I agree with SARGE. You definitely want to go to a reputable bike shop (not Walmart) to get fitted for a bike. And you don't have to spend a lot of money. Many bike shops sell last year's models marked down as well as sell refurbished used bikes. You could find a decent bike for around $100-$200. Yes, you could pay a lot more. However, if you're just looking for something to ride around the neighborhood, you don't need a lot.
What to look for ? the two models of bike you should check out would be either a hybrid or a comfort. Both are good city bikes. Could you get a road or a mountain bike ? yes, but you'd really need to know what you were looking for. It strikes me that a hybrid or comfort would give you the most versatility.
Why get fitted ? There are different size bikes based on your height. Buying the wrong bike can cause just as many problems as wearing the wrong running shoes. A good bike shop will make sure the bike fits YOU. Also, if you leave a credit card, you can test ride the bikes at the bike shop. Walmart won't let you do that. lol. Try out a few different bikes. See which ones fit you and your budget. Most reputable bikes shops will let you test drive a bike as long as you leave a credit card. That's how I decided on mine.
What else to do ? If you really want to ride a bike, you have to start educating yourself !! Start reading the different websites dedicated to riding. The better informed you as as a consumer, the better able you'll be to choose the right bike.
I wish I could give you an answer in addition to the, "Talk to someone at a bike shop." Unfortunately, I can't. The bike I have was bought for me when I was about 12 years old and I'll be 32 next month. I just got back into riding my bike, after it sat at my parents house for a number of years (went off to college, moved away, forgot about the bike until recently, got it from them).
Anyway, bike shops will have people that will be better able to help you decide on the type of bike you should get based on your needs.
Pounds lost: 32.3
Fitness Minutes: (10,640)
9/25/13 12:14 P
Although the big box stores do have a great selection of bikes that will probably fit your needs, a speciality bike shop will make sure the bike fits you. Having a properly fitted bike can make a difference between a great experience on your bike and developing sore knees and hips.
Now is the time to buy a bike. Shops are trying to get rid of their 2013 models to make room for the 2014 models. I bought my current bike at a speciality shop and it was a great experience. I learned a lot, received great customer service, and if I have any issues with my bike I can take it in and they will do simple repairs for free. Plus I received two free tune ups. If you buy a bike at Wal Mart you'll be lucky if someone helps you out to your car with it. They just don't have the knowledge or time to deal with someone who wants to get into biking. I am planning on buying a second bike (a triathlon specific bike) and will be going back to my local shop to purchase it.
As for what kind of bike you should get. Based on what you said, I would go with a hybrid. Hybrids are great bikes. It's a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. The tires are a little fatter than a road bike so it can withstand trails but not as fat as the tires on a mountain bike.
So, if you just want a bike to cruise around town then maybe a bike from Wal Mart might work. However, if your intention is to use it to exercise or more for commuting then I would highly suggest going to a local shop. I normally ride 100 miles a week and I do triathlons and century bike rides so it was a no brainer for me.
Go to a bike shop and talk to them about it. They will have the best ideas and advice foe where you live. A reputable place won't just try to sell you an expensive bike. They will discuss with you what you truly need. Good luck!
Although the bikes I presently ride are from department stores they are 18 and 37 years old, so the construction is probably slightly better than what you might get at department stores today. Some places like Walmart have carried some pricey bikes like the Raleigh Sojourn but overall you are probably better off getting properly fitted to a bike at a bike shop if you are intent on buying new.There are calculators online that will help you determine the size of the bike you need. You can usually find a good used bike on ebay, kijiji, craigslist, etc, if you don't want to pay big $$ at the local bike shop. Then you can use the money you saved to replace (upgrade) various components like the saddle, tires, pedals and handlebars or handlebar grips. Things like the chain and rear cogs (on a multi-speed bike) will eventually have to be replaced with high mileage. Proper tire pressure is important. And lets not forget bicycle safety: a helmet along with a rear-view mirror that attaches to it are indispensable for riding in traffic. I also suggest a flashing light both front and back and a reflective vest or some other type of high visibility clothing. I have an air horn that gets the attention of other cyclists, pedestrians and most importantly--motor vehicles.
P.S. My 37 y/o bike is a vintage Japanese road bike while my 18 y/o bike is a Sears (Free Spirit) mountain bike to which I have added slick tires and replaced several other components for use on the road. Weight training has greatly improved my average speed on the bike. I should add that if you go for long bike rides it is necessary to bring along one or two water bottles to keep yourself hydrated. (Snacks are also recommended on journeys longer than one hour.)
Edited by: FIATVOLUNTASTUA at: 9/25/2013 (00:44)
current weight: 196.0
Fitness Minutes: (10,234)
162 9/25/13 12:16 A
You will find if you get a bike that it is simple to travle a vast distance very quickly and good news bikes are cheaper to maintain than cars and only require you for fuel. I agree with SergentMajor, get properly fitted for a bike, used can be your friend.
I have personally biked to and from work for the past year I work about 2.5 miles from work (one way) however I have also ridden over 15 mile stretches to other places as well. It isn't as taxing as it seems before you do it once or twice and the more you do it the easier it is.
Never discourage anyone who makes continual progress, no matter how slow.
Go to a bike shop and get properly fitted for a proper bike. Most have quality used ones for sale so make sure you check those. While bike paths are nice a bicycle is a vehicle and is entitled to space on the road, those are not for the exclusive use of motor vehicles.
It is called WORK-ing out for a reason.
I said getting fit was simple, I did not say it was easy.
Cardio burns calories, strength work burns fat.
Eat well to lose weight, exercise to get fit
You can not build a six pack using twelve packs
Often when we seek a magic bullet for fitness we end up shooting ourselves in the foot.
"I think calories are little germs in food that all moms are afraid of" Dennis the Menace
Fitness Minutes: (2,385)
9/24/13 8:48 P
I have been thinking about buying a bike for about 3 months now. I can't seem to commit to one and I think it's because I'm completely clueless on what kind to buy. I live on a coastal plain where it is flat. The community that I live in, is not very conducive to foot traffic or biking. There are no bike paths through out town and the parks that do have sidewalks do not allow bikes. Should I got to a place like wal-mart and get a standard bike? Is it worth it for me to go to a bike shop and spend the extra money? What type of bike should I get? Ah, so many questions....I need some bike buying education. lol :)
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.