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  1. #1
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    help a newbie! Where to start?

    So recently I have gotten into bicycling, mostly for leisure and to get to friends house who live close by. As of the moment, I use my sister's bike some Marin, I'm not too sure what type and what not. So of course, I am not even sure where to even start. Although I tried to do some research and was leaning towards some type of hybrid (road-biased). Basically I wanted a bike that would get me to and from nearby friends' houses(~1-2mi) and to school (4x/week ~3-4mi one way). So which bike would best suit my needs? Also I do like frames similar to the early 90s Trek700, so frame appearance is a factor.

    In this case would I just be better off buying some used bike I like the appearance of and go from there?

    Thanks for any response in advance

  2. #2
    BikeNerd ss2chef's Avatar
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    Go test driving.

    Decide your budget 1st

    Choose a bike in that budget that feels comfy and that has features you like.

    I suggest trying as many styles and models as you can in your price range.

    Used is fine if you trust the integrity. Have a impartial party check the bike out 1st.

    Really, the best place to start is in person test driving.
    --ss2chef
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  3. #3
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    1. Read "Bike for Life" by Roy Wallack and Bill Katovsky. About 90% of the questions that new cyclists have are answered in their book. And, unlike the answers posted here at "Bike Forums", the informtion is based on expert advice and experience.

    2. Find the two or three bike shops closest to your home. Hang out in those shops, ask lots of questions. Let the guys at the shop know what your riding needs and budget are. Buy from the shop where the staff is most focused on customer service.

    3. Ride every day. The guys who ride on Sunday mornings from April to September get very little out of cycling. The real benefits of cycling are apparent when you ride 300 days or 350 days each year.

  4. #4
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    Forget about the appearance of the bike. Find one that fits what you and your needs.

    Some girl your chasing has a bike doesn't she? Is that why you want one that looks a certain way without caring about how it works for your purpose?

  5. #5
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    Whats up all?

    Thanks for all the responses. I have been riding basically everyday lately so I think I'm in it for the long haul. Also no there is no girl involved I would just like to ride something I at least enjoy looking at. It's not like I would drive a beat up old car (in my eyes) rather than something I do like. I think I'm pretty committed to getting an older used bike.

    So one more quick question. Generally what older bike (1980s-1990s) brands would still be suitable today? Should I try to post in another forum like the vintage section? I at least do not plan on any marathon or tour anytime time soon. I just want something that will get me to places relatively near my house (within 5 miles).

    Thanks again for any reply.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imcorn
    Basically I wanted a bike that would get me to and from nearby friends' houses(~1-2mi) and to school (4x/week ~3-4mi one way). Also I do like frames similar to the early 90s Trek700, so frame appearance is a factor.

    In this case would I just be better off buying some used bike I like the appearance of and go from there?
    Yeah, I'd definitely recommend buying a used bike. The key issue to me is riding to school. I don't know what the situation is at your particular school but, in general, schools are hot beds for bike theft. If you get an inexpensive, used bike you won't feel so bad when it gets stolen.

  7. #7
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Yeah, I'd definitely recommend buying a used bike. The key issue to me is riding to school. I don't know what the situation is at your particular school but, in general, schools are hot beds for bike theft. If you get an inexpensive, used bike you won't feel so bad when it gets stolen.
    I agree. My older brother's Schwinn Varsity was stolen at school-back in the 1960s! When it comes to parking at schools-whether bikes or autos-is where they are parked and how much crime is in the surrounding area. I tend to be conservative now and only use one of the smaller wheeled folding bikes for short distances or taking it with me inside buildings. This describes a typical school perfectly. Try to match the type of bike to it's probable use. No one wants to be taken advanged of or lose money-which you will be if even an inexpensive bike is taken from you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by imcorn

    So one more quick question. Generally what older bike (1980s-1990s) brands would still be suitable today? Should I try to post in another forum like the vintage section? I at least do not plan on any marathon or tour anytime time soon. I just want something that will get me to places relatively near my house (within 5 miles).
    Check out flea markets, thrift shops, yard/garage sales, pawn shops. I ride an 80's vintage Puch. It has a road bike frame, but 26" tires with fairly narrow slicks and straight handlebars. It's a nice looking bike, red and white paint job. I bought it at a flea market for $20 in good shape. There are (depending on the market in your area) a lot of old Schwinns and Raleighs, Peugeots,etc. out there. The trick is to keep looking and find one in good repair. Some bike shops carry used older bikes, too. The one by my house gets them into shape and sells them for $65 to $110 or so, depending on the bike. And they include a 30 day warranty. For 5 mile trips just about any decent bike will do. Just find one you like.
    In this age of mindless consumerism, of atomized populations living in boxes, working in boxes, and traveling in boxes, almost always alone, with only the electronic voices of their new feudal lords to guide them through life, the bicycle becomes an instrument of gentle revolution. --Richard Risemberg

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the quick relplies all.

    I'm pretty much decided on getting a used bike for sure. Since I want some type of hybrid, mainly for the reason I dont want to hunch over while riding a regular road bike, is it considered wrong to buy a road bike then just switching out the bars so I dont have to be hunched over? Although I may want to get into mountain biking eventually, should I just stick with a hybrid or just get another bike for mountain biking when the time comes?

    Once again, thanks for any replies!

  10. #10
    Senior Member TallSteve's Avatar
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    I remember when I was looking for my first bike....I wanted a hybrid to ride to work and for pleasure. I was planning to ride with some of the guys at work too. I went to REI to see what they had. Picked out a cool looking bike and was about to buy it when I decided to ride it around the parking lot and neighborhood. It was cool...then I spoke to my son (yes I am old guy) about the bike...he told me that I would struggle to keep up with the guys at work. I then jumped on a road bike and rode it around. What a difference. Yes I was bent over some, but it was fast! I glad that someone was looking out for me...dont choose too quickly. Hybrids are cool, but road bikes are fast

  11. #11
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    I was actually talking to my friend who is really into bikes, and when I told him I was thinking about a hybrid he responded with an "its alright" in a tone I could tell that he looked down upon them. So I'm still trying to get other opinions and things like that. I just want to bring up a question I had in my previous post, would it be wrong/weird if I were to just get a road bike then swap out the bars to something I don't need to really hunch over to ride?

    Thanks as always.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imcorn
    So recently I have gotten into bicycling, mostly for leisure and to get to friends house who live close by. As of the moment, I use my sister's bike some Marin, I'm not too sure what type and what not. So of course, I am not even sure where to even start. Although I tried to do some research and was leaning towards some type of hybrid (road-biased). Basically I wanted a bike that would get me to and from nearby friends' houses(~1-2mi) and to school (4x/week ~3-4mi one way). So which bike would best suit my needs? Also I do like frames similar to the early 90s Trek700, so frame appearance is a factor.

    In this case would I just be better off buying some used bike I like the appearance of and go from there?

    Thanks for any response in advance
    Ok, you're in Orange County, Buena Park and I'm in Huntington Beach. If its a school bike thing and just basic travel, then don't spend too much. At the local high schools: Huntington, Marina, and Oceanview the bikes are basically beater bikes. They get stolen if they are too fancy.

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