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Author Topic: Bicycles  (Read 4780 times)
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disarm
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« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2008, 04:49:16 AM »

Quote from: Cota on July 12, 2008, 03:28:43 AM

Quote from: Eduardo X on July 12, 2008, 02:23:08 AM

Cota, ride your bike 5 miles on a hot day and you'll start to appreciate a small saddle. The bigger, the worse.

I used to laugh at the words "bull leg strut." Now I shudder.

Do I want to know what a "bull leg strut" is? Honestly, when I first get on my bike my arse is so sore. It seems to fade after riding a bit, or maybe my brain tunes out the pain. I don't know why I just don't pull the seat off, KY the seat post, and ride it like that!

I have to admit, I've quite enjoyed my short rides so far. I've found places in my own neighborhood I didn't know existed.

-Cota

don't underestimate the importance of picking up some padded cycling shorts if you plan to spend a significant amount of time in the seat...little bit of groin padding goes a very long way.  don't think that biking shorts means you have to be strutting around in tight spandex either.  there are plenty of 'baggy short' options that are like your typical cycling shorts underneath with an outer nylon shell that makes them look just like a regular pair of shorts on the outside...and the pockets are nice when you're riding around town.  the only downside is that cycling attire usually isn't cheap...
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« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2008, 04:23:26 PM »

Quote from: disarm on July 12, 2008, 04:49:16 AM

Quote from: Cota on July 12, 2008, 03:28:43 AM

Quote from: Eduardo X on July 12, 2008, 02:23:08 AM

Cota, ride your bike 5 miles on a hot day and you'll start to appreciate a small saddle. The bigger, the worse.

I used to laugh at the words "bull leg strut." Now I shudder.

Do I want to know what a "bull leg strut" is? Honestly, when I first get on my bike my arse is so sore. It seems to fade after riding a bit, or maybe my brain tunes out the pain. I don't know why I just don't pull the seat off, KY the seat post, and ride it like that!

I have to admit, I've quite enjoyed my short rides so far. I've found places in my own neighborhood I didn't know existed.

-Cota

don't underestimate the importance of picking up some padded cycling shorts if you plan to spend a significant amount of time in the seat...little bit of groin padding goes a very long way.  don't think that biking shorts means you have to be strutting around in tight spandex either.  there are plenty of 'baggy short' options that are like your typical cycling shorts underneath with an outer nylon shell that makes them look just like a regular pair of shorts on the outside...and the pockets are nice when you're riding around town.  the only downside is that cycling attire usually isn't cheap...

I'm definitely thinking about getting some shorts. I looked at them (the non spandex ones!) at the bike shop, but like you said, they are expensive. $50-$70 at my shop. I haven't looked yet, but hopefully they are cheaper on the net somewhere. I read that someone picked up a cheap pair at a sporting goods store too. I might see what they got. Maybe some gloves too. My hands get sweaty and it makes the grips slippery.

-Cota
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« Reply #42 on: July 13, 2008, 02:53:21 AM »

Padded, fingerless gloves are great for a number of reasons.  I have a pair of spandex padded shorts.  When I wear them, I usually put a pair of nylon shorts on over them.

My GF just got me a new, slightly wider, much more padded seat.  It's got a vent under the crotch, and should be much more comfy than what I've got now.  Of course, I haven't got it mounted yet.
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« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2008, 06:40:00 AM »

$500 for a bike to go to the store on?  You guys are crazy.
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« Reply #44 on: July 13, 2008, 03:06:10 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on July 13, 2008, 06:40:00 AM

$500 for a bike to go to the store on?  You guys are crazy.
This isn't Japan, sir.
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« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2008, 08:15:54 PM »

For what it's worth -

It's been about 2 months since I bought and started riding a bike. It's been a lot more fun than I ever thought. Every day I look forward to getting out and riding, whether it's errands, or just because. I've probably put a mere 20 miles on the Dodge since buying the bike. I've lost 10 pounds, without even trying, and I got these weird muscle things growing in my legs.

