G'Day! New member with a question.

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:29 pm

G'Day all,

First post in here and all, so please bare with me! I'm in need of a semi decent MTB to get me from Eastlands to Mornington 5 days a week (about a 10-15 minute ride ATM). I live in Warrane and work up Mornington Rd, so if I can do it regularly, I want to leave the car at home and ride to work. I don't give a stuff about the enviroment, I just want to get a bit fitter for cricket, and my general wellbeing.

Now for my dilemma, I have a budget of $300 to $400 to get a MTB style bike for road / footpath use. It won't really see much grass or gravel, but I have no interest in a full on road bike. I'm 5'9"-10" and 110kg (used to be a front rower when I played Rugby Union), so I'm just a bit more comfortable on a MTB style bike.

Where in town would be my best bet to get something that'll suit my needs. I don't mind 2nd hand, if anybody on here is thinking of upgrading, either.

Thanks in advance, Greg.
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by BNA » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:45 pm

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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby damhooligan » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:45 pm

Felix_TRX wrote: get a MTB style bike for road / footpath use.


By footpath you mean shared bikepath??

Because it's illegal to ride on a footpath.....

I would suggest to buy a flatbar roadbike,
you don't need a MTB as they are designed for off-road, and are to heavy.
A hybrid could also be a good iption...
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:52 pm

Ummmm......yes!! Of course I knew it was illegal to ride on the footpath! :lol: Ummm.....lets just say the Cambridge Rd at 8:30am can be a tad intimidating!! At 5:30pm it's not quite so bad!

I'll do some searching, but what is a flatbar road bike? Last time I brought a bike was in 1990 when I got an Apollo 24" youth MTB. I'm a bit behind the times!
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby master6 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:37 pm

I think it is permissable to ride on a footpath in Tasmania.
Watch the Hobart Mercury each Monday for a feature called "Flea market". This is a listing of items for sale with a maximum price of $100. You will often find items that are worth more than that, but will be sold for $100 because the sellers cant be bothered advertising somewhere else, where they would have to pay a fee.
You could also try a notice "Wanted to Buy" on the board at your local shopping centre.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:46 pm

I was thinking of Ride (in Clarence St), but also looking at the top of the range bikes at K-Mart and Big W (don't flame me for the big stores!! Eastlands is handy for some things!!).

As far as 2nd hand goes, a bike from somebody on here would be a decent option, as it would be coming from somebody who knows and looks after their bike.

Cheers, Greg.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:54 pm

This is a flat bar road bike:

Image

If I were you, I'd raise the budget by a few hundred dollars and look at spending ~$700 on a flat bar roadie. You'll enjoy riding that a LOT more than a cheap MTB (mountain bike). If you enjoy it, you'll want to keep riding, which is great for your aim to keep fit.

Stay well away from the K-mart and Big W bikes. They are death traps, not to mention more expensive in the long run (you'll end up buying a real bike if you somehow find yourself enjoying the ride anyway ...). And back to that other point, you're not likely to enjoy the experience of riding a department store bike ...

Cheers,
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:10 pm

I can clearly see (and understand) what you are saying about spending the cash on a slightly better bike, but I fear my budget might not stretch much above $600 at the best. I know I'm saving money by not driving, but in reality, I'll only be using it to and from work, and riding with the kids down on the Clarence cycle path.

I want to spend the cash on a really good bike, but I might be looking around for something 2nd hand. :( I also need to justify my spending with my wife! :?

But a flat bar bike is what I need to be looking for. 100% agreed on that. However, what benefit is it to retrofit flat bar style road tyres to a MTB?

Cheers, Greg.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:14 pm

However, what benefit is it to retrofit flat bar style road tyres to a MTB?

To the type of MTB within your budget? No benefit what-so-ever.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:15 pm

PS - I'm shifting this thread over to the "Buying a Bike / Parts" section of the forum.

You might benefit from reading this thread about getting a bike.

Cheers,
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:00 pm

Thank you for your advice, and the link, but as well as possible bike selection, I was also after advice local to Hobart LBS's. Please don't take this this the wrong way, especially from a very new member, but I was in the Tassie section for a reason.

