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I want to ride my biiicycle

BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus PssssssssyyyyyyyyduckRegistered User regular
edited May 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
So basically, I'm getting fed up with running due to my shin splints. I could be wrong but it seems like bike riding could be a nice alternative. Except, I have no idea where to start. Any suggestions are welcome. I'm hoping theres a chance I could get by on a budget of about 150-200 but I don't really know.

A bit of extra info in case it helps - I'm 6'0" and about 165 last time I checked. I run on roads so thats preferably what I'd like to ride the bike on.

E: A little bit of reading shows that I have a snowballs chance in hell of getting a decent bike for that price. I suppose I could be willing to shell out more so long as its the right type of bike for me.

BradicusMaximus on
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    KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    I was pretty much in your same situation. Wanted to shake up my cardio and add some crossfit.

    Ended up spending 1400 for a really nice roadbike. I don't regret it, since I love taking it out, and it handles very nicely. I think the cheapest roadbike I saw was around 500-600, but you can always check craiglist.

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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    if buying new, look for older inventory. i want to say i got my roadbike like like 300 since it was 2 or 3 years old, but still brand new. you can save a lot that way

    camo_sig.png
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    wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    If you want to keep it under $200 then used is your best bet. I got a used bike a year ago from a place that fixes up old bikes before they resell them and I love it. I think I paid ~$350.

    If you go craigslist, just be wary of listings that look like stolen bikes, so you don't feed the problem.

    If you really want something new, there are a few options at around the $500 mark, but you're not going to have a ton to choose from.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah if you buy new $1000 is the average spending price on bikes.

    Feel free to pick up a $200 jobber at walmart if you hate yourself though.

    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
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    TelexTelex Registered User regular
    Yeah from what I've heard spending less than $800 or so is asking for durability issues - ie you'll be spending $800 on repairs anyway if you ride it semi regularly. Try to save up some money or shop used. The main issue of used bike shopping is that you need to know your bike size and how you like it to fit, which is hard without experience or a trained person helping.

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    EWomEWom Registered User regular
    As someone who's alive today because I wore a helmet, my advice to you is to wear a helmet, especially since you'll be riding on the roads. I was doing nothing wrong, and was in my specified "bike" lane, but that didn't do anything to stop the truck that hit me, from doing so.

    Also, to start out, to see if you like it, you don't need a $1000+ new bike. Just go find a used one, preferably at a bike shop that has tuned it up and such, and get started, also avoid fixed gear bikes for exorcise. If you find you like biking, and want to make it a part of your lifestyle, then start looking into nicer bikes.

    Whether they find a life there or not, I think Jupiter should be called an enemy planet.
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    BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus Pssssssssyyyyyyyy duckRegistered User regular
    illig wrote: »

    This exercise really only helps shin splints from getting worse. I know because I do it, I still get them :[

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    MarsloMarslo is, the dirty frenchmen MontrealRegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    wonderpug wrote: »
    If you go craigslist, just be wary of listings that look like stolen bikes, so you don't feed the problem.

    Rule of thumb with craigslist, is only buy it if there's a public picture and the owner knows remotely of what parts the bike is made off. The later part will stear you towards bikes that a worth buying.

    If craigslist fails, try to find your local bicycle Co-op, they're mostly run by volunteers and most major city's have one. Head down there and ask around where you could get your hands on a decent used bike.

    EWom wrote: »
    Also, to start out, to see if you like it, you don't need a $1000+ new bike. Just go find a used one, preferably at a bike shop that has tuned it up and such, and get started,

    Just keep in mind that the difference between a 1000$ bike and a 200$ one is fairly huge. (with new bikes at least)

    Marslo on
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    EWom wrote: »
    As someone who's alive today because I wore a helmet, my advice to you is to wear a helmet, especially since you'll be riding on the roads. I was doing nothing wrong, and was in my specified "bike" lane, but that didn't do anything to stop the truck that hit me, from doing so.

    This and also get bike gloves. If you should fall off the bike then gloves can be the difference of having skin on the palm of your hands or having no skin plus gloves is for comfort as well.

    I recommend looking for a bike club in your area or maybe the lbs(local bike shop) organizes some rides. Buying a five bike magazines is also a good way to get started as it will give you an idea about the whole scene.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    jkruse05jkruse05 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    New starter level bikes are priced around $400 - $500. These will get you going and should last years, plenty of time to decide if you want to heavily invest in biking as a hobby, or to stop, but still have a decent bike around, which can be surprisingly convenient. A few recommendations, try to get as little plastic on the bike as possible, avoid 'grip-shifts' where the gear shifts are built into the handlebars as a rotational ...thing, they break easy. Last, though most manufacturers today have turned to high quality aluminum rather than steel, there are still a few steel bikes out there. If you have to store the bike outdoors try to avoid steel as it can rust under the paint and you'll never know.

