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    • CommentAuthormasslass
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2010
    I haven't been on a bike since grade school but we have several bike trails and trails in the woods by my house that I would like to try to bike. I researched a bit and am assuming I need a hybrid so I can do both road and trails? I don't want to spend a lot of money for my first bike in case I don't like it. Suggestions anyone??? Feel like a fish out of water but excited and want to get out there and enjoy this beautiful spring weather!
    • CommentAuthormeatroll
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2010
    all a "hybrid" is is a horrible road bike mated to a horrible mountain bike, creating a beast useless for either purpose. it sounds like you would be best off with a cyclocross bike but they don't generally come particularly cheap (you will be spending at LEAST $400+) oh and it pays to learn a bit about bike sizing and fit.
    Posted By: meatrollall a "hybrid" is is a horrible road bike mated to a horrible mountain bike, creating a beast useless for either purpose.

    Not true at all. Go to the bike shops around your area and test ride some bikes. If they are a halfwy decent shop, they should be able to point you in the direction of a bike that would fit your riding profile. You'll then have a better idea of the features, sizing, and quality of bike that would work best for you.
    • CommentAuthorzmill12
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2010
    a singlespeed road bike with larger tires for off road riding may be a good idea. but i agree with Ride, go to a local shop and test some bikes and see what you feel good sitting on and riding.
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2010
    Kilo tt with wider tires anyone?
    • CommentAuthorwes m.
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2010
    Posted By: veggieKilo tt with wider tires anyone?

    Kilo wt.

    We shouldnt be so quick to suggest that this guy gets anything fixed or singlespeed. A singlespeed on trails after not having ridden for over a decade might be enough to make someone want to quit cycling for another decade.

    You should start by going to a bike shop and seeing what you feel comfortable on. There are so many variables such as your strength, endurance, flexibility, and specific trail/road conditions that effect bike choice. Velospace may be of more help once you and your bike shop decide what style of bike is best for your riding in your area . Its just so hard to tell a stranger what type of bike to get to break them in to cycling. I could suggest a specific road bike/hybrid/mtb once you have a better idea what you are looking for though.
    We also shouldn't be too quick to suggest that this person is a guy... Mass Lass would be a poor choice for a masculine name.......

    I agree with everything Wes and RE said beside that. Asking people you don't know who can't see you and don't live in your area is not a good first step.
    Well, I kinda know the area up there. I go camping up at Tully Lake with my family, which isn't too terribly far. But it's not close enough to know what it's really like.

    Here's what I think: if you can get an entry-level cyclocross bike. If it's a drag, you'll be able to sell it easily enough, but biking on a bike that's not very good will convince you that you don't like it, even if you would.

    Another option is a flat-bar road bike like a Trek Sirrus. That'll give you some options of tires to help with whatever your local terrain turns out to be like.

    Normally, I'd suggest getting a used bike, but that relies on you knowing how to fit yourself and knowing what compromises you're willing to make (or experiments you're willing to try). If you have a bike enthusiast friend who can go look at used bikes with you, then it'll be way less expensive and, unless you beat the crap out of them, you'll be able to get the same money selling them as you paid for them.

    But I'm going to reiterate what Suicide_Doors said: go to a bike shop and try out bikes that fit you. A couple of guys here were talking about North Shore bike shops a few days ago, so they might be able to help you if there's no one competent locally and you don't mind driving an hour. They want to sell you a bike, of course, but they also want you to come back for tires, lights, gloves, and so forth.

    (I have a couple of places to recommend in the Northampton area, but that's pretty far for you.)
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2010 edited
    Posted By: Joshua A.C. Newmanflat-bar road bike like a Trek Sirrus

    Specialized Sirrus. Trek's equivalent is the 7.x series (located in the FX or the Hybrid category at the linked page, since they're doing the idiot site with Javascript popups).

    My best friend/riding buddy has been riding a Specialized Sirrus for the last few years, and he's about 300 pounds; they'll take a beating.

    Generally speaking, I agree with the collective wisdom that it's wise to go into an LBS (local bike shop) to get someone to check you out for proper size and fit - whether you buy from that shop or not. Obviously, the LBS would prefer to sell you a bike after that assessment; that's how they make their living. But even if they don't sell you a bike today, treating you with respect makes it more likely that they'll sell you a bike someday. In the meantime, they're more likely to be able to sell you hundreds of dollars worth of bike components/accessories/tidbits/nonsense if they treat you nice to begin with. A bike shop that doesn't treat you as a prospective customer even when you're not buying anything is a bike shop that won't last anyway.

