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Old 06-24-09, 06:38 PM   #1
RK69
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New to forum-buying hybrids

Hi, my wife needs a bike (she was using her daughter's). We have looked in a few lbs's which seem to carry various brands. We want to spend about $400 to $500. We were thinking of a hybrid with front and post suspensions and 700cc tires (is that the right terminology?) We mainly ride around in the streets on Long Island or to a nearby park (all paved) not really hiily. We ride for an hour or a little longer. I have an old Raleigh 10 speed and am thinking of also getting a hybrid for the more upright seating position. My wife liked the Giant Cypress; she thought the Trek 7200 (or 7100) would be a nice bike for me. We intend to ride these (although these bike shops won't allow much of a test). We also saw a GT Nomad which looked fine. Some of the shops like Specialized and Cannondale. If we are in the above price range does it matter which we choose? Are they all close as far as components etc? Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-24-09, 06:43 PM   #2
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I think that the difference between bike shops exceeds the differences between brands of bikes. I'm thinking that if you can find a bike shop where the people speak your "language" and do a good job of answering your questions it will be a better shop to work with for service too.
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Old 06-24-09, 07:32 PM   #3
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I agree that the choice of a bike shop could be more important than which brand of bike you choose.

Since you plan to ride on paved streets and paths, is there any particular reason you want your bikes to have suspension forks and seat posts? There are hybrids without them in your price range. Less weight. Less complexity. Possibly better components.

Whatever you choose to buy, enjoy the ride.
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Old 06-24-09, 07:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for your opinions. The roads out here get pretty beat up especially after the winter. Have hit some bumps that rocked my arms or butt. I'm in decent shape as is my wife but thought something more comfortable (even if heavier) might be nice.
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Old 06-24-09, 08:02 PM   #5
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I second the concept of no front suspension.

Did you go to Brands they have a large selection.
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Old 06-24-09, 08:08 PM   #6
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Here is a good bike for you

http://brandscycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?LibId=47736
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Old 06-24-09, 08:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for your opinions. The roads out here get pretty beat up especially after the winter. Have hit some bumps that rocked my arms or butt. I'm in decent shape as is my wife but thought something more comfortable (even if heavier) might be nice.
Understood that you want something that will help soak up the bumps of irregular pavement. Many people seem to be happy with bikes like the Trek 7200 while others find the suspension components help less than they expected. The choice is yours and I'm sure you will enjoy whatever you choose.

If you are interested in trying a non-suspended hybrid bike, just to see how it feels, I would suggest something with wider tires than the Sirrus posted previously. The Vienna 2 would do nicely for the kind of roads you have described.
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Old 06-24-09, 10:28 PM   #8
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I have a 2006 Giant OCR2 road bike, a 2006 Giant FCR2 hybrid fitness bike and a 2007 Giant Cypress set up as a commuter with fenders and rack. The Cypress is the only one of these with a suspension fork and seat post. The Cypress is my favorite ride because I can ride it on grass, gravel trails and pavement, all with the same ease. It was the least expensive at about $375 compared to $850 for the road and hybrid bikes. Yes the Cypress is heavier by about 5 lbs. Seems silly to me to worry about 5 lbs on the bike when my Buddha Belly is easily about 35 lbs of excess load. The OCR and the FCR have Shimano 105 and SRAM 07 components which are far higher grade than the Cypress, but I've never had a problem with any of these; they all shift well to me.

By the way, that Vienna2 is a fine looking ride with similar tires to the Cypress.

I know people rant about suspension forks being heavy and complicated and all that, but I like mine. Now rear suspension on a $100 Wal-box bikelike thing; that's a whole nuther story, but I don't think any of your better brands sold at LBSs shoud be even remotely compared to those.

Last edited by Crank57; 06-24-09 at 10:31 PM. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 06-25-09, 04:18 AM   #9
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Understood that you want something that will help soak up the bumps of irregular pavement. Many people seem to be happy with bikes like the Trek 7200 while others find the suspension components help less than they expected. The choice is yours and I'm sure you will enjoy whatever you choose.

If you are interested in trying a non-suspended hybrid bike, just to see how it feels, I would suggest something with wider tires than the Sirrus posted previously. The Vienna 2 would do nicely for the kind of roads you have described.


My understanding is that he plans to ride on the road and not trails. The 700's will give you much less rolling resistance. I did a bike tour with a friend that had the larger tires and the difference was so noticeable that after the ride he purchased a new bike. I think if you ride the bike you will see a big difference with a bike that is lighter and 700 tires. If you plan to do off road riding on dirt trails then you should consider larger tires but in that case you probably want a mountain tire. My wife just got a new bike with 700's and she first thought that the 700's were to thin but after a ride she could see and feel the benefit and is very happy with her new bike.

