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Old 09-01-12, 09:00 AM   #1
Greg T
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What do you ride?

Just wondering what you guys and gals all ride. I looking for a new bike I'm unsure what to get yet. I'm just go for bike rides with the kids so I don't need an expensive bike but I want a good bike not a walmart bike all though they do sell Schwinn bikes witch are ok too.
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Old 09-01-12, 05:02 PM   #2
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We mostly ride on a Rails To Trails Multi-User Path. It works well for us. Good luck with your bike purchase. Our first two years of riding were Wal-mart/K-mart bikes but our LBS bikes are so much better as they are the right size etc and sizing is all important. The Schwinns that Walmart sells are not the Schwinns of the 70s. Most, like ours, are really heavy.

ETA - For some reason, I read where do you ride instead of what do you ride. Current ride is a 2005 Cannondale Street which I bought brand new in March. It has sat in stock at a non defunct bike shop for a very long time. DH rides a Sun. Both were in the neighborhood of $300 each, but so much better than the Schwinn's we had from Wal-mart and K-mart. DH could never really even ride his Schwinn from Wal-mart - way to small.

Last edited by LiamSkymom; 09-01-12 at 05:09 PM. Reason: more content
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Old 09-04-12, 08:16 PM   #3
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Just wondering what you guys and gals all ride. I looking for a new bike I'm unsure what to get yet. I'm just go for bike rides with the kids so I don't need an expensive bike but I want a good bike not a walmart bike all though they do sell Schwinn bikes witch are ok too.
Greg,

Please do your body a big favor and don't buy a walmart bicycle. Bicycle's need to be sized to your body and going into a big box store and grabbing a 'mountain bike' with a 26" wheel doesn't mean the bike will fit you correctly. When the bike is sized for you, you'll be more comfortable riding, less likely to get hurt and will surely ride the bike more often.

Go to your local bike store and tell them where you plan to ride the bike (road, trail, city or a combination of places) and they can help give you choose the correct bike for your riding needs and then fit you on the correct size bike.

Take a look at Specialized's Crossroads. Price range from about 400 to 650 or so depending on how you equip the bike. The bike will take you around town and some light trails and is designed for comfort.

Go up 1 step to a Specialized Crosstrail. Can still be used to bike around town but more agressive 'mountain bike' style which can be used for a bit more aggressive offroad ability and range of configurations. Priced from mid-500's to close to $2000.

With that said, my wife and I have Specialized Expeditions that we purchased 10 years ago. Back then, that model was similar to the current Crosstrail. Now the expedition is another good choice for 'around town' and some bike paths but a very different bike than the model we have.

Since you asked, my wife and I also have nice road bikes used for a very different purpose than a ride around the neighborhood or down the bike trail with the kids.
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Old 09-05-12, 08:48 AM   #4
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Madison has a number of good bike shops

"The Schwinns that Walmart sells are not the Schwinns of the 70s. Most, like ours, are really heavy."

I've got news for you - all of the 1970 Schwinns with the exception of the "Schwinn Approved" Le Tours (which were made by Panasonic in Japan) and their most expensive bike, the Paramount were just as obese as the mass merchandiser versions they sell today. The factory in Chicago was noted for making industrial strength welded frames instead of brazed frames used on the much lighter bikes from Europe and Japan.

Take a short trip up to Madison where you have several bike shops to choose from. You certainly can find a bike there to fit your needs.

I'd still recommend buying a used bike if you have the knowledge to know good from bad. Although I mostly ride recumbents these days, I have a very high quality Balance MTB that I bought used more than a decade ago and it still works just fine when I need to ride a regular bike. I paid about 40% of the new price for what was a 2 year old bike at the time. The owner was short on a mortgage payment and needed cash fast. His loss, my gain.

I do have a certain fondness for the Yellow Jersey in Madison. I was there when it was a co-op and part of the group that worked in the store when it first opened. It is one worth visiting on State Street.
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Old 09-07-12, 07:35 AM   #5
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I just bought a Jamis Coda Sport just over $500. It's a really nice riding bike and won't break the bank. If you have a Jamis dealer near you I would recommend checking them out. I also enjoyed riding the Giant Escape and Cannondale Quick series (though it was a bit cramped for me) during my search. Go to a few of your local bike shops and try out a few that appeal to you.

