Use the mountain bike I have
- cheap, I already own it
- It's a decent bike
- not the right size
- bad memories
- saddle hurts
I got this bike at a yard sale a few years ago for $35. It needs a different saddle and the frame is a little too big for me. I've fallen over trying to get off this bike, so I'm a little worried about riding it again.
Get a cheap beach cruiser / hybrid
cost: $75 - 250
- can get a step through frame to make getting on and off easier
- If I don't end up liking riding a bike, I'm not out a lot of money
- probably will be steel frame so heavy and rusts easily
- you get what you pay for
- A lot of beach cruisers are single speed
A hybrid or a beach cruiser seem like what I am looking for, the step through would make it easy for me to get off without falling over. The cheaper bikes (like at wal-mart) tend to be heavier because they are made of steel.
Get a nicer beach cruiser / hybrid
cost: $350 - 600
- Step through makes it easy to get on and off
- some have forward pedals that let me put my feet down on the ground without having to have the seat to low.
- expensive, especially since I don't know if I'll use the bike
cost: $75 - 200 (depends)
- very simple mechanically. if I got one from wal-mart there isn't much that could go wrong
- towing is harder without multiple gears
cost: $100- 200
- more gear choices
- many have automatic shifters so that the chances of the chain coming off the derailers is slim. Also, I wouldn't have to be moving to change gears
- more speeds make towing easier
(same as 3 except the shifters aren't internal)
cost: $175 - $600
- best for towing
- more complicated for me because gears make no sense
- chance of chain slipping or jumping
- stops, but not great for towing
- stops the bike
- bikes assembled for you
- easy returns
- quality issues
- better "bang for buck"
- have to assemble it yourself
- returns would be a pain
- usually better customer service
- knowledgeable customer service
- can help you choose
- more expensive prices (bikes start around $350)
- can get a good deal
- have to know enough about bikes to tell if the bike is in good shape
- no returns
I think what I want is an inexpensive 3 speed bike with hand breaks and step through aluminum frame. I'll probably get it online or from wallmart. My husband is good at bikes and can help me assemble a bike. I want a bike that will need less twiddling, so a three speed would probably be a good match. Since I don't know what I like in bikes, an inexpensive one would let me discover everything I hated about it so when I bought a new, I would know what to look for. Also, I could ride my husband's old mountain bike if I needed more gears.
I ended up getting a 21 speed Forge Athena from Target. It was a pain to get set up, but it seems to be a good bike.