EcoModder.com

EcoModder.com (https://ecomodder.com/forum/)
-   Alternative Transportation (https://ecomodder.com/forum/alternative-transportation.html)
-   -   Road Bicycle Buying Advice (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/road-bicycle-buying-advice-723.html)

Gone4 01-21-2008 12:20 AM

Road Bicycle Buying Advice
 
First, a bit about my bicycle history so you know where I am coming from and maybe give better advice. I used to do downhill racing, bmx'ing, and mountain biking for fun and sport. I eventually abandoned it, not due to lack of interest. I was active in a few sports through high school. College saw me sitting on my butt doing NOTHING physical for the most part... a true shame given my perfect environment in a valley of the Green Mountains. This summer I got an internship at JSC in Houston, TX and a borrowed road bicycle was my only personal set of wheels. It was a 40+ lb steel Peugeot, too large of a frame, rusting, non-indexed shifters with a loose chain, etc. It took getting used to a road bicycle but I loved it. I was doing around 250 miles a week of riding, plus working out 4 days a week or so for an hour, and working ~50 hours.

Today I am looking at buying a new road bicycle and getting rid of my two mountain bikes, one a prize. I speculate its use potentially ranging from commuting, touring, and sometimes riding to see how quickly I can get somewhere. I aspire to enter into some distance cycling events like the Boston-Montreal ride, but I never intend to do serious competing. My rides will definitely include hills and the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont.

What sort of advice would you give to someone like me, who knows nothing about components or brands in this area? Brands to stay away from? Should I definitely concentrate on used? New? Gearing to look for? Any and all tips are appreciated before I start this endeavor. :D

SVOboy 01-21-2008 12:23 AM

Where'd you go to skool in the green mountains? I'm just a stone's throw away from you, I bet...

Anyway, what kinda money are you looking to drop? Are you a clyde (nothing wrong with that)? How important are hills going to be? How well do you plan on taking care of the thing?

Gone4 01-21-2008 12:39 AM

I go to school at Norwich University, about 40 minutes from Dartmouth, up I89. I live in Nashua, NH the few days I am home.

I have no idea what a clyde is, to be honest. I am looking to spend about $1000, but I can go higher if I need to, to get something that meets my requirements and will last me. I generally take immaculate care of my bicycles because, being a college student, you know that you can't afford a second. Learning to actually take care of it will be one step in this process. I'm unsure as to how to quantify the importance of hills - I will meet them, as you know, and I want to be able to get to the top of them. Texas is the flattest piece of land I have ever seen, so I haven't taken a road bike onto hills yet.

edit: I guess one of my questions would also be, is this a reasonable amount? I have more banked money to play with but I would prefer not to.

SVOboy 01-21-2008 12:47 AM

1k would get you a good bike, especially if you're not opposed to buying used (I did and got a killer deal).

A clyde is a > 200 lb male rider, :p

It's hard to give a recommendation, since there are so many good bikes out there. I ride a specialized allez epic (AL butted carbon fiber frame), but I'm partial to the bianchis in celeste green for emotional and bling factor.

What size do you ride?

Gone4 01-21-2008 12:54 AM

I am definitely not a clyde haha. I am 135 lbs, 5'8.5". All that working out was trying to add weight... But that didn't work out too well. The bike store near my house sied me at a 54" frame with a longer length since I am a bit more torso than legs - so they recommended specialized or cannondale. 54" left some clearance and felt pretty comfortable, but online recommendations put me at a 50" frame... So should the frame be close or really that far away?

I am searching craigslist and ebay for bikes but its hard for me to know what is good. Are there are places to look for buying used? Things to avoid?

SVOboy 01-21-2008 12:57 AM

I would go with whatever is most comfortable and say screw online recommendations. I'm luckily insofar as I accidently bought a well-fitted bike I saw on the side of the road and found out my size like that.

CL and ebay are usually pretty good. I got my bike on ebay. Had an issue or too, but nothing too bad, just make sure you hammer out the details beforehand.

Specialized is a good maker, Iono much about c-dale, but I've not heard too many good things...

Do you want me to ask the cycling team on campus for you?

