What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

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MrNo
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What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by MrNo »

Hello & I hope everyone is having great holidays!

DW & myself have decided to buy bikes.

Since we have not had bikes since we were children and much of our friend/family circle is bike-less, we are looking for some recommendations and advice to help aside from what we can find on google.

Our usage expectation: mostly riding on pavement in a town type atmosphere, and on paved bike routes thorough local parks, but we also would like to have something that can handle some light trail riding on other terrain without too much issue. I could see myself getting into other non-pavement trails and that type of terrain more easily than DW, but we'd both like the option to be there even though we know the primary use will be on pavement.

From my research it seems hybrid would be good solution. It seems we could find something of decent quality, starting for ~$600 for beginner riders with our usage expectations. Seems Specialized and Trek are decent brands. Is this price point good start?

Where to buy: would be a LBS. We bought bikes for our kiddos there as well. Plus we prefer support for local businesses. Craigslist would be another good option but it would be more relying on luck since we lack knowledge & we are not sure what we are doing :)

Any advice or recommendations would be helpful!

Also i need help convincing my wife not to get a bike from big stores for ~$150. She thinks that will be sufficient for her.

PS i searched & latest post on this topic was in 2019, hopefully 2021 edition can help out somebody else as well.
Last edited by MrNo on Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stumptowngal
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Stumptowngal »

I’ll let others more knowledgeable comment on bike brands, style and prices; but I do support your desire to purchase from a local bike store over a big box or online. It’s a sound idea to purchase a bike from someone who knows their products well; can help match your needs to the best bike; determine correct sizing; and even more important, be there for needed bike repairs. To me, this is worth the extra dollars you may or may not pay over the big box.
fogalog
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by fogalog »

I have bought a few bikes second hand and the rest from a local store. They should take the time to understand your needs and help you get fitted for a bike. If you haven't ridden for a while, I cant stress the need to get the right size bike enough.

Yes, Trek and Specialized are good brands and yes, I think a hybrid is the right choice, given what you describe. You can go off-road pretty well on a hybrid though going fast downhill is harder without front suspension. You should be able to pick up something decent for $600. I have saved money in the past by buying last year's model, in a colour no-one else seemed to want (white) at a local store.

Good luck!
Normchad
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Normchad »

I bought a Specialized hybrid bike a few years back, for about that price. It’s an excellent bike, frankly.....

Trek and Specialized both make good bikes. The world is full of bike snobs though who can pick apart and complain about any bike. Don’t let them kill your buzz......
HawkeyePierce
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Also look into Marin and Salsa. I've owned bikes from both brands and they're excellent.

My current bike is a Salsa Journeyman which is a little above your budget but just what you're looking for. Look for wider tires like 650Bs which will give you the trail capability you're looking for. Certainly don't go any skinnier than a 750C.
Topic Author
MrNo
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by MrNo »

fogalog wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:59 am I have bought a few bikes second hand and the rest from a local store. They should take the time to understand your needs and help you get fitted for a bike. If you haven't ridden for a while, I cant stress the need to get the right size bike enough.

Yes, Trek and Specialized are good brands and yes, I think a hybrid is the right choice, given what you describe. You can go off-road pretty well on a hybrid though going fast downhill is harder without front suspension. You should be able to pick up something decent for $600. I have saved money in the past by buying last year's model, in a colour no-one else seemed to want (white) at a local store.

Good luck!
thank you for your response. I've been at the bike store right before Christmas & they were wiped out. They will get re-stocked by 1/5. Do you think its worth getting a bike with front suspension & does that require additional maintenance & something to potentially break?
Andyrunner
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Andyrunner »

First off: Good Luck, most bike shops are struggling to keep bikes in stock. Keep hearing from industry people the supply won't come back till end of 2021-spring 2022.

Since you really don't know what your looking at, I would recommend going to a LBS. Trek, Specalized, Giant they are all good brands and at this level are mostly the same with a different name. Each LBS is a dealer of 1-2 brands, so feel free to shop around. I would say a good hybrid would start at $600-$1000. Learn the component brands and levels, that will give you a good idea of what you are getting for your money.

I would also say start watching youtube video's on maintaining your bike, lubing the chain, cleaning the grime out of the gears etc. The highest end bike is worthless if it isn't maintained well.
Andyrunner
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Andyrunner »

MrNo wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:10 pm
fogalog wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:59 am I have bought a few bikes second hand and the rest from a local store. They should take the time to understand your needs and help you get fitted for a bike. If you haven't ridden for a while, I cant stress the need to get the right size bike enough.

