer, faster rides, with closer range road gearing, lighter weight, and ability to get low in the drops for a more aerodynamic riding position. (assuming you have the fitness and flexibility to actually ride in drops) None of this means you can't ride a road bike in the city, or take a hybrid on a 100 mile ride if that is all you have. Generally,many folks tend to start with something like a hybrid, then move up to a road bike. If you know this is where you are headed, just go with the road bike now as it will cost you less in the long run to go this route. Then ride on the tops or the hoods until you are fit enough to ride in the drops. On the other hand, the recreational rider who just likes to get out a few times a week, or month for 15 to 20 mile rides might find a $500 or $600 hybrid to be all the bike they ever need. frankly, I think the 1 to 2 year time horizon for your first bike is too short. IMO, look for a bike that will work for you for the next 5 years.

$500 will get you a basic performance hybrid, with flat bars, 2 x 8 or 3 x 8 gears, and either a steel or aluminum fork. $600 to $800 will get you intoa more upscale hybrid or so called flat bar road bike, that will offer a carbon fiber fork (lighter than steel, more comfortable than aluminum),either 9 or 10 speed gearing with either 2 or 3 chainrings, and possibly disc brakes rather than V brakes for better braking performance in wet weather. Unless I found something at a serious discount, I wouldn't go much below the $500 retail price point. While there are a few bikes the retail below the $400 price point that are OK (like the venerable Giant Escape 3), I would still recommend stretching the budget a little and going up to the something like the Giant Escape 2 or Escape 1 models for a few hundred dollars more, if you like that style of bike.

If you decide you want, or need a road bike, that will take you closer to the top of your $1,000 budget and for that price, you would expect a bike with a Chromoly (steel) or aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, and 2 or 3 x 9 speed drive train, drop bars, and brifters (integrated brake levers/shifters).

At your price range, the wheels will be basic, machine made wheels, and a future upgrade to either a hybrid or a road bike would be a better wheelset for lighter weight, greater durability, or both.

Don't forget to budget for other items, such as a helmet, lock, frame and floor pumps, water bottles, shorts, cycling shoes, gloves, multi tool, spare tubes, patch kit, and seat bag.

Last edited by MRT2; 12-11-14 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 12-11-14, 08:44 AM
  #9  
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There was a recent discussion on a bent forum about gearing. The use of triples has been almost universal on recumbents, due to the inability of the riders to stand when the hills get really steep. But the recent 10 and 11 speed rear systems have opened up an interesting possibility, namely of using an 11-36 rear and a 36/52 front, giving the full range a triple would have given.
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Old 12-11-14, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Remek View Post
years of bad behavior and i am finlly on the path back to health. i decided to return to biking after 20 years of working for the man and ignoring my health.

what i have is financial stability, but i lack modern biking wisdom, and patience. I used to have a peugeot and a centaurion back in the 80s-early 90s.

with that in mind, I'd like opinions on a new starter road touring bike for me. i am after light, comfortable, and solid value. i dont want it to fall apart the first year. ideally, it'd get me through a year or two until i figured out what i really want and not hold me back from regular 20 mile trips to my marina. heres the criteria

below $1000US (no need to max my budget guys, seriously, name means nothing to me, quality means all, so a $100 no name thats awesome is better than a major label)
light weight
10 speed or more (never really used more than 3-5 gears in my old 18 and 21 speed bikes)
drop bar
regular pedals that i can mount clips on
comfy, but no need for shocks
low diameter tubes, i want an effortless pedal

what models should i be looking at?

thanks for helping me guys and girls!
You have Left out the most important information...
Tell us about the motor.

Age, Height, Weight, any factors that would hinder your riding.?
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Old 12-11-14, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Remek View Post
years of bad behavior and i am finlly on the path back to health. i decided to return to biking after 20 years of working for the man and ignoring my health.

what i have is financial stability, but i lack modern biking wisdom, and patience. I used to have a peugeot and a centaurion back in the 80s-early 90s.

with that in mind, I'd like opinions on a new starter road touring bike for me. i am after light, comfortable, and solid value. i dont want it to fall apart the first year. ideally, it'd get me through a year or two until i figured out what i really want and not hold me back from regular 20 mile trips to my marina. heres the criteria

below $1000US (no need to max my budget guys, seriously, name means nothing to me, quality means all, so a $100 no name thats awesome is better than a major label)
light weight
10 speed or more (never really used more than 3-5 gears in my old 18 and 21 speed bikes)
drop bar
regular pedals that i can mount clips on
comfy, but no need for shocks
low diameter tubes, i want an effortless pedal

what models should i be looking at?

thanks for helping me guys and girls!
No such thing, to the best of my knowledge. You pay a slight premium for Trek and Specialized compared with some other quality brands, like Giant. But the only $100 bikes on the market are department store junk which represents a false economy.
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Old 12-11-14, 10:36 AM
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Two items you specify are somewhat mutually exclusive to at least some extent, so finding the right balance is what you need, and you will know it when you test ride it.

comfy, but no need for shocks
low diameter tubes, i want an effortless pedal

To get the most comfortable ride, a larger tire/tube with lower pressure will be best.

Low diameter tubes = potentially harsher ride (and possibly faster.. but see below).

I have mostly ridden a hybrid (flat bar) but I have discovered for me that I prefer a slightly wider tire, but pay more for them... what I get for that is a nice ride, even on gravel, and a pretty decent speed. The more expensive tires tend to be more supple and provide a nice ride, without robbing much speed. I have read recently that in some circumstances wider tires are actually faster than skinny tires.

