Which bicycle to choose? It's a long list; obviously I am having a lot of trouble guaging what's "good" and what's "bad" about the bikes.
PLEASE help me narrow down the selection!!
How will I use this bicycle?
- This bicycle's primary purpose is to serve as a "test" for my interest in the sport of cycling and, later, as a commuter.
- I need this bike to give me a true impression and feel of road cycling without a large initial investment.
- If I decide to pursue the sport seriously, a major bike upgrade (to a "real" road bike), will be order.
- I need this bike to ultimately serve as a weekend exerciser and daily commuter. Meaning, it needs to accept bike racks, have durable and low-maintenance components, and be pseudo comfortable with handlebar modification.[/INDENT]
- The terrain will be bike paths and pavement ranging between flat and <30% grade incline hills.
What am I looking for, in general?
- Price range
- Variability of uses
- Longevity and easy of use. I prefer simplicity (tried and true components) over showy pieces; reliability is a must!
- New bike or pristine used one; I am not knowledgable in judging the quality or condition of a used bike. I would prefer a new one.
- Disc brakes (have yet to find any on a road bike in my price range)
- Schrader valve (not super important, but would be nice)
- Weight up to 25-28 lbs max
- Sizes 54 cm or 19" using 700c wheels (road tires now, hybrid tires later). I am female, 5'8" (173 cm), 32-33" (82 cm) inseam, wide shoulders, and long arms.
How much am I willing to spend?
- $0 to $500 for the bike itself. Initial setup and fit will be an additional $100.
- I'm willing to pay more for free Lifetime tune ups or a warranty IF they are available nationwide (retail / brand / etc).
- I am willing to invest more (i.e. $400-500) for a quality bike that I can sell to recoup some of my money if I hate biking all together.
What bikes am I considering?
In ascending order by price:
In this range, I'm okay with only getting 2-3 years from the bike:
- Genesis Fixed Speed Track Bike $150 (ONLY if it can be changed to a 3+ speed)
- GMC Denali Road $158
- Hiland Spark Hybrid Bike (adding road handlebars) $190
- Schwinn Varsity $229
- Schwinn Courier $260
- Vilano 2010 TUONO Aluminum $269
In this range I'd like to keep the bike for 3+ years:
- Forge CTS 1000 $380
- Dawes Lightning Tour $389
- Mercier Galaxy $395
- Motobecane Cafe Latte $399
- Vilano Forza Triathlon $434
- Triace 24-Speed Aluminum $450
- Gavin Durus 2010 Triathlon $474
- Dawes Lightning 1500 $495
- Schwinn Carbon Fiber 1000 $499
- Motobecane Fantom CX Cyclocross $499
- Windsor Tourist $599
*Dependability* *Value* and *Fun*... And in that order; I'm trying to decide between the overall individual bikes, not the brand names, style, or pricing.
Thanks a lot! I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions.