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  1. #1
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    What type of Bike would suit me?

    Hi, I'm new. I hope this is in the right section, I wasn't sure.

    I'd like to start cycling for fitness. I'd be riding on cycle paths and roads several times a week. I'm a 16yo girl and although I can ride a bike fine I haven't owned one for years so I don't know what to look for or how much it will cost.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Bikes can be had to fit most any budget, especially if you factor in used bicycles. There's a lot of selection in the $200-300 and up range, but if you need to spend less than that, it's certainly doable.

    What you don't need, given what you intend to use it for, is a mountain bike. The large, knobby, low-pressure tires aren't good for riding on the pavement, and the suspension such bikes have is of very little benefit, at the cost of lots of extra weight.

    Something in a "hybrid" or "comfort" bike would likely serve your needs best. Skinny (but not too skinny), smoother tires, flat handlebars (as opposed to the "drop" bars you see on more serious road bikes), and either a rigid or suspended front end.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    A good used bike might be a great choice for you if you're just starting out; you're not sure how seriously you're going to take this; and if you're willing to do the research on how to evaluate a used bike, or have a friend or family member who can hep you. You can get great, ridable bikes for not a lot of money; try Craigslist in your local town.

    If you're going to look at new bikes, any of the major brands feature a pretty wide range of bikes. So it can be as important to pick a helpful bike shop as it is to pick the right bike. One good idea is to find the correct regional forum here at BikeForums and just ask for a recommendation for a good bike shop in your town (you will see people here refer to a Local Bike Shop as an LBS, in case you see that term pop up).

    Good luck; shopping for a new bike is as almost as much fun as riding; don't be a hurry!

  4. #4
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    these are very popular for their versatility

    700c, drop bar, disc brake bikes

    trek portland - http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...land/portland/

    cannondale cross xr7 - http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/c...del-8XR7C.html

    Brodie Ronin '08 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2008/2008_bikes/ronin.php
    Brodie romax '07 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2007/2007_bikes/romax.php
    brodie ronin '07 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2007/2007_bikes/ronin.php

    lemond poprad disc - http://www.lemondbikes.com/bikes/cross/poprad_disc.php

    rocky mountain sherpa - http://www.bikes.com/bikes/2007/TOURING/sherpa-10.aspx

    kona sutra - http://www.konaworld.com/08_sutra_w.htm

    orbea diem drop disc - http://www.orbea.com/ingles/interior...ilia=6&gama=13

    focus cross disc - http://www.focusbikesuk.com/focuscyc...cross_disc.php

    devinci caribou2 - http://www.devinci.com/10479_an.html

    raleighusa sojourn - http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=5&itemid=427

    rei novara element - http://www.rei.com/product/744808

    co-motion mazama - http://www.co-motion.com/mazama.html

    rocky mountain Solo CXD - http://bikes.com/2008_preview/2008_preview.html

    rotwild rs1cx - http://www.rotwild.de/en/ (street bikes section)

    fixie inc. pureblood - http://www.cycles-for-heroes.com/200...pureblood.html

    maxx roadmaxx custom (you choose the color and parts at the LBS and the factory puts it together, i.e., not a custom frame) - http://www.maxx.de/frmain_bikes.htm (road - roadmaxx custom)

    Salsa la Cruz - http://www.salsacycles.com/laCruzComp08.html
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
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    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  5. #5
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    my 16 yo son has a trek 6500, which he likes a great deal,
    we got it a couple of seasons ago.
    purchased it at the end of the year from a mountain bike shop who had it as a summer rental.
    the cost was about 1/3 of new.
    changed the tires to Schwalbe Big Apples,
    swapped the flat handlebars to origin 8 space bars, that are angled more like a cruiser bar;
    they are almost identical to the on one mary bar, half the cost.
    he tried a bunch of seats and ended up with a Brooks B-68. Also installed Kool stop brake pads.
    most important thing was working to make sure the bike fit well,
    he was inpatient with me about this at first. finally as he rode more he appreciated the subtle changes
    in seat position or why we needed to swap our two stems before one worked ok. we did a 680 km tour
    last summer, planning another this summer, plus other rides.
    we have been to a few bike shops recently, see him glancing at other bikes- when I suggest trying another- he always says he likes "his bike". fine with me.

