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shawtiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA.
Member since Jan 2004
376 posts

Bike buying advice needed
The wife and I are looking to buy bikes. Not planning on training for the tour de Francis just to get some enjoyable exercise. What brand, wheel size, number of gears and such would be recommended.
Also is there a good way to make use of a bike as a stationary.
This post was edited on 3/7 at 12:39 pm


TigerLunatik
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Jan 2005
16503 posts
 Online 

re: Bike buying advice needed
Been a long time since I was into bikes, but I know they still make bike rollers to make the bike stationary that you can set up indoors easily.


3nOut
Houston Astros Fan
Central Texas, TX
Member since Jan 2013
13931 posts

re: Bike buying advice needed
not a heavy biker, just do it a bit with my kids and my running circles have some cross over.

that being said, there are expensive bikes out there. i would not invest into those unless you learn you love it. but, if you go and buy a cheap walmart bike (which i have) you're probably not going to love it. it'll ride bumpy and have crappy gear shifting.

some people just decide they want to do it a little and then come to love it and are 10s of $1000s into bikes and talk about fixed gears, titanium, carbon, and a bunch of stuff i don't understand.

so that leaves you in 2 places. you can go buy some $1-200 walmart bikes, see if you like it and then upgrade into more like a $500 bike before spending $1k+ on a trek or something.

or if you're more pot committed, get a good $250+ bike with gears (Diamondback, Schwinn, Raleigh, etc) after reading reviews and see if that cuts it. or go for broke and buy a trek.

on the trainer, there are tons of stands available. you can get decent ones for >$100 and connect to zwift to make it a bit more exciting.

ETA: gears is up to you. i have an 18 gear i don't understand. my kid has a 7 speed Mongoose that kicks arse and i can fly on. i take his when i go out by myself.

wheel size is based on your height. most adults are going to want a 26" at least. if i ever decide to get a nicer one, i'll probably get a 29. my 11 year old is 5"0 and i made him get a 26 because i didn't want to get a 24 and then have to move him up in a year. he has some issues getting on it sometimes, but he's fine after that.
This post was edited on 3/7 at 2:41 pm


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onelochevy
LSU Fan
Slidell, LA
Member since Jan 2011
11287 posts
 Online 

re: Bike buying advice needed
I have a 29" single speed mtn bike from bikesdirect.com. Extremely happy with it.


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hogfly
Arkansas Fan
Fayetteville, AR
Member since May 2014
3387 posts

re: Bike buying advice needed
If you're not wanting a full-on mountain bike and just want a hybrid, there are a lot of good, bike shop, options out there in the 400-500 range. Trek (the Honda/Toyota of bike brands) makes some really good hybrids.

The reason I would buy from a bike shop:
1) They're going to have at least a year of free tune-ups and servicing with some warranty that will cover any issues you come up against.

2) They're going to actually find a bike that fits you properly and help set it up to fit you properly.

3) The bike will actually be assembled properly, which isn't something that's going to happen if you buy from a big box store, who are notorious for screwing up bike assembly (putting parts on backward, not tightening stuff properly, etc...). There are tons of hilarious pictures and such online in bike forums of big box bike assembly screw ups. They're funny, but they're also dangerous as hell. Your wheel coming out of your fork while cruising at a good clip or you stem popping off or rotating is dangerous.

4) A Trek is just going to have better components and a better life than a crappy big box bike.

The above factors are more than worth the couple of hundred dollars you might save going with a cheaper big box bought bike. All of that being said, if you don't have a high quality bike shop in your area, all the above kind of flies out the window. Also, if you're actually trying to get a mountain bike to do somewhat serious trail riding (you didn't indicate that in your OP), then it's going to cost a bit more. Even entry level mountain bikes have at least front suspension, which starts to raise the cost (assuming it's actually decent suspension, not the crap on the Big Box bikes).



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olgoi khorkhoi
Bucknell Fan
priapism survivor
Member since May 2011
8477 posts

re: Bike buying advice needed
My advice is buy something nice used. Don’t buy a piece of junk new because as someone else said you won’t like it. People buy $5-600 bikes, ride them a couple times and put them away all the time. You just have to find one.

I rode quite a bit in the past and was looking to get back into it. Searched FSBO websites for a while and got a $2000+ bike with some upgrades for $600.

There’s no one brand, wheel size, gearing etc. Depends on what you want to do, how big you are and how much you want to spend.


theCrusher
LSU Fan
Slidell
Member since Nov 2007
468 posts

re: Bike buying advice needed
quote:

My advice is buy something nice used. Don’t buy a piece of junk new because as someone else said you won’t like it. People buy $5-600 bikes, ride them a couple times and put them away all the time. You just have to find one.


This is good advice. You don't want to spend 1k on a bike that you ride 3 times and then it becomes a hanger in the garage. With a used bike you'll be able to resell with taking very little loss.

I've had good luck buying and selling bikes on Craigslist.


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Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
21986 posts

re: Bike buying advice needed
quote:

they still make bike rollers to make the bike stationary that you can set up indoors easily.


Rollers are different from a training stand (Trainer).....you don't want rollers unless you know what you're doing. I used to race and never used rollers as they are dangerous.....there is nothing to balance you except you. A Trainer has a mechanism to lock your back wheel in place and keeps you upright.

Rollers
Image: https://www.cascadebiketrainers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/rollers-side.jpg


Training Stand- I have one and hate to use it as its boring. I only use it if its below 32 degrees or a cold rain and even then I usually just go for a run outside.
Image: https://www.cascadebiketrainers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/fluidpro-bike-wgirl.jpg


But buying used is the way to go until you know you will ride consistently. Go to a bike shop and ride a few bikes to figure out what size frame you need. I am 6' tall and ride an 18" mountain bike and a 56cm Road bike. When you know your frame size, look on craigslist, go to a pawn shop, or even some bike shops have used bikes. My advice is get a mountainbike as its easier and more comfortble to ride and can go on dirt if you want to. Hybrids are very similar to mountainbikes but usually have skinnier tires and aren't really built for going off road. Hybrids would be a good option too.
Wheel size is not dependent on frame size or your size when talking about adults. Wheels come is basically 3 sizes on adult bikes,20" for BMX bikes but you don't want a bmx for cruising around, 26" for Mountain bikes and road time trial bikes and 700c (27") for regular road bikes. There is also the 29" mountain bike wheel but its not that common. It doesn't really matter what size wheel your bike has if you are just cruising around...the 26" mountain and 700c road are what you will see and both are fine.)
The other important thing is getting your saddle height and handlebar height set correctly. My wife hated riding a bike until we found the height combo she was comfortable with. You can find youtube vids that will describe the basic setup. After you know your frame size.
Most bikes will have a number of gears but again, if you are just cruising around the number of gears doesn't matter unless you live in a really hilly area. 3 gears are fine, 7 are better....most mountain and road bikes will have anywhere from 18 to 24.


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lostzeppelin
Member since Oct 2015
42 posts

re: Bike buying advice needed
test multiple bikes get something comfortable, wherre do yo live? if flat, gears are not a concern. get fitted properly for the bikes.
quote:

Also is there a good way to make use of a bike as a stationary.

yes rollers or trainer

Image: https://www.rei.com/media/4e50bdf2-3f79-406a-9e17-9294aeae84a3?size=1020x510


Image: https://eriksbikeandboard.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/roller_lifestyle.jpg?w=519


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