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Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4

    1st bike for middle-aged clydesdale

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    I want to buy a road bike & need advice. At first, I thought I could get one for under $1000 but now not sure. I definitely want a bike that will shift properly, fairly comfortable without lots of vibration & will hold up. I plan to ride as a workout but not race & am about 5'7 & weigh 170. I road a Fuji Finest 2.0 but was just OK with it. I've been checking out local bike shops & doing research on the web. Like everything else, there is so much information, I'm feeling overwhelmed. Any help you can give will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Welcome. Test ride a variety of bikes to determine which ones are worth pursuing. Fit is most important; if you are uncomfortable, you will not want to ride.

    Just for your info, Clydesdales refer to men who are above a certain weight (200lbs??) and the equivalent for women is Athena. I don't know what the weight definition for Athena is, though (triathlons have these separate categories).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Second the recommendation to ride lots of bikes. As you do, make little mental notes about what you liked or didn't like about a bike, and don't hesitate to share this information with the bike shop staff. It won't hurt their feelings, and may help them narrow the bike field, so to speak.

    Good luck, and happy shopping!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4
    As you can tell, I'm totally new to the world of biking!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    Faro- some important considerations that will help narrow your selection are:

    1) are there a lot of hills where you live that you will be trying to climb?
    2) are you planning to ride only on smooth paved roads and bike paths? Or do you want to ride on rough dirt and gravel back roads as well?
    3) what kind of distances are you hoping to ride?
    4) do you plan to use your bike for hauling groceries or for biking with camping equipment loaded on it? Are you thinking of doing multi-day touring or camping trips on it?
    5) are you hoping to ride in bike club rides and keep up with their various speed levels?
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4
    Thank you for your reply.

    Yes, there are plenty of hills where I live. Planning on riding on smooth pavement; I'm sorry to say, but there are no bike paths anywhere! I'm hoping to work up to distance, 30-50 mile rides. The bike will be used for working out, not to run errands with. Various speeds, yes. Sometime in the future maybe riding with a club is a possibility, not right off though. I had not been on a bike in 20 years but have done several rides recently, about 20 miles. I think my biggest hurdle is adjusting to the toe clips. I have shoes with clips for spinning & thought it would easily transfer over. Guess I need to get use to one thing at a time.

    Everything I've read has said to spend as much as you can afford for a bike. What is a reasonable amount to spend? I want something I'll be satisfied with & spend time riding, not frustrated with mechanical issues.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    About the clipless pedals...I got the first generation LOOK pedals in the 1980s, so I've been riding that way for a long time. Just the other day, while visiting a fellow TEer, I couldn't clip out and fell down. It was on grass and I was fine, but it still happens and is no less embarrassing!

    I'm sure people will chime in with their favorite bikes. For very good quality and a reasonable price, I really like Jamis bikes. They can be hard to find, so call around to your local bike shops (LBS) and see if they have them. Also, read the posts on these forums about new bikes and new riders and fit. I also recommend shopping around for a good LBS--one that will take their time with you, answer your questions, and not try to sell you a bike just because they have it on the floor. Once you find such LBS, support them (i.e., don't spend their time and expertise and go order one from an online website). The payoff in advice, fixes, maintenance and fit will be worth alot more than the difference in price.

    Remember that there are likely several bikes out there that will suit your needs, so you don't have to worry about getting THE perfect bike (some of us are pretty obsessive about our bikes, as you can probably tell). In fact, I have three perfect bikes, and they are all different.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    Quote Originally Posted by Faro View Post
    Everything I've read has said to spend as much as you can afford for a bike. What is a reasonable amount to spend? I want something I'll be satisfied with & spend time riding, not frustrated with mechanical issues.
    First determine what is the maximum amount you are comfortable paying for a bike. Then add $500 or so to allow for new shoes, pedals and cleats, and a good pair of shorts and jersey.

    Next, determine whether you want a more aggressive geometry or relaxed geometry. You might want to consider something in the plush bike category. These bikes are very responsive, light, but not as aggressive as a road racing type bike. Also, many of these bikes have nice components on them.

