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  1. #1
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    El-Cheapo bike for easy trails ? ? ?

    I have a very nice road bike so riding on the street is all I do. I'd really like to have a second bike that I could use for easy trails and rail-trails. Most of the rail-trails are crushed limestone I think so just about any fat tire bike would be ok. There's just no way I can spend much money on another bike but I'm not about to go the X-Mart route either. Anyone got any advice for a cheap bike that's not a total piece of junk? Doesn't have to be anything special. Wouldn't even be ridden all that much. Just need a nice bike that would allow me to ride some trails from time to time. Any ideas? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Chi
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    Rides with Cows Chi's Avatar
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    I like Raleigh and their low end M20 line. Also, used might be a route for you. Check the LBS or eBay for deals.

  3. #3
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    I picked my wife up an entry level Giant MTB about 4 years ago.. no suspension.. but built really well.. we go on local super easy trails.. some easy single,a nd doubletrack... fire roads etc... she doesn't have any problems with it.. and I thnk I only paid about $200 for it

    now if I can just get her to ride more :-)

    Jeff
    Jeff

    Check out TorelliFan.com! Submit your bike, tell us about an epic ride, or just come to check out the eye candy!

  4. #4
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    Don't limit your choices too much.

    Crushed limestone trails don't require 2" wide tires. I live just a couple of miles from Missouri's KATY trail so we use it quite a bit. My wife and I have ridden it with a variety of tire sizes, down to 700 X23c, but my favorite is about 1 1/2." It doesn't look to me like knobby tread is of any benefit on crushed limestone trails either.

    My wife's favorite bike for the KATY is a Specialized Crossroads Pro, one of the newish breed of "fast hybrids." I think that it has 700 X32c tires. We sometimes also ride our road tandem on the Katy. It has 700 X 25c tires.

  5. #5
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Any basic brand name entry-level mtn bike would do well. Probably slicks about 1.25x26 would be good.
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  6. #6
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    Wow, thanks guys. I would have never even thought about riding on this kind of trail with slick tires! Maybe theses rail trails are a lot smoother than it seems they would be. I'd love to do the whole Katy Trail thing someday. Need to get my fat butt in a little better shape before I tackle that one though. LOL

    My wife has a new TREK 7500FX and I was even wondering about whether it would be usable for these trails. According to you all it sounds like it would work fine with the slick 700X35's that are on it. I'm still not too keen on the idea of riding my roadie(with 700x23's) on these trails. Looking at getting a cheap TREK since there's a dealer just up the road from my work .....but I'm keeping my options open.

  7. #7
    Senior Member shaharidan's Avatar
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    i have a raliegh m20 i use for putterin around while my new bike gets built . seems to be a pretty decent bike and if i remember correctly it was slightly under $200 new.
    also is it possible to buy fatter tires and put them on your raod bike for when you want to do trails?
    No matter how fast I'm going, I'm in no hurry.
    there are no bicycles in the valley, the only bicycle you find in the valley is the bicycle you ride down there.
    Ride in the front, this space is available to anyone that wishes to take it-jjmolyet

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by shaharidan
    i have a raliegh m20 i use for putterin around while my new bike gets built . seems to be a pretty decent bike and if i remember correctly it was slightly under $200 new.
    also is it possible to buy fatter tires and put them on your raod bike for when you want to do trails?
    Hmmm....well I dunno.. there isn't much room in the rear. It's a Litespeed Hyperion that has the carbon seatstays that are curved inward at the top. Doesn't leave much room for putting anything bigger on it I don't think.

    See what I mean..........

  9. #9
    Senior Member shaharidan's Avatar
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    yeah i see what you mean. well if you cant find a trek you like at your local dealer, the raliegh is atleast worth taking a look at. good luck and enjoy the trail

    o and sweet ride
    No matter how fast I'm going, I'm in no hurry.
    there are no bicycles in the valley, the only bicycle you find in the valley is the bicycle you ride down there.
    Ride in the front, this space is available to anyone that wishes to take it-jjmolyet

  10. #10
    Slow and unsteady
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    I've been on the katy trail three times.

    When the trail is dry, you can ride narrow tires. But when it's wet, it gets mushy in places and I think a narrow tire would sink in or at least cause some problems, especially if you are clumsy like me. Even when dry there are soft spots along the shoulders.

    I don't think knobs are necessary at all. Just a little width. A 700x30 or more would handle anything I've seen on the trail. I've used 26x1.5s.

  11. #11
    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dragracer
    Wow, thanks guys. I would have never even thought about riding on this kind of trail with slick tires! Maybe theses rail trails are a lot smoother than it seems they would be. I'd love to do the whole Katy Trail thing someday. Need to get my fat butt in a little better shape before I tackle that one though. LOL

    My wife has a new TREK 7500FX and I was even wondering about whether it would be usable for these trails. According to you all it sounds like it would work fine with the slick 700X35's that are on it. I'm still not too keen on the idea of riding my roadie(with 700x23's) on these trails. Looking at getting a cheap TREK since there's a dealer just up the road from my work .....but I'm keeping my options open.
    I ride the KATY on a Trek 7200--700X37 tires. I've seen people riding on much thinner tires.
    You're east of East St. Louis
    And the wind is making speeches.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Nobody's mentioned Diamondback bikes, but they have some pretty decent MTBs and comfort bikes with front suspension and fairly decent components for around the price you're looking at.
    The Wildwood is $249 at Dick's Sporting Goods. It has front suspension, an AL frame, suspension seatpost, Shimano components weighing out at 32lbs. They also have some decent MTBs.

    The Mongoose Switchback is labeled a "comfort bike" and has front suspension, suspension seatpost, AL frame and runs $199 at Dicks. These are not bad bikes for the money. Both have eyelets for racks, etc.

    For the Treks, the 7100 prices out for around $249 with no suspension. The Trek Navigator 100 for $299 with no suspension. Personally I would not ride my Litespeed road bike on a graveled path. I am too protective of my own road bike for that!
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  13. #13
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    I have a Motiv that I paid ~$120 for at a bargun store. I've had it 5 or 6 years. I only ride ~1000 miles per year but it is going fine. I've used it on two rails to trails rides one 70 rt the othe 108 rt. It is holding up fine and i am ~ 240 lbs

    Joe

  14. #14
    FOG
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    One of my son's bike is the Motiv, which I picked up at costco. It is an excellent bike for the money, around $150. It is much better than the Mongoose Inferno I got from Dick's Sporting Goods for $229, marked down from $600.

  15. #15
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    I have a Raleigh SC40 for which I paid $300. It's been fine on the trails for the past 2 years.

  16. #16
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    My brother in law just picked up a Motiv Smoothie at Costco for $160. Its a Comfort bike but has a soft tail design and has a real rear pivot. Motiv also has a Vertical model that is a full suspension design that looks like a Kona type rocker arm in the rear and Mozo front shock, grip ship and Sram derailler. I almost got one for $20, but they only carry medium size frames. Motiv is a step up from the X-mart bikes. But I'm a fan of Ibex bikes. I have an Ignition 2 and its the best bang for the buck I could find. http://www.ibexbikes.com/03bikes_index.html
    Most people are about as happy as they choose to be. Abe Lincoln

  17. #17
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    Katy trail riders--

    What type of bike would you suggest for that terrain? I, too, am near the Katy trail in Columbia MO, and was wondering what kind of bike would be adequate there as well as on paved biking trails around the KC area. I am a poor college student too--I was looking at a Raleigh SC30, or a Giant Boulder or something similar to those.....I just need something so I can get out there and go ride!!! and quick!!

    Thanks!

    Sara

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