Help me choose a bike

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xpost ow!

(when spds first came out around 1990 I threw em on my mtn bike and went riding. I'd ridden clipless road for a couple years, figured it'd be no problem. First ride on them, I broke my femur, augered in on a highspeed downhill crash. Rescue crew had to hike in, board me, haul me out, the whole nine yards. So take time to get comfy with spds).

xxpost--broken ribs hurt more than (at least my) broken femur, go figure.

Yeah the platform inserts work. I did that for a while, but now just ride with whatever I'm wearing on the clipless pedals for distances 30 minutes or less. But, this is sorta pedal brand dependent in my experience. Bigger pedals like old Time ATACS, old "big" spds, Look style road, Speedplays--all are bearable with sneakers or shoes. BUT, Crank bros, little Wellgos, little Ritcheys, newer Shimano's--not so much. I rode out on an errand yesterday that ended up taking an hour of riding with flipflops on spds, at the 45 minute mark my feet started hurting pretty bad. People, don't ride in flip flops.

Hunter (Hunter), Thursday, 26 May 2005 14:35 (eighteen years ago) link

I have ridden with these spds wearing only trainers, and it's been okay - wouldn't want to trust myself going quickly, standing up or over rough terrain though.

I also have (thanks to Colette) a pair of non-spd pedals, so I have the luxury of trying both.

Markelby (Mark C), Thursday, 26 May 2005 15:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Me, I love my spuds and wouldn't want to swap them with anything. It's always an amusing experience getting used to them though.

broken ribs hurt more than (at least my) broken femur, go figure

Have broken a rib -running!- and it hurts like buggery. Still not sure I want to know what a broken leg feels like all the same.

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 26 May 2005 15:21 (eighteen years ago) link

Have broken a rib (twice - both times playing football) and it hurts like buggery. Still not sure I want to know what a broken leg feels like all the same.

Amen to that. I did break a finger and take a chunk out of whatever bone forms the elbow when my cassette broke and flung me off my bike a decade or so ago. Otherwise, just grazes and bruises.

Markelby (Mark C), Thursday, 26 May 2005 15:24 (eighteen years ago) link

I hear elbow fractures are very bad, have not done that.

Pain from broken bones, in descending order of pain:

Ribs (mtn bike crash)
fingers (hand into front wheel road race crash)
femur (mtn bike crash)
upper arm (fell down stairs as a kid)
toes (drunk)
wrist and ankle stuff (assorted)
collarbone (flag football collision)

I sound really fragile, the good thing is 1) none of these had much displacement except collarbone 2) I heal really fast. So far.

Hunter (Hunter), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:30 (eighteen years ago) link

I've only done toes and ribs, I feel left out! I think this has everything to do with good fortune. Or maybe I'm just not trying hard enough...

Anyway, not a good subject to dwell on! I had to help some guy pick up the pieces of his bike out of the road last night on my way home. Didn't actually see it happen but I know he was only a couple of hundred yards down the road from me. He was going down a cycle lane and someone pulled a left right across him. His front wheel was a taco and he was rips, cuts and bruises all down one side, looked like he'd been through a chipper. In total shock too, poor bloke.

NickB (NickB), Friday, 27 May 2005 07:15 (eighteen years ago) link

He was going down a cycle lane and someone pulled a left right across him

All my bike accidents have been like this, all of the offending vehicles have been taxis.

Ed (dali), Friday, 27 May 2005 07:18 (eighteen years ago) link

Well there was a taxi involved, but only cos we phoned for one to come and pick him up (with strict instructions to him to get up the hospital later obv). Occupants of the car were two girls who looked about 17. Actually they looked a lot worse than the guy on the bike, hopefully it'll be a lesson learnt.

NickB (NickB), Friday, 27 May 2005 07:23 (eighteen years ago) link

Postman has just been but the accessories expected not in the morning's catch...

suzy (suzy), Friday, 27 May 2005 07:28 (eighteen years ago) link

They might come separately as they are special delivery I think.

