TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › I want to start biking!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I want to start biking!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have no idea what kind of bike to buy. Something around $250-$300. I want it to be comfortable, of course, and in that, I mainly mean the seat. Bike seats make me HATE biking. Ouch. It will just be for fun and exercise, nothing like racing or anything.
Anyone have any suggestions on the bike, and/or the seat?
The first thing I heard was a comfort bike...ok, and? lol
post #2 of 14
I got a cheap Wal-mart bike for $60 (if you're short, kids bikes work no matter how old you are), and it fits my needs perfectly. It replaced the fancy road-bike I'd bought used ($75, but it needed another $50 or so in tires and tubes and such). The road bike was simply too much for me; it was about 1/4 of an inch too high, but too high is a still too high. It also went waaaaay too fast downhill, and I couldn't get used to the toe clips.

My rear end hurt something awful the first time I rode one or other or both of those bikes, but it got better very quickly. One's rear does get used to even not-so-great seats. However, it's really easy to replace seats, so, yeah, you should simply buy a comfortable seat (try sitting on different ones) and put it on the bike you want. My first bike when I was a kid had a "banana seat"; if they still make them, they are long and fairly wide and more comfortable than most seats.

Are you going to be going up and down hills? My dad lives in Florida, where there are no hills, so a no-speed is perfect for him. I live on a hilly college campus in California, so I need multiple speeds. Few causal riders need more than 3 speeds, and five should fulfill any causal rider's need. However, it's fairly difficult to find bikes multi-speed bikes without 10 or more speeds any more. If you can find one, a bike with one rear gear system instead of a front and back derailleur is easier to take care of and less likely to have problems than "normal" multispeed bikes.

If you have to carry your bike up stairs, you need something that doesn't weigh much; that's where my cheap Wal-Mart bike can be a problem.
post #3 of 14
Well, I am one of the fancy road bike types (at least before my achilles tendon injury) and having done two Seattle to Portland Rides (200 miles) and a bunch of other riding, I know how much a seat can hurt!

Get a pair of padded bike shorts (you can put them on under regular shorts)

If you have chafing problems (especially with your padded bike shorts) use chamois butter (sold at regular bike shops or online) or vaseline (I like chamois butter better - water based)

Don't wear undergarments in your bike shorts (major chafing)

Go to a bike shop and get a proper bike seat (saddle). They have gender specific ones and would probably be happy to help fit you to the right one.

Even if you have a $50 bike, a proper saddle can make all the difference.
post #4 of 14
I hope it is fairly safe to bike in your area... drivers here really, really dislike people on bikes (probably because they don't follow the road rules). We know of three people who were seriously injured with bike/car accidents (not their faults on all three counts).

Not trying to scare you, but just please learn the bicycle rules of the road and be careful.
post #5 of 14
Bicyclists and Motorcyclists are major targets here. I am lucky to have a good bike path nearby. Back in Oregon, I usually felt pretty safe. There were a bunch of idiots, but less farm equipment and the shoulders on the roads were better.
post #6 of 14
It is so funny that you would post this. I just came from our local Trek bike shop to purchase my second trek bike. The first I purchased 15 years ago. It is a mountain bike that I used endlessly on the rails to trails bike path we have here in Pa. I loved that thing. Then my daughter came along and it was cumbersome to ride with her in the child rear seat that I attached. She is 5 now and has outgrown it. Luckly she can now ride her own bike, althougth not far. So I have been looking to purchase a new bike for myself now that I am ... lets just say more mature. I was orginally going to get another Mountain bike. After talking with the shop owner I have learned a few things. First mountain bikes in general are not comfortable. They are intended to be use on mountain trail, down hill with boulders ect. What I need is a hybrid. A bike designed for the bike trail or local hardtop roads. The handle bars on these are in a more upright position. This helps with back and seat muscles. Also they are made ligther than a mountain bike. While the Trek brand is more expensive that those sold at Walmart, I know that more than likely this will be the last bike I ever purchase. The first Trek is still in fairly good shape, so I know that trek is a great brand. I plan on doing a great deal of riding. In fact I am going to purchase a tag-a-long. This is a bike that attaches to your bike so you child can pedal and ride with you. So if you are going to do light riding I would suggest that you go to your local store, Walmart ect and look for a bike with upright handle bars, medium to skinnny tires and plan on purhcaseing a jell seat to replace the seat that the bike will come with.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by harlowquin View Post
It is so funny that you would post this. I just came from our local Trek bike shop to purchase my second trek bike. The first I purchased 15 years ago. It is a mountain bike that I used endlessly on the rails to trails bike path we have here in Pa. I loved that thing. Then my daughter came along and it was cumbersome to ride with her in the child rear seat that I attached. She is 5 now and has outgrown it. Luckly she can now ride her own bike, althougth not far. So I have been looking to purchase a new bike for myself now that I am ... lets just say more mature. I was orginally going to get another Mountain bike. After talking with the shop owner I have learned a few things. First mountain bikes in general are not comfortable. They are intended to be use on mountain trail, down hill with boulders ect. What I need is a hybrid. A bike designed for the bike trail or local hardtop roads. The handle bars on these are in a more upright position. This helps with back and seat muscles. Also they are made ligther than a mountain bike. While the Trek brand is more expensive that those sold at Walmart, I know that more than likely this will be the last bike I ever purchase. The first Trek is still in fairly good shape, so I know that trek is a great brand. I plan on doing a great deal of riding. In fact I am going to purchase a tag-a-long. This is a bike that attaches to your bike so you child can pedal and ride with you. So if you are going to do light riding I would suggest that you go to your local store, Walmart ect and look for a bike with upright handle bars, medium to skinnny tires and plan on purhcaseing a jell seat to replace the seat that the bike will come with.
oh one last thing, try and get the right size bike for you height. I am 5'6" and I need a 15" bike.
post #8 of 14
If you do a very large amount of riding an bicycle on roads, you WILL get hit by a car. Hopefully, you'll just get bumped by a car turning out of a parking lot and not looking, but you will get hit. If you are just a recreational bicyclist, and bike in the middle of small suburban streets with no lane paintings, or you bike only on dedicated bike paths away from streets, you'll be fine. If you drive on the sidewalk, you are actually much more vulnerable to being bumped by a car turning out of a parking lot, but you are less vulnerable to being seriously injured by a car that's actually moving.

