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First Bike for Weekend Fun and Occasional Commute/Errands. Will this do?

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First Bike for Weekend Fun and Occasional Commute/Errands. Will this do?

Old 01-08-11, 09:51 AM
  #1  
OrangeJoe
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First Bike for Weekend Fun and Occasional Commute/Errands. Will this do?

Background: First time poster, new to the 'bike world'. Mid 30's male who has not ridden a bike since junior high school. 5' 11" 165lbs.

I want to get into bikes as a hobby/exercise/utility/occasional great weather commute and the amount of choices is overwhelming. Yes, I have read all the stickies.

I do not like nor am I interested in roadbike or wearing lycra from head to toe, I just want a comfortable bike that can get me over the bumps of city roads and across paved bike trails with comfort while I have fun.

On paper (well on screen) the Specialized Expedition 2011 model looks like what I want, but I am baffled by the lack of reviews or posts regarding that bike.

Forum search yields dozens of post for an 80's version of the bike.

Is this a good bike for my needs? More importantly what would you recommend as a comparatively priced better alternative to this bike for my stated needs?

Great forum.
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Old 01-08-11, 07:22 PM
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Here's my quick review from glancing at the website: Wow, what an odd bike!

No front derailleur, but a wide range cassette 14-34, with only 7 speeds? I dont get that. Maybe simple is better philosophy?

What are your roads like - flat, or hilly? What is it that you like about that bike, that you havent found in others?
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Old 01-09-11, 04:49 PM
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This configuration seems to be new trend. Simple to operate, maintain, and repair. I work for a company that rents these bikes, as an option to normal beach cruisers, which are quite popular. Popular enough we sold out of our 2010 stock before then end of September, and management has taken a risk and purchased more to sell as new bikes.

For casual, weekend riding, these bikes are good enough. One shifter with decent gearing, including a bail out gear for hills, and no confusing triple crankset and somewhat troublesome front derailluer.
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Old 01-09-11, 06:33 PM
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Oh as a rental in a beach community I'd be all over this configuration. As a fitness bike long term, I'd think twice.
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Old 01-10-11, 11:06 AM
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While I can't comment on the Specialized, I can say your needs pretty much mirrored mine - I bought a Novara Corsa for $449 from REI last fall. Our REI has a good service department so I feel like it is my LBS. I'm in my early 50's and haven't been on a bike since college and at 6' 3", and 168#, I'm taller than you and a just a tad heavier. I enjoy 20 mile rides on the weekend around the city on our bike trails with a bit of on-street riding (it's Pittsburgh - the streets aren't that smooth). The "comfort" ride position suits my arthritic neck and spine pretty well. Low end componentry, but so far I've been satisfied. It's fun to ride. It mght be somehting you might want to consider.
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Old 01-11-11, 08:07 PM
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When my kids were little - 8 or 9 - we had a bike they rode with 7 speeds in the back and no front derailleur. It was appropriate for them not to have to worry about combinations of front and rear gearing. They both graduated to 18-speed mountain bikes when they were about 10. After becoming comfortable on the 7 speed and realizing the value of gears, they were ready, and had no trouble picking up the concept of shifting a bike with front and rear derailleurs.

If you don't want to learn to shift two shifters in combination, by all means consider something like this. It will get you around, be pretty comfortable, you'll have fun, get some exercise, and you won't have to worry about learning to shift something complicated. But don't be afraid of a bike with front and rear derailleurs. It's not that hard to learn. My 10-year-olds both did it. Gears are good for changing terrain, and the more gears you have, the more situations you can comfortably deal with.

I have several bikes with triple chainrings (front gears) and they all shift reliably and well. Don't be afraid based on problems you may have been told about.
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Old 01-21-11, 06:58 AM
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After reading your answers and much research, I went ahead and bought a bike tha has been heavily discussed in the forums.

Don't shoot me. I bought the infamous Ikea bike. No, really, I did. A good u-lock will cost more than I paid for this bike.

I realized I really don't know the answer to a lot of the questions I need to choose a decent entry level bike so this NIB bike will give me a chance to put together a bike, learn to adjust it, see what works or does not work regarding riding position, shifting, etc.

If it's as terrible as some have suggested I can always donate it to Philly's bike clinic for people to learn wrenching on, if it's only half as bad as they say, then I have found my leave-it-locked downtown bike.

Comments, questions, suggestions welcome. :-)

Last edited by OrangeJoe; 01-21-11 at 07:05 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 01-21-11, 07:27 PM
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Unboxing

Hmm



Carioca



Derailleur



Thinking outside the box



More



And in news more related to my original post:

Now I'm comparing the 2011 Speicialized Expedition to the 2011 Hardrock Disc by the same maker and both to Cannondale's 2011 Trail 6.

I hope that by riding the much hated Ikea bike I will have answers that will help narrow down my choices. I really can't see what difference in real world riding the different specs from those bikes would make.

As always, comments welcomed.

Last edited by OrangeJoe; 01-21-11 at 07:35 PM. Reason: Many, many reasons
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Old 01-22-11, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by OrangeJoe View Post
Unboxing

Hmm



Carioca



Derailleur



Thinking outside the box



More



And in news more related to my original post:

Now I'm comparing the 2011 Speicialized Expedition to the 2011 Hardrock Disc by the same maker and both to Cannondale's 2011 Trail 6.

I hope that by riding the much hated Ikea bike I will have answers that will help narrow down my choices. I really can't see what difference in real world riding the different specs from those bikes would make.

As always, comments welcomed.
Good bike to start learning how to adjust derailluers and brakes without blowing through too much money. Check in to thrift stores every so often for a parts bike or two. Do you have a repair manual?
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Old 01-24-11, 08:55 AM
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I ordered one of the highly praised repair manual (can't remember which one) on Amazon.

'Test rode' the bike yesterday, fun 3.4 mile ride, not so fun 0.3 mile walk of shame. Misshifted and managed to put my knee into something solid :-)

Last edited by OrangeJoe; 01-24-11 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 01-24-11, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by OrangeJoe View Post
I ordered one of the highly praised repair manual (can't remember which one) on Amazon.

'Test rode' the bike yesterday, fun 3.4 mile ride, not so fun 0.3 mile walk of shame. Misshifted and managed to put my knee into something solid :-)
You may need to adjust the limit screws on a derailluer.
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Old 01-24-11, 06:42 PM
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I just received "the Bicycling Guide To Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair" so I will grab a slice of pizza, raise my leg above heart level and check the section on derailleur adjustment.

I'm still pretty sure it was operator error.

Last edited by OrangeJoe; 01-24-11 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 01-28-11, 11:19 AM
  #13  
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Ikea gave this bike to all of their employees as a Christmas gift in December. It's a sub-entry-level bike. Just a glance at what you displayed shows the one-piece crank a sign of the worst of the worst. Now-a-days, many of the entry level bikes come with a 3-piece crank instead of the old one piece. It's not surprising you would have trouble with it right out of the box because one thing bike stores do is to fix the problems on even the cheapest bikes before they go out the door. That means adjusting everything and maybe even tweaking the spokes to get the wheels trued. What you should do is find out what frame size fits you and then keep your eyes out for a properly fitting bike at garage sales, Cragislist, or thrift stores. Anything with a one-piece crank, solid axles (no quick release) and weighing over about 30 pounds is not worth considering. You still need to be somewhat educated as to a worthwhile bike. I came across a bike at an estate sale this weekend with a $60 price tag on it. I wouldn't have bought it if they changed the dollar sign to cents.
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Old 01-28-11, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by OrangeJoe View Post
I just received "the Bicycling Guide To Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair" so I will grab a slice of pizza, raise my leg above heart level and check the section on derailleur adjustment.

I'm still pretty sure it was operator error.
Operator error won't shift a chain off a properly adjusted drivetrain. (with apologies to bikeforum.ner user operator) Get both derailluers' limits adjusted and the chain should not jump off.
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Old 01-29-11, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
Operator error won't shift a chain off a properly adjusted drivetrain. (with apologies to bikeforum.ner user operator) Get both derailluers' limits adjusted and the chain should not jump off.
You may be overestimating both the bikes features and my ability to efectively utilize them.

The 'shifter' does have audible clicks, but does not seem to have discrete shifting points as the lever moves through its arc. Basically I just turn the lever 'till the chain jumps and go one click beyond to make sure there is no contact with the chain.

Ithink I may have stopped the bike and left the lever/derailleur (thus chain), at a mid way point between speeds. Does that sound right?
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Old 01-29-11, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by OrangeJoe View Post
You may be overestimating both the bikes features and my ability to efectively utilize them.

The 'shifter' does have audible clicks, but does not seem to have discrete shifting points as the lever moves through its arc. Basically I just turn the lever 'till the chain jumps and go one click beyond to make sure there is no contact with the chain.

Ithink I may have stopped the bike and left the lever/derailleur (thus chain), at a mid way point between speeds. Does that sound right?
You have what is called micro-adjust shifters, kind of like old style friction shifters. What causes a chain to jump off while shifting is improperly adjusted limit screws. The limit screws on each derailluer control how far the cable will pull the derailluer. Follow the instructions in your book and you will get it right.
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Old 02-05-11, 03:46 PM
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That Ikea bike looks pretty janky. As something to add to your research I suggest the Trek Navigator. They have a couple of different levels (1.0, 2.0, and 3.0) at a couple of different price ranges. But they're a touch less expensive than the Specialized Expeditions. Just something to think about.
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Old 02-06-11, 07:29 PM
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Just finished an 8 mile ride down the river trail into the city, very fun. Great views of the Schuykill.

