Typical newbie asking for advice thread...

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Typical newbie asking for advice thread...

Postby coolrider » Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:07 am

I am buying a new bike. I have been trawling through this board over the last couple of days picking up tidbits of information to help in deciding exactly what to buy. I have decided that a hybrid is what i want. I am very heavy (120kg) and am concerned about how well a bike will be able to carry my weight. I won't be doing many kms. Leisurely weekend rides, and sporadic commuting that will never be much more than 10km at a time is all i will be doing. Budget is not really an issue, but i don't want to needlessly throw money away.

From searching online at stores in my area (Melbourne), and what info i have picked up from this board, i have picked out a couple of options.

The Giant Cypress 08 $495, and the Diamond Back Wildwood 2007 $475.

Any info on whether these suit my needs (or other bikes that may better suit my needs) would be much appreciated. I know that i have to get along and do some test riding to find out what feels right for me, but i want some feedback from people who know what they are talking about that are not trying to make money off me (thats you guys!), just to make sure i am roughly on the right track, so to speak. :)

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer me.
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by BNA » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:48 am

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Re: Typical newbie asking for advice thread...

Postby thomas_cho » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:48 am

coolrider wrote:I am buying a new bike. I have been trawling through this board over the last couple of days picking up tidbits of information to help in deciding exactly what to buy. I have decided that a hybrid is what i want. I am very heavy (120kg) and am concerned about how well a bike will be able to carry my weight. I won't be doing many kms. Leisurely weekend rides, and sporadic commuting that will never be much more than 10km at a time is all i will be doing. Budget is not really an issue, but i don't want to needlessly throw money away.

From searching online at stores in my area (Melbourne), and what info i have picked up from this board, i have picked out a couple of options.

The Giant Cypress 08 $495, and the Diamond Back Wildwood 2007 $475.

Any info on whether these suit my needs (or other bikes that may better suit my needs) would be much appreciated. I know that i have to get along and do some test riding to find out what feels right for me, but i want some feedback from people who know what they are talking about that are not trying to make money off me (thats you guys!), just to make sure i am roughly on the right track, so to speak. :)

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer me.


Focus on getting good strong set of wheels. At your weight they will give you problems well before the frame or other parts will. If you are riding mainly on paths and sealed roads, perhaps a hard tail, no suspension bike would suit you better. The suspension on lower end bikes are just heavy and can cause more problems than they solve.

How about a Kona Smoke, will slick tyres?
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Postby sogood » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:55 am

I agree with Thomas. Bikes are typically not designed for people in the 100+ weight range and that the more mechanisms you have, the more things can and will go wrong. It's the KISS principle that should be adhered to.

A set of strong wheels and wide tyres is what you need. They would provide the most in terms of ride quality.
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Postby MountGower » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:57 am

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Postby sogood » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:43 am

Two options on the wheels.

1) Use whatever it comes with and claim any breakage in the first year on warranty. Flick it when time is up for a new pair of strong wheels, if deemed necessary.

2) Do a swap deal at the time of purchase. But depending on the quality of LBS and your knowledge, you may pay much more than what it deserves.

Personally, I'd go with the first if buying a complete bike.
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Postby Halfanewb » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:20 am

Hey coolrider

I'm taking a stab in the dark here, that your looking to trim a few kilo's and have fun doing it, welcome to the growing demographic :)

last christmas i started riding with the same view in mind!

I was a fair bit heavier than you are now, in fact the first time i managed to get on a home scale that could handle over 120kg's i was 134!! and i had already lost a fair bit ,, me= fatboy!!

to cut a long story short, i got bitten by the bug, once i got some bike fitness and my power to weight ratio started to change, i started getting the "body buzz" from cycling. Now after some 8 months my body is remembering what it felt like to be fit and its all good.

Ok now down to bike choice, as you have mentioned about reading threads that the more upright position of the hybrid will suit your style of riding.

With road bikes the makers understand that even from the "low end" product range the bike must be comparatively light , however they don't apply this thinking to hybrids and mountain bikes, and so there are some real dogs out there in the low end and they ride that way too.

If price isn't such a issue, the standard to look at would be the the giant CRX range, they have a good selection of flatbars.

happy hunting :)
Last edited by Halfanewb on Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby europa » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:24 am

Giant Cypress

Image

Front suspension with lockout - this suggests it's a better quality fork than cheaper bikes.
No rear suspension and that is smart - you really do need to pay a lot for good dual suspension.
Suspension seat post which will help with your comfort and, if you find it's costing you too much power (they do bounce as you ride), they're a cheap replacement at about $30.
The wheels are good quality wheels with decent spokes but only have 32 spokes. The wheels shouldn't cause you any problems but keep an eye on them as machine built wheels can break spokes early on, a problem that's usually cured under warantee by a manual rebuild of the wheels - nothing to worry about there.
Considering your weight, the fatter tyres are probably a good idea too in that the big bags will help support the weight.

