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  1. #1
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    lightweight hybrid bike for $400-$500?

    Hi there,
    I know nothing about high quality bikes, and I could use some advice on what to look for.
    I've always had a cheap bike, but now I'm trying to commute, and my department store monstrosity
    is far too heavy for daily use (there are some hills on my route).
    I'm looking for a hybrid bike $400-$500, and my main concern is the weight of the bike.
    I'd like it to be as efficient as possible, just a little bit more comfortable than a road bike.
    So I'm probably looking for big relatively narrow tires (except I don't know what are the typical measures).
    My problem in trying to do some research online is that I don't really know what to look for in the specs
    except for a lightweight frame...
    Can someone recommend a decent bike for $400-$500?
    So far I've tried (at REI) the cannondale bad boy - which is exactly what I want but can't afford,
    and a Marin bike which I think of buying (Marin Fairfax)
    http://www.rei.com/product/776845
    It is still a bit too expensive, but I really liked it.
    Can anyone give an educated guess if this is a good bike for the money.

    I also saw an offer for Schwinn World Avenue One. Has anyone tried it?
    This price suits me better, but is the bike decent?
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...9#ReviewHeader

    I'd appreciate any advice or suggestion.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    English Bloke
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    Hi these are in your price range.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...=38462&eid=121

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/72fx/

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...a/09_coda.html

    Just some examples anyway, keep digging and you'll find others. The good advice I've always seen here, is test ride anything before buying, and ensure that it's a good fit.

    Happy bike shopping
    Last edited by Limey1212; 07-31-09 at 10:45 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member droobieinop's Avatar
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    The afore mentioned jamis coda is a good buy and could be considered a light touring rig with both fork and rear rack mounts on a steel frame (which is nice for commuting because you it can be straightened in case of accident).

    Also http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...gro1_spec.html the allegro is good and has the same wheels and drive train as the ventura comp http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...comp_spec.html.

    Another bike that is good for short commutes and MUP riding would be the citizen http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik..._citizen1.html.

    Sorry, I'm not so up on all the other company's bikes, we sell jamis almost exclusively, although those trek might not be bad.

    Most hybrids come with 700x32-38 mm tires (simular to the old 27x1 1/4 in tires), on slightly wider than road rims, you can put narrower tires on these wheels as long as the tire's width is not narrower than the rims (ie. don't put 23's on on 25 mm rims).

    Most touring cyclists that I've met usually ride 700x28's, which are also great for urban riding and commuting.
    "change is the only constant"

  4. #4
    Senior Member DX Rider's Avatar
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    I ride 700cx28 on my commuter, came with 700x40 knobbies.

    The tires are a good width, except if you're going to be riding on any gravel or loosely packed dirt roads, they're not cut out for it, too narrow.
    Quote Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
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  5. #5
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    You can buy a decent, reliable bike new for commuting for $400-$500 like you're looking for. And a lot of them come with slicks which are the best for road and gravel bike path riding.

    But if you put a really skinny tire on there it's going to be an uncomfortable ride. That's why you can buy a $800-$1300 upright handlebar bike with the real skinny tires - that extra money buys you features, like vibration reducing carbon fiber parts and a more sophisticated frame design, that makes is a much more comfortable ride on skinny tires.

    You price range is fine - but I'm just saying I would avoid anything new with skinny tires at that price range. At least, if you don't want your hands to hurt like heck at the end of your ride.

  6. #6
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    I'll go ahead and second (third? fourth?) the Jamis Coda. I've been very happy with mine.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Those are all good suggestions. For less money, look at a Trek 7000, which is also decent.

    Avoid the temptation to get a hybrid with a front shock, no matter what brand you go with.

  8. #8
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    Light, cheap, durable. Pick two. Sometimes just one.

  9. #9
    THE NEW EVOLUTION gulfcoast's Avatar
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    Jamis coda

  10. #10
    Senior Member Timber_8's Avatar
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    The Trek 7000 is a nice bike for short money, One of my employees just bought on, very comfortabl ride. The 7100 & 7200 have front suspension. They are more of an upright riding position. They call it a hybrid but it is more like an old school english racer

  11. #11
    Comfortably Numb! BA Commuter's Avatar
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    Go to a few bike shops and take a few bikes out for a ride. As many have mentioned, there are numerous choices in the price range you posted. However, what fits you best and what you like may not be the same for someone else.

    I have a Jamis Commuter and feel Jamis gives you a lot of bike for the money. Shop around and you'll know when you find the right one!

    Good luck!
    “Cycling is like church. Many attend, but few understand." -Jim Burlant

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Timber_8's Avatar
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    Just like a car the bike is the cheap part. now comes all the other cool stuff to add to the bike

  13. #13
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alhedges View Post
    Those are all good suggestions. For less money, look at a Trek 7000, which is also decent.

    Avoid the temptation to get a hybrid with a front shock, no matter what brand you go with.
    Definitely. $500 is barely enough to get a decent new bike. Shocks are of questionable value on a hybrid, and engineering a decent one that doesn't mess up handling costs quite a bit of money.

  14. #14
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    Hi, I wanted to thank you all very much for helping me finding out
    what I'm looking for, and for the useful information!!

    I tried several bikes, and finally found one that felt right
    (and was on sale for the right price of $500),
    it's a Fuji Absolute 2.0.
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...00_20000_45501

    Thanks again
    Cheers

  15. #15
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of Devinci Oslo, Stockholms, Liverpool etc... they are wonderful commuter hybrids. However I think some models will be more than the above stated budget.
    Marin Fairfax is quite good too. But I thought Marin went out of business?
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  16. #16
    Johnny G. Pragmatik's Avatar
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    +1 on the Coda. Don't let the steel thing fool you -- it's very light for what it is!
    http://nbbb.wordpress.com/

    "It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle." ~ Ernest Hemingway

  17. #17
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    I'd give that new Kona Worldbike a try.
    I see unexamined people. All the time. I don't think they know they're unexamined.

  18. #18
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    uh, kids....a choice has already been made.

    I think it was a good one, personally.
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