I know a lot about guinea pigs... and computers... but I know nothing about bikes.
What got me interested in biking?
Being the typical kid, I rode bikes since childhood. I went from a tricycle to a 12incher to a 20in to a 24in. These bikes were whatever bikes I could get at Toys-R-Us or Walmart... I don't think it makes much difference as a kid.
But when I got my 24in bike, it was pretty crappy. I was getting a bike in 7th grade 3 years ago, and of course, my strategy was 'CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP', since this was also the coming of when I'd have to buy stuff with my own money. I ended up getting a 24in Huffy Stonehaven. 55 dollars. And it sucked. Really, Really bad. After only a year, the pedals started to break off (First the nut came loose on... the crank thing. Then the actual metal piece broke!), and when the brakes started to fail, I decided "Hey! I'm not bike-smart at all, I'm not even going to attempt to fix the brakes, I don't want my handiwork to fail and crash into a car". And when we would go to bike stores to get it fixed, I remember them recommending a better bike, but my dad, knowing nothing about bikes, would in the car claim they were ripoffs. And so I never touched my piece of crap Huffy again.
Fast forward 3 or 4 years later, I'm in a situation: I don't like to walk to school and back; it takes too long. I'm 15, almost 16, but I wouldn't take a car to school since it might be grafitti'd or stolen or damaged. Its a snazzy 2003 Infiniti G35 sedan, how I'm getting it was complicated (My dad is going to be stationed in Japan, doesn't want to take or sell the car, so I get it). I also haven't taken driver's ed either. I am physically unfit, and If I keep going the way I'm going, I'll be heading off the 'Healthy' weight zone and to the 'Overweight' zone within a few years. College is also coming around the corner, and I plan on going to a university, which will almost always be large, so I will need ways of transversing the campus. Parking fees and licenses are probably expensive, so a car isn't feasable, and walking is slow and probably will take up too much time in a college paced environment. Basically, all of this warrants a Bike!
My dad is also really skeptical about bikes. To summarize his thinking, 'a bike is a bike is a bike'. He said back when he was a kid, it didn't matter what bike you got... IIRC, wikipedia said bikes changed a lot in the past two decades. He also said that my [crappy] bike can be turned into a good bike, but I honestly think the time and effort and money into turning this piece of crap into a golden piece of crap isn't going to be worth it. I don't know much about bikes, but I did a tiny bit of research, and from what I found: Walmart bikes suck, good bikes are expensive, and used bikes are cheap.
Welcome to Bike Forums. You can get a decent bike without spending a lot of money. Do some research in the Classic & Vintage and General Cycling forums here, then go and check out garage sales in your neighborhood. You might find a nice bike that just needs a little fixing up.
Originally Posted by toddles
So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??