Posts Tagged ‘Frame’

Getting a Bike (Part I)

// December 2nd, 2009 // Comments Off on Getting a Bike (Part I) // Information

I admit it. After deciding that I need to get a bike all I wanted was… to get on a bike. It did not really made any difference to me what brand would it be, how would it look like,  it was the urge to start riding.

This was a mistake.

See, a big guy can’t just climb on any bike and start riding. The weight is a big factor and there are some bikes (especially on the low end side) that would not fit a Clyde, or an uber Clyde like me. The frame, rims, wheels, tires, and the fork are the immediate suspects to check. But, see, I did not know that…

I live in Israel. Bikes are being imported from all over the world, and practically we have all the major brands represented here – Trek, Specialized, Mongoose, GT, Scott, Niner, Fisher, etc. You name it we have it.  Sometimes it seems to me that people that used to run a grocery store now have a bike store… So much variants, so many choices, and not so knowledgeable!

The first store I got into sells Specialized, Haro, and Raleigh bikes (it turns out they also sell Santa Cruz frames but that was only known to me weeks later). Did they looked at me and ask all the right questions? Did my weight was part of their consideration suggesting me a bike? – Absolutely not. They had entry level bikes and that they wanted to sell.

The second bike store did the same thing to me. Although they showed some more interest in my weight, it certainly did not play any part in offering me the right bike. All they wanted to sell is the entry-level bikes they got there.  And they were successful. I got a Trek 4300 bike. Why did I get it? At that time it seemed to me that they ask me knowledgeable questions, and that they are really trying to fit me a bike according to my weight.

Some of you may say that this is a nice entry-level bike. It might. But not for the uber Clyde.

See, one of the things that a Clyde needs to check is the front fork. To see whether its weight can be sustained by the front fork. Sitting on the bike, the front fork, when opened and not locked, should sink in by nothing more then 15%-20%. If it sinks more then that… it is not a fork you should use.

After riding the bike on asphalt roads near my house for about a month and a half I performed my first trail ride with my father-in-law. A 16km/10mile ride. I discovered that the front fork, a Spinner 300 w/coil spring, as it appears on the Trek web site, is simply useless.

This was not the worse part. The day after I went to the bike store, to those folks who imports Trek bikes that sold me the bike, and they admitted that they sold me an entry level bike which has a front fork that may not do too much good for me. I was amazed. I wanted to invest in a good bike. A bike that would be good for an uber Clyde like me, and instead I got an entry level bike that does not fit my weight.

In Getting a bike part II – What did I do next? and What bike did I get as a replacement?