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Bike People - help a beginner out! (pretty pretty please)

cayenne_007cayenne_007 Posts: 250Member, Premium Member Posts: 250Member, Premium Member
I need suggestions for a SIMPLE fun bike to ride on dirt roads a few times a week. I'll never seriously get into cycling - but I don't want to buy something that's absolute junk either. My goal is to ride for 30 min, 3X a week for some cardio. I have lots of dirt/gravel roads around my house to ride on.

I'm 5'8" - looks like I'll need a 26" frame?

I'm in a rural area - I'll most likely need to just order one. (only decent sized store around here is walmart :-1: )

Really appreciate any and all suggestions!

Thanks guys!

Replies

  • icemom011icemom011 Posts: 812Member Member Posts: 812Member Member
    If you order one, it will have to be built. Can you do this?
  • just_Tomekjust_Tomek Posts: 6,570Member Member Posts: 6,570Member Member
    I need suggestions for a SIMPLE fun bike to ride on dirt roads a few times a week. I'll never seriously get into cycling - but I don't want to buy something that's absolute junk either. My goal is to ride for 30 min, 3X a week for some cardio. I have lots of dirt/gravel roads around my house to ride on.

    I'm 5'8" - looks like I'll need a 26" frame?

    I'm in a rural area - I'll most likely need to just order one. (only decent sized store around here is walmart :-1: )

    Really appreciate any and all suggestions!

    Thanks guys!

    either visit a proper bike shop to get sized and select a bike within your price range
    OR
    visit bikesdirect.com
  • icemom011icemom011 Posts: 812Member Member Posts: 812Member Member
    Although it's not hard to put it together out of the box, bike shop will be able to adjust it to your measurements, which could be a bit tricky. So if there's one within some driving distance that is reasonable for you, plus one for the bike shop! And you can test ride their bikes, do that gives you an idea of what you are getting into. Because there's so many choices! They will be likely to narrow it down for you based on how/where you are planning to ride.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,555Member Member Posts: 36,555Member Member
    I need suggestions for a SIMPLE fun bike to ride on dirt roads a few times a week. I'll never seriously get into cycling - but I don't want to buy something that's absolute junk either. My goal is to ride for 30 min, 3X a week for some cardio. I have lots of dirt/gravel roads around my house to ride on.

    I'm 5'8" - looks like I'll need a 26" frame?

    I'm in a rural area - I'll most likely need to just order one. (only decent sized store around here is walmart :-1: )

    Really appreciate any and all suggestions!

    Thanks guys!

    Don't get a Walmart bike.

    Where is the nearest city where you can find a bike shop? I would get an entry level mountain bike...I'm partial to Specialized. We just bought my wife a Specialized Pitch...she mostly rides road with me, but she occasionally likes to head out on the numerous dirt trails in our area for a change of pace. She didn't want to spend a ton as she doesn't intend to actually do much mountain biking. The basic Specialized Pitch goes for $500. You could upgrade to a Pitch Sport for an extra $125.

    $500 is pretty much going to be the minimum for an entry level bike that is still of good quality. Don't waste your time with a Walmart bike.

    2960856182018.jpg
  • HoneyBadger155HoneyBadger155 Posts: 1,198Member Member Posts: 1,198Member Member
    I'm not a serious cyclist - at all (unless you add "motor" in front of that), but I do bike most weekends for an hour or two.

    I have a Cannondale hybrid type bike - I can take it on dirt trails or roads just fine, but it's not a mountain bike, so no off-road kinds of trails, but it works pretty well on pavement to. Since I'm not a serious cyclist, I find it great to allow me some flexibility and let's me do what I enjoy. Someone more serious probably wouldn't like it, but I found the price point more in my "willing to spend that" category than the more specialized bicycles were.
  • cayenne_007cayenne_007 Posts: 250Member, Premium Member Posts: 250Member, Premium Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I need suggestions for a SIMPLE fun bike to ride on dirt roads a few times a week. I'll never seriously get into cycling - but I don't want to buy something that's absolute junk either. My goal is to ride for 30 min, 3X a week for some cardio. I have lots of dirt/gravel roads around my house to ride on.

    I'm 5'8" - looks like I'll need a 26" frame?

    I'm in a rural area - I'll most likely need to just order one. (only decent sized store around here is walmart :-1: )

    Really appreciate any and all suggestions!

    Thanks guys!

    Don't get a Walmart bike.

    Where is the nearest city where you can find a bike shop? I would get an entry level mountain bike...I'm partial to Specialized. We just bought my wife a Specialized Pitch...she mostly rides road with me, but she occasionally likes to head out on the numerous dirt trails in our area for a change of pace. She didn't want to spend a ton as she doesn't intend to actually do much mountain biking. The basic Specialized Pitch goes for $500. You could upgrade to a Pitch Sport for an extra $125.

