I'm looking to buy a bike here in NYC, and was hoping to get some guidance.
1) What style of bike should I get?
I did some mountain biking in my high school and college days so I'm not really new to biking or anything. However now that I live in a concrete jungle, I think it's best to pick up something that will be better suited for this terrain; but my knowledge of none mountain bikes is pretty limited.
I plan on using the bike for occasionally riding to work, and taking weekend tours around the city.
Comfort is definitely a big priority. As well, I want something that will be light weight enough that getting on and off the subway or up stairs won't be a major hassle.
I've been told I only need one gear for city riding, but having never ridden a single gear bike it does concern me that I will regret that later.
Lastly, and this is probably the kicker; I want to keep this under $200.
I plan on buying a good lock, but in this city you never know, so I don't want to invest too much; at least in my first bike here in the city.
I know this will likely mean me buying something used, which is totally fine.
2) Where can you guys recommend to buy?
I've been watching Craigslist lately, but so far have seen nothing that looks even remotely worthwhile.
I've seen positive reviews of Frank's Bike shop and Metro Bicycle, but I am all ears for anyone's opinions.
You could probably talk them down to $175--the bike isn't expensive new.
Also, and obviously others may disagree--Giant Cypress tends to be an incredible value--super comfortable too. The service with Metro Bike shop is a huge huge extra and easily worth $100 over the total course of ownership--(which I anticipate to be approx. 4 months before you'll want a road bike!?)
As a fellow New Yorker, I will tell you this.... If you plan to actually leave your bike locked up on the street unattended, then you want to get TWO bikes..
A piece-of-crap beater bike you can use to run errands and lock up on the street without fear of it being ripped off, and a nice bike for weekend leisure rides which never leaves your sight.
That's what I've been doing for the past several years. I have a POS $100 Walmart bike I use for running errands (which no self-respecting bike thief would bother to hit), and my carbon-frame Specialized Sirrus LTD for fun weekend rides.
First off, big thanks to everyone for the feedback.
This site is awesome
1) @Looigi: No Walmart in the city, but I did check out the local k-mart yesterday, mostly just big heavy cruisers unfortunately. Target is next on my list. I am still hoping to do a little better then these type of stores, but I will certainly weigh out my options.
2) @ratdog: I would consider myself decently handy, that said, if I am picking up something off CR, what's worth my time/ fairly easy to fix and what would be a deal breaker?
3) @edsall78 Is something like the Giant Cypress (a Hybrid?) the way to go? Or any other styles worth keeping an eye out for?
4) @LongIslandTom: Your 2 bike system makes perfect sense. I don't think it's doable for me right now (space and $$), but certainly what I hope to work up to.
5) @JParr: I had never heard of them, but their site looks great. For $200; should I be asking about used/older models? Or do they just have wiggle room on price?
Whether you'll want gears will depend on what parts of the city you'll be riding in. If you live or ride in the Bronx or the north end of Manhattan (and maybe a few bits of Brooklyn), you'll probably want some gears. But if you find the right deal on the right single-speed bike, you'll probably be fine.
But even if you're going for a cheap bike, you should still have a good lock (or locks). A good lock is no guarantee, but it does shift the odds of losing your bike in your favor.
I checked out a few bike stores around the city, but couldn't find much in the used sections (if they even had) that were worthwhile.
I ended up finding a 3 year old Trek 7000 for $200 on CR.
Minus a few cosmetic scratches, it's in great condition and even had a few extras (bike computer, upgraded seat, etc).
I've taken it for one ride so far and it was great.