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  1. #1
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    Suggestions, comments, and tips please!

    OK - I'm a 30 year old male with a wife and 2 year old daughter. We've decided to get comfort bikes since we won't be going long distances or off-road. We live in the Northeast so our riding time is limited. We wanted to stay below $200 each if possible.

    I've read through alot of these forum posts and discovered there's quite a debate between getting a bike from a LBS and the discount stores. My question is how do you feel about getting bikes from the large sports stores, i.e. Dick's Sporting goods, Sports Authority, etc. One bike in particular I've noticed was the Mongoose Sahara - priced at $190. Any opinions on this bike?

    Can you reccommend other bikes in the sub $200 range?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    'Bent Brian
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    I would not buy from any type of mass merchandise store i.e. sporting goods, Wally World, etc. They do not have the service and support that a local bike shop can provide. When I purchased my Rans Tailwind I was blessed by an excellent dealer. He told me to bring the bike back for a tune up at 100 miles. The tune up was free. He touched up the spokes on the wheels and made sure they ran true, adjusted the derailleurs, and then re-torqued just about everything. As I loaded up the bike for the hour's drive home he said "I'll see you at 1000 miles!". A few days later I received a package in the mail from him. It was a RANS T shirt, along with a nice letter showing appreciation for the purchase of the bike. How many mass merchandisers will do that? The key is to find a good dealar and then stick with them.

    'bent Brian

  3. #3
    Senior Member str8shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnet1
    I would not buy from any type of mass merchandise store i.e. sporting goods, Wally World, etc. They do not have the service and support that a local bike shop can provide. When I purchased my Rans Tailwind I was blessed by an excellent dealer. He told me to bring the bike back for a tune up at 100 miles. The tune up was free. He touched up the spokes on the wheels and made sure they ran true, adjusted the derailleurs, and then re-torqued just about everything. As I loaded up the bike for the hour's drive home he said "I'll see you at 1000 miles!". A few days later I received a package in the mail from him. It was a RANS T shirt, along with a nice letter showing appreciation for the purchase of the bike. How many mass merchandisers will do that? The key is to find a good dealar and then stick with them.

    'bent Brian
    I have to agree with Brian. Buy from a reputable bike dealer. The free tuneups are a plus no a must. you usually get to test ride before you buy. One of the biggest reason to buy from a good shop is fit. A bike shop will make sure you walk out the door with a bike that fits and adjusted for your specs. If a bike don't fit right whether it cost $50 or $1000. You can throw that term "comfort bike" out the window. Its also worth the extra money to have a service department to handle any problems you may encounter.

    If you have a Trek dealer near you look into a Trek 7100. I believe they can be had for around $279. A friend of mine has a 7100 and thinks it a great bike,and had no problems. I myself have a 7200 and put over 3400 miles on it in 2 years. No problems whatsoever. The back tire is showing signs of wear, but who's complaining. Whenever I thought it felt a little sluggish in the shifting department I just took it in for the free adjustments.

    I don't want to tell you how to spend your money, but sometimes that little more than you wanted to spend saves you more in the long run.

    God Luck
    str8shooter

  4. #4
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzy88
    I've read through alot of these forum posts and discovered there's quite a debate between getting a bike from a LBS and the discount stores.
    I don't think there is a debate. There may be discussion, but the overwhelming majority of folks on this forum would say, "Do not buy a bike from a discount store," and with good reason, as indicated in the previous posts.

    Would you buy a pair of cheap shoes that are the wrong size and don't fit and therefore you never wear just because they are cheap?

    Most bikes in discount stores don't even have different size options, or if they do, the person selling hasn't a clue how to fit you properly. An improperly sized bike can cause a lot of discomfort, and even significant physical problems.

    Get a bike that fits well, rides well, and has quality parts, and you will ride more and have fun on your bike.

    And almost everyone who states they will not be riding their bike much later rues that statement. Biking on a good bike is so much fun, that it becomes addictive, and you want to ride more and more!

    It won't be long before you have your child in a Burley trailer behind your bike, and you are going for 20-30 mile rides.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    I'd stay away from Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Meijer bikes. Those are "department store" bikes. Dicks bikes don't ALL fall into that category. They carry Diamondback bikes and some upper level Mongoose stuff, and I don't consider them "department store". A very nice "comfort bike" is the Diamondback Wildwood. Diamondback is made by Raleigh. I've got a Wildwood Deluxe and it certainly is no "department store bike".

