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  1. #1
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    2010 Kona Dew or older Schwinn road bike?

    I'm looking to get into biking. My main goal is to get into shape and exercise in general. I'm not fat, but maybe just slightly overweight. I work a sedentary job and let myself go. I hate running (I tried), but I've always liked riding a bike.

    I'm thinking I'd ride often after work or on weekends. I'm also thinking I'll try to commute to work. It's about 15 miles one way, and all relatively flat country roads. I'd also like to enter a race here and there, but nothing too serious. For example, there's this Monster Cookie ride that's like 50 miles. You get a huge cookie at the end. What's not to like?

    I'm on a tight budget. Like $200 for the bike. I know I'll need to buy other stuff as well.

    I'm tall (6' 4" and 220lbs) and have figured out I need something around a 62cm+ frame, leaving just a few options. I've been cruising craigslist and a couple LBS, and here's the best of what I'm looking at. Either a 2010 Kona Dew hybrid off of CL, or a an older Schwinn road bike at a nearby LBS. I don't have more details on the Schwinn.

    So thoughts? Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Given your intended uses, I think you'll outgrow the hybrid in fairly short order and restart your hunt for a bike.

    That leaves the Schwinn, and with that comes the advantage of buying from an LBS, where you'll (hopefully) get some sizing/ fit assistance along with a warranty. Not all provide them, but ask that something like a 30 day warranty be included during your negotiations.

    BTW, I liked the huge cookie comment. Made me lol...

  3. #3
    wim
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    Agree, hybrids can get old real quick.

    Just guessing, but if you haven't ridden a bike for a long time and the monster cookie event you're talking about is next month or so, make sure you're up to it. Even if you have the heart and lungs for it, sitting on a bike saddle for hours is something you need to get used to. And I hope it's not a race. All bike races are brutal events that require some serious training for more than just a few weeks. Not trying to be negative here: I raced for many years and loved it.
    Last edited by wim; 03-29-2013 at 05:07 AM.

  4. #4
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    $200 is pretty tight. Even Bikes Direct doesnt have anything for $200. Best bet is to look for an older used road bike. That Schwinn may work, but if not, keep looking at Craigslist. I see alot of 80's-era road bikes for around $200 when I browse the list. Just check it out in person to make sure that there is no damage or parts that need replaced.

  5. #5
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    One of the things I love about bike racing, as opposed to doing a 5k, say, is that it's competitive all the way to the back of the pack. That can lead to some confusion about the different kinds of events one might wish to participate in.

    The default road race is an event in which you and a couple dozen of your closest friends all start at the same time and whoever completes the course first wins. Nobody cares how long it takes, but the pace means that falling off the back of the pack is likely to be the end of your race.

    There are gran fondos, in which you and a couple hundred of your closest friends start at more-or-less the same time and people get various kinds of recognition based on how long it takes to finish. A lot of people do these just to finish them or to get a PR for that distance. I think they're probably the most analogous to how most people run marathons.

    There are other large, organized rides. One still pays a fee of some sort (or fund raises) and there's still a designated course, but people are more laissez-faire about when they start, and nobody cares who finishes first or how long it took. I think these can make great initial training goals. Most racers who do these things do them for the social event, which is totally fun, but they're not that hard unless one tries to do them at, say, 20 mph for the whole thing.

    Not that you couldn't or shouldn't race, but you should know what that means in this sport.

    $200 is tight. IMO, you shouldn't be out on the road without a helmet and the tools to fix a flat. It's difficult to get set up with that for under $100, although some of the stuff at Target or a big sporting goods store can save you some money on that aspect.

    I had a commute bike I picked up for $100. It wasn't terrible, but that price pushed me back to a mid-'80s model. I had to replace parts pretty frequently, and after I thought things had more-or-less settled down, the frame broke. I hate to be "that guy" on a forum who tells you to raise your budget, but I think mid-'90s is a much better period. A lot of standards changed in the late '80s and early '90s. Maintenance of older bikes isn't impossible, but every replacement requires a little research and often a little hunt. It's much more straightforward with a '90s bike. That would be more like a $300 bike, assuming decent condition. Cyclists are frequently big evangelists for the sport and often have some hoarding tendencies. Ask around at work, talk to your friends (has worked for me) and whine on Facebook (that's my current commuter, incidentally) and see if you know someone with a bike for you that's just sitting around.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Given your intended uses, I think you'll outgrow the hybrid in fairly short order and restart your hunt for a bike.
    :
    Agree with this. I had the same thing happened to me. I loved the bike when I first got started, but got to the point where I just did not enjoy riding it. First I got a road bike for my fun rides and kept the hybrid for the commute. But even then it got to the point where I did not want to ride it, so I sold it and got a CX bike. 15 mile each way commute is nothing to sneeze at. Problem you may face with a hybrid is lack of hand position. On my hybrid, my hands would start hurting from only one hand position after about 10 miles. You can add bars (fake drop bars, MTB bar ends, touring bars, etc.) but at that point you might as well have gotten the bike that fits your needs.

    That said, if the Schwinn works I guess go with it. Since you say it is mostly flat, you could also try a single speed and save some cash. But if your $200 includes the gear, you really need to evaluate putting more money in. May need to save up, or if you have the money but don't want to spend it factor on the money you will save soon on gas for the commute. Good luck.
    Specialized Allez Comp Apex- '12 56cm
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  7. #7
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    IMO, a genuine road bike with a similar fit, will always trump a hybrid. Road bikes are generally faster and far more fun to ride.

    Therefore, I'd go for the Schwinn!

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