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 tekapo » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:04 pm

To add to rodneycc comment.

The largest tire that you can use is determined by the frame/brake arm clearance, and the width of the rim. 25/28s should be fine, but just keep an eye on it if you go any bigger.

Also, if you don't have a pump with a pressure gauge, go and buy one. Anything above 70-80psi, it will feel solid as a rock when you try to squeeze it. And with a 23, you are looking at a minimum pressure of around 100psi or so. So you definitely need a gauge so you don't under inflate it (or over inflate it).
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by BNA » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:47 pm

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

Postby turtle rider » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:47 pm

tekapo wrote:Noisy? In what way? Take the bike back to the shop for them to have a look if in doubt.


no biggy , front gears click or rattle like they are not engaging or rubbing on the chain and the chain seems to go backwards i.e drops tension when the peddling stops which i suspect its not in gear properly via the front lever . I'm not a fan of the front brake/gear levers to be honest and getting used to them will take a few more rides . The tyres were pumped up to 125psi at the shop, hard as concrete. I will get it checked when it goes in the for it's first check up in a few weeks. I did buy a 140psi bike pump as the servo pumps only go up so far.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby tekapo » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:08 pm

turtle rider wrote:
tekapo wrote:Noisy? In what way? Take the bike back to the shop for them to have a look if in doubt.


no biggy , front gears click or rattle like they are not engaging or rubbing on the chain and the chain seems to go backwards i.e drops tension when the peddling stops which i suspect its not in gear properly via the front lever . I'm not a fan of the front brake/gear levers to be honest and getting used to them will take a few more rides . The tyres were pumped up to 125psi at the shop, hard as concrete. I will get it checked when it goes in the for it's first check up in a few weeks. I did buy a 140psi bike pump as the servo pumps only go up so far.


Sounds like the cable is not tensioned properly. Get bike shop to take a look at it in the first check up. Or google derailleur adjustment and give the barrel adjusters a few turns.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby losnilos » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:07 pm

Hello and thanks for the information in this post.
Very informative and some good general advice!
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby rodneycc » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:59 pm

Duck! wrote:
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 must of missed this earlier. So has Sora gone sti now? So 9 speed sti, that might be better than some of the old tiagra setups I would think because the shifters was the only thing really holding it back.

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

Postby TonyMax » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:10 am

I assume Giant and Trek are the "Big 2" in bike brands these days? What other good but not niche brands should someone be looking at when deciding on a second bike (a year or two down the track after their first road bike) and wanting to spend up to $2000 or not much over that? Something similar to the Trek Madone or Giant Defy.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby rodneycc » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:57 pm

TonyMax wrote:I assume Giant and Trek are the "Big 2" in bike brands these days? What other good but not niche brands should someone be looking at when deciding on a second bike (a year or two down the track after their first road bike) and wanting to spend up to $2000 or not much over that? Something similar to the Trek Madone or Giant Defy.


Reckon Cannondale Caad10 or supersix or specialized tarmac would be my next choice.

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

Postby lobstermash » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:05 pm

TonyMax wrote:I assume Giant and Trek are the "Big 2" in bike brands these days? What other good but not niche brands should someone be looking at when deciding on a second bike (a year or two down the track after their first road bike) and wanting to spend up to $2000 or not much over that? Something similar to the Trek Madone or Giant Defy.


If one happened to discover that steel is real after riding their roadie for a year or two, perhaps Surly...?
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby rodneycc » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:19 pm

Actually I will add another ripper bike. Focus Izalco. Really like the look of these without test riding one.

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

Postby wgc138 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:32 am

Sangua wrote: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.


Wow sounds like you had a horrible experience, would you care naming this LBS? As some have suggests bicycle exchange is a good source to find sound bikes, however be mindful you are buying a second hand bike, I purchased a Falco elite a few months a go for a good price its just something I can ride in the rain but you do need to know what you're looking for as some can be dodgy but at the same time, some are well worth it. The big LBS, well I've some experiences with a few and its not all consistent, some sales guys and mechanics can be outright obnoxious and as you have seen rude.
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Re: Buying a bike: Some general advice for new riders

Postby pokebike » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:44 pm

Sangua wrote:I really don't want to annoy staff at another bike shop.


Sorry to hear about your bad experience with the bike shop. As a newbie, one of the best thing you can do is to visit different shops & find one that you're comfortable dealing with. A shop should be able to cater to your growth as a cyclist from purchase, servicing & upgrades.

As far as fit & simplicity goes, have you considered folding bikes? If you're average height/ weight & cycling for fun they're a good option. My girlfriend is still learning to ride & from 3 bikes that I have (the other 2 are full-sized), the folder is the least daunting. It's also easy for us to pop it into the car (a hatchback) & drive to a quiet park/ path for her to practice.
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