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  1. #1
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    Total newbie to biking - where do I start

    Hello all,

    I just learned to ride a bike last weekend (I'm 29 years old almost 30 ) and I'm looking to buy my first bike this Friday. I've been doing some research and narrowed down my choices to:

    Bianchi - Boardwalk
    Cannondale - Adventure 400
    Gary Fisher - Nirvana
    Marin - San Anselmo
    Specialized - Crossroads Elite, Expedition Elite
    Trek - 7300

    As you can guess, I'm looking for a hybrid bike since I would like to ride on both road and dirt paths. But I have no idea what components to look for or even what some of then are. Any good sites for beginners to read up on terms and such? Also, what's the difference between 700cm and 26 inch tires? Which of the bikes I listed would you look at first?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member bg4533's Avatar
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    I would suggest you consider a mountain bike with slicks (like the hybrids have) rather than the hybrids. It will be significantly better offroad than the hybrid and depending on what you are looking for may be better on the road as well. The only real advantage to a hybrid is the very upright position and that is only if you want that position. Personally I find the mountain bike position to be much more comfortable.

    700mm wheels are the traditional road bike size wheels and 26" are mountain bike wheels. If you want to go off road you should probably look at bikes with 26" wheels.

    If you haven't already, check out Sheldon Browns website . It has more bike info than you may want to know.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by namatoki
    Hello all,

    I just learned to ride a bike last weekend (I'm 29 years old almost 30 ) and I'm looking to buy my first bike this Friday. I've been doing some research and narrowed down my choices to:

    Bianchi - Boardwalk
    Cannondale - Adventure 400
    Gary Fisher - Nirvana
    Marin - San Anselmo
    Specialized - Crossroads Elite, Expedition Elite
    Trek - 7300

    As you can guess, I'm looking for a hybrid bike since I would like to ride on both road and dirt paths. But I have no idea what components to look for or even what some of then are. Any good sites for beginners to read up on terms and such? Also, what's the difference between 700cm and 26 inch tires? Which of the bikes I listed would you look at first?

    Thanks!
    With all do respect I have to ask.... How did you get clear to 30 years old without learning to ride a bike? Not trying to be disrespectful, it is just that bike riding is so normalized in children is this Country that it is rare to meet someone that never learned.

    Interested in your response. Meanwhile, congrats on learning how to ride. I am not much of a hybrid fan. I would recommend going with a full fledged Mountain bike. I have test ridden hybrids and I own 2 Mountain bikes. I wouldn't want to ride those hybrids on anything but pavement and even then don't think i would like them much. I think they are made for people that want a VERY low paced, laid back ride.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    With all do respect I have to ask.... How did you get clear to 30 years old without learning to ride a bike? Not trying to be disrespectful, it is just that bike riding is so normalized in children is this Country that it is rare to meet someone that never learned.

    Interested in your response. Meanwhile, congrats on learning how to ride. I am not much of a hybrid fan. I would recommend going with a full fledged Mountain bike. I have test ridden hybrids and I own 2 Mountain bikes. I wouldn't want to ride those hybrids on anything but pavement and even then don't think i would like them much. I think they are made for people that want a VERY low paced, laid back ride.
    Heh, well, growing up we lived pretty far out in the suburbs, so getting around was done by car. My parents were both working so they never had time to teach me either. So, now that I'm going back to college, I wanted to be able to bike to classes instead of driving. Pretty much that's it.

    Thanks for the insight into the hybrids. I looked at some mountain bikes and they seem to be a bit more expensive. How much should I expect to spend for a decent bike? I saw the Cannondale F400 listed at $699. I hope they don't get too much more expensive.

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    Senior Member bg4533's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namatoki
    Heh, well, growing up we lived pretty far out in the suburbs, so getting around was done by car. My parents were both working so they never had time to teach me either. So, now that I'm going back to college, I wanted to be able to bike to classes instead of driving. Pretty much that's it.

    Thanks for the insight into the hybrids. I looked at some mountain bikes and they seem to be a bit more expensive. How much should I expect to spend for a decent bike? I saw the Cannondale F400 listed at $699. I hope they don't get too much more expensive.
    Since you are a beginner and haven't ridden that much I wouldnt spend a great deal on a bike. If you are considering mountain bikes I would look at the Specialized Hardrocks and and the Trek 4300 and 4500. Those bikes should be $330-$400 or so and there isnt much need for a better mountain bike unless you are doing some serious trails. Then take a bit of the extra money and buy a nicer saddle, better tires, etc.

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    Nature Worshipper hillyman's Avatar
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    I think as a beginner a hybrid is the best choice. New riders may find the bent-over position uncomfortable on the back muscles. Hybrids usually have eyelets for mounting racks which you might want to add later. I would ask the LBS whats the best components for your needs. Its hard to say with kind of riding you might want to do later,road or mountain,so a hybrid is great until you know for sure.
    In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawdaddy
    I think as a beginner a hybrid is the best choice. New riders may find the bent-over position uncomfortable on the back muscles. Hybrids usually have eyelets for mounting racks which you might want to add later. I would ask the LBS whats the best components for your needs. Its hard to say with kind of riding you might want to do later,road or mountain,so a hybrid is great until you know for sure.
    Sorry for the newbie question, but what's LBS? Thanks.

