Exercise! - Buying a bike! Questions




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Wannabeskinny
07-28-2013, 11:19 AM
Yey I'm buying a bike for my birthday! I've been wanting a bike for so long but I haven't ridden one since I was a teenager. I don't even know if I still know how to lol!

So I live in a city. There are parks nearby but this bike will be mainly for exercise and running errands in my neighborhood. As a kid I had a beach cruiser. What kind of bike should I be looking for, and how much do they cost? Any info on bike lingo before I visit a bike shop will be helpful. :carrot:


ninae
07-28-2013, 04:28 PM
Is your city flat(ish)? Because I live in a very flat part of the world and everyone (more or less) has at least one bike just to get around.

Because there are hardly any hills we have bikes where you sit up straight whilst riding them instead of being hunched over like you're killing yourself on a French mountainside or something.

Something a bit like the photo I've attached. I ruthlessly pinched that photo from this site (http://www.backontrax.co.uk/).

If your terrain is favourable these bikes are great. You can enjoy the countryside, the weather, wave hi to friends you pass on the street, all that stuff.

Wannabeskinny
07-28-2013, 06:35 PM
That's a nice bike but there are some hills in my area. I wish it was flat and it mostly is but there are hills :)


Lolo70
07-28-2013, 06:54 PM
If there is a chance of craters or uneven stretches on the roads you are using, look for a mountain bike with suspension and road tyres. I have also commuted on a touring bike in the past. I now only own a carbon road bike. This is definitely not practical for city roads. If I am sure I do not anymore look like a whale on it, I will use it again for weekend tours. My dream commuting bike would be an electric assist bike. They are hugely popular in Europe. I know, less calories burned, but fast and save the shower at the end. And you can turn off the engine if you want.

nelie
07-28-2013, 06:58 PM
I've done a road bike on paths and roads even some gravel paths (not recommended). If you are doing gravel paths/rocky/dirty paths, you'll want a hybrid. If you are doing roads/trails, you'll want a road bikes. Road bikes tend to be more expensive but they can do hills. A beach cruiser cannot. A hybrid bike will be a bit slower than a road bike and not as good at hills but different. Again a hybrid has more versatility with terrain.

Wannabeskinny
07-28-2013, 09:16 PM
Great info thanks ladies! Do road bikes have skinny tires? And mountain bikes has thick tires?

nelie
07-28-2013, 10:13 PM
Yup, mountain bikes have thick, nubby tires. Hybrids have a medium thickness tire with some nubbiness. Road bikes have the thinnest tires. I wouldn't get a mountain bike unless you were doing rough dirt trails exclusively. I think entry level road bikes are around $500, entry level hybrids would be a little less.

IanG
07-28-2013, 10:22 PM
I'm going for a Triumph Bonneville SE. About $5k. Good for 125.

Wannabeskinny
07-29-2013, 08:23 AM
Ok I'm not spending 5k on a bike, nor am I spending 500. I was hoping for under 300. Is it really that expensive??

Seashell84
07-29-2013, 08:49 AM
My husband just got this one: http://www.target.com/p/schwinn-men-s-trailway-28-hybrid-bike-blue/-/A-13241180#prodSlot=medium_1_10&term=hybrid+bike

He loves it! It is a hybrid that is designed for both trails and roads. Our area has a lot of pot holes, bumps, some hills, and he occasionally has to ride on grass. He rides 14 miles one way to work nearly every day, plus he does errands on it. It has medium width tires, some tread but not too knobby. It is pretty light, but handles uneven terrain well. It also has a decent shock system, which you want if you have gravelly/uneven ground. It was $250. Our budget was $300, so we were able to get him headlights (he sometimes rides in the early morning before sunrise), horn, and a tool kit and still were within our budget. I think there is a women's version, too. We had a mountain bike before and he hated it for riding around town.

nelie
07-29-2013, 09:47 AM
Ok I'm not spending 5k on a bike, nor am I spending 500. I was hoping for under 300. Is it really that expensive??

People that spend $5k are generally using it for racing or are just overall bike enthusiasts. If $500 is over your budget, then I wouldn't even look at road bikes and concentrate on a hybrid. Bike shops in your area should have a decent hybrid for $300. I would recommend going to a bike shop because they can help size you and let you test it out.

Ilene
07-29-2013, 10:25 AM
You get what you pay for ... I would agree with nelie to go for a hybrid and definitely shop at a specialty bike store... At this time of year they have great sales...