Have fun and good luck.
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Old 09-09-12, 07:20 AM   #6
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Greg,

Please do your body a big favor and don't buy a walmart bicycle. Bicycle's need to be sized to your body and going into a big box store and grabbing a 'mountain bike' with a 26" wheel doesn't mean the bike will fit you correctly. When the bike is sized for you, you'll be more comfortable riding, less likely to get hurt and will surely ride the bike more often.
This! I fell into that trap several years ago and regretted it from day one. The bike ended up in the basement collecting dust. The discount stores have generic sized bikes that somewhat fit what is considered by manufacturers to be the "average" body size. Unless you just get lucky and fit what they think is average, a properly fitted bike from a dedicated bike shop will serve you much better, not to mention it will likely have higher quality parts and overall build. My local bike store advised me on the importance of correct sizing and my new and properly fitted Trek is a joy to ride, and soooo much easier on my knees. Saving money at WalMart may sound like a good idea, but unless you get lucky, it'll just end up costing you money for a bike that sits unused or cost you in discomfort.
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Old 09-12-12, 11:47 AM   #7
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Just wondering what you guys and gals all ride. I looking for a new bike I'm unsure what to get yet.
There's a sticky thread at the top of this forum that's filled with exactly what you're looking for!
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Old 10-19-12, 08:28 PM   #8
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i have a specialized expedition sport (hybrid fitness/commuter) and love it. hit up craigslist and check out all the bikes in your price range. i bought this specialized two years ago for 80 bucks and have had to do nothing but grease it up. i ride it on trails with my kids (9 and 13 years old) and i ride it on my 5-12 miles daily rides. its a great bike.

i also have a maruishi 202 road ace that i just bought for 100 on craigslist. i have gotten to ride it once on my normal 8 mile run to the island and it was a lot faster then my specialized but i had a tire lose air and then the tube blew out on my so i haven't gotten to ride it again yet. i am very anxious though because it felt like it was made for me and rode so nice.

make sure you buy a bike to fit what you want to do though. i couldn't ride the road ace with the kids because it would be a lot of work to ride that slow and they want to go on dirt trails and up and down curbs and junk. the expedition does all that with ease and can be relied upon to fill in for my long daily rides while the other is being fixed. spend the time and search for a good priced well made bike and be happy with your purchase
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Old 10-19-12, 08:59 PM   #9
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Trek 820. Cheepest thing in their line BUT fully worthy and tough as nails. It can be morphed into just about any thing that you want it to be. Mine is my go-to family/town bike. It pulls the baby, hauls the groceries and gets me from here to there. It can even ( heavily modified) still handle the odd dirt road or walking path. If mine died tomorrow I would go out and buy th Cheepest Trek "hybrid" but only because after riding this thing for four years I know that the small things that make a hybrid different from a MTB are what I seek.
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Old 10-20-12, 05:20 AM   #10
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Old 10-25-12, 09:21 PM   #11
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I don't knock wallyworld bikes b/c I've bought a schwinn mnt bike from there and beat the snot out of the thing. I have a garage full of bikes, all in excellent condition, from TT bikes, to roadies, to mnt bikes, single speeds, etc. Only one brand new one. The brand new one is a road bike and I use it for racing. The wallyworld mnt bike served it's purpose in introducing me to the local offroad trails and getting me some experiance mnt bike racing as well, and now my Dad rides it. So for tooling around with your kids a big box schwinn will not be a bad bike in my opinion. Neither will a 1980's schwinn with friction stem shifters, nor a $5 garage sale bike that you put a little elbow grease and research from park tools website into fixing it up. So what you ride depends on what you want to ride and how you feel about things. If you need to ride a specialized with your kids to feel good about doing so, then by get a specialized. If $170 for a wally 26inch mnt bike lets you have fun with your kids and introduces you into riding and maintenance, then kudos to you and lucky for your kids they have a parent who wants to play with them.
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Old 10-26-12, 07:16 AM   #12
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I don't knock wallyworld bikes b/c I've bought a schwinn mnt bike from there and beat the snot out of the thing. I have a garage full of bikes, all in excellent condition, from TT bikes, to roadies, to mnt bikes, single speeds, etc. Only one brand new one. The brand new one is a road bike and I use it for racing. The wallyworld mnt bike served it's purpose in introducing me to the local offroad trails and getting me some experiance mnt bike racing as well, and now my Dad rides it. So for tooling around with your kids a big box schwinn will not be a bad bike in my opinion. Neither will a 1980's schwinn with friction stem shifters, nor a $5 garage sale bike that you put a little elbow grease and research from park tools website into fixing it up. So what you ride depends on what you want to ride and how you feel about things. If you need to ride a specialized with your kids to feel good about doing so, then by get a specialized. If $170 for a wally 26inch mnt bike lets you have fun with your kids and introduces you into riding and maintenance, then kudos to you and lucky for your kids they have a parent who wants to play with them.
Awesome post!
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Old 10-26-12, 07:58 AM   #13
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I don't knock wallyworld bikes b/c I've bought a schwinn mnt bike from there and beat the snot out of the thing. I have a garage full of bikes, all in excellent condition, from TT bikes, to roadies, to mnt bikes, single speeds, etc. Only one brand new one. The brand new one is a road bike and I use it for racing. The wallyworld mnt bike served it's purpose in introducing me to the local offroad trails and getting me some experiance mnt bike racing as well, and now my Dad rides it. So for tooling around with your kids a big box schwinn will not be a bad bike in my opinion. Neither will a 1980's schwinn with friction stem shifters, nor a $5 garage sale bike that you put a little elbow grease and research from park tools website into fixing it up. So what you ride depends on what you want to ride and how you feel about things. If you need to ride a specialized with your kids to feel good about doing so, then by get a specialized. If $170 for a wally 26inch mnt bike lets you have fun with your kids and introduces you into riding and maintenance, then kudos to you and lucky for your kids they have a parent who wants to play with them.
The only concern I have is this: I want to avoid people buying these bikes and thinking that they don't like bikes when it turns out they just don't like crappy bikes.

