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please help a noob decide on a good bike, $300-750

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please help a noob decide on a good bike, $300-750

Old 08-01-17, 01:53 PM
  #1  
jesse_dylan
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please help a noob decide on a good bike, $300-750

Hey folks, I am here out of desperation. I need a new bike badly and don't know what to get.

I have my uncle's old mountain bike and love riding to work and riding for pleasure. However, it is stuck in the high gears, and that makes getting up the hill difficult, and my knees hurt from riding without access to lower gears. But if I take it in for repair, I won't have a bike to ride!

I am desperate for a new bike, and desperate for guidance.

What I want, is a bike I will mostly ride on the street (residential streets mostly, nothing too urban here). However, I also want to be able to off-road a bit. And maybe most importantly, I'd like it to be able to do well on ice and packed snow in the winter, and also get through snow. It does NOT have to go very fast. I rarely go above 10 mph. 15-20 is fine.

I am thinking a fat tire bike, or something with bigger tires at least. I know, I know, they are dorky. But my uncle has one (which is why I got his old bike), and it was so comfortable and fun to ride! Since I never need to go very fast anyway, I think it would be fine to ride my 10 minutes to work, 15 home up a huge hill, and ride around town and off-road, hopefully in all (or most) seasons/weather.

Yes, I am asking the world for $300-750.

But frankly, I have no idea what I even want, except the info I gave you above. I'd like to buy it on the internet and have it shipped to me, but I don't want to have to assemble it, because I'm dumb. Is that even possible? Or do I need to suck it up and go buy something at Scheeles or whatever? I do not want something junky from China. I know I can get something for $250 on Amazon, but it will be junky and the pedals will fall off (I stand up and pedal sometimes like a child--I know, you're not supposed to, but I do, and I want my bike to handle that without a pedal falling off).

Thank you x1000 for any help you can give me. I know a lot about various things, but I know NOTHING about bikes. Rode mountain bikes since I was a kid, mostly just around town (it was the thing to do back then), so I'm not super picky. But yeah, I do want something for more weather than just spring/summer/fall, and I do have a thing for fat tires because it's so comfy and fun to ride, even though I look like an idiot and people stare.
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Old 08-01-17, 01:56 PM
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With that price range you could probably just go to a bike shop and pick up a decent hard tail bike or something.
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Old 08-01-17, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by manapua_man View Post
With that price range you could probably just go to a bike shop and pick up a decent hard tail bike or something.
What's a hard tail, and why would I want one?

We don't have much for bike shops around here, sadly, and I'd like to avoid Target, Scheeles, Wal-mart and such if I can.
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Old 08-01-17, 02:15 PM
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Entry level gravel bike with 35c or wider tires. They can be had from Nashbar or BikesDirect for $500.
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Old 08-01-17, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DomaneS5 View Post
Entry level gravel bike with 35c or wider tires. They can be had from Nashbar or BikesDirect for $500.
Ah! I will check them out, thanks! They're good for snow, and maybe packed snow/ice too?
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Old 08-01-17, 02:21 PM
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If you have a Performance Bike (or the like) nearby they should be able to take care of you.
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Old 08-01-17, 02:25 PM
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(woops, can't post links yet, but it was the fat tire bike from bikes direct)

How about one of these??? Are they all looks, no substance? There is a video of someone riding one in the winter. Or are they only good for winter?

I'm not sure which ones the gravel bikes are.
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Old 08-01-17, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
If you have a Performance Bike (or the like) nearby they should be able to take care of you.
No, never even heard of them... We just have department stores and stuff.
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Old 08-01-17, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jesse_dylan View Post
Ah! I will check them out, thanks! They're good for snow, and maybe packed snow/ice too?
Gravel bikes.. not so much. You're thinking of a FAT bike. Big difference.
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Old 08-01-17, 04:51 PM
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If you do not want to work on your bike,try A LBS that has good prices and best the post maintenance deal.
They are not all the same.

