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  1. #1
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    Advice for buying a bike for relative novice

    Hello All!

    I used to ride bikes long ago when i was 11-12 years old, but haven't ridden one in 12 years now! However I'm getting interested in bicycles again and my physiotherapist recommended I get one. The thing is, I have ZERO expertise when it comes to buying a bicycle. I'm just going to be using it as a "fitness tool", something i can ride every other day for a relative short distance (2-4 k). So I need to know:
    - What type of bike am I looking for?
    - What price ranges should I have to have in mind?
    - Used or new?
    - Where to go in Ottawa?
    any other pointers would be awesome!
    Thanks again!!

    Adam

  2. #2
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    Ottawa has some of the best paved biking trails so there are many places to safely ride. Honestly, 2 to 4 k is a very short distance to ride and will not produce any fitness benefits. My suggestion is to borrow or rent a bike for a weekend and see if you like riding. If you do then go to a couple of local bike shops for their opinions based on your riding needs. You could pick up a decent hybred or commuter for $500. I'd not recommend used unless you had someone knowledgeable help you find the right size and in good working order. Good luck,

  3. #3
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Where to go in Ottawa to ride or to sop for a bicycle? The answers might be here: http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/transp...wa-cycling-map

    I second the previous suggestion, rent a bike and go for a ride.
    2-4 kms may seem like a decent distance, and it would be for walking, but in a bike you will breeze by 10 kms before you know it.

    You're very lucky, Ottawa is fantastic for cycling, all those off road trails!

  4. #4
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Ottawa biking buddy recommends Fosters on Bank Street.

    Always worth looking at MEC as well, of course.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  5. #5
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    I always suggest people get a used and older Mtn. Bike as the first. They are cheap, sturdy and you will always have a use for it even if you upgrade to a road bike later. Stick with an older Trek, Specialized and stay away from Wally World specials. Put some slick tires on and your ready to ride in comfort. These can usually be had for under $100. My road bikes have come and gone but I still have the 1st mtn. bike I ever bought. Great for just cruising around or easy spins when you dont want to get all kitted up for a nice ride.

    Edit: stick with hardtail (no suspension) bikes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I like free View Post
    I always suggest people get a used and older Mtn. Bike as the first. They are cheap, sturdy and you will always have a use for it even if you upgrade to a road bike later. Stick with an older Trek, Specialized and stay away from Wally World specials. Put some slick tires on and your ready to ride in comfort. These can usually be had for under $100. My road bikes have come and gone but I still have the 1st mtn. bike I ever bought. Great for just cruising around or easy spins when you dont want to get all kitted up for a nice ride.

    Edit: stick with hardtail (no suspension) bikes.

    Sorry, but I disagree. An old, heavy mtb is exactly what kept me away from cycling. I tried that thing a couple of times and decided I hated it. It was the renting of an inexpensive hybrid while in vacation that made me fall in love with cycling.
    Especially when you're starting and don't have much fitness or skill yet, a lighter, more responsive bike that's pleasure to ride is the way to go in my opinion. And unless OP is planning to ride mtb trails, I would recommend a hybrid.

  7. #7
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    I'm with lucille on this one. Especially if you have to store a bike in a basement or up some stairs, the last thing you want is something that's heavy. And if you are new to biking, you may not want to do the maintenance on a second hand bike. A light, responsive hybrid will be much more fun to ride.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  8. #8
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    OP is looking at riding 2.5 miles a day. Definately not a fitness ride or one that should warrant a more expensive bike. I'm all in for the hybrid if it's in your budget but for that kind of riding I'd stick with a $100-$150 quality used bike.

  9. #9
    Member SuperTrouper's Avatar
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    As jmehalick mentioned, Ottawa has some great paved trails. Depending on where you live in Ottawa, anywhere along the canal or the Ottawa River is a great ride

  10. #10
    Senior Member ottawa_adam's Avatar
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    I would suggest going to a reputable bike shop and budgeting about $400-500 for a decent bike. Make sure the sales staff takes time to ensure the bike fits you properly.

    This fine city has tonnes of places to bike. Depending on where you live, you may have access to multiple-use pathways.

  11. #11
    Member 100lbHustle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singhisking View Post
    Sketch yourself. Grab a pencil, paper and some brutal honesty. Now make two lists. The first is an inventory of your current status as a cyclist or, for first-timers, your fitness level: how competitive you are, how much time you spend riding (or working out) each week, your highest achievements on a bike. The second is your ultimate vision of yourself as a cyclist: completing multiple charity rides each year, kicking butt on the local race circuit, riding to work every day, and so on. Then, imagine a rider who fits between the two—the bike that's right for that middle-ground you is the minimum you should purchase. Buy below that level, and you won't have enough room to grow.

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    Very well put I must say. But I would start with a used bicycle at first, to make sure that you really want to commit to riding every other day or if its even enjoyable for you. If you are sure about getting into cycling then id definitely follow the above suggestion on how to choose your first bike. I know i started with saying to myself (I havent rode a bike in years, id like to get one to stay active and commute) and now I ride my Felt Z85 and do 40-50 mile rides every other day. I have taken many strides and accomplished many fitness and cycling goals because of my bike. Choose wisely my friend!

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