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Old 11-05-11, 01:05 PM   #1
Keysgirl
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Greetings! Any advice on replacing a stolen bike?

So happy to find this forum with knowledgeable cyclists! And yes, I'll make sure to always lock up my new bike even when it's inside my house.

I'm a 50+, petite, occasional rider planning to ride 5 miles a day to start, for 6 months a year. Although my decades-old, too-big, 5-speed was stolen from my house I see this as an opportunity to get a new, more comfortable bike, perhaps a hybrid, one that will take me from pavement to packed, sand-clay side roads on ocassion. It's flat here in the Keys so gears aren't an issue, but salt is. Also, I like a comfy seat (who doesn't).

I have an extremely limited budget of $300 and expect to spend another $50+ for accessories. Before you click away in disgust, could you tell me if it would be foolish to order a Motobecane Elite FS 14" womens' bike from a place like Bikedirect? I know that I will miss out on the custom service of a LBS. And if I do that, should I expect to have the wheels balanced or trued, or whatever that's called? I'm interested in any and all advice and thanks in advance!
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Old 11-05-11, 01:14 PM   #2
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Hello Keysgirl.

Welcome to Bike Forums.

Moving to The Fifty Plus Forum for much help.
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Old 11-05-11, 02:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for sending my post to the 50 plus forum. Should I feel flattered or banished?
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Old 11-05-11, 02:59 PM   #4
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Knowing what you want and what you need is key. Geeting that bike from Bikesdirect is nit at all foolish, in fact, Bikesdirect offers a good value on many of their bikes and, for some reason, they are frowned upon by many (not me though). I would suggest that you take it to your LBS and have them give it an adjustment after you assemble it, as their bikes do need minor assembly out of the box. Also, be careful with your sizing. As you already know, fit is of primay importance. I think a bike like that will do you well for many many miles.

Sorry about your stolen bike...and yes this is an opportunity for you to get a new ride. I had my bike stolen and sold by a former friend of minewho was supposed to be looking after it for me (he tld me I could leave it at his house until I could get back to pick it up) after I moved, so I know how it feels.

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Old 11-05-11, 03:08 PM   #5
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Welcome to the 50+ forum. My only issue with mail order bike shops is, as Brian mentioned, they come in a box and you will have to assemble part of the bike. If you don't know how to do that you will end up taking it to a shop for them to assemble and adjust. Other than that, their bikes are as good as anyone else's. Just make sure that you get the correct size as a proper fit is extremely important.
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Old 11-05-11, 03:20 PM   #6
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Welcome, young lady! I agree with the above posts. I think a well established local bike shop that has built a good reputation is the only real choice for buying a new bike. Have them earn their profit margin, by spending time with you on picking the right bike that fits you. Get them to spend some time with you in selecting the right saddle, grips and other goodies that you'll be spend a lot of time with.

I like shopping and buying bargains from everywhere from ebay to Walmart. But the bikes have always come from a small local bike shop.
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Old 11-05-11, 03:28 PM   #7
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Welcome.

I would strongly suggest purchasing from a Local Bike Shop (LBS), unless you are very knowledgeable about bikes. If you order mail-order, unless you know what you are doing, the cost of having someone set up the bike and assemble will more than offset the savings from BD. Do you have a friend knowledgeable? or are you pretty handy??

If the sizing is incorrect you will hate the bike forever.

Anyway, enjoy, and my guess is you will be riding FAR more than 5 miles within a very short time. It happens to almost everyone who shows up here on the 50+ forum. I won't mention eating pie.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing adn your decision, which ever way you go.

(Sometimes LBS's have good used bikes and sales).
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Old 11-05-11, 03:40 PM   #8
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You were moved to 50+ because you will get a helpful, friendly reception here. I am not knowledgeable about the $300 range bikes but I would expect that you might find decent value in used bikes. Riders who start out on $500-$700 bikes and get hooked buy up. Of course, you may too.
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Old 11-05-11, 04:01 PM   #9
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Thank you Brian, John and Xisangstan for your warm welcome and advice. [And, Brian, it must be awful to lose a friendship along with your bike--sorry to hear that.]

I've got an ace bike mechanic lined up (not associated with a shop). Is truing the wheels what a bike shop automatically does before it sells their bikes? I agree that supporting a local business and getting help with the fit is the ideal thing to do, but the shop prices would force me to settle for one of their sub-par models.

Should I err on the side of too small a frame rather than too large? I'm right between sizes, or so I've been told.
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Old 11-05-11, 04:02 PM   #10
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Thanks Don! That's a great reason to be here!
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Old 11-05-11, 04:02 PM   #11
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These can be very fun to ride.

http://keys.craigslist.org/bik/2610525830.html

might be worth a trip to look at it?
You can always offer $300

http://keys.craigslist.org/bik/2669619201.html
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Last edited by 10 Wheels; 11-05-11 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 11-05-11, 04:04 PM   #12
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To Denver? Fox, I'll be careful with the size. And although I won't ever match your level of activity thanks for the vote of confidence. Hope to post a photo of me on my new ride soon.
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Old 11-05-11, 04:50 PM   #13
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I've got an ace bike mechanic lined up (not associated with a shop). Is truing the wheels what a bike shop automatically does before it sells their bikes?

Should I err on the side of too small a frame rather than too large? I'm right between sizes, or so I've been told.
They will at least check the wheels for true and check the adjustments of the shifters and brakes. Also, they make sure the bolts are tight.
These things can be performed at home on a regular basis.
I would think a slightly small frame would be better than a slightly large one.
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Old 11-05-11, 05:28 PM   #14
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Hello Keysgirl.

