1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    First bike questions?

    Hello All,

    I've always wanted to ride but never got into it... Back in March I had cervical spine surgery ( neck ) and at 40 years old and never being much of a working out type of person I decided I want to get my body as strong as possible and think going for some nice long rides could be helpful... But I don't know what to get...

    I had a friend mention the Cannondale Bad Boy but also wanted something I could take on trails but didn't want to go crazy just yet spending alot of money...

    So, I wanted to see if you guys could help me out and let me know which way I can go... I found the Bad Boy 9 at REI for $699 which is a bit more than I wanted to spend but I guess it's worth it for a better product and I'm sure the hobby is worth it...

    I wanted to know what your opinion was on the Bad Boy 9 or should I go with something else in that price range... Think i'm willing to stretch it to about $800...


    Cannondale Bad Boy 9 Bike - 2014 at REI.com

    Rockhopper Comp 29

    CANNONDALE PROPHET 800 MOUNTAIN BIKE

    20 inch Specialized Rockhopper M4 Mountain Bike

    Specialized mountain bike

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2010 Motobecane Fantom Trail

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29PRO


    I live about 15 minutes from New York by car. So most of the riding i'll be doing here will be on the road and your occasional ride through the park and dirt roads. So really want something that is pretty tough and can handle these beat up streets and that's hey I wanted a mountain bike but was told the bad boy was a great bike which I can do this on. But I also want to find nice trails to ride on. I can't go hard because of the surgery I had but still want to find trails to ride and use the bike on. I'm 6'0, 220, inseam is 32.




    So, what to do?

  2. #2
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    Maybe a mountain bike I can put some road tires on?

  3. #3
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    Tough one. Most of the time, I tell people with your riding plans in mind to get over themselves and get a road bike. But depending on your mobility, it could be tough to get that to work well with your recent surgery.

    I think you should try bikes in three general families: much as I hate them, hybrids, like the Bad Boy, could be a good fit for you. So try some. I generally prefer road-going mountain bikes as a platform for someone who will mostly ride roads but wants flat bars. Surly and Kona make several. And finally, I think people often rule out drop bars because they believe the bars have to be low. That's not really true - you can put them well above the saddle if that's what you need. The Surly Long Haul Trucker, some Raleigh models, and one or two Kona bikes are pretty good about making this sort of setup easy. The class is touring bikes.

    Stay away from anything with suspension. The suspension on $700 bikes comes in one variety: crappy. But it can make it hard to put a plain old rigid fork on the bike without doing something weird to the handling, and it'll behave weird on rough stuff if you leave it on.

    Since you're looking at REI, look at some Novara bikes. It's REI's house brand. There are actually some kind of cool road/touring models, and everyone's hybrids are pretty much the same as one another.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    Buy something that fits you and you feel comfortable on... Budget is just a constraint.

  5. #5
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    The Novara Ponderosa has a good Raidon air fork that will handle any trails you decide to ride in the future. It gets to about 800 with a 20 off sale.
    Check that one out.

  6. #6
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    Thanks. Will consider it all. Keep suggestions coming. And how about the ones in the links I posted?

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    IMO, used via Craig's List isn't a great way to go unless you're pretty confident in your size. You don't get to ride bikes back-to-back, which I think is pretty important, and each bike takes a fair amount of time to check out. So, a great way for someone who already knows he rides a 17" Specialized to pick up a 'B' bike or even an upgrade, but it doesn't sound like that's you.

    For the same reason, I don't like bikesdirect for a first bike.

    Since you're open to used, it would be worth your time to make a few calls and find out what shops deal in used bikes in your area. I know that Manhattan supported at least one - I bought a bike there several years ago - but I bet there's something more convenient to you.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    I'm open to used bikes thinking that I might get a decent deal on a bike that someone figures they don't need any longer. But it's my first bike so don't need the Range Rovers of bikes just yet but trying to get a better than the Kia of bikes... I thought one or two of the one's I listed might be good deals. Just looking for a good bike with components for a good price...

  9. #9
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    The first thing to to worry about ,is does the bike fit ,everything else comes later.

  10. #10

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    They'd all be fine. Ride 'em all, try a couple sizes so you know what that feels like, and buy your favorite.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Get the bike that fits best and that you are most comfortable on from a place that will stand behind it with service. Get the right clothing and gear for it. Make sure you log every second and every mile on the bike so that you can set goals and track how you improve. Schedule regular time on the bike. Educate yourself about local trails. Get obsessed about your fitness improvement. Improve your diet. Don't fall off the wagon (or the bike).

    I put the focus more on the activity and sticking with it than the bike because I think you are trying to do something difficult but also important. Getting into shape in your 40s is not easy and most people will give up on it. To succeed, I think the plan on how to do it is more important than the tool (the bike). If you stick with it then your first bike most likely will not be your last bike.

  13. #13
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    Thanks alot guys.... It's gonna be difficult picking something out but I guess the best thing to do is to go out and try a few out...

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