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I Need a Bike

I need a bike

Well, more appropriately, we need a bike. We being The Wife and I. And even more appropriately, we being The Wife, The Kid, and I. The Kid needs something to ride in as we (The Wife and I) ride bikes.

The Family trekked to the local bike emporium to see their wares. We were mighty impressed, as a saleswoman immediately approached us, recognized we were novice riders with a desire to own a bike that would grow with our needs and remain under our asses for over a decade. She spent fifteen to twenty minutes learning what our expected mileage would be and assessing our body frames versus potential bike frames. She knew her stuff.

The shop carries Trek and Giant bikes, the two brands my marginal research had targeted. The shop showed us a more “upright” (not sure what the technical term is) Trek bike, which is designed for a comfortable ride for those travelling under fifteen miles. Then the saleswoman focused on the hybrid bikes, which I think are also being rebranded as “path” bikes these days.

In my research I had read that if you are going to stick to paths and streets, you might-as-well go with a road bike rather than a hybrid. Hybrids compromise where compromise isn’t needed. Fancy suspension is overkill. But the shop seemed to convince me that the hybrid was the way to go. Anyone out there have any opinions on this?

The biggest key, according to the shop, was that if we were only going to buy one “upright” bike, it would need to be mine rather than The Wife’s since it will be a slower ride. I think The Wife is onboard with a bit more distance oriented choice. Riding the machines will probably be the ultimate decider, though.

And that’s what we need to do. It was raining the day we visited the shop, so we hope to go back next week (after we take a long weekend in Milwaukee) to test ride a couple bikes. On the Trek side, the shop narrowed me down to a 7200 hybrid. For a Giant, the Cypress SX Cypress DX. Initially, I liked the look of the Giant more, but I believe it had a wider tread, which cooled me on it a bit. The Wife’s selections will probably be somewhat similar. Yeah, we just need to go back and ride.

The other big decision, almost bigger since the device could cost more than either of our bikes, is what to do for a child trailer. After my initial research, I had pretty much decided on going with a cheaper trailer brand like In-Step. I figured I didn’t want to put all my eggs in an expensive trailer basket not knowing how much we’ll actually use it. After visiting the local shop, I’m starting to think this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the trailer puts a large drag on the bike and starts breaking down slowly after a few rides, well, yeah, we won’t use it much.

The saleswoman assured me a Burley d’Lite would be one of those investments that I will be proud to have made in retrospect. It’s one of those products that works as advertised and lasts and lasts. She spoke highly of its resale value as well, saying we could probably get 50-70% of our original investment back upon resale. (I see them typically going on Craigslist for under 50% - about 40%. Still a nice resale value.) After discussing with some co-workers, I’m pretty much sold on it unless someone else convinces me otherwise.

Another focus will be purchasing the appropriate accessories up front. I’m pretty sure we will all buy our first bike helmets. What else is a must have and best purchased with thoughts of the specific bike model in mind?