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July 12th, 2005

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08:45 pm
Need bike advice.
Tommy? others?

I want to get a city bike.
I'm a big guy, over 200lbs, so I need a bike with tires that can take me hopping curbs at speed, and other shenanigans.
I'm thinking either a hybrid, or a mountain bike with slickrock style tires, as a straight roadbike would probably have more blowouts than I'm willing to deal with.
Don't need shocks, although really stiff front shocks on a hardtail might be ok. I've riden suspension bikes on roads before, and those shocks suck a sizable about of your pedal power when you're my size and really pumping.
For god's sake, no grip shifters.

and cheap.
$500 absolute maximum, and I'd prefer to pay less than half of that.
Should I hit up my numerous local bike shops with my list of demands?
I've heard fleabay has some great deals on bikes if you know what you're looking at...?

In other news, yes, I'm alive.
I've been on somewhat of a hiatus from the intarweb, and haven't really been reading LJ, so if you've tried do solicit my input on anything, I apologize.
feel free to ream me out in the comments.

Now to go call my mother, who also thinks I'm dead in a gutter somewhere.
mood: calmcalm
music: Gorillaz new(ish) album

(19 bits of drivel | babble incoherently)


[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 02:23 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure there was an ask.metafilter.com question about this, but you'll have to search. It was more than a month and less than 6 ago.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 12:28 pm (UTC)
I'll poke, thanks
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 02:23 am (UTC)
// out of curiosity, what is the huge problem with
// grip shifters? are they annoying to use, or inefficient,
// or what?

// i've had a bike like that since i was 15 or so and
// while i am certainly not a 1337 biker it seems to make
// the 46th+baltimore to broad+bainbridge commute pretty
// well.

[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 12:12 pm (UTC)
They work perfectly fine, I just hate them. ^_^
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 02:45 am (UTC)
Nice gripshift is much better than crap gripshift, but if you're set against it, that's OK because most bikes don't come with it, except the cheap crap you find at Wal-Mart.

Let's see...hopping curbs I wouldn't want a road bike due to wheel strength. The tires aren't as likely to blow out because the pressure's too frakin high )my road front tire takes a max. of 175psi). Might be able to get away with the road bike if you're really smooth in curb hopping, but that definitely doesn't describe me. ;-)

There's definitely a speed difference in the road wheels vs mountain wheels, but if we're going for strength, I'd go for something along these lines: http://www.giantbicycles.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?model=11038

I like Giants. Good bang for the buck, high level components. You can probably get them to 500 on an Iguana, but if not, go for a Yukon. Same frame, different components. You've got the disk brakes for all-weather performance, rims that can take anything commuting will dish out, and a fork that will make jumping curbs more fun. The downside is that it's still heavier and slower-rolling than a road bike, but...jumping curbs. ;-)

You'd want to swap the tires out for some slicks or semislicks, and they should give you a pretty good credit for that because the Nevegals and Blue Grooves retail for $40 each. Then you could set the preload of the shock pretty heavy so that it doesn't bob too much under you.
Now, if you decided not to do as much curb jumping, something in the Dew series would be pretty sweet: http://www.konaworld.com/shopping_cart/FrontEnd/Products/product_detail.aspx?productid=79&parentid=182

Keeps the upright position for comfort and visibility, and the road wheels and gearing for speed. And of course, all but the lowest model have disk brakes.

I'd really advise checking out some of the local shops. They'll definitely have an idea of what they stock that would suit you, and have a better idea of exactly how strong those road rims are for what you want to do.

I know there are gonna be a ton of bike stores up there. ;-) Maybe you and Meg should get a tandem. Muhahah.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 12:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks tommy, knew you'd come through. ^_^

There're at least 4 bike stores within walking distance of our house, yes. ;o)
Thanks for all the recomendations. I really like the kona Dew Deluxe, but price... yeah.
I like the Giants too, the Yukon looks like plenty of bike for me. It's a city bike after all, it'll get less abuse than it would on trails, so entry-level is probably fine. the components are all good enough to last me awhile if I went with that?

I used to be really smooth with curb jumps, but it's been quite a while now, so a new bike would get some abuse before I got used to it again.

