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  1. #1
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    What Bike Should I Get?

    I need a new bike. I will be using it to ride about 1 mile to and from school everyday. I've been looking at bikesdirect.com and was recommended a few bikes by their sales rep. I am 6ft tall and growing. I've tried 29ers and really like how they feel. I'd like the bike to feel good now, so I shouldn't get a huge frame, but I also want it to last for 4 years of high school. I am considering getting a mountain bike and putting hybrid tires on or just getting a hybrid bike. I found a good deal on Schwinn tires for $17.99 each, so it won't set me back much. My budget is $400. I hope a few members can help me out. Thanks!

    This is one I've been looking at: Save up to 60% off new Hybrid Bicycles | Adventure Hybrid 29er Bikes Elite Adventure Sport Trail

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    Spend the extra money and get one of the 29er mountain bikes. The gravity 29pointone is good for the price, so is the motobecane 429 and fantom. The fantom and 429 will have taller standovers and the gravity is slightly smaller (at least on paper). The only thing against the adventure hybrid series is the inability to put a larger rear wheel on it. The 2.0 size wheel is the absolute max and you'll probably be rubbing paint. If I were to buy one right now, I'd go with the Gravity due to the higher quality components. If money is an issue, get the moto429. It had a "secret sale" thing going on where it was $350 once you add it to a shopping cart.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Spend the extra money and get one of the 29er mountain bikes. The gravity 29pointone is good for the price, so is the motobecane 429 and fantom. The fantom and 429 will have taller standovers and the gravity is slightly smaller (at least on paper). The only thing against the adventure hybrid series is the inability to put a larger rear wheel on it. The 2.0 size wheel is the absolute max and you'll probably be rubbing paint. If I were to buy one right now, I'd go with the Gravity due to the higher quality components. If money is an issue, get the moto429. It had a "secret sale" thing going on where it was $350 once you add it to a shopping cart.
    Thanks for your help. The Motobecane 429 is definitely something to consider. I can just put the hybrid tires on instead of the mountain ones.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianmc View Post
    I need a new bike. I will be using it to ride about 1 mile to and from school everyday. I've been looking at bikesdirect.com and was recommended a few bikes by their sales rep. I am 6ft tall and growing. I've tried 29ers and really like how they feel. I'd like the bike to feel good now, so I shouldn't get a huge frame, but I also want it to last for 4 years of high school. I am considering getting a mountain bike and putting hybrid tires on or just getting a hybrid bike. I found a good deal on Schwinn tires for $17.99 each, so it won't set me back much. My budget is $400. I hope a few members can help me out. Thanks!

    This is one I've been looking at: Save up to 60% off new Hybrid Bicycles | Adventure Hybrid 29er Bikes Elite Adventure Sport Trail
    Does it have to be a new bike?

    I'd suggest looking locally for an adult owned lightly used mountain bike, something well cared for that didn't get much use, that the seller is dumping at a deep discount relative to what is being offered new. Nothing too old, maybe ~5 years.

    Take your time and shop around.

    I would not focus too much on tire diameter. You might get a better deal on a 26er since the 650b is what is currently being pushed in the marketplace.

    The tire quality does matter. Don't buy junk tires. Buy quality, durability, puncture resistance and low rolling resistance.

    For mostly street use, I'd suggest changing the off-road mountain bike tires to Schwalbe Big Apple balloon tires.

    Balloonbikes - advantages

    The chart below shows a comparison of two sizes of tires, illustrates the power (in Watts) dissipated in the tire's rolling resistance, shown with respect to various tire pressures (measured in bar, 14.5 psi = 1 bar).

    For any one specific tire, an increase in pressure reduces rolling resistance, reduces power dissipated in that rolling resistance. But when comparing a standard street tire to a larger balloon tire, when both are inflated to similar pressure, the larger balloon tire exhibits signficantly lower rolling resistance, requires less power from the rider. Also the larger balloon tire can be operated at much lower pressure for a softer ride while still exhibiting a low rolling resistance, a low power requirement.



    http://www.balloonbikes.com/template...r/grafik-1.jpg

    In the chart, the tire sizes are the ERTO/ISO sizes in mm, first number being width, second number being the inside diameter of the tire bead. The 622mm diameter shown is what is used on a so-called "29er".
    Last edited by JRT_in_WMass; 09-30-2013 at 02:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRT_in_WMass View Post
    Does it have to be a new bike?