    Oh, and on running, supposedly, and admittedly I haven't tried this myself, running barefoot or with tabi shoes will force your gait to adjust in such a way that shinsplints will not occur. Vibram has made a business of 'barefoot shoes'. http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/index.htm

    jkruse05 on
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    BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus Pssssssssyyyyyyyy duckRegistered User regular
    I apparently have a friend that works at a local bike store so I've been talking with him and his coworkers about what type of bike is for me. Gonna wait a few paychecks to actually make the plunge.

    As for the splints, I use vibrams. While they do help a little, its not much. At this point I think it might be best for me to stop and find a different type of cardio.

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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    If you're looking for something that you'll use a lot, then there will be a minimum amount that it's a good idea to spend (I'm in the UK, I don't know what prices are like over there). The point to bear in mind is that there is a threshold below which bikes cease to be sporting equipment and become toys - the kind of thing you find in supermarkets and such. They're cheap, but will be heavy, unreliable, and generally function poorly. They're basically designed for kids to ride around the garden on as opposed to actually covering distance.

    If you have a friend in a bike shop, they should be able to give you some guidance as to where that line is. A decent guide is to look at the components the bike is fitted with (brakes, levers, cranks, front and rear derailleurs, aka the "groupset"). If you're looking at road bikes, Shimano are basically the only game in town at the low end, if mountain bikes, you'll find Shimano and SRAM. Be wary of anything not from those two manufacturers, though this is most important in relation to transmission. You'll see non-name or unbranded cranks and brakes, which are not necessarily a problem.

    Both Shimano and SRAM conveniently arrange their groupsets into ranges (see here for Shimano and here for SRAM). As a rule of thumb, if you're looking at something fitted with major components from one of those ranges then you should be OK. People get very snobby about the likes of Shimano 2200/2300 and SRAM X.4, but they're perfectly respectable components, albeit not as light or as slick as the high end stuff. My commute bike is fitted with 8-speed Shimano 2200 and has covered 60miles+ per week in all weathers for nearly two years with minimal adjustment or servicing.

    For road bikes, don't get too hung up on frame material. People will tell you that steel is comfortable, aluminium is harsh, carbon fibre isn't durable, etc. All of this has far more to do with the construction of the bike than the frame material. For mountain bikes, don't buy something low end with suspension at both ends. It will be extremely heavy and the suspension will be of such low quality that it will probably be more of a hindrance than an aid. I'd actually say that at the low end it's better to get a mountain bike with no suspension at all and better components, but such bikes are thin on the ground these days.

    It is rarely a good idea to buy something with upgrading in the future in mind, unless you're buying something already very high-end. If you decide you want something better in the future, you will almost certainly be able to do it cheaper by getting a deal on a complete bike over buying parts at retail and fitting them to a bike you already have.

    Lastly, you probably don't want a hybrid (these are a kind of halfway house between a road bike and a mountain bike, ranging from what are essentially road bikes with flat bars instead of drop bars, to what are basically mountain bikes with skinny road wheels and tyres). They're often recommended to people starting out as a kind of compromise option on the road/mountain/utility spectrum. In practice they tend not to be as fast or comfortable as a road bike over distance, are no better on the likes of dirt roads (road bikes will handle this just fine, look at the kind of roads races like the Roonde van Vlaanderen are run on) and are not capable enough on full-on off-road trails to be useful. They are a collection of disadvantages without any clear advantage.

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    FalkenFalken Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Steel frames suck and are heavy, avoid suspension bikes and offroad tyres. That's your £200-300 bike buying guide.

    Hybrids are wonderful creatures. Mine's covered in racks, panniers, mud guards, and pulls a trailer, is rugged enough to survive daily ten mile rides, and is perfectly capable of getting a move on.

    Don't bother with "cycle" helmets, but you will need gloves if it's cold. Some cheap plastic won't protect your head from anything, and the chances of your head being the contact point with the ground are slim to non. Windchill on your hands can be dangerous though, you can't avoid an accident if you can't feel your hands well enough to brake.

    You will need Lights and a decent bell. The one they fit at the shop is crap.

    Make sure the handlebars are high enough. Most bikes are setup in this silly "racing" position where the handlebars are level with the saddle, which is useless for any sort of long distance riding. Modern (threadless) stems are almost always impossible to raise without a £15 or so extension, so it might be worth looking at an oversized bike and just lowering the saddle.

