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Old 07-02-12, 06:53 PM   #1
beforemath
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Starting out new

I'm looking to purchase a bike to mostly ride around town (with the wife), but I don't think that an idea of a budding hobby/transportation alternative warrants dropping $500 at a local bike shop. Since I haven't had much luck on Craigslist (and because I don't know enough about bikes to tell a bike in good shape from one that will need all of its parts replaced), I was thinking about ordering online.

So far, I was looking at one of these two:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._dutch_xii.htm ($249.95)
http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Discov...ywords=schwinn ($255.49)


I'm about 5'9" and both of these claim that they will fit me. I envision riding probably no more than 10 miles per day, 4 days a week.

Can you help me with a suggestion either between these two, or something in this price range?

Thanks.
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Old 07-05-12, 12:59 AM   #2
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I can't comment on the bikes since I know very little.

With that said it's also important to get a good fit for your bike as well. Not only size of the bike, but the adjustments they make to it when you purchase one. Some of these you can get done after a LBS for a nominal fee. It's definitely worth it. At 5 miles a poorly fitting bike might make you dread biking and give you less incentive to bike in. That doesn't mean you have to drop $3000 on a bike to enjoy riding though either.

Hopefully you have a friend that knows something about cycling. If not, go to a LBS and test ride a lot of their equipment. See if they'll work with you, a few around Albuquerque sell used bikes that are pretty good deals. If you do like commuting you'll end up spending a lot more than you think. At least most people I know have. I've bought a tail light and headlight to blink when riding even during the day ($35), a rack ($30), a pannier ($75), a helmet ($30), a good lock ($45), a reflective vest for when I wear dark colors to work ($30), a bottle cage ($5), a bottle ($10), spare tubes ($10) and probably other assorted gear. You don't need most of the things I've bought but I'd consider a good lock (don't want your wheel stolen leaving you stranded), a helmet, lights and a vest to be essential for bike commuters so that's at least another $100 on top of what you are thinking.

Then again when I was in Taiwan last month people were riding around without any of those. To each their own.

EDIT: Besides tubes there's also things like gear to help change flats. At 5 miles you may be able to get someone to come and pick you up. It's also good to have rain gear and fenders too if you are a commuter. Not essential though. I have some rain gear, but no fenders....yet anyway.

Last edited by NMBuff; 07-05-12 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 07-05-12, 11:16 AM   #3
erg79
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Neither look all that great, to be honest. You most likely would not need a suspension fork--they add weight to the bike and if you're just riding on the road, a suspension fork wouldn't be necessary.

In the same price ballpark is this Gravity hybrid on BikesDirect:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../avenue_fb.htm

It has an adjustable stem so if you're concerned about having a more upright riding position, this will help. It has better components than the other bikes ($300 for a bike with a Sora rear derailleur is a great deal). One downside that I'll admit is that it comes with 28cm tires, which may be more skinny than a new rider would want, and it doesn't look like there's that much clearance for wider tires (maybe 32cm at the most).

I don't think it's as good as the Gravity, but this GT Traffic 4.0 is the same price and still seems like it would be a step above the other two, but with wider tires than the Gravity.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gt/gt_traffic_4.htm
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Old 07-05-12, 10:51 PM   #4
beforemath
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Thanks for the advice, guys.

I appreciate the list of acessories, NMBuff. That looks like a good checklist of things that I should think about getting. I hadn't thought about a water bottle cage (which I'll need, because this summer is relentless).

I'll look into those suggestions, erg79. I'm still trying to learn about who makes quality parts and which is good for what (like the difference in all the derailleurs made by Shimano...) but it's a bit overwhelming right now. But then, learning is just part of the fun, huh? Is there a good place that I can go to read up on the difference in quality of these parts, or is it best just to lurk around the forums here?
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Old 07-06-12, 01:41 AM   #5
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There's lots of user experience here. A good place to learn about everything bike is http://www.sheldonbrown.com.
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