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Thread: Distance Biking

  1. #1
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Distance Biking

    My kid has announced that he wants to join a 1500 mile ride this summer. He can do it- the program says kids who are a lot less experienced than he have done it- the question is what kind of a bike to buy?

    He's 5' 7", 13 years old, growing like satan's weed patch. Right now, he measures for about a 54cm bike and I'm sure he'll outgrow that in a couple years.

    I want to get him a good bike that can do the trip, but am wondering if anyone has any suggestions on models or how to get a good deal. Right now, there are lots of 2013 bikes on sale. However, as a 25 year, utilitarian bike commuter, I am waaaay out of my element in buying my kid a road bike and am looking for suggestions.


    He was looking at a couple bikes yesterday:

    Kona Honky Tonk, Shimano STI sora components.
    Raleigh Capri, same components (it's a woman's frame, with narrower handlebars which works for him)
    Last edited by SunDeck; 12-19-2013 at 05:23 PM.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Distance Biking

    My friends suggest STEEL (not carbon it will beat him up too fast) for that long a ride, and to pay for a bike fitting if possible, also that price range will give you good results as well as resell value when he outgrows it.

  4. #3
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Distance Biking

    MY BIL weighs in

    Since his son is still growing, I would probably be inclined to go up a size from where he is today. They should be able to make adjustments to make it fit him now and re-adjust later as he grows.

    For a long trip like that, I might consider investing in a decent set of wheels with deeper rims. Something like 40mm rims gives you more roll. I don't think I would go much more than that as it can make riding in wind a real challenge.

    Personally, I like Specialized and Felt. My road bike is a Specialized Roubaix with lower-end components. My tri-bike is a Felt B12 (nicely loaded). Trek also makes really nice bikes. As I said earlier, fit and comfort are the most important aspects.

    I will make a plug for choosing a high quality saddle. For long rides, having a comfortable saddle is crucial. When I got my Tri-Bike, I bought an ISM Adamo saddle. It is amazing. I liked it so much, I bought an ISM racing saddle for my road bike. They aren't cheap (~$250), but for long rides they make a HUGE difference. I would encourage your friend's son to try out a bunch of different saddles on the bike he chooses and buy one that feels best to him. A good bike shop should have demo models for you to test drive for a weekend or longer.

  5. #4
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Distance Biking

    That's great advice. It hadn't occurred to me to put different saddles on the bikes to try them. Please tell him thanks!
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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    westofyou (12-20-2013)

  7. #5
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Distance Biking

    I did a 400 mile week long ride this summer (www.cycleoregon.com) which was my first time doing so many miles in such a short period. I have a carbon frame Giant which I like a lot but I am no expert on bikes. Here are some other things I learned though. Hope it helps.

    1. I recommend that you not get the skinny 23 or 25 mm tires and instead opt for 28 or 32 mm. It'll help the ride comfort a lot, especially if road conditions aren't good at times.

    2. Invest in 2-3 pairs of really good bike shorts, keep them clean and rotate them daily. I also found that after not using chamois butter (http://chamoisbuttr.com/) the first 2 days I had some pretty brutal chaffing. Bag Balm is your friend when this happens. (http://www.bagbalm.com/) Most pharmacies will carry this.

    3. Lastly, and I can't stress this enough. Make sure he knows to use sunscreen on his lips and not a petroleum based lip balm. I can't tell you how many people (including myself) got sunburned lips.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

  8. #6
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Distance Biking

    Thanks Pedro- things I don't ever really consider, being a short distance, curb jumper.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.


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