Where To Get New Bikes

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armeliusc
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Where To Get New Bikes

Post by armeliusc » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:27 pm

Hello,
Our kid has graduated of balance bike and is becoming more comfortable riding a bike. The weather is certainly more conducive for outside activity, and we are thinking of starting biking as a new family activity. DW and I are comfortable with riding bikes, although we are certainly not serious riders (yet) due to time, priorities, etc.

So anyway now we are looking to get at least 2 adults bikes. We've visited a good local bike store (LBS), Target, Costco, etc. to look at options. And we're not quite sure where to get decent new bikes. The least expensive on LBS for Trek bikes would around $400 - 500. Costco sells bike for $200. At Target you can get Schwinn bike anywhere from $199 - ~$350. I don't want to spend a lot up front, but don't want anything that won't last either.

So, the question is, where would you get a decent, 'entry level' bikes, with the "biggest bang for the bucks" that worth the money? Should I just go with LBS or "dept. store" bikes?

I'd appreciate any suggestions and opinions.

28fe6
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by 28fe6 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:36 pm

Don't buy any department store bike. Even if you buy a $200 bike from LBS you will be better off.

Also check the used rack and Craigslist.

livesoft
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by livesoft » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:39 pm

I would go to Craigslist.

A place you did not mention would be a big-box sporting goods store that had a bike department/shop inside it. That would probably be somewhat in-between a LBS and a discount store that didn't specialize in bikes.
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123
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by 123 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:49 pm

For the adults a Trek for each from an LBS in the range of $400 - $600 would likely be fine for casual use for years. For the kid you're looking at a series of bikes as the child grows so I would look at something under $150 - $200. For the kid something from a place like a Dick's Sporting Goods is likely a good option. A sporting goods place that does bike repairs is a good option, a department store like Target or WalMart may not even check to see if all the screws, nuts, and bolts are tight before you take it out of the store.
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thatme
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by thatme » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:53 pm

One good option is Performance Bike. It's a chain LBS but they sell their own house brands and are typically a fair bit cheaper than Trek/Specialized (they almost always have 20-30% off sales if you wait a few weeks too -- or at a minimum, you can get 20-30% back in "points" to be used to buy accessories for free). They will do all of the adjustment stuff an LBS will do, and they're very low pressure.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:58 pm

I'd go one step aside from 123. LBS for "real" bikes for the adults. Craigslist, yard sales or frankly from "free" signs on kids bikes at the end of driveways.

I worked at a bike shop as a teenager and raced competitively. As a bike mechanic, I saw the overweight garbage that the box stores sold. They are typically much heavier and harder to ride than a bike shop starter. They're also often built by people who are just trying to get by, rather than by someone who knows enough to check if the wheels are true and adjusts them if they're not.

Kids' bikes are outgrown so quickly, just go used with what you can find until the kids are pre-teen and then if they show interest in riding and will take care of the bikes, upgrade to "real" bikes.
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Peter Foley
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Peter Foley » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:00 pm

Since retiring from my regular job 7 years ago I have worked in a bike shop and for a organization that fixes bikes to be given to kids. I work on a wide range of makes and models.

Local bike shop bikes are just made better. Better components, smoother shifting, easier to repair. I would stay away from department store bikes. Some good brands with solid entry level bikes are Trek, Specialized, Diamondback, Giant, and Novara (REI). Hybrid or mountain bike versions in very good condition can be found on Craig's List or at some local bike shops in the $100 to $200 range.

stlutz
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by stlutz » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:10 pm

One good option is Performance Bike
As an aside, they recently went out of business.

Regardless, the advice to buy from a bike shop is sound. Buy from the one who spends some time to make sure you are on one that fits you--a bike that fits gets ridden.

AerialP
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by AerialP » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:25 pm

Depending on your location, if it is relatively convenient I would suggest also considering a visit to an REI store (https://www.rei.com/) to see what they may have to offer you in your research. They strike a good balance between LBS & big-box.

