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  1. #1
    Senior Member DTownDave22's Avatar
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    LOOK, another introduction!

    Hi all, my name is Dave and reside in Metro Detroit area.

    I'm trying to figure out how to go about this. I would hate to clutter up these fine forums here, as there are probably people making threads like this all the time, and asking about buying a new bike. I think a bike buying guide would be of some help to have on these boards, with some simple but also useful and perhaps not too obvious advice. Someone recommended a book in another thread by the name of "Bike for Life" by Roy Wallack and Bill Katovsky, but I can't find it in either library system available to me (and I've bought enough books as of now). What I don't want to happen is to buy a bike, and find something out after the purchase that I could have and should have known, for example, that I could have spent $80 less on a bike, and gotten just as good of a bike.

    I haven't been working until recently, so it's going to take a little while to earn money for a bike. I'd love to invest a large amount (for my budget) in a bike, but here in MI, we have four seasons, and bike riding season is probably from about late March to early October if one does not mind cooler weather. I'm thinking a bike in the $200-$400 range might work, but am thinking of going higher, as I do enjoy riding and want to make a smart investment.

    Are there any big Do's and Don'ts when looking for a new bike? I'd like to begin my search now, so when I finally have enough money (probably not until late July or Mid-August), I can purchase it.
    Last edited by DTownDave22; 06-13-07 at 09:54 PM.

  2. #2
    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
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    Welcome Dave.

    To answer your question, fit is one of the most important steps in findinf the right bike for you.

    Proper fit means comfort, comfort means you are more likely to have fun.

    Check in general cycling forum, as well as our road forum or mountain bike forum (depending on what type of bike you want) and you will most likely find threads with a wealth of information for tips on buying a new bike.

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  3. #3
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Hello Dave, does your $200-$400 budget include purchasing the gear to go along? You will need at least a helmet, probably a lock, spare tube or patch kit, etc. Try visiting the local bike shops to get an idea of what fits you. With that kind of budget, looking at a used bike is not outside the realm of possibility, especially if you are at all good at fixing things.

    Welcome to BF!

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  4. #4
    Senior Member DTownDave22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill
    Hello Dave, does your $200-$400 budget include purchasing the gear to go along? You will need at least a helmet, probably a lock, spare tube or patch kit, etc. Try visiting the local bike shops to get an idea of what fits you. With that kind of budget, looking at a used bike is not outside the realm of possibility, especially if you are at all good at fixing things.

    Welcome to BF!

    East Hill
    No, it does not. I am looking for a bike alone in the $200-$400 range and am thinking I'll probably be spending closer to 400 than to 200 but am willing to go higher if I can get a better value. I will also need a helmet. I have a lock, and imagine that would fit, and I'm not totally sure what a spare tube is (tire?).

    Thanks for the welcome!

    ~Dave

  5. #5
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Welcome Dave! Some of us ride in the winter too so check out the Commuting and Winter forums for info/advice/inspiration on riding through the winter. As for how best to spend your $$, go to a few shops and test ride everything in sight whether it's a mtb, roadie, cruiser, etc. The bike chooses you.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Hey, I live a little ways north of the D.

    If you feel like utilizing plenty of the available help from the folks on these forums, I would absolutely go for a used bike. I got a used 2,500 dollar bike for 500 bucks. That was of course a fluke, but you could still do pretty well buying used.

    If you would rather get a new bike, there are a lot of good options within that range. I would reccomend going to American Cycle and Fitness. I say that as a former employee. Many shops around here rip people off, but they do not. They are friendly, honest, reasonably priced, and there is no pressure to buy things. (Unlike a certain local ****** bag store known as continental)

    Oh, and welcome to the forums.
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  7. #7
    pj7
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    Hello Dave, I live in Clinton Township, so we're neighbors!!
    My sugestion is to get a used bike from Craigslist. You can save a boatload of cash that way. I take a look at Craigslist every other week and am always seeing good deals on decent bikes.