As WELDRWOMN said, bike safety is very variable depending on where you live. In Irvine, California, the bike lanes are really quite wide and, except for the universal danger of intersections, it's fairly safe to bike on them. When I lived in Jacksonville, Florida, the bike lanes were narrower than my hips (and, more often, simply nonexistent). My sister simply moved on campus because commuting to college on a bike didn't work in Jacksonville (she got hit something like three times in two months). She's been commuting to work on her bicycle in Gainesville, Florida for over three years now, because the place is great for bikes, with lots of bike lanes completely separate from roads and a huge number of bicyclists.
post #9 of 14
IMO from my road riding experience in Oregon and Washington (It might not hold true elsewhere) the best way to avoid getting struck by a car are:

If you are out on a country road, stay at the shoulder

No matter what road you are on, ride in the same direction as traffic

Do not ride on sidewalks

If you are at an intersection, either get off your bike and use the crosswalk or pretend you are in a car and park your butt in the middle of whatever lane you need to be in. Do not get beside the cars in the same lane because they might turn into you. If you are on a busy yet narrow street with cars parked along the side, get out into traffic or else you will smacked by someone pulling out into you or opening their doors into you. On a bicycle, you must obey the same laws as cars and you do have the same rights.

Always wear a helmet and glasses so even if you are hit, you might survive

A helmet mounted rearview mirror is also a good idea
post #10 of 14
That is fun, get a Springer attachment and take a dog along too, very healthy! Is there a bike store or sports store you can go to and get assistance? That would be good
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you, everyone, for youd advice and concern for my safety. I only plan on riding trails. I get too nervous on the streets.
post #12 of 14
You should hit your local bike shop and try out various models. If you are already planning on spending 200-300 skip the department store bikes entirely. You can get a nice, used comfort bike from a good bike company (like Giant, Trek, Specialized) used through Craig's List or something similar. My uncle just got a new Giant (last year's model) comfort bike, but I can't remember which it is! i do know that it cost under $400, has a nice, solid frame, and will bring him many years of happiness. Many local bike shops will switch out saddles (seats) for something more compfy, but you could expect to pay 30-40$ for a nice, cushy saddle. I mountain bike, so I'm not very well educated on road and comfort bikes, but I know my inlaws and uncle love their Giant brand bikes.

My advice, hit the local bike shop- look for brands like Specialized, Trek, Gary Fisher, and Giant. Avoid brands like Schwinn (they are not what they used to be), Mongoose, etc. Test ride several in your price range, and maybe you can even find one you like on Craig's List.

Buy some padded bike shorts. I wear mine under regular shorts. I bought a pair of Pearl Izumi shorts from REI on clearance. They are expensive, but you can usually find them clearanced out. They make a huuuuuge difference and will fit under almost anything, unless you like the tight spandex look- I don't look so hot in them

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/women/
post #13 of 14
Oh, you should be able to get a decent bike for that price!

I wanted to get one this year too, but now i am saving for the wedding
post #14 of 14
I had a Raleigh for a long time (8 or 9 years I think), my sister had a Trek for equally long and rode it all through school, and my mom had a Canondale. All of us used to ride around on them pretty often (few days a week) but my sister was the only one who ever really got into doing distance rides. Most bikes last pretty long if you take care of them, so long as you don't just go to Walmart (or Target or whatever else) and pick one of the shelf cause it's pretty . Shop like you would a car-- more expensive isn't always better but too cheap and you get what you paid for.

One thing to watch out for with the less "sport" bikes is skinny tires. Every bad accident I ever had on a bike was on one with thin tires instead of the thick kind on road/mountain bikes. Almost died when the stupid thing got stuck in a grate once at the bottom of a hill and tipped the bike over, me first over the handlebars then the bike on top of me.

Also, there are seat cushion add-ons you can buy pretty much anywhere that just slip over top of your basic saddle. If you aren't planning on any serious biking you might want to start with something like that.

As for safety-- I live on a street that desperately needs two things: A bike lane, and riders who know how to ride a bike. Most drivers are willing (at least grudgingly) to share the road on one like this with a lot of stop lights, low speed limit, etc. There are lots of bicyclists here, and I'd say less than half of them realize they're supposed to follow the same laws as the cars. They'll zoom along on the street, then when a light turns red, they either just straight run it or cut over to the sidewalk, knock over pedestrians, cross , cut back into the street, and almost cause about 5 accidents.

I have had a few friends/coworkers hit by cars while on their bikes, and 9 times out of 10 it's their own fault. Ask them how it happened, and usually they were running a red light or a stop sign or turning left in front of someone. I don't know if it's just this city, but people need licenses or something. The people on the sidewalks just run you over with no warning that they're coming up behind you.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › I want to start biking!