I ride on Long Island and think that a front suspension will not give you the soft ride you are looking for. A front suspension adds weight and takes away power when you pedal. If you have the budget get a bike with a carbon front fork. http://brandscycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?LibId=50832 http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...ad/2268/32199/
If you really want a front suspension here is low cost option http://www.target.com/Men%E2%80%99s-...e=1&rh=&page=1.

Last edited by v70cat; 06-25-09 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 06-25-09, 05:36 AM   #10
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My understanding is that he plans to ride on the road and not trails. The 700's will give you much less rolling resistance.
But since he was leaning toward suspension, I figured a slightly wider tire would offer a smoother ride than the Sirrus with 700x28 tires. The Vienna does have 700's (700x35) and a more upright position and meets his budget.
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Old 06-25-09, 07:57 AM   #11
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I bought the Mrs. a Trek FX 7.5 in the WSD (women specific) version 3 or 4 years ago. Lots of miles on it by now in all kinds of places, week tours in Europe, rough roads here, riverside and canal side paths in UK. She'd recommend it.

We deliberately chose the non-suspension bike, but with a carbon fork which takes the sting out of most uneven asphalt surfaces and a Thudbuster seat post for bigger bangs! And despite having fairly light, low spoke count wheels, it's stood up to all kinds of rough riding with no maintenance issues at all.

Fast at high tyre pressures, comfy at lower (about 75 psi) if we know that the surfaces are going to be rough.

I hope you get something that you're equally pleased with
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Old 06-25-09, 08:53 AM   #12
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I'd recommend the Cypress, but since I have one of those I'm possibly biased. Buy the bikes you'll ride, not one name over another.
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Old 06-25-09, 10:17 AM   #13
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But since he was leaning toward suspension, I figured a slightly wider tire would offer a smoother ride than the Sirrus with 700x28 tires. The Vienna does have 700's (700x35) and a more upright position and meets his budget.
The wider tire might be better however a slightly bent position is much better. You put more strain on your back sitting up right and produce much more wind resistance.
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Old 06-25-09, 10:31 AM   #14
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The wider tire might be better however a slightly bent position is much better. You put more strain on your back sitting up right and produce much more wind resistance.
I agree, but again, I was responding to the preferences stated by the OP (with the exception of suspension), not my own. The Vienna is more upright than the Sirrus, but not as bolt upright as a comfort bike. My wife rides a 2008 Globe which is essentially the same bike with a less swoopy styled frame. Her position is markedly more forward leaning than on her previous cruiser but more upright than I would prefer.
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Old 06-25-09, 12:02 PM   #15
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I agree, but again, I was responding to the preferences stated by the OP (with the exception of suspension), not my own. The Vienna is more upright than the Sirrus, but not as bolt upright as a comfort bike. My wife rides a 2008 Globe which is essentially the same bike with a less swoopy styled frame. Her position is markedly more forward leaning than on her previous cruiser but more upright than I would prefer.
I understand they you are responding to the OP just think that some people don't fully understand bikes and trying to help them. A lot of people don't like the concept of a fully bent racing handle bar but something that offer a slight lean is much better than a strait upright position. It a shame that you have up market to get that type bike.

I also find the concept of front suspension is all about marketing. I wish that you could buy a lower bike with a carbon front fork. A bike with a carbon fork and a slight lean (flat handle bars) for $400 would be great.
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Old 06-25-09, 03:39 PM   #16
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The thing that is going to decide which bike to get is the rider. And the only way to decide is by opening the wallet and test riding bikes.

Although you may feel that suspension is needed- Do check out the Rigid bikes before you decide. BD has mentioned about wider tyres- and it is surprising how a 700x 28 tyre can feel harsh up against a 35 with less pressure in it.

One word of warning is that a cheap bike will have cheap suspension fitted. You might aswell be riding a Po-Go stick as some of the units fitted to some bikes. They go up and down- wear out quickly and still don't give the smooth ride that you would expect.

I would suggest before you decide- that you try the Specialised Sirrus as this is one of the bikes that a lot here have been pleased with. Or as you are looking at Giants- The Giant FCR is another that I would recommend.

