What bicycle do I need?

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arjay
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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by arjay » August 21, 2010, 11:01 am

SJ, You won't need 27 gears. I would suggest they are only necessary for a competitive racer. The gear (ratios) are so close together you would find that you wouldn't need them. You would almost find you are just changing through the 3 front cogs and ignoring the 7 or 8 at the back!! ;)

Five gears would probably be enough, but once you get into that sort of bike you won't be able to find anything with less than 21, - so stick at that. ;)



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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by Chriss » August 21, 2010, 11:16 am

Joe, full suspension has suspension in the front forks and uder the seat so front and back, Hard tail has suspension in front forks but none at the back. My bike is a hard tail and yes you do get a little bum bounce at times, I tried my wifes bike which has full suspension and to be honest I didn't notice the difference too much

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by SanukJoe » August 21, 2010, 11:59 am

The gears: if 5 are enough why then have 21-27? How many of the gears are used for climbing?

I remember my student bike back in Holland, a Raleigh bike with 3! gears. Sturmy Archer if I remember well.
The first gear was for climbing (a bit) the second for normal and the third for higher speed.

How many of the mountain bike gears resemble my old first gear? I'm only concerned about comfortable climbing and not stand on the pedals like a drugged Pantani in the Tour de France...

Full suspension: I understand now that concerning my weight and the condition of the (track) road I'd better have full suspension otherwise I will need to go to the Back Pain Hospital in BKK...

Joe

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by fdimike » August 21, 2010, 1:43 pm

The more gears the easier to ride. A 27 speed bike will make any hill no matter what grade easier to ride then one with 24 speeds. Will you use them all? Let me put it this way. At times I wished for more! Will you use them all the time? Probably not. The first bike I bought was a Mongoose with 24 speeds. I had not been on a bike since childhood. I quickly learned that the more gears the better. 27 speed bikes are not just for competition. They are for everyday use. Additionally, you will quickly realize that it will be extremely difficult to find a QUALITY bike with just five speeds.

Incidently another good way to measure the frame size is to stand with both feet on the ground as close to the seat as possible. The horizontal bar which runs from the handlebars to the seat should run just under your crotch without pressing into it. I would suspect a good frame size for the average male farang would be between 18.5-20 inches. If the horizontal bar is too low then you wil try to compensate by raising the seat. However, raising the seat will not adjust the distance to the handlebars and you will quickly become uncomfortable. You should be able to ride comfortably without any backache if the frame is the correct size. Another dimension you should look for is the length of the crank arms (center of the crank to the pedals). A good length to look for would be 175mm for the average male farang.
Joe it's not really necessary to go to a full suspension bike as you will become acclimated to bike as long as you ride it. More important than the rear suspension is the choice of a good seat. I have been using Brooks seats now for about 3 years and think they are the best. They are all leather (other than the frame) and will last you a lifetime provided you take care of it. Once broken in you will not find a more comfortable bicycle seat. They are a bit heavier than other seats but since you are not competing the weight should have no bearing.

Good luck

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by laphanphon » August 21, 2010, 2:53 pm

you all may consider Mainer's bike sold, i just bought it, unseen, though saw it before and was impressed with it, he just replaced something so holding to the 5k in the ad. guess that's about 1/2 price of new. though on 'lay away' since he still needs for transport a bit longer till he departs.

sorry, but that would of been good for anyone cruising around udon as he does. also recommend LA bikes, though name bias, good one should be around 10 k, if around town, you will need them semi nubby tires, as racing tire will constantly have flats. since riding a bike in the past, you wouldn't believe the sh*t on the streets that you don't see from the car or motorbike. used to do about 50 kms a day, when i did, from ban tad to town, cruise around and return, 20 kms out of town, them nubbies really slow you down on open road, but won't be open road or speed demon anymore. :lol: :lol: :lol:

if buying a specialized bike, do a little research and you will see one company makes about 10 different brand bikes, either giant being one of their brands, or the manufacturer, i forget, but researched it before. i should of brought that schwinn from the states with me, perfect crossover. oh well. :roll:

