Hybrid Bicycles - Part One, Joined the Ranks...........
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08-09-11, 11:34 AM
Been looking around a while via the internet and the local Dick's, Craigslist and such.
Finally set a budget and hit some of the local bike shops. Visited something like 10 different ones and steeled myself from buying the 1st "deal" I came across. Met a number of nice folks and a couple of jerks.
Pretty much covered the gambet of price ranges 400-1200, brands (large and small), rode a number of bikes around in the parking lots (some shops never even offered to let me) and used 10-12 hours of time educating myself, hands-on, beyond the internet.
As you can see the title above tells you what I finally decided on.
I was directed towards a wide range of bikes from the 6-7spd basic Hybrids to altered Mountain Bikes and all inbetween.
Customer service from shop to shop varied widely from Excellent to worse that the local Dick's (even though it was pretty good there, a different Dicks, when we bought my wife's bike a year ago, knowledgeable young man helped us).
The $200 to 400 range lacked some things.
- One, at Dicks, 2-4 bought you so-so quality, some features and no sale support.
- At the LBS, 2-4 got ok quality, fewer features and after sale support.
So, quality, features and support were the key.
The $400 to $800 range moved things up a notch.
- The first being taking Dick's out of the picture completely.
- Near 4 the bikes were better quality but again bottom of the ladder features.
- Moving towards the 8 level, everything began changing as far as features, build materials, quality really stepped up and now design came into the picture.
to be continued...
After much review, I had been told a 29er MB with changes would be a good choice. I had seen a number of Hybrids that interested me with Specialized and Cannondale being the front-runners.
I had also set my budget at max $600 but wished to be more in the 500 range. The 6 number gave me better choices.
Welcome to hybrid forum! I´m not sure if you´re asking, but we often have questions in here about getting your moneys worth. In general, you´ll get several suggestion on what bike and for what money. Since I´m not american and dont have the local knowledge I wouldnt dare direct you in any way. But many in here can give you thoughtful opinions on how to go about a bike purchase. Good luck!
08-09-11, 03:46 PM
Welcome to bikeforums! Very refreshing to hear from someone who has done his research and posts to share his hard won knowledge with us rather than another "What bike should I get?" thread.
Looking forward to parts two, three, etc...
08-09-11, 04:50 PM
I would agree with your assessment of price point and basically what you get for the money, not taking into account reduced prices on previous years' models.
I DIDN'T buy my bike at a well-stocked lbs that had a great selection of brands and the cheapest prices anywhere, really competitive, because they were wayyyy too busy and the service suffered for that. Forget trying to get a fitting, or your get your serviced bike back in less than 3 weeks...
08-09-11, 06:00 PM
Sorry folks, had to go teach a class, now back and want to continue.
So, after I had some "feel" on the goods, I dove back into the internet seeking, read, lurking, treads that were directed in some of the direction I was leaning.
Then another round of stops to reinforce or blow away lingering concepts.
The greater or lesser shops, where service was poor and the staff acted like "Oh, you're not spending $7k on one of our super scoots" then fend for yourself situations, I crossed off my list as after sale support is important to me.
Only 3 stops, one being the very shop that's closest to me, another one about 15 miles away, but near a Dive shop I frequent weekly and then to a planned third.
The first is a Specialized and Trek dealer. The second, is a Cannondale and lesser brands shop. Third is Giant and etc brands.
At the first, I reviewed the choices, at $400 a 7spd Hybrid, steel and twist, big fat old man seat. A Crosstour I believe it was called, near $470 still not my vision. Next a spiffy 29er MB switched to smooth tires and nicer trigger shifter, nice paint and "cool" look and $580 tag, but after a ride it was just too twitchy.
When the staff guy asked me if he could catch a quick call while I continued to look around. (Very nice that he asked me, and I mean that) I walked around looking at STUFF. LOL, great fun.
As I rounded the end rack of 4 bikes, one of them jumped out at me.
So this is the Sirrus that many of you were writing about. So what caught my eye ??? First it was the paint scheme. Kind of a matt grey/gun-metal. the styling was very smooth, with some curves, nice bars and stem and look some real bar ends that did not need adding later.
Also seat was stylish, somewhat real for an older guy like me, but not Big-Butt design. Big roller wheels too!
AND DISC BRAKES !!!! very, very cool....... one of the items high on my list.
So this bike is more roadie than dirty, that's good, very stylish vs ToadSquat or TinyTube, that's very cool AND I look at the little tag..it's only $770 .... BOOM, down I went in flames.
This bike reminded me of one of Foose's customs, like a chopped 49 Merc, cool paint and subdued graphics and great brakes..... but out of my price range.
So the sales guy walks back over and says "Oh, yea" he was going to show me that one but had forgotten, I believed him as we had been in a different section of the bike racks. He reaches over, lifts it up and sits it down in front of me. DAMN, I just blew my budget by $200 I'm thinking the wife is going to kill me.
"Want to ride it" he says.... Oh yea I said ! So he heads over and grabs a tool and we head to the door. He points out a few things and says "do a few laps so he can see me", I do so and then he waves me over. Let me adjust the seat and a couple of more pointers.... Have fun and walks inside... no yea let me have your D.L. til you come back or anything.
A dozen nice laps of the parking lot and a ride around the complex and I pull up to the front of the shop. Now, I'm SOLD, yea that's right, done deal .... he steps up and says oh by the way.... this is an 2011 and is not $770 but $599..... He'll up grade the seat for ZERO just pick what I want, any additional items 20% and free install and free servicing for a year.
NOW, I have not made it even to the second shop I had planned to visit. I'm shaking my head inside......
08-09-11, 06:16 PM
Haha. Great story. If Specialized isn't paying you, they should be!
08-09-11, 06:16 PM
So I said sounds good but I've got one more stop and I'll call you. Of course I get a yea right look from him. It's 2:30 they close at 6 and I've got to go across town to look at the Cannondale. Gotta do it....
So off I go, stop in the other shops... nice guys I must say.... out comes the Quick. BLUE..... Electric Blue, HUM.... styling is OK and all I can think about is the Sirrus. Change the bars, change the seat, add bar ends, NO DISCS..... $799 but if I'll take the one with scratches then $519. Oh but we have to add in the seat, bars and without bar ends $705 out the door.
I say excuse me I have to make a call..... I ring the other shop, ask for my guy..... "Hey, Bob here", whats the out the door on that bike I was looking at ????? $653
I say to him...... SOLD, I'll be there shortly. I step in thank the guys for their excellent help and service and drive back to the shop that's near to my house and have them ring it up.
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Over budget by $53 and pretty happy with the choice.... are there better bikes out there, sure but I'm happy with this one for now. Will I up grade items, maybe, ok yea likely but not tomorrow......
Thanks for reading this, I had fun writing it.
Congrats on the purchase, welcome to the forums and sounds like you did your research and made an informed decision.
08-09-11, 06:43 PM
It's a tough market, and a lot of bike shops are very competitve with their pricing (and throw-ins). Heck, in this economy I would NEVER pay full price and not get some freebies. Congrats on finding a good bike that you'll love riding!
Bob, That's a great story! It's been told before but certainly not as interesting as the way you put it. You should write for a magazine. Congrats on getting a new bike and enjoy the ride. There's nothing like riding but be forewarned, if this riding thing becomes an addiction, you'll be doing this again when looking for a road bike. I've been there, done that.
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