Ed (dali), Friday, 27 May 2005 07:36 (eighteen years ago) link

Well in turned up, and I think I did well. The frame looks in good nick, maybe a couple of centimetres smaller than I would like but no complaints there, a couple of stone chips in the paint but nothing that exposes metal. Campagnolo Chorus throughout, 9 speed rear mech. Issues? the jockey wheels are really worn and the rear mech overshoots the lowest gear. The freewheel drags a little as well, I think a strip down and grease may well be in order.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 15:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Rowr, a strip-down and grease!

suzy (suzy), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 15:24 (seventeen years ago) link

Lucky Suzy :)

Markelby (Mark C), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 15:39 (seventeen years ago) link

The rear mech overshooting problem appears to be caused by a bent rear derailleur cage. even with the limit screw fully in it overshoots and you can see that the limit screw isn't touching the body of the derailleur when it is fully pulled in. A longer machine screw would lock out the lowest gear for now. However still dead pleased; it is of course pissing with rain outside.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 16:36 (seventeen years ago) link

Ed, have you tried adjusting the cable tension? If you slacken it off a little then the mech wont pull towards the wheel so much. Give the barrel adjuster a half-turn or so clockwise to loosen up the cable a little. If the mech hanger is definitely bent, you should be able to bend it back again on a steel frame. Often if it is bent though, it will be slightly twisted and the chain wont sit right on any of the sprockets.

Doesnt it *always* start raining when you get a new bike?

NickB (NickB), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 16:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Closer inspection seems to reveal that the derailleur isn't sitting straight and flush with the mech hanger. It looks as if and some stage it has gone in off axis and possibly threaded the mech hanger. It's only a few degrees but it might well be enough to cause the interference. shouldn't be too difficult to get a spare and cheaper than a mechanical part.

the barrel adjuster is already at it's slackest. I could reset the cable tension from scratch I suppose.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 17:13 (seventeen years ago) link

Fantastic, I was late for work because I rode off in the opposite direction and was having too much fun riding around.

Ed (dali), Thursday, 2 June 2005 07:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Congrats on the new bike Ed.

My experience with alignment probs agrees with this, it's almost always the hanger rather than the mech that's the problem.

OK, so when you're out practicing your victory antics, don't do this:

Hunter (Hunter), Thursday, 2 June 2005 14:55 (seventeen years ago) link

one month passes...
Help needed!

Me and Emma want to get some hybrid bikes; no off-road stuff, but mainly used for jaunts in countryside and occasional zipping about town.

We're looking at (in no order of preference):

- Kona (Smoke or Dew)
- Saracen
- Marin (Kentfield)

Notice that Raleighs and Giant seem to be much cheaper - are they any good? Is the low price because they're not seen as cool and groovy, or because they're not as good?

Main criteria - price (obv - given cost of all the other stuff needed like locks and helmet etc, no more than 300 quid for the bike, and obv, lower the better)

Lightness - we'll have to carry them up two flights of stairs with every use, so this is a factor.

We've been told that we should be aware of the quality of components; I'm all in favour of getting good stuff, but given the anticipated use (once/twice a week to be realistic), is there any need to spend more on super-duper compnents when pretty standard components will last a fair few years and be 50 quid cheaper?

We think we don't want suspension on forks or seats or anything like that. It seems to be a view supported by this thread in the main.

Dave B (daveb), Thursday, 14 July 2005 22:40 (seventeen years ago) link

Dave, Which Bike (or whatever it's called) recently rated the Schwinn Sierra as exceptionally good value - Discount Bicycles have it for £207 right now in ladies and mens models:

Markelby (Mark C), Thursday, 14 July 2005 22:49 (seventeen years ago) link

You might want to look at the Ridgeback Genesis Day which is a really nice hybrid tending to urban bike. The Kona dew is a good choice as well. The Claud Butler Chinook and Levante, look good on paper but I haven't seen them in the flesh. they are closer to being straight handle bared road bikes, than lightened mountain bikes.