Gone4 01-21-2008 01:03 AM

Any advice is really great. Its overwhelming with all of these options at first and I want to try to avoid making newbie mistakes.

One thing that seems to be important is, what gearing is appropriate for our terrain and moderate fitness? Should I be as concerned with that as other people are?

SVOboy 01-21-2008 01:12 AM

I wouldn't be too concerned with gearing unless you're going to be racing or doing super distance. As long as you can get up the hillz, eh? But that's just my take and I might be wrong. I can think of at least one hill that annihilates me, :P

The way I bought my bike was to go on ebay, search all the bikes in my frame size and price range, and then look and see what gear they had and the reviews that the frames had gotten.

I spent ~300 + shipping on my CF framed epic, quite a deal.

trebuchet03 01-21-2008 02:30 AM

Shameless 'bent plug

http://forum.ecomodder.com/attachmen...1&d=1200899334

(used for a tiny bit more than 1K shipped).

1K buys a decent amount of diamond frame road bike - and slightly better than entry level 'bent (unless you buy used like I did).

-----
Quote:

54" left some clearance and felt pretty comfortable, but online recommendations put me at a 50" frame...
See if the shop will let you do a 20 minute test ride (even 10 should do it). See how your knees/arms/back feel on different sized frames and cranks lengths. Those calculators are general guidelines (and they're pretty good) - but humans vary in proportion. Me, for instance; I'm 5'11and 135lbs - with a long "neckular" region - which throws things off...


------
For example

Now you say you're commuting... Have you considered something closer to a commuting/touring bike?

like this?

The handling will be less sensitive and the ride should be a bit more comfortable due to position. But if you want a go fast bike - I completely understand (my 'bent isn't "go fast" but it's not exactly "recreational" - I like going fast).

AndrewJ 01-21-2008 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trebuchet03 (Post 6268)
For example Now you say you're commuting... Have you considered something closer to a commuting/touring bike?

like this?

Damn! I'm too slow to get in the first shameless Surly plug! ;)


To me it sounds like your looking for something more along the lines of a commuter or touring bike. Unfortunately, most of the big bike brands make really crappy (or exorbitantly expensive) commuters or tourers, but there are a few bikes out there that are really excellent for those purposes.

Things to look for in a useful bike:

Steel frame.
Steel is a fantastically durable and repairable material. Hell, it's even recyclable if you can't get it repaired for some reason. Steel frames may be a tiny bit heavier, but in everyday use a few extra grams of toughness goes a long way. And anything you hear about rusting is pure BS, I've never seen or heard of a steel frame failing because of rust. (plus you can use JP Weigel's framesaver if you're still paranoid like me)

No carbon fiber anything.
Carbon is great for racers who want to shave off some weight, but it's unnecessarily expensive for those of us who don't race. Plus CF has the unfortunate side effect of a "shattering" failure-mode. :eek:

Braze-ons for fenders and rack(s)
A useful bike is not much use without fenders and a rack.

Lots of Spokes
You'll want wheels with 32 or 36 spokes. Most road bikes come with low-spoke count wheels, which is great for weight savings. Not so much for having to ride home with a broken spoke, or just completely tacoing a wheel for that matter.

Tire clearance (and lots of it)
Whenever you look at a bike ask the following question: "What are the biggest tires that will fit on this bike?" Make darn sure you get an answer. Skinny tires are great for racing, but for commuting and touring fat tires rule. Cushy ride and fewer flats, that's why you want to make sure you can run AT LEAST 700x28c tires, preferably up to 700x38c WITH fenders.
(for MTB sizing I'd go at least 26x2", preferably 26x2.3" with fenders.)