But, your choice in tires can be refined over time. The ones I have found that work for me are a couple of items in the $50-$80 per tire range, I might look higher priced to see how they feel later, but I am on a limited budget. You can decide what tires to try when it comes time to change them, but I mention it now because I would consider a bike with clearance for larger tires, and not the typical bike that maxes out at 23 or 25 mm. In fact, my primary rider starting next year will be a bike with drop bars, but it is a touring bike, because of the extra clearance for tires, and more relaxed frame geometry. with the longer stays and slacker geometry, I may have trouble if my desire i to keep up with fast riders on more aggressive bikes, but that is not my objective, and it will get me where I need to go fast enough for me.
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Old 12-11-14, 12:02 PM
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I took up cycling 4 years ago with a bike that turned out to be versatile. That versatility turned out to be the best feature of the bike. It will take up to 28mm tires which means I can ride it on a section of a dirt trail at a nearby state park and I don't have to worry too much about a bit of gravel on the road. When I install a rear rack and trunk bag, the bike is perfect for general errands around town such as trips to the post office or library. When I install the panniers I can use the bike for grocery trips. I have also loaded up the bike with 25 pounds of camping gear for several week-end tours. I can use the bike on club rides and it is as fast as I can go. The bike is so generally handy I only put only about 3000 miles on my car this year. There are many such versatile models available and the best such model may depend on what your local bike shops carry.
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Old 12-11-14, 05:15 PM
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Consider walking into an actual Bike shop At all?
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Old 12-11-14, 05:58 PM
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thanks for the replies all! i think a few of you misunderstood the spirit of my requirements and thoughts on things, but thats okay, i appreciate the extra knowledge.

today's trips to the bike shops went extremely well. i was pleasantly surprised to see i could really find acceptable options below $1000.00, however after hours of trying bikes at the shops, I appeaed to be much more attracted to bikes over my budget. but, its a case of "I see this bike doesnt have the option X of that bike" type stuff. so, i did exactly what i assume none of you experts think is the right thing to do: i purchased a bike!

i purchased the specialized sport disc, and it seems pretty magical so far. of the bikes i liked better was a Trek, and another i dont even know the name of. they provided a lot of options i really dont think i'll ever use, e.g., linking GPS to my bike through the phone, etc., and the best thing was the weight. they were both carbon fiber and about 5-7 lbs lighter, but i didnt think the few pounds were worth double the price. we have hills here, but its not like out in the blue ridge mountains. therefore the momentum will make up for the weight i believe.

i will likely know in a year if it was a good purchase, but todays ride was awesome and indicates good things for the future!

okay, yell at me for being impulsive! ha! i like to learn by doing and its worked so far in this life, so i am happy!
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Old 12-11-14, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Remek View Post
okay, yell at me for being impulsive! ha! i like to learn by doing and its worked so far in this life, so i am happy!
I would be hypocrite if I did that. Congratulations on your new bike!
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Old 12-11-14, 07:00 PM
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Sounds like you did good! Now you just have to get out and ride. And make sure you don't ever ride one of those lighter bikes on your hills. That will save you a lot of money.
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Old 12-11-14, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jhazel View Post
Sounds like you did good! Now you just have to get out and ride. And make sure you don't ever ride one of those lighter bikes on your hills. That will save you a lot of money.
that thought has been going through my head a lot!
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Old 12-11-14, 07:10 PM
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Congratulations! I took up riding again when I was 55. It has absolutely changed my life.
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Old 12-12-14, 04:05 PM
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thanks everyone! i am now a little over an hour of riding into it. its great! i forgot about how meditative it can be. the tough part is the stretching! it sucks getting old, doesn't it!
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Old 12-15-14, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Remek View Post

low diameter tubes, i want an effortless pedal
A lot of people are rethinking this traditional wisdom, especially on a bike that will be used for commuting or otherwise likely to encounter less-than-optimal surfaces.

The speed/effort/watts penalty for a slightly larger tire is relatively low. The payoff in comfort and rideability is huge. JMHO.

I have 25mm on my "race" bike (I'm a participant, not a podium-dweller), 37mm on my commuter, and will have 32mm on my forthcoming "all purpose" bike.

Personally at the $1000 price point or less I would be looking on craigslist. Ride it as your "trial bike," figure out what you ultimately want, and sell it back for close to what you paid for it.
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Old 12-15-14, 02:03 PM
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While having a rough price range at the beginning is a good thing, I think sometimes we do ourselves a disservice by rigidly adhering to it (personal financial considerations notwithstanding). If you happen to go a bit over budget, but there is something about the bike that is a real attraction, that's probably the better thing to do. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING, that will keep you on the bike for a while longer when you ride or make you sad when you have to get off is very useful.
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Old 12-15-14, 02:35 PM
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good points.

i ended up with 30mm tires, and its good, because the roads outside my neighborhood are worse than i guaged!

per buying a used one, i didnt feel i knew enough to spot the right deals. a new one would at least not be abused. i am hopeful that when/if i upgrade, i will know what i want and be able to buy used then.

i also agree flatlander, price isnt as important as wanting to use it. luckily i think i got both here, and didnt go over budget.
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Old 12-15-14, 02:51 PM
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There was a time when most road bikes ran 1 1/8" (28mm) tires. Funny how we're going back to that standard after years of 23mm being thought of as 'regular.'
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Old 12-15-14, 06:30 PM
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I suspect that better understanding of tire design as it relates to rolling resistance and weight is probably what made the difference. It was always true that larger tires were more comfortable, but the penalty was more weight and more energy to spin them. But now, it seems to be less of a compromise.
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