New to cycling, looking to buy my first bike


New Member
Nov 17, 2016
Hello All,

First time posting and I apologize in advance as I'm sure you all get this question multiple times a day. In short, i'm looking to get into cycling and I want some feedback on what bike to purchase.

Background: I'm a 36 year old male and I like to get outdoors to exercise, however, running to taking a toll on my knee and hips so I've thought of using cycling as a way to get exercise, stay fit, and still be outside. Confession, I haven't ridden a bike since I was around 12 years old when I rode one to school. I know nothing about brands, quality of parts, styles, etc. I plan to primarily ride on paved trails and paths. I don't see myself going offroad much, so I know I don't need a pure mountain bike. I've gone to a few local stores in my city and am considering a few bikes that I'd like some feedback on. Again, I don't know much about what brands are quality brands, the differences between shifters X vs shifters Y on different models, so your help is appreciated. I should also maybe mention that I'm tall, 6'5-6'6 so a made in my size has been an issue as well. Finally, as i'm new to this and not sure it will stick, i'm not looking to drop a ton of money on a new hobby that may not pan out, so i'm looking around the $550 price point. So here are a few I've seen at stores:

Trek FX 2

Specialized Crosstrail Disc

These are the only two bikes i've been able to find big enough for me. There are others that I suppose I could order, such as the Cannondale Quick 7, but I like to see and ride before I buy.

So between the Trek and the Specialized, for my purposes which would you pick and why? Are there that many places I could ride the Specialized that I couldn't take the Trek? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both? Remember that at this point almost all of my riding will be on pavement. Would the specialized, while being fine for that, be a good bit slower nonetheless?

Anything else I should be looking at around that price point?
I appreciate any and all feedback!


Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2003
Generally speaking, brand of bike doesn't mean that much these days. Equally priced bikes from different brands will be somewhat different from each other rather than decidedly better or poorer.
Between the ones you suggest it's a tough call. The Spec has disc brakes, which is nice, but not required. More consistent braking in poor weather, less hand effort for a given amount of braking.
OTOH, they're Tektros, which is a budget brand, if I'm being generous.
It also has a sus fork, which you don't really need, and also a fairly budget version.
In total I think I'd advice against the Spec. The parts that might make it look good are such low-end units that they might not be an advantage at all.


Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
I plan to primarily ride on paved trails and paths.

Lifetime athlete / runner? Like to work up a sweat and get in the zone? Somewhat performance oriented?

My 2 cents worth?

Buy a drop bar road bike. On a budget, something like a TREK 1.1 at $770 MSRP. Probably out the door at around $725 or so. Similar bikes from other manufacturers will differ in details and price, but be pretty much equivalent to each other as dabac said. TREK, Spesh, Cannondale, Giant, Fuji...all will have very competitive models offered at the same price points as the other guys. One might have an upgraded this or that and the next manufacturer will counter with a higher line of derailleurs or crankset or wheels. There will be tradeoffs that only you can evaluate to suit what you think your needs will be.

If you plan on using the bike as a genuine fitness program, the road bike is, IMO, the way to go. This is not to suggest your choices will not work or that other types of bikes can not be used for's just that the traditional road bike offers a good balance of efficient position, responsive handling, ergonomics that work well for an athlete crossing over from running, etc.

Of the two flat bar bikes you linked, the TREK is probably going to be the faster and the Spesh is going to be the more forgiving over rough pavement. The Spesh will require a bit more energy unless the fork has a lockout option. It's also going to be a bit heavier and again that means a bit more power is required to get it up hills.

Flat bar bikes can certainly be used to work out on.


Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
NE Indiana
You said you were not going to ride off road so do not get the bike with the shock fork even if it does lock out because cheap suspension forks weigh a lot and they fail a lot, in addition they're expensive which means they had to reduce the quality of the components and or frame to get the bike to fit a certain price point.

Of the bikes you showed the Cannondale has better components than the Trek. Diamondback Trace has a model with a rigid fork for about $600 at Dicks Sporting stores which offers more bike for the money than either of the bikes you mentioned.

If you have a Giant retailer near you might be able to get last year's Giant Cross City 0 Disc on sale, it might cost more but it's a really nice bike.