bike choice

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  #1  
Old 04-14-07, 08:32 PM
wwc
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bike choice

Hello, my wife and I are in our late fortys and we want to get more exercise and enjoy the outdoors with bike riding .
We will be mostly on paved or smooth bike trails.
We don't like the skinny seat and bent over riding positions of the race bike generation type bikes, something more comfortable.
We can spend around a hundred bucks each on a bike and there are no bike shops around here, but there is always a wally mart nearby.
what are your recomendations for us.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-15-07, 04:55 AM
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My wife and I are over 40
I am an avid cyclist and my wife is not too far behind. (sometimes ahead)
I introduced her to mountain bikes.
They are built for stability and control of rough ground and are great on the road if you happen to hit a pothole or a crack in the road.
They have big tires for shock absorption and traction.
Problem with WallyWorld bikes is the brakes I find. They don't work too well and get worse.
Been a long time since I bought a cheaper bike and they may have gotten better.
I find SportChek a good place with some good specials and a dynamite return policy even if you don't like the bikes.
I recommend checking SportCheK.
I also recommend riding a few varieties if you can from friends or a local bike store. Got to be a store somewhere other than Wally World.

Bike riding is low impact aerobic and it also improves balance.
I love it.
A mountain bike is built to go where the water, trees and hills and dales are.
Start off slow and no jumping, hear.
 
  #3  
Old 04-15-07, 06:39 AM
wwc
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Thanks frankiee, Whats a good way to figure the right size of bike a person needs.
There are no bike shops near here at all, i would have to drive a pretty far peice to find one.
About all we have are discount stores like wally world around here.
whats wrong with the brakes on the cheaper bikes so i can identify them.

What is sportchek ? never heard of it.

I'll try to start off slow and no jumping,( evel knievel was my hero when i was a kid ) what about riding wheelies?lol
 
  #4  
Old 04-15-07, 08:25 AM
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Bike Choice

There are a lot of options available, probably your best choice is for a comfort bike. Those are a type of mountain bike with a more upright riding position, and a wider, softer seat. Wally World sells a couple of models of them in their Next line for under $100. Make sure you get the right size bike, when you're standing over the frame in front of the seat you should be 1-2 inches over the top tube, and to adjust the seat correctly,your knee should be slightly bent when you're at the bottom of the pedal stroke, you shouldn't be able to reach the ground when sitting on the seat. That's a big advantage of bike shops, they have people who can help you find the right size bike and make the adjustments for you. Wal-Mart bikes won't last very long if you do much long distance riding, they are made pretty cheaply, but they will work for a while for you to figure out what you like and want to do. You can always make the trip to somewhere that has a bike shop and get a higher end one later if you decide you want to. Higher end bikes like Trek, Giant etc. will run about $300-$400 each but they are more comfortable and last considerably longer than discount store ones, that's the trade off on price. I put around 2,000 miles a year on mine so I have Treks.
 
  #5  
Old 04-16-07, 06:59 AM
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Size of a bike varies for different people. I have a 30 inch inseam for my leg and I am about 5 ft 7 inches tall and I ride a 16 inch frame. A lot of people think that bike is too small on me but that is what fits me for what I do on it.
I live in Ontario Canada and in our WalMarts there is usually not too much selection for size. There will likely be lots of 17 inch frames which I believe will fit you. I am talking mountain bike sizing here and I do not know the sizing of other bikes. There is lots of info on line on the subject but I find it is not correct in my case. The proper bike will fit like a glove for that individual.
Get on one and take a little ride down the aisle.

People would be able to guess better if we knew your inseam sizes of your legs and your heights. If that is too personal, sorry for asking.

The brakes can be a problem because..... I don't know. They just don't work.
My wife bought bikes for our two kids and the brakes did not work well. I readjusted the brakes, sanded the brakes, replaced the shoes, and they still would not grab well.

SportChec must be a Canada company. I don't know. We have a lot of them around here. Hard to beat their quality and prices and no hassle guarantee.

I don't want to scare you off buying a bike . I bought a bike a WallMart bout 8 years ago. I served me well until it was stolen.
I still look at WalMart bikes and sometimes figure how can I go wrong.
You might want to think of a bike with a front and rear suspension also.
I have one and I call it my Cadillac. It takes a lot of shock out of the bumps.
I have steel studded tires and use it as my winter bike.
Great place to get a cheap bike just to try it out to see if I like it.
My other bike is a $1000 bike (Canadian) and when investing that kind of money, it has got to be right.
In another year or two I want my bike budget to go up to $5000.

I want you and your wife to go get a bike (any bike) and enjoy and be safe.
I and my wife got into biking because I don't run anymore.
When I do run it is hard on the back and the knees.
Biking is a way I can do the forest trails until I am 70.
I love biking and promote it to all I see.
My wife as well has fallen in love with the sport.
Its also a family thing. We have kids that are 12 and 13
Its a way to yank them away from the video games and us away from our studies.
There are so many facts out there of how physical exercise improves everything of a person. Mind, body, spirit.
Be safe with them and remember to be careful with the brakes. Get use to them. I find it tempting to go down where other people go and that is when the brakes can let go. Just like cars, brakes can fade when you most need them (Remember cars with 4 drums)
I would recommend not doing wheelies until next year.

Sorry for the long post.
Get me talking about bikes and you better have some patients.
Come to think of it
Time for a ride now.
 
  #6  
Old 04-16-07, 09:37 AM
wwc
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Thanks for the long reply, I appreciate good descriptions and advice.
I guess zeppo sumed it up pretty good about how much space there should be over the bar and sitting and not touching the ground, Seems like i have heard that before also.
When i was stationed in Germany many years ago, biking is a way of life there and people use bikes for daily life and the bikes had fenders for protection from water splashes, baskets for carrying grocerys or what ever, headlights and tail lights too.
Here it's more of a sport i guess.
I'll check into the local bikes around here and see how they fit and feel.
How do you all who do long distance rides carry supplies like repair kits,food and maybe things you may find or buy along the way.
 
  #7  
Old 04-16-07, 10:53 AM
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Fit, fit, fit

The most important aspect of a new bicycle is how it fits you. There are a lot of dimensions to consider: frame size, saddle height, handlebar height and width, top tube length, etc. Some of these are not obvious, but if they're too far off you may strain muscles, which may put you off the sport.

Here's a link to a site I found that describe bike fitting in detail:
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

Good luck- enjoy!
 
  #8  
Old 04-16-07, 04:34 PM
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http://www.nsmb.com/gear/camelbak_havoc_02_05.php

Personally I use a CamelBak.
Carriers tend to get broken etc. if the trails are too rough.
Depends on where a person rides and what they carry
I am going on a course for 2 months and have to live away from my family.
I want to ride the 20 Km on most of the days.
I want to take my books back and forth as well as my lunch
A back pack is too heavy for a long trip and a Camel Bak is too small.
I am going to buy a "Carrier" for the back of my bike.
I had one years ago and it worked good when I was commuting on the roads.
 
  #9  
Old 04-16-07, 08:06 PM
wwc
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Thanks for the replys.
I was reading up on brakes and i'm very confused about what the differnces are and how to tell them apart.
v brakes ,cantilever etc..
Frankie was talking about brakes and that made me wonder more about what makes them bad and what can be done to a cheap bike to make the brakes better.
Also i didn't know that you could mount a rack on mountain bikes, sounds good.
 
  #10  
Old 04-17-07, 01:17 PM
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Brakes, my opinion

With all due respect to frankiee, it may be a touch soon to become very aware of the differences in brake types. For the type of riding you described: active, for fitness, probably on developed or paved trails, not too much distance at first but increasing as your fitness increases, the type of brake on the bike will not matter too much. Downhill mountain bikers, the other end of that spectrum, need gonzo monster brakes because of the speeds they attain and the control they require.

