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Recommend good all-around casual bike

Old 06-19-07, 02:41 PM
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anitract
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Recommend good all-around casual bike

I am looking for a good all-around casual bike that is...
  • Smooth riding.
  • Sturdy build.
  • As light as possible given money constraints.
  • Sub-$400 if possible.
I guess overall I am looking for the best quality at my price point. The bike will be used mainly for short rides w/ a runner (5-6 miles max).

That said, the last bike I purchased was a Schwinn 21-speed mountain bike when I was 12. That was about 15 years ago, so I am a bit behind the times. What brands are good? How about body style? I think a mountain bike may be too heavy/rugged for my needs...

Any feedback/recommendations would be welcome. Thanks!
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Old 06-19-07, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by anitract
I am looking for a good all-around casual bike...
Consider recumbents: the Sun EZ-1 and Cycle Genius Starling are both around $600, but way more comfortable than any normal bike. No padded shorts required, even for dozens-of-miles, multi-hour rides. No hand pressure or neck pain either.
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Old 06-19-07, 03:31 PM
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I won't dismiss your suggestions on price alone, but that is quite a bit more than I'd like to spend if possible. And actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a standard bike...those are cool alright, but I don't think they are my style.
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Old 06-19-07, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by anitract
I am looking for a good all-around casual bike that is...
  • Smooth riding.
  • Sturdy build.
  • As light as possible given money constraints.
  • Sub-$400 if possible.
I guess overall I am looking for the best quality at my price point. The bike will be used mainly for short rides w/ a runner (5-6 miles max).

That said, the last bike I purchased was a Schwinn 21-speed mountain bike when I was 12. That was about 15 years ago, so I am a bit behind the times. What brands are good? How about body style? I think a mountain bike may be too heavy/rugged for my needs...

Any feedback/recommendations would be welcome. Thanks!
I got you all that, plus cool looking. Even came in a penny under budget.
http://www.konaworld.com/bikes/2k7/DEW/index.html

Seriously, if your rides are only 5-6 miles, pretty much any bike with wheels and pedals would be fine. Check out the Dew though if you want something comfy, a blast to ride and durable.
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Old 06-19-07, 03:36 PM
  #5  
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Check out IBEX web site. Nicely equipped bikes for the money. Web buy, so know what size you need.
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Old 06-19-07, 03:39 PM
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That looks like a nice bike. What is it's "style". Looks like a moutain bike...or is it something else?

And ok, let me add then that the bike should have room for future growth (if I get into biking more). Thoough I doubt that I would ever bike more than 8-10 miles...but who knows.
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Old 06-19-07, 03:40 PM
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What would be a good size for a 5'10" 155lb individual?
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Old 06-19-07, 03:48 PM
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It's a bit of an odd bird. Mountain like frame with roadie wheels maybe, or hybrid with a more aggressive riding style. Slightly more rugged then fast, but can be ridden on the roads without any trouble. Excellent component mix for the price.

There's lots of choices in your price range, but not much that has any soul, and comes well built. Check it out.

Thoough I doubt that I would ever bike more than 8-10 miles...but who knows.
That's what I said, just about 12 months, and 2500 miles ago.
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Old 06-19-07, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by anitract
What would be a good size for a 5'10" 155lb individual?
I'm 5'11" about 150, and both my bikes are 56's. Depending on your inseam, arm length, general build, you could go 54, 55 or 56 probably. Tough to spec build on a web site, all bike makers do slightly different things to their frames that effect final size and fit.
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Old 06-19-07, 03:54 PM
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When you say "standard bike", do you mean a road bike, a cruiser, a commuter, or what?

Felt "Claire" cruiser singlespeed $329


Trek Calypso $320 seven speeds


Both are comfortable, stable, fun to ride. Won't be breaking any speed records, though.
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Old 06-19-07, 04:03 PM
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Honestly, style I'm open to anything that's not too far from the "norm" (I'm not really familiar with the styles you listed). Those bikes a slightly too..hmm, bling-y for me? Something like that. Actually, the second one's not that bad, but I like the Kona Dew better.
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Old 06-19-07, 04:06 PM
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I WANT the orange one!!!!
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Old 06-19-07, 05:41 PM
  #13  
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Electra cruisers are superior to Felt in my experience. I'd look into the Electra cruisers and their Amsterdam model. The internal hubs and foot foward design make them superior to any hybrid for lots of starts and stops mixed with slow, steady cruising. On my Marin I find I'm considerably slower coming off stops, and I don't do as well in a slow cruise. For going with someone jogging or running the dog I'd suggest looking at the Electras.
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Old 06-19-07, 05:59 PM
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Sounds like the perfect job for a comfort bike.

I started with the Trek Navigator 300 (100 and 200 are available and cheaper), but if you look you might find a lighter bike for the same price range.
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Old 06-19-07, 08:23 PM
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If you're riding with a runner, you don't need a particularly fast bike, that's for sure. A comfort bike might be fine, but something like Kona Dew or Kona Smoke is faster, nimbler and more versatile, if you ever decide you want to ride more.
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Old 06-19-07, 08:43 PM
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I started with a Giant Cypress. I have ridden up to 70 miles on it. It's a solid bike for the money.

Any bike shop hybrid would probably do fine for you. That Kona looks nice, if they sell them where you live, they don't in my area.
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Old 06-19-07, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by anitract
I am looking for a good all-around casual bike that is...
  • Smooth riding.