Two bits of advice from my experience:
1) My beloved bike was stolen in December 2009. I waited until the middle of January 2010 to replace it and got an awesome deal on a 2009 leftover.

2) I bought and was fitted for a 56 cm when I replaced my stolen bike. In May of this year, I won a bike and was fitted for a 54 cm. The bikes, both Treks, were from different dealers, and apparently, I'm in between sizes, too. I find the smaller bike more comfortable. YMMV.

Welcome to 50+! I am always happy to see other female cyclists posting here.
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Old 11-05-11, 05:44 PM   #15
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One more bit of advice. Check under your couch cushions, under your car seats, and the bottom of the washing machine for loose coins. In other words, save up for a better bike. The more you ride, the more addictive it becomes, and the more miles you'll ride. You'll want a better bike and you won't regret buying it, either. Think of it as an investment in yourself.
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Old 11-05-11, 05:57 PM   #16
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Welcome to the forum!
A good used bike from a local bike shop is an excellent idea; they would already have checked/tuned that bike before selling it and would be able to properly fit you, all without extra co$t. Plus you'd build up a rapport with the LBS.
A win/win situation for all concerned.
Agree with Denver, 5 miles is a good/reasonable goal; by this time next year you'll be doing 25 milers . . . with a big smile!
Pedal on!
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Old 11-05-11, 06:13 PM   #17
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...I waited until the middle of January 2010 to replace it and got an awesome deal on a 2009 leftover.
I have good luck with buying last year's models. They are brand new bikes, and the LBS may give you a deal on one to move the inventory.
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Old 11-05-11, 06:22 PM   #18
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Thanks for sending my post to the 50 plus forum. Should I feel flattered or banished?
Flattered, we only allow the creme de la creme here.







Although every once on a while they slip up and allow somebody like me in.
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Old 11-05-11, 06:38 PM   #19
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^^^If that was true I would certanily have been booted out....and I just GOT here!
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Old 11-05-11, 06:42 PM   #20
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Baj!
Shhhhh! We are trying to get her to sign the contract!
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Old 11-06-11, 01:20 AM   #21
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^^^If that was true I would certanily have been booted out....and I just GOT here!
Be nice--You are still on probation.

I would agree that it might be worth saving a bit more for a bike- but the sooner you get riding- you will learn about the intracacies of this Forum. We need pics- We demand Pie and N+1 is our Mantra.

Welcome to the forum and before buying-Ask. Plenty on here started on low level bikes so have experience of them.
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Old 11-06-11, 07:45 AM   #22
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Thanks for sending my post to the 50 plus forum. Should I feel flattered or banished?
A good question! It really depends on whom you speak to. I'll try to remember to ask you this question six months from now
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Old 11-06-11, 08:06 AM   #23
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If I may offer perhaps a suggestion? As stated above, saving for a better bike is one option, but as also stated, the sooner you get rolling, the better it is for you. I do suggest an LBS, and hopefully a small shop that has been in the same location many years. Find a 'Giant' dealer, and look at both the 'Cypress' line, as well as the 'Suede DX' line.

Both my wife and I started out on Giant Suede DX bikes. As both styles are made from aluminum, rust of the frame and fork is not an issue, as aluminum cannot rust. The Suede is a comfort bike, called a "pedal-forward" style - which means when properly sized for you, you will be able to put your feet on the ground while sitting on the seat. While my wife still has hers, I've since sold mine (650+ miles later) and moved to a recumbent trike. This would be enough Bicycle to get you going, and keep you happy until such a point that you decide to upgrade.

I sincerely would suggest that you upgrade the tires to "Big Apples", 26X2.00, as these are great both on road, and on dirt, crushed limestone, etc. They provide both comfort and low rolling resistance. A skinny tire will be the worst choice for those paths you're speaking of.

Giant Suede DX

Cypress DX

You *should* be able to get either of the above at your LBS for under $400. Adding fenders, and/or a rack or basket would be nice, and upgrading the tires to BAs would make either a very comfortable ride. We both chose after-market seats, but everyone is different.

Both of these styles are good for round-the-block to 40 mile rides. If/when you wish to go further during a ride, it's time to upgrade.
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Old 11-06-11, 09:05 AM   #24
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Welcome to the 50+ forum. hope you'll tell us all about your adventures.
Buying a bike on line can be a minefield for the un-initiated, for reasons stated above, mostly having to do with sizing.
If you have someone who is capable of doing the assembly, setup and maintenance for you, having the support of a local bike shop is not as critical as it is without those resources.
When I had my bike shop, I would sometimes have people bringing in a new bike in a box and ask me to assemble it. They would often balk at my quote,(usually one hour of shop time), because to them it appeared that all that it needed was the front wheel and the handlebars installed, when in reality, there is a great deal more to it. More than one customer that turned around and walked out returned after wasting time looking for cheaper quotes.
Anyway, these days, there are perfectly rideable bikes in the $300 range at bike shops, so it might be worth checking a few first.
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Old 11-06-11, 10:21 PM   #25
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Spike: What is N+1 ?
Big John and Miss Kenton: Thanks for the tip to go small rather than big. I found a jar of coins that I'd been using as a door-stop. :-)
Overthehillmedi: I'm not only flattered, I'm surprised and pleased by all the helpful advice and lovely welcoming words from so many, and so quickly!
Peter C: I will check out the bikes you've recommended.
Dan: Assembling the bike would not be my forté and I have a great deal of respect for all those mechanically gifted.
Rudy and Kay: If I'm pedaling 25 milers next year I will be sure to let you know!
Thanks all!
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