chroot
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Road bike tires are barely capable of dealing with damp pavement, much less full-on rain. If you choose to ride a road bike in the rain, at least take very special care when crossing painted surfaces, as you will have absolutely no traction on them. Edge stripes and dashed lane separators can be deadly.

- Warren

So I'd have to leave my bike in the campus overnight? Or at some shopping centre. That would not be good either due to theives and what have you.

If it was raining before leaving home than I would consider taking the bus. Also if it was raining during a competition, they wouldn't call it off would they? Plus Armstrong said that he wouldn't ride only if there was a cyclone. So it is still safe to ride in the rain. However might not be if there is traffic?

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chroot
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
You do not want a road bike. Road bikes are not designed for the kind of use you want to put them to. That's what everyone here has been trying to tell you for four pages. Don't buy a road bike.

- Warren

So I'd have to leave my bike in the campus overnight? Or at some shopping centre. That would not be good either due to theives and what have you.

If it was raining before leaving home than I would consider taking the bus. Also if it was raining during a competition, they wouldn't call it off would they? Plus Armstrong said that he wouldn't ride only if there was a cyclone. So it is still safe to ride in the rain. However might not be if there is traffic?
I disagree warren. I think he should spend his money on a road bike so he learns his lessons the hard way.

(pound, pound, pound) <-[Will be the sound of him pounding himself in the head]

Hey, he wants to pretend to be Ulrich, and thats whats matters most, right? :rofl:

I'm also thinking of buying a bike. I'm really out of shape, and I'd like to start biking to get some exercise and to get around town without using my car.

I have a bunch of questions, which maybe have be answered in this thread (I've been reading through it very quickly). If I ask a question that has been answered, just let me know which post # it has been answered in and I'll re-read it.

1) What style of bike should I use for exercise & traveling? I don't plan on riding 500 miles a week, not even close. I'll probably been riding on roads only, but I don't know - maybe there are some nice trails around here.

2) Do I really need to spend over $1k on my first bike? Or is a very cheap/used bike reasonable? I'm basically looking for brands that are good, so maybe I can find something used. I'm not opposed to putting$1k down eventually, once I've been doing this for a while, but not right away.

3) Another issue - my size. I'm pretty big, about 6'1 and 290 lbs (see why I want to start biking?). Am I going to need to special order a bike for someone my size? Also, what type of bike will make biking more enjoyable for me? I have not been on a bike in over 10 years, so I don't know how I'll be able to ride at all. I'm planning for the worst. In fact, I haven't done ANY exercise in a long, long time.

So, basically, I'm looking for suggestions so I can start riding again. I really want to start biking for exercise and to get around. I'm sort of hesitant to start because there's so many things I need to look for, and I don't really want to spend a lot of money right away.

I'll be glad to hear any suggestions.

Thanks.

chroot
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I'm also thinking of buying a bike. I'm really out of shape, and I'd like to start biking to get some exercise and to get around town without using my car.
Awesome! We're proud of you for making such a great decision.

1) What style of bike should I use for exercise & traveling? I don't plan on riding 500 miles a week, not even close. I'll probably been riding on roads only, but I don't know - maybe there are some nice trails around here.
Bicycles cover a spectrum. On one end, you have bikes that sacrifice comfort and practicality for speed. These are the high-end, $2k+ road racing bikes. I don't think you're in the market for this kind of bike. On the other end of the spectrum are the commuter and hybrid bicycles, which are heavier, slower, and don't handle as well, yet are much cheaper, much more practical, and much more comfortable. 2) Do I really need to spend over$1k on my first bike? Or is a very cheap/used bike reasonable? I'm basically looking for brands that are good, so maybe I can find something used. I'm not opposed to putting $1k down eventually, once I've been doing this for a while, but not right away. Decent road bikes start at around$600-$700. The best price-point in terms of features per dollars is at around$1k, which is why that number pops up a lot.

If you choose to buy another style of bike, you can easily keep the cost under $500. Make sure you buy your bike from a reputable shop -- don't buy your first bike online, or at Costco, or from a previous owner. Once you have more experience riding, you'll be able to make those kinds of purchases with more confidence. For now, you'd be better off having someone show you a number of different models and letting you test ride them. 3) Another issue - my size. I'm pretty big, about 6'1 and 290 lbs (see why I want to start biking?). Am I going to need to special order a bike for someone my size? Also, what type of bike will make biking more enjoyable for me? I have not been on a bike in over 10 years, so I don't know how I'll be able to ride at all. I'm planning for the worst. In fact, I haven't done ANY exercise in a long, long time. The truth is that road racing bikes are almost exclusively designed for riders under 200 lbs. Many of them come with wheels that simply cannot support a 300 lb load without being dangerous. If even for this reason alone, I'd suggest something other than a road racing bike. Most hybrids and mountain bikes are designed to withstand much larger impacts, and thus are capable of handling bigger riders. Your height is not much of an issue -- most shops will either have bikes that fit a tall rider, or will be able to get one drop-shipped from a nearby warehouse in a day or two. If I were you, I'd look into some of the hybrid models. Look into the Trek Navigator series, the Specialized Globe series, the Giant Sedona, and other bikes in that category. They all feature relaxed geometries (meaning you can sit upright without straining your back), comfortable seats, and wheels and tires that will easily handle anything from road use to gentle off-road use. Many of them are priced at or under$500. I'm actually considering getting a Specialized Globe myself to complement my racing-oriented bikes.