I'd seriously consider asking the shop about supplying wheels with 38 spokes, not the 32 that are standard. Do that when new and you'll save quite a bit of money as the stock wheels can probably be taken into the parts inventory.

Now, the Diamond Back Wildwood 07

Image

Hard to tell but I think it's the same fork.
Again, no rear suspension and again that's a good thing.
Good wheels - only 36 spokes but less of a concern than the 32 of the Giant.
You'll have to clarify this, but I think you'll find the gear system and brakes are of a lower spec than the Giant.

Wildwood specs

Giant Specs

Can some of the mtb boys confirm my thoughts on the specs please?

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Postby Halfanewb » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:08 am

hi again :) just a quick comment in relation to the wheels and your weight ,, when i upgraded to the roadie i was heavier than you are now.

i did have problems with the r550's that came stock with the bike but once they were replaced with the velocity deep v's i've been able to have my cake (Race/training wheel) and eat it too. I like to think thermonuclear bomb proof when it comes to deep v's :)

the upshot i guess is that if your choice of style of bike is going to be strongly influenced by factors such as strength and comfort don't rule out any options.

I ride a full blown roadie with deeps v's and im only a few kilo's lighter and thats just a few months of cycling down the track for you.
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Postby coolrider » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:24 pm

Thank you everyone for taking the time to help me out.

Imanewbie, you are right. I used to be pretty fit, and have become keen to get back to that. I always had bikes growing up and loved riding, and have wanted to buy one for quite some time, but haven't been in the financial position to do so. Anyway, i expect that the bike won't have to hold my current weight for very long. Does it change anyone's advice if you assume that the weight will drop by about a kg a week in the first 6 months of ownership? I expect to be losing weight at something like that level, and if i am lingering around my current weight it means i am not using the bike enough to bother worrying about whether it can handle the workload anyway.


Thomas mentioned this one as a possible alternative, what do others think? KONA SMOKE link was here...

Imanewbie suggested the CRX range. What improvements would that offer me over the Cypress, and would i have to go to the higher end, or would the CRX 4 suffice?
GIANT CRX 4 link was here...

If i spend a bit more as MountGower said, what benefits am i looking at, and just how much do i need to spend to get them? I am happy to spend more now if it means i will get considerably longer life out of the bike. Reference to specific brands and models would be appreciated.

Again, thank you all very much for the help. I was very pleasantly surprised to find so much good information had been posted in this thread so quickly after i started it. :D

PS. i just tried to post but got a message that i could not put links in my post because i am too much of a noob. (fair enough too, clever way to help cut out some spamming). Hence the 'link was here' comments.
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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:38 pm

Richard asked us to look over the specs from the perspective of a MTB rider. Unfortunately the specs don't even register on the low end of MTB components for either bike. :cry:

Thomas had the best advice as far as I'm concerned - a rigid MTB style of bike with slicks is a better bike for your needs, especially at 120kg. Those hybrids have such low end specs that I'd be concerned about their durability. Here's a link to the Kona Smoke.

And I'd dump those suspension seat posts before I even took the bike from the shop (sorry Richard - those telescoping designs are terrible).

Cheers,
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Postby europa » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:43 pm

Kalgrm wrote:And I'd dump those suspension seat posts before I even took the bike from the shop (sorry Richard - those telescoping designs are terrible).


I was being polite - besides, everyone should experience just how awful they are.

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Postby Mulger bill » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:55 pm

G'Day coolrider :)

Where in Melbourne are you, what type of surfaces will you be riding, and how hilly is it?

Of the two you listed, I'd be tempted to go the Cypress, (No suprise to anyone here. I must add :P ) IMO the spec is slightly better and the lower gearing will help if there's any reasonable hills, it's only let down in any way by the wheels, not that I can find that spec on the Diamondback site. The Cypress has trigger shifters and the Wildwood twisters, your call on that.

More money will usually equate to a lighter bike with higher quality, more durable components but it's very hard to quantify.

If you can spare about another $200, look at the Giant Farrago IMO the Deore level running gear will be well worth the bucks.

I would suggest the bigger bag tyres of the Cypress or Wildwood would be more comfortable than the rather skinny CRX rubber.

In the end tho' it really is all about you in this thread, find a shop you feel comfortable in and audition as many as you can on both sides of your price range. When you come across the unit you absolutely love the idea of paying for, and you will :D Ask the shop if the resident wheelsmith can give the hoops a good seeing to, then ride off with a big 15 year olds grin on your dial and just keep on going 8)

Good luck and great fun on the hunt mate.

