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Looking for some advice to choose first bike

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Looking for some advice to choose first bike

Old 07-28-16, 10:52 AM
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KatKim
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Looking for some advice to choose first bike

I would be grateful for any help to choose my first bike. I'm not a youngster by any means, however I am just getting into cycling for recreation and fitness having been informed that walking is causing too much wear and tear on a weakened hip joint. So I've narrowed my choice down, and had pretty much decided to get the Cannondale Adventurer 1 or 2 from 2016/2017 model years, when I noticed a previous post on here explaining to another new cyclist that a suspension fork may not be such a great idea for someone using a bike primarily on the road. I will be using it on road, hard-packed dirt with some ruts, sandy trail (rarely though) and not too many hills. I had honed in on that bike because of the suspension and the fact that I didn't like the ride on the Townie and that style of bike. That bike style felt unsafe to me, and I couldn't get used to not having any real weight over the handlebars.
Is the suspension fork really an issue here? I didn't even consider it until reading that post. I'm now a bit confused.
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Old 07-28-16, 12:04 PM
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Suspension forks come in for a bad rap around here, it's true, especially on less expensive and more upright bikes. They are very heavy, tend to be just springs, lacking any damping or adjustments, and there's not much load on the front anyhow since the rider is upright. The same goes for the suspension seat post which is in addition to fat tires and a spring seat and an inch of seat padding. And all this sucks up muscle power that doesn't get turned into forward motion. That can really start to hurt your progress if you're doing long rides often, but if you are riding ten or twenty minutes every couple of days you might never notice it.

But people like you may want these features anyhow because they are more comfortable when you first sit on the bike. The more hardcore someone is the more likely he will tell you that you need to "get used to" a bike that's not so soft.

My sister just bought a bike and knowing all this she still chose one with a suspension fork because it sits more upright than the non-suspension equivalent (just because the fork is longer) and is available in less expensive spec.
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Old 07-28-16, 12:15 PM
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I am one who does not favor suspension on bikes used primarily on the road or hard packed surfaces...and suspension on cheap bikes is of little use as suspension anyway...
if road vibration is an issue, get a bike that can take slightly larger (wider) tires and run a bit less air pressure, that will accomplish the comfort without the added weight.
If you do wind up going the suspension route, select one that allows you to lock out the suspension for road use...
if you are going to spend much time on hard packed roads and sand or gravel, maybe consider a gravel bike or a cross bike...it you want a bit more relaxed riding position or prefer flat bars take a look at the trek FX series.
either way, go to a local lbs, tell them the type of riding you want to be doing and have them show you their options... test ride a few and go with the one that when it is fit to you, feels the best to you...keep it fun.
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Old 07-29-16, 03:10 PM
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I started my cycling adventure on a Trek Navigator with front suspension and seat stem suspension, enjoyed that bike for the last 9 years or so of riding mostly county pavement. A couple of weeks ago I upgraded to a DS with front suspension and a lockout. I like the option of having a fork that takes some of the bite out of the roads around here and I'm willing to put up with a little extra weight for the comfort. Most of my rides are 20 miles or shorter but I plan to push into some longer rides and hope to conquer a century on that DS. I have done a little riding on the state highway and it's like riding on glass compared to our county roads so I can understand guys who ride mostly highway miles not needing the suspension nor the extra weight.
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Old 07-30-16, 01:42 PM
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KatKim wrote:
I would be grateful for any help to choose my first bike. I'm not a youngster by any means, however I am just getting into cycling for recreation and fitness having been informed that walking is causing too much wear and tear on a weakened hip joint.
You might want to check out 2 wheeled recumbents and trikes.

At the top of this webpage are tons of links:
RECUMBENTS - BentRider Online Forums

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Old 07-31-16, 03:23 PM
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You say that you didn't like the upright riding position on the Townie but if you read the description on the Adventure 1 and 2, it says, "our most upright riding position" in the description. They both are entry level bikes with entry level components. The "2" has an MSRP of $600 and the "1" $720. The "comfort" seat turns me off too. Looks rather gimicky. A lighter bike is easier to pedal and both the seat and suspension add unnecessary weight. I'd rather buy a bike with slightly better components like the hubs and drive train than waste it on suspension. Those are things you can't easily see so it why the manufacturers do what they do to sell the bikes. It's got the gear range of a mountain bike rather than a road bike. See if you can find a standard diamond frame road bike with no suspension fork and a decent seat.

