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  Reply # 1212588 12-Jan-2015 14:58
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Dunnersfella: Instead of spending time in the likes of B.Barn or on technology sites... get into a real bike store, ask the opinion of long time cyclists and keep your mind open.
I've ridden and raced (not anymore though) for over 20 years and can tell you the only thing you need to do is ride the bike - then you'll know!
The differences between different brands / styles are really noticeable.
I've built rides up from specs / measurements, but the ride is never spot on until things like stem length, seat rail adjustment, seat height, bar angle are adjusted 'just so'.
Don't even get me started on suspension and brake adjustments... but for commuting, this isn't really needed.

Advice:
Buy a bike with...
Replaceable chainrings.

No idea! But I can ask.
Great wheels.  I'd not know what is a great wheel
Top notch comfort... as it doesn't matter how fit you are, if you can't put the power down because you're uncomfortable, you simply CAN'T put the power down!
I guess firm but soft?

Pay attention to the points of contact...
1: Seat (comfortable for the length of time you're looking to ride).  Id not know right now!
2: Handlebars - good grips, correct width of the bars, good angle of the bars (plus brake levers) and the right length and rise of the stem. I'd not know!
3: Pedals (clipless / toe straps or flats). Again, I would not know



The point of this weird reply is I don't know what I dont know, plus, if I asked whoever what is a great wheel, etc, I am left with the googled webpage telling me or a salesman, both of whom may be biased, hence my thread here to help somewhat. I gather the Merida that I am looking at is a sound brand, so I hope that the componentry is sound as well. I get the feeling I may get into this cycling lark a bit, so I will learn how to strip and rebuild it, and one day be able to manage these decisions myself, but just at step one at the moment!   But certainly many many thanks to the contributors here.



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  Reply # 1212589 12-Jan-2015 15:02
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Current possibility is this,  2015 MERIDA CROSSWAY 300



Model Crossway 300 Frame Crossway TFS-D Shock NA Fork SR NCX-D LO 63 BB Set Shimano octalink Brake Levers Attached Brake-Front Tektro Auriga-T hydraulic 160 Brake-Rear Tektro Auriga-T hydraulic 160 Chain KMC M99 Chainwheel Shimano T4010 octa 48-36-26 CG Derailleur-Front Shimano Alivio Derailleur-Rear Shimano Deore-9 Freewheel Shimano CS-HG200-9 11-34 Handlebar MERIDA comp OS 620 R25 Headset Conoid semi neck Hub-Front Formula Disc Hub-Rear Formula Disc casette Pedal Comfort Alloy triple Rim Merida comp D Saddle Cross Sport Seat Post Suspension One D 27.2 Shifters Shimano Alivio rapidfire Stem Adjustable pro OS A-Head Tyres Merida Speed 40 ref

NB it says NA for Shock, but it has a front shock, locable

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  Reply # 1212602 12-Jan-2015 15:23
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tdgeek: Current possibility is this,  2015 MERIDA CROSSWAY 300



Model Crossway 300 Frame Crossway TFS-D Shock NA Fork SR NCX-D LO 63 BB Set Shimano octalink Brake Levers Attached Brake-Front Tektro Auriga-T hydraulic 160 Brake-Rear Tektro Auriga-T hydraulic 160 Chain KMC M99 Chainwheel Shimano T4010 octa 48-36-26 CG Derailleur-Front Shimano Alivio Derailleur-Rear Shimano Deore-9 Freewheel Shimano CS-HG200-9 11-34 Handlebar MERIDA comp OS 620 R25 Headset Conoid semi neck Hub-Front Formula Disc Hub-Rear Formula Disc casette Pedal Comfort Alloy triple Rim Merida comp D Saddle Cross Sport Seat Post Suspension One D 27.2 Shifters Shimano Alivio rapidfire Stem Adjustable pro OS A-Head Tyres Merida Speed 40 ref

NB it says NA for Shock, but it has a front shock, locable


In my opinion, you can't go wrong with this for the purposes you say it is for.  Looks like a damn nice machine.  