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
    Bikes can be had to fit most any budget, especially if you factor in used bicycles. There's a lot of selection in the $200-300 and up range, but if you need to spend less than that, it's certainly doable.

    What you don't need, given what you intend to use it for, is a mountain bike. The large, knobby, low-pressure tires aren't good for riding on the pavement, and the suspension such bikes have is of very little benefit, at the cost of lots of extra weight.

    Something in a "hybrid" or "comfort" bike would likely serve your needs best. Skinny (but not too skinny), smoother tires, flat handlebars (as opposed to the "drop" bars you see on more serious road bikes), and either a rigid or suspended front end.
    Can't have it both ways. Suspension on a hybrid or comfort bike is just as bad as suspension on a mountain bike...perhaps worse. At least on a mountain bike it has a purpose. On a hybrid, it's just dead weight.

    I'd suggest something like a Trek WSD 7.2 FX.
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
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  7. #7
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Can't have it both ways. Suspension on a hybrid or comfort bike is just as bad as suspension on a mountain bike...perhaps worse. At least on a mountain bike it has a purpose. On a hybrid, it's just dead weight.
    Agreed, though given the (hypothetical) choice between a full-suspension mountain bike and a front-suspension hybrid, the latter is preferable. Plus, there seems to be an emerging/emerged trend in newer front-suspension hybrids in getting more appropriately-sized shocks. Less huge and mountain-bikey, more thin and slender.

    In any case, I was unclear before: I was listing the things that such bikes tend to have, not listing things to look for. I would definitely recommend a non-suspended bike as the top choice.

  8. #8
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    The Trek WSD 7.2 FX is a quite nice well-priced bike ideal for riding around, fitness and general purpose use.
    Other brands also make similar bikes eg
    Specialized Vita
    Cannondale Road Warrior 4
    Terry precision make bikes only for women and are worth a look.
    Generally it is better to pick your bike shop first and see what brands they offer. Pick a good bike shop that treats you well and sells you the bike you need rather than the one they happen to have. Make sure you get the correct size, not too big or small. So many bike shops try to sell you one that is too big just because it is in stock.

    Some women prefer flat bars to racing style drop bars. Drop bars give you extra handhold positions useful on very long rides but you can fit flat bars with additional holds (bar-ends)
    If you are under 5'3" then the standard sized road wheel (called 700c) may be too big. You may get a better handling frame using smaller 26" diameter wheels.
    The womens range of bikes (Trek WSD, Specialized D4W ...)usually offer the following features:
    -A shorter reach to the bars for their standover height.
    -Narrower bars.
    -Shorter cranks on small sizes
    Whether you need these features depends on your size and proportions.
    Some useful readings on womens fit can be had from
    Luna Cycles
    Terry
    Myra

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Use - fit - budget

    My advice is to shop for a bike store first. When you find the right sales person, one who understands the kinds of roads/ trails you're likely to be riding, one who asks the "right" questions, and one who you have a general good feelinga about, you're halfway there.

    Getting the right size bike and getting the seat and handlebars adjusted to fit you is important because casual riders don't move around a lot on the bike. If the set up is wrong, your shoulders and fanny are going to hurt, you won't be able to shift your position, and you won't like it.

    Budget drives everything else.

  10. #10
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
    (as opposed to the "drop" bars you see on more serious road bikes),
    So hybrids and comfort bikes (and their riders) are frivolous?
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
    Bikes can be had to fit most any budget, especially if you factor in used bicycles. There's a lot of selection in the $200-300 and up range, but if you need to spend less than that, it's certainly doable.
    What you don't need, given what you intend to use it for, is a mountain bike. The large, knobby, low-pressure tires aren't good for riding on the pavement, and the suspension such bikes have is of very little benefit, at the cost of lots of extra weight.