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fortfun
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by fortfun » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:34 pm

Go to a few shops and test drive a few bikes. Find the size and bike you like. Look online for best price. Give local shop a chance to match it. Buy from local shop if the price is in the ball park (support local business). If not, buy from best priced reputable business. In my case, it was REI online store and I picked up at my local store. Turned out to be last year's model so I got a very good deal and it had better components than the current year model. Make sure the bike has good components and make sure it is FUN to ride and feels good. If you buy local, you should get a free tune up after a couple of weeks of riding to tighten up the stretched cables, etc. I would avoid the super cheap Walmart type bikes. Craigs list and Facebook market place might work too IF you can find the right size/model.

Note: You might checkout Fuji. They seem to be better priced than Specialized, Canondale, Trek, etc. but have good bikes and good components.

createplayact
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by createplayact » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:36 pm

We were presented with this same decision two summers ago. My wife and I have always liked to bike. Soon after we were married, I didn't listen to my cyclist friend and bought a $125 Walmart bike that worked OK for relaxed biking on pavement, but once we moved to simple trails, it quickly showed its faults. The gears were always finicky, one of the pedals broke off, and it creaked badly after a few moderate trails. Plus it was really heavy.

My wife, on the other hand, had always ridden an old GT bike that was given to us by that same friend, and that performed much better on the trails. It was clearly a better bike despite being much older.

Then two summers ago we started watching Craigslist for a while for new bikes but nothing came up. Eventually spent about $350 a piece at the local bike store:

Mine: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/roam-3-2017
Hers: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/rove-3--2015--2014

(not sure of the exact model numbers, but close)

And yeah, it was immediately clear that these Giants, as a "bike store brand," are much better than any Target/Walmart level bike we've ridden. We don't usually hit trails, but even on pavement it's a lot more enjoyable to ride a good bike that fits.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:09 pm

armeliusc wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:27 pm
Hello,
Our kid has graduated of balance bike and is becoming more comfortable riding a bike. The weather is certainly more conducive for outside activity, and we are thinking of starting biking as a new family activity. DW and I are comfortable with riding bikes, although we are certainly not serious riders (yet) due to time, priorities, etc.

So anyway now we are looking to get at least 2 adults bikes. We've visited a good local bike store (LBS), Target, Costco, etc. to look at options. And we're not quite sure where to get decent new bikes. The least expensive on LBS for Trek bikes would around $400 - 500. Costco sells bike for $200. At Target you can get Schwinn bike anywhere from $199 - ~$350. I don't want to spend a lot up front, but don't want anything that won't last either.

So, the question is, where would you get a decent, 'entry level' bikes, with the "biggest bang for the bucks" that worth the money? Should I just go with LBS or "dept. store" bikes?

I'd appreciate any suggestions and opinions.
if you know what you want, ebay and other LBS for close-out new bikes. Bikesdirect would be similar, though with less cachet.

Personally, i'd be looking at classified sections of various cycling fora (e.g. pinkbike) to get a decent used bike; however, this would require one to be reasonably well versed with parts and conditions of the used bikes. If there's a local co-op, that may be a good place to get a decent used bike.

Craigslist is hit or miss, as there are way too many trying to sell 30-yr old 12-speed bikes (as in 2 front chainrings x 6 cogs, as opposed to 12 cogs in on a modern bike) for $300, b/c said bike is "vintage"...

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sunny_socal
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:06 am

28fe6 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:36 pm
Don't buy any department store bike. Even if you buy a $200 bike from LBS you will be better off.

Also check the used rack and Craigslist.
This. Seriously, anything from Target/Walmart is a waste of money.

My ranking:
- Target/Walmart: Avoid like the plague
- Craigslist: Only if you know what you're doing. (Good deals can be found but mostly it's junk you don't really want.)
- Performance Bike: I'd start here as someone else suggested. Good range of entry level bikes and decent prices. They _always_ have a "sale" going on.
- Fancy Bike store: $3k seems to be the floor, $10k ceiling. Only if you're really serious.

thatme
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by thatme » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:29 am

stlutz wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:10 pm
One good option is Performance Bike
As an aside, they recently went out of business.

Regardless, the advice to buy from a bike shop is sound. Buy from the one who spends some time to make sure you are on one that fits you--a bike that fits gets ridden.
I had no idea, thanks for the heads up. I think the last time I was in there was two summers ago so I guess it's not too surprising (I was on their website a few weeks ago, but I see now that all brick and mortar stores are closed) - but definitely a shame because they were a good alternative to the outrageous prices of the LBS, but still with good service.

thatme
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by thatme » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:30 am

AerialP wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:25 pm
Depending on your location, if it is relatively convenient I would suggest also considering a visit to an REI store (https://www.rei.com/) to see what they may have to offer you in your research. They strike a good balance between LBS & big-box.
+1, not a bad suggestion.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:04 am

Most of the frames of bikes with a "major" brand come out of the same (few) factories in Asia. Components are then attached, again they all use the same components with pricier ones going on the more expensive units. Thus brand is not (mostly) that relevant.

I have purchased many bikes on Craigslist, the problem is that if you don't know what you are looking at you may buy a bike that needs repairs; if you are relying on someone else to do the repairs any savings the purchase yielded will quickly disappear. Chains, derailleurs, wheel bearings, etc will cost $$.

Right now you could go to a local bike shop and find some discounts on last year's models usually identical to this year's but with different color choices.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

Glockenspiel
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:08 am

I would try Craigslist as well. In my area, Craigslist is chock full of really good, lightweight bikes with high quality components, in that $200-$300 range. You’ll get a way better bike than Costco or other box stores, for the same price. If you find a bike you like at a local bike shop, search for the same one on Craigslist, then bring it to a bike shop for a tuneup.

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leeks
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by leeks » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:27 am

Agree buy used or a bike store/bikesdirect.com/REI/etc option. Anything under $300 new list price is not worth considering. Around $450 list price is probably the minimum I would find acceptable (I'm not a bike snob but am married to one) but of course you might find sales, prior season models, etc for less. My husband calls the big box/dep't store things BSOs - "bike-shaped objects."

The BSO's are not serviceable/repairable. He has volunteered at community free bicycle repair centers in multiple cities. When people come in with BSOs they wouldn't bother attempting to fix them, they would help the person find a real used bike instead - even if it was a much more involved set of repairs to get the used bike working.

In most areas you can get an *okay* used bike for $50-75 and then pay about the same to bike shop for tune-up/repairs. So you should be able to get on the road for about $150 each if you take a few weeks to watch craigslist, yard sales, etc. Obviously more if you want higher quality.

Andyrunner
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:01 am

As others said Local bike shop is the best option if you are not sure on size and how to wrench your own bikes. As others said all entry level bikes no matter what the brand are made in China or Taiwan. One major issue with big chain stores is the quality is notched down a lot and secondly and even more importantly you don't know if the person who put them together knows how to do it right.

Bikes direct.com or nashbar are other good options, BUT you need to know what you are looking at. If you have a friend who knows bikes or know someone who has a mobile bike shop, they can put together the bike for you. Two of my three bikes are from bikes direct. One is a fat bike other is a cross bike (google cycle cross race). My next bike i will probably upgrade my cross bike and get a local guy to custom build a titanium one for me.

If you want to buy used, I'd suggest joining a local facebook page dedicated to buying/selling used bikes. There people generally know more about what they are selling or buying than say craigslist.

dbr
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:19 am

An advantage of a local bike shop is (or should be) good service and repair. These things are fairly easy DIY but no bike, especially maybe a kids bike, should go without annual maintenance even if just making sure everything is tight and not out of line. Cleaning and lubricating is important.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:22 am

thatme wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:29 am
stlutz wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:10 pm
One good option is Performance Bike
As an aside, they recently went out of business.

