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Advice on buying a bicycle for spring

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mayachel

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Hello, I live in the city, with a nearby park with paved pathways. I have never biked much, but would like to, mostly as a fun outdoor activity that will give me a little bit of movement. The local bike shop recommended a Jamis Citizen Hybrid bike.

On-line, I can not seem to find much about these. In fact, I don''t really understand what a hybrid bike is? I do not envision myself ever racing...not my speed. It seemed comfortable to ride, but I have nothing to compare it to. The price is around $300, and again...nothing to compare that to! So, help a girl out if you can. Thanks!

Other bike recommendations are welcome too.
 

neatfreak

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Hi Mayachel,

I worked in a bike shop for many years, so I can help you. A hybrid or comfort bike is probably just the ticket for you based on what you have said. They are basic bikes that are super comfortable to ride and can handle a variety of paved streetriding and hard packed dirt paths.

Jamis isn't a bad brand, but it's not one of the bigger brands that is well known. My recommendation would be to check out Specialized bikes. They have bikes in a similar price range, they are very well regarded in the industry, and they have amazing customer service.

They were fantastic when I was working at a bike shop and just last week I lost a small part to my bike, the bike shop said it was unavailable and I would have to buy a whole new seatpost (which I knew was BS), so I called Specialized and within 2 days the part was on my doorstep for free!

I'd check out their Carmel model and go from there.

ETA: Also check out the Trek 7000 series and the Navigator.
 

mayachel

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Date: 3/25/2009 2:21:30 PM
Author: neatfreak
Hi Mayachel,


I worked in a bike shop for many years, so I can help you. A hybrid or comfort bike is probably just the ticket for you based on what you have said. They are basic bikes that are super comfortable to ride and can handle a variety of paved streetriding and hard packed dirt paths.

Great Neatfreak, thank you! It is so much more useful to hear this from someone I know isn''t getting a commission from me. Especially, when I am feeling like a newbie. I will definitely look into the specialized and trek 7000.
 

vetrik

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I just wanted to chime in since I bought a Jamis hybrid bike a few years ago, and I love it!

I looked around a lot before I bought - it''s definitely worth it to try out lots of different bikes. My best friend and her husband are pretty seriously into biking, so they helped me out - I think we visited at least 4 or 5 different bike shops. The hybrid is a great choice for fun riding - I mostly ride on local bike paths and paved trails. It''s perfect for that. Jamis is less well known than some of the other brands, but I really liked my bike the best when I tried it out. It uses the same high quality components as the other brands (gears, brakes, etc), but I found the price was a little less. I bought a men''s previous model year that was on clearance, which was even more savings. It''s been great for over 3 years now, so I would recommend them from my experience.
 

lyra

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We have 4 Specialized bikes in our family, each one is different, but all are very high quality. With this brand of bike, IME, you get what you pay for and it will last for many many years. Mine happens to be the Myka soft-tail mountain bike, because I mostly do trail riding with hills and forest, but speak with a rep and get info on what might be suitable for you. I love the service we get from our dealer. When we bought each bike, we could choose which wheels and tires we wanted, which handgrips and which seat. Most upgrades were free, some we paid for. Good luck!
 

canuk-gal

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HI:

I also have a hybrid--takes me where I need to go and it gets a lot of use; mostly city/paved. My Giant is a dreamboat. But my DH and son love their Specialized..... We have great shops nearby so servicing/parts isn''t an issue.

I second taking a few out for a spin.....

cheers--Sharon
 

somegirl932

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Honestly, I think for you, the most important thing is just going to be the fit of the bike, because that''s going to determine how comfortable you are.

For example, Specialized bikes are a really great brand, but their proportions just aren''t quite right for me. Also, a lot of manufacturer''s make women''s specific bikes. A lot of times these aren''t really necessary, but for some women they may be extra perfect.

I currently own two bikes, one womens-specific and one not, two different manufacturers, but they both fit me perfectly.

Also, make sure you get sized correctly when you go to get your bike! Someone at the store can measure you and make sure you''re getting the best size bike for you.
 

lyra

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Date: 3/25/2009 11:39:28 PM
Author: somegirl932
Honestly, I think for you, the most important thing is just going to be the fit of the bike, because that''s going to determine how comfortable you are.

For example, Specialized bikes are a really great brand, but their proportions just aren''t quite right for me. Also, a lot of manufacturer''s make women''s specific bikes. A lot of times these aren''t really necessary, but for some women they may be extra perfect.

I currently own two bikes, one womens-specific and one not, two different manufacturers, but they both fit me perfectly.

Also, make sure you get sized correctly when you go to get your bike! Someone at the store can measure you and make sure you''re getting the best size bike for you.
I wasn''t convinced that a gender specific bike would work for me either (long legs, short arms). My Specialized (and daughter''s) are designed for women. As it turns out, there''s tons of adjustments that can be made. What made a huge difference for me was having the handlebars moved or tilted away from me slightly. You can also tilt the seat and other things, that are just minor adjustments that make a huge difference in comfort. Also, it depends on your style of riding. What is "proper" and what I do are two different things! Your seat should be pretty much level with your handlebars, but for me I get too scared to ride it that way as it means coming to a stop with me leaning to one side to touch the ground. That''s correct, but not for me. More for my husband who is much more of a pro rider. The reason I highlighted the second part was to illustrate the fact that what is "correct" in measurement isn''t necessarily what is best for the individual. Be honest about your riding style and willingness to learn to ride a certain way or not. I think the guys at the shop laugh at my quirks--big cushiony seat, soft rubber grips, no clip in for bike shoes, knowing I''m not going to position the seat properly unless I get really really confident, etc. Don''t be afraid to tell them you''re not comfortable with something--you may not get used to it down the line, and things can be changed before you even leave the store.
 

mayachel

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Yay! Look at all you bike riders. I''m inspired.

Vetrik-I''m glad to hear your opinion of the Jamis. Not that I''ve decided yet, just that the little (and I mean, one review) of it was that it was NOT well made and fell apart quickly...This seemed strange to me as the bike shop I was at has a good reputation. BUT it was the ONLY brand of hybrid they sold.

Lyra-I appreciate hearing about the different models of the specialized and how your family is using them. I also agree that a nice comfy seat and squishy handgrips sound like the type of luxury in a bike I want! Let them laugh


Canuk-girl-Your description of how you are using your hybrid is exactly how I imagine using mine. Sounds like the right type of bike to me!

Somegirl-thanks for the input. You have helped convince me that I should get myself over to the distant bike shop, that is going to take a bit of effort but has good local reviews for fitting people appropriately. Hopefully they carry some of these other bikes so I can try out another brand or two. I didn''t realize that the whole gender specific bike thing was more than an advertising ploy, or if the bar went up or down between the handles and the seat.
 

Skippy123

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Date: 3/25/2009 9:37:40 PM
Author: canuk-gal
HI:

I also have a hybrid--takes me where I need to go and it gets a lot of use; mostly city/paved. My Giant is a dreamboat. But my DH and son love their Specialized..... We have great shops nearby so servicing/parts isn't an issue.

I second taking a few out for a spin.....

cheers--Sharon
I got a Giant too; mine is the Sedona http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/lifestyle/1277/29338/
it is so comfortable and fun to ride!!!!!!!
I think you should go to a bike store and tell them what you want and test ride them; that helped me pick the best bike for me. Happy biking!!
 
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