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Old 10-24-2013, 10:22 PM   #15
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X3 what TexasTom said!

Funny, I just had this conversation at work today. I'm a bike junky and have a couple bikes who's quality exceeds my capabilities. LOL But I love and ride them a lot. I always say that if folks buy junk, they will give it up before they get good at it. It takes a little time and effort of get comfortable on a bike. Yes, anyone can keep it tire side down but to make good use and learn to enjoy it takes a little time.

As said, seats are personal and a good seat is worth the price BUT...(no pun intended)...ya gotta set them up correctly and sit on them correctly. Getting a bike properly fit at a good bike shop is worth its weight in gold. Frame size is critical in getting a good ride.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with ballon tired, beach cruisers. They will get you around a CG with little problem and if that is all you want...go for it. They may not be as snazzy as my light weight Trek but if you get what you want out of it...
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:31 PM   #16
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Got to jump on the bandwagon with TexasTom. Stay away from the Wally World bikes and get your self to a bike shop. We did exactly that and found a couple that are a joy to ride and didn't break the bank account. We tried several out before finding bikes that fit. We don't ride 7k a year but when we do ride it's very enjoyable. Have fun shopping!
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:58 AM   #17
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To echo the advice...no Walmart or the likes bikes. They are jsut plain cheap and will not hold or even keep the shifters in tune for long.

For a decent bike, plan to get in the $400 range as a starter.

If you go for a recumbent trike, you will need to be over $1000 as a minimum.

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Old 10-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #18
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Some of us buy Mercedes and some of us buy KIA's.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:25 AM   #19
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I'd rather have a Kia, I think it's a better car. Just not a good example
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasTom View Post
I cycle a lot (average about 5-7,000 miles/year) so have some opinions.

The good news is quality bikes have really come down in price. Here are some "commandments" to consider.

Go to a bike shop to get your bike. Not Walmart. (you won't ride a Walmart bike more than a couple times)

Test ride a bike or two. Heck, make it an adventure and go to a couple different places.

If you buy a cheap bike, you won't ride it much. A smooth well working bike is enjoyable. A cheap one only makes your legs and butt hurt.

While you're at the bike shop, make sure they consider your size and fit you to the bike. There is nothing worse than trying to ride a bike that doesn't fit. It's kind of like shoes. If they are too small or too big.....well you get the idea.

Stay away from big soft seats with a lot of cushion, they actually cause more friction & pain. Look for something with medium & somewhat firm padding. The first couple of rides will leave you a bit sore. Give it a day or two. Gradually the seat will quit hurting.

Seats are personal. What fits you won't fit the next guy. Get the bike shop to let you try a couple. You will be able to tell what is comfortable pretty quickly.

Bike shorts are worth it.

You may want something like this
Specialized Bicycle Components

Don't waste your time with something like this
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...3_blk_2100.jpg

Helmets are not overrated. Look kind of dumb, but concrete really, really hurts, even at 5mph!
Sage advice .
The right fitting bike will make your rides, short or long, more enjoyable as well as protect your knees etc.. I would recommend bike shops too since they know what a good fit looks like. Some even carry reconditioned used bikes that are a good deal.
Consider the weight of the bike too since you will need to load and unload it from wherever you store them.
As for helmet.... I used to ride my bike to and from work. Five miles each way, thru neighborhoods. I didn't wear a helmet. Got hit by a car. Driver not paying attention and 20 years later still deal with the head injury trauma.
WEAR YOUR HELMET!
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:46 PM   #21
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Both of us do a lot of biking and so it is probably no surprise that we're in the Texas-tom camp. If you buy too cheap a bike you may never discover the joy of riding further and the health benefits of the ride....RVing is a pretty sedentary activity for many.

We use a "wheel" attaching Swagman that bolts to our MH tow bar. The wheel attaching system is nice as many bikes have sloping head tubes which make the "hanging" racks very awkward. However, we also need a rack for our car as many great rides require some travel to reach. We would also recommend the bike cover sold by Camping World as it keeps your bike reasonably dry, free of rust and clean.

Really like the Specialized brand recommended by T-Tom and would suggest you consider "disk" brakes if they can be had for not too much more $$$. Not only do they really work, but they are virtually trouble free. If you are going to use the bike for shopping consider solid pannier racks and good bags. Also consider good removable fenders for when the going gets wet.

Proper clothing, gloves and a helmet is a must!
You'll be riding slick-rock in no time!
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I'd rather have a Kia, I think it's a better car. Just not a good example

Strictly a $$$$ comparison, I like my $15,000 KIA Soul just fine
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:23 PM   #23
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Sounds like you are in the same place we were last year. I shopped the specialty bike shops and the dept. stores. Not a rider, but wanted something not too expensive to run the dogs. Ended up buying a Genesis V2100 at Wally World. For $150 I got a 21 gear mountain bike, Shimano thumb gear changer (I didn't like the handle gears), disk brakes with a real nice seat. Every evening I run the dogs and this bike is a sweetheart. The least expensive bikes at the bike shops were $300+ and didn't have what this one has. If this one gives up the ghost in a few years I'll just get another one and I'm still ahead of the game. By the way I rode all over Wally World before I purchased it...they didn't care. I'm not a Wally World advocate....just stating the facts.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:29 PM   #24
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Sounds like you are in the same place we were last year. I shopped the specialty bike shops and the dept. stores. Not a rider, but wanted something not too expensive to run the dogs. Ended up buying a Genesis V2100 at Wally World. For $150 I got a 21 gear mountain bike, Shimano thumb gear changer (I didn't like the handle gears), disk brakes with a real nice seat. Every evening I run the dogs and this bike is a sweetheart.

