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Can you help me find a bike?(10 posts)

Can you help me find a bike?DoubleH
Aug 1, 2003 11:30 AM
I've been researching and researching and I'm even more confused than before.

I want a hybrid bike, I'm not into racing yet and don't know if I will be. I think right now I'm into recreation and fitness. I keep looking at trek, gary fisher, specialized and Giant. I also looked at Schwinn.

Also should I get a bike specifically for ladies?

I don't know if I am experienced enough to tell the difference btwn compagnlo or shimano parts.

So what do you think. I'd like to spend less than $500.
re: Can you help me find a bike?latinist
Aug 1, 2003 12:17 PM
The wisest thing for you to do would be to head down to your local bike shop (LBS) and talk to them. Since you know you don't want a racing bike yet, that will give you a few more options when looking for a bike. They'll also make sure that you get the right size and fit, which is more important than the brand on the tubes.

Tell them exactly what you posted on this board, you're into it for fitness and recreation. I think Trek/Schwinn/Giant et al. probably make recreational road bikes in your price range. As far as the women's specific bikes, test ride one and see what you think. Not being a woman, I have no grounds to discuss the merit of female specific bikes.

Don't worry about Shimano vs. Campagnolo just yet...that will come later.

good luck.
what he said. (nm)kjr39
Aug 1, 2003 12:34 PM
Re: Bikes for ladiesKristin
Aug 1, 2003 1:08 PM
There a couple things that can fall into the category of "ladies bike."

1. A bike with a deeply sloping top tube which allows you to step over the bike without lifting your leg way up into the air. It is a completely unnecessary feature unless you're extremely arthritic or intend to ride in long skirts.

2. A bike with a geometry desinged specifically for women, also called WSD's. There are no WSD's made in the hybrid models.

Since you're just starting out the only thing to keep in mind is comfort. At your price range, unfortunately, some shops will not want to spend much time with you. However, you are a paying customer and, honestly, their bread and butter. So demand a good fit and one on one time with the sales guy until you are happy. When you visit the shops, where what you plan to wear when you would normally ride.

Test ride at least 2 bikes at each shop you visit. I suggest visiting a few local shops so you can compare prices. Some shops are way over priced and depend on people who don't shop around. On test rides, look for the following:

1. Stand over. Straddle the bike. Make sure you have at least 1 inch of clearance over the top tube.

2. Saddle Height. Make sure your saddle is set so that when your foot is in the six o'clock position your knee is soft and you don't need to "reach" at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Make sure the saddle is right before you start the ride.

3. Pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel like you could maintain that position for a couple hours? If not:

-Do you feel too stretched out, as if you are leaning too far forward? If so, the bike may be too big or you may need smaller frame, or a shorter/taller stem installed.

-Do you feel too upright? If so, then you might need a larger frame or a longer/zero rise stem. (A zero rise stem is one that makes a 90 degree angle instead of rising to hold the handle bars higher.)

Finally, components. I don't think you'll find anything with Campy for under $500. Whatever components you get will be fine. Rapid fire shifters are a huge improvement over grip shifts. Shimano Deore would be the nicest gearing for your price range; but its more important to buy a bike that feels good than buying one for the parts. If you can find a bike you are comfortable on, in your budget, that has Deore, bonus!

Finally, you'll hate me for saying this; but test ride a couple of bikes that are in the $700 price range. It will give you an idea of the difference between components and frame quality. You may decide you want to spring for the next level.

Have fun and happy hunting!!!
Re: Bikes for ladiesDoubleH
Aug 4, 2003 7:43 AM
Thanks everyone. I rode a Fisher Zibrano and Scwhinn Voyager Al so far I am in love w/ the FZ. It felt lighter, and not as stiff as the schwinn. So far I haven't had a problem w/ people not wanting to help me b/c I am not spending over $500.
I'll keep all of your tips in mind tonite and tomorrow when I go riding.
Aug 4, 2003 7:45 AM
Should I be concerned if a bike is hard to get on, but once I do, the reach is good, and it doesn't feel to high.
What do you mean by, "Hard to get on?" nmKristin
Aug 4, 2003 9:24 AM
What do you mean by, "Hard to get on?" nmDoubleH
Aug 4, 2003 12:54 PM
it was a step through frame and I swung my leg over and couldn't get on it. I had to step through and step on the pedals to pull myself off. Once I got on it was comfortable though.
That's normalKristin
Aug 4, 2003 1:49 PM
When the bikes seat is set to the proper height, you should not be able to touch your toes to the ground. What you described is accurate, you must use the pedal to step down off of the saddle. I know where you're coming from. You'll get used to this. I only rode bikes casually as a teenager and lost complete interest once I got my license--that was in 1996. I bought a hybrid in 1998 and was freaked out by how high the saddle was. It took some getting used to, but I adjusted and was happy.

It is very important to have your saddle set properly. If you have it too low, then your knees will begin to hurt and you'll start to feel like an old lady. When a saddle is set to the proper height, you should have a soft knee (very slight bend) when you are sitting on the saddle and have the pedal in the 6 o'clock position (pedal close to the floor). It sounds like the bike fits you properly with regard to reach. Enjoy!

Knee pain chart:

Saddle too high: (when your leg straightens out all the way or snaps as you pedal through the bottom of the pedal stroke.) Pain on the bottom of your knees (beneath kneecap).

Saddle too low: (When your legs are bent more than 30 degrees at the bottom of the pedal stroke.) Pain on the top of your knees. Trouble climbing stairs and sitting on the sofa.
That's normalDoubleH
Aug 5, 2003 9:03 AM
Oh great, thanks for the info.