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Old 05-03-06, 12:08 PM   #1
stroker
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Getting started

Hi guys my wife and I have been looking into getting outside more. For the past two years we have been stuck inside with school and raising our 2 year old. Dont know what kind of bikes to get. We live in Lynchburg VA and there is a large trail syatem near us called Blackwater. Any sugestions on what kind of bikes to get and what kind of gear to buy? We need a kid hauler as well. I have looked online through a bunch of different stores but there are just so freaking many bikes.

We dont want to spend over 500 each for the bikes. Other stuff kid carrier and what not lets say 100. So what do you all think?
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Old 05-03-06, 12:18 PM   #2
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Used mtb's will do. Go get them and you will be set with 500$ TOTAL
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Old 05-03-06, 01:12 PM   #3
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Used mtb's will do. Go get them and you will be set with 500$ TOTAL
Yeah, what he said.
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Old 05-03-06, 02:10 PM   #4
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Child trailers can run a bit on the expensive side. A cheap one would run about $100. in-step comes to mind.
I purchased it and now wish I had forked out more $$ for something like a burley.
But it does its job.
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Old 05-03-06, 02:26 PM   #5
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I spent $100 at Target for the cheapie in-step model, and 3 years later, it still works. Ripped fabric in spots, but hey, kid's too big for it now anyway, used for groceries.

Used MTB / semi-slick tires.
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Old 05-03-06, 06:28 PM   #6
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What should I look for in used MTB's? Any models to avoid?
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Old 05-03-06, 06:57 PM   #7
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REad this first. You've asked a question that is somewhat pointed but the answer is very broad. If you are just looking to go out and ride some casual miles with the family, then just about anything will work, including walmart bikes.

It is only when you get into more serious miles and more frequent rides with greater speed that you need a better bike. We have a trailer that we have used for both our kids. It is a Schwinn (pacific cycles brand) sold at Target. It cost around $170 and is more than ample for our needs.

Very few if any people have ever worn out a kid's trailer used only for hauling kids. Most kids simply won't ride long enough to let that happen for one thing. After 5 miles at 9 mph with the family everybody is ready to head for home. You'll see what i mean once you try it a bit.

As far as the bikes, do some searches here and on google and do some study. In the $500 price range most bikes will be basically the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. You just need to decide what type of bike to buy, mountain, hybrid, road, etc. I would recommend a mountain bike because in my opinion they are the most versatile.
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Old 05-04-06, 12:12 AM   #8
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A pair of department store mountain bikes will put you nicely under $500 combined, you just have to make a good choice. There are those crazy-looking ones with full-suspension this and that, and they end up weighing about 40 pounds and really aren't any good. Then there are the good ones with maybe a front suspension fork and a smooth-shifting 21-speed Shimano drivetrain and aluminum frame.. those are the ones to go for. Shouldn't cost more than $200 each.
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Old 05-04-06, 04:22 AM   #9
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Make sure you get bikes the correct size. Although you can ride bikes that are too big or small, you will be much more comfortable and confident on one the correct size. If you have to chose between 2 sizes, go for the smaller one.

When chosing a frame, look for some threaded eyelets for rear luggager rack and fenders. You can find them just above where the rear axle fits into the frame and at the top of the seat-stay tube.

If you are looking at used bikes, go for a known major brand (Trek, Giant, Specialized etc).
Make sure that the heels and pedal cranks are smothe, not wobbly.
Check the transmission for wear, if the cogs have a shark's-tooth profile they made need replacing.