Advice on types of bikes has been eye opening, to say the least, and I now realise I need to stretch my 'brand new bike' budget a few $100 more than first expected. Unless there is a good 2nd hand bike for sale, in Tassie, that will suit my needs.

Cheers, Greg.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:13 pm

Greg,

You'll still see a thread title in the Tassie section. You're really asking two questions though. The most important one at this stage is "which bike?". "Where to buy?" comes later.

However, feel free to start another thread asking "where in Tassie?" once you've decided what sort of bike, if you can't find such a thread in the Tassie section already. It's much better to ask "Who stocks this bike?" than "Which bike shop? I know nothing ..."

Cheers,
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:10 pm

Cool, I wasn't aware that on this forum, when you 'move' a thread, it also stays where it was originally.

I'm pretty sure I know what format of bike I need to be looking at (flat bar), now I'm asking opinions from fellow Hobart people on where they would send me to have a look (for value, service etc).

Cheers, Greg.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Rockford » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:17 pm

Trek 7 http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bikes/sh ... rek-7-0-fx
$500

Norco VFR 3 http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bikes/sh ... orco-vfr-3
$600

Both are honest bikes and for a heavyset rider should be fine. If you get the Trek you should have some money left over for a helmet/pump/spare tubes etc.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby hartleymartin » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:30 pm

Flat bar road bicycle with 32 or 35mm tyres would probably do - I suppose it depends on what sort of off-road you are doing.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:13 pm

G'Day Greg, welcome outside. :D

I concur with the masses, a decent flattie is the way to go. MTBs are great all rounders but you aren't looking to get dirty. Yet :wink:

At your end of the market, the difference between a $400 bike and a $700 bike in terms of quality and satisfaction is huge. With a Kmart bike, riding will be something you have to do. Something like Graeme or Rockford suggested will mean riding is something you want to do, big difference. Not to mention the cost of getting a BSO assembled and tuned if you aren't up to doing it yourself will quickly chew up a fair bit of the savings. A decent LBS does a lot more than sell you a bike, if your nearest LBS don't make you feel comfortable go elsewhere. Their loss.

Now, most importantly. You must return with pictures and brag about your new bike, unwritten rule :mrgreen:

Cheers
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:27 am

Well, firstly,I have to say a big thank you to everybody who has offered really good advice! I come from car forums where being smartalec little pricks is normal fare for any post that is posted. Maturity has arrived!! That said, most of the bikes on here cost more than the cars on some forums!

I had a look on BikeExchange in Hobart for flat bar bikes and found these two:

Merida Glide S20 V $599 http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bikes/show/100053139-merida-glide-s20-v

Merida Glide S5 V $499 http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bikes/show/100053140-merida-glide-s5-v

Ken Self Cycles isn't that far from my house (15-20 minutes drive), but now I have some bikes to look at, and compare when I go to Ride (5 minutes from home) and other LBS's.

And yes, I'll post up some pics when I finally buy a bike!

Cheers, Greg.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Kalgrm » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:45 am

Either of those bikes will get you started Greg. You'll be happier on one of those than a MTB, for sure.

Fit is most important, so don't walk out of the shop with a bike which was cheaper than another but doesn't fit as well as that other bike. You'll regret such a purchase.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:06 am

As far as fit goes, what is the rule there? I guess they'll know, but when I was a kid, you had to be able to straddle the frame with about an inch clearence in the groin area.

But I agree with you 100% on the best fit bike. I'd rather spend and extra $100 and get a bike that I'll enjoy riding, thus get more out of it.

And is that brand any good?

Cheers, Greg.
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Nobody » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:55 am

Felix_TRX wrote:As far as fit goes, what is the rule there? I guess they'll know, but when I was a kid, you had to be able to straddle the frame with about an inch clearence in the groin area.
The rule these days is to get the frame top tube length and therefore reach correct. First get the saddle height correct.
http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/techni ... ight-14608
Then when that is done. Sit on the bike and look down at the front axle. For a flat bar road bike the bottom of the handlebar (in my opinion) should appear to be about 50mm in front of the axle. This is a "ball park" figure which you can fine tune later. Don't be absolutely reliant on your LBS to fit you, as you may find they sell you something not quite right to get it off the floor and make a sale.

