Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Advice on crank set for Giant CRX 3 2007

Postby Jeune » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:16 am

Hi all,
I just threaded my right crank arm (loose pedal) and need some advice on buying a replacement crank set. I'm pretty new to this so I don't know what to look for on eBay etc re size. Are they quite generic ie one type fits several or are they very specific from bike to bike. On a quick check before leaving for work they look to be around 195mm from top of crank to pedal hole centre, or about 200 from top to bottom. I just want to know what to look for so I can get back out there quickly.

Cheers!
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by BNA » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:54 pm

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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby SouthWest » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:54 pm

AUbicycles wrote:This is a basic calculator which I have used before:
http://www.ebicycles.com/bicycle-tools/frame-sizer (select cm rather than inches)

50cm however is really too small for your height - in these forums you could try a trade however the chances of getting a match are slow (it is a small frame and a specific style of bike).
I assume that you would end up selling this bike - and if it is still in good condition you may be able to sell it for the same price (or at only a small loss).

Cheers
Christopher


Hi,

I'm interested in purchasing a flat bar road bike. I'm at 174cm, ~ 78-79cm inseam. So I guess my ideal frame size would be 54cm but would it still be alright going for a 55cm bike?

If you would have to choose between one, would you go with one size smaller or one size larger?

Thanks.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:34 pm

Good question, sometimes some frames skip a few CM - so 51cm, 53cm, 55cm and 57cm, so this may decided for you.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby maxknott » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:33 am

if your really unsure or confused about what type of bike you want, you could always buy something cheap from gumtree/ebay, then after riding for a while you might have a better idea of what you want
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby mssndependant » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:05 am

Hi, not sure if this is the right thread for this query but I'll ask anyway!! I'm buying a road bike for my 15 year old son, I have to go 2nd hand due to budget. He will only use it maybe 4 to 6 times a year as an addition to his usual training (he plays junior footy and does karate). I have done some research on brands, to try and make sure I wasn't getting ripped off. I also put my son's measurements into the Fit Calculator on competitivecyclist.com and got some info on what size I should get him. I bought a Shogun (model Sport I think) second hand (without the ability to have him try it for size) and I thought I had a bit more flexibility in the frame size than I did, so the bike is too big (should prob be ok in a year though) so now I'm trying to get him one that he can ride now. My question is should I get a much older good brand like Shogun or Giant or even Apollo, or a second hand although much newer but not as good brand like a Triax. He won't ride it very often, and rides probably won't be longer than 40 to 60 minutes and unfortunately I am very limited by budget. I am looking on ebay, gumtree, and cash converters. I have also checked bike exchange.com.au but most of theirs are out of my price range.

Thanks for any advice!!
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby fatdudeonabike » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:20 pm

I have no idea about ladies bikes... mainly on account of the fact that I'm a dude.
However, it only took 2 weeks of seeing less of me than my bike does for my gf to decide that she wants to get a bike so we can do the lake rides around Canberra. (She doesn't have a car, and she says she'll also use it to come to my house so I dont have to drive her all the time, or ride to her place - but I know this wont happen.)

She's not going to want to spend a lot - in fact, she was planning just to go to Kmart until I told her that I wouldnt ride with her if she's on a Kmart bike.

So what I need is some advice on the cheapest non-rubbish bike for a lady who will ride it, probably very slowly, for maybe 20km on a weekend. The only one I could find was the Giant Boulder 4 W, but at $379, I dont even know if she's going to want to spend that much. Although a mtb or maybe a hybrid is probably what she's after.
Does anyone know of anything cheaper?

(I'm crossing my fingers that if I go to the place that I got my bike 2 weeks ago, they'll do the right thing and knock it down a fair bit - I think if she could get bike and helmet for 360ish, she'll probably do it.)

edit: Its probably worth adding that she's got super long legs and is quite athletic - really, she's out of my league in so many ways, but she doesnt seem to have noticed yet...

But back on topic - would she be better off with a "unisex" (ie. mens) bike? At least I know where to go to get them at a good price.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Dezza » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:32 am

usernameforme wrote:
redsonic wrote:Are there particular types of road bikes that are less crouched than others?


