Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:12 pm

bhtooefr wrote:(a lot of really useful information!)
Geez, that's really helpful. I looked at Performance and Bikes Direct and ... errm ... I didn't really realize what kind of investment I would be looking at for a "nice" bike. I was expecting $300-400, but that's not really ... much of a bicycle. 。・゚゚・(>д<)・゚゚・。

Maybe I should buy a pair of rollerblades. :lol: Seriously, thanks for the information, though! (/□\*)・゜
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:15 pm

In cities with a lot of cyclists, you can get a long way with used bikes and upgrading things here and there, too, but you have to know what you're doing, and weird sizing requirements makes things that much harder.

Out of curiosity, what's your inseam? That will set maximum standover height...
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:47 pm

bhtooefr wrote:In cities with a lot of cyclists, you can get a long way with used bikes and upgrading things here and there, too, but you have to know what you're doing, and weird sizing requirements makes things that much harder.
I don't live in a city, and I have never seen anyone on a bicycle here. :lol:
bhtooefr wrote:Out of curiosity, what's your inseam? That will set maximum standover height...
I always knew I had freakishly long legs for my height, but I never thought to compare the two numbers mathematically. My inseam is 86cm (~34 inches.) I'm not even 5 feet tall! My legs are almost 2/3 my whole body length! (⊙︿⊙)

On a tangentially related note (warning: offtopic and unwarranted whining ahead) that's part of the reason it's basically impossible to find clothes that fit me: not only am I fun-sized, but my proportions are all wacky. I repeatedly got in trouble in school because my uniform skirt didn't cover my knees. Of course it didn't! It's sized for an eight year old in the waist! (ಠ益ಠ)凸
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:59 pm

Oh wow. So you need a really weird frame geometry, unless you've also got extremely long arms.

Good news is, making a small frame more suitable to your leg length is easier than making a large frame suitable to your torso length. Top tube length will be the critical one, and a good bike shop (even if you have to drive quite a while to get to one, it's worth it) will be able to figure out the correct fit for you.

Worth reading this, but it gives no details that would help you order something online: http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:04 pm

auxy wrote:
bhtooefr wrote:(a lot of really useful information!)
Geez, that's really helpful. I looked at Performance and Bikes Direct and ... errm ... I didn't really realize what kind of investment I would be looking at for a "nice" bike. I was expecting $300-400, but that's not really ... much of a bicycle. 。・゚゚・(>д<)・゚゚・。

Maybe I should buy a pair of rollerblades. :lol: Seriously, thanks for the information, though! (/□\*)・゜


If you have a Performance Bicycle in your area, go there. They will help you pick out the correct size frame based on your dimensions. They will have deals on 012 models to get them out the door. http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/w ... reId=10052
I think you should be able to find something in the $300-400 range to get you going.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:13 pm

rogue426 wrote:If you have a Performance Bicycle in your area, go there. They will help you pick out the correct size frame based on your dimensions. They will have deals on 012 models to get them out the door. http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/w ... reId=10052
I think you should be able to find something in the $300-400 range to get you going.
Hmmh. The closest store is the West Houston store... but that's about 3 hours away. Still, I guess for a big purchase like this (hey, $400 is a lot of money for me!) I guess it's worth the drive.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:29 pm

Where do you happen to live?

Just curious, considering you must have some great slopes to go skiing 3 times a week :D
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:51 am

Black Applesauce wrote:Where do you happen to live?

Just curious, considering you must have some great slopes to go skiing 3 times a week :D

Must be in the East Texas hill country.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:34 am

auxy wrote:
rogue426 wrote:If you have a Performance Bicycle in your area, go there. They will help you pick out the correct size frame based on your dimensions. They will have deals on 012 models to get them out the door. http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/w ... reId=10052
I think you should be able to find something in the $300-400 range to get you going.
Hmmh. The closest store is the West Houston store... but that's about 3 hours away. Still, I guess for a big purchase like this (hey, $400 is a lot of money for me!) I guess it's worth the drive.



Thats a haul, but if your serious about taking it up it might be worth the drive. You could check any local shops you have in your area to get proper frame fitment.
I like Performance because of their service and customer relations, I've been to other local shops in my area , some mom & pop, some national chains, but none of them give me the service that Performance does.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:11 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Black Applesauce wrote:Where do you happen to live?

Just curious, considering you must have some great slopes to go skiing 3 times a week :D

Must be in the East Texas hill country.