    This is more a function of tires than anything. A bike with smooth wider tires will be smooth riding.
  • Sturdy build.

    Most bike shop bikes are built sturdy. Road bikes will be a bit less stout but still very "sturdy."

  • As light as possible given money constraints.

    You aren't going to find a real light bike in this price range. Probably a hybrid will be the lightest.

  • Sub-$400 if possible.
I guess overall I am looking for the best quality at my price point. The bike will be used mainly for short rides w/ a runner (5-6 miles max).

Just about any bike will work for what you intend. 5 miles is avery short distance by bike and accomplishable on probably any bike you can get your hands on.
.......
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Old 06-19-07, 09:07 PM
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The Kona Dew seems like a good choice for your needs and price point.

Bikes that are in-between road bikes and mountain bikes are typically classified as "hybrids." Hybrids usually have 700c rims like road bikes (rather than the 26" rims of mountain bikes), but the frames are built to accomodate wider tires than most road bikes can handle. (The Dew comes with 700x37 tires; most road bikes come with 700x23 or 700x25 tires.)

Hybrids also usually have gearing that is inbetween road bikes and mountain bikes -- the Dew's triple crankset is a 48/38/28, so it meets that criteria too. (The big ring on a roadbike is usually a 52 or 53; the big ring on a mountain bike is usually 42 or 44.)

Like mountain bikes, hybrids often have front suspension forks -- the Dew doesn't. If you're not planning to do any super-technical off-road riding, the Dew's rigid fork is a plus; it keeps the bike lighter and faster.

If you ultimately decide you want to go longer than five or six miles or at a faster pace, you could speed up the Dew simply by putting some skinnier tires.

Similar bikes to consider are the Bianchi Avenue ($350), the Jamis Urban-X ($389).

If you want something with drop bars, I think you might have to pay more like $500 and up to get something new.
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Old 06-20-07, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by anitract
I won't dismiss your suggestions on price alone, but that is quite a bit more than I'd like to spend if possible.
Well you can certainly spend less, but a bicycle that hurts so much you won't ride it isn't a bargain at any price.

If you want a "regular" bike you don't have to buy new--you can find lots of nice examples second-hand, very lightly used and extremely dusty.

...And actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a standard bike...those are cool alright, but I don't think they are my style.
If you buy a standard bike, you get the standard saddle pain, hand numbness and neck pain. ....And you sell it on Craigslist in a couple years, because you never ride it much and the guy down at the bike shop swears that "the newer bikes we have are MUCH more comfortable than the old ones".....
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Old 06-20-07, 05:01 AM
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If you buy a standard bike, you get the standard saddle pain, hand numbness and neck pain
I know others have called you on this nonsense before, but only a small minority of people find regular bikes uncomfortable ( and an even smaller minority over a distance of 5 miles). I know you love your bent, but give it a rest.
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Old 06-20-07, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by eibeinaka
I know others have called you on this nonsense before, but only a small minority of people find regular bikes uncomfortable ( and an even smaller minority over a distance of 5 miles). I know you love your bent, but give it a rest.
Seriously. This 'bent propaganda is getting quite tiresome. I can always just use the ignore function, but you (I mean Doug5150, not eibeinaka) are giving newbies bad advice.
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Old 06-20-07, 11:02 AM
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I really appreciate all of the excellent feedback folks. I know at least one bike shop in my area carries Kona. They have the Kona Dew Delux, which is $100 more. If they don't have the Dew, not sure if the Delux is worth the extra cost. Anyway, I'm planning to go to the shop later this week to get some hands on...that might help me make a quicker decision. But reading everyones comments and browsing some bike sites, it looks like a hybrid would be best for me.
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Old 06-20-07, 11:53 AM
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I have a Dew Deluxe and love it. The extra $100 is worth it for the better component group,wheels,and disc brakes.

For your stated purpose,you might also want to look at the Kona Smoke. Great deal for the money.
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Old 06-20-07, 02:52 PM
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They have the Kona Dew Delux, which is $100 more.
If you can get the deluxe for $500, I'd definitely go for it. It lists at $600, so would be a tough call as to whether it's worth the extra 200 or not. Well, not that tough a call, I own the Deluxe (disk brakes are cool).

The other advantage is the extra frame sizes. Dew jumps from 52 to 56, Deluxe has a 54 available, which might be your best size bet.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:44 AM
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Well this weekend I went to 3 bike shops looking at the hybrid bikes. Kona by far is my favorite - they are so light and sturdy! The only problem is that they only have a 52" Dew, which is a bit small, and the Deluxe is actually the standard price of $600...so...a little more than I wanted to spend.

The bike shop that carried Kona, also carries Specialized. The fellow that I was talking to said that the Globe & Globe Sport (http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...sp?sid=07Globe) would be similar to the Dew and in the $410 to $500 price range. I could order either of those. Anyone have any experience with the Globe models, or have any other really light sturdy bikes similar to the Dew that I might want to look into?

I'd really like to justify the Dew Deluxe, as it had disk breaks and was just really fun to ride. But how can I do that at $200 more for a "casual" bike?

I also looked at some Trek and several other hybrid bikes that just didn't have the coolness factor of the Dew....however, the prices were indeed cheaper.

Last edited by anitract; 06-25-07 at 10:50 AM.
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