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  Reply # 1212609 12-Jan-2015 15:31
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tdgeek: Current possibility is this,  2015 MERIDA CROSSWAY 300



Model Crossway 300 Frame Crossway TFS-D Shock NA Fork SR NCX-D LO 63 BB Set Shimano octalink Brake Levers Attached Brake-Front Tektro Auriga-T hydraulic 160 Brake-Rear Tektro Auriga-T hydraulic 160 Chain KMC M99 Chainwheel Shimano T4010 octa 48-36-26 CG Derailleur-Front Shimano Alivio Derailleur-Rear Shimano Deore-9 Freewheel Shimano CS-HG200-9 11-34 Handlebar MERIDA comp OS 620 R25 Headset Conoid semi neck Hub-Front Formula Disc Hub-Rear Formula Disc casette Pedal Comfort Alloy triple Rim Merida comp D Saddle Cross Sport Seat Post Suspension One D 27.2 Shifters Shimano Alivio rapidfire Stem Adjustable pro OS A-Head Tyres Merida Speed 40 ref

NB it says NA for Shock, but it has a front shock, locable


Exactly the same specs as my Crossway 100-TFS (owned for 2 years so far). Other than the o-ring leak on one of my brake pistons (fixed under warranty) its a good bike. The frame looks nice as well (very sleek with swept curves).

I say push the go the button :)

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  Reply # 1212613 12-Jan-2015 15:36
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Okay - when it comes to hubs, start with Shimano.
At your price point, it's pretty much the only option.
1: You can get spares!
2: The seals are fine... they'll be cup 'n cone ball bearings (not fully sealed) but you can buy new cones / ball bearings and re-pack the hub.
There's a decent freehub there, and again, parts shouldn't be an issue.

If you buy a bike with a cheap hubset and something goes wrong... and you can't get bearings or a freehub etc, then you may need a full re-build or a whole new wheel.
And by the way, Formula would be one of the very worse hub manufacturers I've ever played with... just ahead of JoyTech.

Cheap spokes break often, then re-spokes make for more issues... and expense.
Basically, buy it once, buy it right.
Look for Wheelsmith or DT, then you know you're fine... as long as the wheels are built well.
So you know, all the wheels you're buying at this price will be machine built. However, a good store will hand tensions + straighten your wheels prior to sale.
Most though, won't... probably because the rims you'll be buying won't be of high enough quality to give a consistently decent build.

Rims:
Mavic / DT etc. These are all top notch manfucturers you won't see at your price point. However, it's easy enough to replace rims... hubs are a pain though.

Handlebars are part ergonomics, part personal preference.
Beware the 'bike fit software' and the 'bike fit gurus'. They should get the fundamentals roughly spot on... but we're human beings and we are constantly changing / improving / falling apart and we all have different tastes. There are top end downhill mountain bikers who always run their stems off centre, as they prefer the feel!
Remember, just because the seat height is spot on for the time you start riding, it may not be correct 6 months in!
Your muscles / flexibility will change over time.

Pedals.
Flats = standard pedals. It's easy to take your foot off the pedal, no need to wear specialist footware etc.
Toe clips = For some, an increase in power and efficiency... for others, a death trap. They're the cause of a lot of people falling over at slow speeds. Trust me, most cyclists have been there, done that, and move on. They're cheap though, as they're $20-$40 and require no specialty footware.
Clipless = Once you've ridden with good shoes and correctly setup pedals, it's very hard to go back!
The ability to gain power from the entirety of your pedal stroke (pulling up, pushing down, pulling back etc) is HUGE. Riding with clipless is like running track with spikes on... compared to riding with flats, which is akin to running track in gumboots.
If you go clipless, don't do it yet!
Get used to commuting first. After that, ask about pedals and shoes - otherwise you can get things wrong and either crash your brains out, or wreck your knees / hips.



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  Reply # 1212637 12-Jan-2015 16:09
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Dunnersfella: Okay - when it comes to hubs, start with Shimano.
At your price point, it's pretty much the only option.
1: You can get spares!
2: The seals are fine... they'll be cup 'n cone ball bearings (not fully sealed) but you can buy new cones / ball bearings and re-pack the hub.
There's a decent freehub there, and again, parts shouldn't be an issue.

If you buy a bike with a cheap hubset and something goes wrong... and you can't get bearings or a freehub etc, then you may need a full re-build or a whole new wheel.
And by the way, Formula would be one of the very worse hub manufacturers I've ever played with... just ahead of JoyTech.

Cheap spokes break often, then re-spokes make for more issues... and expense.
Basically, buy it once, buy it right.
Look for Wheelsmith or DT, then you know you're fine... as long as the wheels are built well.
So you know, all the wheels you're buying at this price will be machine built. However, a good store will hand tensions + straighten your wheels prior to sale.
Most though, won't... probably because the rims you'll be buying won't be of high enough quality to give a consistently decent build.

