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  1. #1
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    Buying my first bike, need help!

    Hello all,

    I am getting ready to buy my first bike. So far I have decided that I want a cross/hybrid bike. I think this choice makes since. I will mostly be using it on a tar bike path, with occasional dirt road useage. My budget is $450 Max.

    I have visited the local bike shop and seen a number of models. Below are the models with a link to their info.

    Kona Smoke
    Kona Dew
    Gary Fisher Tiburon-S
    Gary Fisher Zebrano
    Gary Fisher Zebrano-S

    So the questions I have are:
    Does a hybrid make since in my case?
    Of the above bikes does one stick out as being better than the other in terms of component quality?
    What brands are good, what should I stay away from?
    Is there a bike you recommend instead of the above selection?
    Will I be able to upgrade parts on these bikes (like disc brakes for example)?

    Thanks for the help! I really appreciate it!

    Sam

  2. #2
    Mooninite shakeNbake's Avatar
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    Good thread, I'm also considering the two Konas for my next bike, just not in the near future.

    I can't comment much for the Gary Fisher, except that I don't like hybrids.

    For the Konas, the Smoke has 26" wheels, you can get more(also cheaper) selection of off-road tires, while the Dew looks like it's more intended for road/packed trails. Also note that both are rigids, so they might not be that comfortable off road.

    The Konas can't take disc brakes, but I really don't think you need disc brakes anyways

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response. What is it that you do not like about hybrids?

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakeNbake
    Good thread, I'm also considering the two Konas for my next bike, just not in the near future.

    I can't comment much for the Gary Fisher, except that I don't like hybrids.

    For the Konas, the Smoke has 26" wheels, you can get more(also cheaper) selection of off-road tires, while the Dew looks like it's more intended for road/packed trails. Also note that both are rigids, so they might not be that comfortable off road.

    The Konas can't take disc brakes, but I really don't think you need disc brakes anyways
    Take a look at the Fisher Wahoo or any mountain bike in that price range. For a do all bike, mountain bikes are better than hybrids. You can get slicks or semislicks for road use but you also have a bike that you can go out and play on. It may not be as fast on the road as a hybrid (but hybrids aren't that fast) but it is far more capable in other situations. Granted you aren't going to bet a great bike at this price (you'd need to move up a couple of hundred dollars to start seeing greatness) but the bike will be serviceable and fun.

    As for discs, at the $500 level, you aren't going to get very good ones at that level so I'd stick with V-brakes. If the bike comes with them, use them otherwise just go with regular v-brakes.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
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  5. #5
    improving steadily mgalex's Avatar
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    rule number one.
    always go to a local bike shop (they're the the small, oily ones) if the guy's a "salesman" and isn't isn't a little dirty, hasn't seen the road or the mud, he can never give the best advice.
    As for rule number two, I can't think of one at the moment.

    you asked about the downside of hybrids. I can't think of any for general usage they're great. I had one until it was wrecked. I can't advise you on those models as I don't know them.
    pain is there to let you know you're still cycling

  6. #6
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    Following the advice given I went to the local shop and purchased a Trek 4500. Seems like a nice bike so far, but I need to get faster tires for it. Most of what I will be doing is pavement.

    So here is a question: _IF_ I wanted to upgrade parts on my bike, how can I tell if they will fit?

    Another simple one... when I am on my largest chainring, and I am shifting from small rear gear up to the largest gear this is what happens: It does the first few fine, and then it misses one. It doesn't skip one... it fails to advance. I click once, nothing... I click again and it moves up. Do you think this is an index adjustment? I am positive the derailer isn't bent... I just bought it!

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
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    My hybrid is sitting in shame in my shed .... waiting for getting a aluminum for transplant and a new wheel with an excentric hub and turn that thing into a freewheel single speed.
    Giving Haircuts Over The Phone

  8. #8
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    I bought the Gary Fisher Zebrano in the fall last year and have found it to be a very good bike. I ride in on gravel paths (light off-road), paved paths, and the streets of DC and it has done well for me. Only two downsides are the weight of the bike (at $500.00 and a hybrid this is normal and expected) and the front suspension doesn’t lock out, which would be nice for hills.

    The bike is extremely comfortable, the upright position is great for the city, and I it is VERY stable. The bike came with 700 x 42c tires but I asked the LBS to swap them out for 700x38c, which is a better all-around hybrid tire --- I recommend doing this as a good one-tire fits all solution. If you’re looking at an entry-level hybrid that will perform and not give you much problems; I highly recommend this bike.

    Good luck.

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