And lastly, make sure that the bike and it's components follow the KISS principle as much as possible. When in doubt: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
That's why I use bar-end shifters instead of STI type shifters. Nothing can really ever go wrong with bar-ends, STI's break all the time with heavy usage, and they're not reparable (Campys are, to their credit)


Some bikes to checkout:

The Surly Long Haul Trucker
(as a former owner I highly recommend)

Kogswell P/R (sold as frame/fork/fenders/seatpost/headset, you build the rest)

Electra Amsterdam (Uber-classy)

Bianchi Milano (Italians make everything so darn good-looking)

SVOboy 01-21-2008 03:26 PM

I resent your hate-filled attack on carbon fiber. :)

AndrewJ 01-21-2008 03:43 PM

I knew it might bring on some resentment :)

But you must admit, it doesn't look like much fun...

http://www.roadrunnervelo.com/images...ken_web-sm.jpg


http://www.parktool.com/images_inc/r...lp/frame41.jpg

SVOboy 01-21-2008 03:45 PM

Eh, I could find those pictures for steel, aluminum, and titanium as well. Internet picture shows aren't good statistics, :)

I will say this at least: it's more expensive to wreck a CF frame than a steel one, :p

AndrewJ 01-21-2008 03:56 PM

True dat, yo.

I still don't trust the stuff though.
And it has nothing to do with me being a crotchety old ******* either :)

Seems like everything these days is made for racing, or with racing in mind. And I don't have the luxury of a sag wagon to pick me up if I break something, or a team mechanic to fix things, or sponsors to give me new parts every season (or every time I break something)

But some people are starting to come around, just wish more people would go back to making steel frames. Aluminum just looks so ugly by comparison, with big nasty TIG beads all over the place, bleh. And you racing folks can keep your CF, at least it looks good.

SVOboy 01-21-2008 04:04 PM

Haha, it's just because everyone aspires to have what the people on TV have (and it's becoming really cheap to do that). If we could buy nascar stock cars for 2k you bet there'd be millions on the road, ;)

trebuchet03 01-21-2008 07:53 PM

Normally, I'll come to defend the failure mode of CF... All that extra shattering is absorbing impact energy... I say normally, because in the case of a bike - you're still going ass over and you're still likely to have a head/neck/collar/chest impact despite the CF absorbing that extra energy...

All that said - I have a vintage Japanese (the brand escapes me) cro-mo frame at home. I found it by a dumpster, mostly stripped. The problem is - it got into an accident and torqued the whole frame... If the fork had bent or broken away, the entire frame would probably be perfectly in line...

I've seen this picture come up a few times

http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/5...cident32ea.jpg
I think that one was from a crash caused by riding down a mountain...

Here's a more typical (when it fails) form of steel (even aluminum - although Al will fold/bend more) failure

http://wjc.fidean.net/log/wp-content...crashedsr1.jpg


But I tend to agree that having a bit more strength for pure commuting is a good idea :)

Gone4 01-21-2008 09:19 PM

Great tips and discussion :)

What do the touring guys use those racks for anyways? I guess I travel everywhere with a backpack and maybe people would put stuff on it instead? It doesn't seem like much could possibly be secured to them, unless I am horribly mistake. And fenders are just more money to keep me a bit cleaner/dryer...

I guess I should consider a touring bike as well. I looked in my local store and didn't see a single one so that derailed me from searching them out further. Do I lose a lot of potential speed/distance for comfort?

SVOboy 01-21-2008 09:31 PM

Riding with panniers is much nicer than having a load on your sweaty, gross back. :)

How far are you thinking you might bike? If you want to go 500 miles once a year, it might be worth it to just get a road bike and add some touring gear when you go, but if you're going on centuries to go camping every weekend, you might want a touring bike.

Gone4 01-21-2008 09:46 PM

I get the feeling it would be better to get a bike I can add the touring gear to. I don't see myself needing all that much most of the time. It's pretty ugly too :p

SVOboy 01-21-2008 09:49 PM

Ugly indeed...I'm prolly a bad person to actually be giving advice, since I've bitten the schwag apple...but then I've not actually bought and schwag for a long time, so I think it was just a phase, :)

AndrewJ 01-21-2008 10:21 PM

Panniers are the way to go, no sweaty backpack-ness.
Before I had my touring bike I had an old road bike that I'd converted to singlespeed. It was a pretty fast bike, and I could make my commute at an average of 17.5mph. With my touring bike my average dropped to 15mph. Not that big of a deal really.

