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  1. #1

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    Advice on bikes please

    Hi All,

    I am into bikes for commuting last 1 year and really have bad experience as made bad choices being miser and being bit careless, was really worried about my bike being stolen.
    So had old bikes, and recently huffy and now i am looking to spend a bit more, a bit more wiser, yes not yet as wiser as you guys hopping on Airplane speed on pedals .. Not Yet.

    Please could you advice me for my needs, extensive use of average 20 km per day(office, grocery etc etc within city and on week end biking the steep roads of mountains. Well that's all not more but can i get combination of effortless biking, price and durability please.

    My initial search on net gave me these results Specialized, Trek 3900, Cannondale, GT, Kona, Jamis, Scott, k2, Ironhorse, Intense, Santacruz, Rockymountain,GaryFisher, Avanti, Giant, Raleigh etc looking for something in the range of not more than 600 dollars. More search only to find the secret of value of money vs durability vs comfort. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    KHS Urban X.. Definitely within yr budget with fenders,kick stand and rack ready. Well prepare for wet days.

    Plus huge variety of gears to tackle upslope and Ergo grip to make u more comfortable for yr 20km journey.

    The left over cash of yr $600 dollars, u can get a tough U-lock and alarm to secure yr bic.

  3. #3

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    Advice on bikes please

    Thank you Shimano,

    I have tried to find this bike in New Zealand, only got one link unfortunately.
    http://www.whatsonsale.co.nz/product/1908.aspx
    The price tag is 800 dollars, am i seeing wrong link please. Can you please confirm to me.
    Unfortunately i was speaking of around 600 New Zealand Dollars, sorry i should have mentioned it.

    Thank you very much.

    Regards
    -- Anand

  4. #4
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I'd start looking used. How tall are you? A cyclocross or a vintage mountain bike would be great for commuting.

  5. #5

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    Thank you umarth,

    Please any suggestion on the bike models/brand i should consider/avoid.
    I would be really happy to know more.

    Thanks

  6. #6

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    Bike Advise

    Oops .. i am 169 cm tall

  7. #7
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I don't know what is readily available in New Zealand. 20 year old bikes tend to make great commuters and can be found for about half of what you are looking to spend, leaving a lot of room for upgrades. I'm about six foot and I ride (sometimes) a specialized rockhopper, and the bike is great. At your height you'll have a greater range of bikes to choose from.

    If you are buying used, it is important to look at some basic things- check for rust: pull out a seatpost and check the inside of the tubing. Make sure both wheels are true at the start and generally wiggle and play with every part of the bike to see if anything is loose. Old bikes have fairly solid shifting with friction shifters, which should be perfect for the commute.

    When you see something used, just repost here and see if someone has input, or you could check out product reviews. I'd lean towards an older mountain bike because of versatility.

  8. #8

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    Advice on bike

    Hi umarth,

    Are you serious, i know you are kidding. 20 year bikes better ?? This will change the whole thing the way i am searching. But i generally agree our ancient fans installed 40 years back still rock and all latest fan have all kinds of issues in 3-4 years.

    If you are serious, then i am not sure if trademe.co.nz too will work for me?? do not know where to look as well.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I always use craigslist stateside, but it didn't look like craigslist was particularly active in New Zealand.

    I have an '89 Specialized Rockhopper that I've used for tons of things over the year, including rough trail rides. It is a great bike and right now, is a 1x4 commuter. Something like that would last you years and replacing worn parts is fairly inexpensive.

    Good luck...

  10. #10
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by protocoder

    Are you serious, i know you are kidding. 20 year bikes better ??
    Better bike: my opinion is that in some ways they ARE better than new bikes. Better value (more bike for Dollar): absolutely!

    Protocoder, you`re asking for very specific information that most of us can`t give you because we don`t know what`s available to you. Even in the US and Canada, where most of us are, it would be really tough to make up a list of what models to look for and what models to avoid because there are hundreds of models floating around out there. Besides that, as years go by, a lot of bikes have been modified by other owners and may not be anything like they were originally.

