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New potential biker

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  • New potential biker

    I don't have a mountain (or any other type of) bike, but I'm thinking of getting one as a mode of transportation. It would be primarily used for riding around town (Elizabethtown) or perhaps to Westport to the Amtrak depot, but I need to be able to go up (and down) my rather steep driveway. It's maximum grade is 12% and it is gravel. What kind of bike should I try out first?

  • #2
    TREK BIKES Roscoe 7, Roscoe 8, and Farley 5
    Which one all depends on your price point.
    They have wide 27.5 inch wheels which are wide enough to ride in any gravel, some snow, plenty of mud and are fine on the road.
    The very wide tire bikes are special purpose snow bikes and are heavy.


    • #3
      My trek Farley, $2000 price point, is outfitted for mountain bike touring, rail-trail touring or way off road tripping out West where the trees are far apart with little on no brush.( I just use bags on the back and travel light)


      • #4
        Bike & tire selection

        The surface you ride on i.e. rough trail, hardpacked dirt or stone, or paved should dictate whether you pick mtn bike (typ 2"+ tire width), "hybrid" 1"+ or skinny road bike.

        The gearing range from high to low will help meet or limit your speed/climbing needs. You can always walk up really steep sections.

        If you have a variety of surfaces, trend toward wider tires. You really don't need knobby tires unless lots of time on loose terrain. Higher tire air pressure helps reduce rolling resistance at the expense of some comfort and possibly reduced traction if loose.

        For mtn bike, check 27.5" or even 29" diameter (vs. 26). Front suspension on MTB more than enough unless you plan or challenging single track.

        Forget a fat bike unless primarily riding in snow or sand.


        • #5
          I agree with the above comments.
          I would also add that you may very well enjoy the wide range of MTB trails that the Elizabethtown/ Ausable Chasm/ Wilmington area offers in addition to the riding you mentioned.
          I travel from Saratoga quite regularly through the warm months to enjoy those rides.
          There are several bicycle shops in your area that could properly fit you to a bike for your needs.
          Getting the right size and set up makes a big difference in the enjoyment of riding. Getting a quality bike also ensures you will want to ride it more than once or twice.
          Hunt when you can, Fish when you can't.


          • #6
            Road bike! Mountain bikes on pavement are a lot more work and your driveway isn’t that long.


            • #7
              If you are new to cycling starting out with an expensive new bike is probably not a wise choice. You should be able to find a good quality used bike to use while you figure out if you are really going to commit to it. For general all around town cycling, a MTB is a waste...get a decent road bike and put 23 tires on it to handle the gravel on your drive.
              The single most important thing to concern with is fit. Go to a cycle shop and find out what size bike you need... see if they have anything for you to ride. Then decide what type of shoes and clips you want... go from there. Buy good quality components, stay away from Tiagra or other low end junk...look for 105 or Ultegra and beyond if it's on a decent frame.
              You need to decide on the frame material...starting out with aluminum will be fine.
              Trek, schmeck...find a nice old US made Cannondale...anything from CAD 3 or above. 8 or 9 speed gearing should do it...a double crank will be perfect for you depending upon the rear hub ratios. Or perhaps one of the newer ones...cdales have good sold frames

              Look at what you can get for about $1K


              • #8
                I got my first bike at the age of 14 at the dump in Maine, they had an area for things that were possibly repairable or of interest to people and you could buy bicycles for $1.50. I bought three or four and took parts off some to put on the frame I wanted to keep. I also got a road bike at that time during bulky trash week in Portland, it wasn't big enough for me but was in pretty good shape. In my later years I bought a number of bikes at auctions and yard sales but never paid more than $20, and sometimes people just gave me bikes that they didn't want. I gave bikes to people who were looking for one, and gave some to a charitable group in Rochester that distributes them to people who need them. In 2011 I went off the deep end and paid $500 for a 1998 Trek 520 with a large frame on eBay. I bought that after I started going on longer trips to the Adirondacks each summer, when I wanted something very reliable. It's been a great bike for me and I have put a few hundred into it over the years, replacing things as I wore them out. Old fashioned metal frame bikes are pretty easy to fix and work on, even for people who are not very mechanically inclined. Just to ride around locally you should be able to get a decent used road bike, mountain bike or hybrid for well under $100. I always have a plastic box in my front carrier with a few tools to tighten anything that may get loose as I'm riding, and a couple of spare inner tubes and a patch kit and pump in case I get a flat. The book at the link below was very helpful to me as a teenager when I was learning to work on bicycles, I don't have my copy anymore as I gave it to someone when I no longer needed it, but it's written in a very easy to understand style, and instead of photos which almost never actually look like the bike parts you have it has sketches which are more universally applicable.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tmount View Post
                  Road bike! Mountain bikes on pavement are a lot more work and your driveway isn’t that long.
                  I invite you to ride up it sometime!


                  • #10
                    I will be riding the Blue22 at the Blueberry trail system in Elizabethtown tomorrow. You are welcome to come check it out and there will be space to try out a mountain bike if you like.
                    Hunt when you can, Fish when you can't.