I own a Novara Safari(the bike the Tran Sport is copying) and a Novato. The Novato will be lighter,has disc brakes,and a touch better components. It'll take a rear fack and full fenders no problem,and Nashbar sells trekking bars like the Giant's for like $20. You'd need to accessorize the Novato more,but I think in the long run it would be worth it.
My $.02. You also really need to ride both bikes and decide which one feels better for you.
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/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT
07 Schwinn Voyageur GSD, Next Avalon, 2007 Dahon Yeah
$350 for the Giant looks to be quite a deal. You're getting two racks (usually around $40 each). Special handlebar. Beefy tires. Buy it and sell it if you don't like it. You shouldn't take much of a loss.
Raleigh trantula ATB my beater & Marin Point reyes UHT ,my baby.
I made the jump from a 45lb raleigh mtb to a 25lb Marin Point Reyes before I started adding racks and fenders. I love the Marin Its quick,comfortable and light. It has eyelits for front and rear racks and I like the look of the matte smoke finish. My commute is 26 km one way.
This is to update this post.
I went back and test rode the Giant Tran Send DX, the Cypress DX, the Marin Muirwood, and the Novato.
The Tran Send and Novato have fenders, but they rattle and making noise. Also several times I left foot hit the front fender.
The Cypress with disc brake, suspension seat post and front suspension would make it felt heavy. I felt better with the Muirwoods. So I got myself a 19" Marin Muirwoods.
The standover height fits me alright with a little over an inch clearance. The bike weights 28 lbs.
I added the front basket, bottle holder cage, and a bike computer with cadence. I am all set.
This week I rode it to work 3 days ~74 miles. The new click shifter works flawless on all gears when I need them.
Atleast I don't feel tired at the end of my commute like before. So I am happy to make the switch.
The old bike will be use as spare and to learn bike maintenance skills.
Bike specs below and yes, it's a typical black color commuter bike, but it's mine and you don't have to like it.
Good luck to all searching for their commuter bikes.
-G http://www.marinbikes.com/2008_html/...?serialnum=207 http://www.marinbikes.com/2008/us/bi...T_URBAN_MW.jpg
Here is the pciture of my commute bike.
It's a 2008 Marin Muirwoods. Original weight is 28 bls. I had the handle bar cut to 23 inches, added bar ends, bottle holder cage, bike computer, and swapped out the pedals for an old platforms.
This weekend, I added rear rack and converted a Nokia picnic igloo into bike pannier. It holds my change clothes, plus laptop computer fine. The weight is now 37 lbs before anything in the pannier.