Who wants to ride with a noob?

Hey guys, newbie here. Been thinking of doing cycling for quite a bit but never had the cash to buy a decent road bike.

Was thinking of doing some serious cycling after exams (starting May)

Anyone here want to show a newbie some ropes? I have absolute no experience other than cycling to school (3.5 km one way). Ok endurance (jogging for 5 k every 2nd day). My last bike is a crappy CCM road bike brought for $70. Thinking of picking up a new road bike from Costco for $300.

hey peter, really glad you found us. We will have people for you to ride with for sure. But DON’T buy the $300 costco bike! Do you still have your crappy ccm? that will do for a while, until you have enough money for a real road bike; or alternatively you can watch craigsist for something used and older. i used to work at canadian tire as a bike mechanic, and their $300 road bikes were crap. I don’t know that costco’s are much better.

email mcgillcycling at gmail.com if u want to talk more about bikes.

As Ben said, avoid those bikes. If you seriously want to get into cycling then you are better off investing a bit more money and buying something that will last. I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but hear me out.

My friend bought a bike from Wal Mart as a cheap commuter to get to and from campus, which was about 3 km one way. This was a total of 6 km/day, 5 days a week. So 30 km/week and the bike lasted him for a grand total of 7 weeks which equates to 210 km total. After 7 weeks the bottom bracket somehow gave out and the bike was pretty much worthless. The thing is Wal Mart bikes are more like toys and are not meant to be taken on the open road for countless hours, nor are they even meant to last a while either. The shifters are all funky, your wheels will come out of true when you hit the first pothole or train tracks, you’ll break spokes, the bike will weigh a bajillion pounds, and when something gives out, like your shifters or some other component, they aren’t really repairable or even worth the cost of repairimg, and upgrading these bikes is also pointless. My first road bike I ever bought was about 3 years ago and I ride anywhere from 20-30 hours a week so it has well over 3000 hours, and this is a low estimate. With minor maintenence my groupset still functions beautifully and will still last a few more years.

I know the price tag on bikes looks ridiculously expensive when you first get into cycling but this is really an investment. Think about it, a bike isn’t something you just hang on your wall and watch as it collects dust. You will be using the bike for many hours each day/week so you want something that you will last you a few years without giving out. Check out your Neuvation sponsors through McGill. An alloy bike w/ Rival or Ultegra for $1300 (retail) isn’t bad at all (this doesn’t include whatever your discount may be if applicable) Even if you don’t get a discount, $1300 is pretty good and the bike will last. I know it’s a lot more money than you allocated but just get an odd job and save like crazy for a month or so. Sell your computer or TV, go donate sperm, do a medical test (a friend did this and paid for a trip to Aussie so I imagine they pay pretty well), but just set aside a bit more cash, but in the mean time ride whatever you have now for a bit longer. Many people have no problem shelling out $1000+ on a TV that just sits on a stand, yet they gawk at the price of a $1000 bike. For instance, my mom dropped something like $1500ish on her flat screen high def blah blah blah TV and it just busted after 2 years of use. And she thinks I’m crazy for spending money on road bikes…but at least my purchases last longer than hers.

Last paragraph, I swear! You could also buy used. About 2 years ago in Houston I bought a wicked Klein Quantum with a beautiful iridescent paint job that was equipped with 105 on craigslist for $450. So if you have a car keep an eye out on craigslist in the surrounding cities like Toronto, Ottawa, even New York, Boston, Philly, etc. With all the surrounding cities and about $600 you could EASILY find something used that will suit your needs. You might even get lucky and snag something even cheaper and none of these cities are really too far away to drive to. Maybe even rent a car if you find a bike you really want or borrow a friends car. Go to a shop though and get their suggestions as to size you should buy. This is another benefit that Wally World doesn’t have, proper bike aficionados working there that can offer quality advice. Remember you can always repair/upgrade the bike later, but you can’t really upgrade or repair Wal Mart bikes. Anyways, good luck mate in your search and PM me if you need anything.

I was in the same situation last November - I bought my first bike used… make sure the bike fits you in size! I would familiarize myself with all the reputable bike companies, groupsets, and sizing first though - you will be happy you did later!

Alright, I decided to procrastinate a bit more on studying so I did a quick search of bikes <$800 in a few surrounding cities and here are some results. Granted I don’t know what size you need, but whatever, this gives you an idea of whats out there.


haha holy crap, nybom went all out! look what a caring bunch the cycling @ mcgill community is! BTW, cycling @ mcgill does NOT endorse undergoing medical experiments to pay for bicycles!

Are you kidding? I’ve paid for like… half the luxuries of my undergrad with medical studies. If you can get in the ones with the MRIs, they seem to pay the best.

So who’s going to take this guy riding?

I really want to add my 2 cents about the whole “biking is expensive” debate. So I can’t refrain from posting this:
You don’t have to buy an expensive “brand-name” bike, especially for a first bike. Unless you manage to get on a very good deal on a used bike like those Nybom found, I think it’s pretty hard to get a better bargain.

"Shun the non believer ! Shun ! "

I guess there is always that. You will get funny looks when you bring an internet bike into a bike shop though. Not like that really matters.
More importantly, you better be very sure of what size bike frame you need before ordering online.

