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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
7/13/09 1:39 P

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KRYSTALSHIELD:
Definitely try more bikes - I've always found Trek's to be slightly overpriced for what they are (that whole "Lance effect" thing).

Be aware too that sizing differs from manufacturer to manufacturer - a 56 in one bike may not be a 56 in another bike! That's another reason why Craigslist is not a good idea for the beginner cyclist. The dimension that you want to be aware of is toptube length (or "virtual toptube length" on compact frames), rather than seattube length which is how most frames are sized.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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KRYSTALSHIELD's Photo KRYSTALSHIELD SparkPoints: (5,930)
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Posts: 120
7/13/09 9:49 A

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Thank you to everyone who commented. There was a lot of great advice from some wise people.

I went to an LBS on Saturday and got fitted (56, possibly 58) and tried out a couple of bikes (Trek 1.2 & 1.5). I was slightly mistaken about their prices. The shop has some things under $1200, but you have to look around a bit or make it clear that your budget is not there.

The person at the shop was very helpful. He let me try out a couple of bikes to get a feel for the sizes and the bikes. He asked a lot of questions about where I would be riding and my preferences.

Between the great posts here and my trip to the shop, I believe I am going to postpone buying for now so that I can get something in the $1000 range. Actually leaning toward the Trek 1.2 at the moment because of the price and my ride test, but I intend to try out a few more bikes while saving my pennies.

No help with a used bike from that shop, so I will keep my eyes open in case lightning strikes and someone has a Trek 1.2 in a 56 that they wish to sell. I'll check back in after making a purchase to tell what I got, in case anyone cares to know. My guess is that will be in 30 to 60 days.

Goals Achieved:
*July 24, 2009 - weighed in at 298.8 lbs.
1) 1/4 of the way to my goal weight(31 lbs)
*July 31, 2009 - weighed in at 295.2 lbs.
2) 298 lbs - Weight under 300 lbs/Lose 10 percent of my starting weight
3) Lose 10% of my starting body weight (33lbs)

Goals Remaining:
4) Finish a Sprint Triathlon
5) Finish a 5k race.
6) Lose half of the weight to my goal (63 lbs)


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HELENGUNTHER's Photo HELENGUNTHER Posts: 283
7/11/09 3:34 P

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I'll echo everyone else. The most important thing is fit and comfort. Most bike shops carry different brands, so you'll need to go to a variety of shops to try out a variety of brands. Some shops carry used bikes, others do not. If you can't find a bike shop that can help you get a used bike, still try out the different bikes and sizes at a shop. But don't be afraid to look on Craigs list, once you have an idea of what the bike should fit/feel like. One thing you will learn about cyclists, is the more they get into the sport, the more they want something faster and lighter. And when people want to upgrade, they have to unload their used bike. Hopefully, you'll find one out there that will be a perfect match for you!

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RICK53403's Photo RICK53403 Posts: 662
7/11/09 3:05 P

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All sounds like good advice as I am also thinking of a new bike. Thanks for the question and responses.

2012 Goals:
1. Run 800 miles
6/9/12 - 162 mi

2. Walk 300 miles
6/9/12 - 124 mi

3. Ride 1,900 miles between the trainer and actual road work
6/9/12
326 miles Trainer
522 miles Road

4. Run the 10 mile Lighthouse Run in less than 90'

5. Get my 5K time to less than 25'

6. Complete at least 1 century bicycle ride

7. Complete at least 1 Pull-up
Managed 2 in March


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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
7/10/09 7:56 P

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I'll just echo WONGERCHI...

My first bike was also a cyclocross. I raced my first tri on it, but never got into cyclocross racing. Still love that bike! I eventually moved up to a higher end road bike, but I still use the cyclocross regularly and it is outfitted for commuting and errands now.

And another item for the "wish list of extras"...I'd get gloves when you can!

WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
7/10/09 4:38 P

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KRYSTALSHIELD:
If you even have any ambitions of racing, get a ROADBIKE. And get it from an LBS, you don't have the experience to know what is a decent used bike, let alone what size you may need. Those are all things you should find out first. I'd go to more than 1 LBS and try out as many bikes as possible, those in your budget and those outside your budget.

A decent entry level roadbike is around $800. If you can pay a bit more (say into the $1200 range) then you get a bike with a significantly nicer component spec. An entry level roadbike is going to be aluminium rather than carbon, which is way out of your price range.

The alternative is to get a cyclocross bike. It's a roadbike but designed to go off-road, do NOT confuse these with hybrid bikes that are marketed as "cross" bikes. A true cyclocross bike looks exactly the same as a roadbike but because it is an off-roader, is a touch heavier. This makes it cheaper (bike economics = you pay more $ for less weight) and you can get a totally bombproof bike which can be used on the trail or on the road. On my cyclocross bike, I changed the tires (which you should know how to do anyway) from knobby to slick and raced triathlons. Once Tri season was done, I put the knobbies back on and raced cyclocross.

You are also going to need to get the following essential items:

Good Bike Fit
Helmet
Shorts
Floor pump with gauge
Tire levers
Spare tube (or two)
Frame pump or CO2
Patch kit
Saddlebag

Those items I consider essential. Good bike fit is probably #1 - you should be in no pain or numbness anywhere, especially feet, hands and butt. Lid, obviously. Padded shorts for riding in, essential for crotch comfort. Tire changing stuff and the know-how to do it is, to me, the ONLY mechanical skill that a cyclist needs to have.

Other optionals include clipless pedals/shoes and maybe a saddle change. Try the stock saddle first, but if you don't like it, swap it. Go for a FIRM saddle, not a plush one.

