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04/30/2015 11:16:23 PM · #1
I will soon be moving to an actual home with actual space, and there is a natural area near. I want a bicycle...

I haven't had a bike since I was a teen, so I'm way out of the loop. I know we have a lot of cyclists here. I want a bike I can be proud of, but don't want to go all out. I'll want some sort of fitness tracker too to track bike activites. Any must-have camera do-dads? Any recommendations of starting places for a research? Or any other advice...
04/30/2015 11:22:13 PM · #2
From what I've heard puncture-resistant tires are a good investment ... expect prices to exceed expectations -- it's more like buying a motorcycle used to be, which is now like buying a car ...
04/30/2015 11:25:20 PM · #3
It's a very broad question. Not unlike asking "what camera should I buy"?

-Do you expect to be riding mostly paved roads, or some gravel trails?

-Do you prefer something upright, or do you know you prefer drop style handlebars?

-Do you expect to carry a load? (Like your camera?)

-How much are you looking to spend?

Without knowing these answers, I will assume you haven't ridden a bike heavily in a few years. will probably want to take your camera, and your riding might include some gravel, but not any serious off-road adventures.

I'd start off by looking at the class of bike called a hybrid. It's about halfway between a mountain bike and road bike. Medium width tires with road friendly tread, upright handlebars with trigger shifters, and the ability to mount a rack. My wife has a Specialized Vita, which was about $650 two years ago.
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04/30/2015 11:28:58 PM · #4
You can expect prices to start at around $400 in a bike shop. There is lots on the used market for very nice prices, but you need to know what you are looking at. There is a huge difference between a $150 Wal Mart bike and something that came from a good shop. If you see anything on Craigslist that looks promising, post a link here and we can offer opinions on the quality of the bike and the value.
04/30/2015 11:31:18 PM · #5
I bought a comfort bike. trek shift 3

I had a hybrid before, but I'd get very sore neck and shoulders and also sore wrists. The comfort bikes are nice because they're more upright.

That being said, though my neck and shoulders have been better, you don't get as much power when riding upright vs bending over. So my average speed suffers.

I've been using the endomondo app on my phone instead of a bike computer. It actually works quite well and is fun since it uploads the info and I can see all my stats, graphs, trips to the moon, etc.

My brother-in-law has a garmin 510. He's live in MN (where there's been snow until recently), and he already has 1733 miles logged for the year. It's pricey, so I just bought a bike case for my phone.
04/30/2015 11:32:32 PM · #6
For carrying a camera safely, I would suggest a padded rack trunk for a DSLR. Get one with the velcro lining so you can insert dividers to hold your camera properly.

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I've more recently gotten a Micro 4/3 and I can carry that easily in a handlebar bag, even on my road bikes without rear racks.

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04/30/2015 11:33:50 PM · #7
I would recommend Nashbar.com for great prices. I purchased a couple GT hybrid city bikes for around $450 and couldn't be happier. MSRP was $950. Nashbar have sales often and this may be a good time of the year to find excellent deals on last years models.

You don't say what kind of riding or bike you want. City bike? racer? mountain bike? folding bike?
Some things to think about are kind of brakes: regular rim clinching or disc brakes. I would highly recommend the latter, but only the hydraulic kind.
Chain or belt? The later requires no lubing, very little maintenance, quiet, but expensive.
Kind of handlebars: dropped , straight bar, riser, cruiser, moustache, etc.
Pedal type: clipped or unclipped
bell or horn...ok, just kidding :)

Also, bikesdirect.com may also be a good place to buy, though I have never purchased from them. Excellent prices, but you have to know what you're looking for and do your own research.

Message edited by author 2015-04-30 23:41:35.
04/30/2015 11:33:56 PM · #8
(as far as the comfort bike, even though the average mph suffers, I still put 800+ miles on it last year (bought it in May, definitely wasn't a bike rider)
04/30/2015 11:36:15 PM · #9
Biggest thing is: Make sure it fits you!! The reason my shoulders and neck hurt so much with my old hybrid was it was a men's bike that was too long for me. I'm only 5'3". The bike store was just happy to sell me a bike and I don't think there were as many choices for women back then.
04/30/2015 11:40:14 PM · #10
Originally posted by vawendy:

I bought a comfort bike. trek shift 3

I had a hybrid before, but I'd get very sore neck and shoulders and also sore wrists. The comfort bikes are nice because they're more upright.

Comfort bikes are similar to hybrids, but a little more upright and cruiser-like.

I'm not a fan of upright bars myself. I like the slightly leaned over position riding on top of the brake hoods of a drop bar bike. I bought this last fall and fixed it up to my liking. It is an early 90's Bianchi Volpe. Pretty much a do-everything kind of bike and similar to a hybrid in setup other than the drop bars.
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04/30/2015 11:52:49 PM · #11
I bought a handlebar bag for my camera instead of putting it on the back. It's not as good of a balance, at all, but it's available right away (it opens from the back, so I can get the camera out while on the bike. Well, not while riding -- when stopped. :)

The canon 7d is a stupid heavy camera, so it really does feel unbalanced when I load it up. But I don't notice it when riding. I figure that I want to have it quickly, because I'm shooting things more like snakes and deer and such.
04/30/2015 11:57:26 PM · #12
Another consideration is frame metal: aluminum, light, but stiff and hard ride
steel, heavier, more comfortable ride cause the metal has more give at the joints
more exotic materials such as carbon fiber, very light but fragile, and expensive; titanium

or don't go metal at all: be the first on your block to get a bamboo bike. Very quiet, no road vibration, easy to fix cracks if they occur, but expensive.
04/30/2015 11:57:27 PM · #13
Originally posted by vawendy:

The canon 7d is a stupid heavy camera, so it really does feel unbalanced when I load it up. But I don't notice it when riding. I figure that I want to have it quickly, because I'm shooting things more like snakes and deer and such.