    My best advise for finding a good bike on a limited budget is also to look at used ones, but I don`t know the best ways to find them in NZ. You`ll have to ask around locally to find that out unless somebody more familiar answers here. For any bike you buy, the most important thing is to be sure it fits you well. After that, it all depends on the conditions you want to use it for, the condition of the bike, your level of bike repair and modification expertise, availablity of parts, etc. For 20 KM per day, a mountainbike makes most sense to me, but it certainly isn`t the only option. If you still want more specific recomendations, you need to be more specific about the use you have in mind. Kind of loads you plan to carry? Road conditions? Weather? Kinds of bikes you prefer or are familiar with?
    Recalculating....

  11. #11

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    Advice on New Bike.

    Thank you Rodar y rodar and umarth,

    I know it is pain, as this is very open ended question. I get my answers, so i am thankful.

    Most brands specialized, GT, Kona, Giant are very popular here all go much above new zealand 1000 dollars, even used once are in the range of 600 to 1000 dollars, crazy. I had bad experience of used bikes.
    So i was pursuing Trek 3900, which is also around 900 dollars -- So ruled out.
    Then remaining are Nevarra Buzz v Bike which most retailers here are not stocking, my enquiries are continuing. The only one in range available is Avanti Blade series. I need help here, can you please go through the specs and let me know if you would buy this, if so what changes you would make for my needs. I would be really thankful.
    Here is the link http://www.avantibikes.com/fitness/b...e.aspx?bid=267
    I could save bit more money, if you think some earlier versions of blade will do for my purpose. I would really depend on your feedback, to buy this or any other.

    Many Many Thanks.

    Regards

  12. #12
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I think the Blade would treat you well.

  13. #13

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    Final advice.

    Hello Every one.

    Thank you every one for all the patience with me.
    I am certain about Avanti Blade(basic model). As i was discussing this with other retailers
    they have suggested to make a decision after considering the Gain'ts Rincon which is in the price range of Avanti, in fact cheaper. Please if it is you who are buying and your criteria is hassle free (no maintainance cost), comfortable in driving, simple ok but strudy, solid bike in the following.

    I have made these choices, feel free to advice any one suggest any one other than this. I will take your advice seriously.
    MALVERSTAR (Boulevard, Bayside), Avanti Blade (basic), Giant Rincon
    1. http://www.malvernstar.com.au/range/bike-2291.aspx
    2. http://www.malvernstar.com.au/range/bike-2290.aspx
    3. http://www.avantibikes.com/fitness/blade.aspx?bid=261
    4. http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-US...in/2280/32123/


    Interms of frame, maintainance, durability and comfort. I would buy after your input.

    Thank you Much Appreciated.

  14. #14
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I don't ride suspension forks on trails, so I'm especially against them on a commuter. A steel bike will be heavier and prone to rust, but an aluminum bike will feel harsher. I am not familiar with the shifting components on the bikes linked, but I browsed Giant's site and I think you'd be better off with a TranSend.

    I'm really sorry that we can't do a better connection about bikes. A old, steel mountain bike would cost a quarter of the cheapest TranSend, then money spend on getting it to be a good commuter wouldn't be much more than 200 tops and I think it would be better.

    The TranSend is probably pretty ok, The Blade with the internal geared hub would be good too.

  15. #15
    weirdo
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    Protocoder, I hate to steer you wrong and to be honest, I don`t recognise most of the component models on those bikes. Like Umarth, I generally prefer to go without suspension unless I`m riding the rough stuff. I also prefer steel, but I`m not so fanatical about that one.
    Is the belt drive Avanti within your budget? That one looked pretty nice to me, offhand. The Blade might be nice too, but I notice that it has a 7-speed, which probably means it has a narrow bearing base on the hubs- it doesn`t say for sure. The Rincon has some nice components, but if you plan on mostly street riding you`ll be paying a lot for things you don`t need. And I think the tansend tops the others, but I don`t know if that falls into your budget or if Umarth just pulled it up. I wish I could be of more help. The only solid advice I can give you is to ask around locally. Does anybody you work with or go to school with ride avidly? Have any aquaintences who are knowledgeable about bikes and NOT trying ot sell one? If not, maybe you`d find better and more local advice on one of the British oriented forums. I don`t mean to run you off- you`re plenty welcome here, but you need to find local help for this purchase.
    Recalculating....

