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Old 01-24-05, 09:26 AM   #1
Conundrum
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Complete Newbie Here

Hello All - Someone gave my wife and I a pair of discount store offroad/hybrid style bikes for Christmas this year. At first we were both of the sentiment - what are we going to do with a pair of bikes? However, much to our surprise after a few 7 - 8 mile rides we actually really enjoy it.

We are starting the process of looking into higher quality bikes at some point in the future and I'm trying to get some guidance. We live on the northern gulf coast and the area is almost totally flat. So far the riding we have done is mostly on asphalt, but we would like bikes that we can take anywhere we decide without worrying (understanding that serious offroad/downhill riding is not in out future nor is serious distance riding). We usually ride with our 2 year old on the back of one of the bikes in a seat. I envision this as more of a family hobby than a serious passion - but who knows.

At this point I am inclined towards some type of hybrid style bike but know nothing about which manufactures to pursue. Like I said I'm a complete newbie to the world of biking so please be patient. Any advice or guidance will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
C.
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Old 01-24-05, 09:43 AM   #2
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Glad to have you with us. As you have found, you can get plenty of enjoyment out of cheap bikes - keep riding them. Go to a proper bike shop with your bikes and ask them to check them over and adjust, because bad assembly is the most common problem. In particular ask them to check the spoke tension in the wheels. Tell them you are thinking of buying better bikes, and they will be glad to show and advise. The more you ride, the more you will know what you want.
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Old 01-24-05, 09:49 AM   #3
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I would advise you to visit as many LBSs (local bicycle shop) as you can find. Before you go, decide how much you can spend per bike, what kind of riding you want to do (on-road, communting, flat trails, or some casual off-road), and any special concerns you have (neck problems, back problems, child seat/tag-along bike). Then visit each LBS and ask them for reconmendations. Look at this as a infomation gathering trip only--do not buy anything. After you get all the info and have a better idea what is available to you, pick your favorites and do a search on the Forum. If you still have questions about the bike you are interesting in, post a message on one of the Forums.

You should also get a good idea how the LBS will treat you. Good luck and happy trails!
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Old 01-24-05, 09:49 AM   #4
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Welcome! It's always great to hear about a family getting excited about cycling. You'll find lots of good info on the forums.

As far as which bikes to get, my main advce would be to find a good LBS (local bike shop), and test out as many as you can. I wouldn't get too set on any particular brand name. Any of the major brands found at LBS's are comparible. Giant, Trek, Gary Fisher, Specialized, Cannondale, Fuji all make have a full product line, of bikes costing from $300-3000+. To get you started, check out Gary Fisher's hybrid bikes. I just bought my parents a set of Gary Fisher Nirvana's Cost around $500.

Happy trails...
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Old 01-24-05, 10:36 AM   #5
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Old 01-24-05, 06:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info! I'm just researching and learning right now. I plan on visiting all the lbs in the future to get "educated," but it will probably be a while before we buy anything. Gotta get all the good out of these wal-mart specials and make sure this is something we intend to do long term before we make an investment.

Thanks
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Old 01-25-05, 08:04 AM   #7
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In the first 100 miles of riding, the spokes on any bike loosen, not just the cheap ones. So your walmart specials will last a lot longer if you go to your LBS to get them checked. You dont need to upgrade until you know what you really want.
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