Yes, Trek and Specialized are good brands and yes, I think a hybrid is the right choice, given what you describe. You can go off-road pretty well on a hybrid though going fast downhill is harder without front suspension. You should be able to pick up something decent for $600. I have saved money in the past by buying last year's model, in a colour no-one else seemed to want (white) at a local store.

Good luck!
thank you for your response. I've been at the bike store right before Christmas & they were wiped out. They will get re-stocked by 1/5. Do you think its worth getting a bike with front suspension & does that require additional maintenance & something to potentially break?
Little maintenance. If the trails your riding on have any ruts or bumps will save your wrists big time. On the restock date...could be, but I wouldn't count on it, they are really just guessing and its really what their wholesaler has.
lazydavid
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by lazydavid »

Go to the bike shop, tell them your needs and let them show you a few models that meet those needs. Buy whatever seems to suit you well.

The $150 big box bikes are rubbish. You don't have to spend a ton to get a decent-quality bike for casual use, but you'll have to spend quite a bit more than $150. These bikes will be heavy and ponderous to ride, difficult to maintain and impossible to get parts for.
fogalog
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by fogalog »

Andyrunner wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:17 pm
MrNo wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:10 pm
fogalog wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:59 am I have bought a few bikes second hand and the rest from a local store. They should take the time to understand your needs and help you get fitted for a bike. If you haven't ridden for a while, I cant stress the need to get the right size bike enough.

Yes, Trek and Specialized are good brands and yes, I think a hybrid is the right choice, given what you describe. You can go off-road pretty well on a hybrid though going fast downhill is harder without front suspension. You should be able to pick up something decent for $600. I have saved money in the past by buying last year's model, in a colour no-one else seemed to want (white) at a local store.

Good luck!
thank you for your response. I've been at the bike store right before Christmas & they were wiped out. They will get re-stocked by 1/5. Do you think its worth getting a bike with front suspension & does that require additional maintenance & something to potentially break?
Little maintenance. If the trails your riding on have any ruts or bumps will save your wrists big time. On the restock date...could be, but I wouldn't count on it, they are really just guessing and its really what their wholesaler has.
It's true that bikes became like hen's teeth during stay-at-home but I do also think it's worth working with a local store.

On suspension: the comment about your wrists is certainly true, depending on how fast you're going. It is also hard to just keep your hands on the handlebars at speed (downhill) on rough ground - which can be scary if you're not ready for it. Suspension requires no regular maintenance - or no more than anything else.

In your shoes, I would buy a hybrid, no suspension for now. If you find you get into trail riding, and the hybrid is holding you back, you can always either a) add suspension forks or b) add a full-suspension mountain bike. The latter is probably the most likely because the wider tyres will make a big difference on very rough ground.

Good luck!
Onlineid3089
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Onlineid3089 »

Talk to your local bike shop and discuss what you plan to do with the bikes. They'll know your local area and what kind of trails are available. I'd suggest keeping an open mind to something along the lines of a gravel or cyclocross bike, but those are probably going to run around $1,000 on the lower end.
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vitaflo
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by vitaflo »

If you don't know what to look for, I'd steer away from Craigslist. You'll have a hard time telling what potential issues a bike has if you don't know what to spot in the photos.

Go to the LBS, get fitted properly, do some test rides to make sure you like the bike. Big box store bikes tend to be pretty bad IMO. I know your wife might think $600 for a bike is a lot, but in this day and age, that's downright cheap for a new bike. Thankfully as mentioned Trek and Specialized make decent bikes in that range and have good availability. Certainly there are better boutique brands, but they will cost you and are harder to find places that sell them.

When it comes to bikes, especially your first one, don't overthink it. Just get something to ride. All the parts on it can be replaced/improved over time if you wanted. Getting out and riding is the most important thing.
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OldOne
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by OldOne »

Like most everything else I buy I try to find American made products. I bought my last bike from Detroit Bikes. Brooklyn Bikes is also an American company. Of course not every part (derailleur for example) on those bikes is made in USA but they try.

https://detroitbikes.com/ and https://www.brooklynbicycleco.com/.
SC Anteater
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by SC Anteater »

Adding on to what everyone else says.

Cannondale is a brand to add to your Specialized/Trek list. Son has a Cannondale Quick that he uses as his commuter/college bike (he had it before college and used it to ride to work). It's been very reliable, nothing's gone wrong on it and he's subjected it to a lot of abuse. I think it was around $600/700.