Certainly brakes are important, and just as your car requires maintenance your bicycle does too. If you get a "low end" bike at first keep an eye on brakes and other components for wear, but at this point- in my humble opinion- I would not drive my choice of bicycle purely on the type of brakes onboard. As you gain experience and try different types of components, you'll notice the differences and develop preferences for various items.

Are you leaning toward a mountain bike? If so, here's an idea: if you do a lot of riding on paved surfaces, you can take the knobby tires off the wheels and replace them with pavement-type tires. This will reduce the rolling resistance you encounter. Then if you want to get out in the mud you can put the knobbies back on.

Enjoy!
 
  #11  
Old 04-17-07, 04:00 PM
wwc
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I haven't decided for sure what type of bike we need.
I wasn't really leaning towards a mountain bike because i thought they were for more rough terain and trails.
We need something more comfortable and pleasurable to cruise around on.
not all leaned over and sitting on a tiny seat,if you know what i mean.
 
  #12  
Old 04-27-07, 01:34 PM
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I have seen a few schwinn and Huffy brand bikes this week and both come in mountain and comfort style.
I think the comfort style would work for us better than a mountain bike, kinda nice to sit a little more upright and have a bigger seat.
Both of the schwinn and huffy bikes have very attractive frames and paint.

A couple differences I found are some frames are made more like mens and womens old style bikes where one frame has a bar straight from the seat to the handle bars and another has more of a downward slope bar.
But i saw where it seemed mens and womens bikes had a downward slope bar.

How do you tell which is a mans bike and womans bike.

Also i noticed a difference in brakes, some did seem to be already rubbing against the wheel, I'm wondering how hard is it to adjust yourself and maintain over some types of brakes.
one was kinda a center pull and another was side pull and one even had disc brakes on the back buit not the front.
All these bikes were at Kmart.
 
  #13  
Old 04-30-07, 08:58 AM
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Bikes

I'm not familiar with comfort bikes, so I went to the Schwinn web site and clicked around. The bar between the handle bars and the seat is called the top tube; on comfort bikes these often slant downward from the handlebars to the seat tube (the pipe the seat sticks into). On a women's comfort bike (at the schwinn site, at least) the top tube has what's called a "low step over", so the top tube is even easier to swing your leg over than the men's model. The top tube extends to the bottom bracket (where the pedals join the frame); the seat tube joins the bottom bracket, and a curved tube joins the top tube and seat tube.

So I think it's fair to say: as long as the top tube joins the seat tube and not the bottom bracket, and as long as the frame color is a suitable color, it's a men's bike. If it's pink or the top tube joins the bottom bracket or both, it's a women's bike. Click on some of the pictures at this site to see:
http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/bikes_detail.php?id=798

Brakes rubbing against the tire, instead of the rim: easily fixed with an adjustable wrench. Loosen the nut on the brake shoe, adjust the shoe so it will have the most contact with the rim, and tighten.

This does raise a good point about mass marketer bikes: they are assembled by some guy at the store, who may or may not know what he's doing. For the most part you can tell when this occurs because something will be loose or not working properly in the brake example you gave, but for safety's sake you may want to have a bike shop check the bike out. You mentioned earlier that there are no bike shops close by, but at some point it may be worth a trip: brake and shifter cables stretch and need to be adjusted, etc.

Brakes: I have to tell you I'm way out of the loop to know what equipment is current. Center pull brakes used to be the rage, but then they were replaced by side pull brakes- but I can't look you straight in the computer and say "this one is best". We're seeing this same phenomenon now: disk brakes are all the rage, and for product differentiation purposes the manufacturers are adding them to bikes- it makes their bikes "new and improved". If you're looking for a direction to go and I'm the only response you get, my advice is: avoid center pulls, and if it has disk brakes that's fine but not having disk brakes shouldn't be a deal killer if the bike fits you.

