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Old 09-03-17, 05:26 PM   #1
bicicleta810
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Where do I even begin?!?!

Dicks Sporting Goods, Local Bike shop, online dealers, bikesdirect.com, sooo many different places to look...But I am realizing I don't even know what I want in a hybrid bike (at least I know what kind of bike I want!!).

A little about me. I want to use the bike for recreational use, however, I want to ride for fitness and want something that's going to be lightweight and take me as far as I can go. I also want to be able to explore with the bike, I love finding new trails and want a bike that's pretty versatile.

Budget is the issue for me...With a limited budget, 2 kids and one on the way, I don't want to spend more than $450-500. However, just from browsing online, it seems that it's an attainable budget, but at what cost? (Seen some $300-$400 deals at bikesdirect.com) Wife wants me to get a $100 walmart bike, but I've always been the type to appreciate quality and love finding good deals out there.

I just need some advice on where to start, what size to look for (I'm 5'10), Brands you recommend, what deals you guys can point me out to, and what you believe are the most important things to look for when you look for a bike.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-03-17, 05:51 PM   #2
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It is tough to find a bike that does road, trails, "adventure", and is lightweight. "Hybrid"? There are lots of them, but most are pretty low end.

$300 to $500 is a pretty tight budget for a high end bike, leaving the department store bikes in that price range.

Are you near a big city? With your tight budget, I'd encourage you to start browsing your local Craigslist. Perhaps some shops that sell used bikes including Pawn Shops.

Plan on doing some repairs on your bike when you get it... and if you don't have the experience, plan to dive in and get the experience doing the repairs. You could also look for a $50 to $100 battered bike, then as you learn more about what is good and bad about it, other options may become clear. Then you can still resell those bargain basement bikes, especially if you've tuned it a bit.
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Old 09-03-17, 06:16 PM   #3
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CliffK, I was just browsing Craigslist for Specialized and Giant bikes but it's really hard for me to buy this type of stuff used. I realized for this type of name brand I'm looking at I should be looking to spend around $700-$800, so I do have to possibly adjust my budget, and I understand that now. I'd rather spend an extra $200-$300 on a NEW solid bike, rather than buying a POS and having to put a lot more money than that repairing it.
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Old 09-03-17, 06:21 PM   #4
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I'd start at your local bike shops and ride different bikes within and maybe even a little over budget. That will give you a sense of the size you need and perhaps narrow down bike choices. From there negotiate with the LBS if you find a bike you like but it's over budget. If you can't negotiate it down to fit your budget then at least you have a size and a model to look for. Many of the 2017's will be on sale as the shops want to clear them out. If you find a new in stock 2016 you might be able to score a bike well over you budget for what you want to spend.

If that does not work out then you still have the knowledge of what size and bike you want, then you can start scouring for used ones.
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Old 09-03-17, 06:29 PM   #5
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Each person is different. Some used bikes show up cleaner than others.

Many "repairs" such as cleaning and greasing aren't that expensive, but chains and cassettes can add up a bit. With things like tires, you can buy your choice of tire rather than the cheapest the vendor could throw on it.
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Old 09-03-17, 06:32 PM   #6
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I think there are a lot of hybrids that will meet your criteria, and even at your price. I would recommend the Giant Roam 3 or the Giant Escape 2. 2017 models are selling for between $415 and $435 on Giant.com (same price, I would imagine, as at a local Giant retailer).

If you think you'll favor more trails and/or like a more upright position or want the front suspension fork, the Roam is a good option. It comes with a solid 8-speed drivetrain (with 3 chainrings in the front) with Shimano Acera-level components. It has Tektro mechanical disc brakes, which will work well.

If you think you'll favor more road or pavement, the Escape is a good option. It has a very similar 8-speed drivetrain (again, with 3 chainrings in the front) and Shimano Altus-level components. It has Tektro linear pull rim brakes (often called V Brakes). Again, these will work well for the intended use of the Escape.

