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Old 07-17-2018, 10:35 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Default Looking to finally get a new bicycle

...and I have a couple of questions.

I've been riding a Trek 4900 for 16 years now and the crankshaft is shot. Over the years I switched from the original knobby tires to a smooth tread but on the same wide rims that the bike came with so that I could ride on gravel and paved trails.

Last year my wife bought a Trek Hybrid cycle with thinner tires and we went on a 40 mile ride (mostly on country roads with long inclines) and it was murder. I couldn't make headway on climbs and my legs nearly locked up several times on hills during the last 10 miles. Now we're going on another 40 mile ride in a couple of weeks and I think it's time to upgrade. My wife actually suggested that and I've been the one on the fence - but today after getting an estimate on an overhaul (nearly $400 to swap out the entire crankshaft) and trying a Trek Marlin 6 I may be changing my mind. That being said I have a couple of questions:

1: While I liked the feel of the Marlin 6 the components on my 4900 seem to be better. Is it worth it to look at the Marlin 7 (priced at $200 more) instead? I like a stiffer fork and the Marlin 6 seemed to be a bit spongy even when set to be firmer. I also felt that the shifters would not hold up as long as the stock ones on my 4900 did.

2: Is there another similar make and model other than a Trek that I should be looking at?

3: I'm 5'10" and 195 pounds. The sales looked at my 4900 and decided to put me on a Marlin 6 with a 17.5" frame but even with the seat post extended it felt cramped. Then he put me on a couple of other bikes with larger frames (19, 19.5" but with different handlebar mount style) and they felt MUCH better. He seemed surprised but I've been riding my 4900 with the seat post really high so that it's level with the handlebars but I did that so I can get full extension on my downstroke, otherwise I feel my adductor muscles cramp up after about 30 miles. Am I doing something wrong with regards to my technique? Should I be on a frame that size?

PS: I do NOT want a comfort or hybrid bike - or even a road cycle for that matter. I rarely ride on roads unless they're on organized events. I am looking solely at hardtails with wider rims - though NOT a fatty. I am accustomed to riding cross country on trails (primarily crushed limestone or gravel but sometimes will go off trails into the woods for a quick thrill or avoid a pedestrian walking a dog on a long leash or a parent with small children and no situational awareness)

I'd really appreciate any help or insight. Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:49 PM
patrickgm60 patrickgm60 is offline
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The Merlin 6 looks pretty good for the use you describe. You are paying ~$100 for the Trek name, compared to some store or lesser known brands, but likely has a better warranty, also.

Hard tail 29ers are very good all-round bikes. No need for full suspension, but you can take it on dirt trails or stay on the road.

Most important factor is fit and comfort. I suspect the 19" frame is closer to your size. Your knee should have a small (~20 degree) bend, when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. And the seat post should not have to be fully extended to get that knee bend.

As to saddles: the stock saddle may not fit you well, at all; try a few. Many bike shops have loaners, as well as a test pad, that locates your "sit bones" to help you select a suitable saddle.

Lastly, get stiff-soled shoes (if not cycling shoes and pedals) and wear a helmet; accidents are sometimes totally outside your control.
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:52 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Thanks. Iím hoping the other store has a Merlin 7. Like I said, the fork on the 6 was really clunky.

PS: they offer a trade in program but the most Iíd get is $50 for the 4900. My wife wants to try sell it on Facebook but weíd be lucky to get $150 for it IMO what with the worn crankshaft. Iím thinking it would be a good bike for my younger son sometime soon. Heís 11 and small for his age so Iím thinking it might be more his size once heís in high school. I at least need to get him off the video games and out on the local trail.
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:57 AM
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I have a TREK DS4 https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...olorCode=black that i really like....
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:15 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Yes, that does look nice but likely out of my price range. He put me on a couple of X-Calibers which were much nicer but again out of my price range. My wife will probably balk at the Marlin 7 since we paid about $550 for her FX2 but she opted against the FX3 for similar reasons so whatís good for the goose...

