I am a formerly experienced BMX racer who retired many years ago. I grew up on bmx in the 70s and 80s and quit riding and racing around 86' after a close teammate of mine died tragically ( not on his bike). My dad still has my now "vintage" GT race bike in his garage.
Anyhow, with that said, many years have passed, I just turned 39, and I have two little boys that are almost ready to get on anything with wheels so my passion for riding has been stoked again!
Here is my dilemma and I'm sure that some of you can point me in the right direction:
I am in the market for a bike for me right now so I can get my "legs" back a little bit. I live in Tampa florida and while there are alot of trails around, I really am going to be riding whatever bike I get on one of the world's longest sidewalks ( it's called bayshore blvd) and it fronts Tampa Bay. It's very cool and 7 miles long from end to end so its great for exercise. My other riding will be around to various parks with the little guys in tow.
At first, I started looking at used bikes in local ads and craigslist--stuff like that, thinking that I could get a bargain on a slightly used but maybe higher end bike that was a few years old. They are definitely available but I didn't want to jump the gun yet. Today I went to a local bike shop that has a good reputation and told the owner what I was up to. He gave me the " you should buy new" speech and talked about design advances over the last couple of years and how it will be more expensive to put gears and brakes on a older bike than it would to buy a new one, etc etc. Don't get me wrong, he was a nice guy and I remember when I was riding that evry bike that I ever rode I had built on my own and even back then in the early 80s I was riding $1k bikes ( which didnt seem crazy b/c I raced). I also did all of my own work and I was sponsored so components came cheap and sometimes even free.
So he shows me the Specialized 29er which I really dig alot but I just can't see spending $700-$1000 on a bike for a "Ham and egger" like me. I was hoping to find that $700-$1000 bike used for $350-$500!
I figure that Bikes are similiar to boats and trucks and the minute you by new and take it off the lot, you've lost 30% of the value.
So, here I am, wanting to spend about $500 but also getting what I want (which ain't gonna be a 29er I don't think). Can any of you please give me your opinions on what I should do? I know it's a long first post but I wanted to give evryone enough info to know exactly where my head is at. THANK YOU VERY MUCH IN ADVANCE. I will answer questions in real time if need be. THanks again! T-NOLE