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I need a bike. Any bicyclists?

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
I'm in need of a commuter bike (I imagine that's what I need). Work is only about 2.5 miles away so a bike would be pretty ideal to get to work, and I could exercise without going out of my way to exercise.

But, I don't know anything about bikes. I don't know about what I should know. I haven't ridden a bike in years (though I'm sure I could do it easily). All I've heard is that I should get a commuter bike, and I originally thought $150-200 is reasonable.

*EDIT* I made the $150-200 claim because my friend (an avid cyclist/triathlete) said that she wouldn't spend more than $300 on a bike if she were in my shoes (ie, haven't cycled in years). My budget is flexible, but I don't want to spend more than $300-350. Would a bike in that range get me something that's worth keeping?

I will not be riding the BART. My apartment is 2.5 miles away from work. I'm not entirely sure what I'll be using the bike for besides work. Right now I have no plans to use it for anything except to get to/from work. If I do ride somewhere with it besides the commute, it will probably be on a road as opposed to dirt.

I live in Berkeley, so there are some bike shops around, though I could use recommendations on that. Any tips on what I should look for and any info I might find useful would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I really appreciate it.
post #2 of 106
I ride a 2001 Gary Fisher Tassajara to work. DO about 12 miles daily. ITs a mountain bike which i liek to take on trails during the weekend. I got it used off off craigslist.

If you are interested in a road bike and a new one at that, then you might want to try Schwinn Varsity in Walmart, decent components (for the price mind you). About 150 or thereabouts. Else you can go n craiglist and try your luck.
post #3 of 106
I would not get a road bike (drop handles) if you are only going to use it for city commuting and if you are not a serious biker. Straight handle bars are much more convenient for city use.

What you should be looking for if you want a simple bike :
- straight handlebar
- v brakes
- no suspension in the front fork
- lightweight

One example : the Giant Cypress ST :

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...le/1268/29335/
post #4 of 106
Trek bikes are pretty good, IMO... You can get one of their entry-level 820 and they'll work nicely and still fall in your price range.
post #5 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by pennylane View Post
$150-200 is reasonable.

I live in Berkeley, so there are some bike shops around, though I could use recommendations on that. Any tips on what I should look for and any info I might find useful would be greatly appreciated.
I think you're in for a little sticker shock, for something that's not crap double the price.
I bought my bikes at "The Pedaler" in El Sobrante, 10 minutes north of Berkeley.
http://www.theped.com/
I've tried the "Missing Link" in Berkeley, but they seem to have an attitude.
Biggest piece of "useful" advice: Get a perfect fit. A good deal for a bike that doesn't fit is a total waste later on.
The Pedaler folks will fit and set you up, hopefully within your budget.

Warning: bicycling can be addicting, "sorry about your wallet."
post #6 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin74 View Post
I think you're in for a little sticker shock, for something that's not crap double the price.
I bought my bikes at "The Pedaler" in El Sobrante, 10 minutes north of Berkeley.
http://www.theped.com/
I've tried the "Missing Link" in Berkeley, but they seem to have an attitude.
Biggest piece of "useful" advice: Get a perfect fit. A good deal for a bike that doesn't fit is a total waste later on.
The Pedaler folks will fit and set you up, hopefully within your budget.

Warning: bicycling can be addicting, "sorry about your wallet."
How much is a little sticker shock? I've heard some people say that $300 should be pretty good, and others say I shouldn't spend more than $300 given my current lack of experience.
post #7 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassheadJazz View Post
Trek bikes are pretty good, IMO... You can get one of their entry-level 820 and they'll work nicely and still fall in your price range.
i will second the trek had mine for a couple of years 7300 but like someone
mentioned fit is almost everything and i would bump the budget they don't
start getting good till about 350.00.
post #8 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by pennylane View Post
How much is a little sticker shock? I've heard some people say that $300 should be pretty good, and others say I shouldn't spend more than $300 given my current lack of experience.
Let's put thing in head-fi perspective. Starting out I thought $49 MDR-EX70s were expensive (why pay more?), until I heard the E3cs for $179, until I heard the E500s for $499.

Your on head-fi therefore you're a gear-head, therefore you know you get what you pay for. Do you want plumbing pipe, chrome-moly, Al, Ti, or Carbon fiber? Less than $300 will get you a good K-Mart bike that will be broken in 6-months, but you won't need a good lock because no one will want to steal it.

Think $500 or go to the Ashby Station Flea (fence) market.
post #9 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Less than $300 will get you a good K-Mart bike that will be broken in 6-months
I've heard that exact phrase before, except with $100 instead of $300.
post #10 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by pennylane View Post
I've heard that exact phrase before, except with $100 instead of $300.
You are right, I stand corrected.
http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/search_10...&gobutton=find
post #11 of 106
I kinda disgree. I got my Gary Fisher for 200 bucks off off craigslist about a month ago and already have about 300 miles on it inclluding about 40 miles of trail ride. Overall, i am very pleased with the purchase.
post #12 of 106
get into bmx.. or get into mtb freeride and buy a kona stinky

post #13 of 106
will you be taking the BART? will you be into cycling outside of work commutes? etc etc various factors 150 - 200 isn't very realistic maybe if you buy second hand but even then... if you're starved for space a folder would be a good idea, mountain bikes are very comfortable and easy to ride, single speeds are fun and road bikes are quick and nimble, depending on your budget giant, trek, gary fisher, cannondale make excellent commuter bikes, if you're looking for folders to carry on the BART dahon and swift make some highly acclaimed models, what i recommend is go a little over your budget and get something good, don't do what i did and try to pinch pennies, get addicted to cycling then waste a whole bunch of money in the end selling and upgrading

just my 2 cents
post #14 of 106
oh i forgot to mention, if you buy brand new you can always ask if they have previous year models, the often offer hugh discounts for those
post #15 of 106
Thread Starter 
ueyteuor

That picture is huge. Could you put a smaller one in? It's screwing with my browsing. Thanks.
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