Sunday was the best day so far. I signed up for and went on my first organized ride. The Tour de Lab it was called. An 18 mile tour across Portland to the three Lucky Labrador Pubs. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. The food and beverages along the way were great. The people were friendly and happy. It was well organized, and it was a benefit for the Dove Lewis Animal hospital, which is the Emergency Hospital in Portland. Dogs and Bicycles, what could be better? Oh, and Beer at the end. Dogs, Bicycles, and Beer! I'm not much of a beer drinker myself, but it was a perfect way to end the ride. The Pub even brewed a special beer, just for this event. My bicycle performed flawlessly. I'm really pleased with my purchase so far.

It didn't take me long to find out that riding in my cotton street type clothes wasn't the most comfortable. So after reading some tips elsewhere, I hit the Target clearance racks and picked up some Champion wicking athletic shirts and shorts. It's hit and miss on finding your size in the clearance racks, but I've got three targets and I can ride to, and I've managed to build a little cycling wardrobe on the cheap. 6 or 7 bucks a shirt. And I'm pretty impressed with the performance of this cheap athletic wear. It's worlds more comfortable than riding in my street clothes. I also hit a Pearl Izumi outlet store and picked up a pair of lycra padded shorts off the clearance rack for $11 and change. Wow, those are comfortable. I just wear them under my Target running shorts. I hope to swing by there again soon and I'll buy every pair on the discount rack at that price.

My big concern now though is, the end of summer. What happens when it starts raining? And up here near Portland, it's going to rain. A lot. I did buy what I think is a nice cycling rain jacket from an outfit in Eugene Oregon. I haven't had a chance to try it yet though, on account of the weather being so nice this summer. But I hope the rain doesn't stop me from riding. I plan to ride rain or shine, but who knows what I'll think when I actually have to do it. Don't wimp out, don't wimp out, don't wimp out.

Long term, I think it would be a blast to do some light touring on a bicycle. Anyone here done any of that?

Anyways.

-Cota
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« Reply #46 on: September 09, 2008, 08:43:57 PM »


Congrats on your results!  I especially like this:

Quote
I've lost 10 pounds, without even trying, and I got these weird muscle things growing in my legs.

I used to tour a lot, just can't anymore due to physical problems, but nothing beats knowing you can travel for miles without using any fossil fuels.  It's just a really wonderful feeling of personal accomplishment.  I'd sometimes just ride to another town and use the ATM machine if I needed money, lol. It just felt gooood!

I guess the touring and rain problem will need to be addressed - start with Gore-tex and the newer products that do the same thing.  If you just cover up with plastic, you have to be immune to being soaked half to death after riding, and if you are, well then just don't cover up!  You'll want a rear tire mud deflector thingie, if you didn't get one on the bike you chose.   Nothing worse than riding around with that muddy stripe up your back.  And of course, don't forget to cover your panniers or w/e you got to cart your stuff around.

Hopefully, people who have toured more recently than I have will also respond with tips, since it's been easily 10 years since I could tour, maybe more like 15...  tear
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« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2008, 07:31:37 AM »

biking in the rain is a pain in that you have to clean your bike and re-oil the chain afterwards. you get used to riding in it, tho.
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« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2010, 08:01:06 PM »

So, my wife (and assorted relatives) have decided to get me a bike for my birthday.  

I used to tool all over Boston on a Trek, but that got lost in a move.

I've put on some weight since then and am quite idle, sadly.  Hopefully, this'll help, but I have no idea what I should be looking for.  I've read over this forum, and there are some good tips, but I'm not sure if they're outdated or if they apply to me, so I'm going to ask for opinions again.

I'm not going to be a "cyclist" with the pants and the gloves and the slippers.  I'm a guy who likes to ride a bike, maybe to get coffee, maybe to a bookstore.  Sometimes just to ride.  I have friends who pack up their bikes and head out to the designated riding areas and go that whole route.  That's not me.  I'll be in whatever shorts and shirt I have on, usually on streets.

I've got an annoying hill right off of my street that leads to most places I'd go.  This might be a factor in convincing myself to ride.

I'm out of shape.  I'm hoping that casual riding will help, but I'm not in for a regimen or anything.  But I'd like it to be the least stressful option possible.

