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letlmt 01-23-19 02:59 PM

Best beginner bike
 
Hi,

I am looking to get into riding and am trying to choose the best bike to start with. I will be riding on roads and would like something comfortable, but something that will last me for a long time. Where I will be riding has some mountain areas if I want, but other areas are relatively flat.

Is there a particular bike that is recommended for beginners?

Larry

CliffordK 01-23-19 03:26 PM

Age? Weight? Anticipated distance riding?
Dirt or Gravel?
Touring? Hauling Cargo?

letlmt 01-24-19 08:14 AM

56 years old
185 lbs.
paved road
I guess touring. I am looking to do it for fitness and recreation. Nothing extreme
No cargo, except a water bottle..

CliffordK 01-24-19 08:51 AM

Ok, so nothing extreme.

For general riding around town, "Hybrids" are popular. And, there is a related class of "flat bar road bikes".

As people begin to push distances, the "drop bar" racing style bikes become more popular, but it may take some time to get used to the riding position.

There are tons of used bikes on the market. The advantage is that you have less invested if this all doesn't pan out. But, many will require a tune-up to get on the road, so it depends a bit on your mechanical aptitude.

For new bikes, visit your favorite local bike shop, and they should help you find a comfortable bike that is the right size.

An additional class of bikes would be the drop bar endurance bikes. For example the Specialized Roubaix. They don't come cheap, but are supposed to give a more comfortable ride.

letlmt 01-24-19 10:39 AM

The Specialized Roubaix bicycles are really expensive, like $10,000

I was looking at a Trek FX3 or Trek Domane AL3. I guess my local bike shop is a Trek dealer.

I am waiting for a warmer clear day to take them for a ride.

Are there any other brands or models I should be looking at in this price range? I do not want a used bike, too many problems.

phtomita 01-24-19 11:36 AM

I started with a cheap Tommasso Tiempo back 2 years ago - light alum, full Sora groupo - and paid 6 Benjamins shipped. Assembled myself and got a good seat (well, it cost me + 1/3 of bike price :D).
Since then, moved to steel bikes :) and having much more fun riding and learning all the bike mechanics.

caloso 01-24-19 11:47 AM


Originally Posted by letlmt (Post 20762248)
The Specialized Roubaix bicycles are really expensive, like $10,000

I was looking at a Trek FX3 or Trek Domane AL3. I guess my local bike shop is a Trek dealer.

I am waiting for a warmer clear day to take them for a ride.

Are there any other brands or models I should be looking at in this price range? I do not want a used bike, too many problems.

This write up of the Domane AL3 looks great: https://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/ge...-review-51761/
This is exactly the kind of bike I would recommend. A lot of bang for the buck, and saves money for other stuff you'll need like a helmet, flat kit, pedals and shoes (if you want to go that way), etc.

bcpriess 01-26-19 12:19 AM

A lot of what you get depends on the conditions you'll encounter. Hybrids are a good choice if you have dependable paved surfaces and plan to more or less stick to them. The downside to a lot of hybrids is they still tend to have relatively skinny tires (32/35c or so) and many won't accommodate more than a 40c or so. Roadies will think that's a big tire, but for anything other than smooth pavement or well maintained fine crushed limestone types of trails, you may want more. If you live in a place with lots of unpaved sections, or badly maintained roads, and/or it rains a lot (e.g. the unpaved stuff gets or stays a little squishy), you want to be able to take up to 2in or 50mm wide tires so your ride aren't limited to the driest days. The Trek FX and Specialized Crosstrail bikes are nice, but they have shocks. If you don't plan to ride offroad, shocks are pretty useless deadweight, especially if you have wider tires. So if you can find a flatbar bike without suspension, but that fits you, takes wider tires, and has decent gearing so you can hit the hills which most new non-pure-road bikes will have anyway.


If you have local Craigslist and have some mechanical inclination, you can usually find old rigid mountain bikes from the 90s that sat in someone's garage for $100 or less. Just stick with Trek 800, 900 series stuff, Specialized Hardrock/Sportrock and the like, and you'll have a great do-anything bike that weighs in the upper 20#'s. They'll probably have dumb overly knobby tires, so get a set of Continental Double Fighter III's for another $50 online. Most of these bikes take racks too, so if you find yourself wanting to tour, you can do that.

Here's an example:

https://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/d...796983696.html


If you just want it ready to go or aren't mechanically inclined, something like this is a great do-all beginner option that checks all the boxes above and will be ready for most conditions:

https://www.raleighusa.com/redux-2


If you consistently have terrible streets full of seams, potholes, and lots of cobblestone where you live, then shocks may be warranted, in which case you go for the Trek FX or Specialized Crosstrail - just make sure it's a model you can lock the shock to rigid if you want.

daoswald 01-26-19 12:54 AM

An endurance road bike is a nice option because it gives a slightly more relaxed geometry than a racing bike, and tends to be a little more forgiving of road vibrations. They can be comfortable.

