Recreational & Family - Bike buying advice? "hybrid" or "comfort"
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06-13-08, 06:47 PM
Hi, I'm hoping to get some educated opinions to help me choose a bike to buy. I'm in my mid-40s, 6'1", 180 lbs, and hadn't ridden in about 30 years when I decided to get a bike for some exercise. I bought a second-hand Trek 820 and love to ride it, but I've come to realize that it's too small for me (17.5" frame, my inseam is 34") and much heavier than I would like (stell frame -- I guess I need aluminum).
It is somewhat hilly in the part of Baltimore City where my wife and I live, and I mostly ride on pavement though it is rough and features plenty of potholes and speed-bumps.
I'm trying to make up my mind between getting a hybrid and getting a comfort bike. I'd like to spend less than $400 if possible, and in the Trek line that means the 7000 hybrid versus the Navigator 2.0 comfort. Of course there are plenty of other manufacturers; I'm just not familiar with them.
I want a bike that is very light-weight, easy to ride, well built (I'm pleased with my 820's quality), stable, and reasonably comfortable. I want to work a little when I ride, certainly, but I ride just as much for running errands as I do for pure exercise.
Any comments regarding pros and cons of hybrid bikes versus comfort bikes greatly appreciated! Any recommendations of specific makes and models also greatly helpful!
Thank you all in advance. :)
06-13-08, 07:55 PM
Comfort and Hybrid bikes are variations of mountain bikes. Both comfort and hybrid bikes offer a more upright riding position as opposed to a mountain bike which results in a more comfortable ride. Comfort bikes have additional suspension, often on the seat stem, forks, etc which reduces the vibrations to the rider. However, this added suspension adds weight to the bike.
In addition to Trek I would recommend the Giant Sedona DX which sells less than $400 USD. I've been riding one for over two years and it has served me well. I mostly ride dirt trails through wooded areas and I have never had an issue with the Sedona DX.
Find a LBS that will let you test ride their bikes. One LBS doesn't allow people to test ride while another is more than happy to let prospective buyers to test ride their bikes. Can you guess which LBS I do business with? :)
Good luck in your search.
It sounds like you like the 820 but want 2 things out of it. Make it fit right and make it faster.
You want a fast good bike.
you could get a new 820 that fit and put road tires on it. that will make it faster.
but i think your should look at the Trek SU 1.0.
Any suspension adds weight and robs power. and unless you are incapable or bending your knees and elbows for a bump are worthless.
The SU 1.0 has a more aggresive geometry for making sharper turns.
Having said that when my road bike died i bummed my wifes 7100 WSD ( and swallowed my pride HARD going from carbon race bike to Alumininum comfort bikes with flowers)it wasnot a bad ride and i could ride it quick when i wanted to.
I am making an assumption that you are a more performance minded person that a comfort person. Adn i am staying with the trek line cause thats what you are familier with. But the brand of bike is not nearly as important as the relationship you have with the bike shop.
06-13-08, 08:37 PM
Thanks both of you! And to the 2nd poster I feel your pain re the 7100WSD - I almost bought my wife one of those; I know what they look like.
I've heard about the suspensions on some of the bikes being a problem. That's why I might go with, say, the Trek 7000 instead of the 7100 (oh and it's cheaper). With the 820 I find the suspension "nice" when I have to go over a speed bump but I'm just used to it -- maybe I'd get used to no suspension too.
I'll check out the Giant, thanks for that suggestion.
Have a good weekend!
Consider the bike with narrower tires (700) as this will be more nimble and efficient for your hilly neighborhood. than the wider tires (26). The narrower tires are still wider than a road bike so that and any suspension your bike has will soften the bumps. Good luck.
06-14-08, 07:15 PM
I just bought the Trek SU 1.0. It is very light and quick. It doesn't have 700c tires but I wanted the 26 in tires anyway due to my height (or lack thereof) and find the tires are very slick on roads. I am also riding for the first time in years and this bike more than suits my needs.
06-15-08, 09:19 PM
I was in the same situation... and i test-rode both the hybrid and comfort MTB (for Giant, not Trek) and really did not feel that the 700c-equipped Cypress was all that "zippy" compared to the 26"-wheeled Sedona. In the end, I bought the Sedona because the wheels were better suited for ruts and if i hop up on a sidewalk next to my house, the neighbor edges the sidewalk pretty deep and the 700c wheel would drop in and get stuck. Maybe. I dunno. :)
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