BTW, I was surprised to see that thereís a trend for two gears only on the front and 10 or more on the rear. It makes sense given that Iím rarely in the bottom 8 years on mine and my front derailer is always out of adjustment. When did this trend start?
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2009 Martin D-16GT
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil K Walk View Post
...BTW, I was surprised to see that thereís a trend for two gears only on the front and 10 or more on the rear. It makes sense given that Iím rarely in the bottom 8 years on mine and my front derailer is always out of adjustment. When did this trend start?
Realizing that I've pretty much only used my middle front chainring, I recently removed my small and large chainrings turning my DS4 into a 1x9....
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:33 AM
ziapack ziapack is offline
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I recently upgraded my road bike, bought a full Shimano Ultegra box set online that included new shifters/brake levers, front and rear brake calipers, front and rear derailers, all new cables, bottom bracket and cranks, rear 11 speed cassette, and front 3 ring set, paid about $630 delivered to my door in a week from the order. My old stuff was Dura Ace, but 11 years old and roughly 80k miles on it, I'm happy with my old frame so feel I got a great deal on a new bike.

From your description of your riding style, I would think your ideal set up would be a 'Cross' bike. Covers what you describe with ease, not ideal for more technical big rock or deep sand kind of riding. You might go ride one.

Trek has a lot to offer, pretty standard bikes, Merlins as well. I like Felt, the low end FX comes in around $850, goes up from there, Specialized Crux starts about $1,400 and goes up. The frame not such an issue, except for fit, it's all about the component set. Buy a frame that fits well and you like the look of, spend your money on the best component set you can afford.

In regards to size, set up (like guitars), is crucial. A free bike sizing and set up with purchase is ideal, paying and addition 50-60 bucks for a good set up is worth the money. For comfort and long rides I like to be spread out, not tight and bunched, a big frame for my size is more comfortable. I've spent most my years on a bike racing and training, have alway ridden smaller frames that are well set up for my body dimensions, for the best aero dynamic position, I no longer race, that positioning is less ideal for my riding style now. What is your intention regarding riding style for the next 10 years?.....pick that frame.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by Kerbie; 08-13-2018 at 01:24 AM. Reason: Removed masked profanity
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:39 AM
seannx seannx is offline
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Quote:
BTW, I was surprised to see that thereís a trend for two gears only on the front and 10 or more on the rear. It makes sense given that Iím rarely in the bottom 8 years on mine and my front derailer is always out of adjustment. When did this trend start?
More recent is one ring (gear) on the front and an 11 ring cassette on the rear. It costs more, but is so much nicer with no front derailure to mess with. Thatís what I have on my gravel grinder road bike, and one lever controls up and down shifting.
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:47 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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I've seen countless people on your decision tree and in this and last season many went for the Roscoe that has a lot in common with the Marlin.

The scenario is being a ski area, trail system and riding programs director so we have many getting back into it, parents of kids in programs, and many new riders attracted to the trail systems.

Some are choosing REI's plus bike hardtail including my nephew who is riding it on metro and park pathways a little more than on true trails.

My standard advice is delay gratification and try stuff in real world settings. Don't get anything racy if you're not a racer.

It seems to me that same more slack, lower, and all about control makes people comfy on the modern trail bikes no matter how they use them.

As for brand, I have some Trek does indeed have top post sale support and a lot of great products. The company owners do a lot to improve peoples' lives and health. After achieving great success in business one of them is now dedicated to helping poor kids achieve much. Quality company and quality people.
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:46 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Thanks for the replies. Kinda OT but the wife balked at the price of the Marlin 6 so it looks like I'm going to have to get by on the old 4900 for now. At nearly 50 years old and having ridden bicycles for fitness through my teens and 20s I know my limits as a "weekend warrior" and 30 miles is pushing it on a bike that's not at peak efficiency. I'm thinking that instead of doing the full 40 miles I'll stick to just turning around at the 12.5 mile mark, head back to the festivities early and let Wonder Wife (who is not an experienced cyclist) forge on ahead with her friends and try and see if her ego can cash the check that her body couldn't on the last 40 mile ride on her new FX2.