That being said, I haven't looked at wallyworld bikes recently. It is possible that with enough feed down, they aren't as horrible as they used to be.

If price is a concern and you are handy with a wrench (or patient and willing to watch videos)*, I suggest Bikes Direct over wallyworld bikes. The issue there is making sure you buy the right size.

Cheers,
Charles

* If you're not handy with a wrench, LBSs will put together these bikes for usually around $100. This makes them more expensive, but I don't think this is an investment that most people will regret.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:21 AM   #14
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You have so many options! It is tough in the beginning to figure out what is best. Believe me I have been there. We actually wasted a couple of years "talking" about what was best. We actually find road bikes for us to be the best. We don't really ride trails. If we do they are paved so we went the road bike route with the drop style bars and skinny tires. They work just fine for us. I typically ride with a topeak baby seat on the back or towing a trek gobug with 2 kids. Just try to get started with a bike that is functional. As you ride you will figure more out. How far you like to ride, postions and all that!
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Old 10-29-12, 07:03 PM   #15
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Asking what other people ride won't help you unless they do the same kind of riding that you're going to do. Having said that, I ride a 73 Schwinn World Traveler converted to an upright bike, a mid 80s Bianchi Roadmaster, and a 2012 Raleigh Port Townsend.
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Old 10-29-12, 08:16 PM   #16
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My more "recreational" bike is a 2013 Cannondale Badboy. Take it when I'm running somewhere local or when I go biking with the girl (I bought her a womens 2013 Quick 4 for whatever that's worth)

love the look. Amazingly happy with performance. Bike is comfy, works great and always gets some compliments.
Paid $630 plus the 10% towards my REI rewards. Thought it was quite a bargain.

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Old 11-08-12, 12:52 PM   #17
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We have a 2011 Specialized Sirrus Elite, and a 2012 Specialized Vita Sport (wife's). Both super comfy, ride nicely, and haven't given us any problems. Just replaced a set of tires and a chain (for maintenance) on the Sirrus (turned 1,900 miles) which is my primary commuter.

The Sirrus was obtained through the barter section on Craigslist (best deal ever). Almost brand new when I got it. Traded my local Starbucks barista $300 worth of my stuff for a $750 bike they couldn't ride (they bought the wrong size). Wife's Vita was around $500, but we got 20% off by haggling a little bit and paying cash - so that was closer to $400.

If you have your eye on something specific - look for leftover model years, and close out deals. See if the shop will give you a discount for paying cash. GET THE RIGHT SIZE - a LBS will fit you up for the right frame size, and most are usually helpful. Walmart will not.

Spend the extra few bucks and get a quality bike - or look on Craigslist and buy something (after being sized) in line with what you want, at a steep discount. Having a little bit nicer bike will also give you more incentive to ride it more. When I look at the Specialized's hanging in our garage, I just want to get out and ride..

That BadBoy looks sick !
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