Bike Recommendation

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Topic Author
keith6014
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:58 pm

Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

Since biking season is ending in the North East prices should be dropping.I am thinking about getting one.
When I was a kid, I rode a lot of BMX bikes and always wanted a higher end one such as Harro/GT/Redline, etc..But I didn't have :moneybag . I can afford one now. Maybe I am too old (late 30s) for them now.

Any good bike recommendation: 1) easy to maintain 2) prefer not to have gears because it adds complexity for maintenance. 3) easy to throw in the car and get it out. Ie durable 4) will be riding with my kids. Price rage up $500 (maybe a bit more).
lazydavid
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by lazydavid »

Whatever brand your local bike shop carries. For me, that was Giant, so probably 10 years ago I paid around $700 for a Giant Seek Disc 3 hybrid that suits my needs. If I were buying today, that would probably be an Escape City Disc 3 ($710).

If your local bike shop carries Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Gary Fisher, whatever, go there and have them match you up with something that meets your needs.
lws6772
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by lws6772 »

Didn't have BMX bikes when I was a kid, so I don't have any experience with them. But I would like to buy a good one also. Currently riding a 26" urban man single speed beach cruiser bike made by Firmstrong. Bought it on Craigslist several years ago for $100 in like new condition. Has been bullet proof and simple. My brain has yet to register "too old" will be 63 this month and ride every day. Here's to never being "too old". :sharebeer
So many fish, so little time.
Wade Garrett
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by Wade Garrett »

keith6014 wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:26 am Any good bike recommendation: 1) easy to maintain 2) prefer not to have gears because it adds complexity for maintenance. 3) easy to throw in the car and get it out. Ie durable 4) will be riding with my kids. Price rage up $500 (maybe a bit more).
I'm interested in this too. A road bike that could also maybe handle some light off roading. Definitely want low maintenance, durable, easy to get in and out of car, and relatively inexpensive. Extra gears are fine so long as its simple, durable, and low maintenance... so maybe 3 or 5 gears rather 18 or however high they go these days.

On the quality scale 1 to 10, I'm looking for probably a 3 or a 4. I know nothing about bikes. Haven't ridden since I was a kid.
"I'm not an inventor. I'm an improver. I see things that are wrong, and I improve them." - Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
stan1
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by stan1 »

Where are you going to ride? Street, trails, track?

I'd only get a BMX bike if you were going to be riding with the kids motocross style. If you are going to ride paved or dirt trails I would not get a BMX bike.
mlipps
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by mlipps »

Bike shops are sold out & back ordered here in the Midwest still. You won't be finding any deals this fall; many manufacturers have tapped into their 2021 models to meet demand for this year.

In terms of what you're looking for, durable and under $500 don't really go together. I'd say today your entry point for a bike that's going to last & be enjoyable to ride is $700-$900. If you want something that is fun on the streets but could go off road, a "gravel bike" may be a good place to start exploring. A BMX bike is not what I would want to ride for any distance whatsoever personally, but a hybrid bike might have geometry that feels more familiar than a road bike if that's what you're coming from.
Rdytoretire
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by Rdytoretire »

Wade Garrett wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:01 am
keith6014 wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:26 am Any good bike recommendation: 1) easy to maintain 2) prefer not to have gears because it adds complexity for maintenance. 3) easy to throw in the car and get it out. Ie durable 4) will be riding with my kids. Price rage up $500 (maybe a bit more).
I'm interested in this too. A road bike that could also maybe handle some light off roading. Definitely want low maintenance, durable, easy to get in and out of car, and relatively inexpensive. Extra gears are fine so long as its simple, durable, and low maintenance... so maybe 3 or 5 gears rather 18 or however high they go these days.

On the quality scale 1 to 10, I'm looking for probably a 3 or a 4. I know nothing about bikes. Haven't ridden since I was a kid.
Both of you should probably be looking at hybrid or gravel bikes. There really is not much difference in complexity and maintenance between a 3-5 gear bike and an 18 gear. You will probably have a better selection with the higher number of gears bikes. From what I have read, bikes may be difficult to find. Cycling has gotten very popular since Covid appeared.
Rdytoretire
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by Rdytoretire »

Rdytoretire wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:25 am
Wade Garrett wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:01 am
keith6014 wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:26 am Any good bike recommendation: 1) easy to maintain 2) prefer not to have gears because it adds complexity for maintenance. 3) easy to throw in the car and get it out. Ie durable 4) will be riding with my kids. Price rage up $500 (maybe a bit more).
I'm interested in this too. A road bike that could also maybe handle some light off roading. Definitely want low maintenance, durable, easy to get in and out of car, and relatively inexpensive. Extra gears are fine so long as its simple, durable, and low maintenance... so maybe 3 or 5 gears rather 18 or however high they go these days.

On the quality scale 1 to 10, I'm looking for probably a 3 or a 4. I know nothing about bikes. Haven't ridden since I was a kid.
Both of you should probably be looking at hybrid or gravel bikes. There really is not much difference in complexity and maintenance between a 3-5 gear bike and an 18 gear. You will probably have a better selection of bikes with the higher number of gears. From what I have read, bikes may be difficult to find, so you will probably have a difficult time getting a deal. Cycling has gotten very popular since Covid appeared.
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sperry8
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by sperry8 »

mlipps wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:22 am Bike shops are sold out & back ordered here in the Midwest still. You won't be finding any deals this fall; many manufacturers have tapped into their 2021 models to meet demand for this year.

