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I want to get a bicycle

KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
A friend recently convinced me to take up riding and after realizing that riding a bike really is like riding a bike (aka you never forget) I'm pumped to get one. It'll be a good crossfit training, there's apparently some good places to ride in the city and I could see myself eventually moving to trail and mountain riding.

I did go to a bike shop to try some road bikes out (checked out some Treks) and my problem is that apart from how you changed gears I couldn't tell a huge difference between a 650 bike, 849 or 1299 bikes.

So can you gives recommend a bike? What price should I be looking at? Any general tips.

Kyougu on
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Posts

  • MrDelishMrDelish Registered User regular
    Others here may recommend against it, but I bought my bike secondhand four years ago and it's no different than had I bought it new. It's a women's bike, but it works.

  • The Black HunterThe Black Hunter The key is a minimum of compromise, and a simple, unimpeachable reason to existRegistered User regular
    I agree with Mr.Delish

    Hordes of people splash cash on a bike and never use it then sell them for nothing after a few years. I ride my bike every day and I got it for $20 at the dump. A bike is a bike for the most part.

  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    You're most likely going to want different bikes for road riding and mountain riding. A cross bike can kind of do both but it's not particularly great at either one. Since you're in a city, I'd go with a road bike.

    A more expensive bike will generally last longer and ride/shift more smoothly. Figure out your budget and make sure you get a bike that fits.

    I wouldn't recommend used for a first bike unless you're handy with mechanical things and you don't mind figuring out how to maintain it yourself.

    XBL: heavenkils
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    A bike is a bike for the most part.

    Not true at all.

    I'd definitely recommend looking around for second hand. Find a friend who's knowledgeable and start keeping an eye on Craigslist. You're not going to tell that much of a difference riding around the block a few times, but after spending a day around town on it you definitely will. I'd imagine for what you want though, the $600 range should be just fine. Look into cyclo-cross bikes. Best of both worlds. I have a Masi that I love.

    Esh on
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    OK, first figure out how to get fitted on a bike. I recommend competitivecyclist.com and wrenchscience.com for clueing you in on the measurements that are important. OK, now go test ride bikes - does it feel good? Ride a bunch of bikes, then go looking for used for the best deals, and remember how a proper bike should fit. Not just Craigslist, but ebay and other sources often have great deals.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    schuss wrote:
    OK, first figure out how to get fitted on a bike. I recommend competitivecyclist.com and wrenchscience.com for clueing you in on the measurements that are important. OK, now go test ride bikes - does it feel good? Ride a bunch of bikes, then go looking for used for the best deals, and remember how a proper bike should fit. Not just Craigslist, but ebay and other sources often have great deals.

    I don't know if I'd go eBay without A LOT of prior knowledge. I can't even the headaches that could ensue if something was sight unseen wrong with the bike. That, and not being able to ride it first...

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I wouldn't buy a bike on ebay unless you and the seller are local enough that you can meet and inspect/etc.

    I would not spend 600 dollars on a road bike unless you have specialized needs/wants, which it doesn't sound like you do. You should be able to get a perfectly competent road/paved bike for ~400 or less and get your cardio doing 25ks or whatever. The extra 200-400 bucks gets you superior derailleurs, brakes/shifters and probably a lighter frame. Are all those things important? To the enthusiast/racer, sure. Are they hundreds of dollars important when you don't know your needs/preferences in advance? Probably not.

    Plus it's beyond easy to upgrade parts piecemeal later, if you find you want to.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    What are the downsides of using a mountain bike on city streets?

  • ThroThro pgroome@penny-arcade.com Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    What are the downsides of using a mountain bike on city streets?
    I've wondered this too. Aside from the added weight, what are the drawbacks?
    If he's just using it for exercise/fun and not a 10 mile commute, and it's comfortable, why have two bikes?