I wouldn't worry about front suspensions. If you find you enjoy riding off trail get a bike specifically suited for that down the road. If you buy some frankenstein city/trail/suspensioned thing now it will just be heavy and unpleasant to ride.
keith6014
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by keith6014 »

BikesDirect.com is the best bang for your buck.

I would get http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gra ... onster.htm if I was in the market.
Moose1972
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Moose1972 »

At 65 I bought first bike in decades summer of 19. I shopped at the local bike shop (less than a block away). Tried 3 different bikes $150, $300 and $500. I was amazed at the difference. I bought the $500 bike - my intention was not to spend over $200. The shop qives great service and I love my Trek. This summer (April thru Nov) I put on over 1000 miles. Unfortunately MI winter has shut me down. I really miss my 10 mile jaunt around town everyday weather permitting. My biker friend said for a novice I should not get a used bike - would not know what I was getting. Can't wait for spring. Hope I can keep this up until I am 80.
LivinGood
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by LivinGood »

I bought a specialized hybrid 10 years ago and it has been a great bike. I threw a rear rack with a plastic basket (24oz. soda case holder from the local distributor) on it. Awesome townie bike. I would suggest getting some 45 cc tires on it for added stability. It’ll be a bit harder to pedal, but not much.
Last edited by LivinGood on Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ubermax
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by ubermax »

MrNo wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:30 am
Our usage expectation: mostly riding on pavement in a town type atmosphere, and on paved bike routes thorough local parks, but we also would like to have something that can handle some light trail riding on other terrain without too much issue. I could see myself getting into other non-pavement trails and that type of terrain more easily than DW, but we'd both like the option to be there even though we know the primary use will be on pavement.
Except for the "non-pavement" trails , I think a hybrid would be your best bet for starters until you have some history of the type of terrain that you've been riding and may want to ride in the future - the price of bikes is very dependent on the quality of the components , i.e. drive train, brakes , etc. and the frame material , i.e. carbon fiber, titanium, aluminum , and steel .

Currently bike manufacturers seem to be reserving light but strong frame material , i.e. titanium or carbon fiber and high end components like Campagnolo and Shimano for road bikes - and so my recommendation would be to talk to the LBS and do some of your own research ( Google ) to find the lightest hybrid with the best available components - longer rides can be tiring on a heavy bike .

Most hybrids will do ok on gravel roads but if you're planning on going into the wilderness you'll need something like a mountain bike .

I like biking and have a road bike but my wife not so much and she has a hybrid for the few times she will do a local bike trail with me .

Good Luck !!!
LifeIsGood
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by LifeIsGood »

If you have an REI close by they would also be a dealer to consider.
NicB
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by NicB »

I bought a Trek Verve from a LBS in April, and have been happy with it. Similar to yourselves, I hadn't owned a bike in years. I had wanted to try the Trek FX too, but the Verve was the only hybrid bike in stock in my size. :beer I primarily ride on paved bike routes, so I can't really comment how it does on longer-distance non-pavement trails.
Andyrunner
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Andyrunner »

keith6014 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:22 pm BikesDirect.com is the best bang for your buck.

I would get http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gra ... onster.htm if I was in the market.
I would concur only if the OP knows what they are doing and what they are buying. I have 2 BD bikes myself, great bikes but you need to know what your doing, how to build them and tune them. Also don't think a fatty is what they are looking for.
30west
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by 30west »

If you can afford it, i would try to stay away from the entry level Shimano drivetrain and get something a little more robust. The last bike i bought came with a Shimano 105 derailleur and it's been flawless for years. Also, you probably want disc breaks. The price of your bike will be depend on the quality of components and the material the frame is made of- steel, aluminum or carbon fiber. All have their pros and cons but if you are comparing a well equiped aluminum bike vs a entry level carbon fiber, i would take the better components over the lighter frame.
Elysium
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Elysium »

OP,

For the type of usage you have described, almost any hybrid Bike brand would do. Trek and Specialized are good. It is important to note that all of these bikes at the lower end are made in similar factories in China/Taiwan, the process and components are almost exactly the same. That said, there is still subtle differences in quality between Trek/Specialized/Giant and lesser known brands. The price range of $600 is about right, although you could do substantially better quality ride even on a Hybrid with light usage if you can go closer to $1000. Things like carbon fiber forks/frames, better bearings, components, all that make incremental differences. Remember that for a bike that costs $600, the bike shop is paying about $300 to manufacturer and they in turn are paying even less. So, in effect you are getting a $100 bike for $600, the quality of components therefore improves with each $500 on top.
Schroeder
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Schroeder »

