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  1. #1
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    Don't know anything about bikes, help me decide

    Hello,


    Last year I started biking to and from work a few days a week and really enjoyed doing it, so wanted to continue to do so. My commute is 19KM each way (~12 miles). 75% of it is fairly hilly country roads, with final 25% of it in city but not much lights and have bike lanes.
    Google maps says my total gain to work is 320 feet, and on the way back is 456 feet.


    I treat my commute as also my exercise so I try to push myself. I am not in great shape (210lbs), but was averaging 25km/hour. A couple of the big down hills i love to push myself to see how fast I can go, but cant seem to make the bike get much more than 70km/hour (not that that is a big deal by any means, don't need a bike to go faster).


    The hills kill me though and is what prevents me from being able to do it on a daily basis.


    I dont lug much with me just have a backpack with a set of clothes and my lunch. My current bike I am having issues with the derailleur constantly skipping gears and chain keeps falling off. I take it to a shop and they tune it but 3 weeks later it back to it's old self.


    The current bike I have is a Giant Cypress DX 2011


    Looking for is something extremely low maintenance, maybe take it into the shop once at start of season then be good for rest of the season. I do not care about off-roading, riding will be paved only.


    I went to the local bike shop, but my head start spinning listening to all the options. He suggested a commuter bike and either something like a Cannondale Quick Disc 5 2017 for a lower end or a Trek Link 5 2015 or 2017 for a mid/higher end that comes with a bunch of built in accessories, better parts, and the 2017 is belt driven.


    But now I wonder if I might even be better off just upgrading a bunch of the parts on my current bike, like new wheels, new derailleur, etc


    My local bikeshop is ziggyscycle.ca if it gives you an idea of the local options. Unsure on budget, I could potentially do up to 2K but won't complain if I pay much less then that


    Wonder if you guys could help me out on coming up with some ideas.




    Thanks

  2. #2
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by harmar View Post
    Hello,


    Last year I started biking to and from work a few days a week and really enjoyed doing it, so wanted to continue to do so. My commute is 19KM each way (~12 miles). 75% of it is fairly hilly country roads, with final 25% of it in city but not much lights and have bike lanes.
    Google maps says my total gain to work is 320 feet, and on the way back is 456 feet.
    Maybe I'm missing something, because 456ft over 12mi is not very hilly. That's only 38ft/mi which is pretty flat. Your bike has a 28/38/48 crank & 11x32 cassette. The 28x32 should allow you to easily go up steep hills.

    A couple of the big down hills i love to push myself to see how fast I can go, but cant seem to make the bike get much more than 70km/hour (not that that is a big deal by any means, don't need a bike to go faster).
    The upright position on your bike will make that pretty much impossible. Too much wind resistance.

    My current bike I am having issues with the derailleur constantly skipping gears and chain keeps falling off. I take it to a shop and they tune it but 3 weeks later it back to it's old self.
    You've got some pretty low end components. They're always going to give you trouble.


    Looking for is something extremely low maintenance, maybe take it into the shop once at start of season then be good for rest of the season. I do not care about off-roading, riding will be paved only.

    I went to the local bike shop, but my head start spinning listening to all the options. He suggested a commuter bike and either something like a Cannondale Quick Disc 5 2017 for a lower end or a Trek Link 5 2015 or 2017 for a mid/higher end that comes with a bunch of built in accessories, better parts, and the 2017 is belt driven.
    Those are some good options. I'd agree a commuter type bike is probably perfect for you. I don't think the belt drive is a good idea though. You'll be limited on gearing (less gears) which isn't going to help you on hills.


    But now I wonder if I might even be better off just upgrading a bunch of the parts on my current bike, like new wheels, new derailleur, etc
    Nope. You'd be better buying new. You'll spend a lot more and not get as good of a bike trying to upgrade what you have.

    Unsure on budget, I could potentially do up to 2K but won't complain if I pay much less then that
    Best thing you can do is start test riding some bikes. I don't think you need to spend $2k. But I think you don't want to go much under $1k. Try test riding some bikes in the $900-$1200 range.
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  3. #3
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    I agree with TLG, test ride some bikes to find out what you really like. Do you prefer an upright position, or a lower, more aggressive position? It is true that it is difficult to ride over 70kmph (44mph) on an upright bike. Then again, I don't know why anyone would want to take their bike over 40mph, but that's just me. Motorcycle riders are wearing full leather outfits and they get messed up when they wipe out. Cyclists are wearing much less. Nuff said on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by harmar View Post

