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Need a new bike

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Need a new bike

Old 07-26-19, 05:40 AM
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MTP55
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Need a new bike

It's been a few years since I regularly rode my mountain bike. A driver's license and a dirt bike will do that to you. My wife and i want to stay in shape and we though biking would be a good was at to do it. A little more enjoyable than a workout machine. Wr have plenty of gravel roads, public trails, both paved and dirt. Would eventually like to take ourselves north for some different scenery. We live in Michigan. My last bike was. A Pacific Tucson I bought with money from cutting grass in 8th grade. Cost me $84 new. Needless to say it doesn't shift right and the rims apparently like to bend. We are both looking to get a better bike without breaking the bank. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-26-19, 02:37 PM
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Questions like that are less hopeless to answer if you state a defined sum instead of a very vague reference like ”not breaking the bank”.
The bike industry today is very uniform. Comparable money buys you comparable bikes, regardless of brand. One might have better wheels, another better brakes, a 3rd has better shifters. While things like this might make you prefer one above the other, it’s rarely enough to make one universally agreeable better.
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Old 07-26-19, 03:08 PM
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I'd say what we are doing wouldn't require over $500. I know they go way beyond that price but it's not like ours would be beat on. We would just like to avoid some of the issues with department store bikes if possible.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:30 PM
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Visit a few bike shops and demo a few bikes to know what size and what style of bike you want to get. Then look at craigslist/etc to find a used but good/great shape bike for a much better value than buying new. Don't buy a used dept store throwaway bike. A 10 year old trek/c-dale/giant/etc with lx/xt/sora/tiagra/105/ultegra/etc that's been hanging in someones garage and has less than 1000 miles will be just fine and you'll get much more bike for your dollar.

My $0.02

Ride it often.
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Old 07-26-19, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Money D View Post
Visit a few bike shops and demo a few bikes to know what size and what style of bike you want to get. Then look at craigslist/etc to find a used but good/great shape bike for a much better value than buying new. Don't buy a used dept store throwaway bike. A 10 year old trek/c-dale/giant/etc with lx/xt/sora/tiagra/105/ultegra/etc that's been hanging in someones garage and has less than 1000 miles will be just fine and you'll get much more bike for your dollar.

My $0.02

Ride it often.
I used to ride all the time. Enjoyed it thoroughly just not when it broke all the time. My buddy had a GT aggressor or something like that he liked I think they were like $300 new. Didnt know about the quality of those.
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Old 07-26-19, 05:26 PM
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What he said

Originally Posted by Money D View Post
Visit a few bike shops and demo a few bikes to know what size and what style of bike you want to get. Then look at craigslist/etc to find a used but good/great shape bike for a much better value than buying new. Don't buy a used dept store throwaway bike. A 10 year old trek/c-dale/giant/etc with lx/xt/sora/tiagra/105/ultegra/etc that's been hanging in someones garage and has less than 1000 miles will be just fine and you'll get much more bike for your dollar.

My $0.02

Ride it often.
I have no "new" bikes. Only bikes that are new to me! I've enjoyed the process of fixing them to my standards, but a cheap bike from craigslist that's 10 years old might still eventually cost you another $80-$150 for little fixes and wear items like tires, cables and housing, chains, grease, and tape or grips, especially if you're paying someone else to do it. It's a wonderful gateway to the sport/hobby. Another option might be a bike co-op, where they've taken (usually less desirable) bikes and done all of that, and you pay for the bike to help support their charity (they're usually training people and might be giving bikes to the disadvantaged). Be honest about the type of riding you want to do, and go for it. New bikes cost a bit, but you'll usually have the LBS support for issues that might crop up.
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Old 07-27-19, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MTP55 View Post
Wr have plenty of gravel roads, public trails, both paved and dirt. Would eventually like to take ourselves north for some different scenery. We live in Michigan.
For gravel roads and trails I favor a bike with wide tires and no suspension. Here's an example from Kona that I happen to like:

https://www.konaworld.com/dew.cfm

Those 47 mm wide tires on the Kona Dew will soak up a lot of rough pavement if you run them at lowish pressures. Going without suspensions means you don't lose energy to a bobbing front end. I run a Priority bicycle with rigid fork and the same tires on local singletrack.

The best thing is to visit some shops and get a feel for what's out there. Suspension is an option that you might prefer. I really do favor wide tires on gravel though. They are good for stability and bump absorption. Just MHO.
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Old 07-29-19, 05:40 PM
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If your budget for a new bike is $500 for two bikes, you are not going to find much worth riding, especially if you intend to ride them for years to come. Bike prices have risen enough that $500 is still in the entry level category for a new bike. Better than department store bikes but still with the lowest end components for a company like Shimano. The good news is that you can get a bike that fits if the store is competent. It's a lot harder to find a used bike that is the correct size, especially if you are at either end of the height scale.


