Starter Bikes For Couple


New Member
Aug 22, 2015
So I haven't ridden since college - where I had a few "disposable" bikes over the course of a few years. I really want to get back in shape, and am planning on buying a pair of bikes. We're on a pretty tight budget, but I do realize that means don't have enough money to buy too cheap.

We're both pretty overweight - I imagine if there's a Clydesdale class for women, I'm in it - and he ripped up all the ligaments in his left knee earlier this year. He uses a stationary bike in the gym without problems. He is mostly fine with forward motion, but lateral isn't doable.

Anyway, our main goal is to increase our activity / fitness level beyond just hitting the gym a few times a week. We live beachside in Florida, with mostly (poorly) paved roads and paths. Again, we aren't looking to spend a fortune on our first bikes, but don't intend to buy $100 Huffys either.

/extended backstory... What should we be looking for, and how much are we going to have to spend? We have the opportunity to but a pair of Trek Pure 2011s - lightly used and seemingly well maintained. They're only asking $300 for the pair, so I was 110% sold on getting them until we stopped in at one of two local Trek dealers. He said that for my boyfriend, the style might be alright given his knee issues, but that we would likely find it unsuitable for "any real amount of distance." My BF and I both walked out feeling like he believed the "Townie" style to be better for folks twice our age. The other shop was much more positive, but my confidence was shaken.

Anyone here care to weigh in? I don't want budget to be such a big concern that we jump on a pair of unsuitable bikes just because the price is better than I'd expected. I also obviously don't want to spend a fortune on something I can't be sure we'll actually use frequently. Help!

EDIT: also, in my research, it seems like the aluminum is a big perk living here on beachside. I think we'll keep the bikes in an enclosed garage, but not actually indoors, if that matters.
There's an older guy in our area that I've seen riding his Townie all over the place. From the places I've seen him, I surmise he's riding at least 10 miles at a pop, so just because the Townie doesn't like to go fast doesn't mean it can't go far. It's a fun casual ride, especially for riders who want to sit upright and like being able to get their landing gear down in a hurry. And that goes for Trek's Pure, and the bike Specialized called the Carmel a few years ago, too.

$300 for a pair of well maintained Pures sounds like a bargain and just the deal to get you two out riding. And if, after a year or two of tooling around on these, you decide it's time for something more ambitious, you can clean them up and sell them for $300 all over again.
Do you really think you would lose weight when you have a bike? Think again. If losing weight is your primary objective in buying a bike, I would suggest that you go on jogging or brisk walking instead. That would save you money from buying an expensive equipment like a bike. I am saying this because my sister bought a bike for that purpose - her husband is quite obese. They were biking for a month and then stopped because they get hungry and tend to eat more because of the leisurely ride.
Honestly, I'm less concerned about our weight, it's more about our level of fitness generally. Our weight probably has more to do with our liquid intake than anything - beer and sodas are awfully hard on the waistline ;-)

I mostly just miss being more active, and find the gym to be awfully boring - we've been reasonably good about it during his recovery, but I don't rightly know how long we'll keep it up =/ Regardless, we did pick up the Pures and are taking them to the shop for sizing, maybe a tuneup, and maintenance lessons. They're in great shape and came with lights, mirrors, new water bottles, and helmets, so I'm telling myself we got a good deal. I'm glad to think that even if one or both of us ends up upgrading or even giving it up, we won't have lost much value.
Buying a piece of exercise equipment isn't going to make you lose wight and get in shape. Why ponder over buying more equipment when there are other options. You can go walking or doing regular stationary exercises. Why would you spend money to lose weight. Spending more won't make it any easier. It will take hard work, patience, and sheer will power to lose weight and get healthier.