Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2

    Question Best Budget Bike for Getting Around Town?

    I'm looking to spend around $500 for a bike that will get me around town while my DH has our family's car during the week. The bike needs to be able to tow a 2-child trailer. I'm 5'2" and weigh around 105 lbs.

    I haven't ridden a bike in over a decade and that was a cheapie 10 speed from Sears that my parents had originally bought me in high school. I've been looking online and am totally overwhelmed by all the jargon DH doesn't know anything about bikes either so he's no help.

    I worry about getting ripped off at my local bike shop being a woman and clueless about bikes.

    Please help!

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,667

    Last year's left overs.

    Most every shop will have a few. I'd suggest a bike with strong brakes. I found a trailer and two sons made a bike a lot harder to stop. Cantilever or V brakes, sorry about the jargon, with motorcycle style levers on a straight handle bar often give more stopping power for the same amount of hand effort.

    In the $500 range bikes come in many different shapes and your goal should be getting a bike that feels easy and comfortable to ride. You're not likely to enter any child towing races so a pound or two shouldn't matter much. Last year's bikes will lessen the chance that you pay more than the bike is worth.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    8,185
    Most volume bike sellers don't allow much price wiggle room in the $500 zone- so I doubt you will be ripped off.

    I hate to say it, but if it were me, I would buy more of a mtn bike for such towing duties-- or a hybrid of some sort- not that you couldn't do it with a road bike. You certainly don't need anything lightweight. Additionally, if the bike will be your car (meaning that you will be using in all sorts of conditions), you might want a rear fender at the very least-- maybe a rack? Lights? I think you are a little on the light side to be hauling much weight with road tires and road geometry. A mtn bike with disc brakes would also give you better stopping power.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonGirl
    I'm looking to spend around $500 for a bike that will get me around town while my DH has our family's car during the week. The bike needs to be able to tow a 2-child trailer. I'm 5'2" and weigh around 105 lbs.

    I haven't ridden a bike in over a decade and that was a cheapie 10 speed from Sears that my parents had originally bought me in high school. I've been looking online and am totally overwhelmed by all the jargon DH doesn't know anything about bikes either so he's no help.

    I worry about getting ripped off at my local bike shop being a woman and clueless about bikes.

    Please help!

  4. #4
    i like whiskey
    Reputation: innergel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    8,570
    Go for a hybrid mountain bike. They have a more upright geometry and slick tires so you can ride just as easily on pavement or a trail. They can easily pull a tralier, but I can tell you it's going to be work to pull two kids, regardless of the bike.

    Here's a few options for hybrid mountain bikes in your price range. More money just gets you better quality components. Most manufacturers will have something similar. Go to your LBS (local bike shop) and tell them what you are looking for. They'll be able to point you in the right direction. Ask lots of questions. If they are a good shop, they will answer them all for you. Only buy when you feel comfortable.

    Giant Sedona http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-US...yle/600/28408/
    Trek 7200 http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...d=1322600&f=27
    Specialized Globe http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22061

    And if you tell us where you live, there's bound to be someone on the board near you who can recommend a good bike shop.

  5. #5
    vulture chow
    Reputation: SadieKate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    229
    I was recently looking for a friend and was very impressed with the Trek FX Fitness line. With linear pull brakes you can use wider tires if you like. It comes in WSD sizing if that's your thing and, at your height, I would take a look at WSD, you may get a better fit and better standover. You get a lot of value for the money in a model such as the 7.3 and it comes with gearing compatible with towing a load. I also found it to be much lighter than the competition. I've seen lots of rave reviews by women about this line of bikes.

    Marin makes similar bikes of high quality and good value. I had a Larkspur for several years that I used to tow groceries. It handled a trailer very well.
    Co-dependent bike pimp

  6. #6
    The Divine Spin
    Reputation: Spinchick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    895
    Having pulled kids in a trailer behind a bike, I'll second the recommendation on a mountain/hybrid bike. You want one that feels sturdy and solid enough to pull weight, with straight bars, and more of an upright position. This will also be a good bike to transition to a kid's trail-a-bike when your kids are old enough. With the sturdier bike, you can also mount a rack on the back for anything you might need to carry.
    Ravings from a mad farmgurl...

  7. #7
    vulture chow
    Reputation: SadieKate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    229
    CrimsonGirl, remember that weight is different for all of us. Yes, you need a sturdy, stable bike for towing a trailer but remember that a 25 lb bike is 24% of your 105 lb body weight as opposed to 14% of a 180 lb guy. A pound or two can be huge, particularly if you're adding on the trailer, kids and groceries. You don't need uberlight but you do need to consider the weight of the bike.

    I definitely agree that a flat bar bike will give you more stability than drop bars (like you probably had on the Sears 10-spd). City/Hybrid bikes will usually come with linear (v-brakes) or cantilevers, and also have room for fenders. I would stay away from mountain bikes unless you do see yourself riding dirt trails (not just crushed granite paths). Mtnbikes have suspension front forks which aren't necessary for town riding and just adds weight and complexity of maintenance.
    Co-dependent bike pimp

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2

    Thanks Everyone!

    Thanks for all the help! I do not plan to take the bike off-road at all (I'd much rather hike up a mountain than bike it!) which is why I had been thinking a road bike instead of a mtn bike. A hybrid does sound like it would be a good choice though for the sturdiness.

    I live about 25 miles south of San Francisco in the mid-Peninsula if anyone has a recommendation for a good bike shop in the area.

    Thanks again!

  9. #9
    vulture chow
    Reputation: SadieKate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    229
    I'm sure you'll get replies here, but over on the teamestrogen.com forum there are a ton of women from the Bay Area.
    Co-dependent bike pimp

  10. #10
    dontbelookinatmelikeFreud
    Reputation: kaotikgrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    121
    .....
    Last edited by kaotikgrl; 10-03-2007 at 10:07 PM.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    1,056

    REI Buzz

    I have an older version of this bike and love it, it may be my favorite out of 8 bikes some up to 4k in value. http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...cat=REI_SEARCH

    It's liek an old old time mountain bike with semi slick tires on it. Rolls fast, very sturdy frame, can pull trailer easy, handles great. Looks much cooler than a hybrid.

    I know it's over 500 but in March REI will have a 20% off coupon bringing the price down to 500 bucks. Plus REI will always take it back if you decide you are not satisfied so why not check it out?
    Last edited by lancezneighbor; 02-04-2007 at 07:16 PM.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    378
    Quote Originally Posted by lancezneighbor
    I have an older version of this bike and love it, it may be my favorite out of 8 bikes some up to 4k in value. http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...cat=REI_SEARCH

    It's liek an old old time mountain bike with semi slick tires on it. Rolls fast, very sturdy frame, can pull trailer easy, handles great. Looks much cooler than a hybrid.

    I know it's over 500 but in March REI will have a 20% off coupon bringing the price down to 500 bucks. Plus REI will always take it back if you decide you are not satisfied so why not check it out?
    REI has 20% off now using OUTLET27 as the coupon code (good till the 9th) (sorry, forgot you were looking at the non-outlet side)

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    70
    Hi,

    If you're ever in the city.. try San Francisco Cyclery.

    www.sanfranciscocyclery.com

    Its a women owned shop right next to Golden Gate Park. Great customer service.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: lwkwafi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    121
    A good solid bet is always the Bianchi Avenue, and you can go upwards from there to get to $500. That is what my local LBS sells the most of for commuting bikes around the U of I campus, and when my sister was wanting a new bike to soon pull her son around in, i talked her into getting one. Granted, she was impressed by the $350ish price tag, so it was an easier sell.
    And I know you can just go up the bianchi line to get a nicer bike if that is what you are going for pricewise, but its a great bang for the buck.

    Best Budget Bike for Getting Around Town?-avenueblue.jpg
    I'd rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in.
    -Refused

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

INTERBIKE

Contest

Hot Deals See All Hot Deals >>

Interbike Featured Booths

Check out the hottest road bike products from these brands!



















See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »


Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook