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  1. #1
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    Looking at 2009 Giant Seek 1 and 2010 Trek Soho and need some help

    I'm still bike shopping and still very much a newbie. I really appreciated your comments and suggestions when I thought I wanted a Giant Via.

    Just for a little background, I want to ride to work, six miles/12 round trip, three times a week (the other two days I have to drive to pick up my kids) at least through the summer. I'll see how that goes before deciding about winter. I'm 44, 5' 10", 230lbs.

    After thinking more about that Via, I believe I'd like something a little sportier looking with an 8 speed internal geared hub (upgraded from the 3 IGH on the Via).

    The two bikes that seem to fit that bill and are available in my size at local shops are these:


    2009 Giant Seek 1
    LBS price: $700

    2010 Trek Soho
    LBS price: $1008

    Another thread with better pics of a bike identical to the Giant Seek I looked at at my LBS: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...28with-pics%29

    I'm not sure how my LBS still has a new 2009 Seek 1 in stock, but they do, and the price is attractive. It has hydraulic disc brakes, and the Shimano Alfine 8 IGH.

    The Soho has the Shimano Nexus 8 IGH and roller brakes. And fenders.

    So, in all my newbiness, it would appear that the pros/cons are the following:

    2009 Giant Seek 1
    pros: price, gearset, brakeset
    cons: needs fenders, rack, probably a tire upgrade, no chainguard

    2010 Trek Soho
    pros: has really nice Carbon Drive belt, already has fenders, flat resistant tires, chainguard, coffee mug! LOL
    cons: gearset and brakeset not quite as good, more expensive, needs rack

    Although I have seen both bikes, I have only ridden the Trek Soho so far. It felt good, although most of my ride over flat was in gear 7 and I used gear 8 once without too much trouble. Gear 4 spun like crazy and I can't imagine ever using anything lower than that. So, I think the front sprocket needs to be changed? I didn't ride the Giant Seek because it was rainy/wet on the day I was at that shop, and I hadn't yet actually zeroed in on that bike. I plan on going back there tomorrow and riding it.

    If I get the Giant Seek, I'd want to add at least fenders and possibly a rack. Will it take both with that hub and disc brakes? What fenders and rack would you recommend? Also, in the link above to the thread with pics, one or two people recommended upgrading the tires. That thread is a little old, so let me ask, what tires would you recommend?

    The Trek Soho already has fenders, and from what I read, pretty good tires. I would probably add a rack, but I think the way that bike is designed it will take any regular rack designed for 700c tires.

    One thing about both bikes is that they have aluminum frames and I've read that steel cromoly frames are much more comfortable. I can't begin to tell you how hard it is to find steel framed bikes locally though. If I have that requirement, it would almost certainly be a special order. What would you do? Maybe IGH bikes are so hard to find in steel frames because the IGH is heavy to begin with?

    Alright, I've rambled on enough. Thanks in advance for your opinions and help.
    Last edited by harrv; 03-02-11 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    I recently got a 2011 Seek 2; I can't comment on the hub but I can offer my opinion on the brakes and the frame.

    The 2010 and newer frames are a little different from the 2009 frames but the geometry is the same.

    As far as comfort goes the frame is incredibly stiff, much harsher than what I'm used to for commuter bikes since I used to ride 26" beaters prior to getting this bike. I made the mistake in believing that I could use the bike on ice covered trails... it's possible just not very comfortable; the limit on the tire size goes up to about 40 mm... anymore and there will be rubbing on the chainstays. That said, it feels really efficient and incredibly rigid. The whole bike is overbuilt IMO; the frame is more beefed up than my Fisher 26" MTB. Very little flex from my 160-170 lb riding weight.

    The brakes on the 2009 Seek 2 are pretty common and I rode them on a friend's bike for a little bit of commuting. They are pretty decent for low end hydraulics. They are very basic and don't have much modulation but they have pretty good power and can easily lock up the wheel on command.

    Overall I like the bike, it's far faster than the MTBs i used to use for commuting at the expense of comfort if I'm going on rough terrain. I've mounted fenders and cross tires for winter riding and it just feels like riding MTB with road bike agility.

  3. #3
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    I have a 2010 Scott Sub 10 in a Large. It is identical to the Giant (Giant makes the Scott version).

    After about 2500 miles +...
    I love this bike. It is tough, have ridden in heavy rain, pot hole ridden Los Angles streets for about 8 months. Only 1 flat so far from some glass. My rather heavy friend (320#) has ridden and gives it a big thumbs up too.

    Comfortable, after saddle upgrade. Tried to get used to the original saddle, but after a few hundred miles, got ride of it and wish I did so sooner. Have done a 65 mile ride on it up very hilly areas. No complaints. It ain't a road bike. But its a fun, gets the job done rider!