  • GrennGrenn Registered User regular
    Bigger tyres and frame build & geometry design for offroad means that MTBs are a bit slower on the road - even if you switch knobbly tyres for slicks (which is what I run on my Specialized Rockhopper when commuting) a road bike will just fly comparatively.

    That said, I have a friend with a good road bike who bought himself a MTB to commute over winter as he said he just felt his road bike was slowly getting destroyed by the rain and grit. MTBs are obviously capable of taking a lot more abuse.

    If you're unsure what type of bike would suit, I'd suggest getting a hybrid. Something like a Specialized Crosstrail.

    I would also recommend avoiding ebay or mailorder. Find a good, friendly local bike store with a good reputation and they will often throw in things like a free 6 month service, or free helmet. Support a good, local bike store and they will look after you! Decide what your budget is and see what's available. Don't go super cheap, or you'll just get a piece of crap, but no need to go overboard either, as Eat It wisely points out.

  • DangerousDangerous Registered User regular
    The drawback, for most people anyway is that compared to a true road bike it's just not that fun. On pavement a bike with 700c wheels and skinny tires is going to ride so much faster and smoother it's not even funny. Besides that though, there's absolutely no reason you can't. I know tons of people who put 1.5" slicks on their MTB and use them for commuters.

    For a new person, it can be pretty hard to tell the difference at first between bikes at different pricepoints. Especially on a test ride where you're only spending a few minutes on each. In general though, by spending more you're getting lighter, better functioning components. For purely recreation, not a big deal but like anything once you've used the nicer stuff for a bit it can be really hard to go back to less expensive parts.

    sig2-2.jpg
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Thro wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    What are the downsides of using a mountain bike on city streets?
    I've wondered this too. Aside from the added weight, what are the drawbacks?
    If he's just using it for exercise/fun and not a 10 mile commute, and it's comfortable, why have two bikes?
    It depends on the mountain bike because that lable covers anything from this:

    41wZS8q%2BzNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

    to this:

    trekSESSION88.JPG


    Assuming a mountain bike in this case is more like the first bike shown except with a suspension fork aka. an hard-tail then one draw back is that knobby tires give higher rolling resistance due to the knobs flexing and the increased weight of the tires (rotating weight counts for a lot more than weight in the frame). Also when riding in terrain tires give the most grip with little air pressure while on the road much higher tire pressure is optimum (in fact more tire pressure than most people put in regardless of surface).

    Depending on driving style and suspension setup having suspension on a bike used on pavement can also mean loosing energy due to suspension movement. This is worse for those that push the pedals in an uneven manor and less of an issue for those that put power into the pedals smooth and flowing. Often those that push less even also use low rpms, maybe 40-60 rpm, and the optimum is 90+ rpm.

    Finally there is the riding position. When riding of road you want the saddle low and the handle bars relative high and wide compared to what would be the optimum with regards to wind resistance. On a mountain bike you need to be free to move you're body back and forth to control the center of gravity so it works best inclines and declines while on the road that is lees of an priority.

    That was the main drawbacks however there are also upsides. A mountain bike handles pot holes and the like better than street bikes and the big tires are less likely to puncture, plus the riding position can make it easier to respond to traffic challenges (one must however remember the wide handle bars require more space in traffic). It's possible to fit a mountain bike with tires that are road tires and the riding position and all can be trimmed to road use as well.

    Bottom line. I'd rather take a mountain bike on the road than a road bike on a mountain.

    BlindZenDriver on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    If you're in an area where bicycles can get stolen, get a cheapo bike.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    If you're in an area where bicycles can get stolen, get a cheapo bike.

    This is pretty much everywhere. You basically just want to get a good lock and keep it somewhere good and visible and never overnight.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    What are the downsides of using a mountain bike on city streets?

    Weight, non optimal gearing (generally more cranking and slower), tires offer more rolling resistance, and riding geometry is different. There's nothing wrong with riding a mountain bike on the road if you've already got one (you might want to change out the tires to something more road friendly), but if you're considering buying a bike and are going to ride it always on the road you'll probably want a road bike, or a hybrid.