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by fdimike » August 21, 2010, 5:03 pm

Let me add a couple of more words to what I've already said. This is regarding what Laphanphon just said about flat tires.
He is absolutely correct about all kinds of glass, sharp plastic, nails, screws, thorns (they will penetrate a bike tire) etc etc etc along the roadways here in Thailand. I have had numerous flat tires in the past and I ride on knobby tires like he described. I added a bottle of Joe's No Flat sealant in March to both tires and haven't had a flat tire since. I ride daily around town, make long distance runs of about 100+kms on Sunday with the Udon Riders and have made one very long distance ride (1100kms) to the Surin area via Nong Bua Lamphu. It's a breeze to add the sealant to tires equipped with Shrader valves (typical bicycle tire tube) but much more difficult trying to install it in a tube equipped with the narrow Presta valve because you cannot remove the valve core in a Presta valve. All you have to do with a Shrader valve is to remove the valve core and shake the bottle of sealant very well (at least 30 seconds) to make sure the ingredients are mixed well. Position the tire valve at either 8 or 4 o'clock and squeeze the whole bottle into the tire. Replace the valve and inflate the tire and you are good to go. The sealant should last about 6 months to a year depending on the type of riding, temperatures etc. At 65 years old the last thing I want to do on a bike trip is fix a flat tire or look for a shop to fix it for me.

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by SanukJoe » August 22, 2010, 12:17 pm

Mike, you are a real expert on this, thanks!

I read with interest the website you posted about buying a mountain bike, very interesting stuff and well written.

I missed the part about the gears, it only mentioned Shimano being the best derailleur, nothing about how many gears are advisable in what situation. So I believe you and will look for a large number of gears as comfort is the main concern for me. I will not drive 100 km nor will I cross Udon. But I will ride every day (rain or not) for sure the track road from my village to the main village (5 km and back - hills up hills down - sandy muddy track with many holes) and yes there will be some garbage on the road too. If I want a more comfortable ride I will go the other way from my village as to the next village it's only 4 km level, but the same track. I could from there (only if I'm in a very good condition) continue to ride (same track quality) to the Amphur Chaiwan which is about 15 km. From Chaiwan I could take the road (yes road, but with holes too) back to the foot of the hills (20 km) and then the last usual 3.5 km track to my village... then I will sleep for 3 days :D

Nails, sharp plastic etc. I had them in my motorbike tyres and even in my Michelin XCD car tyres. In my life before Thailand I had twice a flat tyre with a car, since the last 4 years I have had already 4 flat tyres with my car... TIT keep on smiling, can't change it. So strong tyres and this Joe's no flat tyres are a necessity.

Reading the website you mentioned I read about wheels: 26" - 29" and even 69 which is a combination of 26" in the back and 29" in front. Can you give your opinion about it? They say 26" is lighter but more bumpy, 29" is heavier but better/more comfortable as the larger wheels go much easier over obstacles.

LA good luck with your "Mainer" bike, I saw the ad but as my riding conditions are quite special I prefer to get a new bike with all the good advice and adjustments I can get in a good bike shop.

Cheers
Joe

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by fdimike » August 22, 2010, 1:49 pm

Joe
I'm not familiar with the 26/29" wheel setup. I ride on 26" wheels and find them just fine. I'm not sure of your height/weight/age so It's kind of hard to say one way or the other just what is best for you. However, from what you say in your post it appears to me that a 26" wheel front & back should suit you just fine. I ride with a hard tail bike which has suspension only up front and find it just fine for me. I'm 5'10", 85kgs and 65 years old. I would be more concerned about getting a good seat rather than worrying about rear suspension. I can ride all day on the Brooks leather seat taking breaks about every 25kms. You not only have to break in the seat but also your butt. Using proper riding shorts with a pad inside will help in that department. The important thing is to ride. You are going to be sore after your first ride. The best way to beat the soreness is to get on the bike the next day and ride again. Keep doing that and it won't be long before you will be able ride all day long.

