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Bicycle help

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Max Mercy, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Max Mercy

    Max Mercy Member

    Any bikers out there? Not the motor kind?

    I want to buy my wife a new bike for her birthday. Because she's 7. Er, uh, I mean, because we live near a great system of bike paths and she has a crappy old bike.

    We're not Lance Armstrong wannabes. But we do like to go for rides of about 10-12 miles or so. It's not so much a way to get IN shape as it is a way to slow the never-ending slide to OUT of shape.

    The trails are smooth and flat, so we don't need mountain bikes. And a good road bike is ludicrously expensive, and probably a little more than we need, anyway. So I'm stuck between a Comfort Bike and a Hybrid Bike. The comfort bikes are significantly less expensive. But from reading online, it seems they might be a little too leisurely. Anyone have one? Are they OK for a good, flat, paved ride? Or should I pay twice as much for a hybrid bike?

    Thanks for the help...
  2. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Buy the best bike you can afford. The cheaper the bike, the heavier it is and the crappier the components.

    If you can't afford a road bike, I'd go for a hybrid.
  3. Smokey33

    Smokey33 Member

    My wife got a comfort bike last summer and she loves it. We do the same type of riding you're talking about, short, around town and on the local trails. So I vote comfort bike.

    As long as it's a quality brand, it'll be OK. I wouldn't worry about the weight. It doesn't make that much difference (says the guy who rides an ancient mountain bike that weighs nearly as much as a tank and an ancient road bike).

    I think my wife got something like this
  4. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    Go for the hybrid. Comfort bikes are waaaay too heavy.
    Do not buy a department store bike. They are shit.

    I'm a roadie and a bit of a bike snob (I once actually told a woman my wife works with "My saddle costs twice as much as your whole bike.") so weight does matter. I guess if you live in Florida or somewhere like that it isn't so much of an issue, but if you ride in the mountains at all every once counts. I've got a department store mountain bike that's I'll ride down through our farm just for the heck of it sometimes. That thing weighs 36 pounds. My road bike is a shade under 19. Also, you said you weren't looking at full blown mountain bikes, but don't get anything with knobby tires if you're sticking to the trails and park grass type of places. If you are on the road, knobby tires will kill any kind of momentum you have.
  5. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    I got a hybrid. It works fine for me, except I feel somehow not as cool as everyone else because everyone else around here seems to have a road bike. I didn't want one of those because it's more expensive and it hurts my back to ride hunched over like that. I'm more upright on the hybrid.

    Anyway, I think it's the bike version of a minivan. Dependable and does the job. Doesn't look cool.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I have a couple of old road bikes from when I used to bike more seriously. I have one that is about 15 years old that will always be my favorite bike I have ever owned. I modified and use as a get-around, ride for fun bike, similar to what you want. It's light and zips.

    I'd avoid a cheap cruiser, like the ones you'd get at K-Mart. You really will pay for it with a heavy frame, not-so-comfortable ride and crappy components (heavy and prone to breaking down). I'd get some kind of hybrid / road bike.

    You didn't give an exact budget, but Giant has a good reputation for value-priced bikes that give you a bit more quality for your buck. But they are on the low end of the more quality type bike makers and may still be too pricey for you. It's a step up from Pacific Bikes or Schwinn, though. Pay attention to components. I know you don't plan on racing, but get the bet components you can get for the dollar you are spending. Also, Performance Bike (www.performancebike.com), sells decent frames that are a bit less costly than the expensive bike makers and used to have options where you could make a custom build for a decent price.
  7. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Are you near an REI? They've got an in-house line of bikes that are very affordable.

    Also, have you thought about going with a used bike? My local shops always have one or two-year-old bikes for sale that have been bought, ridden a dozen times and then stored in a garage.
  8. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I would buy a mountain bike before a road bike because you can always use a mountain bike on the road. I use my mountain bike on the road all the time, because I'm riding for fun, and for excercise, not to be the fastest in the park.
  9. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    Max ... I've been getting into cycling for the past year or so and if you're going to ride distances (and it sounds like you do) I would avoid the 'comfort bike' which sounds like what I think of as a 'commuter bike'. I think a hybrid is a good choice. Personally, I have an old school mountain bike that I bought second hand 15 years ago and it's a brute, but it gets me around. Like you, I ride a lot of bike paths, etc. but I also use it to ride to work, etc. The weight does make a difference, especially on a really long ride. My bike is a tank and there are times when that extra weight can be felt.

    I daydream about a new bike and JR has almost got me convinced that my next bike will be a road bike. Last night he told me that the guy at our bike shop recommended a road bike since mountain bikes were like SUVs - too big and too heavy for most people's needs. That led to this exchange:
    HC: I guess that means my bike is the Hummer of bikes.
    JR: Honey, your bike is the Lada of bikes.

  10. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I have a Schwinn bike that is sort of a mountain/street hybrid. Which is why I bought it to begin with. Unfortunately I still have mountain tires on it and need to get street tires.
  11. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    F_B - I switched to street tires last year and love it. Didn't cost much, either.
  12. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    I would just like to say that HC went on a 60 km (approx 37-38 miles) bike ride BEFORE breakfast a couple of Saturdays ago. Not bad. And my kids granted her honorary "beast" status. :)

    I treated myself to a Rocky Mountain Solo (mountain) bike a few years back to celebrate an important birthday ending in a "0" . Set me back about a grand and although it's a terrific bike, it was not a smart purchase. With the exception of some dirt/gravel paths I do almost entirely all road cycling. And as Joe said, those knobby tires slow you down to a crawl.

    And since my bike before that was an old ten speed Peugeot, I still am not used to riding upright. I don't feel as in control of the bike as you are when your head's over the handlebars on a road bike.

    If I win the $50 million lottery tonight, I'm going to buy myself a Rocky Mountain Road bike. Good ones start at around $1200.
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