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  1. #1
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    Where to start...

    Hi all......

    I'm new here, and new to biking really. I haven't been on a bicycle since I was about 13. That being said, I'm in the process of going car-lite and am giving myself about a month to get everything I need to start biking but I have no idea what to get. I work from home so I don't commute, but I will be riding to do all of my errands. Almost everything I need is well within 1km of me, with a few others within 2km. Most of the terrain is flat and paved, with the odd hill here and there but nothing major.

    So.....I need some idea of what kind of bike I should be getting. I will be towing a double bike trailer (which I also need to buy) so I need something that will pull a trailer with ease, can handle the odd hill but does great on flat ground. Preferably something I can take on an easy trail too would be nice.

    Here is what I DO know: I don't like nor want to be hunched over like on a regular mountain bike. I really like cruisers so something that style would be fabulous. Also, budget is a concern so if I can buy what I need used that's a plus. I was looking at a used Trek Navigator 3.0 for $400 on Craigslist. Yes? No? Why or why not?

    Any tips or advice on where to go from here please let me know!

    TIA

  2. #2
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Where does the dislike of hunching over come from?

    If your handlebar is higher that your saddle you're doing it wrong.

    First, it's better for you to have the spine arched rather that straight up. A bent spine acts like a spring and absorbs and dissipates the energy of impact. A straight spine compresses along the axis which is bad. You're more likely to damage your back or spine riding in an upright position.

    Second, pedaling is much easier and efficient in bent forward position. Unless you're riding where it's 100% flat you will have hard time going up even moderate hills. In particular with a trailer.

    It's typical for people new to biking to want to ride straight up but that's wrong. You don't need to be bent over like a pro racer but it's ideal to have your handlebar just slightly lower than your saddle which should be comfortable.

    Also, keep in mind that if you're getting on a bike first time in many years it will be uncomfortable in the beginning. No matter what bike you choose you will need to go through a break-in period for your body. Your behind will hurt, your muscles will be sore, your back will be uncomfortable. Remember that the only way to make things better is to ride more. No fancy saddles, no upright position will help. Your body needs to break-in and get used.

    My vote is for a hardtail mountain bike, just put some street tires on it. MTBs are the most versatile bicycles.

    A.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by amndahgnkss View Post
    Hi all......

    I'm new here, and new to biking really. I haven't been on a bicycle since I was about 13. That being said, I'm in the process of going car-lite and am giving myself about a month to get everything I need to start biking but I have no idea what to get. I work from home so I don't commute, but I will be riding to do all of my errands. Almost everything I need is well within 1km of me, with a few others within 2km. Most of the terrain is flat and paved, with the odd hill here and there but nothing major.

    So.....I need some idea of what kind of bike I should be getting. I will be towing a double bike trailer (which I also need to buy) so I need something that will pull a trailer with ease, can handle the odd hill but does great on flat ground. Preferably something I can take on an easy trail too would be nice.

    Here is what I DO know: I don't like nor want to be hunched over like on a regular mountain bike. I really like cruisers so something that style would be fabulous. Also, budget is a concern so if I can buy what I need used that's a plus. I was looking at a used Trek Navigator 3.0 for $400 on Craigslist. Yes? No? Why or why not?

    Any tips or advice on where to go from here please let me know!

    TIA
    List price is US$570.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...v/navigator30/

    1-2km is a tiny, tiny distance for bicycling. Almost anything would work for those distances.

    This particular bike might not be the best choice for longer rides (like 40km) but it would work.

    If it fits, the price is good, and it's in good shape, I'd say try it. You might be able to talk down the price a bit too.

    If your interest in cycling becomes greater, you might find that this won't work for you as well as another bike.

    But you should be able to sell it for something, if you want something different later, and you will have learned more about what would be better for you. (Think of it as a cheap rental instead of a "lifetime" purchase.)
    Last edited by njkayaker; 05-25-10 at 02:15 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    Where does the dislike of hunching over come from?

    If your handlebar is higher that your saddle you're doing it wrong.

    First, it's better for you to have the spine arched rather that straight up. A bent spine acts like a spring and absorbs and dissipates the energy of impact. A straight spine compresses along the axis which is bad. You're more likely to damage your back or spine riding in an upright position.

    Second, pedaling is much easier and efficient in bent forward position. Unless you're riding where it's 100% flat you will have hard time going up even moderate hills. In particular with a trailer.

    It's typical for people new to biking to want to ride straight up but that's wrong. You don't need to be bent over like a pro racer but it's ideal to have your handlebar just slightly lower than your saddle which should be comfortable.
    There is too much "absolute certainty" in this advice. Many people prefer a more upright posture (for various reasons) and it isn't "wrong", especially if we are talking about 1-2km distances.

    The OP's biggest problem is that having a reasonable bike is going to be worth more than endless advice from people on the internet pushing their preferences!

    The Navigator would be fine for her now. If her interests increase, then she will be in a much better place picking a different bike after having ridden some.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    MTBs are the most versatile bicycles.
    Nah, a touring or cyclocross bike is the most versatile. If you aren't riding on rough trails. a MTB is overkill.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 05-25-10 at 02:06 PM.

  5. #5
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    The OP's biggest problem is that having a reasonable bike is going to be worth more than endless advice from people on the internet pushing their preferences!
    Well... that's true

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    List price is US$570.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...v/navigator30/

    1-2km is a tiny, tiny distance for bicycling. Almost anything would work for those distances.

    This particular bike might not be the best choice for longer rides (like 40km) but it would work.

    If it fits, the price is good, and it's in good shape, I'd say try it. You might be able to talk down the price a bit too.

    If your interest in cycling becomes greater, you might find that this won't work for you as well as another bike.

    But you should be able to sell it for something, if you want something different later, and you will have learned more about what would be better for you. (Think of it as a cheap rental instead of a "lifetime" purchase.)
    The bike shop just down the road from me has the 3.0 for $670 CAD so yeah, that's about right. I figured the used one I'm considering is a good deal at $400 CAD. It's only 6 months old.

  7. #7
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    1-2km is a tiny, tiny distance for bicycling. Almost anything would work for those distances.
    Agreed, anything including walking.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by amndahgnkss View Post
    The bike shop just down the road from me has the 3.0 for $670 CAD so yeah, that's about right. I figured the used one I'm considering is a good deal at $400 CAD. It's only 6 months old.
    (In the US, the list price also excludes tax.)

    From what you have described you are interested in doing, I think it's a reasonable start (assuming it's in good condition and it fits you).

    If you aren't describing your interests accurately or your interests change quickly, then something else might be appropriate.

    If your interests change in a few months, you should be able to sell it for something and buy something else. That is, the risk (given what you've said your interest are) is really pretty low.

    And this bike has more "room" in it than just being able what you say you want to do with it.

    I think it's a pretty-good match for your current interests.

    I would suggest getting some instruction about using the gears from an experienced friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerstg View Post
    Agreed, anything including walking.
    I did say "anything"!!
    Last edited by njkayaker; 05-27-10 at 03:42 PM.

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