Specialized Sectur/Roubaix, Giant Defy, Trek Domane or Madone in H3 are the bikes that come to mind when someone asks me for a relaxed bike. There are PLENTY "sportive" geometry bikes out there. I'd say go around to a few shops and ask for bikes with a more upright/relaxed geometry.

Somewhere on BNA forums (or maybe the BNV forums) there's a thread comparing these, but after a lot of searching, dang if I can find it again now. :?

Can anyone point me to it?
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby tugga » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:38 pm

Hey is it worth buying a brand name bike like giant or will I get better value buying a cell bike. I was looking at the boulder 1 or the cell m29. I'm a biginner rider and both these bikes are as much as I want to spend.

Thanks
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Riddley » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:18 pm

fatdudeonabike wrote:The only one I could find was the Giant Boulder 4 W, but at $379, I dont even know if she's going to want to spend that much. Although a mtb or maybe a hybrid is probably what she's after....

edit: Its probably worth adding that she's got super long legs and is quite athletic - really, she's out of my league in so many ways, but she doesnt seem to have noticed yet...


Sounds like you ought to ante up and buy that gal a nice bike :wink:
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby FatBoyWannaBeThin » Sat May 04, 2013 12:49 pm

Thanks for this great thread it was very helpful and allowed me to make a "lot more informed" decision today and I bought a Specialized Sirrus Elite 2012 for $599 from my LBS. I felt a lot more confident when talking to the sales staff even though I admitted I was n00b. Planet Cycles were incredibly helpful and overall a good experience in buying my entry level flatbar.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Dools » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:30 pm

So one of the earlier posts suggested not spending below a certain amount for each type of bike, but then a handful of people have said that they're looking at bikes worth a couple hundred dollars.

I've had a look at a few used road bikes on Gumtree and the like for about $300. Is this too low of a budget to expect anything of decent quality, even for an entry level?

Cheers!
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:04 pm

Age and condition dependant Dools.

BTW, Welcome outside! :D

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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby caldina98 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:27 pm

I test rode my first rode bike today. I originally wanted to test out the ride lite 90 2013 but the sales guy talked me into riding the 91 2012 model. Its not what I was after but anyway. The 91 came with sora group set. Now, bear in mind this is my first road bike experience and the bike was fitted with bmx pedals. The bike fit fine, whislt standing, I could stand on my feet flat on the ground! I say this because, the very first shop I went to, the sales man wanted me to ride a bike that was way to big. My tip toes could not touch the ground, not to mention he wanted to sell me a bmx bike since I have the right frame for bmx ing.

Anyways, the shifting was very violent, this might be due to pedals but my right foot would slip off the pedals when changing gears or I am complete noob. Gear changing felt like a dsg on a golf. I could feel some tension on the fore arms and wrist, this is most likely because I have virgin wrist/fore arms.

My next test rides will be trek 1.5 currently $800 from rival bikes, defy 3 & 2 and specialized allez.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby FatBoyWannaBeThin » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:14 pm

Dools wrote:So one of the earlier posts suggested not spending below a certain amount for each type of bike, but then a handful of people have said that they're looking at bikes worth a couple hundred dollars.

I've had a look at a few used road bikes on Gumtree and the like for about $300. Is this too low of a budget to expect anything of decent quality, even for an entry level?

Cheers!


I assume this is like anything Dools if you have a very good understanding of relevant metrics and a means to assess the 2nd hand equipment you may get a great bargain. For example I have a sound knowledge with Guitars and I could apply meaningful assessment methods to the instrument to gauge whether it is still "true" (neck not bent or warped) etc.

With bikes I didn't have this skill set developed as yet and so I relied on this thread and a very reputable LBS. I bought "last years model" and got a good bargain imho ($600 for a Specialized Sirrus Elite 2012) and are very happy with it. The journey has taught me a lot in getting this bike and I may "consider" 2nd hand next time (but unlikely as "last years models are very suitable for me").
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Duck! » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:47 pm

caldina98 wrote:.... The bike fit fine, whislt standing, I could stand on my feet flat on the ground! I say this because, the very first shop I went to, the sales man wanted me to ride a bike that was way to big. My tip toes could not touch the ground....

Sounds like the second one tried to fit you on a frame that is way too small! :shock: On a properlyfitted road or mountain bike, you actually should NOT be able to touch the ground when you're on the saddle; your legs should be very nearly straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke, meaning you need to pop off the saddle to put a foot down when you stop. Having a bike that's too small (especially in that the seat position is too low) vastly increases your risk of injury, especially knees.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Bob_TAS » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:27 pm

Okay, seeking feedback and opinions before I (possibly) do something silly:

2013 Specialized Tarmac Sport
Ultegra 52/36 11-28T group with 105 cassette
Praxis BB to fit Shimano crankset
$2800 new

Is this a reasonable build for the price? Might try and weasel the Ultegra cassette and a slimmer headset cap for 'slammin'.

Thoughts?
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Duck! » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:37 pm

That is a weird chainring combination. Are you sure you haven't got some numbers mixed up? It should be either 53/39 or 50/34.

Still, it's a pretty decent build, and not a bad price considering Specialized are not exactly the cheapest at a given spec level.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Bob_TAS » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:31 pm

I think 52/36 is some whacky new Specialized compromise ratio, but good question as this could change to compact with an Ultegra upgrade.

Might need them to put the proposed build on paper before temptation sets in because it seemed too cheap to be true, even on special.

Thanks for the response!
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Chesterini » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:03 am

The other day I went to a LBS in search of my first road bike and the guy put me on an XXS which felt really really tiny compared to my borrowed mens mountain bike. No suprises there, but I felt really perched over the front wheel compared to anoher I've tried and it just felt uncomfortable. He said that it was because the stem was short and if I wanted it he would put a longer one on it. From what I know so far (which isn't alot) I should be looking for a size around 50 cm and this one was a 47. I couldn't test ride it because he had stripped the gears for another bike so I just sat on it for a while but I'll head back and most likely get the bike from there. Should I ask for the next size up or let him swap out the stem for a larger one? He would have to order in the next size or I could go to another store nearby, I'm just not sure if he is trying to get rid of floor stock or if the stem length genuinely is the reason I was uncomfortable. He said that the stance it put me in was more aggressive but is that what I should be after at this point? Ideally I would like to start a relationship with my chosen LBS so I want to make sure I'm getting the right advice for me on this one :)
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby RonK » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:15 am

Chesterini, it may be that he just wants to sell you what is in stock. Unfortunately this is a fairly common occurrence, and if it is what is happening you should avoid that shop.

I'd advise that you visit a few more shops and try other brands. And just in case you are being swung by appearances, do not put colour before comfort.

In any case you should insist on a proper fitting whichever shop you choose, and the shop should be willing to bring in stock in the correct size for you. If not, walk away.

And no, an aggressive stance is not what you need as a novice rider.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Chesterini » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:50 am

Ok so it sounds like my concerns were well placed! I will head to a different store then, I'm trying to focus on components and sizing first then colour I think I've chosen my bike I just need to test it. In my size, with gears ideally so I can actually ride it. Although only one store has offered a test ride so far, is this normal?
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby DoogleDave » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:00 pm

I agree with RonK, if the LBS isn't interested in doing the right thing by you in ordering in the correct bike size, then I wouldn't remain interested in spending any money there.

If you're not sure, call around a few other shops local to you that stock the same bike and see if they have one in the next size up you can go and try. At least this way you can make an informed decision instead of just wondering which feels better but assuming you are being told the right thing.

And as for insisting on a (proper) bike fit, IMO this seems to be a wildly broad thing - depending on which bike shop and theory that shop uses for their fittings.