The reason you can't use the "straddle the frame method" these days is that unlike the past, frames come in different shapes these days.
http://surlybikes.com/blog/spew/spew_17_bike_fit/
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/h/option/bikesizeguide
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Rockford » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:33 am

Merida are fine as a brand. Just remember there is always room to haggle on bikes a bit, or he'll give you a discount on accessories. He might also have some 2009 he is keen to push but don't be swayed by the good price if it's the wrong size.

As a very broad recommendation size wise you'll probably be a Medium if normally proportioned like a front rower :P (like me I'm a Medium heightwise but a Small legs wise as they are so short and stocky)
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:45 pm

Was just looking on the Ride (LBS 5 minutes from home) and found this.

http://www.ride.net.au/recreation/products/13100086/13100466?s=6

It's in my price range, looks OK, now to get in there on Friday and have a look at it (I work Sunday to Thursday so Friday is it, as I play cricket on Saturdays). Hopefully it fits my frame.

Am I heading in the right direction?

Cheers, Greg.

EDIT - Here is link from the mMerida site.

http://www.merida.com.au/en_AU/Bikes.Detail.174
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Kalgrm » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:40 pm

Felix_TRX wrote:Am I heading in the right direction?

In my opinion, no. You have chosen a bike with front suspension, which is completely redundant for your riding conditions.

There are very good reasons why serious riders avoid hybrids. Although they are called comfort bikes by the marketing division of the bike makers, they are misnamed.

Front suspension on a bike primarily designed for the road or paved paths does the following:

- adds weight
- adds cost
- adds complexity where none is needed
- reduces rider efficiency

By adding cost to the bike, the manufacturers cut back in other areas to keep the whole bike within a price point. That means you're getting worse gearing, brakes, seat, tyres, etc than you'd get on a bike with rigid forks for the same price.

Adding weight is obviously not much fun. Adding complexity means you've got one more thing to go wrong on your bike.

Cheap suspension forks not only fail to do their job properly, but they'll rob you of power when climbing as they absorb some of the energy you're putting into the bike.

By choosing this bike over the style of bike linked to earlier, you're making your ride more difficult. Please reconsider and once more look at flat bar road bikes.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:49 pm

OK, so even though it looks like a flat bar bike, having the front suspension is a big no-no?

The only flat bar bike that Ride has is $799, which is well over my budget. I'll focus my attention back towards the Merida Glide S5 V then.

Looks can be deceiving to a newb!! :?

Cheers, Greg.

EDIT - This is the one in my price range. Merida Glide S5 V.

http://www.merida.com.au/en_AU/Bikes.Detail.1002
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Kalgrm » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:46 pm

Within your budget, that one will be okay, especially since you've only got a short ride to do each day. At least you'll get a start in riding that will be somewhat more enjoyable than the hard slog you would have faced on a bicycle-shaped object from K-mart.

Just remember that if it gets too hard, you shouldn't judge all cycling by the experience you'll get on that bike. A better bike (eg a road bike worth ~$1000) will be a quantum leap on the Glide S5 V, so don't give up on riding based on this first bike.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Re: G'Day! New member with a question.

Postby Felix_TRX » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:11 pm

Oh God no!! I'll be loving the ride, as long as the weather is decent! I need to lose some weight, gain some conditioning, and help out my dicky knee! As well as save some money on fuel. Now I have to find out if MBF still chip in towards fitness equipment!! :D

I very much agree with everybody that the Glide S5 V is an entry level bike, at this level, but it is still streets ahead of any MTB (or piece of crap from K-Mart / Big W etc). My last bike (an Apollo 24" frame, 15 speed) cost me $400 in 1989, and that was fairly big money back then for a 12yo! I tend to hang on to expensive stuff and look after it (titanium Oakleys I brought in 1999 for $350 still look like new and I wear them all the time).

What I will be reading up on a lot, once I get a bike, and get it all setup to my frame, is maintance. Stuff like brake pads etc I know nothing about. Also, as I get fitter and more used to the bike, and riding in general, I haven't been riding constantly for almost 10 years, will the bikes setting need to be adjusted and I get better?

I have a lot to learn and a lot of listening (well, reading!) to do!

Cheers, Greg.
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