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View Poll Results: Best new bike option
Drop bars on current bike 5 35.71%
Scattante CX-350 7 50.00%
Gravity zilla xx 3 21.43%
29er with drop bars 2 14.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-15-14, 11:22 AM   #1
talan8484
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huge bike purchase indecision problem! advice?

I am looking to buy a new bike.To start off I mainly use my bike for commuting and sometimes the local paved bike trails. I haven't been off of pavement for more than a minute in 7 years, and I do not see that changing.

My current bike isn't a year old yet. Its a 2013 Giant Escape 3. Flat bars, 700x35 wheels, less that stellar brakes and an 8 speed cassette. Typical hybrid but it does the job. Realistically there is nothing wrong with the bike except maybe the fit(5'11 on an xl frame).

I want a bike with drop bars. I love the feel of riding on the hoods, I love the way they look on other riders' bikes and the idea of extra hand positions sounds great! I have several choices I can make, and here is the problem. Ideal price:$700 / Max price not to exceed: $1200


1: the cheapest and possibly the most time consuming and difficult. I could just put drop bars on my escape. I could get a pair of sora STI shifters that would work with my Alivio RD and be set. kindof. I would need a new FD and some travel agents for my brakes. I would also need to purchase the drop bar and possibly a new stem. I think it could all be done for around $300, but is a big pain tracking down compatible parts then putting it all together.

2: Scattante CX-350 By far the 'safest option. Same basic tire size and width as my escape. Disc brakes are a must and of course drop bars. Performance bikes return policy would let me return if if I did not like it so I have nothing to lose except time.
The problems: Reviews on the bike are sketchy at best. Most say the frame 'feels' off, some use the word squishy and unresponsive. I would also need to buy better brakes(tektro-no, avid-yes plz) Currently out of stock in my size but should be restocking soon. $700 all said and done plus $50 in performance points back to me sounds sweet.

3:Gravity Zilla XX Another solid choice. Components look great so I wouldn't need to upgrade too much, reviews are awesome and its $799 with free shipping.
The bad: I am daunted by the task of swapping out bars on my escape. Constructing a bike and actually having it work is fairly impossible for me, so I would need to pay my LBS $120 to assemble the bike for me. It is also an online only bike so there is no way to check fit.

4: 29er with a drop bar conversion. The idea of this sounds great. Some of the roads I commute on are down right horrible. Potholes filled in using chip-seal(loose gravel deathtrap) huge upraised cracks that are not fun in the slightest to go over. A frost suspension 29er would tackle anything I threw at it. Same basic circumference as my 700c wheels, I could opt for thinner knobby tires and be set. I could do a drop bar conversion and have everything I want in that bike.
The problem: Price vs quality. Most $600 29ers I've seen have horrible components. no name shifters and drivetrain, cruddy brake systems and suspension forks walmart would be proud of. Factor in that I would still need to buy shifters and drop bars and that's a pretty chunk of money on my perfect bike.

What are your takes on my options. Any votes? Anyone taken these routes? Does someone know of a different option I have not considered?
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Old 02-15-14, 11:40 AM   #2
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I guess I'm a little confused. Does the Giant Escape 3 frame you bought fit you? I'm 5'10" and generally a medium frame fits me. So I would think an XL frame is too large for you.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:23 PM   #3
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Swapping the bars on your current bike is a more daunting task than assembling a BD bike.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:32 PM   #4
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Your current bike does sound too big, [strike]but that actually helps with switching to drop bars. If the standover is OK, and you don't think it's way too big with flat bars then it would probably work pretty well with drop bars[/strike]. You'd need older Sora shifters for 8-speed (or you could buy a nine speed cassette and use the new ones). Alternatively, you could get Retroshift shifters, which would work with your current front derailleur and brakes (you'd need the CX2v model), though you would either need to use friction mode or buy a nine speed cassette.

Edit: I don't know what I was thinking in my comment about the size. Drop bars will make it worse.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:32 PM   #5
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I think its a smidgen too big for me. I tend to get minor discomfort in my hands and elbows as I ride, which I guess is due to a poor fit.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:33 PM   #6
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I am debating buying a 9 speed sora groupset for 100. Its used but looks to be in decent condition.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:34 PM   #7
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Swapping the bars on your current bike is a more daunting task than assembling a BD bike.
HAH I would imagine so. I talked to my lbs and they were saying that they would need to further disassemble the bike to re-grease everything.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:52 PM   #8
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Mine didn't need any greasing. Put on wheels, seat and bars, adjust the limits on the derailleurs and it was good to go. But you could just pay the LBS to assemble. Also, depending on the bars you get, drops are likely to make your bike even bigger on you. Why did you buy an XL?
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Old 02-15-14, 12:57 PM   #9
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If your current bike is your only bike, you might discover that having more than one bike is a wonderful thing.

