Post # 1
Another poster just starting a topic about bikes, which reminded me that I need to find out this information as well, though I didn’t want to hijack her thread. I’m moving from NYC to Austin, and SO and I will both need to purchase bicycles as we’re hoping to spend a lot of time biking instead of driving.
I borrow a mountain bike when I was there, but it felt super slow, I wasn’t totally in love (especially on all the hills!!). So, just curious what a moderately priced bicycle would cost and where is an ideal place to purchase it from (eg: bike store, online, etc).
Any help would be appreciated!
Post # 3
My bike was an entry-level Trek and it was somewhere around $350, but like, 7 years ago. It was just fine for an amateur hobbyist like me. If the mountain bike felt super slow and you’re not going to off-road, then you probably want a hybrid or road bike. Road bikes are faster, but they’re not as versatile; hybrids are versatile but they sort of do both situations–off road and on road–okay, without being great at either. Another option is a cruiser, but I’ve never owned one so I don’t know how they ride–they seem more for the leisurely, city-dwelling errands crowd. But they are quite cute and stylish!
I think it’s always best to try bikes out in person at a specialty bike shop. You can either buy there or you can figure out your basic preferences and frame size and then check out Craigslist and ebay. There are a lot of people out there trying to get rid of their old bikes and/or upgrade. You can sometimes get a really nice bike that’s cheaper than buying it new.
Post # 4
The type of bike really depends on what kind of riding you are doing. Mountain bikes will definitely feel sluggish on pavement. It sounds like you are looking for a bike to commute/run errands on in a urban environment?
First, I would say to definitely go to a local bike shop and try out bikes in person first. Someone there can give you some information about the different brands, types, the parts to a bike and the difference in what you get at different price points. I would expect to pay between $400 and $600 for a solid bike that will be efficient, reliable and sturdy enough to handle rough pavement.
There are a lot of options for a bike to ride around town/city. It sounds like you want a hybrid bike – flat handlebars, light wheels with strong rims and durable tires, no suspension, and geometry closer to a road bike for speed and responsiveness.
Trek makes an urban bike (the District Series), that is more durable and practical for city riding than a racing bike, but isn’t as bulky and slow as a mountain bike. It doesn’t have any front suspension, has flathandlebars, and the geometry is closer to a racing bike. The Canondale Quick Series is similar. The canondale has 700CC wheels and a light frame, but it has vibration-dampening chain and seat stays to make city riding less bumpy. Also similar, with a lower pricetag, is the GT Traffic Series.
I think investing in a solid bike is worthwhile, since it sounds like it will take a beating. I would find a bike you like and get the most expensive version you can afford. The upgrade in parts will be worth it to avoid replacing broken things later. I would definitely recommend going to a local bike shop. They should have a variety of hybrid bikes there so you can try them out. It’s also a good time to look for a 2011 model which would be on clearance right now.
Post # 5
I wanted to respond, but @mrstilly pretty much covered it! Definitely go to a bike shop, try a few different bikes out to figure out what is comfortable and don’t go cheap. You don’t have to break the bank, but if you are serious about using it regularly, get something decent second hand or a mid-range bike. I have a Giant hybrid. I spent $500 on it and love it. I use it for longer road/trail rides, and any riding we do around our town. We have a lot of crushed limestone trails here. The bike store I purchased from said the road bikes wouldn’t hadnle as well on those trails and they were right. I’m very happy with my choice. Also, invest in a good lock and helmet!
Post # 6
+1 to previous posters.
If you’re doing city riding, get a road bike (thinner, smooth tires), but if you anticipate doing city riding with some trails, get a hybrid (medium tires, has tread like a mountain bike).
Post # 7
I bought a Raleigh Talus 3.0 (http://www.raleighusa.com/archive/2011-mountain/talus-30-11/) last year from a local bike shop for $450. They ordered the perfect size bike for me, built it there, and then had me “test drive” it in front of them to make sure it was adjusted to my best comfort.
I would highly recommend that you find a local bike shop rather than buying from a large retailer. A lot of what makes a bike work for you is the right size, and a local bike shop is far more likely to work on correct size for you. My Fiance, who’s been riding for years, says that buying from a bike shop, as opposed to a large retailer, is the difference between a bike put together by a bike expert, and a bike put together by a kid who happens to work in that department that month.
It’s also better to get your bike built at the place that will, no doubt, be repairing it.
Post # 8
Totally depends on the bike and the kind of riding you are doing. I mean my current mountain bike was almost $10,000 when I bought it over 6 years ago now! That is quite a bit more than MOST people are looking to spend, or need to spend, but I was racing competitively and biking was a big passion of mine (still love it, but have got more involved in running and other things now). Let’s put it this way, I bought that bike and I did not even have a car and I was in my mid 20’s…my priorities were pretty clear. And it is great on the hills since it is light, built to suit me and has the right gearing! It can CLIMB! On the road it is still fast, but not as fast as a road bike obviously since it is not meant for that! Road cycling was less of a passion for me, so on that one I “only” spent $3,000.
I definitely would encourage you to go to a local bike shop, an independent shop preferably, where you can try different bikes, figure out what you like, test drive them, and so on. Sounds like you may be looking for something more in the lines of a hybrid/commuter if you are doing mostly city riding. You need to get a bike that is not only the right size, but fit TO you. A wrongly fitted bike WILL feel sluggish or unstable, or whatever else.
You can also look at the secondary market for great quality used bikes if you know what size you need, what you are looking for. Many people who are really into biking will sell and upgrade often. My road bike that I paid $3,000 for was sold for like $600 after 3 years or so!
Post # 9
I just checked out the Raleigh site, and the Performance Hybrid bikes look like a great bike for what you are looking for.
Once you have tried out some bikes, I would definitely look around for something second hand too. You might be able to buy a more expensive model for pretty cheap. Check ebay, craigslist, and the classified forums on ridemonkey, mtbr, pinkbike, bikeservant and thebiketraderonline.
Post # 10
Ill recommend Trek hybid as well. My parents bought me one for my 11 th bday. 20 years later, it’s still my baby. There were times that a 20+ mile ride was daily and other times it just sat for a few years but after a little tlc but once again it’s my transportation for lite shopping and mybuddy for adventures…..
Not sure what it would b equal to in today’s bikes, but I’d imagine its a pretty low end model.
Post # 11
Thanks for all the help everyone!