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Buying a New Bike Advice Needed

Old 06-14-19, 05:28 PM
  #1  
Journey20
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Buying a New Bike Advice Needed

Hello, I am looking to buy my first bike in years and haven't biked since I was a teenager(now early 30's), and could use a little advice on what type/brand of bike might be a good option for me.

I'll be using it mostly on road but also sometimes on common city dirt and gravel bike paths sometimes. It can be quite hilly here(Pacific Northwest) and also rains a lot. I might be using it for at least an hour most days.

I have no intentions of competitive riding, going super fast on road, or any crazy mountain biking. I just want a bike that is enjoyable to use and can ride on roads efficiently and also light trails. I do know that I want disc brakes(it's wet here).

From the little research I've done, it seems that a hybrid bike of some sort is what might be a good fit for me, although I'm not sure which is why I'm here for advice. And if so, I'm not sure whether or not to get one more at the road end of the spectrum or one near the mountain bike end of the spectrum. I can see the logic of why you'd pick one over the other but maybe someone has had an experience that would tell me else-wise.

My budget is around $500-$1000 USD which I know after looking around is not a lot, and I know I won't get a perfect bike, just looking for my best value in that range.

I know some may say to buy used but I'd rather buy new even if I'm losing out a little.

Thanks to all that can help.
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Old 06-14-19, 07:50 PM
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grayrest
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If you have a bike co-op in your area, you might want to check in with them. They'll sell you a used bike but they'll also teach you to fix it and answer your questions. Their goal is to get people into cycling and having a bike for 6 months or a year gives you enough perspective to make a purchase you won't regret.

That said, if you're buying new it sounds like you're looking for a hybrid or for a gravel bike. In general they fill the same niche but hybrids are the lower end flatbar version and gravel / all-road / road plus / whatever marketing calls endurance road bikes with wide tire clearance is the high end. Gravel bikes are the current hotness so you have lots of options:
  • Diamondback Haanjo
  • Jamis Renegade
  • Cannondale Topstone
  • Trek Checkpoint
  • Giant Anyroad
Most companies will have a model for both hybrid and gravel. You're in the get-what-you-pay-for range here so spending more gets you a noticeably better bike (diminishing returns start kicking in at the ~$1300 range). The problem is that it's hard to recommend a first bike to someone. If you wind up not getting into the sport the bike will collect dust. If you wind up getting really into cycling you might find yourself really wanting a $2k+ bike (e.g. I ride 300 days/year for at least 90 minutes a day). In either case you'll lose most of the cost of the bike on the resale.

Once you have your basic research, you should go to a local bike shop and test ride bikes. You're paying the new bike premium for them answering your questions (in particular, questions about fenders for you), allowing test rides, and having a working relationship after the purchase. Choosing a bike is mostly about liking the bike and online research only gets you so far.
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Old 06-14-19, 08:03 PM
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Old 06-14-19, 08:34 PM
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I checked out the Fuji Yari extensively a while back. (Fuji Bikes | Jari) I looked at the Haanjo also.

I'd suggest a bike with wide tires, and No suspension. If you don't plan on riding a lot of mud or rough trails, you can go with narrower tires. You might need to get two sets of wheels if you plan to use the bike for serious dirt and mud as well as pavement. It is all up to how you want to ride.

In any case, you need to ride a bunch of bikes, and visit a bunch of bike manufacturer websites. See what's out there and learn your options. Learn the levels of components so when you see a bike you know what it is---not saying a salesperson would ever mislead you, but knowing what you're about doesn't hurt.
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Old 06-14-19, 08:50 PM
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"In any case, you need to ride a bunch of bikes, and visit a bunch of bike manufacturer websites. See what's out there and learn your options. Learn the levels of components so when you see a bike you know what it is---not saying a salesperson would ever mislead you, but knowing what you're about doesn't hurt."