Regardless, the advice to buy from a bike shop is sound. Buy from the one who spends some time to make sure you are on one that fits you--a bike that fits gets ridden.
I had no idea, thanks for the heads up. I think the last time I was in there was two summers ago so I guess it's not too surprising (I was on their website a few weeks ago, but I see now that all brick and mortar stores are closed) - but definitely a shame because they were a good alternative to the outrageous prices of the LBS, but still with good service.
Wow! Never mind then.

Now only two choices remain: Buy complete crap from Target/Walmart or buy more bike than you need from the LBS. :(

dbr
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:25 am

Also, some LBS are aimed at an enthusiast/racer clientele and some at family bikes. It is pretty easy to see what they have in the window to distinguish one from the other.

rgarling
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by rgarling » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:43 am

...
Wow! Never mind then.

Now only two choices remain: Buy complete crap from Target/Walmart or buy more bike than you need from the LBS. :(
You are overlooking the Bikes Direct option. Good selection of decent bikes shipped to your door. Minor assembly required.

ubermax
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by ubermax » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:48 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:06 am


My ranking:
- Target/Walmart: Avoid like the plague
- Craigslist: Only if you know what you're doing. (Good deals can be found but mostly it's junk you don't really want.)
- Performance Bike: I'd start here as someone else suggested. Good range of entry level bikes and decent prices. They _always_ have a "sale" going on.
- Fancy Bike store: $3k seems to be the floor, $10k ceiling. Only if you're really serious.
+1 Especially regarding Craigslist and to Performance you could add Colorado Cyclist & Excel Bike , btw just read where Schwinn is selling the "Paramount" with electronic shifting, disc brakes , carbon frame , and I think SRAM components for around $3,300 .

Andyrunner
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:51 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:22 am
thatme wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:29 am
stlutz wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:10 pm
One good option is Performance Bike
As an aside, they recently went out of business.

Regardless, the advice to buy from a bike shop is sound. Buy from the one who spends some time to make sure you are on one that fits you--a bike that fits gets ridden.
I had no idea, thanks for the heads up. I think the last time I was in there was two summers ago so I guess it's not too surprising (I was on their website a few weeks ago, but I see now that all brick and mortar stores are closed) - but definitely a shame because they were a good alternative to the outrageous prices of the LBS, but still with good service.
Wow! Never mind then.

Now only two choices remain: Buy complete crap from Target/Walmart or buy more bike than you need from the LBS. :(
Not sure if it is regional but all of my local bike shops sell cruiser bikes, entry mtn bikes, and other in the $400-$600 range. But you can find non-serious bikes at LBS under $3k.

michaelingp
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by michaelingp » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:07 am

If you're not handy and have bike tools, I would definitely recommend LBS if the price is at all reasonable. My daughter bought a bike recently, I think for about $400. She thinks she overpaid, but she has no bike repair skills. When she takes it in where she bought it, even for a flat tire, they treat her like royalty. Of course, now she's moved to the suburbs I have to fix her bike when it needs it. I've bought all my bikes at REI, and while I have no problem with their mechanics, they are frequently short-staffed (where I live, anyway) and you're going to wait.

Haledom
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Haledom » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:18 am

+1 for Craigslist.

I bought a gently used Trek 5 years ago and it has served me well. Paid around 250-300 (which was about half of what it would have cost in store). I have had to replace the seat post and that's pretty much it!

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armeliusc
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by armeliusc » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:49 am

Thank you very much for all the replies.

It seems that the consensus is to avoid dept. stores bikes. I had similar feeling before but I am glad to know the reasons.

I will check out the REI / bikesdirect / sporting good stores with bike department / repair service as options also.

Last week we visited an LBS with good reviews by the community. They sell Trek bikes with ~$400 - $600 entry level, and seems to provide good service. The person I talked to didn't even try to sell me anything, rather than explaining a whole bunch of things very enthusiastically, showing us around and letting us try some bikes. Which strangely has the effect of making me want to just get the bikes from them (i.e. supporting good local shop and all that). I do have to admit that the price is a little more than what I was prepare to spend on the spot (and hence the hesitation and looking at other options). But perhaps those are what we need to spend for to get something decent that last a while.