    What kind of bike riding are you looking forward to doing? Mountain biking? Road riding? Strictly fitness? Bike path cruising? your bike should fit the type of riding you do. I'm a commuter (all year long) and ride the trails at the local parks (Dodge Park, Stoney Creek, bald Mountain, etc) and also do some family recreational riding when I'm off work with my wife and son.
    I am familiar with a majority of the bike shops in this area and know for a fact that with your budget you can get a decent enough bike from them if your heart is set on getting a new bike. Either PM me or drop me an email if you wish and I can give you a few pointers on what shops are knowledgeable and which ones are just there to take your money.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member DTownDave22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian
    Welcome Dave! Some of us ride in the winter too so check out the Commuting and Winter forums for info/advice/inspiration on riding through the winter. As for how best to spend your $$, go to a few shops and test ride everything in sight whether it's a mtb, roadie, cruiser, etc. The bike chooses you.
    I will definitely check them out. What I am sort of curious about is how does one go about test riding a bike if it is in a store or from just someone selling a used bike? I can't imagine one can go too fast in a store. If it is a used bike from a person, it would be rather easy to steal it, not that I would ever do that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander
    Hey, I live a little ways north of the D.

    If you feel like utilizing plenty of the available help from the folks on these forums, I would absolutely go for a used bike. I got a used 2,500 dollar bike for 500 bucks. That was of course a fluke, but you could still do pretty well buying used.

    If you would rather get a new bike, there are a lot of good options within that range. I would reccomend going to American Cycle and Fitness. I say that as a former employee. Many shops around here rip people off, but they do not. They are friendly, honest, reasonably priced, and there is no pressure to buy things. (Unlike a certain local ****** bag store known as continental)

    Oh, and welcome to the forums.
    I am thinking a used bike is not a bad idea, but I honestly have not received a new bike since the summer after 4th grade when I got straight A's on my report card and I just finished my second year of college, so it's been quite a while.

    Exactly what you mentioned is what I don't want to happen to me. You say ACF is a honest shop and that is good to hear. Since I don't know much about bikes, I don't want to go into a store and just simply give them my budget and have them find me a bike that is a mere $15-20 below what I'm willing to go up to and tell me it's a great bike and buy (unless that is absolutely true..but you get the idea).

    Haven't heard of a store called "continental". Or is that just a nickname?


    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    Hello Dave, I live in Clinton Township, so we're neighbors!!
    My sugestion is to get a used bike from Craigslist. You can save a boatload of cash that way. I take a look at Craigslist every other week and am always seeing good deals on decent bikes.

    What kind of bike riding are you looking forward to doing? Mountain biking? Road riding? Strictly fitness? Bike path cruising? your bike should fit the type of riding you do. I'm a commuter (all year long) and ride the trails at the local parks (Dodge Park, Stoney Creek, bald Mountain, etc) and also do some family recreational riding when I'm off work with my wife and son.
    I am familiar with a majority of the bike shops in this area and know for a fact that with your budget you can get a decent enough bike from them if your heart is set on getting a new bike. Either PM me or drop me an email if you wish and I can give you a few pointers on what shops are knowledgeable and which ones are just there to take your money.
    That's the thing. I don't know yet what kind of bike riding I'll get into. The bike my parents bought me was a Diamondback Outlook and I believe is a mountain bike, and it was in the summer of 1998, so the model was of that year or before I take it. I don't think I exactly live in an area with varied terrain nearby in terms of up and down terrain, but maybe there is some available not too far and I don't know it. I live in Metro Detroit, Downriver to be exact. I'm not overly fond of it, but it's not bad. I've given Craigslist a look for bikes and am finally selling a piano actually on the same site (piano never worked out) so that will help with the funds.

    Thanks for all the help and welcomes.

    ~Dave
    Last edited by DTownDave22; 06-13-07 at 09:54 PM.

  9. #9
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22
    I will definitely check them out. What I am sort of curious about is how does one go about test riding a bike if it is in a store or from just someone selling a used bike? I can't imagine one can go too fast in a store. If it is a used bike from a person, it would be rather easy to steal it, not that I would ever do that.
    Most shops let you take the bike out on the road. all they ask is for an Id or maybe a credit card to hold and let you out the door with it.
    as for used bikes. You show up and test ride it there with the guy selling it. Usually you have your car parked in their driveway so it's not like they think you are going to head out of town on their bike.