In terms of what you're looking for, durable and under $500 don't really go together. I'd say today your entry point for a bike that's going to last & be enjoyable to ride is $700-$900. If you want something that is fun on the streets but could go off road, a "gravel bike" may be a good place to start exploring. A BMX bike is not what I would want to ride for any distance whatsoever personally, but a hybrid bike might have geometry that feels more familiar than a road bike if that's what you're coming from.
I just pre-ordered a bike from SixThreeZero. They have some selections available that are shipping late Sept (although most not shipping until November). Haven't received yet, but online reviews seem promising.
BH contest results: 2019: #233 of 645 | 18: #150 of 493 | 17: #516 of 647 | 16: #121 of 610 | 15: #18 of 552 | 14: #225 of 503 | 13: #383 of 433 | 12: #366 of 410 | 11: #113 of 369 | 10: #53 of 282
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

If you want a BMX bike, I'd recommend going to a BMX/skateboard focused shop. In Mass, we've gone to Eastern Boarder and bought bikes from them. My younger son always had the hand me downs, so one year, we went in and looked and when his birthday came around, I got him pretty much the best bike they sold. I remember it was around $500.

Otherwise, I'd go to a good bike shop. Don't know where in the northeast you are....we tend to go to Milford Bike (MA) as they do a lot with downhill bikes so have a great service department and good selection of various types of bikes.
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Topic Author
keith6014
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

lws6772 wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:23 am Didn't have BMX bikes when I was a kid, so I don't have any experience with them. But I would like to buy a good one also. Currently riding a 26" urban man single speed beach cruiser bike made by Firmstrong. Bought it on Craigslist several years ago for $100 in like new condition. Has been bullet proof and simple. My brain has yet to register "too old" will be 63 this month and ride every day. Here's to never being "too old". :sharebeer
I don't like the Beach Cruiser look. The wierd handle bars. Otherwise, the company and some bikes look really nice. You got a good deal for $100.Everything is sold out on the site.
Topic Author
keith6014
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

stan1 wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:19 am Where are you going to ride? Street, trails, track?

I'd only get a BMX bike if you were going to be riding with the kids motocross style. If you are going to ride paved or dirt trails I would not get a BMX bike.
Street, Trails and Track. I know for sure not kids motocross style.
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Tejfyy
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by Tejfyy »

I'd reconsider no gears unless you want to potentially damage your knees. I've had the same 24-gear hybrid bike since 1996. There's not much that goes wrong with it.
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Bogle7
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Single speed, yea!

Post by Bogle7 »

I love my single speed.
63-inch gearing.
I built it from components for the low low cost of $2K. I had fun with red and black.
I am age 71.
Image
Last edited by Bogle7 on Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by jabberwockOG »

Don't forget to buy the best helmet you can afford.
bob60014
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by bob60014 »

Early this summer I bought a 1972 Schwinn Super Sport in good condition and with some minor tweaks (new handlebar tape, new brake cable), total cost was under $100. Point is, don't discount quality older bikes.
benihanna
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by benihanna »

keith6014 wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:26 am Since biking season is ending in the North East prices should be dropping.I am thinking about getting one.
When I was a kid, I rode a lot of BMX bikes and always wanted a higher end one such as Harro/GT/Redline, etc..But I didn't have :moneybag . I can afford one now. Maybe I am too old (late 30s) for them now.

Any good bike recommendation: 1) easy to maintain 2) prefer not to have gears because it adds complexity for maintenance. 3) easy to throw in the car and get it out. Ie durable 4) will be riding with my kids. Price rage up $500 (maybe a bit more).
I highly recommend hybrid bikes. More gears doesn't necessarily mean more maintenance, but if you are particularly averse, look for a 1x drivetrain. Rear gears are far more cooperative than front gears. I have a 1x8 which works amazingly well for urban cycling (I live in DC), between stop lights I often use the entire range. Hydraulic disc brakes are maintenance free but likely out of your price range. Avoid road/gravel bikes - drop bars make everything more complicated. Brifters are more expensive, less reliable, and more difficult to operate for someone coming from BMX/MTB.

Look for Giant Escape, Specialized Sirrus, Fuji Absolute, REI CTY, Cannondale Quick, etc. depending on who your preferred bike shop carries.
Elysium
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by Elysium »

At that price range ($500) it doesn't matter what you buy, just get the right size and get it from a shop you can get some local support. Low end bikes are all made in same factories using same materials over in China/Taiwan and then slapped the sticker/paint job for the company ordering them. Now, if you are buying a bike worth $5000 then there is a lot to discuss.
Andyrunner
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by Andyrunner »

As others said, bike demand was through the roof this summer, supply chain issues are also wrecking havoc on bike shops. Most shops I go to have little o to no stock right now. Any bike they got flies out the door.

If you can hold off till next year I'd say keep an eye out for the used market. In the meantime research what you want as far as gears, tire width, surfaces you would ride, how aggressive, etc.

As others said, more gearing doesn't mean more maintenance a seven speed requires just as much as an eleven speed. The maintenance actually more depends on what you do with the bike, ride road, gravel, dirt, etc.
chw
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by chw »

Trek FX hybrid might work, though it does have gears- I personally would rec gearing... I bought one one several years ago, and have found it to be a comfortable, and durable ride. Price should be in the range you’re looking in. Highly recommend getting fitted at bike shop to find the proper size bike for you.
dbr
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by dbr »

Tejfyy wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:20 pm I'd reconsider no gears unless you want to potentially damage your knees. I've had the same 24-gear hybrid bike since 1996. There's not much that goes wrong with it.
Agreed. Especially older people need to go easy on the joints and muscles by having having low enough gears to ride with low torque and higher cadence. (Translation: Peddle faster and not have to push so hard.) It is also less exhausting that way.

