Suggest some good name brands for bicycles.

I’m looking into getting a bicycle for the summer for some exercise and recreation purposes.

Right now I’m torn between buying a road bike, and mountain bike.

Normally I would get a mountain bike, but the trail I would be riding on mostly would be paved unless I wanted to go back to my roots, and ride trails I used to ride when I was in HS.
Which I may just do.

Anyways, give me some good suggestions as to some name brand in terms of both road bikes, and mountain bikes.

The only requirement I have now, is that it is has multiple speeds (I’m not looking for a cruiser bike with a saddle seat:rolleyes: ) and that it has a quick detach front wheel so I can fit it in the back seat of my Neon.

Oh, and I’m not going pro any time soon, so I don’t need a 5 lb bike like a friend of mine had in HS. No Bianchi for me thank you very much. lol

Max price range I had in mind to the extreme range would be 200-250 bucks if it was well worth it. More like 100, but a bike of more quality grade than a Walmart/K-Mart/Sears bike would be nice.

I have a Gary Fisher mountain bike that I rode while I was still in the dorms here at Purdue. It worked well on pavement/sidewalks and “off road” too. It is from the 2003 Collection and the name of the bike is Advance.

I had all kinds of great suggestions, until I saw your price limit.

You’re in a sticky situation. You don’t want to buy a department store bike, because they’re junk, but you’re pretty limited in your price range for buying from a bike shop, especially as far as mountain bikes go. You’re not going to get a very great bike for that kind of money. If you were to double your price range to around $500 you can start to get good performance for cheap.

It might be a moot point though–if you’re just going to be riding on moderate terrain, and nothing too extreme, you won’t really notice the difference between a $250 and $500 bike that much.

It may be a little higher than you can afford for your listed price range but i just got a gary fisher Marlin and i love it it rides great and seems to be bullet proof

happy biking…

Unfortunately, the intersection of “more like $100” and “more quality than a Walmart/K-Mart/Sears bike” is pretty much the null set. If your price point is pretty firm, then the best suggestion is to start looking for a used bike. Even then, you will be looking at something in the Schwinn- or Monarch-class. There are some good deals on eBay if you are willing to wait for them (I picked up my carbon fiber Trek 5200 on eBay for less than 1/3 the retail price, but it was because I was willing to wait for the right bike and right deal to come along). Good luck!


Well it’s pretty much a given that the best piece of advice anyone will tell you when purchasing a bike is to not get one of the bikes from a store like Walmart, Kmart, Target, The Sports Authority, ect. If you get a bike, and you want to make sure it’s quality, get one from your local bike shop. The brand I’d reconmend to anyone is Trek. Trek is the company Lance Armstrong rides for, and the bikes I’ve used in the past, I’ve been really happy with. This past year my dad won a Trek XO-1, since he doesn’t ride much if at all, I’ve logged about 1,250 or so miles on it. The greatest thing about it is it’s designed to be a Cyclocross bike, so it’s a very good Hybrid of a Road and Off-Road, it’s lightweight, and rugged. The only thing thats wrong about it, is the fact that it’s suggested price is $1319.99

Specialized, Cannondale, Fuji, Giant, and Klein are 4 other bike brands that I’d reconmend.

Don’t forget the helmet.

Well… thanks for all the thoughts… I may in fact raise my price, and I’ll take Trek, Gray Fisher, and the others into consideration.

But… if I wanted to stay at my low end price, I see that actually both K-mart and Walmart sell Mongoose and Schwinn. Which would you pick over the other and why?

I know Mongoose makes great BMX bikes, but how are their Mountain Bikes?

Schwinn reminds me of the old school cruisers with the saddle seats… How have they progressed since the 70’s?

Mogoose bikes are about average…i had one for a few years prior to my current bike and i would suggest the schwin over the mongoose

Buy a used bike. I would much rather have a 10 or 15-year-old Trek or Cannondale or Fisher than a brand new $250 bike. I just searched the Seattle Craigslist site (for example) and found 23 Trek bikes for $250 or less.