    To the first time bike buyer, buy a bike you'll ride (something geared, not too expensive, and comfortable to ride). If you do end up riding a significant amount, you'll probably buy\trade up to a new bike or upgrade components more oriented to the way you want to ride. As far as I can tell the majority of first bikes end up stowed in the corner of a garage/storage area or sold or given away as it's not ridden.

  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    I've got a dual suspension mountain bike and I love riding it on the road. What I do when I feel that people on road bikes are going faster than me or it's easier for them is, I suck it up, remember I'm a full-grown man, and just fucking ride. I can attack kerbs with impunity, road drains and potholes are nothing to me. Disc brakes means it stops on a fucking dime, and they still work really well in the rain.

    To be honest, I don't think I'd buy a roadbike for any reason. Maybe if someone gave me one I'd keep it, but probably not.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Just for my own knowledge, what's the best type of tire to use during snowy weather? Still a road tire? I can't imagine that'd offer much in the way of any usability.

    This might be on topic for the OP so I figured I'd ask here.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    Just for my own knowledge, what's the best type of tire to use during snowy weather? Still a road tire? I can't imagine that'd offer much in the way of any usability.

    This might be on topic for the OP so I figured I'd ask here.

    That really depends a lot on the exact conditions.

    Slick tires are of course out of the question. If there is like an inch or two of snow and there isn't packed snow or ice below that then a normal road tire with a little thread in it will be the best because it will let you get contact with the road surface below the snow. In such conditions a big off road tire will more run on top of the snow and especially if you cross tracks made by cars it's better to cut through than to be balancing on top (once earlier tracks are frozen solid it's another matter).

    If there is more snow and maybe ice or hard packed snow then you want the biggest possible surface and a wide open thread that does not pack with snow. This is pretty much the average type mountain bike off road tire.

    There is also such a thing as studded tires and snow chains for bike tires but that is for very icy conditions.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote:
    ...non optimal gearing (generally more cranking and slower)

    That sounds wrong to me. Most mountain bikes will have many more gears than needed on the road but the range should reach well into what most will consider max speed unless of course you're talking really low pedal speed.

    Regardless - the main thing about cycling is to get started. Like many says I'd go for cheap a 2nd-hand bike and build experience and a basis to build on. If one get's really into cycling wanting different bikes for different types of riding is not uncommon but it's certainly not a requirement to have fun. In the words of Mark Twain “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.” (hint: also buy a helmet and gloves).

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • XArchangelXXArchangelX Registered User regular
    Totally jacking this thread a little bit. I'm 270lbs, 6'6" tall, and am having a bitch of a time finding a bike that survives my 13 mile one way, mostly road, trip to work. I had a schwinn road bike that lasted one summer before it just got pounded into submission. I have resigned myself to getting a Kona Hoss type bike and I'm in the process of saving up for it.

    I would just like your opinion of what you would look for and/or do in this situation.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Would there be a problem with riding a mountain bike on the road in the rain, or would that (as I would think it would be) be an improvement, like it would have better grip?

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Djeet wrote:
    ...non optimal gearing (generally more cranking and slower)

    That sounds wrong to me. Most mountain bikes will have many more gears than needed on the road but the range should reach well into what most will consider max speed unless of course you're talking really low pedal speed.

    Regardless - the main thing about cycling is to get started. Like many says I'd go for cheap a 2nd-hand bike and build experience and a basis to build on. If one get's really into cycling wanting different bikes for different types of riding is not uncommon but it's certainly not a requirement to have fun. In the words of Mark Twain “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.” (hint: also buy a helmet and gloves).

    MTN bikes are totally streetable, but road bikes are going to have taller gears available. I'm not up to date on MTN bikes, but I don't think there are 29ers that have road bike gearing. I guess it's less of an issue if you live in a hilly area.


