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The_People1

Bicycle Buying

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I'm looking to buy a new bicycle for cruising the weekends around Calgary's rivers, parks, bike paths, etc.  I might do the occassional ride to work as well (not downtown).  Thing is, I have not owned a bike since i was about 14-years-old (20-years ago!!) and i'm blown away by how nice the new bikes look and feel at Walmart for around $150.  Canadian Tire seems to have some decent looking ones for $200. 

 

Any recommends? I'm willing to spend around $300 to $500 for a bike that's going to last.

 

What's some things to look out for when buying a bike for riding inside the city?  I see some hybrid types at MEC for $1000 and wondering if that's necessary.  And it seems like specialty bike shops sell nothing under $600.  Is it worth it to buy the cheapest bike at a bike shop for $600?  Or go with the best at Canadian Tire for $400?

 

 

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From the sounds of it a bike from Canadian Tire should fit your needs...   Get a higher end one from there and you will get more bang for your buck...   Look for better quality gears and consider one with disc brakes...   Crappy Tire also puts a few on for 50% off every couple of months, and usually at least one or two of their more expensive models, talk to the sporting goods department manager and see if there has been a good sale recently, if not they should possibly be due for one soon (worth looking into)...   As with any bike, it depends who puts it together as to how reliable it will be at the point of sale without taking it back for any adjustments...   This location has a good assembly mechanic (sub contracted)...   I know this because I have had to replace my sons bikes a few times due to thefts while he was at University or elsewhere...  If you see one on sale in a flyer, call first to make sure they have it (again from experience)...

 

5404 Dalton Drive N.W. (403) 288-1100

 

If you get one from a different location, ask who builds them...   If it's a kid that works there, he may or may not be any good at it...

 

Lastly, get a good lock(s), something like a Kryptonite...

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Go to one of the bike dealers like Ridleys and ask a bunch of questions. That way you will know what are the quality components that you should have on your bike and what bike is best for you. They will also show you how to fit your bike to you. You might also consider looking in Costco after.

 

Most of what Carty said is good advice, the trouble is even the good reputation parts like Shimano brakes and shifters make low end parts for entry level bikes. At your price range you should be able to find a step up from those entry level bikes.

 

For stuff like the locks I agree get a good one.

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Go to one of the bike dealers like Ridleys and ask a bunch of questions. That way you will know what are the quality components that you should have on your bike and what bike is best for you. They will also show you how to fit your bike to you. You might also consider looking in Costco after.

 

Most of what Carty said is good advice, the trouble is even the good reputation parts like Shimano brakes and shifters make low end parts for entry level bikes. At your price range you should be able to find a step up from those entry level bikes.

 

For stuff like the locks I agree get a good one.

Good advice Deeds...   I know enough about bikes to be able to look at the components and then make a decision, and I also noticed a significant discrepancy in quality of some of the components even though sometimes the price was not much different...

 

Another thing is that sometimes a well known manufacturer will make a store brand bike for that franchise with their brand on it...

 

eg:

5624f356e1a41dcbd4a7f01352a10a1d.png

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I would also like to add make sure that you get a really good comfortable seat. If you plan on regular riding then this is a must.

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I would also like to add make sure that you get a really good comfortable seat. If you plan on regular riding then this is a must.

 

Another good point...   But I would also recommend that if it comes down to a decision between a few bikes, buy the best fitting bike with the best components and then replace the seat if necessary, rather than buying a bike just for the best seat...

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Thanks for the tips so far guys.  Aside from the seats, peddles, handles, tires, and weight of the frame which can display a level of quality that is fairly easily spotted, what should I look for when it comes to gears, chains, and suspension?  Maybe even brakes, how to tell if they are high quality or low quality?

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Thanks for the tips so far guys.  Aside from the seats, peddles, handles, tires, and weight of the frame which can display a level of quality that is fairly easily spotted, what should I look for when it comes to gears, chains, and suspension?  Maybe even brakes, how to tell if they are high quality or low quality?

 

You're in luck, just looked at today's flyer, and I can recommend this bike...   As long as you are not extremely tall, you should probably fit it...   This is one of the ones I bought for my adult son, so I know the bike...   I gave it a good look over prior to buying it, and especially with only paying $215 at half price, you will not beat the value...   The shifters are smooth and it has good deraillers, the full suspension is more than adequate for anything other than more hard core off trail riding and the brakes are well made and it's nice having that smooth disc break on the front...   I've ridden it myself a few times, and my son puts on a lot of miles with it...

 

While it is not a Cadillac in the world of bicycles, for the riding it sounds like you will be doing, this bike will more than fit your needs...   It will give you years of riding and not break the bank...

 

One last thing, if it is a different color, it could be last years model and some of the components could be different as well (I ran into this, and the shifter and brakes were not as good in that case)...

 

It's worth going over to have a look at Peeps, let me know what you think...

