Need Advice: Buying a bike

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Looking to buy a relatively inexpensive (but not cheaply built) on-road / off-road bike for some short weekend rides. I suspect I will be riding on-road most of the time and off-road (meaning compacted gravel and dirt paths - nothing hard-core) about 30% of the time. About the only cushy accessory type things I can think of are a comfy seat and a clip for a water bottle. I don't necessarily need things like toe-clips, more than 10 speeds, etc etc.

I would be hesitant to spend much more than say $400, but I'm open to any suggestions.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    xionjaxionja Posts: 504member
    I would highly recomend a Marin hybrid bike.

    I own the entry level model, the kentfield, and its a really good bike. I've owned it for a year, treated it alright (lots of abuse, and lots of tune-ups) but its in perfect condition, nothing has needing to be fixed or repaired.

    I use it mostly for transportation in town biking in the road. It has some really, really easy gears for steep hills(good for ithaca), but it can go pretty fast too.

    I like the hybrid part about it, because it can cut across rocky/grassy/muddy terrains and still ride really well. And the wheels don't buckle as easyly as a real road bikes might.

    In general its a well built bike, and not too expensive either. Its perfect for weekend rides i think. Its all equiped to be accesorized too, i've added water bottle holders, toe clips, a side mirror, and a rack on the back.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Looks pretty good. No dealers less than an hour from where I live, but maybe one of the local places has them by chance so I'll ask around. That model looks more than fancy enough for my tastes. I know Shimano makes good gears and such and there's plenty of that so that's a good sign. Thanks...that'll definitely be one I check out.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    /mandolux//mandolux/ Posts: 648member
    Mongoose bikes have always been great (I had own three in the past) and the one I have right now is a Zero-G2 (over two years old and it still rides quite good - usage: 1-2 times a week). Another thing for me has been good tires: Michelin.

    Have you check eBay? You can get some killer deals with Specialized/GT bikes (the best bikes money can buy).
  • Reply 4 of 8
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    I'm almost afraid to buy something like a bike on E-Bay because it's such a try-before-you-buy type item.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I had the same decision as you a year or so ago, and I got this. It's not really a hybrid, because it's really a mountain bike, but it's more of a roady mountain bike. I looked at the hybrids and didn't like them, to be honest, because of the upright posture it gives you. I think you look kinda silly riding them.

  • Reply 6 of 8
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    i have had a marin san rafael hybrid, nice bike, only the frame was not as sturdy as i would like, it bended a little when i put a little to much force on it. well i life in the netherlands so you already expected it it was stolen.

    next bike was a stealthy black B1, 28" hybrid with a small mountainbike frame. don't know the exact name anymore. it's a dutch bike, really great, i loved it. a junk living in the appartment below me stole it and as you expected, the police said there was not enough evidence

    i hope he o.d.ed.

    but anyway, they kicked him out of his appartment and i got myself a new bike (insurance). this time i got my self a great japanese bike: a nishiki 451 hybrid. i love it, never had a flat tire, low maitanance costs (a can of teflonspray and a set of break blocks) in almost 2 years intensive use. so get yourself a nishiki

    [edit] found a pic of the nishiki 451

  • Reply 7 of 8
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    BRussell, the little woman made the same suggestion. She has a Trek and seems to like it a lot. Her tires are a little more mountain-bikey than the typical hyrbid so that was one of my reasons for looking beyond just Trek initially.

    Nishiki too huh? Looks like I have some research to do / calls to make. Thanks guys. Keep em coming.

    PS - I'll be sure never to take my bike to Holland.

  • Reply 8 of 8
    gsxrboygsxrboy Posts: 565member
    I got myself a Giant which was a reasonable price, just gotta be less of a slacker and get on it more Best bet is to jump on a few at your local and have a bit of a ride around.. dont go for one of the ultra cheapies when another $100 buys a much much better bike. Look at things like the axles and cranks etc and you will see where better components make a difference... for $300 - $400 you are going to get a nice bike. Stay away from a dual suspension one in that price range cause it will do more harm than good, you need to spend US$7-800 or more to get a good d/s bike..
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