I have a lot of questions. In the age of the internet, I was hoping to better optimize my choices. Looking to spend $500 all together. I'm 6'2" ca 190# if that fits the equation, I currently have a 26" bike (perhaps a but too tall, though after 4+ years I've grown accustomed to the size), and I really don't think I want to do much more than 15 miles on it at a shot. My riding is mostly street, lots of curb hopping, though I do like to do trail rides (50-60 miles) on the weekends, time permitting. I sometimes do forest trails, though 99% would be bike paths and roadways (with the occasional field tour). That aside, I have some questions.
What would be a good brand/model to research? Where would you recommend that I purchase? I recognize that I'd probably need to spend a bit more at a B&M, but was thinking that I could scare up an EBay deal or maybe order direct from the mfr. I'm decent mechanically, and though I know I can put it together I think I'd prefer to have a shop do that and tune it. How much would I expect to pay if I go that route to the shop? I live in the Saint Louis area, in case that's pertinent. Is this the best time to buy? I figure it's Summer, and I could have the bike for some long fall rides while avoiding the higher costs of Spring demand, though I suppose back to school would be a factor. I can live with finishing the season out with my soon to be dead bike if buying in Winter would represent a significant savings and allow me to increase quality. Still, I'd love to buy today but want to research things a bit first.
I guess that's where I'm at. Thanks in advance for any help.
There's several good local bike shops around the St. Louis area. Touring Cyclist, Alpine Shop, Mesa Cycyles, Maplewood Cyclery, etc. I highly recommend you stop by and/or call these shops to see what's in your price range. Any cost savings on buying a bike in this price range via the internet will quickly be ate up by having to pay for assembly/tuning. Plus, almost all shops offer some form of free service package, many lifetime. A local bike shop will also help you get sized correctly. You'll be SOL if you guess wrong on an internet order. Ride a bunch of stuff and then post back here with your top 3 or so choices. Believe it or not, you'll have more choices by visiting your local bike shop than shopping on the net. Good luck.
My thought, in reguards to the lifetime service, is two fold. As far as buying it from that particular bike shop, it sounds like that's where you will find the best long term service and once you start buying bikes from there you can stick with them and you will find they will take care of you better than if you were just a one time customer. But in reguards to the lifetime service on that particular bike, I wouldn't let that be the deciding factor. The chances of you riding that bike, without upgrading, for more that a year (maybe two) are slim. Generally, if you really enjoy mountain biking you will find yourself wanting more bike real quick. But that's just my experience.
I tend to buy bikes from local B&Ms, I was hoping there was some net advantage. They moved my Touring Cyclist or I would've stopped there while I was out (they moved it across the highway, they keep moving on me). Checking them out online they seem to have the Fuji Nevada on sale at a price I'm willing to jump on, any thoughts on this choice?
6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Doesn't matter what bike you get. BUT at 190 lbs, I would pay attention to the quality of the wheels. They take a hammering on any bike, but put 190 on them and they would require attention soon after purchase. Must admit that I am only150lbs, and I have problems on wheels. Find an LBS that has a good reputation for retrueing wheels and building them, and let them tweek and tension them after about 100miles.
which is their house brand (made to their specs by Fuji). I figured near the end of the season there'd be some sales. Like you all said, I had to try a few to see what felt good. So, I ended up buying a bike the same way I always do, about the same price I always pay.