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  1. #1
    Life in the Slow Lane Baroque's Avatar
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    Intro; Recycling; Graduating to Grandma Bike; etc.

    Hi all,

    Sorry if this becomes a duplicate post. The computer is going a bit haywire today.

    By way of introduction, I'm not 50 til later this year...but my spouse is, so I hope I qualify for this forum under the same rules that apply to couples under AARP

    I'm just getting back into recreational cycling after years of moving around and changing bikes a couple times according to needs. One of the few things I hung onto through all the moves is a 1980's Shogun Samurai "racing" type; still works and fits perfectly, and best of all, can be picked up and carried with 2 fingers, which is great for those aging body parts I won't normally admit to. (I don't dare talk about that because we have relatives in their late 50's and 60's living overseas who regularly do bike camping trips through the mountains of France, Switzerland and Spain as light recreation. Obviously I've got to step it up and get back into shape - no excuses!)

    So I'm back at the bike shops again, looking for a bike that can be reasonably be used on pavement, dirt roads, and rustic woods paths.
    Can I please ask you folks for your thoughts on a good serviceable bike under $500?
    I liked the fit of the Raleigh Venture, with the idea of upgrading components if/as necessary.
    I don't need all the bells and whistles, just good reliable stuff.

    The Venture 3.0/4.0 comes stock with Shimano C50 front derailleurs, Shimano Altus/Acera rear derailleurs, and Shimano Revo 7/EZ Fire 50 shifters. For anyone interested, the link is http://www.raleighusa.com/depts.asp?deptid=6. I'm not really keen on the one-click-at-a-time shifters (EZ Fire). Thoughts on this equipment or good upgrades?

    Greetings from New England,

    Ally

  2. #2
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    There are a lot of hybrids which are very similar to the Venture. Some of them in the $450-$500 range are:

    Trek 7300
    Giant Cypress DX
    Marin San Rafael
    Gary Fisher Zebrano
    Specialized Crossroads Elite (although this one is a bit more laid-back than the rest)

    The Trek 7300 has a bit better components than the Raleigh Venture and it has twist-shifters, if you like those.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I'd look for something without the front suspension, unless you intend on riding "rough" terrain.
    Suspension -
    1- adds weight and is something that can go wrong
    2- adds cost which can be used for a "better" bike
    3- wastes YOUR energy when pedaling.
    Just my $.02

  4. #4
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    The vast majority of people who ride gravel bike paths want bikes with a suspension fork. He did say he would be riding dirt roads and rustic paths through woods. You don't have to have a suspension fork for these rides, but most (90%+) prefer them. I've chatted with the owners of several bike shops and that's what their customers say. And when you ride rail trails, that's what you see.

  5. #5
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
    3- wastes YOUR energy when pedaling.
    I'll add that in my experience of riding a suspension bike, that I have experienced very little of this energy loss. When riding at a typical rail trail pace of 10-15 mph, on a hybrid where one is sitting upright, with their weight on the saddle, and with the suspension tuned to be tight, there is almost no movement in the fork when riding. Except when you go over bumps.

    Now when I've pushed it harder going uphill, there is a little energy absorbing movement. And when I stand and pedal hard, there is very noticable energy loss. The only reason I know this is because I was trying to make the fork bounce. Otherwise, I've never stood and pedaled on a trail ride.

    If the original poster has plans to ride aggressively, to build up to higher speeds and distance, then it makes sense to consider a rigid fork. If they are looking for a comfortable bike for recreational riding, typically on 10-20 mile rides on dirt/gravel trails, then a suspension can be a nice thing to have.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  6. #6
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    I put a post on your other thread. It's chock-full of wisdom.

  7. #7
    Life in the Slow Lane Baroque's Avatar
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    Thanks VERY much for all the thoughts. I'm digesting and mulling all the bike choices and suspension questions. When I bought the Shogun I was into riding hard, fast, and far, but now I'll be happy with, say, 80% leisurely touring pace, 20% it looks like rain/dark/mosquitos/the park's closing/let's move it pace.
    I expect to do a fair amount of riding on dirt roads and bumpy rooty trails. No rock or log jumping unless I'm unlucky. Lots to think about! I really appreciate everyone's time and will now check the duplicate thread. Sorry about that. The high-speed cable is hiccuping today.

    - Ally

  8. #8
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    If you are going to do a fair amount of dirt trail riding, you might want to consider a hybrid with a bit more of a mountain bike personality. Such as a Gary Fisher Kai-Tai. I've seen them selling in the mid-$500's.
    http://www.fisherbikes.com/bikes/bik...rt&bike=Kaitai

    Or for a bit more, the Specialized CrossTrail:
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=21925

    Although the hybrids I listed earlier can certainly handle bumpy trails.

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