    Something in a "hybrid" or "comfort" bike would likely serve your needs best. Skinny (but not too skinny), smoother tires, flat handlebars (as opposed to the "drop" bars you see on more serious road bikes), and either a rigid or suspended front end
    .
    I agree with that a hundred percent.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rach_elm View Post
    Hi, I'm new. I hope this is in the right section, I wasn't sure.

    I'd like to start cycling for fitness. I'd be riding on cycle paths and roads several times a week. I'm a 16yo girl and although I can ride a bike fine I haven't owned one for years so I don't know what to look for or how much it will cost.

    Thanks for your help.
    Welcome, and thanks for your question.

    There are people on these forums who can help quite a bit, and they would like to help -- I hope I can say something helpful as well -- but it would help both you and us if you could give a bit more information to go on.

    Money: If you want to stay low or very low in cost, there are ways to do it.

    If cost is no object, there are other bikes that people would point you toward.

    There are bikes for each price level.

    You can literally find good bikes for almost nothing, if you know how (try posting about this on the Classic and Vintage (sub-)forum here on bikeforums.net, and you will learn a lot).

    You can find good bikes for 100, 200, 400, 1000, 3000, and 7000 dollars (and even more), and everything in between.

    For what you describe, you don't really need an expensive bike.

    ****
    It also depends on how much you want to get into it. If you are willing to take classes, or have an interest in learning these things, you can find out how to work on bikes. It isn't that hard, if you are interested and find some decent teachers, books, or websites.

    If you just want a reliable ride, and want to forget about mechanics, there are bikes for that.

    ****
    Some bikes are a blast to ride. If you value that (or think you might), I would recommend test riding a wide variety of bikes, and finding something that really sends you. Most people (probably 99% or more of bike riders) never in their entire lives have the experience of riding a bike that fits them like a glove and is a joy to ride. Rolf at Hostel Shoppe can talk with you about this if you are interested.

    Personally, I think it is worth seeking out such a bike. At least you'll have experienced it and will know what is possible, and whether or not this is something that you really want.

    The difference is like night and day. Some bikes are exhilarating to ride. It's like finding exactly the right clothes. It lifts your experience of riding to another level.

    Some of the underseat steering (USS) recumbents are great fun for some people. It's worth at least giving them a try.

    There are other bikes that have a great and truly exhilarating ride as well.

    It is very individual, subjective, and experiential; and you really have to go out and find what works for you as an individual, and ride them.

    *******
    Bike shops and their employees vary tremendously in how much they can help, and in what directions they will steer you.

    Above all, go with a bike that YOUlike, in your own experience.

    Don't go with what other people like, or tell you you should like, or what they think is best -- go with your own experience.

    You're the one who is going to be spending many hours on the bike, not them.

    Also, if you find a bike that you really enjoy riding, it won't be a chore to get out (exercising) on it. You will look forward to it, and actually enjoy it; and the exercise will be natural rather than forced.

    Fitness will come naturally. Your time won't be wasted on mediocre riding experiences. Time and youth are valuable -- why not spend them doing things you really love?
    Last edited by Niles H.; 03-22-08 at 12:42 PM.

  13. #13
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    Thanks heaps for all your help.
    I went to the bike store and the women specific brand they mainly stock is SUB, I really like their designs. And he said they thaught they could adjust a guys bike to fit me too. He said I should either get an entry level road bike or a flat handle bared road bike. I think I'll go for the flat handle bared one. Because if I get more sirious and start want to compete I can all ways upgread.

  14. #14
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    After riding a drop-bar road bike "seriously" for the first time (got it last fall), I might actually vote for getting an entry level road bike.