When I get my next paycheck, I'll hit some of the local shops and see what they have for me.
Can you give me a quick cheatlist of what to look for? good/bad component sets, frame material, etc. I used to be a bike geek, but that was 10 years ago. heh.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
Well, there's also the regular Dew, which retails for about $399 if I remember correctly...check www.konaworld.com.

Might also look into the Smoke series from them. Ugly bikes, but very functional from a city/commuting point of view.

Frame material will pretty much be aluminum at that price. There might be some companies making steel bikes in that range, but I coudln't tell you who they are.

As far as components, none of these are really great, but without the stresses of being in the trail, I would expect them to hold up pretty well. Alivio and Tiagra are what I had on my first mountainous bicycle, and while they don't shift as well as LX or XT (the next steps up), they still do a good enough job for commuting.

...there are so many companies and models available it's hard to give many specific recommendations. I'm sure a shop will steer you right. Good to have a nice relationship with the shop people.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 12:48 pm (UTC)
sounds good.
I looked at the regular dew, but I'd really like discs which it doesn't have.
I'll hit up ye olde bike shoppe.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 12:50 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, discs are sweet. The new-style V Brakes are hella strong compared to the older style rim brakes though. Hmmm......but since it's got road wheels, I don't know if they'll be V brakes or not. Road bikes don't use those.

...bike shops are fun.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
Check out Bicycle Bill in Allston and A-1 (I think that's the name...) on Elm between Davis and Porter. They're both staffed with off-duty couriers who can point you to the exact thing you need. They should be able to make any modifications to the bike before it leaves the store. A better shop should be willing to switch out grip shifts (if they were there) and hook you up with baldies with no charge.

BB knocks the price down on late models too, so you might be able to get something decent if you don't mind not having this month's gear set.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the place on Elm is going to be my first stop, looks the grungiest and therefore the best of my local shops. ^_^
Allston's a hike. =P
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
I'd be willing to run out with you... just for sake of. Might even be sufficient motivation to get back on the road.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
hmm... tempting.
I'll hit up my local shops, and if I dont' find something I might just take you up on that. ^_^
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC)
I bought my last bike for $200 at a non-profit shop in Seattle that refurbishes used bikes and helps the community by offering free bikes for kids and classes and stuff. I got a pretty nice bike and helped out a great organization at the same time... so if you don't mind buying used, you might look around for a shop like this one.

Other options are Craigs List and Ebay. I'd go with Craigs List first as you're likely to find it cheaper and Ebay people seem to be a bitch to deal with these days... it's nothing like it used to be. $20 shipping for a string of Christmas lights? WTF?!?!! But I digress.

Brands I like, or liked back when I used to ride daily in the mid 90's... before putting on some pounds... Kona, Mongoose, GT, and Trek. I know back then Trek had a nice bike in the $350 range that a friend of mine had. He later upgraded to a $700 Kona... had two friends with nice Konas... I unfortunately had a piece of shit Schwinn that I had upgraded the components on... but my frame alone weighed more than their complete bikes... by several pounds. I think my frame was built to military specs or some shit... lol.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
yeah, there's a similar shop in philly that jimmy_obadger's sort of in charge of, didn't know about the one in boston until she posted below. ^_^
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 07:23 pm (UTC)
I agree with you about gripshifters. They're fine if they work okay, but a bear to fix if they don't, and IMHO not worth the work.

The wheels on the Trek are double-wall alloy 700c by 38c with mountain hubs and fairly burly spokes laced 4x; i ride kevlar belted touring tires. You have a good sixty pounds on me, but i am utterly graceless about curbs and potholes, and i haven't had any problems with them yet. I also have low-profile cantilevers which i like a lot. If properly adujusted, hitting the front break will lift the back wheel at 8 or 10 mph.

Go with steel, if you can get it. Steel is real.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
ah, the boston version of bikeworks I take it. I knew there had to be one...
I'll have to see if I can get over there.

The trek meaning roadbike? or the MB trek?
[User Picture]
Date:July 15th, 2005 12:30 am (UTC)
you want a bike
[User Picture]
Date:July 15th, 2005 01:32 am (UTC)
no longer. ^_^
Need bike advice. Tommy? others? I want to get a city bike. I'm a… - another LJ. or: how i learned to stop worrying and love this life-thingy

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