I found that even the 50d was more than I liked having up front. the little olympus is fine, however. Takes DSLR quality pics and I can do my trademark "from the pedal" shots with it.
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Yes, I take some risks with my camera on the bike. A good reason to have cheap cameras.

Message edited by author 2015-04-30 23:57:53.
04/30/2015 11:57:37 PM · #14
I like Trek myself. Got this one a few years ago - really love it still.

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Alumnium frame (not for weight, but for anti-rust, here in Florida this is a pretty big deal)
Upright comfortable position
Foot-foward pedals (more natural leg positioning)
Zero-Cables (hate cables on my bike, no adjustment's here!)
Fixed gear-ratio (I had mine modified to be way deeper - can run over 30mph on this bike, but taking off is hard, broke several sets of pedals off before I found some billet ones that would stand up to the torque)
..

The nicest thing about this bike is that when I'm coasting there is literally ZERO noise, no clicking, clacking, or other annoyances, very enjoyable and relaxing to run around on this one.
05/01/2015 12:01:04 AM · #15
Originally posted by Cory:

I like Trek myself. Got this one a few years ago - really love it still.

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Alumnium frame (not for weight, but for anti-rust, here in Florida this is a pretty big deal)
Upright comfortable position
Foot-foward pedals (more natural leg positioning)
Zero-Cables (hate cables on my bike, no adjustment's here!)
Fixed gear-ratio (I had mine modified to be way deeper - can run over 30mph on this bike, but taking off is hard, broke several sets of pedals off before I found some billet ones that would stand up to the torque)
..

The nicest thing about this bike is that when I'm coasting there is literally ZERO noise, no clicking, clacking, or other annoyances, very enjoyable and relaxing to run around on this one.


Yeah... that's one thing I'm not crazy about on my bike: it goes low enough, but not high enough with the gears. I like to pedal downhill. I can do that on most of the hills around here, but only up to about 25mph. After that, the gears don't go high enough.
05/01/2015 12:02:09 AM · #16
.

Message edited by author 2015-05-01 00:02:59.
05/01/2015 12:03:47 AM · #17
Originally posted by Cory:

I like Trek myself. Got this one a few years ago - really love it still.

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Alumnium frame (not for weight, but for anti-rust, here in Florida this is a pretty big deal)

Aluminum may not rust but it does corrode.
05/01/2015 12:10:58 AM · #18
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05/01/2015 12:13:59 AM · #19
Originally posted by Olyuzi:

Originally posted by Cory:

I like Trek myself. Got this one a few years ago - really love it still.

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Alumnium frame (not for weight, but for anti-rust, here in Florida this is a pretty big deal)

Aluminum may not rust but it does corrode.


True, but the corrosion is typically only on the surface, as the conversion to aluminum oxide is accompanied by an increase in volume, effectively forming a protective coating that stops the corrosion.

However, put just a bit of gallium on the alumnium and that's no longer true, the corrosion can then proceed throughout the alumnium's structure. :-)
05/01/2015 12:11:13 PM · #20
Get anything, hard to go up easy to come down, they are all the same in the end.
05/01/2015 01:11:55 PM · #21
It's gonna take a while to build up your strength & endurance, so I would say at first any ol' bike will do. A free one would be best. Hopefully you have some people to ride with, maybe one of them would have a bike to lend you at first. Which bike is right for you depends on so many things--how you ride, where you ride, how competitive you are, how particular you are, how much time you want to spend taking care of the bike, etc. And money.
05/01/2015 01:22:41 PM · #22
Like a few people said, the $400 range will get you something pretty good and if you buy it from a shop they'll help you make sure the frame is the right size and adjust it properly.

I had a KHE or KHS, can't remember but it was a single speed road bike, loved that thing but it got stolen even locked up on a Navy base. Paid around $350 I think. I've had a bunch of different bikes over the years but down to two right now and they both need some work to be ride-able again.

I like single speed bikes but they suck going up hills, no way around it.
05/01/2015 01:58:46 PM · #23
Originally posted by MadMan2k:

I like single speed bikes but they suck going up hills, no way around it.

Yep. I rode one of my single speeds to an event several weekends back and decided to take it up the steep hill about a mile from my house on the way back. It's a tough but short hill on a geared bike and was brutal on a single speed.
05/01/2015 05:08:17 PM · #24
The other thought is that bike stores sometimes rent bikes. You can do a longer ride to see if like that style
05/01/2015 05:11:01 PM · #25
I would recommend checking into a local bike co-op and also local bike shops. Give yourself a rough timeframe in which to make the decision. I have re-fallen in love with riding and have put over 2000 miles in since last year.
Find something comfortable that you like to look at. Get tires for whatever surface you like best. Personally, I use the iPhone for most of my pix and tracking my rides on Strava.
Always love to talk bikes ! :)

Message edited by author 2015-05-01 17:11:35.
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