Who 01-21-2008 11:33 PM

Assiming the bike is properly fitted, slacker headtube angle and longer chainstays is the key to comfort on longer rides. If you're doing distance twitchy instant handling isn't welcome, and longer chainstays helps driveline angles and permits wider gearing combos.

I'd scour e-bay over the winter for a Ti frame. Alu would be the last choice based on what you've said, although there are some nice Alu bikes out there. If you can find a cheaper Campy grouppo - Veloce or Daytona/Centaur that would be my pick...

Gone4 01-21-2008 11:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Who (Post 6365)
Assiming the bike is properly fitted, slacker headtube angle and longer chainstays is the key to comfort on longer rides. If you're doing distance twitchy instant handling isn't welcome, and longer chainstays helps driveline angles and permits wider gearing combos.

I'd scour e-bay over the winter for a Ti frame. Alu would be the last choice based on what you've said, although there are some nice Alu bikes out there. If you can find a cheaper Campy grouppo - Veloce or Daytona/Centaur that would be my pick...



May I ask why Ti is good? Why is Aluminum a poorer choice?
I know from my extensive theoretical work with metallurgy that aluminum has a cyclical limit. I would assume the bicycle manufacturers take this into consideration but knowing the lack of integrity in many industries it wouldn't surprise me if aluminum was an excuse for specific sections or components to fail.

SVOboy 01-21-2008 11:45 PM

Ti is tough and light, and you can get traditional frame sexiness with it, :)

Who 01-22-2008 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenKreton (Post 6366)
May I ask why Ti is good? Why is Aluminum a poorer choice?

Ti doesn't corrode and rides very well. The tube thickness tends to be pretty substantial as well so it doesn't tend to ding easily. Alu is a great material but it can make for a stiffer ride which isn't great on long rides, it really depends on how the frame is made. Alu bikes are good for racers that don't keep them a long time and Alu can corrode.

Ti is nice stuff... I have a steel bike and an Alu bike. Wish I just had a Ti bike although CF impresses to heck out of me. I saw a guy try to destroy his CF bike once in a fit of anger - he failed. I think it was a Look or Time frame... I've never ridden a Ti bike but I have ridden a CF Calfee that was big enough for me (size 64 or 65) and it was very sweet!

Ebay, craigslist... watch for your frame size...

Gone4 01-23-2008 04:43 PM

I've been hunting daily for my perfect bike. Since everything is about ice, snow, and really cold temperatures I have plenty of time to spend on the hunt. However, it's looking exorbitantly difficult to find a Ti framed bike for a good price. Essayons!

AndrewJ 01-23-2008 05:06 PM

Just thought of another thing to add to my list of stuff to look for in a useful bike.

No integrated headset.
Just dumb, that's all I have to say about integrated headsets. I mean, pressing a bearing directly into your frame with no cup? Just madness! You're one wrong move away from buying a new frame. Once again a case of racing-influenced bikes not being built for durability.

trebuchet03 01-23-2008 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenKreton (Post 6366)
May I ask why Ti is good? Why is Aluminum a poorer choice?
I know from my extensive theoretical work with metallurgy that aluminum has a cyclical limit. I would assume the bicycle manufacturers take this into consideration but knowing the lack of integrity in many industries it wouldn't surprise me if aluminum was an excuse for specific sections or components to fail.

It's very simple... Stiffness (the material property) et. al.

Stiffness
Steel: 30 million psi
Titanium: 15-17.5 million psi
Aluminum: 10 million psi

Density
Steel: 7.8 g/cm^3
Ti: 4.506 g/cm^3
Al: 2.74 g/cm^3

Hardness
Steel: 120HB
Ti: 330HB
Al:15HB

Ductility
Steel: 10-15%
Ti: 20-30%
Al: 6-12%

Aluminum is 1/3 as stiff as Steel - very soft and not very ductile by comparison. Titanium, while a little more than half as strong as steel is also nearly half as dense - but incredibly hard and ductile. Aluminum has no fatigue threshold whereas Titanium and Steel do - that means, as long as you stay below that threshold for steel and Ti, it will not fatigue (sounds like you know this already - just posting for thoroughness).