I ride a road bike with front and rear shifting across many speeds and agree it does not have to go to that degree, but you need something. It is true that it is worth spending a little more money to ensure quality. My bike has held up many years with routine annual attention at a bike shop. The only actual repair has been replacing the chain because chains do actually wear out.

By the way, that 63 gear inch single speed recommended above is almost exactly in the middle of my gear ranges and probably a very practical all purpose gearing, but I am very thankful for the lower gears on hills.
Last edited by dbr on Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
alfaspider
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by alfaspider »

Any hybrid you can get for $500 is going to be pretty mediocre. I happen to think all hybrids are inherently mediocre, but that's a different discussion.

If you like the idea of a single speed, I think that's probably the best option in this price range. You can pay for a better frame rather than shifting components. If you are somewhat handy, I might look at bikes direct:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... st-pro.htm

I have most main line brand bikes (Trek, Bianchi) and a couple of bikes direct bikes. While they won't impress bike aficionado, it's about the most bike you are going to get in this price range. While the bike shop bike recommendation may have some merit, anything sold by a small bike shop for $500 or less is going to be really low end. A lot of people have anchored pricing on bikes by the department store bikes they grew up on, but real (not toy) bikes have never been that cheap.

RE BMX- I wouldn't say that you are too old. It's just that BMX bikes are designed for BMX, which involves very short distance riding up and jumping. You'll fatigue rather quickly trying to go on a significant (more than a few blocks) ride on one. I'd only buy one if you actually have plans to ride on a BMX track.
alfaspider
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by alfaspider »

dbr wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:51 am
Tejfyy wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:20 pm I'd reconsider no gears unless you want to potentially damage your knees. I've had the same 24-gear hybrid bike since 1996. There's not much that goes wrong with it.
Agreed. Especially older people need to go easy on the joints and muscles by having having low enough gears to ride with low torque and higher cadence. (Translation: Peddle faster and not have to push so hard.) It is also less exhausting that way.
OP is late 30s, not late 60s. Unless OP already has knee issues, there's no health reason why they can't ride a single speed. I wouldn't recommend a single speed in San Francisco or Pittsburgh, but there's no reason why it won't work for relatively flat rides.
dbr
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by dbr »

alfaspider wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:04 am
dbr wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:51 am
Tejfyy wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:20 pm I'd reconsider no gears unless you want to potentially damage your knees. I've had the same 24-gear hybrid bike since 1996. There's not much that goes wrong with it.
Agreed. Especially older people need to go easy on the joints and muscles by having having low enough gears to ride with low torque and higher cadence. (Translation: Peddle faster and not have to push so hard.) It is also less exhausting that way.
OP is late 30s, not late 60s. Unless OP already has knee issues, there's no health reason why they can't ride a single speed. I wouldn't recommend a single speed in San Francisco or Pittsburgh, but there's no reason why it won't work for relatively flat rides.
I did note that gear ratio suggested is right in the middle of a typical road bike and likely a very good choice. I was trying to identify age but didn't find it right off. No doubt in a flat city you will find lots of single speed riders doing just fine.
Topic Author
keith6014
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

benihanna wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:51 am
keith6014 wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:26 am Since biking season is ending in the North East prices should be dropping.I am thinking about getting one.
When I was a kid, I rode a lot of BMX bikes and always wanted a higher end one such as Harro/GT/Redline, etc..But I didn't have :moneybag . I can afford one now. Maybe I am too old (late 30s) for them now.

Any good bike recommendation: 1) easy to maintain 2) prefer not to have gears because it adds complexity for maintenance. 3) easy to throw in the car and get it out. Ie durable 4) will be riding with my kids. Price rage up $500 (maybe a bit more).
I highly recommend hybrid bikes. More gears doesn't necessarily mean more maintenance, but if you are particularly averse, look for a 1x drivetrain. Rear gears are far more cooperative than front gears. I have a 1x8 which works amazingly well for urban cycling (I live in DC), between stop lights I often use the entire range. Hydraulic disc brakes are maintenance free but likely out of your price range. Avoid road/gravel bikes - drop bars make everything more complicated. Brifters are more expensive, less reliable, and more difficult to operate for someone coming from BMX/MTB.

Look for Giant Escape, Specialized Sirrus, Fuji Absolute, REI CTY, Cannondale Quick, etc. depending on who your preferred bike shop carries.
Thanks for the suggestion
Topic Author
keith6014
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

alfaspider wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:04 am
dbr wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:51 am
Tejfyy wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:20 pm I'd reconsider no gears unless you want to potentially damage your knees. I've had the same 24-gear hybrid bike since 1996. There's not much that goes wrong with it.
Agreed. Especially older people need to go easy on the joints and muscles by having having low enough gears to ride with low torque and higher cadence. (Translation: Peddle faster and not have to push so hard.) It is also less exhausting that way.
OP is late 30s, not late 60s. Unless OP already has knee issues, there's no health reason why they can't ride a single speed. I wouldn't recommend a single speed in San Francisco or Pittsburgh, but there's no reason why it won't work for relatively flat rides.
No knee problems as far as I know. I try not to spend too much time on them.
Topic Author
keith6014
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

Andyrunner wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:18 am As others said, bike demand was through the roof this summer, supply chain issues are also wrecking havoc on bike shops. Most shops I go to have little o to no stock right now. Any bike they got flies out the door.