Seashell84
07-29-2013, 11:04 AM
BTW, my husband has been riding that bike 28 miles nearly daily for a while now and it has held up perfectly well. We had to make very few adjustments (this depends on who put it together though). I have never had issues with buying cheap walmart or target bikes. Of course, they won't last as long as a 5k bike (which is more than both of our cars put together!), and I wouldn't recommend it for a hardcore cyclist/racer. But for riding around town doing errands and other casual biking, they have always been perfectly fine. It's pretty easy to tell the cheaply put together bikes from the decent ones. I would recommend having a bike shop put it together or adjust it for you if you are unsure of what a well-put together bike looks and feels like. They will do this for a small fee (usually around $50).

nelie
07-29-2013, 11:51 AM
I don't think there is anything wrong with Target bicycles, but I'd prefer to try out multiple bikes before buying which bike shops will let you do. The last bike I bought, they told me to go ride a couple miles and come back to see if I was sure I wanted to buy it. Granted, it did cost over $2k but my first bike which was much cheaper gave me a lot of leeway in testing as well. Larger bikes shops on weekends, you usually see multiple people out near the bike shop testing bikes. Also, bike shops in my area (DC) tend to do free tuneups for life if you buy from there so if your bike gets a little gritty, they'll clean the chains, check the tires, check adjustment, add pressure, etc, answer any questions about issues. And again, I'd expect to be able to buy something in the $300 hybrid range at a bike shop. And like Ilene said, this is a great time of year to buy a bike because the 2014 models will be coming out and the bike shops will want to move their 2013 models out. I bought my first bike for half off the original price due to it being a 2 yr old model.

Wannabeskinny
07-29-2013, 04:15 PM
That sounds good to me!

Kscott
07-30-2013, 01:20 AM
That's a nice bike but there are some hills in my area. I wish it was flat and it mostly is but there are hills :)

It sounds like a road bike is what you're looking for--since you're in the city--I imagine lots of paved roads you'll be on? Thinner tires--(not a mountain bike?)

There's a ton on the internet that you can look at--then maybe try out at a local bike store to see what suits you best. They range from inexpensive to the very expensive.

Couch
08-02-2013, 03:26 AM
I love cycling, especially for transport. Here's what I've learnt so far:

- If possible, buy a bike from a bike store. It will have been put together by someone who knows what they're doing, and more importantly, you should get a free service after a few months. This is because the cables stretch, which means the brakes need more effort, and often, your lowest gear will stop working. Very irritating if you live in an area with hills!

- Hybrids are generally the best choice for a first bike. Get slick, widish tyres, as knobby tyres make you work harder and wider tyres provide a bit of cushioning. Cheap fork suspension breaks easily and makes the bike heavy, so avoid unless you have bad shoulders. Seat suspension can be nice.

- As you have hills, you need gears! For really big hills, you want a giant cog on the back and a tiny cog on the front. I didn't get low enough gears, and eventually replaced the back cassette. Learn from my mistake!

- Get a rack, and if it rains a lot where you live, get fenders too (though the rack will protect you from the worst of it).

- Test ride the bike. Make sure you feel comfortable. Try it out on a hill, preferably a steep one.

- Google around for free bicycle courses and maintenance workshops in your area. Big cities are trying to encourage cycling, and there are more and more resources springing up.

- Get some chain oil and learn how to clean your chain. It'll last much longer. Chains are the part of the bike that need to be replaced the most often as they stretch. If they stretch too far they can start to wear out your back cassette, so if you've been riding a lot, it's worth getting your chain checked. (a bikeshop will do this for you, as they get to sell you the chain if you need a new one!)

- If you're riding in the dark, make sure you're easily visible.

- Bike accessories are often much cheaper online. I love my Wald folding baskets, and they're less than $20 each.

- Buy a bike that is pretty. You'll be more likely to ride it if you like it. Have fun!

Wannabeskinny
08-02-2013, 08:53 AM
I love cycling, especially for transport. Here's what I've learnt so far:

- If possible, buy a bike from a bike store. It will have been put together by someone who knows what they're doing, and more importantly, you should get a free service after a few months. This is because the cables stretch, which means the brakes need more effort, and often, your lowest gear will stop working. Very irritating if you live in an area with hills!

- Hybrids are generally the best choice for a first bike. Get slick, widish tyres, as knobby tyres make you work harder and wider tyres provide a bit of cushioning. Cheap fork suspension breaks easily and makes the bike heavy, so avoid unless you have bad shoulders. Seat suspension can be nice.

- As you have hills, you need gears! For really big hills, you want a giant cog on the back and a tiny cog on the front. I didn't get low enough gears, and eventually replaced the back cassette. Learn from my mistake!

- Get a rack, and if it rains a lot where you live, get fenders too (though the rack will protect you from the worst of it).

- Test ride the bike. Make sure you feel comfortable. Try it out on a hill, preferably a steep one.

- Google around for free bicycle courses and maintenance workshops in your area. Big cities are trying to encourage cycling, and there are more and more resources springing up.

- Get some chain oil and learn how to clean your chain. It'll last much longer. Chains are the part of the bike that need to be replaced the most often as they stretch. If they stretch too far they can start to wear out your back cassette, so if you've been riding a lot, it's worth getting your chain checked. (a bikeshop will do this for you, as they get to sell you the chain if you need a new one!)

