1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Another noob needing some help...

    I just recently bought a Specialized Hardrock for mountain biking and absolutely love it. I hit the local singletrack trails here in Toronto a few times now and plan on riding them about twice a week once all this rain stops.

    I also ride around town with my girlfreind everyday when its not raining so far. We plan on riding before work and after work every chance possible and just tour around the city on the weekends. The before and after work rides are about 12 to 15 miles round trip depending on our destination. The weekend rides will be closer to 20.

    My dilema is i would like a different bike than riding hardrock for pavement stuff. but dont know what to get. I come from a BMX back ground as a teen, and like the geometry of the hardrock. so i know i dont want a true road bike where i am completely hunched over(not ready yet). So what kind of bike do you guys recommend. I will be riding in the city alot so pot holes and smooth raods are always not available.

    Are 700c tires recommended for what i will be doing? or 26" 1.5 or 1.75 be better tires for me? I weight 220lbs and and 5.8"

    what are your thoughts or recommendations? I have a budget of $800 taxes in. but want to keep it around the $600 mark so i can get accessories and gear, my first spandex

    After looking i have found these...

    http://www.sweetpetesbikeshop.com/in...emart&Itemid=1

    http://www.cycle-solutions.com//Seek-2-P2032.aspx

    http://www.sweetpetesbikeshop.com/in...emart&Itemid=1

    http://www.cycle-solutions.com//2010-Scene-P3341.aspx

    http://bikedepot.com/product/09-spec...us-47736-1.htm

    THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANYONES HELP
    2008 HardRock Comp Disc

  2. #2
    Rod
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    A hybrid bike like the Sirrus would work unless you or your wife decide you like riding on the road a lot. There are also specific road bikes designed to put the rider in a much more comfortable position. They even have an extension that you can add to a bike to make you sit more upright. I personally would consider a road bike with a handlebar stem riser. Here's a link to what I'm talking about. http://www.bikepartsplace.com/images/med/31764418.jpg
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  3. #3
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    You could also consider getting another wheelset with some smooth road type tires since you like your current bike so much. That would keep you around the $300-400 range.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod
    A hybrid bike like the Sirrus would work unless you or your wife decide you like riding on the road a lot. There are also specific road bikes designed to put the rider in a much more comfortable position. They even have an extension that you can add to a bike to make you sit more upright. I personally would consider a road bike with a handlebar stem riser. Here's a link to what I'm talking about. http://www.bikepartsplace.com/images/med/31764418.jpg
    Thanks for the reply... that pretty interesting for the handle bar riser. ill have to go to my local shop and see if they have that part and if they will let me test ride it.

    How about the 700c tires will it hold my 200lbs? and with city pot holes and bumps? i'm assuming i need to find a bike with a double wall just to be on the safe side.
    2008 HardRock Comp Disc

  5. #5
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    700C tires will hold your weight no problem. I rode a road bike at 300 pounds no issues. Of course at any weight they are not going to like pot holes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster
    You could also consider getting another wheelset with some smooth road type tires since you like your current bike so much. That would keep you around the $300-400 range.
    I had already thought about that and had asked a LBS and they had said that i would have to adjust my disk brakes everytime i switch wheel sets. Is this true? i trrusted what he said and I figured that was to much trouble since i have yet to learn how to adjust disk brakes.

    On another note how do i true my wheels if i have disk brakes and i dont have the brake pads to guide me?
    2008 HardRock Comp Disc

  7. #7
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    I say go for the extra wheels with a road style tire, at least until you really decide. I bought a brand new set of take off AlexRims DP20's for $50, put Michelin Country Rock tires on them for another $40. Average and downhill coasting speed picked up like 2 mph and made pavement rides MUCH more enjoyable.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEEZIECP4
    I had already thought about that and had asked a LBS and they had said that i would have to adjust my disk brakes everytime i switch wheel sets. Is this true? i trrusted what he said and I figured that was to much trouble since i have yet to learn how to adjust disk brakes.

