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Sold the car, looking for a bike.

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

I came to conclusion to sell my car, turn in all plates, and cancel insurance. Keep my license valid, in case I need to rent a car. But since most of my work/studies at the moment is done at home and local commutes is always under 10 miles. I am using the cost of savings as my motivation with a benefit of loosing weight.

 

I found that doing classes out of the home and in Starbucks/Park is a major help (One way 3-5 miles). So I will being doing at least 6-10 miles a day and an estimated of 75-100 miles a week. The roads/sidewalks in my area are either smooth as glass or construction. I been looking at a few bikes, that will last me five years and that I can grow on. After my AS degree is finished I would like to possibly ride to University of Tampa, about 23 miles one way.

 

I mostly been looking at the following Treks; mostly the Lance connections and always wanting one.

 

Trek 7.5 FX Disk

Trek 8.5 DS (This looks like it would smooth out the rough areas around town, but still be quick)

 

It's been a few years since I been on a bike and the last bike I had was a full suspension Mongoose that was not the greatest on pavement. What's your opinions on the above bikes or should I open up my eyes and look else where?

 

~Kurt

post #2 of 46
I don't have advice on which bikes to consider, but I do applaud your decision. I hope it works out well for you.
post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 

Well like I said, the main reason is financial... Moving out here, I knew my insurance would go up due to being more populated and terrible traffic. I figured $100-200 a 6 month term, not a 4x increase! That's insane, it would cost me over $500 to insure, maintain, and fuel a vehicle a month. I also moved out here with my mother to save money and concentrate on my studies. Paying $500 a month to have a luxury item such as a car, is deviating the purpose.

 

I have been walking the 3.x miles to Starbucks 4-5 days a week and it's tolerable. It will be even easier with a bike. I know if I need a car, I have use of moms car (Doctors and occasional trips to see old friends back home). I hope that when I start at University of Tampa, I will be in shape to do 23 miles one way (If not fine, with money saved and hopefully my investments pay off. I can move closer). That would be outstanding and would save a huge penny. But in 6 months, I may buy a scooter or a small motorcycle for long distance. I was quoted $30-65 a month to insure and that's reasonable compared to what they wanted to insure a car.

 

Either way, I see this as a smart move. That will not only get me in shape (that I am in dire need of), but save a great deal of money in the long run. Providing, I don't get run over.

 

~Kurt

post #4 of 46
Since this bike is your only means of transportation, have you thought of things like groceries and bringing home items from stores? Might want to look into a bike with a rack on it. Craigslist is great for bikes because, IMO, those Trek's, although decent bikes, aren't worth what you'd pay retail for them. You can probably find something similar on Craigslist that might be a year or two old that someone bought and only rode a few times for much cheaper than those bikes.

My roommate used to have the 7.5FX. He didn't have any issues with it. It's easy to maintain about 10-12mph on it and anything faster than 15mph def requires a good amount of effort on a bike like that. I'm not sure if speed/ride quality is a big concern for you. If speed matters, you're better off buying a true road bike. This would also allow you to ride it for fun (since getting in shape is something that is important) when you aren't commuting to class.
post #5 of 46
Thread Starter 

Groceries are not much of a problem, I will be installing a rack on the back. As I said, moved back in with mother... But she's only here during the week, Mon-Thursday. She leaves work and heads back home "home" Friday till Monday morning.

 

The "true" road bike looks great, but my concern is comfort (Stiffness and that bent over posture). But they do look like they will be fun and if they could cruise at a decent rate, but still do a speed run down the beach roads would be terrific. I definitely don't want to feel the need to go to a chiropractor at the end of the day.

 

I am not die hard set on a Trek either, just the first quality bike brand that comes to mind... I also prefer to buy new... Stupid reason, I just want something new. Most of my clothes is thrift store or clearance section. Cars always been used, but I prefer classics. Most my computers been used, etc. Like I said stupid reason to feel the need to buy new. I mostly bought clearance or used, not because I can't afford it, but being cheap. I just think it would be cool to buy something new, use it allot and ride it into the ground. Plus a bike is a cheaper option then a car.