    Falken on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    Buying a larger frame size is not a good solution if you think the bike has it's handlebars set too low. Larger doesn't just mean taller, it also puts the handlebars further away from you (longer top tube) and a larger frame with a lower saddle can potentially steepen the effective seat tube angle. You'd end up carrying a lot of weight with your arms and if it's really huge, potentially ending up in a riding position where you're locking your elbows to hold yourself upright. That is just asking for injury.

    Interestingly there is a bit of a problem with some road bikes in that it is kind of assumed now that people ride on the hoods instead of in the drops most of the time. The net result is that manufacturers have started dropping the position of the bars so that you're still in a semi-efficient position while on the hoods, meaning that if they fit a traditional deep drop bar the position in the drops is pretty extreme (in a flat-backed, knees in the armpits kind of way).

    That isn't the case for all bikes, though, so if you really do think something is too low to ride comfortably look at a different bike or (if looking at road bikes) possibly something with a compact bar (shallower drop, generally shorter reach as well). New bikes with threadless headsets usually come with a few spacers under the stem, meaning you can lower the position later if you want to, but very rarely any above the stem. Plus the stem itself can usually be flipped (they're not quite straight, so you can change it to point up, giving you a higher position, or down, giving you a lower position), check how it's set up when you buy it.

    (for the record all of my bikes have the handlebars lower than the saddle)

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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Falken wrote: »
    Don't bother with "cycle" helmets, but you will need gloves if it's cold. Some cheap plastic won't protect your head from anything, and the chances of your head being the contact point with the ground are slim to non.

    Absolute bullshit. Get a decent helmet, and wear it every time you get on the bike.

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    BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus Pssssssssyyyyyyyy duckRegistered User regular
    That was some really awesome advice Japan. As for the helmet, I'm definitely getting one. I'd rather wear one and never get hit instead of not wearing one and having my brains splattered all over the concrete. Ive been trained to believe everyone besides me is a terrible driver and can not be trusted.

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    Sangheili91Sangheili91 Registered User regular
    Falken wrote: »
    Steel frames suck and are heavy, avoid suspension bikes and offroad tyres. That's your £200-300 bike buying guide.

    Hybrids are wonderful creatures. Mine's covered in racks, panniers, mud guards, and pulls a trailer, is rugged enough to survive daily ten mile rides, and is perfectly capable of getting a move on.

    Don't bother with "cycle" helmets, but you will need gloves if it's cold. Some cheap plastic won't protect your head from anything, and the chances of your head being the contact point with the ground are slim to non. Windchill on your hands can be dangerous though, you can't avoid an accident if you can't feel your hands well enough to brake.

    You will need Lights and a decent bell. The one they fit at the shop is crap.

    Make sure the handlebars are high enough. Most bikes are setup in this silly "racing" position where the handlebars are level with the saddle, which is useless for any sort of long distance riding. Modern (threadless) stems are almost always impossible to raise without a £15 or so extension, so it might be worth looking at an oversized bike and just lowering the saddle.

    Yeah, pretty much all of this is utter goosery. Complete nonsense. It's funny how you say steel is heavy, and then praise your hybrid which is loaded with a million things and probably weighs forty pounds. O_o

    What you really need to do first is dial in the kind of riding you want to do. Once you determine that, it'll help determine the kind of budget you'll need to set. I recently got my first road bike and I paid nearly $900 for it, and it's pretty much entry-level. From what I can tell, mountain bikes and hybrids seem to run a bit cheaper for entry-level.

    Also, whatever your budget is, you need to make sure that you have some money left over for your gear. Helmet, gloves, clothes, lights, tools, shoes and pedals, what have you. If you have $600 to spend, don't buy a $580 bike.

    Cycling is an expensive hobby, but it provides a great workout and it's fun. So whatever bike you get, make sure you get out there and ride it. And ride it. And ride it some more!

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    FalkenFalken Registered User regular
    Falken wrote: »
    Don't bother with "cycle" helmets, but you will need gloves if it's cold. Some cheap plastic won't protect your head from anything, and the chances of your head being the contact point with the ground are slim to non.

    Absolute bullshit. Get a decent helmet, and wear it every time you get on the bike.

    Unless you're going to buy a Motorcycle helmet, you're not going to get any protection.

    Cycle helmets are rubbish. Not only do they completely fail to protect most of your head, the small section they cover is a lot of the time full of "ventilation" i.e holes.

