Bike shopping

Discussion in 'General' started by TheStepChild, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I really like the ones I got so far. The bearings were stiff initially, but loosened up after about 10 miles. Of course durability is a complete unknown, but for $12 I can take a chance. Here's a link to the exact ones I got:

    There's also a newer version with a metal body, for $19. I decided to be a real cheapskate and passed this one up:

    This is very much a YMMV thing, I'm personally NOT a fan of clips and straps (aka "stirrups"). I absolutely HATE one-sided pedals that you have to flip over to use (that also goes for most road clipless pedals as well as asymmetric platform pedals), especially since the weight of the clips invariably means the WRONG side is always up. Even when honking up huge hills I put out almost all my power on the downstroke, so the only benefit for me being locked into the pedals is to stay connected to the bike on rough terrain -- in which event I'm still going to use my cleated shoes and pedals, because I find the one-sidedness of clips and straps doubly irritating on rugged trails. Again, others have different opinions but that's certainly my experience.

    Saddles are even more personal than pedals, but a couple things are worth mentioning. Although some padding is nice, don't go for a saddle that's TOO soft. Your sit bones bear most of your weight; the softer the saddle, the deeper your sit bones sink into the saddle and the more likely the saddle is to be putting pressure on your soft tissues, which is NOT a good thing (for men or women). Also, one thing I've learned is don't assume that just because you're a guy with a skinny butt, that a skinny saddle makes sense. I used to think that, and for a long time rode skinny-ish saddles like the WTB Rocket V. But then I finally realized my sit bones were actually not lining up to the saddle well, and switched to a somewhat wider saddle (WTB Pure V is one of my current favorites) and am much happier.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  2. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    If you're riding much, get more gears than 3. I never thought I would use all of them, but on the way back after 25 or 35 miles, I have 2 inclines to go up and the full spectrum of the gears are used. The dogs on the biggest hill add motivation. LOL
  3. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    - half clips-usually plastic now-sometimes called mountain clips-are great
    Regular 21 speeds-don't require much maintenance-
    Just spray some oily stuff on once a year-and forget it
    Or just forget lube all togther
    No lube-wears out at 5000 miles instead of 5,001 miles
    The lube ALWAYS attracts grit-grinds away at all the metal
    The derailleurs do work better with a bit of lube on chain-and on them
    Maybe try SS or teflon chain??
    Lube the chain-and you get that black staining crap on your pants if you touch it
    Yeah-lube on bike chains- over rated
    I have used this Boeing "spray stuff" on the chains-seems better than most.
    But lube-not such a big deal on bikes(except cables)

    Get a 21 speed-internal hubs-can't change gearing-and no real advantage-since chains don't really need maintenance
    Spray them-and derailleurs-and freewheel-with simple Green-hose off really hard-put a tiny amount of lube on after if you are a LUBE person-keep them clean-forget lube if you are me
  4. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Switching from internal gearing to derailleurs or vice versa is probably possible, but would be shockingly expensive, considering all the parts that would have to be changed, plus labor.

    Another option to consider if you'll be riding much in bad weather (or even in good weather on streets with leftover salt-sand-water residues): Some models of commuting style bikes with internal hub gears use a cogged belt (similar to an engine "timing" belt) instead of a chain. That reduces chain maintainance headaches in adverse conditions. However, it's a fairly expensive feature.
  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I imagine that folks who buy that kind of bike don't want to "tinker". But after all the wear ( and replacement ) of chains and sprockets that I've seen , I can see the attraction of an internal gearset.
  6. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Charlie, I can almost agree with you about the chain lube. In the summer time , when it gets dusty, a lubed chain is a dirt magnet. I found that a good quality chain may last for 3000 miles , and the cheap chains about 2000 max. Push it beyond that , and you get bad shifting.
    I need to try some alternatives to the chain lube I have been using.
  7. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    My next bike will be internal gears, probably 8.
  8. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Yep, chains hate dust and sand almost as much as they hate water. I've tried some of the highly rated bike-shop chain goos, but so far haven't found any that work as well overall as my old bottle of thick synthetic oil made for motorcycle chains, which I thinned so it penetrates into the joints better. I apply it judiciously and wipe off excess to minimize the "dirt magnet" effect you mentioned. The current cheap chain on my highest-mileage bike is up to 18,037 miles and doing OK so far.
  9. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I did my winter commuting for several years with a 3-speed hub. Our winters are wet, so chains get nasty real fast and wear out quickly too (usually a new chain every season), so our British-like climate makes us good candidates for the traditional British gear hub.

    I loved the lack of maintenance, and the ability to ride the bike hard and put it away wet without having to give the chain any thought. The nice thing about an internally geared hub (as well as a singlespeed) is because the chain follows a relatively direct path without having to snake around those tiny derailer pulleys, the bike is pretty efficient and quiet no matter how rusty and crusty the chain gets. They really are a lot more tolerant of my lazy chain maintenance regime. With a clean chain, a derailer system is nominally more efficient than an internally geared bike, but when the chain gets dirty the derailer's efficiency drops like a rock. That said, 3 speeds was just not enough, so I'm no longer using that hub. I could make it work on my daily commute, which is fairly hilly (500-800' of climbing, depending on the route), but I'm a slow climber and it just wasn't enough for bigger hills.

