Author Topic: Buying a bike  (Read 4350 times)

RabStache

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Buying a bike
« on: September 12, 2014, 01:27:16 PM »
I'm getting ready to start a new job that is ~12 miles from home and am looking for a bike to ride on Tues/Thurs.  3 years ago MMM gave some recommendations in an article but those bikes no longer exist.  I went to the website he recommended and found this.  Thoughts?

The route I will take is mainly back roads.

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_552047_-1___204873#ReviewHeader

RabStache

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2014, 05:23:38 AM »
Any thoughts?  Is this the wrong sub-forum?

RichLife

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2014, 07:09:23 AM »
I am not a biker since everything is within either reasonable walking distance for me or far enough to take my car for, but do you need a new bike? This one looks good to me but I'm a novice. If this is your first biking experience it may be imo worth it to start off with a cheap second-hand bike and then see about upgrading. Hope someone with more expertise can help you out!

GuitarStv

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2014, 08:12:31 AM »
24 miles round trip is a long haul if you don't have much experience on a bike.  It's totally doable, but you will want a bike that's properly fitted for you or it will be miserable.  It might be a good idea to work your way up to it slowly by driving to work with the bike in the trunk, then biking home, then biking to work the next morning and driving home.

If you decide to go with a flat bar bike I'd strongly suggest some bar ends so you've got another position to put your hands when they start to get uncomfy.  Being able to move hands around prevents them from getting as uncomfortable.

That bike seems OK for what you want.  Wide gearing range is nice if your ride is hilly/windy.  Rack attachment points so you don't need to wear your gear in a backpack (puts extra pressure on your wrists on a long ride).  Yeah, add a bike rack to the shopping list.  The tires are 28 mm wide, so a little lighter, but not as comfy as 32 or 35 mm ones . . . Might be something to consider changing if your ride is bumpy.  The wheels are 32 spoked, which should be fine if you're lighter weight . . . If you're over 200 lbs though, I'd expect issues with the spokes within a couple years.  V-brakes are fine (disks are nice in rain and snow).

Get some bright lights (rear - planet bike super flash turbo, cygolite hotshot, front - cygolight metro 350 or 500 are great) for dusk/rain riding as well as at night.  Speaking of rain riding, it's REALLY worth getting a full set of fenders . . . protects your drive train and keeps you from tasting road every time it's damp out.  You said back roads, how's the lighting on them?  You may want to go with two rear lights and one of the super powerful 800+ lumens front lights if you need to light the way in pitch black conditions.  Get reflective tape and put it all over the bike.  Make sure you've got front and rear reflectors.  Wear a bright coloured jacket.  Put reflective tape on your helmet.  Reflective ankle bands.  You can't be too visible.

Bikes from Nashbar are fine (I have one that I like a lot) but you will want to take everything apart and grease the hubs/all bolts that go into it/seatpost/brake pivots as well as adjust the derailleurs and brakes once it's delivered.  If you are terrified to work on bikes it's best to have a friend or local bike shop go over it.

Just my 2 cents.  :P
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 10:05:35 AM by GuitarStv »

RabStache

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2014, 02:47:18 PM »
Thank you GuitarStv.  I weight ~145 so the spokes shouldn't be an issue!  Here is what I have thought of getting so far along with the bike:

Front Light: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E1NQ4P2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1520CXTZAPFWP
Tail Light: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00435IPFK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Helmet: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00012M5MS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Any thoughts on those or a cargo rack?  I was planning on using a backpack (I'll have laptop + lunch + gym clothes + whatever bike tools I'll need in the bag).  Is there a better way?

mxt0133

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2014, 03:18:23 PM »
I would not recommend a backpack on a 12 mile ride, especially with a laptop and your lunch.  You back will be drenched by the time you get to work and your wrists will be aching.  Get a rack and some panniers for your stuff.

Another way to build up stamina for a 24 mile round trip is to drive part of the way to work, park in a big box store parking lot on the way and ride the rest of the way.  You can start closer to work initially and then make the drive shorter and shorter as you build up your stamina.

johnny847

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2014, 03:57:41 PM »
You definitely don't want to just jump into a 12 mile commute on a bike from the getgo. This commute will probably take you a good 45 minutes, if not closer to an hour.

I second mxt0133 and avoiding a backpack. I get drenched in sweat when I bike 1 mile with a bicycle.

GuitarStv

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2014, 08:18:30 AM »
Axiom makes a really solid and inexpensive rear rack, I think it's called the journey.  Check for that online.

My commute is 11 miles each way, and I've done it with a backpack.  It's miserable because of the added weight on your wrists.  Once you have a rack you can rope a milk crate to it, get baskets, or user panniers . . . All of which will work better than the pack.  I use a Giant Escape with bar ends, fenders, and a rack for the salty, snowy winter (pretty similar bike to the one you posted) and it works great.  I prefer drop bars though, and use my steel framed touring bike whenever there's no salt on the road.

hyla

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2014, 10:18:57 PM »
A few years ago my commute was 14 miles one way - here are my thoughts

Rear rack and panniers to carry your stuff.  I have ortlieb panniers and they are waterproof and durable and awesome and I highly recommend them, but of course there are many other good panniers out there.  Panniers are not something you'll find in every bike shop, since many focus on recreation rather than transportation, but if you can't find them locally they are easy to find online. 

Also, I would suggest drop bars for a 12 mile ride.  More comfy on your hands if you can move them around to different positions, and if it gets windy, being able to drop down lower and be more aerodynamic can really make you faster and your commute shorter.  When I first got my road bike (having grown up on mountain bikes) the drop bars did take some getting used to, but now I like them a lot.

Guardian

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2014, 11:12:30 PM »
because no one has said it - do you have a access to a website called Craigslist? :O

Look into it, you'll probably find something better than the Nashbar bike. (I'm not ragging on Nashbar, I ride a Steel Cyclocross bike from them.)

When you say "backroads" for a riding surface, what do you mean?

usmarine1975

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Re: Buying a bike
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2014, 11:52:06 PM »
I have a 7.3 mile commute my first couple rides I parked 2 miles from the office.  Then I went to the full ride. I 2nd the break into it. 

I got free bikes. My first was left by a tenant. My 2nd was found on a street corner in the trash. Needed rims and cables. Its a Schwinn. My third a Trek 4500 was acquired at my local bike co op.  I have assisted them in a few things and got the bike.  They will also help me maintain each bike.  The first is going to be given to a friend.

At a family gathering I noticed 5 bikes sitting un used. I asked and was given those bikes.  I got rims and extra tires.  What I don't have a use for will go to the co op.  Find a co op.