Anyone who know anything about bikes, Help!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 1:53 AM GMT
    I want to get a good bike, one that's all purpose and will last for years with minimum maintenance, but I don't know anything about this. I see tons of features and details, but they don't mean anything to me.

    I've seen some bikes at a local walmart (in the $150-$300 range) but I'm wondering if they are low quality.

    I can try to find a local bike specialty store, but I don't want to get bamboozled into anything. (And I don't know if I can trust them)

    Anyone got words of wisdom?

    What was your first bike buying experience like?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 2:03 AM GMT
    If you just want basic transportation, get whatever you're willing to spend. And yes, the old saying applies here.. You get what you pay for.

    What type of bike were you thinking of getting? Or where/how will you be using your bike?
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    Jun 05, 2013 2:06 AM GMT
    xrichx saidIf you just want basic transportation, get whatever you're willing to spend. And yes, the old saying applies here.. You get what you pay for.

    What type of bike were you thinking of getting? Or where/how will you be using your bike?


    No idea what type to get. I'd be using it mostly on roads to get to from the gym or other stores, but I'd also like one to use on dirt/ hiking roads nearby. Is there such a thing as all-purpose bike?
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    Jun 05, 2013 2:21 AM GMT
    You'd probably want to get a "hybrid" or "comfort" bike. It's rugged enough to take on light trails, but the frame geometry is comfortable for casual riding around town. You can find a decent name brand one for around $300.
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    Jun 05, 2013 2:48 AM GMT
    CRAIGSLIST

    Seriously, especially because you don't know and the fact you may find you wont use it--if you do use it and like it then you'll have practical knowledge or your needs.
    Picked up a third Mt. Bike for my partner there for $40, mostly because like all the other shit I get him, he'll use it once and it will gather dust. (any one need a barely used elliptical?)

    and
    I'd go with a simple Mt. Bike they hold up better for us bigger dudes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 3:20 AM GMT
    First bike? Don't go over $500 (not including helmet and lights and dingbell thingy).

    That price will get you enough quality to last a long time if you don't pound the fuck out of it on twisty and rocky and rooty and technical singletrack trails.

    BTW, get a hybrid. That way you can decide which direction of cycling you prefer, and upgrade as needed.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jun 05, 2013 3:33 AM GMT
    look for used, you can usually find some really good buys from guys that like to get a new one every year and way better quality then those from Wal-Mart .. here is the key to buying a good bike ... You should be able to lift it with 1 finger.
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    Jun 05, 2013 4:01 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidFirst bike? Don't go over $500 (not including helmet and lights and dingbell thingy).

    That price will get you enough quality to last a long time if you don't pound the fuck out of it on twisty and rocky and rooty and technical singletrack trails.

    BTW, get a hybrid. That way you can decide which direction of cycling you prefer, and upgrade as needed.

    tumblr_mn1y4waKqE1s2d5eso1_500.gif
  • dc415

    Posts: 255

    Jun 05, 2013 4:28 AM GMT
    get a low-end bike at a bike shop (not Target, they won't last very long). After you learn your way around the bike in a couple years you'll know what you like. I started with a hybrid (mountain type frame with larger diameter wheels), but I never go off road and I really like the drop handlebars on my road bike now.

    alternatively you can buy used on craigslist, but you'll have to hunt around to make sure you get the right size.

    meanwhile you can still go to a bunch of bike shops and just test ride a whole bunch of bikes.

    where do you live? (your profile says California...) if there's a local bike coalition you can try volunteering or something and you can ask around for other people's experiences too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 4:48 AM GMT
    Everything at Walmart is low quality.
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    Jun 05, 2013 4:59 AM GMT
    I have a Trek that I like a lot & have had it for a long time.

    You asked what our first bikes were, and mine was a Schwinn Stingray.

    Somebody mentioned Wallmart - - - - and I'd avoid that chain completely.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 05, 2013 5:00 AM GMT
    i don't talk to anyone whose bike cost less than my derailleur
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 5:51 AM GMT
    Long story short: get a low end hybrid bike, and use the rest of your budget on a helmet, chain, and u-lock. Lights and a vest too if you plan to bike when it's dark.

    Moreover, if this is your first bike don't expend a lot on it (some people end up having an expensive, unused bike lurking at their garage).

    Also, if you live in a hilly place check that it isn't super heavy and it has plenty of gears, but go for something sturdy.

    Finally, I really recommend against buying a bike second hand (unless it comes from a friend) since you may be fueling bike theft.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 6:47 AM GMT
    Some good advise here, other not so much. I would not recommend, Target, Walmart, etc. The reason you will not get a personalized assessment of your needs or someone that really knows about bikes, and later they might want your repeated business.