My wife is hoping to get a bike and to go on "family bike rides" at some point.  This may involve some designated areas mentioned above, but hopefully it'll be more like heading out with a picnic basket strapped somewhere.

I think we're budgeted at $400-500. 

Right now, I'm a little overwhelmed.  Help me narrow down what I'm looking for, please!
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« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2010, 08:05:08 PM »

make sure to get a nice helmet so your body can protect it if you crash.  Adopt a helmet today!
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« Reply #50 on: April 04, 2010, 08:43:48 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on April 04, 2010, 08:05:08 PM

make sure to get a nice helmet so your body can protect it if you crash.  Adopt a helmet today!

Oddly, the only thing I actuall got was the helmet.
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« Reply #51 on: April 04, 2010, 10:48:47 PM »

I'm the same way...I often hop onto my ancient Trek to ride a few blocks on an errand, but I don't bother with helmet or any other accessories. Our town center is a little less than a mile away -- too far for a quick walk but too near to bother with driving/parking -- the perfect short bicycle jaunt.

Consider buying a used bike rather than spending a lot of money on a nice one that you might not use. Mine's so old that I don't even bother locking it when I go into a store. If you find yourself riding it just for fun, or if your wife follows through on her "family rides" threat, then spend the big bucks on a new bike.

A few years ago my wife decided that she was going to replace her old Trek (the twin of my bike) and get in shape. She spent $500 on a very nice bike that she has ridden maybe half a dozen times. I'd be surprised if it has more than 25 miles on it. I didn't even pump up the tires last summer. We still have her old Trek, too...three bikes between the two of us. Mine is the only one that gets any use, and that's purely utilitarian. It never was any good for joyriding.
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« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2010, 01:09:03 AM »

speaking of bikes, I saw this interesting looking one earlier but I'm not sure what to search for to get more details as all of the one's I've tried have turned up empty.  it had a low seat, complete with backrest and the pedals were towards the front of the cycle.  the rider was sitting almost like a kid would on a big wheel trike (this only had 2 wheels though), with his feet out towards the front where the pedals were.
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« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2010, 03:12:13 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on April 05, 2010, 01:09:03 AM

speaking of bikes, I saw this interesting looking one earlier but I'm not sure what to search for to get more details as all of the one's I've tried have turned up empty.  it had a low seat, complete with backrest and the pedals were towards the front of the cycle.  the rider was sitting almost like a kid would on a big wheel trike (this only had 2 wheels though), with his feet out towards the front where the pedals were.

that would be a 'recumbent' bike...been around for years, but i have to admit i still don't see them that often.  i've always been curious what it's like to ride one...
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« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2010, 03:21:46 AM »

Quote from: disarm on April 05, 2010, 03:12:13 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 05, 2010, 01:09:03 AM

speaking of bikes, I saw this interesting looking one earlier but I'm not sure what to search for to get more details as all of the one's I've tried have turned up empty.  it had a low seat, complete with backrest and the pedals were towards the front of the cycle.  the rider was sitting almost like a kid would on a big wheel trike (this only had 2 wheels though), with his feet out towards the front where the pedals were.

that would be a 'recumbent' bike...been around for years, but i have to admit i still don't see them that often.  i've always been curious what it's like to ride one...

thanks.  that worked, but I'm not sure I'm interested in spending the 1000 or so bucks they seem to be asking for good two wheeled one.  the trikes seem to be cheaper though.
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« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2010, 05:43:51 AM »

I would say look for either a mountain bike or hybrid, if your just looking to tool around town I'd say road bikes aren't what your looking for. If you hit some of the brand name websites you can get a pretty good idea of what will fit your taste and budget. Trek, Gary Fisher, and Specialized are probably your top 3 brand names that wont tend to break the bank. I don't know about your area of the country but I found tons and tons of great deals on bikes on Craigslist. Probably not too surprising how many people get the itch and run out and buy brand new bikes only to use them once or twice then put them up for sale. You can also find some pretty cheap prices at your big box stores like Target, Wal-mart, REI etc. rather then a local bike shop but you really get what you pay for. Buying a cheap bike with low end components that doesnt fit you well is going to tend to be alot more uncomfortable to ride and probably wont help you stick with it. Personally I would go with a good used bike before the retail stores.
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« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2010, 10:02:18 PM »

sBullwinkle,

Allow me to chime in with what I've learned in the almost two years since I bought my first bike (as an adult).