Those are great new options. I'm a huge fan of buying used bikes, but I like to tinker and I have a basement shop where I can fiddle with and just them. Used bikes almost always will need some type of tune up or parts replacement to make it good for your use, and this can take special tools or experience, depending on what it is. Knowing that you don't want to do that up front is great -- you can avoid the potential pitfall of something you're not going to want to be doing. You can save a lot of money on used bikes, but you can also find pretty bad values out there also. You also certainly have less choice of frame color and size on the used market -- what you see is what's available.

At least with new, you usually have the choice of frame size and sometimes also color (less likely if you're buying a year-end closeout, though). You also often get free tune-ups and adjustments from your local bike shop with the purchase of a new bike. If your local shops don't sell Giant, no worries -- everybody makes the same style of bike as the Roam and everybody makes the same style of bike as the Escape. Giant usually offer some of the best values in the industry, but you can get those types of bikes from anyone.

I would not recommend buying from the internet unless you've already ridden something you like and you know exactly which model and size you're looking for. I would say that most bikes at Dick's Sporting Goods are one step up from Target and Walmart, and one step down from a bike shop bike. We looked at various Diamondback and Nishiki models before we bought a Raleigh from our local bike shop last summer for our daughter. The Raleigh is a base model (Alysa 1, basically Raleigh's version of the Giant Escape 3), but it felt like it had better material quality than the Diamondbacks and the Nishikis. We paid $329 for that Raleigh, and it's a great bike -- she rides it all the time.

You CAN get very serviceable entry level bikes from your local bike shop. They don't have all the sexy parts on them, but low cost doesn't always mean low durability. In fact, some of the lower level components are sometimes some of the most durable (though generally not the most refined).

Good luck!
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Old 09-03-17, 06:56 PM   #7
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approx where do you live? what city?
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Old 09-03-17, 08:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I think there are a lot of hybrids that will meet your criteria, and even at your price. I would recommend the Giant Roam 3 or the Giant Escape 2. 2017 models are selling for between $415 and $435 on Giant.com (same price, I would imagine, as at a local Giant retailer


If you think you'll favor more trails and/or like a more upright position or want the front suspension fork, the Roam is a good option. It comes with a solid 8-speed drivetrain (with 3 chainrings in the front) with Shimano Acera-level components. It has Tektro mechanical disc brakes, which will work well.

If you think you'll favor more road or pavement, the Escape is a good option. It has a very similar 8-speed drivetrain (again, with 3 chainrings in the front) and Shimano Altus-level components. It has Tektro linear pull rim brakes (often called V Brakes). Again, these will work well for the intended use of the Escape.

Those are great new options. I'm a huge fan of buying used bikes, but I like to tinker and I have a basement shop where I can fiddle with and just them. Used bikes almost always will need some type of tune up or parts replacement to make it good for your use, and this can take special tools or experience, depending on what it is. Knowing that you don't want to do that up front is great -- you can avoid the potential pitfall of something you're not going to want to be doing. You can save a lot of money on used bikes, but you can also find pretty bad values out there also. You also certainly have less choice of frame color and size on the used market -- what you see is what's available.

At least with new, you usually have the choice of frame size and sometimes also color (less likely if you're buying a year-end closeout, though). You also often get free tune-ups and adjustments from your local bike shop with the purchase of a new bike. If your local shops don't sell Giant, no worries -- everybody makes the same style of bike as the Roam and everybody makes the same style of bike as the Escape. Giant usually offer some of the best values in the industry, but you can get those types of bikes from anyone.

I would not recommend buying from the internet unless you've already ridden something you like and you know exactly which model and size you're looking for. I would say that most bikes at Dick's Sporting Goods are one step up from Target and Walmart, and one step down from a bike shop bike. We looked at various Diamondback and Nishiki models before we bought a Raleigh from our local bike shop last summer for our daughter. The Raleigh is a base model (Alysa 1, basically Raleigh's version of the Giant Escape 3), but it felt like it had better material quality than the Diamondbacks and the Nishikis. We paid $329 for that Raleigh, and it's a great bike -- she rides it all the time.