The tech quoted me $380 to overhaul the crankshaft on my (2003) Trek 4900. I paid close to $600 back then but I expect that depreciation is going to devalue it down to less than $100, making an overhaul costing 4x as much not a very cost effective decision.

Selling it or trading it in is not an option. Biketrader.com lists a bike in this condition being around $80. They have a trade in program but the tech there quoted me $50 which I told him is essentially saving me money on just taking it to the dump myself - sorry, but I'm getting salty as I approach middle age and I have actually paid the admission charge to haul stuff to the dump and it's more than $50 believe me. He just laughed and agreed that it would be donated to charity at best. Given that I have two boys in puberty it makes more sense to just hand the old 4900 over to one of them and save me some $$$ and start them on something nicer than a Schwinn or a Huffy.

Hopefully next summer I will have the disposable income to upgrade and we can drag one of them along on a ride. It'll be tight, but we can jam three bikes in the back of the old paid off minivan and drive down to Ohiopyle.
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2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
201? Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (DIY build, Carpathian Spruce/East Indian Rosewood)
1973 Takamine F360
197? Epiphone FT-160N Texan
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:44 AM
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Blueser100 Blueser100 is offline
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I have both a nice road bike and a very nice custom mountain bike. I wanted something in between, and my "comfort bike" wasn't working for me. I wanted something I could haul around easily and without the need for a lot of struggle getting it into the trunk/hatch or affixing to a bike rack.

I found this (see link) a couple of months ago and my life hasn't been the same. It's 24 pounds, costs less than $350, and it folds up in seconds. I ride daily, 5-10 miles. It's got smaller wheels but it can take inclines pretty well, and I've ridden it on light trail and it's done okay, though I will keep my mountain bike for that.

Not sure if it's anything you might consider, but I thought I'd share.

I have the Urbano model.

https://www.euromini.bike/
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:47 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Not really a big bicycle fan, but I wouldn't mind one of these

http://schwinnelliptical.com/schwinn...k-19-one-size/
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Old 07-23-2018, 03:18 PM
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I have a Trek Shift 1 for cruising around the neighborhood. So comfortable!
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Old 07-23-2018, 03:44 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I'm cycling again after some years.

I have had to go to the gym to regain my strength after cancer treatment, and after a 22 minute drive to cover the two mile trip, I thought, it would be easier, quicker and more healthy to cycle, so I got my late '90s Kona Cindercone bike out of the shed and it worked and was/is a pleasure to ride.

My stepson had the frame and built it to fit me but as I~ regain my musculature, I seem to be growing in stature (at 70 years old).

Apart from the dangers of cycling in general, I'd really forgotten the delight of riding a good bike!

I have no desire to change anything on it ... apart from maybe the saddle!
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:20 AM
perttime perttime is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil K Walk View Post
The tech quoted me $380 to overhaul the crankshaft on my (2003) Trek 4900. I paid close to $600 back then but I expect that depreciation is going to devalue it down to less than $100, making an overhaul costing 4x as much not a very cost effective decision.
What sort of cranks would that be? There's a wide range of parts that will fit, and the work is pretty simple and quick if you have the right tools.

For rolling resistance, tyres are one big thing, and suitable pressure is essential.

You mentioned seat height.
Appropriate leg extension is the measure there. I get into the ballpark like this:
- pedal the bike with my heels on the pedals
- raise seat until I can barely do it withOUT rocking my hips
- if I need to rock my hips to pedal, lower the seat.
-> now, when I pedal correctly with the ball of the foot on the pedal. I have a little bend left in my knee, at the bottom of the stroke.
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