Your post sounds almost exactly like me when I first posted here about buying a bike.

First off, new or used? I personally think it's a bad idea to buy a used bike, if you don't know anything about bikes, and don't have anyone around that does, to help you. The single most important issue in choosing a bike, is probably the fit. Maybe second only to cost. I chose new, because I didn't know anything about components or fit, and had no one to help me find a good used bike. I wouldn't have known by looking or sitting on a bike if it was a good fit or not. Nor would I have known if it was in good shape or not, or had good components or not. I probably still couldn't. However, if you know what you're looking for in those regards, you can certainly find good bargains in used bikes. Also, buying new, you get the support of the bike shop behind you. Most shops give you 6 months to a year, maybe more, of free adjustments and tune-ups and what not with the purchase of a new bike.

As for narrowing down your choices. I can think of a couple things that might help.

Steel or Aluminum. Test ride both if you can see what you think. I found steel to suit me best. It seems to absorb vibrations better. Most bikes you'll be looking at will be aluminum. If you choose a steel frame, that will really narrow your choices down.

Instead of the bike, you might choose the shop first, then select one from their inventory. This is what I ended up doing. I looked at, and rode bikes from a couple different bike shops in my area. I too was overwhelmed with the choices. I ended choosing the shop first, based on advice I had gotten elsewhere. That narrowed my choices down to the brands/models that they carried. For what it's worth, I ended up buying a Kona Smoke Hybrid. It was the only steel framed hybrid they carried. In fact, it was probably the only steel framed bike in my price range, period. It cost about $350 back in '08.

The store ended up being an important factor. They've been a great ally in my cycling endeavours.

Gah, something screwy with the scroll bar. It keeps bouncing up and down, making it hard to continue. I'll have to cut this off here till I figure out what's wrong.

-Cota
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« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2010, 10:05:21 PM »

If you're using ie8 try putting it in compatibility mode.
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« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2010, 11:35:42 PM »

A bit of a self promotion since I've done work for the company but www.supersizedcycles.com might be perfect for some of the people in this thread.  They specialize in making bikes for tall and heavyset riders.  It's a small company but the owner works hard to address any issues or questions customers might have.
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« Reply #59 on: April 06, 2010, 11:48:02 PM »

Thanks for the help, gang.  Keep it coming.

Between Cota and Lordnine, I'm considering a steel frame now, which I hadn't before.
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« Reply #60 on: April 07, 2010, 04:58:33 AM »

You'll be a novice rider, so really, frame material shouldn't matter much. Tire pressure will be more important to you than frame material and stiffness.

What does matter is proper fit. Above everything, it's all about the fit. A poor fitting bike is like a poor fitting speedo... not something you would ever touch again.

Get an afternoon free. Find 3 bike shops with names like "Joe's Bike Shop". Avoid chains. Run like mad from any place with a "mart" in its name. Find a decent salesman. Tell him what you're looking for and ask to ride 3-4 bikes. Do this at every store, even if/when you find a bike you really like. This should give you a good idea of the different brands of bikes and especially the different styles (mountain vs. hybrid vs. whatever). You should also be learning a little about components and especially what kind of shifters you like (grip-twists vs. trigger).

If you find a good salesman and bike store, buy your bike from there, even if they charge slightly more than some other place. A good bike store is a big deal. You can also haggle a little bit, but probably not much with a cheaper bike. Still, if you continue to go there over time for your tools, helmets, etc, you'll eventually get some free stuff thrown in.

Good luck!
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« Reply #61 on: April 07, 2010, 03:14:52 PM »

Quote from: disarm on April 05, 2010, 03:12:13 AM

that would be a 'recumbent' bike...been around for years, but i have to admit i still don't see them that often.  i've always been curious what it's like to ride one...

I think you're required to grow a beard if you want to ride one too.

