How I wish you lived near me! I remember going out for my first bike, I am glad for the friends that I had then.
The gear and brake thing, sometimes it's good to get a frame and build it up, but to me, when you are new and starting out, unless you have someone there that knows the ropes, it can turn into a nightmare. Frames are sometimes touchy as to what gear set or brake set will work on it and others are a breeze. If you are looking for a simple bike to roll around town on I would look at Specialized or Trek. Off the top of my head, you could get a Specialized Hard Rock, swap out the aggressive mtn bike tires for smooth road tires, and have a decent bike. You shouldn't need new wheels, just new tires. That might run you about 30 dollars. My first bike was a Hard Rock and I rode that thing into the ground!
This is a good time of year to be looking. Bike shops might have 2011 stock they want to get rid of. Don't be afraid to tell them your budget and what you are looking for. If they don't listen, go to another one.
For your first bike go to a bicycle shop (LBS Local Bike Shop) and test ride some of what they have. Go to another and do the same. Go to another and do the same.
For what you are describing .... you are going to want something already put together as a complete bike.
Find out what size frame you need. There are tons of bikes for sale on craigslist.org.
When you look at getting a frame you like and then adding components to it you may find that the bke is out of your price range.
Plus, if you buy a pricey bike and find out you no longer like riding it as a form of exercise you have a pricey bike to try to re-sale. Or better yet and I hope this happens .... you find out you love biking and have lost a ton of weight and now you want an aggressive style of road bike but you still have a pricey bike to get rid of.
Go cheap with gears and hand brakes and yes they are out there first and then move on from there.
Thanks for all the ideas. I am starting a little dictionary of cycling lingo that I can glance at when I go back to Performance tomorrow. Maybe I can find something now that I can better describe what I want. And that's a good idea to put lighter wheels on a mountain bike if that's what I find. I wounder if they would do that for fairly cheap if I tried to "return" the mountain bike wheels.
I'm starting to get the sense that it might be cheaper to get a frame I like for cheap, and then get the parts added on separately. Is that something that is generally done? Could I buy a bike and then get gears added to it?
It is time.
current weight: 264.8
Fitness Minutes: (8,845) Posts: 199 3/15/12 6:09 P
I'm surprised that Performance didn't have any ideas for you. I would go back in there and find a different salesperson. If you mainly want something with upright handlebars, gears, and hand breaks, they have tons of them available (I go there a lot). Tell them you are interested in hybrid bikes and commuter bikes and specifically tell them you need gears, handbreaks, and upright handlebars. Also, be sure to check their website before buying anything. They are notorious for having cheaper prices on the web than in their stores. www.performancebike.com
current weight: 211.0
Fitness Minutes: (76,382) Posts: 1,816 3/11/12 9:40 P
I would consider checking some local bike shops. One of our local ones refurbishes bikes and sells them at a steep discount, but you know they've been gone over and maybe you get lucky and find something in your size. There's a link below, maybe one of your local shops does something similar. Check to see if you have a bike co-op, too. They could probably help.
If I were guessing, I would say you're probably looking for a hybrid, or maybe a rigid mountain bike with a rack, if you have utility type stuff you want to do like grocery shopping. Echoing what other posters have said, make sure the bike you get fits, and have an idea of what you want to do with it...that will help you and those advising you think about the type of ride you want.
I would first figure out your budget. If you are looking for a bike to roll around town, I second looking at yard sales but sometimes it's hard when it's your first bike.
You might be looking for a hybrid bike not what I would consider a cross bike as in cyclocross. They are great for rolling around town but you said you liked the handlebars of a cruiser so I am guessing you don't want the road handlebars which are on a cyclocross bike.
The thing that sticks out the most to me is keep in mind if you get a mountain bike or other bike with agressive tires, remember you can swap out the tires. I commute 40 miles round trip on a hard tail mountain bike with slick tires. I have a rack on the back and folding wire baskets. I love the flat bars vs road bars because it feels better and more relaxed. Everyone is different. Go with what feels best. And don't forget a bell!!! I love mine, it's a hamburger..
I guess I'll have to look harder then. I've looked at WalMart and Performance Bicycle Center. At the PBC they said they could hook all that stuff up if I bought a bike I liked, but it sounded pricey.
I'm probably not going to ride too far, just to the grocery store, library, etc... which are all within a mile of my house. (Paved, bike lanes, the whole deal.) However, they are down a pretty steep hill.
I don't have a bike yet, but I have been studying up. One thing I can't figure out is why cruisers don't have gears or handbrakes. I like how their handlebars generally sit up higher so I don't have to worry about wearing high-neck shirts whenever I ride a bike. But I really do need handbrakes and gears. I live in a very hilly area.
Are there other things I should be keeping in mind when buying my first bike?
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