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  1. #1
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    HELP! Newbie..Is this a good bike for me?

    I am new to this whole bike thing. It started with teaching my daughter (8years) and sone (6years) how to ride without training wheels. They both loved it so I borrowed my dads mountain bike and we start going on the bike trail..just that fast. My husband liked the idea and went and purchased a Schwinn from Walmart and a kids trailer (Schwinn Hitchhicker) from Craigslist. We all love it.
    I decided I need a new bike of my own. I have been going back and forth with the type of bike I wanted and finally decided it would be best to purchase a "comfort" bike. I found a Forge on Target.com for $219 and fell in love. It's a 24inch though. The reviews were awsome but I am 5'5 and all of the reviews were from shorter women who loved it for that reason.
    I was on craigslist this morning and found this for $85 and it looks pretty good but it's a 5-speed. Will this make a huge difference. I ride the American River Bike Trail and around Sacramento. We do do camping during the summer so of course I would bring my bike along for that. The ad says this is a "Ladies Schwinn cruiser".

    Any advise please !
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  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    The bike will work and providing it fits- will do the job.

    Quality of the bike will not be high but that does not matter. It is cheap and that is the main priority at this stage.

    Why? You are new to cycling and you do not know a great deal about bikes- so you do not know what bike is suitable for you. There is a rule that I tell people about theit first bike. All it is there for is to tell you what your second bike will be.

    So get out and test ride it. Make certain you like it and that it fits. It may be your dream bike- but if in 6 months time you decide you want something better- you will have a n idea on what to get. And the schwinn-along with your husbands bike- can be put on C L without a great loss.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  3. #3
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    It looks like a tank of a bike, i.e. heavy and slow. No harm in going to try the bike out if it is nearby. I'd recommend trying out some bikes at your local bike shop (LBS) before trying this one though. They make bikes of this same style but with lighter components and more gears. I think you have some decent hills in your area and that is where you will appreciate a wider range of gears, especially if you pull the trailer.

    All the above plus the condition of the parts may need replacing now or in the near future (freewheel, bearings, cables, saddle, etc.). You may end up paying more for this than you would a newer bike.

  4. #4
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    if you like to ride the bike, then it is the right bike (i.e., always test ride it for at least 20 minutes; find a hill if you can). later on, as your bicycling needs may change, you can consider bikes that fit your new needs. hte bottom line is: find a bike like to ride so that you want to ride it! i write this because there is no such thing as the perfect bicycle; among those who are crazy about bikes, 99% have more than one bicycle for different days/moods, and often secretly (or not) pine for yet one more (more perfect?) ride.

    so ride. love riding. the rest is details.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Choose a light bike, not a "tank"

    Think lightweight when you look for a used bike. You will end up with a better quality bike and will be better able to keep up with your husband. You are much more likely to ride further and more often if it is not a chore to propel the bike. The usual thing I see is hubby gets a good, lightweight bike and the wife gets a heavy mass merchandise bike. Then hubby wonders why his wife doesn't like to ride. Now's your chance to turn the tables on him.

    The phrase "looks like a tank" in one of the replies isn't very encouraging. Many years ago when I was a graduate student in MI, I decided I needed a bike to get to and from from my off-campus apartment. I found two bikes within the $100 I was able to scrape together for a used bike. One was a Schwinn and the other an Italian Fiorelli road bike with low-end Campignolo components. I was quite familiar with Schwinn having grown up on a single speed and then 3 speed Schwinn. I chose the Fiorelli because it was many pounds lighter than the Schwinn. Only after I began to ride it did I realize it was so much more fun to ride than the Schwinn bikes I had when I was in grade school and high school. It gave me good service for many years until I began to work part time in a bike shop and was able to buy a new touring bike. BTW, a quality lightweight bike is just as strong as the awful mass merchandiser bikes on the market.

    If you go looking for used bikes, take into account frame size. Like me, you are on the short end of the spectrum. You need a bike with a small frame. If you can't plant your feet firmly on the ground when astride the saddle adjusted properly, the bike is too big for you.

  6. #6
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
    If you can't plant your feet firmly on the ground when astride the saddle adjusted properly, the bike is too big for you.
    Wait. Are you saying one should be able to reach the ground with both feet when seated on the saddle?? Sounds like a way, way too low saddle position.
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  7. #7
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    That's a classic garage-hanger, and I'm not saying that in a good sense. Based on what I can see in the pics and your statement that it's a 5-speed, I'd say it's 25-35 years old. Considering the age, that bike probably weighs 40+ pounds and may even use weird-sized tires, like 26x1 3/8. Personally, I'd stay far away; but if you think you like it anyway, make sure you don't pay more than $25 for it.

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone

    I went ahead and splurged on a Schwinn Sierra GS. I read somewhere on this forum that your bike is as good as where you purchase it so I went to Performance Bicycles and it was kinda love at first sight. Let me know what you think...
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  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Now you're talking! Better than the Schwinn cruiser, in every respect. You'll be much happier with that.

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