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Old 02-15-13, 06:19 PM   #1
StLRider
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First post, first bicycle

Hello,

I recently joined a fitness program and find that I am having trouble getting in my steps per day. I have several bicycle trails literally minutes away from me, yet I don't find walking as enjoyable as riding a bike. I have not ridden a bike since childhood so I am looking to purchase my first adult bike.

I do not need anything for strenuous exercise, just something for casual riding, commuting, and to burn a few calories while I'm at it. I do have a very specific style I like, and aesthetics are important to me.

I have looked online and in my local bike shop, and these are the bikes they had in the shop that I liked. I'm not opposed to branching out and getting something else online, but I'd much prefer to support local business when possible. Would anyone be willing to take a look and help me narrow down my list? I'm a complete newbie so I am not certain on the differences between these. Thanks!

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-au/...specifications

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...8940/#overview

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...pure_lowstep/#

http://www.electrabike.com/Bikes/tow...d-bikes-ladies
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Old 02-15-13, 06:36 PM   #2
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Of those 4, I'd say the Via. It's a cool steel bike. If aesthetics are important to you, that's got to be the one. Plus it has fenders.
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Old 02-15-13, 06:45 PM   #3
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Thank you... that is definitely the most pleasing to my eye out of the four. I really enjoy the vintage look.
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Old 02-15-13, 06:45 PM   #4
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That would be my pick of the 4 as well.

(Aside from the looks, it's got a better frame.)
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Old 02-15-13, 07:16 PM   #5
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Thank you. Are there others online in the same approximate price range and style that I should consider instead?
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Old 02-15-13, 07:30 PM   #6
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Giant offers the 'most bike for the money' packages and that Via will be lighter and less maintenaince than the Cypress longerm because of the rigid front fork.
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Old 02-15-13, 08:43 PM   #7
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I am glad you mentioned about the maintenance... I am concerned because in trying to research a bit I've been reading about derailleur vs internal hub and all the bikes I picked are the former, though the latter seems better in terms of shifting and maintenance. I am wondering if I need to search out the latter or if it really matters that much.

Edited to add: I am able to get 25% off of the powder blue bike (they were running a special which ended yesterday, but I messaged them on Facebook and they will honor the 25% off), but again, not knowing specifically what to look for, I'd like to verify if this is another bike I should look into. Thanks so much for all of your help.

http://publicbikes.com/p/public-c8-2012

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Old 02-15-13, 10:33 PM   #8
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That Public is a good bike, a tank really.

I think the Giant has the better frame of the two.

Of course, there's a Via with an internal gear hub. It's only a 3-speed, which is good for flat to mildly rolling terrain.

The 8 speed IGH on the Public is a monster hub. You won't find those on many bikes in that price range.

The thing about internal gears is they are enclosed and very very low maintenance. But they are also less efficient than derailleur systems. You don't sound too worried about efficiency or speed. You'd probably be happiest with a bike you seldom had to service. So it would be hard to go wrong with an IGH for you.

The good thing about derailleur systems is that they're easy to service. Any decent bike shop can do it. And of course they are more gears per dollar.

It's kind of a tossup, and you won't go wrong with the Via in derailleur or IGH, or that Public. All very good if you want a laid back bike. I say get the 3-speed Via if your rides aren't real long or hilly. otherwise, very tough to call between the Giant and the Public. Guess you need to test them both.
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Old 02-15-13, 10:38 PM   #9
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One other thing, I like the trigger shifter on the Via 2 better than the twist shifter on the Public.
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Old 02-15-13, 11:46 PM   #10
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I'd go for the Via out of that bunch. If you do want an internal gear bike, they have a 3-speed model too: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...5930/#overview

For internal vs derailleurs... I've never had a problem with derailleur bikes. They do need more frequent maintenance than internal gears, but it's not that much work; maybe once a year tuneup if you ride regularly? Unless you're putting it through harsh conditions it'll hold up just fine. However it does mean you can't use a full chain guard, so you'll have to be careful to roll up your pants leg when you ride
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Old 02-16-13, 09:33 AM   #11
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Just to clarify what I mean by a better frame: the Via is double-butted chromoly, and the Public is hi-ten. The former is generally said to be better than the latter, and although the difference might go unnoticed in practice and by most riders, the more costly material and manufacturing process at least signal a higher level of care and craftsmanship.

More importantly, well, just look at the frames. The Via's strikes me as refined, the Public's as relatively crude. Eye of the beholder and all, and they're both good bikes, but that's my opinion.

All of these calculations could go out the window when you get on the actual bikes!
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Old 02-16-13, 10:49 AM   #12
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This forum is so helpful to a newbie - thank you!


All of this being said, I can test the bikes in my first post, but not the Public, because they are not sold near me. If I purchased one, it would be taking a chance, and I'd really hate to send it back and eat the shipping costs if it didn't work out. Also, the bike store I want to purchase from offers free assembly, free kickstand, 10% off of all accessories for one year and lifetime free adjustments.
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Old 02-16-13, 01:06 PM   #13
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In that case, I gotta say get the Via 2!
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Old 02-16-13, 03:26 PM   #14
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Are you from St Louis?

My advice is always the same. There's a greater difference between bike stores than there is between bike brands. Shop for a bike store first. When you find the right one, you'll know it because the people are what matters. Buy a brand they carry and you'll never go wrong.
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Old 02-16-13, 03:47 PM   #15
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Are you from St Louis?

My advice is always the same. There's a greater difference between bike stores than there is between bike brands. Shop for a bike store first. When you find the right one, you'll know it because the people are what matters. Buy a brand they carry and you'll never go wrong.
I totally agree.

But that Via is sweet!
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Old 02-16-13, 04:04 PM   #16
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Try out as many as you can to see which feels and fits you best. The aluminum alloy frames generally are a good bit lighter in weight than the steel frames (Via 2 W). They give very good service and no worries about rust.

Most importantly, have fun looking for your new bike!
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Old 02-16-13, 04:22 PM   #17
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Aluminum also gives a stiffer ride. There's a big difference in the amount of chatter I get when riding the two bikes you see in my signature. The old steel 3 speed is much smoother, though it's not near as good a bike.

And I never worry about rust, even on a steel bike.
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Old 02-16-13, 05:50 PM   #18
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Are you from St Louis?
Yep, husband is from downtown and have family in Webster Groves and Defiance, and we were married in Defiance.
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Old 02-16-13, 07:14 PM   #19
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A word regarding materials:

The biggest difference between chromoly tubing and high tentile steel is WEIGHT. Chromoly uses engineering to produce alloys that use less material to achieve the same strength. The result is a lighter frame. Butted cromoly just takes that one step further.

At this point its actually cheaper to make frames out of aluminum than out of steel. But the same logistics apply. Inexpensive aluminum frames have thick walled straigh-guage tubing and can actually weigh MORE than a decent cromoly frame. A good aluminum frame achieves its light weight through the use of alloys, heat treatments and varying the tube wall thickness.

All that to say the Via is a decent bike. The IGH model was black and gold last year and well equipped too.
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Old 02-17-13, 08:53 AM   #20
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Thank you to everyone for all of your help.

Would it be worth looking into an older bike? This one is in my neighborhood - http://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/3604872689.html
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Old 02-17-13, 09:55 AM   #21
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Thank you to everyone for all of your help.

Would it be worth looking into an older bike? This one is in my neighborhood - http://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/3604872689.html
That bike looks nice, like its almost new, and unridden.

That said, you will find that bike extremely heavy and the components are inferior to the components on bikes that you listed. I would buy this bike if I were looking for a nice vintage bike.
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Old 02-17-13, 11:25 AM   #22
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Thank you to everyone for all of your help.

Would it be worth looking into an older bike? This one is in my neighborhood - http://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/3604872689.html
That would be a cool urban neighborhood bike for knocking around coffee shops and festivals. As a bike, though, it's just a far inferior product to the Via or the Public. I ride an old bike much like that one and a new aluminum hybrid. Although the new one is a low end bike, it's just way better. Industry standards have improved in certain ways that make a decent bike much more ridable today.

A new steel bike would be even better, but that happens to be exactly what you're looking at.

For a first or only bike, for you, I would say never mind the cool vintage Schwinn. Get one later as a knockabout cruiser. Definitely not as part of a fitness routine unless you have no choice.
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Old 02-17-13, 02:29 PM   #23
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Very cool - thanks for your honest feedback! Going to go this week to try out the Via!
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Old 02-17-13, 03:01 PM   #24
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Thank you to everyone for all of your help.

Would it be worth looking into an older bike? This one is in my neighborhood - http://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/3604872689.html
How tall are you?

Bikes, like shoes, come in sizes. You might be able to physically ride a bike that's the wrong size, but it will never feel right and, if it's really your first bike, you might not even know what "right" feels like. One of the nice things about buying a bike from a shop is you can pick out the style and price range that you're comfortable with and depend on the shop to get you the right size.

You can save a ton of money buying used but there's usually only one bike to look at. Unless you already know it's a size that fits you it's easy to make a mistake.
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Old 02-19-13, 03:40 PM   #25
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Thank you to everyone for all of your help.

Would it be worth looking into an older bike? This one is in my neighborhood - http://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/3604872689.html
That would ride nice on the KATY Trail while visiting your family. It would do fine on the paved Madison Country Trails on the east side.

Notice the STL at the end of my user name. I live over in Belleville.
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