My name's Carlos, and I'm from Northern New Jersey. I have finally been (blessed enough) to fully get started with my re-kindled love for bikes. However, I am totally unexperienced.
Somewhat out of impulse, I bought a Schwinn Ditch 1.0. I know that this isn't necessarily the mark of the classic Schwinn, but it has been doing well for me and has covered a little over 200 miles in about 2 months of ownership.
After I realized that I actually like to bike for longer distances and on new (to me) terrains, I decided that I wanted to pursue the hobby further. But I have a lot of questions that I hope that this thread can help me with (I will still search and read around, but I am just hoping for something to get me started on).
1. Lots of people advocate that a serious biker will shell out anything above $500-$600 for a bike, but I am wondering why this is necessary. My current bike right now comes with front disc brakes, shocks with unexposed shock absorbers, a 24-speed gearbox, and nice tires and wheels to match. It was only $300, but I am wondering whether these parts are more for the show than they are for the road. I haven't seen some of these parts in anything but much much more expensive bikes (talking way over $1000).
2. I am also interested in doing somewhat long-distance or light mountain biking. Is this bike a good choice to stick with until I can level-up myself? Furthermore, I have been doing increasing-mile runs every weekend, which started at 30 miles, but now at 45 miles. Is this a good way to continue "training" my body for this kind of biking?
3. I also just picked up a seemingly unused, but heavily neglected Schwinn SX-2000 (the newer ones). I want to make this my project bike and see what I can do to make it the mean performance bike (that isn't a Trek). What first steps do you experienced bikers recommend that I take? I am completely new (haven't even switched out gear railing), but very much interested.
Thanks to anyone that can help me get my feet off the ground for this! I hope to learn a lot here!