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Thread: Another newb!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    14

    Another newb!

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    I was looking for a bike (for a beginner) for exercise purposes. I have been to my local bike shop, and they showed me a cruiser and a hybrid. Both seem a little too bubble-gum for what I'm interested in.

    I've been heavily considering the Trek FX 7.3 WSD, but I'm nervous about making that kind of purchase. First, I haven't ever ridden a bike bent over like that. Second, the thin tires, I'm worried about them not being able to handle the rural roads where I live. Lastly, I'm concerned that I should really be getting the cruiser/hybrid, but I'll out grow it quickly.

    What do you all think? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    71
    A fellow newbie here so I can't answer your questions (sorry!) but I just wanted to say welcome!
    Amy

    Kickin' it old school on my Huffy, but hey, I RIDE!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,821
    Follow your gut instinct. It sounds like you're a roadie at heart. You don't need to ride that bent over. You can set up the bike so you're more upright. Drop bars are great for giving you lots of hand position options.

    You may want to take a bike safety course if there's one offered near you. You'll also need to learn some basic maintenance, like how to change a flat. If you have a great group of family and friends who will not mind coming to get you if you have a mechanical incident, you can get away with just carrying your cell phone at first. Eventually, the day will come when you're stuck and you can't reach anyone, or they're unable to drop everything and come get you, and you'll start carrying tubes, tools, and some method of getting air or gas into your tires. Even still I sometimes get stuck. I have a taxi # in my phone for real emergencies, but I haven't used it yet.

    You should try to test ride as many bikes as you can. I admit, I did not follow that advice, and it worked out fine. I bought a used bike and it was good for my first year, then I upgraded.

    Most important, have fun, and ride!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    14
    Thanks for the information. I dropped by my bike shop for a quick ride this afternoon. They let me go on the Women's 15" Trek FX 7.3. He said that was too small for me. I ended up on the Men's 17" Trek FX 7.3. He said that looked like a much better fit. I was suprised.

    Anyway, I'm going by tomorrow for a longer ride through the park area that they have nearby. I'm getting really excited about this!

    What are the basics that I need in addition to the bike? Helmet, special padded pants, water bottle, glasses?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Gloves, to protect your hands if you fall.

    If you will be riding rough gravel roads (like I do often) then you should get a bike that will accept at least 25cm wide tires. (racing tires are 23 or thinner).
    You can get flat-resistant 25's that will get you over just about any rough gravel.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    152
    Essentials - Helmet is number one. A jersey and a padded short. It will feel weird and you will be sore if you're not used to being in a different position. I'm a newbie myself, so I'm going through the same thing.

    First thing you want to do is to switch out the saddle....seriously. Almost everyone switch out the stock saddle. Men saddles HURT like you wouldn't believe (at least it was for my case, and I only rode it for ONE day...sore for 4 days..jeez!). Some bike shops are generous, they will "buy" the stock saddle, and give a discount on the new saddle. That's how I saved $50 on my Terry Butterfly Ti.

    Some bike shops give free water bottle/cages when you buy a bike from them. I got free bottle cage, and free water bottle (from a group that I joined). So be sure to check out the bike shops extra deals when you buy a bike from them.

    As for tires - you'll get used to them. If you want to invest, you can ask about switching out the tires to more durable tires. There's many different types of tires out there, and some of the "thin" tires do have the ability to go over rural roads. Explain this to the LBS that you want a good "all around" tires...they will be more familiar with different types of tires for your area. I live in Las Vegas, so it's VERY hot, and one of the first questions I asked was if I should be worried about my tires and hot hot asphalt. They said no, but I probably need to pump my tires every ride or every other ride.

    Gloves, computers, Camelbak, or any gizmos can come later..Christmas is coming up...so ask for those things...plus they tend to be cheaper during the fall.

    If you haven't, you should also look into other brand bikes, shop at different LBS and see what they recommend. I went to 4 different shops until I felt really comfortable with having the Pro Fit done and the right bike.

    Good luck!! :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    152
    Oh yeah,

    Anything extra - buy them off eBay...they're seriously good prices. I got a good saddle bag with lights for 6 bucks. I got a couple jerseys for $70 total while it's 70 for just one in the store. Pumps, computers, lights...they have it through eBay. I rather buy stuff like that for cheap...makes me feel better for spending a good chunk of money for my bike!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,821
    Quote Originally Posted by allismarie View Post
    Thanks for the information. I dropped by my bike shop for a quick ride this afternoon. They let me go on the Women's 15" Trek FX 7.3. He said that was too small for me. I ended up on the Men's 17" Trek FX 7.3. He said that looked like a much better fit. I was surprised.

    Anyway, I'm going by tomorrow for a longer ride through the park area that they have nearby. I'm getting really excited about this!

    What are the basics that I need in addition to the bike? Helmet, special padded pants, water bottle, glasses?
    Yes, you may be better suited to a men's frame. My first bike was a women's specific model, and it turns out that wasn't necessary for me. I now ride men's frames.

    I recently went bike shopping with a friend, and was happy to see that when she loved the fit of a particular bike that was out of her price-range, the shop was able to set up a lower priced model to fit the same. They even switched some of the parts to women's specific for her at no charge (including the saddle). So, she ended up with exactly what she wanted in her price range.

    In addition to gloves and helmet, you may want a stiff-soled shoe to ride in even if you're not going clipless. You may already have something suitable for toe clips. I rode in sneakers at first, which was not the best choice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    You may want to think about a cross or touring bike. They generally are set up with a little wider tire that can handle rutty or even dirt roads. If you do a century ride on all paved roads, you can swap out the tire for slicks. I have an old Giant bike that looks and handles like a road bike, but has a more stretched out geometry and wider tires with a little nub to them. That bike can fly on road or trail.
    I can do five more miles.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    865
    Quote Originally Posted by allismarie View Post
    I was looking for a bike (for a beginner) for exercise purposes. I have been to my local bike shop, and they showed me a cruiser and a hybrid. Both seem a little too bubble-gum for what I'm interested in.

    I've been heavily considering the Trek FX 7.3 WSD, but I'm nervous about making that kind of purchase. First, I haven't ever ridden a bike bent over like that. Second, the thin tires, I'm worried about them not being able to handle the rural roads where I live. Lastly, I'm concerned that I should really be getting the cruiser/hybrid, but I'll out grow it quickly.

    What do you all think? Thanks in advance!

    I have the 7.3 fx. It can take all the abuse Michigan knarly roads can dish out. Unfortunately, it takes it better than my body does! But seriously, 4000 miles and no flat tires, no bent wheel frames, no popped spokes, no broken carbon seat post, none of the problems my husband has had with his bike. I did break a shifter cable once. And, I've spectacularly thrown me and the bike to the pavement in a failed attempt to unclip from my pedals several times. Nice bike. Very trustworthy.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    14
    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all of the input, and thanks for being so welcomming!

    I've got a list of the bike shops in town. I'm planning to go to a few this afternoon and check them out. I'm ready to seriously test ride a few. I'm going to focus on the overall comfort of the saddle, the height, and the extension of the handle bars.

    I'll report back!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    MS
    Posts
    220
    Another great place to shop for accessories is amazon. You have to be patient to run through all the vendors, but there are some good deals.

 

 

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