    On another note how do i true my wheels if i have disk brakes and i dont have the brake pads to guide me?
    You should not have to adjust your disc brakes when you switch over wheel sets.
    All hubs are made to international standards in regards to the measurements from center line to where the brake caliper and disk sit I.E any QR 135mm axle x 26inch wheel with discs will fit in any other disc brake QR 135mm axle x 26 inch wheel frame provided the disc rotor sizes are the same on each wheel.
    A 203mm disc rotor on a wheel will only work in a frame that has been set up for 203mm rotors or else the calipers WILL have to be adjusted each time you swap wheels

    To true your wheels, flip the bike over and tie, rubber band or cable tie two pieces of spoke or wire to the forks or chain stays to act as reference points.

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I haven't actually had a bike for which I swapped wheels between road and off-road sets, but that would be my suggestion too. If it doesn't turn out to be a problem... Awesome. Be happy.

    If it is an issue, I'd suggest finding very thin washers and using them to move the rotor out on whichever wheel set lands it closer to the center of the hub. The difference, if there is one, is likely to be very slight.

    One of the awesome things about disc brakes is you can get 700C wheels for your road set, as long as you don't try to run too large a tire. Instead of crappy 26" slicks and one or two expensive ones being your only options, you can have any road tire you want, as long as you don't run out of clearance. Most 26" mountain bikes can fit at least a 28mm road tire, and many can fit larger. The geometry is also more similar to 26" wheels with fat tires, so cornering and riding will feel a lot more similar, but faster.

    Get some bar ends while you're at it. When you're cranking out road miles, a lower position can be much more comfortable.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster
    700C tires will hold your weight no problem. I rode a road bike at 300 pounds no issues. Of course at any weight they are not going to like pot holes.

    i figured it would hold me but was worried about the pot holes too. Its not like i can always avoid them that is why i asked. Thanks for sharing your experience thought i was helpful.
    2008 HardRock Comp Disc

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgre_6163
    You should not have to adjust your disc brakes when you switch over wheel sets.
    All hubs are made to international standards in regards to the measurements from center line to where the brake caliper and disk sit I.E any QR 135mm axle x 26inch wheel with discs will fit in any other disc brake QR 135mm axle x 26 inch wheel frame provided the disc rotor sizes are the same on each wheel.
    A 203mm disc rotor on a wheel will only work in a frame that has been set up for 203mm rotors or else the calipers WILL have to be adjusted each time you swap wheels

    To true your wheels, flip the bike over and tie, rubber band or cable tie two pieces of spoke or wire to the forks or chain stays to act as reference points.
    Thanks for the insight on the reference point on truing the wheels. ill have to try that when i cant make it to my LBS since i just found out today it is part of their free two year tune up .

    about the disk brakes i actually thought the same thing that there is a standard and one will slide into the other since the axel will have to fit my fork. and back drop out.
    2008 HardRock Comp Disc

  12. #12
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    I have no problems switching them back and forth.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the replies guys all answers have been considered and taken in. Getting schooled through your experiences and knowledge is always great

    I have done nothing all day but ponder about what to do. I really would like to just swap wheels but i will be riding the pavement about 5days a week and MTB 2 twice including some over lapping days. (yes i do have all the time in the world, no kids yet and not a whole lot of extrta cash for vacations or trips since my GF and I are already going to Philippines in december for 5 weeks and 3 nights in Hong Kong).

    Long story short is we plan on doing nothing all summer but just riding, cycling and biking till it gets too cold again. We need to save mula. So i am heavily leaning on getting the Giant Rapid 3 or the Giant seek 2 but havent quite decided yet. We have already signed up for 2 cancer bike rides this summer. the first one is 75k using major highways as a big loop in the Greater Toronto area and the second is The Ride To Conquer Cancer which is Toronto to Niagara falls and back the next day.

    Do those two bike rides alone justify a new bike? (It would be interesting to hear your opinions on this)

    I already know ill get a new bike just dont know which one. Can anyone give me an insight on which one, or recomend me another one? $800 taxes in but trying to stay low as possible.
    2008 HardRock Comp Disc

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ataylor
    I have no problems switching them back and forth.
    Hey man thanks for the help, but i have a few more questions. when you bought your second set did you just buy the one you wanted or did you specifically have to make sure they swap out that easily? Also do you take your rotors off and swap those out too? if so how long does it take to swap the wheels set and rotors?