Any bike that cost $500 or more when new is going to be pretty good in the used market. As long as it hasn’t been trashed, a lot of old bikes don’t have a lot of miles and will be great values. Remember, that things that wear out on bikes can all be easily replaced. If the frame hasn’t been bent, you should be good to go. What you might have give up on older bikes are some of the cool things like fingertip bump-shifting and carbon-fiber forks (I’d still prefer chrome-moly forks, old-guy grumbling).

Personally, I would sweat the fit and condition a lot more than brand name. There have a been a lot of frame makers through the years, and at given price points they are very similar. Some good signs on a used bike are component groups like Shimano DuraAce, 105, Ultegra, Deore and XTR. My 1990 Cannondale road bike has a Suntour/SR group that has been bulletproof through more than 6,000 miles. On frames, look for chrome/moly, aluminum, or composite. Any new $250 bike is going to be a soft-steel frame that is heavy and relatively weak.

Another advantage of a used bike is that you can usually resell it for about what you paid for it if you don’t like it. New bikes are like cars – they depreciate a lot as soon as you write the check.

There is lots of other advice, but you can find a lot of it just by googling. Have fun!

ADDED LATER: If you are riding on pavement, get a road bike. You’ll be amazed at how much better a road bike is than a mountain or “cross” bike on the hard. Once you’ve ridden a few hundred miles on a road bike, pedaling a mountain bike on pavement feels just like pedaling a motorcycle.

It might be too late already but check the papers or call your local police station to see when they have their yearly auction of unclaimed stuff.

In most cities and larger suburbs they sell hundreds of bikes each year that were stolen, recovered by the police, but never claimed by the owners.

You will be amazed at what gets sold, and more amazed by the prices.

Second best place to look: garage sales. Bikes are typically 20% of original price when the kids have moved away and Mom wants to get both cars in the garage.

BTW, if you really want exercise then you dont need a great bike. A 40 pound Walmart mountain bike will give you more exercise than a $2400 street racer.

It boggles my mind that some people will spend thousands of dollars on a bike to ‘get exercise’, and also ride a stationary bike in the basement or at the gym. How much efficiency do you get from a stationary bike? (isn’t it 0.00000?)


I hear ya, but that’s the exact reason I decided since I first posted this to go for a mountain bike.

The resistance built up when riding a mountain bike on pavement is worth the bumps I may encounter with the tires.

For example, when I was in HS I only had a mountain bike with a bad back wheel (hooray for breaking my rim on stairs :ahh: ) and I trained for road bike races with that horribly resistant bike…

When I finally raced on a road bike, or actually a crossover bike my friend let me borrow, I definitely saw the increase in speed because the ride was a lot smoother.

I trained on a rough bike, and raced on a smooth bike. It made all the difference I believe, and I ended up winning a few races, and placing second in some others.

I’m going to go with a mountain bike now for sure for exactly that reason.

More resistance = stronger racer.

What’s that old saying, no pain no gain? lol It’s something like that.

well if you want a mountain bike, buy a NEXT bike, they are extremely resistant, and relatively cheap,but they come with shock absorbers, so if you ride your racing bike afterwords, the ride may appear very bumpy, assuming that you are just as handy with bikes as you are with robots, you could easily replace the shocks with some extrusion.

if you want a mid range bike, i like to use a FSR XC mountain bike, these are sweet bikes, and quite comfortable on road and off road. The “stumpjumper” version weighs only around 25 pounds, and quite fun to ride because of its maneuverability.

here is a quick list of bikes in low range, mid range, and high quality bikes
Low-End $100-$399
Specialized Hardrock ($169 at Performance Bike Shop)
Cignol Ranger ($189 at The Clean Machine)
Specialized Hard Rock Classic ($299 at Franklin Street Cycles)
Trek 820 ($299 at Franklin Street Cycles)
Trek 850($399 at Franklin Street Cycles)

Mid-Range $400-$999
Specialized Rockhopper ($424 at Franklin Street Cycles)
Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Doo ($569 at The Clean Machine)
Specialized Rockhopper FS ($649-749 at Franklin Street Cycles)
Specialized Ground Control FS ($749 at Franklin Street Cycles)
GT Tequestra ($999 at The Clean Machine)