N-no, he was replying to the OP. I don't go skiing. I've never even SEEN snow! I've never been on the open water, either.
rogue426 wrote:Thats a haul, but if your serious about taking it up it might be worth the drive. You could check any local shops you have in your area to get proper frame fitment.
I like Performance because of their service and customer relations, I've been to other local shops in my area , some mom & pop, some national chains, but none of them give me the service that Performance does.
I got up early to go to a bike shop, and then I started throwing my guts up. I'm actually posting from bed. (_ _;)
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:41 pm

Craigslist is your friend. You don't need a fancy carbon fiber bike with stealth technology. You should be able to find a suitable roadbike in good condition for around $200. My friends bike up to 80 miles a day and all they use are regular old used bikes they found. Be careful though, it's extremely easy to get sucked into spending tons of money on them. A set of tires and wheels can easily get into the $500 range.

Edit:

To be fair, I live in pacific northwest. I'm also in a college town (Corvallis, Oregon), so there are bikes everywhere. Bike theft is actually a serious issue up here. I've had two stolen from me. One was even in my gated yard. I went inside for a shower, came out 15 minutes later and it was gone. :(

Craigslist may not be a reasonable solution for you, but it's worth checking out.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:22 am

shaq_mobile wrote:Craigslist is your friend. You don't need a fancy carbon fiber bike with stealth technology. You should be able to find a suitable roadbike in good condition for around $200. My friends bike up to 80 miles a day and all they use are regular old used bikes they found. Be careful though, it's extremely easy to get sucked into spending tons of money on them. A set of tires and wheels can easily get into the $500 range.
The only bike listing on my local Craigslist is for a broken mountain bike that I'm almost positive is too big for me. My local Craigslist gets like one post a day anyway; this area is mostly country bumpkins who are either too stupid to use the internet or perhaps offended by Craiglist's favicon. ┐(´ー`)┌
shaq_mobile wrote:To be fair, I live in pacific northwest. I'm also in a college town (Corvallis, Oregon), so there are bikes everywhere. Bike theft is actually a serious issue up here. I've had two stolen from me. One was even in my gated yard. I went inside for a shower, came out 15 minutes later and it was gone. :(
Hehe, sounds like a nice place. Down here everyone drives everywhere in "duallie" pickup trucks that belch diesel fumes and take up the entire two-lane road, or they ride ATVs illegally...
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:09 pm

In rural areas, I wouldn't expect to find much in the way of used bikes. (That said, occasionally places like Goodwill will have some. But, in areas like yours, they'll most likely be broken bike-shaped-objects that someone bought to get fit, rode once, and it broke.)

eBay MIGHT be an option, but probably not, depending on shipping costs. And, the whole sizing thing is an issue.

Edit: Oh, and I should probably explain "bike-shaped-object". Common term to refer to the kind of bikes you find in department stores - built with extremely poor quality (plastic and pot metal, for instance) parts, sold for incredibly low prices, and assembled by people who have no business assembling bicycles (which means that they need to be rebuilt from the ground up to not be complete death traps). And so many of them have awful suspension systems, too. (Sprung saddles are a far better suspension system for a low cost bicycle.)
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:29 pm

Sounds like Auxy would benefit from a custom frame, which will probably be silly expensive even if built with lower-end parts.

My advice would be to join some of the forums for biking magazines and poke around asking if anyone has a bike or frame suited to those insane proportions. (hat off to you Auxy, you have more leg than even my extremely-leggy other half).
There are plenty of unusually-sized people into biking, and I'm sure those enthusiasts that have had trouble in the past can direct you towards specific models, brands, shops and possible even sell you their old bikes for a decent price.

The cycling addicts here like myself are probably only really going to be helpful for advice covering normal people who can ride generic-sized bikes with typical geometry.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:48 pm

I find that Bikeforums.net is useful, even if its different subforums are almost competing factions at times, and some subforums (*cough*Advocacy and Safety*cough*) are pure flamewar.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:54 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Sounds like Auxy would benefit from a custom frame, which will probably be silly expensive even if built with lower-end parts.
I went to another local bike shop here that does bicycles and motorcycles. The guys there were very friendly and didn't make me feel uncomfortable like most salespeople I've talked to. I spent about a two hours sitting on and riding various bikes and, along with the two guys from the shop as well as my girlfriend (who was with me), adjusting the seats and handlebars on bikes; I feel like a certified bicycle mechanic now! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

I must have sat on every bicycle in the place, and while some of them were workable, the ones where the pedals were at a reasonable distance required me to lean way over to use the handlebars, and the ones where the handlebars were comfortable required me to practically knee the handlebars to pedal.

