Help me choose a bike...

Bicycles for campers, rvers, or just riding around where ever you are

Postby Fenlason » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:13 am

TPMcGinty wrote:Raleigh makes nice bikes for a good price. I think they are as reasonably priced as the Trek bikes.

http://www.raleighusa.com/


It is a very competitive market.. for bike shop quality.. for the most part...they are all quite similar in value.

They will fit and feel different though..
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
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Postby MountainBiker » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:02 am

Shadow Catcher wrote:The one thing I would add is that it is all about spinning. Using gears and not placing too much stress on the joints. I have ridden with a lot of ex-runners who have blown out knees... Use gears to compensate for wind and terrain. We (tandem) spin at about 100 RPM, and it was hard for my wife to get up to that cadence.


It is well worth the money to get a odometer with a cadence counter put on your bike ($65.00 CDN) I see a lot of riders out there pushing too much of a big gear. If you learn to ride by cadence, it will be easier for you in the long run. I usually aim between 85 and 100, depending on what I am doing.
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Postby subzero » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:11 pm

Well, I made my decision and picked the Trek 7.2FX.

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/72fx/

It seems like a really good bike for my needs, and the price was fair ($479.00). I test rode a couple different bikes, and this was the one that seemed to fit me the best.

Now all I gotta do is finish paying for it :D

Thanks again for all the advice. It's truly appreciated.
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Postby MountainBiker » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:45 pm

Congrats :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :applause:
Many happy trails and remember, rubber side down :lol:

Oh ya, don't forget the helmet
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Postby Fenlason » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:50 pm

cool.. congrats.. enjoy... :D
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
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We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
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Postby Billy K » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:13 am

Forgive my ignorance....I'm glad that you got a bike that you are happy with; but....not ever having ridden the top end stuff....

If, this is (potentially) a bike that may wind up "collecting dust" .

Why would a Wally-world or Big K type not be a good bike to put a season on? Get your wheels back under you kind of entry-level price.

Not beating you up or 2d guessing your choices; just learning.
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Postby Ratkity » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:01 am

Stability of the materials on those bikes is iffy at best. One guy camping next to me got a Walmart bike, put rubber to the road and the derailler broke clean off. He returned it and got another. The parts on them are cheap and rust quickly. A full sized guy can easily bend the pedals down and the seats...don't get me started on those torture devices. A big box store bike is great for going around the block occassionally, but not for riding more than a few miles at a time.

Many people who "started" bicycle riding with those bikes have been turned off by a great exercise because the big box bikes aren't sized to the rider. Not only do folks' butts hurt after riding for a short while, but hands hurt, backs hurt, the bikes are hard to pedal, hurt the knees and necks hurt.

A properly sized bicycle bought at a local bike shop (or one brought there to correct sizing) will make sure stem and top tube length are appropriate for a male or female (upper torso length - helps arms, hands necks, backs and shoulders). They make sure your knee is slightly bent when the pedal is in the down position - eases knee pressure and makes sure right muscles are being used. Replace or reposition seat parallel to the ground and puts the best seat to your style of riding.

They can help you understand gearing and cross-over gears (18 gears? Guess what, several ratios cross over.. why do you need so many?).

HELMETS! They will make sure it fits properly. If you wear your helmet on the back of your head, it won't do its job when you fall. Cyclists rarely fall backwards on road bikes. Gloves - another helpful accessory. Padded britches - always nice to have extra padding. Remember the more padding you have on your own rear, the less you need on a bike seat (bouncing around). You'll spend more energy staying on the bike than pedaling.

Oops, this got really long. Sorry about that! Hopefully, you are still with me and understand that cycling is a fun exercise and sport. Don't mess up your potential fun with a crappy big box bike.

Your local bike shop is also a small biz and your business can help boost our economy. If you don't like the treatment you get in one shop, go to another!! I find most shops fall all over themselves to help beginning cyclists.

Hugs,
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Postby zapj » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:38 am

My opinion is more in line with Billy K than the experts. I have known many people who have bought very expensive bikes because the experts advised. The problem being those people used the bikes only when camping a few times a year and only a few miles at that. Why not buy less expensive bikes just to find out if you enjoy the activity enough and are capable to continue. As a starter I don't believe someone could be turned off to the activity just because it was a Box Bike. If they really enjoyed the concept after trial then they would buy more expensive. I would rather sell a $100 bike for $50 that try selling a $500 for $350 (craigslist is full) For every story of a derailleur disintegrating there are 10 with no problems and so on. Besides if expensive bikes don't break then why do bike shops have parts and service departments on site. The point I' making as my opinion is the advise given to a beginner could be different than to an expert but still not be wrong. Look back at Subzero statement of need, bad leg so no serious mountain biking; about a mile to work; hoping to continue for exercise with comfort (padded seat). Unless you have money to burn or want to look important start with less expensive bikes whether Box Store or used.
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Postby BPFox » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:57 pm

I was always a "Target" special bike purchaser. Just go to Target and buy the largest male bike they had. For the most part we used the bikes when we went camping.