    If you have no idea about Bikes, then go to small business Bike Shop. They will work with your budget and can compete against the prices of Walmart and Target, and more so teach you the basic of bike maintenance, repair or just changing a flat tire (you will need to learn this) - most of them throw this in for free if you purchase from them.

    My first bike was a Trek hard tail ( I spent $400.00) since I wanted to start Mt. Biking. I had no clue about which Bike. I went to several small shops since I did not get any information at Target or other shops in terms of a knowledge able sales person. I finally found one, by which as I entered the shop the owner immediately came to me and started asking the questions that you are asking-

    (1) What will be using the bike for?

    (2) What is you budget?

    (3) Do you know who to ride a bike?

    I knew right then and then I had a winner, and purchase the bike from him. Additionally, they took the time to teach me about the bike, maintenance, repair, etc.

    And finally- have funicon_biggrin.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 8:40 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]AMoonHawk said[/cite]look for used, you can usually find some really good buys from guys that like to get a new one every year and way better quality then those from Wal-Mart ..
    here is the key to buying a good bike ... You should be able to lift it with 1 finger.[/quote]

    $800.00

    $800.00--minimum, my experience, Manhattan and Astoria, Queens, NY and Richardson, TX
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    Jun 05, 2013 1:09 PM GMT
    Like everyone above, I'd avoid Walmart, Target, etc. They seem attractive, but their quality is really pretty bad. You won't enjoy your time cycling on them.

    Also, a hybrid seems the most appropriate for you. Your posture will be more upright and you won't be trying to ride through sand or gravel on really thin (racing bike) tires.

    What you absolutely need to do first is to find out what size bike fits you. That's best done at a local bike shop. A $3500 bike that's the wrong size is a lot worse than a $300 bike that fits you.

    Also, wear a helmet. Seriously, wear a helmet. If you missed that, I'd suggest you wear a helmet. Lights are also necessary if you're going to ride at night. the heaviest bike is no match for the lightest car.

    SOME local bike shops will sell used/refurbished bikes. They're not a bad suggestion for your first one. Most will stand behind their bikes for a year or so.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 1:27 PM GMT
    Based on your feedback, I agree with others who say get a hybrid ... and make sure that wherever you purchase it, they take the time to properly fit you.
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    Jun 05, 2013 1:34 PM GMT
    WaytoDawn said
    Anyone got words of wisdom?

    I'd listen to Paul about bikes for off-roading, that's his passion. A hybrid or mountain bike is appropriate for dirt, and will work well enough on hard surface roads & sidewalks for short local errands. In fact, they handle potholes, curbs and uneven city sidewalks better than road bikes. Main drawbacks are the heavier weight, and the increased rolling resistance of the fatter knobby tires.

    For longer road trips you want a bike with high-pressure narrow tires, dozens of gears, drop or triathlon handlebars, and light weight. But this won't work in dirt.

    So you gotta compromise, likely go for a basic mountain bike to stay within your price range. You'll get a suspension front fork, but you can skip a suspended rear wheel, which adds cost, and weight that you don't need unless riding fast over very rough terrain. It'll have short, nearly straight across handlebars.

    I would avoid a boardwalk cruiser or a comfort bike. These are heavier, slower bikes for neighborhood use, similar to the old classic pre-1960s Schwinns, a "paperboy" delivery bike. Some like the retro look & feel, with big metal fenders and fat tires, but it won't be good in the dirt, and will take more muscle to pedal it around than a modern style bike, and most are single speed.

    Fit is critical, a subject for another post. Vital is "standover height" - where the frame top tube reaches your crotch when straddling the bike, both feet flat on the ground. And also seat height, with many riders sitting way too low.

    My own bike is a touring model, a type I've been buying for 30 years, a heavier version of a road bike. Suitable for road use, it's also rugged enough for city streets, with slightly bigger tires and more rim spokes. It has 30 speeds, drop handlebars, and a factory rear rack on which I hang soft fabric panniers (saddlebags) when doing errand duty, and very light plastic fenders (always rain or watering puddles in Florida). For long trips I strip it down to the frame. Its factory production pic is in my public profile.
  • mmmm_mmmm

    Posts: 1658

    Jun 05, 2013 2:33 PM GMT
    Definitely go to your local shop. Like other have mentioned sounds like a "hybrid" would work well for you. Most importantly though, make sure that you have someone fit the bike to you -- adjust everything, etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 3:05 PM GMT
    Go with what these guys say. I actually got a folding bike off amazon and it's been doing good for me thus far. The only reason I got it though is because I needed something I could get around on and stow away easily. Normally I would just hop on my mountain bike and ride around. But that's back in California. I have this one

