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Advice for a Newbie?

Old 05-26-10, 01:18 PM
  #1  
cholvey
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Advice for a Newbie?

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to this site & trying to get my wife & me into riding but could use some help & advice.

I'm interested in buying a couple of hybrid bikes but we are on a very limited budget & only have approx. $500 total to spend for both bikes. I'm assuming that this will limit us to buying from a big-box like Walmart or Target which isn't ideal, but since our choice is between a) buying bikes & sticking to our budget, or b) not buying bikes, I'm OK with this as our only option.

However, I am concerned with finding the right size bikes for both of us. I'm 6'3" & about 220 lbs & my wife is 5'6". Will I be able to find a bike that fits me online within our budget? What size do I need? What size does my wife need?

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old 05-26-10, 02:54 PM
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I'd suggest looking for used bikes on Craig's list for about 400$ total, and then saving 100$ to get them tuned up and the fit adjusted by a bike mechanic at a local bike shop. It will take more time, but I think you'll get more for your buck that way.
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Old 05-26-10, 03:03 PM
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Go to Target and let your wife test ride the Schwinn Tourist. At 5'6" it might be just the thing.

Here's a few pics to give you an idea what to expect...























Mikey
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Old 05-26-10, 03:03 PM
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a few more that didn't fit in the last post...











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Old 05-26-10, 05:59 PM
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Hi, I'm a newbie too. I just purchased my first bike (since I was 15) a few weeks ago. I would suggest going to your local bike shop and try out a bunch of bikes to find which ones you like best and what size fits. Then check out Craigslist for what you want. You might have to be patient but you can score a great deal in the end. I got mine for $100 and it is in great shape. Good Luck!
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Old 05-27-10, 04:29 AM
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Start with measuring your cycling inseam - wear your 'cycling shoes', flip-flops, waddevah, - stand back to a wall, place a book, spine uppermost, at your most sensitive junction, and mark the wall where the book spine touches it. Measure the mark from the floor.

Then look at the bike sizing charts on line. They're different for men and women, road bikes and mountain bikes. Now you have a start for frame sizes. They're not always consistent; a Trek 'Small' may be bigger than a Cannondale 'Small'. etc, but you get the picture. A quick test in a shop is to make sure you can lift up the front wheel a little when astride the bike, with both feet on the floor. Sloping top tubes on MTB's throw that old test out the window though.

Another quickie test is to put the elbow on the front of the saddle, the finger tips should be at or near the flat bit of the handlbars, in terms of reach. (Saddles adjust fore and aft, of course ). Bike makes vary where they measure their quoted size from too, but you get the picture. Ladies bikes have different geometry, but many women are comfy on the men's MTB type of frame. Too small a frame cramps up the rider, too large a frame means a stretch to the bars, or the floor. You won't gain much from a 15 minute test ride other than knowing the saddle to the pedal distance is ok, which is a good start.

Supermarket bikes are ok, if you keep them clean and stored out of the wet, (rust) they can sell for a reasonable price on Ebay or Cragislist when you come to upgrade. If it's a choice between no bike, and a Walmart scoot, then take the Walmart. You'll have a lot of fun, and you'll be out in the fresh air, instead of in on the internet. :-)

Save some cash for locks, and a pump. Basic maintenance - lubing and tightening - can keep a cheapie bike going for years. My first cheapie supermarket MTB I bought in 1985. I sold it for what I paid in 2004, the guy who bought it is still using it daily. Adding a kickstand protects the paint and saddle from scuffs. You won't believe how much value that adds when you sell.

Last edited by snafu21; 05-27-10 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 05-27-10, 08:12 AM
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cholvey
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Wow, it's a beautiful looking bike. I can't find it at Target though. Are they still selling it? Looked online but to no avail...
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Old 05-27-10, 08:17 AM
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cholvey
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Originally Posted by snafu21 View Post
Start with measuring your cycling inseam - wear your 'cycling shoes', flip-flops, waddevah, - stand back to a wall, place a book, spine uppermost, at your most sensitive junction, and mark the wall where the book spine touches it. Measure the mark from the floor.

