What bicycle do I need?

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RLTrader
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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by RLTrader » August 20, 2010, 12:51 pm

You might check out Mainer's LA bike he's selling, along with a few remaining household goods.
as with everything second hand, make sure you check it out completely.
But get there fast, as he's heading back to Maine end of next week.
sounds like after checking it out, just might can get a good deal. (2.5k)


It does seem like "Mainer" is leaving and needs to sell stuff, every couple of months. :shock:

petemcc
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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by petemcc » August 20, 2010, 2:56 pm

With all the talk of which bike to buy I have to also give you some warnings from someone who has been there.

When you get your bike, remember you aren't 16 anymore and you will fell well and truly fcuked if you do too much. Also, fully expect on the second day when you get on the bike, your bum will be so, so sore. It's hard, but get over it and ride away, if not you'll leave it a week for your bum to heal and never get on the bike again.

fdimike
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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by fdimike » August 20, 2010, 9:29 pm

Joe

All good recommendations from what I see. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination but have learned quite a bit about biking along the way. I have been riding now for abnout 5 years and have owned 3 bikes with my latest a Merida. I've toured through 5 different countries in the region and have logged thousands of kms. When choosing a bike you have two basic choices - road bike and mountain bike. Mountain bikes are typically more versatile can be ridden on all sorts of terrain and can be outfitted with all kinds of accessories to include panniers to carry your groceries. I ride with the Udon Riders Club and we ride a mix of mountain and road bikes. I prefer mountain bikes because I also do a lot of touring and this kind of bike is sturdier to carry additional weight.

When choosing a bike size (fit) is the most important factor. I am 5'10" and ride a 20" Merida. This 20" measurement is taken from the center of the crank to the top of the seat post opening. There is normally a sticker on this tube indicating the length of the tube. All other dimensions are the based off that central figure. A shorter down tube will alter the distance to the handlbars and the distance to the pedal cranks which could make for an uncomfortable ride.

Here is a good website to help you chose a bike: http://www.mountain-bike-world.com/buy- ... -bike.html

Here are my recommendations:

1. Mountain bike/road bike: recommend an alloy frame mountain bike. Alloy frames are lighter making pedaling easier. remember you are the motor.

2. Suspension: Front suspension is usually adequate for most riding. Try to get a front "air fork" as it will be lighter than a steel spring loaded fork.

3. "V" brake vs disc: Disc brakes are becoming more popular, less expensive and lighter in weight and will provide better stopping distances.

4. Size: Sit on the bike and ride it if possible to see how you like the feel of it. Your back should be at about a 45 deg angle leaning forward and your leg should be nearly straight when on the down stroke.

5. Safety: Buy and use a helmet all the time. I have been hit twice now and my helmet defitely sve the day for me.

6. Riding clothing: designed for comfort and visibility. Riding shorts come equipped with a large cushioned pad toi help absorb road shocks.

7. Cost: Expect to pay around 12-15,000B for a decent bike here in Udon.

8. Where to buy: Parrot's recommendations are all sound. There are basically 4 decent bike shops here in Udon Thani. I like Pepsi's bike shop on Sri Chomchuan Road because he is a well respected rider and will help with fiting the bike. The owner of the bike shop at the 5 way intersection close to Robinsons speaks english and is also very helpful His name is Peter. Road bike has a large selection of bikes and is located just north of makro on a side soi next to a tire shop.

Here is a great bicycle website: www.crazyguyonabike.com

Hope all this helps. Fire away if you have additional questions.

Mike

fdimike
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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by fdimike » August 20, 2010, 9:32 pm

One more thing you should rememeber. The only way to truely get used to riding a bike is to ride ride ride. You'll quickly discover all sorts of things to make riding easier from gloves, to clothing to shoes , mirrors etc.

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SanukJoe
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Re: What bicycle do I need?

Post by SanukJoe » August 21, 2010, 10:44 am

Thanks you all for your advise and comments, even Texpat (I knew you would come up with a useful idea :D ).

Pete thanks for the butt pain warning, I remember it from ages ago and will continue riding every day.

It seems it will be a mountain bike with suspension, disc brakes and enough gears for the climbing.

Thanks to you I have enough shops in Udon to go to, I prefer the ones with good service, everybody can sell a bike,I need advise and assistance from the shop owner.

Mike, thanks for your clear technical info, I hadn't a clue about 20"/21" now I know and will try out having my toes touch the ground when still sitting on the saddle.
A few questions left:
I read about full suspension and hard tail. After clearing my mind of naughty thoughts I wondered what it is exactly and if it would be necessary for me?
Does the number of gears make climbing easier? I mean is 27 gears better for me than 21?

I learned a lot already, thanks all of you! =D> =D> =D>

Cheers
Joe

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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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Chriss
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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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SanukJoe
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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:

fdimike
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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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SanukJoe
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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

fdimike
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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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SanukJoe
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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

fdimike
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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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