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  1. #1
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    Starter Bike to loose weight but also fun

    Hello, Im here to ask a few questions about choosing the right bike for me. I want a bike around 250$ -300$ ( too cheap ? ) to work out with.

    Should I choose a bike from here? or go to a local bike shop and look at there selection?
    http://www.walmart.com/browse/bikes-...dultBikes3Road

    Or since I live in western Washington should i go with a mountain bike? I will take any suggestions you guys can throw at me

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    Do NOT buy a WalMart bike! You will end up hating riding, and not stick with it because of such a bike.

    For $349 (free shipping) you can get this:
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._al_xi_sc2.htm

    I have one...bought it a year ago; have almost 3K miles on it, and I am still amazed by how well it rides; and have not had any issues with it. (It was only $299 when I bought mine!)

    I'd pretty much consider that the bare minimum to qualify as a real road bike. It's basically a rebranded Fuji- and wearing the Fuji badge, they go for about $800 in the bike shops. Weighs just under 25 lbs. (Still lighter than a Walmart bike- and eons ahead of a mountain bike for road riding).

    My average ride is 25 miles. And the seat is even comfortable.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrathfulram View Post
    Hello, Im here to ask a few questions about choosing the right bike for me. I want a bike around 250$ -300$ ( too cheap ? ) to work out with.

    Should I choose a bike from here? or go to a local bike shop and look at there selection?
    http://www.walmart.com/browse/bikes-...dultBikes3Road

    Or since I live in western Washington should i go with a mountain bike? I will take any suggestions you guys can throw at me
    I have bad news for you. Unless your bicycle alot of miles per day, you won't lose weight. At first, you'll think this is the case but what you'll actually lose is water. If you want to lose weight by cycling, you'll have to get on a diet. Look into Weight Watchers along with cycling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I have bad news for you. Unless your bicycle alot of miles per day, you won't lose weight. At first, you'll think this is the case but what you'll actually lose is water. If you want to lose weight by cycling, you'll have to get on a diet. Look into Weight Watchers along with cycling.
    Yeah, but diet AND cycling work great. The cycling not only burns calories, but boosts your metabolism for many hours afterward- as well as providing [probably] much needed exercise, without the boredom of working-out.

    I was dieting for quite some time, and not losing much...till I started cycling. It makes the dieting much easier and more effective.

  5. #5
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I have bad news for you. Unless your bicycle alot of miles per day, you won't lose weight. At first, you'll think this is the case but what you'll actually lose is water. If you want to lose weight by cycling, you'll have to get on a diet. Look into Weight Watchers along with cycling.
    That's overstating it a bit. Yes, if somebody exercises and proceeds to eat the additional calories they burned, they won't lose weight. And this does happen.

    And, yes, on long rides, quick weight loss is water loss.

    To the OP, go ride a bike. A lot. If you are overweight and eating crappy foods, eat better foods. If you want to count calories or do Weight Watchers, that works for some (but not all) people. And I very much recommend BikesDirect.com over Walmart. Go to your local bike store, see what you like and what fits. And look for used bikes, too (much easier if you or a friend knows about bikes).

    Cheers,
    Charles
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Don't look for a "starter" bike, there is no such thing. There are cheap bikes that will frustrate you at every turn and end up being sold for $20 at your garage sale next spring, that isn't a starter bike, it's a great way to assure that your new fitness program is a non-starter.

    I understand that many people don't have a lot of disposable income and that is exactly why you don't want to waste your money on crap bikes. Go to a real bike shop, not a big box store, and get the advice of someone who doesn't also stock pet food and Barbie dolls. You will be much better off with a $200 used name brand bike from a reputable LBS. If you can go a bit more, you can get into some decent entry level fitness bikes from the LBS for around $500.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  7. #7
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    First, congratulations!!!! Deciding to change your life by losing weight is a big decision. Bicycling is excellent as a weight loss exercise. Not so much for the calorie burn, which is average, but for the fun you'll have while doing something good for your body. There are other positive health effects as well. Most notably the cardio. It's a heart healthy endeavor.

    This site is filled with some amazing weight loss/biking stories. A search may turn up some of the better ones.