 

~Kurt

 

Edit: I should note, I live in Clearwater, Florida. It does rain in the afternoons (mostly). So I could find my self riding in wet conditions...

post #6 of 46
if I needed one as a daily commute I'd probably get a long haul trucker

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post #7 of 46
Thread Starter 

That's a nice bike, but with only one Surely dealer within 10 miles and they don't stock many bikes or parts, maybe a problem (I think) if I intend to ride it allot.

 

I am slightly worried about a bike with fixed forks. I like the idea of the Trek 8.5 DS, with lock out. You can (un)lock it on the fly if the road is smooth so you can ride faster (with less nose dive or loss of momentum going up hill) or if it's going to be bumpy. At least, that's what the sales guy explained to me. I never rode a bike with no suspension and afraid for daily, it maybe rough? How do those handle bars compare to a normal bar? They look complicated and extremely uncomfortable for long distance (creating more lean)?

 

~Kurt

post #8 of 46
Drop handlebars are infinitely more comfortable than a flat bar.
Also, a bike like that LHT with drop handlebars can be set up for a relatively upright riding position so don't let that scare you away.

The real worry with getting something nice is that it's going to get ripped off.
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtS90 View Post

That's a nice bike, but with only one Surely dealer within 10 miles and they don't stock many bikes or parts, maybe a problem (I think) if I intend to ride it allot.

I am slightly worried about a bike with fixed forks. I like the idea of the Trek 8.5 DS, with lock out. You can (un)lock it on the fly if the road is smooth so you can ride faster (with less nose dive or loss of momentum going up hill) or if it's going to be bumpy. At least, that's what the sales guy explained to me. I never rode a bike with no suspension and afraid for daily, it maybe rough? How do those handle bars compare to a normal bar? They look complicated and extremely uncomfortable for long distance (creating more lean)?

~Kurt

both my bikes have front forks. if you're gonna ride on streets or at worst fire roads then stick with a rigid/fixed fork. front shocks are overkill imo, and I think the trek saleguy's pulling your leg.
post #10 of 46
Thread Starter 

I explained to the Morgan at Trek, I was just looking for a general overview at what Trek had to offer and what I was doing. He was not pushy or anything, but did not seem to knowledgeable as I would like. I never told him a price, but it was nice to see he was reasonable and showed me every bike under $3,000 MSRP (extremely high end for what I am willing to pay). Is it reasonable to ask for a discount or expect one? I was only offered 10% off accessories, I believe for a year... But if they have everything priced at MSRP, I maybe better ordering the extras online.

 

I will look into the drop down handle bars a bit more and check on test riding one. They look cool, but intimidating. So do the "clipless" pegs... I will also consider a rigid fork more, since from a bit reading around it's not so bad even in the rough.

 

My stepfather also recommended Specialized, said they where very comparable to Trek, but usually a few hundred cheaper. Is there any other brands I should consider? Google I kept getting lower end bikes. How are the electric assist bikes, worth looking into?

 

I am also going to look for a general bike store in my area next week, I think they maybe more helpful then a Trek specific store.

 

Thanks for the help so far!

~Kurt

post #11 of 46
Might I recommend posting your question in the General Bike Thread? Lots of advice to be had there.

My quick advice: that Trek 7.5FX is not a good long-haul bike. I have one. It suits my 12 mile round-trip to work; but I would not use it for more. It is plenty fast, though, contrary to the earlier post. I know I've hit 25+ on it.

Look for a used cyclocross or touring bike. Make sure it has rack mounts.


b
post #12 of 46

bike for lose weight purpose? a good idea, from early febuary I left my motorcycle (just park in my garage not sell ) and change to ride bike to work, more than 50 miles a week. and you know I lose 2 kgs this month from 88 kgs to 86 kgs, hahahahaha....

 

 

post #13 of 46

 

My two cents. (Click to show)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdawson808 View Post

Look for a used cyclocross or touring bike. Make sure it has rack mounts.

I was gonna suggest this, and also the LHT. True touring bikes=your best bet, I'd imagine, since they're built to carry heavy loads for long distances and several days on end. I've seen people riding touring bikes up the shoulder of the I-15 from Vegas to California. Books and groceries, if you're properly equipped, should be just fine.



Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyh View Post

Drop handlebars are infinitely more comfortable than a flat bar.
Also, a bike like that LHT with drop handlebars can be set up for a relatively upright riding position so don't let that scare you away.
The real worry with getting something nice is that it's going to get ripped off.