    Only upgrades I have done: new WTB silverado saddle, some city toe clips (replacing soon with Over Shoe Straps).

    Details about rider: 6'3", was 220# when I bought the bike.

    I keep mentioning the weights because, I think it is important to consider the wheel strength when dealing with anyone over 200# (plus whatever you will carry). Haven't had to true the rims yet, so I would say pretty strong so far.

    The Alfine 8-speed IGH from Shimano has been trouble free as well. One adjustment so far to realign shifter, fairly easy to do. Early on thought I might want the 11-speed Alfine, but the 8-speeds are just fine for city/commuter riding.

    Rack
    I always thought this rack would good from Axiom.
    http://www.amazon.com/Axiom-Phoenix-.../dp/B0025UGFP2


    Opted for a Vandal backpack instead from Mission Workshop.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsmrbill View Post
    I keep mentioning the weights because, I think it is important to consider the wheel strength when dealing with anyone over 200# (plus whatever you will carry). Haven't had to true the rims yet, so I would say pretty strong so far.
    Yeah, I'm definitely in the Clydesdale camp. Glad you mentioned that. You like your WTB Silverado?

    Thanks for the rack recommendation and your bike review.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTse View Post
    As far as comfort goes the frame is incredibly stiff, much harsher than what I'm used to for commuter bikes since I used to ride 26" beaters prior to getting this bike.
    I was afraid of that. Do you think a saddle with springs would help?

  6. #6
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    I have a 2009 Soho, but the 2010 model is essentially unchanged except for adding $200 to the price.

    If you are just going to ride it around a flat city, it is a great bike. But if you ever need stopping power flying down a hill, you should get something else. The drum brakes suck rocks.

    For 2011 Trek has a "DLX" version of the Soho with a disc brake in front as well as a carbon fork. If you can swing the $, that would be a great bike. I cannot recommend the Soho with the drum brake in the front though.

    I really wish I had bought the Seek 0 instead
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrv View Post
    Yeah, I'm definitely in the Clydesdale camp. Glad you mentioned that. You like your WTB Silverado?

    Thanks for the rack recommendation and your bike review.
    Saddles are one of those very personal choices and what fits well for one may be unbearable to another.

    WTB Silverado Pro White

    Had this on the Scott Sub 10 for awhile, with hundreds of miles of use. Very good comfort for me. Pros: price, good construction, comfortable. Cons: I have a white saddle, does stain if wearing blue or black dickies and denim jeans.

    Fizik Arione (for my fixie)
    Just got this in yesterday. Only put about 20 miles on it so far. Surprised at how comfortable it has been after 12 mile shake down run.


    With all saddles a good bike fit is necessary. Even the smallest changes make a huge difference in comfort and power to the pedals. Recommend the Saddle article at Sheldon Brown.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    I really wish I had bought the Seek 0 instead
    Thanks for your post. I'll keep that in mind tomorrow when I test ride the Seek. I just noticed that the 2009 Seek 1 has a chromoly fork. That seems like it should be another item in the plus column for the Seek.

  9. #9
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    I test rode that 2009 Giant Seek 1 a little more than an hour ago. I wasn't able to give it a really thorough ride because the LBS salesgirl was a little nervous about me going far from their parking lot. But It seemed to fit well, was responsive, and overall fun to ride. It seemed to roll and respond better than the Soho I rode yesterday.

    So I bought it! I'm looking forward to putting some miles on it.

    Thanks again for your help and experience. My first customization (other than removing the sticker telling me to read the manual) will probably be fenders, but from what the LBS tells me, and from some online searches, that's likely to be tricky with this bike. If I find something that works, I'll come back and report.

  10. #10
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Enjoy the new bike. Everything you listed it might need shouldn't be all that expensive to get.
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

  11. #11
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    Good call!
    At $700 the Seek 1 is an absolute steal, and, IMO a better bike all around.

    Was your original post correct, that you are 6'10 or would that be 6'1?

    Are you in the Wasatch Front?
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
    Coming soon (winter project) Ciocc Designer '84 mod build
    Temporary (on loan from a buddy): 1985 Raleigh Prestige

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    Good call!
    At $700 the Seek 1 is an absolute steal, and, IMO a better bike all around.

    Was your original post correct, that you are 6'10 or would that be 6'1?

    Are you in the Wasatch Front?
    Wow, I don't know how I typed that. No, I'm 5' 10". (I've fixed the OP now.) And yes, grew up in Ogden and living/working in Provo now. SLC would be nice. On the plus side in Provo they're putting in more and more bike lanes. I have them for maybe 1/4 of my commute.

    Yeah, excited about the Seek.

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