For a Hybrid I would go with one that has 700c (road style) wheels rather than 26" (mountain style), either will work on both surfaces of course depending on tyre, but it sounds like your going to be on road more so you do better with 700c, less effort required for a given speed.

By countryside, Dave, do you mean country lanes or off-road?

Ed (dali), Friday, 15 July 2005 04:45 (seventeen years ago) link

TV's Dave, buy this bike:

Ed (dali), Friday, 15 July 2005 08:34 (seventeen years ago) link

four weeks pass...

I know pretty much nothing about bikes except that I would again like to own one after a few years without. Also, I hate to shop, so narrowed options will be very useful.

Here's the kind of riding I would be doing:

quincie, Friday, 12 August 2005 15:44 (seventeen years ago) link

Oops--didn't mean to submit yet. . .

So, my riding:

*mostly pavement, maybe smooth trails once in a while. Mostly urban riding in downtown Washington, D.C.
*primarily errands and leisurely recreational rides--certainly not more that ten miles or so at a time.

What is most important to me:

*COMFORT! I don't want to go particularly fast or careen down rocky mountain paths, I just want to be comfy for my fairly short, start-and-stop rides. Good agility would seem to be important for urban riding, no?
*Something not too heavy would be nice, as I'll have to lug the thing up stairs and onto bus racks and down to the metro on occasion.
*Price. I'm pretty clueless about what it would cost to get something I'd love, but I'm not willing to go to four figures, that's for sure!

So, do I just walk into a bike shop and say "I want a comfort bike"? Or, "I want a hybrid" (do I?)? I'm pretty sure that I don't need either a mountain or a road bike. Now that I think about it, what is the difference between a comfort and a hybrid?

Thanks for any guidance you can offer. From the discussion above, it is clear that many ILXors can give good advice.

quincie, Friday, 12 August 2005 15:59 (seventeen years ago) link

eleven months pass...
1) my bike got stolen about a while back (when i lent it to a friend, (s)natch) and summertime has me fiending for a new one.

i had one of these in high school back when i used to live within riding distance of trails:

i was thinking about bringing it back to nyc when i go home in a week, but this cost $500+ when i first got it and I put in another $100.. would it be crazy to leave this thing on the street? even if i put electrical tape or something around the body? it's a heavy-duty motherfucker, too. maybe a road bike would be better here.

2) i had a U-lock on the bike that got stolen. it's probably that my dumb-ass friend got drunk and left it unlocked, but would you have a bike in the city with just a u-lock? if not...

3) investing in a kryptonite bike chain? i guess you can get a used one for $50, but how much does it cost for a THICK chain and a BIG lock? is that feasible? i feel like i never see people with those.

4) i found a road bike in queens for $30. all it's missing are the brakes. can i just convert that into a fixed gear and skip the brakes if i get proper cogs for the pedals etc? (my bike dork friend let me ride his-- nice). even if it's not my main bike, it would be cool to have one around.

one word responses are acceptable.

poortheatre (poortheatre), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 04:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Check out the on guard locks and chains, they cost less and get good reviews.

Don't ride a suspension mountain bike in town, the fixie idea is sound but put a front brake on, they don't cost much and it at least gives you the option not to fixed gear skid into the side of a truck.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 05:13 (sixteen years ago) link

thanks. i just looked at that cheap bike again and the dropouts aren't horizontal, and that seems to be pretty essential. ah well.

poortheatre (poortheatre), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 05:27 (sixteen years ago) link


that way you can fly head over heels into the truck instead

a name means a lot just by itself (lfam), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 05:29 (sixteen years ago) link

Depends what the drop out looks like. If it is long like this:

Then you can do it.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 05:30 (sixteen years ago) link

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 05:32 (sixteen years ago) link

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