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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
new bike


I recently moved close to the KT Trail and would like to start riding. I'm in need of a new bike but am unfamiliar with the best brands, style, etc. (haven't had a bike since my childhood days). Any recommendations?
posted Aug 31 2009 12:46PM - Anonymous

Most any brand from a reputable bike shop would be recommended. Target, WalMart, and Dick's don't qualify as bike shops. Probably the best all around trail bike is a hybrid.
posted Aug 31 2009 1:01PM - Trek

I agree with Trek, even the best bike at Wal-Mart has lower than low-end shifters and breaks. Plus, they assemble them about like McDonnalds makes hamburgers. This time of year you should be able to buy a Giant Cyprus for around $300. I purchased mine in 1998. It now has 30,000 miles on it. I haven't spent a dime on it other than tires & tubes. Another way to go is a recumbent. It is more comfortable, you can see better, great for the Katy. The only downside is the price, $1500 on up. You don't need a mountain bike for the Katy.
posted Aug 31 2009 1:54PM - ChrisJ, Centralia, IL

A cross bike is also a good way to go if you are only going to have one bike. Wide tires for the trail and narrow for the road. Don't be afraid to check used bikes either. There are lots of people in the area upgrading or just tired of what they have, all the time. For this it might be best to enlist the aid of someone with more bike experience, but a lot of the sellers are regular riders and helpful. Also check with Paul at Recycled Cycles in St.Louis. He deals in quality used bikes and is very knowledgeable. Expect to pay a minimum of $300 for a decent used bike. You can often find a bike that costs $6-700 new for that though and may have almost no use. Beware of the bike that costs $1500 new selling for $200. Either it's shot or hot.
posted Aug 31 2009 5:36PM - Doug, Bluffton

Since you haven't ridden for years, I recommend going to a bike shop as they can help you "fit" your bike. If you aren't comfortable riding the bike, it doesn't matter how great a bike it is. When I got back into riding several years ago, I went with a Comfort bike. Then a couple years later I traded that bike in for a "trail" bike (Specialized Globe), as I wasn't really comfortable riding the "Comfort" bike anymore with it's tall handlebars. So, it's very important to get the bike that fits you. We are in the KC area and really like the guys at the Bike Stop in Lee's Summit, but there are lots of great shops out there that will help you find a bike to fit you.
posted Aug 31 2009 9:28PM - kim, independence, mo

May I suggest that you visit one of the many bike shops near the Katy and rent a bike for a couple of hours. Ride the trail and see if you like it. The shop owner may be able to steer you in the right direction as to what style of bike would be right for you. Then shop around for the best deal. When I was looking for a new bike several years ago, I had two bikes in mind; a Giant Boulder and a Trek 3700. Both bikes were comparable in gearing, comfort and price. The selling point that made the sale was that the shop selling the Trek including free tune ups for the life of the bike. Now, after a weekend ride, I just drop off the bike at the shop and pick it up a couple of days later after it's been serviced.
posted Sep 1 2009 8:46AM - Gary, O''Fallon

May I suggest that you visit one of the many bike shops near the Katy and rent a bike for a couple of hours. Ride the trail and see if you like it. The shop owner may be able to steer you in the right direction as to what style of bike would be right for you. Then shop around for the best deal. When I was looking for a new bike several years ago, I had two bikes in mind; a Giant Boulder and a Trek 3700. Both bikes were comparable in gearing, comfort and price. The selling point that made the sale was that the shop selling the Trek including free tune ups for the life of the bike. Now, after a weekend ride, I just drop off the bike at the shop and pick it up a couple of days later after it's been serviced.
posted Sep 1 2009 8:47AM - Gary, O''Fallon

Free tune ups are worth a lot…..to both the consumer and the shop owner. Always shop at the store where you’re taken care of!

I bought a new bike in 03 and was commuting to Olathe, Kansas at the time from St. Joseph, MO. I looked at the shops in the Olathe area and then decided to spend my dollars with the local shop at home. You know….it’s the right thing to do. When I asked about the free lifetime tune ups I was told that NOBODY did that. We discussed it for a bit and I was made out to look like a fool. I didn’t run a bike shop so I couldn’t know what I was talking about. I returned to the store a few days later with a full page add from the KC Star that a shop in Olathe had just run with mention of…….free lifetime tune ups.