If you can hold off till next year I'd say keep an eye out for the used market. In the meantime research what you want as far as gears, tire width, surfaces you would ride, how aggressive, etc.

As others said, more gearing doesn't mean more maintenance a seven speed requires just as much as an eleven speed. The maintenance actually more depends on what you do with the bike, ride road, gravel, dirt, etc.
yeah. i may hold off. keep my eyes open for a deal.
caffeperfavore
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by caffeperfavore »

No gears? Wanted a cool BMX bike when younger? Durable? Not too pricey?

Get a big wheel BMX bike! https://www.gtbicycles.com/usa_en/pro-performer-29

Image

This one is a bit north of your budget (Haro and others make cheaper ones) but it's pretty rad and you always wanted a GT.
Last edited by caffeperfavore on Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
lazydavid
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by lazydavid »

That's a hell of a lot of scratch for a BMX bike with no pegs, rotor/gyro, or even a front brake.
caffeperfavore
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by caffeperfavore »

lazydavid wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:56 am That's a hell of a lot of scratch for a BMX bike with no pegs, rotor/gyro, or even a front brake.
It's a small price to pay for one's childhood dreams. :)

This is just one example of the adult sized BMX bikes out there though. There are cheaper options.
dbr
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by dbr »

The real choice to make in bikes, aside from price, is versatility and riding position. Versatility ranges from road bikes with skinny tire, which are confined to good quality paved surfaces, up to fat tire bikes, which were originally developed to ride snow covered trails but are also at home in city biking. In between are bikes that can handle rougher surfaces moving on up to trails, mud, etc. Riding position goes from the extreme but actually very comfortable and efficient hunched over position of a road bike to completely upright with large padded sears on a "comfort" bike. Single speeds, by the way, can be essentially a road bike without gears, like the one in the post above. The traditional "Schwinn" bike is more like a comfort bike but with a three speed hub to help on hills. A factor across the spectrum is weight, which is both an issue in riding the bike on any hill at all or on rough ground, and also in lifting the bike for storing and transporting. There is a trail near me that has about forty steps up and down to access a bridge, but if you aren't willing to carry the bike you lose access to some of the best trails nearby. Of course you can load the bike in your car and drive over.

I think anyone looking for a bike should start by looking at where you are going to ride and then at what sort of design fits your body best. A large and comfortable bike is not usually the most comfortable and efficient in the end. I was on a team that did charity rides. We had this one guy that looked at the route and said "Only fifty miles today, so I'm gonna take the cruiser." https://www.beachbikes.net/collections/ ... iser-bikes He could ride a beach cruiser faster than most participants on the ride could ride a many speed road bike. https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/venturaseries.html On a longer day he would take a road bike and double back to make sure every day was a hundred mile day.
Topic Author
keith6014
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

alfaspider wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:54 am Any hybrid you can get for $500 is going to be pretty mediocre. I happen to think all hybrids are inherently mediocre, but that's a different discussion.

If you like the idea of a single speed, I think that's probably the best option in this price range. You can pay for a better frame rather than shifting components. If you are somewhat handy, I might look at bikes direct:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... st-pro.htm

I have most main line brand bikes (Trek, Bianchi) and a couple of bikes direct bikes. While they won't impress bike aficionado, it's about the most bike you are going to get in this price range. While the bike shop bike recommendation may have some merit, anything sold by a small bike shop for $500 or less is going to be really low end. A lot of people have anchored pricing on bikes by the department store bikes they grew up on, but real (not toy) bikes have never been that cheap.

RE BMX- I wouldn't say that you are too old. It's just that BMX bikes are designed for BMX, which involves very short distance riding up and jumping. You'll fatigue rather quickly trying to go on a significant (more than a few blocks) ride on one. I'd only buy one if you actually have plans to ride on a BMX track.
I am seriously thinking of Bikes Direct(BD). How is the quality?
stoptothink
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by stoptothink »

keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:33 pm
alfaspider wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:54 am Any hybrid you can get for $500 is going to be pretty mediocre. I happen to think all hybrids are inherently mediocre, but that's a different discussion.

If you like the idea of a single speed, I think that's probably the best option in this price range. You can pay for a better frame rather than shifting components. If you are somewhat handy, I might look at bikes direct:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... st-pro.htm

I have most main line brand bikes (Trek, Bianchi) and a couple of bikes direct bikes. While they won't impress bike aficionado, it's about the most bike you are going to get in this price range. While the bike shop bike recommendation may have some merit, anything sold by a small bike shop for $500 or less is going to be really low end. A lot of people have anchored pricing on bikes by the department store bikes they grew up on, but real (not toy) bikes have never been that cheap.

RE BMX- I wouldn't say that you are too old. It's just that BMX bikes are designed for BMX, which involves very short distance riding up and jumping. You'll fatigue rather quickly trying to go on a significant (more than a few blocks) ride on one. I'd only buy one if you actually have plans to ride on a BMX track.
I am seriously thinking of Bikes Direct(BD). How is the quality?
I've purchased 5 bikes from Bikesdirect. As a former bike snob who had a $6k TT bike in their stable, the "quality" is no different than a higher end bike. My daily rider for the past 7yrs has been a BD titanium cyclocross bike that I bought for less than half of what a similar bike from a name brand would have costed. No complaints.
Topic Author
keith6014
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Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:45 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:33 pm
alfaspider wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:54 am Any hybrid you can get for $500 is going to be pretty mediocre. I happen to think all hybrids are inherently mediocre, but that's a different discussion.

