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Old 10-20-03, 06:51 AM   #1
guojia38
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Bike recommendation for a newbie

Hey guys. I am new to biking...

I used to run, but am going to take a couple of months off due to ITBS. heard biking aggravates it less...

i have no knowledge about bikes. I would like to spend around $200-$300 for a decent beginners bike. I am 25yr old, 5'7", male, 135lbs.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 10-20-03, 08:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guojia38
I am new to biking...

I have no knowledge about bikes. I would like to spend around $200-$300 for a decent beginners bike.
Since you are new to cycling and have a "limited" budget ($200-$300) I'd suggest going to a few bike shops with a knowledgeable cycling friend to help you decide. You may be able to find a good used bike in that price range.

Since you have ITBS (whatever that is??) make sure the bike FITS. IMHO bike FIT is the most important thing to consider when buying any bike.
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Old 10-20-03, 10:24 AM   #3
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Thats quite a low budget for a new bike + all the accessories you might need, but its do-able.
Do you need the bike for everyday transportation/commuting.
Do you want to ride in all weathers (inc rain)
Do you want to ride: on roads
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Old 10-20-03, 10:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW
Thats quite a low budget for a new bike + all the accessories you might need, but its do-able.
Do you need the bike for everyday transportation/commuting.
Do you want to ride in all weathers (inc rain)
Do you want to ride: on roads
I'd like to use it for commute, not in rain, yes on roads...

i know that 200-300 not much, but i saw some decent (to me at least) ones on ebay for that much!
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Old 10-20-03, 10:29 AM   #5
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Thats quite a low budget for a new bike + all the accessories you might need, but its do-able wityh care.
Do you need the bike for everyday transportation/commuting or strictly for athletic training.
Do you want to ride in all weathers (inc rain)
Do you want to ride: on roads /easy trails/technical trails
Do you want to carry and loads:
-light loads (books, spare clothes),
-med loads (shopping), or
-heavy loads (camping)
Will you ride in poor lighting conditions.

Need input.......
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Old 10-20-03, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guojia38
i know that 200-300 not much, but i saw some decent (to me at least) ones on ebay for that much!
Please take my advice as someone who bought his first bike on ebay..DONT. 1.You can't size or test-ride the bike.
2. It will come un-assembled, and will cost (depending on your area) around 50 to get it set up properly. The frame on my 'new' bike was bent and cost an extra 20 to fix.
3. I had a similar budget, and was able to afford a new bike, but the design and components are sort-of, well...five minutes ago (downtube shifters, proprietary headset). I am already looking to upgrade.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have checked out my local LBS and got a bike that really fits and is something that is at least upgradeable.
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Old 10-20-03, 03:26 PM   #7
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Guojia38, welcome!

Everyone seems concerned that you're not going to find a "new" bike in your price range. Why think new, plus accessories, if you're just getting started. Many a fine machine can be bought used for what you want to spend. However, as was suggested already, DO NOT turn to ebay for your first bike. Yes, you can find great deals; I've bought about 5 bikes that way. But I'm also a mechanic and know what I like and need and what I can do on my own.

How far do you plan to ride, and what kind of terrain (ie, city, suburbs, rural, hilly, flat, mixed, strictly road)?
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Old 10-20-03, 04:34 PM   #8
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guojia38,

One way you can save some money is to look for a frame that is made of cro-moly (or cromoly). It's a type of steel. It's a little heavier than aluminum but has a smoother ride.

Don't skimp on quality components. Stay away from anything that doesn't have Shimano or Sram components. Many entry-level bikes have Shimano Sora components. While they're not the best Shimano has to offer, they are reliable and will last a good long time if taken care of and not abused.

Good luck
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Old 10-20-03, 04:36 PM   #9
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guojia38,

You forgot to mention if you're looking for a mountain bike, a road bike, or something in between.
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Old 10-20-03, 05:10 PM   #10
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I'll second the stay away from ebay advice. Although I've bought two of my bikes there, I know exactly what I'm looking at and what size fits. This knowledge is indespensible. I've also got enough mechanical knowledge to knock a bike together (or apart, though I've found that's easier than sticking one together). I'd also stay away from department store bikes. Go to a good local bike shop and get help fitting it. Any extra monies you pay will be worth it in the long run-- you'll ride a better fitting bike more often. Also, an LBS can help you with adjustments, which ebay won't.

I've found that your inseam is the most important thing in bike fit, not your height. I ride the same frame size as two friends who are 4-6" taller than me (I'm a touch over 6'), because we have the same inseam size.

Also, a good LBS can help you with a lot of use questions and may even switch out some components (for instance, if you're riding on pavement, you'll want slick tires, not knobbies) to make the bike they sell you fit your purposes better.
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Old 10-21-03, 05:55 AM   #11
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Check out some local sources for a used bike: bike shops, noticeboards, papers, clubs. You want to see before you buy.
Look for a mid-high range bike in steel ,chromoly or a branded steel from Reynolds, Columbus, Tange. Butted tubing if possible. Steel is more reliable as a used bike, than Al or carbon fibre. Titanium is usually too expensive.
If you want fenders or a luggage rack, make sure the frame has sufficient threaded eyelets.
Avoid bikes with crash damage, totally worn out components, or a bike that was crappy when it was new.
A road bike should be fine, but you could also ride a sport-touring or even touring bike.
Fit, fit , fit. In length (bars to saddle) as well as standover clearance.
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Old 10-21-03, 08:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poguemahone
Also, a good LBS can help you with a lot of use questions and may even switch out some components (for instance, if you're riding on pavement, you'll want slick tires, not knobbies) to make the bike they sell you fit your purposes better.
In searching for a bike to upgrade to, I've also noticed that the LBS is often willing to 'cut you a deal' to earn your business and keep you away from the giant retailers.

I wish I had known of this forum before I started looking; could have saved me a great deal of frustration.
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Old 10-21-03, 09:51 AM   #13
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Walmart has some mountain bikes like the Schwinn 2.6 Sidewinder for $130. It actually uses entry level Shimano F/R derailleurs, SRAM shifters, Promax V brakes and TIG welding. Even has front shocks

It would definately fall into the league of the beaters I see commuters riding. If approached as a disposable item it might get you around for a year or two,before giving it the toss or leaving it. And if you decide that you're not into riding after a spell,you won't have much money tied up. I'm not big on Chicom products,but many bikes today are being made in the far east...so hey.

With your limited budget,I'd look for a better USED American made bike. I can't recommend eBay,since many sellers will dump a bike after crashing it or messing it up while making a foolish repair or mod.

Regards.
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