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  1. #1
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    Nubbie looking for bike suggestions

    My boyfriend has just recently started biking again and i would like to join him on rides. We live in the DC area where we enjoy the best of both world, bike friendly roads and trails. Can anyone suggest a bike for me?

    If you could keep this in mind. I rode a bike again for the first time in over 13 years and I learned a couple of things. I hate going fast. I feel so embarrassed to say it but it helped me to see that i don't need a $1000+ road bike. Kinda defeats the purpose. I am working on this fear but in the meantime, I feel the most comfortable riding on flat pavement. I wouldn't mind buying a bike i can grow into and have recently test driven a Trek 1500 and a Fuji whose model I don't remember. But both of those were too advance for my skill level which is that of a first time rider. I did really enjoy the smoothness of those bikes though and ideally, i would like to pay for a bike that has great gear shifting.

    Last but not least, i must ask my stupid question for the day. Is there a smart way to fall off your bike?

  2. #2
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    As far as picking out a bike, I would say to go to a local bike shop and tell them everything you said here. They should be able to find a bike that suits your needs. If you feel like they are trying to sell you more than you need then try a different shop, there are plenty in the DC area.
    I've read that when you fall you should try to avoid putting out your hand. You risk breaking your wrist or jamming your whole arm and breaking the collar bone. You should try to tuck and roll, taking most of the impact on the back of the shoulder.

  3. #3
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    I suggest getting a bike that cost $50 more than your boyfriend's bike. Dont forget to allow a significant amount of money for accessories (helmet, pump, lights, gloves, spare tube etc). If you dont want a fancy road bike look for threads on bike buying in commuter and family/recrational forums. A hybrid with tires 28 or 32 mm wide will roll easily and bar ends will give a choice of hand positions. Finding a helpful bike shop is more important than the brand of bike. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Haha. Now i have to buy a $850 bike.

    I feel like calvin from Calvin and Hobbes when his father got him a bike as a present. I know the fear i have of going downhill is all in my head.

    But damn if it isn't fun. Ambush or no ambush, I can't wait to get my bike.

    THANKS.

  5. #5
    Warrior Cyclist cycle17's Avatar
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    So does that mean you bought something? If so... what did you buy. I was going to suggest a Trek 1000 or a Trek 1200. You could "grow" into both of those and they shift nice and offer a good amount of value. Or perhaps a hybrid. The more time you log on a bike the less you will notice the "speed." One day you'll just be zooming along and not even realize it. Good luck!
    Just Do It..

  6. #6
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    This time of year $800 will get you a real nice bike.
    Here are some options
    1) a cyclocross bike
    2) a fast roadie hybrid that you add 32c tires that have a smooth strip down the middle, and small knobs on the side.
    3) A hybrid that comes with a tire like that.

    ...Ask some riders what they think is the best bike shop in town.
    Go to a few of them and try a couple bikes. Remember that in a couple weeks you will feel stronger. A lot of people buy something that feels good on a teeny tiny test ride. Then a couple weeks later it doesn't feel right because you can't comfortably lean into the wind a little when pedaling harder.

    Take your time, stick within your budget (whatever it is) and start learning about bike stuff. I have friend who rides the DC trails, get a helmet. Some dog or bear repellant might also be a good idea just in case.

    There are also books, and even classes, on how to cope with traffic. I found them very helpful.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dstrong's Avatar
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    One of the most important things to make sure is that you and your boyfriend have your ride expectations in sync. If "he's gotten into biking" means that he's doing it for fitness or to train to become competitive then your fear of going fast could be a big issue if you try to ride together. On the other hand, if you're primarily going to go toodle around DC and enjoy being outside together then it'll be great!

    Yes...this comes from experience...24 years of marriage...no hours of biking together.

  8. #8
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    I haven't bought a bike yet. I am still in the research stage. Everyone on this forum has been very helpful. Thanks for the great info.

    I am a little frustrated though because I have been having trouble finding bikes for my size. I am 5'1" so when i step into a bike shop, usually, there are only two bikes for me to look at. It makes it difficult for me to compare different types of bikes (hybrid, road bike, mountain) and comparing brands is next to impossible. My hands are very small too, so finding brakes that i can comfortably grip has made my search even more difficult. Some one mentioned a Terry bike but in reading other threads, it hasn't inspired me enough to hunt one down. I wonder if i can get a boys bike?

  9. #9
    Senior Member boozergut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petitchou808
    I haven't bought a bike yet. I am still in the research stage. Everyone on this forum has been very helpful. Thanks for the great info.