The $150 department store bikes are only good for children who don't ride much and out grow them soon. They are heavy and the components are cheap and wear fast. The components are non standard and you can't repair them. The people here have given good advice on brands and buying locally. At first you will need good service until you get experience and can do some of your own. Look around for a local club. They will have good recommendations on bikes and safer routes to ride. Remember, there are some roads that just should not be ridden on and two riders are more than twice as easy for drivers to see than one person alone.
Gabelli2020
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Gabelli2020 »

Electra Townie. ( this is not an e-bike, despite the name).The best selling bike in the USA for the last several years. Super comfortable, reasonably fast, very well built. You can get single speed, 3, 7 , or 21 speed versions. Trails or road worthy. I’m an old road biker, but I don’t even take my drop bar bike out anymore. These are too fun. $400-$800
jj45
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by jj45 »

I am familiar with the Trek line, mostly because I like the Trek LBS. The major brands are all similar enough and they have way too many models at way too many price points. As others have said, when you spend more you bet better quality components. Do you care? Probably not. $600 is a good price point for what you want, maybe go up a bit more. Consider a women's frame for DW which is designed for a woman's body proportions, the relative leg/torso/arm lengths are different for men and women (this is not the same as the old "girl's bike" with a dropped top tube for "modesty).

The main decision to make is suspension or not. The two Trek lines I would consider are the FX, fixed frame, and Dual Sport, with suspension. My old bones and joints really like the way suspension soaks up the shock from bumps. Take a fixed and a front suspension bike for a test ride and see what you think.

I had a friend in a bike shop suggest not buying the cheapest bike in a model line, that they often make too many sacrifices to reach the desired price point, and the next level up is a better buy. So, for Trek, either the FX 2 Disc or the Dual Sport 2, which also has disc brakes. Both mid-$600.

Then you have to buy helmets and bike gloves (reduces potential hand numbness and protects palms if/when you fall) and lights if you might be out after dark (summer nighttime rides to the ice cream shop are one of my favorite activities). Upgrading the handlebar grips can also help reduce hand numbness. I like the ones with little wings that, when adjusted correctly, help you keep your wrist in the right position to avoid numbness.
123
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by 123 »

Sometimes a bike from Craigslist can seem appealing but you have to examine it carefully. If it's been cleaned up, degreased, and shined up even a worn out bike can be made to look pretty good. Easiest indicators of wear are probably tires, brake pads, and gear rings. Of course parts can be replaced. A risk in used bikes is that they could have been stolen.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
kiwi123
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by kiwi123 »

There was another recent thread similar to yours... what gets overlooked often in these threads is that getting the correct size and fit is more important than anything else. And be proactive at asking the LBS to give advice about the fit of the bike. And try a few different brands including a size bigger and smaller than what "should" be your size to feel the difference. When we bought something similar for my SO we started at REI, tried 3-4 different bikes and none of them fit quite right... went to a LBS and second bike we tried there was the perfect fit. It was about $50 more than the "ideal" bike on paper i was looking at but a better fit is more important than saving $50. If it doesn't fit right, it doesn't matter what bike you get.

Check out some bike fit videos on youtube to get a sense of what you need to look for. Biggest problems i see are frame too small, seat too low, handlebars too high or too low, and brakes not set at the right angle. Unless you take control on the fit issue, chances are the store will be more interested in getting you to the cash register than spending time working with you to get the right fit (and most customers buying at this price point ride the bike 2-3 times a year and dont come back).

In addition to "hybrid" bikes, look at hardtail mountain bikes. Around the $650 price point gives you some good quality options that perform reasonably well.
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Peter Foley
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Peter Foley »

You have had a lot of thoughtful input already. I certainly agree with the consensus to go with a better quality brand. I've worked part time as a bike mechanic in a local bike shop for the past 8 years. Trek, Specialized, Giant are all solidly made bikes. As noted by one poster, the REI Novara bikes are also good bikes in your stated price range. All the brands have better components and those components make tune ups easier as well as contributing to a better ride, better shifting, and better braking.

