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Looking to get into biking

Old 02-12-12, 02:55 PM
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mojoe_24
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Looking to get into biking

I've finally decided to take a plunge and get into biking. I've looked at a couple places for bikes and both of them recommended to me the Giant Roam. From what reviews I've seen it's a good value (Roam 1), but I'm iffy spending $580 on a bike. I originally planned on just picking one up from Craigslist but it's been hard trying to find a XL sized bike on there. Talk me into spending the money, lol. I imagine most of my riding will be on roads, but I'd like to do some trails (Fullerton Loop). Also, what are some LBS I should check out?

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Old 02-12-12, 03:52 PM
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You'll probably get a better answer if you give everyone a little more information.

I'll share some of my own experience to give you an idea as to why. I started riding again about 3 years ago. I rode as a teenager on a road bike, but that was many years ago. When I started again, just by happenstance I got a 1980's vintage mountain bike (no suspension, pictured below) at a garage sale. It was a great bike for me at that stage. I was a few pounds heavier, and this bike was a tank, with a triple up front and very low gears in the rear. Just what the doctor ordered for someone as out-of-shape as I was. I rode that bike for 1400 miles, all on the road, and dropped a few pounds. Then I got a used road bike, and rode that for a while.

My point is, had I started on a road bike, I wonder if I would have persisted. The gearing on my used road bike was not user-friendly for someone who was in as poor shape as myself when I started to ride again.

So that's why it would be helpful to know a little more. In my own case, I started with riding around my local roads, gradually lengthening the distance until I could ride 20-30 miles at a reasonable speed. But there is no way I could have ridden the Loop when I first started. Everyone's different, though, and probably you're not as out-of-shape as I was.

In a nutshell, if you're out-of-shape, you may want to get started with a hybrid bike of some kind. The upright riding position is not as demanding as the riding position of a road bike. If you're not terribly out-of-shape, consider a conventional road bike. Get a mountain bike if and only if you plan to do >95% of your riding off-road, say, on the Loop.

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Old 02-12-12, 06:05 PM
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Oh, I'm very out of shape; I'm 6-3 and about 350. There's no way I could ride a road bike right now. I like the ideas of riding trails but realistically the majority of my riding will be on the road. The bike I've been recommended and am looking at, the Giant Roam, is a hybrid but with a front suspension. Mostly I'm just concerned about spending so much on a bike. I know it's a good value for the Roam 1 but I was really hoping just to buy used. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find anything on Craigslist since I've been looking. It's getting to the point now that I probably shoul just deal with spending the money and go buy the bike.

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Old 02-12-12, 07:03 PM
  #4  
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The Giant Roam is a cool looking Bike, I just Googled a Pic of it. Just do it !! Remember the most important thing is that it fits you, so make sure you get the right size, the Bike Shop should beable to help you with that. And don't forget the Helmet!! And a Track Pump to inflate the Tires. Oh yeah, and a water Bottle Cage with a Bottle.

I quit riding a Bike when I was 15, then bought a Hybrid 30 years later for $250 , I struggled to ride 4 miles but just rode as often as I could, base miles are the key, just ride, you'll be amazed how fast you will progress if you stick with it.

18 months later I did my first Century on a Road Bike, I was riding 6,000 + miles a year.

A week after buying the Bike you'll forget about the cost and be wishing you'd done it a long time ago. Have fun!!
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Old 02-12-12, 07:26 PM
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mojoe_24
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I'm really hoping kthat I won't think about the price once I get it. I really only wanted to spend $300, but I got a really good deal on my bike rack so I have a little bit more money than I expected.

Does anyone know how the Trek 8.3 DS compare to the Giant Roam 1? They seem to be about the same price.

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Old 02-12-12, 11:59 PM
  #6  
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I think the Roam 1 might be a very good choice. If you search diligently on eBay and CL you might get lucky. But if you want to get started, and you have the money, it might be better to just get the bike. I'll bet that bike would serve you well for many miles. The gearing is pretty much what I have on my old Peugeot, and the wheels have 32 spokes, which should support your weight without difficulty.
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Old 02-13-12, 01:39 AM
  #7  
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In your shape and your condition, I would get a used mountain bike in good working condition and then put narrower street slicks on it. Something without suspension like Zippy's first bike.

Get something like this used Trek 800: https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/2848468894.html

And then mount something like these Forte Metro-K tires: https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...8_20000_400238

You're looking at $120 for the bike and $30 for more road worthy tires. Save the rest of your money. Then a year later after you've ridden a bunch of miles and gotten into better condition, you can look around and find something that fits you really well.

[edit]The Trek referenced has a 19" frame, and at 6'3" you're going to need something quite a bit bigger than that. It was just an example[/edit]
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Old 02-13-12, 07:49 AM
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The problem has been finding a XL bike on Craigslist though. The last I checked the only one up there was a trek hybrid (a Sierra I think).
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Old 02-13-12, 09:05 AM
  #9  
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At 350# riding strictly on roads, I would stick to a non-suspension bike like a Trek 7.2, or a Giant Rapid, or equivalent hybrid commuter bike by Specialized, Fuji, or others. I wouldn't worry about breaking the frame. I ride a Masi Partenza road bike at 240#, and it holds up just fine. The most damage you will do to the bike is broken spokes, and those will happen mostly on the rear wheel, where 2/3 of the weight is distributed. Shocks absorb energy that would otherwise be propelling you forward. If you are going to do some serious rock-hopping off road biking, go with full suspension, otherwise I recommend hard tails and forks. You should be able to get something decent from a good bike shop for $400-$600.
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Old 02-13-12, 09:28 AM
  #10  
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You can use Google Reader to do automatic searches on as many regional CLs as you wish. See this and this.
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Old 02-13-12, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
You can use Google Reader to do automatic searches on as many regional CLs as you wish. See this and this.
or SearchTempest.com. Living in SoCal, there area several CL's areas within an easy drive. It would be a shame to miss a good deal because you were only looking in OC.
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Old 02-14-12, 02:36 PM
  #12  
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Sorry to be off-topic, but...

Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
beauty! I love those old Peugeot frames.

moejoe_24--funny you should say that you have a hard time finding a XL frame on Craigslist...when I was looking on CL, I could never find a small frame! (I'm 5'5"). Keep looking, though--I found one eventually. And like others said--do some searches in LA as well.
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Old 02-14-12, 03:26 PM
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Keep searching CL. @$300 you're not going to get very much bike at the LBS, and doubtful it'll hold up for very long.

A buddy of mine started at 396# two years ago at the Fully Loop, now in the mid 200's. Keep at it, and biking will pay off. He originally went with a middle of the road mtb hardtail, and still blew up rear hubs and spokes until finally settled on a custom wheelset. Be prepared, it's not easy nor cost effective if you go cheap initially.
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Old 02-14-12, 07:47 PM
  #14  
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Don't know if this would help but i have a 1974 12 speed Raliegh GranPrix 25 1/2 inch frame with all Suntour drive train, 27 1/4, 36 spoke rims with Suntour barend shifters. This is an extra large frame that i picked up a couple of years ago from a man who was 6 feet 6 inches high. It has all quality parts. Fatter tires and you would be good to go. I bought it for the bar end shifters only but never got around to taking them off.
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Old 02-15-12, 06:42 PM
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So you guys think the Roam would not be a good option?
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Old 02-15-12, 07:17 PM
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I think what many are saying is that the suspension is more or less unnecessary for road riding, and that if you really want to ride on the Loop, you may be better served by a mountain bike of some kind. I concur with this, and unless you just have to have the Roam 1, I would suggest that you scour local garage sales for a cheap vintage 1990's no-suspension mountain bike in good condition, or buy a new bike which might be similar to the Roam 1, but without suspension, like this bike, for example.

My personal take is that buying from CL is easier when you know a lot about bikes and can recognize good buys from bad buys. I hate to admit it, but I regretted buying the one bike I got off Craigslist. Too, a lot of the bikes listed on CL are sold by bike flippers, and just like I hate to buy tickets from a scalper, I can't buy with enthusiasm from a bike flipper.

As an aside, I will say that I did try my Peugeot offroad, with some Kenda K-Rads, and it was not entirely satisfactory. I much prefer my Trek Fuel.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post

My personal take is that buying from CL is easier when you know a lot about bikes and can recognize good buys from bad buys.
I agree. I scoured CL for an old steel bike, I get nostalgic for my first 10 speed 1972 Nishiki, and found one only to miss it by not jumping fast enough. I am not bothered as much by the flippers. Most of the ones on my local list are pretty obvious.
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Old 02-16-12, 12:49 AM
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The Giant Roam looks like a reasonably good bike if you want something to get rolling on. I have no affiliation with GIANT but find they give some of the best bang for the buck for new, off the shelf bikes. There are actually 3 in my garage now, to go along with the various vintage steel steeds.

CL is good if you know what you are looking at and know how to wrench. Most, flippers don't provide a warranty that you can count on if something is buggered up, it is just their word and how much the particular flipper may stand behind said word.

As far as the concerns surfaced about the front suspension. How much do you think you will ride on or off road. Personally I do not like front suspension unless I know I am hitting big ruts, logs, or rocks. I am not familiar with the loop trail mentioned, but if it is nothing more than a fire road, the front suspension fork is probably overkill. If ~70% is on road of riding skip the front suspension fork.

If your off-road trail consists of obstacles on par of hopping a curb, or more, every 10 yards or so than go with something with a front suspension fork. If not a decent hybrid is probably what you want.

Considering you are just getting back into biking and the stature you presented, a full suspension bike probably should not be in the cards at this time (no offense meant), get hot and go for N+1 in a few months.

With all that said, the Roam looks allright, but I would recommend looking at the Hybrids, non-front suspension bikes. Generally with GIANT they are a little pricier since they will have better derailleurs and not have a crappy front fork. Any bike with a front suspension fork under $600 and you can bet the front fork is crap or the components are crap.
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Old 02-16-12, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by atmdad View Post

. . . if it is nothing more than a fire road, the front suspension fork is probably overkill. If ~70% is on road of riding skip the front suspension fork.

+1
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Old 02-16-12, 10:38 AM
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I was just perusing the Giant website and saw this...



https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...ek/9016/48859/

Not suggesting this is what the OP should get, I was just thinking to my self that that looks like it could be a pretty fun "urban assault" bike.
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Old 02-16-12, 08:11 PM
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Yeah, that ones a little more than I'd like to spend. Maybe I'll look at the Escape or FX. I'm thinking that I'll probably head to the bike shop tomorrow and check a few out.
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Old 02-16-12, 10:51 PM
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I just got into cycling myself (foot injuries are keeping me from being able to run) and I'm glad I scoured CL...got a nice single-speed road bike for $100 with a trade for my beach cruiser.

I ride the crap out of that bike - around 40 miles every weekend. basically, from my house in Irvine then loop around Newport Back Bay...40 miles every weekend may not seem like much, but it is for me.

I personally didn't opt for a hybrid - didn't want to deal with gears and I wanted to be able to get some speed. Sure, the components might be crap on my bike and it might be painted day-glo green, but I enjoy it, and isn't that what a starter bike is all about?

Anyway, if you're just starting out - I'd personally get the cheapest bike that you can safely ride. Once you're comfortable or are in better shape, then you should trade it in for something else a little better. CL is great for this.
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Old 02-16-12, 11:23 PM
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1. Hop in car/bus
2. Go to Ontario
3. Buy https://www.jensonusa.com/Commuter-an...is-Yyz-10-Bike

or

https://www.jensonusa.com/Commuter-an...is-Yul-10-Bike
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Old 02-28-12, 05:03 PM
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Becoming a cyclist was inspiration for me to get into shape. Hopefully, it will for you too. Riding is great fun and great exercise in getting toward being more fit. A change in diet is just as important. I was overweight for 20 years, and any diets I tried didn't help. But once I got into cycling I was inspired to eat right and I made it stick. This is a common cyclist story, and hopefully it will become yours. As for the hardware, I think all the suggestions given here are good. Main thing is to get pedaling.
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