If you like the idea of a single speed, I think that's probably the best option in this price range. You can pay for a better frame rather than shifting components. If you are somewhat handy, I might look at bikes direct:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... st-pro.htm

I have most main line brand bikes (Trek, Bianchi) and a couple of bikes direct bikes. While they won't impress bike aficionado, it's about the most bike you are going to get in this price range. While the bike shop bike recommendation may have some merit, anything sold by a small bike shop for $500 or less is going to be really low end. A lot of people have anchored pricing on bikes by the department store bikes they grew up on, but real (not toy) bikes have never been that cheap.

RE BMX- I wouldn't say that you are too old. It's just that BMX bikes are designed for BMX, which involves very short distance riding up and jumping. You'll fatigue rather quickly trying to go on a significant (more than a few blocks) ride on one. I'd only buy one if you actually have plans to ride on a BMX track.
I am seriously thinking of Bikes Direct(BD). How is the quality?
I've purchased 5 bikes from Bikesdirect. As a former bike snob who had a $6k TT bike in their stable, the "quality" is no different than a higher end bike. My daily rider for the past 7yrs has been a BD titanium cyclocross bike that I bought for less than half of what a similar bike from a name brand would have costed. No complaints.
Thankyou. Your opinion mattered (eventhough you are a snob. :P ) !

I guess I am looking for a Hybrid bike(i think). I am 5"9. Any recommendation(s)?
alfaspider
Posts: 2993
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by alfaspider »

keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:01 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:45 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:33 pm
alfaspider wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:54 am Any hybrid you can get for $500 is going to be pretty mediocre. I happen to think all hybrids are inherently mediocre, but that's a different discussion.

If you like the idea of a single speed, I think that's probably the best option in this price range. You can pay for a better frame rather than shifting components. If you are somewhat handy, I might look at bikes direct:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... st-pro.htm

I have most main line brand bikes (Trek, Bianchi) and a couple of bikes direct bikes. While they won't impress bike aficionado, it's about the most bike you are going to get in this price range. While the bike shop bike recommendation may have some merit, anything sold by a small bike shop for $500 or less is going to be really low end. A lot of people have anchored pricing on bikes by the department store bikes they grew up on, but real (not toy) bikes have never been that cheap.

RE BMX- I wouldn't say that you are too old. It's just that BMX bikes are designed for BMX, which involves very short distance riding up and jumping. You'll fatigue rather quickly trying to go on a significant (more than a few blocks) ride on one. I'd only buy one if you actually have plans to ride on a BMX track.
I am seriously thinking of Bikes Direct(BD). How is the quality?
I've purchased 5 bikes from Bikesdirect. As a former bike snob who had a $6k TT bike in their stable, the "quality" is no different than a higher end bike. My daily rider for the past 7yrs has been a BD titanium cyclocross bike that I bought for less than half of what a similar bike from a name brand would have costed. No complaints.
Thankyou. Your opinion mattered (eventhough you are a snob. :P ) !

I guess I am looking for a Hybrid bike(i think). I am 5"9. Any recommendation(s)?
What are you looking to achieve with a hybrid that wouldn’t be better accomplished with a cyclocross bike?
Topic Author
keith6014
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:58 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

alfaspider wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:17 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:01 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:45 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:33 pm
alfaspider wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:54 am Any hybrid you can get for $500 is going to be pretty mediocre. I happen to think all hybrids are inherently mediocre, but that's a different discussion.

If you like the idea of a single speed, I think that's probably the best option in this price range. You can pay for a better frame rather than shifting components. If you are somewhat handy, I might look at bikes direct:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... st-pro.htm

I have most main line brand bikes (Trek, Bianchi) and a couple of bikes direct bikes. While they won't impress bike aficionado, it's about the most bike you are going to get in this price range. While the bike shop bike recommendation may have some merit, anything sold by a small bike shop for $500 or less is going to be really low end. A lot of people have anchored pricing on bikes by the department store bikes they grew up on, but real (not toy) bikes have never been that cheap.

RE BMX- I wouldn't say that you are too old. It's just that BMX bikes are designed for BMX, which involves very short distance riding up and jumping. You'll fatigue rather quickly trying to go on a significant (more than a few blocks) ride on one. I'd only buy one if you actually have plans to ride on a BMX track.
I am seriously thinking of Bikes Direct(BD). How is the quality?
I've purchased 5 bikes from Bikesdirect. As a former bike snob who had a $6k TT bike in their stable, the "quality" is no different than a higher end bike. My daily rider for the past 7yrs has been a BD titanium cyclocross bike that I bought for less than half of what a similar bike from a name brand would have costed. No complaints.
Thankyou. Your opinion mattered (eventhough you are a snob. :P ) !

I guess I am looking for a Hybrid bike(i think). I am 5"9. Any recommendation(s)?
What are you looking to achieve with a hybrid that wouldn’t be better accomplished with a cyclocross bike?
I am just finding out the difference between Mountain Bike and Hybrid. I had to google what cyclocross is.They have those handle bars which make it look serious and professional. I never considered one. Maybe I should.
I am looking for a bike I can ride with my kids in an urban and trail type setting. The trails can be paved and sometimes not payed. I also want a rugged bike -- I can just take off the front wheels and throw back of my truck.
stoptothink
Posts: 8180
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by stoptothink »

keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:27 pm
alfaspider wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:17 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:01 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:45 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:33 pm

I am seriously thinking of Bikes Direct(BD). How is the quality?
I've purchased 5 bikes from Bikesdirect. As a former bike snob who had a $6k TT bike in their stable, the "quality" is no different than a higher end bike. My daily rider for the past 7yrs has been a BD titanium cyclocross bike that I bought for less than half of what a similar bike from a name brand would have costed. No complaints.
Thankyou. Your opinion mattered (eventhough you are a snob. :P ) !