As to type of bike - for the type of riding you describe give some thought to the relatively new category of "comfort bike." It is a bit of a cross between a hybrid and a mountain bike, typically with front shocks and 26" wheels. I have both a Trek version and a Specialized version and I find myself riding these two bikes more than my Trek hybrid. I have both my comfort bikes equipped with 26 X 1.75 tires on the rear and 26 X 1.5 tires on the front. This set up will give you a ride a bit more like a hybrid than a mountain bike. The tire size helps absorb the rough roads and paved trains we have here in Minnesota. I also prefer the gear ratios on the comfort bikes to the hybrids I own.
Last edited by Peter Foley on Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
quadog
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by quadog »

My spouse and I had similar-ish requirements a few years ago and opted for matching REI CTY bikes. https://www.rei.com/product/109675/co- ... ty-21-bike

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this bike. I’ve probably logged hundreds/thousands of miles on it and haven’t even had a flat. I just took it on a 35 mile ride this morning across gravel and tarmac terrain.

One word of warning. It weighs in at 30lbs. You could get a fancy pants gravel bike that clocks in closer to 20lbs. But the cost goes up accordingly.
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gr7070
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by gr7070 »

fogalog wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:43 pm In your shoes, I would buy a hybrid, no suspension for now. If you find you get into trail riding, and the hybrid is holding you back, you can always ... b) add a ... mountain bike. The latter is probably the most likely because the wider tyres will make a big difference on very rough ground.

Good luck!
This.

For your expected riding get a no-suspension hybrid. Even hybrid models have a wide range of intended used from far more "trail" riding to mostly paved riding. So talk with your LBS about where in that range you want your hybrid to fall.

Cheap suspension sucks anyway, which is what you'd find on modestly priced hybrids.

A little wider and slightly more aggressive tire tread can go a long ways to accommodating trails, especially crushed gravel-type trails. You can buy different tires later if needed.

I have a couple Treks (one is a higher level FX I've commuted on for many years, check them out). Trek are great. Specialized is too. They're the big names and would usually not be considered value bikes, but they're also not exactly over-priced.

Most of the value, and much of the cost comes in the components.

There are many quality value brands.
vitaflo wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:00 pm When it comes to bikes, especially your first one, don't overthink it. Just get something to ride. Getting out and riding is the most important thing.
While I definitely agree with this, if you really want to know the difference in shopping between makes and models (if there's much available to compare) and what you're getting for more money you need to look at the components of each bike.

Check out Wikipedia to learn about components and their tiered quality/cost. Some of the specific model names are getting older in the link "List of Groupsets" (been a few years since I last bought), but it gives you some great info on what's lower tier stuff - which is what you'll be buying and is perfectly fine.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupset

You can definitely ignore this stuff if uninterested, especially at your price point.

If you want to eventually get into true, proper trails get a mountain bike at that time, full-sus or hard-tail are both options.

The pandemic is not a good time to buy a bike - price and availability. But I wouldn't wait.

Agreed with others that fit is definitely important. It's not just about your height either, especially if you're one who has a longer or shorter torso than is typical for your height.
Last edited by gr7070 on Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:52 am, edited 8 times in total.
ensign_lee
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by ensign_lee »

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/escape-3

Your use case is exactly what mine was. Mostly city riding, with some slight off roading onto dirt. I was trying to take my bicycle more to work.

Bought this about 4 years ago. This was perfect for me, and would probably be perfect for you. Roughly $400 too.
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MrNo
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by MrNo »

Little did i know ... :)

thanks everyone for taking your time and providing input, suggestions & guidance which is beyond helpful. Lots of great info that i am trying to digest. Bit overwhelming but fun. It made me wonder if i should increase price range to $1000 or stick with ~$600 to get a better starter bike that should last me longer.

One thing i did not mention is that i am 6'4", so i will be fitting bikes on top of the sizing chart.
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MrNo
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by MrNo »

Peter Foley wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:45 pm You have had a lot of thoughtful input already. I certainly agree with the consensus to go with a better quality brand. I've worked part time as a bike mechanic in a local bike shop for the past 8 years. Trek, Specialized, Giant are all solidly made bikes. As noted by one poster, the REI Novara bikes are also good bikes in your stated price range. All the brands have better components and those components make tune ups easier as well as contributing to a better ride, better shifting, and better braking.

