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  1. #1
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    my first bike...what to look for?

    From everything I've judged about by reading a few threads, it would be completely useless for me to ask you guys what bike I should buy....so I'll ask this: what characteristics should i look for in purchasing a new bike? To help you guys out I'll give you a bit about me and the goals i have in bikings...

    Physical Characteristics:
    6'1'', 245-255 lbs (kind of varies with the temperature and the activity level of the week). I consider myself fairly athletic. I play a lot of tennis and have pretty strong legs. I'd say my ideal weight would be 215-220...and that is my 2009 goal for which i still have 6 months to make good on. even with the extra weight, though, I sit comfortably on most standard bike seats i've sat on.

    Riding goals:
    I want to start slow....build up endurance and strength on the paved stuff before hitting the hills obviously. I also want something thats multipurpose that I can ride out a couple of miles to run some errands around town on . Ultimately, I would like to go riding on some of the local mountain and canyon trails in Orange County, CA. I don't really plan on doing anything gravity defying, jumping from rock to rock, going out in the rain and kicking up mud just for fun or anything else hardcore. I envy those who can do that, but it's not for me.

    That said, when I'm out at the bike shops this weekend, what kinds of things should I be looking for? any advice on types of frames, frame material, size or type of wheels, types of brakes, . any brands or models that others of my shape and size have found comfortable to use that I should test ride? basically anything helpful you could tell me would be much appreciated...i hate going to stores with no idea what i'm looking for...i always feel like i'm getting swindled


    oh yeah, i'd like to keep it as close to 500 dollars as possible, and of course under 500 is even better

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmbartender
    From everything I've judged about by reading a few threads, it would be completely useless for me to ask you guys what bike I should buy....so I'll ask this: what characteristics should i look for in purchasing a new bike? To help you guys out I'll give you a bit about me and the goals i have in bikings...

    Physical Characteristics:
    6'1'', 245-255 lbs (kind of varies with the temperature and the activity level of the week). I consider myself fairly athletic. I play a lot of tennis and have pretty strong legs. I'd say my ideal weight would be 215-220...and that is my 2009 goal for which i still have 6 months to make good on. even with the extra weight, though, I sit comfortably on most standard bike seats i've sat on.

    Riding goals:
    I want to start slow....build up endurance and strength on the paved stuff before hitting the hills obviously. I also want something thats multipurpose that I can ride out a couple of miles to run some errands around town on . Ultimately, I would like to go riding on some of the local mountain and canyon trails in Orange County, CA. I don't really plan on doing anything gravity defying, jumping from rock to rock, going out in the rain and kicking up mud just for fun or anything else hardcore. I envy those who can do that, but it's not for me.

    That said, when I'm out at the bike shops this weekend, what kinds of things should I be looking for? any advice on types of frames, frame material, size or type of wheels, types of brakes, . any brands or models that others of my shape and size have found comfortable to use that I should test ride? basically anything helpful you could tell me would be much appreciated...i hate going to stores with no idea what i'm looking for...i always feel like i'm getting swindled


    oh yeah, i'd like to keep it as close to 500 dollars as possible, and of course under 500 is even better
    Why would you say it's completely useless to ask what bike to buy? Isn't that what you're essentially doing?

    As for the factors, here is a rundown:
    - 26" wheels are standard. 29" are popular, but definitely not the standard.
    - Type of frame: Full suspension (front and rear shocks), hardtail (front suspension, no rear suspension), rigid (no suspension)
    - Frame materials range from aluminum, steel, carbon, titanium, etc. At your price point, you're looking for aluminum or steel, though there are many grades within each material type.
    - Brakes: Rim brakes (direct pull/cantilever), disc brakes (hydraulic/mechanical)

    If you start out with a budget of $500, you got to expect replacing components/entire bike down the line. You'd likely consider the trek 4300, cannondale F7, specialized hardrock, etc. The best thing to do is get fitted, but after you ride a bit, you'll be able to fine tune your riding position for comfort.

    As for riding intent, you're probably looking at a hardtail with 26" wheels.

    Orange County has plenty of great paved and offroad trails, so I'm sure you'll have plenty to ride on. Bite the bullet, buy a bike, and enjoy!

    (Shameless plug: socaltrailriders.org for more local ride reports, trails, etc)

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