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Old 03-23-10, 03:20 PM   #1
nightrider1
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$250 Entry level Hybrid

Hope this is the right place to post. Please no flames on the budget.

Objective: start riding

Me: 43 yr, 220 lb, 6"1'
Trying to make life changes. Began working out about 10mth ago and have dropped 45lbs since but have plateau in the last few months. Still sedentary on the weekends (computer geek). Just looking to dip my toe into biking and see if it's for me.

Looking to buy a bike or have one fixed.

Fixed: I have an old mountain bike. Diamond Back Outlook. Shimano SIS. Missing a pedal. Been sitting in the garage a decade. Is it better to fix it up? Maybe upgrade components or ...

Buy New:
I think a Hybrid is the way to go. I have a local county park with a paved 7.8mi path I could use. It seems a hybrid would be better at this and/or citi streets and more comfortable than a road bike. I have a low budget so I'm looking at the big box stores (bbs) like WalMart, Target, Amazon, etc. I did look at the local bike shops but their entry was $400.

Have considered the following:
Schwinn Midmoor

Schwinn Avenue

Open to suggestions within my budget on purchase or components.

Questions:
1. I'm a big guy. Is there a hybrid tire size I should favor due to my weight?

2. Is the 'one size fits all' of the big box stores ok for my size?

3. 21 gears vs 7/8? What should I favor? Why?

Sorry. A Trek is not in my first bike budget. I don't feel confident enough to try Craigslist so I think a fixer up mountain bike or a new hybrid are my choices. BBS is a plus as I could just go and pick it up. I'm on vacation right now so it's a good time to pick up a new routine.

Sorry for the long post. Appreciate all the help and insight you can provide.
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Old 03-23-10, 04:05 PM   #2
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Congrats on your progress, 45 pounds is quite an accomplishment. I lost 15 pounds by just biking ever day to work.

My bike suggestion would be a KHS Green. It's a little different than the bikes you've considered - it's more of a true hybrid. It's geared toward people who want to use their bikes to get placed and get things done (rack, 3 speed). It should be availabe in your price range. I have it and quite happy with it. Think about if you need all those gears, I started out with my old mountain bike, wasn't too much to get it fixed. My local bike shop was quite helpful in that regard.

Keep us posted what you decide on doing...
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Old 03-23-10, 09:00 PM   #3
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I appreciate the response and did look at the KHS Green. I didn't see dealers in my area. I did notice it was a steel frame. Actually I've been avoiding steel frames in favor of aluminum and the weight difference. I'm not convinced that weight is such a big deal at this level of experience or price point though I have read reviews complaining of frame flex in aluminum frames.

I may do some shopping tomorrow. If I do buy locally from a bbs I can at least return it conveniently if it doesn't perform.
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Old 03-23-10, 09:53 PM   #4
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I would suggest buying used. I just found a nice Trek 7100 for $100, I kind of got good luck knowing someone that had one laying around though. Some towns/cities have bike co-ops even.
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Old 03-23-10, 10:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response nal13.

I checked craigslist and local classified but just didn't find anything. There's a guy with a Trek 7.3fx with great specs but I imagine he's firm on price as he's lowered his ask $25 in a month of posting. Still well above what I want to spend.

http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/sea...breviation=bik

Actually still looking bbs and thought the specs on this Forge Saranac at Target were quite good. Shimano Altus shifters, deraileurs. I'll make a trip tomorrow to Wally World and Target.
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Old 03-23-10, 10:39 PM   #6
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http://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/1652596301.html

That might be too short for you, but that's a nice bike.
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Old 03-23-10, 10:46 PM   #7
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I always hear department store bikes are crap, but that could just an elitist thing.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:09 PM   #8
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Yeah I've read the same in some forums but how much is there to a bike? If you have a solid frame, good components and a good build certainly it will serve as an entry level bike? Was really hoping someone new of a great cheap sleeper bike not often touted but haven't head from anyone yet. I think you do get what you pay for but you can also overbuy against your needs.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:28 PM   #9
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I wonder if Target would let you take one outside and test it out, it's only fair, right?
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Old 03-23-10, 11:38 PM   #10
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I wonder if Target would let you take one outside and test it out, it's only fair, right?
Ride it around the store. If they ask you to leave, and you want to buy iy they will let you. If you don't so what.

