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Old 07-31-09, 01:48 PM   #1
hagbard
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Narrowed down my options, could use some advice

Went bicycle shopping today. Want something to ride around town and on a very flat gravel and dirt trail. Someone suggested a cyclocross. As background, I'm 52 in reasonably good shape and haven't done any serious riding in at least twenty years. Here are the options I looked at (all Canadian prices):


Store #1

1. Trek 1.2 for $897 out the door price. The guy told me it would be fine for trail riding, I have my doubts as its clearly a road bike.

2. Trek 7.5FX for the same price.

Store #2

1. Specialized Tricross $1429

2. Devinci Caribou $1179 (didn't ride, they didn't have it ready)

Store #3

1. Kona Jake the Snake $1265.60 out the door

2. Kona Dew $378 out the door.

Now, of all the bikes, i actually liked the Kona Dew the best. Trouble is, its not in my size. They have one the owners says he's only ridden a week he can bring in tomorrow. They said they might be able to offer something less on it. I don't like straight handlebars but it did handle nicely.

Any advice on which bike, or what would be a reasonable to expect off on the price of a Dew that someone has already been using?
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Old 07-31-09, 01:57 PM   #2
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I used to be a Kona fan- but that was 15 years ago. They still make good bikes but they are a bit hefty nowadays in comparison to other manufacturers. The Kona Dew is made in various forms and at various prices. Higher price and the quality of components goes up- but they are still a bit heavy for my liking.
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Old 07-31-09, 02:27 PM   #3
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I am no one to give advice on these bikes as I don't know any of them but I have two observations:

1) I would question whether or not you liked the price rather than the ride - you stated the Kona Dew was not your size but you liked it best and it stands out as a lot cheaper than the others - so much so it may not even be in the same class (check the components carefully).

2) The salesman tried to suggest that a bike that is clearly not suitable for trails will do alright there (red flag).

My suggestion is to shop a few more bike shops and see if you can find someone to really help you better. Maybe this shop is the best you will find, or maybe there is a someone who can give you some better suggestions, the worst that can happen is that you have more options and get totally confused.
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Old 07-31-09, 03:42 PM   #4
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The Dew is here:

http://www.konaworld.com/09_dew_c.cfm

They didn't tell me about the discount on the Dew until after I rode it and reported it was the most comfortable ride of the day. Yes, it was much cheaper than the alternatives, but I really expected it to be awful by comparison and it wasn't. I doubt I can bring myself to buy a bike that's already been used at that price, so it might not be in the running. The bike as 54cm, and I just checked my inseam and its 82cm, so the new one might work. (Remember, the 54cm one is new in the store and the 56cm is at the owners house).

I was actually hoping for something more like the Jake the Snake:

http://www.konaworld.com/09_jakethesnake_c.cfm

As it is the style of bike I'm used to, and want something that is going to be comfortable and last. Haven't ridden it yet, will tomorrow.

Last edited by hagbard; 07-31-09 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:42 AM   #5
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The Jake the snake is not badly specced except on gearing. I know it is a cyclocross bike and it has a compact crank on it but for road use that is not good gearing of 48/36. A normal compact has gearing of 50/34. Those two teeth at each end make a lot of difference. Enough speed for flat roads and low enough for steep hills. The wheels are indestructable. I use them as my winter wheels and although a bit heavy are good wheels. And Kona quality is good.
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Old 08-01-09, 04:41 AM   #6
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I think I'll be okay with any gears. This area is very flat, the occasional minor hilly bit, so I probably could get along without gears at all. I'll try the Dew again, and JTS. Not sure what I'd offer him if I decide on the "used" Dew?
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Old 08-01-09, 07:30 AM   #7
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Some very different bikes on your list. You first have to decide on what type of bike based on your immediate intended riding. I have a Kona Dew Plus (Dew with better RD and disc brakes for $100 more) and love it as an all-around bike for riding with my wife, on gravel and dirt paths, or taking on trips. While not a substitute for a road bike, a performamne hybrid/urban bike may provide a lower cost option until you define your future biking requirements.

I did ride a Jake the Snake cross bike and liked that as well - except for the brakes. A good deal in a cross bike but just about the same price as my road bike.

I also still use an old Trek hardtail for our "primitive" camping trips as well as a few local MB trails.

One bike is never enough. I think I have it covered with these three bikes but a cyclocross or touring bike would be nice, if not necessary!
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Old 08-01-09, 12:22 PM   #8
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Went with my wife, she bought the new Dew, I passed on the "used" one as I couldn't get the price I was looking for (they offered it at $330otd, and wanted it at $300otd). Thought once my son saw the bike, he'd want one too and I'd negotiate the $30 off, but he didn't like it. So I'm still without a bike.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:55 PM   #9
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I suggest you buy a used, rigid fork mountain bike for about $100. They're great on gravel MUPs and the low price will give you time to think about what you really want in a bike. Maybe you want two.
Look for someone who flips bikes in your area. You can find these folks by watching Craigslist or asking over in the C&V forum.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:11 PM   #10
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I've been watching Kijijji (one one around here reads Craigslist, don't know why?) and there's usually nothing except crappy Wallyworld bikes. I did really like the Dew, but since they don't have any, I'm opening up to similar bikes from Trek and Specialized. Next week.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:57 PM   #11
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get the Trek 1.2 but forget it for the trails. everyone needs a couple of bikes. add this one to your stable.
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Old 08-04-09, 01:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
I suggest you buy a used, rigid fork mountain bike for about $100. They're great on gravel MUPs and the low price will give you time to think about what you really want in a bike. Maybe you want two.
Look for someone who flips bikes in your area. You can find these folks by watching Craigslist or asking over in the C&V forum.
+1 Rigid mountain bike, used. Start looking, you will find a good one from $100 to $150.
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Old 08-04-09, 08:04 PM   #13
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+1 Rigid mountain bike, used. Start looking, you will find a good one from $100 to $150.
+1

You will never regret having one in your stable. Specialized Hard Rock is what I bought in 1998. Still have it, it still works, now I have lights and a blinkie, panniers and I use it for night riding, etc. Here it is on the Rio Grande Trail (where our 50+ ride will be)


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Old 08-04-09, 08:27 PM   #14
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To each his/her own.
I do not like too much clutter in my garage. There is a Tandem for my wife and me. A Trek Madone Road Bike and a Trek 7700 Hybrid. The Hybrid is great for trails and roads with lousy pavement. We got lots of those here.
I do not like my bike to be slower then needed because I go long distances and 100 miles with a slow bike is no fun. The Hybrid has 32 mm tires at 80 PSI, Shimano XT components, Aerobars and is almost as good as a road bike except the weight is double. (That is an issue in the hills and sprinting.)
My suggestion is not to buy cheap. Quality components are so much more fun and this bike lasted over 10 years and going. I will be doing 200 miles this weekend in two days.
No fun with a lousy bike IMHO. Life is too short for lousy wine and lousy bikes.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:57 AM   #15
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To each his/her own....
...No fun with a lousy bike IMHO. Life is too short for lousy wine and lousy bikes.
I'll second that!
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