Hi guys, this is my first post on this forum. I posted this on Ask Metafilter originally, but I thought I'd post here to get more feedback.
After thinking about it for half the summer, I am buying bikes for me and my wife. I need tips about buying a bike and also pointers on recreational biking in New York City.
I have rented bikes a bunch of times this summer with my wife, and we decided to get our own bikes. So as you imagine, I have a bunch of questions.
First the requirements:
* These bikes are not for commuter use. These are just for weekend recreational use.
* They will, for 99.99% of their lifetime, ride on asphalt.
* I am a large individual: 6'1" and 260 pounds
* I prefer small to large: I live in a small apartment and storage is an issue. However, since folding bikes are ridiculously expensive for what they offer, I will suck it up. So size is not a deciding factor but again: Small is better than large.
* I prefer light to heavy: My building has an elevator but we may occasionally carry the bikes into the subway or something. Since this will happen rarely, it is also not a deciding factor but light is nice.
* My budget allows $500 on each bike.
So, on to the questions!
1) I am going to buy them at Metro Bicycles in 88th street. I went there and I was really impressed by the salesman - I made a bunch of questions and he was really patient. Also, many things that I asked if I needed (tools, sturdier pedals) he was really emphatic in saying that I should not waste my money on them. I am really impressed when a salesman tells me not to buy stuff because it's superfluous. Anyway I'd like to check - anyone had bad experiences with Metro Bicycles?
2) I have done some research on hybrid/comfort bikes and decided they are the right type of bike for us. I rented a Giant Cypress a couple of times and really liked it. They go on Metro Bicycles for a very similar price as suggested on the Giant site. What do you think about it? They carry many other brands, if you have other brand preferences, feel free to speak up!
3) Any specifics I should look for in adapting the bike for physical differences? For example, what should I look for in buying a bike for a large guy (such as myself) of for a woman (such as my wife :-) )?
4) I am a little anxious about braving traffic in a bike. Any tips from veterans and links to resources on how to behave on a New York street are much appreciated.
5) Any tips for having fun with your bike in New York City are also much appreciated :-) I've just read this post with a lot of great options, anything else you'd like to add?
Bonus question: Anyone lives in a ridiculously small apartment and successfully stores a full-sized bike without going insane? Share your story.
Wow, that was a lot of questions. Thanks in advance!