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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Help! Newbie in the Bike World :)

    I have known how to ride a ride since I was 7... Ever since I was like 13, I've been riding a Huffy mountain bike. It was great when I was younger, (and in better shape) ... especially because I would mainly go on flat surfaces, and occasionally a few hills out in the country.

    I am now 26, and still have that Huffy... and I feel like I Huff and Puff every time I ride it...especially when I've tried to go up hills at Forest Park in STL, and near my work. I have had to get off every time and walk it up hill while still trying to catch my breath.
    Yes, not as in good shape as before, but still... the bike is HEAVY!

    So, I come to you all for help...
    I've been researching bikes and never knew there was so much! It's like more intense than looking for a car!

    I can still use my mountain bike for rocky trails on occasion, so ...
    Here's what I want a bike for:
    *commuting to work, grocery store, etc. ( a few miles each way)
    * able to pick up my bike with ease for carrying up steps from Metro link trainsystem
    *general riding around the city... on paved roads (around 10-20 miles at least)
    *light trail riding (Katy Trail in MO, limestone (i think it's called) walking/bike trails.)
    *uphill riding on pavement without getting off my bike.
    *I'm 5'2", female..so something good for short people/a woman if that matters
    * capable for a bike rack on back for a crate/bag for groceries etc.

    I've generally heard form people I've talked to that I should get a hybrid bike for my purposes. I did read today though, that hybrids still have smooth wheels?! Is this true... because I thought I've seen them with tread on them. I had looked into road bikes, mainly for the light weight frame and components, but I was told at a store that you can't put medium thickness tires on, but I could get a road bike, not really with thicker tires, but ones that still had enough tread for light trails.
    I'm so confused on all of this! Plus, I don't want to buy something not right for me, or something not worth my money. I was budgeting around $300/400 (cheaper if possible) for a really nice used bike for now, or I'd buy something new if cheap enough.

    I saw something called a Terry Susan B for sale for $350 the other day, gently used.. but I haven't seen much info on it, other than hybrid, made only for women with specific geometries, for a short person like me, normally $740. Worth it?

    Please give me tips/suggestions on bikes you think would be good for my needs, and possibly within my price range, new or used. I know I could afford Trek's etc if used, but new they'd be too much.

    Thanks so much!!!!!

  2. #2
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    I am a little on the opposite end of the spectrum (6'2" 240 guy) and I bought my Trek 7.2 FX a month ago and have already put 164 miles on it. It's a pleasant ride and it works great on both trails and road. The bike is a bit lighter than my old mountain bike. You'll be able to put on the rack and everything you please. Just be sure to test ride any bike you buy and just make sure you are absolutely comfortable with it. You say you are only going to budget that but before you know it, the accessories will add up. Just talk to your local bike tech at the bike shop for your needs. They'll know more than I ever will and will be able to get you the appropriate size as well.

  3. #3
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    You can manage the limestone trail on a road bike or a hybrid with skinny tires. Most of the hybrid riders who post here run 700x28c tires which is wide for road bikes but narrow for hybrids. Something wider would be ideal for the unpaved trail, but slower on paved surfaces. Narrow tires are lighter.

    The Susan B is a nice bike and that's a good price. I'd definitely look at it, lift it, and test ride it if I was you. If it fits you, it should fit your intended uses pretty well. The tires are 26x1.5in which is what I have on my 26in wheel bike. A bit wide for street use, but not bad. You can probably put narrower tires on those rims, 26x1.25in if you want to make the bike a little lighter/faster but I'd suggest you use the 1.5 for a while and see how it goes.

  4. #4
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    Correction, I was looking at an older model, the new Susan B comes with 1.75" width tires. You can easily swap out for narrower ones if they don't suit you. If it's a smaller size Susan B (and probably should be to fit you), the wheels might be 24" diameter. 24 inch tires are available but maybe harder to find.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    Correction, I was looking at an older model, the new Susan B comes with 1.75" width tires. You can easily swap out for narrower ones if they don't suit you. If it's a smaller size Susan B (and probably should be to fit you), the wheels might be 24" diameter. 24 inch tires are available but maybe harder to find.
    Do you think that if I needed to,in the future I could put road tires on this type of bike?

  6. #6
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    My guess is you could go as narrow as 1.25" with those rims. Not a true road racing tire, something like this.

  7. #7
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    Hi, I'm a newbie too, and short. I just bought a Trek 7100 WSD. It has 700x35 tires which should work for all the surfaces you mentioned. The tires are smooth down the middle with some tread on the edges. I paid list price, but there aren't many bike shops where I live, and I know others have gotten it cheaper. There is also a 7000 model that is very similar and a little less expensive. This is an upright hybrid with 21 gears, and I can easily lift it. The only thing is, I don't know whether you can add a back rack to it or not. I just have a small underseat bag for my ID, cell phone, keys, etc. Take a look at the Trek website. In the "Town" bike section they have some commuters and utility bikes. They call mine a recreation bike. This will give you some good ideas even if you buy a used one. The Giant website also gives info on their bikes. Most of these come in size XS, which is what I have, mine is 13.5 inch. The Giants and Treks were all I looked at because they were the only shops within easy driving distance for me.

    Other people here on the forum are very knowledgeable and helpful. Good luck in your bike search!

  8. #8
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    The specialized crosstrail comes with 700 X 45 Tires , I am happy with how they handle the road and light trails.

    I would rather have slightly larger tires and not worry so much about getting a flat. Speed is not a big thing for me since I ride for leisure.
    Last edited by Scott_TN; 07-09-11 at 03:23 PM.

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