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What do YOU ride?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:30 pm
by Ferguson Foont
I ride a Cannondale right now, a very nice looking hybrid, an "Adventure 700," with 27" (kind of) narrow tires but an upright seating position. It's black with nice bar ends and pumps and water bottles and a frame pump hanging off it all over. I have old (REALLY old!) Look pedals from the dim dawn of the clipless pedal age in the early '80s. I also have this wonderful Ti-Tec titanium handlebar on it -- you would be amazed how much the feeling of a bike changes when you swap out a heavy steel handlebar for a titanium or (like my wife has, an Easton) carbon fiber handlebar!

It has these old Avocet tires that are practically slicks, but I have had those for many years now and have yet to suffer a flat with them. I don't think they've made them for years. They have an odd tread pattern, sort of like a single, continuous sine wave. Although they're clinchers I can (and do) pump them up over 120 psi without any problems.

Cannondales have their drawbacks, particularly their aluminum frames that lets your butt feel every little grain of asphalt. It has Weinmann wheels that stay true despite massive abuse. I still, believe it or not, have a steel crank on it (21-speeds with the triple front and 7-cog cassette).

Now, I'm really a Fuji guy in exile. I rode Fujis for most of my biking life, starting with a late-'70s S-10S, the first bike sold in stores with a 12-speed freewheel. That bike was the best bargain I ever got, $225 for a bike that I wouldn't have sold for $1,200, it was that sweet! Later on I had a Fuji Opus III, a bike that, when I would take it into the shop, the cognoscenti would ooh and ahh over it (but I liked my S10-S better). And then, during the mountain bike craze (what WERE we city folk thinking?) I got an '86 Fuji Suncrest that was nearly as sweet as my S-10S until I broke the frame tromping it on the C&O Canal Towpath in the heavily rutted wild areas above Seneca.

I just went into the shop where I bought the S10-S and Opus III yesterday. They still sell Fujis but they had this Orbea that made me suffer a few pangs of unrequited bike lust. At $4,500, though, I can endure a VERY great lack of requition!

Now if the weather would just warm up a bit, maybe I could do as Gene Autrey once urged, get back in the saddle again.

Re: What do YOU ride?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:46 pm
by Carol Johnson Duharat
I'ts been years since I rode a bicycle. What's good for a middle-aged beginner like me who has rusty skills?
I can use the exercise, but not if it means investing in hundreds of dollars.

Have you noticed that many cities are starting to build more bicycle paths? It's not just the exercise benefits, although that's a great deal right there. It's that upscale people like to ride, and that the price of gas creeps steadily upward-shoots up, goes down again, but to a higher plateau like before. It's congested traffic, and that if more people could ride to work, perhaps the roads can be less congested. It's that a bike-friendly city is also a pedestrian-friendly city as well, and is also a green-friendly place too.

Re: What do YOU ride?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:45 pm
by Ferguson Foont
I would suggest what has come to be known as a "hybrid," combining features of a road bike and a "mountain bike" to provide a smooth, stable ride and easy-pedaling, fairly low-range gearing.

I myself ride one of these now, a Cannondale "Adventure 700," combining upright handlebars with the 700c wheels of a road bike, and 24 gears (although my gear range is a bit taller than some, the lowest ones are too low for me ever to use).

Gear shifting has become MUCH easier in recent years, as the levers work a lot like the shift paddles on some modern dual-clutch automobile transmissions. You no longer need to develop any skills. And higher-end Shimano derailleurs and their matching shift levers shift as smooth as silk, even under extraordinary load.

There are two types of hybrid, one with 26" fatter tires and drop handlebars and the other with a more upright seating position and larger diameter road bike wheels. I suggest the latter but that's just my taste, but my wife's are the opposite and she rides the other.

But go ride them at a shop and see what you like. Trek makes a good bike. My favorite brand of moderately priced bicycle, though, has always been Fuji.

But you can no longer avoid spending "several hundred dollars" on a bicycle if you want anything decently rideable. Trust me: You don't want a department store bike. They are clunky, awkward, unreliable and difficult to ride. If you buy one you will probably come to regret it. You've got to spend at LEAST half a grand now.

Re: What do YOU ride?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:35 am
by Carol Johnson Duharat
I know that a good bike is going to cost more than a couple of hundred dollars (unless it's used), but I didn't want to spend several thousands-modest budget I have. But $500 sounds about right for something good and new. I'll take your suggestion about a hybrid-I didn't know there were such things-I thought the choice was between a racing bike and mountain bike, and I don't need either one.

Re: What do YOU ride?

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 12:49 pm
by Ferguson Foont
Look at Cannondale (you might have to go into the $700 range for that, even in the low end), Trek and Giant. Trek might be the best of those three for what you want.