I gave in….bought the bike at home….couldn’t talk them into lifetime service and ultimately quit buying anything from them. Today they are out of business…..the internet hurt their sales was what I heard….go figure. When time came for Ms. Trek to trade bikes…..from the Comfort to the Hybrid we went to a local shop in a northern KC burb. (There is no comfort in riding a Comfort bike on the trails, limestone or paved….I’ve yet to realize why Trek Corp wastes their effort on producing a comfort bike. Oh I do know….the Comfort bike is grand if you’re going to max out at 2 miles….when you get beyond the 2 mile mark you’ve just wasted your money on a moniker.)

She gets free tune ups/service from the burb shop because she bought there…..I get work done usually at a very good rate. We buy what we can from them and appreciate their attitude and expertise. We haul both of the Trek hybrid half bikes and the Santana longbike to this shop. Other than myself, they are the only others qualified to service the longbike. They earned that right not only by their expertise, but by their honesty.

Yes bike shops will “give you free lifetime service” because they want you in their store when you do the drop and pickup.
posted Sep 1 2009 9:57AM - Trek

On my most recent trip on the Katy this summer, since i'm not from MO, I bought a nice hybrid bike off of craigslist from a student at WashU in the St. Louis area versus taking my bike onto a plane like I've done in the past. I paid $125 for a great Specialized Crossroads bike and spent another $150 in bike accessories and parts including tubes, bike rack, lights, etc. I'm not sure what these bike retail for but given the components it was a bargain. I left it with my son so next time all I need to do is fly there. I had to contact 6 sellers before I found this one - so it's not like walking into REI or some bike shop to check out which model catches your fancy.
posted Sep 1 2009 3:54PM - John, Los Angeles

For the trail stick with a Trek Hybrid, you can't go wrong. Shop the larger stores in a metropolitan area that offers a good selection of all models. You could go into a small shop and not know what you missed out on because the owner only stocks a few bikes... I would buy up as much as I can.. Have the dealer show you his used bike selection. I would rather put my money in a used high end bike than a cheaper bike.. Always compare the bikes weight.
posted Sep 1 2009 4:01PM - Anonymous

You mentioned getting a new bicycle. The previous advice from other riders is good
advice by staying with a bicycle shop. Two things you might consider: 1) join a local bicycle
club. 2) Don't be afraid to ask questions of other riders. Riders in clubs can help but don't
be intimidated by fast riders. New riders may be afraid to ask questions but you need to ask.
As in any sport, there are little things that make the sport easier. Make up you own mind
though because what works for one rider may not work for you.
I hope to ride the KT in late September but I have a road bike with 700C tires. It may not
be adequate for the Trail. Decide what you like to ride the most, then get that bike.
posted Sep 2 2009 10:13PM - Harold, Rolling Prairie, IN

You can't go wrong by visiting the Hartsburg Cycle Depot in Jefferson City. Mark Allchorn builds and sells bikes and will fit the bike to you. He really goes out of his way to help new and old bikers. They used to be in Hartsburg but have a much nicer place in Jefferson city now.
posted Sep 3 2009 8:49AM - michael rodemeyer, Hartsburg

I agree with those who recommend a hybrid for riding the Katy Trail. I have a Trek 7100 and it has been a great "first" bike bought from a local bike shop(LBS)instead of going to one of those other stores (that sell everything one could possibly want, from groceries to car services.) There are many advantages to getting to know the staff in the LBS and usually you will get some free service, adjustments, etc. for the first 6 months-year. The staff in the LBS are usually riders and they care about whether you are enjoying yourself and learning to be a better biker.
posted Sep 6 2009 3:53PM - ktytrfan, Hannibal, Mo.

Tags: Jefferson City, Hartsburg, Globe Hotel Bed & Breakfast , WalMart, Groceries, Bike Shops, Internet, St Louis, Kansas City, Hiking, Running, Bikes and gear, Tires Modify Tags
         




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