    And the key is to buy something you'll ride; worse than buying a $500 bike that you never ride is buying a $1200 bike that you'll never ride. The 1st bike I bought in decade(s) was a used single speed, and riding it taught me that I like to go fast (on streets), it didnt take me long to realize I should've gotten a geared road bike; I could change out the crank chainring, but then I'd die on hills. And different strokes of course. A friend of mine got back into riding by getting a 26" cruiser (like an upsized BMX bike). He's now also got a fancy track bike and 2 commuters, and is welding his first frame.

    Djeet on
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Thanatos wrote:
    Would there be a problem with riding a mountain bike on the road in the rain, or would that (as I would think it would be) be an improvement, like it would have better grip?

    Bicycles are actually somewhat counter intuitive in this regard. For anything loose and solid (think snow, gravel, mud, ect..) you want large treads to shovel the loose material around. For everything else, you want the most surface area contacting the ground; so slicks. This includes riding on pavement in the rain. Mountain bike tires will for the most part do just fine, but slicks will always have better grip and be less likely to slip.

    edit: You also have to keep in mind the width of the tire. A 1.5 inch mountain bike tire probably has more surface area than a 23cm (slightly less than 1 inch) slick, even though the mountain bike tire is sacrificing surface area for treads.

    Jebus314 on
    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Jebus314 wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    Would there be a problem with riding a mountain bike on the road in the rain, or would that (as I would think it would be) be an improvement, like it would have better grip?

    Bicycles are actually somewhat counter intuitive in this regard. For anything loose and solid (think snow, gravel, mud, ect..) you want large treads to shovel the loose material around. For everything else, you want the most surface area contacting the ground; so slicks. This includes riding on pavement in the rain. Mountain bike tires will for the most part do just fine, but slicks will always have better grip and be less likely to slip.

    edit: You also have to keep in mind the width of the tire. A 1.5 inch mountain bike tire probably has more surface area than a 23cm (slightly less than 1 inch) slick, even though the mountain bike tire is sacrificing surface area for treads.

    I'm sorry but I must strongly protest and I find you're advice downright dangerous!


    Slick tires and water is a bad combination. If the road surface is very rough it may not be an issue but on smooth surfaces you need the thread to basically get rid of the water so the tire gets a grip rather than riding on top of the water. The smoother the road surface the more important having threads in the tires and even then it's best to be carefull when turning or breaking on painted lines or man hole covers.

    If we talk dry road then slick tires is the best but ONLY on dry roads. It's the same with race cars, motor cycles or shoes for that matter - when it's wet the water needs to have an escape route so it doesn't stay between the tire and the road and that's what the thread is for.

    As for big knobby mountain bike tires on the road they aren't ideal in dry or wet situations. The thread in such tires is so extreme that less of the tire surface will touch the road and they may also have a less round profile so when you lean far into a corner it might feel a bit weird. Finally off-road tires will wear quickly on the road with the knobs loosing their "sharp" edges making them less efective off-road.

    Do note that all the stuff about tire grip and so is less of an issue with lower speeds and relaxed driving. It's when you go fast or in difficult conditions that having the right tire for the conditions becomes really important. If it's dry off-road you can get by okay with road tires but if there is mud it's another story.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Jebus314 wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    Would there be a problem with riding a mountain bike on the road in the rain, or would that (as I would think it would be) be an improvement, like it would have better grip?

    Bicycles are actually somewhat counter intuitive in this regard. For anything loose and solid (think snow, gravel, mud, ect..) you want large treads to shovel the loose material around. For everything else, you want the most surface area contacting the ground; so slicks. This includes riding on pavement in the rain. Mountain bike tires will for the most part do just fine, but slicks will always have better grip and be less likely to slip.

    edit: You also have to keep in mind the width of the tire. A 1.5 inch mountain bike tire probably has more surface area than a 23cm (slightly less than 1 inch) slick, even though the mountain bike tire is sacrificing surface area for treads.

