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
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2008
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    Several Newbie Questions at once

    Hi all. Great forum you have here. I have some newbie questions for you all.

    First is the fun one. I've seen the "How do I convince the Wife of XXX". My issue is kind of backwards. She wants a new bike, but I'm having a hard time convincing her that she would be better off with a decent MTB instead of the single speed boulevard cruiser she wants. I know she'll never do any trail riding, but I do expect to see us off road some and with some hills.

    Anyone have good arguments for me to make?

    Now I have to deal with getting her a bike, my daughter a bike and me a bike. My 16 year old son wants the used cheep mongoose i was given. It's a "dualie?" (Front and read suspension) and I want a hard tail.

    With 3 bikes to purchase I'm kind of shell shocked.

    I'm thinking of a couple of bikes in the $200 range for wife and daughter. Both are about the same height, 5' 3". Daughter is a serious athlete (Top 5 State Gymnast), and wife isn't. She's not badly out of shape. I'm thinking a SportChalet purchase here wouldn't hurt me too bad? Nothing in the LBS is anywhere near inexpensive enough.

    For me I was looking at the Marin Bobcat w/disc brakes for me?

    This should give me and the family some bikes that we can cruse around the lake with or take to Yosemite. And give me and son something we can get more adventuresome with?

    Oh ah kids are teens, but wife and I are in early 50s. I started a workout program 3 months ago with a full physical and doc cleared me. So I've worked up a morning swim to 1 mile a day. Thinking of doing a 30-45 minute ride one day and the swim the other. Swimmings been great for the cardio and upper body, but I'm really eating it on the tennis court with my daughter at night. So I'm thinking get back into cycling to work the lower body in the mornings. (oh down 22 lbs and counting 6' tall and 190 at the moment with a goal weight of 180 if that matters for bike suggestions.)

    Anyway, thoughts gang, I could sure use some advice.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: JimC.'s Avatar
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    plate's full

    on the cruiser: they weigh a ton! that said, let her get what she wants. just make sure she picks one up first, and then ask her if she wants to pedal the tank all over the place.

    On your choice: name brand with discs is a good choice.

    On sports chalet or whatever, stay away, bad service and poor merchandise.

    On the teens; get them a quality ride they won't kill themselves on. see above comment.

    In short, get some loot, go to LBS you like and trust, buy reasonable bikes that work well and will have a year's free service for minor tuning issues. they will FIT you properly; fit is key, just like if your shoes are bad fit (pain/wish you never bought them) - means you won't ride the dang thing.

    If you try to save $, I guarantee you'll have a garage full of dusty bikes this time next year. spend the loot and do it right, and you'll all be out riding with smiles and happier for it.

    the rule of thumb is to buy as much bike as you can afford. Kids and family cost money, think of this as an investment in quality exercise equipment, not an exercise in cost saving.

    good luck, Jim

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