Or buy online and learn some basic maintenance and learn and save.

Last edited by Joeyseven; 08-02-17 at 04:38 AM.
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Old 08-02-17, 02:06 AM
  #11  
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hit up craigslist or ebay for a used bike. it is fun to browse craigslist just to get an idea of what is out there - different frames, tires, etc. sometimes you can find a nicer not-new bike than what you would be able to afford new, though with your budget you should have lots of options. i would recommend a test-ride before buying, which negates internet purchases. even if you don't have a LBS near by, there are probably people trying to sell their bikes nearby.
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Old 08-02-17, 02:07 AM
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or learn how to fix the bike you have yourself!
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Old 08-02-17, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by berkeley23 View Post
or learn how to fix the bike you have yourself!
Definitely. Between Sheldon Brown & Park tools website, you should be able to get the bike you have working again - then shop for another bike without pressure.
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Old 08-03-17, 05:03 PM
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If you're only going off-road a little bit, then a hybrid is fine. My wife just got the Trek FX3. It's relatively lightweight. It has 32mm tires so it can handle city streets and a little bit of off-road stuff. It's a very comfortable bike. And it's around $700 new.
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Old 08-03-17, 06:51 PM
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If you like your uncle's new bike, why don't you get one like it?
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Old 08-03-17, 09:23 PM
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Sorry to pop your balloon but any bike you buy in the $300 price range is going to be made in China. That's where nearly all of the entry level bikes are made these days.

There are two likely causes for your bike being stuck in one gear. The most likely is a stuck cable. It might be frayed or rusted inside of the cable housing and that would prevent it from moving and changing gears. The other is a broken shifter. You can buy and replace the cable for less than $10 and the shifter is probably not a lot more than that and often comes with the cable and housing.
What brand and model bike are you currently riding? Are the shifters twist grip or trigger shifters? Any brand on them? If we knew this much we could give you better choices for a repair. And, if you do it yourself after watching the repair on youtube, you will have the bike right away instead of leaving it at a shop. Hell of a lot better than buying a new bike.
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Old 08-03-17, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Joeyseven View Post
If you do not want to work on your bike,try A LBS that has good prices and best the post maintenance deal.
They are not all the same.

Or buy online and learn some basic maintenance and learn and save.
Gravel bike really sounds like what you're looking for. You could ride it in snow with studded tires.
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Old 08-03-17, 10:52 PM
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Post more information about the bike you have. It is very likely with help from forum members you can get what you have operating properly without spending a lot. I would potentially start there and as winter approaches look to adapt the mountain bike for winter/snow riding. A mountain bike with 2" - 2.3" wide tires (maybe studded) can be a lot of fun in the snow. This route will get you a bike for summer and winter.
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Old 08-03-17, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
Sorry to pop your balloon but any bike you buy in the $300 price range is going to be made in China. That's where nearly all of the entry level bikes are made these days.

There are two likely causes for your bike being stuck in one gear. The most likely is a stuck cable. It might be frayed or rusted inside of the cable housing and that would prevent it from moving and changing gears. The other is a broken shifter. You can buy and replace the cable for less than $10 and the shifter is probably not a lot more than that and often comes with the cable and housing.
What brand and model bike are you currently riding? Are the shifters twist grip or trigger shifters? Any brand on them? If we knew this much we could give you better choices for a repair. And, if you do it yourself after watching the repair on youtube, you will have the bike right away instead of leaving it at a shop. Hell of a lot better than buying a new bike.
It isn't just entry level. It is most bikes now.
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Old 08-04-17, 04:16 AM
  #20  
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Is there a public library near you? If so go there and get a book about bicycling or bike maintenence. See if you can figure out what's wrong with the shifters on the present bike. There is also Sheldon's site, and a bicycle mechanics forum, and the Classic and Vintage Forum.

What is the mtn bike you now have?
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