  16. #16
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    Protocoder - honestly if there's something I've learned about buying bikes, it's that if you don't have the money to do something right, don't do it.

    If you can't afford a good fork, go rigid. If you can't afford a good drivetrain, go singlespeed.

    With that said, this is a good time of year to buy. See if you can find some 09 stock that the retailers want to get rid of. You should be able to pick up a decent rigid mountain bike for $600.

  17. #17

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    Bike Comparisons

    Hello Umarth and rodar y rodar,

    Firstly i cannot be more thanks to you. Infact i am liking your answers. My childhood bike, with just basic gear, mud gaurd and carriage was zero maintaninance except for punctures and occasional chain going off and it takes just a while to fix. I particularly asked and persisted on this ( I admit, annoying) was to learn various material being used to spike up the price. I cannot thank you all any more, it really helped me because when i am driving my bike which ever i buy, i don't feel as bad and regret about other choices i might have missed.

    I am attaching the zip xls file with all features, so you could see all 4 models comparision in one .xls.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  18. #18

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    Hi rodar y rodar, Sorry i forgot to answer you. Looking at Avanti Blade ( very basic model only). No other blade is within my current range. I am yet to ask retailers here about Rincon as umarth as suggested. I have asked my colleagues and got a recommendation of the local bike agent who is close by to work. I will keep you informed about what i have brought surely.
    Thanks a Ton.

  19. #19

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    Hi Jasevr4, Thank you for reply. You are right about slaes and this week end, i am going to explore it. I will keep in mind you words of wisdom .. Either good fork or rigid. either good divertrain or single speed.. simple and durable. Thank you.

  20. #20
    weirdo
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    The reason I suggested so strongly that you find somebody locally to help is partly because of the bike models, but also because its helpful to see, feel, and ride the stuff. The bike makes and models are strange to us in North America because we just plain don`t have them here, or they`re under different names. The components are probably the same, but economy parts don`t get the press and most of us are fairly dedicated bicyclists with more or less nice stuff, so not too familiar with the economy bits. I`ve worked on bikes with lower end parts- soome is complete garbage and some is actually pretty solid, but I couldn`t begin to tell you the model names/numbers. If somebody you trust who has some experience dealing with bikes can check them out, tell you "these brakes just bend too much and won`t stop you" or "this drivetrain really works great", you`d be a lot farther along the road to getting a serviceable and durable ride.

    I still urge you to look strongly at older bikes. Shimano Deore and even Alivio gets knocked sometimes on the forums, but it really is good stuff at a great price. If you can find a five year old mountain bike with Alivio and parts, you`ll be golden. Or a ten year old mtb with Exage, or a twenty year old "ten speed" with good old Suntour Cyclone. With an older bike, you can expect to change the cables and housings, brake pads, and tires, but you`ll end up with a great bike. Now I regret having knocked the freewheel hubs- that was the bike snob in me comming out. They did a good job for a generation and they can still do a good job as long as you aren`t pushing 100 Kgs or trying to ride the nastiest trails around or lug around a bunch of camping gear on your rack.

    Also, As Jsevr pointed out, don`t be tempted by extras that aren`t of good quality. He makes an excellent point. A good shifter and derailer system is wonderful to have, but you`re much better off with a quality single speed than a crap geared system that won`t stay adjusted and adds weight and costs extra. The same goes for suspension. For all things bike, solid is better than fancy and if it doesn`t fit you it won`t be a good buy. And don`t forget to take a close look at the wheels.
    Recalculating....

  21. #21

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    My First day of GT Transend 4.0

    Hi

    rodar y rodar, jasevr4, umarth, shimano4 and every one here
    Today is my first day of my GT Transend 4.0.

    Experience is realy mixed.

    1. The Left 3 gear is in bad shape, In this gear and on any of the 8 speeds, there is a push with squeaky sound when left foot is pushing down.