There certainly are some bargains out there in used bikes but you really need to be able to identify which component groups are decent. There are lists online like these for Shimano road and mountain bike component groups https://www.choosemybicycle.com/en/w...nent-hierarchy and Ride on the Edge: BIKE GROUPSET HIERARCHY. Try to find something with mid-level components or better and also lightweight. A heavy bike is a dead giveaway for being cheap. The last thing is make sure the frame size is right for you. You can get an idea which frame size you need by visiting a bike shop and finding out which size road or MTB frame is right for you. Be sure to ask if they have any used bikes in stock. You might just be lucky and they have one available.
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Old 08-05-19, 04:09 PM
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A couple of 80's rigids with neon colors, and invest the rest of the 500 in to parts and some comedic t shirts. Or that is what I would do.
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Old 08-21-19, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MTP55 View Post
We would just like to avoid some of the issues with department store bikes if possible.
Yes this. Department store bikes are mostly made in China with heavy steel frames and the CHEAPEST components available.

Years ago I was in my LBS (local bike shop) and a guy comes in with a beat up Dept. store bike and wants it repaired. The bike shop guy takes one look at the bike and tells the guy that they don't work on those bikes because they are cheaply made and are of such poor quality that any repair won't last. He then told him his best bet was to throw that bike in the dumpster behind the shop, then come back inside and start looking at "real bikes" on the shop floor. The guy who brought in the Dept. store bike got mad and said "What a scam" and walked out.

The moral of the story is: You get what you pay for.

Last edited by trestlehed; 08-21-19 at 02:50 PM. Reason: editing
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Old 08-21-19, 03:42 PM
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The dept store stuff can work fine.. but why would you do that with the GREAT stuff on the used market available for peanuts. Wonderfully crafted bikes that were originally $500 to $1000 can be yours for $100.

And its not like a used bike's expensive anti-lock brake control computer is going to crap out on you. They are simple machines.
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Old 08-25-19, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by trestlehed View Post
Yes this. Department store bikes are mostly made in China with heavy steel frames and the CHEAPEST components available.

Years ago I was in my LBS (local bike shop) and a guy comes in with a beat up Dept. store bike and wants it repaired. The bike shop guy takes one look at the bike and tells the guy that they don't work on those bikes because they are cheaply made and are of such poor quality that any repair won't last. He then told him his best bet was to throw that bike in the dumpster behind the shop, then come back inside and start looking at "real bikes" on the shop floor. The guy who brought in the Dept. store bike got mad and said "What a scam" and walked out.

The moral of the story is: You get what you pay for.
I don't mean to be argumentative or disrespectful, but that story doesn't really prove anything. I'm not saying department store bikes are the cats meow and that a more expensive bike isn't worth it. But I am saying it might just depend on how much you ride it and what you want to do with it. I've ridden every day this summer on a cheap bike. Mind you, all small jaunts under 2 miles. But that's my point. We ride as a family around our subdivision and I don't really think an expensive bike is needed. You can see what bikes we ride on my info.

The Murray was a free bike at the end of the neighbors driveway when they were moving and cleaing out and the Schwinn Hurricane was a 15 dollar FB ad bike. That one needed tires and 1 inner tube and the seat was uncomfy. The murray needed two inner tubes and the seat was bad on that one. The bike I started riding this year was the Del Mar that was about 8 years old. It got some use when my wife rode it when she first bought it, then it sat for a long time. Well both my daughter and I cleaned it up in May and started riding it every day. I just had to adjust the rear wheel wobble on it but I got it pretty good. It got pretty wobbly.

We bought my wifes bike for 80 on Craigs List (Schwinn Sanctuary). And it was only a few years old and didn't need anything but some lube and cleaning and I adjusted the brakes.

We don't have any extra money in the budget for anything better. And they have brought us some fun rides so far. But, that being said, will I want better bikes down the road? Probably. But I'm not sure if I really think any of the ones we have are all that bad at all. Maybe I'd be able to tell the difference. But as I said, we're just going for nice rides to get some fresh air and a little bit of exercise. So they work. Everyone's needs are different. If I was commuting 5 miles plus every day I'd want a better bike.

But that being said, I got to thinking about something. If a bike is heavy, does that mean it has more momentum once it's moving? I would think a heavier bike might be harder to get going but the weight might make it coast longer. I suppose that would depend more on if the heavier bike had as good of components to keep it rolling as a lighter bike..... But isn't there an equation that would prove something with more mass will tend to retain it's energy once moving? I don't know, science was never my strong suit....... So I could be wrong.


Last edited by 3S1M; 08-25-19 at 08:48 PM.
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