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Thread: Buying a bike in Edmonton

  1. #1
    I'd rather C2E than work!
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    Default Buying a bike in Edmonton

    I've been riding my brother's old battle-tank CCM mountain bike for the past 3 years and now it's time to buy a new bicycle. I've been looking at various websites for what type of bike to buy and, frankly, I am overwhelmed.

    I ride in all of the seasons except for winter. My main purpose is to ride to work from Bonnie Doon to an industrial area in the southeast. I also like to ride on bike trails on my leisure time.

    Basically I ride a bike for mainly city commuting but the odd time I may go on rougher terrain, such as cutting through a ravine or field.

    Is it best to get a mountain, hybrid or comfort/commutingbike? Front suspension or full suspension? Does it matter how many gears are on the bike?

    Most importantly where are the best bike shops in Edmonton? I am willing to spend $800-$900 on a new set of wheels plus extra for accessories (which may be a future topic here). Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I bought a bike a few years ago, and I think your budget is too low for most of the specialty bike shops. I went to United Cycle, Hard Core Bikes, River Valley Cycle and Western Cycle. I'm 6'8, so I didn't have a ton of luck finding many bikes that would fit me, and wouldn't cost me a ton of money (if I had $5k to spend, it would have been easier). I think I spent roughly $2,000 on my bike from River Valley Cycle. Loved the service at Hard Core Bikes, but they didn't have anything that was in my price range and would fit me. United Cycle was a horrible experience. The guy basically pulled out a bike, said "yeah, that'll fit you" and then tried bringing it to the til to ring it up. He really didn't care about me as a customer at all.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  3. #3
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    Default Western cycle

    Love western cycle great selection and awesome customer service. They fit you up perfectly and give you a free tune up when you want to come back and see how it's working on any bike. Probably not what you are looking for but I got a Norco fixie/single speed for 450. If you ask they will usually knock 5-10% off no problem.

    Also there is a bike swap meet coming up (weekend after next) at glengary arena might find something good second hand.

  4. #4
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    I'll talk bike first, shop second.

    If you've been riding bikes for 3 years, you know you like it and are a good candidate to buy a good bike, not a cheap bike. Based on the riding you do, when you ask, mountain, hybrid or comfort? I say none of those. I'd say get the real do-it-all of the bike world: The cyclocross bike.

    It's the good hybrid of the road/mountain bike. More road than mountain, but can handle light trail riding. I maintain that there is almost no reason you'd need a suspension for the riding you talk about. That's just weight and power loss that slow you down.

    The issue with finding cyclocross bikes is sometimes they don't have the eyelets for fenders/rack, etc like you'd want in a commuter. I have a 2007 Kona Jake. It's my day to day bike with rack, fenders, etc. I commute on it, and I've also gone on a 100km+ touring trip on it. You can change the tires from the knobbier ones it comes with to slicker ones. Easy to switch between them.

    The 2013 version is here: http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=jake

    What's nice about the 2013 version over mine is disc brakes (great for commuting I think), and the 2013 version of the shifters on this bike are a step or two above the 2007 version. (It's got 30 'speeds', 3 in the front, 10 in the rear) The other issue with cyclocross bikes is that this may stretch your budget. The Jake is $1200. They may have last years model for cheaper.

    Other Cyclcross Bikes to Consider (they might fit different)

    $1200 Trek Cross Rip (lower quality shifters on this, so not a good deal)
    $1050 Specialized Tricross Same shifters as the Trek (A couple levels below the 2007 shifters on my Kona. The Shimano 2300 are 8 speed tech, where most things are 10 speed now) but cheaper because no disc brakes.
    $1100 CAADX Sora One level below the Tiagra shifters on the 2013 Kona. Equivalent to what I have on my 2007 Kona. Not disc. Might not work well with rack and fenders. (Based on a lack of eyelets near the rear dropouts that I can see)
    $1150 Rocky Mountain Solo CX pretty similar to the Kona Jake here I think. Might lack eyelets.
    $1200 Devinci Tosca SL 1 again similar to the Kona Jake, but slighly lower shifters in some spots. (it's confusing on the website) No disc brakes.
    Surly Cross Check Not sure of the cost. Strange shifting combo, no disc. But great brand, will be a good bike.
    Salsa Vaya Again not sure of the cost (Update: I think it's more like $1800). Disc on this, and good shifters. Probably equal to the 2013 Kona. (This one is the prettiest to me so far)

    Okay that sorta ends my search for now. Basically, there is a lot of choice, but not a lot of choice in price down from that unfortunately. Once you start wanting to look at hybrid or mountain I either don't know (mountain) or don't care (hybrid :P)

    You might get lucky by finding a 2012 model in stock, in your size.

    The different bike shops generally carry different brands. There is a lot of overlap too. My ideal with any bike shop is that they let me take the bike out on the road for a few Km's. Don't just ride it in the parking lot. Give it 15 minutes. Ride back to back on different bikes if you can. If they won't let you do that, they aren't worth spending your money with since they won't provide good service in terms of fitting I think.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: Another bike to add based on Norco as mentioned above. They might have a good cheaper contender: Norco Threshold Alloy A3. Should be about $950? Disc with Sora shifters (equivalent to my 2007 Kona shifters) so pretty good. It's a double (so 2 in the front, not 3) so 18 speeds vs 30, but a wide range so you'd still be good. (Note, more speeds isn't always better, most 'pro' road bikes have 20 or 22 speeds these days)
    Last edited by Channing; 29-04-2013 at 10:03 PM.

  5. #5

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    Get hooked up with Edmonton Bicycle Commuter Society, they have refurbished bikes that run awesome and all the tools and know-how for tune ups or repairs. United Cycle is overpriced for what you need. I would also recommend the bike swap meet!
    Live and love... your neighbourhood.

  6. #6
    I'd rather C2E than work!
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    Default

    Thanks for the input so far, folks.

    Yes I now believe to get a quality, solid bike I need to spend $1100 or higher. Even looking at Kijiji, most decent bikes are selling at $900 and up for used models.

    I know of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuter Society and the upcoming bike swap. It's something I should check out:
    http://edmontonbikes.ca/alberta-bike-swap/

    I never heard of cyclocross before but it is exactly what fits my bicycling needs and style. Thanks Channing!

    I will start visiting the shops around my area, starting with Sports Shack in Ottwell then the stores on Whyte, just to get a feel of the models and the market.

    Like I said my brother gave me his old CCM when he bought a $2500 Kona. I haven't went bike shopping since I was 15 years old. If I can ride the wrought iron CCM through rain, mud, and wind, riding a new bike would be a breeze!

  7. #7
    highlander
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    If you're not looking super high-end, western cycle and united are probably the best. MEC has some good stuff too.
    How long is your commute? if it's about 10K or longer, or if you plan on lots of long river valley rides, definitely go with the cyclocross, or something similar with road bars. If your commute is shorter, or if you're thinking of going year round, mountain bike style flat bars may be more convenient. You can get hybrid bikes that are pretty much a road bike without the drops. I ride a Giant FCR from western cycle in the snow-less seasons. It's been pretty good to me, and in that 600-$1000 price range, depending on the model.

  8. #8

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    I'd recommend trying out a cross bike too. The Kona Jake seems pretty well equipped and should last you a while.

    I have a hardtail '95 Kona Kiluaea, fully suspended Knolly, and an Ibis Hakkaluggi CX is my go-to bike for pretty much everything rideable here in Edmonton.

    I recommend Hardcore Bikes and Velo City Cycles on 99 st and Argyll. Mark the owner of HCB is a great guy (and races bikes too) and very knowledgeable about his product. Jake at VCC is a great wrench (although I speak just as highly about Barry at HCB. Neither will sell you more than what you're looking for (like the Evil United Empire).

    VCC and Mud Sweat Gears in Sherwood Park carry the Kona line. HCB has Ibis.. For 2014 you can get a Hakkaluggi disc if that suits you more, but again, it's a little on the pricier side. RedBike on 109 st by the High Level Diner had Surly 2 yrs ago, not sure if they still do.

    The other thing to consider is frame construction.. I had an aluminum road bike and found it rides way too harsh. Steel is a little more comfortable, as is carbon but you'll have to come to that conclusion on your own. Not really noticeable on shorter rides imo. The Ibis is a carbon frame and my hardtail is steel. The Kona Rove ($1800CDN) is also steel, as is the Surly that Channing and Vaya linked. Or you could go north of $6k and go Titanium. Steel is also slightly cheaper.. and by that I don't mean cheap as in McDonalds cheap..

    I know HCB has a Gary Fisher Precidio cross frame in stock.. they've had it there for a few years now, so if you're on the taller side you can go in and see if they're willing to lower the price a little. It even has eyelets welded on should you choose to mount a fender or racks. I know.. I ordered it and decided I didn't want it.

    If you don't mind buying used there's often a tonne of bikes on Kijiji. Find a size that fits you well and go from there.
    Last edited by Legacy; 30-04-2013 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Kijiji link gone

  9. #9
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    This is all helpful info to me too, thanks! I am considering getting another bike. My current one is a Trek mountain bike that I bought from George's Cycle about 16 - 18 years ago. Still in very good shape since I only use it for pleasure cruising in the river valley. Also curious to see what advances in bicycle technology have taken place since then!
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  10. #10

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    MEC is hosting Bikefest on June 8th if you're interested:

    http://events.mec.ca/event/5415/edmo...8#.UYMVYbWsh8H

  11. #11
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    I ended up buying a Norco Storm mountain bike at Sports Shack. $420 for the bike and another $80 for accessories, which were installed free of charge. The bike is very smooth and comfortable.

    The folks at Sports Shack were great. They are a family run business for over 35 years in the Ottwell neighbourhood. I was able to test drive a few bikes in the parking lot, just had to leave them my i.d. There was no pressure from the sales staff and they took the time to explain things. It's always nice to support locally-run shops.

    http://www.sportsshack.ca/
    Last edited by North Guy66; 13-05-2013 at 11:06 AM.

  12. #12

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    I bought at the old RVC. It can be very overwhelming in these shops, luckily I had a couple bike nerds with me. Kept it simple and relatively plain. Went with a rocky Mountain, that suited my needs. Stick to what you need (suspension) and use the extra budget cash for better components - its make a difference.

    I now use MS&G in the park for service and they have been excellent so far.

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