I haven’t talked much about it on the blog, but I’ve been riding my bike for almost all of my transportation for the last month or so. (pretty much I only drive now for trips that are more than 7 miles or so from home… my bicycle range is expanding as my fitness improves).

This has worked out really well (I’ve lost a good bit of weight already) but my one big problem was my bike. The shifting kept getting worse and worse, and no matter how often I adjusted the derailler, it kept slipping in gears (particularly when climbing up hills). — But if I took my bike into the shop, I would be stuck without transporation for a few days.

So anyway I decided to take the plunge and go ahead and buy a new bike (as well as leave my old bike to get the shifter cables replaced and to have the rest of the bike tuned up, so I’ll have a backup for the future). My hope was to find a good quality hybrid bike (a bike with straight handlebars like a mountain bike, but built lighter and with non-knobby tires that are more appropriate for pavement).

I had checked out several options. Ebay has some interesting used bikes but I was nervous about buying on site unseen. Target and Wal-mart of course have lots of cheap bikes, but they are as heavy as all-get out and you have to assemble them yourself (or have their folks do it, but often the gears and brakes will be out-of-whack)… their bikes were also all with knobby tires, so I would likely have to switch out the tires.

I checked with some of the local bike shops but their prices were just too much for my taste. Wheeler Dealer (one of my favorite shops) did have an entry-level good quality mountain bike for $359 but it was really too heavy for my purposes (and also came with knobby tires). Mud, Sweat and Gears (a shop in Lawton, OK) did have several good options but I didn’t want to drive to Lawton if I could help it.

So in the end I went with Bike One (formerly known as Budget Bicycles, at the corner of NW 23rd & Meridian). I really liked them because they had a huge selection of mostly Schwinn (mid-high end, not the super-cheap ones made for department stores) & Giant mountain & hybrid bicycles, which are kinda the low-end of better quality bikes, as well as some road bikes, recumbents and cruisers.

(to be continued…)