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Old 05-17-05, 09:19 PM   #1
Lupe
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New Bike: 2004 Specialized Sirrus Sport Disc vs 2004 Felt SR81

I've narrowed down my bike buying decison between either the 2004 Specialized Sirrus Sport Disc or the 2004 Felt SR81. I am a relatively new rider and choose these two bikes because I was looking for a hybrid type bike with a little more speed. I liked the flat handle bars of these two bikes.

Here is a website for the 2004 Specialized Sirrus Sport Disc (I would add Shimano 105 Derailers) for a price of $620.

http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=5996

Or I might select a straight up 2004 Felt SR81 for a price of $620. Here is the website for the 2005 model (virtually the same).

http://www.feltracing.com/2005_bikes/2005_sr81.html

I rode both and they both seem to be extremely great bikes. Any advice or personal recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-17-05, 09:40 PM   #2
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The main difference I noticed between the bikes is that the Felt has a carbon fiber fork and the Specialized does not (they both have aluminum frames). On the other hand, the Specialized has disc brakes and the Felt has Tektro mini V-brakes. Any comments in regards to these features would also be appreciated.

Thanks,

Lupe
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Old 05-17-05, 09:49 PM   #3
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I can't speak for the merits of those two bikes, but...

Some people feel disc brakes are a gimmick or a fad. After putting disc brakes on my commuter, I vowed never to purchase a bike without them again. There is so much more control, and so much less maintenance, there's no comparison to v-brakes. If you ride in traffic you need disc brakes.
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Old 05-17-05, 10:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupe
I've narrowed down my bike buying decison between either the 2004 Specialized Sirrus Sport Disc or the 2004 Felt SR81. I am a relatively new rider and choose these two bikes because I was looking for a hybrid type bike with a little more speed. I liked the flat handle bars of these two bikes.

Here is a website for the 2004 Specialized Sirrus Sport Disc (I would add Shimano 105 Derailers) for a price of $620.

http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=5996

Or I might select a straight up 2004 Felt SR81 for a price of $620. Here is the website for the 2005 model (virtually the same).

http://www.feltracing.com/2005_bikes/2005_sr81.html

I rode both and they both seem to be extremely great bikes. Any advice or personal recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Firstly I wouldn't bother swapping the Tiagra rear der for a 105 on the Sirrus Sport. You won't gain anything from it.

I don't see how you could go wrong with either of these bikes. The big tradeoffs that I see is are ..

Sirrus Sport:
disc brakes
chromoly fork
8-speed

vs.

Felt SR81:
mini V-brakes
CF fork
9-speed

If it were me I would lean toward the Felt and have the standard cassette (most likely a 12/25) swapped out for a 12/21 because I prefer tighter gear ratios. It's a tripple up front so the granny will take care of any hills and perhaps even some small mountains. Having a 25 on back and a tripple up front is pretty redundant but it seems like most companies do it. 12/25 cassettes much be either cheaper or more widely available.

I know that the Specialized Milano saddle that comes standard on the Sirrus would have to be swapped out for something else as I bought a Sequoia that had it as standard equipment. Didn't care for the Milano at all, though you may find it comfortable. Can't comment on the Felt Gel-Lite saddle as I've never ridden on one. This level of Felt used to come standard with a Selle Italia Onda saddle, which is pretty decent for an inexpensive saddle. The Onda is kind of like a poor man's Flite Gel saddle.
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Old 05-18-05, 07:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great advice. I also like tighter gear ratios and will have to see if I can have that upgraded or exchanged! As for why you would select the Felt SR81, is it primarily due to the carbon fork or is it for another reason? Basically, is the carbon fork offer a greater advantage than the disc brakes? In my mind, I would think so, but I am a novice rider. Any comments would be great!
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Old 05-18-05, 08:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
I can't speak for the merits of those two bikes, but...

