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Old 02-13-08, 09:18 PM   #1
bikerwannabe
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opinions on these: Super Sport, FX7.2, Sirrus...

I and 3 friends are all in the market for entry level hybrid bikes for use on canal paths and rails to trails. (In June we are doing a 4 day ride in the Linear Park in Canada- so have from now til then to buy bikes and gain experience on them.)

Two are just getting into biking as they retire (have never done more than 10 miles in a day - but would like to); 2 of us bought road bikes last year and can ride 25-50 miles per day.

I've done some BF reading - (while waiting for weather to improve so we can do some test rides)
I'd like to test at least 2 choices - preferably at the same LBS so I can actually compare/contrast.

Had decided I wanted to test the TREK FX7.2 and perhaps the Specialized Sirrus. We visited a highly recommended LBS who didn't carry TREK and recommended the Schwinn Super Sport instead- which surprised me.

So what are your opinions (and/or Pros/Cons) on these 4 choices:
Trek FX 7.2
Schwinn Super Sport
Specialized Sirrus
Jamis Coda

Thanks
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Old 02-13-08, 09:52 PM   #2
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They're all good. Personally, I would look further up the Trek lineup to a 7.6.
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Old 02-13-08, 10:22 PM   #3
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That's a lot of detail to try to provide. They are all decent quality bikes and the main thing that matters is which feels best to you. I've ridden bikes in all of those lines and they all did feel different to me.

I do think the Trek 7.3 FX is a closer comparison to the Sirrus and it is a step up from the 7.2 on several parts. The 7.3 is also a step or two up from the Schwinn Super Sport on several parts. And it is still cheaper than the Sirrus, remaining in the $550-$600 range.

A lot of people view present day Schwinn's unfavorably. I'm inclined to having a higher opinion of them, but am not sold on the plain Super Sport. Too many lower end parts. Not a bad bike, but not the best in this lot, IMHO.

The Coda differs in that it is made out of cro-moly steel. It might weigh a bit more, but some prefer the ride of steel better. OTOH, it too falls a bit short of the components of the 7.3 FX.

The Sirrus is geared a bit more aggressively, which could be a factor if you are attempting some tough hills. It won't have that extra low gear that someone might need. However on a bike path that shouldn't be a problem.

It is difficult to compare all of the technical differences between 4 bikes. And each of you might like a different one. Their geometries are different, so while you might really like the fit and feel of a 7.3 FX, one of your buddies could prefer the Sirrus or the ride of the steel Coda.
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Old 02-14-08, 11:12 AM   #4
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The comparison within the same price range would be the Specialized Sirrus ($590), Trek 7.3 FX ($570), Schwinn Super Sport GS ($550), and Jamis Coda Sport ($600).

Making this move up on the Trek, Jamis, and Schwinn does get you better components. For example the Trek and Jamis would now have Deore rear derailleurs, which are a nice step up from what is found on their lower models. They have improved cranksets, better shifters, in the case of the Trek it is a different frame.

So if you are willing to consider the Sirrus, then I would bump up the other bikes to that same level.
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Old 02-14-08, 11:26 AM   #5
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Deore rear derailleurs go for $18 at Nashbar. (just sayin')
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Old 02-14-08, 11:35 AM   #6
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Yes, but are entry level riders going to install them. And upgrade the cranksets, shifters, and another component or two?
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Old 02-14-08, 11:40 AM   #7
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That $470 Schwinn Super Sport comes with a Shimano Altus derailleur, which is a very small step up from their Tourney gear found on $125 Wal-Mart bikes. The Deore is three levels up from the Altus in the Shimano line.
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Old 02-14-08, 11:43 AM   #8
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I'd make sure that the drive train matches your riding needs...the Trek is a hybrid with a hybrid frame (longer wheel base, more upright riding position)...11-32 cog set with a triple chain ring topping at 48T. The Sirrus is more of a flat bar roadie with geometry to match.

I still have my 7.5fx and find it slow and hard to fit (only 17.5" and 20"...I'm more of a 19"'er) and am now riding a Scott Speedster flatbar...a pure roadie spec'd bike. My wife likes her Opus...also a flat bar road bike.

