Best Grills, Mowers and Bikes For Summer

Consumer Reports shares its picks for the best lawn mowers, grills and bikes.

ByABC News via via logo
February 11, 2009, 1:10 AM

May 16, 2008 — -- "Good Morning America" had a party in New York City's Bryant Park today to help you get ready to spend time outdoors this summer.

From the best mowers to keep your lawn in top shape to the best grills for cooking up a backyard barbecue, and even the best bike for enjoying the warm weather while exercising, we wanted to show you how to get the most for your money.

Consumer Reports senior projects editor Mandy Walker joined "GMA" to share the results of its tests of the most popular makes and models to keep your summer sizzling.

Consumer Reports experts spent months searing steaks, grilling chicken and cooking salmon on 37 grills and found that a premium price doesn't guarantee a better grill.

Midsize: Blue Ember, $450

The Blue Ember can handle up to 24 burgers and excels at cooking food evenly. It has many convenient features including generous shelf space, a side burner, a built-in smoker box and rotisserie burner -- great for cooking whole chickens or turkeys.

Large: Kenmore 16315, $570

This huge Kenmore model is a good buy and has very good performance, with five main burners, a rotisserie, side burners and plenty of shelf space. It also comes with a 10-year warranty on the burners, which tend to give out first.

Small/Portable: Weber Q 200, $190

Portable and affordable, the Weber Q is perfect to take with you to a tailgate. It cooks and grills food evenly and folds out for extra grilling space.

Note: When you're looking to get the best buy for your money, bring a magnet to test the grill yourself. If it's lower-quality stainless steel, the magnet will stick to it. Also give the grill a push and pull to make sure it's sturdy for safety.

Match your mower to your lawn: Push mowers are better for smaller lawns and self-propelled mowers are better for bigger lawns and hills. Consumer Reports spent six weeks during the winter months in Florida testing mowers, tractors and trimmers.

Best Gas, Push Mower: Cub Cadet 11A-18MC, $230

The Cub Cadet 11A-18MC is a Consumer Reports "Best Buy." At just 19 inches wide, it's narrow and easy to maneuver, especially if you've got a lot of trees to work around. The premium valve engine makes it easier to start, and it has a one-lever height adjustment so you don't have to adjust all the wheels one at a time.

Best Gas, Self-Propelled Mower: Toro Recycler 20092, $350

The Toro Recycler 20092 is also a Consumer Reports "Best Buy." It cuts as well as more expensive mowers, and with its 21-inch width it's also easy to maneuver. It comes with electric starting and works well if you mulch. Or, you can take off the mulching and use the side discharge or bag clippings. The Toro has fewer repairs compared to other brands according to Consumer Reports' brand repair history data.

Best Electric Push Mower: Homelite UT13122, $300

The Homelite is a "greener" mower that allows you to cut down on exhaust and doesn't require gas! It's also a Consumer Reports "Quick Pick Best Value" for an electric cordless mower.

Best Bike: Schwinn Sierra GS, $340

Riding a bike is a great way to stay in shape and save money on gas. Consumer Reports recommends getting moving this summer on the Schwinn Sierra GS, a comfort bike for leisurely riding. It features shock absorbers in the seat and/or fork, a cushiony, wide seat and low gears for easier uphill pedaling.

Click here for more "Best Buys" and great ideas from Consumer Reports.

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