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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I just recently started riding my bike due to my car breaking down. I started on a custom built BMX bike and have recently managed to get a hold of an old Schwinn World Traveler. To say the least, it is less than thrilling to ride. Unsealed bearings and just old heavy components make the bike sluggish and the shifting mechanisms are frustrating. Anyway....

I am looking for a bike in the 1000 dollar range. I would like a comfortable ride, and decent shifting. As long as it has the nifty break/shifting in the single lever, that would be great. I would like a decent, long lasting wheel set, and I would like sealed bearings everywhere but the pedals. Brand doesn't matter too much as long as they're trustworthy and stand behind there product. I am a taller rider (about 6'2")

Whats a good bike in this range, and is there anything I should try and avoid when looking at complete bikes? (Specific types of wheel sets, brakes, etc...) Also, since it is nearing the end of summer now, should I wait until septemberish to purchase? Do bikes usually go on sale at that time? I have a few bike stores to choose from, So I am not too limited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is helpful, Some more questions however. I am mostly going to use the bike to get around town, and ride the bike trails, but occasionally I would like to ride to my hometown about 80 miles away. Is it possible to get a bike that is good for 10 mile stints to get places and also good for long distance rides?

Also, I wont ask about the importance of a helmet (which I usually dont wear) because I think I already know the answer... But How much are shorts, gloves, jerseys and such worth? Part of my entrance into biking is to also simplify my life and have less to worry about, If I have to change into all of my biking clothes and especially if I am commuting most of the time it seems like it would be more trouble than its worth.... On a long distance ride however, would you say proper clothing is invaluable? How about shoes? Do the clipless make a big difference?

Also, with rims, I read that the Xero Aero rims that come stock on some bikes are muddy. Is that true? Would I notice as a newbie?
 

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Um...

LukeLorenz said:
That is helpful, Some more questions however. I am mostly going to use the bike to get around town, and ride the bike trails, but occasionally I would like to ride to my hometown about 80 miles away. Is it possible to get a bike that is good for 10 mile stints to get places and also good for long distance rides?

Also, I wont ask about the importance of a helmet (which I usually dont wear) because I think I already know the answer... But How much are shorts, gloves, jerseys and such worth? Part of my entrance into biking is to also simplify my life and have less to worry about, If I have to change into all of my biking clothes and especially if I am commuting most of the time it seems like it would be more trouble than its worth.... On a long distance ride however, would you say proper clothing is invaluable? How about shoes? Do the clipless make a big difference?

Also, with rims, I read that the Xero Aero rims that come stock on some bikes are muddy. Is that true? Would I notice as a newbie?
Let's break it down some. As opposed to a road bike with drop bars, you CAN get what's known as a commuter bike, which is usually cheaper than a road bike and a better choice for around town. Can you do 80 miles on a commuter bike? Definitely, and it'll be plenty comfortable...but you'll probably go a lot slower than you would on a road bike. Any way you look at it, 80 miles is a LONG way, especially if you have to ride back. I wouldn't even consider doing an 80 mile ride, on any bike, until you've got a couple of 30 or 40 milers under your belt.

On a commuter bike, you can probably get away without wearing bike shorts, and so forth. But DO NOT ride anywhere, on any bike, without a helmet. If you get doored by a car, you'll probably bust your helmet, but your melon will be intact. No helmet, you're probably talking brain damage.

If you're going to ride 80 miles, you're going to need bike shorts (or better yet, bibs) with a decent pad, a bike jersey, and some gloves. Yep, also bike shoes and some kind of clipless pedals. What a lot of people do who are doing the commute/occasional long road ride thing do, is get some inexpensive mountain bike shoes, usually pretty comfortable and relatively easy to walk in, and some inexpensive mountain bike pedals, which are easier to get into because you can clip into either side. None of this stuff is expensive, it just adds up. Performance bike is a good place to get a feel for what's decent and not a ton of $$$$. A $30 helmet will protect you just as well as a $250 helmet, it just won't be as light or cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, the bike trail that goes around my city is about 30 miles in length, I have ridden that once and wasn't terribly exhausted. Riding around on my BMX day in and day out for the past couple of weeks helped a lot with conditioning me.

Should I sacrifice quality on the bike to get better shorts, jersey, helmet, gloves, shoes or pedals? Which would you say is more bang for the buck?

I would like to buy from a bike shop so I can get fitted and try a bunch out, some of the brands I can get in town are Trek, Cannondale, Giant, and Felt....Which of those company tends to give more value per dollar as opposed to brand name cost...., Also, What is the difference between a Triathalon bike and a Road bike? Which would be better for my needs?
 

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The compact has a smaller gear/crank up front. Good for new riders... As a new rider's legs typically aren't strong enough or have the muscle stamina to attack larger/longer hills in a larger gear. I'd highly recommend a compact or a triple ( a triple has 3 rings of gears up front instead of 2).

Also check out the Specialized Allez (sounds like "a-lay") bikes. Fast and a lot of bang for the buck... It was my first road bike and I love that thing.
 

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Okay, you're in shape...

...I would go for a road bike, because I think it'll also work for a commute bike, but you'll have a lot more fun when you get into rides like the 30 miler you talk about and longer. Don't get a tri bike, they're way too specialized. Just get an all round roadie.

If you hve good LBSs, you can probably get something really decent for $1000 or less. For example:

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2008/road/1_series/15/

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/road/1243/292

http://www.feltracing.com/08/product.asp?catid=1504,1515&pid=866768/

http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/cusa/model-8RAS6T.html


The Felt is probably your best value, because it has Shimano 105 components, and the others have either Tiagra or Sora. 105 is lighter, more durable, and better operating, and is usually considered the minimum opening bet.

My advice is, spend around $1000 on the bike, and don't skimp on the other stuff...but you don't have to spend outrageous $$$ either. Get some MTB shoes and pedals, a decent pair of shorts or bibs, a jersey if you want to spend $$$, or just a T shirt until you get more money, helmet...I think you can get a decent helmet for $30 to $50, and a decent pair of gloves...$10 or less should do it. And there's the stuff you don't want to pay for but you'll hate yoursel if you don't: water bottles and cages, a computer, definitely a repair kit and xtra tubes, a frame pump, a decent floor pump with a guage...you get the picture...
 

· Colorado Springs, CO
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Well, this doesn't simplify things too much, but get two bikes. One strictly for commuting and another for road use. $300 to $400 will but you a nice commuting bike. With the remainder you can probably get decent (at least decent for riding long distance) road bike.

How long is your commute? Mine is only three miles one way, so I don't use the bike shorts and full roadie set up. Just regular street clothes and my cycle shoes (mountain bike shoes with SPD cleats). The road setup is different -- the roadie bike, regular roadie shoes, and SPD-SL cleats.

Also depends where you park your bike while you are at work. A "beater" bike may be what you want if the environment around your work is not so nice. That way you don't have much to loose if the vandals attack or steal your bike.

Long miles have a way of bringing out the bad spots of your ride and every other problem. Everyone here probably has a story of when they went 100 miles and: had sore feet, knotted up muscles, sore hands, back aches, and other sundry items of general not so goodness. Even though a 50-60-70 mile ride made nothing happen bad.

Maybe for your commute bike, go to Goodwill or Salvation Army and get a good mountain bike, cheap, then have it reworked at your LBS with slick tires, new chain, new brakes, true up the wheels. Don't get a bike to commute with that has suspension on it -- part of your pedal stroke will go into operating the suspension and dampening your pedal power down to the road.

Also, Go to your LBS and talk to them about what you want to do. They may have other options that aren't mentioned here.

Yes, you need a helmet. After a few rides you won't even notice it. Cycle gloves are good to have too -- the padding in the palms helps to relieve the pressure on the handlebars. And a good pair of plastic sunglasses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey All,

Thanks for the advice so far. I have checked out the Allez and I like that, and I have also looked at a Cannondale Synapse 6, and a Giant OCR C3 (its a demo bike, so its 400 dollars off...I am demoing it right now) Anyway, I am not sure I need 105 Components as that seems to jump the price quite a bit, and I am not too concerned with weight. Bikes are really light these days no matter what, so as long as the bike shifts well enough, I am ok. I think Tiagra is the lowest I want to go, Sora looks cheap. Anyone know anything about the longevity of Tiagra components Vs 105? Is there a noticeable difference in shifting?

Also, while demoing the Carbon Giant bike, I have apparently inured my right knee. I crashed about a week and a half ago and some fiber on my knee (over the patella) was inured. it is healing up pretty well, but now after my ride yesterday it appears that the interior of my knee hurts when I bend it. The pain starts at about 90 degrees and stops at about 45 degrees. I don't think its a torn ligament, I think its the cartilage. It feels like I am scraping something.... Could this be from just being to excited about riding the sweet giant instead of my vintage Schwinn? Improper fitting? (The shop watched me ride and said everything was fine...(although we didn't adjust the handlebars, and now my left wrist is having a bit of pain as well... ) Is the knee injury my fault? Is it the sizing was done wrong? or a bit of both?

Also, any ideas for treating my leg? How long should I wait to ride again in order for this to properly heal?
 
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