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Recommend a bike

Old 03-29-11, 05:54 PM
  #1  
Durendal
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Recommend a bike

Let me preface this with the statement that I am a newbie to the biking scene and have little to no knowledge of bikes themselves. I know how to ride a bike, but that's about it.

Anyway I'm thinking about buying a bike to be used mostly for commuting to and from work (roughly 8 miles each way) and some trails on weekends. Thought I'd come to the experts to ask for advice on what types and brands of bikes to look into as well as what I can expect in certain price ranges. My main criterion are that it be a reliable bike and I would like the top gear to be heavy resistance, other than that any guidance would be appreciated. Was thinking of spending $150-300 so anything in that price range would be welcome, or if you think I can find something for less to fit my needs I'd be glad to hear that too.

Thanks for any and all help here folks.
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Old 03-30-11, 06:12 AM
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You have a contradiction in terms here - you're asking for a reliable bike for up to $300.

In my experience, if you're planning to use this bike daily for 16 miles a day you should probably spend more than $300. It sounds expensive at first but if you find a good bike shop, spend say 5-600 on a bike (I know it's a lot) but get after sale service it's well worth the money.

When I purchased my Norco in 2006 I ended up spending close to $900 after I walked out of the store - the shoes and tax added to the total BUT the store where I purchased my bike offered free tuneups for LIFE. I've been bringing in the bike about twice every year, they spend 10-15 minutes going over it tweaking things and I walk out - great deal.

Think about the money you will save on gas, but DON'T think about the money you will spend buying new smaller pants I commuted on this bike for about 8 months straight, rain or shine until my wife convinced me to buy a car for the winter. The bike now has about 5000km (only 1 year of heavy commuting since I switched jobs) and runs great.

On the flip side, we purchased a bike for my wife from a local large retailer (not quite wallymart but close enough), the bike is heavy, crank is crooked and guess what - this year we're buying her a bike from a bike store .... not much saved in buying a "cheap"bike if you ask me......
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Old 03-30-11, 01:01 PM
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http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../cruisers.html

order a 3 speed hub and away you go!!
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Old 03-30-11, 03:09 PM
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I'm not normally someone who recommends Specialized, but they have a model that will fulfill your needs -- you just need to dig a little deeper into the wallet.

The Crosstrail, according to the website, starts at $510.
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Old 03-30-11, 05:48 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far guys. As 1ply said saving gas money is part of why I want a bike and I figured at current gas prices I'd save a little under $400 if I biked to work for half the year. Figuring in days when it rains and that I live near Chicago and doubt I'll be biking in the winter I think that's a pretty fair estimate and where I started on my price rang. Really had no idea how much a decent bike would cost.

While I've got your attention could you give me some general tips on what sort of attributes I should look for when shopping for a bike?
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Old 03-30-11, 07:06 PM
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Go shop the REI online Outlet Store for current deals on a hybrid.
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Old 03-30-11, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Durendal View Post
While I've got your attention could you give me some general tips on what sort of attributes I should look for when shopping for a bike?
1. a good fit.
2. a good LBS if you don't know bike mechanics

I would look for a cross or touring bike, these are good for commuting, normally they have sturdier wheels and bigger tires. I like the eyelets for racks since I wouldn't use a backpack.

This will also break the bank since touring bikes are around $1000 and go up from there.

Also ask on the commuting forum, you may find others that ride the same area that you will.
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Old 04-11-11, 01:51 AM
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What you should look for is a bike that doesn't have such nobby or mountain tires, look for something more slick that offer less rolling resistance. Go to a shop and get an idea of what size bike you need, they usually offer this for free. Ideally you would want a bike with 700c wheels (skinny tires) and comfortable positions. Maybe hit up craigslist or the newspaper and get an older bike and get it tuned up, it would last a heck of a lot longer than a wallfart bike for the same pirce. Contrary to other forumers I wouldn't spend too much on a bike, ride something cheap for a while to figure out what you like, then drop the mula on something you can truly appreciate.
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Old 04-11-11, 02:25 AM
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Wvwn my old school sweer cantililevered Schwinn breaks down at least once a month--from tire troubles to simply airing up that tires toadjusting the rear wheel to keep the chain taut. Cycles ain't pain free, scooters are worse. Having basic mechanical skills is a huge advantage...if you leave yourself to the LBS for everything it will be spendy hurt. This isn't like a car...a bike has more critical components to directly fail, so please don't kid yourself if you feel you have a smple, mount and go solution. Get a good toolkit and know how ro fix you bike on the spot. A powerful small hand pump or CO2 capsules will be invaluable. We don't even HAVE an LBS for our area-the LBS owner clsoed and split so the nearest LBS is 32 miles away. Then you learn who fixes bikes for their hobby. There are only 10,000 people in the town.
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