First bike purchase
I'm in the market to purchase my first bike and I'm not sure which bike I want to purchase. I'm looking to ride primarily on paved bike trails, and occasionally on hard pack dirt trails and roads. I plan on riding by myself 3+/- days a week and approximately 10 miles each ride.
My budget is in the $300-$500 range, but I would consider going higher if it was warranted. I'm primarily looking for an entry-level bike to use for recreation and fitness reasons. I don't intend to use the bike in any rugged applications.
Am I correct in assuming that I should be looking at hybrid bikes? Also, I've been researching the Trek FX and Hybrid models. Do these models fit the bill in what I'm looking for?
Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions that you guys can give me.
Yep, either of those (and that style in general) should work fine. You might also check out some of Raleigh's hybrid line, and Specialized's All Road or Fitness/Commute lines.
Not that that's anything close to a complete list of brands for hybrid-type bikes. Trek, Specialized, and Raleigh just seem to be some of the most commonly available.
If you're pretty sure you're going to enjoy and stick with this, spend towards the upper end of your price range, or even somewhat higher ($600-$700ish). If you're really unsure if riding is going to "take", depending on how much of a hit to your wallet $500 is you may want to go with a lower-priced bike ($300-$400) with the intent of replacing it in a year or two if you really get into riding.
Go to your local bike shop and explain to them what you need and your price range. If they're good they should be able to help you find a bike that fits and suits your needs. If you have a friend who is really into riding, bring them along. They should be able to make sure your LBS is actually helping you rather than just helping themselves make a sale.
Consider buying a model of bike from last year of the year before if the LBS has one you like in the right size. You can save a good chunk of change that way, or get a better bike for the same money.
Go cheap; you don't know your own preferences yet, so it's likely you'll decide to upgrade or change geometries after six months to a year of riding. So buy used if possible, and don't worry about high-quality components. But stick to a good LBS, as Wal-Mart bikes tend to be poorly assembled.
These are just two bikes that have interested me as my son is looking for a bike to use on base. http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=smoke << if you like steel. The downside to this bike is the compact rear triangle making a rack and panniers a problem. http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/urban/pdx/pdx <<<disc brakes with a steel fork. These are just a couple of many options out there. Specialized is also a great company with outstanding customer service. Like the others have said visit a lbs or two and pick the shop that you find helpful.
yeah, hybrid sounds good to me for you. test ride a bunch of bikes and maybe rent a couple for a day or two.
Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it.
I'd also suggest looking into Diamond Back bikes such as carried by Dicks Sporting Goods (in my area anyway) Their bottom end stuff seems to bridge the gap between department store bikes, and bike shop bikes. That way you can get into it without spending a lot of money, the bikes come in different sizes so you can get a resonable close fit, and they're better qualty than any murray, roadmaster or other such bike. I wouldn't rule out mountain bikes too, I really enjoy riding my moutain bike w/ skinny tires on it. It's not as fast as my road bike bit it's really nimble and fun to wring out. Our town only had one paved road growing up, the rest was packed dirt, and my mtb saw lots of action. We had to drive to the next town over go out for a ride on the road bikes though... They also have a line of hybrid bikes with 700c tires and flat handlebars. This would probably do ok on dirt roads as well.
Bikes without suspension forks will be easier to ride and will be lighter to carry up steps. They will probably have better components than similarly priced bike with sus forks.