Hi I'm Cindy. I'm 50 yrs old and recently been trying to increase my exercise and improve my diet.
I am interested in taking up cycliing. I've not been on a bike in 30+ years, except for a 2 min ride on my daughter's bike 10 years ago!
I've always loved to ride, so I'm figuring that it will be an enjoyable form of exercise now.
I really need some advice on what to buy and where to buy it.
Money is very tight, I really shouldn't be spending ANY money on a bike, so the cheaper the better.
I figure initally I'll be riding in my neighborhood....then later going to one of the parks to ride the trails.
I'm fairly tall (5'8") and long legged, so I know I have to go to a bike shop to find out the best size bike for me. I'm figuring a 26". I've never ridden a bike with gears, so I'd also like some help with that!
What I'd like to do is get an inexpensive bike that I can get comfortable with, then upgrade in a year or so to something better (more expensive).
I have back trouble, and I can't have a bike where I'm hunched over too much. What I'd like is one that I can either sit fairly upright or hunch ovver. Right now I have a stationary bike and find that every 5 min or so I have to change or my back hurts. The way this is set up I can either hold the handlebar grips, meaning I'm sitting fairly upright, or grab the lower part of the handlebar itslef, and I'm hunched over some.
I live in Durham/Chapel Hill area of NC. Anyone from the area have any advice on where to go for a good, inexpensive bike? Right now my plans are to go to Walmart and get one there for around $100. With helmet, etc I think that's about all I can afford. Anyone have better oprions?
Also...is there anyway to tell in advance how comfy a seat will be long-term?
Why don't you pose your questions in a cycling forum? I might suggest the recreational cycling forum.
Most people don't read the introductions forum.
Also, we have a 50+ forum that you might enjoy. Join us there.
The 26" that you refer to is in reference to the wheel size, not the bike size. Almost all Mtn bikes have 26" wheels, but the frame sizes generally vary from about 16 inches to 21 inches or thereabouts.
Therefore, you but a bike by the frame size, not necessarily the wheel size.
However, a hybrid bike likely has 700mm wheels (nothing in biking makes sense), i.e., 700x38 or 700 x 28. 700 wheels are larger than 26" wheels, and are about 27 inches.
Frames for hybrids are figured differently than frames for mtn bikes. Oh, my!
You most likely want a hybrid (about $400 and up) or a mtn bike (about $300 and up) or a comfort bike (about $300 and up).
DO NOT, NOT, NOT go to Wal Mart - you will get crap, it will not be assembled properly, it will fail on you, and the components such as the brakes will be way inferior. All the frames will be the same size.
Get the to a good bike shop and look at good used bikes.
Seats is a whole nother issue, about 7 pages long. I will wait on that one.
I think you are going to find that you will need to save some more for a good bike. I have some back trouble/damage from a bad fall (not biking) several years ago. This spring I switched to a recumbent bike. Now I can ride pain free. Recumbents are expensive though, somewhat more than a nice diamond frame (regular type) bike. For me it was worth the money spent. But no matter what bike you decide to get, make sure it fits you right. A good bike shop can help a lot here. Stay away from *mart bikes for the reasons mentioned in the previous post.
I guess putting off the purchase for a few months so I can afford a better bike would be the way to go? Ah well, I don't like going to Walmart anyway! LOL
I will check out the other forums. I looked a bit on the 50s forum lasst time I was here, but just glanced at most of the posts.
DnvrFox....are those prices you quoted for new? how much can I hope to save on used? 10%? 50%? I think $300 might be doable in the spring, just not right now!
They wouild be the prices for an entry level new bike.
It would be assembled properly, would have decent quality brakes and other componenets, is available in a variety of frame sizes (typically Wal-Mart and others have only 1 or 2 frame sizes) and generally the shop will give you a free adjustment or two after you buy it (new cables stretch and need to be readjusted).
As far as used, expect about 40% off, but this is highly variable dependent upon the dealer, inventory, etc.
You may even get away with less than $300 on a sale. Remember, at a minimum, you need a water bottle holder or two and some water botles as accessories. Beyond that, you can add whatever accessories, biking clothes, etc., you might want. These might include a pump, spare tube, patch kit and some energy food. Most folks have some sort of a "wedge" on the back of the bike for "stuff."
However, it is perfectly ok to ride a bike in some loose shorts and a shirt and even carry the water in a backpack. You can have a perfectly decent ride at little additional cost.
Why don't you go to a few "Local Bike Shops" and see what they have. It is fun and you learn a lot.
Check out the other forums as suggested. I would plan on $350-400 to get a nice hybrid bike that will serve you very well. You might check with the local bike shop, some will carry a small number of bikes that have been traded in and you might save some $$$. Most important thing: use a bike shop, not a department store or large "sporting goods" store. Particularly being a "newbie" you need the service and advice from someone who knows what they are doing. It is better waiting a couple of months to save a little to get a bike you will enjoy and ride. Welcome to the forums.