I am considering a purchase of a bikes for the wife and myself. I haven't been on a bike for over a decade and I was not very good at it back then (I could go point a to b, but never got the tricks down). We would be riding for recreation and excercise, nothing extreme or intense. Surfaces would include pavement and trails.
1) What do I look for in a bike? Comfort is just as important as performance.
2) Are there any brands to stick to/stay away from?
3) what is a good price range? How much difference will I see from a $150 dollar bike verse a $300 one?
4) any must have accesories?
5) any riding advice or general advice? Any good sources to find information?
6) do all boys, at one point in their life, fall off the bike and slam their junk onto the bar? Was it just me? Does it hurt more or less in adulthood?
It all depends on how serious you are. I got back into biking a couple years ago with a crappy hybrid/comfort bike. Those bikes run 500 or less normally and are useless for rides over about 15 miles. Once my endurance built up and some fat came off I bought a nice road bike. I could go up to 50 miles at a time then - cost was 1900. It's very taxing on my neck, low back, and hands though.
Now I also bought a recumbent bike, which lets me go as far and as long as I want, very comfortably. However, they are not cheap. I switch back and forth now depending on wether I'mracing or not. The hybrid got sold within months of buying it.
If comfort is your main factor, just spend the $$$ and go recumbent. So-called "comfort bikes" really aren't.
Brands are generally fine, so long as you're buying from a bike shop and not wal-mart.
Recumbents seem a lil bit extreme if he is starting back again.
Best route is a general purpose mountain bike. Hard tail. NO grip shift. No disc brakes.
Higher prices normally get you better gearing/shifting, less weight, improved brakes, diferent tires, etc.
You should go to your local bike shop (dont buy the kmart $100 one). They will be able to select a bike with the correct gearing for you (also correct size). Buying from your LBS gets you tune-ups and other perks for "free".
To add upon what he said, check out www.mtbreview.com for bike reviews, and dont buy the first bike you see. Ride them, think about them, write down the names of the bikes the salesman offers you and go to that website and read reviews about it.
Definitely go to a bike shop and spend a little more than you would like. This will translate into better components and lighter weight. Most bikes you find in a shop will be of comparable quality in a given price range, so shop features and weight.
One caveat is frame materials. If you are a big guy, go with chrome-moly steel over aluminum. The steel has more flex and is less prone to cracking, but it is heavier.
Go for something in which you sit more upright, it will result in better comfort. You don't want a recumbent if you are going on any kinds of trails, even rail trails. As you get more confident on the bike you will most likely start to go off-road.
Thank you all for the advice. You have let me know some things that I didn't even tak into consideration. All this information will be noted, and referenced when we go shopping.
I'm from the Metro Detroit area, I grew up in mostly Oakland county (Royal Oak, Clarkston, Pontiac, Waterford), but have spent some time living in Detroit (State Fair Dr and Woodward), and Macomb (Sterling Heights, Warren)county. Currently, I am stationed and residing in Kansas; after living here for a year, any complaints I have had about MI seem trivial.
I am originally from Oakland county also. Sorry, I don't know much about Kansas, but I assume you won't need much in the way of trail worthiness. Perhaps look into a cruiser, they are comfortable and look cool.