Mike

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by SanukJoe » August 22, 2010, 2:02 pm

Thanks Mike.
To give more info: I'm 6'1", 115 kg and 61 years old. Perhaps you can adjust your advise or stick to the one you gave me.
I agree with you about the seat, the better quality the more comfort.

Thanks again

Joe

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by fdimike » August 22, 2010, 8:38 pm

Joe

I would look for a 20" frame. Straddle the bike with your feet flat on the ground with your butt against the seat. The horizontal bar should run just under your crotch without pressing into it. Don't accept what the salesguy tells you about the 18" being just as good as the 20". He may not have a 20" in stock and will try to sell you the 18" instead. It's easy for them to order a 20" frame. I woulsd stick with a name brand bike if I were you (Merida, Trek, Giant, Mongoose etc). Take a look at the manufacturers websites to get a better idea as to just what kind of bikes they build. Here is the Merida website: http://www.merida-bikes.com/en_int Bicycle manufacturing is now high tech and compete well with the handbuilt bikes which are obviously much more expensive. There are essentially 3 types of material used in building a bike these days: aluminum alloy, steel alloy, carbon fiber. The aluminum & steel alloy are further broken down into different classes based on the amount and type of alloy. ie: The Merida I'm riding is a hydroformed, 6066 aluminum alloy frame. It is lighter and stronger than the more typical aluminum alloy frames. Look at the welds. A well made bike will have smoothe welds where the tubes are joined. A less expensive bike may have rougher looking welds or wedge shaped stiffners or short connecting tubes which the other tube is slipped inside of before welding. Is one better than the other? I guess it all depends on what you are looking for. Is a Toyota better made than a Kia? A Jag better than a Chevrolet?
Expect to pay around $100 on Ebay for a Brooks saddle (seat) but once broken in you will find it an excellent investment .

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by SanukJoe » September 28, 2010, 10:17 am

To end up this thread from my side I submit a photo of the mountain bike I bought.

Mike was so kind to come over to the shop (5 road intersection, not LA shop) and took care that everything was ok.

Specs: Merida Matts 40, 20" heat treated 6061 alu alloy frame, 24 gear, front air suspension, disc brakes, Shimano gears, adjustable handle bar...
Extras: mud guards, stand, lights, computer, pump for tyres, pump for air suspension, Joe's no flat, bottle, helmet, chain lube...

All made to fit my requirements, took one week, total price 19,500 ฿.

Been up and down the hills for 2 weeks now, total distance 120 km, ass pain bearable, condition better, feeling very good :lol: Lot of attention from the local village cuties... 8)

Thanks again everyone for advice, special thanks to Mike.

Joe
my bike 1 (Large).JPG

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by fdimike » September 28, 2010, 1:05 pm

Joe,

I'm happy to hear that all is ok. I suspect that your gears will need some adjustment again in the coming weeks/months. Just bring it into the shop and they will handle the adjustment for you. Don't forget to clean the chain and gears often to extend the life of these components. Rule of thumb is you cannot clean these parts too much. Good luck with the bike.
I would be happy to lend assistance to anyone else out there who may be interested in taking up this sport. Just drop me a PM.

Additionally, I would like to invite any bike (bicycle) riders out there to join us for our weekly ride on Sunday. We (Thai & Farang young & old alike) meet at at Nong Prajak Park (bridge) 7AM every Sunday. We are out for the enjoyment of riding and don't try to break any speed records. Please join us.

Mike

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by RLTrader » September 28, 2010, 4:02 pm

laphanphon wrote:you all may consider Mainer's bike sold, i just bought it, unseen, :lol:

So, LA how did this work out for you?

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by parrot » September 28, 2010, 8:44 pm

sanukjoe,
Bring along your camera whenever you're out for a ride...especially in the countryside. You'll have plenty of kodak moments!