    Find a bike shop that listens to your needs and see if they will let you rent or borrow a bike that interests you and you can take it out for a longer spin. When you find a bike that interests you, talk to the mechanic. I have learned many a thing, both good and bad, about different bikes through the mechanic.

    I hope this helps and good luck with your shopping adventure. When you get your bike, please let us know and be sure and post pictures.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    1,320
    For what it's worth, I'll chime in too.

    I have a Jamis Quest- this is a steel road bike. I got it with Look-type pedals in 2003. I've ridden this bike probably 15-20,000 miles. Another friend of mine, Sarah, purchased a Jamis Quest a few years ago and loves her bike as well.

    You can probably find out who sells these bikes by going to the Jamis site or just looking in Google under Jamis bikes. They also sell mountain bikes and perhaps hybrids as well.

    The reason I am suggesting a road bike is because you are talking about doing some major mileage. 50 miles on a comfort-around town bike would not be pleasant to say the least! People do it, but I don't recommend it.

    Also find out about the gearing on the bikes you are trying out. It's not expensive to change the back cassette to lower gears which you will probably want if you do hills. I put a mountain bike cassette on my Jamis bike as there is a mountain nearby that I had as a goal to ride. (I now ride my Jamis up that mountain about once a week) The bike frame will determine how low a gear you can get on the rear.

    I also recommend that you get a triple chain ring on the front. This will give you more options on the hills and make it easier for you.

    Now is a good time to look for a nice bike as it is the end of the season and the bike shops will often mark the 2008 models down to make room for next year's models.

    One other suggestion- if you have a lot of wind that you have to deal with on your rides, it's good to get wheels that are stable in the wind. The bike shop people should be able to help you on that one

    Try Specialized bikes as well. They have frames designed for women and that might be a good option for you.

    $1200 would get you a very nice bike with some good components.

    If you get the Look type platforms you can ride your bike with tennis shoes. I did that for the first month until I got used to the bike and the type of ride a road bike gives you.

    Best of luck and let us know what happens!
    Nancy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    820
    My 2 cents...

    Based on my research lately into bikes for a family member, the two best buys in the $1000 range are from Felt and Jamis.

    Felt FW35 (women's) or F85 (unisex) are great buys.
    Jamis Ventura Race in men's or women's model is great too.

    Both of these bikes offer shockingly good components for the price and both are under 20 pounds. The Jamis has carbon seat stays which might make it a slightly better buy than Felt.

    So, yes, the bike must fit, but these two are big winners if they fit you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,975
    Welcome to TE Happy shopping and we want to hear the test ride reports! It's almost as much fun as shopping for a new bike, and with your money.
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4
    Wow, I had no idea I would get so many responses!

    I've looked at the specific bikes mentioned online & have a better idea of what I'm looking for. The LBS owner told me up front I could buy online cheaper. The internet is great for research but I know it'll be to my benefit to buy local, something I consciously try to do.

    Also, I need input on pedals & shoes. What are the easiest pedals to get "in & out" of other than the original platform type (tried those & slipped off numerous times). The problem I've had with the clipless pedal, is clippping "in." Also, the Shimano shoes I have for spinning have a slick bottom & I tend to slide on the pavement getting off the bike. I'll be honest & say I'm intimidated by what it'll take "to make this happen." I realize I've got to push myself at first & when I get the hang of it, it'll be great fun & I'll get to workout outside!

    Thanks so much for everyones help. I truly appreciate it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    I love my Shimano mountain bike shoes (SH-MO38W) I'm on my second pair; my first pair finally wore out after 10 years. They don't have a slick sole. I wear them when I ride my road bikes. The shoes I would really like to have (Sidi) cost way too much than is reasonable, and I'm happy with my Shimanos.

    Clipping in and out takes practice. It's good to practice on a trainer and then on the grass until you get the hang of it. Expect to fall. I've fallen a handful of times in my 23 years of riding clipless. The last time I fell was just a few days ago. It happens, but if you practice (and practice falling--on grass), it'll be less of an issue fearwise.

 

 

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