Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

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

Postby Venus62 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:47 pm

Chesterini, with respect to saddles, take a look at the Selle Italia Diva women's gel seat. Saddles are an individual thing but this one got such great reviews I couldn't resist. http://www.wiggle.com.au/selle-italia-d ... es-saddle/ . Best decision ever!
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby RonK » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:09 pm

Chesterini wrote:...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.

I would be cautious about this. Unless you are tall, mens frames will have the wrong geometry, and you may also encounter issues with bar width and lever span. That you are looking at a 50cm size indicates that you are probably not tall enough to get away with a mens bike.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Chesterini » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:35 pm

Hey RonK, I did have the issues with the bar span when I went to try them so I've settled with the Scott and I'm very happy with it! Might have to swap the saddle though it's nothing flash and I'm loving the reviews of the Selle Italia Diva. Thanks guys!
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby RonK » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:15 pm

Well it's a good-looking machine, and there is nothing more motivating than to be riding a bike that looks great, fits and works well.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby billy70 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:00 pm

As a newbie to riding and the forum, may I ask if the manufacturers have specials/deals throughout the year? I'm looking at the 2013 model run outs now, but am struggling to find the right model in my size.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Summernight » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:24 am

Chesterini wrote:Might have to swap the saddle though it's nothing flash and I'm loving the reviews of the Selle Italia Diva. Thanks guys!


I added my 2 cents to the reviews on the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow when I purchased one last year. I will probably buy another of this particular saddle for every future bike I buy (whenever that happens).

billy70 wrote:As a newbie to riding and the forum, may I ask if the manufacturers have specials/deals throughout the year? I'm looking at the 2013 model run outs now, but am struggling to find the right model in my size.


Yes, I believe they do. :)
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Duck! » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:08 pm

About now is the time runout specials will be happening, as the 2014 models will be starting to come through. The problem can be finding the right size.
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 billy70 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:22 pm

Thanks Duck - definitely something I need to consider!
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby tekapo » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:00 pm

SouthWest wrote:
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).

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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.


My advice would be a test ride. I am about 178 but with short legs at 80. My legs would suggest a smaller frame, but my torso would suggest a larger frame. So its a compromise, do I want a top tube right up my crack or do I want my arms to be cramped up top? So test ride it, adjust the height of the seat, the stem and give it a whirl. The actual nominal frame size is not that important, its just a rough guide for a starting point.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Jondalar » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:59 pm

Duck! wrote:About now is the time runout specials will be happening, as the 2014 models will be starting to come through. The problem can be finding the right size.


Yes very true, got a great runout deal on a Giant Defy Advanced 1, saved $800 over the full price from 2013 plus the 2014's are $200 more so saved $1000 although the 2014's do have 11 speed Ultegra.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby briztoon » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:37 pm

Yup there are deals to be had. I saved $3,300 compared to the original RRP.
http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles ... /102019360


And this is cracking value. Save $4000. Exactly the same frame geometry, material and frame construction as this years model, just with the older Dura Ace group set.
http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles ... /102097305
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Sangua » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:41 pm

This is my first post and I want to apologise up front for the length of it but I have a lot of questions. I have tried to find my answers in the forums but most of the time a lot of members answering the questions have been riding for a long time, have purchased many bikes and probably don't remember what it is to be such a newbie when it comes to a bike purchase. A lot of the times their advice is too technical and over my head or geared towards people looking to buy expensive bikes more suited to regular club rides, racing or riding many 100's of kilometres a month.

So my questions:

When buying a new bike what is legally required to be on the bike? NSW Road laws require a bell or horn and when riding a bike at night, lights. As this equipment is required by law, should it be included on a new bike at the time of purchase? If not what should be?
What should be included in the price of a new bike? Some bike shops offer bike adjustments and services in the first few months? Is this normal for most bike shops or not?

