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Old 03-06-2012, 08:30 PM
 
40 posts, read 44,596 times
Reputation: 21
Default Questions About Purchasing a Trail Bike

I started to ride my 7-speed Beach Cruiser on the trails around my house in Westminster when I got here last October. Mostly been trying the Big Dry Creek Trail and some of the off-shoots. Totally awesome! however, the more I ride, the more clear it is to me that I need something a little more suited to Colorado. I have no desire to ride single-track down the side of a mountain, but I absolutely love the trails the front range has to offer. Here are my questions:

(1) I am a 52 year old man, 6-1, 250 pounds. Any suggestions or advice on what type of bike I would benefit most from would be greatly appreciated. I know Craigslist is always a good place to look for used stuff. However, suggestions on local bike shops, approximate cost, various brands, etc would really help.

(2) Is there a comprehensive map of bike trails in the Denver/Boulder area? A friend of mine said I could make it to Downtown Denver from here in Westminster. Wouldn't even know where to start.

(3) What is the dry white residue I am seeing on the trails in the last few days?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and I look forward to getting educated by your responses.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Boulder, Co
49 posts, read 106,225 times
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I moved to Boulder last summer and had never been on a mountain bike before. I went to University bikes on 9th and Pearl. They were very nice, not snobby and helped me pick the right bike for what I wanted to do. You can also check out Boulder Sports Recycler off of Broadway in North Boulder. They consign sports gear for people and have some good prices. Good Luck
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:40 AM
 
847 posts, read 597,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael1248 View Post
I have no desire to ride single-track down the side of a mountain, but I absolutely love the trails the front range has to offer.
Just an FYI, the front range trails ARE single track down the side of the mountain.

It's a little unclear from your post if you're talking about riding off-road trails, dirt roads or bike paths.

Also knowing your budget would also help a ton!
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:23 PM
 
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I like riding the paved trails as well as the gravel trails. Riding off-road on dirt is a possibility, just not "inclined" too go fast down a steep an incline.

I don't mind spending a few extra $$$ if I know I am getting a solid bike that will last. I'd prefer to keep it in the range of $500 - 750, give or take.

Thanks for the response.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:46 PM
 
847 posts, read 597,968 times
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That is a healthy budget for that type of riding assuming you don't want rear suspension. At your height you might prefer a 29" (wheeled) mountain bike with some fast rolling tires.

The most important thing is fit, so make sure the bike store takes your measurements and you test ride.

Be aware that the better the bike is for paved trails, the worse it will be for dirt. There are plenty of good bikes that will do both well though.

Have fun out there and when/if you do ride the dirt trails remember:

(1) Bikes yield to everyone else including horse back riders
(2) The uphill rider has right of way over the downhill rider
(3) Don't skid on the trails
(4) Don't wear headphone
(5) Take lots of water and some basic tools & patch kit.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:21 PM
 
40 posts, read 44,596 times
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Are there any brands you would recommend over others?
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:42 PM
 
847 posts, read 597,968 times
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Not really. Bike manufactures just make the frame and sometimes a few in house components like stems, bars etc.

Most of the major brands aluminum frames come out of a few Chinese or Taiwanese factories, which bye the way make great quality stuff.

There will be minor variation in component spec and bike weight between brands. If you were to spend a little more you might be able to get a boutique(ish) brand chromoly steel frame that will last longer but be a little heavier.

Bikesdirect.com offers a LOT of bike for the money, but you can't ride it before you buy it to see how it fits. Wheatridge cycles will do a professional fit for $100 or so. That might be an option if you find something online but you're unsure on sizing.

V brakes should do just find if you're doing flatter trails. Your biggest decision will be if you want a hybrid bike, mountain bike (26 or 29" wheels), or a mountain bike with front suspension.

Don't forget a helmet and some $ for quality bike pants (which can be warn under shorts).
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:56 AM
 
40 posts, read 44,596 times
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I really appreciate your excellent advice.

Thank You.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:12 PM
 
847 posts, read 597,968 times
Reputation: 1094
You're welcome. Hope you enjoy your new bike and ride the wheels of it!
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:02 AM
 
847 posts, read 597,968 times
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Couple of other quick things....

Make sure they size you to the bike by measuring top tube length and not just seat tube / standover.

If you decide to go the mountain bike route, this is a great source of info. They have a beginners sub forum and specific forums for all the bike manufactures.

Mountain Bike Review
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