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Old 07-22-09, 03:19 PM   #1
nunarno
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Best bicycle for $400?

Hi. I am new to posting here, but have been lurking for 4-5 years.

Been riding junkers, and I know $400 bucks won't get me much, but it will be an upgrade from my craigslist and walmart bikes.

I am looking to order ASAP (my last bike died and I dont drive, need a way to get around ... I walk all the time but need something a little more efficient)

So Im assuming a hybrid? Just something to get around on thats night looking, and can do what I want it to do. No need for 2923402 speeds. Im in Florida and only use 3 or so... but if the bike has more I will make do.

I love simplistic and clean looking bikes...

The bike would be used for daily exercise route (5-10 miles depending on how I feel) and commuting. Maybe even some touring... I know thats a little far fetched... or is it?

Let me know what you all recommend. I am 5'8 and 155lbs... male. What size frame do I need. I know, I usually go by the 26 or 27 mens bikes, but I see that the true brands dont measure like that.

Thanks. And if someone could post links to online bike shops, I would appreciate that also... as I am having a hard time finding some to look through!

Thanks everyone! Hope to hear from some of you soon so that I can be riding even as early as next week!

Last edited by nunarno; 07-22-09 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 07-22-09, 03:27 PM   #2
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That's a really big question. I think it's best to not worry about the touring for $400, just stick to what you're doing now. Tourers seem to start being decent around $1k.
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Old 07-22-09, 03:28 PM   #3
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Here are a few options from online shops ... just remember to go to a local shop to get a correct fit for your frame size - (not just the same size as your last bike).

Good luck!

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ington3_IX.htm

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/lt1000.htm

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/lttour.htm

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ne/jub_dlx.htm

http://bikesdirect.com/products/moto...litefs_IX2.htm
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Old 07-22-09, 03:30 PM   #4
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Ok, on touring I meant... just something comfortable that I could ride 30-40 miles a day on if I wanted to do some small trips.

Thanks for the links... Ill check em out!

Dont have any bike shops really near me, which sucks...
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Old 07-22-09, 03:34 PM   #5
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I am liking that Dawes Lightning Tour Shimano 24 Speed Road Bike... are they a reputable company that makes quality bikes? Wish it didnt have all the jazzy stickers and stuff. I love clean bikes.

Hmmm...
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Old 07-22-09, 03:42 PM   #6
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Hell, even if someone knows of some good fixies.

Basically, just show me bikes for around $400 of all types so I have tons to choose from!
Thanks again!
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Old 07-23-09, 09:32 AM   #7
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I bought a new Trek Navigator 2.0 last year and really like it. I think I paid $360. It is a hybred and made for comfort. Has 21 speeds.
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Old 07-23-09, 10:27 AM   #8
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for $400, I think you may be best off loooking at used bikes. Craigslist, in my area at least, has good stuff pop up on it from time to time. Of course, you have to check them out thoroughly, but there are a lot of decent bikes out there that just aren't being ridden.
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Old 07-23-09, 10:55 AM   #9
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I bought a Raleigh Detour 3.0 in late April of last year, turned 3800 miles on it last night. No problems with it at all other that 3 flat tires and two crashes that were my fault. First time back on a bike in 40 years and forgot I didn't have motorcycle size tires on board. This years model is 3.5, same price I believe. The only thing I would have upgraded out of the gate were the pedals. Being flat faced they are hard to keep your feet on at a high cadence. Something with teeth would be better.

http://www.skimarket.com/products/bi...h_detour-3.htm
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Old 07-23-09, 04:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
for $400, I think you may be best off loooking at used bikes. Craigslist, in my area at least, has good stuff pop up on it from time to time. Of course, you have to check them out thoroughly, but there are a lot of decent bikes out there that just aren't being ridden.
That's the best $400 bike: the $1000 bike that sits, unused, next to the Bowflex for a few years until someone needs the cash and admits they aren't really a cyclist/triathlete. Patience and caution can pay off big on Craigslist.
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Old 07-23-09, 05:35 PM   #11
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That's the best $400 bike: the $1000 bike that sits, unused, next to the Bowflex for a few years until someone needs the cash and admits they aren't really a cyclist/triathlete. Patience and caution can pay off big on Craigslist.
+2