    I'd suggest looking locally for an adult owned lightly used mountain bike, something well cared for that didn't get much use, that the seller is dumping at a deep discount relative to what is being offered new. Nothing too old, maybe ~5 years.

    Take your time and shop around.

    I would not focus too much on tire diameter. You might get a better deal on a 26er since the 650b is what is currently being pushed in the marketplace.

    The tire quality does matter. Don't buy junk tires. Buy quality, durability, puncture resistance and low rolling resistance.

    For mostly street use, I'd suggest changing the off-road mountain bike tires to Schwalbe Big Apple balloon tires.

    Balloonbikes - advantages

    The chart below shows a comparison of two sizes of tires, illustrates the power (in Watts) dissipated in the tire's rolling resistance, shown with respect to various tire pressures (measured in bar, 14.5 psi = 1 bar).

    For any one specific tire, an increase in pressure reduces rolling resistance, reduces power dissipated in that rolling resistance. But when comparing a standard street tire to a larger balloon tire, when both are inflated to similar pressure, the larger balloon tire exhibits signficantly lower rolling resistance, requires less power from the rider. Also the larger balloon tire can be operated at much lower pressure for a softer ride while still exhibiting a low rolling resistance, a low power requirement.



    http://www.balloonbikes.com/template...r/grafik-1.jpg

    In the chart, the tire sizes are the ERTO/ISO sizes in mm, first number being width, second number being the inside diameter of the tire bead. The 622mm diameter shown is what is used on a so-called "29er".
    Thanks. Tires look good.

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    The comparison above between big tires and skinny tires is valid if they're at similar pressures. However, road tires would normally be up in the 70psi or higher range, where balloon tires are down at 45 psi. You of course could take them to higher pressures, but balloon tires should never approach the tire pressure road bike tires get. On average, road bike tires will always be lighter, run at higher pressure, and have less rolling resistance than larger tires. On the downside, they do not absorb bumps.

    Something to keep in mind with hybrid bikes, including the motobecane adventure, is the max tire width. Balloon tires will be up in the 2.0 width or wider category, and that's too wide for the adventure trail. It comes with a 1.5 width tire that works fine for light trail and road. Also, don't underestimate how good a lot of mountain bike tires can roll. If inflated up to 45 psig, unless you get an aggressive tread, mountain bike tires should be just fine for normal road use. You'll loose a bit to rolling resistance, but probably not going to notice it much.

  7. #7
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    My 2 cents is the hybrid bike you are looking at would probably work fine for your needs. I don't have first hand experience but the Kenda Happy Medium tires should last you a long time for a one mile commute.

    However know this, you are on a mountain bike forum and everybody here loves their bikes as much (possibly in some cases more) than their spouses, so of course we're going to steer you in the direction of a mountain bike.

    For the riding you described, that bike will work fine. However, if you're interest in the sport increases.. if you want to start riding gravel roads, fire roads, trails, singletrack, that bike probably won't be up to the task and you might have to upgrade at that point. If you have any intrest in riding terrain more rugged than your comute to school, then consider something a little more trail friendly like what Watts suggested right off the bat so you have room to grow.

    Regardless of what some might tell you, you can commute on a non "hybrid" mountain bike and one mile is just a stones throw.

    Good luck and enjoy your new ride.

  8. #8
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    If you have the money right now ($300), I'd say the following bike would suit you well. It's one of the bikedirect's "scratch & dent" returns at their bikeisland site. I have two bikes I got off their website (gravity fsxone and a moto adventure elite), and the scratches they had on them when I got them are nothing in comparison to what I've added since. Definately worth the money. If it was a 21", I wouldn't tell you about it because I'd have already bought it. As far as the bike not coming with the headset installed, easy fix to do yourself if you're willing (all you need is a 2x4 and a rubber mallet), otherwise it would only cost about $20 at an LBS to do it.

    BikeIsland.com - Bicycle Parts, Accessories and Clothing at Affordable Prices with Free Shipping

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZmyDust View Post
    My 2 cents is the hybrid bike you are looking at would probably work fine for your needs. I don't have first hand experience but the Kenda Happy Medium tires should last you a long time for a one mile commute.