I am a bit wary with looking at Craigslist, etc since I don't feel that I have the necessary know-how to filter out the good from the bad, nor do we have friends that can help us with this. So I think I'll avoid that route.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:52 am

rgarling wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:43 am
...
Wow! Never mind then.

Now only two choices remain: Buy complete crap from Target/Walmart or buy more bike than you need from the LBS. :(
You are overlooking the Bikes Direct option. Good selection of decent bikes shipped to your door. Minor assembly required.
I've used them before. You do get good value but it's best for people who already know what kind of bike they want. The size is particularly important since you're buying it without trying it.

quantAndHold
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:58 am

Yes, the bottom line is to buy from a store that does service and repairs. Big box store bikes are mostly not repairable.

Since you don’t yet know anything about bikes, I would stick to someplace where you can get help with fitting and adjustments. As you learn about bikes, then buying online or from Craigslist becomes a possibility.

For kids bikes, if you’re willing to turn a wrench and do some lubing and adjusting, I’ve seen loads of kids bikes at thrift stores. Just make sure they’re in good shape before you buy them. They’re usually cheap department store bikes, and you want the kids to outgrow them before they break.

thatme
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by thatme » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:02 am

rgarling wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:43 am
...
Wow! Never mind then.

Now only two choices remain: Buy complete crap from Target/Walmart or buy more bike than you need from the LBS. :(
You are overlooking the Bikes Direct option. Good selection of decent bikes shipped to your door. Minor assembly required.
I've purchased from BD before and if you're not already someone good at adjusting brakes/derailleurs, I would budget $100 more to have your LBS put the bike together for you. I've been around bikes forever but even I haven't mastered the art of derailleurs - so if you're totally new at it I would probably bring it to the LBS for them to deal with.

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elcadarj
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by elcadarj » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:13 am

armeliusc wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:49 am
Thank you very much for all the replies.

It seems that the consensus is to avoid dept. stores bikes. I had similar feeling before but I am glad to know the reasons.

I will check out the REI / bikesdirect / sporting good stores with bike department / repair service as options also.

Last week we visited an LBS with good reviews by the community. They sell Trek bikes with ~$400 - $600 entry level, and seems to provide good service. The person I talked to didn't even try to sell me anything, rather than explaining a whole bunch of things very enthusiastically, showing us around and letting us try some bikes. Which strangely has the effect of making me want to just get the bikes from them (i.e. supporting good local shop and all that). I do have to admit that the price is a little more than what I was prepare to spend on the spot (and hence the hesitation and looking at other options). But perhaps those are what we need to spend for to get something decent that last a while.

I am a bit wary with looking at Craigslist, etc since I don't feel that I have the necessary know-how to filter out the good from the bad, nor do we have friends that can help us with this. So I think I'll avoid that route.
You may want to go to the Jamis website, they are a US distributor of a full line of well made bikes from China and Taiwan, https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/find-a-retailer.html. The LBS that's a preferred Jamis dealer here in CLT is BikeSource which is a full line dealer for Specialized as well. They are a full service dealer with a broad selection of bikes at all price levels. They also have locations in Columbus OH and Denver CO. You may have something similar in your area.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:21 am

Haledom wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:18 am
+1 for Craigslist.

I bought a gently used Trek 5 years ago and it has served me well. Paid around 250-300 (which was about half of what it would have cost in store). I have had to replace the seat post and that's pretty much it!
Even a gently used 5-year old bike is a good candidate for:

New cables and housings (derailleurs and brakes)
brake pads
tires
chain (and if it hasn't been tended to add in cassette and chainrings)

If you are paying to have this done you are looking north of $100 maybe more
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

banhbao
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by banhbao » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:25 am

Dick's sporting goods has some decent bikes at good prices. Occasionally you can find a great sale.

We have a nice local shop just a block from our house. My wife found a hybrid Norco bike there at a really great price (https://www.norco.com/). These are designed and assembled in Canada but the frame is manufactured in China. (I suspect all bike frames are manufactured in China anyway.) It's a really good bike, very lightweight and well made.

