Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Bikes: Rans Rockst (Retro rocket) Rans Enduro Sport (Retro racket) Catrike 559, Merin Bear Valley (beater bike).
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Those are bread and butter bikes for bike dealers. At a price point, such bikes tend to be quite similar in quality and performance. Here's my advice:
1. Shop for a bike shop first. When you find a bike shop that has people who make you feel comfortable, buy a brand they carry and you'll never go wrong. When the time comes that you need service or (God forbid) you encounter a warranty issue, wouldn't you rather deal with people with whom you already have a rappoire?
2. If both bikes are from the same shop, go with the one you feel most comfortable with. Don't over analyze. If color is what makes you prefer one over the other, that's OK. A year from now you won't be able to remember the price difference or what you did with the money that you saved but you'll still have the bike. If every time you look at it you think "I wish I would have gotten the other one" that's not a good deal.