I rode all over a thrift store once. It was kinda fun.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:49 PM   #11
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I did notice it was a steel frame. Actually I've been avoiding steel frames in favor of aluminum and the weight difference. I'm not convinced that weight is such a big deal at this level of experience or price point though I have read reviews complaining of frame flex in aluminum frames.
Steel has a little more bounce and comfort than aluminum which can be rigid and harsh. However, in hybrids with fat tires, it prob does not make a diff.

At the price points you are looking at, you're not going to find a light bike.

Consider this: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...v/navigator10/

or this: http://www.globebikes.com/us/en/glob...?pid=10CAR7003

Both have better build, quality, and SUPPORT than dept store bikes. A little more but not much. PLUS your LBS will typically provide a life time adjustments.
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Old 03-24-10, 12:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by nightrider1 View Post

Fixed: I have an old mountain bike. Diamond Back Outlook. Shimano SIS. Missing a pedal. Been sitting in the garage a decade. Is it better to fix it up? Maybe upgrade components or ...
Second thought... Fix it up. Pedals are cheap. Components should be OK. Diamondbacks used to be a better bike than they are today.

Take it to an LBS and pay the $45 to have it adjusted. Tell them you are streeting it not trailing it.

If tires are still OK, wear them out, then put some smooth treaded tires on it, later. A hybrid is just a mountain bike with smooth tires, for the most part.i

Last edited by gitarzan; 03-24-10 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 03-24-10, 12:11 AM   #13
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That diamondback probably has some life left in it. If you have stored it indoors the cables, bearings and other assemblies should be good.

A good set of platform pedals can be had for $20 at the local bike shop. A tune up around $50. A set of smooth tread tires for road use less than $40. Ask the bike shop to fit you on the bike.

There are 3 problems with department store level bikes. The first is assembly quality. I have bought a few in the past, and have had to basically disassemble the bike down to the frame and properly preload bearings, brakes, true wheels and set derailleurs. The second, most department store bikes use the bottom bin for parts, you get longer lasting, better quality, better performing parts on a bike shop bike. It is difficult to get good service or replacement parts on department store bikes. Most bike shop bikes are designed to give years of service, most department store bikes are not. The third issues is sizing. Most big box store bikes only come in 1 or 2 sizes. Most name bike shop bike come in 5 to 9 sizes. If the bike doesn't fit, it will be uncomfortable and you are less likely to use it.

Be that as it may, the best deals going are used bikes, look on Craigslist and you local newspaper. It hard to go wrong with Trek, Specialized, Jamis, or Raleigh. Avoid Schwinn, Mongoose, Huffy, Roadmaster, Next, or Pacific.
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Old 03-24-10, 12:51 AM   #14
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Based on your specific requirements - take a look online - You will get free shipping and no sales tax

Shimano 21Spd 2010 Motobecane Jubilee $249.95

Full SRAM/Shimano 21 Speed, 6061 Aluminum Frame, Suspension Fork & Seatpost + 2.35 tires

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cane/jub_x.htm

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Old 03-24-10, 01:05 AM   #15
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Good find 911, Your going to have to assemble it but you will have a nice modern bicycle with all the braze-on's to add stuff to it as you go. Bikesdirect has a pretty good rep as far as I know.
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Old 03-24-10, 01:50 AM   #16
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Thanks very much for all the responses.

I'm having trouble discerning the advantage of something like the Motobecane over that Forge. If I can't afford an lbs bike due to price then it seems my options are online (BikesDirect, Amazon) or a local big box store. The choice is probably immediate gradificaiton vs tax/shipping.

Comparing that Motobecane to the Forge

The specs seem comparable to me. Am I missing something. Same frame construction/material. Same brakes. Same shifter, defaileur manufacturer but different models. Same tires essentially. I mean if I buy it online and have to assemble it or have it assembled what's the difference from buying from a big box store and having them at least try to assemble it?

What am I missing?

Motobecane Jubilee
Frame 6061 Aluminum ComforTuned with Rear Rack/Baby Seat Mounts, H2O brazeons
Fork / Headset RST 191 suspension, 1.125" / CH 1.125 inch, threaded, black finish
Stem/ Handlebar Comfort-rise aluminum, black finish / Medium-rise comfort-bend, black finish
Derailleurs Shimano Tourney RD-TX51 rear / Shimano FD-C051 Dual-pull SIS front
Shifters SRAM MRX 7 Speed (21spd Total)
Brakes / Levers Tektro Forged Aluminum Linear-Pull 'V" type black finish/ Tektro for V-brake, silver/black finish
Hubs Dust Sealed Ball Bearing with quick release front & rear
Rims CH-6N Anodized Aluminum 36 hole, silver finish
Crank SR Suntour Aluminum arms, Triple-ring 28/38/48T
Freewheel Shimano HyperGlide MegaRange 14-34T, 7 Speed (21 gears total)
Saddle VeloPlush, Super Comfort w/ Gel+elastomer spring support
Seatpost Suspension Comfortpost, black finish
Pedals VP Comp, ResinComfort body, Alloy cage, 9/16 axle
Tires Kenda K935 (Semi-slick) 26 x 2.35 blackwall

Forge Saranac
Frameset
Size: 17.5 17.5" Frame / STANDOVER HEIGHT 30.5" Fits most riders 5'5 to 5'8

Size:19" 19" Frame/ Standover Height 31.5" Fits most riders 5'9 to 6'0"

Color: SPORT GREEN / SILVER
Frame: 6061 DOUBLE-BUTTED ALUMINUM, WITH RACK, CHILD SEAT AND FENDER MOUNTS
Front Suspension: SR NEX WITH ADJUSTABLE PRELOAD
Wheels
Rims: ALLOY 32H CH-03 BLACK
Hubs: JOYTECH ALLOY 32H
Spokes: 14G STAINLESS STEEL
Tires: KENDA K-892 26x1.95”
Drivetrain
Speed: 21
Shifters: SHIMANO ALTUS ST-EF50 SPORT RAPID FIRE
Front Derailleur: SHIMANO TOURNEY TX SERIES FD-C051
Rear Derailleur: SHIMANO ALTUS RD-CT95
Crankset: SR SUNTOUR XCC-T208 TRIPLE 48/38/28T 175MM
Bottom Bracket: VP SEALED CARTRIDGE
Cassete: SHIMANO MF-TZ31
Chain: KMC Z51
Pedals: ALLOY PLATFORM
Components
Saddle: WTB COMFORT V COMP
Seat Post: ALLOY 27.2X350MM, SUSPENSION WITH QUICK RELEASE
Handlebar: MTB –154 AL ALLOY
Stem: ALLOY ADJUSTABLE THREADLESS
Grips: VELO SPORT FORM
Brake Set: TEKTRO ALLOY LINEAR-PULL W/ SHIMANO ALTUS BRAKE LEVERS
Extras: CATEYE REFLECTOR SET, TWO WATER BOTTLE MOUNTS, STORAGE RACK & FENDER MOUNTS, CLEAR COAT PAINT FINISH AND OWNERS MANUAL
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Old 03-24-10, 02:32 AM   #17
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Make sure you size the bike out for your body dimensions. It doesn't matter what you pay for it if it doesn't fit you and uncomfortable to ride. There is no 1 size fits all with bikes.
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Old 03-24-10, 07:56 AM   #18
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Given those two choices, the Motobecaine wins, hands down. Better wheels, tires, slightly better components, and better looking, IMHO.
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Old 03-24-10, 08:06 AM   #19
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Also, do you have a Performance Bike near you. They have reasonably cheap bikes
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Old 03-24-10, 10:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nal13 View Post
I always hear department store bikes are crap, but that could just an elitist thing.
I've spoken with the mechanic at my LBS and he recalls an assessment in one of the cycling magazines. It looked at x-mart bikes from the perspective of those who put the most miles on them, which turned out to be the immigrant worker getting from point A to point B on a bike as primary transporation, typically riding on the sidewalk at less than 10 mph. For this kind of riding- low speed, low stress- a department store bike will last a long time. If you want to beat on the bike, though, it won't be as durable, and if repairs are necessary, the level of componentry often leads to replacements of assemblies as opposed to parts, so you end up paying more in repairs than if you bought a better quality bike up front.

Another thing to consider is that the majority of the Schwinn bikes (maybe all) on Amazon are the same bikes you can get at the local x-mart. Schwinn has two distinct lines- one for the mass market (department stores), and one sold through LBSs. The Schwinn you get from your local bike shop will have better components and build quality than what you can get from Amazon/x-mart. My LBS does a fair amount of work on bikes that were bought at department stores, they tend to refer to them as BSOs (Bike-Shaped Objects).
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 03-24-10, 11:30 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightrider1 View Post
Thanks very much for all the responses.

I'm having trouble discerning the advantage of something like the Motobecane over that Forge. If I can't afford an lbs bike due to price then it seems my options are online (BikesDirect, Amazon) or a local big box store. The choice is probably immediate gratification vs tax/shipping.

Comparing that Motobecane to the Forge

The specs seem comparable to me. Am I missing something. Same frame construction/material. Same brakes. Same shifter, dérailleur manufacturer but different models. Same tires essentially. I mean if I buy it online and have to assemble it or have it assembled what's the difference from buying from a big box store and having them at least try to assemble it?

What am I missing?
The bike assembly is very easy ... take a look at the attached instructions and videos
BTW, the Moto has better specs

http://www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm


#
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Old 03-28-10, 10:34 PM   #22
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i have had friends who have gone to police auctions and did well -- don't know if they get picked over first ?
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Old 03-29-10, 07:58 AM   #23
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The 36 spoke wheels on the Motobecaine are a HUGE difference ----- worth mentioning. They are MUCH stronger, than 32 holers.
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Old 03-29-10, 08:56 AM   #24
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Or, if you're not in a rush, you can spend some time on here and other bike websites (to learn what you want and how you want to fit), and then troll the Craigslist for a month or so to get a feel for the pricing in your area and then start seriously trying to get a bike off the CL. That's what I did. Took me a couple of months to get the right bike, but I really like what I ended up with.

If you're in more of a rush than that, AND your mountain bike fits you, I'd say get that fixed up at the lbs. That's essentially what I have now. Just getting things working and throwing on some slicks (currently have the forte slick city tires on it https://www.performancebike.com/weba...ductId=1035134, hey cost me $30 for a set) that you can put some extra air in and reduce the rolling resistance will make a ton of difference. And then you can spend all the money you save on your second bike once you decide you like it (or like me in getting a bunch of other stuff to make your first bike that much better).
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Old 04-05-10, 09:20 AM   #25
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Or, if you're not in a rush, you can spend some time on here and other bike websites (to learn what you want and how you want to fit), and then troll the Craigslist for a month or so to get a feel for the pricing in your area and then start seriously trying to get a bike off the CL. That's what I did. Took me a couple of months to get the right bike, but I really like what I ended up with.
That's exactly what I'm doing though the pickings have been pretty thin to date. I figure I'll give myself until April 15 to come up with something from Craigslist and if not I'll go the new route or fix up the bike in the basement. I did stop at Home Depot and picked up a nut to put the pedal back on and I have some chain lubricant/cleaner I previously bought. I'll try to clean it up while I wait and see how it rides.
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