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  1. #1
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    New Cyclist, need suggestion

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to the whole bike and cyclist scene and since I am going to be taking some summer courses at my campus I thought it would be awesome to bike to campus instead of driving!

    Two of my friends are currently cyclists with a fixie and a road bike [FUJI]. As a beginner, what is a good brand and model bike to aim for?

    Friend number 1 has a frame size of 52, same height as me; however, the guy at the store suggest I get a 50 instead. Any thoughts? i am 5'6. My other friend is 5'4 and has a 52, so I am not sure which to go for since they both are different in height but same frame size.

    price range if possible: 500 to 700 USD

    I really want to get a FUJI Road bike, but not sure what to get.

    Any help will do.
    Thank you in advance!
    Last edited by ACTIVATEnow; 04-27-2013 at 11:15 PM.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    New Cyclist, need suggestion

    Your height isn't the most important figure -- rather, it's your inseam. The reason is that two people can be the same height, but one can have a shorter torso and longer legs, while the other may have a long torso and shorter legs; the two would likely need different-size frames, despite their identical height.

    Traditionally, the classic sizing technique was to take your inseam measurement in centimeters (while in cycling shorts and stocking feet), then multiply that number by 0.65 to determine your proper frame size (and by 0.883 to figure out how high your saddle should be from the center of your bottom bracket). In recent years, with the variety of new compact frame geometries, that formula isn't the hard-and-fast rule it used to be, but it's a good starting point.

    BTW, Fuji makes good bikes. In recent years, they've almost become a house brand of Performance Cycle, so you're likely to find lots of them there and few or none at local bike shops ("LBS"). On the upside, Performance generally has good discount prices; on the downside, their customer service and individualized attention can be spotty at best.

  3. #3
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    +1 to the above.

    For $5-700 you can buy a lot of bike--maybe even more bike if you score a nice used bike.

    Full-disclosure, I've never done the commuting thing--when I started out, it was because of problems that prevented me from continuing running, so I was looking for an outdoor fitness tool. I paid around $350-$400 for Trek hybrid, a 7.3FX (more or less a flat/straight handlebar road bike) that helped me adapt to cycling pretty quickly. I liked the more upright riding position the bike offered, and the slightly wider tires made it a very stable, comfortable ride.

    The bike frame was also pre-drilled to accept racks, fenders, etc., if I'd chosen to use it for everyday transportation.

    In shopping around, I found that most of the major manufacturers offer similar bikes of equally-high quality at specific price points--so it comes down to buying a brand/style/offering that speaks to you, which it sounds Fuji has already done!

    While I did eventually get bitten by the desire for a road bike, I'm really glad I picked the bike I did starting out. I just recently sold it as a matter of fact, so she's already helping someone else along their path to cycling enjoyment!

    Good luck with your search!
    Bill

    “You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing...We can make the best or the worst of it."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwl325 View Post
    +1 to the above.

    For $5-700 you can buy a lot of bike--maybe even more bike if you score a nice used bike.

    Full-disclosure, I've never done the commuting thing--when I started out, it was because of problems that prevented me from continuing running, so I was looking for an outdoor fitness tool. I paid around $350-$400 for Trek hybrid, a 7.3FX (more or less a flat/straight handlebar road bike) that helped me adapt to cycling pretty quickly. I liked the more upright riding position the bike offered, and the slightly wider tires made it a very stable, comfortable ride.

    The bike frame was also pre-drilled to accept racks, fenders, etc., if I'd chosen to use it for everyday transportation.

    In shopping around, I found that most of the major manufacturers offer similar bikes of equally-high quality at specific price points--so it comes down to buying a brand/style/offering that speaks to you, which it sounds Fuji has already done!

    While I did eventually get bitten by the desire for a road bike, I'm really glad I picked the bike I did starting out. I just recently sold it as a matter of fact, so she's already helping someone else along their path to cycling enjoyment!

    Good luck with your search!
    thank you!!


    and hmm: I guess I am considering this:
    GTR 2012 Series 4
    Save up to 60% off GT Road Bikes, GTR 2012 Series 4 road specific road bikes

  5. #5
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    If I were you, I would not limit my horizons with just one single bicycle brand. While Fuji is an excellent bicycle brand, there are certainly many others, as well.

    Also, if one of your friends finds a "fixie" as useful given that you most probably ride on similar roads (without many hills), you could purchase a better single speed within your budget than an actual road bike. If you'd like to have a multi-geared bike, then a hybrid would be the way to go, working within your current budget.

    Since hybrids make excellent commuter bikes (great for relatively short distances in traffic). That most probably would be my recommendation.

