Finding Gary a new bike!

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  1. #1

    Finding Gary a new bike!

    MR. Evil was kind enough to offer me help on buying a new bike via PM but i thought it would be more fun to do it out in the public forum.

    So, we've determined my 15 YO Schwinn is an embarrassment to be seen on and as i want to get back into more biking perhaps this is a good time to get a new one.



    Most of my riding has been with family and neighbors on the Monroe Rail to Trail path (http://www.bikekinetix.com/t_ct/ct_rail/monroe_rt.php). At the end of the R to T in Newtown there is a woodsy section of single track which i get a kick out of too. I used to ride a bit in Trumbull in the Pequonnock Woods (http://www.nemba.org/ridingzone/Trumbull.html) but the group i ride with these days don't enjoy that type of riding and i'm not one for going alone.

    I'm looking to take my son to MT Snow soon and will rent there as i don't think i'll get a new bike immediately. Not sure if downhill stuff @ a mountain will be something I do a lot of and renting on those occasions may be my strategy.

    I'd like to get back to riding areas like the trumbull woods. I'm not interesting in jumping off cliffs or large boulders and don't envision myself riding in conditions that warrant full motocross-style padding.

    So, i guess the bike i'm looking for is a 2008 version of what my Schwinn was back in the day. From reading other posts and a few web sites i'm thinking a hard tail is right for me, no need for the full suspension for what i'll be doing. Is $500 a reasonable budget to get something decent?

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    I would bump that up to at least $1000. Get a decent hard tail with front suspension. I'm not that current with what brands are offering what these day and I'm sure others will chime with that. Do go to a bike shop and ride a $500 bike and then ride a $1000+ bike. You'll notice the difference.
    Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly.

  3. #3
    i second wa-loaf's opinoin. anything around $500 is really gonna be crap componentry and frame materials. I know Trek b/c that's what I sell. you should at something in the 6000 range, maybe the 6000 itself or the 6500. Both of those should be under $1000, and are decent bikes.
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  4. #4
    $500 bucks for a bike at a bike shop will not get you much. However you could spend that same amount and get a lot more bike if you didn't mind buying from the internet.

    www.ibexbikes.com

    also check out http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=105

    This is where I purchased my current bike from. I paid a little over $1000 and got a bike you couldn't find for $1800 to $2000 at a bike shop. The frame on my bike is also the SAME frame (made by the same people) as a frame on a fancy boutique brands bike (Azonic). Yet my complete bike cost only $200 more than Azonic sells the same frame for.

    Whats the catch, right? This company sells direct to the customer and cuts out the middle man (the bike shop) and the middle mans mark up. The average MSRP on a bike in a shop if about 40% to 60% above what the shop purchased it for. The only risk is you cannot try the bike before you buy. But if the bike deosn't fit you can return it or exchane it for a different size. I will admit this is not an option for everyone. I can't wait for the bike snobs to read this

    A couple of brands sold in shops that are nice are Kona and Jamis. Kona's are just great bikes that are really tought and Jamis consistantly offers great bike with good specs at prices lower then the competition. I would recomend that you stay away from Specialized, there bikes are WAY over priced for what you get. They currently have the big name in Mountain biking and make you pay through the nose get have there name painted in your bikes frame. But to be real, and bike brand sold in a bike shop is going to be just fine. For the most part all bikes at a given price point all use roughly the same componets give or take. Then you have to take into account that 99% of all the bike frames in the world are made by one of 3 factories in Taiwan. And this include all the big brands sold in bike shops. The only exception are some of the really high end bikes sold by the major brands. Some of these brands still make SOME of the high end stuff in house. And by high end I am refering to a bike starting at $3000.


    Good luck
    Tim

  5. #5
    however, when you do buy from a shop, you then have a service relationship with the shop. A bike bought from a shop comes assembled, usually comes with a certain number of free adjustments/tune ups, etc. And I would stay away from EMS.
    my photo site.
    Frigid Light.

  6. #6
    bvibert's Avatar
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    IMHO $500 will get a plenty decent bike, more than capable of doing the type of riding you're talking about.
    Brian

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bvibert View Post
    IMHO $500 will get a plenty decent bike, more than capable of doing the type of riding you're talking about.
    Hi Brian. Can you be specific with some examples? point me in the general direction of some different bikes/models?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by gmcunni View Post
    Hi Brian. Can you be specific with some examples? point me in the general direction of some different bikes/models?
    It's really hard to point someone to a particular model or another. Bikes all have slightly different geometry dependent on the frame size and shape, length of the stem, headset hight and handlebars. And will fit and ride differently. Find a good local bike shop (no Costcos or any other chain store) try out many bikes in your price range (and a few above it) and then make your decision. If you narrow it down to a couple choices and present them here I think you'll get a lot of feedback on wether the brand is quality or not. Unless you are a good do-it-your-selfer with bikes and can do your own repairs and tune-ups, you should start a relationship with the shop you buy it from. They'll be more than happy to help you with fit issues, tune-ups (many shops offer classes on how to do your own) and repairs (a six pack can get a lot done).

    Also, I think if your kid is starting to get into mtn biking and you want to keep up you should think about bumping up to the next price level. The higher end bike's will stretch out body position more, which makes for better handling off road, but is less comfortable for cruising on the rail trails. Just something else to keep in consideration.
    Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by wa-loaf View Post
    Find a good local bike shop (no Costcos or any other chain store) try out many bikes in your price range (and a few above it) and then make your decision.
    Perhaps that is part of my issue, not being much of a rider, i don't know of "good" shops locally. But, as i'm not in a huge rush, i can start checking out local shops and try to figure out who's good vs. not.

  10. #10
    bvibert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcunni View Post
    Perhaps that is part of my issue, not being much of a rider, i don't know of "good" shops locally. But, as i'm not in a huge rush, i can start checking out local shops and try to figure out who's good vs. not.
    That's the approach that I'd take. Try checking out www.crankfire.com, you might be able to get some recommendations for a good shop in your area there.
    Brian

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