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  1. #1
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    First off, sorry for being yet another person that comes on this helpful board asking "which bike should I buy?". But everyone on this board is so freakin helpful, that I can't help myself.

    Here is what I want to do:
    **I want to bike on suburban streets, paved bike paths, gravel (limestone I think) paths, dirt paths and maybe if I feel like it some grass (I live in Illinois, so I am not talking the Rocky Mountains here).
    **Distance will vary, I would like a bike that I can take a 5 min spin around the block if I just need to pop out of the house for a minute, and a bike that I can take on a bike ride that may last for hours (you know, making a day of it).
    **There may be times that I will tow a trailer behind me (one of those little kid trailers, not my kid, but my sisters kid).
    **priced no higher than $250 (I could push up to $270). I'm a poor recent college grad.

    I spoke with a guy at a local bike shop, and he suggested a comfort bike, a "Trek Navigator 100." I think it is a nice bike, but I wasn't really thinking it would fit what I want. It didn't look like it would really work for me if on a ride I wanted to get a little rough (there was also a little "bell" or something on it, and that kind of turned me off, haha lame I know). I feel like a "Trek 3500" would fit me well. It is a mountain bike (and it is also more in my price range). Would this bike be good for what I want? I know I will not win any speed trials on the road with this bike (or any races for that matter) but thats not what I am wanting it for. I just feel like the 3500 is a tough bike that will do all I want/need it to do.

    I also had a question about prices at a bike shop. Are those prices solid, or can they be talked down (like a car)? I noticed the bikes at the shop were marked up $20-$60 more than on the Trek website. Is there anyplace online I can buy a Trek bike online? I have not found anywhere. Usually online stores have cheaper prices.

    I have been looking exclusively at Trek bikes because it is a brand that I know is of high quality. I know they are expensive and it limits which of their models I can afford. But having limited knowledge of bikes, I prefer to stay with a brand that I know of and have had some exposure to.

    My girlfriend is also wanting to get a bike (for the same reasons) and we figured we would buy the same model bike. But, she wants a pink bike (haha, yes a pink bike) Does anyone know of any brand that makes a pink bike for adults (i've seen many pink bikes for kids)?

    [I have posted another post below that I would also need A LOT of help with. Thanks for checking it out.]
    Thank you to anyone/everyone that replies to my thread. This forum is so helpful to a newbie like me. I promise that once I become a seasoned bike rider I will help a poor pathetic newbie like myself someday. Again, thanks to everyone!!
    Last edited by the_fox_333; 07-24-05 at 05:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    I bought a Trek Navigator 300 in 2000, and I have used it just the way you describe. It's very comfortable to ride, but not highly efficient. I went back to my road bike last year, but I still use the Trek in the winter and it has never let me down. For the type of riding you'll be doing, I don't think a mountain bike is really necessary. The 300 is especially well suited to poorly-paved roads (which are everywhere by me) and crushed limestone trails.

  3. #3
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    First off the Trek bike offered you is a good start,BUT you don't need a new
    bike to do what you want to do. Actually most of the new bikes in your price
    range will have an aluminum frame which is not good for either ride or durablity
    long term.

    So let's shoot a little lower and lot more practical. First get rid of the notion that
    mountain bikes are the answer. They are not. The bike 'type' you need is called
    a hybrid or cross bike. Also let's look at used bikes. Yes, used bikes......
    Why?

    There are millions of used bikes that can be had for a song with little or no use
    on them due the owners fling with cycling coming to an abrupt end at the first
    sweat outbreak. Many, many will be steel framed which , believe it or not,
    is the most important part of bike for a huge range of reasons. The vast majority
    of the rest of the worlds cycling population rides steel bikes so they must
    know something that American cyclist don't. A used bike will also help you
    hold your cost down to penneys on the dollar.

    I simply can not recommend buying a bike off the web to a newbie as bikes
    used by adults in adult ways are NOT the toys you played with as a kid. They
    need to be assembled and maintained as transportation machines rather than
    the toy you played with. Again why?? YOUR life could depend on the machine
    you are riding on not to fail or cause you to become injured when it won't work
    right. That means that until you become versed in bike maintance and assembly
    leave that work to the shop which net bikes don't offer. You can buy a used bike
    and have a shop go over it for safety and tune up and ride much cheaper and
    safer than any net bike.