    If you don't feel safe, get a motorcycle helmet with a good rating. Strapping a bit of polystyrene to your head is just going to make your brain damage more surprising.
    Yeah, pretty much all of this is utter goosery. Complete nonsense. It's funny how you say steel is heavy, and then praise your hybrid which is loaded with a million things and probably weighs forty pounds. O_o

    Also, whatever your budget is, you need to make sure that you have some money left over for your gear. Helmet, gloves, clothes, lights, tools, shoes and pedals, what have you. If you have $600 to spend, don't buy a $580 bike

    I say "steel frames are heavy" because they are. My hybrid is heavy when it's loaded. I can just take stuff off if it's too much.

    Steel frame bikes are heavy full stop. If it's too much you're stuck.

    Also please don't be one of those "cyclists" who goes around looking like a power ranger. It's silly.

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    MarsloMarslo is, the dirty frenchmen MontrealRegistered User regular
    Falken wrote: »
    Steel frames suck and are heavy

    Depends on allot of factors. It could be, that a cheap alloy is used or the fact that heavier gauge of tubing is used for which ever reason. Welded steel frames tend to be heavier, mostly because mig or tig process is less forgiving then lug brazing. (i work as a part-time bike mechanic and as a full time welder/faber, so id like to belive i know what im talking about)

    Check out these two frame building suppliers Zona and Thron. It shoudl illustrated a little of what i mean.

    But arguing about aluminium vs steel. Is like arguing about pen vs pencil, they do different things, but ultimately lead to the same place.

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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Falken wrote: »
    Steel frames suck and are heavy, avoid suspension bikes and offroad tyres. That's your £200-300 bike buying guide.

    Hybrids are wonderful creatures. Mine's covered in racks, panniers, mud guards, and pulls a trailer, is rugged enough to survive daily ten mile rides, and is perfectly capable of getting a move on.

    Don't bother with "cycle" helmets, but you will need gloves if it's cold. Some cheap plastic won't protect your head from anything, and the chances of your head being the contact point with the ground are slim to non. Windchill on your hands can be dangerous though, you can't avoid an accident if you can't feel your hands well enough to brake.

    You will need Lights and a decent bell. The one they fit at the shop is crap.

    Make sure the handlebars are high enough. Most bikes are setup in this silly "racing" position where the handlebars are level with the saddle, which is useless for any sort of long distance riding. Modern (threadless) stems are almost always impossible to raise without a £15 or so extension, so it might be worth looking at an oversized bike and just lowering the saddle.

    I disagree with you on so many levels that I made a list :-)

    A. Any sort of material can suck. If a crappy type of said material is used or if the design or fabrication is wrong then anything will suck. Steel, Carbon, Titanium, Aluminum it doesn't matter. The OP is getting advice from a LBS and I'm sure they will steer him away from bike that looks more than they are and towards a good ride.

    B. Any decent bike can do a ten mile commute.

    C. Helmets are life savers. Using or not is a personal choice but saying they don't work is simply telling lies. A helmet may not be sexy and it will take a little getting used too but it is a lot sexier than a cracked skull.

    D. If the shop is a good shop they will fit equipment that fits the need. I will however agree that a bell is a must and any bell is better than none (There are fools which ride without since they do not have bells on in the Tour de France).

    E. Sounds to me like you're bike is set up to emulate a comfy chair and not a bike. Setup right low handlebars on a road racing type bike it is the most efficient setup one can have on a traditional type bike (as in not a recumbent). If a bike is setup to be comfy to sit on with a high handle bar and maybe a soft wide saddle that bike will be good for a trip to the local bakery but nothing more.

    F. Getting and oversize bike! Are you nuts - a bike with to big a frame is a terrible thing. The frame must fit and if one is right in the middle of say a Large or an X-Large then getting the large is the better way to go.


    Falken - I wonder what kind of riding it is you do.


    PS. One thing I agree about and that is avoiding suspension as it is somewhat expensive if it's to work well and also it is not needed for normal roads or even going of roads (if one is not too ambitious).

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Definitely get a helmet, but definitely don't feel like you have to spend boku bucks to get the best one on the shelf. The cheapest one you can find has to meet the same mandated safety standards as the expensive ones; it just won't look as cool or have as many bells & whistles.

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    FalkenFalken Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I disagree with you on so many levels that I made a list :-)

    A. Any sort of material can suck. If a crappy type of said material is used or if the design or fabrication is wrong then anything will suck. Steel, Carbon, Titanium, Aluminum it doesn't matter. The OP is getting advice from a LBS and I'm sure they will steer him away from bike that looks more than they are and towards a good ride.

    On the low end it's easier to find a good aluminium frame than a good steel one.
    B. Any decent bike can do a ten mile commute.

