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Newbie question?(5 posts)

Newbie question?retbchboy
Jul 30, 2003 5:29 AM
I have been riding mountain bikes for three months. I live in Asheville.
I would like to supplement this with some road riding. I have been reading this forum for some time and see that bike fit is important. I would like to buy a used bike to start, maybe between $750 and $1K.
I am 50 yrs old. A little over weight (235). 6'4" tall.
My questions:
What size bike should I be looking for?
How hard is it going to be to find the right sized used bike?
Is their any certain year I should not go father back?
Obviously, here in Asheville we have very hilly terrain, anything special, gears etc. that I should be looking for?
Is my budget enough?
Are their too many questions here???

answers without detaildzrider
Jul 30, 2003 5:40 AM
62cm - maybe larger if you have long limbs and a short torso

may be hard to find one in local shops or classified ads

not so much year as wanting 9sp cassette

3 chainrings help the overweight ride up hills


no, but limits a working person to simple statements.
re: Newbie question?pmf1
Jul 30, 2003 6:10 AM
As far as size goes, go to a bike shop and try a few bikes out. There are general rules of thumb such as .666 times your inseam in centimeters (measured from the floor to the crotch with no shoes on). Some of the mail order places (Colorado Cyclist or Excel) will have pages on how to properly fit your frame. People will tell you that sizing varies tremendously across manufacturers, but that hasn't been my experience (I've owned a lot of road bikes). People will also tell you that one centimeter in frame size will make all the difference in fit, but I don't think that's true either. There is some play in frame size from stems and seat post adjustment. For example, I ride a 56 cm frame (I have three 56 cm bikes), but I could fit on a 55 on the lower end up to a 58 on the higher end.

As far as what to get, buying a used bike is an excellent idea if you can find one you want. $750-$1000 may be a little on the low end. Spend a few hundred more and get a bike with a Shimano Ultegra 9-speed triple (or Campy Chorus, although that's more expensive and the triple is not as common). If you put a 12-27 cassette on it (that runs $40), you could climb anything. Used bikes generally sell for about 50% of what they cost new. I'd guess most people selling them did not ride them much. Unless you're really hardcore, its pretty hard to wear out a frame.

A friend of mine got a used bike right here for $1300. It was a Lemond Zurich (steel bike) with an Ultegra triple. Looked like it had barely ever been ridden. He's about your size -- not quite as tall -- and got (I think) a 62 cm frame.
This is all good, but...tempeteOntheRoad
Jul 30, 2003 7:08 AM
If you already have a good MTB that fits you, why don't you just get some nice slick road tires, or even a second complete set of wheels for the road, to swap according to what pleases you on the day... The gearing would be adequate, good pedals and shoes, what else do you need? Once you get into two, three, four hour rides exclusively on the road, start looking for a road bike. (No, you don't NEED to ride that long to own a road bike...)

Unless you do encounter THE deal; look for a quality steel frame and fork. Still, the wheels are most important; the rolling parts should be clean and moving freely; no "sandy" noise or feeling.

Also for fit, there is no reason your saddle to pedal distance should be any different from MTB to road; even if road position could be slightly higher than on a x-c MTB. As for handlebar/stem/top tube distance; go with comfort: You want to be able to stay for some time on all available positions (drops, hoods, top) being able to breath right, not straining your back. In any position, some people will feel shoulder/trapeze discomfort after a good distance... Once again, if the MTB has a decent fit, try to imagine the MTB grips as the top of a road handlebar; the drops will demand some effort from you? The brake lever hoods will require some stretching? Start from there and see if you need to raise or can take the plunge... Start with what you know, work from that.

Money is not important; a 300$ used bike that fits right from a "generic" brand (KHS, Specialized, Whatevertronic) is better than a too tall ColnaRosanium... In your case (6'4...) a too small frame will be more easy to fall for. Don't.

But for 750 to 1000$, I'm sure you can find a decent complete steel Bianchi... Check local racing clubs web site? They sometimes have adds...
WOW! Thanks everyone!!!! (eom)retbchboy
Jul 30, 2003 7:26 AM