Help a rookie choose a bike
I'm in college and have been using my mom's old 80's bike to get around. It's heavy as hell, has fat off-road tires, and is annoying to use. I've been looking into getting a decent new bike ever since trying my friend's mediocre road bike (which was a joy in comparison), and would like to get into recreational riding (and possibly competitive or distance riding in the future) with the new bike.
So basically, I have no experience. I don't think I can afford more than $1200. I'm really looking forward to having a trim, light, quality bike that will last me a lot of years...I don't want to have to buy a new one when I get too "advanced" or something (short of buying an all carbon one when I have the money)...is $1200 enough to accomplish this? Obviously, if I can get away with paying less, that would be preferable. What are your recommendations for a bike?
Also, I was at a bike shop and they showed me a Bianchi (I think...) that had a wonderful shifter system that involved tapping in the side of the brakes like paddle-shifters. Do many bikes have something this accessible for shifting? That kind of thing seems preferable to other systems...what are your thoughts on it?
What kind of peddles should I get? I want something that I can use regular shoes on if I'm blasting to class, but don't proper cyclists use special types of shoes or peddles for real riding? What should I get for long sport rides?
Any recommendation on shorts, other appropriate clothing, and/or helmets? I really know nothing about this...what do I need to know about attire?
Anything I'm overlooking?
Thank you so much!
Last edited by Mermanof83; 05-23-12 at 01:26 AM.
Welcome To Bike Forums, Mermanof83!
Is bike theft a problem on your campus?
If so, you might want to reduce your budget substantially. As a matter of fact, you might want to hold with the bike you've been using, and just make a few comforting upgrades.
Last edited by SlimRider; 05-23-12 at 12:55 AM.
Bike theft is a problem. However, I plan on using it for commuting a minimal amount (fairly small campus) and keeping it in my room when I'm not using it. So the only time theft could happen would be during class, which is highly unlikely. The bike will be more for sport.
Many bikes are stolen during class time.
Originally Posted by Mermanof83
Are you aware of this fact?
Hmm...all of the theft I've heard about has been at night. Either way, I'll barely be using it for class. I'm under a 20 minute walk from all my classes.
Not to alarm you, but seriously consider all of your options...
Originally Posted by Mermanof83
There are quite a few upgrades that you can make on your bike that might make it more comforting and commuter-friendly.
You might also consider joining your local bicycle co-op this summer, so that you can make the necessary upgrades on your current bicycle. Once disassembled, you can have your bike powdercoat painted. You can then have a new drive train installed, if required. Usually, a new saddle, wheels, and tires, also make an improvement.
If you still would like to buy new, then consider the following:
The Jamis Satellite Comp ~ $1000
The Schwinn Letour Legacy ~ $800
Last edited by SlimRider; 05-23-12 at 01:53 AM.