Al has it's place though - my bike is Al. To compensate for the low stiffness and fatigue, my frame's backbone is has a large diameter (if you can't win on materials - you can make up for it with geometry). But, both of my forks are steel (chro-mo). My roommates hybrid like mountain bike is Al (with steel fork) - and I can see what Trek did to keep stress concentrations from accumulating. He beats the living **** out of his frame - it's even crashed into a river once (hit him in the back on the way down) - so far, so good :p

So why not Ti considering it's awesomeness? It's freaking expensive to extract, process etc. And, it's finicky to manufacture with...

Quote:

And fenders are just more money to keep me a bit cleaner/dryer...
I have a rear fender on my 'bent... And thus far - I've loved it :) I'm in Florida, so it rains more often. I'm also riding a 'bent - so my back gets plenty wet (but water from the front wheel gets deflected by the frame and seat :D). Fenders are a local decision - if you'll be riding in the rain frequently, it may be worthwhile :)

------
I second the comment about no integrated headsets... F'ing retarded.

Panniers are great though :thumbup: When I ride my road bike - I use them all the time :D

Gone4 01-23-2008 09:07 PM

Yeah, I was aware of the strength and machining aspects of it, but as an engineer who's only worked in the space industry and not real industry, I assume they would have effectively neutralized the negatives. Judging by some of my searches carbon fiber and aluminum can still run into some problems, which is disappointing. I will definitely try to find a titanium bike. It helps that I have a love affair for all that is titanium already :D

On components. Are ultegras good? I see a lot of bikes advertising they have them on ebay. Do I desire something else?

Should I consider buying a frame and piecing components onto it on my own?

SVOboy 01-23-2008 09:11 PM

Ultegra is good. I have 105 on my bike and it suits me just fine. I feel like above 105 or ultegra if you're doing something important, most bike groupsets become about have a bigger wallet than everyone else.

"I spent 3k on my campy grouppo because the carbon fiber brifters cut 30 grams compared to DA, WOOOO!"

trebuchet03 01-23-2008 09:26 PM

Ultegra will be fine ;) It's upper-mid level shimano components... SRAM makes good component sets too (that is, I wouldn't totally ignore a bike if it says sram).

Who 01-23-2008 10:48 PM

sometimes you can get a whole campy bike cheap, scoop the group and then resell the frame on ebay

i really like my campy and i'm about the weight of many tandem teams! LOL

Gone4 01-24-2008 08:51 PM

http://burlington.craigslist.org/bik/550147526.html

What do you guys think of this bike? Good price or too high for it? It's pretty close to me so I can ride it before I pick it up. He doesn't list a standover height but I'm about 31.5 inches standover so it should be great.

SVOboy 01-24-2008 08:55 PM

Eh, it's a lot of schwag and wasted money.

AndrewJ 01-24-2008 09:02 PM

If average road bike bb height is 8cm and the bike's a 49cm then I'm getting a top-tube-standover height of ~23in

I think it'll be too small, even with these funny "compact geometry" road frames.

Gone4 01-24-2008 09:05 PM

Alright, the word is definitely pass on this one :) It was more than I wanted to spend anyways. Craigslist is absolutely DEAD in Vermont. I wish I were at home now. I'd prefer to ride before I buy so I've been holding out on ebay.

AndrewJ 01-24-2008 09:08 PM

have you tried any LBS's? Looks like Earls bikes in Burlington may sell used bikes, at the very least they can fit you on a bike. They've got a good review on google, so that's a start.

Gone4 01-25-2008 01:12 PM

I am probably going to try to get there sometime. I don't have a car with me at school so it's difficult. I'm torn between buying used to save tons, trying to scoop one on ebay which I cannot test ride, or paying extra so I can test ride before I buy...

There is only 20 minutes left, but what does anyone think about this bike?
http://cgi.ebay.com/Raleigh-Titanium...em180208756608

SVOboy 01-25-2008 01:21 PM

With 8 minutes left, I don't know what kind of history raliegh has with titanium, so I might be a bit wary.

Gone4 01-25-2008 02:00 PM

It went for $850 anyways, quite a price jump in the last two minutes.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:45 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com