    I'm sorry but I must strongly protest and I find you're advice downright dangerous!


    Slick tires and water is a bad combination. If the road surface is very rough it may not be an issue but on smooth surfaces you need the thread to basically get rid of the water so the tire gets a grip rather than riding on top of the water. The smoother the road surface the more important having threads in the tires and even then it's best to be carefull when turning or breaking on painted lines or man hole covers.

    If we talk dry road then slick tires is the best but ONLY on dry roads. It's the same with race cars, motor cycles or shoes for that matter - when it's wet the water needs to have an escape route so it doesn't stay between the tire and the road and that's what the thread is for.

    As for big knobby mountain bike tires on the road they aren't ideal in dry or wet situations. The thread in such tires is so extreme that less of the tire surface will touch the road and they may also have a less round profile so when you lean far into a corner it might feel a bit weird. Finally off-road tires will wear quickly on the road with the knobs loosing their "sharp" edges making them less efective off-road.

    Do note that all the stuff about tire grip and so is less of an issue with lower speeds and relaxed driving. It's when you go fast or in difficult conditions that having the right tire for the conditions becomes really important. If it's dry off-road you can get by okay with road tires but if there is mud it's another story.

    Sheldon Brown disagrees with you. There has been extensive testing on the conditions necessary for hydroplaning. The bottom line is that you would need to be going hundreds of miles per hour to hydroplane on any bicycle tire. This is because bicycle tires are very skinny, and it is very easy for the water to be pushed to the edge of the tire. Car tires on the other hand are very wide, and thus it is very difficult for water to get to the edge of the tire. This is a common mistake for bicyclists to make, but I am 100% confident that you will NEVER hydroplane on ANY bicycle tire (even slicks).

    When you remove hydroplaning from the equation, the best traction to be had is with the greatest surface area. So for equally sized tires, slicks will have more traction then treaded tires, even in the rain.

    Edit: if you follow the link and scroll down to hydroplaning there is a very nice explanation of why you will never hydroplane on bicycle tires.

    Jebus314 on
    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    If you're not positive which you would want, I'd go with @Grenn's advice and agree that hybrids can be really nice entry bicycles. Coincidentally I also have a Specialized Crosstrail. They won't excel over either of the more specialized bikes but are sturdier than road bikes and faster than mountain bikes. I've had mine for a couple years now and have been pretty happy with it, though some day when I'm somewhere a bit more bicycle friendly I expect I eventually will go on to a road bike now that I have a better idea of what it is I want.

  • TelexTelex Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    The difference between the $600, $800, and $1200 dollar bikes is relatively significant compared to the difference between a $4000 and $4500 bike - at your pricepoint you're paying for quality, while the high end is mostly weight and subtle differences. But all of the bikes will work great for riding. Figure out the most you would be willing to pay for one and go from there.

    But don't buy online, and don't buy used. The most important thing for a great ride experience is the proper fit, and that is something that needs to be done by a trained employee (especially if you are new to road-biking posture). If you buy in shop they will always have discounted maintenance and free follow-up fittings if needed (if they don't, don't buy from that shop), which will save a lot of headaches (and backaches), not to mention time and money.

    I also recommend getting a road bike for road riding and a mountain bike for trails and not trying to mix the two into one bike. If riding for fitness, a mountain bike on the roads is much less fun (in my opinion) and it would be a shame to miss out on the experience of road riding in the name of economy. Unless you know that mountain biking will be your preferred and most frequent use of your bike, I think getting a relatively inexpensive road bike now and a relatively inexpensive mountain bike later will be much more fun.

    Telex on
  • QuantumTurkQuantumTurk Registered User regular
    Think about the riding you want to do. If you want to be able to do some trail rides, get a basic mtn bike. What you will be looking for is a hard-tail (sub 1k last I checked, dual-suspensions just were not worth it) and you can get along quite well on a starter bike like a gary fisher Marlin (my personal baby) or a similar offer from Trek, Specialized, Kona.