That is really good advice because like someone else mentioned, at this stage you never know how serious you are about riding. But educating yourself before the leap is a good way to make sure you know what you're buying.
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Old 06-14-19, 09:20 PM
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You’ll have no trouble finding a nice flat handlebar hybrid in your price range. Every major manufacturer makes a version at various price points within your range. As would be expected, you’ll find shifting and braking performance improves at the higher priced end of the spectrum.

I recommend you avoid suspension forks because of the type of riding you’ve described and the fact that suspension forks in that price range are low quality. A bike that accepts fatter tires will offer more versatility, with the ability to run skinny tires, fat tires, or knobbies.

Visit your local bike shop (LBS) and kick the tires on a few bikes across your price range. Be sure to check out a few different shops, if possible. Since most of the bikes offered by the major players are so similar in spec and quality, it may come down to which shop you like best or which bike comes in a cool color. Once you’ve spent enough time on the saddles and chatted up enough LBS employees, you’ll know which bike feels like “the one.”

Every new bike purchase will include anywhere from one free tuneup, to a whole year of free tuneups. You’ll need one at the very least. A good shop will also offer discounts on accessories at the time of purchase, so take a look at their stock of helmets, gloves and whatevers when you’re out kicking those tires.

Now, you’ll need to get your post count up high enough here so once you throw your money down on that bike you’ll be able to post photos on New Bike Day. Them’s the rules.


-Kedosto
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Old 06-14-19, 11:29 PM
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I'm a big fan of hybrid bikes.

I have familiarity with Trek bikes (because I shopped for and bought one) and think the FX3 and 4 are both good bikes in your price range.
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Old 06-19-19, 01:38 PM
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Thank you guys for all the help and advice. All fingers(Except one) seem to be pointing me towards a flat bar hybrid which is what I thought would be the case from the research I've done. I've also figured out most of the components and the drivetrain groupsets to the best of my ability without experiencing them for myself, so I guess my next step is to go through the actual options out there and go in and take a look.

I do still wonder at the usefulness of having the suspension on the hybrid models. I know that they are supposedly cheap, but is there any chance I'll be missing the suspension when it comes to rough roads, pot holes etc.? Does having the hybrid suspension have any significant impact on the safety of the ride or is it just a gimmick that is likely not needed?

Thanks again.
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Old 06-19-19, 08:11 PM
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For the type riding I do, I like the suspension forks. Some smooth pavement, some rough hard surface.

I would suggest riding something with them before you write them off.
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Old 06-19-19, 09:37 PM
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Bike Shop !.. walk in , talk to them, and take test rides ..
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Old 06-19-19, 09:57 PM
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Depends on how efficient you want your ride. Efficiency does make a difference on the hills. Hybrids are going to be less efficient than drop-bar gravel bikes, which are going to be less efficient than road bikes. Suspension even more so. Doesn't mean you won't be really happy with a hybrid, just that if you find yourself being passed by nearly every road bike on the road, you may start wishing you had a different bike. That's what happened to me.
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Old 06-20-19, 01:15 AM
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Check out gravel and endurance type bikes. Very versatile, with more hand positions than flat bar hybrids so they're better suited to longer rides. Many affordable gravel and adventure bikes have the handlebar at saddle height, same as most flat bar sport hybrids. So you're not giving up anything in comfort, but gaining some versatility for longer days in the saddle.

You might not think you'll do long rides now, but once the bike bug bites, who knows. Several of my younger friends in their 20s-40s started out thinking they'd ride only 5-10 miles, two or three times a week. Now they're commuting up to 20 miles a day, and riding centuries and bikepacking on weekends.

Big soft tires will handle most roads. When I started riding again four years ago after 30+ years away from cycling, I got a comfort hybrid with fat tires, simple spring suspension fork, heavily padded and springy saddle, etc. And it was fine then to get me back into shape. But I hardly ever ride it now, other than grocery errands a mile or so away.

After getting back into shape I prefer my rigid frame hybrid with 700x42 tires at lower pressure, and albatross bars for more versatility than the original flat bars. And it's a little more aero than the flat bars.