    I have considered getting a 5-speed hub (the Sturmey-Archer one is supposed to be excellent and not too terribly heavy) but I also use my bike for occasional touring or hauling loads, and even 5 wouldn't be enough. I've come back around to derailers just because of the versatility they provide, and have learned to live with the chain maintenance again, which is a bit annoying but not that big of a deal in the end. Haven't ruled out an 8-speed Alfine though (I don't like the design of the Sturmey 8). If I did live back in my (flatter) native MN, though, I'd gladly get a simple 3-speed and be done with it. If you can live with 3 gears there's a lot to be said for it, and a 3-speed is no heavier than a derailer system.

    My wife's primary bike has the Nexus 8-speed hub (just one gear more than the Jamis Commuter 3) and she really likes it. I've ridden it a bit and I like that hub a lot too, except that I'm not too impressed with the roller brake. Fortunately she's got a good front brake (which is twice as important as the rear brake) and it's not a fatal flaw.

    Like RedylC94 said, switching between a gear hub and a derailer system can easily run you hundreds of dollars. Both systems have their advantages, but you pretty much need to decide up front which you prefer. If you're a tinkerer you may prefer a derailer, where you can easily customize the gearing by changing out the cassette. The Commuter 3 will be something like a pound heavier than the derailer model, but you probably won't notice it in practice. If you are comfortable with the Commuter 3's price, and you just want a bike you can ride and not have to mess with it too much, I don't think you'd go wrong with it.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  10. Looked at a couple more that would work for me.
    Giant cypress, or the sedona.

    Last years models. $299 either one.
  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    James , I suggest installing a computer on your bike. It's really just a glorified speedo/odo , but depending on the model you choose , can do a lot of other cool things. I think I paid about $30 for mine , including dealer installation , when I bought my Trek.
  12. walmart had a cheapo schwin one on clearance for $13

    Bike store today had 2 - one at $25 other at $30. 10% off if you buy your bike there.
  13. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Thats not a bad price, walmart prices for a quality bike.. my cheap streak gets interested
  14. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Wait-that $13 $25 and $30 isn't for a BIKE right??
    It is for a bike "computer" meaning speedometer odometer
    Herm- your cheap streak
    cheaper than me and I bought a vehicle because it was just 55 cents/lb(and it could evacuate 2 dogs 4 cats 3 adults)
  15. Yea, bike computer.

    Any good websites to check for bikes or am I better sticking with the stores.
  16. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I buy most things online, but I went with a bike shop because I valued the knowledge they could give me without a lot of trial and error. Also, the prices I found online were not much cheaper than the store.

    I just looked up the Cypress and the Cypress DX. That looks like a good price on it compared to what I paid for the DX. I purchased it along with a few other accessories and paid almost 2 times what your price is. :eek:

    Here is the link to some info about the 2 models. Giant Cypress and Cypress DX
  17. It must be the st at the store. I don't remember him saying st, but I do remember solid front forks, no front suspension.
    Both giants Had the suspension seat post thing.

    The guy pumped up the tires to the same psi and I rode a short lap around inside the store. The sedona had a smaller tire (if it were a truck tire I'd say it was a A/T) and felt like a softer ride. The cypress has more of a 'highway tread' tire and seemed like a stiffer ride.
  18. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Odd that the smaller tire had a better-softer- ride with the same pressure?
    Now many folks claim they can tell the difference in ride "softness" between steel and aluminum-maybe that is true with skinny tires
    But with tires over 1.5"-say 37mm-I can't/
    Sometimes- narrower tires-bike tires- some michelins and others-
    have a taller profile-so despite being narrower-they seem to ride softer-

    I'm an old gimp-bad neck bad knees-so I insist on a soft ride
    My 26" tires are 1.75-2.1"-maybe 40-60 psi
    When I had a 700c-I used some very tall somewhat wide Michelins-40mm
    Overpriced of course-found on ebay-
    Make sure -if you get new tires on ebay-wide ones-that they aren't too wide-can get between the brakes forks etc
    Probably best to just stick with what the bike comes with
    Now as you get older- you might find you want to sit more upright
    Bothers my neck to bend down-crank it up to see where the heck I m going
    You can switch bars easily enough-need to change out cables- but you manipulate tools machines for a living-so no big deal.Paying a bike shop to switch bars cables-would be pricy-$100 maybe

    Yeah- look to see if one of those tires-softer ride one- looks taller
  19. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    How many times did or whatever air up tires and let you ride around their store? How many questions did they answer?

    Who will answer your questions about your on-line purchase bike after you get it?

    Spend the extra change.
  20. I don't think its going to be more $ in the store. I looked at a couple sites for the Jamis commuter and they were more $ than the store. Then you're on your own assembling it too!

    Waiting to pick up the Agent for lunch and we're going to the store that has new/used bikes.

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