Some people feel disc brakes are a gimmick or a fad. After putting disc brakes on my commuter, I vowed never to purchase a bike without them again. There is so much more control, and so much less maintenance, there's no comparison to v-brakes. If you ride in traffic you need disc brakes.
I second that. There are people who ride fixed and brakeless in traffic too but I can jam from 30mph to a full stop in about 1/4th the distance, wet or dry.
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Old 05-18-05, 11:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupe
Thanks for the great advice. I also like tighter gear ratios and will have to see if I can have that upgraded or exchanged! As for why you would select the Felt SR81, is it primarily due to the carbon fork or is it for another reason? Basically, is the carbon fork offer a greater advantage than the disc brakes? In my mind, I would think so, but I am a novice rider. Any comments would be great!
Again, this is just my take on things but I would rather have a 9 speed setup as I tend to stay on the middle chainring up front. The CF fork is nice also but I don't know if that's a deal breaker. Also, I have 3 other road bikes and an MTB that are all 9 speed and I like to have as many things interchangable as possible, such as chains, cassettes, cranks, etc. All of my spare parts inventory is 9 speed stuff. I even have a 9 speed road cassette on one of my MTB wheelsets that have slicks. If you don't have multiple bikes then the interchangability of parts is not going to be an issue. I know 10 speed is getting all of the big press these days but 9 is plenty for my needs. Given the choice of Tiagra 9 speed vs. Sora 8 speed though, it's a no brainer. I'll take the Tiagra.

The disc brakes are probably the best safety innovation to come along in a long time. Although I don't have them on any of my bikes, they do provide superior stopping power at a slight increase in rotational weight. I have V-brakes on my MTB and they do a fairly decent job. And, of course, my 3 road bikes have caliper styled brakes, yet I go the fastest on them by far. You'd think they would put disc brakes on road bikes because they are the fastest and may need to stop the fastest. Anyway, the caliper brakes and V-brakes have always done a fine job for me. That doesn't mean that I won't need them tomorrow in order to avoid an accident, but so far they've worked fine.

Above all, the most important thing about buying a new bike is how it feels when you ride it. Comfort, handling, acceleration, etc. All of these things will combine to create your biking experience. Enjoy.
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Old 05-18-05, 11:59 PM   #8
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if you are riding in traffic then I would opt for the Sirrus (assuming both bikes fit) for the disc brakes- you will need them one day when its raining and you are hammering down hill and some moron car driver completely ignores you and ....(fill in your own ending here)

if you are lucky and get to ride away from cars then go for the Felt as the other components are nicer.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by royalflash
if you are riding in traffic then I would opt for the Sirrus (assuming both bikes fit) for the disc brakes- you will need them one day when its raining and you are hammering down hill and some moron car driver completely ignores you and ....(fill in your own ending here)

if you are lucky and get to ride away from cars then go for the Felt as the other components are nicer.
Cars and traffic sure do have a way of ruining cycling don't they?
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Old 05-19-05, 05:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius
You'd think they would put disc brakes on road bikes because they are the fastest and may need to stop the fastest. Anyway, the caliper brakes and V-brakes have always done a fine job for me. That doesn't mean that I won't need them tomorrow in order to avoid an accident, but so far they've worked fine.
These are close enough to road bikes.




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Old 05-20-05, 07:36 AM   #11
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Just have the LBS replace the alu fork on the Felt to carbon and your're set. It has a more aggresive geometry and just plain looks better. There is no extra safty advantage using either disk or V-brakes if both are maintained properly. On the other hand, if there are lots of mountain size hills, go for the disk brakes knowing that you will take a performance hit.

That felt looks so nice. I would still get the Jamis Coda because it has a Reynolds 525 frame.
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Old 05-20-05, 08:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
There is no extra safty advantage using either disk or V-brakes if both are maintained properly.
That's actually a bigger "if" than you might think. On my commuter, when I have V-brakes I had to adjust them at least once a week and replace the pads once a month, even with Koolstop pads. Riding in the rain, I could wear through a quarter of a brake pad in a single trip. Adjustment meant fiddling with the alignment of the pads because they wore unevenly. As a result the only time I ever had properly adjusted brakes was immediately after adjusting them.

With disc brakes, the pads last at least six months, and the only adjustment required is taking up the cable slack to accomodate wear.
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