    However know this, you are on a mountain bike forum and everybody here loves their bikes as much (possibly in some cases more) than their spouses, so of course we're going to steer you in the direction of a mountain bike.

    For the riding you described, that bike will work fine. However, if you're interest in the sport increases.. if you want to start riding gravel roads, fire roads, trails, singletrack, that bike probably won't be up to the task and you might have to upgrade at that point. If you have any intrest in riding terrain more rugged than your comute to school, then consider something a little more trail friendly like what Watts suggested right off the bat so you have room to grow.

    Regardless of what some might tell you, you can commute on a non "hybrid" mountain bike and one mile is just a stones throw.

    Good luck and enjoy your new ride.
    I would agree a purpose designed mountain bike is the best choice if you can get one. However, once I swapped out the tires to 1.9" in back and 2.1" in front and put on a recon fork, the adventure elite has done a fine job on the trails. At 240lbs riding weight, I push it pretty hard on the rocks & roots. Not as hard as some would, but it has handled itself admirally. I have tried to limit it to less than 12" drops because I don't want to eat a front tire. Gusset reinforced at the headtube and seat stay and a pretty beefy weight. I don't know if BD would warranty it if something really crazy happened, but it does have the same "trail tuned design" sticker as their moto fantoms. Not a lot of faith in stickers, but they do make you go faster.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    The comparison above between big tires and skinny tires is valid if they're at similar pressures. However, road tires would normally be up in the 70psi or higher range, where balloon tires are down at 45 psi. You of course could take them to higher pressures, but balloon tires should never approach the tire pressure road bike tires get. On average, road bike tires will always be lighter, run at higher pressure, and have less rolling resistance than larger tires. On the downside, they do not absorb bumps.

    Something to keep in mind with hybrid bikes, including the motobecane adventure, is the max tire width. Balloon tires will be up in the 2.0 width or wider category, and that's too wide for the adventure trail. It comes with a 1.5 width tire that works fine for light trail and road. Also, don't underestimate how good a lot of mountain bike tires can roll. If inflated up to 45 psig, unless you get an aggressive tread, mountain bike tires should be just fine for normal road use. You'll loose a bit to rolling resistance, but probably not going to notice it much.
    Thanks. If I get a hybrid bike I won't be changing the tires, but I might still want to get other tires if I get a mountain bike. In addition to trying mountain biking and uses my bike as my main method of transportation, I still might go on bike rides.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZmyDust View Post
    My 2 cents is the hybrid bike you are looking at would probably work fine for your needs. I don't have first hand experience but the Kenda Happy Medium tires should last you a long time for a one mile commute.

    However know this, you are on a mountain bike forum and everybody here loves their bikes as much (possibly in some cases more) than their spouses, so of course we're going to steer you in the direction of a mountain bike.

    For the riding you described, that bike will work fine. However, if you're interest in the sport increases.. if you want to start riding gravel roads, fire roads, trails, singletrack, that bike probably won't be up to the task and you might have to upgrade at that point. If you have any intrest in riding terrain more rugged than your comute to school, then consider something a little more trail friendly like what Watts suggested right off the bat so you have room to grow.

    Regardless of what some might tell you, you can commute on a non "hybrid" mountain bike and one mile is just a stones throw.

    Good luck and enjoy your new ride.
    Thanks for your help. I think a hybrid will work fine, it's just a matter of what's a better deal for my needs. There is a trail near me, so I can definitely try mountain biking if I get a mountain bike. As I just responded to watts888, I will probably want to change tires if it's a mountain bike because I will be using it on the road other than school, going other places. I appreciate your help.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    If you have the money right now ($300), I'd say the following bike would suit you well. It's one of the bikedirect's "scratch & dent" returns at their bikeisland site. I have two bikes I got off their website (gravity fsxone and a moto adventure elite), and the scratches they had on them when I got them are nothing in comparison to what I've added since. Definately worth the money. If it was a 21", I wouldn't tell you about it because I'd have already bought it. As far as the bike not coming with the headset installed, easy fix to do yourself if you're willing (all you need is a 2x4 and a rubber mallet), otherwise it would only cost about $20 at an LBS to do it.