    Thanks for the help again i really appreciate it.
    2008 HardRock Comp Disc

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I try to avoid getting snobby about bikes, but I'm going to go for it now.

    Hybrids blow. They combine the worst aspects of mountain and road bikes, and I don't think there's anything they do better than an appropriately equipped mountain bike. About the only advantage a hybrid would have over your Hardrock for a 50-mile road ride is the rigid fork, and a lot of hybrids have crappy suspension forks lately. At least the Seek and the Rapid are rigid, but still... Road bike speed comes from the aerodynamic position, and road bike comfort comes from a properly balanced position in which your weight is supported by the force you apply to the pedals. The riding position on a hybrid screws up both.

    Go out and try a few road bikes. You don't have to be bent way over. A lot of cycle tourists have their handlebars a couple inches above the saddle, with a pretty short reach. If you feel that you're not going to be able to get a comfortable position on a road bike, spend the money on a set of road wheels, a nicer fork and some big, old-school L-bend bar ends. (kinda want a set myself, now that I think of it.)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    I try to avoid getting snobby about bikes, but I'm going to go for it now.

    Hybrids blow. They combine the worst aspects of mountain and road bikes, and I don't think there's anything they do better than an appropriately equipped mountain bike. About the only advantage a hybrid would have over your Hardrock for a 50-mile road ride is the rigid fork, and a lot of hybrids have crappy suspension forks lately. At least the Seek and the Rapid are rigid, but still... Road bike speed comes from the aerodynamic position, and road bike comfort comes from a properly balanced position in which your weight is supported by the force you apply to the pedals. The riding position on a hybrid screws up both.

    Go out and try a few road bikes. You don't have to be bent way over. A lot of cycle tourists have their handlebars a couple inches above the saddle, with a pretty short reach. If you feel that you're not going to be able to get a comfortable position on a road bike, spend the money on a set of road wheels, a nicer fork and some big, old-school L-bend bar ends. (kinda want a set myself, now that I think of it.)
    THANKS for being honest.
    The fork is the only is the only real thing to my advantage as i really like the cockpit position on my hardrock. But I really do need the suspension for the MTB. They all(hybrid's) do have crappy suspension and i kept thinking if i get that bike i have another bike with a crappy suspension as my hardrock only has a sr suntour xcm 100mm for with out even a lock out. Thats why i am choosing to go rigid. But, if i dont buy another bike and just wait for my fork to fail i can buy a fork with a lockout to help when im doing strictly road riding. Any thoughts on the lockout feature? Pro/Cons?

    I have tried a few road bikes thats why i moved over to the hybrid type. but even with the hybrid i would have chosen to change the handle bars to a riser of some sort. which now come to think of it would become more of a comfort cruser.

    AndrwSwitch... im pretty convinced you hit it dead on that a set of road tires and a nicer fork would be my best bet. That way I can buy them one at a time first and get the wheelset w/ tires first... then i can also buy my spandex and platform pedals sooner(I hate my cage pedals!)

    THANKS!!!!!
    2008 HardRock Comp Disc

  17. #17
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The guys on the wheels and tires forum generally approve of work done by bicyclewheelwarehouse.com. This particular wheelset might be what you're looking for...

    http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com...d&productId=81

    I've had my Mavic CXP 21 rims for ten years. I'm not a big guy, but I've done my share of curb hops and drops and country roads on them. If you get them, the DT Comp butted 2.0/1.8 spokes are probably the strongest.

    When you're ready for a fork, the "best fork for $xxx" discussion comes up on Shocks and Suspension pretty often.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
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    I agree with the other folks, your cheapest option would be to get a new set of 26" wheels/rotors and put on a set of road tires. You shouldn't have any problem with the disc brakes, but if you do they are generally easy to adjust.

    Another option that might work for you is a Cycle Cross bike. CX bikes are similar to a road bike but are built with a stronger frame, better brakes, and more clearance in the fork and chain stays for wider tires. This would allow you to use a larger volume tire to absorb bumps and rough roads. The drop handle bars are more even with the saddle which is similar to how XC bikes are setup but allows for more hand positions (nice on long distance rides). You could get a stem with a little more rise if want a more upright position as well.



    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._cross_cx3.htm

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