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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    New question here. First bike: how to decide brakes, susp., etc.

    Hi,
    I want to buy a buy a low end bike mostly for city commute and parking in not-so-safe places at night (hence the low end need), and exceptionally ride in non asphalt situations...

    Even in this category ($600 or less), it seems I have to make choices, for example:
    - regular rim-brakes VS disk brakes
    - hard tail VS Full suspension or no susp at all
    - size of the tires / wheels
    - only then, brand or model

    From what I read here and in other places, my current feeling is:
    - rim brakes are fine enough; disks would be overkill (and extra weight too?)
    - hard tail is what I would like because I tried one and loved the smooth riding e.g. for going up/down sidewalks
    - tires like 26 would be fine (I saw 29 in shops but I guess this is again too much for streets and also extra weight/inertia)
    - I am looking at a Louis Garneau Five right now, it seems to be close to my needs; I could not find much on the web (and this forum) about this bike. I also noticed these: Kona Firemountain, Giant Snap Blue

    Any advice welcome. Weather is good and I dream of riding around the city soon
    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Doesn't sound like you need a mountain bike ,you may want one that's ok . I've ridden my road bike in the dirt,not fast or far but you can do it. There is another type of bike called cyclocross that could work for you. If you are going to be leaving it in not so safe areas ,I would find something used ,cheep and ugly. I would go to a local shop and test ride some bikes and talk to the sales people just to see what they have say about what you are looking for. Disk brakes are great ,rim brakes need more adjustment and don't work as well when wet. Most road bikes have 29" wheels ,they call them 700 c's ,the tires aren't as tall so they don't look as big. The Garneau bike is most likely something that had someone esle make and they put there name on. Giant makes bike for a lot of different companys.

  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot for your reply.
    Looks like there is more choice for cheap bikes in the MTB type than cyclocross.
    I am still puzzled about the wheels/tires.
    Are some folks enjoying 29ers for city rides?

    Here are the specs for the LGS Five I got on the Raluten site (Rakuten: 2013 model LOUIS GARNEAU( ???? )LGS-FIVE cities casual motorcycle- Shopping Japanese products from Japan) :
    ■A model name:LGS-FIVE
    ■A frame: 6061 LGS SCD aluminum
    ■A fork: RST CAPA T26
    ■Brakes: SHIMANO V brakes
    ■Parts: F machine, SHIMANO ALTUS/R machine, ALTUS
    ■Shifter: SHIMANO ALTUS
    ■A shift: SHIMANO HG31 11-32T 8speed
    ■Shifting: 24 steps of shifting
    ■Crank: SHIMANO 42/34/24T
    ■A tire: 26 KENDA X1.95
    ■13.7 kg in weight

  4. #4
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    I am still puzzled about the wheels/tires.
    Are some folks enjoying 29ers for city rides?
    I was wondering the same thing (why such large wheels on road bikes), so asked a roadie friend. He said he didn't know, but thought that it could be possibly due to cobblestones which are common in European races, or to help get the high gearing they need.

    An idea I had -- it allows a larger tread patch to touch the road, for better cornering and braking traction. They like to run really narrow tires because they are more aerodynamic.

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