I guess I am looking for a Hybrid bike(i think). I am 5"9. Any recommendation(s)?
What are you looking to achieve with a hybrid that wouldn’t be better accomplished with a cyclocross bike?
I am just finding out the difference between Mountain Bike and Hybrid. I had to google what cyclocross is.They have those handle bars which make it look serious and professional. I never considered one. Maybe I should.
I am looking for a bike I can ride with my kids in an urban and trail type setting. The trails can be paved and sometimes not payed. I also want a rugged bike -- I can just take off the front wheels and throw back of my truck.
Gravel bike. Slightly less aggressive geometry than a cyclocross bike. Your description is exactly my use; at least 75% of my riding on this bike has been done with a trailer attached, pulling one or both of my kids around town.
Topic Author
keith6014
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:58 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

When did all these bike types come up? When i was growing up we just had "BMX", "Mountain", "Racing" and "Old Lady" type bikes. :D Or did they always exist and me and my friends were just ignorant? :-)
onourway
Posts: 2622
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by onourway »

keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:34 pm When did all these bike types come up? When i was growing up we just had "BMX", "Mountain", "Racing" and "Old Lady" type bikes. :D Or did they always exist and me and my friends were just ignorant? :-)
No, there are way more sub categories of bikes today than when you were a kid. That said, most of the categories of bikes back then were more flexible than today because they weren’t so narrowly defined to a specific purpose.

If you are looking to spend $500, a gravel bike isn’t in your budget. At most shops the only thing they’ll have is a low end hybrid or mountain bike. Either one of which will be fine for your stated use. Avoid bikes with suspension at this price point as it’ll just add a bunch of weight for virtually no advantage.
stoptothink
Posts: 8180
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by stoptothink »

onourway wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:48 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:34 pm When did all these bike types come up? When i was growing up we just had "BMX", "Mountain", "Racing" and "Old Lady" type bikes. :D Or did they always exist and me and my friends were just ignorant? :-)
If you are looking to spend $500, a gravel bike isn’t in your budget. At most shops the only thing they’ll have is a low end hybrid or mountain bike. Either one of which will be fine for your stated use. Avoid bikes with suspension at this price point as it’ll just add a bunch of weight for virtually no advantage.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... -bikes.htm At some point it will come back in stock.
Topic Author
keith6014
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:58 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:58 pm
onourway wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:48 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:34 pm When did all these bike types come up? When i was growing up we just had "BMX", "Mountain", "Racing" and "Old Lady" type bikes. :D Or did they always exist and me and my friends were just ignorant? :-)
If you are looking to spend $500, a gravel bike isn’t in your budget. At most shops the only thing they’ll have is a low end hybrid or mountain bike. Either one of which will be fine for your stated use. Avoid bikes with suspension at this price point as it’ll just add a bunch of weight for virtually no advantage.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... -bikes.htm At some point it will come back in stock.
Thankyou!
onourway
Posts: 2622
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by onourway »

keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:10 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:58 pm
onourway wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:48 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:34 pm When did all these bike types come up? When i was growing up we just had "BMX", "Mountain", "Racing" and "Old Lady" type bikes. :D Or did they always exist and me and my friends were just ignorant? :-)
If you are looking to spend $500, a gravel bike isn’t in your budget. At most shops the only thing they’ll have is a low end hybrid or mountain bike. Either one of which will be fine for your stated use. Avoid bikes with suspension at this price point as it’ll just add a bunch of weight for virtually no advantage.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... -bikes.htm At some point it will come back in stock.
Thankyou!
Do consider that a bike bought online will need to be assembled. Your safety is highly dependent on doing this correctly, and your enjoyment depends on getting it adjusted properly. If you can’t do this yourself, a shop is likely to charge another $100 or so to do it for you.

I’ve been riding “gravel” bikes for at least 25 years before there ever was a name for them, and cyclocross bikes since our options were converting an old touring frame or importing a one-off from Europe. That is to say they are by far my favorite category of bike. They are, however, not necessarily the best first bike for someone who hasn’t ridden a bike at all in decades and may not ever ride more than very casually. Even though the position is more upright than a road bike, it is still likely to be uncomfortable for a new rider for quite some time - and never really be comfortable unless you get to riding 30+ miles a week.

Hybrid bikes are not at all popular among “serious” cyclists, however they exist because they are generally designed so a new rider can hop on and feel reasonably comfortable right away, and they are good enough on most surfaces so long as you aren’t dead set on doing it fast.

This is all to say, it’s worth a trip to a shop to ride a few different things before buying something completely off the cuff online. :beer
Topic Author
keith6014
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:58 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

onourway wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:24 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:10 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:58 pm
onourway wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:48 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:34 pm When did all these bike types come up? When i was growing up we just had "BMX", "Mountain", "Racing" and "Old Lady" type bikes. :D Or did they always exist and me and my friends were just ignorant? :-)
If you are looking to spend $500, a gravel bike isn’t in your budget. At most shops the only thing they’ll have is a low end hybrid or mountain bike. Either one of which will be fine for your stated use. Avoid bikes with suspension at this price point as it’ll just add a bunch of weight for virtually no advantage.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... -bikes.htm At some point it will come back in stock.
Thankyou!
Do consider that a bike bought online will need to be assembled. Your safety is highly dependent on doing this correctly, and your enjoyment depends on getting it adjusted properly. If you can’t do this yourself, a shop is likely to charge another $100 or so to do it for you.