    I am a little frustrated though because I have been having trouble finding bikes for my size. I am 5'1" so when i step into a bike shop, usually, there are only two bikes for me to look at. It makes it difficult for me to compare different types of bikes (hybrid, road bike, mountain) and comparing brands is next to impossible. My hands are very small too, so finding brakes that i can comfortably grip has made my search even more difficult. Some one mentioned a Terry bike but in reading other threads, it hasn't inspired me enough to hunt one down. I wonder if i can get a boys bike?
    My wife has a Specialized Hardrock Mtn bike, she is 5' 2". We got rid of the knobby tires and put a more street friendly set on. She seems to like it, they are around $360.

  10. #10
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    5'1" is really too small to comfortably use large hybrid/road/700c type wheels. You can't design a small frame then squash big wheels into it unless you compromise the geometry.
    The two alternative smaller wheels are 26" MTB size or 650c. These are two different (and incompatable) sizes. The MTB wheel can take tyres from 1" to 2" width, the less common 650c wheel is limitted to quite narrow racing tyres.
    Ideally, you are looking for a lightweight, efficient bike that takes MTB wheels fitted with narrower tyres for the road. I havent seen anything like this from a major brand. You can usually find suspension MTBs (like the Hardrock), heavier, low performance comfort bikes or small race bikes.
    Small riders also need small components such as handlebars and cranks.
    Terry do a 26" wheel hybrid bike but be warned many of their bikes use different size wheels back/front so you need multiple spares..

  11. #11
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    Hmm, I'm 5'0" and I ended up getting a Specialized Sirrus that was XS. It ended up working for me without the bike feeling too large. I wanted the flat handlebars so I could see in traffic and I mainly ride it around to do errands, bike paths, and probably commuting once I end up getting lights.

  12. #12
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    Although you are hesitant now, your skills will increase exponentially. Give yourself some credit. Go for something a bit faster. You don't necessarily have to ride it fast. It is just capable of more for when you start to get a handle on things. Many have bought lowest common denominator and then regretted it when their skills increased. Some wanted to join bike clubs and found their bike lacking. So look into maybe a road type bike with flat bars. Flat bars give you better control of steering and yes, it is nice to be able to look around as you ride. Especially for a newbie who is being cautious the first few hundred miles.

  13. #13
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    Doesn't the phonetics of the word newbie remind you of the word nubile? Thus my spelling.

    I need more ed-juh-mi-kay-tion.

  14. #14
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    The most effective way to keep up is on the back of a tandem. My wife soon learned that everything will be OK if she just shuts her eyes during the bad parts.

  15. #15
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    If falling is your prime concern, look at the Electra Townie bikes. You can sit on the seat with your feet flat on the ground. If you wanted to go fast, the Townie wouldn't be a good choice, but for what you say you want, the bike may be ideal.

    Other manufacturers make similar bikes, so shop around. The only mistakes you can make at this point are either being so overwhelmed that you opt not to try bicycling at all or buying the first bike you like without having sampled the field.
    Last edited by FarHorizon; 10-12-05 at 05:55 AM. Reason: verb agreement problem

  16. #16
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    YOu might run into problems with the townies due to their limited frame sizes. My wife just went through the same thing-she'd 5"2" and ended up on a giant sedona with a 15" frame. They actually had a mountain bike version with a 14"frame that was too small for her.
    Toybox: Litespeed Tuscany & Niota

  17. #17
    Warrior Cyclist cycle17's Avatar
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    My local Bike Shop has a Fuji and a Trek road bike in stock for a kid/small adult. It looks exactly like the larger framed bikes... just...well...smaller. They are available. I think they are like 48 or 50 cm frames. I've seen a few 52 cm bikes this season also, so they do make smaller framed bikes for smaller people like yourself.
    Just Do It..

  18. #18
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    Today i looked at a Jamis hybrid. I wish i remembered the model but alas i was with my boyfriend and i have a habit of leaving all the technical stuff to him. I do remember that one of them was $1200 and the other was $859. both were silver one a dull matte silver and the other a brushed silver. I do believe that they were 2005 models since the 2006 have not come out yet.

  19. #19
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    I am curious as to everyones' opinion of Jamis hybrid bike. fit? ride? durability?

  20. #20
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    coda, i think.

  21. #21
    Wide Load
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    coda's are nice bikes. You should probably get the 05 coda comp when it goes on sale. That silver color is tight.

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