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Old 09-29-06, 06:17 PM   #1
mikeini
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Bike Options HELP!!!

hello all -

i am in great need of your input. I am in search of a new bike (im well.. a newb) and i have went to a few local LBS's and heard a few differing opinions. I should preface all this by saying that i am goign to be riding primarily on the asphalt. But becuase there are some trails in my backyards i wanted to be able to go riding on them (they are nothing more than old horse trails that are hard pan and dirt (no rocks and almost no dirt to speak of). Here is what the local shops said:

1. Go with a mtn bike (like the trek 4500 or 4300, mongoose tryax or a GT avalanche 2.0). 2 different shops said taht for my range (which was oringally 300-600) this was the best way to go. Both shops agreed that a hybrid/cross/comfort would be useless for me becuase i could be riding for more than 15-20 miles round trip and at that point those bikes just arent worth it. Plus you can just swtich tired if need be and you will be good to go with more slick tires on.

2. In the last shop i went to, their selection was limited to Specialized bicycles. The salesperson i felt (unlike one of the other shops) was there to relay information more than sell me a bike. he did naturally however, gratitate towards an "expensive" (for my budget) bike - the Specialized Crossroads XC Expert. This is the 06 model that i can get for about 700 dollars. That is obviously more than i had anticiapted but it has the remote turn off valve for the forks, etc. The bike was suite but i want to make sure that before i fork out 700 dollars, its worth the high cost.

Do you guys have any input on this? Do you agree with shop 1 + 2 (and if so what bike in general) or should i look at the Specialized XC Expert and/or Trek 7200FX/7.2FX.

Thanks guys!!!!

Best,

Mike
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Old 09-29-06, 09:14 PM   #2
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Sounds like a cyclocross bike would be best. Though it may be tough finding one under $700. You could go used or try to get a deal on last year's model.

http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=16983
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Old 09-29-06, 11:01 PM   #3
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You will get a lot of different opinions. There is no one right answer. The suggestion of a cyclocross bike makes sense if you were a fairly hardcore rider, but your budget suggests that isn't the case. My 2 cents is to get what is often called an "urban bike". Basically it is a mountain bike with a rigid fork and slick tires. If the tires felt a little squirrelly on dirt roads you could switch them to something with a little more tread. The reason I suggest this is because a suspension fork is pretty useless and heavy for the type of riding you will be doing. And full knobby tires are pretty terrible on pavement. A few possibilities in urban bikes - Marin Muirwoods (about $450), Novara Buzz ($650, REI only), Scott Sub20 (about $600).
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Old 09-29-06, 11:12 PM   #4
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For this type of riding I've always chosen a road bike. As long as you don't go with a carbon bike with super skinny tires (Yes, obviously well outside your budget...) you should be fine.

Back home (The White Mountains in Arizona) I always rode a road bike on the roads and trails (Probably 65%-70% trails) I prefer drop bars and the higher gearing. VERY rarely I'd find a spot that I couldn't ride on, either because it was too rocky or too sandy, and the bike was light enough to just carry it over those areas and keep going. The mountain bikers were always annoyed... I beat the crap out of them on the good sections, and on the really rough sections I could carry my bike faster than they could ride through them.

You can pick up an older steel or aluminum frame road bike for next to nothing... throw on some decent tires, lube it up and go.

Then again... pretty much the same thing with a mountain bike... there's tons of them out there... throw on some slicks (or semi-slicks)

The main thing is which one you'll be comfortable riding. Hybrid or comfort bikes can be ok, if you're not in a huge hurry, and just want to go... Mountain bikes might be a little bit faster, with cyclocross or roadbikes being the fastest.
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Old 09-29-06, 11:24 PM   #5
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I'm agreeing with bmclaughlin807, though nobody, including yourself, knows right now just what kind of riding you will really do, or how much. By now, everybody knows I love my Giant Cypress SX for the riding you describe, though the '06 model came out with a more narrow tire than I would care for. They describe it as a comfort road bike. Some call it a flat bar road bike because of the upright riding position, and the position is something you should consider when choosing a bike.
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Old 09-30-06, 01:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nermal
I'm agreeing with bmclaughlin807, though nobody, including yourself, knows right now just what kind of riding you will really do, or how much. By now, everybody knows I love my Giant Cypress SX for the riding you describe, though the '06 model came out with a more narrow tire than I would care for. They describe it as a comfort road bike. Some call it a flat bar road bike because of the upright riding position, and the position is something you should consider when choosing a bike.
Nermal, we ride the same bike! Mine's an 04 and i love it. I've swapped out the tires for something a bit wider, and I ride it on the road, on grass, and hard pack. Darn fine bike!
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Old 09-30-06, 01:22 AM   #7
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thanks for the input guys. I def. will consider the Specialized. I guess i just have to test ride them and see which one feels the best.

and can someone explain to me what exactly upright is versus something else...... i still dont fully understand that!

thanks again for all your help guys!!! i will keep you posted.
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Old 09-30-06, 09:53 AM   #8
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Road bikes with drop bars and really skinny tires are not upright. The advantage is aerodynamics, which in cycling is a huge effect.

The upright riding position is more present in MTBs, hybrids, and cruisers. They allow you to see around you a little better and many people find this more comfortable. However, you will be hit with the wind and it will slow you down considerably. At slow speeds, such as 10 mph or less, it is barely a factor. But if you ride faster than the old lady down the street...like at 15 mph and up, you will definitely notice the wind resistance.
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