Just a long way of saying that it's best to pick a bike that fits and suits your riding terrain and style
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Old 02-14-08, 11:53 AM   #9
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The Sirrus is more of a flat bar roadie, but interesting enough, it has a shorter top tube than the equivalent Trek FX bikes do.

Consider the Sirrus "Small" frame, which has 445mm seat tube. It's effective top tube length is 530mm.

The Trek FX 17.5" frame, also as a 445mm seat tube, but has an effective top tube length of 548mm.

This holds true across all sizes.

The head tube length is also longer on the Sirrus.

Thus the Trek FX has a lower head tube and longer reach than the equivalent Sirrus.

I've ridden various Sirrus models 4 or 5 times, some earlier in my learning process. As I came to find my fit and discern differences between bikes, I recognized that my biggest problem in becoming comfortable on a Sirrus is its cramped cockpit (for me that is). It is one of the shortest top tube bikes out there. But, of course, it may be the perfect fit for someone else.
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Old 02-14-08, 12:06 PM   #10
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I am more comfortable on the Specialized Globe bikes, which have both longer top tubes and taller head tubes than the Sirrus. The Globe that has only a 425mm seat tube has a top tube of 545mm.

I compared the Globe "52" vs a Sirrus "M." The Sirrus had a taller seat tube and higher standover. But even given that it was overall a larger frame, it still had a shorter top tube (Sirrus 545mm vs Globe 560mm). The Globe "55" which is consider to be the "M' or medium size in that lineup, has a 575 mm top tube.

That shorter top tube is an interesting design feature of the Sirrus. And it is effectively even shorter than say a road bike with a short top tube, because the hand position on the flat bar is much closer to the head tube than are the hoods on a road bike.
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Old 02-14-08, 12:14 PM   #11
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That $470 Schwinn Super Sport comes with a Shimano Altus derailleur, which is a very small step up from their Tourney gear found on $125 Wal-Mart bikes. The Deore is three levels up from the Altus in the Shimano line.
Deore is the lowest that should be fitted to a "Performance" bike. Still feel that the lowest for Reliability is LX but that is after many Years of hard use. Deore is a good reliable starting point that will not cause any problems.

On the bikes- Definitely get a test ride on the Sirrus. It was the one bike that impressed me a few years ago when I was checking out hybrids.
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Old 02-14-08, 01:44 PM   #12
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Not slighting Deore at all. I think they are very good components for light duty and decent for harder duty. That Nashbar price is a steal. I bought a couple just to have around when I need one. I'm not sure why I posted that here other than to point out that upgrading individual components from low to mid level is not as expensive as you may think. Doing several parts at once can hurt, though.
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Old 02-14-08, 02:17 PM   #13
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Not slighting Deore at all. I think they are very good components for light duty and decent for harder duty. .
I can't fault it but when it comes to replacement time- it can be bettered. It does depend on the use you put it to- but as BD and I have realised- Offroad puts a lot of stress into parts and Deore does not cut it. It almost does- but offroad is hard on all parts. Saying that and I still have the original Acera Front mech on the Bianchi. I was going to change it when it broke and 8 years later- It ain't broke.
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Old 02-14-08, 06:00 PM   #14
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I was in a similar situation- I liked the Trek 7.3 and was
ready to buy one -when at the last minute I tried the Sirrus
and fell in love with the ride-It felt so fast and light compared to the
trek 7.3..my advise is to test ride them and if the LBS shops are
comparable in service go with the one you like the feel of better.
and you and your friends don't have to buy the same bikes
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Old 02-14-08, 06:56 PM   #15
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There's a little bit of weight difference between the Sirrus and the 7.3 FX. The 7.3 has a heavier cassette, as it has a 30t cog back there. And the 7.3 uses 700x32 tires instead of 700x28. Although if you wanted 700x28 on the 7.3, I'm sure the LBS would swap them, probably for no charge. If you did that, the weight difference would probably be only a few ounces.
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Old 02-14-08, 07:13 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the advice and info.