How is a proper fitting conducted? Is it just sitting on the bike and having you stand over frame and try the pedals or is more involved? I was told at my last bicycle lesson that there should be a hand span between my crotch and the top bar of the bike? They also told me my current bike it too big for me. Yet at the bike shop the bike they tell me is the right size is almost touching my crotch the way my current bike does. Which is correct? When I purchased my first bike all the bike shop had me do for a fitting was stand over the bike and sit on the saddle for a minute or two.

If you can't test ride the bike what can you do to better ensure the bike is comfortable when riding?

When I bought my first bike 6 years ago I had problems with the gears. Being new to cycling and unfamiliar with gears I thought the problems were caused by my ignorance. After two frustrating weeks I put the bike away and didn't touch it again until six years later when my local council offered a day of free bike lessons. It turns out that my gear problems were caused by faulty gears and not my ignorance. I couldn't take the bike back to where I purchased it since it was long out of warranty and I no longer have the receipt. What can I and other newbies do to avoid these types of problems. How do we check that the gears, chain, brakes etc. are as they should be?

I purchased my first bike (a rigid frame mountain bike) from a LBS for $600 back in 2006. As mentioned above I only took it out for 6 to 7 rides not getting very far due to problems I was having with the gears. I went no further than 2 blocks and back each ride. After I gave up I stored the bike in a lock up garage that is very dry and clean. Except for perished inner tubes (which is too be expected after not being used for so long) which I changed, I expected the bike to be decent ride. Yet after only 2 months of riding, in which I have covered 55kms so far according to my bike computer, I have experienced the following:

    * the gears are faulty and need adjusting every week as they go out of alignment after every 3 rides or so,
    * the base of the saddle cracked on the left hand back corner and lost a screw which held it place over one of the springs and due to the crack the screw can't be replaced,
    * after purchasing a pannier I discovered the dropouts (I hope that is the right term) have no threads and the store I purchased it from had to organise a work around to install the pannier,
    * the bike stand has bent yet no weight other than the bikes has been placed on it,
    * the pedal of the right hand side of the bike has a large crack in it and needs replacing,
    * the light sold to me with the bike won't stay in its cradle and constantly falls off.
I don't know how many of the problems listed above are caused by my storing the bike for 6 years or are because I was sold a lemon. Could you tell me and other newbies what we need to look for when I buying a bike to avoid these kinds of problems when purchasing a bike?

Due to the problems above I have been trying to decide between buying a new bike and starting over or just getting repairs made to the bike to fix the above problems. As you can imagine, I'm now rather weary of bike shops and my ability to purchase a bike without problems or organising repairs without being ripped off.
So I have been researching, lurking about bike forums, and visiting one of my local bike shops (not the one I purchased my first bike from) while trying to decide on repairing or replacing my bike. I have been asking a lot of questions of the staff at the LBS and I explained the problems and experience I had with the purchase of my first bike to the bike shop so they knew where I was coming from and why I was asking so many questions.

Unfortunately the last time I visited this bike shop and asked about the gears the bike shop had suggested replacing my faulty ones with, one of the floor staff took the mechanic behind a door near the counter and, not realising I could hear him, called me derogatory names and told him I was a time waster. I left the store in tears and am determined not to return. How do I avoid annoying local bike shop's staff in future while trying still getting the information I need to make a decision?

After taking some time to get over my last visit to the LBS, I decided to try another bike shop. I checked out their web page and they had some great clearance specials. Since the price of the bikes on sale were only $100 to $200 dollars more than the repairs the LBS had suggested I decided it might be better and start again with a new bike.

Unfortunately when I arrived at the store the majority of the bikes on sale had been sold or were too big for me. The bike shop suggested a bike that meets my requirements but it is not in stock and needs to be ordered in. They want me to leave a 20% deposit. What happens if I don't like the bike when it finally arrives? What if it is the wrong size, uncomfortable etc? Am I obligated to buy it or do I lose my deposit money if I don't want it, leaving me unable to buy a bike because I now don't have enough money left to buy one? I did ask at the bike shop but they were very busy that day and didn't really answer my questions.

