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  1. #1
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    another newbie who needs advice

    I'm new here. Hi guys! I'm Rebecca. I've been reading this board for about two weeks now. I'm one of those people who has a huffy. It's actually not that bad of a bike. My problem is that it's a mountain bike and I'm in the Chicago suburbs. I didn't know anything about bikes when I bought it. I've found out that it's more difficult to pedal a mountain bike on pavement. I ride about 10 miles or more a day. The longer/farther I ride this bike the worse I feel. It's a pain to ride it so I am looking for a new bike. I'm trying to do a little research before I get a new bike so I won't end up with the wrong type of bike. I mostly ride on paved bike paths and sidewalks. I sometimes ride on the gravel paths on forest preserves. I know that LBS are better than walmart or target, but I can't afford those prices and I don't want to risk getting ripped off on ebay or craig's list. I found a bike at Target that looks decent to me. I'm a total noob though so I was hoping you guys would help me out. The bike has good reviews on target.com. It also has good reviews on amazon.com. On amazon.com there are more detailed customer reviews under the men's version of the bike. Is this a decent starter bike for me? I don't have much money to spend and won't any time soon, but I love to ride.

    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...om-gbexpo71-20

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

  2. #2
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    This bike will be a step up from the Huffy; that's about all the good that can be said for it.

    I understand the money issue; without the EIC at tax time, I'd be hard-put to have a decent bike myself.

    At least you'll be riding; just TRY HARD to save up for something better!

  3. #3
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    I started commuting on a Huffy Mountain bike. I put on Slick tires... and off I went. so you can do it on the huffy juswt fine.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  4. #4
    Beginner AmberRae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beccaree View Post
    I'm new here. Hi guys! I'm Rebecca. I've been reading this board for about two weeks now. I'm one of those people who has a huffy. It's actually not that bad of a bike. My problem is that it's a mountain bike and I'm in the Chicago suburbs. I didn't know anything about bikes when I bought it. I've found out that it's more difficult to pedal a mountain bike on pavement. I ride about 10 miles or more a day. The longer/farther I ride this bike the worse I feel. It's a pain to ride it so I am looking for a new bike. I'm trying to do a little research before I get a new bike so I won't end up with the wrong type of bike. I mostly ride on paved bike paths and sidewalks. I sometimes ride on the gravel paths on forest preserves. I know that LBS are better than walmart or target, but I can't afford those prices and I don't want to risk getting ripped off on ebay or craig's list. I found a bike at Target that looks decent to me. I'm a total noob though so I was hoping you guys would help me out. The bike has good reviews on target.com. It also has good reviews on amazon.com. On amazon.com there are more detailed customer reviews under the men's version of the bike. Is this a decent starter bike for me? I don't have much money to spend and won't any time soon, but I love to ride.

    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...om-gbexpo71-20

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846
    keep the bike you have, invest in a set of slicks (slick tires, less traction)
    it's cheaper and easier.

  5. #5
    Beginner AmberRae's Avatar
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    another quick note... NEVER buy from target/walmart/ebay or anyhting of the like.

    go to a bike store and get measured so you have the right fit.
    support your local bike shop!

    most the time they will be willing to give you discounts if you express a new-found love of biking but are short on cash.

  6. #6
    Bike Commuter MrRamonG's Avatar
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    I agree with rando and AmberRae, there are things you can do to the Huffy Mountain bike to make it more suitable for your needs. SLicks are a good start, but you can also replace the saddle to something more suitable to you. Take it to your LSB and have them make sure you have the seat adjusted appropriately. You may want to ask them if the headset is adjusted correctly and if you should get stem a shroter/longer stem.
    You might want to check out Sheldon Brown's (RIP) website for beginners, its a great resource.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/beginners/index.html
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    May the wind be with you.

  7. #7
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    Bikes from discount stores are VERY expensive. They are used an average of 100 miles during their lifetime, due to poor materials, and poor assembly. They use non-standard parts that are difficult to find when they break, and they WILL break.

    Worst of all, they are "one size fits all". A bike is not safe or comfortable to ride unless it is carefully fitted to the rider. At a bike shop, a given bike will come in three to ten sizes, depending on its design.