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002LT28J4/ref=redir_mdp_mobile?qid=1338736478&ref_=sr_1_21&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-21

    (On the phone so I can't link it that well)

    What do y'all think of the folding bike. If I get another one it will be the military grade version. Haha I'm not looking for haters, just honest opinions and thoughts. I know I can upgrade mine if I want. Wish it had some shocks that's for sure. It's been good to me and I've been a little rough with it. Haven't had a problem and I've had it for several months now.
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    Jun 05, 2013 11:31 PM GMT
    More thoughts: frame material. Frames can be steel, steel alloys, aluminum, and carbon fiber, and some use combinations of these materials.

    In the lower price range the frame will likely be steel. A type of steel is chromium molybdenum, sometimes labeled as Chromoly, Cro-Moly, and a few other proprietary spellings. More expensive than standard steel it allows for thinner tubing that can reduce overall bike weight. Steel is strong and a bit flexible as used in frames, so the ride can be less jarring. There are also some other steel alloys, and you may see frames marketed as high-tensile strength, or having thin-walled tubing.

    Aluminum in naturally lighter than steel, but weaker and more prone to cracking. Tube thickness is usually made greater than stronger steel, and so the weight difference in the final bike is often not that much less than with a well-designed steel frame. Aluminum is also less compliant than steel, allowing more road vibration to be transmitted through the frame to the rider. But some riders find the greater rigidity helps with handling, and with power transfer from pedals to rear wheel, of more concern with road bikes ridden fast.

    Carbon fiber is the lightest material and most expensive. Sometimes it's used for only certain parts of the frame, the rest being metal. It's the most compliant of frame materials, therefore capable of good vibration isolation. Some carbon fiber road bikes are even designed to allow considerable flex in the fork and the seat stays (those are the angled tubes that run from below the seat to the rear axle), providing a very mild shock absorption effect. But frame flex is a con for those serious & competitive riders who value razor-sharp handling and the most efficient power transfer.

    You will likely be limited to steel on a mountain or hybrid bike in your price range, and is a good choice for durability and for your first bike. Get chromoly if you can, but also try to compare weights of different bikes. Obviously less is better if strength doesn't suffer. Some manufacturers will use chromoly for the name value and to set a higher price, but will not employ the more expensive manufacturing methods to achieve weight reduction, so you pay for a costlier material without realizing any actual benefit on the road.
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    Jun 06, 2013 2:48 AM GMT
    And get a proper bike lock. Seems bicycle theft has gone up over the years. Around my area, bikes are stolen the most in the "nicer" neighborhoods and shops. So your bike isn't safe anywhere these days.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jun 06, 2013 3:07 AM GMT
    Take up running ... it's way cheaper icon_lol.gif
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3516

    Jun 06, 2013 3:22 AM GMT
    for your first bike i would get something 300-400 dollars. no need for more.
    should last a couple years.

    personally I hate fancy bikes, just more to fuck up. i bike as transportation, and wear out tires every 6 months if that gives you an idea of how many miles I ride. I also buy the ugliest butt ugly colour I can find. I dont find pleasure in the look of the bike, i just want it to work and if it is parked beside a nice bike they will steal the other guy's bike not mine. Pink and lime green would be my first choice.

    make sure you like the way the gears change. there are lots of styles, you wont notice until you test drive. make sure they click and lock into place at the very least (100$ bikes will not)

    examine the pedals. the fancier the more expensive. metal is more than plastic

    I dislike rear shocks, just something else to break and expensive to fix.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2013 3:40 AM GMT
    Apparition said
    examine the pedals. the fancier the more expensive. metal is more than plastic

    Interestingly the more expensive bikes come new with no pedals at all (mine didn't), or with inexpensive plastic "demo" platform pedals meant to be replaced after purchase. You'll see the factory production pic of my bike on my profile has no pedals.

    That's because pedal choice is very personal, and some riders already have an investment in bike shoes that use a particular type of proprietary pedal attachment, that will only work with a particular pedal design.

    The current technology is called "clipless" in which a metal cleat in the bike shoe's sole locks into the pedal. This allows for a smaller & lighter pedal, and makes pedaling easier, since no muscle energy is wasted on holding your foot in place on the pedal. Plus your legs can actually pull the pedals up as well as push down, putting more power into each crank rotation.

    I have 2 pedal sets for my bike. Clipless for longer rides with matching shoes, and toe clip pedals (or cages) that will accept almost any footgear, even moccasins & sandals, that I use for around town.

    But the pedals on any bike of any price can be replaced with the type you like.