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Help on choosing a bike

Old 12-17-03, 11:23 AM
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Help on choosing a bike

This summer we my son and his friend are planning to ride our bikes from canada to calif. We have already rode the oregon coast last year.

I just got a call from my sons friends dad seeking advice on getting his son a new bike. The kid doesn't do alot of off road. But I'm sure he wont want a touring bike. I have a Raleigh M60 that I rode down the coast and it was just right for what I need.

I suggested a hard tail with front suspension. They are planning on spending $800.00 to $900.00.

Right now he is looking at some treks and specialized. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 12-17-03, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mntbikedude
This summer we my son and his friend are planning to ride our bikes from canada to calif. We have already rode the oregon coast last year.

I just got a call from my sons friends dad seeking advice on getting his son a new bike. The kid doesn't do alot of off road. But I'm sure he wont want a touring bike. I have a Raleigh M60 that I rode down the coast and it was just right for what I need.

I suggested a hard tail with front suspension. They are planning on spending $800.00 to $900.00.

Right now he is looking at some treks and specialized. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I agree with your suggestion for a hardtail bike, and have a few more comments:

--the price range they've selected is excellent and there are a number of very good rigs out there in that range.
--advise the parents to shop "fit" first, particularly on the top tube dimension (a good shop can explain it, a shop that can't should be abandoned, quickly).
--they should anticipate purchasing some extra or modification items right off the bat, such as: a different seat, bar ends (great for long distance on an MTB) and clipless pedals/shoes (outstanding for touring), road-pattern fat tires, bottle cages, camelbak.
--That Raleigh M60 is a great rig, particularly at the price point. Raleigh has less name cache' and their bikes tend to be "dressed" with better components that competitive products at the same price.


It sounds like a great adventure!
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Old 12-17-03, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by EBasil
I agree with your suggestion for a hardtail bike, and have a few more comments:

--the price range they've selected is excellent and there are a number of very good rigs out there in that range.
--advise the parents to shop "fit" first, particularly on the top tube dimension (a good shop can explain it, a shop that can't should be abandoned, quickly).
--they should anticipate purchasing some extra or modification items right off the bat, such as: a different seat, bar ends (great for long distance on an MTB) and clipless pedals/shoes (outstanding for touring), road-pattern fat tires, bottle cages, camelbak.
--That Raleigh M60 is a great rig, particularly at the price point. Raleigh has less name cache' and their bikes tend to be "dressed" with better components that competitive products at the same price.


It sounds like a great adventure!
--

Hey thanks those are all great suggestions I am passing along. Also glad to hear your thoughts on the M60. I didn't really choose it my daughter won it in a contest and didn't want it so I traded her for it. Turned out to be a good fit however.

How about disc brakes. Is that important?

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Old 12-17-03, 12:52 PM
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Wait a sec. You are planning on riding a mtn bike from Canada to California? Can I ask why you would rathar ride a mtn bike instead of a road bike for such a great distance? Are you going to ride down along the coast or something?
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Old 12-17-03, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by montlake_mtbkr
Wait a sec. You are planning on riding a mtn bike from Canada to California? Can I ask why you would rathar ride a mtn bike instead of a road bike for such a great distance? Are you going to ride down along the coast or something?

I guess for two reasons. #1 I have already rode the 400 miles of the oregon coast on a MTB with no probs. I don't know why I would want a road bike. And #2 We live close to Moab and well everyone has MTB's. and my son and I use our bikes off road also.

Actually I have two mnt bikes one with off road tires and one with street. Also we carry all of our gear on the bikes, no support vehicle.
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Old 12-17-03, 01:42 PM
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Oh I see, I was just considering the overall effort to pedal a road bike (assuming you stick to the road) would be much less than a mtn bike in the long haul.

As far as disc brakes go, no you don't need them. In fact from a maintenance stand point you would be better off with V brakes which are easier to repair in the unlikely event your brakes should fail.
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Old 12-17-03, 02:29 PM
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Agreed on the discs, you don't need them. However, if you are going to carry all your own gear, make sure you bring along some replacement brake pads. Trying to stop a loaded bike will definately cause you to wear through at least one set of pads.

Also, I'm guessing you have panniers and racks and all that "schtuff".

Sounds like fun. I'd like to do something like that someday.

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Old 12-17-03, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
Agreed on the discs, you don't need them. However, if you are going to carry all your own gear, make sure you bring along some replacement brake pads. Trying to stop a loaded bike will definately cause you to wear through at least one set of pads.

Also, I'm guessing you have panniers and racks and all that "schtuff".

Sounds like fun. I'd like to do something like that someday.

L8R
Thats good info about the brakes and yes we have panniers ect..... and yes it is incredibly fun.
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Old 12-17-03, 02:43 PM
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How long do you estimate for the trip?

Will you have access to a computer/internet during your tour?

If so, let Joe Gardner know, and he'll set up a thread for you that you can keep us posted during your trip!