As to type of bike - for the type of riding you describe give some thought to the relatively new category of "comfort bike." It is a bit of a cross between a hybrid and a mountain bike, typically with front shocks and 26" wheels. I have both a Trek version and a Specialized version and I find myself riding these two bikes more than my Trek hybrid. I have both my comfort bikes equipped with 26 X 1.75 tires on the rear and 26 X 1.5 tires on the front. This set up will give you a ride a but more like a hybrid than a mountain bike. The tire size helps absorb the rough roads and paved trains we have here in Minnesota. I also prefer the gear ratios on the comfort bikes to the hybrids I own.
Thank you for sharing your input and experience! When i was doing my research about bikes over the weekend i came a across "comfort bike" & i liked what i read about them. Would you mind sharing the model you have?
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MrNo
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by MrNo »

kiwi123 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:23 pm There was another recent thread similar to yours... what gets overlooked often in these threads is that getting the correct size and fit is more important than anything else. And be proactive at asking the LBS to give advice about the fit of the bike. And try a few different brands including a size bigger and smaller than what "should" be your size to feel the difference. When we bought something similar for my SO we started at REI, tried 3-4 different bikes and none of them fit quite right... went to a LBS and second bike we tried there was the perfect fit. It was about $50 more than the "ideal" bike on paper i was looking at but a better fit is more important than saving $50. If it doesn't fit right, it doesn't matter what bike you get.

Check out some bike fit videos on youtube to get a sense of what you need to look for. Biggest problems i see are frame too small, seat too low, handlebars too high or too low, and brakes not set at the right angle. Unless you take control on the fit issue, chances are the store will be more interested in getting you to the cash register than spending time working with you to get the right fit (and most customers buying at this price point ride the bike 2-3 times a year and dont come back).

In addition to "hybrid" bikes, look at hardtail mountain bikes. Around the $650 price point gives you some good quality options that perform reasonably well.
This is very helpful info. I will definitely check out bike fitting videos on you tube, if you know any good ones please share them. I can see, if customer is not taking initiative and asking qustions, why staff in the store would be interested for taking me to the register.
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MrNo
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by MrNo »

jj45 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:44 pm I am familiar with the Trek line, mostly because I like the Trek LBS. The major brands are all similar enough and they have way too many models at way too many price points. As others have said, when you spend more you bet better quality components. Do you care? Probably not. $600 is a good price point for what you want, maybe go up a bit more. Consider a women's frame for DW which is designed for a woman's body proportions, the relative leg/torso/arm lengths are different for men and women (this is not the same as the old "girl's bike" with a dropped top tube for "modesty).

The main decision to make is suspension or not. The two Trek lines I would consider are the FX, fixed frame, and Dual Sport, with suspension. My old bones and joints really like the way suspension soaks up the shock from bumps. Take a fixed and a front suspension bike for a test ride and see what you think.

I had a friend in a bike shop suggest not buying the cheapest bike in a model line, that they often make too many sacrifices to reach the desired price point, and the next level up is a better buy. So, for Trek, either the FX 2 Disc or the Dual Sport 2, which also has disc brakes. Both mid-$600.

Then you have to buy helmets and bike gloves (reduces potential hand numbness and protects palms if/when you fall) and lights if you might be out after dark (summer nighttime rides to the ice cream shop are one of my favorite activities). Upgrading the handlebar grips can also help reduce hand numbness. I like the ones with little wings that, when adjusted correctly, help you keep your wrist in the right position to avoid numbness.
thank you! problem is that i do not know exactly what i want, just an idea. :) what price point you would suggest? i am big fan of saying: you get what you pay for. I rather spend a litle or few $$$ more but get something better that would fit our needs better. I do agree with what you friend was saying and it makes sense.

PS Summer time rides with kiddo's to the ice cream store is on our list :).
sschoe2
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by sschoe2 »

MrNo wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:30 am

Also i need help convincing my wife not to get a bike from big stores for ~$150. She thinks that will be sufficient for her.
Department store bike are crap. They are built with a 75 mile life expectancy. Assembly is poor. Parts are poor quality designed for ease of manufacturing and don't hold proper adjustment well. Bearings are poor quality and often poorly lubed. I've seen very poor quality cables and cable housing comprising the function of the brakes and shifters. They usually have outdated technology such as threaded headsets and 5-7 speeds in the rear (modern bikes have 10+). Frames only come in one size making the chances of getting a proper fit unlikely. Parts are made of cheap metal and very heavy. One ridiculous area they cut corners is on the rim strip (the material that sits between the spoke ends and tube). My sister in law has a cheap Wally World Schwinn and kept getting flats until I replaced her rim strips with some decent cloth tape.
brennok
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by brennok »

My vote would definitely be the LBS and if possible check out multiple LBS since they tend to stock different brands. One big thing I found for example was I dislike twist shifters. I constantly shift unintentionally and needed more the classic thumb shifters. When I was shopping it seemed like the brand only stuck with one or the other so multiple test rides are worth it.