I agree we will likely all prefer/choose different bikes. I'd just like to limit the # of LBS we need to visit

So what I got out of it is:
1st- ride some bikes and see what I like and narrow the field, then,
2nd- compare specs and choose something slightly higher than entry level
(OR perhaps I should switch those two ...but you get my drift.)

I never considered a Schwinn before, but the LBS owner said they are decent bikes (and since his shop builds high end bikes, I assume he is not selling crappy stuff) So, why do Schwinns have a bad rep? Are they unreliable or poorly designed?
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Old 02-14-08, 07:19 PM   #17
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Schwinn was bought out a few years back and the new owner seemed to take advantage of the well-known name by cheapening the bikes and going to Wally World and other mass market stores.

They have improved the line recently, while still selling some cheap stuff too. So the quality within the line varies. Some of those upper level Super Sports are pretty nice, as are some of their world bikes and road bikes. But the one recommended to you strikes me as still having some cheaper parts than what I would like to find on a $450 bike.

That surprised me because some of their sub-$300 comfort hybrids are good values, so I expected a bit more from the Super Sport, and Super Sport GS, than what I found.
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Old 02-14-08, 07:38 PM   #18
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Schwinn, along with GT and Mongoose, belongs to Pacific Bicycles, which in turn belongs to Dorel, a Canadian company which recently also purchased Cannondale. Pacific severely damaged the reputations of Schwinn, GT and Mongoose by selling a lower line of bikes at places like Wally World and Dick's while also selling higher lines through bike shops.
Supposedly, Dorel is restructuring the company, placing Cannondale, Schwinn, GT and Mongoose in a division focusing on sales through bike shops, while Pacific focuses on the POS market.
Hopefully this means we'll see the end of Schwinns being sold at Walmart , but many people think it means you'll soon see Cannondales being sold there.
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Old 02-14-08, 07:55 PM   #19
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I will be very surprised if Dorel pulls the Schwinn and Mongoose labels from Wal-Mart, Target, etc. That's a very strong name in those stores and I'm sure they are paying a premium to get those labels. Got to be a nice money maker for both the stores and Dorel.

Wal-Mart usually gets what they want in these negotiations. They would much rather have Schwinn and Mongoose bikes on their floors than Roadmaster (another Dorel brand).

And as Wal-Mart is beginning to play around with offering $500'ish bikes, I would not be shocked to see something like a $500-$800 Cannondale brand bike in their catalog at some point.
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Old 02-14-08, 08:00 PM   #20
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Have you noticed the $1500 Italian full carbon fiber road bike that is now in W-M's on-line catalog? Ultegra derailleurs & crankset.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5751048
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Old 02-14-08, 08:01 PM   #21
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And as Wal-Mart is beginning to play around with offering $500'ish bikes, I would not be shocked to see something like a $500-$800 Cannondale brand bike in their catalog at some point.
That, imho, would be just cause for bombing Canada.
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Old 02-14-08, 08:10 PM   #22
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Hmmm ... perhaps I should buy the half-price flat bar road bike that's on Wal-Mart right now?

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5639919

$250 for a bike with carbon fork and seat stays??? Wow!

Lots of other shortcomings, but hard to say it isn't a great deal.
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Old 02-14-08, 08:30 PM   #23
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What I can't believe on Wal-Marts web page is that they can offer a full-suspension, 18-spd mountain bike for $69. How can you build one for that? What is the wholesale price paid for the suspension fork? $3?

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4231518
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Old 02-14-08, 08:56 PM   #24
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FWIW, I have a Trek 7.3 with about 3500 trouble free miles on the clock. As soon as I manage to wear out the original tires I'm going to go to 28's. Other than adding some ram's horns on the bars and replacing a chain and cassette the bike is original.
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Old 02-17-08, 07:23 AM   #25
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Just when I thought was narrowing the field- another contender.
Visited an LBS yesterday and thay had a Cannondale Road Warrior 400 on sale (2007 leftover) The saleman was very high on this bike - he owns all Canondale's. He said the Road Warior 400 is a better bike for the same price as the TREK 7.3FX. I road both on a very short ride - but still not sure. (I think the Jamis is out only because most stores don't carry it and I want to be able to ride at least 2 different bikes at each store)

But basically - this just keps getting harder not easier!
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