    Oh yes, I live in Illinois also so I know the state well. Illinois has some killer trails
    to ride so call the Sec. of states office for free bicycle maps that detail the trails
    and safe roads to ride. One more thing.......ALL my bikes are used steel framed
    bikes bought for a song within 100 mi of where I live with many retailing for
    hundreds bought by me for under $100 each!! NONE have ever needed more
    than a tuneup or a wash job & tires. ALL are models that would require a custom
    bike today to match ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$) in both quality of build and ride. So look
    for lugged steel frames to start with.
    Last edited by Nightshade; 07-24-05 at 08:55 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_fox_333
    ...
    I have been looking exclusively at Trek bikes because it is a brand that I know is of high quality. I know they are expensive and it limits which of their models I can afford. But having limited knowledge of bikes, I prefer to stay with a brand that I know of and have had some exposure to.
    having owned 2 top of the line trek mtb's, i would never buy another one, and i would encourage you to look at some other brands. i got both of mine on shop deals that were hard to pass up, but believe me, no money was saved in the end because i basically had to replace everything. trek bikes are expensive and they are often not spec'd as well as other bikes, so i dont understand the justification of the high price tags. i have an 8500 right now, and basically the only original parts left on it are the frame, the stem, and the XT/XTR components. everything else broke. i destroyed the bontrager wheels, the headset and bottom bracket were dead in less than 3 mos, the duke fork was rebuilt 2wice (i finally replaced it with a manitou), the saddle is $hit, and lets see, what else....

    granted, i raced both of these bikes, so they were put to the test, but thats what they are made for. at 5'8", 145 lbs, i'm not a big guy either.

    take a look at specialized, cannondale, felt, marin, ironhorse, giant...imho, you'll get more for your money.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_fox_333

    My girlfriend is also wanting to get a bike (for the same reasons) and we figured we would buy the same model bike. But, she wants a pink bike (haha, yes a pink bike) Does anyone know of any brand that makes a pink bike for adults (i've seen many pink bikes for kids)?
    I don't think you'd want to go with a cruiser, necessarily, but as someone who likes girly bikes, there are a couple of really gorgeous Electra bikes, including pink ones.

  6. #6
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    A performance hybrid might just be the right ticket for you, but will cost you more than what you want to pay...
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  7. #7
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    I am impressed with the Marin Eldridge Grade. One of the few complete steel bikes that would work well for paved and offroad. (But not for downhill racing.)

    This suggestion is for you to consider. Do what's best for particular situation.

    Check the link to see the bicycle:
    http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...dge_grade.html

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all of your advice. I have taken what everyone here has said, along with some other research I have done online and think I'm going to go with the Trek Navigator 50. It looks like it will do exactly what I am wanting it to do and is in my price range. I looked into the used bike thing, but the only thing that worries me is my complete lack of knowledge on the subject. I mean I know nothing about bike, so for me to go to a used bike place, I would not be able to tell the diff between any of them (I am having a hard enough time with New bikes). Someone on this thread said they had a Trek Navigator 300 and loved it. The guy at the bike shop I went to explained to me that the main diff between the bikes in the same range are the components. WEll, if I become that serious (which would be nice) then I figure I can just upgrade as I go. If anyone has anything else to say, like - "hey that bike sucks!" I'll appreciate it much. Thanks again!

  9. #9
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    OK, scratch the Nav 50. My bike dealer is telling me that it could take 4-12 months for me to get one, IF i could get one. I'm kind of confused by how hard it seems to get THE bike I want. I didn't find the salesman today to be very helpful. Is it really this hard to get THE bike I want? Why am I not able to "order" the bike or anything like that? I really don't want to wait 1-3 months and then the bike not even be available then.

    I keep reading about finding the bike you want and fits you best, and how important this is. But it appears to be very difficult (almost impossible) to find THE bike I want. Can a more experienced biker explain this to me?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I say "Buy the mountain bike." You can buy some smoother tires for riding paved roads and the like if you choose. It just doesn't seem right for a macho guy like you to be seen riding on some wussy "Navigator."

  11. #11
    Passionate or O-C? desmobob's Avatar
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    A cyclocross bike would be perfect for your needs. As for you price point, you will probably be best off buying a good-quality used 'cross bike.

    I bought a Bianchi Axis this spring and have ridden it on the roads, rock dust bike trails, dirt trails and grass. I really love it. One of my buddies has a cyclocross bike too; a Jamis Nova. I wouldn't hesitate to buy either of these bikes.

    Good riding,
    desmobob

  12. #12
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    How rough are you planning to ride? If you plan on doing any hucking and jumping, I would suggest the 3500. The navigator 50 would be up to a little rough riding, but neither bike has bouble walled rims. If you are not that interested in speed, the 3500 with slicks would do well in your price range. Test ride the bikes to see how well they feel to you. Ride some other brands just for a comparison.

