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Trying to get back into riding after well over a decade, frustrated

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Trying to get back into riding after well over a decade, frustrated

Old 12-08-15, 03:28 PM
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Trying to get back into riding after well over a decade, frustrated

Okay so quick background:
I'm 31 years old and as a teen I used to ride my bike everywhere. I got out of it when I turned 15-16 and started driving. I am looking to get back in for fitness mainly.

I am looking for a bike that is:
Cheap, low maintenance and rides nice enough to keep me riding. Almost all my riding will be on-road, although I have access to trails, they seem to be well beyond my current ability/condition.

My budget is less than 400, which seems to be the problem.

Here's what I am getting from what I am reading:
Don't buy a cheap wal-mart bike for less than 200. Don't buy online if you don't know how to size the bike. GO TO YOUR LBS(local bike shop)
Okay, so I went to my local bike shop. They all have an elitist attitude and none of their bikes are less than 400. I tried more than one shop.
IF there are a few models for less than 400, they are 350 or more and are something to the tune of a beach cruiser, which looks similar in quality to the wal-mart bike.

So then I decide "screw the LBS, I will figure out how to size the bike myself"
I am 6'4" and know just enough to know I like an upright riding position and I HATE messing around with gears that are constantly malfunctioning, so I start looking on BikesDirect.com for a 62cm road bike with flat bars and less than seven gears in my price range.
Here's where I ran into another problem. When researching the models they had in my price range, all I found was "that model is junk. Any road bike for less than 600 is a waste of money, you are better off buying a better bike later"

Okay, so a 200 dollar wal-mart bike is a waste of money, a 400 dollar online bike is also a waste of money and more risky for someone getting back into riding and there are no bikes at my LBS worth buying in the 400 dollar range, right?
So WTF am I supposed to do with my 400 dollar budget? If buying a 400 dollar road bike is a waste of money, why wouldn't it make sense to only waste 150 dollars at wal mart instead of 400 dollars online?
I'm extremely confused as to where I should proceed for buying a bike. Is this just elitist internet BS, or truth?
Is it entirely impossible for someone like me to fit my own bike and get something decent for under 400?
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Old 12-08-15, 03:37 PM
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Bike fit is a weird thing. Getting it wrong can have no noticeable effect, it could make you sore after a long ride, or it could cause an injury. And it's pretty hard to say which one you'll get. One rule though is a good fit is more important for longer rides. If you're going to get it wrong, it's better to wind up with too small a frame than too big because that gives you more leeway to fix it after the fact.

The reason people steer you away from Walmart bikes is that they're made as cheaply as possible and they're put together by people who don't have the time and probably don't have the skill to do a good job. The reason people steer you away from inexpensive road bikes is that more expensive ones have better parts.

A used bike can be a great value. You'll have the same issue having to get the correct size, evaluate whether it's a good deal, etc. But a good bike will last decades and a new one depreciates like a new car.
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Old 12-08-15, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
Okay so quick background:
I am looking for a bike that is:
Cheap, low maintenance and rides nice enough to keep me riding. Almost all my riding will be on-road, although I have access to trails, they seem to be well beyond my current ability/condition.

My budget is less than 400, which seems to be the problem.
If you don't want it badly enough, don't expect the bike to do all the work for you.
Nice bikes cost. This ain't the 70's anymore.
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Old 12-08-15, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
Okay so quick background:
I'm 31 years old and as a teen I used to ride my bike everywhere. I got out of it when I turned 15-16 and started driving. I am looking to get back in for fitness mainly.

I am looking for a bike that is:
Cheap, low maintenance and rides nice enough to keep me riding. Almost all my riding will be on-road, although I have access to trails, they seem to be well beyond my current ability/condition.

My budget is less than 400, which seems to be the problem.

Here's what I am getting from what I am reading:
Don't buy a cheap wal-mart bike for less than 200. Don't buy online if you don't know how to size the bike. GO TO YOUR LBS(local bike shop)
Okay, so I went to my local bike shop. They all have an elitist attitude and none of their bikes are less than 400. I tried more than one shop.
IF there are a few models for less than 400, they are 350 or more and are something to the tune of a beach cruiser, which looks similar in quality to the wal-mart bike.

