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Low-Mid range bike recommendations? Newbie

Old 06-22-13, 02:28 PM
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uhzeez
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Low-Mid range bike recommendations? Newbie

So I really want a bike to ride around and to commute around my city. ( San Francisco) It'll be mostly a casual thing for me and im just completely lost at what bikes are good for that. I weigh about 170 pounds and i am 5'9. I don't know anything about bikes nor have I had alot of experience riding them. Could you guys help guide me to the right path? Thanks!

I was looking at a Giant escape bikes and gearing towards hybrids. Are these good for me to start off with? I'm quite determined to ride frequently
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Old 06-22-13, 02:37 PM
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I have a Giant FCR 3 hybrid that I love. As a matter of fact I just rode it to a party. I also have a Trek 2.1 that is nice but more expensive. I think the Giant is more comfortable.
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Old 06-22-13, 02:45 PM
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find some LBS and go in and talk to the people there and test ride some bikes. Most LBS specialize in different brands but most of the major brands that LBS carry all have similar models with similar components and prices.

You need to decide if you want a hybrid or more of a road bike or city bike etc. Do you want gears or single speed? Aluminum or steel frame?
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Old 06-22-13, 03:50 PM
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I want something light that can just cruise around the city and run local errands when i am not using my car. I'm trying to use less gas. Multiple gears would be helpful. An all around bike would be ideal for me. I am staying away from road bikes as i have no interest in going fast
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Old 06-22-13, 04:36 PM
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First, don't worry too much about weight. It isn't an important factor for a commuter bike.

Make sure whatever bike you get has eyelets (and sufficient clearance) for fenders and at least one rack. Take advantage of those eyelets and install fenders and a rack or two.

Frame and fork suspensions are undesirable for street riding.

Don't cut costs with your tires. Get a high quality, flat resistant tire. Personally, I've had excellent luck with Schwalbe Marathons (far less than one flat per 10,000 miles), though other high quality tires are available. Wider tires tend to provide more comfort, with little, if any, downside for commuting.

Buy a good lock or two (or more). Your bike should always be more difficult to steal than the bike next to it on the bike rack. If you find yourself riding to the same place often, consider keeping a lock locked to the rack in that location so you don't have to carry it with you every time.

Internal geared hubs are better suited for urban riding than derailer gears. One big advantage is that they can be shifted while the bike is stopped.

Disk brakes, roller brakes, or hub brakes are superior to rim brakes for a commuter bike, as they still work very well when wet. (This is very important for the front brake, not so important for the rear brake.)
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Old 06-22-13, 05:42 PM
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Look at the Kona bikes. Either the Kona Jake, Dr Dew or Dr Good will probably fit your bill. If your budget is less than those, bikesdirect.com has some decent bikes for less. Pick a few off there that look interesting to you and post them up here. We'll let you know what you can expect from them.
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Old 06-22-13, 05:48 PM
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I agree with everything Jaywalk3r said. A good example and a bike I've test ridden is the Raleigh Cadent i8

https://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/fitness/cadent-i8-13/

It's in the same price range as the Giant you are looking at and has internal gears, all the mounts for racks and fenders, decent commuting tires and is pretty light weight aluminum frame. But as he also mentioned don't get caught up on weight. If you are 170 lbs, you are going to account for most of the bike's weight so 20 lbs vs 25 lbs isn't going to make much of a difference. My new Surly is relatively light for a geared steel bike but once I added a rack and trunk bag and panniers and my locks and other stuff I carry regularly it gets pretty heavy. And if you go pick up groceries or carry a laptop or change of clothes it will get heavier.

Personally, I found that I really appreciate a steel frame for city riding because it soaks up bumps, pot holes and road vibration more then aluminum even if it's a little heavier. Another bike I test rode that I really like that has a crmo steel frame is KHS Urban X

https://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2013-khs-models/urban-x/

KHS has a lot of steel framed "urban" hybrid type bikes to choose from. But of course you might be limited to what your particular LBS carries. I'm still pretty new to being a "serious" cyclist but I have done lots of research, test ridden many bikes and visited several shops and I would prefer to buy a bike from a shop that I like with knowledgeable staff that I trust more so then buying from a shop because they carry a certain brand. And speaking from my experience I should have listened to myself. I bought my last bike from REI because they had it on sale for nearly $300 less then my LBS could get it for me. But my overall experience has not been great dealing with REI and while I saved money up front I can already tell you that within the next year I probably will spend that $300 taking to my LBS and having them upgrade stuff and set it up better for my taste
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Old 06-22-13, 10:23 PM
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uhzeez
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Thanks guys. Are these any good from bikesdirect? I have no idea what the terms mean, except that i'm looking for a hybrid,comfy bike. If these are crappy ill go back to looking at giant and kona bikes.

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/rover2.htm
https://bikesdirect.com/products/moto...litefs_xii.htm
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Old 06-22-13, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by uhzeez View Post
Thanks guys. Are these any good from bikesdirect? I have no idea what the terms mean, except that i'm looking for a hybrid,comfy bike. If these are crappy ill go back to looking at giant and kona bikes.

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/rover2.htm
https://bikesdirect.com/products/moto...litefs_xii.htm
Those look a little too relaxed for my taste but that doesn't mean they are bad for you. In that price range you might want to look at something like this:

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/oxford.htm

It has relaxed handlebars, 3 speed internal gears and crmo steel frame.

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...fe_latte_x.htm

disc brakes
https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...tte_x_disc.htm

being that you don't really know what you want you should at least test ride several bikes at a bike shop first to see the style that you like before considering a bikesdirect bike. Also keep in mind that there will be some assembly required with a bikesdirect bike
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Old 06-23-13, 04:14 PM
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This is just me, but I'd buy a used mountain bike off of craigslist. Older ones with no suspension are usually cheap, sturdy, ride well on hilly roads and are easy to find. I see several up on the SF craigslist right now for under $200. Make sure to test ride it, go through all the gears and check that the brakes work well. Then with the money you save you can buy some fenders or lights, get a good tune-up, and still pay less!
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Old 06-23-13, 04:40 PM
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There's a lot of stuff you COULD consider if you like thinking about lots of little details. But if all the information is getting a little overwhelming, the short answer is: the Giant Escape bikes you mentioned will work great for your intended purpose. All the big bike companies make a similar model, none is a drastically better or worse deal than another, and any of them would be a good choice.
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Old 06-23-13, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by PennyTheDog View Post
There's a lot of stuff you COULD consider if you like thinking about lots of little details. But if all the information is getting a little overwhelming, the short answer is: the Giant Escape bikes you mentioned will work great for your intended purpose. All the big bike companies make a similar model, none is a drastically better or worse deal than another, and any of them would be a good choice.
EXCELLENT advice.
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Old 06-23-13, 04:49 PM
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Given your current status - do NOT worry about the particular bike. Visit as many shops as you can that are close to you; pick the shop that you are the most comfortable with, and purchase your new pick from them. The store is far more important than the particular bike you get, as it will require periodic servicing.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:07 PM
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so true! I would rather spend a little more at a bike shop that really help me find the bike that fit me!
Surly cross check is a good all around bike.
put some 23mm tires on it and you are good to go!
Just like any apple product, design in minnestoa but made in taiwan!
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