Author Topic: What do you think of this bike for me?  (Read 4506 times)

straycat

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What do you think of this bike for me?
« on: February 06, 2015, 08:08:01 AM »
I currently have a "cruiser" bike, because I like to sit up straight, but it has no gears (I back pedal to brake, just like when I was a kid!) and I can't climb even the slightest hill. Looking at getting a bike I can do longer distances on and work my way up using the gears. Found this one on Kijiji (Canadian craigslist) - any opinions on it? I know nothing about bicycle brands, features etc. so I need help! Link to ad: http://www.kijiji.ca/v-road-bike/city-of-toronto/norco-bike-for-a-5-ft-tall-woman/1044557315?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

KCM5

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2015, 08:54:01 AM »
I know nothing about that kind of bike either. But I'm just going to leave this here:

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-road-bike/city-of-toronto/batavus-old-dutch/1042344496?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

Ouch on the price but that is a quality bicycle. Internal gear hub, full chainguard, dyno lights, upright position.

straycat

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2015, 08:58:33 AM »
yeah, BIG ouch on the price! I should have got a cruiser bike with gears when I got my current one...sigh.

straycat

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2015, 09:14:58 AM »
Also wondering what the catch is on this ebike. With this I may be able to commute to work (12 km = 7.5mi on the hwy so will be a bit more on side streets). I couldn't do it on a regular bike. http://www.kijiji.ca/v-other-bike/hamilton/36volt-electric-assist-bike/1034751225?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

johnny847

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2015, 09:21:48 AM »
I don't have too much advice to give on that particular bike, but I will say two things:

1) I'm pretty sure you can commute to work on a regular bike with gears. I know you think you can't. But it will become exceedingly difficult to do so on an unassisted bike if you give yourself a crutch (ie, an electric bike).
2) You do not want a cruiser bike for longer distances. Cruiser bikes feel more comfortable, but you are not in an optimal position on the bike, both in terms of aerodynamics and being able to put power through the pedals efficiently. Hence, over longer distances, the extra energy expended on a cruiser far outweighs the perceived comfort by sitting upright. A one way commute of at least 7.5 miles, combined with some hills here and there, is definitely a distance where you do not want a cruiser.

straycat

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2015, 09:31:29 AM »
okay. Gears. Got it. Also concerned about sweating and all the other initial 'complainypants' things. Maybe if I get a bike with gears I can start attempting to do it on the weekends and see how bad it is. I'm small (112 lbs, 5'1") but out of shape i.e. can only run/jog for 1 minute before I feel like I'm dying etc.

KCM5

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2015, 09:45:40 AM »
How big are the hills? Depending on your route and terrain you may be just fine on your single speed for a while longer. I started commuting on a single speed cruiser - only 4 miles each way, though - and when I didn't want to mash my way up another hill, I got off and walked. I have since bought an upright 3 speed (Gazelle - similar to the link I posted) and I love it so much I feel the need to tell everyone! Also, I wouldn't even hesitate to use it on a 7.5 mile commute. It's amazing.

And yes to the comment about the e bike - unless you've got some sort of physical disability or are over 70, its totally unnecessary for a 7.5 mile commute.

straycat

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2015, 09:53:00 AM »
I haven't gotten far enough to check out the possible routes (there are 2-3) for hills. But I would definitely have to get off and walk for most inclines.

straycat

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2015, 09:54:10 AM »
7.5 miles is my highway route - any ideas where I can mark a map and measure distance online along a chosen route to see which one would be faster? will definitely not be as direct as the 7.5mi car route.

KCM5

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2015, 10:00:13 AM »
If you use google maps there's a bike option (search for directions from your house to your work, then select the bicycle option). They're not the best, but it's a start. It will also let you know of the elevation changes.

straycat

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2015, 10:05:15 AM »
Thanks! Google shows it as 10.5 km (6 miles) for my shortest.. it defaulted to a 12.5 km (7mi) route first, not sure why. So - shorter than my vehicle has been telling me for highway - is that even possible???!!!! lololol. If so, yay! I know some of the shorter route and there is quite a big hill at the end (just before I get to work... ouch!). It would give me a nice head start on the way home though!

johnny847

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2015, 10:09:55 AM »
Thanks! Google shows it as 10.5 km (6 miles) for my shortest.. it defaulted to a 12.5 km (7mi) route first, not sure why. So - shorter than my vehicle has been telling me for highway - is that even possible???!!!! lololol. If so, yay! I know some of the shorter route and there is quite a big hill at the end (just before I get to work... ouch!). It would give me a nice head start on the way home though!
Well the car route of 7 mi is probably faster because it takes into account the speed limit.