    If you do not care about trail riding/being able to hop up on curbs get a basic road bike. I know less about those, but at the 400-600$ range you should be able to find something just fine new. Oh, and unless things have changed from a few years ago, I would avoid getting any more than the fork in carbon fiber. It IS light, but metal bends, carbon fiber shatters. You can certainly take the hit on weight, assuming you are not racing. And if you do start racing...well, that is a wholleeee other rabbit hole.

    Find a reliable shop to fit you. If they won't discuss bike fit with you, go to a new shop if at all possible. I really would advocate new for this one, just because you sound inexperienced. After you learn how to do most of your own wrenching etc. then you are much better equipped to go look at used bikes.

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    Thanks for all the great advice guys.

    I'm definitely leaning towards a straight road bike. That's where I intend to do most of my riding, and when I was testing out my friend's bike I got hooked on the speed I was getting.

    Also I will be getting one in a shop. Mainly because I have no confidence in buying used (can't tell if there's anything wrong, no mechanical expertise and I want to support my local shop).

  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Kyougu wrote:
    Also I will be getting one in a shop. Mainly because I have no confidence in buying used (can't tell if there's anything wrong, no mechanical expertise and I want to support my local shop).

    This is probably the best thing you can take away from the thread. Everyone in this thread is going to have different opinions on which bike is the best one to get but a good bike shop is going to make sure to try and get the best one for you.

  • QuantumTurkQuantumTurk Registered User regular
    Awesome. Also, if you have ANY inclination to do your own wrenching (and you really should, bikes are not terribly complicated all in all) then Sheldon Brown: http://sheldonbrown.com/ is where you should start. Has tons of great general info, and the man was just plain dedicated to preaching the gospel of "let's go ride bikes." Of particular interest should at least be the braking articles, which go over good form, and why the front brake is actually your best friend: http://sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html

    Have fun!

  • ThroThro pgroome@penny-arcade.com Registered User regular
    Kyougu wrote:
    Thanks for all the great advice guys.

    I'm definitely leaning towards a straight road bike. That's where I intend to do most of my riding, and when I was testing out my friend's bike I got hooked on the speed I was getting.

    Also I will be getting one in a shop. Mainly because I have no confidence in buying used (can't tell if there's anything wrong, no mechanical expertise and I want to support my local shop).
    This is a good decision. I will say that you will probably end up learning some mechanical skills no matter how new and nice the bike is.

    Jebus314 wrote:
    I am 100% confident that you will NEVER hydroplane on ANY bicycle tire.
    Sir I respectfully disagree.
    n1P2O.jpg

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Jebus314 wrote:
    Sheldon Brown disagrees with you. There has been extensive testing on the conditions necessary for hydroplaning. The bottom line is that you would need to be going hundreds of miles per hour to hydroplane on any bicycle tire. This is because bicycle tires are very skinny, and it is very easy for the water to be pushed to the edge of the tire. Car tires on the other hand are very wide, and thus it is very difficult for water to get to the edge of the tire. This is a common mistake for bicyclists to make, but I am 100% confident that you will NEVER hydroplane on ANY bicycle tire (even slicks).

    Note that Sheldon Brown talks about how a road surface is rough when writing about slick tires the thing is that in the city road isn't just tarmac there are man hole cover ie. steel plates, painted lines and what that might be very smooth.

    I have year of riding experience on all sorts of bikes and all sorts conditions including lots of wet weather. Slicks are fine the most of the time when it's wet and even have the benefit they throw up a little less dirt, but when the surface becomes real smooth then you want some thread in your tires or it is almost like riding on ice.
    Jebus314 wrote:
    When you remove hydroplaning from the equation, the best traction to be had is with the greatest surface area. So for equally sized tires, slicks will have more traction then treaded tires, even in the rain.