Gee whiz you didn't spring for the Spandex either
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:55 PM   #25
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I bought a split seat for mine. It worked pretty well. Anway it was a heck of a lot better that the standard skinny little thing that hurt parts of me that don't need to be hurt.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:14 PM   #26
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Steve,

We've been riding our bicycles on rail trails and while camping for many years now. So, I'll share some of our experiences and suggestions.

1) bike - you can find very nice quality bikes for around $400 +/-. We originally had Schwinn mountain bikes but eventually migrated to Raleigh "sport comfort" bikes. A world of difference in overall fit and ummm... comfort . For example, front fork suspension, gel seats with a seat post shock absorber, adjustable comfort style handlebars with very comfortable grips, 21 gear choices, relatively light weight frame, and more. We installed rear rack/bag and a simple hook style on/off basket for the front. We've put many hundreds of miles on them with nary a hitch. Great bikes for the money. Other manufacturers make quality "comfort bikes" as well for about the same price range.

2) gear - definitely invest in padded bike shorts (men and women) if you plan to spend more than a few minutes or a few miles on your bikes. You'll be glad you did! They sell padded shorts that look just like normal clothing... not the Lance Armstrong spandex. Wearing a helmet just makes sense. They're lightweight and have plenty of air circulation.

3) rack - over the years we've had about 4 types. We switched from car to car and motorhome so we often had more than one and usually keep one on one of the cars most of the summer. Sarris and Thule brands were pretty good choices. Then, while at a bike trail a few years ago I saw a car with an interesting bike rack. I checked it further on-line and then eventually bought the best rack ever!!! This bike rack is simply the easiest to use and most sturdy rack I ever saw. You can easily load you bike completely and securely in about 15 seconds... if you're taking your time! And, you don't even need a wrench or even a hitch pin to connect it "rock solid" to your receiver hitch. It's virtually theft proof once mounted and it's all machined aluminum. The only downside to this rack is cost. It's around $500 but if you use a rack as often as we do this is money well spent. Your bikes (we use the two bike model) go on/off super quick and easy and travel extremely solid with literally no bouncing, shaking, or movement of any kind. And the rack can fold either 45* or 90*up allowing for access to the SUV hatch or travel without bikes. I realize I may sound a bit exuberant about a bike rack, but we use a rack allot and this puppy is simply better than slice bread. Certainly not worth the expense for a few trips a year, but if you use a rack frequently you may want to check it out. The brand is called 1upUSA. You can Google it just that way.

Anyway, wear shorts or very loose pants when riding and get fitted at your local bike shop for proper seat height, handlebars, accessories and general instruction. My apologies for rambling on but it's not easy to ignore a nice rack

cheers,
Joopy
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:32 AM   #27
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Two things that I will chip in here.

Disc brakes - love em. No more of that whumpa whumpa stuff if your rim gets slightly out of true

Weight. My DW came into our relationship with her own bike that was sold to her by a knowledgeable person (yeah right). Damn thing weighs a ton and requires so much pedal effort that she wears out on a ride way before she would on a good bike. Slated for replacement next summer. Not to mention it is a royal pain to put on the rack with that sissy girl frame that was intended for riding in dresses. She has never worn a dress while riding - ever so the logic escapes me and she can't explain it either.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:34 AM   #28
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Not an athlete, don't have any motivation to become one. I do however, enjoy a bike ride in good weather (dry, not too windy) on occasion. We ride around the house some. Have a 'route' that's 8.5 miles, takes about 45 minutes, and it's 99% paved - so we bought our bikes to suit that as that's where they're used most frequently. They're Treks, kind of a middle of the road model, and reasonably light weight. They were not cheap (400. or so), but I'm tall, needed a taller than normal frame, ruling out the dept. stores (yes, I checked!)

My point is you don't need to spend big money at these bike shops. I do agree they're the place to pick up a bike - especially if you'd like a hand doing it right and having it set up to fit you (at least the first time?). We've had these quite a while now and they still work like the day we bought them.

I find the tire tubes are REALLY aggravating for their lack of ability to hold air pressure. Ours, even after being replaced, need to be filled at least once a week! You would think tubes would be available to eliminate this, but apparently not - according to people I've talked with? Anyone use "Slime" or something similar in them?

Bottom line, if I had to do it over again, I'm not sure I'd change much - and I'd darn sure find a way to take them with us on our adventures. -Al
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