Help me buy a bike

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

wsp_scott

Member
.
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
614
My kids are getting old enough that they want me to get a bike. I've been looking at gravel forest roads and now I want a bike. I'm not interested in "crushing" trails or whatever the lingo is, but I'd like the ability to ride some easy single track as well as gravel roads. And I'd like the ability to do some bikepacking. I live in Kentucky and I'm not likely to be riding in SW CO or SE UT anytime soon, so I'm pretty sure I don't need a fat bike.

What would you suggest I look for in the $1000 - 1500 range. The guy at the local shop said that he thought a Surly bike would be ideal for what I described (something like their Ogre https://surlybikes.com/bikes/ogre)

So tire size? # of Gears? Suspension? Aluminum or steel? Other things I should be looking at?
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,079
My kids are getting old enough that they want me to get a bike. I've been looking at gravel forest roads and now I want a bike. I'm not interested in "crushing" trails or whatever the lingo is, but I'd like the ability to ride some easy single track as well as gravel roads. And I'd like the ability to do some bikepacking. I live in Kentucky and I'm not likely to be riding in SW CO or SE UT anytime soon, so I'm pretty sure I don't need a fat bike.

What would you suggest I look for in the $1000 - 1500 range. The guy at the local shop said that he thought a Surly bike would be ideal for what I described (something like their Ogre https://surlybikes.com/bikes/ogre)

So tire size? # of Gears? Suspension? Aluminum or steel? Other things I should be looking at?
The Surly is a good choice.

You may not need a fatbike but I would definitely check out a plus tire bike. Reason is you are in the hard tail market and the plus tires you can ride with lower pressure on dirt or gravel roads and it makes up a bit for lack of suspension. You don't really need suspension on a gravel road but then plus tires will make the ride a bit smoother.

Salsa Fargo is another good choice. I just tested both the Fargo and the Cutthroat. Loved them. I currently own a Mukluk and love the fatty. I will be getting one or the other. It all depends on how much I want to spend. But I am leaning towards the cutty with Jones H bars. I hate dropper bars.

Test ride a few before you buy one. Pay attention to the components on the bike more than the bike and frame. Better components make for a better ride. Just MHO.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

SteveR

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2016
Messages
231
Key thing is that it fits you.
So tire size?- I'm sold on 29, but from what you have said- 27 plus is likely the best choice. These days though it seems like many bikes are coming with 2.6 tires which are not really all that "plus".
# of Gears?- 10 or 11 at rear, 1 at front is what most are running. Possibly some bikes still come with 2 chainrings which is fine also. While both Shimano and Sram make good drivetrains, I think that in the lower tiers- Shimano stuff is generally better.
Suspension?- not at your price range. You will get a much better level of components by going with a hardtail. And it doesn't sound like you will need FS anyway.
Aluminum or steel?- Not a big deal. Good frames are made in both materials. Alu may be a bit lighter. With two (high end) steel hardtails in my stable, I'm partial to steel.
Other things I should be looking at?- A good bike shop that is friendly, accommodating and willing to work to get you onto the right bike, for you.
 

wsp_scott

Member
.
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
614
Thanks for the guidance. I just did a little reading about 27.5+ tires/bikes so I have an idea what you both are saying. It sounds great for dirt/gravel and light trails.

Will I hate a 27.5+ on asphalt? If someday in the future I loaded up a plus bike to ride Yellowstone roads (like this https://backcountrypost.com/threads/bikepack-yellowstone-2019.8553/) would I be miserable or if I did not care about speed not have any problems? Or is it possible to switch to "normal" wheels/tires if I wanted to?
 

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,079
Thanks for the guidance. I just did a little reading about 27.5+ tires/bikes so I have an idea what you both are saying. It sounds great for dirt/gravel and light trails.

Will I hate a 27.5+ on asphalt? If someday in the future I loaded up a plus bike to ride Yellowstone roads (like this https://backcountrypost.com/threads/bikepack-yellowstone-2019.8553/) would I be miserable or if I did not care about speed not have any problems? Or is it possible to switch to "normal" wheels/tires if I wanted to?
No. You won't hate it on asphalt. It is a bike. How can you hate a bike. I LOVE riding my fatty. I am just a tad slower on uphill. Get out of my way when I have it pointed downhill. Stable as hell and I can haul ass on that fatty. Skinny wheels terrify me. I tend to scare the poops out of those I am riding with when on pavement and heading downhill. I sound just like a car ready to run them over. But I am not. Usually I am off to the side passing them with a smile on my face.

You can get slicks for most bikes. Less tread more speed on road. But I don't bother. I am a slow roll and I like it that way.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,079
By the way I have bikepacked Yellowstone twice on my fatbike. Definitely go when the roads are closed to cars in the spring. It is an amazing experience.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

wsp_scott

Member
.
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
614
By the way I have bikepacked Yellowstone twice on my fatbike. Definitely go when the roads are closed to cars in the spring. It is an amazing experience.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
I saw your 2017 trip report while eating lunch at my desk, looks awesome, so many animals
 

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,079
Oh one more thing on wheels. I love my 27.5 full suspension on mtb trails. Really not a fan if 29 on mtb. However after trying the Cutthroat I would go 29+ for gravel riding. Loved the bigger wheels for the gravel ride.

I think Clay and Laurel rode the Cannondale Cujo. Those are good bikes for the price.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

swmalone

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
275
I will throw another option out there. My wife picked up a Giant Stance with the 27.5+. She really loves those slightly higher and wider tires. She says it makes her feel a lot more confident riding around. It also stays well within your price range.
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top