Changing handlebar types can be complicated. Not always but sometimes.

The scattante looks excellent. I vote for that. Or get a used bike, because used bikes are a better value than new bikes.

I dislike Bikes Direct bikes, but I'm bigoted.
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Old 02-15-14, 01:13 PM   #10
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Another stupid use of the poll function..


Ask the Sellers.. do test rides

I have no intrest in selling you, The OP, any of them .. make up your own mind.


I know how well the bikes my Local sells are assembled and adjusted, before sale..

I know nothing about theirs .. you have a labor input on every new bike at the shop.

1) Pick the shop , then, 2) the bike.
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Old 02-15-14, 01:37 PM   #11
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Just throwing this out there, my random ideas on bikes...
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post16498423
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Old 02-15-14, 02:34 PM   #12
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You can also buy some Origin 8 drop bar ends from bike wagon for about $30 shipped. I am thinking of getting a pair for my flatbar bike. Also +1 to a second bike. At your budget a good used road bike could be had easily.
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Old 02-15-14, 02:52 PM   #13
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You can also buy some Origin 8 drop bar ends from bike wagon for about $30 shipped. I am thinking of getting a pair for my flatbar bike. Also +1 to a second bike. At your budget a good used road bike could be had easily.
Drop bar ends don't really give you any "hoods" position to use. Even if they did they would be spaced way too far out at the ends of flat bars.

I personally have normal bar ends mounted inboard of the grips on my MTB. When I have the bike set up for road use, the bar ends gives me kind of "hoods" position that can be quite comfortable.

As far as the bikes you linked in the OP, the Scattante definitely looks best to me, by a HUGE margin. That Gravity something-or-other just looks WEIRD, personally.
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Old 02-15-14, 03:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by talan8484 View Post
I think its a smidgen too big for me. I tend to get minor discomfort in my hands and elbows as I ride, which I guess is due to a poor fit.
I'm not going to vote on the poll; instead, I'll say something once, and then shut up! Do NOT convert your Escape to drop bars, and especially not if it is (XL I think you said?) a bit big for you as-is.

Leaving cost aside, the Escape is a properly-designed flat-bar bike; it has an effective top tube length that is at least 2.5-3cms longer than what you would have on a properly-sized (for you) drop-bar road or cx bike. You will be reaching way too far to the hoods, even with a stupid-short stem. It will never be right.

I would say the same thing re. a 29er (or any mtb) option; again, the t/t length is designed for flat/riser, not drop bars. Don't do it. If you want drop bars, cut your losses and buy a bike designed for drops. Given what you say you are looking for, I'd look at something like the new Giant Revolt or Anyroad bikes -- designed for what you appear to want. They are just one example of a new breed of bikes (various marketing names: all-road; gravel; etc.).

Just one opinion!
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Old 02-15-14, 03:24 PM   #15
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Try out the trek crossrip comp 1100, disc brakes, carbon fork takes fenders and front/rear racks.
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Old 02-15-14, 03:25 PM   #16
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I'd go a little differently...

I'd buy an older rigid used steel MTB (or ti if I could fine one affordably) - a quality one. Trek 970, Steump Jumper...like that. Cantilever brakes.
Go to a used shop or co-op if you have them in your area...they have a variety of inexpensive stems to get the position right.
Gary bars...or Dirt Drops if you want to splurge.
Bar end shifters, Suntour Commands, or STI - doesn't matter.
If you go STI, make sure they match whatever cassette came with it...7sp, 8, or whatever. Following my advice will probably mean 7 or 8.
If you don't get STI, get some used Tektros. You could even use v-brakes and the Tektros for v-brakes. No travel agent required.

Sell the bike you have or keep it as a back up - which ever.

Price - should be doable, complete and with labor, for well under $800.

Inspiration:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ar-Conversions

Here's mine - perfect do it all bike!