Rims:
Mavic / DT etc. These are all top notch manfucturers you won't see at your price point. However, it's easy enough to replace rims... hubs are a pain though.

Handlebars are part ergonomics, part personal preference.
Beware the 'bike fit software' and the 'bike fit gurus'. They should get the fundamentals roughly spot on... but we're human beings and we are constantly changing / improving / falling apart and we all have different tastes. There are top end downhill mountain bikers who always run their stems off centre, as they prefer the feel!
Remember, just because the seat height is spot on for the time you start riding, it may not be correct 6 months in!
Your muscles / flexibility will change over time.

Pedals.
Flats = standard pedals. It's easy to take your foot off the pedal, no need to wear specialist footware etc.
Toe clips = For some, an increase in power and efficiency... for others, a death trap. They're the cause of a lot of people falling over at slow speeds. Trust me, most cyclists have been there, done that, and move on. They're cheap though, as they're $20-$40 and require no specialty footware.
Clipless = Once you've ridden with good shoes and correctly setup pedals, it's very hard to go back!
The ability to gain power from the entirety of your pedal stroke (pulling up, pushing down, pulling back etc) is HUGE. Riding with clipless is like running track with spikes on... compared to riding with flats, which is akin to running track in gumboots.
If you go clipless, don't do it yet!
Get used to commuting first. After that, ask about pedals and shoes - otherwise you can get things wrong and either crash your brains out, or wreck your knees / hips.


Tks for the great detail. The pedal stuiff is interesting 

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  Reply # 1212649 12-Jan-2015 16:36
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The whole flats vs clipless argument for pedals rages on... Normal pedals are just fine for normal commuting and I would say safer. Many a crash because the rider couldn't get feet out of the pedals in time. Its a real personal preference thing. I rode clipless for years, but a couple of dirt track crashes and a damaged knee later purchased some good quality flat pedals and riding shoes and never looked back. I agree however that big distances on the road are better in clipless (i.e. Wear special shoes that have a clip on the bottom of them and matching pedal with the clip mechanism. Other advantage with flats is that you don't always have to wear the special shoes. Jandals for popping down the road to the dairy will still work.




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  Reply # 1212676 12-Jan-2015 17:20
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scuwp: The whole flats vs clipless argument for pedals rages on... Normal pedals are just fine for normal commuting and I would say safer. Many a crash because the rider couldn't get feet out of the pedals in time. Its a real personal preference thing. I rode clipless for years, but a couple of dirt track crashes and a damaged knee later purchased some good quality flat pedals and riding shoes and never looked back. I agree however that big distances on the road are better in clipless (i.e. Wear special shoes that have a clip on the bottom of them and matching pedal with the clip mechanism. Other advantage with flats is that you don't always have to wear the special shoes. Jandals for popping down the road to the dairy will still work.


+1

had a guy at my old job who crashed bad in town (unable to get his feet out fast enough). That and the whole taking shoes off and putting shoes on when coming to and going from work takes time, all be it 3-4 minutes, but in a working week \ year it adds up.

Then there is the fact that your joints are not designed to do what those pedal\clips allow. Just asking for all sorts of issues later on down the track.

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  Reply # 1212888 13-Jan-2015 02:51
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tdgeek:
Dratsab: A huge factor in discomfort is incorrect fit - this means seat height, seat fore/aft position, handlebar height and stem length. Whatever you end up buying, get it fitted to you properly. Although the last 10 or so years have tailed off sharply, I've got almost 36 years road cycling under my belt (starting with a Raleigh Arena in 1979) including racing with a few clubs and competing against others, so I have a bias towards road bikes. However, from what you've posted, I think the first answer from scuwp about a hardtail MTB is a good one.

Put road slicks on it for commuting/general riding and put knobbly's on it when you want to go off road. I have a Diamondback Vectra Sport MTB which is a hardtail bike I've been using for a bit of commuting lately. The suspension has a lockout on top of the right-hand fork so when I'm going uphill I stop the suspension from operating with a simple press of a button and none of my pedal power is lost through suspension movement. Going downhill, I press the button again to get the suspension operating and it takes a lot of the vibration out of my hands/arms making the ride a lot more comfortable.


Do cycle wheels cover a range of tyre types? As you said, slicks and knobblys, or are these the same size tyre just different designs?