    2. I did some rounds of ups and down and on shift 1 of both left and right shifts and in one of the rounds, the chain came off.
    I don't like the gear 3. Is it that we should use this shift 3 only downhill and not on flat road. Is that a simple problem to take back to get fixed.

    Apart from that, it's lighter and good.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Advice on bikes please-gttran1.jpg  

    Advice on bikes please-gttran2.jpg  

    Advice on bikes please-gttran3.jpg  


  22. #22
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protocoder
    Hi

    rodar y rodar, jasevr4, umarth, shimano4 and every one here
    Today is my first day of my GT Transend 4.0.

    Experience is realy mixed.

    1. The Left 3 gear is in bad shape, In this gear and on any of the 8 speeds, there is a push with squeaky sound when left foot is pushing down.

    2. I did some rounds of ups and down and on shift 1 of both left and right shifts and in one of the rounds, the chain came off.
    I don't like the gear 3. Is it that we should use this shift 3 only downhill and not on flat road. Is that a simple problem to take back to get fixed.

    Apart from that, it's lighter and good.
    Nice bike protocoder, I love GT's "triple triangle" frames!

    1. Are you referring to the small chainring on the crank? It's a brand new bike right? There shouldn't be anything wrong with the chain ring itself. As far as the noise you hear when you push down on the left pedal, try tightening the crank arm on that side. You will need either an 8mm or 10mm hex wrench depending on the size of the crank arm bolts.

    2. All you need to do is adjust the derailleurs so that they shift properly and do not over shoot off the chainrings and sprockets. This can be tricky and take some time to do properly. There are a lot of tutorials on how to do this online, but if you can't figure it out just take it back to your LBS/dealer and have them do it for you (they should have done this for you in the first place and they can also tighten your crank arm if you do not have the proper sized hex wrench). There is nothing more frustrating than gears that do not shift properly when you need them to.

    3. Not sure I understand your question, are you referring to how the gears are used? The larger the chainrings up front, the faster you go but the harder it is to pedal. The biggest ring is generally for downhill, but you can use it on flats, too. The smallest is usually for climbing or fighting a strong head wind. In the back, it's the opposite; the smaller cogs make you go faster, the smaller cogs are slower but easier to pedal in. How you use them depends on how strong a cyclist you are.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  23. #23
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Jamis Coda. But, if you can squeeze out a bit more, upgrade to the Jamis Coda Sport. The specs are better.

    The feel of steel is real! Very comfy.

  24. #24

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    GT Transeo 4.0

    Thank you Gary,

    Yes this bike is brand new from shop. I just returned back from bike shop who adjusted some thing for me with a advice, to use the shift 3 only on down hill ..( you don't have to paddle lol). His advice was to otherwise avoid left shift 3.

    Chain coming off .. he suspected cross chain, i am sure i did not ride cross, as i have read in this and other forums about it. But he get's the benefit of doubt as i am new to gears, the last 1 year, i was using a bike as fixed, most of the time i did not even realize i was having grears to change.

    Moral of the story is to avoid these shifts [1 with ( 5,6,7,8)], [3 with (1,2,3,4)].
    I have added one more , use left shift 3 only downhill .. atleast that was the instruction to me. Now i can change to gear 3 of left but i need to press it bit more time and gear change happens after around 3-4 seconds with a sounds, as if bike is lodging a protest.
    May be i have to wait for some auto adjustments do not have any idea.
    I feel really comfortable at knees at shift 2, 5, 2,6. beyond which, i feel little stressed at knees. Not sure if this is common across all bikes and riders. Gary, i will soon watch around in youtube and enroll in part time courses offered at university to have some skills of bike maintenance. If there is something you want to correct, please would appreciate it.

    Hi dirt farmer, I think transaction is done and not sure if i can upgrade now.
    So i just ride as much as i can on this bike and over next years ready to upgrade. .

    Thanks a ton to all.

  25. #25
    weirdo
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    Glad you found yourself a bike- that one should work out for you after it gets dialed in.