    As for a bike. My advice is going to be somewhat different than others here have given. The single most important factor in your success as a bike rider will be fit. If it doesn't fit you won't ride it. And for fit you'll need to go to a bike shop. In fact go to several to find the shop with the people and advice you like best. Few bikes will fit you correctly right off the rack. Being new to this you may not even know it doesn't fit. But the pro's running the shop will and will dial it in for you.

    Most of the major manufacturers have bikes starting in your range. Even the least expensive bike at a shop, be it a Trek or Specialized, Giant, or some other brand, will be better than any Walmart bike. Combined with getting the right fit you'll be all set up.

    Lastly, one bike that I would recco for fitness and fun would be Trek's FX series. These bikes, like the 7.1FX, start at about $400 (list at $469 but can be bought for less). And really, the least expensive will last you for years!
    Last edited by tom cotter; 02-14-13 at 07:53 AM.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  8. #8
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    If you are new to riding that bikesdirect is going to be a problem do to sizing as is a used bike unless you have a used bike shop where you live. Because you mention a mountain bike I wonder what kind of roads you have planned for this bike. I also wonder what your current fitness level is.
    When my wife and I started cycling we went to a bike shop and spent about $400 each on new bikes. Hers was a hybrid with a suspension fork and a upright position while mine was a 29er mountain bike (it still looks cool and I still have it although I never ride it). Less than a year later we were both unhappy with those bikes for what we were doing which was riding them down the road. Between the heavy and unnecessary suspension fork and the upright position, the hybrid was brutally slow and of course the 29er had 2" wide tires, (which werent that bad), and really wide flat bars, (which were that bad). I soon started a road bike build (dont do that) using a cross frame, with a touring style. In the neighborhood of $3000 later I had a great all around road bike, that didn't fit. I road it for sometime and bought my wife a new road bike, a Novara Verita, which she loves to this day. I then got sucked into the C&V forum and started buying older bikes with the intent of flipping them. This is when I discovered bliss. I bought a Schwinn Prelude for $25 at a garage sale and I love it. Its fast, compliant, CHEAP, comfortable and it taught me how to work on my own bikes. Don't get me wrong, I like shiny new things as much as the next guy, and proved it by recently buying a new Salsa Vaya, but true happiness can be had on the cheap.
    My long winded point is that you need to define what you are going to do with the bike before spending the little bit of money that our government leaves us with. A bike shop is in the business of selling bikes, and they will sell you a bike, and I will bet if you go to one they will try to sell you a hybrid with a suspension fork because thats what sells. A used bike store, if you have one where you live, might be a better solution. If you no someone that rides, a lot, ask for, and listen to, their advice.

    This is really long winded for me and I am not sure if I am making a point.

    We (or at least I) would need more info about you and your riding intent to recommend a specific bike.
    Read a lot of the different forums, touring, commuting, road, there are really nice people on the clyde/athenas.
    Define how you will ride.
    Steel is real. (had to throw that in)
    I do not claim to be a doctor, scientist, genie, bike magician, good looking, or qualified in any way. The contents of my post are opinions and should be taken as such.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    *lose


    Old mountain bikes without suspension usually make practical bikes for transportation with a few alterations, and are far better than any 'starter' bike which will just go wrong and put you off. The riding position is quite upright, which isn't brilliant for speed but will give you a good position for navigating traffic.

    Swap the knobbly tyres for some fat slicks for road use, and fit proper fenders to keep the rain/road crud away. You can usually find space to fit a rear rack in order to carry stuff on the bike rather than on you. In addition, make sure you eat properly (avoid junk, balanced diet etc) and not too much. You can only lose weight if you're burning more than you're consuming.
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  10. #10
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    Cycling is a good thing to do, I think everyone on here agrees.
    What kind of riding do you want to do?
    Fitness and fun riding on the road.
    Fitness and fun riding on tracks and trails.
    Everyday transportation

    Pick an everyday transport bike tuned for your style of fitness riding. That way you can change to an active cycling lifestyle and get exercise everytime you shop or go to work.
    Its best to get a bike without suspension, with the threaded eyelets for rear luggage rack and front/rear bolt-on fenders, gears low enough for your terrain and tyres wide enough for your worst conditions.

    You can speed the bike up by removing accessories and fitting narrower tyres.

    You also need a bike that fits well and is durable enough to last a few years. Entry level major brand bikes are OK.

  11. #11
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The way you appreciate a good bike is by riding a crappy bike, and probably most of the people here have ridden crappy bikes at one time or another.

    If you're tall (say, over 6'), you'll find that Walmart one-size-fits-most bikes aren't the right size.

    If you're not especially bicycle-oriented or mechanically-minded, then buying a mail-order bike may involve having a bike shop work on it anyway, which can kill all your savings. Check around at your local bike shops and see what their ideas are.

    If it's very hilly where you are, then you'll likely want a decent bike, not a Walmart bike, with a triple, not a double, with good brakes, not Walmart brakes. If it's pancake flat, single-speed cruisers work okay.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  12. #12
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    Mountain bikes are Good.. TREK pure lets you stop flat footed, CVrank Forward frame design..

    Buy across the Columbia in Oregon and you save on WA sales tax..

    Wallyworld gets a Very cheap Bike, then someone that does not how to put a bike together, does it anyhow.
    Its just like a Box of Soap or a ***. just something to sell, Ka Ching goes the register ,
    and You are on Your Own.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    If it's very hilly where you are, then you'll likely want a decent bike, not a Walmart bike, with a triple, not a double,
    That's the truth! I was considering buying a vintage steel bike when I first got the bug to ride. Good thing I didn't! I never would have been able to ride standard gearing on these hills, and being out-of-shape. I could barely make it with my triple, at first- still had to stop and rest half way up the hills, then again at the top...and huffing and puffing like I was going to die.

    I'm waiting here for UPS to bring my '97 Klein, as I type...which has a standard double, which I am now- a year later- just getting strong enough to use. (Been riding my triple in 40/23 to see if I can handle the standard double....was able to do it except on the very worst climb on my way home....)

    On the other hand- riding a few rides now, without going lower than that 40/23 has really helped my performance! Sometimes it's good to force yourself to work harder......but I could NEVER have come remotely close to doing that at first!

  14. #14
    Slob GrouchoWretch's Avatar
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    Go to all the local bike shops.

    Go back to the one with the atmosphere, sales staff, and selection that you feel best about.

    Have them fit you up with a low-end hybrid terrain/street or flat-bar road bike.

    Someone mentioned the Trek 7.1 FX. That kind of thing. Hardtail, rigid fork, tires not too fat and not too skinny.

    My GT Zum City only has a single chainring and 8 speeds. I personally think that's all you need, but hey, more gears can't hurt, I guess.

    Another GT line I like a lot is the Tachyon.

    You won't go too far wrong getting a mainstream mass-produced entry-level bike from Trek, GT, Specialized, Giant, Fuji, etc. I think choosing the right shop is more critical than which exact brand and model.
    1970s AMF Roadmaster 3-speed
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    Do LBS's even sell bikes for c.$300? I haven't been to an LBS in decades- but seems to me, last time I was in one, even the kiddie bikes costeded[sic] more than that.

  16. #16
    Slob GrouchoWretch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
    Do LBS's even sell bikes for c.$300? I haven't been to an LBS in decades- but seems to me, last time I was in one, even the kiddie bikes costeded[sic] more than that.
    Got my GT from Perfo for $300, though it's gone up to $350.

    They had a bunch of Schwinn Voyagers and such for $250 and up. They don't seem bad but are too laid-back for me, kind of a cheaper Electra Townie.

    I really wanted the Schwinn Willy single speed they had for $200, but even running 38t/19t, the one gear would have ruined me on some of these hills. Still a cool bike.

    But yeah, mostly, you're looking at more money. $450 is a good starting point.
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    Thanks for all the advice I will stay away from walmart hahaah, anyways Im not terribly overwieght, I'm 5' 7" 177 pounds

  18. #18
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Despite popular opinion, I'm still happy with my 90's K-Mart bike. Yes, it could use better brakes, but that's typical of that era. But it has thumb shifters and no suspension. It may have used cheap components, but the components involved didn't require any precision. If I could find one like it today, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it from Wal-Mart.

    However, based on what I see in stores, they try to put on indexed shifters, suspension, and other things that require some level of precision.. but they use cheap components that can't attain the necessary level.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  19. #19
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
    Do LBS's even sell bikes for c.$300? I haven't been to an LBS in decades- but seems to me, last time I was in one, even the kiddie bikes costeded[sic] more than that.
    Trek 7000 was the lowest price point I found when I was shopping 4 year ago. Not the highest quality, but it's serviced me well for the last 7000 miles or so.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    Despite popular opinion, I'm still happy with my 90's K-Mart bike. Yes, it could use better brakes, but that's typical of that era. But it has thumb shifters and no suspension. It may have used cheap components, but the components involved didn't require any precision. If I could find one like it today, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it from Wal-Mart.

    However, based on what I see in stores, they try to put on indexed shifters, suspension, and other things that require some level of precision.. but they use cheap components that can't attain the necessary level.
    I was at Walmart yesterday. I just happened to walk past the toy/bike aisle, and there is this impressive-looking 29er-style MTB just sitting in the aisle. It's easy to see how people get suckered into buying these things- I almost wanted to buy it myself!

    Couldn't figger[sic] out how to shift the gears on it. Saw the shift cables leading to the brake levers; and saw that the brake levers were hinged- sort of like horizontal road STI's- but yet they wouldn't budge. Looks like whoever assembled the bike had the derailleurs adjusted so tight they eliminated any travel at all from them, and thus the shifters were locked up!

    But darn, if ya didn't know better, you'd think it was a quality bike! (I forgot to try lifting it- that would have likely ended the love affair- it probably weighs 45 lbs.!)

    You sound like me, though- I appreciate stuff which is usable and durable. It doesn't have to be the best or the fanciest- just enough to do what I need it to do. Bikes are simple machines- and while you are absolutely right, in that they shouldn't try and integrate features that require precision parts on cheapo bikes; I think there quickly comes a point of overkill, too, in the opposite direction, where they so complicate these inherently simple machines, that it's absurd [cough- Di2 - cough], and one loses all benefit in proportion to the money spent. Somewhere in the middle...toward the lower side, is just the right compromise.

    I mean, I appreciate the quality of my '97 Klein, which, if it were new, in today's dollars, would probably cost about $3500- but as for riding, I can enjoy my $300 Bikesdirect bike just as much- the only real difference is in the mind....and a few pounds.

    How long before Walmart tries to implement a cheesy low-cost copy of Di2?!
    Last edited by MetalPedaler; 02-15-13 at 09:03 AM. Reason: I have Turrettes of the fingers.

  21. #21
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
    I forgot to try lifting it- that would have likely ended the love affair- it probably weighs 45 lbs.
    Most of my bikes weigh at least that much. I'm thinking my trike is somewhere around 60 pounds with rack and tools, before I load it for a trip. My commuter is probably around 50. The guys at the bikes shop have commented a few times that they think I'm exceeding the 50 pound weight limit on the rack, but I think they're accustomed to lifting road bikes. My winter mountain bike (my K-Mart Huffy) is probably lighter, only because I wear a backpack in the winter.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  22. #22
    Over forty victim of Fate Cougrrcj's Avatar
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    For a 'starter' bike - one that you can buy on the cheap to see if you're really gonna follow through with the cycling idea - I'd buy a good quality used road or mountain bike off Craigslist. For example, I just bought a very nicely equipped Nishiki CrMo steel road bike for only $75! Be sure to get something in your size - don't go trying to make the bike fit you! Too small or too large and it won't feel right.

    Sorry, I had to say that 'follow through' bit because I know firsthand - my Wife wanted a bike to get in shape, so we bought her a new Schwinn and I think she rode it all of two times. It is sitting in the attic. Dollars down the drain. You have to want it to work. Your first few rides will be the toughest until you build up some stamina. Don't get discouraged! When I started riding 'seriously' instead of just a trip to the corner store, I thought I was gonna die after just five miles. Then it was seven... then ten... A month or so later I would be riding 30 miles before I felt like taking a short break.

    It was at this point that I bought a better (mid-range quality) bike since I had established commitment! Then before I knew it, I was making modifications to my bike that fit my riding style and lifestyle. When I got involved with longer rides, and those that involved hills, I changed to a triple crankset. Bar end shifters. etc.

    Then next thing you know, you're gonna have two bikes. One (MTB or Hybrid) for riding off-road on crushed stone rail-trails (see http://www.railstotrails.org ) and another bike for paved roads...

    What I am trying to say is that you will find that what is good for today will not be what you'll like later on.

    But remember, first and foremost -- Enjoy the ride!

    .

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