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PAT4PROG Posts: 652
3/12/13 6:27 P

I am a totally new biker. As such, I posted on FB and received a bike(rarely ridden) free from a friend. It's nothing special, but will get me started. If I find it's for me, then I'll for sure visit a bike store for a perfect bike for me. I just couldn't see spending much $$$ without even giving it a test drive. I did the same for my jogging and now have a fantastic running store that I use and wouldn't think of going anywhere else. Hoping biking will turn into a passion as jogging did for me and maybe it will for you. Good luck on your search.
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FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (26,341)
Fitness Minutes: (53,553)
Posts: 715
3/12/13 4:43 P

I guess I'm considered petite since I'm only 5 foot even. My weight isn't petite yet, but I'm getting there.

Thanks for all the responses. This helps a lot.

GRAPLEIRIS SparkPoints: (9,363)
Fitness Minutes: (4,031)
Posts: 180
3/12/13 2:30 P

I'm lurking here looking for the same answers


DVDIAMOND SparkPoints: (625)
Fitness Minutes: (650)
Posts: 78
3/12/13 1:14 P

This is what I have found too. The local shops would like you to by a bike from them, but they are more than happy to do the maintenance on the bike and sell you accessories. Not everyone can afford a brand new bike. And its so important to go for quality in a bike. I am still searching for my perfect bike secondhand. I want a road bike and the ones I am interested in are very expensive, used they are almost half as much.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/11/13 11:26 P

Any good bike shop will be happy to help you find the right bike for you, and pleased for you if you can find a second-hand bargain. Of course they want your money more, but if you are going to need tyres, accessories, clothing, and ongoing help and maintenance ... guess who you're going to remember and go back to?

THIS is what good bike stores know.

SERGEANTMAJOR Posts: 6,418
3/11/13 8:39 P

First I find it less than ethical to go to a bike shop to pick their brains and get their expertise and not purchase a bike from them. Visit multiple bike shops if you have several available, find the one that resonates with you and purchase something from them based on their recommendations. Most good shops have used bikes from trade ins available to purchase which is a good first bike option.

My recommendation is a good mountain bike retrofitted with street tires. The frames are more durable and will stand up better to the vagaries of not always well maintained city streets. They can be geared for street use which will give more comfortable cruising on daily treks and allow more higher speed rides when desired. A properly fitted frame is unisex in my opinion but do get a woman specific seat. My partner will not ride on any other and is trying to figure out how to take one to her spin class to swap out for the seat there when she takes the class.Between us we own 7 different bikes so I feel we have some experience to share.

You might want to check out the Spark team Slow Riders which is for the recreational and commuter bike nuts.

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
3/11/13 7:42 P

From what you are describing as you goals, I would go for a hybrid. It's a good multipurpose bike that would be good for commuting and short trips as well as longer rides as your fitness increases. The wheels are wide enough to handle city streets, limestone and easy off-road trails without giving too much rolling resistance.

Because of your height, I can't recommend going to a good bike shop strongly enough. Any bike at a big box sore will not be suitable for your body frame.

If you are petite, you might also consider a WSD (woman specific design). The handlebars are narrower and your saddle will be in a better position for pedaling power. A reputable shop will set you up. The right fit will give you a much more enjoyable, pain-free ride.

It is definitely worth the investment. Trek, Specialized, Giant all have WSD models. To save money, ask what they carry in older model years and you do have some leverage because they will be more anxious to unload the smaller frames. Hope you find the right bike. You won't regret it.



SHANECODER SparkPoints: (21,967)
Fitness Minutes: (26,674)
Posts: 340
3/11/13 7:29 P

Great advice here! +1 on a local bike shop!!! I'll just add, If you have time try to go visit multiple bike shops. You don't have to buy. If they are pressuring you to buy a bike when you're unsure, you're in the wrong bike shop.

Five years ago, I was new to biking. I own a few bikes now. The first bike shop I walked in to did NOT work out for me. I quickly found one I like. The owner and I are friends now.

