I went to our local bike shop yesterday to look at bikes and a comfort bike (Trek Navigator 200) was recommended. I test rode it and loved it. my husband thinks I should look at some other bikes that are cheaper because he thinks the price is too high and thinks I'll get a better deal at a sporting goods store, i.e., Dick's, Galyans, etc... I don't know what to do. the price on the Trek was $379. Any suggestions? thanks.
Go with the LBS (Local Bike Store) .
Very likely a much higher quality bike (I don't know what brands the sporting goods stores in your area have, but around here these stores carry junk). I went into one of our Gart stores the other day and looked at their bikes. The sales person actually apologized for the low-quality stuff they were now carrying. They used to have decent quality bikes.
Knowledgeable about how to fit you, and make sure the bike is right for your body.
Generally have one or two free "tuneups" in the package.
The bke will be assembled correctly.
If something breaks, a good LBS will fix it and stand behind the warranty.
I am not a car
It never hurts to shop around. I brought a Marin Coastal Trail Comfort at the local Gaylans on sale for $200 (March 2004), and have been very pleased with it (commuting 8-10 miles a day and rec. rides with my son). However, I didn't get much help with sizing the bike at Gaylans (didn't ask however--they may have helped). Your local bike shop would probably do a good job of making sure you got a good fit. Good luck and let us know how your search goes!
My husband couldn't believe I spent over $300 for a bike. Fortunately I waited to clue him in until after the fact. I don't know what he'll do when I spend close to $1K on the next one (in a few years ... but this is so much fun!!! -- the riding, not the spending).
Anyway, after struggling through one summer on a $90 Huffy w/ my daughter I knew I liked to bike and it had to be able to feel smoother. I tried several bikes until I landed on the Fisher hybrid that clicked for me.
Buy the bike you love ... you will ride so much more!! And I second all that stuff about bike shop service. You'll get tune-ups and assistance, much of it free, for dealing with the mechanical issues that may be new to you. In a couple months when you have to deal with saddle or pedals or stuff to keep you flying, the LBS will be there with solid recommendations.
Humvee of bikes =Worksman
"I went to our local bike shop yesterday to look at bikes and a comfort bike (Trek Navigator 200) was recommended. I test rode it and loved it."
Then THIS is the bike you should buy. It all comes down to
a bike that you will actually ENJOY riding. Buying price in
this case can be a huge costly mistake in the end. So, buy
what you will ride and not wind up storing in the garage.
Service costs money. Most of the items we buy are fairly standard and do not need individual attention or customization. This is generally a good thing because it drives prices down. However, there are still some things that do benefit from expert attention and advice, and a bike is one of them. The price of this expert service is factored into the bike.
There are far more serious consequences of wanting to get something for nothing than a poorly fitted bike. Think of some of the tainted investment research that cost so many people their hard earned savings during the most recent stock market bubble. The research was "free", which is the best deal of all. Of course, nothing really is free and the end result was a corrupt and hidden compensation structure that ended up enriching a few and costing billions in shareholder wealth.
The store selling a $100 bike isn't performing an act of charity. They need their own compensation to stay in business just as much as the LBS, so think how much that bike really cost to build - probably no more than $20 - 25. Just like investment research, you can't get something for nothing.
Go with a LBS with a solid reputation. They know and understand what they sell. They will stand behind the product. They will fit you and make sure the bike is what will work for you. Keep price secondary. When I purchased my new recumbent that was the attitude I started with. I had to justify to my significant other the fact that I was dropping just over a grand on my new ride. It did come with some concessions though. She added another critter to our heard of miniature horses. The new bike was worth every penny spent and the delaer and manufacturer support has been excellent. The road bike hasn't been out of the garage since!
Thanks for all the support! I did buy the Trek from the LBS and love it! The kids and I went for a ride at a local state park and had great fun! My 3 year old got caught up several times with her training wheels, but enjoyed the ride. I also had to get a bike rack so we can transport the bikes to good biking paths (we live on a main state highway, where biking is not a great option). The bike shop was great. The owner e-mailed me responses to my questions and gave me information for my husband. Thanks again for the support! I appreciate everyone's input and followed your advice.
Originally Posted by chog
Tell your husband that cost on a bike doesn't end with the sale. Most of the cost will come afterward if you ride long enough. You need a place that will give you service. Your LBS will do just that. They will also welcome you with open arms most likely if you buy the bike from them.
I can't believe how wonderful my LBS guys are. I just got a new cable installed, and a few other adjustments done on a bike today and they charged me $12. Sometimes they say, "no charge today, just go ride." That is cool.
Great choice. The Trek 200 is a great bike. I am going to buy one for my father-in-law for his birthday. He rides an old department store mtb and says it works just fine. The seat is too low because he likes to sit upright, he uses about 3 gears because the rest don't work, etc....
Originally Posted by chog
He would never go out and spend that kind of money on a bike so I am going to do it for him. They even come in blue - his favorite color. And I'll tell him it's non-returnable so he won't try to take it back.