The conclusion we came to is more or less what Chrispy said above; for any real cycling comfort I need a custom-made (or at least, less mass-market) bike, and that's just not going to happen in my price range. Plenty of the bikes we found were functional for me; "good enough", but I'm not really happy with that, especially if I'm going to be riding it a lot.

So, I guess I'm just going to wait until I can afford to spend what I will have to spend to get a comfortable, properly-fitting bike. ╮(•˘︿ ˘• ;)╭ If that ever happens.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:20 am

The other thing is, you might look at recumbents. True, not as mass market, but there's a surprising amount of adjustability in some of them, and it'd almost certainly be less expensive than a custom frame.

Trikes tend to be slower, but there's a ton of variety when it comes to bikes. But, trikes are more popular, and therefore more mass market.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:26 am

I would just get a cheap bike. I have a 700c from Walmart with a decent frame and, yeah, I've had to make adjustments but the only time I've broken something is when I biffed it. That would be expensive on a high end bike. Most of the improvement from a better bike is mental. Let's say you spend an extra 400 and get a bike that is 5 lbs lighter. If you are 160lbs you may be moving 170lbs instead of 175lbs. A good cheap bike with a stiff frame and the gear ratios you need is frankly all that matters if you're not in a race.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance

None of the improvements (lighter frame, better bearings, lower rolling resistance tires (compared to standard road tires)) really make any difference.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:40 am

keboman: auxy has noted physical oddities that make most mass-marketed bicycle frames not fit properly, and fit is extremely crucial to riding comfort.

And, how often do you ride your Wal-Mart bike-shaped object? Do you rely on it as primary transportation? How well assembled was it?

I agree that a high-end racing bike is completely pointless here, but a BSO is, IMO, below acceptable standards of quality for something that is being taken for long rides on a daily basis. A good 4130 steel frame or an aluminum frame with mid-range or even some low-end components is adequate - I'm not advocating for something CF with Dura-Ace, or even 105 - but not bottom-barrel components.

(I should explain for auxy's benefit, once you get to an acceptable level of quality, paying more doesn't USUALLY give you anything other than less weight at the same durability. There are a few things out there that are engineered to be bombproof (Rohloff comes to mind, and no, that's not in your price range), but usually, it's all designed to be good enough (except at the bottom barrel, where "good enough" is usually, enough to last a ride or two, then it gets hung up in the garage), and you pay more to maintain "good enough" with less weight.)
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:48 am

Bike shaped object? Do you think there are really any differences? I would say in a lot of ways a high end bike is less durable. Assembly was fine, I had to make adjustments to fit just like on any bike.

I rode it every day 8-10 miles for school/work for 3 years and it looks the same as ever.

As for fit auxy just needs to find the right frame size and try different cranks? Other than that the adjustments are the same on every bike.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:01 am

Except auxy's body geometry sounds like it's something that doesn't actually match existing frames.

And, a high-end racing bike is less durable than a good steel or aluminum mid-range bike. Which is why I'm not advocating a high-end racing bike.

In any case, except at the very highest-end of Wal-Mart bikes (actually, if it's 700C, it might be one of the OKish ones - some rather scary design decisions as far as the handlebars on one of the 700C bikes that I know they've sold, but acceptableish components - certainly not good, but not horrible), they're downright dreadful quality. Plastic parts under high stress, horrible suspension forks, the few metal components so cheaply made that even they break under stress, etc., etc.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:13 am

keboman wrote:Bike shaped object? Do you think there are really any differences?

Often heavier (e.g. steel or lower-quality alloy frames), and often made with lower-end components. Sometimes, when selling to a customer that demands Walmart-like volumes, the namebrand vendors will produce a custom, lower-quality version of their product to support the paper-thin margins demanded by the retailer's price structure.

That may be fine for a kid's bike which the occupant will either outgrow or figure out how to destroy anyway, but for an adult who plans to ride regularly, it's worth a few extra bucks to let a pro shop help you figure out the right fitment and accessories for your riding style. It helps to avoid excess fatigue or repetitive stress injuries, which in the long term can be way more expensive than spending a little extra on the bike kit.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:19 pm

Bicycle?!?!

We have 3 ft. of snow up here in Timmins ON, if you still want to do some skiing or something.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:21 pm

anotherengineer wrote:Bicycle?!?!

