What kind of bicycle should I get?

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    Mar 23, 2012 11:36 PM GMT
    I havent had a bike since before I was teenager....and back then the front wheel was really big and the back really small.

    But I am think of getting one. A number of nice, asphalt trails have been developed in Northern Virginia in the past decades. But I havent a clue about bicycles nowadays. I think they have greatly diversified since I was a kid.

    I have two goals in getting a bike:

    1. To get outside more
    2. To burn some calories in a fun way

    What kind of criteria should I be thinking about when getting a bike?
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    Mar 24, 2012 12:18 AM GMT
    You probably want what's known as a hybrid bike. It's an all-purpose bike that combines aspects of road and mountain bikes. They're ideal for asphalt trails.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_bicycle

    I'm a fan of Trek. So I'd go into a Trek dealer and take a look at a few and ask them to fit you. Fit is going to be critical.

    It also depends on how much money you want to spend as the range is really broad these days.
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    Mar 24, 2012 1:13 AM GMT
    I've got a roadie, a full-suspension and a hybrid. Got back into bikes in my early 40s after years since my last 10-speed.

    I'd been at http://www.floridastateparks.org/oletariver/ watching the mountain bikers and it just looked like too much fun. They rent them there (crappy bikes, but it got me on the trails for a first time) so one day with a cousin we rented two bikes. I had a smile on my face the entire time. I'd never been on dirt trails before with a bicycle. Very fun. I was hooked that day.

    I bought the Giant NRS1 which had just received a bike of the year award. It's innovation was locking out the back suspension (when on flats, so as not to lose energy for foward motion by bobbing up and down when pedaling) thru frame geometry rather than a locking pin for the back shock. It's still a pretty damned good bike all these years later and I've only had to change out tires and shifters so far.

    I got up on my skills to handle the technical trails but after a few serious falls--one that threw me about 15 ft--I started realizing my age and taking it easier on medium to easy trails. Also I enjoy double track (generally hardened dirt roads), especially the ones that head into the Everglades or other wilderness areas of Florida.

    Getting back into biking, I started using my mountain bike on asphalt and though fun as an urban assault vehical, jumping curbs and such, I kept getting frustrated by the lack of speed so I wound up with my first roadie since I was in my 20s back in college.

    Later I got a steel hybrid as a beach bike and also so guests could join me on some of the easier trails. Hybrids can do the double track and maybe medium single track but I wouldn't take one on anything near technical.

    Here's my current stable. Just random web pics similar to mine but my Jamis is dark blue, not red.

    Mtn Bike: Giant NRS1
    222695-giant-nrs_1-bike.png
    full suspension, great specs, tubeless tires, hydraulic disc brakes (same brand as what Harley used at the time), auto rear shock lockout thru geometry. Very fun & capable bike.

    Roadie: Jamis Comet
    251520-jamis-comet-bike.png
    Jamis is generally thought of as a mountain bike company but I saw this and really liked the specs and they had a great buy at the time. Has good equipment and carbon forks front and back to reduce road vibration. Not high end by any means but a good middle of the road roadie.

    Hybrid: Specialized Expedition
    293614-specialized-expedition_sport-bike
    Steel bike so very sturdy but also sluggish. Not for serious biking. Great for school, beach, shopping (I've a rack on mine) & urban assaults. Not great for extended rides but good uprite riding position for days when I've a stiff back but want to ride anyway.

    I'd suggest you rent a few different types of bikes, on & off road and see which you might enjoy before purchasing. Also know what types of trails are available to you in your area. You mentioned the asphalt but look also for off roading. What's especially nice about off roading is that it combines biking with nature hiking (though, you don't see near as much as hiking because you have to always be watching the trail). Also it's really nice to bike without worrying about motorized vehicles running you down.
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    Mar 24, 2012 1:35 AM GMT
    I've raced outside and in velodromes in addition to extensive training. While you don't need the most expensive bike, I suggest going to a local shop that has high end equipment in addition to more moderately priced bikes. The staff is generally much more knowledgeable in recommending a good bike based on your size and type of riding. There are a number of variables including frame type, size, geometry, and quality of components. They are generally better then large sporting goods stores at recommending the best bike for you. You want the frame size and geometry to be right for you not only for comfort but to avoid problems later. You can always get their advice and shop at the big stores, but generally the service they can provide has value. This is one shop I found in your area that you might want to check out. http://bicycleproshop.com/
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    Mar 24, 2012 1:45 AM GMT
    Thank you. gentlemen.

    What about seats? One style more comfortable than another?

    What about handlebars? What is the more comfortable posture (sitting up or hunched over) as determined by the handlebars?
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    Mar 24, 2012 1:51 AM GMT
    The handlebars don't determine riding posture. It's the type of bike you get. The hybrid bikes that endo mentioned above have the type of frame design/geometry that allows for a more upright riding position.

    Personally, I don't like the handlebars that come with most hybrid bikes. I prefer something a little shorter/narrower. Makes it easier to ride through tight spots, like between cars if necessary.
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    Mar 24, 2012 2:17 AM GMT
    If you haven't ridden in a bunch of years, you could also pick up a decent used ride on Roadrunner or even your local Craigslist.
    I have three bikes at this point, but I am an addicted roadie and put most of my miles on outdoor paved roads. A good bike shop can answer a lot of questions about size and seats and measurements, but before spending lots of cash, you could easily drop 200 dollars on an old Canondale like I just did icon_smile.gif and have a nice fat tired cruiser for off road fun city riding just to get your legs back.
    A new bike, with cleats and helmet, shorts and everything else starts getting expensive very fast and I have bought a couple of used bikes from guys who were going to do a lot of riding and just never had the time.
    Either way, enjoy the ride.
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    Mar 24, 2012 2:30 AM GMT
    Caslon18453 saidThank you. gentlemen.

