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Thread: easy riding

  1. #1
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    easy riding

    i'm trying to get some feedback about my first bike purchase. the bike will be used to take short rides around my neighborhood; the park, deli, library etc. nothing too long or on unpaved roads. i live in a quiet suburb in queens nyc. so it won't see a lot of harsh, urban riding conditions either.

    i got up the courage to go a local bike shop and he showed me two cruiser bikes and told me to pick the comfortable one. i wish i had questions to ask him but i didn't even know what to ask. i guess i was hoping that he heap all this information on me but he didn't do that either. (after reading through the forum i learned that they still make bikes that you have to backpeddle to break; you see how clueless i am about this stuff)

    i've been casually looking around the web for about a year now and am interested in the biria and elektra. i've read from this forum that the biria is wonky going downhill and read all these great things about the elektra but mostly from newbies who are probably affiliated with the company. are there other bicycles i should be considering?

    does my size even matter when i'm shopping for cruiser bicycles? i'm 5'8" with a 32 inseam and less than 150lbs. and my budget is 500 dollars.

    i'll be going to another bike shop this weekend... besides the bike,helmet and locks. are there other supplies i would need?

    i guess my problem is that i don't know what questions to ask when i go to the bike shop and that would make me prime target to get ripped off and i'll end up buying stuff i won't need. ALSO, i'm afraid of looking like an idiot. so i'm asking the questions on the forum... maybe i should study a bicycle for dummies-like books?

    any input would be GREATLY appreciated. =^.^=

    edit: i forgot to add i'm female. if that makes a difference in your opinions. =)
    Last edited by nycapple; 03-19-10 at 03:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    cruiser? seriously? yuk (sorry)

    canvas a bunch of shops in a variety of towns. then rent a variety of bikes and then test ride some new bikes. get a thorough understanding of the different bike styles and how they feel.

    I personally went through a big evolution from old steel 10-speed to mountain bike to aluminum hybrid, then back to road style bike. what a waste of time and money!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  3. #3
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    cruisers. yuck? why yuck??
    what's wrong with them?
    i just figured cruisers would be ideal because i'm a newbie.
    is this a horrible choice?

  4. #4
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    You should get a bike based on your intended use, not on your experience level. If you intend on using the bike for relatively short, slow trips on a MUP, then by all means get a cruiser. If you intend to eventually 'graduate' to more serious riding, though, you should save some bucks down the road and get a bike that will be able to handle your ultimate intended use.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^

    I'd echo what BlazingPedals said. There's only one person in the whole world that bicycle has to make happy. I think that it's really important to think through your intended use. If you can meet some people who are doing the kind of riding you envision, ask them what they like about their bike and what they'd do differently.

    In the end it comes down to use - fit - image - budget in that order. People don't like to talk about image because it's subjective. However, if you don't feel good about yourself while you're riding your bike, you aren't going to use it very much. When people make bicycle purchasing mistakes I suspect it's because they either erred when considering their intended use or allowed budget to trump their buying process.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I apologize. I'm ignorant about cruisers actually. You should get the bike you like. I just think that bike shops have a glut of bikes they aren't selling and might be inclined to unload some stock that isn't moving.

    However, despite my personal opinion of that type of bike I did leave open that your testing would result in your purchasing the bike of your choice which could very well be a cruiser. And if that is what works for you then I certainly wouldn't insult it. So ... the apology. :-)

    Happy riding!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^

    I respect that.

  8. #8
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    Most new riders I meet seem to be very pleased with such bikes as Townies, Suades and such. My wife who hasn’t been riding in years just got a new Cypress. They sit upright, allow you to put your feet down while still on the saddle. They have multiple gears to make small hills easier. They are more comfortable for short rides than many bikes. They are reasonable equipped for what you spend. Most of them are called pedal forward bikes meaning you tend to be more upright and relaxed with your feet farther forward than an average bike.
    Like other have suggested you might want to consider looking at what others in your area that ride like you intend to ride have purchased. Also ask the shop to show you something with internal gears. They are less work for you and allow you to change gears while stopped. Still your comfort and feeling of confidence in more important than anything else.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    Don't start riding without buying a good quality floor pump. 3/4 of the riders around here have seriously underinflated tires. Low tires on poorly fitted bikes is no fun at all. Maybe I live in a real tall area, but a good chunk of the riders are on bikes that are too small or have the seats too low & the bars too high. That's OK when yer cruising the dumpsters looking for cans, but a pain when you're trying to get somewhere.

    And buy the bike you like. For $500.00 you can get a decent quality hybrid that'll last you 'till the end of your days.

  10. #10
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    I think a cruiser is a great style bike to start riding on. They are comfortable to sit on and ride without any special clothing. You can ride in jeans, etc. They look cool and are fun to tool around town. I have an Electra internal 3-speed and think it's great for the reasons listed above.

    They aren't ideal for long distance riding though. Or hills. I rode mine to work one day (5.5 miles with hills, 11 miles round trip) and after one day realized I wouldn't do that anymore. I converted an old rigid mountain bike to a commuter bike and like that much more for that purpose. But, I would hate to ride the mountain bike/commuter on a leisure ride.

    I say if your intentions are using the bike for short rides around your immediate area I think you'd be happy with a cruiser style bike. You can put a basket on the front with cool looking fabric liners for both form and funtion. Although I do live near the coast in Southern California so I'm not really much help in knowing if its a good fit for New York suburbs type riding.

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