new bike

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by atomship47, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. atomship47

    atomship47 New Member

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    bike ownership is like boat ownership. i bought my first boat 11 years ago and immediately came down with a case of "2 foot-itis." traded it in for a bigger boat the next season, and so on.

    well, i find myself shopping for a new bike. i've been spending time visiting bike shops.

    i'm pretty overwhelmed with all the options. here are some very basic questions;

    i ride for fun/exercise. however, i'm itching to get into charity rides (and who knows what will happen from there). mostly, i ride out on country roads away from the crowds and cars. however, i do enjoy the occasional dirt and gravel path (i took my first mtb-type ride this w/e - it was tough but exhilirating). for these reasons, i'm still pretty sold on a hybrid or comfort bike. later, i plan on getting into the road bike market.

    long-winded post already...sorry for that.

    so, i'm lost. i've looked at some $250 schwinns that seem comfortable. i've seen a few gt's and giants that feel good, and the price starts to double. thing is, from short little rides around the shops, i can't tell much of a difference in these bikes. i guess its just due to inexperience. so, what i'm wondering is, besides weight and "fit," what should i be looking at "component-wise?" what components are higher quality and which one's do the lower end bike makers "skimp on?" what do i look for in rims? i've noticed most bikes under $500 have some version of shimano deraillers/shifting systems. does shimano make higher-end parts or should i look to other mfr's?

    i want to put a new bike on my xmas list but i don't know what to even ask for. help please!
     
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  2. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

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    Shimano makes all levels of components.

    If you do a search, you are likely to find someone who lists the hierarchy of components... but for us recreational riders, it is probably not too critical.

    In general though, if you buy from a reputable company's line (Trek, Giant, etc.) you will be fine. I spent about $360 a few years ago on my Giant Sedona DX, and it has done well for a couple of thousand miles, including 2.5 organized metric centuries, and many solo rides of varying lengths...

    Almost all bikes at that level have front shocks, and I just recently replaced mine with a rigid and love it on the road. Other than that, and semi-slick tires, it is functionally the same as when I bought it. My thought here is that if you have

    If I were to replace it today, I might look at a bike with 700c wheels/tires, but would also still consider the 26 inchers. Either way would be good for road riding with an occasional light trail.

    It is hard to tell about a bike with a short test ride, but trust what you feel. If you really prefer one, it is probably the right choice. If it doesn't feel quite right, let the shop know, and they may adjust something to get it to where you like it better. SOme of it is about the bike, some of it is a simple case of adjustment.

    As far as level of components, I would trust what most manufacturers put on their comfort bikes in the $350+ price range... Mine has Shimano Alivio (which is pretty low in the Shimano line) and it has been flawless for 3 years.
     
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