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Old 07-12-11, 07:00 PM   #1
caunyd
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Bike Recommendation

Hi I am a complete newb when it comes to bicycles. I am looking for a budget bike. I am looking for a bike that is both comfortable and fun to use, but can also provide me with a good workout when I want. My budget is $200. I realize that at this price, to get a good bike, I am looking at used bikes on craigslist and ebay.

So with that in mind, what models and brands can you guys recommend? I am looking specifically for recommendations for older models since I probably will have to search the used market. Also, when buying used bikes, what should I keep my eye out for, and what should I be wary of?

Age: 22
Weight: 103 lbs
Height: 5'3
No physical problems
Average Ride Time: 1 hour
If I had to make choice between comfort and speed, I would choose comfort

Thanks guys.
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Old 07-12-11, 07:53 PM   #2
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Are you a male or a female?
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Old 07-12-11, 09:19 PM   #3
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Comfort and fun to use can define quite a bit a difference for anyone......what are your specific goals? Might help people help you out better.
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Old 07-13-11, 01:51 AM   #4
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Tough to say, & you probably don't know what you want yourself right now, so used & cheap is a good idea.
Your first purchase is not likely to be your last one.

If $200 is an absolute budget try to bring it in under $150 so you have room to buy small tool kit, bag to carry it in, a lock, water bottle etc. 5'3" @ 103 would make me look at a smaller hybrid with 26" (ISO 559) wheel size to minimize toe clipping on turns. Maybe a smaller MTB if the stretch isn't too bad. Try to keep your weight on your butt vs. your wrists when you're checking stuff out.
Beyond that if looking used it's all conditionals as long as you stick with some of the better brands, Trek, Specialized, Diamond back Fuji, Giant, some schwinns (they make some junk & some OK bikes) etc. Vintage stuff would also include Nishiki, Univega as well as others.
Caveat Emptor. of course.
If you have a local friend who can shop with you, that's your best choice. Always test ride the bike. Never be afraid to make an offer. The worst the seller will likely do is mock you & put up a website criticizing your attire.
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Old 07-13-11, 11:10 AM   #5
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I am a female. My specific goal is mainly to bike from home to my school. Every once in a while I might take the bike out to a beach boardwalk. I also want to be able to get a good workout on the bike when necessary.

Thanks for all the advice so far. I am a complete newb, and all this information is very helpful. Are there any other brands or features that I should look for? Can you guys make specific model recommendations (especially older models)?
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Old 07-13-11, 11:16 AM   #6
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Old 07-13-11, 07:05 PM   #7
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I always get asked that question at work from co-workers looking to buy a used bike for themselves or their spouse. My suggestion to them is to go to any local bike shop and have them suggest what size bike would be best for you. See if they will let you test ride it so you can see if the bike size actually fits you. If it does, you now know what size you are looking for when you start to shop around. The most important part of buying a bike, new or used, is the fit. If the bike is too big or too small, you will end up not wanting to ride it because it will be very uncomfortable. Look at your local Craig's List and see what is available. Also visit some bike shops because there are some that will have used bikes for sale and go from there.

As for brand names, tromper mentioned some of the more popular bikes and that will give you a starting point. You may have to settle for a men's bike because the better bike manufacturer's, for whatever reason, don't seem to make too many woman's models. Like others have suggested, I would also suggest a hybrid over a mountain bike if you are going to ride to school and do some group/club rides. For me, they are more comfortable and you will get a bit more speed out of them, as well. Good luck on your search and I hope that you keep on riding after you find the bike you want.
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Old 07-13-11, 08:48 PM   #8
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At that price point you would have an easier time finding a mountain bike probably but you might find some decent hybrids. Trek, Specialized, Gary Fisher, Schwinn (if it wasn't from Walmart/Target), Scott, Giant, Marin to name a few decent brands. I'd avoid Huffy and the other brands they sell at Walmart.
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Old 07-14-11, 12:57 PM   #9
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with a $200 budget, instead of getting a brand new lower end bike, scour craigslist for a nice used bike for a little more than $200 then haggle down if you can.

you can find some great deals on bikes as long as you know the type(s) of bike(s) you're looking for and be sure of your size. good luck!
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Old 07-14-11, 07:10 PM   #10
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Is Motobecane a good brand?
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