    BikeIsland.com - Bicycle Parts, Accessories and Clothing at Affordable Prices with Free Shipping
    From going to my LBS I think 19" is too small. Thanks anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    I would agree a purpose designed mountain bike is the best choice if you can get one. However, once I swapped out the tires to 1.9" in back and 2.1" in front and put on a recon fork, the adventure elite has done a fine job on the trails. At 240lbs riding weight, I push it pretty hard on the rocks & roots. Not as hard as some would, but it has handled itself admirally. I have tried to limit it to less than 12" drops because I don't want to eat a front tire. Gusset reinforced at the headtube and seat stay and a pretty beefy weight. I don't know if BD would warranty it if something really crazy happened, but it does have the same "trail tuned design" sticker as their moto fantoms. Not a lot of faith in stickers, but they do make you go faster.
    Could I try mountain biking with a hybrid and then buy a mountain bike if my interest grows? Is there any risk in using a hybrid for that? Thanks.

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    Nothing wrong with a hybrid for light trail use. Just make sure it has good tire clearance. Not being able to put on a decent size rear tire really annoys me. I'd still go with a mountain bike though, just because cost difference really isn't that much more.
    Sizing a bike is a challenge because sizes can be very misleading. The 21" fantom is larger than the 23" adventure elite. If you've gone to a LBS and found a bike you like, look up the geometry on their website and compare it against the BD measurements. I'm 6'5" with a 34" inseam, and the 21" fantom is just right for me, if not a little too big.

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Nothing wrong with a hybrid for light trail use. Just make sure it has good tire clearance. Not being able to put on a decent size rear tire really annoys me. I'd still go with a mountain bike though, just because cost difference really isn't that much more.
    Sizing a bike is a challenge because sizes can be very misleading. The 21" fantom is larger than the 23" adventure elite. If you've gone to a LBS and found a bike you like, look up the geometry on their website and compare it against the BD measurements. I'm 6'5" with a 34" inseam, and the 21" fantom is just right for me, if not a little too big.
    Thanks. I'm probably going to be at least 6'5", so 21" seems good. If I did get the Motobecane Hybrid, it would probably be a 23". Good to know the sizes. I've always had a mountain bike, even if it's just a K Mart one like I have now, I still like the extra shock absorption. The $350 Moto 429 is a top choice right now. It's just a matter of finding the right tires. May just let the LBS install those and assemble the bike. How assembled do they come from BD? I know they say 90%, but is that true?

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    On my 23" adventure, the reach seemed a little long for off road trails, but was OK for road use. When I put on the new fork, I didn't cut the tube and that brought the bars back a bit, higher, and gives me a more upright position. Normally not used in mountain biking, but I have a jacked up elbow and riding upright is a lot more comfortable.

    Like I said, the 21" fantom (the 429 uses the same geometry) was larger than my 23" adventure. I think a lot of this is because the bottom bracket on the adventure is about 1.5" lower. With a 34" inseam, the toptube on my 23" bike is right there. If you have to get off the bike in a hurry, you might ruin your ability to have children. That's one of the reasons I would say a 19" might be a choice in the fantom29 series. The gravity 29point series seems to have a slightly lower standover and a 19" or 21" would probably work fine. On a 29" bike, don't underestimate the height of the top tube. The same size frame on a 26" bike will sit quite a bit lower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    On my 23" adventure, the reach seemed a little long for off road trails, but was OK for road use. When I put on the new fork, I didn't cut the tube and that brought the bars back a bit, higher, and gives me a more upright position. Normally not used in mountain biking, but I have a jacked up elbow and riding upright is a lot more comfortable.

    Like I said, the 21" fantom (the 429 uses the same geometry) was larger than my 23" adventure. I think a lot of this is because the bottom bracket on the adventure is about 1.5" lower. With a 34" inseam, the toptube on my 23" bike is right there. If you have to get off the bike in a hurry, you might ruin your ability to have children. That's one of the reasons I would say a 19" might be a choice in the fantom29 series. The gravity 29point series seems to have a slightly lower standover and a 19" or 21" would probably work fine. On a 29" bike, don't underestimate the height of the top tube. The same size frame on a 26" bike will sit quite a bit lower.
    Thank you. I have a 26" tire now and my knees are at the handlebars. The frame is just way too small. Was better last year when I was under 6' tall. The Fantom seems a little too high for my budget. If I get one of those hybrids, you think it should be a 21" frame.

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