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Can you recommend some decent brand names?

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by newfuntrip, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. newfuntrip

    newfuntrip Chimp

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    Hello All,
    We have just started riding (Husband, me and kids). I am trying to get some bikes that are not total Junk but I can't spend 300 plus per bike right now. I have heard nothing but really bad things about all the walmart brands. I would be happy to buy a better brand used, than new junk. Can you recommend some brands that are decent and would be safe to buy for a newbie? I have no idea what I am looking at and there are SO many out there.
    Thanks
     

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  2. Manifesto

    Manifesto Monkey

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    Hey,
    With 300ish dollars per bike you're not going to get much. I'd stick with Giants, Norcos, and Mongoose brands. These bikes are the best bang for your buck. It'd be better off buying used as you would get a much greater package for a less sum of money.

    -Justin
     
  3. zebrahum

    zebrahum Monkey

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    I've always had good luck with Trek, they can buy in such high numbers their specs aren't too bad at low prices. But I'm not sure if they'll meet the $300 mark
     
  4. newfuntrip

    newfuntrip Chimp

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    I was looking at a couple bikes on CL and came upon a Columbia Journey Hybrid. The man that has it says it is a good quality bike and is comparable to a Trek or Giant. I am having a hard time finding a lot of info on them. When you google them, only a couple sites come up. Does anyone know about this brand of bike? He says it was purchased last year and is in excellent condition and is selling it for $165
    I mainly just want to ride on the roads with the kids and some easy mountain trails.
    Do you think this would be a good starter option? or would I be better off to try and stay with Trek?
    Thanks for your responses! :-):
     
    #4 -   Aug 18, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  5. Manifesto

    Manifesto Monkey

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    Well if the trails you're going to be riding aren't too tough you could just go ahead and buy a used road bike and save some cheddar.
     
  6. sunny

    sunny Grammar Civil Patrol

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    Hi,

    Congrats on getting your family out on bikes! Yes, trying to sift through all the information can be very confusing. Here are some things you should be aware of:

    1. "comparable to a Trek or Giant" is like saying "comparable to a Ford or Dodge." Do you mean a Ford Mustang or a Ford Pinto? Dodge Dart or Dodge Viper?
    The bike for sale on CL is similar to the most entry level steel bike that Giant or Trek would have.

    2. "in good condition"
    you want to make sure that a used bike shifts well into all gears, brakes well front and rear, the the wheels are true (they don't wobble when spun), that the there are no cracks in the tires, and that the headset is in good condition (it doesn't go ka-chung and rattle when you hold the bike a drop the front wheel onto the ground, bouncing it once). The drive train and chain are a little more difficult to gauge, but that is also a big ticket item.
    Bikes should not make noise, but there's a whole lot more to it.

    Giant and Trek make good-quality inexpensive bikes. If you are getting an entry-level bike, I would strongly suggest getting a new bike at a bike shop because:
    1. tires and tubes alone are about $30 per wheel and often need to be replaced on used bikes
    2. you know the bike was built by a professional mechanic, not a stock boy
    3. the staff will make sure you get the right size bike and answer all your questions
    4. the bike will be in perfect working order
    5. you have a 1-year warranty on all parts, and usually much longer on the frame
    6. you are purchasing a vehicle that your kids will probably ride hard. You want to be able to absolutely trust this equipment

    For the headache that a used inexpensive bike can be, especially when you don't know the red flags to look for, the new-bike-from-the-bike-shop option is often the best option.

    Exception: A kid's Specialized bike on CL is often a safe bet. Specialized mountain bikes (and kids' bikes) are practically indestructible.

    One more note, please please get your helmets from a bike shop. $40. Ask for a volume discount for the family. Bell, Giro or Specialized. They adjust to your head and are not uncomfortable. I see $15 helmets all the time that are worthless because they will not protect the head in the event of a crash because they don't fit and can't be adjusted.

    Best of luck to you!

    I just blogged about riding with kids. :)

    -sunny
     
  7. eaterofdog

    eaterofdog ass grabber

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    If you are not in a hurry, watch craigslist and research the bikes you see. You can get some nice bikes for cheap on CL, but be sure to google it first. Don't buy anything less than very good condition.
     
  8. andres611

    andres611 Chimp

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    I am not sure were you are located, but check if you have a Performance Bike in your area. They have decent bikes that could fit your budget. They also have lots of sales going on in bikes and I think this weekend they are doing a tax free sale on bikes. I am sure you will be able to find a decent bike that will fit your needs there.

    A friend of mine rides a Mongoose, and he is happy with it. he paid i think like $400 and you should see how hard he rides that thing.

    Good Luck.