Sorry, but the markup on bikes is absolutely fucking retarded…

There is maybe 60-100$ worth of tubing in a generic 7000 series Alu or CroMo steel frame. The total assembly time and cost if you are mass producing in Asia is fairly minimal. Don’t believe what custom frame builders tell you - welding is not some exclusive difficult art, its something basically anyone can do with practice.

Where it gets complicated and pricey is jigging + welding say, Ti or Maraging steel or some of the more exotic Al-Li-Mg alloys (but those make up a miniscule fraction of frames and are out of your scope anyway).

Carbon fibre frames aren’t expensive either - the manufacturer price point has to be somewhere around $500. How much are you paying in a store…?

There is nothing complicated or expensive or even all that complicated to machine in the groupset components to justify the costs of those things either - its all about design costs + overhead (OEM manufacturer, brand manufacturer, distributor and then shop!!!) + comparatively small unit sales.

Anyway what I would do is either

A) get an inexpensive alu frameset online (about 100-200$) and either built up the necessary parts via ebay and online sales or go with a generic groupset (essentially reverse engineered shimano stuff) and toss the whole thing together yourself. You won’t necessarily save money (it’ll come out to around 1000$ for a new bike no matter how you cut it) but the overall component and wheels will be better - you have the added bonus that if you build your bike yourself you’ll forever be indepedent from shop mechanics and that shit gets expensive insanely fast.

You can then always upgrade your frame and parts as you accumulate money (again without shelving out cash for a store to do it for you)

B) get a canned bike from bikesdirect or a similar retailer (there are a few) and have someone do a partial rebuild since those places have notoriously poor assembly. You can’t beat those sorts of outfits in raw price though, another reason LBS’s hate them.

C) find a used entry level road bike (CL, ebay or from someone you know). If you’re a tall guy I have a 58 cm I’d be happy to sell to you for a good price =P

Sounds like budget is a factor. I would add that a helmet, gloves, bike shorts, and a good jersey will be essential expenses. As would be cycling shoes/clipless pedals, pump, saddle bag, and cycling computer but those can be on hold for now.

As far a price goes, there is plenty of shopping advice here. I would suggest something that you can “grow into”. Otherwise, you might find yourself limited as you progress. But that depends upon your level of commitment. My first real bike was a $500 Cannondale that was marked down due to a new season/models. I don’t know what that would come to with about 15 years on inflation. I progressed with this bike which then became a commuter that I later sold. Once you do have a road bike, I recommend not to leave your ride chained outdoors.

I wonder if police or estate auctions are a possibility?

Yea, bike accessories add up fast. Once my Keo Carbons arrive in about a week I’ll be tossing my old Shimano PD-R540s on craigslist, so let me know if you’re interested beforehand. Sure they’re scratched and beaten but they function just fine.

Yeah, that’s because you are undergoing an MRI that you don’t need!! Not good for you!

Having done MRI research myself, I would say that it is safe.
It has been around since the 70’s and there have been no major complications to patiennts with typical 1 hour sessions.

However, as an operator, I did have 48 hr headaches after a few 6-8 hr experiments. Also, there is a rumor in the MRI community that men who work with MRI tend to have more girls.

In the day, I too tried to earn cash with MRI but I am left handed and my brain is very different from more lateralized right handed folks.

Ben, I avoid PET scans, but I’m with Mr. “RidinSteel” here. No harm in a bit of superpowered electromagnets!

More power to ya. I just try to avoid superpowered electromagnets whenever possible. Like, when I’m walking home from the bar late at night and I see one loitering in a dark alley. Definitely I pick up the pace.

hey guys thanks for the advice. I seem to have forget to check up on my own thread with the exams and all that.

Anyhow, after some discussions initial discussions with Ben, I have changed my budget to a bit higher but after reading some very good arguments here, I see no problem in spending 1K or so on a bike if I like the sport.

Now, I am thinking of getting an entry road bike for kicks and then if things goes well, sell it and buy something better.

Going to check out this tomorrow morning. It is a sportschek Nakamura entry road bike with Shimano Sora components, I am not sure if the sportschek bikes are better than the walmart/Canadian tire/costco ones but giving it a try anyways as I want get riding soon.


No car here, can’t drive either so can’t rent one either. Those CL ads goods much better compared to the ones in MTL.

Actually got a cycling shorts from MEC, cycling gloves, helmet, pump. No jersey but I use my underamour compression shirt which I find to be pretty good.

Btw, are those medical tests real? I know those psyc experiments where they pay you $10 an hour. Never heard of paid medical tests before. I will be working at the McGill cancer center for summer, they don’t pay much to undergraduate researchers so those medical tests are pretty useful if they pay well hah. You get paid for sperm donations?

There’s a medical testing website that McGill cycling does not endorse to pay for equipment. Pay ranges from $900-$1600 for the tests but the tests take a while. More info on the site I guess. And no, I’ve not done a test or sold sperm.

My old mate works at competitivecyclist.com and posted this: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/road-bikes/frame/2010-ridley-compact-sram-rival-complete-bike-6676.html