Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
9 posts • Page 1 of 1
I currently have a 19" Giant Boulder SE - I like the chubby seat and front suspension but it's a little heavy and the frame, according to those in the know, is too small for a slim 6'ft man such as me.
So as a guy who commutes 10Km on tarmac / pavement bike paths and likes to (slowly) mount kerbs, occasionally cycle through parks and unsealed paths what do you think stick to a MTB or a hybrid?
Don't really care about disc brakes as I've found v-brakes have always stopped me in time!
I want a new/used bike with the following for under $1000:
Comfort - front suspension and nice seat
Proper size for my height
I've seen a Giant Innova 2009 for $550 and it looks like a bit of a bargain, even though it's an old model:
http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-au/bi ... tions_id=4
Also looking at the following:
Merida Cross 100 - $600
Merida Crossway TFS $750
Marin Larkspur FS - $450
http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles ... /102201765
Kona Dew FS $750
Help would be great please!
I would buy a Kona Dew with a rigid front fork.
I don't like bikes with cheap/low end forks. They are heavy and don't do much.
Any of the bikes listed will be suitable for a 10km commute.
Buy from a shop that gives you the best service.
I am taller than you and have 19", 20 and 21" frames. Buy a bike on top tube length not seat tube size.
A $1000 lets you buy a "Avanti Montari 29.3 2013 / New".
I agree with Mitzikatzi to avoid suspension forks if possible. Even my MTB (I use off road) has a rigid fork. I would consider tyres for comfort before suspension considering what you do. Wider tyres at lower pressure are a cheap form of suspension which don't add excessive weight, cost or maintenance.
Saddles are a personal thing and most new bikes will come with sub-standard saddles. If you are serious about getting the most comfortable saddle for a more upright position, I would suggest considering a tensioned leather saddle like a Brooks which in time conforms to your individual sit bone shape.
As for getting the right size, if you do the MTB version of the fit calculator below, it should give you a good idea. Just be careful to do the measurements correctly.
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... ATOR_INTRO
As Mitzikatzi said, any bike can be a commuter bike. But I would be considering a flat bar road bike for what you do.
I have a Giant Talon MTB which I bought to ride the local off-road trails, however I have discovered that it takes a lot of on-road riding to get to these trails.
So I decided to buy a set of slicks to ride the local paved bike paths, which are a lot more accessible, and swap over the slicks to MTB knobbies when I decide to go back to the dirt trails.
I have found that the slicks on a MTB are a lot better for sealed bike paths, as you can maintain a better pace, but it becomes a bit of a pain swapping over tyres to suit my riding needs, so I then decided to do my MTB and bike path riding in blocks, so I don't have to swap over tyres all the time. This also became a pain, and was only really fixed by having two sets of wheels, and swapping them to suit my needs, which becomes a bit expensive.
Getting back to the point of your post, 10km is not too far for a MTB to commute on, so I'd try some slick MTB tyres first on your current bike and see if this is your answer, and there is still quite a bit of suspension in the tyres themselves.
If it is, great, but as you feel that the bike may be a bit small for you, take it to your local bike shop to get yourself sized up. It may just need a longer stem on your current bike, or you may actually need a bigger framed bike. Thats when you have to look at alternative options, but look to see if you can adapt your current bike to you needs first.
Simon, suspension on a cheap MTB's fork helps you keep control of steering as the front tyre suddenly drops 5 or so centimetres, but you have you ask yourself how often that'll happen on your paths.
Many of the ones on hybrids (such as my first bike, a Giant Cypress) don't have a lockout so that in addition to the extra weight, you get to pogo up steep climbs!
+1 to rigid forks and a Kona Dew, a good combo that has been my commuter for many 000's of happy kms. The 28mm Gators on the hoops have taken me to some pretty out of the way places too...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Thanks for your comments.
Today was part two of window shopping.
The Kona Dew FS I really like, it feels great whilst it's weight it about the same as my current bike, it seems a lot more efficient and easy to ride therefore enjoyable.
http://tbsm.com.au/bikes/road/flatbar-h ... ew-fs-7407 - but I can get it cash for $700 including one year servicing.
I found a review by someone who has the 2008 version too:
http://darcynorman.net/2008/09/11/1-yea ... na-dew-fs/
Thanks for the comments on the forks, yes I probably should not get front suspension but for me I like them and the potential for adaptability they represent (I appreciate there will be tire changes if I do this). This bike does have lock-out suspension. I did try a mate's Scott Sub 30 and hated it, I felt everything through the frame and the thought of riding something like that would put me off cycling - yes it seems as though I have been privileged with my current bike.
The comments regarding the tyres are good and I've noted them.
Regarding the service, I've been to over 10 bike shops this weekend and some service was non-existent, average and brilliant, the person who has helped with the Kona was brilliant which does influence me marginally because he also compared the GIant Innova and also looked at changing the headset etc - and I haven't even purchased the bike! He put it on layby until Friday when I'll make the decision. The service was so good I'll be writing a letter to his manager, regardless of whether I buy the bike from them.
Upgrade or not
I did consider upgrading my current bike but decided not to because of the following:
Frame is too small and therefore geometry is wrong for me
V-brakes are starting to rust (surface only)
Brake handles are loose - probably a maintenance thing.
It's a 26
Seat is beyond repair
And the main reason: I purchased it second hand five years ago, I'd like to spend some money on myself and under guidance of people in the know!
Further comments welcome, but I think that the $700 Dew will be better than the $550 2009 Giant Innova - Friday will tell.
I have a slightly older model of this bike (2005) and do the same type of commuting on it as you describe, only longer distance.
It does the job fine, the "city" tyres can be a bit skatey on loose topping but they are fat enough to hop up gutters without worrying about damaging the rims.
+1 for the rigid forks... I have mine locked as tight as they can go but they still have some movement.
Front suspension is completely unnecessary on such an urban commuting bike. Yes, really!
FS just adds unnecessary weight to your ride, and on most of your paths and roads it will barely even move much. Just rob you of power on your climbs by pogoing when you stand to put in the power.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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