Okay, I'm closing in on my internal hub bike decision. For about two months now, my top choice has been the Brodie Theta, but I can't seem to find any 2007 close-outs on that, and the earliest I could get a 2008 would be February at the earliest. So I had my local LBS check into the Giant Trans-Send, and he also got a good lead on a close-out Cypress. Since winter is the prime season for using an internal hub, it's very tempting to forego the Brodie to avoid waiting half the winter. But then I'm still having trouble deciding between the two Giants.
I've been trying to downplay the price differences to myself, since I have the money, and I think that even the most expensive one is not too much to spend on something that I'm really going to value and take care of for a long time. But OTOH, the less I spend on the basic package, the more I can spend on other things.
Here's some of the most important differences between them, to me:
- Brodie Theta: I LOVE the sweet frame! I still think the Giant frames pale in comparison. The disc brakes are also a real plus, which the Tran Send also has. The only thing I don't care for about this bike is the 26" wheels; I prefer 700c wheels. Plus, not being able to get it until February at the earliest.
Price: ~$700 (This is list; the dealer has not quoted me his price yet.)
- Giant Cypress EX: Big drawback to either of the others: No disc brakes! But it has 700c wheels, which the Brodie does not, and a twist shifter, which the Tran Send does not. Also, it lacks the chain tensioner of the Tran Send, which I actually consider a plus for reasons we discussed a few weeks ago. It's only a 7-speed, not an 8-speed as the other two are, but that really doesn't bother me. My LBS guy said the low and high ratios are about the same, the difference is in the middle. And he found a great close-out deal if we order immediately!
Price: $370 (Average retail is listed as $580. That's sure tempting.)
- Giant Tran Send EX: Thumbs up for disc brakes, thumbs down for non-twist shifters. In the winter, I often have to wear mittens, and even then, in real cold weather my thumbs can get chilled to the point of it being a little painful to push a shift lever, so the twist shifters are kind of important to me. I've already mentioned the tensioner, although I could live with that.
Now, I asked my LBS guy if he could put disc brakes on the Cypress, and he said technically yes, but it wouldn't be cost-effective, in his opinion. I didn't think to ask the other way, whether he could put a twist shifter on the Tran Send, but I will ask that tomorrow. But maybe some of you could answer that, too.