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Old 05-20-10, 08:05 PM   #1
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Question from a beginner

I haven't owned a bike since I was 12.
I'm not 35 and rented a Mountain Bike on Cape Cod and loved it.

The same bike place is now selling their bikes from last year.
They're Raleigh's, not sure of the exact brand, but they'll replace the tires and tune them up. They're charging $149 for them, 20".

My question is, is this a decent deal, I'm just looking for something to get me back into cycling, for pleasure. I liked how the mountain bike handled when I rented them.


Thank you!
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Old 05-21-10, 04:57 AM   #2
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I am inclined to say yes. I do not know the shop in question so my biggest concern would be that the bike fits you properly and is not too small (beginning cyclists have a tendency to initially like smaller frames.)
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Old 05-21-10, 10:06 AM   #3
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Will you be riding off-road or on the streets? By 20", do you mean the wheel size or the frame size?
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Old 05-21-10, 10:36 AM   #4
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If you're talking a 20" wheel, then the bike is too small for the average grown-up. If it's a 20" mountain bike frame, it may be too BIG for you. I'm 5'8" and I ride a 16" mountain bike frame, which is just a tad too small for me, but very comfortable. Most 20" frames I've seen were carrying guys much taller than I.

Like HumanCar said, learn about proper bike fitting and make sure the bike fits you. This doesn't have to be a drawn-out, crazy process. Just don't buy something that's going to make your knees hurt after one lap around the block.

Also, as Neil asked, what type of riding will you be doing? I prefer a mountain bike for ALL my riding, even long road trips, for which I just change the tires. For riding the Cape Cod Rail Trail or one of the other fine paths on the Cape, Martha's Vineyard, or Nantucket, many people feel more comfortable on a "hybrid" bike, sometimes called a "comfort bike," which is more upright and has thinner, slicker tires.

Either way, unless they were really good bikes to begin with, $149 sounds like a lot of money, especially considering it's Yard Sale season and you will likely soon see $300 bicycles out on people's lawns for $5. Better yet, wait until the sales are over and pick them up at the curb for $0!
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Old 05-22-10, 08:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
If you're talking a 20" wheel, then the bike is too small for the average grown-up. If it's a 20" mountain bike frame, it may be too BIG for you.
My newest bike has 20" wheels, and I'm 5'10"...of course it's a Bike Friday folding bike....

Seriously, though, to answer this question we need a little more information about the bike model. $149 could be a great price on a one-year-old Raleigh MTB in good mechanical shape, depending on the model. Be sure to inspect the frame and the wheel rims carefully for any signs of damage.

Mountain bike frames do tend to be sized smaller than road bike frames, but if the bike is going to be ridden on roads and paths, 20" might not be too large. My old hybrid has a 19" frame and fits fine. My road bikes are 22" and 23" (the latter is a touring bike with a lower bottom bracket).
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