Bicycling/Bike buying.

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: How much do you know about buying a bike? I went to a bike shop to see what is out there now and am not sure what exactly I should be looking for. Although it was a large bike shop they didn't seem to have a bike fitter that helps a person customize a bike to their measurements as I was told elsewhere can be a very useful thing to have done since an extra $150 might be worth it.

ANSWER: Hi James,

I have purchased many bikes in my life and have advised many on how to purchase a bike. The main thing is to know what type of riding you plan to do. A Mountain bike can work for many types of riding while there are also hybrids and road bikes. So first you have to know what type of riding you plan to do. If you live on dirt roads and plan to use your bike as a commuteer you may want to look into a hybrid bike that works with the dirt roads and also on the pavement. If you are looking to ride mostly or all on pavement a road bike may be the answer. It is usually a good idea to go to your local bike shop, which apparently you did and did not find it helpful.

Here is a link to a video article that goes into much more detail about how to choose a bike http://www.ehow.com/video_4975644_determine-which-type-bike-buy.html

as far as sizing or fitting the bike spending 150.00 to have someone fit the bike may very well be worth it. Assuming however you are not into racing or power riding then there are many options that can get you a decent fit by following a few simple steps, which is sufficient for about 80% of riders.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAl_5e7bIHk



Hope this helps

Have a great day

Jerry

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I would like to consider all options before I even go back to a bike store. I would like a bike for road and occasionally dirt, but mostly road. So I suppose a hybrid is the best option? No mountain biking at all, and the guy showed me bikes with shock absorption in the fork piece which I assume for road biking is unneed and would possibly become an issue of slowing me down every slight crack. I assume I would like to sit up straight when biking versus leaning forward like a racers. What should be considered with sitting posture for biking? He showed me how bikes now have levers for quick removal of wheels for more compact transportation. That was a bit alarming considering bikes of the past. I would hate to have someone steal one of my wheels as easy as pulling a lever versus needing a screw driver. Do they all work like that now? Is graphite (I think it was) much better than aluminium? The guy was explaining the aluminum transfers vibration more easily. For amateur riders do they offer plain color bikes without logos? If it saves money I would prefer a bike without company logo. Like Air Jordan sweat pants are much pricier than the equivalent without familiar logo.

And lastly got quote for large bike, Cannondale, Black/Stealth Grey, not sure if it was road or hybrid, and it cost $729.99 before tax. Seem fair? How do I find a fitter person to get a more appropriate bike for me?

ANSWER: Hi James,

I would say that yes a Hybrid is the best options, you get the upright position of the Mountain bike, and a narrower tire/wheel than the mountain bike which make it better for road riding but most have a more aggressive tread so they also work on off road trails etc or gravel.

As far as the front suspension on most better bikes they are adjustable all the way up to solid, so the suspension could be used when you have to ride on rough pavement or gravel and turn it off when the pavement is good. Would use it about 90% of the time here in Georgia.

The seating posture is really up to the rider, The Hybrid allows a more upright position which many riders consider more comfortable. I have ridden over 100 miles in a day on both a Mountain bike and a road bike, The road bike was faster, the Mountain Bike more "comfortable" but also much slower.

Quick release wheels have been around for a long time now, I think you could find them on Schwinn racing bikes back in the 60's Most of the higher end bikes have QR wheels. Most people that steal bikes are not really interested in just the wheels, they want the whole bike, so having QR wheels is more a benefit when you get a flat than it is an invite for someone to steal your wheels. Bolt Ons don't take that much more time to get off. I work on both types all the time her in my bike shop.

If you don't want logos, model names etc. on your new bike you can have any bike powder coated but it will cost you to have it done. All components will have to be removed from the bike and the frame powder coated then all the components would need replaced.Most bikes are made in China and come to the distributor here in the US withe the paint job already in place, so there is almost no way possible to have one built without these logos, etc.

Cannondale is one of only a few bikes that still produce bikes in the US, You may be able to special order a plain frame from your LBS. You will probably have to pay extra for it though.

The price on the Cannodale sounds like a reasonable price for either a entry level road bike or a Hybrid, depending on what component group they have and what type of frame, such as aluminum, Carbon Fiber etc.

I would suggest that you ride and aluminum frame bike and a graphite frame bike and see which one you feel most comfortable on. It is likely that for a new rider the Graphite bike may fell too "stiff" which you may like better than the Aluminum bike or you may not. It is also likely that the Graphite frame may be considerably more expensive.


Hope this helps

Have a great day

Jerry


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I wouldn't paint over a bike to hide logos. I was hoping to save money not spend more so as is is fine. Would you recommend American made bikes to Chinese?

Is seating position easily changeable after particular bike is purchased or does it have to do with shape of frame? Is a certain frame needed for better forward leaning positions?

Answer
Yes and No,  there are plenty of American Companies that source out to the Chinese but the Chinese have to make them to the proper specs which are often pretty stringent. Most bikes are made in Taiwan or Mainline China, in fact most are made in the Giant Bicycle Factory. Names like Fuji, Trek, Specialized and many other well known names are made almost exclusively in China, especially the frames, Most of the components are made in Japan or China also, so even most US made bikes have Chinese or Japanese Components. Look for Shimano or SRAM components for the most part, though there are others that are good at decent prices.

One of the few bikes still made in the US is of course the Cannondale, but on most models they use Chinese and Japanese components, so really it makes very little difference.  

I sure would not make it a point to pay way more for American Made but if you can get an American made bike for a good price then I would definitely consider it a plus.

On used bikes like the Old Schwinn and Huffy Bikes that were made in the US compared to today's bikes then it is a totally different story. The American companies back then did a much better job and the Chines couldn't care less about specs on bikes they are selling fully functional for under 50.00. So if you buy a used Huffy, Kent, Schwinn look for something built in the US, the stuff built today with the same name on it is pretty much Toys and throw away bikes. Many bike shops won't even service the ones built today because it is cheaper to simply go buy a new bike at the Department store (Wal Mart for the most part).

Hope this helps

Have a great day

Jerry

Bicycling

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Jerry Goodwin

Expertise

I can answer questions related to any of the following areas alternative medicine, fitness, physical education, weight training, senior health, bicycling, personal trainers, personal training, medical technology, health and wellness, eating disorders, weight loss, Naturopathy, first aid, and bodybuilding. In fact I was listed as an expert in each of these categories at askme.com until they closed down

Experience


Past/Present clients
Clients of my personal training business (BMG Services Fitness and Nutrition) range from 15-80 and include Attorneys, Real Estate Brokers, Homemakers, and even Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen. By far though the bulk of my client base is the 40 plus female that has raised her family and now is able to take some time for herself.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.