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Old 03-07-14, 12:03 AM   #1
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New from Houston Budget of $400

Hi all! I haven't had a bike in a very, very long time... say 15+ years! Things have definitely changed since then and now my wife and I are looking to purchase a bike for each of us and also be able to attach a trailer for our baby. I've done some looking around and visited both big box stores and LBS and also searched online for reviews and opinions. I have already ruled out the big box stores... if I'm going to spend the money, I want something to last. On the other hand, I will be riding occasionally, probably on the weekends or my days off (which are rare). What type of bike am I looking for when it comes to that type of riding. Most would be done on pavement and some at the park on grass or dirt.
Some options that the LBS and big box stores have offered:
-Marin San Rafael DS1 Dual Sport Urban Bike 2013 and DS2 2013
-Giant Sedona DX 2013
-Schwinn Signature Sierra 2013
-Raleigh Venture or Route 2013
-Cannondale Adventure 3

Some that I've seen online:
-Giant Escape 3 2013
-Specialized Expedition
-Giant Revel 3 (I think this is a mountain bike)

I see that some say Hybrid others say Comfort or Urban and the LBS also said that I could look into some mountain bikes for the style of riding I am going to be doing. My budget will be $400 and from the looks of it, I'm probably low balling it to get a great bike. I'm concerned just to get a good bike that won't break down on me in the next few years with me riding it occasionally and not looking to break the bank.
Any of those just a bad decision? Will a mountain bike be just as safe and comfortable as a Hybrid, Comfort or Urban (I like the front suspension)? Any other bike that you can suggest in that price range?

Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 03-07-14, 07:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to BikeForums.
Based on the type of riding you describe a hybrid bike would be a good choice. Flat bars in a more upright position with some semi-knobbie tires (for the grass and dirt times) would be good. Many hybrids come in around your budget or below. Look at for some good deals. Look at the components and compare several. Test ride several bikes to see how they fit and perform.
To go with the bikes you will need helmets and some other clothing too.
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Old 03-10-14, 12:22 PM   #3
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If you are going to ride mostly on road and not ride off-road in challenging terrain you probably should look for a bike among those you have selected that doesn't have suspension. You should be able to get a lighter bike, possibly with better components, for what you are able to spend if you select one that isn't suspended. Most inexpensive suspensions don't work well and add to the weight and cost of the bike without adding any real value.

You can use to look at a list of components on each bike and even compare them side-by-side. Too bad so few manufacturers will list bike weight. It's the very first think I look at when selecting a used bike to refurbish.
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Old 03-10-14, 01:32 PM   #4
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Look on CL for various mid 1990's steel framed "Mountains"
The Trek 800,820,830,850 900,930 950 970 26" wheels
Trek 700,720 730 750 700c wheels
and the equivalent from Diamondback and Specialized
You can get a very decent CROMO steel framed bike for $100-$250
Avoid the ones with front suspensions-wide tires and 50 psi PROVIDE plenty of shock absorption
and these bikes-last forever-but you might find a low use one-plenty of folks buy a nice bike-ride it for a few weeks-put it in a garage or closet for 15 years
PS I'm cheap-so i buy used-more bike for the $$
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Old 03-10-14, 01:59 PM   #5
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Used is the way to go, especially as the previous owner will have run out some of the bike's quirks. The thing about bikes is the beautiful way you aren't locked into a brand. If you like a Schwinn frame,but like the Giant forks better, your LBS can make it happen, since a lot of these wonderful machines are made to a common standard.
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