View Full Version : New Bike for a NewB

08-03-2007, 09:02 AM
A friend of mine wants to get into biking. She asked me to help her pick out a bike. I want this to be a good expierence for her, so I am wondering what should I be looking for? I am leaning towards a bike shop because that way she can take it there (as opposed to my house) if the bike has issues, but she is looking to me for direction- and I am thinking a more roadie cross (like my Jamis), but I was wondering if anyone out there actually remembers being new to biking, and what should be considered...

my thoughts included seat comfort, ease of shifting, flat bars (they seem less intimidating?)... I dunno, really what else?

08-03-2007, 11:55 AM
Hooray for your friend! If she hasn't ridden in a while, I hope she has as much fun as I did when I started bike commuting last year. I totally felt like a little kid - except my bike now is a 10-speed instead of a cruiser with a pink flower banana seat.

I can't recommend Bike and Hike on Grand enough! I had started at the Bike Gallery - very reputable and popular locally - and when I took my bike from Craig's list there for a tune-up and new tires, I had to take it in THREE times before it worked well enough for me to get home! They fixed it for free the second two times, but still. Then when I took it for my annual tune up this spring, I had to take it back again because the gears were slipping. The second time, the mechanic said it was fine, but when I tried to ride up the east side esplanade, my gears slipped again! GRRR!!! So I took it straight to Bike and Hike on Grand, the mechanic looked at it right in front of me, and said, "Oh, yeah, its this right here - this is a really common problem." And he tightened up some doohickey on the derailleur (I'm obviously not savvy about bike guts) and handed it right back. It took him like 5 seconds, he charged nothing, and I have been riding with no problems ever since! SO I know that was a really long story, but that really impressed me. And I go there all the time now. My husband just bought a lovely new fixie from them, too.

If you do get a second hand bike and plan on using it to commute, I strongly recommend a professional tune up and tires that can grip the road all during our rainy rainy winters. I love my Bontragers, but there are lots of choices. You might read the thread about punctures and kevlar tires.

Good luck! Have fun!

08-03-2007, 02:35 PM
Check the Giant FCRw out to see whether your friend like it. It is a hybrid (flat bar with road geometry and some moutain bike components). It works well for my wife. Here's the link to the Giant page. http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/women/1254/29453/

08-04-2007, 11:15 AM
thats a beautiful bike... but a little rich for my friend. i looked at the womens jamis coda at citybikes yesterday when i was getting my bike worked on... i like mine so ill have her try that one. its 420$ and much more doable for her.

thanks for the advice though.

08-04-2007, 11:18 AM
Jamis has a reputation for making solid, yet moderately priced bikes.

08-04-2007, 11:28 AM
i have been pretty harsh on mine and she has held up. not the lightest bike in my stable, but nimble enough for commuting needs.


08-05-2007, 08:28 AM
thats a beautiful bike... but a little rich for my friend.
The web address (URL) was copied from the the Giant web site when I search the FCR model. Obviously, Giant is trying to up sell their top model of the line, the FCR1w. It's their marketing strategy. On the same page, there are FCR2w and FCR3w that cost less.

Good luck in finding the right bike, buying a bike can be a daunting task.
Hope your friend enjoy her new bike.

BTW, Bike Gallery and Performance Bikes are having sale this weekend.

08-05-2007, 09:28 AM
I bought a Giant FCR 3 and my wife bought a Giant Cypress DX and we both love our bikes. I'll also give a shout out for Bike 'N Hike. In addition to the standard 30 day tune up, they offer free adjustments for a year. I've stopped in twice on my way home on my commute when something needed a quick fix and they always fixed it right there while I waited, looked the rest of the bike over and seem genuinely interested in how the bike is working for me.

08-06-2007, 10:32 PM
This is about the time of year I got into cycling and I decided to ride the junker (a beat up ill-fitted Schwinn Woodlands) I got for free and invested in lights, racks, packs and rain gear to set myself up for winter riding and year round commuting. The Schwinn wasnít the most comfortable, but I got attached to that bike and it served me well for over 5000 miles. The first 2 weeks with my expensive new bike this Spring were painful even though I had been riding the Schwinn regularly. I love the new bike now, but apparently I will love it more if I go spend another $130 to get it fitted to me. So no matter the bike, it will take some adjustment and some hours on the saddle to get use to it.

I didn't enjoy biking when I started. The experience of Portlandís bike scene (which I was completely unaware of when I started) and the opportunity to be out in and part of every type of weather system addicted me.

Anyway, year round commuting was my consideration when I started with no budget. I settled for less of a bike, bought good equipment for commuting and dangled the carrot of a new bike in my future for almost two years. I still had no budget for a new bike, but if some Idiot can walk on to a car lot and drive away in a $40,000 machine, I fricking well ought to be able to buy a bike on credit!!! So I did.

08-08-2007, 11:49 AM
Duncan, check out Trek or Gary Fisher. Both have City/Path/Hybrid type bikes. Good for beginners and moderately priced ($350-$590). I am a beginner and found them user friendly and well made. Trigger shift, Shimano derailers, etc.

08-10-2007, 12:15 PM
We ended up at city bikes. I like them, have done a fair amount of business with them in the past and trust them, and they had a WSB in her size and price range. However they didnt have it assembled so we are going for the test ride today... the safety gear is ordered from performance bike and on its way, so if everything works out Portland will have a new rider today.

Buying a bike with someone else is almost as much fun as buying a bke for yourself... and cheaper too!