New Rider, New Bike Help
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  1. #1
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    New Rider, New Bike Help

    So I am getting a bike this weekend and I am pretty excited...

    I just started riding about a month ago and I have about 300 miles in on my schwinn s60 mtb that I put road tires on. Simply put I am tired of everyone passing me...

    Most if not all of the riding will be done on paved paths. I ride mainly for fun and have no intentions right now of entering any races, riding is just easier on my knees than playing basketball.

    I could really care less about brand name and I want more bang for my buck, these are the bikes that I am looking at so far:

    Fuji Roubaix 1.0 Road Bike

    2011 Fuji Roubaix 1.0 Road Bike -- Performance Exclusive

    Scattante W-570 Women's Road Bike

    Fuji SL-1-Comp Limited Edition Road Bike

    . Any suggestions/recommendations are accepted and appreciated. The budget is around $1300.
    Last edited by SmilesAllDay; 04-13-2012 at 03:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    Since one of the bikes is a woman's, I'll assume you're female. That doesn't much alter my advice, but the WSD bike does have a somewhat shorter reach and taller head tube than the others, so before picking nits over specs, I suggest getting sized/ fitted and test riding the bikes of interest.

    If you're proportioned longer legs/ shorter torso, you may find that the women's bike is a good fit, but that doesn't hold true for everyone, so test ride (a sampling of both standard and WSD), then decide.

  3. #3
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    You'll probably be faster, but people will still pass you. Some riders have aerobic bases built up over years, it'll take you a lot of time, not just a bike, to catch up to that.

    I still think you'll be happier with a road bike. They're more comfortable on a longer ride, so it'll be more fun.

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    I think you should go to dealers of those bikes and try them out. Thats always works for me. Its a common knowledge really, if you invest money no matter how low or high you need to at least try the product for yourself.

    Bikeshops will let you try bikes in their parking lot for free even high end bikes, just bring proper gears

  5. #5
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    Been wanting to get a higher end bike. I mean above Schwinn in Walmart. I mainly ride with my kids around the community or on paved bike paths, but want to start doing some long riding on my own. I have also been considering riding for commuting to and from work and general exercise. I bought a few higher end Schwinns to start and took both back deciding I would pay the price and get a better bike. I have been trying to decide between two of Scott's the Metrix 20 (more of a hybrid but with more of a street tire) or the S50 Speedster road bike. I can't decide. I am so drawn between the two. I don't want to spend $800 to turn around and want the other. Can anyone help me out. It looks like the Metrix 20 even though classified as a hybrid has a lot more of a street tire making me thing it will still move quite well. I was also told that it has better components than the S50 Speedster. I am too new to all of this to know what I really want.

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    Tough one. Hybrids are generally better at low speeds, so they can be a lot better for riding with other people who are going slowly, like your children. Depending on the length of your commute and fitness rides, it could be fine for that too. Road bikes can be annoying to try to ride at a child's pace, although they have excellent stability at higher speeds.

    For me, flat bars on the road start to hurt me around a half hour of riding. There are some ways to mitigate that, but nothing that really compares to drop bars, which really require you to be on a road bike or they have their own special way of hurting you - so switching the Metrix to drop bars is probably not a feasible solution. Hybrids in particular can be a bit of an unhappy medium - they have shorter top tubes than mountain bikes meant for athletic riders.

    I guess what I always find myself asking when people look at hybrids is, "Why are you considering spending $800 on a $100 bike??" You can usually find them, usually not too hammered, at garage sales and on Craig's List for very low prices. It's harder to find a road bike that way, and the selection and service a shop provides add some much more real value. An old mountain bike works well for that job too.

    How long are you anticipating your fitness rides to be, to begin with?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by spidr62 View Post
    Been wanting to get a higher end bike. I mean above Schwinn in Walmart. I mainly ride with my kids around the community or on paved bike paths, but want to start doing some long riding on my own. I have also been considering riding for commuting to and from work and general exercise. I bought a few higher end Schwinns to start and took both back deciding I would pay the price and get a better bike. I have been trying to decide between two of Scott's the Metrix 20 (more of a hybrid but with more of a street tire) or the S50 Speedster road bike. I can't decide. I am so drawn between the two. I don't want to spend $800 to turn around and want the other. Can anyone help me out. It looks like the Metrix 20 even though classified as a hybrid has a lot more of a street tire making me thing it will still move quite well. I was also told that it has better components than the S50 Speedster. I am too new to all of this to know what I really want.
    I would advise against making a buying decision between these two bikes based on OE tires or 'better' components. Rather, make it based on which will better suite your intended purposes.