Several years ago my son got into biking big time. At least, it was big time in our world. I mean I didn't understand it. Speedplay pedals and Specialized carbon fiber shoes, I mean come on now, who does that. Well I found out that a lot of people do that. He was going on longer and longer bike trips. Why on earth would anyone want to ride a bike for 50 or 100 miles just for fun, that's crazy.

Well four years ago we took a vacation trip to Mackinac Island. Took the bikes and I had a hard time making around the island. It is only 8 miles. My legs hurt, my back hurt, my wrists hurt and it wasn't fun. How on earth could anyone enjoy a trip of 25 or 50 miles let alone 100. Just could not understand it.

Long story short, I went with my son to the bike shop one day and was tell the guy there my story. He took one look at me ( 6' 310 lbs) and simply said. "Look you are a big man and you need a big man's bike". He showed me a Haro Heartland Comfort Bike. I took one ride around the parking lot and I was hooked. It was hard to make the jump from a $100.00 bike to a $400.00 bike, but once I did, I never looked back. 20 25 mile rides are the norm now. My wife quit going with us because she just could not manage more than 10 miles on her "Target" special bike. Two years ago I bought her a matching Haro Heartland in her size. Now I have all I can do to keep up with her.

It is much easier to fall in love with the sport of biking if you have the right bike.

http://www.harobikes.com/mtb/tab2_subNav7.php
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Postby Fenlason » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:05 pm

zapj wrote:My opinion is more in line with Billy K than the experts. I have known many people who have bought very expensive bikes because the experts advised. The problem being those people used the bikes only when camping a few times a year and only a few miles at that. Why not buy less expensive bikes just to find out if you enjoy the activity enough and are capable to continue. As a starter I don't believe someone could be turned off to the activity just because it was a Box Bike. If they really enjoyed the concept after trial then they would buy more expensive. I would rather sell a $100 bike for $50 that try selling a $500 for $350 (craigslist is full) For every story of a derailleur disintegrating there are 10 with no problems and so on. Besides if expensive bikes don't break then why do bike shops have parts and service departments on site. The point I' making as my opinion is the advise given to a beginner could be different than to an expert but still not be wrong. Look back at Subzero statement of need, bad leg so no serious mountain biking; about a mile to work; hoping to continue for exercise with comfort (padded seat). Unless you have money to burn or want to look important start with less expensive bikes whether Box Store or used.
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
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Postby zapj » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:50 pm

Your reason and passion are the rudder and sails of your seafaring soul. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
Kahlil Gibran ;)
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Postby Fenlason » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:37 am

zapj wrote:Your reason and passion are the rudder and sails of your seafaring soul. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
Kahlil Gibran ;)


:D

I had intended to actually write something.. but then did not have time.. I see I somehow posted when I did not intend to.
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
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We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
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Postby zapj » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:54 am

Hey Fenlason, I hope you didn't take offense at my recent posting. I did scratch my head at yours trying to figure out if you agreed or disagreed which is really irrelevant because opinions do differ and a person should be able to accept differences without personalizing. The passage from Gibran was meant as a compliment to you for your footnotes showing we both enjoy his writings. My favorite writings of Gibran has to be , The Prophet. :applause:
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Postby Fenlason » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:50 pm

zapj wrote:Hey Fenlason, I hope you didn't take offense at my recent posting. I did scratch my head at yours trying to figure out if you agreed or disagreed which is really irrelevant because opinions do differ and a person should be able to accept differences without personalizing. The passage from Gibran was meant as a compliment to you for your footnotes showing we both enjoy his writings. My favorite writings of Gibran has to be , The Prophet. :applause:


I took no offense to any of this, and I did take the quote you posted, as a sign you were a fan.