So then I decide "screw the LBS, I will figure out how to size the bike myself"
I am 6'4" and know just enough to know I like an upright riding position and I HATE messing around with gears that are constantly malfunctioning, so I start looking on BikesDirect.com for a 62cm road bike with flat bars and less than seven gears in my price range.
Here's where I ran into another problem. When researching the models they had in my price range, all I found was "that model is junk. Any road bike for less than 600 is a waste of money, you are better off buying a better bike later"

Okay, so a 200 dollar wal-mart bike is a waste of money, a 400 dollar online bike is also a waste of money and more risky for someone getting back into riding and there are no bikes at my LBS worth buying in the 400 dollar range, right?
So WTF am I supposed to do with my 400 dollar budget? If buying a 400 dollar road bike is a waste of money, why wouldn't it make sense to only waste 150 dollars at wal mart instead of 400 dollars online?
I'm extremely confused as to where I should proceed for buying a bike. Is this just elitist internet BS, or truth?
Is it entirely impossible for someone like me to fit my own bike and get something decent for under 400?
In regards to buying online ( and specifically from Bikes Direct ), there are a lot of people who huff and puff and will swear up and down that anything you get there is crap.

As far as I can tell, they've never actually purchased or seen one in person.

We've bought two bikes from Bikeddirect because a) I have a teen son who is very serious about biking, to the tune of thousands of miles a year, b) He's a teen, so he outgrows bikes fast, and c) BD bikes are an incredible value--in many cases it would actually be worth it to buy one and strip off the components to put on another frame you like better, because they're THAT inexpensive. In both cases the bikes were excellent quality and used exactly the same mid-range components you'd get on a comparable bike from Trek/Speciaiized/Cannondale/etc for 50% more.

That being said--you have to do at least some minimal assembly and adjustment, so if you're not conversant with that or don't have any tools, it's probably advisable to have a bike shop do it. It should be an hour or less of work, which means another $60 or so, depending on where you live. Alternately, if you have a local bike coop or kitchen they'll generally do it for free.

In general, people who like to talk about bikes are very, very partisan in their beliefs. There is nothing whatsoever wrong about getting a bike with 9 or fewer cogs, or the lower end components--because even the lower end modern components blow the pants off the highest end stuff of a generation ago. Don't let that dissuade you from not getting a bike that is cheaper, but works fine.

And THAT being said... yeah, the Walmart stuff is in fact, generally pretty bad in many ways. Setting aside the fact that they tend to be very heavy, they use parts that are not just low end, but are barely servicable. I work in a bike coop where we see a lot of them, and it's very common to be unable to adjust brakes, shifters, etc. so that they'll work well long enough to go around the block a couple of times.

Personally, if I were not 100% sure about whether I'd be interested in biking over the long term, I would look for a bike in order of:

1) A local coop, if you have one, since they often sell the "better" bikes at excellent prices.
2) Bikes Direct, if you can get a handle on an appropriate size for you.
3) Craigslist, after reading about what sorts of things you need to check out when buying a used bike.
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Old 12-08-15, 04:03 PM
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Budget the beer and pizza. Spend $7-800 on a real bike. All you have is 3 days wages ??? pffft
Bicycles are NOT money drains like i-phones. They are money SAVING devices. 10 cents a mile at least.
Cheap bikes seldom have an XL size anyway. It's possible to find an old bike suitable.
Get a useful city bike that can do grocery runs etc.
I hate deraillers too. Get one with a 3 speed IGH, Sturmey Archer is better.
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Old 12-08-15, 04:14 PM
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You can definitely buy a BikesDirect (or Bike Island) bike for $400 which will do what you want it to. While most people will display that elitist attitude which is So endearing, there are a few who post here who will tell you about their $395 BikesDirect Dawes which they road for 70000 trouble-free miles in a year. (I paid $500 for mine (different model) and haven’t ridden it quite that far.)

If your LBS salespeople want to be richards, then treat them as they deserve—get them to fit you for a bike of the style you want, and then buy a similar (but much cheaper) BD bike and pocket the cash with a smile.