You CAN get very serviceable entry level bikes from your local bike shop. They don't have all the sexy parts on them, but low cost doesn't always mean low durability. In fact, some of the lower level components are sometimes some of the most durable (though generally not the most refined).

Good luck!
Thank you so much for the reply! Greatly appreciate it. I will definitely be hitting up two local shops around me and see whats out there! I will definitely keep those Giant options open as well.
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Old 09-03-17, 08:52 PM   #9
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approx where do you live? what city?
Lakeland!
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Old 09-04-17, 07:53 AM   #10
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Lakeland!
done, go get it. it's worth the short drive

https://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/d...266819059.html

this one is nice too but smaller (& probably too small for you, altho rideable), forget that it says "women's"
https://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/d...246740062.html

I'm 5 11 3/3 so I would go for the bigger frames
https://sarasota.craigslist.org/bik/...274868538.html

https://sarasota.craigslist.org/bik/...291463654.html

https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/bik...288303101.html

**EDIT** just realized I ride the a 22.5 Trek FX so you could possibly be just fine on a 20" good luck

Last edited by rumrunn6; 09-05-17 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 09-04-17, 12:24 PM   #11
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Following as I am in a similar situation with budget. The issue for me is budget for everything needed to get going right away. What are the essentials (other than a helmet). I keep reading about all the extras and I am a bit overwhelmed.
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Old 09-04-17, 01:03 PM   #12
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If you do go the used route, keep a little in the budget for a tuneup at the bike shop. It's the rare used bike that doesn't need adjusting and lubing.

Stick with the bigger brands - Giant, Trek, Specialized, etc. and do a little research on the specific model before going to buy. Do a good test ride and check shifting, brakes, etc. If something doesn't feel right, don't buy it. Check the spokes, make sure nothing's bent, etc.
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Old 09-04-17, 01:05 PM   #13
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Following as I am in a similar situation with budget. The issue for me is budget for everything needed to get going right away. What are the essentials (other than a helmet). I keep reading about all the extras and I am a bit overwhelmed.
Don't worry about the extras. The essentials are 2 wheels, tires, pedals, seat, and handlebars. Just test ride a bike till you find one you like and go for it.
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Old 09-04-17, 01:25 PM   #14
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Sarasota is a bit of a drive from Lakeland, but the OP shouldn't have an issue finding a good bike in the Orlando area.
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Old 09-04-17, 03:54 PM   #15
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Following as I am in a similar situation with budget. The issue for me is budget for everything needed to get going right away. What are the essentials (other than a helmet). I keep reading about all the extras and I am a bit overwhelmed.
Almost nothing but you'll want a lot of stuff. The good news is you can live without most of it. You will need some things like an air pump with a gauge, oil for your chain, maybe a headlight and rear blinking light if you're going to ride in the evenings or early mornings but you can just buy those things here and there as you go.
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Old 09-04-17, 05:02 PM   #16
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Some good deals for sure on craigslist!! Thanks!! Not sure about sarasota though, it's about 1.5hr drive from me. If it's a steal (Might need your help on this one guys/gals) I might be able to do the drive. Which one would you guys recommend?
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Old 09-04-17, 05:32 PM   #17
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This one seems like a pretty good deal to me. It's local to me but may be worth a drive from Lakeland.