    By the time I was your age, I had been riding for maybe seven years, and only had two bikes in that time -- neither of which had drop bars. I got another bike (hardtail MTB) in college, and what I'd call a "fast hybrid" last spring -- again, both with flat(ish) bars.

    However, I'm absolutely digging the variety of hand positions I get with drop bars; I ride that bike almost all the time now. I'm even thinking of getting cyclocross brake levers so I can ride on the flat part more often without giving up braking ability.

    MichealW mentioned Cannondale's Road Warrior 4. A good direct comparison would be a Synapse Sport (or a Synapse Féminine, and you can have the stem swapped to a riser stem like the Sport has).

    BTW -- I don't compete, and probably never will. I just like to have fun on my bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    You might like the Easy Boarding bikes from Biria:

    http://www.biria.com/bicycles/eb/eb_lite_8.jsp

    http://www.biria.com/bicycles/eb/eb_superlight_8.jsp

    http://www.biria.com/bicycles/

    http://www.biria.com/

    I've seen these bikes at my LBS (Local Bike Shop), and I really like them , from the standpoint of safety. You could actually put your foot on the top tube and ride it like a scooter. It would be very easy to step off of if if you're at an intersection and you have cars too close to you.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    these are very popular for their versatility

    700c, drop bar, disc brake bikes

    trek portland - http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...land/portland/

    cannondale cross xr7 - http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/c...del-8XR7C.html

    Brodie Ronin '08 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2008/2008_bikes/ronin.php
    Brodie romax '07 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2007/2007_bikes/romax.php
    brodie ronin '07 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2007/2007_bikes/ronin.php

    lemond poprad disc - http://www.lemondbikes.com/bikes/cross/poprad_disc.php

    rocky mountain sherpa - http://www.bikes.com/bikes/2007/TOURING/sherpa-10.aspx

    kona sutra - http://www.konaworld.com/08_sutra_w.htm

    orbea diem drop disc - http://www.orbea.com/ingles/interior...ilia=6&gama=13

    focus cross disc - http://www.focusbikesuk.com/focuscyc...cross_disc.php

    devinci caribou2 - http://www.devinci.com/10479_an.html

    raleighusa sojourn - http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=5&itemid=427

    rei novara element - http://www.rei.com/product/744808

    co-motion mazama - http://www.co-motion.com/mazama.html

    rocky mountain Solo CXD - http://bikes.com/2008_preview/2008_preview.html

    rotwild rs1cx - http://www.rotwild.de/en/ (street bikes section)

    fixie inc. pureblood - http://www.cycles-for-heroes.com/200...pureblood.html

    maxx roadmaxx custom (you choose the color and parts at the LBS and the factory puts it together, i.e., not a custom frame) - http://www.maxx.de/frmain_bikes.htm (road - roadmaxx custom)

    Salsa la Cruz - http://www.salsacycles.com/laCruzComp08.html
    All those bikes are much too expensive for the average beginner. They cost as much or more than the a 16 year olds first car!

  17. #17
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    I bought my girlfriend a Trek 7100 hybrid/comfort bike almost a year ago, she loves the bike. 700cx35 tires gives a fast, yet comfortable ride, doesnt weigh much, and gives an upright, more enjoyable riding position. HOWEVER, if you think your gonna like going really fast and riding more roads than cycle paths, a flat-handled road bike might be more your bike.

    I love my drops for roads, though. fast and aerodynamic. Try craigslist for used, but if you have some cash to spend, by all means go the a GOOD bike shop

  18. #18
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
    All those bikes are much too expensive for the average beginner. They cost as much or more than the a 16 year olds first car!
    Not really, I cashiered at a fast food joint while in high school. Saved up and bought a decent fs mtb. It just depends on how much you want something. If you believe some of the stories on pinkbike then there are a lot of teenagers doing the same thing.

    The bikes in the list I posted are completely wrong for the OP as they're all standard dimension frames, i.e., a women specific design frame would fit better. I hoped that she could at least use them as a starting point for research and/or to build her own using a more suitable frame.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

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