Hoping to finally get myself a decent road bike this year if I can work it into my budget.  I've had a mountain bike forever but there's really not much in the way of trails around here so I've been riding it with city tires for the last couple years and the overall weight and geometry of the bike are just not well suited to the longer rides I prefer to do.

Anyone else here doing the 100 Miles of Nowhere ride?  Sounds like a very boring but very fun thing to do for a good cause.
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« Reply #62 on: April 07, 2010, 09:55:02 PM »

Alright, so where was I?

Right the shop. So just to sum up. If you find a shop that you get a good vibe from. Buy a bike from them. That'll help narrow down your choices.

A third option that you might look at, is REI. If you have one near you, check them out as well. They have a house brand, Novara, that by most accounts is a good one. They have the complete range of models, from Mountain Bikes, to Commuters, to Touring bikes. They'll come with the same brand name components that any other similarly priced bike will come with. And they also have a complete service area for bikes, and carry all the same accessories and clothing that any other bike shop does. If you are already a member, you probably got your members only 20% coupon and dividend in the mail recently. That 20% happens to apply to their Novara bikes smile That is a pretty good deal. I have read that lots of people wait until just this time of year and spend that coupon on a new bike. I'm pretty sure that if you're not a member, you can sign up (cost you $20) and you can get the coupon on the spot. Hurry though, it expires on April 18th.

Anyways, I guess that's all the advice I got. I know you were probably hoping for specific bike recommendations, but really, I think that you cannot go wrong with any of the big name brand bikes. Just find one that fits, and has any features you are interested in. I would make sure to find one with fender and rack mounts. Maybe it doesn't rain where you live, or wouldn't ride in the rain, but fenders are a must if you do. And a rack. A bike isn't a bike without a rack as far as I'm concerned smile. Also, if you do get a rack, get some Wald folding baskets. Those things are awesome, and great for swinging by the grocery store or the book store or what have you. They are cheap, durable and always on your bike in case you need 'em.

Oh and one more thing! I know you poo-poo'ed on cycling clothes in general. And I agree with you to a point. But I can tell you from experience, riding around in a sweat soaked cotton t-shirt is icky. You can pick up some decent enough athletic shirts at Target (Champion Brand) on the bargain racks for about $7. $10-$14 regular priced. Solid color, plain, and loose fit. Looks perfectly fine and unpretentious. But it's light weight and dries quickly. Much more comfortable than cotton. You certainly don't have to look like a cyclist to be comfortable. And actually, Costco is another place I find cheap athletic wear.

So best of luck sir!

And thanks CeeKay for the compatibility mode trick smile

-Cota
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« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2010, 12:37:34 AM »

Quote from: disarm on April 05, 2010, 03:12:13 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 05, 2010, 01:09:03 AM

speaking of bikes, I saw this interesting looking one earlier but I'm not sure what to search for to get more details as all of the one's I've tried have turned up empty.  it had a low seat, complete with backrest and the pedals were towards the front of the cycle.  the rider was sitting almost like a kid would on a big wheel trike (this only had 2 wheels though), with his feet out towards the front where the pedals were.

that would be a 'recumbent' bike...been around for years, but i have to admit i still don't see them that often.  i've always been curious what it's like to ride one...

If it is anything like my old Green Machine then it puts a lot of pressure on your tailbone and makes it real sore. Ouch.
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« Reply #64 on: April 08, 2010, 12:39:55 AM »

Quote from: Cota on April 07, 2010, 09:55:02 PM

And thanks CeeKay for the compatibility mode trick smile

-Cota

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« Reply #65 on: April 08, 2010, 07:26:38 PM »

Quote from: Cota on April 07, 2010, 09:55:02 PM

If you are already a member, you probably got your members only 20% coupon and dividend in the mail recently.

