Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
17 posts • Page 1 of 1
I'm considering buying a bike, mainly to go with my children around local area ( paths ) and maybe some road rides on my own ( if I can overcome the car vs bike fear). It has crossed my mind that doing the odd trail ride eventually may be fun.
My question is which type would you recommend road/ hybrid/ or mountain bike? Are road bikes strictly for bitumen and concrete ?
I have been reading the advice for beginners but I was not clear on the limitations of each ( about 25 years since I had a bike it was a 10 speed racer and coped with riding over kerb etc.
How many gears do people recommend ? Any to avoid re brands ?
Finally do you need to get" measured" up first
Most people in your situation buy a hard tail mountain bike (statistically - MTBs outsell all others in the $200-$600 range). They are relatively cheap, easy to ride, comfortable and rugged. On the down side they are heavy and slow compared to a road bike. But if you plan on riding fire trails, etc., I would not recommend a proper road bike.
You also mentioned a hybrid bike and these are probably better suited to the type of riding you mentioned. They have bigger wheels and smoother tread which makes them slightly more efficient on the road.
Lastly, there are flat bar road bikes which are at the "road" end of the spectrum of hybrids. They go much better on the road but are quite harsh compared to the previous mentioned bikes and take a while to get used to.
I have one of each of these types of bikes in my garage and I still ride them all - hybrid for towing my daughter with the tag-along, flat bar for commuting, MTB for off-road and road bike for fitness (used the most). It really comes down to what feels comfortable to you. So go and test ride a few different types to see which you like better.
cheap mountain bikes are heavy and slow
so on paper a hybrid bike is what you need and ideal if you only ever want to go out with the kids or do more sedate riding
or if you wanted a bike that could do most things well, get a cylocross bike
put thin tyres on it and do group rides with road bikes
put wider tyres and do offroad
put panniers on and do light touring shopping or commuting
they may be a bit more expensive than a hybrid but a bike at half the price that sits unloved in the shed for most of its life is not a bargin
having started on a hybrid and then moved to light weight race bikes, a cylocross is next on the list, if you could only have one bike this is the most versatile option.
I was in a similar position to you around 12 months ago. I bought a GT Timberline, my first bike in about 15 years and it was great to get me back in to cycling but I soon wanted to upgrade. In a couple of weeks I am picking up my new road bike which will relegate the trusty GT to the shed for the foreseeable future. Maybe you could look at a cyclocross bike and have the best of both worlds on and off road.
a roadie probably isnt suited to riding with the kids, they go fast - kids don't. I'd go for a budget-mid range hybrid or MTB to start, then upgrade if the bug really bites.
hybrid will cope with anything OK
an MTB will do off road great, paths fine, road not so good.
a roadie will not do off road, isnt really suited for cruising with th ekids but is built for speed on the road.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
Thanks for all your advice. I had not heard of cyclocross bikes before. Time to start looking in the next week or so at the different styles of bike and maybe the odd test ride once I narrow down my choice.
I think you've narrowed down the options there. A bike mostly used for riding paths with the kids.... you need a hybrid for this slower riding on often gravel, bumpy, paths. You can still ride it very well on the road, just that you won't keep up with a roadie bunch too well. If road riding does become your thing, then look at getting a cheap road bike.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
My recommendation: hybrid. The point of flat-bar road bikes is going fast. The bike is not going to be the limiting factor when riding with kids, so no point there. MTBs are intended for offroad riding and you don't express any interest in that. Hybrids are intended to be all-rounders. I've toured, commuted, towed kids and raced cyclocross on mine, so they're pretty versatile bikes - a good place to start.
The other thing I'd urge you to consider is gearing. I tow kids a bit and I use some pretty low gears at times. It depends on the rider and the terrain, of course, but if you plan on towing kids up hills of any consequence, I'd suggest staying away from the flat-bar road bike. MTBs will have low-enough gearing to begin with. Hybrids vary a bit, but it's usually to arrange any necessary changes at purchase time.
Of course, if you only plan on riding in flat places, this isn't a concern. If you do have hills, though, better to get the gearing sorted at purchase time - cheaper and easier that way!
most flat bars have either mtb gearing or compact road bike gearing
I've had a look at several shops and the bikes in. My range are :
Avanti explorer (2012) model I think
Scott sportster 40 (2011 I think)
Avanti Montari 29.1(2013)
Or Jamis Ventura Sport
Any that stand out or fall short compared to the rest ?
These all have front suspension. From your description of what you'll be using the bike for, it's an unneccesary weight to be carrying around. I'd only consider suspension on a MTB for tackling rough trails.
This is an entry level road bike. It wouldn't be particularly suitable for taking off the tarmac. The gearing would also be high for towing kiddies.
This is your best bet out of the group you've chosen. The gearing will be low enough for towing, the disc brakes will give you a bit of extra stopping power when you have a trailer on the back, and the 32C tires are wide enough to be reasonably comfortable on gravel roads and shared paths (as long as you don't attempt any radical manoeuvres!).
I haven't ridden any of these bikes, however for a comparison I use a flat bar roadie with broadly similar specs to the Bauer (similar gearing ratios and tire width, slightly higher end components and wheels, and rim brakes instead of discs). It does me fine for commuting on the tarmac and gravel tracks, and for towing the kids.
De Rosa Macro | Trek 8000ZR | Gemini Steelie
Agree with others - I ride with my 4 year old sometimes, and at the very low speeds/low effort, it is not good to be leaning far forward on your bars. So a fairly upright seating position will be the best.
When you are riding alone and faster, the increased weight on your pedals takes the load off your hands.
Just wanted to thank everyone for their advice again. I pulled the trigger and have purchased an Avanti Explorer 3. After contemplating what I may want to do the odd off road (between wineries and trails and fire trails scenario appeals) as well as road riding.
I was a little nervous taking the bike home on the new bike rack but we made it.
Now to research what I need re tools bike stands locks etc. (bought the helmet).
For my own curiosity I'll,try and work out what software to monitor my distances and HR etc ( have Garmin and Suunto )
Do you have a smart phone? If so there are many apps that you can use. Strava is a popular one among cyclists due to its social network/competitive side.
It's free and great to track your progress.
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Always looking for new rides & ride partners in SE QLD area
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