Find me a bike

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by dopey, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I want an all around bike for zipping around the park for fitness, though I will more often be cruising around with my kids at a leisurely pace, with the occasional spin on a well-groomed fire / former railroad line trails (in other words smooth dirt, but not real trail riding). Maybe some weekend errands in the City.

    No real budget in mind. I have no desire to spend lots of money, but I will pay up if some thing sings to me.
     


  2. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    IMO, bikes are one of those things that are better bought in a store. I'd suggest going to a large bike store and try a few
     


  3. robin

    robin Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    ++
     


  4. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    It sounds like you want a "cross" of "hybrid" bike. They use tires with the same larger circumference that road bikes use (vs. MTBs), but the tire and frame is a bit meatier, allowing for light off-pavement use. I haven't looked at new bikes in many moons, and some of these brands may even be gone now, but when cycling was my thing, Trek, Diamondback, GT, and Cannondale, to name a few, were good brands for a cross.
     


  5. aragon765

    aragon765 Senior member

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    Check out something along the lines of the Specialized Crosstrail:

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...strail&eid=125

    Larger tires for speed (road bike size), but geometry and handling to work well for recreational fire road riding.

    If you want a drop bar, something like the Tricross:

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...=38439&eid=123

    Fast, durable, but harder to keep an eye on the kids with the more 'racy' geometry of a drop bar bike.

    GDL actually had some good advice - just go to a good sized independent bike shop, and try some stuff out. You will get a feel very quick for what you want, and meets your needs. If you have any specific questions, I would be happy to help (I worked +/- 10 years in bicycle retail in a previous life...)
     


  6. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Check out something along the lines of the Specialized Crosstrail: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...strail&eid=125 Larger tires for speed (road bike size), but geometry and handling to work well for recreational fire road riding. If you want a drop bar, something like the Tricross: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...=38439&eid=123 Fast, durable, but harder to keep an eye on the kids with the more 'racy' geometry of a drop bar bike. GDL actually had some good advice - just go to a good sized independent bike shop, and try some stuff out. You will get a feel very quick for what you want, and meets your needs. If you have any specific questions, I would be happy to help (I worked +/- 10 years in bicycle retail in a previous life...)
    Thank you. This is helpful and what I have been thinking of. Basically, a sport/touring type frame, leaning more towards the touring side of things. I will check out my local store. Have also been seduced by Rivendell. The first link looks too "mountainbike" for what I am used to riding, but that may be more my problem to get over. I have never ridden anything but drop bars. The second link is what I had expected to see.
     


  7. otc

    otc Senior member

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    http://taticycles.com/index.php?showimage=242 Cruise like you wouldnt believe and don't ever worry about the maintenance I like aragon's suggestions but I might take a peek at something like this: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...id=09ViennaDLX or another bike with an internal geared hub. I have been riding an internal hub (though a vintage 3-speed) around lately and it is a joy. enough control that you can drop it to a low gear for a steep hill but all the outside simplicity of a single speed bike. No derailers to worry about for easy maintenance and a nice chain guard so you can ride with pants without worrying about getting them messy.
     


  8. aragon765

    aragon765 Senior member

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    Thank you. This is helpful and what I have been thinking of. Basically, a sport/touring type frame, leaning more towards the touring side of things.

    I will check out my local store. Have also been seduced by Rivendell.

    The first link looks too "mountainbike" for what I am used to riding, but that may be more my problem to get over. I have never ridden anything but drop bars. The second link is what I had expected to see.


    If you are looking at a Rivendell, that is a whole different kettle of fish from anything that you will get from the "big" companies. If you can afford (both financially and the time) to get a Rivendell, that would be awesome, as they are incredible bikes.... If you want something Rivendell'esque without the price point, you could always get a shop to build you up a Surly - you/they could pick the parts config to meet whatever budge you want.

    Linkage:

    Surly LHT Frame
    Surly LHT Bike
    Surly CrossCheck Frame
    Surly CrossCheck Bike

    If you really want to go fancy, you can join the 3+ year wait to get a Vanilla <-- should be ready just in time for your kids to enter college

    Or look up any of the winners at the most recent NAHBS - the North American Handmade Bicycle show... some amazing artistry on display!!
     