I’ve been riding “gravel” bikes for at least 25 years before there ever was a name for them, and cyclocross bikes since our options were converting an old touring frame or importing a one-off from Europe. That is to say they are by far my favorite category of bike. They are, however, not necessarily the best first bike for someone who hasn’t ridden a bike at all in decades and may not ever ride more than very casually. Even though the position is more upright than a road bike, it is still likely to be uncomfortable for a new rider for quite some time - and never really be comfortable unless you get to riding 30+ miles a week.

Hybrid bikes are not at all popular among “serious” cyclists, however they exist because they are generally designed so a new rider can hop on and feel reasonably comfortable right away, and they are good enough on most surfaces so long as you aren’t dead set on doing it fast.

This is all to say, it’s worth a trip to a shop to ride a few different things before buying something completely off the cuff online. :beer
I am handy with bikes. Atleast the old BMX and mountain type.
I am not a serious cyclist. I am thinking more about gravel and cyclocross now. Maybe thats what I want. I will certainly goto a bike store next week and try out a few.
stoptothink
Posts: 8180
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by stoptothink »

onourway wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:24 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:10 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:58 pm
onourway wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:48 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:34 pm When did all these bike types come up? When i was growing up we just had "BMX", "Mountain", "Racing" and "Old Lady" type bikes. :D Or did they always exist and me and my friends were just ignorant? :-)
If you are looking to spend $500, a gravel bike isn’t in your budget. At most shops the only thing they’ll have is a low end hybrid or mountain bike. Either one of which will be fine for your stated use. Avoid bikes with suspension at this price point as it’ll just add a bunch of weight for virtually no advantage.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... -bikes.htm At some point it will come back in stock.
Thankyou!
Do consider that a bike bought online will need to be assembled. Your safety is highly dependent on doing this correctly, and your enjoyment depends on getting it adjusted properly. If you can’t do this yourself, a shop is likely to charge another $100 or so to do it for you.
BD bikes come almost completely assembled. I am comically mechanically challenged and have had no issues doing final assembly on all 5 that I have purchased (2 for wife, one each of my kids, and my cyclocross bike). I am definitely not anti-bike shop, I'm on a first name basis with my local shop, but the price differential for very similar bikes is just insane.
AnEngineer
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:05 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by AnEngineer »

If you want less maintenance, consider something with a belt drive. But that would be hard to get on a new $500 bike and probably unnecessary for a 'new' cyclist.
alfaspider
Posts: 2993
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by alfaspider »

keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:27 pm
alfaspider wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:17 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:01 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:45 pm
keith6014 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:33 pm

I am seriously thinking of Bikes Direct(BD). How is the quality?
I've purchased 5 bikes from Bikesdirect. As a former bike snob who had a $6k TT bike in their stable, the "quality" is no different than a higher end bike. My daily rider for the past 7yrs has been a BD titanium cyclocross bike that I bought for less than half of what a similar bike from a name brand would have costed. No complaints.
Thankyou. Your opinion mattered (eventhough you are a snob. :P ) !

I guess I am looking for a Hybrid bike(i think). I am 5"9. Any recommendation(s)?
What are you looking to achieve with a hybrid that wouldn’t be better accomplished with a cyclocross bike?
I am just finding out the difference between Mountain Bike and Hybrid. I had to google what cyclocross is.They have those handle bars which make it look serious and professional. I never considered one. Maybe I should.
I am looking for a bike I can ride with my kids in an urban and trail type setting. The trails can be paved and sometimes not payed. I also want a rugged bike -- I can just take off the front wheels and throw back of my truck.
A general summary of bike types (there are many more sub-types):

Mountain bike: wide tires (2-4 inches) and designed primarily to be ridden on trails. Flat handlebars. Tires have tread that allows for better grip on dirt/sand but will add rolling resistance on pavement. Geometry is "slack" meaning more weight is on your seat and less is on your hands. There are subtypes of mountain bikes ranging from downhill (very slack geometry and very heavy), to XC (less slack geometry, lighter weight and narrower tires- designed for speed on less rugged terrain).

BMX Bike: very small frame and small wheels of similar width to the narrower mountain bike tires. Riser handlebars and very low seating position, typically single speed. Designed for jumping over dirt mounds and very short races on a dirt track.

Hybrid Bike: Similar geometry to a mountain bike with slightly narrower tires, typically with moderate tread pattern. Flat handlebars typically with a riser stem (so they are higher up). Typically marketed towards beginner cyclists. One reason is that the slack geometry is less fit sensitive, which means they can be offered in fewer sizes (often sjust mall/medium/large) rather than the half dozen or more for road bikes.

Beach Cruiser: Very slack geometry with high handlebars, wide tires (2-3inch) without tread. Typically heavy and single speed.

"Dutch" bike: Think Grandma's bike (I've heard the Dutch sometimes even call them granny bikes). Heavy step-through frame, chain guards, mild riser handlebars, slack geometry, medium tires without tread. What you typically see ridden around Amsterdam. Designed for short rides in the city wearing office clothing.

Road bike: Designed for speed and comfort on roads. Tires range from 23mm to 32mm and typically do not have tread). "Rams horn" style handlebars that allow more variation in hand position on longer rides. Geometry can vary from aggressive race (very leaned forward for decreased wind resistance) to "comfort" (less leaned forward and stretched out for comfort).