    [OK, scratch the Nav 50. My bike dealer is telling me that it could take 4-12 months for me to get one]

    What part of Illinios do you live in? There is three Trek dealers within 50 miles of my town. It should not take that long to get a bike even if it is a 2006.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by edp773

    [OK, scratch the Nav 50. My bike dealer is telling me that it could take 4-12 months for me to get one]

    What part of Illinios do you live in? There is three Trek dealers within 50 miles of my town. It should not take that long to get a bike even if it is a 2006.
    I live in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. The guy I spoke with today just didn't seem to have a good grasp on customer service. I had to coax all the information out of him I could. I do not know anything about bikes, but I do know a little about business. It just seems really odd to me that if I say "I would like a Trek Nav 50" that it would take three months for them to find out if they will even be able to get one. Now, I may be wrong, and this may just be how bikes work, but it seems odd to me. Why can't I place an order for this bike through the bike shop? I just bought a shirt from Banana Republic, and they didn't have it in the store, so I had them order it and have it delivered to their store with the rest of their stock. I know that a bike takes longer to make than a shirt, but I still think there should be some sort of ordering process like that in place. Thanks everyone who has helped out so far! I really hope to get on a bike soon!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by desmobob
    A cyclocross bike would be perfect for your needs. As for you price point, you will probably be best off buying a good-quality used 'cross bike.

    I bought a Bianchi Axis this spring and have ridden it on the roads, rock dust bike trails, dirt trails and grass. I really love it. One of my buddies has a cyclocross bike too; a Jamis Nova. I wouldn't hesitate to buy either of these bikes.

    Good riding,
    desmobob

    Exactly what I was thinking.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_fox_333
    "I would like a Trek Nav 50" that it would take three months for them to find out if they will even be able to get one. Now, I may be wrong, and this may just be how bikes work, but it seems odd to me.
    I think that it's because this is the goofy season. There are several factors that could be happening.

    Bike manufacturers don't like being stuck with a big stock of last year's bikes when the new models come out. One common strategy is to roll out the next year's models whenever they don't have a complete size run of the current year models. New components, however, complicate the roll out. Shimano, for example, doesn't like bikes with new components hitting the streets prior to the bike show in October so they get the bike manufacturer's to agree not to do an early roll out on anything that's going to have a cutting edge component.

    Another possibility is dealership agreements. Dealership agreements tend to be made during the bike show too. Suppose your bike shop is considering not selling Trek next year. They might think it advantageous to stall your Trek special order until they commit.

    Frankly, neither idea makes very much sense to me. When I was selling bikes, I'd move heaven and earth to get a bike that a customer wanted to buy. I commonly paid UPS shipping and I've even bought bikes from other nearby dealers so that I could satisfy my costomer.

    I don't know what's going on with your dealership, but it really is the goofy season for bicycle sales.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_fox_333
    OK, scratch the Nav 50. My bike dealer is telling me that it could take 4-12 months for me to get one, IF i could get one.
    Tell your dealer that you are "willing" to take the next model up for the same price. Should make for interesting conversation.
    When your uninspired saleman told you about the 50, did he offer any alternatives?

    Just checked the Trek website, and boy does the 300 look a lot different than the one I have. Apparently it's received a few upgrades over the years

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    but it really is the goofy season for bicycle sales.
    Does that mean that possibly good deals can be had down at the LBS???

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by duane041
    When your uninspired saleman told you about the 50, did he offer any alternatives?
    Well, the thing is, the salesman did not tell me about the 50. The day before, a much better salesman told me about the 100. I went home, did some research, and liked the features and price of the 50. So I went into the shop today and told this not very good salesman about my interest in the 50. Honestly, I had to use all my effort to pull any information out of this guy.

    I love your suggestion to tell him I am "willing" to pay the price of the 50 for the 100. I asked him since they didn't have the Trek Nav 50, that I would be willing to get another brand of bike that is similar to the Trek Nav 50. He said he did not know of anything, and they did not have it in the shop. Part of me really has a hard time believing this.

    I emailed Trek themselves with my situation. Part of me is hoping they will clear this up for me, and hopefully give my local bike shop a little kick in the pants. I'm itching to jump on a bike!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Frankly, neither idea makes very much sense to me. When I was selling bikes, I'd move heaven and earth to get a bike that a customer wanted to buy. I commonly paid UPS shipping and I've even bought bikes from other nearby dealers so that I could satisfy my costomer.
    Uhhh, exactly what I had in mind! I have had a few jobs and have done that many times! I feel like my bike shop might be taking "advantage" of the fact that if I want a bike, I have to go to a bike shop. There don't seem to be too many shops around me that sell Treks, so I guess they got in by the b@lls.

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