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  1. #1
    Member kcscooterdude's Avatar
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    Please help me decide on a new (practical) ride

    I'm looking at getting a second bike when the tax refund comes in and any help would be appreciated. I'm sure these questions come up 1,000 times a week, so sorry if this is repetitive.

    First of all, I have a great road bike: Specialized Allez. I do 40-50 miles a week on the thing and could not be happier. It's not flashy, but does what it was intended to do quite well.

    I would like to begin commuting to work and school by bike and have something I could take on a rail trail (Katy or Prairie Spirit) on occasion.

    I've narrowed down the bikes I would like to ride to the following, all of which are around $600, which is my budget for this. (I'm anticipating at least $300 additional for fenders, racks, panniers, etc).

    The bikes are Trek Allant, Atwood (steel), PDX and FX 7.1 or 7.2. Specialized Sirrus.

    I have a few questions (and feel free to chime in on other issues).

    First, what about tire size? My 23's are heavenly on the road, but seems to me 32's might be a nice compromise between speed and comfort. I'm a big guy and will be carrying some heavyish textbooks - should I go with 36-spoke wheels or 32?

    The Allant is great and I've actually ridden one briefly. Sure looks nice, but, is it a commuter?

    Other info you might want to consider. I'm 44 and in reasonably good shape. My commute will be 6 miles each way three times a week (work) and 12 miles each way twice a week (school). My ride is mostly flat, but there are enough hills that a single would cause me to sweat more than I'd want to once I got to my destination. I wear medical scrubs to work, have access to a locker room and of course can wear comfortable clothes to class (when not wearing scrubs).

    Thanks everyone! I'm looking forward to garaging the car and motorcycle for human power!
    2010 Specialized Allez

    Just Get On The Bike Blog

  2. #2
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    IMHO for $600, the Jamis Coda Sport is much better than Trek's Atwood...

    - Slim

    PS.

    If you're going to go steel...

    Get chromoly, NOT hi-tensile!

    - Slim
    Last edited by SlimRider; 02-16-12 at 02:08 AM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Sticking to the OP's stated choices, my preferences would be:

    1. Specialized Sirrus
    2. Trek PDX
    3. Trek 7.2FX

    On the other hand, if I may nominate another- Giant Escape City.

  4. #4
    Member kcscooterdude's Avatar
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    I am not opposed to looking at other brands. The two LBS by my house sell Trek and Specialized respectively, so that's what I know. I am sure there is a Jamis dealer around here somewhere.
    2010 Specialized Allez

    Just Get On The Bike Blog

  5. #5
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    The ride to school would tend to suggest a more "road" oriented bike than "town" commuter. I think the 12 miles would be about the outside limit for the Allant.
    The Jamis is good call -nicest frame of the bunch by far...

  6. #6
    Member kcscooterdude's Avatar
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    I will check out the Jamis bikes. Steel does intrigue me.
    2010 Specialized Allez

    Just Get On The Bike Blog

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlankTim's Avatar
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    I have a Specialized Sirrus Sport, and so far, it's been a good bike. Based on my ,very limited, experience I'd prefer steel over aluminum, but I have to admit Alu makes for a pretty nimble ride. The 32's give a decent ride, but I'm finding the Alu fork transmits a little "buzz" to the handle bars.

    Specialized is also Globe, which has a a nice line of "breezer" style bikes, if you have a fairly flat ride and want a more upright experience. I almost bought the Daily 3, but decided the flat bar Sirrus was more fun.

    EDIT:I just looked at the link no1mad posted for the Giant Escape City. Very nice. It looks a lot like how I have my Sirrus outfitted, and MSRP is only $20.00 more than what I paid. That might be a good option if you want Fenders and a Rack, rather than dropping another ~$100 on those parts.
    Last edited by BlankTim; 02-16-12 at 09:22 AM.
    Tim
    “He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.” ― Douglas Adams

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcscooterdude View Post
    I will check out the Jamis bikes. Steel does intrigue me.

    You'll never regret an investment in chromoly steel!

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