I personally like North Road bars, the ones that look sort of like the ones on the Wicked Witch's bike in the Wizard of Oz. Those let me sit up nice and high, and cars tend to notice me more I think. I'm done with flat bars, and even if they're raised up, I never quite got into drop bars. Just my preference, mind you, and zippyH is certainly right that they can be raised to give you a more comfortable riding position.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtS90 View Post

 

I am slightly worried about a bike with fixed forks. …  I never rode a bike with no suspension and afraid for daily, it maybe rough?

 

I have ridden all kinds of messed-up roads with a couple of old fixed-fork beater Giant mountain bikes, and it was just fine. Taught me how to ride more attentively and responsively, too. My current bike is an ancient Schwinn with fixed steel everything, heavy as an anchor, and I love it. If you try the Surly, just avoid potholes and my guess is that you should be good — lots of people swear that steel frames are shock-absorbent enough. I haven't ridden enough modern bikes made out of cool materials to know the difference, but the old school has always worked for me. I'm only 32, by the way, so this isn't about waving my cane at those kids with their dadgum modern bikes.

 

 

post #14 of 46
Go with a steel frame with a good touring geometry and tires then you won't really need to worry about having a fixed fork. Just avoid the large holes.

Drop bars are my preference. After a week or two of soreness/stiffness (be sure to stretch, a ton, before and after riding, as well as throughout the day, neck too) you will be fine. Saddle soreness will likely be an issue to begin with as well.

My ex did a Seattle to San Fran tour using a Surly Crosscheck bike loaded up with front and rear racks as well as a handlebar bag and fenders Get some good tires, Schwalbe has some good, though a bit expensive, tires that have the kevlar lining to prevent punctures. She didn't have an issue the entire tour.

Ended up looking something like this:

259

I might suggest a less expensive option, the nashbar steel touring bike. Comes with a shimano 105 grouppo (very solid, step up from what normally comes with the Surlys) and a rear rack. Slap on a Brooks leather saddle, SPD style pedals (nashbar has inexpensive pedals too), and fenders to go for around $900 all in. Make sure you get a good lock and blinky LED lights for your front and rear.
post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtS90 View Post

I explained to the Morgan at Trek, I was just looking for a general overview at what Trek had to offer and what I was doing. He was not pushy or anything, but did not seem to knowledgeable as I would like. I never told him a price, but it was nice to see he was reasonable and showed me every bike under $3,000 MSRP (extremely high end for what I am willing to pay). Is it reasonable to ask for a discount or expect one? I was only offered 10% off accessories, I believe for a year... But if they have everything priced at MSRP, I maybe better ordering the extras online.

I will look into the drop down handle bars a bit more and check on test riding one. They look cool, but intimidating. So do the "clipless" pegs... I will also consider a rigid fork more, since from a bit reading around it's not so bad even in the rough.

My stepfather also recommended Specialized, said they where very comparable to Trek, but usually a few hundred cheaper. Is there any other brands I should consider? Google I kept getting lower end bikes. How are the electric assist bikes, worth looking into?

I am also going to look for a general bike store in my area next week, I think they maybe more helpful then a Trek specific store.

Thanks for the help so far!
~Kurt

In general, margins on news bikes are slim and hence discounts are also slim. You can usually find a decent deal on a previous year's model though depending upon the time of year.
Also, bicycles at the price range you're looking at are basically a commodity and there really isn't much difference between the offering from the big brands. There are always exceptions of course since one brand might have an oddball model which no one else produces anything like. Specialized, Trek, Giant, Bianchi, Cannondale all produce decent stuff. Likely all the frames are going to be made in the same factories in China or Taiwan.

Learning to ride clipless is scary as hell and you're going to fall. It's worth it though.

Contrary to what you might think, a big ass cushy seat is something to avoid at all costs if you're actually going to be riding any distance. You also don't need a suspension fork. They just add weight and are totally unsuited for the type of riding it sounds like you're going to be doing.

Don't forget to budget a couple hundred for various stuff you'll need. Offhand I can think of a saddle bag to carry spare tubes, tire levers, inflation device. You'll also want a decent floor pump to keep at home, maybe some lights, bottles and bottle cages. If you go clipless, you'll need to pay for those and also shoes.
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