    Having said that, I think buying a used bike is a good place to start, both financially and as a means of determining the degree of your interest. But that's contingent on your ability to reject used bikes that don't work:

    1) Bikes that don't fit, or feel uncomfortable to ride

    This can be tweaked, to a point. Seatposts can be raised/lowered; saddles can be replaced; stems (the gadget that holds the handlebars) can be shortened/lengthened/raised/lowered; handlebars/grips can be swapped. But if you have to do a lot of this, it gets expensive. And if the frame is too big/too small, then fiddling may make it tolerable, but it will never make it comfortable.

    2) Bikes with obvious physical flaws (dented tubes, bent forks, rust, busted spokes, bent derailleur hangers, trashed brakes/derailleurs/cranks)

    These fit the category of "buying someone else's problem". If someone's selling a bike like this to you for more than pocket change, you should ask yourself: If this bike is worth so much money, why does it have Ugly Damage X? If it has Ugly Damage X, why is it worth so much money?

    You have to be confident enough in your own judgement (or the judgement of whomever you bring along as ally/adviser/muscle/bike guru) to reject bikes that fail these tests. Remember, unlike a shop, the person selling you a used bike doesn't care if they never see you again; the adverse consequences of burning you on a deal is not their primary concern.

    But such arrangements often work out well. In 2006, I bought the first bike I'd owned in over 20 years. In my absence, the entire bike world had changed: Mountain bikes had come in, road bikes had gone from "10-speed" (2x5 gears) to 30 (3x10 gears), and most of the brands I saw were companies I'd never heard of. I bought an older Marin mountain bike, because it was steel and made by a local (to me) company with a good reputation. I found it on my local Craigslist for $50; I tried it out, and it sorta fit. Over the next few months, I replaced the saddle with something that fit me better, and replaced the 15-year old knobby tires with slicker road-style tires. I put a rack on it, and I replaced cables as they broke.

    It's a beater, and it's ugly as sin. As such, it's unstealworthy, a big thing to a city dweller. To date, I've put about 3000 miles on it. The things I learned on that bike have been applied to later bikes; I figured out what I didn't like about the Marin, and solved those problems with bikes I built up myself.
    We move Specialized at my shop. The Sirrus is our most popular bike, they basically fly out the door. They are cool because they have clearance for CX tires and fenders. I think the bike is pretty nice, especially the Sport model which is the best bang for the buck. Specialized also does a bike called the Crosstrail which is more 50/50 road/off road, but the Sirrus is a superior bike in my opinion because it's a ton lighter. I can't really speak to the hybrid type bikes of other manufacturers because I haven't ridden them, although I have seen a few of the Trek hybrid things and they look nice.
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2010
    Posted By: RideEverydayWe move Specialized at my shop. The Sirrus is our most popular bike, they basically fly out the door. They are cool because they have clearance for CX tires and fenders.

    This is a case of a manufacturer recycling a name that they've used for years, and applying it to an entirely different type of bike. Back in the '80s, Specialized used to make the Sirrus model as a standard lugged steel road frame, with standard geometry (top tube parallel to the ground, MassLass), caliper brakes and clearance only for skinny tires (like this one here). The current Sirrus is a compact geometry (sloping top tube) hybrid-ish multipurpose bike with V-brakes and clearance for wider tires.
    Posted By: eaglerock(likethis one here)

    That used to be my frame!! Frank built it up far more legitimately than I ever had it. But yeah, the Sirrus and Allez both used to be serious road machines. There's an old 54cm Allez complete and in very good condition at the local bike kitchen/co-op for $325. If if fit me better it would be mine in a second.
    Posted By: eaglerockSpecialized Sirrus. Trek's equivalent is the7.x series

    Ahem. Yes. I completely mashed that phrase down, didn't I? Specialized Sirrus or Trek 7.x. Both of them start with relatively inexpensive models and wind up quite fancy.
    You don't NEED a road bike to ride on the road, and you don't NEED a mountain bike to ride on trails. What you NEED is a bike that is a comfortable ride that is rugged enough for the trails, and has low enough rolling resistance/efficient enough drivetrain to be enjoyable on the street.

    I suggest you look at low end (not department store) suspensionless mountain bikes with flat bars. Get someone at the bike shop to help you get one that fits right. A mountain bike fitted with high-pressure road tires are easily adaptable to either situation.
    • CommentAuthorWilburito
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2010
    You should probably get a red bike, or maybe a blue one.
    Posted By: WilburitoYou should probably get a red bike, or maybe a blue one.


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