This one is a ti frame I found cheap, Suntour Commands, V-brakes, most of the parts are Deore DX I took off an old Stumpjumper I found for $50. Added some commuter touches.

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Old 02-15-14, 03:35 PM   #17
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I vote for the Zilla. It looks solid and can take fatter tires with room for fenders.
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Old 02-15-14, 04:44 PM   #18
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The Sram X7 derailleurs are miles ahead of Sora, more closer akin to Shimano SLX or maybe XT, it's a intermediate level derailleur whereas Sora is low end. However, the X7 is on the Gravity bike and I'm not real up on that frame, or the Scatt., you may want ask that on a separate post with those on the title and see what others say about them. They're probably both made in China by the same factory. If both frames are equal I would go with the one from Bikes Direct

But I guess the biggest issue is you, if want to save money then just get the bars and some Tiagra or maybe 105 integrated shifters and be done with it. I also like the older bike idea too, there are a lot of hardtail solid fork MTB's that were great bikes that saw little miles and would make fantastic commuter bikes that sell for next to nothing because the rage is vintage road bikes not MTB's.

By the way, sure it may cost you $120 to have someone assemble the bike from Bikes Direct but the value of the components on that bike are worth far more then the $120 you'll spend. You could try to assemble it yourself with Bikes Direct CD package that comes with a mini tool to assist you, put together then take it down for final adjustment, that may only cost $35. And you get a mini tool for your saddle bag! Once you see how easy it is to assemble a few parts and for about an hour of time if you're slow, you'll save money.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...sembly_kit.htm

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Old 02-15-14, 10:58 PM   #19
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I would say that if your flat-bar bike is a bit too big, don't even think about putting drops on it. Because of the position of the brake hoods, your hands will be several inches further away with drop bars. If you look at bikes designed for drop bars, they have shorter top tubes than bikes designed for MTB bars.
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Old 02-16-14, 12:04 AM   #20
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I would never buy a bike with scat in the name. Hope that helps.
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Old 02-16-14, 01:56 AM   #21
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I would say that if your flat-bar bike is a bit too big, don't even think about putting drops on it.
Actually, yeah. I said above that switching to drops would make the size discrepancy better, but I must have been having a brain cramp because that's exactly backward. Switching to drop bars will make the size much worse.

Your bike has a 609 mm top tube. To give you a point of reference, I'm 5'9" and I look for road/CX bikes with a top tube length around 545 mm, but with a flat bar I can go around 580. I can see how that bike might be OK for you with flat bars, but it won't work at all with drops.

Also, as noglider said, having two bikes is nice. Having three is even better.
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Old 02-16-14, 02:57 AM   #22
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I didn't say two. I said more than one. I guess I really meant more than N, where N is the current number of bikes. I think I have about six at the moment.
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Old 02-16-14, 07:13 AM   #23
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I didn't say two. I said more than one. I guess I really meant more than N, where N is the current number of bikes. I think I have about six at the moment.
You really cut back!
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Old 02-16-14, 08:22 AM   #24
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Sounds like you want a bike for commuting and general riding on pavement. My choice would be a road bike. A cyclocross bike is a reasonable choice, but the disk brakes are unnecessary (esp in AZ). The Scattante looks okay. The Gravity looks terrible. I would not convert your existing bike. The 29'er conversion makes no sense (way too heavy, wrong geometry, suspension on the street is bad, expensive because you'll need new wheels and tire too).

Make sure you get
- correctly sized bike! Very important. Educate yourself - don't assume a bike shop will put you on the correct size.
- reasonably sized tires: 35mm is unnecessarily wide, for street 25-32mm is ideal. Bigger = heavier.
- rack mounts: for panniers if you commute with stuff
- when saddle is the correct height for you, you should be able to lower the bars so the tops are equal to or a couple inches lower than the saddle. Via moving spacers and a different stem.
- no suspension! Heavy and inefficient. A big frost heave is not a reason to have suspension, you just get your butt off the saddle. Suspension is for off road.
- all else equal, lighter is better.

Given your price range, you can look at other brands too.

If you're willing to buy used, you can get a road bike far better quality than the options you named, for less money.

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Old 02-16-14, 08:28 AM   #25
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I didn't say two. I said more than one. I guess I really meant more than N, where N is the current number of bikes. I think I have about six at the moment.
[Whisper] in denial [/whisper]
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