Author Topic: Help me pick out a bike!  (Read 1898 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Help me pick out a bike!
« on: April 10, 2017, 11:17:42 AM »
I am looking to get a road bike to ride primarily on bike paths for exercise/leisure. I'll also use the bike for trips to nearby markets, stores, etc. You can assume I know nothing about bikes. I'd like to spend under 150 but will go up to 300 if it makes sense from a value standpoint. Please be specific in your recommendations as I am a complete newb and will likely misinterpret your advice if you aren't specific. Thanks!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Help me pick out a bike!
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 10:59:15 PM »
Do you have free time? If you can find a bike coop or a "recyclery" in your area, a lot of them have programs where they teach you build a bike from the frame up and then you get it at the end. It's fun and after doing that you should have no problem doing any maintenance you may need to do later on.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1606
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Help me pick out a bike!
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2017, 01:42:33 PM »
Gah! I just went through this over the last few weeks. It's been ages since I've had a bike and finding what I wanted was difficult. Let's go through a few things - I hope this can help others in the future in this same situation.

First things first - you'll want to avoid department store "bikes." They may have recognizable names and look cool, but they're almost all made by one company and use very low quality components. If you'll be riding once in a while with the kids or for short jaunts, then they're passable, but they're nothing to really hold on to or wont for.

Second - spend some time learning about all the components of a bike, the different bike types, basic maintenance, and rules of the road. Reddit or bike forums are a great place to start. Your goal is to be able to have a fundamental grasp of what you want out of a bike - not just the bike and how it looks, but the riding style you plan to have, and the components you are looking for a bike to have. You should be able to know the difference between an Tourney, Sora, or Ultegra shifter. You should know what frame size you are. You should know whether you want a CroMo, Carbon, or Aluminum fork. Why? Because...

In your price range, you're looking at entry level new bikes purchased online, or used bikes off craigslist

If you know what you want (also check out your local bike shop to ride some different bikes, and try a few things out - you don't even have to buy), you know how to pick through CL ads or online shop for bikes.

-If you understand different components and bike styles, you can make quick yes/no decisions on used Craigslist bikes. Same goes for online bike shopping.

-If you understand basic maintenance, you can assemble a bike bought online or you can tune up a bike off CL that's fallen in a little disrepair.

Most importantly you'll be able to spot a deal! Some people buy bikes and then don't use them, don't know their value, and sell them for far less than they should.

I haven't even gotten to the recommendations yet...why? I've come to learn bikes aren't one size fits all.

What works for others won't be guaranteed to work for you. Take your time with this, or you could find yourself with a empty wallet and a sore back.

So, what do I recommend?

Buyying new? the NashBar Flat Bar is the gold standard of entry level - you don't want a bike with poorer components than this:

Used? depends on your area. LIf you can find something like this used, go for it:

Two other good online sites:

As for me? My local CL is devoid of anything good and the LBS near me are out of my price range. I got this: on bikeshopwarehouse for $330 shipped. It gets here on Friday.

I barely scratched the surface here. I might update this later if I think of other stuff.

Be careful when shopping used though - bike theft is very common. If it's too goo to be true, it's probably because someone's offloading a stolen bike...


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!