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  1. #1
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    Can you help me decide on a bike brand ?

    Hi there ~
    I'm brand new here.

    I live in Indiana, and I'd like to buy a bicycle!

    I rode quite a lot when I was younger (high school). I had a Schwinn World Traveler 10 spd. How I wish I still had that bike!

    I am now 44, and I'd like a bike to help me get into better shape. I *need* to exercise bc well, you know, you get to be this age and everything softens up and heads the opposite direction of which it's been intended! Running was too hard on my joints, the treadmill is okay in the winter; I know I'll like biking. I intend to join a cycling group, too.

    I see myself riding around my neighborhood; I'd like to build up to road riding, but more casual (not die hard serious). I'll prob. get into rides of 5-25 miles.

    Ok...... these are the bikes I've been looking at:

    2005 Giant Farrago ($400). At first I was dismayed bc I couldn't find *any* info about this bike outside of the shop, and the website or product book didn't list anything on it. I was also confused about the size bc I'm kinda inbetween sizing (17" pretty okay, maybe could be better; and 19" prob. too large). But after looking at other bikes, talking to others about bikes, am thinking the Giant would be okay.

    2005 Trek 7200 or 7300. I've ridden the 7200 and it feels good. I guess the price has kept me from buying it ($350). I've been told the Giant is everything the Trek is (+ better wheels, extra goodies.... light, odometer, etc., and the suspension on the Giant is adjustable), so for $50 more, well worth it.

    I've not been able to see the Trek 7300 anywhere. Nobody has it.

    So am seriously thinking maybe I ought just go and buy the Giant.

    Then I stopped at a bike shop yesterday, to see what they had. It's a shop that is not super convenient to my home; however, the women who owns the shop comes highly recommended, and I feel I did click with her well.

    She sells Raleigh bikes, and showed me a couple. I didn't ride tho (limited timing.... I can always go back). She's a super fan of Raleigh, believes they are very good for someone wanting to ride as I do (her shop is a family bike shop and they target this audience). A couple things I really liked about the Raleigh: price was better than Giant or Trek, and I like that Raleigh uses the same componentry on their bikes.

    She offers me the C30 or C40; doesn't have the C50. When I asked about the C50, she recommended I look at the 2006 model which is just out.

    She didn't have the bike to show me, for me to ride, but I think I LOVED the bike (I did see another 2006 model she had for a customer): better everything (disc brakes, upgraded componentry, etc. It is A LOT more money ($500 ~ about $100 more than I budgeted), but now I'm thinking if this is the top of the line in a hybrid, perhaps I ought just to go that route with Raleigh. Am thinking a comparable Trek or Giant would be more than $500, since Raleigh is coming in lower on the other comparables. I doubt I'll be at the point anytime soon of wanting anything more than a hybrid.

    Can y'all give me your opinion and guidance?? Thanks so much!!

  2. #2
    ride like theres not 2mrw chris_pnoy's Avatar
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    Those brands are pretty much on par with each other. So, I guess in the end, you have to go with comfort. There isn't much we can do but reccommend that you should go with what is the most comfortable to you.
    Pagdating ng panahon.
    Speak concisely lest thou shalt be rectified
    by the grammar or thought police.

    Weapon of choice:Bruiser 1

  3. #3
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    more info:

    I'm just shy of 5' 7", and I weigh about 140#.

    I'm reading other posts and I see that some recommend the Jamis bike. I did look at this first, but the shop didn't have the bike they recommended for me. I didn't want to spec. order something and be obligated to it, w/o testing it first.

    So y'all think I should look at Jamis, too???

    I just want to get a GOOD bike in my price range. One that I'll be satisfied with and won't be feeling after a few weeks, or even a yr., that I want to upgrade. Money is a serious issue for me. I have young children........ they get most of my money.

  4. #4
    King of the Forest Totoro's Avatar
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    I have a LeMond and it is great. The LeMond brand is made by Trek.

  5. #5
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    Hi Jaci,

    I just went through what you are (see help me choose7 or 21 speed.) I'm 46 and have several medical issues to contend with so I went with a "Flat Foot Model" I did comparisons and spread sheet and yada yada yada on everything from cruisers to recumbants. In the end it was the dealer that swayed my choice. Not because they were close or reccomended but because I felt comfortable that the owner was not trying to "just steer" me and "karma" of the shop was right.

    Bottom line go with your "gut feeling."

    BTW, Giant changes model years on a calander year not not mid season, so don't expext to see their 2006's till next year.

    Good luck & Have Fun

    ~annie~

  6. #6
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Fit is more important than brand, components, or even who you buy from. If the bike doesn't fit, you won't ride it. It's that simple. Bikes where you sit bolt upright ("comfort" bikes) usually aren't after the first few months. Why? The upright position doesn't give you much flexibility in how you sit on the bike. After a short time in the saddle, your butt gets sore from having so much weight on it. Remember, you're using the muscles that you're sitting on when you're riding..

    The "road" bike style (like your old 10 speed?) gives more options. Although you'll need more time to get used to the positions, you can move around more while you ride, thus reducing pain and providing more comfort. Those "hard" saddles that come on road bikes often are more comfortable after you adjust to them for this reason (mobility). Also keep in mind that the saddle that comes on the bike you buy may not be the saddle you end up with.

    A good relation with your local bike shop (LBS) is valuable, but not absolutely essential. I bought my bike from a dealer not convenient to my home because they carried the brand I wanted (and the brand that seemed to fit me best). I have all my maintenance done and buy all my parts, however, from another, closer LBS. Your money, your choice.

    The "more money" you spend up front on the bike will often translate into the less you spend later on for repairs and upgrades. The bike is something you'll probably use A LOT, if you want fitness. Because you'll use it so much, spend the money to get something you'll be satisfied with. "Penny wise and pound foolish" is a phrase applied to many repeat bicycle buyers who went cheap the first time around.

    To spend your money wisely, TAKE THE TIME to make sure what you're buying is REALLY what you want. Do research, take test rides, decide what features are important to YOU (not what's important to bikeforums users - including me). If you don't plan to race, don't get caught up in the mystique of racing bikes. This mistake is easy to make, and the fragile, expensive, light-weight machine you end up with may not suit your riding style at all. There's no harm in trying some racing technology if you want to check it out (clipless pedals come to mind), but don't bother if you're not into racing.

    My comments to you come from my own experiences. I bought my first bike since the 70's this past January. I bought for fitness & perceived comfort. My choice was an Electra Townie. After six months of use, the Townie was no longer comfortable for the riding I was doing and I sold it (at a loss) and bought a "road" bike that I then customized for my own needs. The photo below is my bike:



    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, have fun! Buying a bike and using it should be something you enjoy, and something you'll want to continue for the rest of your life. Welcome to the "club," and good luck!

  7. #7
    Passionate or O-C? desmobob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaci
    Hi there ~
    I'm brand new here.

    I live in Indiana, and I'd like to buy a bicycle!

    I rode quite a lot when I was younger (high school). I had a Schwinn World Traveler 10 spd. How I wish I still had that bike!

    I am now 44, and I'd like a bike to help me get into better shape. I *need* to exercise bc well, you know, you get to be this age and everything softens up and heads the opposite direction of which it's been intended! Running was too hard on my joints, the treadmill is okay in the winter; I know I'll like biking. I intend to join a cycling group, too.

    I see myself riding around my neighborhood; I'd like to build up to road riding, but more casual (not die hard serious). I'll prob. get into rides of 5-25 miles.
    I was recently in the same situation as you (same age... used to ride a Schwinn... excepting that I live in NY). I chose a Bianchi Axis and I am enjoying it immensely! Cyclocross bikes seemed to be the most practical type for me. I was noting how handy it is today when I reached the end of the paved sections of some local bike trails and was able to keep right on riding on the stone dust sections. The triple front chainring offers some low gearing for an older, out-of-shape guy.

    I'm glad I decided to increase my bike buying budget and get this model.

    Check out the cyclocross bikes!

    Good luck with your selection,
    desmobob

  8. #8
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    What I always do when I am purchasing any type of bicycle is to carry with me a written list of all the features and accessories I want on the bicycle. In the long run, it helps me verbalize what I want to the salesperson, keeps me on budget, and steers me to the brands, models and the year it was manufactored that I want to test ride. This method works for both new and used bicycles.

  9. #9
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    "Cyclocross bikes seemed to be the most practical type for me. I was noting how handy it is today when I reached the end of the paved sections of some local bike trails and was able to keep right on riding on the stone dust sections. The triple front chainring offers some low gearing for an older, out-of-shape guy. "


    Good advice here. Really brand is not as important as type of bike. Pick the type.....FIRST!!

  10. #10
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    You seem to have made some good choices with sound reasoning. Good Luck.

  11. #11
    Dude On Bike Hickabod's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I have a Raleigh C40 and I love it. It's just what I was looking for; comfortable, fairly priced, and an all around good ride. I've had it since February and it's been very reliable, with only the usual tune-ups required.
    Be careful, you might become addicted. I sure have and now I'm dipping into my retirement to get a decent road bike. I figure it's my best chance to reach retirement age.
    Best of luck.

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