Where to buy a bike?

Troy Bike Rescue

The Troy Bike Rescue

@MindyKB asked via Twitter:

Know any good places for a beginner to buy a bike, preferably a relatively simple, cheap one?

One option might be to start at the Troy Bike Rescue. They often have bikes for "adoption" -- and they can help you learn how to maintain it.

We're betting you have good suggestions for Mindy. Please share!

Bonus Troy Bike Rescue item: TBR has Bike! Bike! Northeast, "a meeting of the minds on all things bicycle culture in the Northeast US," coming up this weekend.

photo: Troy Bike Rescue

Comments

I want to second the Troy Bike Rescue.

What kind of bikes does Troy Bike Rescue typically have? That's a long way to drive to find out all they've got is a Dora the Explorer special.

Thanks so much for the tip about Troy Bike Rescue. Now my husband has no excuse not to get one and go pedaling with me!

My wife and I have recently begun searching for bikes as our 6 1/2 year old now knows how to ride and we'd like to be able to go for bike rides with him. We've looked at Target and Toys R Us so far, but would be willing to go to just about any store (except maybe Walmart) to get a bike.

I'm all for supporting TBR, but if you're in the market for something a little more upscale (or a nicely refurbed used bike) check out Mad Dog Bicycles on Delaware Ave. in Delmar.

Remember you can also donate your no longer used bikes to Troy Bike Rescue. They will take bikes in good shape or bikes that are kind of beat to use for parts. I have rescued some bikes when kids are my street outgrow their bikes and I drop them off at Troy Bike Rescue.

TBR is a great effort. But if you want to get a bike that you're going to ride, don't make simple and cheap your only priorities. Make it a bike that fits and that fits your needs. Best way to do that is to visit your local independent bike shop (DownTube, Steiner's, Freeman's Bridge, Blue Sky, as examples). Worst way to do that is to go to a chain store. Even the cheap bikes are going to be better buys at a professional bike store. Tell them how you intend to ride, let them help you find the right bike. And remember that bike shops don't make money on the bikes -- it's almost entirely on the repairs and accessories.

TBR is a good tip. Where else can you get a good used bike and also the knowledge to maintain it?

If new is more your style, check out the following shops - Mad Dog Bikes in Delmar, CK Cycles on Central up by the Northway Mall, Steiners in Glenmont and the Downtube in downtown Albany (full disclosure, I work there Friday late afternoon, usually).

There is also word of two new shops in the area:
*Tomhannock Bicycles. 3149 State Rte 7, Pittstown, NY Ph: 663-0084 1st shop in Renss Co in a while, not including Steiners in Castelton).

*BIke Barn Cycling & Fitness, 299 Ontario st .Cohoes, NY

Troy Bike Rescue is in Albany as well! Albany Bike Rescue meets Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 15 Trinity Pl., just off of Madison.

I feel like a horrible person for saying this, but I've *never* bought a bike rescue bike... :) I had a friend that worked at Klarsfeld Cycles (a.k.a. CK Cycles) on Central Ave (near Fuller Rd) and also bought a bike at Plaines in/near Schenectady. Apparently Plaines has a low price matching guarantee, which is nifty, though I've not tried to use it... I would just also emphatically state: avoid the big box stores, i.e. Dick's, Walmart, et. al... Unless you want an extra heavy, not so great bike... =D

I second the Bike Barn in Cohoes. I just stopped in there. He's been open for about a week. Nice guy. Check it out!

Hi!
Thank you so much for covering our shop! We work really hard to make sure that the bikes people adopt from us are going to match their needs. New bikes are awesome too! We just know everyone who wants or needs a bicycle may not be able to afford a lovely new bicycle, but a rebuilt older bicycle is better than one from some big box chain.

Carolyn -- or anyone from TBR, do you have an arc welder? I have a great old bike, and the frame broke. Would love to find somewhere to fix it. Any suggestions out there?

I've found really great products (bikes and accessories) and had top notch customer service at Plaine and Son in Schenectady, Downtube in Albany, and Tomhannock Bicycles in Pittstown. That pretty much covers the greater part of the Capital Region. And I have to say although I've been to many of them, I haven't been to all of the other shops listed so far on this page.

@ jess - it may be a bit of a distance, but Frank Wadelton (aka, Frank The Welder) is a top notch welder/metal worker/bike frame maker, was inducted into the MTB Hall of Fame a few years back and lives about 2 hrs from Albany, outside of Brattleboro, VT. He is friendly & super knowledgeable.

http://www.frankthewelder.com

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