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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by lazydavid » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:53 am

createplayact wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:36 pm
Then two summers ago we started watching Craigslist for a while for new bikes but nothing came up. Eventually spent about $350 a piece at the local bike store:

Mine: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/roam-3-2017
Hers: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/rove-3--2015--2014

(not sure of the exact model numbers, but close)

And yeah, it was immediately clear that these Giants, as a "bike store brand," are much better than any Target/Walmart level bike we've ridden. We don't usually hit trails, but even on pavement it's a lot more enjoyable to ride a good bike that fits.
We got my son the Small Roam 3 disc last spring:

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/roam-3-disc-2018

Which replaced the 20" Giant Moda that he outgrew:

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/moda-2015

He absolutely loves it. Not anywhere near as light as my Large Seek 3 (which, in turn, is nowhere near as light as a legit road bike):

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/seek-3-2012

But the suspension fork and slightly knobby tires are a better fit for him. I'm thinking about upgrading to a road bike next year, and if we do I'll probably keep the Seek for him for when he outgrows the Roam. The Schwinn Hybrid from Costco that the Seek replaced 7 years ago was just laughably bad in comparison. I will only buy from a local bike shop going forward.

Andyrunner
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:57 am

banhbao wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:25 am
Dick's sporting goods has some decent bikes at good prices. Occasionally you can find a great sale.

We have a nice local shop just a block from our house. My wife found a hybrid Norco bike there at a really great price (https://www.norco.com/). These are designed and assembled in Canada but the frame is manufactured in China. (I suspect all bike frames are manufactured in China anyway.) It's a really good bike, very lightweight and well made.
Most are China or Taiwan, once you get up to higher end bikes they tend to be made a bit more locally. Look at Kinesis Industry, they do most aluminum bikes for top names.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:11 am

A few months ago we went to brunch with a DD, and while waiting for her family to arrive, I looked at some bikes that were on the sidewalk in front of a Play It Again Sports store.

There were some children's bikes for $20 that looked brand new. I'm think of buying a couple for when the grand-kids visit, as our neighborhood is ideal for riding bikes safely. We are also near a park they could explore with me along. When they were younger I pulled them all over the neighborhood in a wagon hitched to my wheelchair.

Sadly I don't see too many children riding their bikes, but our grand-kids do, with their parents.

At any rate, bargains can be found for most sports/recreation equipment, if there is a store nearby.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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Peter Foley
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Peter Foley » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:21 am

Just a heads up for those considering a purchase from Craigslist. The following is a brief description of part of the quality control routine we use when fixing bikes for giveaway. While not a guaranty, it might save you an expensive bike shop repair.

Obviously look the bike over for bent frame components and visible easy fixes like new brake pads. Make sure it shifts and brakes. Then do a shake test.

1. Shake the front and rear wheels from side to side. If the wheel is secure in the dropouts and there is some movement you might have a loose cone or bearing issue. You would likely need a cone wrench to fix this.
2. Depress the front brake and wiggle the bike forward and backward. If loose, you may have a headset issue. Not a deal breaker, but something to be aware of. Possibly fixed (if minor) with a lock jaw pliers.
3. Grab both cranks and move them in and out (not up and down). If they move you may have a loose bottom bracket with need of tightening (at a minimum) or bearing greasing and or replacement. Special tools are sometimes needed for this.

This does not address everything, but it may give you a little more confidence when buying a used bike.

miamivice
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by miamivice » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:35 am

This is a little off topic, but often have dreamed about buying a local bike shop for the primary purpose of being able to get to buy new bikes at cost...

I don't think it would be a good overall investment but I have often been tempted!

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by TheOscarGuy » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:39 am

armeliusc wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:27 pm
Hello,
Our kid has graduated of balance bike and is becoming more comfortable riding a bike. The weather is certainly more conducive for outside activity, and we are thinking of starting biking as a new family activity. DW and I are comfortable with riding bikes, although we are certainly not serious riders (yet) due to time, priorities, etc.

