Hello! I am new to cycling as a hobby (I used to ride my bike to school and around town before I got a car) and i have recently purchased a trek 8.3 DS and I am in love with it. As of now I am just riding trails around my city. I am 17 and can ride up to about 40 miles at a time max. I have a friend who would like to get into cycling and I am trying to help him out. He does not have a bike so I am wondering what is a good starter bike for him? He isn't a very experienced rider but we would just be riding on paved trails so he doesn't need a mountain bike but I don't think he should get a full on road bike because I'm sure we will be cutting through some grass and hopping some curbs occasionally. I love my 8.3 DS but he is looking for something a bit cheaper, around the 200$ range give or take (used bikes are his best option if he wants a quality bike i'm assuming?). Any help is much appreciated!
Between Crystal River and Hernando, Florida, 6 miles west of the Withlacoochee Trail
I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my latest, a 2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon
Welcome to Bike Forums.
Have your friend stop by a few bike shops to look at the different brands and styles. He can also find out exactly what size bike he needs too. Sounds like the best bet with a $200 budget is craigslist.org. I'm not sure if there are any bike coops in your area. Post something in the Southeast Regional subforum. Maybe some of the other locals can suggest something else.
My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon
If you go for a used bike there are a few things that will help you avoid buying a piece of junk. Don't buy anything with nuts holding the wheels on to the frame. Look for quick release on both front and rear. Avoid bikes with cheap useless suspensions. If you can find a bike with a standard diamond frame it probably will be better than anything you find with suspension. Pick up the bike and see how heavy it is. I wouldn't touch anything weighing over 30 pounds. Lighter usually means it has better components. Age is less important than how the bike has been treated. You can always replace tires and brake pads on an old bike and it will not cost a fortune. Just make sure the shifters and other things work easily.
Equally important is to find a bike that has the right size frame. You might find what frame size you need at a bike shop if they are cooperative when you look for used bikes at a store.