If someone could answer my questions or at least tell me of a few sites aimed at Australian newbies unfamiliar with cycling jargon I would be very grateful. I really don't want to annoy staff at another bike shop.

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

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:32 pm

From the NSW Road Rules for Bicycles

NSW Road Rules wrote:Your bicycle must have:
• At least one working brake
• A bell or horn to help sound a warning to other cyclists or pedestrians.

If riding at night, your bicycle must also have:
• A steady or flashing white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres
• A flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bike
• A red rear reflector that is clearly visible for 50 metres when light is projected onto it by a vehicle's headlight on low beam


I believe that the front and rear reflectors are required by law however most sports bike owners would remove them. You need to buy the horn / bell and lights.

On a bike fit, there are a number of calculators online that can give you a rough measurement based on height, weight and inseem. Shops will do different types of fitting and there is no standard or requirement - for a race bike or serious MTB a better fit is more essential whereas a hybrid or city bike will be more generous. But for a proper fit then you should get a professional fit which would influence a number of factors - frame geometry, seat tube height, top tube length, stem angle and length, seat position... the list goes on.

On testing - a quick or basic test may give you the opportunity to spot serious issues - but a longer term test will likely reveal more. Testing however is always good however not always possible. You can ask and shop around.

On gears, many bike shops offer a free service and I recommend that this is used. It is inevitable that when a new bike is ridden that some adjustments may be needed. You will notice that when shifting is not working properly, it wont shift to the top or bottom cogs or wants to shift too far or isn't fitting properly in the gears that the gears should be tuned. Brake pads wear and if they are squealing, not braking properly or things seem wrong, they should be checked. Yes, these are things that can be done yourself - usually a locally library will have some books which can be easier that shifting through the multitude of info online.

On the specific issues:
• Could be a cable problem and need replacement - the bike shop should be able to advise if you explain
• In warranty, the saddle could be replaced however noting that $600 is not a high-level bike.
• On the pannier - not all bikes accommodate panniers and some may require adjustments or adaptors to fit
• Other bikes will add weight, it is likely a simple budget stand but also not suited to take too much weight
• Plastic can degrad, but a split suggests that it suffered a knock or stress.
• Lights, particularly in 2006 can be crappy. Current silicon strap type lights have less problems - but may be more expensive

For many of these problems within two months, I would have suggested visiting the bike store. After 6 years however these are wear and tear.

On chosing a bike shop - you want to make sure you feel comfortable. Even if you feel that your questions are silly, ask them - if the people in the shop don't want to know then they are not the right shop for you and from experience I can tell you that there are plenty of shops that don't think about customers.

Have a look in the Great Shopping Experiences section and see if any of these stores are nearby. A good bike shop should be able to look after new cyclists as well as experienced cyclists and provide good answers such as regarding the deposit. Now the deposit is a way of locking you in (locking in the sale) but you could leave your number and ask them to call when your size is in stock. If they don't want to do this or you find they you are not getting a call - look for the next bike shop.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby turtle rider » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:04 pm

Hey Guys
Not having much luck in finding a decent bike. The shops have either sold the 2013 range and have left overs in odd sizes heavily discounted. I found this proper road bike at Anaconda , looks good and priced at $899.00. Has Shimano parts and only weights 10.59kg.

tp://www.anaconda.com.au/Product/Bikes- ... -road-bike

Frame: Hydro formed lightweight 6061 series alloy with smooth weld head tube
Fork: Bladed Alloy
Wheels: Alex R-500 wheel set
Tyres: 700 x 23C
Derailleur: Shimano 2300 Claris
Shift levers: Shimano 8 drop bar 2300 series
Crank set: FSA compact
Brake set: Shimano 2300 front and rear calipers
Stem: A-head alloy
Seat Post: Alloy
Saddle: Fluid velo
Weight: 10.59 kg
Primary activity(s): Road riding, commuting
Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty relating to manufacturing defects, 1 year on parts

Do you guys think this a good buy and with the parts mentioned is it a quality machine.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby danny the boy » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:51 pm

Thats not a good buy. This place http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/ is the online place to look for bikes.