I also strongly suggest that you go hang out at www.bikeforums.net for a while -- you'll learn an absolute ton. They have an entire forum dedicated to bicycle commuting, as well as an entire forum dedicated to bicycling as a means for weight loss. Good luck to you!

- Warren

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Awesome, thank you so much for the info. I'm going to head to my local bike shop today and try out a bunch of different bikes.

I'll also check out the bike forums. This is something I'd really like to get into, so thanks again for the info.

mheslep
Gold Member
... I'd also recommend heavy-duty inner tubes, again for flat protection. They make your tires a bit heavier, but for commuting, I think the extra weight is worth it.
After being besieged by flats on the commute I looked into the heavy tubes and my take was don't do it. The heavier tube means less space between the top of the tube and the rim so when you do hit that pot hole/curb there's increased chance of a pinch and a snake bite flat. Of course the heavy tube is more sharp-object puncture resistant but IMO a better/heavier tire is the best answer for that.

berkeman
Mentor
After being besieged by flats on the commute I looked into the heavy tubes and my take was don't do it. The heavier tube means less space between the top of the tube and the rim so when you do hit that pot hole/curb there's increased chance of a pinch and a snake bite flat. Of course the heavy tube is more sharp-object puncture resistant but IMO a better/heavier tire is the best answer for that.
Actually, after having a problem changing a heavy-duty tube last night with my son, I'll have to water down my recommendation of heavy-duty bike tubes. However, I still recommend the plastic liner things.

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chroot
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
In my experience, the most common causes of flats are:

1. Under-inflation.
2. Poorly maintained rim tape.
3. Poor tube installation techniques that result in stress on the valve stem, or leave opportunities for pinch flats.

I ride race tires with ultra-light tubes, yet still only have about one flat every 500 miles or so.

- Warren

berkeman
Mentor
I hit occasional little patches of stuff, including those obnoxious little thorn things. I try to keep an eye out, but sometimes get surprised.

BillJx
Some of the advice about road bikes seems to apply only to racing bikes. Such as not being designed for cargo or inclement weather. Or so it seems to me, I'm far from expert. I have an older Miyata 1000 touring bike which I don't use much, but I certainly don't hesitate to add things like a light, odometer, water bottle etc. I rode it on wet cobblestones in Paris, with four full panniers and a small pack behind the seat, but I don't recommend that.

Where I live I find a touring bike less than ideal. It's light and easy to pedal but there are places where I might want to hit the gravel or hop onto the sidewalk to avoid traffic, so a mountain bike would be safer. I'm also an inexpert rider.

chroot
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
At least in the US, the term "road bike" almost exclusively means "road racing bike." There are other kinds of bikes which have slick tires and are meant to be used on pavement -- like touring and cyclocross bikes -- but they are generally not called "road bikes."

- Warren

So when the people riding the Tour de France ride a section on cobble stone, do they change their bikes? Or do they still use a road racing bike?

Is any D lock good? How are Tioga D locks?

http://www.bikes.com.au/c/124827/1/tioga.html

What does it take to break them?

How often should I take the bike to a service?

They recommand taking a new bike to the first service after riding 200km. Why is that? They do often free servicing for a year. How often should I take it to be serviced after that?

chroot
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The biggest reason is because your shifter and brake cable will stretch a cm or two within the first couple of months of use. You can "fix" this yourself by turning your barrel adjusters a few times, but it's a good idea to take it to the shop anyway for a check-up.

The shop actually assembles your bike from a box before you buy it, so they're responsible for making sure all the bolts are tight. They're also responsible for making sure none of the components are about to fail due to a manufacturing defect. You may be required to take your bike back to the shop after a certain period of time for the shop to continue to honor your warranty.

I generally never take my bikes to shops for service, but that's because I know how to fix nearly anything that breaks. If I were you, I'd find someone to teach you basic adjustments, and take the bike back only when it has major problems.

- Warren

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So they will put it back or destretch it a cm or two? But wouldn't it stretch back out again after a months again? Check ups after the first year are usually half yearly minimum? And usually yearly? Although it may depend how much you ride.

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chroot
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
They'll simply adjust the cable tension so that it's back in spec. The cables generally stretch significantly only when they're new.

Like I said, I wouldn't worry about any regular checkups -- you can fix 90% of bicycle mechanical problems yourself with very little effort. They're simple machines.

- Warren

berkeman
Mentor
Warren, is there a trick to getting the crank out? I need to lube my crankshaft, but I haven't been able to figure out what to remove to get the assembly open. I have a 5 y/o Mongoose MTB.

Warren, is there a trick to getting the crank out? I need to lube my crankshaft

Edit: "Thats what she said!"

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berkeman
Mentor
Oopsies!

chroot
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Well, I assume you mean you need to get the bottom bracket out of the frame. The "cranks" are just the arms that attach to the bottom bracket. You typically need a tool to open the bottom bracket shell to get the bottom bracket itself out. These days, most bearings are actually sealed cartridges, so you may have no luck lubing it yourself. You might be better off just buying a new cartridge bearing.

I have no experience (at all) with mountain-bike components, so I cannot recommend a specific tool. Check Park Tool to see if they have the appropriate tools:

http://www.parktool.com/products/category.asp?cat=9 [Broken]

If it has Shimano components on it, they'll have a tool for it.

- Warren

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