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Beginner choosing between a few options...

Old 07-17-11, 08:50 AM
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Beginner choosing between a few options...

Hi all, I'm new to this forum. I don't know much about bikes and haven't been on a bike in about 10 years. I would like to get one for some light commuting and exercise. I want it for (1) commuting to work/school through a fairly urban area (about 7 miles round trip) and (2) some recreational riding, maybe a 5-10 mile ride a couple of times a week and a slightly longer one on the weekends, no more than 50 miles. Most of the riding would be on pavement (though the pavement is full of cracks and potholes where I live) and light dirt trails and bike paths. I am leaning towards a hybrid at this point. Without any experience, I am a bit nervous about road bikes and want to be able to do some light trail riding. But I don't plan to do any real mountain biking either, so a hybrid seems like a good alternative for a first bike. I cannot afford more than about $500 right now. So, I am looking at the following options from a few LBSs and am looking for any opinions/advice:

1. Trek 7000 ($410) or a 7100 ($460-ish, though I've heard the suspension wouldn't do me much good on this hybrid), on which I would likely put some semi-slick hybrid tires.
2. Specialized CrossTrail ($510) - unfortunately, the local dealer only has the women's version and I would have to commit to buying it before testing it
3. There is a LBS that deals almost exclusively in Jamis bikes, so perhaps a Jamis hybrid if they have one in my price range.

Also, any other advice on what I should get before starting out? Helmets? Gloves? Any other equipment?

Thanks!
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Old 07-17-11, 09:34 AM
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Type? rather than brand, or do dealers for those brands exist where you live..
Shop the dealer, your comment on #2, seems to knock that guy off, not willing to get a sellable bike for a potential customer seems weak customer service..

straight bar, and a wide-ish tire 35mm is about that , in 26" a 1.5" wide tire is similar enough to
cover that niche.

Or do you want drop handlebars?

"Bikes" all come out of a few very large factories.. contract specifies appearance,
but all the parts come from another set of companies they have many price points
Of components.

Product managers juggles all those costs, and writes up contracts..
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Old 07-17-11, 09:41 AM
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There are 3 LBSs nearby. One deals almost exclusively in Jamis, one carries mostly Trek (as well as Mongoose, I believe), and the other sells Specialized almost exclusively. So yea, these are 3 options from 3 different dealers.
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Old 07-17-11, 09:49 AM
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A hybrid could be a good re-entry bike.

And most experienced riders would not recommend the suspension.

My personal preference is a bike with drop style handlebars. They offer more hand positions than the flat bars so I find hand pain and numbness less of a problem.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a bike I could recommend in the $500 price range from the companies you mention.

Here's what I would recommend: a cyclocross bike similar to Specialized TriCross



Here's a link: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...=Path%2FGravel

The problem is it has a MSRP of about twice your budget.

Have you consider a used bike?
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Old 07-17-11, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by robn311
There is a LBS that deals almost exclusively in Jamis bikes, so perhaps a Jamis hybrid if they have one in my price range.

Also, any other advice on what I should get before starting out? Helmets? Gloves? Any other equipment?
Definitely check out the Jamis bikes. They're great bikes.

You'll need a helmet and gloves, and a seat pack to carry: spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, multitool, etc. You'll also need a frame mounted pump. You can get all of these items at the bike shop.
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Old 07-17-11, 02:18 PM
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You could try used bikes. If you can spot potential problems, you should be able to find a lot more bike for your money than buying new. I commute on an old mountain bike with slick tyres. If you prefer drop handlebars, you should be able to find a nice used road bike that will be perfectly adequate for commuting and general riding.

Lights are essential for night riding, and can be useful in rain and general poor visibility. Good fenders also keep you a bit cleaner during and after rain, stopping road crud from being thrown all over you.

For commuting and riding more than a few miles from home, I'd carry a basic tool kit. There are some good multi-tools available which are great for keeping on the bike, or alternatively you can get cased tool kits with a multi-way spanner, tyre levers and screwdrivers etc. You should have a spare inner tube and patch kit (if you get a flat, it's easier to replace the tube and repair the old one when you get to your destination) as well as a frame mounted pump.

Unless your local laws mandate it, protective gear is entirely up to you. I usually wear gloves, which not only offer a bit of hand protection in a fall, but also keep the wind off your hands and can make the grips more comfortable. If you feel more comfortable wearing a helmet, by all means do so. It will give some protection to the top of your head from minor bumps and scrapes, but in my opinion gloves are more useful in general road riding
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Old 07-17-11, 09:19 PM
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Shop for a bike shop first. It sounds to me like you are shopping at 3 different dealers. If you have a service problem or a warranty issue, who do you want working for you?

Find the right bike shop, buy a brand they sell and you'll NEVER go wrong.
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