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Old 10-12-04, 09:31 AM   #1
nybridgerider
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Need advice: Silhouette vs. Sirrus (specific concerns)

I know there's a previous thread about these two bikes, but the discussion doesn't address my specific concerns. I'm waffling and could really use some help.

I've been shopping for a new bike for weeks, and had virtually decided on the Specialized Sirrus (the basic model - the Elite is out of my price range, unfortunately). For better or for worse, someone at the last bike shop I visited suggested I consider the Fuji Silhouette, on the grounds that it's a lighter frame and an upgrade in components.

I wasn't able to ride the Silhouette, but did take a Fuji Absolute (same frame, components one level down) that was too big for me for a spin. Leaving aside the fact that the bike was too big, I didn't like the feel of the handgrips (which were cylinders of foam where the Sirrus has molded soft rubber) or the super-straight handlebar.

BUT - as a relative novice who's new to cycling in general (I've been commuting for 6 months on my girlfriend's Specialized Crossroads and LOVE riding), I'm at a loss on how to make a smart decision between these two bikes. In the long run, am I likely to have a better experience with the Sirrus I felt more comfortable with, even though I'm told the components are a step down, or the Fuji with better components, expecting that I'll soon get used to the handlebars and grips?

Or is there another solution - is it possible to swap Specialized grips onto the Fuji bike?
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Old 10-12-04, 12:38 PM   #2
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Comfort trumps everything. You must test ride the exact config you are thinking about buying.
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Old 10-12-04, 12:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybridgerider

Or is there another solution - is it possible to swap Specialized grips onto the Fuji bike?
Yes, grips don't care what bike they're on.
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Old 10-12-04, 01:49 PM   #4
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Well, I haven't ridden the Silhouette or Absolute, but I think you might find the ride quite harsh since it has 26mm tires as well as an alum frame and fork. I would think you will feel everything in the road. This will translate to numb hands and bum!

I'll throw in another suggestion as to bikes to look at. The Giant Cypress SX. I rode the Specialized and like the Cypress much more. It is similar to both of these, but I personally think it has a better component mix. The biggest is the 105 rear derailleur, which is 2 levels above Sora. I also like the grip shifters instead of the trigger shifters of the other 2 bikes. It just feels better, and it works perfectly. It also has rubber grips (the Silhouette probably has the foam grips to help alleviate the excessive road feedback--it may work). The Cypress also has a steel fork instead of alum and 28mm tires, which should be at least slightly more comfortable. Retails for $600, though I've seen the 2004.5 model lately for $499, a great price.

None of the bikes is the same. I suppose you'll have to decide which is best, though I would definitely see if you can feel the difference and care. Give each of them a good 15 minute or so ride. Things like grips can easily be switched out for little $.

Consumer Reports rated the Cypress SX the best in this category, FWIW.
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Old 10-12-04, 02:31 PM   #5
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Thanks (and to the others who replied)! Since I originally posted I did some more research, and I have indeed added the Cypress SX to my list, as well as the Felt SR91. So now it's four bikes I'm considering... The Felt is particularly problematic because no one in the greater NYC area seems to carry these bikes, though they're well-reviewed in the forums (fora, I guess) that I've seen online. There's only one Felt dealer in Manhattan and he's got nothing in stock. Brooklyn is dry as well. Not sure how I'm supposed to consider buying this bike without being able to ride it. Seems like Felt has a lousy distribution network. Or maybe the big-name brands exert more pressure in NYC to keep smaller brands out of stores (?)

Anyway, if anyone reading this has a Felt SR91 they'd let me ride around the block (I'm 5'8" so I'm told I need between a 17 and a 19, though I don't know what that means), I'd sure appreciate it.
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Old 10-12-04, 02:51 PM   #6
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I'd presume that he's talking about frame size in inches. Most mountain bike frames are sized in inches, most road bike frames are sized in cm but every manufacturer seems to measure from a different point depending on geometry.
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Old 10-12-04, 05:27 PM   #7
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I think... in that price range... a Marin Portofino is a worth taking a look at...

*edit*

I mean a 2003 model... the 2004 is carbon fiber... but the 2003 is chro-moly steel... but I think you can still find the 2003 models around
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Old 10-12-04, 08:32 PM   #8
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nybridgerider,

Looks like you are about 2 months behind my quest for a bike! I did find a 2004 sr91 to ride but really wanted to look at the sr81 which had better components on it, more like the SX. I'd compare the ride to the Sirrus, as it's basically the same bike. Very similar components. Since there wasn't a sr81 to be found, I pretty much gave up on it.
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