Help me pick a bike

Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
Alright, it's time to add biking to my exercise. I have a few wants/requirements here. Suggest some likely decent bikes and a size for me.

* Most riding will be done in the city for exercise to augment running
* Want to be able to go offroad, fairly rough, when life allows
* Want to be able to do dumb stuff - jumping things, etc. I'm old, nothing crazy, but I also never really grew up
* Trying to keep it under $1000 new, ideally WAY under. But, I don't want to spend $500 and not have something that makes me happy. 100% open to buying used as well once I know what I am looking for.
* I'm 6'2" or just under, 32-34" inseam (seems to vary) - I've read everything from needing a 19" to 22" frame

It seems bike terms have changed some since I last purchased a bike a million years ago. It looks like I am looking at something in the realm of Trail Bike, Hybrid Bike, possibly Cyclocross (but those seem to get expensive quick and may be a bit too road oriented). Last time I bought a bike the term Trail Bike meant one of those things that mostly looked like a mountain bike, but wasn't intended to ever jump or otherwise leave the ground or ride anything much rougher than a well groomed, family day out oriented bike trail.

Some recent light research on random blogs and looking at local bike shops and rei online suggest that something along the lines of the Canondale Quick or Canondale Trail series bikes may be a good fit.

Posts

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Look at 2nd hand bikes. Lots of people get into mountain biking and then find A. they need something more fancy or B. they find them self to lazy or to busy to ride, either way usually one can find lots of 1-2 year old bikes that are hardly used and that can be picked up real cheap.

    Also while my buying knowledge is a little outdated mountain bike companies tend to bring out new gear on a yearly basis, whenever the new seasons bikes arrive last years goes on sale. If memory serves me right Canondale was one of the companies bringing out their next year bikes really early, so it may be their 2021 models is not far off.

    Finally. This is a great place to find user reviews of bikes and gear, it will let you scout out possible weak points of possible bikes that you fancy.
    https://mtbr.com/user-reviews.html

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
    Enc
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    edited April 21
    There's a bike thread over here that you could ask in, too.

    djmitchella on
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    nice, checking out the bike thread and will re-post in there.

    On top of specific bikes in my price range thoughts on frame size would be much appreciated. I alluded to it in the first post, but wasn't super clear. Recommendations I see on the web are all over the place.

    And yes, I'm 100% for buying a way nicer bike than I could normally afford used (or just paying Huffy prices for a decent bike). I have done some digging on craigslist and the results were surprisingly low, so I'm not holding my breath on used, but am all for it if the right bike pops up.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    I really liked my Specialized Crosstrail. It's a hybrid I rode all the time in Hawaii.

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/shop/bikes/active-bikes/fitness--hybrid-bikes/crosstrail/c/crosstrail

  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    Definitely looks like a potential good fit.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 27
    Diamondback has the Sorrento which fills a similar role. I used one as a commuter for years and the option of taking a trail instead of a road carved off significant time on my commute.

    Edit: As long as the frame is stable and is designed to go off road I suggest you buy separate tires if you're going to be going real rough.

    dispatch.o on
    HappylilElf
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    The more I have thought about this realistically, the more I suspect I won't be half as rough as I want to be and I'll be happier buying for my reality - preparing to actually spend $500-$1000 on something has a funny way of making me review my thought process and make sure I'm doing the right thing. A gravel bike/adventure bike is looking likely to be an excellent fit. It's sounding like the shocks on most of these hybrid bikes in my price range are not super useful and not at all useful for what most of my riding will be, so just extra cost and weight, and gearing may not be as good for my primary use either although I suspect I'm less likely to notice that unless I start doing some races, which is a strong possibility.

    Really, I'm thinking 3-4 days/week on roads and light, well maintained trails is honestly what I'll be doing. There might be "something" to get a bit rough on there, but I have my doubts. I'm talking open the garage and start pedalling, so local residential/city, city park paths, etc.

    It's looking like my biggest challenge may be that bicycle production seems to be more or less shut down along with everything else.

    Diamondback, Trek, Giant, and Specialized all have bikes which look like excellent fits in both the gravel/adventure category and in the hybrid category which I'm keeping an eye on to actually be available.