Personally, as long as you leave the shop with the bike feeling pretty comfortable, you will tweak and adjust things over time until you have it how YOU like it - not how the numbers and equations in a book or computer program say how it should be.
Everyone has different body dimensions and riding techniques, which all have a say in how the bike should be setup for the individual rider.
Short of going a custom build, any mass-produced bike is made for the "average rider" (whatever that may mean), so as long as you get a correctly-sized frame (or the one that comes as close as possible for you), then you can tweak your stem, bars, seat height, seat position, crank length, shoes & cleats in order to put you in the right position to get you comfortable and efficient.
Some people feel more comfortable on a slightly smaller frame with a longer stem etc whilst others prefer to be a bit more stretched out on a slightly larger frame and shorter stem....but for a beginner a comfortable feeling when sitting on the bike is the most important. If you're not comfortable you won't want to ride the bike and you'll fatigue quicker and recover for longer - so it is worth spending the time at the beginning to make sure you get the right size bike, not just the one they happen to have left in stock.

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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Chesterini » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:55 pm

Thanks for the help, I wasn't sure if he was genuine in telling me about the stem sizing thing or if it was a bit self serving. And now I have my answer! I really can't wait to get my bike, I'm watching the other cyclists from the tram all green with envy. I think I'll hit up the bike stores around Melbourne and see how things go, I might have to test ride a few more before I decide going by what you said about comfort. I've sort of gathered there is a certain amount of physical discomfort you just have to cop but I wasn't keen on the feeling that bike gave me like it was about to turf me over the wheel.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby DoogleDave » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:15 pm

If you're not used to riding a roadie then it's natural it will feel a bit foreign at the beginning but when I say comfortable I mean that you don't feel cramped or stretched in any way. You shouldn't need to stretch to reach the levers and you should be able to ride on top of the bars, on the hoods and in the drops without being restricted.
You should also be able to stand up and sprint without your knees hitting the handlebars.

There is no getting around putting in loads of km's before your butt starts to feel somewhat happy, and a GOOD pair of padded knicks and a seat that feels nice to sit on is a good start there.
Basically, if you're in the right position on the bike most of your weight should be on the two sit bones of your butt. They will be spaced a certain distance from each other and everyone's are slightly different. So, the seat you use should be wide or narrow enough to support the sit bones. If the seat is ill-fitting then more of your weight will fall on your perineum (soft tissue behind your privates) and you will get sore rather easily.
To begin, depending on your bike fitness, you'll likely want to start with your bars up high to promote you having more weight on your butt instead of your arms/hands. As your bike fitness and core strength improves you will probably be able to lower the bars more and more to get a better aerodynamic position, whilst your core can better support your torso to minimise the weight on your arms/hands. Otherwise you'll find you get sore arms, hands, shoulders, neck etc from having too much weight forward on the bars and not enough on your butt - a common problem.

Short of feeling fatigued or having sore muscles from pushing the pedals, you shouldn't be feeling overly sore anywhere. If you are then something is not setup correctly.
Also, IMO a bike fit is a fluid/dynamic thing. You don't just set your bike up on day 1 and it stays like that forever. As your fitness and flexibility improves the bike fit should be tuned accordingly....but there are plenty of varied opinions about bike fitting out there on the net so have a look into it when you feel you're ready and make up your own mind.

Good luck in finding your bike.
Out of interest, what bikes are you looking at?

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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Chesterini » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:37 pm

So much great advice! The sore is mainly in my legs, although I would really like a saddle that is a little less ouch it does feel a little narrow. I'm only doing two 10k stints a day at the moment so that discomfort may change for the better or worse as I go further or hopefully decrease with a fitted bike.

I've narrowed my selections down to a Scott Contessa 35 or a Specialized Allez Sport Compact. I've tried the Giant Defy which I did like but at the risk of sounding shallow it just didn't look like 'my bike'.

I've heard that the local Specialized dealer is great and has a womens section but I will be looking at the mens bike. Not sure how wise this is but I'm struggling reviews wise for the ws models and the Allez Sport has stellar reviews all around. Mainly the frame is swaying me that way, apparently it's the same as the Tarmac just not in carbon which appeals to me so I won't be tempted to upgrade as quickly if the bug strikes.

The Scott I found once I started reading up on Greenedge, it's a womens model which I apparently should have and has better components than many in it's price range that I've come across. It was the Scott that I went to see that had been stripped so I haven't ridden this one either.

Feedback on my short list would be hugely appreciated, or additions! I'm trying to steer away from 2300 components though, these seem to be on a lot of the wsm in the entry price range and I really want to try and delay the upgrade bug :)
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