    It doesn't have to be decent to ride twenty miles a day. If you'd like to be in a fit state to do anything, though, you really want something good.
    C. Helmets are life savers. Using or not is a personal choice but saying they don't work is simply telling lies. A helmet may not be sexy and it will take a little getting used too but it is a lot sexier than a cracked skull.

    They're really not. Bicycle helmets only cover the top and rear of the skull, and leave the rest unprotected. The one I wore didn't stop me getting a broken cheekbone and jaw when a mondeo t-boned me. I have screws inside my head now.
    D. If the shop is a good shop they will fit equipment that fits the need. I will however agree that a bell is a must and any bell is better than none (There are fools which ride without since they do not have bells on in the Tour de France).

    And charge extra for it. All the bike shops in my area, from the small one behind the GP to halfords all fit £1 bells that can't be heard from more than a couple of meters away.
    E. Sounds to me like you're bike is set up to emulate a comfy chair and not a bike. Setup right low handlebars on a road racing type bike it is the most efficient setup one can have on a traditional type bike (as in not a recumbent). If a bike is setup to be comfy to sit on with a high handle bar and maybe a soft wide saddle that bike will be good for a trip to the local bakery but nothing more.

    My bike is setup to get me where I need to go, carrying all of my things, in a reasonable amount of time and with me reasonably not-tired. The low handlebar road racing setup is only good for racing, and it's completely inappropriate if you don't want to go a million miles an hour wearing a power rangers costume and wind up knackered by the time you get into work.
    F. Getting and oversize bike! Are you nuts - a bike with to big a frame is a terrible thing. The frame must fit and if one is right in the middle of say a Large or an X-Large then getting the large is the better way to go.

    Yes, the frame must fit. If it's "oversized" or not depends on you. I have noticed with a couple of the bikes I've ridden (not my own) recently that they could have the saddle lowered massively from how the shop set them up, but their threadless stems were already as high as they could go without an extension or outright replacement.

    Falken - I wonder what kind of riding it is you do.


    PS. One thing I agree about and that is avoiding suspension as it is somewhat expensive if it's to work well and also it is not needed for normal roads or even going of roads (if one is not too ambitious).

    Ten miles each way, return trip is mostly uphill. Approx three miles are on trails with the rest on roads. This is with a toolbox in each pannier, usually also two drinks bottles and my shopping in the front panniers.

    Falken on
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    schussschuss Registered User regular
    Steel is slightly heavier than ALU, but the ride is much smoother. There's a reason that many high-end makers are steel-focused (Independent Fab, Waterford etc.). If you're going on the road, here's what you do:
    1. 150-200 buys you nothing. Save if you want a bike. $600 is the bare minimum if you find a screaming deal on Craigslist. If you're willing to brave a single-speed, that may be a good option for the pricepoint (shifting gear is usually 2-300 of the bike price)
    2. Materials - if you want a nice ride, steel is the go-to in this price range. Steel, Carbon, and Titanium have the nicest ride, followed by Aluminum with carbon stays, followed by aluminum. Pure aluminum is harsh, but lightish. Most important to weight is light wheels, as frameweight is a bit of a red herring.
    3. Hybrids are crap, as they're bad at both road riding and mountain biking. If you really want some adaptability, build up a Cyclocross-style frame (more upright position, more tire space) with some wider road tires (wider=more shock absorption) or cyclocross tires. Example: http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check
    4. DO NOT GET A FRAME THAT IS TOO LARGE FOR YOU. You can fix ones that are slightly too small via stem/bar/saddle changes, you cannot fix one that is too large. This leads to a lot of pain.

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    KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    Just want to point out that in many cities wearing a helmet is not a personal choice. There's such a thing as helmet laws.

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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    Heh. This is why I said "don't get too hung up on frame material". With regard to steel, the crap steel frames are those built with cheap hi-tensile steel instead of nice chromoly (like basic 4130) or exotic Reynolds/Prestige/Tange alloys. I haven't seen anything with a hi-tensile steel frame recently that wasn't a supermarket bike, though, and the exotics are niche enough that that they'll tend to be towards the high end because there is generally a price premium over alu. Of the set of low end but decent bikes I'd be surprised if there was much around made of steel these days.

    I'm not touching the helmet debate with a ten-foot pole. People get very ... enthusiastic about whether or not one should wear a helmet.

    Also, given the OP seemed to want to ride for fitness, and is therefore presumably looking at this as a sporting activity rather than as a means of transport, a hybrid with pannier racks and an upright riding position doesn't seem like the optimum suggestion. You can ride a racy bike as transport (I do, unless I'm going to have to leave it locked up anywhere, for that I have a comfy steel MTB frame built up with drop bars and skinny tyres), but I doubt you'd have much fun riding a utility bike on a 60 mile training ride.

