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Old 18th December 2020, 17:57   #16
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Re: What to look for when purchasing a bicycle

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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Bicycle gears are problem prone and after the initial honeymoon period, one would be wasting too much time and money adjusting and repairing the gear shifts. Also, I find geared cycles taking up more energy than some normal cycles in normal cycling conditions.
You are right on the shocks - they do absorb energy. But again, it depends - for a regular city commuter it hardly makes difference (at max he might jump between roads and pavements) and totally unnecessary. For a rural road commuter, it might be handy. But there are quite decent group-sets available nowadays which hardly needs tuning over 1000s of Kms (though I would recommend regular tuning on a monthly basis - only if it requires a tuning). Shimano Deore in my Surly Crosscheck didn't ever require any tuning after I bought it. I did on my own a couple of times for my satisfaction though.

What is important in my opinion though for a beginner cyclist:
  1. Conviction on what type of cycling one wants to do - city commute/weekend tarmac rides/weekend off-roading/serious tarmac fast rides/serious off-roading/cyclo-cross
  2. City Commute - You will need a decent upright position and straight handlebar. Go for a hybrid bike with 28-32mm tyres, straight handlebar, Groupset - Shimano Altus or above. Reason for straight handlebar - you get amazing control through nooks and corners of your city roads. Reason for Altus+ - these are very reliable and wouldn't need constant babysitting unlike the likes of a Tourney. Never go for an MTB with those thick tyres and super heavy shocks - they are a burden to you and to the city roads. It is a misnomer that only thick tyres get you the required grip. I have a Panasonic Panaracer Gravel King 700cx32 in my Surly - provides me more than enough grip even on surfaces without tarmac. Disc brakes are advised if you wish to ride when it drizzles or if you can spend that extra money. I never felt any need to go for disc brakes so far. Also ensure to make your bike weigh less than 12Kg - anything above won't very friendly to you especially when you have to carry it on your shoulder to cross an undriveable area in your city (cross a bridge, divider etc). Cannondale Quick 5 is what I have - bought in 2016 and still serves me very well.
  3. If you belong to just weekend tarmac rides category (for recreational purpose), just go for a gearless hybrid bike without front or rear suspensions and possibly with a V-brake or a caliper brake (no discs). Your needs stop there - anything more will only dig a hole in your pocket and satisfy your OCD feelings. But this will also mean that you should limit pushing your bike to extremes on climbs and ride with an easy pace.
  4. If you belong to just weekend offroad category, a decent entry level MTB would do. Again I prefer Shimano Altus the least.
  5. If you belong to those categories with serious ambitions, spend lot of time and be ready to invest good amount of money so that you won't be discouraged ever because of your machine. FriendlyOwl's post and this thread has very useful information - invest more time, ensure proper fit so that it becomes almost a part of your body. Stick to a healthy eating routine, invest in good safety helmets, night ride friendly reflector jackets for those early morning rides etc. Summary: Research well before you dive into it - you shouldn't start hating the sport all of a sudden because some aspect of your bike starts irritating you.

Most of the people who begin bicycling, begins with a wrong choice of bike.
This is what I see around in societies where I live - many of them buys these BTwin Rockrider, Giant, Firefox MTB bikes with thick tyres. Nothing else satisfies most of them - In two of the cycling groups I was part of, 60% or above belonged to this category and most of them discontinued cycling since it became so boring for them. In the long rides ranging from 30km to 60km, most of these thick tyre bikes will wear out the human beings on top of it - they wont be able to sustain with the higher pace of fellow cyclists who might be on their Cannondale CAADs, Synapse etc. (Yeah another lesson - choose your cycling group carefully ). In conclusion, your bike should carry you and not the other way around. A wrong bike choice can make you hate cycling altogether.

I have a Surly Cross-check (one of those bikes which can transform to many needs one has) - https://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check
It is a steel frame (4130 Chromoly steel). But nowadays, we do have some custom bike build start ups around in India (one such startup - https://www.scolarian.com/). You can customize to the hilt after choosing a favorite frame of yours (If you can buy from USA or Europe, do search about Surly, Co-Motion etc) with a wide variety of mix and match of components/groupsets. Anyway, this is a completely different biking philosophy altogether - deserves a dedicated discussion. Below is my Cross-check with Brooks B17 saddle.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by vinodvayyat : 18th December 2020 at 17:58. Reason: Added more information
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Old 18th December 2020, 20:21   #17
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Re: What to look for when purchasing a bicycle

This is an excellent post and as petrolHead_1609 rightfully said, this is more than fifty hours of reading compressed into a 15 mins read. Appreciate the way the data is organized. From my personal experience, its important to know this kind of information because today if we get into the market place we would see cycles from as low as 2-4k to probably close to 2lakh or more. Some of the factors for this price is driven by the components mentioned in the original post.
The thread below is a beautiful thread where you see how Hunter_3077 went on to become a Super Randonneur. You would be able to understand how and why he upgraded his cycles and details of the rides he has done.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...g-journey.html
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Old 19th December 2020, 08:15   #18
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Re: What to look for when purchasing a bicycle

As a recent convert to cycling, I would like to add my thoughts to this already extremely well documented list.

1. Frame size
It's already been mentioned and @pranavtengshe mentioned that the reach to handlebar is important. But it's also important to ensure that the bicycle frame size suits your frame size!

If the frame is too small for you, you will feel cramped sitting on the bicycle - your knees will be too close to the handlebar, your legs can't extend fully and you will feel unstable.

If the frame is too large, reaching the handlebar, getting on the bike, etc. will feel uncomfortable, like a kid trying to ride an adult bike!

