Author Topic: What bike to get?  (Read 980 times)

nwhiker

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What bike to get?
« on: April 12, 2018, 11:10:47 PM »
So my cheap mountain bike is at the point it needs to be replaced. My family is in an awesome situation in which most of our needs are within about 3 miles of us. That coupled with my daughter getting older and physically being able to do a few miles means we want to start replacing car driving with family bike trips.

Most of my trips would only be about 7 to 8 miles roundtrip. I am looking for something that is compatible for racks so I can do some shopping. We have some good bike trails and loops in the area that can be between 15 - 50 miles.

Is there a bike that fits both needs? Would a commuter or cruiser be okay? Could a road bike handle carry groceries and other small items?

nereo

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Re: What bike to get?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 05:36:28 AM »
Broadly speaking, bike choice is based on needs.  However, your needs here vary quite a bit.

3 mile trips around town can be done with basically any bike, and almost any bike* (including road bikes) can be equipped with racks and panniers. Whether you want a road or hybrid or mountain or cruise is a balance of speed, efficiency, comfort and whether you plan on taking the bike off-trail

Taking a bike on trails and loops that are 15-50 miles is an entirely different matter and at the opposite of the biking spectrum.  The word "trails" suggests non-paved surfaces. If there are a lot of these I'd avoid dedicated road bikes with skinny tires, but if they are packed earth with not a lot of hills you can use a gravel-grinder or cyclocross in addition to a mountain bike. 50 miles is a seriously long ride for anyone NOT on a road bike (and even then it's an accomplishment).  Sure some mountain-bikers cover such distances, but that's a feat and not something you'd casually be asking on forum.


So... where and how exactly do you plan on riding?  Think about how often you might be on non-paved streets, how far you want to go, how fast & efficient you want to be and whether there are big hills in your area.  If you are taking trips with you young daughter you won't be needing to go particularly fast.



*the exceptions are bikes which do not have the mouting points - often cheap-o bikes from big box stores (bicycle-shaped objects or BSOs) and high-end road-racing bikes

nwhiker

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Re: What bike to get?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 08:12:02 AM »
Broadly speaking, bike choice is based on needs.  However, your needs here vary quite a bit.

3 mile trips around town can be done with basically any bike, and almost any bike* (including road bikes) can be equipped with racks and panniers. Whether you want a road or hybrid or mountain or cruise is a balance of speed, efficiency, comfort and whether you plan on taking the bike off-trail

Taking a bike on trails and loops that are 15-50 miles is an entirely different matter and at the opposite of the biking spectrum.  The word "trails" suggests non-paved surfaces. If there are a lot of these I'd avoid dedicated road bikes with skinny tires, but if they are packed earth with not a lot of hills you can use a gravel-grinder or cyclocross in addition to a mountain bike. 50 miles is a seriously long ride for anyone NOT on a road bike (and even then it's an accomplishment).  Sure some mountain-bikers cover such distances, but that's a feat and not something you'd casually be asking on forum.


So... where and how exactly do you plan on riding?  Think about how often you might be on non-paved streets, how far you want to go, how fast & efficient you want to be and whether there are big hills in your area.  If you are taking trips with you young daughter you won't be needing to go particularly fast.



*the exceptions are bikes which do not have the mouting points - often cheap-o bikes from big box stores (bicycle-shaped objects or BSOs) and high-end road-racing bikes

This issue for me is that most of the use is going to be the short trips around town. I would like to get a good quality bike that is going to be comfortable as this is my main purpose. That being said we do have two rail to trail projects and the the 50 mile bike trail that paved. I was was wondering if there was a bike that could meet both purposes.

While not the preferred option I could get a commuter bike and a road bike. I always see decent road bikes on Craiglist.

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: What bike to get?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 08:25:57 AM »
Cyclocross/hybrid - may work better for you on non paved trails and also on roads for short trips.
Road bikes - off pavements will get you roadside for fixing tubes often. People take road bike on longer rides.
Mountain bikes will make you tired on longer rides, better for non paved roads.

From your statements, eitherway get one with gear, fixed/single wont do good for you.

nereo

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Re: What bike to get?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 08:44:59 AM »
ok, thank helps a bit.

Since you are sticking to paved streets and a paved path I'd stay away from mountain bikes (particularly those with suspension forks) as they are less efficient. I'd also avoid any road bikes that are labeled for 'race' or 'training' - you want something more general to go around town and bike with your your daughter.  If it were me I'd go for a commuter or entry-cyclocross bike with medium-width tires (around 30-32mm). You'll see categories labeled "Hybrid" or "gravel-grinder" or "city/urban" depending on the site and company. I like steel frames because they are more forgiving (transfer less bumps up into your body) and last longer, but that said there's more selection with aluminum, and they tend to be lighter.

Handlebar type is up to you - the dropdown bars offer more hand positions for longer rides and a better aerodynamic position, but many prefer the more upright posture you get from flat bars.

Best suggestion might be to go to a bike shop and test-ride several and see what fits you best.

A few ideas from various manufacterers:
Co-op (REI brand) - CTY and ADV lines
Cannondale - Quick
Diamondback - insight
Trek - FX 2/3, Verve, Zector, 7.1
Giant - Escape 1/2

lots of others out there... just to give you some ideas.  Once you know what you are looking for you in terms of handle-bar type, frame size etc. you can stalk CL or just support your local bike shoppe. Often they'll have last-years' models on closeout for reasonable prices if you ask.

fixie

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Re: What bike to get?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 02:46:48 PM »
A good Mustachian bike for your needs will last a lifetime:
Figure out your budget, then...

Steel frame
Cyclocross or road geometry
large tire clearance
v-brakes or disc brakes
comfortable seat(brooks is my favorite)
upright riding position(less neck strain)

ride on!

-fixie

A decent independent bike shop will spend the time necessary to fit you to your needs and not make you feel small or dumb if you're not cool enough.