    The cheapest bike in America is a $400 mountain bike from a good bike shop from Trek, Specialized, Giant, KHS, or a top brand. Such bikes are designed and built to provide 20 or 30 years of reliable riding. They can be fitted for your leg length and your torso length. The frame and fork are likely to have a lifetime warranty, and most good shops not only tune-up the bike before you leave the store, they provide a free tune-up after you have broken in the bike.

    If you absolutely can't afford a new $400 bike, talk to bike shops about used bikes. Some bike shops take in trade-in bikes, which means that a bike that cost $1,000 new may be available used for just $200.

    Three things to know about bikes: 1. Only buy from a good bike shop. 2. Only buy from a good bike shop. 3. Only buy from a good bike shop.

  8. #8
    on your left.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmberRae View Post
    most the time they will be willing to give you discounts if you express a new-found love of biking but are short on cash.
    really? i've never found that to be the case. maybe give you a couple little freebies, maybe.

    both of those bikes are alright, but you'll find something far better for just a little more at your LBS. and if you do choose to get one of those bikes, at least take it to your LBS to get a tune-up before riding. that way it'll at least be safe.
    happy riding!
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the advice. I might try to save up a bit more and get a bike from a shop.

  10. #10
    Senior Member envane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beccaree View Post
    The longer/farther I ride this bike the worse I feel. It's a pain to ride it so I am looking for a new bike.
    Where does it hurt? More likely than not, you have the seat too low.
    Shortcut to relevant Sheldon pages:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html#height

    http://sheldonbrown.com/pain.html

    You might not even need a new bike.

  11. #11
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    Rebecca, until you buy a new bike, there are things you can do to make your current bike more enjoyable.

    Go to a good bike shop. Have them adjust the saddle height for your leg length. True the wheels. Fine tune the brakes and shifting. And, replace the tires with light weight "slick" tires. If your bike is in pretty good condition, all of these jobs can be done in less than a hour. With labor and the new tires, you will pay about $100.

    But, a bike that has "perfect" wheel truing, perfect shifting and braking is a pleasure to ride. Light, slick tires are much easier to ride on pavement than the generic tires that come from the factory. I know people who ride 300 days a year on low-cost bikes, and enjoy the experience because their bike has good tires, and is in perfect running condition.

    By the way, when you are ready to buy a bike from a bike shop, they will true the wheels and tune the bike for free before you pick it up. And, at most bike shops, they will give the bike another wheel truing and tune-up after you break it in, for no charge. And that is just one of the reasons that bikes from a good bike shop are CHEAPER than bikes from discount stores.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Get some street tires to replace the knobby tires. That makes a WORLD of difference!
    Your LBS should have them for about $20, or you can order them over the net for a little less?
    I use these- Serfas Drifters in a 26x1.50" and have no complaints. They fit my MB rims just fine.

  13. #13
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmberRae View Post
    keep the bike you have, invest in a set of slicks (slick tires, less traction)
    it's cheaper and easier.
    No, on pavement slick tires = more traction, but less drag.

    One problem with the bike she's looking at is that it's a one-size-(doesn't)fit-all bike. There's no choice of sizes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    The bike you are looking at is $198. My wife got a new Trek 820 WSD from one of the local bike shops earlier this year for $230. The tires that come with it are knobbies, but can be replaced with slicks very cheaply. It is a smooth riding and reliable bike. For another hundred or so, you can get into a Hybrid with 700c wheels.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Get some street tires to replace the knobby tires. That makes a WORLD of difference!
    Your LBS should have them for about $20, or you can order them over the net for a little less?
    I use these- Serfas Drifters in a 26x1.50" and have no complaints. They fit my MB rims just fine.
    Those look pretty good. She said she rides some on gravel paths and those are better for that than pure slicks.

    But if you are too poor even for that ride the knobby tires at max preassure. That is not the right way for mountian/off road riding, but will give a noticable improvement on roads.

    Years ago when I started with a mountian bike when I put on slicks I found I ran out of gears at the top end, it makes that much difference.

    Oh and if money is a big deal look at used bikes. At least some shops will do right by you, banking on future business when you have the money.

  16. #16
    Senior Member envane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    Those look pretty good. She said she rides some on gravel paths and those are better for that than pure slicks.
    I've ridden those Chicagoland trails on 28 slicks @ 100 psi. They ride smoother than most Chicago streets

  17. #17
    Comfortably Numb! BA Commuter's Avatar
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    I agree with the advise to go to a LBS and get fitted properly. If you'd rather save a little more money, get a pair of road tires for now and shop around for a nicer bike.

