1. #1

    need advice: bicycle buying

    Hey, I'm looking into buying a bicycle, but I honestly don't know the first things to look for while shopping. As a 5'9" male, what is the typical size I should be looking at. What brands are good?

    I understand the get what you pay for, but I don't know what I'm paying for. What types of things should I look for? If I go to a bike shop, what kinds of questions should I be asking?

    I'm looking for a bit of everything. So riding to work, riding to the gym, to the store, etc.. So on different kinds of pavement. Add that I'd be interested in doing some off road as well. Based on this, I think I'm looking for a mountain bike because it is best on all surfaces, but I understand there are hybrids out there.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Field Marshal
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    go say that you'd like a racer bike. problem solved

  3. #3
    Herald of the Titans Bigbazz's Avatar
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    I'd get a hardtail mountain bike with suspension forks that have a lockout option and replace the tyres with some fast rolling hybrid style tyres. There are also your typical onroad/offroad hybrids that might be more suited, very light and come with a short travel suspension fork, they are more suited to road than offroad, but capable of both.

    Something like this Giant Roam, hybrid type.

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  4. #4
    Huge suspension on the front is delightfull, a mountain bike has supsnsion on the seat aswell and thick tires. buy semi thick tires nice forks infront no suspension on seat and ur set for ur use.
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  5. #5
    Mechagnome Rec's Avatar
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    At 5'9" you're likely looking at a 54cm frame (mountain bikes are usually measured in inches, however), but your local bike shop should size you up quickly anyways. Brand doesn't matter. Speaking of price, how much do you want to pay? What are the roads like in your area, and how interested are you in off road, and what are those paths like?

    I'd get a road bike with wider tires (think hybrid or cross bike) if you're going to stick to pavement. If you must go on dirt paths, Bigbazz has the right idea. Don't hesitate to go to your LBS and tell them what you posted here, they'll lend you a hand.

  6. #6
    You don't want a road bike.
    It sounds like either a hybrid or mountain bike.
    Take a look at Boardman Hybrid or MTB performance range.
    If you get a Hybrid ask for mountains tyres. The thinner road tyres won't cut it off road or on gravel tracks.
    Carbon or Ally frame - depends how serious you are and wonga you want to spend. I suggest Ally for you.
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  7. #7
    Go to a bike store and ask the clerk. Tell them your desired activities and please remember to never buy any biker clothing.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jbhasban View Post
    Go to a bike store and ask the clerk. Tell them your desired activities and please remember to never buy any biker clothing.
    Get a light frame and thinner tires for city streets.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jbhasban View Post
    Go to a bike store and ask the clerk. Tell them your desired activities and please remember to never buy any biker clothing.
    So I went to a store and asked questions. They basically recommended a hybrid type, basically a typical mountain bike without the suspension and slightly larger tires. And by larger, I mean 27.5" vs. the standard mountain bike of 26"

    Roughly the prices for a basic mountain bike and a hybrid were roughly the same about $400ish. He basically said the main difference was that the mountain bike would have a full suspension for jumps and bumpy rides vs the larger tires higher speeds of a hybrid.

    So the question is, and I forgot to ask this, what's the speed difference? Is a slightly higher speed worth giving up a fully suspension?

  10. #10
    Mechagnome Rec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anyaka21 View Post
    So I went to a store and asked questions. They basically recommended a hybrid type, basically a typical mountain bike without the suspension and slightly larger tires. And by larger, I mean 27.5" vs. the standard mountain bike of 26"

    Roughly the prices for a basic mountain bike and a hybrid were roughly the same about $400ish. He basically said the main difference was that the mountain bike would have a full suspension for jumps and bumpy rides vs the larger tires higher speeds of a hybrid.

    So the question is, and I forgot to ask this, what's the speed difference? Is a slightly higher speed worth giving up a fully suspension?
    Depends on the roads you ride on. The speed difference will be noticeable.

    What were the models they showed you?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Rec View Post
    Depends on the roads you ride on. The speed difference will be noticeable.

    What were the models they showed you?
    One place showed me a Trek, another a Giant. Not sure what models they were. Both were hybrid type.

  12. #12
    Hybrid is a good idea, make sure that it has eyelets to attach bags (panniers) if you decide to go that route in the future. Disc brakes and suspension are neat, but by no means neccessary unless you're doing some pretty good off-road riding (at which point you should be looking @ a mountain bike). If you're doing mostly road riding, suspension adds cost, weight, and potential energy-drain that you simply won't need.

    Figure out how much of your riding will be done on asphalt, and that should sway your decision. Listing a price limit might also help folks point you in a good direction.
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  13. #13
    The Unstoppable Force Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Giant is the Wal-Mart of bicycles. I'm biased toward Trek.

    For sizing, your legs should be almost fully extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke and the knee should make about a 90 degree angle at the top of the stroke.

    I ride a Trek 7500 (aluminum frame) for trail riding, and a Trek 5200 carbon fiber for roads.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eroginous View Post
    I wouldn't expect someone who thinks science provides proof to know that.

  14. #14
    Based on the info I've received here, from friends, research and in store, I'm leaning towards a hybrid, with front suspension (lock out capable), wider tires but not full mountain bike yet as winter is approaching, because I can always buy the tires later, disc brakes. A lot like the giant roam from the picture, but hopefully something less expensive, maybe find a little used Craigslist purchase, someone who was planning on using the bike but never did.

  15. #15
    The Unstoppable Force Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anyaka21 View Post
    Based on the info I've received here, from friends, research and in store, I'm leaning towards a hybrid, with front suspension (lock out capable), wider tires but not full mountain bike yet as winter is approaching, because I can always buy the tires later, disc brakes. A lot like the giant roam from the picture, but hopefully something less expensive, maybe find a little used Craigslist purchase, someone who was planning on using the bike but never did.
    If you get a front suspension, I'd recommend getting a seat-post with a suspension as well. Most hybrids will come with 32mm tires, which can accommodate crushed limestone trails, asphalt, and minor levels of snow. If you're looking to ride in heavy snow, look at some bikes by Surly.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eroginous View Post
    I wouldn't expect someone who thinks science provides proof to know that.

  16. #16
    I either ride a full on road bike (specialized secteur elite) or a BMX =D

    in my younger years i laughed at road bikes, but they're so much more efficient and comfortable to ride IMO, and the speeds! if you need to go any sort of distance I'd suggest a Road bike, but road bikes are generally just that, road bikes, if you're planning on doing anything off road perhaps a hybrid would be better . . .

    the more suspension you add the heavier the bike will be and the thicker the tires will be, both of which slow the bike down and make for a more taxing ride

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