If you are that into ti, you can look up the geometry chart of the BD bike, find a bike online from a major manufacturer with similar numbers, and “test-ride” that before buying the BD bike, secure in the knowledge that it will probably fit. (Normally I am Very against using people this way, but if they are acting like tools, tools are meant to be used.)

Or, save up another $100 and get a bike from performance Bikes or Nashbar.com—both will take back a bike with no reason needed within a year, so if it doesn’t fit, all you lose is a small restocking fee.

A Lot of people (some of them here) will tell you about how low-end stuff is garbage, but the fact is, low-end stuff today was mid-grade stuff ten years ago when they paid extra dollars to buy it for their “elite” expensive bikes.

The cheap stuff might need to be adjusted a little bit more, but it will work and it will last and if all you want to do is enjoy riding a bike and still have enough money to eat, you won’t even care.

When we were kids, we happily rode Murrays and Huffies or 36-pound Schwinns and never asked a question about who made the derailleur and how much does the stem weigh. (There is a guy who posts here, JohnnyMullet I think, who has several Huffies he rides more than some others ride their $5000 wonder-steeds.) (https://www.bikeforums.net/members/jo...et-376137.html)

Nowadays people who have really decent bikes aren’t happy because they don’t have better bikes, and when they get the best bikes ... they get more. (I am not like that—only because I cannot afford the best bikes )

Look over some Bikes Direct and Bike Island bikes (bikes sold for less because they are both really cheap and slightly scratched and dinged) and ask here if they are what you seem to want. Lots of folks will help.

EDIT: By the way, there are thousands of hours of video on YouTube teaching one to fix absolutely anything on a bike. You will want to at least be able to do minor adjustments or you will hate biking, because the more you ride, the more things wear out, and you don't want to drop $50 at an LBS for fifteen minute of wrench-turning and $5 in parts.

One more point: if you like biking, you will be selling your new bike or at least buying a new one within 18 months. Then you will be spending $700--$1000, will be absolutely all right with it, and will see that the old bike really wasn't bad at all.

Last edited by Maelochs; 12-08-15 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 12-08-15, 04:38 PM
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I see sizing is the most important thing almost as I see that most people can use 3 sizes and that's within the same model. Near as I can conclude is that unless you're getting a frame custom made you're making do with what's offered and swapping stems, seat tubes, bars and seats to get the off the rack bikes as comfortable as possible. I also read recently here that you're not going to know what does and doesn't work for you until you've owned a few bikes.

Read up on some basic fitting, have an idea and then look at the charts for the bikes you're considering. What do you know about bike fitting and what do you understand about frame geometry? I'm 6'3" with a 35" riding inseam. My MTB bike is a 61CM standard frame and my road bike is a 60CM compact. There is a huge difference in the way the 2 frames feel but just 1CM in seat post. So frame design is changes things in major ways where there my seem to be insignificant differences in "frame size".

If possible, ride something and think about how it feels and why it feels that way based on geometry. Buying online and with little knowledge is a hit of miss proposition but you can greatly improve your chances with some research, understanding and a tape measure. I'm sure unlimited budgets, huge LSB's with hundreds of bikes to choose from and then a professional fit it great but that wasn't an option for me.

My only road bike was bought on eBay for $350 shipped, it's not horrible. I have replaced the stem and seat post to get it feeling more comfortable. I tried 3 stems, 2 seatpost and 2 seats since I had it. I replaced tires, tubes, cables, chain and had it tuned when I couldn't get the shiifting just right. I want a better bike, will probably buy one soon but truth is I have no complaints with the eBay bike now. It has Shimano Claris/Sora 8 speed and since the new cables and tune the shifting is plenty usable with just a little chain rub in some gears.

If you manage to get a bike that fits as well and works as well as what I did (buying online with what I'd learned here and other online sources) and you don't ride it, it's not likely the bikes fault. For what it's worth, I'm planning to to buy a BD bike most likely next time around.
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Old 12-08-15, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mulveyr
In regards to buying online ( and specifically from Bikes Direct ), there are a lot of people who huff and puff and will swear up and down that anything you get there is crap.