  8. #8
    Nature Worshipper hillyman's Avatar
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    local bike shop
    In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    i'd go with a mountain or road. if you KNOW you will not do mountain go with the road... a mountain bike can be decent on the road... and i like this thing http://www.titusti.com/quasimoto.html

    if you want to waste the money. otherwise just get http://www.khsbicycles.com/04alite300.html

    or http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkMode...tqgu6bd.j27001
    He said he has never been on a bike before. Recommending a DOWNHILL bike is not really a productive reply.

    Go to several bike shops, discuss the style of riding you plan on doing and decide after getting numerous opinions. Personally I don't like hybreds. MtB are my preference for commuting and trails. Good luck.
    When sadness fills my days
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  10. #10
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namatoki
    Hello all,

    I just learned to ride a bike last weekend (I'm 29 years old almost 30 ) and I'm looking to buy my first bike this Friday. I've been doing some research and narrowed down my choices to:

    Bianchi - Boardwalk
    Cannondale - Adventure 400
    Gary Fisher - Nirvana
    Marin - San Anselmo
    Specialized - Crossroads Elite, Expedition Elite
    Trek - 7300

    As you can guess, I'm looking for a hybrid bike since I would like to ride on both road and dirt paths. But I have no idea what components to look for or even what some of then are. Any good sites for beginners to read up on terms and such? Also, what's the difference between 700cm and 26 inch tires? Which of the bikes I listed would you look at first?

    Thanks!
    The good news is that you won't get a bad bike in any of them. Rather than dump the hybrid idea for a mountain bike or a road bike, figure out what kind of riding you plan to do. Commuting to work? Country roads? Off-road? Pavement only? Recreation and fitness?

    If you think you want to do some off-road, you really =should= go with a mountain bike. If not, there's no reason for that.

    The bikes you've selected have some strong differences in design even though they are all "hybrids".

    If you're not going off-road, I'd suggest scrapping the suspension fork. There's very little benefit and it's additional maintenance and cost. I'm a big fan of Bianchi's Boardwalk. Quick ride without extraneous suspension. It's a great commuter. I've seen the Marins and they are the most sexy hybrid and comfort style bikes out there. If you step down to the Fairfax, you lose the fork and save some money. In the Trek, I'd go with the 7300FX model instead of the 7300. Again, save some money on suspension. The Specialized are comfort bikes which are kind of clunky and slower. I don't know anything about the 'dale or the Fisher.

  11. #11
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    For a general purpose bike, used for riding around town, bike trails and some light off-road, then there are quite a few styles which do the job.
    Hybrid
    MTB
    touring
    cyclo-cross
    flat-bar road bike
    All of these styles of bike can take good medium-width tyres, and tyre choice is often the biggest factor in performance. They all have a wide range of useful gears.
    Make sure you have threaded eyelets on the frame for a luggage rack, this males the bike a whole lot more useful
    The more extreme styles of bike, such as road racinga and full suspension MTB are really special purpose bikes. You can use them for more general riding, but they have limitations.
    Personally I dont think suspension is required on general purpose bikes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by namatoki
    Heh, well, growing up we lived pretty far out in the suburbs, so getting around was done by car. My parents were both working so they never had time to teach me either. So, now that I'm going back to college, I wanted to be able to bike to classes instead of driving. Pretty much that's it.

    Thanks for the insight into the hybrids. I looked at some mountain bikes and they seem to be a bit more expensive. How much should I expect to spend for a decent bike? I saw the Cannondale F400 listed at $699. I hope they don't get too much more expensive.
    They can get MUCH, MUCH more expensive. Trek Fuel 100= $5,000

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by namatoki
    Hello all,

    I just learned to ride a bike last weekend (I'm 29 years old almost 30 ) and I'm looking to buy my first bike this Friday. I've been doing some research and narrowed down my choices to:

    Bianchi - Boardwalk
    Cannondale - Adventure 400
    Gary Fisher - Nirvana
    Marin - San Anselmo
    Specialized - Crossroads Elite, Expedition Elite
    Trek - 7300
    Thanks!
    The Boardwalk is fine but the Bergamo is better in my opinion. The Bergamo may cost more but has fenders and the rear rack. This bike is more like an upscale town bike.

    The Cannondale is more like Comfort bike instead of a hybrid so I would pass this one by. The Gary Fisher is more like a Street bike which is a positive note. I would forget the Crossroads and focus on the Sirrus which are street bikes.

    The reason I prefer the Street bike is that you will reach the limit on a hybrid/comfort bike real soon once your body gets in condition. Here's my choice

    1. Bergamo - All around hybrid. It's not a street bike but it's complete
    2. Sirus/Gary Fisher - Good street bike. Much better than the Crossroads or the Cannondale.

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