    BTW - My wife has a Jamis Commuter 1.0, which was $285. She doesn't commute daily, but it's a fine bike for short trips on the road or the trail.

    “Cycling is like church. Many attend, but few understand." -Jim Burlant

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  18. #18
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    For some reason, I went to 3 bike stores in the SW suburbs and couldn't find those serfas. So definitely get them off the internet if you make that decision.

  19. #19
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    Don't be afraid to ask your LBS about lay-away options as well. That's a really easy way to get into a much nicer bike. You'd be surprised how many offer that option.

  20. #20
    Beginner AmberRae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nahh View Post
    really? i've never found that to be the case. maybe give you a couple little freebies, maybe.

    both of those bikes are alright, but you'll find something far better for just a little more at your LBS. and if you do choose to get one of those bikes, at least take it to your LBS to get a tune-up before riding. that way it'll at least be safe.
    happy riding!
    maybe my friends and i have just been lucky... i'm sorry you're luck wasn't the same.

    however i still think bike shops are the way to go... and be sweet... bees love honey you know.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by envane View Post
    Where does it hurt? More likely than not, you have the seat too low.
    Shortcut to relevant Sheldon pages:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html#height

    http://sheldonbrown.com/pain.html

    You might not even need a new bike.
    I kind of ache all over from the effort of pedaling this heavy beast up hills. I am always adjusting the seat. It constantly slides down. It does feel better when I ride higher. You all have given me great advice. Thanks so much. I'm still trying to decide what to do.

  22. #22
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    I would go to the Great Lakes forum and start a thread asking for recommendations for bike shops in your area that also carry used bikes. You can get a reliable, older bike from a reputable shop at an affordable price.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  23. #23
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    Rebecca the advice being given of swapping out your tires is good advice. I own the men's version of this bike (mine is a Schwinn Pathway but its basically the same bike). The bike has gotten a lot of compliments. I have had it several months with no real complaints. I did replace the pedals as the pedals aways break on these bikes. I have a small tear in the seat cover from use.

    I double lock this bike outside sometimes for 10 hours at a time. It has been a good commuter. My dad is in the market for a bike and Trek has some attractive models starting at about $350 or so. The thing about bicycles is once you own one, you want more for some reason. If you can't decide what to do I will tell you that you will be happy with this bike. Since you already have a bike though I would do what I did, which is I bought my first bike then saved up and got my "dream bike" so to speak. I find myself looking at my dream bike a lot because its a gorgeous road bike that weighs about 22 lbs and i'm able to appreciate the features and lightness of it from having ridden the 40 lb Schwinn for several months before.

  24. #24
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    I got a new bike today. Most of you are going to hate it. It's a walmart schwinn. lol
    It's much lighter than my horrible huffy mountain bike. I put a nice seat on it. I'm going to buy new pedals. My boyfriend is pretty good with bikes. He actually had to finish putting it together. The break line wasn't fixed. It was just hanging lose. Rather than let the walmart employee fix it, we took it home and my boyfriend fixed it. It looks good to go. I'm going to take it out later. I will let you all know how it holds up. I'm still very much a newbie so I didn't feel comfortable spending a ton of money on a new bike. I will probably get a nicer bike in the future but this one is fine for now.

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=7694955

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beccaree View Post
    I got a new bike today. Most of you are going to hate it. It's a walmart schwinn. lol
    It's much lighter than my horrible huffy mountain bike. I put a nice seat on it. I'm going to buy new pedals. My boyfriend is pretty good with bikes. He actually had to finish putting it together. The break line wasn't fixed. It was just hanging lose. Rather than let the walmart employee fix it, we took it home and my boyfriend fixed it. It looks good to go. I'm going to take it out later. I will let you all know how it holds up. I'm still very much a newbie so I didn't feel comfortable spending a ton of money on a new bike. I will probably get a nicer bike in the future but this one is fine for now.

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=7694955
    Beccaree,

    Your Schwinn is fine! Schwinn has made nice bikes for decades. Wal-Mart often doesn't have people trained to assemble the bike properly, but you have a b/f who can do it. So when he's done, go ride your Schwinn! It'll be a good bike.

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