ZOLETTE1 Posts: 274
3/11/13 6:34 P

I use a comfort bike...I am not into races just the fresh air on my face and the son on my back. Biking is something I loved as a child and still do. It's my favorite form of exercise other than walking. I have used racing bike's before but their seats are as comfortable.

MZNAYLUV SparkPoints: (4,179)
Fitness Minutes: (5,811)
Posts: 83
3/11/13 5:55 P

This is a good thread! I need to research on getting a bike as well.

HAWTLIKEME SparkPoints: (21,277)
Fitness Minutes: (21,482)
Posts: 894
3/11/13 11:51 A

I totally agree with all of the PP's who've recommended visiting a bike shop. There is so much to know and learn about bikes and so many varieties. You'll want to talk with someone who can recommend the right type of bike for you. But for now, I can share some of my own limited knowledge from my own bike use. There are "comfort" bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrid's and commuter bikes and those are only the varieties that I've heard of, so I'm sure there are tons more. I have used mountain bikes, comfort bikes, hybrids and road bikes and they each serve a different purpose. I love my mountain bike for off-roading in the mud and at one time my comfort bike (which is built for comfort - not speed) was totally right for me, but no longer suits my needs as a longer distance and faster cyclist as opposed to the odd jaunt around town. My two bikes of choice right now are my road bike (often referred to as racing bikes - with the curly handlebars and skinny tires) and my hybrid. I use my road bike when I want to go fast and hard and I use my hybrid for longer rides requiring less speed and more comfort. Hybrids are generally a good starter bike as they can do long distances and faster speeds than mountain and comfort bikes, but are more comfortable and durable than a road bike. The tires are smooth but slightly wider than road bikes and the handlebars and seats are a bit more comfortable than road bikes. Hope this helps get you started on your research. Have fun and happy cycling.

DVDIAMOND SparkPoints: (625)
Fitness Minutes: (650)
Posts: 78
3/10/13 2:28 P

I would suggest a hybrid bike. One that is good for tooling around the neighborhood, or is also good for going longer distances. Bikes can be very expensive and since you are just starting out this is what I would do. Go to your local bike store and check out the bikes. Get fitted for the right size frame and choose a style that you like. Then I would look for a second hand bike on Craigslist or some other place that matches what you are looking for. There are some great deals to be had. If you find a bike that way, you can take it to the bike shop and they can customize it more to your liking. Maybe a new seat, handles bar adjustments and a tune up.



DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,496)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
Posts: 9,662
3/10/13 11:49 A

Bikes are a lot like shoes for runners; what works for one person may not work for another! It's a very individual choice. It can be expensive, but worth it to go to a bike shop and work with a pro to find what you need. They can find a bike to fit your height, your needs, etc.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/9/13 10:47 P

Since you're not looking to train for Tour de France or anything, you don't want to get sold some kind of super dooper road bike with all the modcons.

Depending on where you want to ride it, you'll want a commuter, or a cheap off-roader. If you plan to do any offroad, such as 4WD trails or dirt tracks, you won't want just the commuter, you'll want something able to cope with light off roading. It doesn't have to be a full mountain bike with all the knobbly tires and stuff.

You can also ask about seats. There are seats with extra cushioning in them, and this might be more comfortable for you on your first bike while your bum gets used to this.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (26,341)
Fitness Minutes: (53,553)
Posts: 715
3/9/13 1:45 P

I workout on a regular basis (5 days/week) doing both cardio and strength training. I try to do strength training/weight lifting 3x/week but if I can only get it in 2x/week that is fine with me. Anyway, sometime within the next few months (sometime between May and the end of this year), I'm considering a bike and looking for suggestions. I'm looking for a bike that would be good for riding around the neighborhood. I'd use the bike several times a week (maybe more depending on my living situation - finishing up grad school in May, so I'm looking for jobs).

I know that I need to find a bike that works with my height, since I'm short (5 foot even). Other than the height of the bike, what do I need to look for in a bike? Are there bikes that have comfortable seats? I'm not sure what else I should be asking or looking for when I look for bikes. Again, any suggestions would be helpful.

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