I am brand-new to this site and just returning to riding after many years. I am looking for a bike that will meet my needs best. Right now, I have two bikes, a late '80's Takara 15 speed mountain bike and a '75 Raleigh Grand Prix road-type bike. While the Takara is OK for light riding on rough trails, I can't stand it on paved surfaces and it is very slow. The Raleigh, while being a bit of a dinosaur compared to the newer stuff, is much smoother and faster than the Takara. I am looking for the best possible road performance with the comfort of flat handlebars. So far, I have looked at the Giant FCR (FCR 3 is nice) and the Jamis Coda Elite (nice adjustable handlebars). Are these bikes comparable/close in performance to a dedicated road bike? Which one do you prefer and why? Are there any other choices that I should consider? Am I on the right track when looking at this type of bike. My goal is to replace the two bikes that I have with one really nice bike that I can ride quickly for long distances. I want something swift, but I find the drop handlebars uncomfortable. I am not looking to set any records at this stage of the game, but I would like something that will continue to do the job as I improve. Thanks in advance for the input...Pablo Ortiz
I'm pretty sure Bianchi makes a flat bar road bike (www.bianchiusa.com) and I believe Felt might make one also (www.feltracing.com). A flat bar bike probably isn't going to offer you the aerodynamics of a road bar with drops, but it may feel more easy to handle. I actually prefer the 'normal' road handlebars, though I rarely ride in the drops - usually on the hoods or the bar on either side of the stem. It might be worth riding both to see which you like better - and, of course, consider what kind of riding you primarily want to do with this bike.
I think Jamis and Giant both make fine bikes, so you're definitely not going astray there.