    That Specialized Crosstrail, Trek FX-2 and Checkpoint AL3, Diamondback Haanjo 2, GT Grade Elite, GIant Roam Disc 2, Revolt 2 or Toughroad SLR GX3 are I think the top picks on my current short list. Almost all on the higher end of what I want to spend, but if I can swing it, I'd rather drop $800-$1000 on what I need than $500-$600 on something I'm unhappy with.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    I have an rei street bike which is a mountain bike frame with thinner tires. It can handle slightly rougher stuff like rail trails and maybe lighter tracks but still handles typical roads great

    camo_sig.png
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Hydraulic disc brakes, yes yes yes.

    DoodmannBouwsT
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    Costco had these for about $200. You cannot beat the value for this aluminum frame bike. Disclosure: I had to tweak the setup a lot to fit my size and needs (handlebar height, seat height and tighen the brake cables).

    I also own a Specialized Hardrock (with RockShox in the front) from 1999.

    Also, you will never use a 21-speed bike in the city. You go uphill, you'll use gear 3 or less. Going downhill, you won't want to go 40 mph and get hit by a car. So I find the 7-speed adequate for city and paved trail use.

    I find myself riding the Infinity more. Do not discount the value of an aluminum frame and thinner wheels (Hybrid 700c, for city riding).

    https://www.infinitycycleworks.com/product/boss-three-unisex-hybrid-7-speed/

    My Live-Tracked Electronica:
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Look at 2nd hand bikes. Lots of people get into mountain biking and then find A. they need something more fancy or B. they find them self to lazy or to busy to ride, either way usually one can find lots of 1-2 year old bikes that are hardly used and that can be picked up real cheap.

    Also while my buying knowledge is a little outdated mountain bike companies tend to bring out new gear on a yearly basis, whenever the new seasons bikes arrive last years goes on sale. If memory serves me right Canondale was one of the companies bringing out their next year bikes really early, so it may be their 2021 models is not far off.

    Finally. This is a great place to find user reviews of bikes and gear, it will let you scout out possible weak points of possible bikes that you fancy.
    https://mtbr.com/user-reviews.html

    Seconding this. A good, expensive bike is sort of like a guitar. You don't want to get one until you know exactly what you need. I'd suggest getting something cheap or second hand at first, get a feel for what you like and want in it after using it in your usual environment, and then later on get one that fits the bill better.

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Btw. a warning of sorts. If you really get into biking you may find yourself wanting bikes more focused for the types of riding you do 8-)

    As an example - personally I have 6½ bikes. If I had more room for them I would have more.
    • A classic steel frame racing bike I use for commuting and shorter road training rides. I've done aprox 100K miles on it.
    • A fancy alu/carbon racing bike I use for long training rides and occasional commuting if I know I can bring the bike inside at the destination,
    • A hard core single speed bike for commuting. It is a hard tail MTB with the fork swapped with a carbon rigid one, the gears removed and the wide wheels switched to roads ones. A sub 22 lbs bike that can handle the occasional street bumps.
    • A classic bike from 1953 ie. a museum piece that runs, the frame geometry means you sit up almost like sitting on a chair. Comfy for shorter rides.
    • A hard core full suspension bike for cross country trail riding.
    • A uni-cycle
    • A "new" classic racing bike. I came across an offer on a Italian steel frame I could not pass up, so I am putting together a "new" bike using 1990's era parts sought out on eBay to build it up.

    My point is really that no bike is perfect for anything and if you try to find a do-it-all that bike may in reality only be so so for anything.

    So if the main thing is commuting on pavement don't get a mountain bike or if you do make it a light one with little or no suspension and tires that are less than 2" wide and with little to no knobs on the thread - wide tires with knobs are great off road, but a drag on the road and using them on road wears them out quickly. Also the way you sit and the width of the handle bars are different off and on road, on pavement you will want a narrowed handle bar and sit more leaning forward as this reduces wind resistance and on road you do not need shift you weight around so the saddle can be taller.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
    Jebus314
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    As an example - personally I have 6½ bikes. If I had more room for them I would have more.

    Never a truer statement.

    I base my moving decisions off how well my bikes will fit in the new place.

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