    Edit: if you follow the link and scroll down to hydroplaning there is a very nice explanation of why you will never hydroplane on bicycle tires.

    I agree that hydroplaning as is found with cars won't happen on a bicycle in normal conditions, but that does not mean the combination of a slick tire on a bicycle and smooth elements on the road will impact the grip level in a bad way. If you're in a corner using most of your normal grip and 50% goes away then all sorts of bad things can happen.

    BlindZenDriver on
    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    Jebus314 wrote:
    Sheldon Brown disagrees with you. There has been extensive testing on the conditions necessary for hydroplaning. The bottom line is that you would need to be going hundreds of miles per hour to hydroplane on any bicycle tire. This is because bicycle tires are very skinny, and it is very easy for the water to be pushed to the edge of the tire. Car tires on the other hand are very wide, and thus it is very difficult for water to get to the edge of the tire. This is a common mistake for bicyclists to make, but I am 100% confident that you will NEVER hydroplane on ANY bicycle tire (even slicks).

    Note that Sheldon Brown talks about how a road surface is rough when writing about slick tires the thing is that in the city road isn't just tarmac there are man hole cover ie. steel plates, painted lines and what that might be very smooth.

    I have year of riding experience on all sorts of bikes and all sorts conditions including lots of wet weather. Slicks are fine the most of the time when it's wet and even have the benefit they throw up a little less dirt, but when the surface becomes real smooth then you want some thread in your tires or it is almost like riding on ice.
    Jebus314 wrote:
    When you remove hydroplaning from the equation, the best traction to be had is with the greatest surface area. So for equally sized tires, slicks will have more traction then treaded tires, even in the rain.

    Edit: if you follow the link and scroll down to hydroplaning there is a very nice explanation of why you will never hydroplane on bicycle tires.

    I agree that hydroplaning as is found with cars won't happen on a bicycle in normal conditions, but that does not mean the combination of a slick tire on a bicycle and smooth elements on the road will impact the grip level in a bad way. If you're in a corner using most of your normal grip and 50% goes away then all sorts of bad things can happen.

    I'm not sure what you're trying to argue. The only benefit of treads is to allow a place for water to go, so that it can not become trapped under the tire. There are no other benefits of having tread on surfaces that don't have loose material. So anything like asphalt, steel, man hole covers, whatever, the benefit of tread is to prevent hydroplaning (or the trapping of water under a tire). You agree that hydroplaning is not an issue for bicycles. Therefore treads have no benefit.

    I would even go further and argue that treads are worse than slicks in the rain; even on smooth surfaces like steel. This becomes complicated very quickly but in general a larger contact area allows for more traction. This is often explained by the fact that if you consider the contact between a tire and the road to actually be a larger number of small scale contact points, the larger the surface area the more contact points. Therefore if some of the contacts can slip, the more of them you have, the more likely the tire does not slip. This is what sheldon brown was getting at when he talks about the rough road surface.

    Overall the argument for tread on road bikes just doesn't make sense. If hydroplaning isn't an issue, then what purpose do the treads hold? How can you possibly increase traction, on any smooth surface, by reducing the surface area of you tire that is in contact with the road?

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • DangerousDangerous Registered User regular
    Quid wrote:
    Kyougu wrote:
    Also I will be getting one in a shop. Mainly because I have no confidence in buying used (can't tell if there's anything wrong, no mechanical expertise and I want to support my local shop).

    This is probably the best thing you can take away from the thread. Everyone in this thread is going to have different opinions on which bike is the best one to get but a good bike shop is going to make sure to try and get the best one for you.

    Just wanted to second this. As a shop employee there is nothing cooler than setting someone up with the perfect bike for them and watching them get totally stoked to ride. Being terribly cheap myself, I can't exactly blame people but I can't help but cringe when their first suggestion is "DERP DERP buy online!"