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by laphanphon » September 29, 2010, 3:11 am

So, LA how did this work out for you?
rather nice, consider it a very good value. top speed could be better, but hard to break any speed records in udon, and i'll get a lot more use out of it when, hopefully, when cool season sets in. hopefully moving back to rice paddy land, so it will come in real handy. it's a decent work out just to the the ATM, every other day, if the weather cooperates, though i may get lung cancer if i keep it up. live off the SN rd pass big c to UD town for AEON atm. nothing but dust and exhaust, yummy. good 20 min ride, sweat a lot more than the bike in house that doesn't go anywhere............ 8)

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by nkstan » September 29, 2010, 6:38 am

laphanphon wrote:
So, LA how did this work out for you?
rather nice, consider it a very good value. top speed could be better, but hard to break any speed records in udon, and i'll get a lot more use out of it when, hopefully, when cool season sets in. hopefully moving back to rice paddy land, so it will come in real handy. it's a decent work out just to the the ATM, every other day, if the weather cooperates, though i may get lung cancer if i keep it up. live off the SN rd pass big c to UD town for AEON atm. nothing but dust and exhaust, yummy. good 20 min ride, sweat a lot more than the bike in house that doesn't go anywhere............ 8)
:lol: Hey LA,move to NK,all that stuff will disappear,although it may be a little to far away from Gem! :cry:

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by nkstan » September 29, 2010, 6:53 am

SanukJoe wrote:To end up this thread from my side I submit a photo of the mountain bike I bought.

Mike was so kind to come over to the shop (5 road intersection, not LA shop) and took care that everything was ok.

Specs: Merida Matts 40, 20" heat treated 6061 alu alloy frame, 24 gear, front air suspension, disc brakes, Shimano gears, adjustable handle bar...
Extras: mud guards, stand, lights, computer, pump for tyres, pump for air suspension, Joe's no flat, bottle, helmet, chain lube...

All made to fit my requirements, took one week, total price 19,500 ฿.

Been up and down the hills for 2 weeks now, total distance 120 km, ass pain bearable, condition better, feeling very good :lol: Lot of attention from the local village cuties... 8)

Thanks again everyone for advice, special thanks to Mike.

Joe
my bike 1 (Large).JPG
:D Nice looking rig Joe!Good move get an experienced bicycler to help out and definitely kudos to mike for his willingness to help!Enjoy and happy cycling!
My buttocks are lossing their firmess and beginning to get irritated faster!It is hard to stay in the saddle to long these days,but I enjoy several minnie rides a day around town.It has definitely helped me to slowdown and ''smell the roses''!Get to see so much more that when driving! :lol:

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by cali4995 » September 29, 2010, 8:22 am

19,500 baht? i hope you're getting plates and insurance with that :-k i'm also concerned about
buttock firmness so this informational thread has been very helpful in that regard. :lol:

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by laphanphon » September 29, 2010, 11:35 am

think we just bought a piece of land out of udon, so more riding, maybe daily, at least to the lake for sunrise or set, or small market run................ =D> =D> hopefully no more suicidal cancer breathing.

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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by SanukJoe » September 29, 2010, 11:56 am

cali4995 wrote:19,500 baht? i hope you're getting plates and insurance with that :-k i'm also concerned about
buttock firmness so this informational thread has been very helpful in that regard. :lol:
The original bike as shown in the shop was offered to me for 12,500฿ (in 20" version). But it had v-brakes and no air suspension and as I wanted disc brakes and air susp. it made it more expensive.
Then the accessories, helmet 1,000฿, stand + chain lube 500฿, light + computer 1,000฿, pumps + mud guards 1,000฿...

I consider it a good price, went also to the shop near Goodyear/Makro, they offered me the same model but no air susp. for 27,000฿!!!

Parrot, I surely will take my camera with me, also and/or mostly to take some pics of cuties on the way (sorry, off topic again :lol: ).

Joe

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