So anyway now we are looking to get at least 2 adults bikes. We've visited a good local bike store (LBS), Target, Costco, etc. to look at options. And we're not quite sure where to get decent new bikes. The least expensive on LBS for Trek bikes would around $400 - 500. Costco sells bike for $200. At Target you can get Schwinn bike anywhere from $199 - ~$350. I don't want to spend a lot up front, but don't want anything that won't last either.

So, the question is, where would you get a decent, 'entry level' bikes, with the "biggest bang for the bucks" that worth the money? Should I just go with LBS or "dept. store" bikes?

I'd appreciate any suggestions and opinions.
I will take a contrarian view and say buy something from WM/target/big stores. I have heard time and again, that bike shop bikes last a long time, and those from WM don't. All my bikes are from big stores, and none of them have "broken down". Its been 4+ years, and I have spent a fraction of what LBS charges. I am all for it, but I simply don't see the point in buying such expensive bikes, if the only argument is they will last a long time. I can safely say my bikes will last me at least next 4 years, if not more -- they look pretty durable.

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Socrates
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Craigslist

Post by Socrates » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:02 pm

often you can find a very lightly used bike for half the price if not more. Many people buy bikes, ride them a few times, and never use them. They end up selling them soon thereafter at a huge discount.

Also, hard core bicyclist often own mutliple bikes and turn around and sell their older bike (used, but well maintained and high end e.g., $800-$1500 plus) for very good deals.

I know you said, new bikes, but better to get an expensive lightly used bike rather than a brand new bike with cheap components from a store like Walmart, Costco or Target.
“Don't waste your time looking back. You're not going that way.” ― Ragnar Lothbrok.

S&L1940
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by S&L1940 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:24 pm

banhbao wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:25 am
Dick's sporting goods has some decent bikes at good prices. Occasionally you can find a great sale.
Wow, took most of the page before Dick's showed up. Unless you are seeking to do $1K or more that may be the place to go.
I ride every day but local streets and short distances. Sports Authority was my go to source. Needed a repair, Bike America was the place for me. SA is gone, so is the local Bike America. Not sure if the other locations near me are still open.

Going to buy a used bike, your best bet may be the local store that will back and maintain performance. Unless you have the tools and the know how to get something on Craig's.
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

Trader Joe
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Trader Joe » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:28 pm

armeliusc wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:27 pm
Hello,
Our kid has graduated of balance bike and is becoming more comfortable riding a bike. The weather is certainly more conducive for outside activity, and we are thinking of starting biking as a new family activity. DW and I are comfortable with riding bikes, although we are certainly not serious riders (yet) due to time, priorities, etc.

So anyway now we are looking to get at least 2 adults bikes. We've visited a good local bike store (LBS), Target, Costco, etc. to look at options. And we're not quite sure where to get decent new bikes. The least expensive on LBS for Trek bikes would around $400 - 500. Costco sells bike for $200. At Target you can get Schwinn bike anywhere from $199 - ~$350. I don't want to spend a lot up front, but don't want anything that won't last either.

So, the question is, where would you get a decent, 'entry level' bikes, with the "biggest bang for the bucks" that worth the money? Should I just go with LBS or "dept. store" bikes?

I'd appreciate any suggestions and opinions.
Walmart or Target.

Haledom
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Haledom » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:41 pm

Even a gently used 5-year old bike is a good candidate for:

New cables and housings (derailleurs and brakes)
brake pads
tires
chain (and if it hasn't been tended to add in cassette and chainrings)

If you are paying to have this done you are looking north of $100 maybe more
I know I am getting to the point where I will be spending some money on the maintenance. I am getting some creaking out of the bottom bracket and hopefully will have that looked at soon.