Another great forum for research is bikeforums.net
kiwi123
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by kiwi123 »

MrNo wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:34 pm
kiwi123 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:23 pm There was another recent thread similar to yours... what gets overlooked often in these threads is that getting the correct size and fit is more important than anything else. And be proactive at asking the LBS to give advice about the fit of the bike. And try a few different brands including a size bigger and smaller than what "should" be your size to feel the difference. When we bought something similar for my SO we started at REI, tried 3-4 different bikes and none of them fit quite right... went to a LBS and second bike we tried there was the perfect fit. It was about $50 more than the "ideal" bike on paper i was looking at but a better fit is more important than saving $50. If it doesn't fit right, it doesn't matter what bike you get.

Check out some bike fit videos on youtube to get a sense of what you need to look for. Biggest problems i see are frame too small, seat too low, handlebars too high or too low, and brakes not set at the right angle. Unless you take control on the fit issue, chances are the store will be more interested in getting you to the cash register than spending time working with you to get the right fit (and most customers buying at this price point ride the bike 2-3 times a year and dont come back).

In addition to "hybrid" bikes, look at hardtail mountain bikes. Around the $650 price point gives you some good quality options that perform reasonably well.
This is very helpful info. I will definitely check out bike fitting videos on you tube, if you know any good ones please share them. I can see, if customer is not taking initiative and asking qustions, why staff in the store would be interested for taking me to the register.
Here's a few to give you an idea what to look for... you'll probably need to jump on 3-4 different bikes to "feel" what's "right" so don't be afraid to go back to the first 1-2 bikes and try them again if you think they might fit right.

The type of bike, the type of riding, etc. will all influence how the bike should be set up (and you'll want to change it as you do more riding and/or different types of riding). As an example, in the REI video i personally think the seat is too low for faster riding i like to do but it's perfect for someone looking to cruise around town at a moderate pace (and also gives the rider better balance and security because it's easier to put your feet down). The common thing with all 3 of these videos is the rider looks comfortable and you can also see the basics of how to get a reasonable fit. And asking the shop to put the bike on a stationary trainer also avoids you trying to ride in the parking lot with everyone watching you! (but make sure to ride the bike outside before buying too)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXWWIrLStu8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8aq2WKlZUE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiHt9uiMpio

Next challenge is to find the perfect saddle :-) That's something that's worth switching out or upgrading at the time of purchase too. A couple of brands (like Specialized) have a memory foam pad you sit on to then measure your hip width which gives a really good starting point for the right saddle to get.
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gr7070
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by gr7070 »

MrNo wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:20 pm . It made me wonder if i should increase price range to $1000 or stick with ~$600 to get a better starter bike that should last me longer.
I don't think it makes a huge difference.

You can use that groupsets link I posted above to get an idea of just how much relative difference there is from a $600 bike to a $1000.

One clear reason to move up in model tiers would be for a specific item you simply prefer over the lower model, e.g. the palm swell grips noted in a post above, or more gears, or different gearing ratios, etc.

You're unlikely to get a significant improvement on reliability or weight.
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Peter Foley
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Peter Foley »

MrNo

One of my comfort bikes is a Specialized Expedition and the other is a Trek Navigator 100.

I have a slight preference for Specialized Expedition. It is a 24 speed rather than the 21 speed Trek. The number of gears really doesn't matter, but the sharpness of the shifting does - advantage Specialized. The feel of the ride on both bikes is much the same.

As a bike mechanic I have a lot of access to good used parts. I have extra wheels and tires for these bikes so I regularly switch them out depending on the road conditions and trails I plan to ride on a given day.
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MrNo
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by MrNo »

sschoe2 wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:34 pm
MrNo wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:30 am

Also i need help convincing my wife not to get a bike from big stores for ~$150. She thinks that will be sufficient for her.
Department store bike are crap. They are built with a 75 mile life expectancy. Assembly is poor. Parts are poor quality designed for ease of manufacturing and don't hold proper adjustment well. Bearings are poor quality and often poorly lubed. I've seen very poor quality cables and cable housing comprising the function of the brakes and shifters. They usually have outdated technology such as threaded headsets and 5-7 speeds in the rear (modern bikes have 10+). Frames only come in one size making the chances of getting a proper fit unlikely. Parts are made of cheap metal and very heavy. One ridiculous area they cut corners is on the rim strip (the material that sits between the spoke ends and tube). My sister in law has a cheap Wally World Schwinn and kept getting flats until I replaced her rim strips with some decent cloth tape.
Perfect!!! thank you!
A2_MI
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by A2_MI »

Agree with most of what's said here. Local bike store can talk to you about what you want to do with the bike and make a better recommendation than an online store. Plus they become a good support system when you have questions, need maintenance help, want accessories, etc. $600-1000 for a hybrid seems like a good starting point. Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Marin, and some others mentioned are good brands. I'll add one more brand - Jamis. I picked up a Jamis Coda S2 this year and love it. I didn't go in looking for a Jamis - I rode a few different brands and just felt like that one fit my body size the best and went with it. Probably my best purchase of the year.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Wannaretireearly »

ensign_lee wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:37 am https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/escape-3

Your use case is exactly what mine was. Mostly city riding, with some slight off roading onto dirt. I was trying to take my bicycle more to work.

Bought this about 4 years ago. This was perfect for me, and would probably be perfect for you. Roughly $400 too.
I have this too. I've liked it, never maintained it. Prob needs a good tune up. I'd get it again, perhaps look at upgrading to escape 2 or 1. Good luck!
Fyi, I just bought my son an infinity 26 inch bike from Costco. Shipped home with some self assembly. So far, so ok...
This time next year, we'll be millionaires!
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gr7070
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by gr7070 »

sschoe2 wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:34 pm
MrNo wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:30 am

Also i need help convincing my wife not to get a bike from big stores for ~$150. She thinks that will be sufficient for her.
Department store bike are crap. They are built with a 75 mile life expectancy. Assembly is poor. Parts are poor quality designed for ease of manufacturing and don't hold proper adjustment well. Bearings are poor quality and often poorly lubed. I've seen very poor quality cables and cable housing comprising the function of the brakes and shifters. They usually have outdated technology such as threaded headsets and 5-7 speeds in the rear (modern bikes have 10+). Frames only come in one size making the chances of getting a proper fit unlikely. Parts are made of cheap metal and very heavy. One ridiculous area they cut corners is on the rim strip (the material that sits between the spoke ends and tube). My sister in law has a cheap Wally World Schwinn and kept getting flats until I replaced her rim strips with some decent cloth tape.
I commuted to work for 2 years on a cheap Schwinn (Suburban??). Put 2,500 miles on it with little to no maintenance. I had no problems with it.

I was more than happy to replace it with a Trek though.

I highly recommend a LBS bike, but I think the "big box store bikes are horrific" is grossly exaggerated. They're not good, but they should at least function.
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

Someone I know had the experience of buying a used bike for 1200$. They took the bike to a dealer for service and got told the serial number was on a list of stolen bikes. The dealer called the police and the happy owner recovered their bike. My friend was out 1200 bucks. This was the friend’s 2020 Christmas adventure!
John Bogle: "It's amazing how difficult it is for a man to understand something if he's paid a small fortune not to understand it."
kayli69
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by kayli69 »

My girlfriend (now wife) and I were in a similar position in 2004. We went to the local bike shop and bought two low to mid range Trek 4500 mtn bikes. The owner of the store allowed us to ride them around the block and spent an hr fitting us and informing us so that we could make an educated decision. We still have the same bikes appx 30,000 miles later, and have only replaced several parts that have worn. Cycling has now become one of my main hobbies and has brought me so much joy while also allowing me to remain physically fit.

I highly recommend a local bike shop where you can get a reputable well made bike fit to you.
onourway
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by onourway »

If it isn’t already clear, I think that at 6’4” buying online is out of the question. You are going to be at the top of the available size ranges and may need additional customization in stem and/or seatpost lengths. You’ll definitely want to test ride first.

It will be imperative to be flexible if you want a bike in the next 6 months though. I’d say look anywhere in the $600-1200 range, and don’t worry about the brand as long as it’s available and it fits!
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Gray
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by Gray »

Are we at the point where bikes have lidar warning and auto slowing and stopping?

Do any have gyroscopes to add in stability?
onourway
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Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

Post by onourway »

Gray wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:00 am
Do any have gyroscopes to add in stability?
A bicycle has two, by design! :)
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