    $500 is pretty much going to be the minimum for an entry level bike that is still of good quality. Don't waste your time with a Walmart bike.

    2960856182018.jpg

    Thank you!!! I have an extreme dislike of all things WalMart and would get one from there only as a last resort. This is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. I'm an hour from Albuquerque. That's the tricky part - not buying junk & not spending more than I have to. I'd prefer to run, but my knees won't allow it and I love being outdoors so this makes more sense than an elliptical or something along those lines. I spend lots of my time outdoors riding my horses/doing stuff around the barn and I think this will be a great way to get in some cardio. I don't have to leave home to do it and can squeeze in a quick ride a few times a week.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 8,954Member Member Posts: 8,954Member Member
    If it's possible to buy used, you'll get much more value that way. Bikes depreciate very quickly at first, and they're very durable.

    You need to decide whether you want "flat" handlebars, like on a mountain bike or hybrid, or curvy, ram-horn ones like a road bike. The curvy ones are more comfortable for many people, but it's really a matter of preference. Road bikes with 30+ mm tires do well on dirt roads.

    You probably should also decide whether you need the services a shop provides - fit, tune ups and adjustments, warranty help if it comes to it, etc.

    If you're really not going to ride for more than 30 minutes at a time, and with a day off in between, having the bike fit you perfectly is less important. I don't mean getting the right size, I mean having the bars and saddle adjusted to your dimensions and fitness level. If you ride for hours at a time, any little issue will add up and make itself known.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,555Member Member Posts: 36,555Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I need suggestions for a SIMPLE fun bike to ride on dirt roads a few times a week. I'll never seriously get into cycling - but I don't want to buy something that's absolute junk either. My goal is to ride for 30 min, 3X a week for some cardio. I have lots of dirt/gravel roads around my house to ride on.

    I'm 5'8" - looks like I'll need a 26" frame?

    I'm in a rural area - I'll most likely need to just order one. (only decent sized store around here is walmart :-1: )

    Really appreciate any and all suggestions!

    Thanks guys!

    Don't get a Walmart bike.

    Where is the nearest city where you can find a bike shop? I would get an entry level mountain bike...I'm partial to Specialized. We just bought my wife a Specialized Pitch...she mostly rides road with me, but she occasionally likes to head out on the numerous dirt trails in our area for a change of pace. She didn't want to spend a ton as she doesn't intend to actually do much mountain biking. The basic Specialized Pitch goes for $500. You could upgrade to a Pitch Sport for an extra $125.

    $500 is pretty much going to be the minimum for an entry level bike that is still of good quality. Don't waste your time with a Walmart bike.

    2960856182018.jpg

    Thank you!!! I have an extreme dislike of all things WalMart and would get one from there only as a last resort. This is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. I'm an hour from Albuquerque. That's the tricky part - not buying junk & not spending more than I have to. I'd prefer to run, but my knees won't allow it and I love being outdoors so this makes more sense than an elliptical or something along those lines. I spend lots of my time outdoors riding my horses/doing stuff around the barn and I think this will be a great way to get in some cardio. I don't have to leave home to do it and can squeeze in a quick ride a few times a week.

    @cayenne_007

    I live in Albuquerque...actually, Corrales. I recommend High Desert Bicycle...they have two locations, one on the west side just north of Paseo off of Coors and one in the heights just off of Paseo a little east of I-25. They do Specialized and Scott.

    Sport Systems is pretty good too and where I got my Specialized Roubaix...I like High Desert better, but they didn't have the bike I wanted at the time as I was shopping close out deals.

    As that goes, right now is a pretty good time to take a look as bike shops will start bringing in the new model year bikes and putting the old model years they have in stock on sale. That inventory will diminish significantly from now through about the end of September, so now is a pretty good time to get a bit of a discount.

    I also wouldn't recommend ordering...different bikes have different feels. When we were shopping for my wife's mountain bike she tried both the Pitch and the Scott equivalent...she liked the Pitch better and I preferred the feel of the Scott. You need to test ride.



    edited August 15
  • cayenne_007cayenne_007 Posts: 250Member, Premium Member Posts: 250Member, Premium Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I need suggestions for a SIMPLE fun bike to ride on dirt roads a few times a week. I'll never seriously get into cycling - but I don't want to buy something that's absolute junk either. My goal is to ride for 30 min, 3X a week for some cardio. I have lots of dirt/gravel roads around my house to ride on.

    I'm 5'8" - looks like I'll need a 26" frame?

