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Old 07-20-11, 05:17 PM   #1
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Buying a new bike with a $200 budget constraints

I guess I'll start off by admitting that I haven't touched a bike in about 6 years. It wasn't entirely a conscious decision as I had relocated to the middle east a while back and it was just hot as hell out there. Well, now that I'm in uni and need a more efficient mode of transportation, I've contemplated getting a new bike. This video sealed the deal:

Hence, I have a few questions:

1- Is it possible or advisable to use a road bike for casual mountain biking?

2- Where can I buy a decent bike in Toronto? I've currently set aside $200 and I was dead set on buying the bike below from Canadian Tire, though a friend of mine strongly suggested that I refrain from doing so, and instead suggested that I go to a bike shop and buy a $700 bike.

3- What other bike or bike store in the GTA area would you recommend that I look into?

Thanks for the much appreciated help!
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Old 07-21-11, 06:56 AM   #2
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1. A road bike won't do very well on mountain trails. Maybe a cyclo-cross is what you're looking for or a hybrid.
2. Your friend is right, don't buy a bike from CT; it's just wasted money. You will need to spend at least $500 to get a decent bike unless you buy used.
3. Stores:
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Old 07-21-11, 10:12 AM   #3
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You can also buy a decent used bike for $200. Or get one for $150 and have some cash leftover for repairs and new parts.

It takes some work, looking on Craigslist or Kijiji and finding something decent that isn't a ripoff. If you have some knowledgeable friends they could help, or perhaps a bike forums Torontonian has something decent they'd like to sell?
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Old 07-21-11, 11:06 AM   #4
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It's summer, check the garage sales. Keep an eye out for bike brands you see in bike stores, not in CT or Walmart. As for "casual" mtbing, I'd say cyclocross at a minimum, but if you want to jump logs and do drops, you might want a mtb instead and just swap slicks for knobbies as needed. If you look at the CT mtb's, there's a sticker on the top tube that says, "Not for offroad use" or something to that effect.
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