As far as I can tell, they've never actually purchased or seen one in person.

We've bought two bikes from Bikeddirect because a) I have a teen son who is very serious about biking, to the tune of thousands of miles a year, b) He's a teen, so he outgrows bikes fast, and c) BD bikes are an incredible value--in many cases it would actually be worth it to buy one and strip off the components to put on another frame you like better, because they're THAT inexpensive. In both cases the bikes were excellent quality and used exactly the same mid-range components you'd get on a comparable bike from Trek/Speciaiized/Cannondale/etc for 50% more.

That being said--you have to do at least some minimal assembly and adjustment, so if you're not conversant with that or don't have any tools, it's probably advisable to have a bike shop do it. It should be an hour or less of work, which means another $60 or so, depending on where you live. Alternately, if you have a local bike coop or kitchen they'll generally do it for free.

In general, people who like to talk about bikes are very, very partisan in their beliefs. There is nothing whatsoever wrong about getting a bike with 9 or fewer cogs, or the lower end components--because even the lower end modern components blow the pants off the highest end stuff of a generation ago. Don't let that dissuade you from not getting a bike that is cheaper, but works fine.

And THAT being said... yeah, the Walmart stuff is in fact, generally pretty bad in many ways. Setting aside the fact that they tend to be very heavy, they use parts that are not just low end, but are barely servicable. I work in a bike coop where we see a lot of them, and it's very common to be unable to adjust brakes, shifters, etc. so that they'll work well long enough to go around the block a couple of times.

Personally, if I were not 100% sure about whether I'd be interested in biking over the long term, I would look for a bike in order of:

1) A local coop, if you have one, since they often sell the "better" bikes at excellent prices.
2) Bikes Direct, if you can get a handle on an appropriate size for you.
3) Craigslist, after reading about what sorts of things you need to check out when buying a used bike.
Thanks for that, seems like sound, experienced advice. I know what you mean about the wal mart bikes and their lack of serviceable components as I have thrown several out due to written brake pads that were welded to the frame.
I should have added that I am very DIY oriented and used to tinker with my bmx bikes as a kid quite a bit. The only thing I'm not comfortable working on would be the gears, which is why I am leaning toward internal gears out even just a single speed bike. I like the idea of being able to handle any issues myself.
At this point I am really leaning towards getting a bike online. How hard can it be to get the size right? I know of all the medium size framed mountain bikes I've had, they've all been on the small side and I've never tried a road bike that didn't seem small... Would I not have a good chance by just going with a 60-62cm road bike? I do know I like the riding position of a road bike with flat bars...
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Old 12-08-15, 05:38 PM
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Even though your height limits some choices, I see lots of good bikes for under $400, especially used.

But it's tricky evaluating used bikes to determine how much more needs to be spent to make them safe and rideable. For example, my $100 Globe Carmel purchased off craigslist last summer has cost around $300 by now. But I anticipated that and budgeted for it.

Here's a rough breakdown of expenses beyond the purchase price of the bike alone:
  • --No major repairs, but I did have a local bike shop inspect it and do a basic tuneup ($50) because I had sold all my bike tools 10 years ago. I'd never owned an aluminum frame bike before, or one with grip shifters, so I felt more comfortable having the LBS do the basics while I took a crash course in reacquainting myself with basic maintenance. They did a free re-check and adjustments toward the end of the 30-day warranty period, which was good because by then the derailers and brakes needed tweaking. Since then I've done it all myself.
  • --I bought a multi-tool, tire levers, patch kit, chain oil, other odds and ends. Probably another $35.
  • --New tires and tubes. The original tires and tubes were okay for good pavement, but a lot of my riding is on rural roads with lots of sharp puncture-y stuff - goathead grass burrs, metal shards, broken beer bottles, etc. I went through three tubes in a couple of months (one was my fault - a sidewall burst because I didn't seat the bead properly). Another $75 or so for a pair of decent all terrain tires with thicker puncture resistant liners, and tubes.
  • --Safety stuff: head and tail LED lights, additional reflectors for better side visibility, helmet. Another $75 or so, and that's getting off really cheaply on the helmet since Nashbar had some decent 2014 Bell helmets deeply discounted for $20.
  • --Bontrager rear rack, since I use the bike for errands as well as exercise and leisure. Another $30, I think. Extra bungee cords, etc., cheap from the dollar store.
  • --Cable was around $10. I already had a good padlock.
  • --Air pumps. A decent Nashbar Earl Grey floor pump for $25-$30. And a Topeak mini frame pump - technically $20, but effectively free with Nashbar discounts since I bundled it with several other purchases. I tried to get by without a pump, but there are no local gas stations with air pumps, and it just isn't practical to go more than a week without top-ups, or to cycle in my favorite rural areas without a frame pump.