    Generally speaking, hybrids are fine choices for shorter (~20 mile) rides. Drop bar bikes like the S50 will be a better choice for longer rides, with more options for changing hand positions (tops, hoods, bends, drops...). The somewhat more aggressive riding position also tends to take some weight off the lower back. So again, better suited for those longer rides.

    If you now have a bike that's suitable for JRA with the kids, I suggest keeping it for that use and go with the drop bar bike as your commuter/ fitness bike.

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    Really appreciate the info. I guess I know I need to get the road bike for what I am wanting, but still used to more of a hybrid style. I do want to start doing a lot more long rides but haven't in a long time.
    How is a road bike for curbs and such on a commute? Will hoping up on a curb damage the wheels? I don't see myself doing longer than 20 miles for awhile, but who knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Since one of the bikes is a woman's, I'll assume you're female. That doesn't much alter my advice, but the WSD bike does have a somewhat shorter reach and taller head tube than the others, so before picking nits over specs, I suggest getting sized/ fitted and test riding the bikes of interest.

    If you're proportioned longer legs/ shorter torso, you may find that the women's bike is a good fit, but that doesn't hold true for everyone, so test ride (a sampling of both standard and WSD), then decide.
    Yes, I am a woman and I do have really long legs. Unfortunately I do not really care for the women's bikes, so I guess that means once I find a mens bike that fits pretty well that I will need to get a shorter stem?

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    You'll probably be faster, but people will still pass you. Some riders have aerobic bases built up over years, it'll take you a lot of time, not just a bike, to catch up to that.

    I still think you'll be happier with a road bike. They're more comfortable on a longer ride, so it'll be more fun.
    Thanks AndrwSwitch, I just want to look like I am moving instead of working so hard and going no where. I definitely understand there are different levels of athletes out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by leon1 View Post
    I think you should go to dealers of those bikes and try them out. Thats always works for me. Its a common knowledge really, if you invest money no matter how low or high you need to at least try the product for yourself.

    Bikeshops will let you try bikes in their parking lot for free even high end bikes, just bring proper gears
    I did and I liked the roubaix and the sl comp. This is almost worse than buying a car.

  10. #10
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    I like the SL-comp better. It's got Shimano 105 instead of SRAM Rival for the drivetrain. I realize this is very subjective, but I prefer Shimano's shifting. And it ships with a compact double crank that, while cheaper, is a more conservative design than that of the crappy one on the Roubaix.

    As far as men's vs. women's bikes, be a little careful here - the range of adjustment from stem lengths isn't that big, and bikes handle funny with short stems. On my own road bikes, I think a 90mm stem is fine and an 80mm stem is not fine. There's a fair range of vertical adjustability in setting up a bike, although less for road bikes than mountain bikes and hybrids. So if you get a bike with the correct reach and too short a head tube, you may be okay just using a really tall spacer stack and a high-angled stem, but a lot of forks have a limit as to how many spacers the manufacturer thinks they're safe with. So other things being equal, it's better to have a tall enough head tube to be happy with not too many spacers and not an especially angled stem. If you have the female build in which you're leggy but your arms aren't particularly long, you may really be better off on a WSD bike. Just find one that's black or something, and don't tell anybody. ;) If you're fine on a men's bike, though, buy one and ride it in good health - get what works for your body, first of all.

    spidr, plowing into a curb can damage almost any wheel, while hopping up cleanly is fine for almost any wheel. I find it to be a little more difficult on a road bike than on my mountain bike. But then, I try to get up and down much bigger things on my mountain bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    spidr, plowing into a curb can damage almost any wheel, while hopping up cleanly is fine for almost any wheel. I find it to be a little more difficult on a road bike than on my mountain bike. But then, I try to get up and down much bigger things on my mountain bike.
    Appreciate the info about the curbs. Kinda laughing about the plowing into a curb part. Wasn't planning on that, but just wasn't sure about the use of road bikes and jumping onto sidewalk curbs from street. Thanks again.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmilesAllDay View Post
    Yes, I am a woman and I do have really long legs. Unfortunately I do not really care for the women's bikes, so I guess that means once I find a mens bike that fits pretty well that I will need to get a shorter stem?
    I'm curious why you don't care for WSD bikes. Done right (and many manufacturers do get it right) reach is somewhat shorter and head tubes somewhat taller, for less saddle to bar drop.

    What you have to be careful of with standard geo bikes is that some fitters will size one down to accommodate your reach requirements. This may or may not affect stem length, but (because of the proportionally shorter head tube length) will likely affect stem angle to get the bars up. With a taller head tube, sizing up will better the saddle to bar drop situation, but (as you say) will likely require a shorter stem.

