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I am planning to buy a bike. I am a beginner. help!?

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I am planning to buy a bike. I am a beginner. help!?

Old 02-20-14, 10:58 PM
  #1  
MeghnaN
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I am planning to buy a bike. I am a beginner. help!?

I do not need a sophisticated/high end bike. I am thinking of getting a bike - put on sale in a local ad here. I have two options -

1. 26" Granite Peak Women's Mountain Bike, [ Used 5-6 times, $60 ]
2. Huffy Trail Runner 26" Women's Bike [ Used only once - $75 ]


Both are low-end bikes, i I know. Honestly, I am just going to start learning to ride in normal roads, trails, etc. So could someone suggest which is a better deal to go about?
Kindly do not suggest any other bike ideas outside these options I got.
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Old 02-20-14, 11:12 PM
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Assuming they are both the appropriate size for you, pick the one with the color you like best.

Honestly, one is a Roadmaster and one is a Huffy, both are low end bikes with low end parts, so unless there is something obviously wrong with one of them, it's a coin toss. With proper care and adjustment, you should be able to get some useful service out of either.

I'm not going to try to talk you out of your decision, but I want to point out that the good people here don't warn about low-end, big box bikes to be snobs. Even if you are just starting out and on a tight budget there are better avenues to pursue.

Good luck with your purchase, I honestly hope you enjoy whatever you get. If you ever become open to other ideas and suggestions, please let us know.

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Old 02-20-14, 11:20 PM
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Moved to General from Road.
------------

You might be better served if you included links to those bikes. The pics should help determine condition better.
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Old 02-20-14, 11:44 PM
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Thank you for your responses. After a lot of thought process, I made up my mind to not buy a cheap under $100 bike even to ride in neighbourhood. I may try local bike shops to get a quality/branded bike that are used! may be around or < 200 $. Kindly advise if that is a good idea.



Originally Posted by MeghnaN View Post
I do not need a sophisticated/high end bike. I am thinking of getting a bike - put on sale in a local ad here. I have two options -

1. 26" Granite Peak Women's Mountain Bike, [ Used 5-6 times, $60 ]
2. Huffy Trail Runner 26" Women's Bike [ Used only once - $75 ]


Both are low-end bikes, i I know. Honestly, I am just going to start learning to ride in normal roads, trails, etc. So could someone suggest which is a better deal to go about?
Kindly do not suggest any other bike ideas outside these options I got.
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Old 02-20-14, 11:56 PM
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Buying used from a LBS isn't a bad idea, so long as there are any shops that does so, that is. A couple of other ideas to consider:

-Find any shops that does rentals. Find out how often they "roll over" the fleet and ask them what they do with the retired units.*
-Might check and see if there are any bike co-ops or bike kitchens in your area. There is a resource sticky in LCF that discusses these and includes some links (which also include directories).

*Edit: For that matter, should you find shops that do rentals, you might inquire about a long-term rental. The upside is that you can try before you buy and should you decide cycling isn't for you, you're not stuck trying to sell the bike. Downside is that should you like it, you have that much less money to go towards buying one after paying for the rental.
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Old 02-21-14, 08:31 AM
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Even if you raise the amount you are willing to pay, don't write off CL or even Ebay. The trick is to find the right bike for the price...

I have been fortunate with craigslist (through extreme patience in my area) and Ebay. Ebay allows for order by location, so you can find local bikes that you can pick up (if the seller allows it) and avoid shipping costs.

A good LBS will at least look over a bike they sell to make sure it is safe and reliable... but their time isn't free, anything they had to fix needs to be paid for somehow.

Good luck.
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Old 02-21-14, 09:41 AM
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The problem with Craigs list or EBay is that you need to know what you're buying. A newb might (probably ) won't know what to look for.
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Old 02-21-14, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The problem with Craigs list or EBay is that you need to know what you're buying. A newb might (probably ) won't know what to look for.
Good point...
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Old 02-21-14, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MeghnaN View Post
Thank you for your responses. After a lot of thought process, I made up my mind to not buy a cheap under $100 bike even to ride in neighbourhood. I may try local bike shops to get a quality/branded bike that are used! may be around or < 200 $. Kindly advise if that is a good idea.
$200 is a more reasonable budget. Try to find a brand that's sold at the Local Bike Shop (LBS) (like Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Giant, etc) and avoid ones that are sold at Wal-Mart (Roadmaster, NEXT, Huffy, etc). Some folks derisively call department store bikes "Bike Shaped Objects (BSO)" because they're too lousy to even be called bikes.

If you buy a used bike at an LBS, you'll probably pay more like $200-$300, but you can be assured the LBS will have at least tuned it up and made it rideable.

A craigslist bike may need a tune-up (~$75 at most LBS), so factor that in to your pricing.

As no1mad pointed out, another resource to check are local bike collectives, co-ops, or community bike shops. They'll usually have mid-range stuff that has been fixed up, and usually charge less than the LBS.

The most important things:

1) Does it fit? A rough guide for average-sized folks: take your height in feet and inches, subtract 3, and that's a rough bike size for you in centimeters. Example: you're 5'6". that means a 53cm bike. Bikes are sized by measuring the from the crank (pedals) center to the middle of the seat tube clamp (middle of the horizontal top tube, actually). But CL sellers often mis-size their bikes, be warned.

2) Is it designed for the riding you want to do? Super skinny tired road bikes are fast, but usually can't fit fenders and ride harshly over bumps. Knobby tired mountain bikes are slow on the road, but are pretty tough and can carry more stuff. A rigid (non-suspension fork) mountain bike with ~1.5" wide smoother tires can make a good around town bike , by the way. A "hybrid" bike is probably a good start for you. They're cheapish, and roll faster than mountain bikes, while being more comfortable than fast road bikes.