2. Seat/saddle post
I see so many people riding bicycles sitting far too low. Maybe it's fear of not being able to reach the ground with their feet or something else...
Sitting too low does not allow you extend your legs and knees and this means that the force you can apply on the pedals is limited by how much you can extend your legs.

Setting the right saddle height is very simple. Simply sit on the saddle, hold the handlebar normally and place your heel on the pedal at its lowest point (6 'o clock position). In this position, your leg should be straight and knee should be extended. While cycling, the heel is not on the pedal. The front of your foot is on the pedal and this allows the ankle to also flex comfortably.

This is a good starting point to later start fine tuning the height. In some cases, even the saddle front-back position can be adjusted.

You can see that saddle height is complementary to the frame size. If you find that the saddle height is insufficient, then it might mean that the seat post is too short (longer seat posts are available) or that the frame size is too small.

It's not just about cycling efficiently, is also about avoiding long term injuries caused by unsuitable bicycles. A parallel to this is in running shoes - if the shoes don't fit you correctly, it doesn't matter what amazing features it has because the discomfort caused by the ill-fitting shoes will not allow you to run properly and you could hurt yourself.

There's plenty of information on the internet on this topic to guide and confuse you. It's best to start with the basics.

Last edited by Motard_Blr : 19th December 2020 at 08:17.
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Old 21st December 2020, 15:13   #19
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Re: What to look for when purchasing a bicycle

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Originally Posted by vinodvayyat View Post
If you belong to just weekend tarmac rides category (for recreational purpose), just go for a gearless hybrid bike....
Overall very good points. Totally agree with what you said about most beginners going in for MTB's and later regretting it. I too fell in the same category. I think this is also to do with the poor quality of advice the salespersons at these cycle stores give you.

But that said, even if one is going in for a bike just for weekend tarmac rides get a geared one. It does make a big difference. Because very few places have all flat roads. There would be climbs where a gear will come in very handy. You dont realize this riding a 2 wheeler scooter/bike only when you get onto a bicycle you notice every minor incline.
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Old 21st December 2020, 15:21   #20
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Re: What to look for when purchasing a bicycle

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Originally Posted by Fillmore View Post
But that said, even if one is going in for a bike just for weekend tarmac rides get a geared one. It does make a big difference. Because very few places have all flat roads. There would be climbs where a gear will come in very handy. You dont realize this riding a 2 wheeler scooter/bike only when you get onto a bicycle you notice every minor incline.
If one is ready to buy a geared cycle for occasional/weekend fun rides, go for a decent groupset and money should be focused towards that and not for a MTB-ness of it without any necessity - I'm in agreement with you.
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Old 27th December 2020, 19:43   #21
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Re: What to look for when purchasing a bicycle

For a lot of folks Decathlon is the first and last stop for anything sports related. For anyone who is a bit more interested in cycling than the average, I'd recommend looking at other options out there. Btwins or Rockriders are not the only good bikes. I find the Taiwanese brands such as KHS, Merida and Giant really good and more value for money. Then there are American brands but they are usually priced higher. And then there are Italian ones

And bicycles with automobile manufacturer logos - I never understood what is their intention of producing bicycles.
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Old 28th December 2020, 10:21   #22
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About groupsets. There is a part 2 too.

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Old 30th December 2020, 15:21   #23
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Re: What to look for when purchasing a bicycle

Thanks a lot, everyone for the warm response to the post and apologies for the delay in replying.

Most of the research I did was mainly for myself so that I can make an educated decision on which cycle to purchase. By writing this blog I now pretty much know what to buy.

It is great to see cycling veterans pitch with their advice, my post was mainly targeted at educating people who have just started cycling or want to start cycling.

Also, I had missed out on one 1 Shimano road cycling groupset as @Sanjunair5 pointed out. Corrected image of the same I have attached below.

What to look for when purchasing a bicycle-shimano-road-bikes_2.jpg

I deliberately skipped Camapagnalo, as they are too high-end and are unlikely to be found in bicycles costing less than Rs. 5,00,000.

Quote:
Buy the best frame that you can afford.
This advice is pretty much true for people buying the most expensive cycles. The people who are in the middle and are trying to spend a maximum of Rs 1,25,000 for road cycles and Rs 80,000 for Hybrid/MTB cycles at best, then they have to find a compromise solution more favouring components then frame, because all frames are pretty much identical below this price point.
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Old 30th December 2020, 15:26   #24
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Re: What to look for when purchasing a bicycle

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Originally Posted by Ragavsr View Post
How are the geared cycles from hero and Hercules in the 8-10 k range ? Planning to get them or a basic mon geared cycle for 4-5k.

Want to use a cycle for nearby errands to eateries and supermarkets . Basically all nearby unwanted use of scooters motorcycles especially with petrol selling above 90 rupees and my need to reduce weight.
You may have to extend your budget by about 2k to get a decent cycle. My 2 cents would be skipping the front suspension, get 700 cc tyres and a cycle with rear derailleurs.

Ex. - https://www.choosemybicycle.com/en/b...tane-zephyr-7s
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Old 2nd January 2021, 15:32   #25
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Facebook threw an ad at me. It's for a chainless bike. Apparently, (I looked up wiki), Shimano, SRAM, etc make gears for such cycles. Instead of a chain, the bottom bracket / cranks drive a propulsion rod which is, in turn, connected to rear hub. (Think of those propeller shafts and crown wheel - pinion sets in rear wheel drive automobiles.)

The hubs can house gears too. I'm not familiar with the brand, though. The ad is from a manufacturer from Trichy I TN.

The concept seems to have been around for 120 years, but precise helical gears are needed for this and engineering tooling seems to have become affordable in last few years.

Just to complete the knowledge base here. I have no personal knowledge of this.
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