So while you can find a decent bike for your stated budget, be sure to account for the other stuff. I just set a budget each month and bought stuff according to some priorities I'd set. After the first two or three months I haven't really needed anything else.
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Old 12-08-15, 05:52 PM
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Where are you located?
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Old 12-08-15, 05:56 PM
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A small point ... at one point every many of us were where you are. We had tight budgets and big hopes and dreams and a little knowledge but not enough to feel 100% comfortable with blowing all our available cash on something which might be great or might be a pretty much a waste (or a loss---you can sell a brand new bike with only ten or so miles for sort of near what you bought it for if you are patient.)

We all ended up with bikes we like and we all like riding them.

You will too.

As for derailleurs/shifters/gears: not hard at all, particularly if you have done other bike stuff. YouTube is very definitely your friend---videos will take you step-by-step through everything. Even if you get a brand new $10,000 bike the cables will stretch in the first while and you will need to adjust them, so you might as well watch some stuff now to be ready later.

Also, you can buy an adjustable stem (adjustable angle stem) for not a lot of money, so if you can get the length about right you can move it to suit your needs/flexibility and change it as you ride more.

Happy trails ... or roads, whichever ...
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Old 12-08-15, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed
Where are you located?
I am in Houston, TX.
I will add that I bought a Giant off Craigslist about five years ago to get around at work. It was a bad experience because a lot of the wear parts had issues that I overlooked, so I am more comfortable with new. To this day I still have the bike, but don't ride it because it's a tad small and it doesn't shift smoothly.

I will also add that my girlfriend is buying this for Christmas, so the 400 is HER budget lol... In other words if I could just get a decent frame, upgrading the other components gradually would not be a long term budget issue.
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Old 12-08-15, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
... I like an upright riding position and I HATE messing around with gears that are constantly malfunctioning, so I start looking on BikesDirect.com for a 62cm road bike with flat bars and less than seven gears in my price range.
Here's where I ran into another problem. When researching the models they had in my price range, all I found was "that model is junk. Any road bike for less than 600 is a waste of money, you are better off buying a better bike later"
...
Sometimes it's true, and sometimes people say that because they don't know much about the specifics. Find the bike that matches your requirements within your budget, and that's the sweet spot.
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Old 12-08-15, 06:14 PM
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+1 on used. Some bike shops will carry reconditioned bikes.
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Old 12-08-15, 06:17 PM
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You don't know what you need or what you want.
Go online & get sized by some charts to get close.
You want a NEW flat bar road bike . .that limits your choices.
with disc brakes? limits it down some more.

Get an entry/mid level, &
A good pair of padded bike shorts.

ride it a while. 1,000 - 2000 mile or so

See if you really want to get into riding that much.
Then you'll know more of what you want & need.

Can Upgrade the entry level frame with better components.
or start watching CL for one your size to pop up at a good price.
or go get fitted & have one built for you

Saddle is one of the best, 1st upgrades & it can follow you to almost any bike
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Old 12-08-15, 06:23 PM
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The biggest problem with bikesdirect.com bikes is that you're the mechanic. If you're willing to accept that, then I don't see anything wrong with some of the <$400 bikes they have. Their Gravity Avenue C doesn't look half-bad for the price.
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Old 12-08-15, 06:39 PM
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Since you live in Houston, I'd recommend to visit the Bike Barn in West U. That's where I got my Trek Verve 2 for $550. They have some more upright hybrids which may come to just over $400. They also get returns and swaps, so you may find a lightly used bike in your budget.