    As for service on a Dicks bike? Skip the warrenty and learn to do basic maintenance and repairs yourself. Or take the bike to a local bike shop for regular service. No problem.

    Other good comfort bikes are Trek Navigator, Specialized Crossroads, Giant Cypress, Raleigh SC series. Some get pricey because of more expensive components on them. Stay with the lower-priced models because for your interest in riding they will serve you just as well. You might even consider used bikes, though you'll not get a warrenty from the manufacturer, there might be defects you could not detect, and sizing it to fit you IS a concern.
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzy88
    . . .We wanted to stay below $200 each if possible.

    I've read through alot of these forum posts and discovered there's quite a debate between getting a bike from a LBS and the discount stores. My question is how do you feel about getting bikes from the large sports stores, i.e. Dick's Sporting goods, Sports Authority, etc. One bike in particular I've noticed was the Mongoose Sahara - priced at $190. Any opinions on this bike?

    Can you reccommend other bikes in the sub $200 range?

    Thanks!

    I am also with the majority here.

    Buck your price range $100 and you are in bike shop range. Go the bike shop route, check out several and see how accomadating they are. Pick your favorite and buy there. Chances are you will get some small goodies thrown int (bottle and cage, etc), you may be able to swap off seats (or at least try them), you will probably get some sort of free "check up" a month or so's purchase. . .Plus you will benefit from their brains when you need to "pick" them for various problems you may have, and you can build a working relationship with people who are truly intersted in your biking.

    That's what happened to me!
    I . . can . . . doooo . . . it

  7. #7
    cab horn
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    My LBS doesn't have bikes priced lower than $300 CDN.

  8. #8
    Senior Member str8shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I don't think there is a debate. There may be discussion, but the overwhelming majority of folks on this forum would say, "Do not buy a bike from a discount store," and with good reason, as indicated in the previous posts.

    Would you buy a pair of cheap shoes that are the wrong size and don't fit and therefore you never wear just because they are cheap?

    Most bikes in discount stores don't even have different size options, or if they do, the person selling hasn't a clue how to fit you properly. An improperly sized bike can cause a lot of discomfort, and even significant physical problems.

    Get a bike that fits well, rides well, and has quality parts, and you will ride more and have fun on your bike.

    And almost everyone who states they will not be riding their bike much later rues that statement. Biking on a good bike is so much fun, that it becomes addictive, and you want to ride more and more!

    It won't be long before you have your child in a Burley trailer behind your bike, and you are going for 20-30 mile rides.

    Good luck.
    Dnvrfox, Well put: "And almost everyone who states they will not be riding their bike much later rues that statement. Biking on a good bike is so much fun, that it becomes addictive, and you want to ride more and more!"

    I did it myself 2yrs ago. I set a price limit of $400 on a bike. Fortunately that $400 got me a Trek 7200 and change which turn out to be a fantastic bike, as I mentioned in an earllier post completely trouble free for over 3400 miles. I bought that bike just for recreation and to try to burn off some excess fat I didn't need. Well it worked.

    Now my wife thinks I'm obsessed with bicycling, I'm gone out almost everynight after dinner and half the day on the weekends. It does become a passion.

    Now that great Trek 7200 been put away for special occasions. I just picked up a new Trek 5000 this week. Just making a pitstop after 68 miles. I'll be out again shortly to finish off the rest of the 100 miles or so.

  9. #9
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzy88
    We live in the Northeast so our riding time is limited.
    Can you reccommend other bikes in the sub $200 range?

    Thanks!
    HUH? I live in the Northeast and that does not limit my riding time. Other things like family, work and sleep do but the Northeast????

    When I started I bought a Diamondback - good bike for the $ and less than 200 when on sale.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  10. #10
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    The Fuji Crosstown has a street price of around $250-- it's about the cheapest *good* bike you can buy.

    As far as value, most name brand, low end comfort bikes are really good. If you ride, you'll get our 300-400 bucks out of any Giant, Trek, Fuji, Raleigh/Diamondback.

    And your LBS is really way better than any sporting goods store becuase once you start looking a quality bikes, the LBS bike isn't much more money and comes with a ton of free service.

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