We have 3 ft. of snow up here in Timmins ON, if you still want to do some skiing or something.


Bicycle logging. I used to haul small logs with my mountain bike in light snow. Great fun and hard work. You tie the rope to the seat post and find the balance point under power and go for it.

Yes, very stupid fun.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:31 pm

bhtooefr wrote:The other thing is, you might look at recumbents. (...) Trikes tend to be slower (...)
Ehh. I want one to get places faster! Hehe. I guess it'd still be faster than running, but my ability to transport it without riding it (in case of a flat or something) is also important -- that's another thing we were looking at at the shop. I found that I can pick up and carry the lighter alloy bikes pretty easy -- they had some kind of exotic titanium-framed bike that was so light it was kind of scary to think about riding on it -- but the cheaper steel bikes are pretty heavy for me to pick up and lug around. Some of the 26" bikes, I was struggling to even pick up! I'm sure a recumbent trike would be too heavy for me to comfortably carry any distance beyond a few meters.
keboman wrote:Let's say you spend an extra 400 and get a bike that is 5 lbs lighter. If you are 160lbs you may be moving 170lbs instead of 175lbs.
I don't even weigh 100lbs; well under in fact. 5lbs is more than 5% of the total weight of me and my bicycle. 5% is quite a bit.

Even if it didn't make any difference in the performance of the bicycle, though, it would still have a dramatic effect on my ability to carry the thing, which could be relevant.
keboman wrote:None of the improvements (lighter frame, better bearings, lower rolling resistance tires (compared to standard road tires) really make any difference.
This seems dubious given that I know full well of the notable mileage improvements given by low-resistance tires on my car. Also,
keboman wrote:Let's say you spend an extra 400
bhtooefr wrote:paying more doesn't USUALLY give you anything other than less weight at the same durability.
Hehe, I didn't intend to spend any more than I have to just to get a lighter bike! My concern was simply that none of the bikes I tried were comfortable, so I'll have to probably get something more esoteric, which USUALLY means higher price (due to lower demand). That's why I remarked on saving money to spend more.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:03 pm

This seems dubious given that I know full well of the notable mileage improvements given by low-resistance tires on my car. Also,



You really notice the sub 1% improvement over standard properly inflated tires? Or is my math background that bad. I just don't like the bike culture that makes people feel they have to spend more money when it does almost nothing.
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:13 pm

keboman wrote:You really notice the sub 1% improvement over standard properly inflated tires? Or is my math background that bad.
Consumer Reports tests show average 3% improvement; I measured ~2MPG improvement (40.3 vs. 38.1) on my daily commute versus my old tires, which were not very worn at all. I kept the old tires; they're nice high-speed-rated tires and I'll put them back on if I ever have any need to drive my vehicle at speed (which I doubt, but it's never bad to have extra tires laying around.)

keboman wrote: I just don't like the bike culture that makes people feel they have to spend more money when it does almost nothing.
I understand completely! ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)

It's the same as computer enthusiasts who overpay for expensive, exotic thermal paste or pay out the nose for crossfire and pointless quad-channel memory.

However, the overall tone of this thread has been one of caution toward overspending, and I'm not such a naive, stupid girl that I'd fall for that kind of thing anyway. I don't pay for name-brand clothes and I don't pay for name-brand RAM; I sure as heck wouldn't pay extra for alloy pedals on my bike! (*゚ー゚)ゞ
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:14 am

auxy wrote:I kept the old tires; they're nice high-speed-rated tires and I'll put them back on if I ever have any need to drive my vehicle at speed (which I doubt, but it's never bad to have extra tires laying around.)
Discard them once they are 6 years old, the rubber deteriorates and they become unsafe and likely to fail at speed.

Now back to the bike discussion...
notfred
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:59 pm

notfred wrote:
auxy wrote:I kept the old tires; they're nice high-speed-rated tires and I'll put them back on if I ever have any need to drive my vehicle at speed (which I doubt, but it's never bad to have extra tires laying around.)
Discard them once they are 6 years old, the rubber deteriorates and they become unsafe and likely to fail at speed.
Is that true even if they're kept in an air-conditioned garage?
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auxy
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Re: Need some advice for picking up a pedal bike this summer

Postposted on Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:35 am

auxy wrote:Is that true even if they're kept in an air-conditioned garage?

Decay is slower at low temperature with low light, but it still happens. I wouldn't push it too hard.
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