Author Topic: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome  (Read 6486 times)

JoyBlogette

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Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« on: May 26, 2014, 12:50:41 PM »
Hi, I am new to the forum, but I am a long time MMM reader.  I am in need of a new bike.
I went to the local bike store on the weekend and was overwhelmed with way too much info.  Can anyone offer any advice on the bike buying process?  I am looking for something for mostly city use and through parks, that can pull a bike trailer and will be fun to ride.  The two stores that I went to had "Giant" and "Specialized" brand bikes.  Oh, and I live in Canada so that limit my available options.  I was hoping to spend around $500, but everything I saw was more expensive than that.  Advice anyone?

justabuhler

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2014, 01:11:07 PM »
Hi JoyBlogette,

I'm an avid biker, and have previous experience working in bikes shops. I also live in Canada.

Bike shops are overwhelming and have way to many options available. To help me better understand your needs I have some questions for you.

Where do you bike?
What surfaces are you biking on?
When will you bike (year round, summer, winter).
How tall are you?

also where in Canada are you?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 01:13:07 PM by justabuhler »

JoyBlogette

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2014, 01:18:17 PM »
Thanks for the reply justabuhler.  I'll be mostly biking in the city, through parks and on the road.  Some uneven terrain, but mostly pavement, gravel and grass.  I am not expecting to do any winter biking.  I would like to use the bike to run all my errands and for family outings (library, park, etc) within the city to replace the use of the car.  I am 5'6" tall.  The person at the store said I would be a "medium" (just from looking at me).  I am not an experienced biker, in fact I am not currently biking at all.  We walk for most errands, but biking would be faster and expand our available area.

lb

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 01:26:52 PM »
Get a cross bike! Great for commuting. Buy one from craigslist. Don't buy new for your first bike.

JoyBlogette

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 01:29:12 PM »
Hi lb, I Googled "cross bike" and came up with this, which I'm guessing is not what you meant...?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclo-cross_bicycle

justabuhler

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2014, 01:51:47 PM »
Thanks for the reply justabuhler.  I'll be mostly biking in the city, through parks and on the road.  Some uneven terrain, but mostly pavement, gravel and grass.  I am not expecting to do any winter biking.  I would like to use the bike to run all my errands and for family outings (library, park, etc) within the city to replace the use of the car.  I am 5'6" tall.  The person at the store said I would be a "medium" (just from looking at me).  I am not an experienced biker, in fact I am not currently biking at all.  We walk for most errands, but biking would be faster and expand our available area.

Perfect, so you're just gonna need a good all around bike, a medium frame is correct, a 26" tire will be fine. Both Specialized and Giant are great brands, and what really sets the bikes apart these days are just the different components each bike has.

While our big box retailers sell bikes in large numbers, and cheaply, the componentry on them is horrible, and the craftsmanship is also not there, and the customer service should you encounter an issue or try to even attempt a warranty claim is well, not gonna happen.

Buying used is always ideal, I by most of my bike parts on clearance or second hand from a biking website called Pinkbike.

http://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/

You can search for all the listings in your area for XC / All mountain bikes there, and sort them from cheapest to lowest $500 should get you a great used bike.

If you are looking for new options, I'm a big fan of Norco, Rocky Mountain, and Brodie (great canadian companies).

http://www.norco.com/bikes/city/lifestyle/

http://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/metro/2014#/models/metro-10

http://www.brodiebikes.com/2014/bikes/voltage.php

If you have any questions, please ask away.

TrMama

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2014, 03:01:32 PM »
I'd skip the cyclo-cross bike. Yes, they make good commuters, but the road style handlebars aren't a great option when you're hauling kids.

I'm an experienced biker and I use an old mountain bike to pull the kids. I'm not interested at all in pulling them on my road bike. I need the ability to stabilize the little wigglers and only flat handlebars will do. This is especially true if you ever plan to tow them on a trail-a-bike.

I your shoes I'd get a basic hybrid or city bike. Make sure you've got lots of low gears for towing a heavy trailer uphill.

PoppaStache

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 08:19:44 PM »
I had the same experience with the bike store - way too much info .  Have you seen Public bikes?  They have a couple of sale bikes that may be within your budget.

http://publicbikes.com/sale-bikes

captainawesome

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 09:16:30 AM »
I found a great deal on Craigslist, but I lucked out. If specialized or giant are your options, they have some "cross" bikes that are pretty good.  I personally love my Specialized Sirrus, and would highly recommend it.  It is not a true road bike (road tires, gears, but flat handlebars), but I ride 20 miles a day and it works great for me.  So I could use it for cruising around the boardwalk or beach, or when I ride it on the street when I go to and from work.  It is an aluminum bike, as opposed to some cross/hybrids that are steel. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2014, 09:21:10 AM »
The equivalent of the Specialized Sirrus from Giant would be the Giant Escape.  I use an Escape for winter commuting, and it would make a great first bike.  Like the Sirrus, it's got flat handlebars, is light weight, and works fine for puttering around on the road, bike paths, or hard packed trails.

skunkfunk

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2014, 10:22:55 AM »
I bought a Fuji crosstown 2.1 brand new for $279 in March. It would meet your requirements.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2014, 11:10:25 AM »
A used bike will make your dollars go that much farther. Unless you're replacing a LOT of car miles, it actually takes quite a long time for a new bike to pay for itself.