Cycling is an expensive sport initially. But once you find a bike you really love to ride, you'll ride it. Right now, for me, my cycling is cheaper per mile than my running. And it's only going to go down, because I have a couple of bikes I love and won't stop riding them! With running, it's a pair of shoes every 6 months...

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


 current weight: 190.0 
 
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CHESHIOUS Posts: 15
7/10/09 11:21 A

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One thing to remember is that once you have a good frame, you can upgrade everything else later. You can switch out clips for clipless pedals, upgrade brakes, buy a new seat, change the wheels and/or tires, pretty much everything.

It would be best to buy a bike that's your platonic ideal, but just remember that you can compromise on everything but safety and sizing. Everything else can be upgraded later as budget allows and as need be.

Shop around at several local bike stores (as many as you can); tell them you're looking for a used road bike and give them your budget (note that you'd prefer something a little cheaper so you still have a budget for extras like lights/new seat/bike shoes). Definitely hit up all the bike stores in your metro area that have a good selection of used bikes. Pay careful attention to how the bike feels when you sit on it and how heavy it is when you pick it up. Get the salespeople to fit each bike to you so you're getting the best possible ride when you climb on to test-ride it. That way, you can know when you've found a frame that fits you well. Ideally, everything should feel comfortable. If everything but your butt feels comfortable, you either need to adjust the seat or get a new seat. If anything else feels uncomfortable, you need to adjust the bike further or move on to the next potential bike.

It will take some time to shop around, so plan for it. My boy and I spent 8 hours one Saturday, plus two hours earlier in the week, bike shopping for a commuter bike for him. It was kind of exhausting, but we found a terrific bike for him and stayed within budget. And don't be disappointed if your first shopping attempt isn't fruitful. You should have high standards and your budget is on the low side. It shouldn't be impossible, however, so give it a shot. And if you do see a terrific bike that's just outside your price range, you can always sleep on it and come back once you've decided if you can make it work with your budget.

Good luck! I'm about to embark on my quest for a road bike, with much the same budget as you. Here's hoping we both find our best bike.

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TENISWHIZ's Photo TENISWHIZ SparkPoints: (35,781)
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7/10/09 10:26 A

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Believe me, I wish I had asked these questions before making my purchase. I was in a bind where I took my bike to the shop for a tune up. It was soooo out of shape (it had been my mothers) it needed new everything and wasn't worth fixing. I had a Triathlon coming up and needed to get going. Because I told the sales person that I both train in triathlon AND ride for pleasure on our local prairie path, he recommended a very nice hybrid bike.

The bike (which cost between 400-500 bucks) is a very good bike BUT.... It's not the best for triathlons which I spend WAY more time training for than for pleasure.

That said, I can tell you I wish I had a ROAD BIKE. If you are even thinking of doing any kind of racing with your bike, get a road bike. It doesn't have to be an Armstrong type bike. Get the basic if you'd like...but you are going to spend a minimum of $800 on a new one. You can pay anything. Pros can pay over 10,000 for one! At that price, they don't even look like bikes anymore. Hopefully, they come with air conditioning!

The bells and whistles... Definitely get a pedal system to lock your feet into the pedals. Much more efficiency and speed. Next might be the aero bars system....or better tires. Those with more experience than me will surely know better than I....

You are wise to look for used when starting out so you can see how far you will be taking this sport. The only problem, at least around the Chicago area, is the sport is becoming SO HOT, that it's very difficult to find used road bikes anymore.

Best wishes in your endeavors!


Leader/Co Leader of:

Beautiful Beagles Team,

lynnkirchhoff.wordpress.com/


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KRYSTALSHIELD's Photo KRYSTALSHIELD SparkPoints: (5,930)
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Posts: 120
7/10/09 10:13 A

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Now that I ride my stationary bike for 60 minutes at a 16mph pace 2 to 3 times a week, I'm thinking the time has arrived to get my first bike. I got rid of my last bike about 20 years ago when I was a teenager. Until recently I never thought biking would play a role in my life again, but its amazing how much 3 months can change a person's views.

Having given a brief introduction, we reach the reason for my post. I have no clue what exactly I'm looking to find, where to start looking, or what prices to expect.

I don't need what Lance Armstrong rides or anything like that, but I would like a quality bike that won't break every other week. I would also like to get an appropriate seat and any bells and whistles that are essential.

Is $400 going to be enough money? If not, how much do you suggest I plan to spend?

I've heard a lot about getting a comfortable seat, what other items should I plan to purchase and about how much should I set aside for those purchases? Which of these items are essential and which can be picked up down the road?

Since I know it will be asked, my preference would be to purchase a used bike, but I don't think I'm knowledgeable enough. I will probably go into a bike shop which my wife has used in the past. I'm not sure how much help they will be though. The lowest price tag on a bike she has seen in there is about $1200 and I'm not convinced yet that I should spend that much. I am concerned that I don't know enough about ME to know what I want long term and $1200+ is definitely something I think about in the long term.

Goals Achieved:
*July 24, 2009 - weighed in at 298.8 lbs.
1) 1/4 of the way to my goal weight(31 lbs)
*July 31, 2009 - weighed in at 295.2 lbs.
2) 298 lbs - Weight under 300 lbs/Lose 10 percent of my starting weight
3) Lose 10% of my starting body weight (33lbs)

Goals Remaining:
4) Finish a Sprint Triathlon
5) Finish a 5k race.
6) Lose half of the weight to my goal (63 lbs)


 current weight: 318.0 
 
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