Forget about the idea of a recumbent bike or trike. Any new recumbent worth owning is going to be far above what you are considering for a price range. I love my recumbents but know that they aren't in the price range for most people getting back into cycling.
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Old 08-01-16, 08:57 PM
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live help: bike shops ! walk, in do test rides.
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Old 08-29-16, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
You say that you didn't like the upright riding position on the Townie but if you read the description on the Adventure 1 and 2, it says, "our most upright riding position" in the description. They both are entry level bikes with entry level components. The "2" has an MSRP of $600 and the "1" $720. The "comfort" seat turns me off too. Looks rather gimicky. A lighter bike is easier to pedal and both the seat and suspension add unnecessary weight. I'd rather buy a bike with slightly better components like the hubs and drive train than waste it on suspension. Those are things you can't easily see so it why the manufacturers do what they do to sell the bikes. It's got the gear range of a mountain bike rather than a road bike. See if you can find a standard diamond frame road bike with no suspension fork and a decent seat.

Forget about the idea of a recumbent bike or trike. Any new recumbent worth owning is going to be far above what you are considering for a price range. I love my recumbents but know that they aren't in the price range for most people getting back into cycling.
Agree times 1000. A decent road bike will ride smoother than anything else. I recently upgraded from a Trek Marlin 5 to a Specialized Roubaix sl4. Mind you, there is a big difference in price but the Roubaix is about 10x smoother on everything.
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Old 08-29-16, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
You say that you didn't like the upright riding position on the Townie but if you read the description on the Adventure 1 and 2, it says, "our most upright riding position" in the description.
The Townie is even more "upright" in that it has the seat set way back and low so that casual riders can put both feet easily on the ground. The Adventurer has a more conventional geometry for a hybrid.

To KatKim, I agree with the supension naysayers - the suspension fork on a hybrid is really a sales gimmick - it is useful for rough trails, but for pavement and fairly smooth packed surfaces it is not necessary and it does slow you down a tiny bit due to both extra weight and because it absorbs some of your energy.

The way best way to deal with trail ruts and road potholes, it to avoid them, or if not, simply anticipate them, stand up and bounce slightly on the pedals in a kind of a weak jump without actually lifting your feet off the pedals, to kind of float the bike over the pothole - it's pretty easy to learn. Since I ride only on rigid bikes I actually find the slight jiggliness of a suspension bike annoying.

At the same time I agree that the somewhat upright position of a bike like the Adventurer is good for newbies - you can feel more confidant and aware.

The sprung seat on the Adventurer goes with the upright position - I don't see a problem with that. You will have more weight on your butt than if you were leaning forward, so that component makes sense to me. On a sportier bike with a more forward leaning position, you wouldn't need it.

You did say this will be your "first bike" and that is also a good point - if you keep it up and increase your cycling, you may outgrow it and want something sportier. We have the venerable N+1 rule here, that you always need N+1 bikes where N is the number of bikes you already have.

Last edited by cooker; 08-29-16 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 08-30-16, 06:02 AM
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At the same price point you could get a SPECIALIZED CROSSTRAIL

It has 24 speed drivetrain & trigger shifters. (the Cannondale has 21 speeds & twist shifters) The Crosstrail also has a suspension fork with a mechanical lookout. My 2010 Crosstrail Sport is equipped similarly. The lockout fork is a great feature that allows efficient pedaling on smooth pavement yet allows suspension for rough sidewalks cracks, gravel or even some moderate trail riding. The Crosstrail also has a well designed seat which doesn't look to be the case with the Cannondale.

Over all, for the same price, the Crosstrail seems to be a better buy and a more versatile bike.
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