And the Trek Navigator 2.0 is pretty good, but I'd return beer-cans from the side of the roads for the extra $40 and get this:

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/71fx/
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Old 07-23-09, 05:35 PM   #12
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New: Giant Cypress. I love my cypress or you can go used road bike with good components
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Old 07-23-09, 06:21 PM   #13
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There is no best bike for any given price range, only bikes people like for a given price range. Bikes are generally priced by the cost and quality level of their components. If you have $400.00 test ride some $400.00 bikes and buy the one you like.
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Old 07-23-09, 07:31 PM   #14
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If the fit of the junker is ok, upgrade the parts. New wheels and breaks.
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Old 07-23-09, 09:13 PM   #15
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I usually go for the bike with the best components
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Old 07-23-09, 09:20 PM   #16
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my husband and I just got bikes. I got a Trek Hybrid. He got a GT Nomad Hybrid. He LOVES it and says it has decent components. It was under $400 and I know this much, it's lighter than mine. My husband is 5'9 and weighs much more than you so I know it's a solid bike. We also live in Hollywood which means pot holes, gravel, curbs and so far so good. The GT came in S, M, L. He got the small. I don't know if height is as significant as inseam.

Here's the pic of his, actually he paid about 419 for his.
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Old 07-23-09, 09:21 PM   #17
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I tried making that pic smaller and it keeps jumping huge, sorry
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Old 07-23-09, 09:36 PM   #18
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I just got a Jamis Coda road/hybrid bike. Price was a tad more...$529...but you get a steel frame and nice enough components and wheels/tires to get you commuting or touring. Has eyelets for rear and front rack if you want to carry stuff. Excellent, light, fun bike!
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Old 07-23-09, 09:46 PM   #19
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If the fit of the junker is ok, upgrade the parts. New wheels and breaks.
Fixed that for you ... BRAKES ...
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Old 07-24-09, 02:17 AM   #20
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You might start here as to sizing http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html
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Old 07-24-09, 08:49 AM   #21
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myself i use a redline 520 hybrid.comes with chainguard and kickstand and bell and some 21 gears. i have no luck with gears though as they seem to go out of adjustment fast enough and i land up only using 3 or so gears. i paid 300 for the bike but the lbs owner said they retail for 400 or so.
i feel fine using the bike and the seat which is a big issue with bikes seems to be comfortable enough for short rides of say less than 10 miles.
i don't know if used bikes is the way to go as you don't know what on the bike is ready to crap out on you such as the cassette or something.
anyway bikes are a pretty simple machine so you should be able to get a decent bike for 400 or less for the riding you want to do
good luck in your search
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Old 07-24-09, 09:04 AM   #22
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It's really not a question of "what's the best bike for $____" but a matter of "what's the best bike for $____ for you." Start test riding the bikes in your price range. Pick the one you like, not the Giant Cypress I like.
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Old 07-24-09, 01:28 PM   #23
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Got ya. Thanks for the tips everyone! Keep em' coming. I think I am going to either build a fixie or buy one.

Anyone got any links for fixies for sale online?

Thanks
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Old 07-24-09, 01:48 PM   #24
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I think I am going to either build a fixie or buy one.
Why? Fixies are good for tricks, bike polo and in some cases training, but beyond that, a bicycle with a freewheel is likely to be far more useful and friendly.

And if your area has any hills or wind, or you have a hard time picking the perfect gear ratio, or even if you occasionally carry heavy loads, gears are a very nice thing to have.
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Old 07-24-09, 07:42 PM   #25
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Trek 7000 is a good choice.

Avoid the temptation (if you were even tempted), to get a bike with a front suspension.
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