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  1. #1
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    Need recommendations

    Yes, another recommendation thread.

    I had a basic box store (Triax VBX3000) bike that I bought for around campus years ago and eventually used to drag my kids behind. Last Summer some kids stole it from my garage and now I'm left looking for a new bike. I'm hoping you all can help with a couple of questions.

    Main use:
    Family bike rides on neighborhood streets/paved paths
    Paved bike paths for exercise
    Maybe, maybe dirt paths for exercise

    I have a bad back and the knees aren't far behind so I'm ideally looking to shift into cycling over running. That said, I'm not going to be a speed demon so I'm not really concerned there. I do need something to take the shock out of my back when thing over things like curbs (which is why I've been eyeing bikes with fork and seat suspension).

    I imagine I'm looking more for a comfort or hybrid style bike?

    I've looked at things like the Trek Navigator line and while this would probably be great for the casual ride, I wonder if it'll be too sluggish?

    On the flip side I've looked at hybrid or mountain bikes like the Rockhopper from Specialized or FX/7000 series from Trek but worry the forward riding position will not do my back any favors.

    Budget is ideally $150, really need to stay under $200/225 so I'm fully open to going used and have really focused used vs new to get quality over new.

    I understand this is a low budget given the bikes I've mentioned but I just can't justify spending more until I get further into riding and determine what does and does not work, etc.

    Any suggestions on makes/models I should keep an eye out for? Any insight into my concerns with the Navigator or Rockhopper etc styles I listed above? Any other advice?

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Your budget stinks. That said, my favorite bike for around town is a used Cannondale F5 I found online for $225. It came with slicks, and I added a swept-back low-rise bar and a super-comfy Performance Forte Softail seat. The RockShox Dart 3 fork is adequate for around-town excursions, and the bike is fast and comfortable.

    If you had something like this, you could always throw some knobbies on for the dirt. With that plush, yet svelte seat, I really don't think you'll need a seat shock, which kinda suck anyways.

    If you want to post about used bikes you've found online, we can let you know if it blows or not. And a lot of us have used gear we could part with for a little shipping charge.

    Edit: Oh, and you need a lock. A good one.
    Is my paycheck just a bribe to forget my dreams?

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Example: Here's something from my neck o' the woods that, with some mods, might be a good buy: https://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/...568774861.html
    Is my paycheck just a bribe to forget my dreams?

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply. I know my budget is poor but I'm in between theory and reality. At minimum I need a comfortable bike to keep up with the kids. My hope is that riding becomes a constant at which time I would upgrade to a better budget/bike and sell the one I'm looking to purchase now to offset some cost. However, I'm left keeping spending to a minimum in the event that doesn't happen (plus I just bought a new house so the slush fund isn't really flush).

    New bikes within budget are slim to none. I know diamondback is said to make a good bike but also am under the impression they had as stint of BBB that were meh. It's also hard (for a nub) to determine which is a good buy and which is rubbish honestly.

    The DB wildwood has a lot of recommendations for a comfort bike but those same places also list a number of Schwinn bikes which I haven't heard an avid biker recommends Schwinn in a long long time.

    Some of the bikes I've looked at:

    https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/b...586189557.html

    From what I've looked at this appears to be a 2006 and is worth something in the $150 area. The seller is firm at $195 and believes it to be a 2012 though he had no clue of year when we originally spoke. While it's still within budget at $195 the seller has me more turned off than anything else with his lack of knowledge on the year/a few specs yet complete dismissal of my research and unwillingness to consider offers.

    https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/b...585909815.html

    Don't know much about the 7000 series and I've heard mixed reviews so I haven't dug too much into this one yet.

    https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/b...587879292.html

    Being the latest navigator trek put out I don't know as this will fall into my budget for now.

    https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/b...580734738.html

    The 2.0 series I have found a number of recently but, unfortunately those that have been selling around $150/160 are over 90 minutes away and those within 30 minutes are either too big or from sellers who see stuck at/near $300.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Example: Here's something from my neck o' the woods that, with some mods, might be a good buy: https://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/...568774861.html
    Its a good looking bike but I can't peg the year + shipping. I'm not opposed to shipping but focus with my budget it's not viable. I've never shipped a bike but can't imagine it's cheap.

    While I'm fine swapping a seat or something, paying $200ish then modding the bike isn't really an option, again, limited budget.

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