- If you're riding in the dark, make sure you're easily visible.

- Bike accessories are often much cheaper online. I love my Wald folding baskets, and they're less than $20 each.

- Buy a bike that is pretty. You'll be more likely to ride it if you like it. Have fun!

Thank you so much, this is great info! I'm hoping to be able to get one by the end of this month. I just bought some pricey workout sneakers yesterday and need to save up for this. I'll make sure to print out this thread before I do go to the bike shop. I looked around and even asked a few friends who ride bikes and they pointed me to a great shop that's within walking distance from me, which is a local business. I'm soooooo nervous about testing out a bike though. I literally haven't been on one since I was a teenager. I hope I remember how to do it! I'll feel like such an idiot if I can't even ride one anymore, much less test it out on a hill!

nelie
08-02-2013, 09:21 AM
Thank you so much, this is great info! I'm hoping to be able to get one by the end of this month. I just bought some pricey workout sneakers yesterday and need to save up for this. I'll make sure to print out this thread before I do go to the bike shop. I looked around and even asked a few friends who ride bikes and they pointed me to a great shop that's within walking distance from me, which is a local business. I'm soooooo nervous about testing out a bike though. I literally haven't been on one since I was a teenager. I hope I remember how to do it! I'll feel like such an idiot if I can't even ride one anymore, much less test it out on a hill!

You'll be fine!

When I went to go get my first bike, I hadn't been on a bike since a teen either. You will be amazed at how fast it comes back to you.

Tabbycat
08-03-2013, 05:49 PM
Tabbycat here.

I wanted a bike to ride around the neighborhood for exercise, and maybe ride to work (I teach at an elementary school about a mile and a half from home). I live near Houston and it is very flat here, so I didn't want gears. Besides, I wanted the bike to EXERCISE so I figured a one speed would be just fine. I also wanted a foot brake.

I used gift cards from my students and bought a cheap cruiser from Target. A young neighbor adjusted the seat and handle bar heights for me. I bought a wire basket and a bell and a helmet, and I have had a blast riding that cheap bike! When it's cool enough I even ride it to school.

Because it is a cheap bike, it is already getting rusty (I live almost on the Gulf coast in an apartment, so it is chained under the stairwell... protected from rain but not from our humid air).

But for 97 dollars, I am getting my money's worth! :)

toomuchpizza
08-05-2013, 02:50 AM
I got the 26" Next Avalon Comfort Bike from walmart's website about a month ago for $95. Ordered online from walmart and used store pickup. It was in stock at my local store and got it same day fully assembled. They assemble it for you free, or you can call them in advance to see if its assembled and if not request that they assemble it. It's $120 now but I guess still pretty good at that price. You could probably get much better tuning and service and a better bike at a bike shop, but I didn't really want to go through the hassle or price since it was just for exercise purposes and not much else.

I've been riding at night in a small well lit parking lot near where I live, going around in circles over and over again. All the cars are gone. My area is a bit hilly and there are a million and one potholes and cracks so a smooth and uninterrupted parking lot is the best thing. My general neighborhood is also pretty dark and I have to stop at each intersection, so the only viable way to exercise consistently is at said parking lot. I bought a headlight/tail light combo for $15 for better visibility to and from the parking lot. You could listen to your music or something but I usually daydream to keep myself occupied. My butt starts hurting at around 25 minutes in and I occasionally stand up on the bike for a few seconds for relief. I've invested in a $20 cruiser seat from amazon that looks gigantic. Just waiting for it to ship now.

I've been riding for about 45 minutes, including the ride to and from the parking lot, every night. I do walk the dog for 30 minutes prior though, although its more a leisurely stroll that involves feeding any kitties I stumble upon. I've dropped about 7-8lbs in a month (I'm a little over 200), and noticed a significant change in the looseness of my torso flabbiness and thighs. I've tried to eat less, but it's not a priority. Just don't eat TOO much. I just ate four slices of really oily pizza today because I skipped lunch and was still hungry after dinner and a bike ride. Your hunger will come back to bite you in a more ravenous fashion if you skip or reduce your meals. Also makes me more irritable, and less focused on biking, so yeah I haven't really made any significant changes to my eating habits. I also drink a lot of diet dr pepper and diet A&w root beer. They make a great combo to switch between, and water of course.

Good luck with whatever your goals are!

Wannabeskinny
09-01-2013, 08:21 AM
I wanted to update everyone about my new bike! I got it last week and it's fantastic. It's a hybrid diamondback and cherry red. I bought it from the local bike shop along with a helmet and have been riding it ever since. My neighborhood is not great for bike riding, lots of traffic lights and pedestrians and double-parked cars (I do live in NYC afterall) but I get plenty of exercise going through the hills. The seat is wide and comfortable but my butt is much wider lol and will eventually like to splurge on a better seat. I keep it in the garage for now and eventually need to get a lock, a kickstand, a basket, a bell and more reflective gear.