Another $20 went into the bike today AFTER the back of my pants and my Timbuk2 bag were soaked in ice cold brown slush. Now I understand the need for fenders in a commuter.

I can say the bike performed as well as any bike I can remember having as a kid.

Finally felt comfortable with the shifters and was able to find gears for all the conditions I found.

I'm going to keep riding it until I feel I have a definite base line and then I will look into test riding the more expensive stuff.

Total fun budget spent:

Ikea bike New In Box $60
Bern Brentwood helmet $70
Kryptonite U lock $30
Fender $20
Hi Viz Old Navy Hoodie $2.50
________________

$182.50
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Old 02-09-11, 06:26 AM
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Keep us posted! I am really enjoying hearing your story.
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Old 02-09-11, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabong30 View Post
That Ikea bike looks pretty janky.
Sorry, but I'm not young, urban and hip enough to know if janky means good like "sick" or bad like "craptastic".
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Old 02-18-11, 09:02 PM
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Well, I will keep riding the Ikea bike 'till I find a match, but now I have lost all my remaining off road pretensions and I think a more 'road like' hybrid is more up my alley.

I'm also liking the idea of a 'faster bike' so I'm jumping ship to https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-and-Crosstown at the hybrid forums.

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

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Old 02-19-11, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by EriktheFish View Post
Sorry, but I'm not young, urban and hip enough to know if janky means good like "sick" or bad like "craptastic".
janky = cheap, basically.
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Old 02-21-11, 01:32 PM
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Even as a casual rider, you get your first bike to figure out what you want from your next bike. I ended up with a whole basement full of bikes because I'm still trying to decide what kind of bike is "the one" for me. I bought a mountain bike that I rarely ride because I have too much self preservation instinct to be any good at mountain biking. I like my Detour Deluxe with it's lighting system and fenders but it is too fast to ride with my wife** but too slow to ride with more serious cyclists. I love my fixed gear, it is certainly the most fun of my bikes to ride but it is impractical for long distances. Currently I'm building up a franken-bike with a touring frame, drop bars, and a non-traditional 8-speed internal gear hub drivetrain. Maybe that'll be the one?

**So I bought a tandem and we ride that together instead.
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Old 02-23-11, 09:45 PM
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I went through a similar dilemma. I went through a whole range of bikes and LBSs. I started with recumbent trikes, then hybrid/commuter/urban bikes, and finally decided on a mountain bike for riding on the side of narrow, twisty, extremely hilly roads with no shoulders. I ended up buying a new 2010 Giant Boulder for three hundred dollars. I wanted the best bike for me, but I am not a bike snob or connoisseur. I want to do the same thing I did in high school, be able to put thirty or forty miles on a bike several days a week without thinking about it or having to worry about the bike. Back then I might as well have had a single speed. Thirty years and a hundred + pounds later and having relocated to hilly South Carolina, I need gears. I think a lot of the so called entry level bikes are better than the ones I paid $400 - $600 twenty years ago. They have to be. Its called free market competition.

Most "experts" will told me that comfort bikes are only comfortable for short rides, like five miles max. I did not like the feel or balance on the comfort bikes I rode at all and I did not think they would allow me to evolve and keep the same bike long.

I posted on my blog about the beginning of my journey here. Comments welcomed.

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Old 02-28-11, 08:34 AM
  #25  
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I just found (after hitting my knee for the second time, hard) that my Ikea bike is not skipping/jumping gears.

My bike Dx skills were lacking.

What the bike is actually doing intermittently -instead of freewheeling- is pulling back on the rear derailler lower arm to the max, so that when I get back on the pedals I get a solid 90 degrees+ of 'surprise' no resistance, that ends up with my knee hitting some part of the frame.

Ouch.

Lessons learned.

I want a bigger bike.
The bike frame is too small for me, I can scrape the dirt off the fron tire with my shoe if I make a tight turn.

I want a more comfortable seat.
The seat is too soft, ie. it bottoms out after mile 3 or 4. Maybe a Brooks.

I need a bell.
Calling out "Passing on your left" gets old fast.

I need racks.
Ordered a front rack.

I need a faster bike.
There, I said it. My bike just does not seem to want to 'go' even on downhills. That'spart of the reason why I jumped ship to the Hybrid/700 sub forum.

I need a better/better adjusted bike.
I really don't want to hit my knee again. I've lost confidence in the bike in traffic, I either go like a fixie rider or risk the chain going slack and get, in the best of cases, a delay as I try to put some power into it.

One 11 mile ride to Goodwill to look at the bikes there (they had 1 Huffy), one bumped knee, one tackled lamp post. Not a bad Sunday overall.

Did I mention I need to watch out for iron lamp posts. Those suckers are fast. Ouch.
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