Good luck with it, and let us know how it goes!
 
  #14  
Old 08-18-08, 10:12 PM
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Well due to some serious medical problems we still don't have bikes.
My wife still has one more operation and then maybe all will be ok to ride bikes.

I still don't know for sure which bike is best for us, I'm willing to pay a little more than my original 100 bucks US money but not over 200.

what does everyone think of the huffy brands?

also what about this one from shwinn..
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5585804


Or is buying a mountain bike really not such a big deal for our use anyway even with knobby tires .
 
  #15  
Old 08-19-08, 07:24 AM
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New bikes!

You did the right thing to wait- if you're not medically ready to ride, you might do more harm than good. One thing you might do, though, is get yourself fixed up with a bike, and when your wife is ready to ride you can say "here's the trails I found, this is a good one to start on" for when your wife is ready to ride.

Here is my advice for which bike to buy: the one that fits. Brands don't matter, spiffy components don't matter, buying it at Sears WalMart KMart or Speedy Bob's Snobby Bike Shop doesn't matter- if I can suggest, your health and your fitness are more important than any of those things. What is VERY important is that the bike fits you: if the bike is not the right size it can cause back ache, or joint / tendon / soft tissue problems. Since you're recovering from some medical problems, you don't want to create additional problems on top of those! Here is a link to a site that goes into more detail:
http://bicycleuniverse.info/eqp/fit.html

Since you asked about mountain bikes, they are built to be bounced around on rocks etc, with big fat soft tires. No mountain bikes in the Tour de France, right? Just as there are no farm tractors (built for power) at a Nascar race (requires speed, not power) bikes are built with their use in mind. You may find your best bet is a comfort bike to begin your fitness regimen. If you *want* a mountain bike, or if you like the looks of it, or if you think you'd like to ride a little more aggressively later on, great! As long as it fits you, go for it. Mountain bike tires are usually soft and knobby, which means they'll be a little harder to push (more rolling resistance, it's called) than harder street tires. (But if you *really* like the bike, you can take the knobbies off and put street tires on for now, then put the knobby tires back on later.)

As another source of bikes, you can check out CraigsList.org, which is free classified ads. You might find a suitable bike at a garage sale, or in the bicycle classifieds section- but you'll need to know about bike fit, and the usual caveats about buying used equipment apply.

Good luck with it!
 
  #16  
Old 08-20-08, 10:47 PM
wwc
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Thanks

I know I might be pushing it by expecting a wally world bike to be good enough for us ,I hear people on other sites saying they are junk and don't waste my time because the parts are not good and won't hold adjustments etc...
But I just can't spend 400 bucks for a "good" bike.

Anyone have anything else to add ?
 
  #17  
Old 09-07-08, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by wwc View Post
But I just can't spend 400 bucks for a "good" bike.

Anyone have anything else to add ?

Believe it or not, $400 won't buy a "good" new bike. It will however buy a very decent used bike. They're out there, just look.
 
  #18  
Old 09-12-08, 01:09 AM
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The Falcon Freewheel remover better known as FR-7 WILL I repeat WILL work on Shimano freewheels. WILL!!! No Bull(oni). A bicycle shop owner showed me one day recently. The required tool (remover) for Shimano is very loose and strips out easily. So the FR-7 seems to not go, but close observation shows the same spline pattern but slightly a smaller diameter. Try it. Put the tool in the spline best you can and tap with a socket (wrench) with maybe a drift or even hammer. But it does not even need much force at all, not much. It's just snug. Once you get it in and unscrew the sprocket cluster, just tap out easily with a drift or bar from the other end. All the things on the web about the this tool prioritizes it only working on the Falcon freewheel. They are all wrongggg!! Hope I could help someone out there. It saved me money and the frustration of buying a tool that is and turns out to be inadequate and the one I had (The FR-7) was all I needed for both Falcon and Shimano freewheel removal and maintain the hub bearings,cones and regrease when I want to.
 
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