NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
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Welcome to the forums. Yes, that question gets asked all the time, if you do some reading here you'll find the answers you need, but here goes again for your benefit:
Lock? - What kind? For a good U-lock figure $25-30.
Helmet? - Prices start at $25 and go up to $150. The more expensive, the lighter they are and more vent to keep your head cooler. They all must past the same tests, so they all protect you about the same. A decent, nice looking helmet is aroung $40-50.
Gloves? - Large selection as well. I like full-fingered Moto-cross type gloves. Fox makes some great ones, I also like my Answer Products gloves. I tend to pay $20-25 for mine.
That leaves you about $700 for the bike, not including tax.
You can get a wide variety of great bikes for that. Go to all, I mean ALL, your local shops and ride as many different bikes in your price range to get a feel for the different bikes. After a couple rides, you'll educate yourself on what "feels" good and what doesn't. Don't even get into comparing compenents or colors or anything. First find 3 bikes that "FEEL" the best. If you're not comfortable, you won't ride.
Once you've narrowed it down, then do some comparison shopping.
Used bikes are a good choice IF and only IF you know what to look for. There are great deals available, but there are a lot of abused bikes too. Caveat Emptor! A used bike is good, if you have a buddy knows a lot and can help you with the process.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger