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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Just about any manufacturer has an entry level bike out there. The first thing to do is check out www.bikesrnottoys.com
and educate yourself a bit between a shop quality bike and an X-Mart bike. Then just visit as many Local Bike Shops (LBS's) as possible. Test ride several different bikes from all the manufacturers. Each manufacturer builds their bikes with slightly different geometries. The components at each price point will be nearly the same.
The biggest factor when buying a bike are comfort and looks. Components can be upgraded and swapped so don't let that be such a big emphasis. Comfort, well because if you're not comfortable, you won't ride. And Looks, because no one wants an ugly bike!
"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