Bike Purchase Advice

  • Home
  • Bike Purchase Advice
3 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"My college age son, who is 5'9"", 195 lbs, has shown an interest in cycling and is looking for a good entry level road bike, say +/- $800. Any advice on bikes and bike shops who are friendly to novices?"

Anonymous's picture
Jim Reaven (not verified)
Bike Purchase Advice

I have found that sales people in bike shops, even knowledgable ones at the best shops, are hesitant to give advice that does not reinforce whatever you are saying. They don't make sales by raising objections. Therefore, before he goes into any bike shop he needs to be clear about the basics of what he wants.

Most members seem to have road bikes with drop handle bars with the shifters on them, triple gear wheels (chainrings) up front for helping up hills, and eventually learn to use some sort of clipless pedals. (Mountain bike pedals are easier to walk with but may be slightly less efficient.) As long as the bike is sized properly, he will eventually find an expert to fit him properly. (Read something about has changed over the years.) Test ride bikes for sure. Beyond that, you get what you pay for.

His $800 price range is at the low end of the range for road bikes from bike shops. There are adequate $800 bikes to get started, but if he can up his price range to $1000 plus he might be happier in the long run. To those of us who bought fine road bikes for $300 years ago, sticker shock is surely a problem. One can do well with used bikes, but this is tough until you know what you want.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Useful Web sites

For information on bike types and fit/sizing, check out these two Web sites.

I can recommend both of these shops as retailers. Habitat is in SoHo; CC is by mail order from Colorado. CC's stuff is high end so you need to know what you're doing, though their sales staff is very helpful. They sometimes have good sales.

Dec./Jan. is a good time to buy the previous year's bikes on sale. But of course it's not a bargain if it's not what you want or doesn't fit.

For information on cycling around NYC, visit the Transportation Alternatives site:

And while you're at it, why not get a second bike for yourself? ;)

Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
new bike

I'd go with Cannondale or Fuji. Both companies make quite good bikes in your price range.


cycling trips