Hi all - I know there are a bunch of threads like this. Part of why I'm writing is to get my thoughts down.
I'm new to riding - in fact, I got into it accidentally. I bought a cheap Wal-Mart bike last year, to encourage my daughter to ride.
Turns out, I kinda like it myself! I've been riding a fair amount, and the bike's not holding up well - I've put $30 into it for repairs so far, and the bike was only $90.
I'm looking at new bikes now - trying to find a good bike, that will hold up for the type of riding that I do. I'm mostly riding on paths and sidewalks, and I have the occasional small patch of gravel, or A rough spot if they are working on the path or sidewalk. There's at least
one place where it's uneven, so I kind of pull the front up to avoid damaging the front fork too much...
My budget's around $400, so I know that the quality and features will be somewhat limited. I went to the local Performance Bikes store today and test-rode a bunch of bikes. However, most of them weren't the correct size, so it's hard to know whether I liked them. They are ordering a couple in a size that will fit better, so I'll go back and ride those again.
I also hit the Trek store.
I'm concerned with getting a bike that will last, but will be able to take a small amount of abuse. I prefer the more upright position riding position, and I don't plan on hitting trails - so I'm looking at a hybrid. I'm more interested in fitness than cruising, so I'd like something
a bit more aggressive.
So here's the list of the bikes that I rode, along with my impressions and concerns. If anyone has any thoughts that would help me make a decision, I'd appreciate it.
Fuji Absolute 3.0 - $399.99. I thought this bike rode pretty well, and was quite light. It was a bit big, so they are ordering one for me to ride next week. The only issue I have with this one is that the tires are quite narrow, more like a road bike. How likely is it for me to lose control if I hit one of those gravel patches, or if the path is wet from a recent rain or sprinkler? I know someone who took a turn as it started raining, and the bike went right out from under him. I'd like to avoid that if possible.
GT Transeo 3.0 V-Brake - $399.99. I liked this one as well, but it feels a bit heavier than the Fuji. Well, everything feels heavier than the Fuji :-) But it feels pretty decent. It has a lock-out front suspension; I don't really need this, and I've read some comments in other threads that say that, if I don't need it that I should not get a bike with it, since at this price point the suspension probably isn't very good anyway. Also, this one was a little small, so they are ordering the next size.
Diamonback Insight 2 - $429.99. Again, too large for me, so they are ordering a better size. This rode pretty well though.
Mongoose Crossway 200 - $249.99. This rode pretty well, actually! I was surprised. I'm obviously getting a bit lower components. How much should I be concerned with this, if the bike rides well?
I also rode the Trek 7.2 - it was quite nice! However, it's priced at $529.99 - quite a bit more than the rest. Trek's summer sale starts soon, with $50 off, but it's still about $80 more than the others. Is the bike really worth that much more? What is the chance that they will negotiate?
I rode several more, all in the $350/$400 range, but I didn't like the way they rode, or the riding position. Any feedback or advice is greatly appreciated!