    I'm in a rural area - I'll most likely need to just order one. (only decent sized store around here is walmart :-1: )

    Really appreciate any and all suggestions!

    Thanks guys!

    Don't get a Walmart bike.

    Where is the nearest city where you can find a bike shop? I would get an entry level mountain bike...I'm partial to Specialized. We just bought my wife a Specialized Pitch...she mostly rides road with me, but she occasionally likes to head out on the numerous dirt trails in our area for a change of pace. She didn't want to spend a ton as she doesn't intend to actually do much mountain biking. The basic Specialized Pitch goes for $500. You could upgrade to a Pitch Sport for an extra $125.

    $500 is pretty much going to be the minimum for an entry level bike that is still of good quality. Don't waste your time with a Walmart bike.

    2960856182018.jpg

    Thank you!!! I have an extreme dislike of all things WalMart and would get one from there only as a last resort. This is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. I'm an hour from Albuquerque. That's the tricky part - not buying junk & not spending more than I have to. I'd prefer to run, but my knees won't allow it and I love being outdoors so this makes more sense than an elliptical or something along those lines. I spend lots of my time outdoors riding my horses/doing stuff around the barn and I think this will be a great way to get in some cardio. I don't have to leave home to do it and can squeeze in a quick ride a few times a week.

    @cayenne_007

    I live in Albuquerque...actually, Corrales. I recommend High Desert Bicycle...they have two locations, one on the west side just north of Paseo off of Coors and one in the heights just off of Paseo a little east of I-25. They do Specialized and Scott.

    Sport Systems is pretty good too and where I got my Specialized Roubaix...I like High Desert better, but they didn't have the bike I wanted at the time as I was shopping close out deals.

    As that goes, right now is a pretty good time to take a look as bike shops will start bringing in the new model year bikes and putting the old model years they have in stock on sale. That inventory will diminish significantly from now through about the end of September, so now is a pretty good time to get a bit of a discount.

    I also wouldn't recommend ordering...different bikes have different feels. When we were shopping for my wife's mountain bike she tried both the Pitch and the Scott equivalent...she liked the Pitch better and I preferred the feel of the Scott. You need to test ride.



    Thank you! Thank you! I'll give them a call and see when I can get by there possibly after work one day! I'm south of Belen a bit.....there's NOTHING out here. Absolutely nothing... I'd be over the moon for a decent grocery store.
  • dTedeceldTedecel Posts: 9Member Member Posts: 9Member Member
    Just a suggestion, not knowing how remote you are, do you have Craigslist where you live? Would they have a selection of bikes to choose from?

    I always tell beginners no to invest too much on their first bike. Buy a used cheap one (several cuts above Walmart) and see if it woks for you. You can always upgrade the bike (or components) and or resell it back in Craigslist.
  • robertw486robertw486 Posts: 1,976Member, Greeter, Premium Member Posts: 1,976Member, Greeter, Premium Member
    dTedecel wrote: »
    Just a suggestion, not knowing how remote you are, do you have Craigslist where you live? Would they have a selection of bikes to choose from?

    I always tell beginners no to invest too much on their first bike. Buy a used cheap one (several cuts above Walmart) and see if it woks for you. You can always upgrade the bike (or components) and or resell it back in Craigslist.

    I share the same train of thought. In my area there are several people that scour ads and garage sales, picking up bikes for 1/4 - 1/5 of original cost, then reselling them on Craigslist and similar for prices that are reasonable. But bikes depreciate as fast as cars. There is really no reason to buy new until you are sure you will use it long term.

    And to be honest, many people that don't use them enough won't really appreciate the differences in quality of many bikes. And that applies to many that put real mileage on their bikes as well.


    For the cost of one decent new bike, a person could buy several cheaper bikes and find what style really suits them first. A hard packed dirt road that is fairly smooth might be great for a road bike with some decent width tires, but a rough and loose dirt road might not be fun without more tire and/or suspension.


    For just getting some cardio in, many cheap bikes will work just fine. I've got a box store bike that has about 3,200 miles on it since I put the bike computer on it, and that was after a lot more use. Having some fun and getting or staying fit doesn't take a lot of money. It's really just personal preference.
  • Burnabychick2014Burnabychick2014 Posts: 81Member Member Posts: 81Member Member
    Pinkbike is another source for used bikes
  • vivo1972vivo1972 Posts: 7Member Member Posts: 7Member Member
    I don't know if you can get Trek easily where you live, I had a Trek Neko 3 (hybrid) for two years and went everywhere on it - dirt trails, to the shops, road rides and eventually did a 100k with my mates before I upgraded. They aren't expansive, a decent brand and will take you anywhere :) Enjoy!
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