Noob looking for advice on bike purchase

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by miyagisan, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. miyagisan

    miyagisan New Member

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    Hello. I have flat feet so I need a new form of exercise before I get any fatter! So I'm looking for a bike to suit my needs. It will be for cardio exercise and commuting around campus. I always hated the straight handlebars on my bikes when I was a kid, so I'm leaning towards road bikes. Lightweight would also be nice as I'll be living in a dorm when I transfer schools. I'm a broke college student so I'm looking to spend no more than $250 (not much, I know).

    I've considered these, but I don't know anything about bikes

    http://www.amazon.com/Men%2592s-Schwinn-700C-Prelude-Road/dp/B000KZ1GHQ/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1204834368&sr=1-10

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4698938

    By the way, I'm 5'6"

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    At less than $200, the bikes you listed are a good deal. Although frame size might be an issue for you at 5'-6". The WalMart bike has a 55cm seat tube and top tube, which typically equates to someone around 5'-9". The Amazon bike doesn't even list a size, so I would be hesitant to purchase it as well.

    To determine your optimal frame size, you would really benefit from a bike fitting at a local bike shop. That costs money that it seems you're probably not willing to spend, so instead check out some of the online bike fitting guides here:
    http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit
    or here for a more detailed fitting:
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO

    If you can find a new bike in your frame size, at your price point, list it here and we'll give our recommendation. Your better option might be to educate yourself regarding what is/isn't a quality bike or components, and then purchase a used bike from your local classifieds, local craigslist, or eBay.
     
  3. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Rules of thumb for fit:

    *You need an inch between the top tube and your pelvis while standing over the bike with your riding shoes.

    *When you sit on the bike with your hands in the drops, in the riding position, the handlebar's middle should more or less obscure the front hub as you look down. Don't forget that stems (the thing that attaches the handlebar to the bike) can be had in various lengths in order to tune the fit.

    Those bikes will probably last a while but will probably need stuff tightened. There's a right and wrong way to tighten anything with ball bearings like steering, pedals, etc so go to a bike shop or get a library book. Also, you'll need flat protection.

    Last, the wheels will probably get crooked pretty fast. Get them trued once and it will probably last unless you jump off a curb or hit a pothole or something.
     
  4. dbackmtg

    dbackmtg New Member

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    page 1
     
  5. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Oops. I am referring to the new Wal-Mart bikes not the used Bianchis. If you've got enough standover though, the reach to the bar can be easily changed with a shorter or longer stem.
     
  6. miyagisan

    miyagisan New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the help. I did a lot of research and picked up an 80's Raleigh Grand Prix on Craigslist for less than half of the Walmart bikes

    [​IMG]

    It's at the LBS for a tune-up right now. I'm going to replace the worn out hoods and ditch the foam for bar tape.
     
  7. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Smart shopper! It always warms my heart when a noob on a budget looks past questionable Amazon and discount store offerings and scores a great used bike at a good price. Congratulations and happy trails.
     
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