DRF aka Thrifty Bill
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The NC Mountains
Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue, 87 Cimarron, 14 frame school custom, 73 Paramount
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You need to go to the dealer now and sit on some bikes to establish size. There is quite a lot of factors that go into size. I am 5 - 11 and ride a 54cm Trek. Bikes are made for people with average proportions. I have never met anyone yet that was average, but there is probably someone out there. I have short legs and long torso and arms, which makes fitting to a standard bike somewhat difficult. And size varies by brand, style, and even within brand. If the store is not busy, they will probably help you some.
For $300, you should be able to find a nice, modern road bike (used), something five years old +/-. For $100 to $150, you should be able to find a decent mountain bike. I would not get a mountain bike unless you really plan to ride off road. Road bikes are much more efficient for riding on pavement.
Avoid the X-Mart crap: bikes sold at Walmart, Target and so on. A quick spin through the local Xmarts will introduce you to all of those bikes.
The first noticable difference in bikes is with the grade of components. For Shimano, Sora is pretty much the bottom end. If you can get better components, that is a definite plus.
Last edited by wrk101; 04-02-08 at 07:29 AM.