    I`m not positive, but it sounds like what you`re calling "left shift 1" through "left shift 3" I think is what we normally call "the big ring", the middle ring", or the "little ring". If you do in fact mean the three chainrings on the cranks, that terminology will be easier for people to understand. There probably will be a few seconds hesitation when you shift the front. Fancy stuff or rings that are very close together in size will shift faster, but what you describe is normal.

    Do you still have that squeak after the bike shop checked it out again? It sounds to me like maybe the little bolts that hold the rings to the crankarms aren`t quite tight. Also a very good idea to buy a set of Allen wrenches if you don`t have any (not expensive and you`re going to need them sooner or later anyway) and go around the bike making sure EVERYTHING is tight. The shops get bikes in pieces and have to asemble them. They have to do a lot of bikes and sometimes they miss things.
    Recalculating....

  26. #26

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    GT Transeo 4.0

    Thank you very much rodar y rodar.

    I am sorry for the naive terminology. I will try to learn about the terminology, i am exploring an opportunity to enroll in part time university course here on bike maintainance.
    My bike after 2-3 minutes of handling from mechanic at shop seems to behaving well,

    except that i need keep pressing shifter little more time to move to big ring on the front derailleur, bike makes disapproval sound and may be after 2-3 rounds, all is well and smooth. But i do hear the squeak, at some speed, i am yet to note. I will keep a note of it.

    The only surprising thing is that i was advised by mechanic, not to use big ring in the front except for downhill, where you don't have to peddal. I learn from this forum and other forums not to use cross chain gear set.
    I understand, there are some variations of gears, we should avoid.

    I am beginning to learn and starting from this site.
    http://coachlevi.com/cycling/complet...ears-shifting/

  27. #27
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protocoder
    Thank you Gary,

    Yes this bike is brand new from shop. I just returned back from bike shop who adjusted some thing for me with a advice, to use the shift 3 only on down hill ..( you don't have to paddle lol). His advice was to otherwise avoid left shift 3.

    Chain coming off .. he suspected cross chain, i am sure i did not ride cross, as i have read in this and other forums about it. But he get's the benefit of doubt as i am new to gears, the last 1 year, i was using a bike as fixed, most of the time i did not even realize i was having grears to change.

    Moral of the story is to avoid these shifts [1 with ( 5,6,7,8)], [3 with (1,2,3,4)].
    I have added one more , use left shift 3 only downhill .. atleast that was the instruction to me. Now i can change to gear 3 of left but i need to press it bit more time and gear change happens after around 3-4 seconds with a sounds, as if bike is lodging a protest.
    May be i have to wait for some auto adjustments do not have any idea.
    I feel really comfortable at knees at shift 2, 5, 2,6. beyond which, i feel little stressed at knees. Not sure if this is common across all bikes and riders. Gary, i will soon watch around in youtube and enroll in part time courses offered at university to have some skills of bike maintenance. If there is something you want to correct, please would appreciate it.

    Hi dirt farmer, I think transaction is done and not sure if i can upgrade now.
    So i just ride as much as i can on this bike and over next years ready to upgrade. .

    Thanks a ton to all.
    You're welcome! A few other things to remember; new shift cables will stretch with time. This could be the cause of it hesitating when you shift. If it becomes a bigger problem, try adjusting the cable tension. There are tension adjusters where the cable enters the shifter and sometimes on the other end, where the cable enters the derailleur. Also, if you are trying to shift on an incline, try not to pedal too hard while shifting or you will hear those noises and even experience a delay in shifting.

    If your knees are hurting, you might be trying to pedal in too high a gear. Try shifting to a lower gear and use that until you become stronger. Don't ruin your knees! Also make sure your seat is set to the proper height. When your foot is on the pedal at the bottom of it's stroke, you leg should be almost straight, with a slight bend.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  28. #28

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    Thank you Gary,
    Sound Advice and experience. I will keep that in mind. I am learning still to get used to the gears. Over next one week, i will be hitting the hills road, there the road is pretty steep and i hope this time i would make it on bike all the way up... Yes after 6 weeks, i am asked to bring back the bike for service (free ones!!).

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