    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22
    I am thinking a used bike is not a bad idea, but I honestly have not received a new bike since the summer after 4th grade when I got straight A's on my report card and I just finished my second year of college, so it's been quite a while.
    You can always get a decent used bike for cheap and then use your experience on that bike to figure out what the perfect bike for you would be. then while riding the used bike save up to buy the better bike. that way, in the end, you have two bikes!! YES!! MORE BIKES!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22
    Exactly what you mentioned is what I don't want to happen to me. You say ACF is a honest shop and that is good to hear. Since I don't know much about bikes, I don't want to go into a store and just simply give them my budget and have them find me a bike that is a mere $15-20 below what I'm willing to go up to and tell me it's a great bike and buy (unless that is absolutely true..but you get the idea).
    That's why it's good to talk to the guys on this board from your area, who are familiar with the bike shops and know which ones want your return business and not just the cash you havein your pocket right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22
    That's the thing. I don't know yet what kind of bike riding I'll get into. The bike my parents bought me was a Diamondback Outlook and I believe is a mountain bike, and it was in the summer of 1998, so the model was of that year or before I tke it. I don't think I exactly live in an area with varied terrain nearby in terms of up and down terrain, but maybe there is some available not too far and I don't know it. I live in Metro Detroit, Downriver to be exact. I'm not overly fond of it, but it's not bad. I've given Craigslist a look for bikes and am finally selling a piano actually on the same site (piano never worked out) so that will help with the funds.
    You could always just get a mountain bike and go from there. I commute 25 miles a day on a mountain bike that has been converted to road use. Just because a bike started out life as a trail busting mud machine, doesn't mean it won't make for a decent asphalt pounder. For instance. Take any cheap flat-handlebar mountain bike with fat knobbies that you find on craigslist. Remove the knobby tires and put on a pair of 1.5" street tires (about $20 total) and add a set of bar ends (about $10). Now you have a decent and durable urban bike with multiple hand positions in case you want to ride 15 miles at a time. If you decide to hit the dirt trails just mount the knobbies back on there. If you decide that commuting is for you, get a rear rack ($15) and some fenders ($20) and a trunk bag ($25) and you now have a sturdy commuting bike, and since it was originally built for mountain biking, it'll transfer that strength to taking potholes and curb hops.

    I warn you though, it can get addictive.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Welcome Dave!! I'm in Livonia and I'm a year round commuter. I have family downriver...actually they are inlaws, but still family I guess. As mentioned before, fit is the most important part of finding a bike. And while a new bike is nice, and I admit I finally bought one this year, I enjoyed starting with used bikes and learning how to repair and maintain them myself. That way I had a bigger budget later for a new bike and did not have to worry about running to the LBS everytime something was broken or out of adjustment. I'm sure all of us here will do our best to help you if you run into any problems. I apologize if I am making little sense. I just got home from my first night back to work after a week off so I'm a bit tired.
    I'm riding again in the Tour de Cure, and of course looking for sponsors and riders: My TDC page

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22
    I will definitely check them out. What I am sort of curious about is how does one go about test riding a bike if it is in a store or from just someone selling a used bike? I can't imagine one can go too fast in a store. If it is a used bike from a person, it would be rather easy to steal it, not that I would ever do that.


    Haven't heard of a store called "continental". Or is that just a nickname?
    They take your drivers license or ID when you test ride a bike at a shop. Trust me, there have been drive offs. Once an old lady stole a Trek Fuel. They give you a helmet, and you then go off on a ride around the streets or sidewalks near the shop.

    Continental is a store in Hazel Park that's been around for a long, long time. If they so much as sense someone is new, time and time again they go after them and try to sell them overpriced crap they don't need, up to and including "it would be cheaper to buy a new bike than get a new brake cable". I have only been there a few times out of absolute desperation. I have heard a helluva lot of horror stories about the place, including from several friends. It's okay to shop there if you don't mind supporting con artists, especially if you know your stuff well enough that they can't pull one over on you, but I sure hate to help them out.

    http://continentalbikeshop.com/index.cfm
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