L8R
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Old 12-17-03, 05:12 PM
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All good suggestions...When i purchased my mtb a few years ago, the shops owner asked me what style of bike i wanted and if i would be doing: city only rides,touring ,off-road or serious hills.
Even though he was a Jamis dealer, he suggested another style of bike.
He also suggested i keep the names and numbers of all bike shops when i ride new routes.......just in case .

Sounds like a fun trip.
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Old 12-17-03, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
How long do you estimate for the trip?

Will you have access to a computer/internet during your tour?

If so, let Joe Gardner know, and he'll set up a thread for you that you can keep us posted during your trip!

L8R
Length of trip is yet to be decided, But I would say between 2 and 3 weeks. On our last trip it took 9 days and I wasn't ready for it to be over.

I'm not sure about comp/internet access but it is something to consider. Part of the magic of a trip like that is staying away from technology. On our last trip I would only turn on my cell phone once a day for 15 minutes.

It was funny even after just nine days on the road we stayin in our first Motel the last nite, and even things like lights and large mirrors you appreciated more.

However most assuredly every day was an adventure. One of my favorites was crabbing. We stopped in Manchester Bay, rented traps and went and caught fresh crabs. Keep in mind we are from the desert state of Utah so catching fresh crab was quite amazing. We then had to tie the live crabs onto our bikes and go on to our campsite. There we had a great crab feast.....



I have my own business and my wife filtered all problems before they called me. And actually there never was a problem at work that I had to be notified about. So I was able to immerse myself in just being a biker.

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Old 12-17-03, 11:45 PM
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If you are going to tour on the bike you'll want to be carefull about how your racks and panniers fit. I'm sure you already thought about this, but the problem does crop up. Many mountain bikes have short chainstays to improve their climbing ability, but his often puts panniers in range of rotating heals. Some mountain bikes doen't even have rack mounts! Both of these are worth thinking about. Some of the best touring/hauling rigs have extra long chainstays and solid rack mounts. I'd suggest you either bring your racks and bags into the store when you are looking and give them a try, or buy as a set (if that's the plan).

You'll also want to think about water. Most less expensive frames still have two bottle mounts, but some odd frames have only one. Off road, this is no problem, but touring you'll probably want, at least, two water bottles on the frame.

Be sure to go all out on lights and reflective gear. It's a sad fact that many drivers are busy (cell phone, screaming kids or wife or whatever) or drunk and they will not see you. Flashing rear lights (day and night IMO) and a good front light are just a start. Add reflective tape to everything you can. A flag may seem kinda dorky, but isn't totally out of line. Worth thinking about.

A Raleigh M60 is a fine design, but you should also look at the big three: Giant, Trek and Specialized. These will be easy to repair and service on the way (The Raleigh will be fine too.). IMHO a Specialized or Trek is even better since I can tell my kid we are supporting a company that supports the sport. But now I'm being didactic.

Most of all, have fun, and let the kids have it too. (Hmm, there is a cool factor too that I have no idea about and haven't accounted for, but which is probably worth something?)
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Old 12-18-03, 12:17 AM
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How old is the kid; and how tall is he?
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Old 12-18-03, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by montlake_mtbkr
Oh I see, I was just considering the overall effort to pedal a road bike (assuming you stick to the road) would be much less than a mtn bike in the long haul.

As far as disc brakes go, no you don't need them. In fact from a maintenance stand point you would be better off with V brakes which are easier to repair in the unlikely event your brakes should fail.
True, but the downfall with this though is that if you mess up a wheel to where
it would hit on the pads and stop halfway between towns, you are pretty screwed unless you carry a spare wheel.

With a disc brake wheel if you mess a disk brake wheel up you can straighten it to the point where you can limp it into the nearest town.

Along the original question, that is a tough call, there are alot of good hardtails in the market in that range.

Also, forgot to mention, make sure to look into a good set of tires.
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Last edited by Dannihilator; 12-18-03 at 12:29 AM. Reason: Forgot the good tire part.
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Old 12-18-03, 12:50 AM
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In a Specialized, I would vote for the Rockhopper. In a Trek, I would vote for a 4900.

They're both serious XC bikes, rather than "touristy" looking hybrids, but comfortable enough to ride for hours per day. The only modification they might want to do (besides hybrid road tires) is put on a taller riser bar so the kid will be in a more upright riding position to save his back.

You might be able to find a 2003 model on sale in that price range; perhaps even with disks. If not, get a base 2004 model with V's. Like others have said, for road and XC, V's are good enough.
 
Old 12-18-03, 08:27 AM
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I would stay AWAY from Gary Fisher. Their Genisis Geometry does not lend itself to a good bike with a pannier rack. The Genesis geometry has a shorter rear end and longer top-tube. You'll be smacking your heels non-stop!

L8R
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Old 12-18-03, 09:11 AM
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Get a used Cannondale 2002 2001 model. You can definetly get into one for that price range and for the long hauls itll be a dream.

www.cannondale.com
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Old 12-19-03, 11:43 AM
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Thanks for all your help. He ended up buying a Specialized Rock Hopper. I don't think you can go wrong with a Specialized. I've had a Hardrock that has been great.
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