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  1. #1
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    What is the difference?

    Hi everyone! I'm a newbie to this forum but lots of good learning so far... thanks for that!

    Like many folks, the current gas situation has inspired me to bike whenever possible and I'm off to a good start; The last two days, I have riden with my son to his school instead of driving. WooHoo

    My problem is that my current bike is a very old Univega (?) Land Rover - I love the bike but the shifters are about shot, the brakes aren't the greatest, and it's not real comfortable for daily use. So I'm looking to replace it with something that will be more mechanically sound, and more enjoyable to ride. But budget is absolutely a deciding factor. I have found a Fuji hybrid that seems really nice; I'm going to test ride it to see what I think. I have also found a nice hybrid at Target with an aluminum frame that also seems nice. Sorry but I can't remember the brand name - it's not a Huffy but beyond that???

    So... what's the difference between a bike that seems well made from a store like Target and a Fuji from a bike shop? The Fuji costs twice as much... is it worth it?

    Hey, thanks in advance for any help ya'll can provide. I really need help with this decision and I don't want to be looking to buy another bike next year, ya know what I mean?

  2. #2
    it's my road too, dangit sydney_b's Avatar
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    I won't bother going into the differences, mostly because I don't care that much. I think what's important is that you are comfortable and enjoy your ride.

    As far as a new bike, you might want to give the folks at your local bike shop a shot a making fixes on what you have.

    With the bike I usually use, I rode it for about 3 months and started really disliking a couple of its aspects. I went to the same shop and asked the guys if they could help me do something about the issues to make the ride more tolerable until I had saved the money for and located the bike I *really* wanted. Sure enough, I got a new seat and a new stem. This made a world of difference.

    Also, just this week I got a '69 schwinn I've been keeping around for years back from the shop. The guys cleaned it up nice and put on new tires, fixed the brakes and all that. So, for a very reasonable price I had yet another way to have fun on two wheels.

    Welcome to the club.


  3. #3
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    Fuji is a proper bike manufacturer, even the low-end bikes are good enough for regular commuting. The difference in quality between $99 discount bike and a $250 entry-level branded bike is huge and well worth the extra money. The peak in the price/performance curve is probably around $600.
    Consider your current commuting costs. Bear in mind that a decent bike should last 10 years so work out your current 10 year costs (perhaps >$10,000). Cycling may be low cost but it is not zero-cost. You do need to spend some to buy reliability and efficiency.

    Fuji, like any respected brand, are sold in proper bike shops which will:
    Offer sound advice on correct fit
    Check the final assembly.
    Fit any accessories (lights/rack/fenders etc),
    Swap components (such as kevlar punture-resistant tyres),
    Offer post-sales support such as a tuneup when the cables go slack.
    Most decent bike shops give priority to their bike-sales customers when it comes to booking anual services.
    Your bike shop is a resource you will need over time so pick it with care.

  4. #4
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Welcome to bicycle commuting! I have to agree with sydney, mainly because as you do this awhile, you'll learn so much about cycling that you don't know now and your needs and desires may change.

    I got started because my sister told me she and her husband were starting to ride bikes. I had been seeking a fun way to exercise virtually all my adult life but hadn't thought of riding bikes so that's why I decided to fix up my Raleigh mountain bike from the early 90s that I never really rode. It was an expensive bike back then (about $400, though it's not worth anything close to that now.) She bought a department store bike for about $150. Mine cost about $150 to fix up but that included a new saddle, grips, helmet, chain, tires, tubes, and tune-up. She constantly had trouble shifting and when we rode together, it was clear that mine was the better bike. I had an easier time riding, too, but she is much more overweight than I am so that may not have been the bikes. It turns out my bike was actually too small for me so I spent about $400 on Trek 7200 hybrid. It's amazing what a difference it makes to ride a bike that fits properly and meets your needs.

    So I guess my advice is to maybe fix your bike up and ride it a little while you learn more about it but whenever you decide to get a new bike, go for the better bike, even if it costs a little more. You might even be able to find a good quality used bike for the same as a cheap new bike. Good luck and have fun!

  5. #5
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    I also would vote for fixing up your old bike since you like it, maybe upgrading the rear derail, it will feel like a new bike. If you can find a Ti saddle on discount (Nashbar) that
    really improves the ride. I just upgraded my 90 Peugeot this way & the difference is dramatic. I upgraded the wheels also a few year ago.

    If you have a bike you like, upgrading over the years is an alternative to buying new bikes. You can get one or two new parts a year & it doesn't have to cost much.

  6. #6
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    I considered fixing up my bike and even took it to my local shop. But gee, by the time I got it tuned up, replaced the derailer, the saddle, etc. - well, I'd have been well on my way to a new bike. Plus, while I like the aesthetics of my bike, the frame is smallish for me and it's more mountain bike than hybrid. And a hybrid is what I really, really wanted. So today, I made some calls to the bike shops in my area to find out what they had available and then I went out for some test rides...

    First I rode the Fuji ladies Del Rey. Then I went to Target to test out their offerings. Finally I tried out a Trek 7200 - a ladies hybrid with a very swoopy (is that a word?) design.

    The Trek fit like a glove - I felt very secure on it and liked the futuristic design of the frame. The price was right so I brought it home, installed my rack and I am good to go.

    I think I'm going to go ahead and get my old bike tuned up and donate it to the Red Cross. Surely someone who has been devastated by Katrina will get lots of use out of it.

    So thanks everyone for the help - I really appreciate the advice!

    Now I need accessories - anybody have a good online source for goodies? I need a helmet, some gloves, lights, the basics.

    Thanks again and have a great Labor day holiday

  7. #7
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellenDSD
    II think I'm going to go ahead and get my old bike tuned up and donate it to the Red Cross. Surely someone who has been devastated by Katrina will get lots of use out of it.

    So thanks everyone for the help - I really appreciate the advice!

    Now I need accessories - anybody have a good online source for goodies? I need a helmet, some gloves, lights, the basics.

    Thanks again and have a great Labor day holiday
    What a great idea! I'm sure someone will appreciate that bike! I wish I had known mine was too small for me before I spent the money on it. On the other hand, I probably wouldn't have bought a new bike unless I was sure I enjoyed cycling. Oh, well. As my son would say, it's all good.

    I have bought a TON of stuff at Nashbar. If you do a search for "nashbar coupons," you can often find discount codes. In fact, I have one now -- use code TKA6 to get 10 percent off your entire order until October 31. And they have all of their Nashbar-branded stuff on sale right now. Have fun!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhorn
    On the other hand, I probably wouldn't have bought a new bike unless I was sure I enjoyed cycling. Oh, well. As my son would say, it's all good.

    I have bought a TON of stuff at Nashbar. If you do a search for "nashbar coupons," you can often find discount codes. In fact, I have one now -- use code TKA6 to get 10 percent off your entire order until October 31. And they have all of their Nashbar-branded stuff on sale right now. Have fun!
    LOL - Yeah, I wouldn't go off half cocked and buy a bike under those circumstances either. Guess I should have included a little background info... Before I moved east from Texas, I had a Giant road bike that I dearly loved and rode quite a bit! But you know how things can go squirrly when you move? I had a whole bunch of stuff strapped to the roof of my [then] VW Golf and the bike just wouldn't fit anywhere. I got an offer to sell it and so I did. I've regretted it since! So, I'm not a total newbie to cycling, just been awhile since I've done with any regularity

    Thanks so much for the advice about Nashbar AND the coupons! I will check them out.

  9. #9
    dfw
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    Stercus accidit dfw's Avatar
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    My local Costco is selling a Comfort Bike for $140. It's definitely a step up from your $100 China-Mart bike and not far away in quality as compared to a $300 Trek or Specialized Hybrid.

    I believe it had SRAM shifters and an adjustable stem (same as Trek, Specialized) and Shimano derailures.
    Hard work has a future payoff; laziness pays off now. -anonymous

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I'm glad you found a bike you like so easily. ellen. It sounds like you have the right attitude to be a successful bike commuter. Welcome to our world!

  11. #11
    I fear angry birds Santaria's Avatar
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    IRO wheels, Brooks seat, throw away the gears=much happiness for you.


    Do what ya like really, don't get caught up in the 'proper branding' game. If buying the $99 dollar Target bike helps you to move into the sport and get a feel for how you will like the lifestyle of bicycle commuting, then go for it. There is zero reason to buy a $250 bike only to find out that you hate it and have it hang in a garage upside for 10 years before you pawn it off onto someone else at a garage sale...see my point?

    Call the $99 an investment into the sport, give it a few months and decide, based off your finances what you can afford that will last you from there.

    I also would not recommend a brand new custom-made pair of Nike Frees to someone asking about weekend jogging, but that's just me.

    [edit]Delaying typing=stupid on my part[/edit]

    Enjoy the new bike
    THE DEVIL

    Originally Posted by Scrodzilla
    If that was my house and you put your stupid bike in my flower garden to take a picture, I would come outside in my underwear and light you on fire.

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