    My current bike I am having issues with the derailleur constantly skipping gears and chain keeps falling off. I take it to a shop and they tune it but 3 weeks later it back to it's old self.
    I have to wonder how they "tune it" that it shifts well for 3 weeks, then goes bad again. I am thinking either a bent derailleur hanger that has been bent back too many times or old cables. When was the last time your shift cables were changed? This bike most likely has the cheaper galvanized cables. If they are more than 2 or 3 years old, they have become rough through oxidation. Rough cables will stick inside the cable housings and cause poor shifting. New cables and housings could very well do the trick and is cheap and easy enough. Just be sure you get the better stainless steel cables that don't oxidize and therefore will stay smooth much longer.


    Quote Originally Posted by harmar View Post
    Looking for is something extremely low maintenance, maybe take it into the shop once at start of season then be good for rest of the season. I do not care about off-roading, riding will be paved only.

    I went to the local bike shop, but my head start spinning listening to all the options. He suggested a commuter bike and either something like a Cannondale Quick Disc 5 2017 for a lower end or a Trek Link 5 2015 or 2017 for a mid/higher end that comes with a bunch of built in accessories, better parts, and the 2017 is belt driven.
    Of these two, I would pick the Cannondale Quick. The Trek Linc is heavy - over 30lbs - probably not a good choice if you're looking to go up hills easier. The Quick has better gearing also - 3x9 vs. 3x8. But as I said, ride them both and see which you like the feel of better.

    Quote Originally Posted by harmar View Post
    But now I wonder if I might even be better off just upgrading a bunch of the parts on my current bike, like new wheels, new derailleur, etc
    Beyond changing the cables as I mentioned before, probably not a good investment.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  4. #4
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    Thank you both for your responses.

    The last 1/2 of my ride is pretty flat, 240 feet of gain is within the first 5 miles. Realistically most of the hills are fine, there is just 1 hill that is brutal and exhausting.


    I've never known much about bikes, and don't know the type of maintence they required. When I took it into the shop last year I asked for them to look over it told them the issues I was having and tell me what they think should be done. He didn't replace any parts and said a general tuneup was all that required. No parts have been replaced since I bought the bike other then a brake lever.

    As for the 70 km/hour yeah definitely not the most safe thing to do, only did it a couple times just to see how fast I can go. Usually on that hill I will stick to 40-50km/h which again probably still too fast.

    So ou both would think a commuter is a better option then a traditional road bike?

  5. #5
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by harmar View Post
    So ou both would think a commuter is a better option then a traditional road bike?
    Have you ever rode a traditional road bike? Wouldn't hurt to give one a try.
    From what you describe, a commuter or hybrid sounds perfect though. Personally, I'd choose a hybrid over a commuter. Commuters are generally heavier and don't have the gearing for hills. They're made for riding around town.

    Something like this
    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b.../1345000-2017/

    But pretty much any new bike you get isn't going to have better gearing. You already have a 28/38/48 crank & 11x32 cassette. It doesn't get much better than that! If you're struggling on hills, you may just need to get in better shape.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    But pretty much any new bike you get isn't going to have better gearing. You already have a 28/38/48 crank & 11x32 cassette. It doesn't get much better than that! If you're struggling on hills, you may just need to get in better shape.
    The Cannondale Quick he mentioned has a 26/38/48 crank & 11x32 cassette, so a little bit better hill climbing ability than what he has. For low gearing, this is a good choice. See below:

    http://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bik...5-7750ff16fcbe
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by harmar View Post
    ..........
    Google maps says my total gain to work is 320 feet, and on the way back is 456 feet.
    ......
    OK, if you take the same route each way, why is there 133' more climbing on the return trip? Is an elevator and 10 stories difference between the entrance and the exit at work involved?
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  8. #8
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    OK, if you take the same route each way, why is there 133' more climbing on the return trip? Is an elevator and 10 stories difference between the entrance and the exit at work involved?
    Quite simple. If your start and end locations are at different elevations, and you go over the same hill in-between, an out and back route will have different elevation gain.
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  9. #9
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    skip the shop.
    go vintage road ('70s/'80s).
    learn to work on it yourself.
    embrace your new hobby.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Then again, I don't know why anyone would want to take their bike over 40mph, but that's just me.
    hitting the pavement at 30 mph hurts too, why not use that as your upper limit....?
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    OK, if you take the same route each way, why is there 133' more climbing on the return trip? Is an elevator and 10 stories difference between the entrance and the exit at work involved?
    The town I live in is at a higher elevation then the city I work in with a few hills in between. So more downhill on way to work

