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Help a beginner out, recommendations, etc

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Old 05-15-18, 08:27 PM
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BikeNub2
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Help a beginner out, recommendations, etc

I had a basic box store (Triax VBX3000) bike that I bought for around campus years ago and eventually used to drag my kids behind. Last Summer some kids stole it from my garage and now I'm left looking for a new bike. I'm hoping you all can help with a couple of questions.

Main use:
Family bike rides on neighborhood streets/paved paths
Paved bike paths for exercise
Maybe, maybe dirt paths for exercise

I have a bad back and the knees aren't far behind so I'm ideally looking to shift into cycling over running. That said, I'm not going to be a speed demon so I'm not really concerned there. I do need something to take the shock out of my back when thing over things like curbs (which is why I've been eyeing bikes with fork and seat suspension).

I imagine I'm looking more for a comfort or hybrid style bike?

I've looked at things like the Trek Navigator line and while this would probably be great for the casual ride, I wonder if it'll be too sluggish?

On the flip side I've looked at hybrid or mountain bikes like the Rockhopper from Specialized or FX/7000 series from Trek but worry the forward riding position will not do my back any favors.

Budget is ideally $150, really need to stay under $200/225 so I'm fully open to going used and have really focused used vs new to get quality over new.

I understand this is a low budget given the bikes I've mentioned but I just can't justify spending more until I get further into riding and determine what does and does not work, etc.

Some of the bikes I've looked at:

chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/d/specialized-rockhopper/6586189557

From what I've looked at this appears to be a 2006 and is worth something in the $150 area. The seller is firm at $195 and believes it to be a 2012 though he had no clue of year when we originally spoke. While it's still within budget at $195 the seller has me more turned off than anything else with his lack of knowledge on the year/a few specs yet complete dismissal of my research and unwillingness to consider offers.

Is this price accurate or is he high?

chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/d/trek-7300-hybrid-bike/6585909815

Don't know much about the 7000 series and I've heard mixed reviews so I haven't dug too much into this one yet.

chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/d/trek-navigator/6587879292

Being the latest navigator trek put out I don't know as this will fall into my budget for now.

chicago.craigslist.org/nch/bik/d/trek-navigator-20-comfort-bike/6580734738

The 2.0 series I have found a number of recently but, unfortunately those that have been selling around $150/160 are over 90 minutes away and those within 30 minutes are either too big or from sellers who see stuck at/near $300.
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Old 05-15-18, 08:54 PM
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Bill Gem
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Have you checked the local bike shops to see what they’ve taken in trade or what they may be selling from their rental fleet?
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Old 05-15-18, 09:44 PM
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That is on the list of to do, especially with the holiday coming. I'm partially hesitant/not expecting much as, for no substantiated reason, I feel as though the focus will be to push toward new or trade in bikes will still be over price vs what I could find via private seller.
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Old 05-15-18, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeNub2 View Post
That is on the list of to do, especially with the holiday coming. I'm partially hesitant/not expecting much as, for no substantiated reason, I feel as though the focus will be to push toward new or trade in bikes will still be over price vs what I could find via private seller.
Dealer price will always be higher than private party, just like with a used car. Unless you're mechanically savvy, the extra cost at the dealer is buying peace of mind and support for if/when stuff breaks and you can't fix it yourself.


Nothing wrong with going used private party. But you are the warranty. So choose wisely.
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Old 05-15-18, 11:12 PM
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A $150 used bike is for someone who has a good working knowledge of bike mechanics and can get it road ready (it wont be) and keep up with the regular maintenance. I can't tell how old the o.p. is but 'bad back' and "knees not far behind" ... well they kind of sound like they are in my age group. Were I the o.p. (and I could be) I would take the $150 and start a membership at a local gym franchise. That back needs for the o.p. to address their core issues (pun intended) and cardio and strength training are bonuses. I'm serious, a bike that cheap is going to end up costing half as much again to be road worthy and before that point the o.p. will have already cut their losses. That said, $150 can buy a surprising amount of bicycle from the usual box store retailers. Since the o.p. already has experience with those that is probably an avenue to explore again. At least the bike will be new.
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Old 05-16-18, 03:05 AM
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https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/b...587431564.html

90s Trek 4000 for 100 bucks. Probably better than the specialized even if it were the same price. Several other decent options in the area too.