Cyclocross bike: Originally developed for a particular type of race that involves riding over obstacles and muddy trails. Tires have moderate trea. "Rams horn" handlebars as a road bike. Essentially a road bike that has been beefed up to handle more abuse and with wider tires.

Gravel bike: Essentially a cyclocross bike, but with more slack geometry.

Time trial bike: A very aggressive road bike designed for straight line speed over handling. Typically uses "aero bars" to allow the rider's back to be almost parallel to the ground. Generally only used for competition and training for it.

Triathlon bike: Basically same as a time trial bike but just a touch less aggressive geometry to account for the typically longer distances in Triathlon as compared to time trials.

To those who wonder about the increase in types: Yes, the types and subtypes have proliferated over the years as technology has developed and designs have refined. But all these types and sub-types are mostly playing with a few different variables: tire width, tire tread, geometry, handlebar style. One thing that beginners wrongly assume is that a bike with very slack geometry and a very large seat (i.e. a beach cruiser style) will be the most comfortable. This may be true for very short rides, but as rides get longer, you will experience the most comfort with your weight evenly distributed between your hands, feet and seat. Likewise, a wide seat seems more comfortable at first, but will chafe as you ride longer distances. Additionally, a more slack geometry will put your leg muscles at a mechanical disadvantage, causing quicker fatigue.

In general, for a relatively young person who is looking for an all around bike, I typically recommend a cyclocross or gravel style bike- single speed if budget is low and terrain is flat. The drop bars are more comfortable than flat bars and the geometry is set up well to keep you comfortable over longer rides while keeping your body in a reasonably efficient position. They are typically rugged and will allow things like curb jumping without knocking a wheel out of true, but aren't as compromised for road use or as heavy as a mountain bike. "Hybrids" are less intimidating to non-riders with the more familiar flat bars, but don't really offer any practical benefits over a cyclocross or gravel bike. If you and/or your family decide to get into cycling more seriously (longer rides, events, etc.) a good cyclocross/gravel bike won't hold you back like a hybrid will.
caffeperfavore
Posts: 367
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by caffeperfavore »

OP, you mentioned cyclocross or gravel bikes. Of the two, I would steer you towards gravel bikes (even though I own a cyclocross bike) as they are more versatile and comfortable. Cyclocross it kind of an oddball niche, designed for a very specific type of racing. Bike geometries tend to be more aggressive (or less comfortable) and there's restrictions on how wide your tires can be (if they adhere to UCI cyclocross rules). Meanwhile gravel bikes are typically made to accommodate a range of tire sizes and you can put on some pretty wide ones on if you want, which is a nice option, and typically have the ability to add fenders, panniers, bags, etc. Again, giving you more options down the road. If I were to buy only one bike, it would be a gravel bike as they come the closest to being able to do it all.

However, based on what you've said so far, I'm not sure either is the best option for you and you'll be hard pressed to find anything in the $500 range. If you're tooling around with kids, I think a good used hybrid/fitness or commuter type flat bar bike is right up your alley. Note that hybrids vary a lot from dorky, wide seat, gas pipe framed rides (which is fine for their purpose) to fast carbon fiber framed bikes, essentially road bikes with flat bars.

Even vintage 80s/early 90s steel mountain bikes might be a good option. Some bike nerds have been snapping them up for the good frames and turning them into commuter bikes, etc. I've seen some good examples on my local Craigslist for $300-400.

You don't need to spend a ton of money to tool around with the kids... assuming your kids aren't bombing down technical mountain trails or road racing.

[Edit: I see alfaspider has given you a different take on this and provides a good rationale for it. So consider this a different perspective based on a different set of assumptions. I assume that you just need something to tool around with for now and if you want to start getting more serious, then that would be time for a new bike once you know what you want to do - and maybe tooling around the neighborhood is it, and that's fine. alfaspider is thinking more long-term, and future proofing the options, which may not be a bad way to go either. It really depends on what you want to do with the bike and where you want to ride.]
alfaspider
Posts: 2993
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by alfaspider »

caffeperfavore wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:58 am .

Even vintage 80s/early 90s steel mountain bikes might be a good option. Some bike nerds have been snapping them up for the good frames and turning them into commuter bikes, etc. I've seen some good examples on my local Craigslist for $300-400.
My concern with vintage bikes is the typically higher maintenance of quill stems and lose bearings (non sealed cartridges). Also, the cantilever brakes and steel wheels common in that era can be downright terrifying if it rains. I converted a mid-range 80s 10 speed into a single speed for commuting and ended up replacing almost everything (wheels, tires, crank, stem, handlebars, pedals) to the point it cost as much as a newer model. A less experienced rider may not be able to tell the difference from a high quality bike for the era and a poor quality department store special.

Stories like this are likely not uncommon for buyers of vintage bikes:

https://jalopnik.com/i-finally-took-my- ... 1844773918
KlangFool
Posts: 17358
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by KlangFool »

https://www.amazon.com/Dahon-Folding-Bi ... B071FP6WNS

OP,


You may want to look at Dahon Mariner folding bike. You can get them used for less than $300 from Craig list. They are around 30 pounds and you can fold them and put them into your car trunk.


KlangFool
Topic Author
keith6014
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:58 pm

Re: Bike Recommendation

Post by keith6014 »

Thanks for the fantastic explanation.

Went to my local Trek store. The guy mentioned at my price range I should consider a AL2 but I need to wait until February to get shipments. They had bikes there for $10k+ mind you.

Bikes Direct is looking better.
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