For new bikes, non suspension MTBs of acceptable quality are not very common.
See
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Old 05-04-06, 06:32 AM   #10
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It seems to me that you'd be better off buying from a bike shop, not a department store. You'll likely get better advice, guidance and help, and you'll begin developing a relationship with the shop when you need service. If you want to look for used bikes, a local bike club may list such items in its newsletter or on its web site; you may also find a used trailer, too. Note that the cost of three helmets, a floor and/or frame pump, tire levers, patch kit, may well exceed your "accessory" budget.
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Old 05-04-06, 07:04 AM   #11
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Buy a cheap bike, as you might change your mind, or have it stolen. try craigslist classifieds. If a local bike shop or organization offers a class in bike maintenance take it, you will like biking alot more. If there is a local bike club joint it. Cheap bikes can be upgraded. Even if your bike is cheap, buy the best tires. Consider Mr Tuffy or other tire liner, and Slime tubes. Just incase none of that works, make sure you know how to repair a flat.
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Old 05-04-06, 07:20 AM   #12
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This is how the wife and I started.I wanted bikes just to get out and do something outside.I always loved riding.So just in case we did not like it I went to Wally world and bought the cheapest things I could find.$53. each.then I got helmets and bottles and a gel seat cover.I just road the crap outa mine but the wife really doesn't care for it.She will ride a bit but about 2 miles is about it for her.I already had a seat for the baby but later we got a trailer.He just loves it.As far as he is concerned That is the only way to travel.
I have since bought myself a roadie and just love it.
I am in agreement with everyone else.go with a mtn bike.spend the $250 each on a decent one.(I always wanted a Raligh mojove 2.0)Granted it is not the best bike but it is a good one and ride it.I still think when the roadie is paid off I am going to save up and get that mojave 2.0 I think I would look good on a red one.
See it is addictive.If ya like it you will love it.
Good luck
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Old 05-04-06, 02:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick G
This is how the wife and I started.I wanted bikes just to get out and do something outside.I always loved riding.So just in case we did not like it I went to Wally world and bought the cheapest things I could find.$53. each.then I got helmets and bottles and a gel seat cover.I just road the crap outa mine but the wife really doesn't care for it.She will ride a bit but about 2 miles is about it for her.I already had a seat for the baby but later we got a trailer.He just loves it.As far as he is concerned That is the only way to travel.
I have since bought myself a roadie and just love it.
I am in agreement with everyone else.go with a mtn bike.spend the $250 each on a decent one.(I always wanted a Raligh mojove 2.0)Granted it is not the best bike but it is a good one and ride it.I still think when the roadie is paid off I am going to save up and get that mojave 2.0 I think I would look good on a red one.
See it is addictive.If ya like it you will love it.
Good luck
Good advice to start as cheap as possiblre - but try to look at Used Bikes or Go to a proper bike shop and buy cheap or secondhand. Unless you are mechanically minded, the wallmart bikes are not suitable. They will require checking over to ensure that they are properly assembled and safe, and unfortunately they are also made with cheap components.

On the trailer side- Do look at a better unit and not the cheapest. Cheap will be heavy- not roll very well and have cheap wheels and attachment on it.

Or you can do as I did and put an advert in a local paper- Wanted----cheap child trailer and 2 cheap mountain bikes. Did not advertise for the trailer but I had some remarkably good bikes offered to me at cheap prices. There are a lot of bikes bought that get used for a month and then finish up cluttereing the shed till they get taken away to the tip.
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Old 05-04-06, 04:50 PM   #14
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Check with you LBS's or with local bike rental's Most areas that have rails to trails or the likes have them. Rnet a couple, see what you like then talk to the places and see if the ever get used bikes as trade ins. Some shops do some dont. Find what you like and what you are comfortable riding. If you have to rent 3 or 4 different bikes to find the one you are happy with so be it. Then keep an eye out for ones to buy. I would stay away from wallmart/Tarket/kmart bike as they are not worth the heeadaches. Do buy a good quality child trailer and a helmet for the child it is allways better to error on the side of saftey. Look at the trailer as an investment you will allwasy be able to sell it. to another parent or to someone who wants a utility trailer.

Milice (who is looking for a cheap trailer in the ne ohio area)
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Old 05-05-06, 05:30 PM   #15
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On the subject of trailers, add my voice to the list of folks saying, "get a good one." We bought a Burley when our first child was around a year and a half old. That was 15 years and two additional kids ago. We finally sold the Burley last spring to a young family with their first child, and it was still going strong: very slightly faded but mechanically perfect. It was well worth the original investment.

And in case you haven't tried them, a trailer is a 100 times easier to ride with than those kid seats that bolt to your bike. Those things are awful: Besides being dangerous, you can feel the kid shifting their weight back and forth, and they can kick you in the butt and leg if they want ... something mine seemed to do on a regular basis prior to the Burley.
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