High-End $1,000-Unlimited
Proflex 756 Aluminum full suspension ($1399 at Franklin Street Cycles)
Trek 8500ZX SHX ($1399 at Franklin Street Cycles)
Sprecialized Stumpjumper M2 Comp ($1499 at Performance Bike Shop)
Cannondale Super V 900 ($1599 at The Clean Machine)
Trek 9800 SHX ($1899 at Franklin Street Cycles)
Trek Y33 ($3199 at Franklin Street Cycles)

Have fun biking, and Congratulations on your 5000th post

They’re also toy store bikes–ie: garbage. The “shock absorbers” are going to be more like pogo sticks slapped onto the bike. He’d be much better off with a $250 or so rigid bike than a $99.99 full suspension walmart bike.

I had a wal-mart suspension bike for a few years and it was a good bike and had a good ride or so i thought and i recently got my gary fisher and its a hard tail. Even though it doesnt have the rear shock the ride is very smooth and controled.

@ things that i like about gary fishers are (1) The gensis geomety is great maing it eaiser to climb and more controled while cornering. I can out climb my dad on his $1500 giant Trace 3 anyday but my butt hurts a lot more since i dont have the rear shock.
(2) Im pretty sure this is gary fisher but most bike frames are hardened aluminum welded together. Gary fisher bikes are welded together THEN hardened so you dont have any brittle spots from welding reasulting in a stronger longer lasting frame.

Thanks, I didn’t even notice that. :ahh: Maybe Michelle and Adam will finally let me into CDXC now… lol

Anyways, I know I’m gonna regret saying this, but the seat doesn’t really matter to me. I (used to be don’t know if I will be any more) am an aggressive rider who barely sits down on their seat unless I am just cruising down a hill, and even then I use the typical biking crouching position to reduce wind speed.

Seat selection won’t really matter to me, as long as it has at least some padding.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far folks, keep em coming. Be as detailed as you can as to why or why not you like or dislike a specific brand.

i was looking at bikes that arnt that great to buy and the dual shock type that have a frame setup similier to this are usually not that great and if you do any type of heavy duty riding i have seen the frames crack in literally 2 pieces where the shock attaches. Frames with this type of geometry are usually stronger and better riding

Well, I narrowed down my choice tonight from the selection available at K-Mart… lol

One of my first requirements if you remember was a quick detach front wheel. Well, the Schwinn had that, and the Moongoose’s (Mongeese? lol ) didn’t.

So that narrows down my low end choices anyways.

ANd, yeah… I wouldn’t need those shocks. I rode bikes before they came into the design of bikes, so I think I can handle riding a bike with a rigid frame. :cool:

Maybe. :ahh:

A few thoughts:

-Rick is right, Craigslist is a remarkable resource for this kind of thing…it’s how I found my present Trek roadbike.

-Look at Diamondback as a company: I’ve had one for 6 or 7 years, and the only problem that I had with it was my shifters wore out. I am a fan of hard-tails, and they have some good options in the $200-$400 range (their Outlook model is a fine piece of work).

-I don’t know what your personal preferences are, but a good hint as to quality is to look at the shifters. I avoid grip shifts at all costs…Shimano and Campagnolo are really the only way to go.

Good luck, and remember the helmet.

-if you do end up buying something off-line or someplace other than a bike shop, be sure to get measured first, so you can get a bike that fits properly.

-SRAM has a set of trigger shifters, but they may be a bit out of your price range. with that said, its my opinion that SRAM has some of the best component groups on the market. all the SRAM parts i’ve used have been user-serviceable, which isn’t always the case with shimano. while some SRAM and shimano components can be mixed with good results, be careful if you do.

-i’ve been riding a Gary Fisher Marlin for the past 3 years (bought it new) and feel that it was worth ever penny i spent. performs wonderfully both off-road and on (even ended up riding a century on it a few years back).

I agree shifters are important. My advice about shimano shifters is get better than an alivo derailuer because with mine it has trouble going from second to first on the front even with little torque applied or going down hill and i have had to ride a few hills up in second since it wouldnt downshift