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  1. #1
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    Newbie Here Wanting to Buy a Bike!

    Hello folks!

    I am a newbie that is completely overwhelmed with the vast information out there on how to choose a bike. Not only are there about a million price ranges, there are almost as many (maybe even more) configurations.

    A little about me. I am 6"1' and about 180 pounds. I am 28 years old and I literally learned to ride two summers ago (don't laugh... yes it's true). The only bike I have ever owned was a Raleigh road bike. I believe it was a 12 speed. I don't know a whole lot more than that. I road it to work when the weather was nice and I rather loved riding it; I probably put 1000+ miles on the thing that summer, which I felt was a lot (not so much after reading what you crazy folks do lol), especially since it was sort of a whole new experience for me. It sort of fell into my lap when I told some friends I couldn't ride and they essentially forced me into it.

    Fast forward nearly two years and I have moved cross country. The bike, I left with my friends. Even though it was a gift, I felt bad selling, and all we took with us was what fit in the car and what we could cram into a POD and away we went 1600 miles to the East Coast. I haven't been completely sedentry. I picked up running (while missing my bike) as well as weight lifting. I still do about 5-8 hours of cardio a week and five days a week lifting (I only point this out so that any recommendations are not made for someone you might assume has become a complete couch potato). I also spend some time on the spinning machines in the gym, though probably not as much as a should; I try to vary my cardio around each week.

    Anyway, I am looking for a road bike, I think. If I ride on trails they will be mostly paved, and if not, very smooth. No real mountain biking. I do not really have a set budget in mind. I'd say something under $500... If $150 gets me what I need, I don't feel I should spend the $500. But if $500 gets me what I need, so be it. I am pretty certain I can stay under that. I am not looking at competitive racing, just something to ride for fun, MAYBE commute to work with (right now I live about 40 highway miles from work but we are looking at relocating again).

    Anyway, any advice would be appreciated. Searching basically brings me to "do some online research and then check out a bike shop" types of responses. That's probably great for someone who knows what he's looking for. I, mostly, do not.
    Last edited by lordofthereef; 06-07-14 at 11:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Endangered Serotta Rider Lacumo's Avatar
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    Welcome to BF and good luck with the hunt for a >$500 bike! Just be sure to get something that’s comfortable to ride.

  3. #3
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    Was hoping for a bit more advice. Is there a better part of the forum to ask? I am absolutely lost and am afraid to go into a bike shop to look around because anyone can literally tell me just about anything.

  4. #4
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    Get a good 80s road bike. They require minimal rebuild funds if taken care of properly. I got my 1987 Bianchi for $50 off of Craigslist, and built it up for a total of $200. I ended up with a very fun bike and build in the end!

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany. Just ordered a 2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO 105 to replace my "destroyed" CAAD 10 2.
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    Welcome to Bike forums. I hope you know what size bike you'll be wanting, because for $500 you'll be looking at craigslist.org or possibly bikesdirect.com. Once you narrow the search to a few bikes, ask the folks in the Road Cycling forum or the General Cycling forum for help.
    Let us know what you get.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon 105 on order

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    Welcome to Bike forums. I hope you know what size bike you'll be wanting, because for $500 you'll be looking at craigslist.org or possibly bikesdirect.com. Once you narrow the search to a few bikes, ask the folks in the Road Cycling forum or the General Cycling forum for help.
    Let us know what you get.
    Unfortunately I don't really know what size to go for. I am 6"1' 185lb. I have no idea what size bike I had before other than that it certainly wasn't sized properly (unless by sheer luck). They seemed comfy to ride, but I really had nothing else much to compare it to.

  7. #7
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Probably a 57 or 58cm but stop by any decent bike shop and they can tell you in a few minutes.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon 105 on order

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  8. #8
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    And, there are plenty of Hybrids, name brands, at local bike shops, in the $500 range.

    Stop by the Hybrid Forum and ask a few questions. They will answer politely.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
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  9. #9
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    I'd also recommend going to the local bike shop and telling them you'd like help in finding a lightly used bike. They often take used bikes on trade-in. Often, they don't put them in the showroom or even sell them on Craigslist or eBay. The benefits to this are that you get a bike that the shop will have tuned & repaired anything needing it, you get the bike fitted, and you save a ton of money.

    Just be sure to research the bike to make sure you're not getting ripped off.

    Plenty of bike shop owners have no problem fleecing uninformed customers.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    I recently bought my Giant Escape 2 for under $500 new at my LBS and i love it. It might be worth checking out if you have a Giant dealer nearby ...

  11. #11
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    I ended up buying a used Giant Defy 5 2014 with a 28" frame from a bike shop. The previous owner clearly used it as a commuter as there are some scuffs and scratches on the frame (all on the clearcoat as far as I can tell - will try some techniques I have used on cars to buff them). Anyway, they dropped the price like crazy multiple times due to the cosmetic condition that, IMO, isn't even noticable unless you are within a foot or two of the bike. Final price was $200, so I think I did ok, considering new they seem to be priced at $700-$800.

    Unfortunately my dropbox isn't loading pics right now Dunno if it's a server thing or what. When that sorts itself I will add a pic

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishergreen View Post
    Get a good 80s road bike. They require minimal rebuild funds if taken care of properly. I got my 1987 Bianchi for $50 off of Craigslist, and built it up for a total of $200. I ended up with a very fun bike and build in the end!
    I am sure you will enjoy your Giant - sounds like a good deal and since you went LBS probably all tuned up and ready to ride.

    HST, FGreen gave you my advice if your looking to shave dollars. Just tons of really nice late 80/early 90 bikes on Craigs list - bikes that were $1k plus now selling for 100-150 in good shape. Heck, my son picked up a Schwin paramount for free. New rim and some clean up, bike runs great and he is not to concerned about it getting stolen like his expensive touring bike.

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