https://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/bik...291718097.html
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Old 09-04-17, 07:21 PM   #18
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Following as I am in a similar situation with budget. The issue for me is budget for everything needed to get going right away. What are the essentials (other than a helmet). I keep reading about all the extras and I am a bit overwhelmed.
helmet, water bottle, water bottle holder, front & rear strobes, rear rack, basic tools & tire flat repair kit including some way to pump a tire, hand pump or CO2 inflator, spare tubes, trunk bag, kick stand, lock, bike rack for car, clothing can be cycling specific, from head to toe plus variations for all the seasons, plus rain gear ...!
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Old 09-04-17, 10:54 PM   #19
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Following as I am in a similar situation with budget. The issue for me is budget for everything needed to get going right away. What are the essentials (other than a helmet). I keep reading about all the extras and I am a bit overwhelmed.
- The first thing you need is a bottle holder and bottle for water while riding. Or use a Camelbak if you have one.
- I recommend gloves as a safety item.
- Once you get a flat on the road you'll want a spare tube and tire levers. Carry them in a back pack or pockets. You'll also need something to inflate your tire on the road. $40 for a pump or a bit less for CO2 setup.
- I like to carry my stuff in a seat bag, but back pack or waist pack will do.
- You should also invest $3 in a tire repair kit so you can repair and reuse tubes.
- If you ride at night, you'll need to invest in lights, good lights. Plan on $40-100 depending on whether you buy cheap chinese stuff or brand name stuff like Cygolite. Lights are safety items; don't buy the cheap lights that aren't bright. Read the electronics forum for
recommendations, but the cheap lights are often a waste of money; only purchase the cheap lights that other have recommended.
- I've never used the bike tool I purchased so don't hurry to buy one.
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Old 09-04-17, 11:15 PM   #20
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Bicicleta810,,chequea Trek DS,,,es All around ....
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Old 09-05-17, 01:36 AM   #21
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Here's another that looks interesting...
https://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/d...232148312.html

personally, I'd probably go with the black 2017 Trek FX 2. if it fits, that is.
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Old 09-05-17, 05:07 PM   #22
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So I just went to a local dealer. They only deal Trek, but after speaking with their salesperson, we did determine that a mountain bike is probably the best way to go, as far as versatility is concerned. I will still be looking at hybrids, and will be doing a test drive in the next week or two! Will keep everyone posted.
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Old 09-06-17, 06:53 AM   #23
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So I just went to a local dealer. They only deal Trek, but after speaking with their salesperson, we did determine that a mountain bike is probably the best way to go, as far as versatility is concerned. I will still be looking at hybrids, and will be doing a test drive in the next week or two! Will keep everyone posted.
did you look at a 27.5? I hear they are the new rage
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Old 09-06-17, 08:55 AM   #24
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So I just went to a local dealer. They only deal Trek, but after speaking with their salesperson, we did determine that a mountain bike is probably the best way to go, as far as versatility is concerned. I will still be looking at hybrids, and will be doing a test drive in the next week or two! Will keep everyone posted.
If you're going with Trek, check out the Marlin and DS lines. Seem right up your alley.
Marlin is more MTBish, DS falls into hybrid category, yet can handle road and lite trails equally.

As far as essentials, ...
Helmet
Fitness Attire (Moisture wicking athletic wear type stuff)
Waterbottle/Cage...(most shops will throw in a generic bottle upon purchasing a bike)
Lock (If you leave parked in public for any amount of time)
Classic style Pump to keep at home (those little mini pumps can take forever)
Seat-Bag (something that will house the below items.)
Flat kit + spare tire + pump or CO2 kit)

Less essential:
Better cycling attire (padded shorts)
Upgrades (saddle, pedals, grips)
Lights (only really needed if your night riding or on busy streets)
Cyclometer/bike computer (to at least track your MPH and Distance)
Mirror and bell (totally optional and circumstantial)

Last edited by Karmajack; 09-06-17 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 09-06-17, 09:04 AM   #25
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So we looked at three different bikes.

Marlin 5 and 7 and the Verve 2.

Didn't look into the DS models..

What are the biggest differences between the Marlin 5 and 7 and the DS 2 & 3? Is it that big of a difference for a beginner ? Is the extra money worth it? BE HONEST!
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