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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Falken wrote: »
    C. Helmets are life savers. Using or not is a personal choice but saying they don't work is simply telling lies. A helmet may not be sexy and it will take a little getting used too but it is a lot sexier than a cracked skull.

    They're really not. Bicycle helmets only cover the top and rear of the skull, and leave the rest unprotected. The one I wore didn't stop me getting a broken cheekbone and jaw when a mondeo t-boned me. I have screws inside my head now.

    No, the helmet you wore didn't stop you getting a broken jaw and cheekbone when a Mondeo ran into you from the side. Can I ask, did the helmet get damaged in the crash?

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    wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    FWIW the OP has already indicated he's pro helmet.
    As for the helmet, I'm definitely getting one. I'd rather wear one and never get hit instead of not wearing one and having my brains splattered all over the concrete. Ive been trained to believe everyone besides me is a terrible driver and can not be trusted.

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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    what the helmet is designed to do is protect your cranium, which they do a decent job of

    obviously a helmet without any covering over your jaw will not protect your jaw in a bad fall. A helmet won't protect your shoulders or your legs, either. There's really no argument to be had over wearing a helmet or not; whether or not you're legally allowed to go without (depends on jurisdiction), you're an idiot for not wearing one.

    the idea that holes in a helmet mean it won't protect your head in a fall, well. I honestly don't know what to say to that
    1. 150-200 buys you nothing. Save if you want a bike. $600 is the bare minimum if you find a screaming deal on Craigslist. If you're willing to brave a single-speed, that may be a good option for the pricepoint (shifting gear is usually 2-300 of the bike price)

    this is pretty silly advice to give to a new rider. Lots of manufacturers make completely serviceable road bikes for ~400 (or less if you find a good deal, or buy used.) For 200 bucks and under you're probably looking at finding a great deal on a used one or something, though. Or maybe really lucking out and having a good local shop that will sell you a refurb or something.

    I personally wouldn't get a steel frame; the weight isn't worth whatever the contribution is in ride smoothness imo, but this is the kind of thing you'll have to judge on your own

    hybrids can be okay depending on the kind of riding you need to do; cities with heavy inclement weather might favor a hybrid, or if you will be riding in areas without completely finished roads. In general though they try to do both, and wind up being mediocre at both.

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    BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus Pssssssssyyyyyyyy duckRegistered User regular
    Even though its gonna be a bit before I purchase anything, I do believe I'm leaning more towards a road bike. My only concern is the toughness of the bike. I could be looking at dumb sources but a lot of things seem to imply that even the tiniest bump, dip, etc can fuck up tires in some weird way. I live in a neighborhood with tons and tons of road but am I really supposed to take into account any tiny inconvenience I may run across?

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    SporkedSporked Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I've broken more "useless" bike helmets over the years than I have fingers to count them on, and all have died keeping my noggin from hitting something very hard at a considerable rate of speed. Well, one died in a car door but I'm not counting that one. I'm pretty sure if they were really useless I'd need to actually use my fingers to count those broken helmets, and I'd be stuck because I don't have 13 fingers. I have split lips and chins and roadrashed my cheek and lost teeth. I KNOW it doesn't protect my face. Still wear a helmet. I usually ride about 70-90 miles a week, and most of that is road commuting. Anecdotes errywhere.

    I wouldn't spend more than 4-500 for a first time bike, especially if you aren't sure you want to do it. A used bike from a reputable (important!) shop should be your first choice. Talk to the people there. I strongly recommend that you sit on/test as many bikes as you can and try to get a feel for what you like. A good shop will be incredibly helpful here. Bike shops usually offer a short tuneup warranty, and anything you get from a decent shop will roll out of the door safe, which is generally a big deal.

    Craigslist can also be a good source for bikes, but any older, classic road bike (steel, usually lugged frame) is probably going to be horribly overpriced, depending on location, cause, well, hipsters. Don't buy a used bike that's been "tricked out". There's nothing intrinsically wrong with super deep v rims or neon tape or whatever, but the person selling it thinks it makes the bike worth more. They are incorrect. Also they might be horrible mechanics and that shit could explode. Some people will tell you a fixed gear is where it's at. It might be right for them but until you're comfy on bikes you want something with a freewheel. Don't buy a fixed gear. Make sure it has TWO (front/rear) brakes. Check for cracks at the frame joins (bring a rag with you to check it out). Cracked tire sidewalls (on old road tires) are generally ok, cracked tread is not. Check the shifting. Check the brakes. Make sure the wheels are at least kind of true.

    If you go for a mountain bike: Do not buy a walmart level bike. Do not buy a full suspension bike. You don't need one to start and something in your price range will be godawful heavy. Check for cracks. Check for leakage at the fork seals if it has a suspension fork. Check the fork action. if you can bottom it out by standing over it and pressing down on the bars it needs work. + all the other stuff above. Check for cracks.

    Hybrids are cool, but for fitness I find myself riding a 40m round trip on pavement or bombing through mud and roots and shit, so it's a thing of extreemes for me. Who knows what your riding options are? At any rate, all the same rules apply to buying them used.

    On saddles: Do not get a huge padded fat ass saddle. A bike that comes with one of these factory is probably not something you want. They are comfy as chairs but after 10 minutes of pedaling you will want to kill yourself. Bike saddles really only support your sit bones, do not be shy about trying many different kinds. Your shop can help you here.

    If you buy a bike from anywhere but a bike shop, spend the extra 20 bucks or whatever to have it tuned up at a shop.

    I'm sure there's a lot more I'm forgetting because it's 4am.

    Edit:

    OH. oh. Go visit sheldonbrown.com It's old, but so is basic cycling theory, and there's a ton of shit to learn. Most of it is road bike centric.

    Sporked on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    Even though its gonna be a bit before I purchase anything, I do believe I'm leaning more towards a road bike. My only concern is the toughness of the bike. I could be looking at dumb sources but a lot of things seem to imply that even the tiniest bump, dip, etc can fuck up tires in some weird way. I live in a neighborhood with tons and tons of road but am I really supposed to take into account any tiny inconvenience I may run across?

    Short answer: you'll be fine.

    Longer, more qualified answer: there is a persistent folk belief that road bikes (and in particular road racing bikes) are only any good on billiard table smooth tarmac. This isn't remotely true. Very few roads are free of imperfections, manufacturers know this. On top of that, there are plenty of races (like some of the Belgian and Italian classics) that are run on routes that take in long stretches of dirt track farm road or cobbled pavé. Anecdotal I know, but I've ridden my (skinny tyred, carbon forked) Giant Defy down a flight of stairs without breaking anything. Not suggesting that's a good idea, but still.

    Having said that, there are bikes and components that are more fragile than others. Generally the more explicitly something is aimed at racing, the more the trade off will be biased in favour of light weight and performance over durability.

    It is definitely not the case that road bikes are too fragile for.your average road or street.

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    mastmanmastman Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Falken wrote: »
    Unless you're going to buy a Motorcycle helmet, you're not going to get any protection.

    Cycle helmets are rubbish. Not only do they completely fail to protect most of your head, the small section they cover is a lot of the time full of "ventilation" i.e holes.

    If you don't feel safe, get a motorcycle helmet with a good rating. Strapping a bit of polystyrene to your head is just going to make your brain damage more surprising.

    This is the most silly goosery advice I have ever seen written. It is bad and in all ways wrong.

    let me take your head without a bicycle helmet and smash it onto the pavement using just my arms, not too hard. Then we can try with a helmet, you tell me which one hurt more.

    mastman on
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    schussschuss Registered User regular
    japan wrote: »
    Even though its gonna be a bit before I purchase anything, I do believe I'm leaning more towards a road bike. My only concern is the toughness of the bike. I could be looking at dumb sources but a lot of things seem to imply that even the tiniest bump, dip, etc can fuck up tires in some weird way. I live in a neighborhood with tons and tons of road but am I really supposed to take into account any tiny inconvenience I may run across?

    Short answer: you'll be fine.

    Longer, more qualified answer: there is a persistent folk belief that road bikes (and in particular road racing bikes) are only any good on billiard table smooth tarmac. This isn't remotely true. Very few roads are free of imperfections, manufacturers know this. On top of that, there are plenty of races (like some of the Belgian and Italian classics) that are run on routes that take in long stretches of dirt track farm road or cobbled pavé. Anecdotal I know, but I've ridden my (skinny tyred, carbon forked) Giant Defy down a flight of stairs without breaking anything. Not suggesting that's a good idea, but still.

    Having said that, there are bikes and components that are more fragile than others. Generally the more explicitly something is aimed at racing, the more the trade off will be biased in favour of light weight and performance over durability.

    It is definitely not the case that road bikes are too fragile for.your average road or street.

    I ride a carbon roadie and bunny hop train tracks at speed. Only the pro-level ones are fairly fragile, and unless you plan on spending ~15k or so, you're fine.

