30 Bananas a Day!

Do I really need to drop over $1K on a good bike? (Question to experienced bicyclist)

I'll keep this short: I had been wanting to get a really good bike for a while now, one that will last me quite some time and will be able to use as my main source of transportation eventually. I want to be able to attach a trailer behind the bike and use that to carry fruit and everything. I can't tell you exactly how many miles/km I would be traveling on a daily basis, but I'd like get a bike that I could ride quite a distance with in a single day. Say, 50 miles for example. I am totally ignorant on the topic and just getting in to cycling, so pardon me if that number doesn't sound right. I won't be doing any racing or anything special like that right away, and if I do eventually I would invest in a racing bike. I had been getting some suggestions from some people saying that you really need to drop over $1,000 U.S. to get a really good bike. Do any of you guys think this is true? 

 

I talked to a guy yesterday in a sports store about bikes, and he told me that for what I want to use it for, it really isn't worth spending a huge amount of money like I had planned unless you are going to use the bike for one specific reason, like racing, triathlons, mountain biking, etc. The bike he suggested (and I really liked quite frankly) was the Trek 7200 Hybrid. The thing I was surprised by is that I can get it brand new for less than $475 U.S. The guy said it would work well for riding on smooth surfaces (in town, on paths) as well as work for slightly rougher terrain, like hitting a bit of gravel. 

 

What are your guy's thoughts? Any other recommendations? As I said, I am just getting into cycling, so enlighten me! Although I can't kick the fossil fuel habit completely in my current situation (I have to drive quite a way to get my fruit), sometime not too far down the road I will be able to. For now, I'd just like to ride a bike as often as possible. 

 

Thanks guys!

 

 

EDIT 11/3/11

 

I actually did settle on a bike, thank all of you for all of your suggestions! I didn't go for the Trek as the suspension system definitely was unnecessary for what I am using it for. I'm doing mostly rode riding but also wanted the flexibility to haul things with it. 

 

I went for a Giant Escape City and paid about $600 for a brand new one. It's been a really, really excellent bike so far. I've ridden just under a thousand miles on it so far and have yet to have any issues other than some minor maintenance/adjustments. Even learned how to take it all apart and, even more of a learning experience, put it all back together as I flew it to the Woodstock Fruit Festival in NY. I plan on taking it to Thailand this January with me as well. :) 

 

When I have the money my next bike investment is probably going to be a bamboo rode bike. But for now this Giant just what I was looking for! :)

Tags: bicycling, bikes, cycling, money

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what about getting a high quality used bike?

we have a marinoni valued at $3000 in it's time which we got for $600.

 

in friendship,

prad

If your looking to just cart things around with I would agree you don't need a good bike.  I would actually just look for more of a mountain bike type without knobby tires. 

 

If your planning on doing group rides with others - I would then invest in a bike that is a little bit more toward the higher end.   A lighter bike goes a long way in the enjoyment category if your riding with others.

 

Maybe a clunker for grocery shopping - get a used $100 bike and a higher end bike $900 for fitness riding.  I would also buy that bike used - you can get much better quality in a used bike compared to paying the higher margins for a new bike (I agree with pradtf).

 

Hope this helps - good luck!

Thanks a lot pradtf and AD! 

 

Anyone else have any suggestions? Specific models? 

No, you need to drop at least $2K, haha, joking

With bikes you get what you pay for, but $1000 should be plenty for a quality commuter bike, to get the best bang for the buck, go to ebay or bikesdirect.com, I would think $500 would get you something quality at either place.

 

In a recent vid, Harley issued a sound caution about used bikes.  It is possible they have been in a crash that left it structurally unsound and only a big bump away from disaster.  Only a trained eye could detect such damage, he said. 

Thus, if you do choose to go used, perhaps seek out those that are "certified" and cleared as safe by experts in a bike shop. 

Or if you find one you like at a garage sale, etc. perhaps the owner would like you check it out professionally, just as is recommended with used cars. 

I've got a road bike, wouldn't have anything else! Cost me $150 on craigslist. It's not a great bike, but it goes over 10 miles a day around town, sometimes upwards of 25, no problem.

From all my bikes this one is best for general riding/commuting/traveling:

http://www.xootr.com/folding-bicycle.html

Check their gallery, this bike has many uses. It's fun to ride (you'll be smiling, I promise) and performance is quite good (I modified it and used for few bike races, but later was banned for non-compliant geometry). I use it mostly for travels and training these days.

It's hard to find these used, but if you email to these folks and say you want a used one (for less $ but still with warranty), they can let you know once they have something (that's how I got mine).

 

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I really want a awesome bike too. I'll save up for one..

You can pick up a bargain if you buy second hand but it carries a few risks as well, especially for a someone who isn't an experienced cyclist and has minimal mechanical skills. You have to look out for crash damage, stress fractures, parts that need replacing or are well-worn etc. In most cases used bikes will need some workshop time, which could mean significant added expense. Often this work isn't difficult to do yourself but may require specialist tools. 

 

Honestly I've seen so many first-time buyers get shafted buying a used bike that I wouldn't recommend doing it without help from someone more experienced. Sellers might not be aware of potential problems themselves. You pay a premium if buying from a store but there are fewer risks involved. You can also get advice on sizing in a store.

 

Without knowing what sort of terrain you'll be riding on etc. it's difficult to recommend anything. But for most people buying a hybrid bike with suspension (like the Trek 7200) is a mistake. If the vast majority of your riding will be on road you won't appreciate the suspension fork. If you're fit & flexible (guessing you are) and want to do 50 mile journeys you're better off choosing something with more aggressive geometry than a hybrid. Maybe a touring bike as these are usually built with more versatility in mind than a standard road bike, so would be fine for carrying heavy loads, pulling a trailer, gravel surfaces, or even going on group rides with your local racing club.

 

Realistically, for something new, that will last several years with minimal maintenance issues then you could easily spend $1000 or more. Just look at it as an investment.

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