The small LBSs come more often than not with heaps of attitude. Before I bought the Trek, I was riding a Diamondback Parkway (ca 1999). Their attitude was, 'what do you want? This is an old bike...' More than 1 LBS! The bike was perfectly fine. I learned how to adjust the derailleurs and 16 years later shifted as smooth as butter (with the very cheap bottom of the line Shimanos it came with in 1999...). My son needed a bike for college in Austin, so he is riding it now... Anything under $2000 at the LBS they are not interested... It's a chore for them.
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Old 12-08-15, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by GerryinHouston
Since you live in Houston, I'd recommend to visit the Bike Barn in West U. That's where I got my Trek Verve 2 for $550. They have some more upright hybrids which may come to just over $400. They also get returns and swaps, so you may find a lightly used bike in your budget.
^This sounds like good advice. Honestly, as an ex mechanic I would tell you that you are much better off buying from a shop if possible. The people there will make sure your bike is A) the right fit, and B) properly assembled/adjusted. Imo you should be able to find something entry level and very rideable for your budget, no need to spend $1k. Used is also a good possibility if you have an idea of what you want. In any case check out that shop the poster above mentioned.

Oh and that elitist BS has been around for decades, I used to hear it all the time at shops I worked at back in the early 80's. It's rampant on bike forums as well. The types of people that worry so much about what they're riding in terms of how other cyclists will view them, probably dont actually ride much. They spend all their time putting down people that dont buy bikes that cost almost as much as cars. You can certainly by a very rideable bike for $400.
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Old 12-08-15, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG
+1 on used. Some bike shops will carry reconditioned bikes.
Definitely....that's how I ended up with my current primary, daily driver road bike early this year. A year or two old Tiagra equipped Synapse coming out of their rental/loaner fleet, tuned and in excellent condition for $650.

OP....you're at a bit of an awkward price point for, imo, acceptable quality. If you can bump up that budget a couple hundred bucks you should be able to find something new entry level decent at an LBS. If you're truly stuck at $400 I think you should be looking at used.

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Old 12-08-15, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs

When we were kids, we happily rode Murrays and Huffies or 36-pound Schwinns and never asked a question about who made the derailleur and how much does the stem weigh. (There is a guy who posts here, JohnnyMullet I think, who has several Huffies he rides more than some others ride their $5000 wonder-steeds.) (https://www.bikeforums.net/members/jo...et-376137.html)
When I got started cycling again after 30 years off the bike I started on an older, USA built Huffy mountain bike. EVERYONE on the internet including members of my OWN website and even friends were all telling me the same thing "That bike is junk." or "You need a better bike." or "You need a road bike." and I tried that. I was to freaking fat for a road bike and could not ride it after several bike fittings and I kept breaking parts and getting flats. I went through several "Better bikes" and always went back to my Huffy. My old Huffy actually changed and morphed with me and went through different stages of upgrades. I now own like 8 bikes (mostly old Huffy bikes) but guess which bike is my daily commuter and my go to bike? That's right, my original piece of junk. You can read about the bike here..........
https://www.bikeforums.net/mountain-b...tain-bike.html

I am not sure what I have invested total in this bike but it's way under $200 and to me it's priceless...........



Best of luck to ya! Ride what you like because nobody's lookin' at ya anyway!
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Old 12-08-15, 07:39 PM
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@exmechanic89 , as an ex bike shop mechanic you have to agree, not all shops are created equal. The shop in my hometown told me no one bought bike over 58CM so they stopped carrying any bigger but they would order anything I wanted (but required me to pay up front and take in regardless when it came in). I can't see anyone being better off buying from that kind of LBS. I envy those who have great local shops but they are some of us who don't.
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Old 12-08-15, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dksix
@exmechanic89 , as an ex bike shop mechanic you have to agree, not all shops are created equal. The shop in my hometown told me no one bought bike over 58CM so they stopped carrying any bigger but they would order anything I wanted (but required me to pay up front and take in regardless when it came in). I can't see anyone being better off buying from that kind of LBS. I envy those who have great local shops but they are some of us who don't.
Sure I agree, not all shops are the same. I definitely think the OP should try several others if he doesnt have any luck with that recommended shop. Either way though I think the OP is better off buying from a shop, ultimately. He doesnt seem to have the knowledge to safely buy used - which would actually be my #1 recommendation if he did. And Walmart is out due to the marginal bikes, terrible build-ups they do in those stores, and nobody to help with sizing, etc. And while I think ordering online can be fine, the buyer would still have to be able to do some adjustments as needed.

