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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am looking to get started cycling and am unsure about how best to start when buying a bike. My budget is about $300. I started off thinking I wanted a bike just to commute but after going by the LBS I am more interested in getting something that I can commute on (about 5-10 miles) as well as take it on the occasional weekend ride. I have considered hybrids and road bikes but as I've looked on Craigslist there are a lot of different ways i can potentially go. I know my budget precludes me from a lot of more favorable options, but since I am just beginning and am a student I don't want to shell out a small fortune. Any advice on what kind of bike to get, from where, brand, components, etc?

Thank you in advance for the help.
 

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I picked up a new Giant Boulder for my wife, and I think we paid $230. It was last year's model, but hadn't seen the outside of the shop since it was assembled. A tire swap, seat, and maybe a rack/panniers, and it would be a competent commuter.

Going used is ok, if you know what to look for, and aren't afraid to turn a wrench. What bikes did you have in mind?
 

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I have had good luck with a Craigslist bike. Get fitted at an LBS and look for that frame size on CL. Try to stick with a hybrid (if you are just getting your feet wet). At first I picked up a mountain bike and turned it into a hybrid by swapping tires, saddle, and grips. The plan was to swap the suspension fork with a rigid fork, but I got bit by the road bike bug.

All in all I think I spent $240 on first bike.

Oh, and Welcome to TS!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey thanks for the quick replies! Yeah, I was looking at quite a few hybrids (Specialized sirrus, trek fx, cannondale quick) and was interested in them because I thought they may provide me what I am looking for. However, I also wondered about a road bike. My only concern was that the roads I will be on are not always paved and some of the paved roads are pretty torn up-- are road bikes more prone to flat tires in those conditions? Anyway, as far as road bikes are concerned I visited my LBS, which has mostly specialized bikes and was interested in the roubaix, but of course that is well outside of my price range. I checked out the allez and secteur, but alas the jury is still out (I am totally not committed to a specialized bike, those are just the only bikes at the LBS). My gut though is that a hybrid might suit me better right now for my needs (commute and occasional longer weekend rides as I get into it), but I guess that all depends on what I can find on Clist...
 

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I ride the allez and love it.

Both trek and specialized have hybrids with more.rugged tires and front suspension. That will help navigate in friendly terrian.
 
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