I don't agree with much of what you say. I was going to reply to you and Billy K.... but much of this has already been discussed [repeatedly] in some of the other bike threads here. I was not sure I wanted to bother again. :roll:
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
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Postby Fenlason » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:40 pm

zapj wrote:My opinion is more in line with Billy K than the experts. I have known many people who have bought very expensive bikes because the experts advised. The problem being those people used the bikes only when camping a few times a year and only a few miles at that. Why not buy less expensive bikes just to find out if you enjoy the activity enough and are capable to continue. As a starter I don't believe someone could be turned off to the activity just because it was a Box Bike. If they really enjoyed the concept after trial then they would buy more expensive. I would rather sell a $100 bike for $50 that try selling a $500 for $350 (craigslist is full) For every story of a derailleur disintegrating there are 10 with no problems and so on. Besides if expensive bikes don't break then why do bike shops have parts and service departments on site. The point I' making as my opinion is the advise given to a beginner could be different than to an expert but still not be wrong. Look back at Subzero statement of need, bad leg so no serious mountain biking; about a mile to work; hoping to continue for exercise with comfort (padded seat). Unless you have money to burn or want to look important start with less expensive bikes whether Box Store or used.


hmm where to start.
For those that are new here. I have been in the bike business for the last 28 years as a mechanic. I used to do sales also.. but my current boss feels I am too valuable as a wrench.. so I have not been on the sales floor in a few years.

I am a very avid cyclist, and proponent of the sport. I love cycling.. and love helping others to love it also. I have many bikes.. some very very expenisive, yet I am not jaded and need everyone on an expensive bike. I sold my Dad a $400 dollar bike.. it was all he needed.

I never push more of a bike than someone needs, and at times we used to recommend department store bikes.

We are really less apt to do that today. In the past 20 years bike shop bikes have gotten considerably better. You get much more bike for your money, today than you used to. With department store bikes, the opposite is true. [why is that]

They are not interested in providing a simple, inexpensive, serviceable product. They are interested in sales...these bicycle shaped objects are a marketing exercise. Their thoughts.. really "cool" bikes have suspension and disc brakes.. so lets put them on ours. I am not sure of current after market prices are on suspension forks.. I am not sure you can buy one for $200.. how good can a complete bike be.. that is $150?

I had a customer who was a manager of one of the box stores that sold bikes. He said they took back 50% of what they sold as defective. 50%.. and I bet there were many others just sitting in garages unused. They were not serious cyclist, but they chose bikes from us.

Department store bikes typically come in one size. People aren't. What if the box stores sold running shoes in one size, but the shoe stores would sell you shoes that fit. Do you buy shoes that don't fit.. to see if you like running?

I work on the department store stuff all the time.. often they are brand new. Bike shop bikes are assembled and adjusted. Box store bikes.. it could be the guy in clothing that built it. Some places they have an outside contractor assemble them. I was recruited by one of those companies once.. they were going to pay me $3.00 dollars for every bike I built. I would want more than that just to unbox one.

We spend an hour to 3 to properly set up a bike, and that does not include any fit adjustments we need to do. How long do you think the person getting paid $3.00 per bike is going to take?

In working on some of these bikes. some of the frames are soft enough.. that you can bent them in your bare hands. In setting up the brakes. I adjust them, tighten the hardware.. and then squeeze the levers. to make sure that the hardware that holds the cable works.. and to also to pre-stretch the cables. All to often I have seen brake levers break off in my hand!!! How would you like that to happen when you needed brakes in an emergency??

I don't know who said bike shop bikes don't break?... all things break. People that are cyclist.. and put a lot of miles on.. they where parts out... and accidents happen.

I think everyone might agree that Honda makes a more reliable car than a Yugo.. yet the Honda dealers probably have more parts on hand, than the yugo dealers.

Do department stores carry parts? almost none, and now a days some of their parts are not available... if it breaks or falls off.. you throw the bike away..

I don't ever try to make decisions for anyone.. I try to educate them and let them make their own. hmm I guess if they are looking at two floor pumps on our sales floor.. and one has proven not to be as reliable.. I would straight out tell them to buy the other.

We will often have someone that wants us to tell them which bike to buy.. I won't.. I educate and make them ride.. make them choose.

A while back a friend on here [Kerry] was looking to upgrade some parts on a 20 year old road bike.. a nice and expensive one. I begged him to go and take a new one for a ride. He was very resistant.. but finally did. He may have found the new bikes better.. but was ok with his old one. Or he might not have felt a difference [very unlikely]. He did finally do it, and found the new bike much better, and if I remember correctly he bought a new bike, for less then the upgrades would have cost.

Some people are more perceptive than others.. some feel more subtle differences. My boss is not very perceptive. It works good for him... he is perfectly happy with medium price ranged bikes. I am very sensitive.. which leaves me wanting the higher quality stuff. but it also make me a better mechanic.

For someone with a physical limitation and is unsure if they can ride.. we allow test rides. We allow test rides in all cases.. but are happy to work with people and their problems.. to see if cycling works for them.
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
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