If you aren't ready to commit to a drop-bar bike, a road-oriented hybrid can be another good option. By road oriented, I mean no suspension, and road oriented tires.

There is another new-ish class of bike called 'All road' that features wider tires than a racing bike -- more in the hybrid tire size range, but with drop bars. That also seems like it could be an excellent option if the geometry suits.

I'd find a shop that has something on hand to represent each of those categories, and take them for a spin. Hybrids at 800+ are typically in a quality range that will last many miles. Road bikes more in the $1000+ range, and all road in a similar range are also going to be good enough quality to last a long time if well cared for. My Synapse (which is an endurance road bike) was around 1600, new. And my Quick CX (a slightly less road-oriented hybrid) was 850 new, though I bought it used for a lot less.

Whatever you buy, you'll probably add another $100 or more in accessories before you know it, so be prepared for that. My typical minimal setup will be a couple of bottle cages, a mini pump, a small saddle bag to carry flat repair stuff, an inexpensive bike computer, rear flasher, and pedals. But it can go up from there with things like headlights, rack, fenders, and so on. Before buying headlights, racks and fenders, though, ride the bike enough to know what you really need and what is just new buyer's excitement.

Darth Lefty 01-26-19 01:14 AM

Don't get too far into the weeds. Get the FX 3. It will do just about everything well except swap to drop bars, and some people manage even that. Every part on it is perfectly standard and you can replace it or slightly upgrade it forever.

Paul Barnard 01-26-19 08:06 AM


Originally Posted by letlmt (Post 20762248)

Are there any other brands or models I should be looking at in this price range? I do not want a used bike, too many problems.

I am of the opinion that the difference in bikes at each price point is truly inconsequential for most riders. When we think about a bike brand we are thinking about the frame. The parts that hang on the frame are the same or very similar at each price point. It is extraordinarily rare that a frame ever fails. What it will likely boil down to is which one looks best to you, which one feels best to you and what shop gives you the best vibe.

bcpriess 01-26-19 08:26 AM


Don't get too far into the weeds. Get the FX 3. It will do just about everything well except swap to drop bars, and some people manage even that. Every part on it is perfectly standard and you can replace it or slightly upgrade it forever.
FX3 is nice but it has a shock that's a useless and heavy accessory if his local streets/roads are decently maintained and the OP isn't going on trails. That's why I recommended the Raleigh Redux.

Giant Toughroad SLR 2 is another good rigid go-anywhere option that takes big tires and isn't encumbered with a shock.

Darth Lefty 01-29-19 12:34 AM


Originally Posted by bcpriess (Post 20764905)
FX3 is nice but it has a shock that's a useless and heavy accessory if his local streets/roads are decently maintained and the OP isn't going on trails. That's why I recommended the Raleigh Redux.

Giant Toughroad SLR 2 is another good rigid go-anywhere option that takes big tires and isn't encumbered with a shock.

No suspension on an FX. It competes directly with your suggestion and the Giant Escape and a ton of other bikes. Perhaps you are remembering another model like the Trek DS.

bcpriess 01-29-19 01:59 PM

Darth Lefty - you are correct! I had the DS and FX flipped around.

letlmt 01-29-19 05:01 PM

I settled on the Trek FX 3 Disc based on all of the online reviews saying that the regular FX 3 does not stop very well. I figured that the small additional weight will not be noticeable to me as a beginner and I am not planning on climbing big hills or going 100 miles at a time. I get it next week and am very excited.

Thank you all for your input. I am sure that I will have more questions once I start riding.

YankeeRider 02-03-19 08:43 AM


Originally Posted by letlmt (Post 20770254)
I settled on the Trek FX 3 Disc based on all of the online reviews saying that the regular FX 3 does not stop very well. I figured that the small additional weight will not be noticeable to me as a beginner and I am not planning on climbing big hills or going 100 miles at a time. I get it next week and am very excited.

Thank you all for your input. I am sure that I will have more questions once I start riding.

Congratulations on the new bike :-) It seems like a fine choice to me. It's fairly lightweight and looks like it will be pretty efficient, but it's not a high strung bike; and you have a low gear available that's below 1:1 ratio, which will come in handy on sustained climbs, plus it still has a reasonable price. This really may be all you ever need, but if you do decide after 2-3 years you want to make a change, you'll have this as a reference point and knowing how it works for you in your conditions to ground the next choice, and you didn't need to take out a second mortgage to get there.

BrocLuno 02-05-19 09:44 AM

Congrats :)

Yup, you now have a baseline. Do not be afraid to try others. There are tons of used bikes out there that will fill niches well. As you progress, think about off pavement trail riding. Lots of fun and you'll see stuff you can't see from the road :D


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