Shaun

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Postby coolrider » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:33 am

I have no rational reason for favouring a hybrid. I am getting the impression though that i would actually be better off looking at MTBs. Am i right to think that?

My main requirements are comfort and sturdiness. I want something that i can happily get around on (relatively short rides), that won't fall apart underneath me. If i get to a point where my fitness and enjoyment is good enough to step up to other usages (regular commuting, longer distance joy rides), i am ok with buying a second bike later on that will suit those needs better.

With that in mind, does the Kona Smoke suit? Besides getting rid of the suspension seat post is there anything else i would need to adjust? Any other MTB suggestions?

Also, i live in the NW subs of Melbourne, and don't really know what bike stores are around and what they stock. Part of the reason i looked at the Giant range is because it seems to be stocked at most stores. The closest shop i can find online that stocks the Kona Smoke is a fair distance away. So, any advice from locals on good shops in my area would also be great.
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Postby stryker84 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:00 am

Another option is to walk into your LBS (or if you don't have one, then find a good shop) and not look at whole bikes, but ask about assembling a custom bikes from separate bits.

that way you could get a sturdier frame, wheels, etc, instead of having to buy a bike and then upgrade components, while getting stuck with the stock frame.

no idea if the price is compatible, but I know it's an option.

a friend of mine did just that, since he was breaking stock bikes too regularly. He's 6ft+ and VERY solidly built. His bike now is brilliantly suited to him exactly - extra width (strength) tubing, huge wheels/tyres, solid seatpost, etc...
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Postby coolrider » Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:38 pm

At this stage it looks like i will be going with a Kona Smoke, as suggested by some in this thread. Just wondering if anyone recommends any adjustments on the standard set up?

Thanks again.
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Postby Mulger bill » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:00 am

coolrider wrote:Just wondering if anyone recommends any adjustments on the standard set up?


Oury grips should about do it methinks. Waaaay comfortable and a shedload of different colours available.

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Postby coolrider » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:54 am

I am finding that the 07 Smoke may not be in stock anymore. I was told by the shop i called that the 08 version was 4-6 weeks away. I want my new bike sooner than that. I will try other places, but in case i can't manage to find one...

He suggested the Kona Dew, and then the Deluxe model when i asked about wheel durability. So what do you guys think about the Dew for me, and is the upgrade to Deluxe of much benefit given the extra $$$?
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Postby europa » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:20 pm

One thing to remember - that 4-6 weeks will pass very quickly (BTDT). Don't buy the 'wrong' bike just because it's available. However, there's nothing wrong with looking at alternatives.

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Postby coolrider » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:23 pm

europa wrote:One thing to remember - that 4-6 weeks will pass very quickly (BTDT). Don't buy the 'wrong' bike just because it's available. However, there's nothing wrong with looking at alternatives.

Richard


Thats definitely true. If the alternatives don't meet my needs, i won't just rush in just for the sake of having something a few weeks sooner.
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Postby MountGower » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:57 pm

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Postby coolrider » Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:33 pm

MountGower wrote:G'day Coolrider

I like the thought of the 26" wheels to be safe while your trimming the weight. I see so many bikes I'd at least like to see on eBay, but they are all pick up only. Have you had a look at eBay?


I have looked around ebay a bit for not much result.

Excuse my ignorance, but looking at the specs on the net, i can't tell what the wheel sizes are, so which one has the 26" wheels?
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Postby MountGower » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:53 pm

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Postby Halfanewb » Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:12 am

MountGower wrote:I reckon nearly everyone out there has, at one time early on rushed in being keen to get going and bought the wrong bike. It is a really good thing to see when ever someone comes on the forum and takes their time about it.

You've put yourself in a high percentage straight away just by taking a step back and having a think.


agreed :)

enjoy the shopping experience and get a feel of whats most natural for you, keep your options open till you fall in love.
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Postby europa » Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:28 am

Imanewbie wrote: i turned around and there she was dressed to impress..thought about nothing else that night... err gotta go../slips on the leg warmers


Hang on, you're dreaming about your new love ... then you slip on some stockings :shock:

Richard
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Postby Halfanewb » Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:17 am

europa wrote:
Imanewbie wrote: i turned around and there she was dressed to impress..thought about nothing else that night... err gotta go../slips on the leg warmers


Hang on, you're dreaming about your new love ... then you slip son some stockings :shock:

Richard


yea,, ya know how much of a turn on it is Richard , i wont deny it!! i love shiny lycra!! :lol:
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