I want to avoid teeny tyres (23?) due to a harder ride, and prefer slight knobblys, or more so, non slicks to lessen punctures. Having said that, I think I am leaning towards a non small tyre volume for comfort, and kevlar or the one with the plastic rim. Any ideas on the rolling resistance woudl be helpful, as in 23's are great, XX is poor, so YY is a good mix?


Jargon - my bad. I'm talking about the same size tyre, just completely different design/function. The pic below shows what I'm on about.



Rolling resistance is not something I've ever concerned myself with on my MTB so can't offer any advice there. On my racing rims for my road bike though I use relatively expensive tyres (Vittoria Open Corsa CX) as these have a very high core thread count of 320 TPI which not only reduces rolling resistance but allows for higher tyre pressures. At the end of the day, I don't think rolling resistance is particularly worth bothering about for a mainly commuting scenario - others may disagree - and when I use a road bike in this context I use rims with Continental Supersport Plus tyres. I've found them to be the best commuting tyres for me - hard wearing, good puncture resistance, not expensive. A good mate of mine uses Gatorskins for their high level of puncture resistance and reckons they're the best thing ever.



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  Reply # 1213048 13-Jan-2015 10:35
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I have both MTB tyres and slicks for my MTB, both pretty similar patterns to Dratsab's photos above.  On a flat road without a headwind I can usually ride two gears higher on the slicks for about the same effort, and it's a smoother ride.




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  Reply # 1213139 13-Jan-2015 13:39
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heylinb4nz:

Then there is the fact that your joints are not designed to do what those pedal\clips allow. Just asking for all sorts of issues later on down the track.


Actually if the clips are properly set up there should be no problems what so ever.

Depending on the rider and the distance of the commute clips can certainly be a good idea.

Unless the rider has been doing a reasonable amount if riding and is familiar with the bike I wouldn't recommend clips right away.

When you are converting to clips, one thing worth trying is to just use one clip to start with and to also practice clipping in and out so that the action becomes natural.  By only using one clip you already have a "free' foot. If you can find somewhere at home to sit on the bike an hod onto a support, the best way to practice to start with is while you are stationary.

I find many clips are set up way too tight out of the box and I adjust the tension on mine to reduce the effort required to unclip.

On my hybrid I have the best of both worlds.  The clips are double sided mountain bike style clips with a flat pedal clipped into one side.  I can use clips for longer rides and for a quick flick around the block just use regular shoes on the flats.




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  Reply # 1214620 14-Jan-2015 11:03
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Got me bike. Took 3 for a spin, and all good, so grabbed the Crossplay 300. Got lock, lights, puncture kit, two tubes, kickstand, water bottle and holder, mini pump. 

Googled changing gears, that was interesting, to use only the first few in Gear 1, the midrange in gear 2 and just the top ones on gear 3 to reduce chain angle and wear. So the 27 speed is much less in reality.

Google cadence as my mate at work mentioned that, very interesting in terms of riding efficiency, the two types of muscles used in mashing (slow, higher gear, harder work) and spinning (low gear, fast pedalling) Low cadence will give muscle burn, high will use more cardiovascular, seems the right one oi 60 rpm for newbies, but then seemed to be 80 or so being the best.

Once Ive got my fitness up, I might get a computer for it, thoughts?



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  Reply # 1214624 14-Jan-2015 11:09
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  Reply # 1214653 14-Jan-2015 11:44
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tdgeek: This seems ok

http://www.torpedo7.co.nz/products/5ACUWN4V2/title/alpha-vss-235-wireless-cycle-computer-w-cadence

Wired or wireless? Are they all easy to fit?


Pretty easy to fit, stick supplied magnet to rim, mount pickup on fork, mount computer to handle bars.

Wouldnt pay Torpedo7 price though, you can get the same unit on Aliexpress for $25NZ shipped possibly less. Most of those no name brand units are just Chinese made generic items in fancy packaging.



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  Reply # 1214659 14-Jan-2015 11:49
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heylinb4nz:
tdgeek: This seems ok

http://www.torpedo7.co.nz/products/5ACUWN4V2/title/alpha-vss-235-wireless-cycle-computer-w-cadence

Wired or wireless? Are they all easy to fit?


Pretty easy to fit, stick supplied magnet to rim, mount pickup on fork, mount computer to handle bars.

Wouldnt pay Torpedo7 price though, you can get the same unit on Aliexpress for $25NZ shipped possibly less. Most of those no name brand units are just Chinese made generic items in fancy packaging.


Watched a couple of Youtubes, If the pickup is cable tied, won't it loosen with vibration? 

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