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Posts: 1095
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:35 am

Cyclists: Need Help Choosing A Bike

Fri May 28, 2010 7:01 am

current situation: i have recently started riding quite a bit, mostly in a bid to lose weight. Nowadays i ride about 25-30km(18ish miles) at a time 3 or 4 times a week. i am not trying for speed, but i am also not just cruising and looking at scenery. I ride on streets and paved paths in the park right now, so i have to be agile to avoid people and cars. and potholes. My problem is i am riding a 15 year old CCM(made in Canada!) cheapo walmart type mountain bike. rims are bent, brakes dont work well, really really knobby tires, etc. etc. I think since i am starting to ride quite a bit i am looking into a new bike.

I am at a loss of what type of bike i should be looking at. My budget is sub $500, and preferably closer to 400 or less. While i am currently staying mostly on paved surfaces, i want to be able to ride unpaved trails on occasion in the future. My main goal right now is long rides at a decent pace to lose weight(i average around 12-13mph when i ride my current old bike). My only real must have is it should be geared and not single speed.

I went to one of the bike stores, and they said my best bet was kind of a starter 'mountain bike', of which their stock included:
Giant Boulder
Norco Scorcher
trek 3 series(cant remember which exact model)

my initial thoughts when looking at these were they were a bit too mountainy..front shocks, fairly aggressive tires(but they still looked a bit smoother than the wicked things on my current bike). I didn't give any of the above a test ride yet.

I have been looking on the various large manufacturers sites, and, to my untrained eye it looks like i am sitting in between sort of cruiser and mountain bike although it seems the lines with the manufacturers are blurred and none use the same nomenclature.

Some of the others that have piqued my interest:
Norco Pinnacle
Norco Yorkville
Giant Cypress R
Giant Transend
Giant Sedona

To me it seems the cruisers may not take the trail if i want them to(think minor hills, but tree roots and small jumps) but the mountain bike may not serve me well with road riding. I am leaning towards getting the a mountain bike and living with the decision.

I think it may come down to when i get a chance to ride a couple and see.
Posts: 847
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:35 am

RE: Cyclists: Need Help Choosing A Bike

Fri May 28, 2010 7:25 am

Personally, I'd recommend checking out the second-hand market before buying anything new. Especially if you're not 100% certain what you want.

In 22 years of cycling, I've never had a new bike, but the second-hand ones I've found have all been delightful. And, most importantly if you're not sure what to do, cheap.  

Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
Posts: 867
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

RE: Cyclists: Need Help Choosing A Bike

Fri May 28, 2010 10:29 am

I've recently replaced my Mongoose crossway 450, which was very similar in concept to the Cypress R. I reckon for what you're planning on doing, this or the Sedona are probably the best compromise - the Cypress R if you're doing mostly road/paths and an occasional track, the Sedona if the tracks are a little rougher or more regular. The only reason I ever lost rear spoke with theype of riding you seem to describe is because I regularly had 20+kg of child on the back  

I've just got a Giant CRX2 ( - more expensive than what you want, of course. I realised that any off-road was so very occasional that it wasn't really worth worrying about (I'm in the city and a block away from a 20km cycle path) - although I did go from 28C to 32C tyres, as I've still got the child seat. It's amazed me how much resistance the front shocks on my old bike provided - the new bike is so much easier to travel at a higher average speed.


PS. I agree with the PP about looking second hand if you're not sure - bikes drop in value worse than cars!!!!
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Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2000 10:28 pm

RE: Cyclists: Need Help Choosing A Bike

Fri May 28, 2010 11:11 am

I have been riding street racing bikes for many years now, so I cannot comment on MTB in a very professional way.

But I can comment on your general approach.

Buying high tech equipment is relatively useless for building up fitness and loosing weight. The equiptment will help you to go faster or farther with fewer bodily resources. But your goal is to burn down these resources and not to be faster or go farther than the competition in a race.

So, as long your old bike is not a safety concern, I'd say stick to it (certainly invest in new pedals, brakes, shoes, helmet) and extend the range of your trips. 30 km is nothing when you want to burn calories. Biking in itself is relatively energy efficient at low speeds (below 30 km/h).

Forget about the bike, invest in greater distances at higher speeds. Take care not to stress your body too much and avoid anaerobic areas of performance.

[Edited 2010-05-28 04:12:39]

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