Life is too short to take a chance of meeting some guy who is a moron and will waste your time. If they have things like FIRM and OBO in their ad then I take that as a warning sign.

I don't agree about the 150 buck bikes all being crap and unrideable, though this varies depending on location probably. I got my gary fisher wahoo for 80 bucks, only had to put 20 bucks into it so far. If an older bike costs more than 50 bucks then it better be rideable or else have some strong inherent value to the parts.
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Old 05-16-18, 05:48 AM
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remenber fit will be more important for your comfort than anything. i have a bad back and arthritic neck and yet ride skinny tires (28-32mm) road bikes comfortably without suspenson. this is because i figured out my fit. ideally you want a bike where your leg can fully extend at the bottom of the pedal stroke. in practice it wont quite. if you want to sit upright you want a handlebar stem with short reach and high rise. stems can be changed and modified quite a bit. if you went to a bike shop with what you described so far they would steer you to a "comfort" bike. they arent bad choices for what you need. relativly efficient compared to a walmart bike and big tires with suspension. many of these type bikes go into garages and never get ridden. should be some used ones out there.
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Old 05-16-18, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeNub2 View Post
That is on the list of to do, especially with the holiday coming. I'm partially hesitant/not expecting much as, for no substantiated reason, I feel as though the focus will be to push toward new or trade in bikes will still be over price vs what I could find via private seller.
Think about your objective: Are you looking for a bike to ride or are you looking for a bike that you can buy cheap? The most important thing about a bike is how well it's sized to fit your body and your intended use. That's far more important than the brand or grade of derailleurs or frame material.

The drawback to buying from a private seller is that there's usually only one. You have to have the knowledge to access how well it fits you and you have to have the discipline to resist all of the bikes, regardless of how nice, that don't fit. If you don't enjoy it enough to ride it quite a bit it isn't a good deal no matter what the brand or component group.
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Old 05-16-18, 11:41 AM
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Listed Craiglist prices seem high in Chicago, and a lot of sellers are happy to hold onto their bikes in hopes of getting the high price instead of selling them for lower prices. I don;t know the actual selling prices of the bikes that move, though.

You really need to get a true ready-to-ride bike if you can't do your own work or afford to have an LBS do it. If the bike doesn't operate properly, you won;t want to ride.

Good luck on your hunt.
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Old 05-16-18, 11:56 AM
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What burb are you in? Bikes sell high in the windy city area - might find cheaper options out in the burbs...………...
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Old 05-16-18, 12:06 PM
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I know you said no more than $225, but if you can bump your budget up just a bit, you can get into new.

$250 for a scratch and dent fitness/commuter type bike from Bikes Direct: BikeIsland.com - Bicycle Parts, Accessories and Clothing at Affordable Prices with Free Shipping
$270 for a new Nashbar flat bar: https://www.bikenashbar.com/cycling/...oad-bike-nb-fb

Yes, they will take some assembly upon arrival, but no more than you will likely have to deal with used. With used, know that needing things like tires, cables, grips, etc can quickly run you another $80-100, so keep that in mind if it isn't "turn-key" condition. Not trying to dissuade you from used, almost all of my bikes have been used in some manner, just trying to give you a heads up.

And yes, do call around for a bike shop that sells used. Try near major universities, there are generally a few catering to the population around those.
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Old 05-16-18, 12:26 PM
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Oh, also you should have a Performance Bike around Chicago. The ones around me generally have stuff in that $250-300 range on closeout, if you can swing a few more bucks. That way, you can try it out beforehand and leave knowing you've got something they'll back up if it goes wrong.
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Old 05-18-18, 02:28 PM
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Tweaking a handful of things with the budget I think I can make any of these work, if cheaper I can pull the trigger now, otherwise isI have to hold a couple months. Spent some time at the local bike shop and am learning toward one of the following:

Cannondale Adventure 3 $520:
cannondale.com/USA/bike/Productdetail?Id=bfcd8cf0-2449-4994-abbc-8202eba3501f

Specialized Crossroads which I would add a suspension seat post or spring seat to $390 (on sale) after add-on:
specialized.com/us/en/crossroads/p/134476?color=240231-134476

Specialized Crossroads Sport $510:
specialized.com/us/en/crossroads-sport/p/134474?color=240227-134474

Thoughts?
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