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Old 04-12-12, 11:30 AM   #1
jcw102686
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Cruise Help!

Hi my name is Chuck and I am new to the forums. After reading a bunch of posts on here I decided to take a trip to my LBS to see what kind of bike they could offer me within my price range.

My original price range was $200 but it looks like it might have to be pushed up closer to $300. I know that I will not be getting the best bike for this amount of money and that x-mart bikes are not the way to go.

I am 25, haven't ridden in a few years(not in the best of shape), living in a mostly flat part of town, and looking for a comfortable bike that will take me on short trips. Probably the most I will be riding on a given trip is 10 miles round trip on pavement. I just need something to get me places quicker than walking that won't break after a month. I know most responses in these types of threads tell the poster to increase his price point, but at this current time I simply cannot do anymore than $300

The two bikes the LBS showed me were as follows:
-Phat Cycles Sea Wind ($189) http://www.phatcycles.com/Phundamentals/seawind1m.htm

-Sun Bicycles Revolution 7 Speed ($292)
http://www.sunbicycles.com/product_d...+7&cl1=CRUISER

Both bikes seem to be pretty sturdy. The Phat bike is in my initial price range and is comfortable although I like the fact that the Sun bike has hand brakes and shifters if I do encounter any hills. I cannot seem to find any reviews of either bike online from many Google and forum searches as the words "SUN" and "PHAT" don't help much.

So I am asking anyone with any knowledge of the parts listed at those above links why is the Phat bike so much cheaper? Is it junk or will it satisfy my needs just fine? Is it worth spending $100 more dollars and breaking my price point to get the Sun bike or is there another bike in that similar price range that would be better? Are both of them junk and I should probably check another LBS? Have any of you heard anything good/bad about either brand?

Any answers or advice would be greatly appreciated and I'm sorry for such a long first post but I figured the more thorough I am in my description the more answers I will receive.
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Old 04-12-12, 01:04 PM   #2
erg79
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The Sun bike is more because it has gears, and front and rear brakes. That means extra components--rear derailleur (what moves the chain on the different cogs in back), shifter and cable, brake levers and cables. Both are similar in terms of the frame, hubs, and wheels.

You say you live in a mostly flat area. Something that's "mostly" flat will seem pretty much all flat when you're in a car, but on a bike even a slight incline can make a difference! I'd recommend having at least some gears so you can shift and get more comfortable. Not sure that you need 7 gears, though. Is there a 3-gear bike that the store has? That could be more in line with the Phat price.

Can't say I'm familiar with cruisers at all, apart from bikes from Electra. I've never heard of either of these brands, but that means you should avoid them.

Are you definitely interested in a beach cruiser, or would you consider something like this?

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...88_-1___202620
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/essex.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cane_elite.htm
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Old 04-13-12, 10:43 AM   #3
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Thank you for the response.

The only 3 gear bikes that they had there were higher end bikes outside my price range. The Phat bikes all were coaster/gearless. Now that you tell me that you've never heard of them and that I cannot find anything about them online makes me question their quality.

I'm not opposed to getting a different style of bike. I just want comfort and whenever I search comfort bike it comes to beach cruisers so that's why I was drawn to them. These bikes say they're comfort bikes but it looks like you would have to hunch to hold the handlebars and that was what I was trying to avoid with the cruisers, but maybe I'm wrong from just viewing the pictures.

There are two things that I worry about with getting it online though:
-Not being able to test it out first.
-Cost of shipping/assembly by a LBS. (I wouldn't trust putting it together myself.)

Do bike shops look down on people that don't buy bikes from them and choose to get one online? Will they charge me more to assemble because I didn't buy their product?
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Old 04-13-12, 10:46 AM   #4
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Nevermind about the shipping charges. The two have included shipping and the first one is fairly cheap with shipping.

Also I liked the idea of buying from a LBS to have a warranty with them to do any repairs or tuneups within the first few months. I wouldn't have that with an online bike correct?
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Old 04-13-12, 11:32 AM   #5
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I would check a used bikes store, if you can find one. Or Craig's List, if it's active in your area. You'll be able to get a higher quality bike at a lower price.
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Old 04-13-12, 11:51 AM   #6
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Actually I came across this earlier today in my searches and it is the brand Electra mentioned by the previous poster. Are these any good?
http://ventura.craigslist.org/bik/2955523595.html
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Old 04-13-12, 12:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jcw102686 View Post
Nevermind about the shipping charges. The two have included shipping and the first one is fairly cheap with shipping.

Also I liked the idea of buying from a LBS to have a warranty with them to do any repairs or tuneups within the first few months. I wouldn't have that with an online bike correct?
Not being able to test ride an online bike can definitely be a reason to go to a local shop. And if you aren't confident in being able to put it together (for a singlespeed or a simple bike it isn't rocket science, but maybe you don't have the tools or don't want to deal with it), then you would definitely want to take it to be assembled. Some places could give a customer who walks in with an online bike some grief, not all, but it does happen some places.

So scratch the online bikes--I was mainly offering those as examples of other types of bikes. I would think that anything with a flat bar would still put you upright. Maybe not sitting with your back completely straight like on a cruiser...but if that's most comfortable for you, then go with that.

The Electra on Craigslist looks like it could be a good deal. Depends what kind of shape it's in, though. Torn seat isn't too bad, but you would want to check for rust, see if there are any dings or scratches. I'd turn those handlebars down so you're holding the grips at a flat angle, at least.

You seem to be in the Ventura area. There's a Performance Bicycle store in Oxnard. They have this nice-looking Schwinn cruiser for $199:
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...12_-1___400324

Their website lets you order online and pick it up at the store, but you should go there and see if they have it on the floor.
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Old 04-13-12, 03:09 PM   #8
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You seem to be in the Ventura area. There's a Performance Bicycle store in Oxnard. They have this nice-looking Schwinn cruiser for $199:
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...12_-1___400324

Their website lets you order online and pick it up at the store, but you should go there and see if they have it on the floor.
You're right I am in Ventura. Everything I've read about newer Schwinn's has been really negative. Aren't they typically the bikes from Walmart that are junk and they don't build them as good as they used to? Or is this a better model? I'll keep looking on Craigslist and check out that store in Oxnard.
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Old 04-13-12, 03:30 PM   #9
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To be honest, I don't think there'd be much difference between the quality of that Schwinn and the two original cruisers you posted. The two you posted earlier do have the benefit of being from a local bike shop, though. For a cruiser, I don't think there'd be too much to worry about on a Schwinn.

The problem with the big box store bikes isn't necessarily the quality of the bike itself (which, true, probably isn't the best), but it's that a bike at Walmart or Target is probably being assembled by someone who is not a bike expert, and it's just another task that they have in their busy day, so they aren't put together with the greatest care in the world.
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Old 04-16-12, 06:13 PM   #10
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What else should I look at if I was going to look at a bike from craigslist, besides rust and dings? The pics on a couple I have been looking at look pretty good as far as rust and dings, but what else? I wouldn't wanna pay $200 and then have to bring it to a LBS for a tuneup.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:56 PM   #11
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On a cruiser, not a whole lot. Take a look at the spokes, make sure that none seem loose and can be moved back and forth. Make sure that you can pedal freely.
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Old 04-17-12, 06:44 AM   #12
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I ride a 7-speed cruiser and commute with it. Love it. Wish it was 3-spd since I don't have hills, but my price was right - FREE! Picking up a 3-spd for my wife this week. It has the Shimano hub. Looking forward to rides with her.
Mine is a Schwinn "Jaguar" my brother bought before he died. I wrench on my own bikes so the maintenance and tuning of a bike from the BBS is not an issue.
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