Originally Posted by Boge
Hello! I haven't ridden a bike since I was about 14 (about 13 years ago). I'm interested in buying a bike for my own riding enjoyment, but I have no idea about bikes. I want to do mostly town riding/commuting, but I don't want to limit myself from going off-road. I prefer more of a comfortable sit with the ability to adjust the seat and handle bars if needs be. I'd also like to be able to start off maybe doing some small jumps too.
What kind of features should I look for? What sizes are there and what would be best for me (about 6'3")? I'd prefer to keep the price in the $200 range. What brand names are good?
If you could just give me the scoop on what bike you think would be good, and where I could purchase one, that would be appreciated. Thanks!
No jumps for $200...maybe a curb hop, but no real jumps. Period. You will have a nice frame that can take many, many miles though. The stock suspension forks on low buck bikes are a different matter. I'd ride that stock fork till it dies, and replace it with a RockShox Judy a few years from now if you are still riding it.
I'd say get a entry level mountain bike, like a DB Outlook, Raleigh M20, or similar. The stance on the lower end MTBs are more upright, allowing for more comfort. You may want to go over by about $40 and buy a more comfortable saddle...I used the Serfas Rx with good results on my old Outlook. To adjust the handlebars, you will want a bike with a "threaded" stem. Here are some examples:
threaded: Notice the stem slides into the headset, and there is a large hollow nut on top of the headset, that this stem also slides through.
threadless: Notice no nut on top of headset, and the stem clamps around the fork's steerer tube.
Reason you want threaded, is it lets you go higher as well, while threadless is only as high as the steerer tube has been cut for. To go any higher on threadless, you have to buy an extension.
Best bet is to go to a bike shop, and try a few bikes out. See what you like. Beware though, don't go upgrade frenzy on a $200 bike...you will end up dropping more than you wish you did.
I did that to my old Outlook...added rapidfire shifters, upgraded saddle/pedals/toeclips/grips/tires....by then I was $130 more into it, not counting labor on the shifters. I don't regret it, but I would probably not do some of those mods if I could do it again.