I think if he can find a decent shop they should be able to outfit him with something in his price that's also assembled correctly and fitted well to him, with hopefully some follow up care as well.

On a side note I'm surprised at how bad shops are often portrayed in forums. Of the 5 shops I worked in on two different coasts, they all shared one thing in common: honest mechanics and employees. We never recommended parts or repairs to anyone that didnt need them at any shop I worked in. In fact I always thought of the bike business as being one of the very few types of businesses that was completely honest. And I always liked that, because I never felt like we were ripping anyone off. Of course the last shop I worked in was in '88, so I guess some things could've changed. I still believe though that most are honest, and the one I deal with in my current town seems to be as well.
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Old 12-08-15, 08:09 PM
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LBS here churns thru Bought and Consignment sold Used Bikes quickly , so keep checkin Your local shop for Used Deals ..
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Old 12-08-15, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89
Sure I agree, not all shops are the same. I definitely think the OP should try several others if he doesnt have any luck with that recommended shop. Either way though I think the OP is better off buying from a shop, ultimately. He doesnt seem to have the knowledge to safely buy used - which would actually be my #1 recommendation if he did. And Walmart is out due to the marginal bikes, terrible build-ups they do in those stores, and nobody to help with sizing, etc. And while I think ordering online can be fine, the buyer would still have to be able to do some adjustments as needed.

I think if he can find a decent shop they should be able to outfit him with something in his price that's also assembled correctly and fitted well to him, with hopefully some follow up care as well.

On a side note I'm surprised at how bad shops are often portrayed in forums. Of the 5 shops I worked in on two different coasts, they all shared one thing in common: honest mechanics and employees. We never recommended parts or repairs to anyone that didnt need them at any shop I worked in. In fact I always thought of the bike business as being one of the very few types of businesses that was completely honest. And I always liked that, because I never felt like we were ripping anyone off. Of course the last shop I worked in was in '88, so I guess some things could've changed. I still believe though that most are honest, and the one I deal with in my current town seems to be as well.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that any of my local LBS's are dishonest, but there are some that are clearly focused on driving sales to higher end, inappropriate bikes. The last time I was in a shop that I patronize occasionally I mentioned that I was interested in a bike for my kid that would serve as a commuting/light touring bike--I had the Specialized Tricross in mind. The salesperson immediately tried steering me to one of the more expensive Roubaix models. When I pointed out that the Tricross was pretty much everything I described, he started putting it down because of the "Old fashioned brakes activated by wires..."
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Old 12-08-15, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
I do know I like the riding position of a road bike with flat bars...
I'm also 31 years old, stopped biking around 12 years old when i discovered girls... Anywho, I guess I can't tell you 400$ is too low a budget, its yours not mine. All I can say was I really wanted a bike to get back into shape last year as well, so i bought a Trek 7.2FX for 490$, its a hybrid, but close to a upright road bike. After ~1200 miles on it I bought a carbon fiber bike for 1200$ on sale, 500 off list. What does this mean to you, probably nothing.

What I mean though is I went from 250 lbs down to 160 in one year, my resting heart rate has gone from around 75 to around 58. I first thought 500$ for a bike? get out of here, but looking back those 500 dollars were some of the best money I've spent in my life.

Edit:

Also I didn't really know what a proper bike fit was, I almost quit after a week, now I can't stop thinking about riding, did my first 100 mile ride after 6 months back in. Bike fit is extremely important, as if that has not been said enough.
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