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Looking for Guidance on What New bikes to Buy

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Looking for Guidance on What New bikes to Buy

Old 09-29-08, 07:16 PM
John W Foster
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Looking for Guidance on What New bikes to Buy

Hello all, this is my first official post here. My wife Susan and I (John) are considering upgrading our bikes soon, as well as planning on becoming more avid cyclers. It we are both in our mid 40's and in good health. We live in a rural area with primarily paved roads, in Southern Ontario,Canada. Our terrain varies from flat to rolling, and any severe grades are not that long. Susan has a 20+ year old Raleigh mtn. bike, which she uses with or without a utility cart to bike into our village which is about 4K away or to visit freinds who are reasonably close by. I have a 7 year old single speed cruiser from the local hardware store, and bike about 5K each way to work and back, weather permitting.
We would like to get into more recreational biking either doing day trips from home or taking our bikes with us on holidays and doing day trips originating at a motel or campsite. At this time as I am employed full time and Susan is fairly busy with a home based business we are not quite ready for the full touring bike experience , we like to travel into the United States and the timeframe to get to a desired area and back would take up too much vacation time. We are leaning toward road bikes, because of the ability to efficiently travel at good speeds with moderate effort. Several neighbours and family members are road bikers and have us convinced of the value of the special shoes that clip to the pedals. We have shopped for touring bikes but were frustrated by the low inventory of these bikes that most shops seem to carry. We liked the touring design because of the ability to fit fully functional fenders to the bike, and at some future time to outfit the bike well with front and back carriers. Are there any brands of road bike that accept a functional fender? This is important to me because I would like to be able to still bike to work on slightly rainy days. Also it it still posible for my wife to pull a two wheel utility art with a road bike? I also work from before dawn to after dark, so I want a first class light package on my bike. While we have a $500.00 price range in mind, I expect that by the time we buy shoes, fenders, carriers, lights, pay sales tax that we won't get away with much under a $1000.00 is this a reasonable expectation? We would rather spend our money on something reliable and proven, over something gimicky or trendy. Any suggestions? Thanks John.
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Old 09-30-08, 02:59 AM
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Bikes direct has a touring bike in the $500 dollar range I think. You will need to assemle it or have it assembled and the wheels trued and tensioned after it is shipped to you, so you need to factor that in to the cost. Most other touring bikes are going to be right around $1000, and you will still have to buy it sight unseen because shops don't stock them. In this case I see no drawback to ordering online. Try looking at Cyclocross bikes also, the lower end ($1000) models tend to be do it all bikes with room for fat tires with fenders and attachments for a rear rack. They make okay touring bikes in a pinch, especially if you prefer to tour with a BOB trailer instead of panniers. I have toured on my Surly Cross Check and it performed perfectly with front and rear panniers, but it took some planning to get them to mount.
If you are ready to try clipless pedals, stick with mountain bike shoes and pedals, because they are easier to walk in if you stop to do errands or sightsee on your rides. Shimano SPD and Crank Brothers Egg Beaters are both pretty popular pedals.
Here is my Cross Check on the day I was test fitting the front panniers. I don't have a picture of it fully loaded handy.
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