3) Does it work properly? Have the seller demonstrate the gears, brakes, etc.

4) Is it cool? Not as important as the practical questions, but you'll ride it more if you like how you look on it.

Take some test rides, and enjoy cycling! Hopefully, you'll find a bike that's not too pricey but is good enough for you to enjoy riding it. Then, maybe next year you can upgrade to something better and pass down your first bike to another new guy.
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Old 02-21-14, 06:04 PM
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Good post^^^^^^ a lot of good information in a small space.
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Old 02-21-14, 08:56 PM
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A big box bike is fine if you have a very limited budget and the mechanical ability to keep it going. It also doesn't hurt to have spare parts lying around. That said, a new $200 huffy or Roadmaster will be no where near as good or reliable in the long run as a used Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc. from a bike shop for the same price.
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Old 02-23-14, 10:15 PM
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Could someone please tell me if "Girls' Schwinn Ranger Mountain Bike - 24" would be a good idea to buy from target? I am 5' 5" tall.
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Old 02-23-14, 10:40 PM
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I made the mistake of labeling myself as "a beginner" when I took up road riding and made the same mistake when I bought my first trail bike. And yet again when I took up photography as a hobby. We are only "beginners" at the beginning and soon, you would want more. Even if it's just a simple thing like attaching a pannier would be restrictive if the bike lacks the lugs for this. Or even supermart specials that have seat post in strange unobtainable sizes. In other words, consider the future and whether you would want more and start upgrading. It would save you a lot of headaches trying to rid yourself of that "BSO" if you could at least consider the future a little. Even my little girl of 8 doesn't want to ride her "Little Pony" bike anymore and wants to start riding my wife's Tern P9. Please consider yourself as no longer a beginner.
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Old 02-24-14, 04:22 AM
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could someone tell me https://www.target.com/p/schwinn-wome...3&term=schwinn

is worth spending? I am thinking of buyin it
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Old 02-24-14, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by MeghnaN View Post
could someone tell me https://www.target.com/p/schwinn-wome...3&term=schwinn

is worth spending? I am thinking of buyin it
It is really hard to say because of a couple of things.

1) It tells nothing about the technology used. For example 21 speeds can mean freewheel (older tech) or cassette (newer tech)

2) At least one thing it says looks wrong (U brakes... I don't think that they have been available for years.

3) If accurate, the 40 pound weight is quite heavy.


You definitely are chomping at the bit to get riding, so while others may disagree, I would say, on a budget this might be ok...

As an additional note, I think that anyone who buys a bike from anywhere but a bike shop should have the bike looked at by someone who knows what they are doing in order to ensure that it is assembled properly. The person who assembles bikes at your local store may not know much about them... it could be a storeroom worker that has been told by the manager to go assemble a few bikes.

As another note. As a woman, you don't need to avoid men's bikes. While at the higher end, there are women's specific bikes that accommodate different body dimensions between men and women, at the lower end, I think the main difference is the step through frame. Unless you plan on riding in a skirt or dress this means roughly zero. I would suggest you expand possibilities by looking at men's bikes. Think of the extra work of mounting a bicycle as a little additional exercise... While some men like step through frames as well, and I see some value to the easier mounting, it does limit your choices.
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Old 02-24-14, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by MeghnaN View Post
could someone tell me https://www.target.com/p/schwinn-wome...3&term=schwinn

is worth spending? I am thinking of buyin it
NO.

40 lbs is super heavy. Like, 15 lbs too heavy. Like, concrete shoes too heavy.

Seriously, though, that's the exact kind of crap bike that folks call a BSO.

The front suspension fork is of poor quality and function, and adds weight and clumsier handling.
The frame is most likely cheap, heavy, low grade steel. It should at least be aluminum (-5 lbs at least), if not cro-moly (higher grade steel).
The components are plastic-bodied, low quality

This bike will function ok for a little while, and then poorly forever after. It will cruise ok on flat ground, and be super fast on downhills because its 40 lb weight will accelerate you! The V-brakes will function fine (V-brakes are pretty foolproof) until the cables stretch too far or the brake handle breaks.

When you take this bike into a bike shop for repair, the mechanics may laugh at you and they'll definitely advise you that this cheap bike isn't worth their expensive time. They're right.

Just to keep you from such a terrible bike fate, I'd love to help you find a better ride. If you tell me where you're located, I can probably find you some good craigslist candidates in about 10 minutes.

Or, order something from BikesDirect. They have new bikes for ~$260 and up, and though they're not excellent bikes, they're definitely better than the boat-anchor-with-wheels that you found from target. https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...rt_al_xiii.htm

Bikes from BikesDirect come mostly assembled, and need some easy assembly and a quick tune-up. You can probably get that done for ~$75 from a local bike shop. There are also easy-to-follow videos online, you totally can do it yourself.
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Old 02-24-14, 11:18 AM
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I know the Dawes Eclipse goes for $240, idk if i overlooked it when buying my first "BSO" or what but i went with a "comfort" bike that i ended up spending more money on modifying because it was annoying for several reasons.

I've even seen Marin Hybrids on ebay for about $300
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Old 02-24-14, 02:55 PM
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Hi Tim_Iowa, Thanks for your response. I live in San jose North and could you get me some bikes <190$ Craigslist probably and other suggestions too? thanks in advance
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Old 02-24-14, 02:56 PM
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Little Darwin, thanks!!
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