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=38461

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...ad/2268/32201/
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Old 06-25-09, 04:42 PM   #17
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Thanks for the suggestions. Will try hybrid comfort vs performance hybrid (the macho side of me likes the performance idea). Any reason for suggesting Specialized? Giant and Trek were also mentioned. How's Fuji; thought years ago they were supposed to be pretty good. Any thoughts on Cannondale?
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Old 06-25-09, 06:31 PM   #18
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Fuji does not seem to be offered in most LBS any more Cannondale is good.

You will find that a given equipment level the price difference between brands is small.
I would tend to select equipment level, for example a bike with a carbon front fork and then choose the brand based upon fit and weight.

If you go to Brands ask for Ken in the pro shop, he seems very knowledgeable.

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Old 06-26-09, 05:20 AM   #19
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Any reason for suggesting Specialized?
Just happens to be the only major brand that my one and only local bike shop carries, so it is the only brand I have a chance to see bikes of various types beyond what I am interested in myself. I am quite sure that several other brands have bikes in their lineups similar to the Specialized bikes I discuss. I would recommend that you get the type of bike you want from a brand carried by the LBS you like best.
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Old 06-26-09, 07:22 AM   #20
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Just happens to be the only major brand that my one and only local bike shop carries, so it is the only brand I have a chance to see bikes of various types beyond what I am interested in myself. I am quite sure that several other brands have bikes in their lineups similar to the Specialized bikes I discuss. I would recommend that you get the type of bike you want from a brand carried by the LBS you like best.
I agree

Bikes typically have third party components (gears, shifters, brakes and wheels) the design of the frame ( which is made by Giant in a number of cases) is the major difference and you pick the frame that fits you best. The weight of the frame is also a major consideration. The higher end models (of the same brand) tend to have lighter frames even thought they are both made of Alum.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:38 AM   #21
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Just happens to be the only major brand that my one and only local bike shop carries, so it is the only brand I have a chance to see bikes of various types beyond what I am interested in myself. I am quite sure that several other brands have bikes in their lineups similar to the Specialized bikes I discuss. I would recommend that you get the type of bike you want from a brand carried by the LBS you like best.
In many cases- you will find the LBS that will treat you right- and then buy the bike. And the bike will be one of the brands that they carry.

It is not until you get into the sport that you start to think about the bike you ride. Any of the "Big" names will do a bike that will suit you- with the spec. you want but initially at a price that is higher than you want.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:03 AM   #22
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Thanks for the info to all. Hopefully tomw (Sat) if the weather is OK we'll try a few. We'll try to figure out comfort vs non comfort. Although all yoursuggestions sound good, the Vienna 2 (wider tires seat post with susp) sound like a nice compromise. Any thoughts on Trek 7.1 FX. Thought these were more in our $$$ range. (Along with Giant Cypress and Trek 7100 in comfort hybrid)..
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Old 06-26-09, 10:16 AM   #23
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I still really like my Jamis Coda Elite. Though maybe a little above the desired price range. It has been totally trouble free and a joy to ride. Steel frame, carbon fork and disc brakes all seem the right choice to me. Though I run 28's on it, there is plenty of room for wider. The entry level Coda's also get nice reviews. If you get a chance, you might want to look into one of those.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:47 AM   #24
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Thanks for the info to all. Hopefully tomw (Sat) if the weather is OK we'll try a few. We'll try to figure out comfort vs non comfort. Although all yoursuggestions sound good, the Vienna 2 (wider tires seat post with susp) sound like a nice compromise. Any thoughts on Trek 7.1 FX. Thought these were more in our $$$ range. (Along with Giant Cypress and Trek 7100 in comfort hybrid)..
The 7.1FX looks like a very similar bike to the Vienna. The 7.2FX looks to be a closer match to the Vienna 2 with its 8 speed rear drivetrain. FWIW, my wife has asked me to replace the suspension seat post on her Globe with a rigid one. She doesn't like how high the seat is when she first gets on the bike before the post compresses to riding height.

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Old 06-26-09, 02:37 PM   #25
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I assume from the postings you must be resonably near Brands and I see they handle Raleigh.
For some reason they are seldom recommended here. I bought a pair for the wife and I last year as I'm an old raleigh fan from the 60's. I bought a Mojave for me and an Eva for the wife. Both are hard tails and well priced. I have added a few mods ,brooks saddles a B-18 for her and a flyer for me ,the sprung saddles I like better than a sprung seat post. I also got some ergo grips and a riser for mine to get the bars over seat height. I also put on continental sport contacts 26x1.6 tires (big improvement for street) probably have a little over 400/450 in each bike but they are set up well for us now. I wouldn't trade the Sure fire type shifters! The improvements in modern bikes is amazing.
Just a thought on onother brand.
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