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Looking for Advice on Bike Purchase

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Looking for Advice on Bike Purchase

Old 09-30-08, 05:28 PM
John W Foster
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Looking for Advice on Bike Purchase

Hello all, this is my first official post here. My wife Susan and I (John) are considering upgrading our bikes soon, as well as planning on becoming more avid cyclers. It we are both in our mid 40's and in good health. We live in a rural area with primarily paved roads, in Southern Ontario,Canada. Our terrain varies from flat to rolling, and any severe grades are not that long. Susan has a 20+ year old Raleigh mtn. bike, which she uses with or without a utility cart to bike into our village which is about 4K away or to visit freinds who are reasonably close by. I have a 7 year old single speed cruiser from the local hardware store, and bike about 5K each way to work and back, weather permitting.
We would like to get into more recreational biking either doing day trips from home or taking our bikes with us on holidays and doing day trips originating at a motel or campsite. At this time as I am employed full time and Susan is fairly busy with a home based business we are not quite ready for the full touring bike experience , we like to travel into the United States and the timeframe to get to a desired area and back would take up too much vacation time. We are leaning toward road bikes, because of the ability to efficiently travel at good speeds with moderate effort. Several neighbours and family members are road bikers and have us convinced of the value of the special shoes that clip to the pedals. We have shopped for touring bikes but were frustrated by the low inventory of these bikes that most shops seem to carry. We liked the touring design because of the ability to fit fully functional fenders to the bike, and at some future time to outfit the bike well with front and back carriers. Are there any brands of road bike that accept a functional fender? This is important to me because I would like to be able to still bike to work on slightly rainy days. Also it it still posible for my wife to pull a two wheel utility art with a road bike? I also work from before dawn to after dark, so I want a first class light package on my bike. While we have a $500.00 price range in mind, I expect that by the time we buy shoes, fenders, carriers, lights, pay sales tax that we won't get away with much under a $1000.00 is this a reasonable expectation? We would rather spend our money on something reliable and proven, over something gimicky or trendy. Any suggestions? Thanks John.
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Old 09-30-08, 06:36 PM
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It sounds like you would be better off with a hybrid style road bike. If you need fenders or want to tow a cart around a performance style road bike might not be your best bet. I don't honestly know if you can mount fenders on most performance style bikes...In San Diego, CA I don't see a lot of fenders so I might not be the best person to answer that question. It depends on if you really want to do a lot of road miles for fitness/fun or if you just plan to commute and then go on a few trips now and then get a tourer or a hybrid/city bike. If you want to ride more miles and can find a road bike that will let you mount fenders then go for it....you can always take the fenders on and off. Some people on this forum are uptight about fenders but if you need a utilitarian approach then that's what you need. You should be able to find a pretty good bike in either category for $500 starting point. Check out www.bikesdirect.com to get an idea of some pretty low prices. Good luck!
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