And now I have two road bikes, an old school steel frame and an early Trek carbon fiber bike. Mostly I prefer the steel frame bike for longer rides on rougher roads. The carbon fiber bike is a little quicker on smooth pavement and climbs.

My next bike will be a gravel or endurance type bike. If I'd started out with one, I'd probably have only one bike in my apartment instead of five!

And with the right tires a gravel bike can be competent for spirited road rides. Being young helps. My friends in their 20s-30s are a little faster on their gravel bikes than I am on my carbon fiber road racing bike. Nothing tops a good fresh engine.
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Old 06-20-19, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Journey20 View Post
Hello, I am looking to buy my first bike in years and haven't biked since I was a teenager(now early 30's), and could use a little advice on what type/brand of bike might be a good option for me.

I'll be using it mostly on road but also sometimes on common city dirt and gravel bike paths sometimes. It can be quite hilly here(Pacific Northwest) and also rains a lot. I might be using it for at least an hour most days.

I have no intentions of competitive riding, going super fast on road, or any crazy mountain biking. I just want a bike that is enjoyable to use and can ride on roads efficiently and also light trails. I do know that I want disc brakes(it's wet here).

From the little research I've done, it seems that a hybrid bike of some sort is what might be a good fit for me, although I'm not sure which is why I'm here for advice. And if so, I'm not sure whether or not to get one more at the road end of the spectrum or one near the mountain bike end of the spectrum. I can see the logic of why you'd pick one over the other but maybe someone has had an experience that would tell me else-wise.

My budget is around $500-$1000 USD which I know after looking around is not a lot, and I know I won't get a perfect bike, just looking for my best value in that range.

I know some may say to buy used but I'd rather buy new even if I'm losing out a little.

Thanks to all that can help.
Well stated intentions, @Journey20. I have posted on a few threads about such queries regarding hybrid bikes, FWIW:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Newbie Requests Advice”

I usually only suggest buying strategy, but FWIW, I can make a specific recommendation based on personal experieince
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Whenever I’m asked about buying a bike my questions are what do you want it for, and how much to spend? IMO bikes of similar quality by brand names stratify in groups of about approximately $US 200 intervals.
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
# 1, choose a Bike Shop you like, then (2) tell them about what your riding plans are...

(3) test ride some bikes they have…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Help with choosing a bike.

To add to that good, general basic advice, I recently posted to this thread...Now here’s where I’m coming from. I have described myself as a decades-long, year-round lifestyle cyclist, and my favored bike is a high-end carbon fiber bike costing thousands of dollars..

I also have a aluminum beater road bike costing about $1500,and for me that was a minimal road bike, to be used in bad weather.


FWIW, I also have a Giant Escape hybrid bike that I recently bought for rehabilitation, because I was having trouble with my neck and shoulders riding the drop bars.

That bike cost about $600, and IMO was a good value as an all-round bike, certainly more amenable to off-road riding than my expensive carbon fiber road bike, and sturdy for my urban commute on the mean streets of Boston.
..
Also has disc brakes.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 06-20-19 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 06-20-19, 08:23 AM
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It's a current thing.. most brands want a share of that market.. many brands hire a few OEM factories ..

so once you are dealing with a decent bike shop, at the same price point they are more similar than different.

so want disc brakes? ask the bike shop ro show you what they have ,

and can get, if not there at the moment you walk in..









....

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-20-19 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 06-21-19, 03:26 AM
  #15  
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Some manufacturers are going toward 650b like the Devinci Cartier, Raleigh Redux, Masi Strada Vita Uno or the Kona Dew hybrids. (There's actually several Dew models including the Dew City which has V-brakes, the other ones have disc brakes.)

But there are drop bar bicycles like the Salsa Journeyman 650b.

EDIT: For mountain bikes, there's the Opus Recruit 3 which has 27.5(same as 650b)x2.6" tires and hydraulic brakes.

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