View Full Version : New to DC and looking to upgrade

06-10-2012, 06:39 PM
Hello all,

I'm new to the site, so I hope this is the right place for this post. I just arrived in DC and have suffered through two bikeless weeks so far. I left the super-cheap 70s Free Spirit behind in NYC after more or less riding it into the ground, and resolved to start fresh down here. However, I've never bought a bike for more than $150 in my life, so I'm a bit at a loss as to what I should do next. I'm looking for a good entry-level (or just affordable on a poor, grad school kid's salary) road bike that will be able to survive a short city commute, but also still be fun for longer weekend rides.

I'd appreciate any thoughts from locals... what are good local shops? am I better off buying online at a lower price? any bike recommendations? anyone have a bike that fits this description that they have been meaning to get rid of (I'm 5'7", so somewhere in the lower 50cm range)?



06-10-2012, 07:09 PM
Welcome Dave! I'd suggest that you look at Phoenix bikes. They might have something cool for you to discover.


06-10-2012, 09:14 PM
Also check out VeloCity Bicycle Co-op in Alexandria - they may be able to hook you up with a used bike or help you build one. :)

Tim Kelley
06-11-2012, 08:32 AM
What is your budget? Most new entry level bikes start at around $400-500 or so. If you are looking to spend less than that, a used bike from some of the places suggested above would be a good start. Or you might want to check out Craigslist.

Oh, and there is also Capital Bikeshare, if the stations are convenient to your home/work.

06-11-2012, 09:15 AM
+1 for CaBi, depending on where you are and where you're going. If it works for you, you don't have to worry about it being stolen.

06-11-2012, 07:14 PM
Thanks to all for the recommendations. I will definitely make sure to check out all of these leads. re: price range, I can swing up to 800 or so, but I would have to feel pretty good about the bike for that price (which I know is pretty low, relatively speaking) to be comfortable. So I didn't really expect to buy new, and I appreciate getting pointed toward the used dealers. Apparently shops in DC need a pawnbroker's license to sell used?

Main reason for not going with CaBi is that the commute is really sort of a secondary concern... I can already walk it without too much trouble. I want the bike for fun, but I know I'll end up commuting on it once I have the option. Also, the whole fundamental American spirit of private ownership and TLC for your personal property and all that.

In the mean time, have any favorite bikes in the lower price range?

06-12-2012, 07:57 AM
I think you first need to figure out what kind of bike you might be interested:
Mountain, hybrid, road/racing, road/touring/cross/urban assault vehicle? Do you want a fixie?

Tim Kelley
06-12-2012, 09:00 AM
The other thing to remember is that when you buy a new bike, unless you want to do all the maintenance yourself, you'll probably be going to back to the shop for support. That means when you are considering a bike, also think about how convenient the shop location is, as well as what your experience with the staff and customer service is like.

06-12-2012, 09:24 AM
I walked by Hudson Trail Outfitters in Pentagon City this morning and they had signs up saying that all of their bikes are on sale.

Also, the Novara line at REI is reasonably priced and most of the major bike brands carry quality bikes in the entry level $500range.