Recreational & Family - Want to bike, but need advice on what to Bike on?
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I am looking for recommendations on a bike for myself and my husband. We would like to become more active with our 3 children (7, 4, 2).
My husband is 5'11" and weighs 230; I am 5'4" and weigh 135.
We plan on doing recreational riding on weekends. We live by some nice paved bike trails.
Should we buy moutain bikes, hybrid? What brand? We don't want to break the bank but would like to have a comfortable ride.
We plan to get a trailer for the two little kids.
08-10-09, 08:45 AM
If you think that your riding will almost always be on paved surfaces, look at a hybrid type. The skinnier , smoother tire with be easier for the rider. I have always been happy with the large selection of Giant bikes [ look at Giant Cypress, etc. ] & they are very reasonably priced. What most people call Hybrid bikes, Giant refers to as " Lifestyle " for some reason. Look to see if there is a Giant dealer near you. You want a local dealer, for any name brand bike, to be nearby for service/warranty work.
08-10-09, 08:50 AM
The hybrid would be best. Stay away from department store bikes. There are many good brands to choose from.
Mountain bikes are designed for riding off road. Get a hybrid, or for a little faster and a better workout, get a flat bar road bike.
thanks for the feedback! I visited a LBS tested a hybrid and liked it but the $400 price is a little much for me to spend. I am debating on buying a big box store bike first - what do you think?
08-19-09, 06:02 AM
$400 is pretty much entry level pricing. And it'll be much much better than the wm special. However, now that I think about it, I've seen road bikes/cruisers at my LBS starting around $250 I beleive. But I didnt look too close either as I was more interested in a mtn bike.
08-19-09, 06:20 AM
If,,, & ONLY IF, a bike from an LBS is over a person's budget, do I ever recommend a " big box store." Then, when I do, it will be from " Target." They have a pretty decent Schwinn hybrid type for around $200. Around here, at least, their bikes are assembled well, & ready to ride. The bikes I see from WW are put together finger tight with nothing adjusted. An LBS would charge up to $75 to straighten their assembly out & make the bike safe & rideable.
08-19-09, 06:30 AM
If you cannot afford a hybrid from a LBS, the Schwinn Trail Way bikes from Target, are the best I have seen. Target, at least around here, assembles the bikes very well, unlike other ' big box stores."
Be careful buying from a box store first, usually it ends up costing more in the long run. Bikes, tools, etc are like that. For example my father buys walmart/sears tools, black and decker, etc drills and such. in 10 years he went through 4 cordless drills, I bought one Makita and 10 years later still have it and just replaced the battery. My one drill cost as much as two of his but after he replaced his the third time we evend out on price and the fourth time he had now spent more than I, in a couple years when he buys a new one again he'll have spent even more.
We bought Kmart bikes a few years ago. Rode a couple times and then every time we rode had to adjust things, they wouldn't shift, chain would fall off, etc. Now if your handy then adjusting the bikes every ride isn't a big deal but if your the kind who pays someone else to do maintenance and such then your going to spend more $ adjusting and fixing it than what you would have spent from the start on a good bike.
If you can't afford the $400 another place to look is craigslist. Since you already tested one at an LBS you were probably sized/fitted so you know what size to look for used.
Another thing, the more $$ bikes were some motivation for us to get out, didn't want our investment just sitting in the garage.
08-19-09, 10:41 AM
I concur with the recommendation to look at Target over the other big-box chain. I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the Schwinn models that I've seen at my local Target store. Some of them seem good value for the money. Just avoid anything with rear suspension at those low price points.
08-19-09, 11:48 AM
I too would recommend Cragislist if you live in an area where Craigslist is available. You might check to see if there is a local bike club that would help. Ask for someone in the club to help you make a choice. Knowledge is king. I recently tried to help a young coworker find a suitable bike. There were quite a few to choose from, including some pretty expensive ones that had come down into her price range. The number of trophy bikes (those that get admired as the owner drives in and out of the garage in their SUV but rarely get ridden) is amazing. Nice find if you can get one.
Don't let your husband buy a lightweight one and leave you with a heavy clunker. I see that happen all the time and it is the reverse of what should be. The lighter the bike, the easier it is to ride and a smaller woman is rarely a match for a larger man when it comes to strength and endurance (notice I wrote rarely, not never!). I'd suggest a road bike for the type of riding you want to do but the riding position on a road bike may not be as comfortable as a hybrid or cross-trainer.
Ohh and def craigslist for the trailer. We got one of the nice Burley's they still looked new for half price. Find that area of your city/town where people have a lot of $ and big houses full of nice new things that don't get a lot of use.
08-19-09, 08:51 PM
Buy it used in the recycler, craiglist, ebay, a bike shop that sells used bikes, etc... before you go for the other alternative. You'll get a better bike if you know what to look for; if not settle for the other.
I have a few friends that have bought really nice used bikes for a steal of a price, so start from there.
If you don't know what to look for find someone that does.
Hybrid, Comfort, or Cruiser bikes are fine. Look for the ones that have multiple speeds so you have a variety of gearing for the terrain or load you are pulling (kids and/or groceries).
MTN bikes are ok, just have to replace the knobby tires with slicks or treaded tires.
08-19-09, 09:35 PM
Check this site out: http://wwwbiketoledo.net. Lots of good stuff for getting started.
08-28-09, 05:29 PM
recommending someone who has no experience with bicycle tech to buy from Craigslist is like pushing someone who barely swims in a river full of crocodiles.
08-31-09, 10:57 PM
Giant sedona are well recomended
09-01-09, 02:00 AM
recommending someone who has no experience with bicycle tech to buy from craigslist is like pushing someone who barely swims in a river full of crocodiles.
+1. ryan5: Go to a few local bike shops and test ride some bikes. BTW, around here (SoCal) Electra Townies are very popular and, I think, would suit your purposes. But there are lots of other similar bikes to choose from.
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