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Confused about what bike to buy on a limited budget.

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Confused about what bike to buy on a limited budget.

Old 03-03-17, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dmspara View Post
Hey, everyone. I want to buy a bike, but can't decide whether to buy from a department store (Target, Walmart, etc.) where the prices are more in line with what I can spend, or save up some more and go to a bike shop. I am not a cyclist; I just want something for leisurely riding/exercise and maybe to ride to work (an 1/8 of a mile from my house).

I'm also very confused about brand names; I've read that Schwinn and Huffy are no longer very good... Can anyone suggest something for me?
I was asking myself the same question. Looking to spend about $250, I bit the bullet and went for a $430 hybrid (2015 Giant Roam 3) from a LBS. My wife had a Schwinn from a department store and she proclaimed "All bikes are the same". She resisted my purchase for almost an entire year when she finally caved and bought a $430 (2017 Giant Rove 3) hybrid from a LBS. So now we have bikes that can ride the road and light trails. We have real lights, helmets, bike computers, and a decent bike rack. To top it off, we are planning a trip to Acadia National Park specifically to ride the carriage roads.

Point being this: Spend a little more. It's worth it.
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Old 03-03-17, 03:42 AM
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fwiw, first off like i mentioned in another thread, you want wheels with alot of metal (mountain bikes), if you get the 700c wheels and do any kind of riding you'll probably find yourself with broken spokes and/or wheels severely out of true. also the mountain tires are a bigger footprint and fare better on roads, and ride easier over unpaved trails. As far as how much you have to spend, well if you have any kind of mechanical ability such as mounting a tire on a bike and adjusting cable tension for the brakes and tranny, i would suggest taking a look at both, bike island and bikes direct, on the internet. at worst you could order online if you see a bike with your name on it and a lbs should ask just 50 bucks or so to put the finishing touches on the mailed bike. these bikes come about 90 per cent assembled.
i just bought a mountain bike online for 250 total cost and it has mechanical disc brakes, lock out front spring suspension for a smoother ride on the streets, adjusted for sag and shimano alivio transmission. so i am a happy camper and should be able to get years of service out of the bike
hope this helps
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Old 03-03-17, 08:10 AM
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Two things to know no matter where you get the bike:

(1) you must know some basic maintenance and how the bike works, or you can get a $1000 bike and in a few months it will perform poorly, and might even be dangerous. If you get a decent department store or CL bike, you must verify that it's adjusted properly and key parts have been bolted down correctly.

(2) The bike must fit you well. Too small or too bike, and the highest quality bike will not serve your needs.

If you have a bike co-op near you, that can be a great place to both find a cheap bike, and to learn about these things. You'll spend a little more at the LBS, but they can certainly help you with fit, and might help you with learning the basics of maintenance, too.

Big box store bikes (above the absolutely cheapest versions) actually aren't bad, especially for your needs. The biggest problem with them is that they are assembled by people who usually don't know what they're doing, and so once you buy it you need to be able to unbolt some things, grease the bolts, and tighten/adjust them properly.

For your first bike, I'd avoid drop-bar road bikes and true mountain bikes. Start with a hybrid/flat bar bike that can take a rack. Get helmet and lights and chain oil. Keep it clean and lubed.

Oh, and you might ask your circle of friends, in person or on Facebook. Someone may have a bike collecting dust in their garage that you can use to start with. And you might find you know a bicycle enthusiast who can help you in person.
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Old 03-03-17, 09:00 AM
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i think this is the link
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