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  1. #1
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    New question here. Trying to buy Bike for me and my Wife, along with Baby bike trailer

    Hi Everyone, I just joined today to this Forum about Bicycles. I try to buy my first Bike at Wa##art, a Schwann which it appears to be a good deal for me, like below 200 usd. Some one told me go to the bike shops, but prices were way higher, then I went to a Di@#s Sporting, and I found the Nishaki kind of hybrid is what they told me. I have read some discussion about department stores vs Bike shops and I got confused. What do you suggest me to do ? I want a bike for me and my wife, we want it to spend some time as a family, but I also want the bike to enjoy the bike trails we have in Columbus, doing long rides. I want to buy a bike that I can attach the baby bike trailer also. I live in a downtown area in which also you can enjoy the commute. The bike that we saw is the Montour Hybrid bike for Womens and Mens and also the Nishiki Adult-A HYBRID. We also want to know more about which brand is reccomendable for Baby bike trailers, I do have 2 little ones that am planning to ride on it. I do appreciate your help

  2. #2
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    If I had to rate my bike knowledge, I would probably place it at Sr. Apprentice or Jr Journeyman... I've been commuting to work by bike 2-5 times a week for the last 6 months or so, and have been biking with my kids (3.5y and 2y) when I can. So take this for what it's worth...

    Probably the #1 important factor in having a bike that works for you is that it is comfortable. You say you want to go for long rides... that makes this ESPECIALLY important. Unfortunately, there are only 2 ways I know of to get a bike that's really comfortable...
    1) Be an experienced biker who can hop on a bike, take it around the block, and have a good idea how it will work for you.
    2) Go to a GOOD bike-shop and have them make some suggestions and help you find something that will work for you.

    Short of those, you can do your best and see. If you are looking to spend not too much, I would recommend that you check out your local used bike listings (craigslist, used bike shops, etc). You're likely to find something that you can take for a longer spin (unlike the dept store), and it's likely to be a better-made bike that will last longer, be easier to maintain, and serve you for years. You might be perfectly happy with your $200 dept store bike; if so, don't let anyone tell you that you're wrong to enjoy it! Your bike shop, however, is likely to be able to get you something that fits you much better that would be comfortable on longer rides.

    Regarding bike trailers... you should be able to attach your trailer to just about any bike you can find. Your bike shop can help you with that if needed, but they tend to be pretty simple. Mine comes with a special washer to sandwich between the nut and fork drop-out. It has a mounting point for the trailer that can be attached (and removed) quickly.

  3. #3
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    I have to admit. I had a department store bike when I had my first child. It was a Pacific from Target. I then bought a bike-shop Schwinn trailer, and pulled her many miles on the local rails-to-trails trail. Got a lot of use out of that bike, and trailer, as they both made it thru 2 kids. The trailer was sold at a rummage sale, and is prbably still in service. That department store bike also got me into mountainbiking. It survived many rides in the local trails. It was heavy, but I had never ridden anything else other than my old BMX bike, and my old Schwinn Worl Tour 12 speed road bike, so I didn't know any better. I probably built some muscle up riding that thing. When I decided to get a better bike. That's when I got an old Trek hardtail for free. It was used and abused, but I'm pretty mechanical, so was able to get it trail worthy very economically. Rode it for a couple of years, and then built up my current full suspension bike after discovering a cracked frame on the Trek.
    Us, as guys are definately more forgiving about bikes than women. My buddies happily jumped on my Pacific (yes, it even became a loaner bike for a while) while I wouldn't let my wife touch it for a ride around the block. It was heavy and clunky, but I kept it maintained enough for buddies to borrow.
    If you're going to put a lot of miles on them, mainly on paved paths, I'd say a nice bike-store quality comfort bike or hybrid would be best. If you may hit some singletrack, then a mountainbike with moderately knobby tires can function for both. Department store bikes have dropped in quality in the 20 years since I bought that old Target bike. Nowadays, I wouldn't let the worst neighbors kid ride one.

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