Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
13 posts • Page 1 of 1
I commute 7-10km each way to and from work along mostly sealed bike paths (though they are sometimes rough) and back streets plus on weekends I like to do longer rides (40-60km). I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and my budget is around $1,000.
A week ago I knew next to nothing (I've been riding an ancient road bike that I was given); I have learnt heaps since then but would appreciate some advice on what I should be looking for and any suggestions for particular bikes.
Thanks in advance for any help!
Welcome to the nuthouse. We'll post the antidote out if the last recipient recovers
My advice is to keep riding your ancient road bike for a bit. A 10km commute isn't going to stress any bike you ride and, if that was all you were doing, you'd get away with a hybrid quite happily. However, if you suddenly decided that going for a ride on the weekend is quite cool, you may find your hybrid restricting you a bit. Then again, you may not as some riders love their hybrids and do horrendous distances on them but they aren't for everyone.
You're new to the game so get your roadie tweeked and set up well while spending as little as possible. Then start exploring a bit. Go for some longer rides. Look for other ways to use your bike. In a few months time, you'll have a much better idea of how you are going to use your bike.
I suggest you set yourself a target of, say, 500km on your roadie before buying something new. By then, you'll have a better idea of what you're using the bike for but, more importantly, you'll have more strength and fitness - that does change the way a bike fits. Buying something now may just guarantee you'll be buying something else rather sooner than you might otherwise. Most people replace their new bike after a year anyway, for these same reasons, so don't go spending too much at this point.
Buying the right bike is important, both in fit and in style. Buying the wrong bike can actually stop you riding - it happened to me and I'm not the only one on the forum this has happened to. So keep the old girl running for the moment, get some miles under your wheels, but start looking around, getting a feel for the market, getting a feel for the shops (fine tuning your bulldust meter while you're at it) and experiment in lots of different types of rides - long and short.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
Test ride as many different hybrids as you can - some that spring to mind are the Avanti Blade, Scott Sportster and Giant Cypress. I have a Sportster P3 and could'nt be happier - my commute to work is 27km in total and I have ridden it 72kms and found it extremely comfortable. Again test ride as many bikes as you can - you will know when you get on the bike for you - best of luck
Quick note, imho the Giant CRX range is more like the Avanti Blade series, the Cypress is a more MTB style hybrid.
And don't discount drop bars, at your budget you're looking at lower to lower-mid range of roadies, but you won't regret going for it. If you're comfortable with the "ancient road bike" you currently have, you'll enjoy a new roadie, even a basic model on those weekend rides.
But most importantly, what Richard and Seddo said. Test ride as many bikes as you can, both full-roadies and hybrids, and when you get sick of it, test ride some more. And then buy the bike you fall in love with.
As a relative newbie here and to cycling I would go with Richard's advice. Not that I would admit buying Chase was a bad decision (well buying from Fleet Cycles was) but it does open the door to an excuse to get a beer can roadie or a plastic one at the 10, 000 km mark.
+1 on the suggestion of riding some more and find out with what kind of cycling group you'll be with. Try a few local bike groups as well as racing clubs on their weekend rides and see. After that, you'll know the exact kind of riding you'd like to continue with. Further, there'll be a lot of experienced riders in those groups to give you more hands on advice.
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First question is if you are riding a road bike atm why do you want a hybrid?
This is not to put hybrids down I have two and are very happy with them.
Certainly you can easily stay comfortable on a hybrid for that sort of distance.
With that budget you will certainly get the medium range hybrid for your budget. Hybrids sort of stop at the $1500 range.
Someone else brought up the Avanti Blade or similar. These are flat bar road bikes. Not Quite a Hybrid and not quite a true road bike.
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I cant recommend enough the Felt hybrid range.
The QX90 comes in at under $1000 and is fitted with Deore LX gear and has much more of a road bike look and feel to it ( seat to handle bars ) than some of the more upright models out there.
Theres a definate lean to road bikes on this forum, with some suggesting they can do everything except rock hopping, but a quality hybrid is well worth a look if youre not planning on doing the TDF.
Gee, i hope i didnt come across a bit agro there
Just that Glens topic contains the word hybrid, and judging by the description given, a hybrid would in fact be ideal for the purpose.
and a lot more...
Problem is the choice in most bike shops is just roadie or MTB, i doubt the average consumer would even know about hybrids, or have only seen the Mr Bean style ( Avanti Illusion for example )
Thanks for the great suggestions - I really appreciate your helping a bit of a newbie like myself. I've been told so many varied things around various shops so it's good to get some different ideas from people without a financial interest - and also interesting to hear the preferences everyone has.
I think as suggested I'm going to have to ride as many bikes as I can, both hybrids (that are closer to a road bike then MTB) as well as some flat bars. I really appreciate all the suggestions for specific models - seems that most of the shops I've been in to stock a very limited range (mostly Giant plus one or two other brands) and so I've got no idea of the actual options beyond the few I've seen.
I'm always open to more suggestions, personal biases etc.
Flat bars vs drop bars.
Many people get on well with flat bars.
Many do not.
Two cyclists who agree completely are either drunk or riding the same model bike.
Flat bars lock your hands into one position and that's fine, but it removes the ability to move your hands around on a longer rider, thus avoiding numbness. Adding bar ends helps this but in my experience, does not completely aleviate it.
Drop bars, while you may rarely use the drops, allow a variety of hand positions and these allow you to move your hands around on the bars, moving the pressure from one part of your hand to another, altering your sitting position and thus moving the pressure on your body and sitting musculature - this makes a huge difference to your level of comfort. Even without going onto the drops, you can ride further on drop bar bikes than flat bars. Having said that, I don't get on well with the modern ergo bars (they have a flat bit on the drops for your hands) but do get on well with the old fashioned curved drops ... which I noted were fitted to well over a third of the riders in the TdF (ie, even a lot of pros hate ergo bars).
For some of us, me included, flat bars lock your hands and wrists into an uncomfortable position that places stress on your wrists and hands. For everyone, it forces your elbows out wide from your body and this, for many, is uncomfortable on the road (fighting a bush track is a different matter, flat bars work well on an mtb doing mtb stuff). For this reason, some loathe flat bar bikes. Bear in mind that in my fleet of four bikes, I have two flat bar bikes - I'm not guessing here.
On the other hand, there are people who love their flat bar bikes and some people travel quite incredible distances (for any bike) with flat bars.
So it comes down to your own body. If you buy flat and it doesn't work, you can always toss the rotten things and fit trekking bars.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
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