GreenPen

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2015, 10:13:08 AM »
That's great that you want to ride longer distances!

The used bike tutorial linked in this MMM post should be helpful:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/07/what-do-you-mean-you-dont-have-a-bike/

I also recommend becoming familiar with the Shimano groupset hierarchy. That will allow you to compare bikes across brands, because a lot of bicycles will use the same parts. When I search for bikes on CL, I often like to search for "Sora", for example, rather than "Road Bike".

Also wondering what the catch is on this ebike.

The catch on that eBike is that it doesn't have a battery, which would put you back an extra $400 (?) or so.


straycat

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2015, 10:20:10 AM »
The ad said $120 for a new battery... but it doesn't matter, because we have determined that in this case, an ebike would be a lazy, non-mustachian way of doing things ;)

frugaliknowit

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2015, 01:52:40 PM »
The poster says for "a 5 foot woman"...not good enough.  You need to know what frame size you are and what frame size the bike is (google "what size bike should I get..").  You would need to go view it with someone that knows how to ride a gear bike and test ride it.

I see a lot of wear and rust on that bike...My guess is it's a POS riddled with problems.

jmusic

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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2015, 03:06:13 PM »
I'm actually going to go against party-line Mustachianism and recommend you find a competent bike store to help you get sized, and buy a new bike from them.  These days, a decent new bike can be had for around $4-500, and will perform very well for your needs.  Buying a used bike is very different from a used car, because of the sizing issue, and the wildly varying component quality from different brands or even different models of the same brand.  Bikes with Shimano gears can be found for $150 at Walmart and on a $10K Tour de France racer (related to what GreenPen mentioned about learning the component levels).

Specifically for you, I'd recommend a "roadish" hybrid bike.  This type of bike will have relatively skinny slick tires for faster speeds on pavement with less effort.  Some have front shock absorbers for extra cushiness which would compensate the stiff ride from small volume tires. 

Regarding the sweat factor: I recommend getting a bike rack and bags (panniers).  When I wore a backpack on the bike, my back would get sweaty PDQ, but I don't have that problem any more.  I can also take it easy, and I'll make it to work without getting too gross.  Rinse off face, dry off sweat, put on fresh deodorant, and I'm good.

darkadams00

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2015, 04:54:47 PM »
Not sure if the 7.5+ miles is one-way or RT, but I'm assuming one-way since you didn't specify. If you drive 7.5 miles, your bike route will probably be 8+ miles. That's plenty long enough to get tired of a crappy bike fairly quickly if you bike commute to work more than one day a week. What makes a crappy bike for commuting? Fat, knobby tires, copious amounts of rust, stamped-just-for-this-bike-by-an-overseas-factory parts that can't be replaced, front shocks that add unnecessary weight, no eyelets for mounting at least a rear rack, and most importantly a bad fit. A squeaky chain might be salvageable, a seat can be replaced, old tires can be replaced, but a quality ride starts with a bike that was built to be serviced and maintained and not meant to be tossed into a landfill after a few months of riding and the first mechanical problem.

Quality used is better than crappy new and crappy new is better than crappy used. A bike that costs less than $150 in my market (NC suburbia) is either a junk bike or a quality bike that needs quite a bit of maintenance to get ready for riding. A quality used bike ready to ride immediately often starts north of $200. The three bikes my wife and I ride the most cost between $400-600--two were high quality used bikes ($400-500) ready to ride and one new bike ($600). We've put a few thousand miles on these bikes. If you're completely strapped for cash and can't swing at least $200 (especially since you don't know much about bikes), I would sell something, work a few hours of overtime, cut cable, or something similar. You could raise that little bit by the end of the next month or two.

straycat

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Re: What do you think of this bike for me?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2015, 07:36:01 AM »
thanks! After all this - I found out that my in-laws still have my mountain bike that I gave them when I got my cruiser bike like 9-10 years ago. My mother in law planned to try it but hasn't used it once so it's been in their garage this whole time. I'm going to take it back from them, see what kind of shape it's in and if it can be tuned up for spring (sorry, I'm not going to begin my bike adventure in -25C and snow. That's a sure way for me to fail! Then I'll see how it goes and if it looks like I can keep it up I'll look at spending more on a quality bike. And the 7.5 miles is one way!