    Not because I like having money to eat and buy things (I do), but because some of the shit I have seen wrong with bikes straight out of the box is astounding. Yesterday I was building a moderately high-end carbon MTB when I heard something rattling around in the front wheel. Turned out to be an eyelet stuck inside the rim. I had to remove a spoke nipple to get the damn thing out, which required the rim to be re-trued after.

    Luckily we can either fix these problems or call up the manufacturer for replacement parts before the bike ever hits the floor. If you bought that bike online you'd have to try fixing it yourself, pay a shop to do it or send it back. Either way it would put a damper on your new bike experience.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    What accessories are worthwhile to get? Like, is it worth it getting those bike pants and stuff, or is it okay to ride in jeans or shorts or whatever? What's the best sort of gear for dealing with rain, just a jacket or windbreaker, or should I be wearing a specific kind of shirt or something?

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~ Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    I've been dreaming about getting a cruiser kind of bike.

    no gears, backwards pedal for a brake. the kind of bike I had growing up.

    I found one that looks pretty awesome, but the max weight limit is 120kg. I'm losing weight but I'm still hovering around 129kg right now.

    Can I still ride the bike, or should I wait to get the extra weight off?

  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    What accessories are worthwhile to get? Like, is it worth it getting those bike pants and stuff, or is it okay to ride in jeans or shorts or whatever? What's the best sort of gear for dealing with rain, just a jacket or windbreaker, or should I be wearing a specific kind of shirt or something?
    If you wanted to know, baby, why didn't you just ask? <3<3<3

    Personally, I've never ridden in anything other than jeans and shorts, but I've typically kept a more relaxed style--hell, the hills around here rather prevent any sort of extended speed bouts anyway. However, there's the issue of pant legs and chafing to address, both of which are what bike shorts are designed for. I'd personally just stick with your shorts at first, then re-evaluate the ass-huggers if after you've been riding for a while.

    You should already only own a rain jacket, you've lived here long enough to be a local. But keep something light and breathable on underneath, else the humidity will drown you.

    As for actually riding in the rain... I never had an issue with wet roads on either of my mountain bikes nor my road bike. A bit of careful riding supersedes any sort of tire choice, and again--it's not like you'll be going on any high-speed tears. HOWEVER, if you do not get a set of fenders you will regret it with every iota of your existence.

    Get a hefty u-bolt lock, a helmet (required by law, I know), and a decent set of lights.

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  • wakkawawakkawa Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I bought a schwinn cruiser super cheap on amazon.
    http://www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/cruisers/wayfarer-7-speed-10320

    I did take it to a bike shop to have it properly assembled/tuned.

    Only been hit by 2 cars but it still works! Also, the ladies love it.

    EDIT: Get a good helmet.

    wakkawa on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Makershot wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    What accessories are worthwhile to get? Like, is it worth it getting those bike pants and stuff, or is it okay to ride in jeans or shorts or whatever? What's the best sort of gear for dealing with rain, just a jacket or windbreaker, or should I be wearing a specific kind of shirt or something?
    If you wanted to know, baby, why didn't you just ask? <3<3<3

    Personally, I've never ridden in anything other than jeans and shorts, but I've typically kept a more relaxed style--hell, the hills around here rather prevent any sort of extended speed bouts anyway. However, there's the issue of pant legs and chafing to address, both of which are what bike shorts are designed for. I'd personally just stick with your shorts at first, then re-evaluate the ass-huggers if after you've been riding for a while.

    You should already only own a rain jacket, you've lived here long enough to be a local. But keep something light and breathable on underneath, else the humidity will drown you.

    As for actually riding in the rain... I never had an issue with wet roads on either of my mountain bikes nor my road bike. A bit of careful riding supersedes any sort of tire choice, and again--it's not like you'll be going on any high-speed tears. HOWEVER, if you do not get a set of fenders you will regret it with every iota of your existence.

    Get a hefty u-bolt lock, a helmet (required by law, I know), and a decent set of lights.
    I intend to get a U-lock and helmet. What are fenders, and why will I regret not having them?

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