    While neither of these scenarios are deal breakers, given either, the cyclist is essentially making an unnecessary fit compromise where one probably isn't needed with a WSD bike.

    I would suggest test riding both standard and WSD designs, going into it with a slightly more objective attitude. The best fit is likely to result when you find what works best for your proportions, fitness, flexibility, personal preferences (in fit) and riding style.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Tough one. Hybrids are generally better at low speeds, so they can be a lot better for riding with other people who are going slowly, like your children. Depending on the length of your commute and fitness rides, it could be fine for that too. Road bikes can be annoying to try to ride at a child's pace, although they have excellent stability at higher speeds.

    For me, flat bars on the road start to hurt me around a half hour of riding. There are some ways to mitigate that, but nothing that really compares to drop bars, which really require you to be on a road bike or they have their own special way of hurting you - so switching the Metrix to drop bars is probably not a feasible solution. Hybrids in particular can be a bit of an unhappy medium - they have shorter top tubes than mountain bikes meant for athletic riders.

    I guess what I always find myself asking when people look at hybrids is, "Why are you considering spending $800 on a $100 bike??" You can usually find them, usually not too hammered, at garage sales and on Craig's List for very low prices. It's harder to find a road bike that way, and the selection and service a shop provides add some much more real value. An old mountain bike works well for that job too.

    How long are you anticipating your fitness rides to be, to begin with?
    I am planning on commuting and working out less than 20 miles, but anticipate really wanting to ride longer. I do however have two children and can see myself on a few rails to trails paths which from what I understand the road bike would not do well with at all. I gather that the hybrid with a 28 series tire would be fine on this though. ??? This is kinda where I lean toward the hybrid if that is correct. If I am not going to be well suited for the rails to trail riding at all on it either then I guess I could just buy the road bike and invest in a MTN bike for the rides with them.
    This has seriously been harder than buying a car for me. Every time I talk myself into one, I change my mind.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by spidr62 View Post
    I am planning on commuting and working out less than 20 miles, but anticipate really wanting to ride longer. I do however have two children and can see myself on a few rails to trails paths which from what I understand the road bike would not do well with at all. I gather that the hybrid with a 28 series tire would be fine on this though. ??? This is kinda where I lean toward the hybrid if that is correct. If I am not going to be well suited for the rails to trail riding at all on it either then I guess I could just buy the road bike and invest in a MTN bike for the rides with them.
    This has seriously been harder than buying a car for me. Every time I talk myself into one, I change my mind.
    If your goal is to have one do-it-all bike, you might want to consider a cyclocross bike. You'll get most of the advantages of drop bar bikes (options to change hand positions/ accommodates longer rides) along with the added versatility to ride fire trails, given the larger tires. If you opted for one set of tires for the trails and one for road, I think for minimal expense the compromises would be also be minimal.

    Also, with it's more relaxed geometry (longer wheelbase, larger trail), it'll be a more stable handler than many 'pure' road bikes.

    Just as a fyi, last time I shopped for a replacement for my (then) ~17 year old bike, it took the better part of two years to decide. Conversely, last time I replaced my car, it took ~ three weeks. Bikes are far more important to me.

  15. #15
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    Test-ride any 'cross bikes, of course. They're pretty variable. Many have highish bottom brackets for better clearance on sideslopes and historical reasons, which can make them handle a little funny. You probably won't run into something like that at your budget, but you should be aware of it.

    Light touring bikes share the versatility of 'cross bikes but without some of the more "race" aspects that can sometimes give them funny manners.

    Keep in mind also that as long as you have a bike that's not falling apart for riding with your kids, you've got enough. At least, until they hit their early teens and start embarrassing the Cat. 4 Men at 'cross races.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Test-ride any 'cross bikes, of course. They're pretty variable. Many have highish bottom brackets for better clearance on sideslopes and historical reasons, which can make them handle a little funny. You probably won't run into something like that at your budget, but you should be aware of it.

    Light touring bikes share the versatility of 'cross bikes but without some of the more "race" aspects that can sometimes give them funny manners.
    Don't want to derail this thread to debate bike geometry, but there are those that hold that higher BB's do nothing more than raise a riders center of gravity, while others say lower BB's have a stabilizing effect. I'm not saying which is so (but suspect the former). Rather, offering that it's a subjective topic.

    I do disagree that CX bikes possess 'race' aspects or can have funny manners. Well, I guess it depends on your definition of 'funny'. But in this case, geo doesn't lie, and with a combination of longer wheelbase, slacker HT angle, longer rake and more trail, handling will be predictable - even more so than the stereotypical 'endurance' bike.

    Put in perspective, CX bikes are 'raced', but given the nature of the race itself, at a slower pace than road races.

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