Recreational & Family - Recommend me a bike
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05-01-06, 03:01 PM
I'm getting ready to purchase a new bicycle for myself, but am in desperate need of some recommendations. Though I have ridden bikes my entire life, up until this point it has been on BMX/freestyle bikes. I'm getting a little old for that but still would like to be able to ride for recreation and exercise. I live in a city environment and don't really see myself taking my bike on much if any trails, however I would like the ability to cut through grass or go up or down a curb if the need arised. As I said, I will mainly be using this bike to go for rides in the morning for exercise.
If at all possible I'd like to spend less than $300, but if I have to I could go up to $500. I know this is asking a lot, but I'm kinda strapped for cash at the moment. Any recommendations at all would be greatly appreciated.
05-01-06, 03:26 PM
If you know bikes, maintenance and component wise, I would go used. You can get much more for your money on the used market. Craigslist and local bike clubs are the best for your local market otherwise I would suggest with caution ebay. There are some forums (like this one) that also have trade/for sale sections.
Depending how aggressive you want or think you will be, it sounds like you should be on a mountain, cyclocross or maybe even a comfort bike. It really depends on what you like and what kind of riding you want to do. I would recommend you hit up a local bike shop and take a few test rides to help you narrow your preferred frame style.
05-01-06, 08:15 PM
Giant makes an FCR series bike that's looks like a road version of a hardtail mountain bike. Trek makes one called the FX, a fitness bike. These bikes have a more upright geometry like a bmx/mtb. but have faster gearing and thinner, larger wheels than a mtb. You can put slicks on for the street and treads on for trails. Add a rack, some fenders and you've got a commuter.
Marin makes a wide range of Street-urban-city bikes like the Larkspur. http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2006/html/bikes/bike_specs/specs_larkspur.html
Jamis makes several models, too. The Coda has gotten several good reviews on the forum and is $440
I'd stick with a quality brand rather than something from Wal-mart or Dick's Sporting Goods. Plus, a good bike shop is a valuable resource.
The 7.3 FX is at your limit, the 7.2FX is $420.
Hybrids have a bit more upright geometry; wider tires, gearing may be a bit lower, and a front suspension fork. The fork isn't needed unless you are hitting a lot of bumpy trails and on the road is just extra weight.
Comfort bikes look like hybrids but are lower to the ground so you can put your feet on the ground while still seated. Hybrids and comfort bikes are slower than the above fitness bikes.
Cruisers look cool, have big, wide tires, usually singlespeed but can also have 3 or sometimes 7 gears. Heavy, not fast. Built for style, comfort and leisurely rides at a conversational pace.
Cyclocross bikes are road bikes with drop handlebars that can take wider tires with knobby treads. Mountain biking on a road bike, though not on extreme trails. People ride them around town because the wider tires are more comfortable when hopping curbs, hitting potholes. Can also take fenders and double as a commuter.
Next up the ladder are bikes like the Specialized Roubaix and the Trek Pilot. Fast road bikes with a geometry that's a bit more upright. The gears, tires, etc. are all road bike though some models have flat handlebars instead of drops.
05-01-06, 11:29 PM
Why buy new? Look for a clean used mountain bke from the early 90's, when they were steel, and had no suspension - a used Trek 850, 930, 970, Stumpjumber, Rockhopper, etc. A higher line model will have better components and a rigid fork will be lighter and still ride great. Tune it up, replace chain, etc, put slicks on it and go. These older steek mtn bikes were excellent rides with a lot of comfort, and they usually have rack mounts. You won't have to worry about theft either.
I did this recently with a 93 Trek 970 - great steel lugged frame, XT/DX components - all for $150. Lubed it up, added new pedals, tires, a stem and seat from the parts bin, and I have a great town bike for about $250. I even bought some HD Jandd racks for it so I can hook on the panniers and do some dirt road and light trail touring with it. Very versatile. I see these things on Craigslist all the time for $100-200, and wish someone would buy 'em and use 'em.
I have a Giant Cypress and a Trek 7.3fx. I prefer riding the Cypress because it pedals easier and easily out-climbs the Trek with siimilar gearing. Both are great bikes and worth going for a test ride.
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