Originally Posted by sniperviper21
track? who rides a damn bike on a track.
i mean like trails.
In that case, definitely get one with shocks, and this type of frame:
The reason is that the shocks on the second type tend to be very short, so for off road use, you will need to make them very weak. This wastes a lot of extra energy when trying to pedal.
Disc brakes are also a major plus, because they work well when wet, unlike the ones that squeeze the rim. They are also much less likely to rub, they offer more stopping power, and they require less maintenance.
As far as gearing, most will be 21 speed. There's really no need for more than that, but I suggest looking for the one with the greatest range of gear ratios. For example, Trek bikes usually have one sprocket in the back that is much larger than usual. This is a huge help when going up very steep hills.
As said before, look for shimano derailers with thumb shifters if possible. Trek bikes are typically the best you'll find at normal stores, but Schwinns can be pretty good if you don't want to spend so much.
If the bike doesn't already have it, buy a derailer guard. You _will_ drop the bike on the derailer at some point in its life, and they break very easily. It'll be a piece of bent wire around the rear derailer. here's what they look like:
Get some good tires too. The ones that come with the bike usually have some pretty wimpy treads for off road.
I just got another laptop battery from radio shack, and I have a transfer from another store coming. I wish I could find more of these things. I've got every one that was left in the state.