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Bogle7
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Bogle7 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:30 pm

InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:09 pm
30-yr old 12-speed bikes (as in 2 front chainrings x 6 cogs, as opposed to 12 cogs in on a modern bike) for $300, b/c said bike is "vintage"...
I think you just insulted my 45-year-old bike.
1974 Italian frame of lugged Columbus tubing.
All Campagnolo Nuovo Record components.
Brooks saddle.
It is 2x6, but it has a very tight racing frame so it is only an effective 2x3. Which was more than enough to ride from Boston to Philadelphia and over the Berkshires.

jj45
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by jj45 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:10 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:11 am
Sadly I don't see too many children riding their bikes, but our grand-kids do, with their parents.

At any rate, bargains can be found for most sports/recreation equipment, if there is a store nearby.
I think these two are related. I live in a place where lot's of people bike. Kids, commuters, fitness buffs, athletes. I try to only buy used bikes but it is tough to find a decent one at a decent price. You can find cheap junky bikes or good bikes for only a small discount off of new. To get a decent bike at a decent price takes a good eye and time and energy scouring Craig's list, etc, and seeing the bikes in person. It's particularly hard to find used kids bikes. They go really quickly. The used sporting goods stores never have them in stock. For my kids I ended up buying new or hand-me-downs from friends, and then sold to friends when outgrown. I think most kids bikes here never hit the open market.

quantAndHold
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:41 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:39 am
armeliusc wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:27 pm
Hello,
Our kid has graduated of balance bike and is becoming more comfortable riding a bike. The weather is certainly more conducive for outside activity, and we are thinking of starting biking as a new family activity. DW and I are comfortable with riding bikes, although we are certainly not serious riders (yet) due to time, priorities, etc.

So anyway now we are looking to get at least 2 adults bikes. We've visited a good local bike store (LBS), Target, Costco, etc. to look at options. And we're not quite sure where to get decent new bikes. The least expensive on LBS for Trek bikes would around $400 - 500. Costco sells bike for $200. At Target you can get Schwinn bike anywhere from $199 - ~$350. I don't want to spend a lot up front, but don't want anything that won't last either.

So, the question is, where would you get a decent, 'entry level' bikes, with the "biggest bang for the bucks" that worth the money? Should I just go with LBS or "dept. store" bikes?

I'd appreciate any suggestions and opinions.
I will take a contrarian view and say buy something from WM/target/big stores. I have heard time and again, that bike shop bikes last a long time, and those from WM don't. All my bikes are from big stores, and none of them have "broken down". Its been 4+ years, and I have spent a fraction of what LBS charges. I am all for it, but I simply don't see the point in buying such expensive bikes, if the only argument is they will last a long time. I can safely say my bikes will last me at least next 4 years, if not more -- they look pretty durable.
One of my bikes is a 1992 Trek that I bought used in 1999. It started out life as a mountain bike, then became a commuter bike, and is now a cargo bike. It has about 10,000 miles on it, and I could sell it today for about $100 less than what I paid for it, and if it needs repairs, parts are still readily available.

The problem with department store bikes is that the components are both cheaply made and nonstandard. Frames are heavy and don’t always have standard connection points for the components. If a component breaks, the bike often can’t be fixed. Even on good, name brand bikes, if you ride enough, components wear out. Cheap components wear out more quickly. Good bikes can be repaired and resold. Department store bikes are essentially disposable.

dbr
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:00 pm

I would add that a LBS will also help getting the right size and fit. For kids that may be less important. For an adult road bike it matters a lot. I would be concerned that going to Craigslist for some bikes that you don't know how to fit correctly for yourself might be less appealing.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by ClevrChico » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:52 pm

If you want new, the LBS is your best bet. You want a name brand bike.

I've received great deals on craigslist, garage sales, and bike co-ops for used bikes. My wife still rides a 40 year old Schwinn that looks like new.

Big box store bikes continue to be absolute junk. I've never seen one work right when new and they typically get junked on their first failure. And they're likely to leave you stranded. Overall a terrible value.

Yinks
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Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Post by Yinks » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:40 am

We got Specialized bikes used from a very reputable bike rental business in our local wine country. Turns out they buy new bikes every year and do a full maintenance check on the used ones before selling.

See if there are any local rental places that sell 1 year old used bikes?

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