No idea where you are located or what size you want, but for the same money you can get something like this http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles/orbea/bikes-road-bikes/aqua-ttg/chelsea/vic/102324051. Spend some time browsing before you buy to get an understanding of what you are looking at in terms of the level of quality the gears are and whether or not its is as cheap as the shop are making out. For shimano gears 2300 is bottom of the pile and being 8 speed means you can't upgrade any of it further down the track. Tiagra is the lowest quality of the 10 speed groupsets but is still 2 ranks higher than 2300 but at least you can upgrade different parts later on if you wish rather than buy basically a whole new bike.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby tekapo » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:52 pm

turtle rider wrote:Hey Guys
Not having much luck in finding a decent bike. The shops have either sold the 2013 range and have left overs in odd sizes heavily discounted. I found this proper road bike at Anaconda , looks good and priced at $899.00. Has Shimano parts and only weights 10.59kg.

tp://www.anaconda.com.au/Product/Bikes- ... -road-bike



I think Anaconda sells its bikes in boxes and even if it wasn't in boxes, I wouldn't trust their assembly skills based on of the demo bikes in store.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby nezumi » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:26 pm

A better buy at the same price point would be one of these three:

Reid Falco Advanced
Cell Lapa 1.0
Merida Ride Lite 91

These all have a better groupset (gears and shifters) than the Fluid bike you were looking at. The order is:
Claris (aka Shimano 2300)
Sora
Tiagra
105
Ultegra
Dura-Ace

Disclaimer: As a Merida Ambassador I get a reward if you buy from 99 Bikes Fitzroy North and mention my name. :)
Last edited by nezumi on Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Duck! » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:35 pm

nezumi wrote:The order is:
Claris (aka Shimano 2300)
Sora
Tiagra
105
Ultegra
Dura-Ace

2300 is now a superceded group. The Claris name applies to the updated 2400 series introduced for the 2014 model year, released in July. While still 8-sp. it is more refined than 2300, especially in the shifters (gone is that "mouse-ear" thumb button, the "standard" STI design now features across the full range).
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 nezumi » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:43 pm

Duck! wrote:2300 is now a superceded group. The Claris name applies to the updated 2400 series introduced for the 2014 model year, released in July. While still 8-sp. it is more refined than 2300, especially in the shifters (gone is that "mouse-ear" thumb button, the "standard" STI design now features across the full range).


I wasn't sure if 2300 was gone completely or not - I only knew that Claris was a sort of "rebranding" of the groupset.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby Duck! » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:51 pm

Yeah, standard periodic evolution, they just decided to give it a name in line with the rest of them this time around.
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 turtle rider » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:21 pm

Thanks for the reply's. I went for a second look at the Fluid and asked what the best price they could do , and they offered me a good discount . I will also have a look at Reid model today.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby rodneycc » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:27 pm

Think you will find the Reids a lot better priced Turtle, I don't really want to post too much in this thread so check out:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=71183&start=25

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

Postby turtle rider » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:15 pm

I ended up buying a Reid Advanced. The 7 bike shops or so i visited had very little road bikes in stock under $1,000 and the Reid seemed to be best value for $$$ at $578. It rolls a lot faster than my Kmart bike down hills and is a bit easier to get up hills but feels more road focused i.e would be no good riding it on the dirt or on bumpy footpath but it rides nicely on the smooth bitumen. However It's not rolls Royce quality in terms of the ride as its bit noisey.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby tekapo » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:44 am

Noisy? In what way? Take the bike back to the shop for them to have a look if in doubt.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby rodneycc » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:38 pm

Yeah worth getting it checked out. Also if the ride is harsh its worth getting 25mm tyres put on ( or even 28mm).

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