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  1. #1
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    Advice for my first quality bicycle

    Hello everyone. I am thinking about buying my first quality bicycle. I use to ride alot in my teens and was mainly use to Murray and Huffy bikes, I have never owned a nice bike. Now I am 36 and weight 240lbs and an 5feet 10 inches tall. I want to ride for exercise, fun, transportation, and overall use. My goal is a "jack of all trades" kind of bike. I want to exercise, pick up small items from the store, ride for fun....just for the heck of it. I want the freedom to go places as I can not drive a car due to my eyes. What do you need to know from me to help start my search in looking for a bike?

  2. #2
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    I would go to a couple of bike stores and ride a couple of bikes at each. Focus on "Hybrid" bikes with 700c wheels and tires at least 30 mm wide. Set a price range. Don't look at bikes over your max price because they will suck you in. It seems I always get a bike $500 more than I want to spend.

    I could write an essay here, but I think others will chip in with what I want to say.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  3. #3
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    Alright, here is what I am dealing with. I was born legally blind in both eyes. I can se but there is nothing man can do to make my eyes better. I have optic atrophy. I live on a fixed income each month and live at home with parents......kinda stinks at 36 but hey it is all good. I am thinking of using my college refund money from FASFA to buy a bike for myself. What price does a decent bike start at? I mean I was use to Wal-mart and small hardware store bikes growing up. Can you get something nice for under $500?

  4. #4
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    First of all I don't want to assume that @5'10" & 240 that you're in poor shape. So an an idea of your present level of activity whould help. How far do you wish to ride? Is it strictly paved or is there dirt/mud involved. Since you want to do so shopping then how big of loads do you want to carry? Is the area hilly? What kind of budget? Mechanical skills?

  5. #5
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    You can get a durable bike for $500. Nice is a matter of taste.

  6. #6
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    Alright, great questions. I am a simple and basic type of person. I want reliable over pretty. Sure nice shiny aluminum wheels and pretty paint are nice but not needed. I have never built a bike before but I could learn. I do basics on my wife's car such as oil changes, brakes, tune-ups, etc. I sharpen my own knives and carry a Leatherman Wave multitool everyday....does that help? I would say most of the riding will be paved. I live in an area that has some hills but nothing too extreme....mainly flat ground. I would like to be able ride in gravel or patches of sand now and then. Hop over curbs and speed bumps, pot holes, etc. I feel that I could work on a bike from a book or video but not sure if I could just figure out how to adjust a derailer because I have never done it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member The_DK's Avatar
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    Check out cyclocross bikes, they might be right up your alley. Used steel or aluminum can be your friend here.

    Parktools has a great series on bicycle repair online for free. I knew less than nothing in January, and I can do an OK job with derailleurs now.

  8. #8
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Sounds like you could handle used if it didn't need a lot of work requiring special tools. I'd probably suggest a 2-3 year old bike similar to this. http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ness/fx/7_3_fx in a 17.5" - 20" size. Avoid a front suspension as they're not necessary for the riding you're proposing.

    I'd think $400 would be a good price leaving you with $100 for a helmet, basic tools, and spare tubes, Pump ect...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s1mp13m4n View Post
    Alright, great questions. I am a simple and basic type of person. I want reliable over pretty. Sure nice shiny aluminum wheels and pretty paint are nice but not needed. I have never built a bike before but I could learn. I do basics on my wife's car such as oil changes, brakes, tune-ups, etc. I sharpen my own knives and carry a Leatherman Wave multitool everyday....does that help? I would say most of the riding will be paved. I live in an area that has some hills but nothing too extreme....mainly flat ground. I would like to be able ride in gravel or patches of sand now and then. Hop over curbs and speed bumps, pot holes, etc. I feel that I could work on a bike from a book or video but not sure if I could just figure out how to adjust a derailer because I have never done it.
    Sounds like you would be able to handle any maintenance or repair just fine.

    My suggestion is to have a look a couple of major bike sites [see the links below] and browse their bicycle categories. Probably the multi-use bikes from what you have described your needs are would be a good place to start. There are many to choose from.
    Things that you might want to add later such as fenders, rack etc. should be thought about up front to ensure that it's something you can add to your bike.
    Once you determine the genre/style of bike that suits you post back a couple of models that catch your eye and go from there. Then folks can assist in helping you the pros and cons of each bike etc.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/home.jsp
    http://www.trekbikes.com/int/en/
    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/

    Good luck

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    IF you plan on putting a rack & baskets on the rear, make sure it has eyelets to mount them.

    IF you stick to hard surfaces and don't do "real" mountain biking, skip any suspension. That helps keep cost and potential problems down.

    You really don't need a "fast" bike because you can't see far enough.
    I had severe cataracts recently and finally got lens implants. I'd reached a point that I couldn't walk normal speed in case someone was walking toward me. I was pretty much one step away from contact.

    That begs the question- Can you see well enough to ride, in case a child or other animal were to dart in front of you?

  11. #11
    Senior Member redvespablur's Avatar
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    I looked at Kona Dew + on close out for my wife. City Bike flat bar with slicks and disk brakes. can be had for around 500 and sometimes on close-out with better drivetrain bits. More road oriented look for used steel cross bike with eylets

  12. #12
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    I know my bike may not be the choice of many on this forum but I love my bike. I have a diamondback insight and it is under 500 dollars and it was a big upgrade to me from my Walmart mongoose mountain bike. I just got the bike last week I think and I've out in 70 miles on it and I haven't had a problem. Here is a picture of the bike

    I've also have saw a fuji newest 4.0 at sport chalet for under 500 dollars. Good luck on your search for a bike.

  13. #13
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    Personally I'd go the used name brand bike route. I think a rigid mountain bike from the 90's would work just fine until you really have a better idea of what kind of riding you will do.

    The 26" wheels offer you a variety of options in tires and the frames were meant to take some abuse. I commuted on a 93 Giant Rincon for years and it never let me down. I gave it to my brother before he went into the army and he really beat the heck out of it. You can also find a lot of them on CL for not a lot of $$$. I also don't think hardtails would be that bad of an option. Other than that some of the used road bikes from the 70's, 80's, & 90's might work well.
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post

    That begs the question- Can you see well enough to ride, in case a child or other animal were to dart in front of you?
    Thank you all for the great ideas. To answer this my reply would be that I am safe on side roads with little traffic.....you know the quiet ride. Now I have always been on a bike on the sidewalks to avoid traffic when on a 4 lane city road with grass deviding the lanes. I never ride on the road unless it is a back road or side street. Does that help? Also back in 1995 I was on a Huffy mountain bike and I was crossing a 4 lane road at a red light. My light went green and a guy in a pickup ran a red light and hit me at 45mph according to the cop who saw it all happen. I have not been on a bike much sense then. I forgot....that I did buy a used Trek 800 Sport in the 90s and it got stollen. It was a professional job because the front tire was locked to the frame with "The Club" bicycle lock and it had a cable lock with padlock on the cable. Both locks had been picked because both locks were left and not damaged.

  15. #15
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redvespablur View Post
    I looked at Kona Dew + on close out for my wife. City Bike flat bar with slicks and disk brakes. can be had for around 500 and sometimes on close-out with better drivetrain bits. More road oriented look for used steel cross bike with eylets
    kona dr fine and dr good have been seen on bonktown for a ridiculously low price. i think the dr. good was on there about a month ago for $349

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