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Old 10-09-08, 05:02 PM   #1
mmelzer1986
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What should I be looking for?

Hey guys, just came across this site and had a quick question. I'm going to head to Dick's Sporting Goods tomorrow and I was wondering, what should I be looking for in a bike? I haven't had a bike for years and I'm leaning toward a Mountain Bike. It'll be mainly used to go to the grocery store up the street and other short-distance things (Maybe half of the distance to the grocery store has a sidewalk, but its less than a mile away, so I'll live), but potentially to and from work once in a while (14-15 miles each way). I'm looking to spend $300 although a little more or even less would be fine. I was looking at the Mongoose Tech 4, but apparently Dick's shows it online but its not sold in the brick-and-mortar stores. I know I could probably get a lower price at a bike shop but I don't know of any near me.

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Old 10-09-08, 05:40 PM   #2
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That budget of yours puts you on the low end of the bike buying scale for a new bike. Do you know someone that is bike savvy? They could help you get a deal on a good used bike. You could get a gently used higher end MTB and still have money left for things like fenders, racks, locks, lights, bags and/or baskets. I rode a converted MTB for a few years as a commuter. Also how flat is your commute? Keep your eyes out for a Raleigh 3 speed. Quite often they can be picked up for very little. I would not want to be riding a brand new bike to the store unless you have a good lock and a place to lock it too.

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Old 10-10-08, 06:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mmelzer1986 View Post
It'll be mainly used to go to the grocery store up the street and other short-distance things (Maybe half of the distance to the grocery store has a sidewalk, but its less than a mile away, so I'll live), but potentially to and from work once in a while (14-15 miles each way). I'm looking to spend $300...
I know I could probably get a lower price at a bike shop ...
Stay off the sidewalk when riding to the store. VERY dangerous. Ride on the road.

Get a GOOD QUALITY, DEPENDABLE bike if you'll be riding 14-15 miles one way to work. Nothing worse than being half way there and having a crappy component not work correctly or fail. That's a long way to walk. Talk to the folks in the Commuting forum for suggestions on a good commuter bike.

FYI: The cheapest bike we sell at the shop I work at is ~$350.
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Old 10-10-08, 06:57 AM   #4
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I think that you should be looking for a real bike shop. It might take a few tries to find the "right" one.

What you should be looking for is a sales person who asks you the "right" questions about your lifestyle and how you picture yourself using your new bicycle. There are lots and lots of bicycle variations and working through those questions will steer you toward the best style of bike to suit your needs.

The next thing is "fit". Your position on the bike affects your comfort, efficiency and performance every single minute that you're on the bike. Compared to fit nothing else even comes close in importance. The good folks at Dick's might not be the kind of bike enthuiasts that can help you with fit.

Your budget will drive everything else so there's no point in worrying about it.
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Old 10-10-08, 06:59 AM   #5
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Stay off the sidewalk when riding to the store. VERY dangerous. Ride on the road.
How can you say that with such assurance? Do you know what the neighborhood is like where the OP lives?

I think that it's kind of like buying a bike. One size and one style doesn't fit all. Until you know the details about customer and their environment you can't give absolute advice.

Last edited by Retro Grouch; 10-10-08 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 10-10-08, 03:04 PM   #6
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Well I found a bike shop a couple of miles from where I live, and bought a Trek 3700. Its a pretty nice bike. I see myself trying to rely on it for shorter distance errands and such so I feel I'll easily get my money's worth. This is my first bike in years so I don't see myself going 14-ish miles starting on Monday, lol... but it would be nice to do once in a while, if not just for exercise (seeing that gas prices are dropping a fair bit). I'll need to look for some parks that have bike trails.
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Old 10-10-08, 05:58 PM   #7
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Welcome to Bikeforums! Your mention of riding on sidewalks indicates your newness to bicycling. I recommend checking the laws in you area regarding sidewalk cycling, as it may be illegal, for one thing, and if legal, you need to see how sidewalk cycling affects your right-of-way status around other types of vehicles and pedestrians.

I also saw mention of trails. If you by any chance mean designated pathways meant for multiple types of users, keep in mind that attaining any level of fitness may be impractical due to the other types of users crowding those facilities. If you mean actual off-road bike trails, then that is good.

I am not familiar with the bike you bought, so this may not apply, but a knobby-tried, true "mountain" bike, is not the best machine for commuting or other on-pavement use. See the Commuting forum right here on Bikeforums.net for tips on that aspect.
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