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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-10-07, 11:34 PM   #1
PHS1
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Is there a better value in a steel frame, carbon fork hybrid than KHS Urban Xtreme?

As my earlier posts indicate, I have been looking for a hybrid as a newbie who wants to get back on a bicycle for supplemental exercise (as I am 50, 6'0", 200 pounds, and am in decent shape from having done two to three circuit weight training workouts per week for over 30 years) by exploring in southern California on pavement and light bike trails and light bike baths with a setup that won't need to be altered for different venues.

My research seemed to point toward a steel frame, non-suspension fork for the most comfortable ride and most versatile setup. And I was leaning toward either the Coda Sport (MSRP of $600) or the Coda (MSRP of $475). I didn't want to look at anything much more expensive because I am trying to squeeze this out as a family Christmas gift.

But it has come to my attention that the KHS Urban Xtreme has a steel frame and carbon fork for a seemingly incomparable MSRP of $739. I know that the comparable Coda Comp with steel frame and carbon fork has an MSRP of $800.

Here are the specifications for the KHS Urban Xtreme:

Frame - Reynolds 520 DB CrMo tubing w/curved seatstays and carrier bosses, Forged Vertical Drop Outs
Fork - Carbon blades w/Alloy steerer
Headset - 1-1/8" Threadless
Rims - Weinmann SP-17 Double wall, CNC sidewalls
Hubs - Front: Formula alloy; Rear: Shimano Cassette
Tires - Kenda Kwest 700x35c, w/K-Shield Anti-puncture
Spokes - 14G Black 32
Front Derailleur - Shimano FD-453A
Rear Derailleur - Shimano Sora
Shifters - Shimano SL440 Trigger
Chain - KMC Z82
Crankset - Alloy Forged 52/42/30
Bottom Bracket - ISIS spline, Sealed cartridge
Cassette - SRAM PG850 12-26, 8 Speed
Pedals - Dual Sided Mulitfunction, Clipless and Standard
Seatpost - Alloy micro-adjust
Saddle - San Marco Ischia
Handlebar - Alloy Flat
Stem - Alloy 17, Threadless
Grips - Dual density grips
Brake Levers - Tektro Alloy
Brakes - Shimano M421 V-Brake

Are folks aware of any hybrid bicycle with a steel frame and carbon fork at a better price?

Do folks think that the extra $139 for the carbon fork and other components of the KHS Urban Xtreme are worth it compared to the Coda Sport?

Thanks for you advice and input.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:49 PM   #2
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Have you done test rides on all the bikes? Forget the money until you do. You can go with the cheapest bike, but if it doesn't feel right for you, it's a waste of cash. If the feel of all of the bikes is about the same on the test rides, then what the heck, get the cheapest one

As a personal aside, I find steel forks to be decent in reducing road vibrations while riding. I don't need a carbon fork, especially not on a bike that'll be on mostly lighter fare.
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Old 12-11-07, 04:02 AM   #3
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which bike?

I like a carbon fork for the road.The KHS looks cool.Jamis is good.Unless you are absolutely dead set on steal,check out the Bianchi Backstreat.I hate V-Brakes.The thing with carbon,epically @ our age(I'm 56),ouch,is the comfort level.The vibration damping of carbon really helps.Which is why your first up grade should be carbon bars and seatpost. For a while is was was riding a 28 lb. full suspension bike to work.Carbon frame GT.After 7 years the alu bottom bracket area developed cracks.In the end you just got to throw a a leg over them and see what feels right.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:44 AM   #4
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Is the vibration/impact damping of a carbon fork a lot better than a steel fork with a decent amount of rake to it? I've never used carbon but my ghetto-old bike with a cromo fork does pretty well (even if the bike's a fat pig).
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Old 12-11-07, 06:55 AM   #5
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http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../cafe_noir.htm

This bike has better components and is in your price range. It's a steel frame with carbon fork and adjustable stem.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:59 AM   #6
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A bikesdirect.com bike for a newbie?
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Old 12-11-07, 09:08 AM   #7
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A bike is a bike. It has good components and fits his budget. It gives the same, if not more bike, for less than the others.

What's the problem? He can have it set up by his local LBS if he isn't comfortable doing it himself and he'll still be in good shape, money-wise.

Personally, I'd suggest a used steel frame bike and convert it over to flat bars, but I know he's looking for something newer with a little give in the ride. I think steel on the steel is the way to go, but I'm not 50 years old.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:11 AM   #8
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A website is an inadequate substitute for a knowledgeable LBS.
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Old 12-11-07, 10:10 AM   #9
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RE: The Motobecane -- it's available in 61 and 64 cm. That's most likely not going to fit someone at 6-foot.

RE: Website inadequacy for beginners -- with the help of some very knowledgeable friends and some experience with mountain biking, I bought my first road bike off Ebay. Never regretted it. My point is that it just depends on one's situation.

For the OP -- KHS makes good bikes, at least from the reviews that I've read. If you can ride one and like it, buy it.
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Old 12-11-07, 02:43 PM   #10
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To the OP - if possible, try before you buy. If I would have been able to try the IRO Rob Roy before I bought it, I wouldn't have made that purchase. The steel/steel ride sucked compared to carbon/aluminum, IMHO. I would try more than just the bikes in your preferred price range. Go up and down the scale - you might be surprised at what you actually like to ride compared to what you think you will.
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