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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If money is tight, buy used. Good bikes go for $150 +/- around here on Craigs List all the time. And if you are really thrifty (or cheap), hit the thrift stores. It will take a while, but you should find something in the $5 to $20 range. I have bought over a dozen bikes this year at thrift stores in that range, the last two were $5 each. Important, none of the thrift store bikes were in ready to ride condition, all needed some maintenance, from tires and tubes, to replacing cables, to basic adjustments. (Nothing too technical, unless you pick up a real beater). And it takes time and perseverance to find thrift store deals. So Craigs List is a lot easier. And there are lots of very active C/L areas in NC.
Do a search on starter bike recommendations. There are probably at least 1000 threads on this topic.
You need to decide the type of riding you plan on doing, hills, distance, and so on. That will determine the kind of bike you get. Ditto your proper bike sizing, which is another common discussion area with lots of information/opinions out there (another good search area). If you are going to buy used (thats how to save $$), then you do have to kind of dial in on the type, size and brands of bikes you are interested in. Thats part of the value you get from buying from a local bike shop.
10 Wheels makes a great point. Save your money now, and if you get really serious, you will be buying a better bike later. It is very doubtful that whatever bike you pick now would be what you will want later. So instead of taking a major loss on dumping a higher cost bike a year from now, get a used one.
Most people around this forum avoid the Walmart, Target, etc., brands. They tend to be cheaply constructed, and as costly or more costly than a good used bike.
Last edited by wrk101; 10-21-08 at 10:12 PM.
Reason: addl info