 

b209249eb17447862add7c679d929fbb.png

8e22a1a415817ef48545dfe243eee850.png

 

Here's the link to the flyer that runs from Thursday, July 24 to Wednesday, July 30 (it's on page 21)...   http://flyer.canadiantire.ca/Canadiantire/BrowseByPage?storeid=2400488&promotionviewmode=1&promotioncode=CaTire-140723ENGw&listingid=0&sneakpeek=N&pagenumber=1

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The only downside with that bike for you Peeps is it's sounds like your primarily will only use the bike for paved paths and maybe some off lose gravel but no really mountains biking correct? If that's the case I would stay away from full suspension because everyone you ride that suspension is going to engage and if you are just taking it easy you literally will be bouncing up and down on the full suspension and it actually causes you to exert more effort to go the same disatance then if you had a hardtail (ie no full suspension and your typically bike). If I'm wrong and you do want to do some mountain trails then I agree full suspension is nice but it's not it great for just riding around town. Sometimes the full suspension is adjustable and you can lock it into a setting that will have little flex to it and I'm not sure if that bike has it but IMO if I were just going to ride around town I'd go with a hardtail and avoid the full suspension.

My biggest thing with bikes, and I I use to sell then but it's been over 5 years, is ALWAYS go with a full aluminum frame. Some of the bikes in that price range will still be steel but you want aluminum. 10x better of a ride quality plus a third of the weight. While I do understand quality of component matter it again comes back to th type of ridding. If you are doing primarily flat train your not going to notice a ton of different between a high end and lower end component because you really arnt stressing them enough and if ind it's under stress the higher end components work better. As long as you maintain them even a lower end component will do fine in casual riding.

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Cross added some good advice above Peeps...

 

Sometimes the full suspension is adjustable and you can lock it into a setting that will have little flex to it and I'm not sure if that bike has it

 

Yes it does, the front was pretty good the way I bought it and so was the back, but I stiffened the back a little bit and locked it in...

 

ALWAYS go with a full aluminum frame.

 

Indeed it is a full aluminum frame, and I agree...   It's the only way to go, unless you are hardcore and can afford something made with a more exotic material...   :)

 

0d030fc8968d32d81daa165b0c492492.png

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You're in luck, just looked at today's flyer, and I can recommend this bike...   As long as you are not extremely tall, you should probably fit it...   This is one of the ones I bought for my adult son, so I know the bike...   I gave it a good look over prior to buying it, and especially with only paying $215 at half price, you will not beat the value...   The shifters are smooth and it has good deraillers, the full suspension is more than adequate for anything other than more hard core off trail riding and the brakes are well made and it's nice having that smooth disc break on the front...   I've ridden it myself a few times, and my son puts on a lot of miles with it...

 

While it is not a Cadillac in the world of bicycles, for the riding it sounds like you will be doing, this bike will more than fit your needs...   It will give you years of riding and not break the bank...

 

One last thing, if it is a different color, it could be last years model and some of the components could be different as well (I ran into this, and the shifter and brakes were not as good in that case)...

 

It's worth going over to have a look at Peeps, let me know what you think...

 

b209249eb17447862add7c679d929fbb.png

8e22a1a415817ef48545dfe243eee850.png

 

Here's the link to the flyer that runs from Thursday, July 24 to Wednesday, July 30 (it's on page 21)...   http://flyer.canadiantire.ca/Canadiantire/BrowseByPage?storeid=2400488&promotionviewmode=1&promotioncode=CaTire-140723ENGw&listingid=0&sneakpeek=N&pagenumber=1

Nice

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It's worth considering a second-hand bike.  Bicycles are a little bit like exercise equipment; people buy bikes with the best of intentions, but then the bike ends up collecting dust.

 

www.pinkbike.com has a buy/sell forum.  Kijiji is another good source.  

 

DirtyDeeds probably had the best piece of advice; go to a reputable bike shop and ask a lot of questions.  They'll narrow the field for you. 

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I bike hundreds and hundreds of klicks every year on my Giant. It's a quality bike. Anyway I think I paid close to a G for it 10 years ago, so not sure they make a lower end bike. I got a mountain bike but ride mostly streets and bike paths, so the drag on the wide nubby tires in considerable. You will get blown away by someone on a racing bike. Regardless, unless you are some kind of pro I think you're fine spending less. Get something you like and are comfortable with. If I went much faster I'd probably kill myself anyway.

 

But I recommend for your enjoyment and because most of us here are stat freaks...

 

get a free download of MapMyRide.

 

Once you punch in your bike type, tire size, and your weight the program will use its mapping program to figure out your speed, change of elevations, calories burned, and log the course you took. There's also an auto pause so you can stop at a light or grab a sip of water. It's always fun for a stats dork to check the results when back home.

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Best go to a bike shop and at least ask questions.  As to buying, get their cheapest model or buy a good bike secondhand, where you can find lots of deals on great bikes.  Most bike shops I've been in won't even touch a cheap, Canadian Tire Chinese-made bike, as the parts, quality of materials,etc all different and not worth their efforts.  Hey, it can take up to a couple hundred dollars to do a full tune-up on a bike.  You'd never do that on a $200 bike...  If you are serious about bike riding invest in yourself and get something that will perform well and last.  

 

Aluminum versus steel, hard-tail or suspended, mountain versus road versus hybrid versus recumbent all depends on the $s invested and what type of riding you will be doing (i.e. Pavement versus gravel versus trails, short vs long distance and etc...).

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