Then look at the bike sizing charts on line. They're different for men and women, road bikes and mountain bikes. Now you have a start for frame sizes. They're not always consistent; a Trek 'Small' may be bigger than a Cannondale 'Small'. etc, but you get the picture. A quick test in a shop is to make sure you can lift up the front wheel a little when astride the bike, with both feet on the floor. Sloping top tubes on MTB's throw that old test out the window though.

Another quickie test is to put the elbow on the front of the saddle, the finger tips should be at or near the flat bit of the handlbars, in terms of reach. (Saddles adjust fore and aft, of course ). Bike makes vary where they measure their quoted size from too, but you get the picture. Ladies bikes have different geometry, but many women are comfy on the men's MTB type of frame. Too small a frame cramps up the rider, too large a frame means a stretch to the bars, or the floor. You won't gain much from a 15 minute test ride other than knowing the saddle to the pedal distance is ok, which is a good start.

Supermarket bikes are ok, if you keep them clean and stored out of the wet, (rust) they can sell for a reasonable price on Ebay or Cragislist when you come to upgrade. If it's a choice between no bike, and a Walmart scoot, then take the Walmart. You'll have a lot of fun, and you'll be out in the fresh air, instead of in on the internet. :-)

Save some cash for locks, and a pump. Basic maintenance - lubing and tightening - can keep a cheapie bike going for years. My first cheapie supermarket MTB I bought in 1985. I sold it for what I paid in 2004, the guy who bought it is still using it daily. Adding a kickstand protects the paint and saddle from scuffs. You won't believe how much value that adds when you sell.
Thanks so much for all the feedback... REALLY helpful. I've been checking Craigslist for a few weeks but nothing has come up that fits the bill. Also been looking on ebay. Found a seller that seems reputable with good feedback selling Motobecanes. Are they worth the money? Here's a link if you're interested:

https://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-ALUMINUM-COM...item1e5c006ba8

Thanks again & I'll keep you all updated on my search!
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Old 05-27-10, 09:57 AM
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You're welcome. The components of the Motobecane all look fine to me. Light, too. I'd like one at the price. :-)

Schwinn Tourist too.

There ya go, take your pick.

Last edited by snafu21; 05-27-10 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 05-31-10, 09:47 AM
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Not sure for your wife, but for you..

Nice fit for anyone 5' 10" or more..You can order the Schwinn Avenue from Walmart, almost same bike, with 90 day return policy for 199.00..Hope this helps. Ricard
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Old 05-31-10, 10:31 AM
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I like the craigs list idea also but will take patience depending on the area you live in. I am surprised at the lack of quality bicycles for sale on Craigs list Indianapolis. Good luck how ever you decide.
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Old 05-31-10, 11:43 AM
  #12  
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I personally would not buy a new bike under 500Ä
It all depends on what you expect from your bike, but if one is serious about biking, one simply does not want a crappy bike.
You have a couple of options:
1) buy two crappy new bikes for 500
2) buy two quality used bikes for 500
3) save some money first and buy two quality new bikes for 1000
Your choice.
Ask yourself how serious you want to bike:
are you going to bike for several miles every day or for long trips every weekend?
If the answer is "yes", my advice is to get a quality bike
The difference between a proper and fitting bike and a crappy bike that hardly fits your needs is huge once you start using your bike every day or want to use it for fitness and sports.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cholvey View Post
Thanks so much for all the feedback... REALLY helpful. I've been checking Craigslist for a few weeks but nothing has come up that fits the bill. Also been looking on ebay. Found a seller that seems reputable with good feedback selling Motobecanes. Are they worth the money? Here's a link if you're interested:

https://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-ALUMINUM-COM...item1e5c006ba8

Thanks again & I'll keep you all updated on my search!
You can get that bike from Bikes Direct, same price with shipping.
https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cane/jub_x.htm
In both cases you will need to do the final assembly and adjustments yourself or find someone competent to do them for you.
Your LBS can do it but may charge more than their normal rates because it isn't their bike.
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