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    hitting the pavement at 30 mph hurts too, why not use that as your upper limit....?
    True, but maybe not with as much of a Doppler effect. Point is, even the smallest road hazards are more likely to cause you to lose control at higher speeds. If know the road really well, I'll take it up to 40mph, otherwise I won't go over 30.
    Last edited by Lombard; 04-11-2017 at 04:33 AM.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  13. #13
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    A cyclocross (a road bike that can be taken off-road) is an excellent commuter, and works great for multiple terrain. Traditional road tires can be a problem when in a hurry going to work or getting home if you are on a route with pavement that is less than ideal, or if it rains or is very windy. Thicker with more tread can be better. I've used my Cannondale CAADX for years as a commuter, and also go on road rides that end up off-pavement for fun. Switched out the Sammy Slick tires for Schwabe Marathons for less rolling resistance on road. (Sammy Slicks are not slick, but it looks like they changed to something else for stock. Still not the best for road, though. Marathons are ideal for commuting and touring). The CAADX is not too aggressive compared to othre CX bikes.

    To carry my gear, I use Revelate Touring bags, especially the Viscascha, never carry a bag when the bike can do it for you. I like their Tangle bag, too. Worth the money.

    I'd go for the 105, but the Tiagra is nice. That Apex set-up is overpriced.

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    I would not waste money upgrading an old bike unless it was special, like handmade custom Italian or American. Which yours is not. You might put better tires on it to immediately change the ride quality.
    Last edited by ChiroX; 04-11-2017 at 05:34 AM.

  14. #14
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by harmar View Post
    So ou both would think a commuter is a better option then a traditional road bike?
    I don't. If you stick with it, you'll end up on a road bike. You're riding on the road, that's what they're for. 12 miles is a decent commute. A heavy commuter bike, or an upright riding hybrid is going to be a lot slower going than a road bike. I've been bike commuting for 24 years. 17 miles each way. Mostly downhill on the way in, uphill on the way home with a nice head wind. All I ride is one of my four road bikes. I tried a cyclo-cross bike once, but the road bikes work out better.

  15. #15
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    I suggest you take your bike to another shop that can do something other than band-aid it, build some fitness, and then get a road bike, keeping the old one as a backup. You're probably not going to be happy with a belt drive, at least not without approaching or exceeding your budget for an Alfine 11 or better hub.

    BTW, you imply that you're hammering the whole trip. This is one of the reasons you have trouble on hills despite ample gearing. Pace yourself.
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  16. #16
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    There are plenty of humorous aspects of this post, not even mentioning these units of distance - what do you call them? KM?

    An out and back trip has an elevation differential?

    Oh, back to my reason for commenting:

    I agree it is good to carry stuff on rack or bag mounted on bike, rather than on your back. It is cooler - your back won't get hot - and the weight will be at a lower level, making your center of gravity lower, which makes you less likely to fall over.

    I would simply get a cheap rear rack, and maybe bungies. Don't spend too much - bike bags get expensive.

  17. #17
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJay View Post
    There are plenty of humorous aspects of this post, not even mentioning these units of distance - what do you call them? KM?
    There's more humorous aspects of your post. The OP is from Canada. They (and most of the world) uses those KM things.

    An out and back trip has an elevation differential?
    It's been explained how it happens when start and end locations are at different elevations. Why is this so hard to understand.

    Out 239ft elevation


    Back 579ft elevation
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJay View Post
    There are plenty of humorous aspects of this post, not even mentioning these units of distance - what do you call them? KM?

    An out and back trip has an elevation differential?

    Oh, back to my reason for commenting:

    I agree it is good to carry stuff on rack or bag mounted on bike, rather than on your back. It is cooler - your back won't get hot - and the weight will be at a lower level, making your center of gravity lower, which makes you less likely to fall over.

    I would simply get a cheap rear rack, and maybe bungies. Don't spend too much - bike bags get expensive.
    If you get a nice rack system first, hate it, and then buy the bags, it costs more. Been there.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJay View Post
    I would simply get a cheap rear rack, and maybe bungies. Don't spend too much - bike bags get expensive.
    This is what I use:

    https://www.rei.com/product/697096/t...rear-bike-rack

    https://www.rei.com/product/100574/t...-ex-rack-trunk

    Quick and easy to put on and remove. Just be sure to get the right one for your bike frame size - Big, Standard or Small. Otherwise, you will hit your rear tire on bumps.
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