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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    The problem with buying a bike right now is you've just about missed the clearance season.

    Around March-April, shops start deeply discounting previous season bikes in order to clear stock for the new shipments. If you haven't bought one by now, you might be out of luck on hitting those bargains. We're talking entry-level bikes at 30-60% off. Most people don't want to buy an "old" season bike (just one of those silly things) and bike stores don't have space to keep a ton of stock on hand, so if you can snag one right at the tail end of that discount period you can get a great, new bike cheap. If I were you, I'd go to all the local bike shops and check to see if there's anything at all left at the deep discount.

    What is this I don't even.
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    FalkenFalken Registered User regular
    mastman wrote: »
    Falken wrote: »
    Unless you're going to buy a Motorcycle helmet, you're not going to get any protection.

    Cycle helmets are rubbish. Not only do they completely fail to protect most of your head, the small section they cover is a lot of the time full of "ventilation" i.e holes.

    If you don't feel safe, get a motorcycle helmet with a good rating. Strapping a bit of polystyrene to your head is just going to make your brain damage more surprising.

    This is the most silly goosery advice I have ever seen written. It is bad and in all ways wrong.

    let me take your head without a bicycle helmet and smash it onto the pavement using just my arms, not too hard. Then we can try with a helmet, you tell me which one hurt more.

    Your arms are a car now?

    Look. I wore a helmet, I still ended up in hospital while they pinned my skull together.

    If I hadn't wore a helmet, I'd have... gone to hospital while they pinned my skull together.

    So... Exactly what did the helmet do for me? Once you reach "requires immediate surgery" it pretty much can't get worse.

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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Falken wrote: »
    <SNIP>Ten miles each way, return trip is mostly uphill. Approx three miles are on trails with the rest on roads. This is with a toolbox in each pannier, usually also two drinks bottles and my shopping in the front panniers.

    With some elaboration on some of the points it is clear to me we are not so much in disagreement after all, it seems to be more about differences in preferences in riding habits and such. Thx.

    One example would be that I used a racing bike for commuting and leisure rides for more than a decade be it sun, rain, snow+salt or whatever doing something like 30,000 miles on the thing (still have it but it's semi-retired). I much prefer carrying my stuff in a messenger bag or otherwise connected to my rather than the bike, this makes for a much lighter bike which to me equals more fun riding it.

    I think low handlebars works well for commuting but it is a matter of bike and preference. The only one of my bikes that have a handlebar higher than the saddle is my 1950's vintage tourist bike, which is surprisingly nice to drive on but about as sporty as a Top hat.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Falken wrote: »
    So... Exactly what did the helmet do for me? Once you reach "requires immediate surgery" it pretty much can't get worse.

    I dunno, death's pretty bad. Presumably the pavement or vehicle would have dumped more force in your skull if there wasn't a helmet to absorb some of it.

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    FalkenFalken Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    Falken wrote: »
    So... Exactly what did the helmet do for me? Once you reach "requires immediate surgery" it pretty much can't get worse.

    I dunno, death's pretty bad. Presumably the pavement or vehicle would have dumped more force in your skull if there wasn't a helmet to absorb some of it.

    Man, I wasn't alive before I was conceived.

    Wasn't really that much of an inconvenience.

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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Falken wrote: »
    mastman wrote: »
    Falken wrote: »
    Unless you're going to buy a Motorcycle helmet, you're not going to get any protection.

    Cycle helmets are rubbish. Not only do they completely fail to protect most of your head, the small section they cover is a lot of the time full of "ventilation" i.e holes.

    If you don't feel safe, get a motorcycle helmet with a good rating. Strapping a bit of polystyrene to your head is just going to make your brain damage more surprising.

    This is the most silly goosery advice I have ever seen written. It is bad and in all ways wrong.

    let me take your head without a bicycle helmet and smash it onto the pavement using just my arms, not too hard. Then we can try with a helmet, you tell me which one hurt more.

    Your arms are a car now?

    Look. I wore a helmet, I still ended up in hospital while they pinned my skull together.

    If I hadn't wore a helmet, I'd have... gone to hospital while they pinned my skull together.

    So... Exactly what did the helmet do for me? Once you reach "requires immediate surgery" it pretty much can't get worse.

    You're dispensing bad advice. Yes, helmets don't protect against hits that don't impact that part of the skull. If you go over the front of your handlebars because your bike collides forward with something and the top of your head slams into a brick wall, you're going to have been wearing a helmet or you'll have a TBI.

    You're being very, very silly. "I wasn't wearing a helmet on my jaw, so when I hit my jaw it broke." That's dumb.

    What is this I don't even.
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