    What about seats? One style more comfortable than another?

    What about handlebars? What is the more comfortable posture (sitting up or hunched over) as determined by the handlebars?


    As x said, it isn't the handle bar.

    Position is determined by the position of the seat relative to the handle bar.

    I switch bikes based on whether I want to ride road or trail and then based upon how my bod is feeling. Stiff back = take the hybrid. Hybrid also good for arthritic hands when they act up. Trail riding is hardest on the hands. Mtn seems harder on hands than roadie even on asphalt, probably because the seat is so high that I put a lot of weight on my arms.

    If you will be doing a lot of riding make sure you have a seat that doesn't pinch nerve or artery or you can wind up with impotence. Often the real cushiony ones look like they'd be most comfortable but the minimal ones can be best. I do have a cushy seat on the hybrid but that's not for serious riding.
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    Mar 24, 2012 3:18 AM GMT
    endo saidYou probably want what's known as a hybrid bike. It's an all-purpose bike that combines aspects of road and mountain bikes. They're ideal for asphalt trails.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_bicycle

    I'm a fan of Trek. So I'd go into a Trek dealer and take a look at a few and ask them to fit you. Fit is going to be critical.

    It also depends on how much money you want to spend as the range is really broad these days.
    I had a Canondale Cyclocross (aka: hybrid).

    Best bicycle ever!
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    Mar 24, 2012 3:25 AM GMT
    Me gusta..

    g_12_TRAF8_GRY.png
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    Mar 24, 2012 3:47 AM GMT
    Hybrid - always had good luck with Trek's
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    Mar 24, 2012 3:47 AM GMT
    This

    401755368.jpg
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    Mar 24, 2012 3:54 AM GMT
    trek_brandmark_vertical_on_dark.png

    After a thorough search of all the best bikes, I chose Trek. Very happy with mine.
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    Mar 24, 2012 9:22 AM GMT
    I've had a Cannondale road bike for 10 years and have been very satisfied.
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    Mar 24, 2012 10:16 AM GMT
    beneful1 said401755368.jpg

    I love old advertisements, so funny. And of course I remember those Schwinns, my first full-size bike in 1958 looked a lot like this. But HEAVY! They weighed over 40 pounds, with big balloon tires that had a lot of rolling resistance, and only 1 speed.

    That kid is really creepy, too. I can't believe it's a bike that's giving him that expression. More likely he's: a) Just learned how to jerk off; b) Taken his first communal shower in gym class; c) Found his Dad's gay porn collection.
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    Mar 24, 2012 10:32 AM GMT
    fagneticspermeability saidThe proper bicycle seat that takes the pressure off of your prostate.

    You're gonna love it!

    tumblr_l1wi0v50u61qb5df8o1_400.jpg


    Unbelievable but is a fact! * thumbs up!
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    Mar 24, 2012 11:57 AM GMT
    They've got a super light weight one at the BMW dealership for $5,000.00! It'd be perfect for you icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 24, 2012 12:32 PM GMT
    Uberr_Bizzaro_O saidThey've got a super light weight one at the BMW dealership for $5,000.00! It'd be perfect for you icon_smile.gif

    I have a colleague at work who got a new bike. A much lighter bike than she had before and with disc brakes. On one of her very first trips out on the bike, she applied the left brake while signaling Stop with her right hand. The bike pitched her over the handle bars. She landed on her arm....broke the ulna and the humerus and shoved the upper end of the humerus up behind her scapula! She has been a physical mess since. Lots of pain and surgery and rehab.
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    Mar 24, 2012 12:32 PM GMT
    yourname2000 saidtumblr_l1wi0v50u61qb5df8o1_400.jpg
    I would LOVE to park a bike with that dildo seat outside a busy mall, in a rack filled with other bikes. And then sit back and video the responses. icon_biggrin.gif

    +1
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    Mar 24, 2012 2:02 PM GMT
    I'm sure it's been said here already, but look at either Trek, Cannondale, or Giant. (Obviously mtn bikes would be out of the question.)
    As for seats:
    THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WHEN IT COMES TO SEATS! icon_exclaim.gif
    Do not listen to all these "pros" here. icon_rolleyes.gif
    You HAVE to go and find the bike you like, THEN choose the seat that's best for you. Bike shops, especially better ones, will work with you and help customize what works best with / for you. (Don't deal with some stupid HS school student...deal with the shop owner.)

    Have been on bike teams in HS and some college. It's all very individualistic when it comes to your bike. But once you find one that works well with your body mechanics, you will love it!!

    Good luck! Keep us posted on what you decide.

    Tristan
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    Mar 24, 2012 6:08 PM GMT
    One with wheels preferably.
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    Mar 24, 2012 8:22 PM GMT
    TropicalMark saidOne with wheels preferably.

    I'm embarrassed for you.
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    Mar 24, 2012 10:58 PM GMT
    bianchi camaleonte tre's a gr8 on/off road bike 4 about $1000