I haul three kids around quite often. Flat handlebars are a must for stability. A mountain bike is okay, but if you can nab a hybrid, the medium width tires (28-32mm) are considerably faster and still very stable. Trigger shifters are nice.

ANOTHER way to go is looking for a "long tail" cargo bike. $500 probably isn't enough even used, but you might get lucky. Sometimes I see them for $700 or so.

JoyBlogette

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2014, 02:32:34 PM »
All the used bikes in my area seem to be from Canadian Tire or are over $1000 (used).  I'm looking for something a bit better quality than CTire, but not something professional.  Also, I want to be excited about riding it all the time, I think buying new will really motivate me.  I'm heading to the store tomorrow after work for another try.  Thanks for the info everyone, I think a hybrid or city bike is my best bet.  I saw that the mountain bikes had HUGE tires when I was there last, which is not what I want.  I was considering a cruiser, but I don't think it will be up to pulling the trailer.  I will check out the Giant Escape and the Specialized Sirrus (thanks for the specific recommendations).  The bike store I'm going to is good and I'll get to "test drive" the bikes first so that should help.  I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.  Thanks again!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2014, 08:19:44 PM »
All the used bikes in my area seem to be from Canadian Tire or are over $1000 (used).  I'm looking for something a bit better quality than CTire, but not something professional.  Also, I want to be excited about riding it all the time, I think buying new will really motivate me.  I'm heading to the store tomorrow after work for another try.  Thanks for the info everyone, I think a hybrid or city bike is my best bet.  I saw that the mountain bikes had HUGE tires when I was there last, which is not what I want.  I was considering a cruiser, but I don't think it will be up to pulling the trailer.  I will check out the Giant Escape and the Specialized Sirrus (thanks for the specific recommendations).  The bike store I'm going to is good and I'll get to "test drive" the bikes first so that should help.  I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.  Thanks again!

Some people are fans of cruisers, but they are probably the worst type of bike for generating power/hauling. Not efficient body posture at all.

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2014, 07:18:05 AM »
My advice would be to stay away from a bike with shocks/suspension. It puts all of your power into the springs instead of moving the bike. Before you go and buy, you might want to walk around the neighborhood and look for any bikes that may not have been used for a while. I did that last week and ended up getting a free bike from the neighbors. They were happy to get rid of it since it had been sitting out for a year or more and taking up space.

skunkfunk

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2014, 09:03:45 AM »
+1 for not getting a cruiser. Those things are terrible unless you are just putting around the neighborhood.

JoyBlogette

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2014, 08:39:46 AM »
So I chickened out again and didn't even look at the bikes at the store.  We picked up the bike trailer so I'm going to give it a go with my husband's old mountain bike and see how it feels.  Hopefully that will give me some confidence to pull the trigger for myself.  I love the idea of trolling the neighbourhood for unloved bikes.  I saw a guy riding a nice looking women's mountain bike that looked about my size... maybe he wants to upgrade.

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2014, 10:57:26 AM »
I was going to start my own topic on this same idea, but I saw this and figured I'd post here. I just need a simple bike for short trips to work and the grocery store (don't need a trailer, just a backpack), but I haven't a clue about what's good/bad value. My plan is to head to an abandoned bicycle auction this Saturday. Anyone in the know have any recommendations?

Here is the list of bikes that will be available at the auction:https://www.bozeman.net/Smarty/files/72/72b1b7df-b7e3-4736-a9c9-2ce366bb9c4b.pdf
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 11:03:20 AM by rabidshark »

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Wanted - Advice Welcome
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2014, 11:36:07 AM »
So I chickened out again and didn't even look at the bikes at the store.  We picked up the bike trailer so I'm going to give it a go with my husband's old mountain bike and see how it feels.  Hopefully that will give me some confidence to pull the trigger for myself.  I love the idea of trolling the neighbourhood for unloved bikes.  I saw a guy riding a nice looking women's mountain bike that looked about my size... maybe he wants to upgrade.

Used is the way to go if you're patient and know what you're looking for.  If you can't find anything by the winter, check back at the bike store.  Often bikes go on sale fall/winter as they try to get rid of old stock.

 

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