That coupon (and my dividend from last year) got me a mechanic stand for my bikes last week. biggrin
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« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2010, 04:02:52 PM »

I'm not much of an expert by any means but if you really don't see yourself trail riding I'd stay away from a Mt. Bike.  I spent around $1200 on mine when I was out of shape and trying to ride that around on streets with the knobby tires and getting used to the clipless pedals all while trying to get into good enough shape to tackle trails was enough to turn me off from getting out there.  You could of course get different tires and pedals and what not for any bike you choose but to start off I would really look into the Comfort bikes like the Trek Navigator's or the Giant Sodona's, I think they run in the $300-$500 range.
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« Reply #67 on: April 14, 2010, 12:30:37 AM »

Quote from: joeyjazz on April 08, 2010, 07:26:38 PM

Quote from: Cota on April 07, 2010, 09:55:02 PM

If you are already a member, you probably got your members only 20% coupon and dividend in the mail recently.

That coupon (and my dividend from last year) got me a mechanic stand for my bikes last week. biggrin

Color me green. That's an excellent use of your coupon. I hadn't thought of that. I used mine on a pair of mountain bike shorts.

Which stand did you get? I've wanted a good stand for a long time, but they are so spendy, I haven't pulled the trigger. I'm going to pencil a stand in for next years coupon/dividend.

And hey, Bullwinkle. Update with your progress/purchase. I'd love to hear what you end up buying.

-Cota
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Bullwinkle
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« Reply #68 on: April 14, 2010, 03:25:14 AM »

I've only been able to hit a couple of stores this past weekend.  Both times, despite warnings to the contrary, I got steered to hybrids.  The first was the Specialized Vienna 2.  It rode pretty well, but the damn seat was like sitting on a concrete cushion.  The guy in the second store (who was a very regular guy, which fit my style) immediately knew what I wanted and put me on a Bianchi Torino.  I have to say I really loved the way it felt.  At this point, I'm leaning toward that, but I'm certainly not ready to pick yet.
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cheeba
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« Reply #69 on: April 14, 2010, 03:58:16 AM »

Ah yeah, seats. That's about the most difficult thing for adults new to bikes to get used to. It's hard to give advice because that's a very personal area and everyone's different. However, for the most part, it's best to not think of the seat as a cushion at all. A big, soft saddle can get in the way and actually be less comfortable over time. Sometimes it's better to get bike-specific underwear or shorts. They'll have sufficient padding where you need it and you can get shorts that look like normal shorts and not those stupid spandex bike shorts that road-junkies love so much.
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Bullwinkle
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« Reply #70 on: April 14, 2010, 05:54:00 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 14, 2010, 03:58:16 AM

Ah yeah, seats. That's about the most difficult thing for adults new to bikes to get used to. It's hard to give advice because that's a very personal area and everyone's different. However, for the most part, it's best to not think of the seat as a cushion at all. A big, soft saddle can get in the way and actually be less comfortable over time. Sometimes it's better to get bike-specific underwear or shorts. They'll have sufficient padding where you need it and you can get shorts that look like normal shorts and not those stupid spandex bike shorts that road-junkies love so much.

Yeah, here's the thing.  If I have to get dressed to ride my bike, it's not going to happen.
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joeyjazz
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« Reply #71 on: April 14, 2010, 02:29:40 PM »

Quote from: Cota on April 14, 2010, 12:30:37 AM


Color me green. That's an excellent use of your coupon. I hadn't thought of that. I used mine on a pair of mountain bike shorts.

Which stand did you get? I've wanted a good stand for a long time, but they are so spendy, I haven't pulled the trigger. I'm going to pencil a stand in for next years coupon/dividend.

The Park PCS-10 and Feedback Sport are both very well reviewed and about the same price.  I wanted to compare the two in person but they only had the Park in stock so I got that one.  After the coupon and my dividend it cost me $30 out of pocket, not bad considering I'd probably never get around to budgeting for one otherwise.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 02:38:17 PM by joeyjazz » Logged
Rumpy
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« Reply #72 on: April 21, 2010, 06:23:10 PM »

I'm looking for a new bike as well. Problem is, I'm short which means I'm looking at a youth bike instead of an adult bike. I do currently have an adult bike, but it's a bit too big for me, at around 18". Might also have to go with a women's bike too as the lower bars make it easier to get on. Problem is we don't really have any bike stores in the area other than a Canadian Tire and it's a bit frustrating to have to go to the warehouse in order to take a look at two possible bikes.
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