    The following are just a few of my hybrid recommendations:

    The Jamis Coda, the Fuji Absolute, the Raleigh Cadent FT1, and the Schwinn Sporterra 2

    Here are a few single speed recommendations:

    The Fuji Declaration, the Trek Earl, the Schwinn Madison, and the KHS Urban Soul

    There are also some great deals on the following websites:
    Save Up To 60% Off Road Bikes, Bicycles, Mountain Bikes and Bicycles with Bikesdirect.com, New with full warranties
    Find Bikes, Cycling Clothing, Bike Parts & Bike Shoes Or Your Local Bike Store at Performance.
    www.nashbar.com
    Last edited by Zeet; 04-28-2013 at 02:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    I was sort of thinking for this:
    Save up to 60% off GT Road Bikes, GTR 2012 Series 4 road specific road bikes
    What do you guys think for a beginner, entry-level?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACTIVATEnow View Post
    I was sort of thinking for this:
    Save up to 60% off GT Road Bikes, GTR 2012 Series 4 road specific road bikes
    What do you guys think for a beginner, entry-level?
    The problem with buying online is the fact that you don't get to test ride a bike that just might not even fit you. That's a big problem! I see that the GTR Series 4 bike is not available in many sizes. That too could very well be a problem!

    Perhaps a better option would be thru this website:
    www.rei.com/outlet/category/22000029
    Last edited by Zeet; 04-28-2013 at 02:15 AM.

  8. #8
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    How long is the commute and what is it like?

    I think that plays a lot into both size and type of bike.
    For example my commute is only a few miles in heavy/slow city traffic with a lot of start/stopping. As a result I want to be very upright to look around and I don't care about being aero so that means a smaller bike so I'm not stretched out and a hybrid style frame goe.
    If my commute was longer on decent roads where I could actually go fast I'd definitely want to be more stretched out and get a road bike.

    Terrain is also a factor. If it's pancake flat and not prone to serious winds there's probably no real need for gears so you could save some money with a single speed and not miss out on anything you need.

    Okay, that was useless but hopefully my response at least tells you why a stanger on the interwebs can't really tell you what bike to get.

    A good starting point would be to try your friends bike and adjust what you get, or not, accordingly.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeet View Post
    The problem with buying online is the fact that you don't get to test ride a bike that just might not even fit you. That's a big problem! I see that the GTR Series 4 bike is not available in many sizes. That too could very well be a problem!
    True on that, however the site show 51mm and the mechanic said I am well off with a 50mm, I tested my friends 52mm and it was okay. So I should be okay right? 1mm wont do much would it? All should matter, well mostly what should matter is comfortableness while riding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    How long is the commute and what is it like?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post

    I think that plays a lot into both size and type of bike.
    For example my commute is only a few miles in heavy/slow city traffic with a lot of start/stopping. As a result I want to be very upright to look around and I don't care about being aero so that means a smaller bike so I'm not stretched out and a hybrid style frame goe.
    If my commute was longer on decent roads where I could actually go fast I'd definitely want to be more stretched out and get a road bike.

    Terrain is also a factor. If it's pancake flat and not prone to serious winds there's probably no real need for gears so you could save some money with a single speed and not miss out on anything you need.

    Okay, that was useless but hopefully my response at least tells you why a stanger on the interwebs can't really tell you what bike to get.

    A good starting point would be to try your friends bike and adjust what you get, or not, accordingly.


    Not that long, driving takes 5 minutes, so biking should be that long. I would say 10-15 min commute, straight-a-way.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACTIVATEnow View Post
    True on that, however the site show 51mm and the mechanic said I am well off with a 50mm, I tested my friends 52mm and it was okay. So I should be okay right? 1mm wont do much would it? All should matter, well mostly what should matter is comfortableness while riding?

    Not that long, driving takes 5 minutes, so biking should be that long. I would say 10-15 min commute, straight-a-way.
    You can't go by frame sizes from model to model and from company to company. They're all different and there is no standard. All you can do is stand over the bike and test ride it for yourself. Nobody can really advise you there on that point.

    And Yes!...You absolutely must be perfectly comfortable when cycling!

    * BTW, those are centimeters, NOT millimeters...Big difference!

    1 inch= 2.54 cm
    Last edited by Zeet; 04-28-2013 at 02:26 AM.

  11. #11
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Given your intended uses (short commutes) and budget ($5-700), I suggest either a hybrid or a used drop bar bike - your choice.

    Either way, I strongly suggest buying from a LBS. Some sell used and can provide a level of sizing fit assistance which (no offense) you obviously need.

    BTW, I wouldn't get too hung up on brands. For your uses, I can think of several that would do you fine. It's more important to buy from a reliable source that provides a level of support - LBS's, to name one.

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