Our LBS is gearing up for their annual spring sale, and I'm really wanting to get back into some "casual" biking. I say casual in quotes because my version of casual may be somewhat more intense than others.
My girlfriend is set on an '09 Specialized Vita (Sport or Elite, not sure yet), which is primarily a flat bar road-oriented hybrid. This means it's unlikely I'll get her out on any dirt, gravel, etc.
On the other hand, I fear I may be tempted to hop a curb every once in a while. My last bike was about 10 years ago on a Rockhopper -- full MTB. Now that I live in Florida, the nearest mountain is about 400 miles away, so the MTB is probably not my best bet.
I've ridden both the Crosstrail and the Sirrus, and loved the speed of the Sirrus. But I'm terrified to bump a curb with the skinnies. I'd say the majority of my riding will be city streets, some rough, and then paved trails. Based on that, I'm leaning towards the Sirrus. But like I said before, I'd really like to have the flexibility of "cutting through the grass".
Should I get the Crosstrail (cheaper) and get another set of tires for extra speed on smooth bike paths, etc. Or do I get the Sirrus and a set of knobbier tires when I'm feeling more agressive?
Again, been off the bike scene for almost a decade, so I'm playing catch up here. Back then, I was younger and didn't care as much about components.
Anything you'd like to share, related or unrelated to the topic will be welcome. I'll be spending the next few days cruising through these forums getting up on the lingo. :-)
Glad to hear that you're getting back into the sport!
While I can't give you advice about the bike you intend to purchase, I can posit some information on the Specialized Vita. My GF just picked one up last year and absolutely loves it. I was impressed by how much tire clearance was available. Since your lady is set on one, I wouldn't rule out going to the fireroad or moderate terrain because you could easily fit a set of 32 or 35 mm cyclocross tires on that bike.
Anyways, good luck on your decision. FWIW, I'm 200 lbs and constant jump curbs on my 30lb 80s bike with CXP22s and 23mm Conti Sport tires....haven't had the wheel go out of true in a year of daily riding.
I have a Crosstrail, and love it as a comfortable do it all bike. There have been a lot of reports of people trashing rear wheels on the Crosstrail, thru no fault of their own. My dealer built me a new rear with 36 spokes, (under warrantee,) and a heavier wheel, and I have had no more problems with breaking spokes (I weigh 188#) since.
Bear in mind, that neither one is a curb hopper.
The Sirrus is closer to a road bike than the Crosstrail, even though the Crosstrail leans toward the road.
I love my Crosstrail - but you are leaning more toward the Sirrus......MHO
If bikes were cheaper, this wouldn't be such an issue. Thanks for the responses so far. Just got back from yet another trip to the LBS. They've also now suggested that I ride the Cannondale Quick 4 as a mix between the CT and the Sirrus. I didn't need another option... but then again, maybe I did?
Was in a suit, not very conducive to bike testing, so I'll go back in tomorrow to ride the trio again. I'd like to walk out with a bike tomorrow. We'll see.
Keep the feedback coming, I'm happy for any input.
As a sidenote, GF bought the Vita tonight. Grrrrrr jealousy.
I've owned a Crosstrail and a pair of Sirruses(Sirri?). For what you're looking to do,I'd get the Sirrus and just swap on some 32mm tires(Vittoria Randonneurs would be my recommendation). As long as you're careful going on/off curbs you should be ok. Actually,it sounds like you might want to look at the older model Globes(http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...08&sid=08Globe) or the Kona Dew series. They're like rigid 700cc MTB's but with a street bias.
C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L
Want more options? I got a Scott SUB 10 Classic a couple of weeks ago and love it. A bit more expensive than the Sirrus Elite, the SUB 20 is closer in cost & components. It is closer to a road geometry but with flat handlebars and comes with 32mm tires. I've ridden it on pavement, gravel, dirt, grass, over some curbs, etc. and it seems to be holding up just fine (we'll see a year from now!).
I had to order it sight unseen, there are two Scott dealers around but neither stocked it. After seeing my bike, though, the LBS is ordering some to put on the floor.
I was making this same decision over the holidays. Crosstrail or Sirrus. I chose the crosstrail and absolutly loving this bike. The wider tires 700x32 make me more confident on my commute.
The Crosstrail I'm looking at is 700x45. It'd be perfect at 32 I think. If I did go with the Crosstrail, any suggestions on tires to swap with the stock for those trips with the girl on the Vita? I don't think I want super-skinnies, but no knobs like the stock tires. (32c? 35?)
As I mentioned earlier, I know nothing about current tire brands, etc since it's been about 10 years, and back then it was focused on MTB.
OP here, I ended up getting the Crosstrail. Measured the rear dropout at 5.375". I think this is about 136.5mm.
Aaaaah, thanks for writing back. But IMO sorry to hear that.
You don't have to worry about bumping against a curb or riding across some grass with a skinny tire like on the Sirrus. Granted I wouldn't slam on into the curb (I'd bunny hop up onto it), but bike professionals like Lance Armstrong ride tiny skinny tires and wheels while rocketing downhill at 45 miles an hour into a turn - that's a lot of stress on the wheel, a lot moreso than riding across some grass. I ride a road bike with 23c tires and cut across grass, downhill, and off curbs *constantly*. In fact, I ride on the crushed limestone MUP we have here with that bike all the time, and even with that the only time I start to notice my tire size is if the MUP is wet (to be fair, bigger tires get bogged down then to).
I have the skinniest of road tires (23c) and I haven't had any problems on streets. No problems on crushed limestone. No problems on grass or dirt (when dry). It takes a full dirt road to get to the point where I start to have issues with the skinny tire, and frankly my old bike with 35c tires wasn't great on those roads either.
I was also going to say (though it's to late now!) that I hope your girlfriend goes with the Vita Elite - it has a much nicer and shock absorbing frame than the Sport (the sport is all aluminum, the Elite has carbon fiber parts and the insert thingies).
Of course, all the matters is that you're enjoying yourself and getting where you're going! :-) And heck, if your girlfriend is the typical "I don't like to push myself to hard" kind, there's other good news - you'll be getting a better workout on your bike keeping up with her. :-)