  9. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If you are looking at a Rivendell, that is a whole different kettle of fish from anything that you will get from the "big" companies. If you can afford (both financially and the time) to get a Rivendell, that would be awesome, as they are incredible bikes.... If you want something Rivendell'esque without the price point, you could always get a shop to build you up a Surly - you/they could pick the parts config to meet whatever budge you want. Linkage: Surly LHT Frame Surly LHT Bike Surly CrossCheck Frame Surly CrossCheck Bike If you really want to go fancy, you can join the 3+ year wait to get a Vanilla <-- should be ready just in time for your kids to enter college Or look up any of the winners at the most recent NAHBS - the North American Handmade Bicycle show... some amazing artistry on display!!
    Vanilla has a five year wait!! I just checked - never heard of them before. Rivendell is certainly a stretch for me as their lowest end bike is more than I expected a bike to cost. But it is still much less than a bespoke suit, so it really is just a question of values and priorities. Also, their low-end bike has some definite design and aesthetic compromises that dent the allure a bit, and you need another $1,000 to get rid of those. I will have a look at what my local bike shop can do with Surly. At the end of the day, that may make more sense. I will also look at some of the purer commuter styles, though those seem less fun. Thanks.
     


  10. zippyh

    zippyh Senior member

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    Vanilla is a Portland custom frame builder. Very nice bikes. Very expensive too.

    The style of bike you may be looking for is Cyclocross (aka CX).
    Sort of road bike looking with drop bars but with room to put fat off road tires.
    Or you can just put normal road bike tires on for more speed if you're just riding pavement.
    I've got a Bianchi San Jose single speed CX bike.
    It was cheap. In the winter I put road tires and fenders on it and ride it rather than my nice road bikes.
    In the summer I put CX tires on it for riding dirt roads/trails.
    I'm not really into mtn biking.

    Take a look at the Bianchi Axis if you want a CX bike with gears. It has room for fenders if that matters.
    There's also the Bianchi Volpe. I've heard good things about Surly.

    This probably isn't the best time of year to be looking for CX bikes though. It's more a winter thing.
    The ones you do find will probably be a decent deal if they're last year's model.
     


  11. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks. Yet another helpful response. Others have recommended the Bianchi Volpe as well.
     


  12. andyw

    andyw Senior member

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    Have you thought about a folder? Assuming you mean NYC ,where I live, folders offer flexibility and compactness. I have several Bromptons and a GoBike; they are fine for what you want to do.....except for the trail riding. Perhaps a Bike Friday Pocket Llama or the Swift Folder - which was designed and made in Brooklyn - are possible options for consideration.
     


  13. zippyh

    zippyh Senior member

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    Honestly, just about anything from a big brand (Trek, Specialized, Bianchi, Cannondale, Giant, etc) at a given price point will be just about the same. The bike shop you buy it from and and perhaps the warranty the manufacturer offers will make the most difference. Most frames will be made in Taiwan or China.

    If you're looking for a lower priced made in USA road frame, the Cannondale CAAD9 is still made in the USA but this is your last chance. They just announced they're moving production of them offshore.
    Trek still makes some of their Carbon frames in the USA.

    Just about everything you look at in stores will be Shimano.
    Shimano common groups go Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, Dura-Ace in increasing quality/cost.
    I'd look for at least 105. 105 and above are 10 speed, I think Sora and Tiagra are still 9 speed.
    Many bikes will be spec'ed with combinations of component lines since a lot is compantible.

    There are few bikes off the shelf with Campagnolo.
    Their common groups are Veloce, Centaur, Chorus, Record.
    In general it's more expensive than Shimano but it must be worth it because it's Italian.
    It's definitely more stylish. I'd go at least Centaur.

    You might see some bikes with SRAM grouppos too. It's good stuff.
     


  14. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Have you thought about a folder? Assuming you mean NYC ,where I live, folders offer flexibility and compactness. I have several Bromptons and a GoBike; they are fine for what you want to do.....except for the trail riding. Perhaps a Bike Friday Pocket Llama or the Swift Folder - which was designed and made in Brooklyn - are possible options for consideration.

    Here's a cool little folder that comes in at only $200...a complete steal (although I am too big for it...oh well)
    http://www.taticycles.com/index.php?showimage=236

    I think he still has some available
     


  15. cbird

    cbird Senior member

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    Check out the Bilenky website. Bilenky is a custom builder in Philadelphia who started out with a custom commuting bike. He can make any type of frame, including tandems, but specializes in more utilitarian (touring, commuting, cargo, etc.) rather than racing frames. He has custom frames at varying price points and could probably offer something like the Surly at not much more in cost, yet quite a bit more in terms of options.
     


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