Commuting To and Around College, Need Recommendations
Hi, I am new to the bike forums and I was hoping to get some buying advice before I headed over to the LBS. I have been reading around quite a bit, and figured that you probably need my measurements and where I plan to ride to give me some good advice. I am 6ft tall, and with a book firmly tucked in my crotch my inseam measures 33.25in. I weigh 200lbs, my doctor says I'm "well nourished" lol. I will be riding around La Jolla and UCSD campus. I might ride down to the beach every now and then which includes some treacherous winding hills, but for the most part UCSD is pretty flat. $500 to me sounds like a lot of money for a bike, but if a $500 bike is worth it then I'm all in. So if you could take some time to tell me what size frame I might be looking for, what features I should look for or avoid, maybe some bikes that you think would fit me well, etc.
Thanks for taking the time to write me your recommendations!
$500 is what most people on this website would consider a "low end bike". But really the $500 bikes will last you a lifetime of enjoyable riding with proper maintenance. 100% better than a wal-mart bike!
I bought a specialized mountain bike about 10 years ago for $500, and traded it in for a new hybrid recently(with the same dealer) and I got $150 for the trade in, so they hold their value pretty well.
The hybrid I bought was a $500 bike as well.
What kind of bikes does your local bike shop carry? Almost any major brand offers some awesome quality bikes these days, so its best to support your local economy and build a relationship with your LBS.
Also check out the commuting forums for some ideas about putting a rack on the back to carry your books.
Well there are quite a few LBS in my area. There is Adams Avenue Bicycles which carries Specialized, Bianchi, Colnago, Swobo, Look, Niner, Raleigh, Surly, Jamis, KHS, Dolan, Schwinn. There is Cal Coast Bicycles which carries Giant, Ibis, and Electra. There is Ye Old Bicycle Shoppe which carries Colnago, Mavic, Shimano, GT, Bianchi, Surly, Easton, Fuji, Scott, SiDI.
Bikes: "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB, now serving as the kid-carrier, grocery-getter.
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mathmare, welcome to the forums. The commuting forum is indeed great for advice on fitting racks. Also, the Clydesdale/Athena sub forum is a good resource for advice on bikes for heavier riders. (Such as myself.)
You can certainly get a good bike for $500. The Trek hybrids are well-thought of, and easy to get ahold of to test-ride; Trek dealers are everywhere. Just make certain the one you buy has mounting eyelets for a rack. A used bike will get you more for your money, but at a cost of more time.
Shops: Steer clear of the ones that try to sell you racing bikes. (There are a lot of those.)
Frame size: There are height/inseam approximations available, no doubt, but nothing beats riding a bike. You'll want to try slightly larger and smaller frames anyway, so just get to a store and go!
(Also, some REI stores have the 2010 Novara Randonee on closeout now. It's overkill for your purposes--it's more suitable for carrying groceries on a trailer or a touring load on the racks--but it's a killer bike, easy to ride and amazingly comfortable. And it'll get you up those mountain hills with ease!)