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The Well-Leathered Mod
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my wife and I want to start riding bicycles, but have no clue where to start.

We're both thinking Road bikes, not mountain, and probably not hybrids.

We dont want to buy a POS walmart bike that will fall apart the first time we ride it, but we cant stomach paying $1000 for a bike either.

I know we have some riders on the forum. Can you guys suggest any good cheaper road bikes? Something we can use, that work, but dont have to be top of the line or anything. I highly doubt we will be doing this enough to warrant getting into the expensive ones.
 

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Look at bicyclist's websites to see what's useful and what's just trendy tricks. Then shop on Craigslist.
 

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Head down to your local bike shop and tell them exactly what you're looking for. Most shops are happy just to get you riding, not make a overpriced sale. If you're not happy at the first shop, go to the next.

EDIT: Be sure to ask if they have any, new non-current bikes in stock. These are usually a couple hundred less than current year bikes and just as good.
 

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Craigslist is a good place to look. There's a lot of people wanting to get rid of barely used bikes they never use. I got mine (a hybrid) for $500, around $300 off retail (and bicycles are a lot like motorcycles - year to year changes are often nothing more than BOLD NEW COLORS). It's a couple years old, but barely used.

All that said, the way most lines work is that the major changes in a bike and its more expensive counterparts is in the hardware. They'll have the same frame and maybe fork, but the shifters and gears and brakes and such will be better.

At any rate, go to a bike shop to at least get fitted, since they come in lots of different sizes.
 

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Another vote for CL. I got my 80's vintage Trek road racer for the killer price of "Will it fit in your car?"

Aside from that bike, and the Huffys I rode as a kid, I know nothing about bikes, aside from the fact that I really need to stop saying I'll ride it and actually do it...
 

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+1 to checking out your local bike shop first.
If you know nothing of bikes, might be hard to tell what's good and what's not while browsing CL...
 

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Shimano & Sram are your 2 most common component maufacturers. CF is nice but unless you are racing, its not a nessessity. Most bikes will be 10-30 gears. You won't use them all but they are there.
 

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Having 30 gears isn't necessary, but having a wide range between upper and lower gears makes a HUGE difference, especially if you have lots of hills. On my bike, a 12 speed, I basically use four gear sets: the two lowest and the two highest. I would like a taller high gear for the straights, as I'm topping out at around 25-28mph without pedaling like mad. When climbing two of the long, gradual hills on my commute, by the time I reach the peak, I'm in low gear, pedaling for all I'm worth, but moving not much faster than (what seems) a fast walk.
 

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Pedal bikes? Are you getting a moped, Dave?

Sent from my right shoe using the Motorcycle app
 

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chaos forgot Campagnolo, though that is usually left for the Italian better than tho'. It's a bit higher priced...usually, but is more serviceable than Shimano (was).

If you think 30 gears is rough, how about 30 gears with electric shifting!! You won't find it on lower priced bikes but it is there and not far around the corner for everyone.

Road bikes are typically higher priced than MT bikes or hybrids, not sure why. If you would like to occasionally take it "offroad" than a road bike type that is usually a bit cheaper is a "cyclocross" bike.

Steel = cheapest - heaviest
Aluminum = a little more - lighter and stiffer
Carbon Fiber = MONEY - can't say never ridden a full CF bike but from what I hear and see, the way to go. If you can afford to spend as much as an SV cost.

Most bikes are made from the same 3 shops in China and Taiwan. They just put different labels on them. It's really about the components you get on them and how much weight you want your bike to weigh. I can't remember the ratio but each ounce of weight loss on a bicycles relates to like $10 or something like that. So the lighter the more you will pay!!

Personally, Trek has come a long way thanks to Lance Armstrong, they sucked before him. Cannondale is pretty solid. The bikes you'll find at Walmart and Target now, i.e. Diamond Back, Pacific, I believe GT is sold there now...........SUCK, stay away!! They sold out and now are horrible.

Don't tell the LBS that your looking to see what fits and then your gonna shop on CL. Not only rude but why would they want to help you.

Good luck in your search.
 

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Pretend you're buying your first motorcycle: Get something cheap to learn on. Why? Because until you brave the street on a pedal bike, you won't know if it's worth investing in a quality bike. A used hybrid will let you test out some off-road, some rail-trail, and some asphalt. The reason you can find road racers for dirt cheap is because people buy them and don't realize that they are specialized torture racks and getting run off the road is a very real risk.

All that said: Shop bike shops hard. The best asset you can have is a good shop to support you. whether it's a bit of advice on tires, replacing a bad part for cheap from their spares bin, or a support group for learning local ride routes - a good shop is like the svrider forum and you'll spend way more time there than you should. A good shop will sell you a used bike and let you trade it later when you know what you really want. As to bikes - Giant is the largest bike manufacturer in the world last I checked. You can go from soup to nuts in their product line and chose what type and quality you want. There are dozens of other good manufacturers out there - too many to address.

Frames are the one component you can't easily upgrade: Steel flexes more than aluminum so imparts a softer ride. Carbon is just expensive. Suspension unnecessary on the road as long as your body isn't beat to hell. Half the battle is getting the geometry right: seat height and handlebar shape+position are adjustable, controls should be properly angled. The good news is, tweaking a bicycle is WAY easier than tweaking a motorcycle.

Good luck!
 

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The Well-Leathered Mod
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Good info guys. Thanks.
I do plan to go cheap, unless I can find a used expensive bike for cheap. But either way, yeah, Im not planning on spending a ton of money on it.

Watching CL for stuff, but there isnt much on there right now. I plan to check out the LBS soon.
 

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My LBS just got a bunch of 2013's in stock and is clearing out the '12s. Might pay to get into a store sooner than later to oogle the spendy rigs and see what they have in sale.


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when searching CL remember to put "divorce" in the search line. You can save a ton of money at divorce sales.
 

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2 years ago, I wanted road biking a try (normally up in the mountains hurting myself). I lusted after a Specialized Allez Steel (mostly because of the movie: American Flyers).

Then all the guys I ride with flaked out and no one got one.

I ended up with a CL bike. A Nishiki Prestige steel bike from the 80's. I chose to start with a good quality used frame and spent my money on components.

Gotta get that Allez steel one day...

 
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