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  1. #1
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    Newbie Bike Decision - Hybrid in Hills

    Hi. I'm a total newbie. Haven't ridden a bicycle at least 15 years. Even then I hated drop handlebars, always tuned them upside down so the brake levers were facing me, and I pushed them. So I'm looking at flat-bar bikes, even though I'm aware of the lack of positions a flat bar provides. I also grew up riding motorcycles, so that's an additional bias for the flat bars. I do understand the flat bars, but hate having to shift and brake in the drop position.

    I also live in a very hilly/mountainous area where I will do most of my riding. It will mostly be paved with occasional fire roads and trails. So a straight road bike isn't perhaps my best choice. So I've been looking at fitness hybrids / road warriors, like the Trek 7700fx, the Fuji Forza series, the Specialized Sirrus' etc.

    I'm leaning toward the Trek 7700fx mainly due to the lower gears that come on that model (as well as the shorter tube top on the Treks - I'm Male, 5'6" and weigh around 140). The crank has an inner chain ring of 26 teeth and a large cog on the cassette of 32. Theoretically that should be the best choice for getting a newbie up the monster hills in my neighborhood. Here's my dilemna. Maybe the $300 cheaper 7500 fx is fine for my hills (it's got a 28 inner chain ring and a 30 largest cog). The Treks seem like the best fit as far as reach and everything. But the Specialized feel less jarring on rough surfaces (is it just the suspension seatpost - or is the frame absorbing more?). The drag is that none of my LBSs (and there are many in LA) have these bike and are near a hill anything like the hills I'll be climbing every time I ride.

    So I'm hoping some of the forum members expertise and experience will give me more information to consider or share their experience. So I can make a decision I won't regret later.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    I can't comment on the bikes but you might want to ask the LBS what their policy is toward testing the bikes. I believe that Supergo charges ~$50 to test out a bike overnight and if you decide to buy the bike the $50 goes toward the purchase. I vaguely remember reading this policy on their chalkboard while waiting to pay, so don't quote me on this.

    I'm sure all the other competing LBS's have a similar program too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    oops!! ignore this

  4. #4
    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    Gears are cheap a small crank ring will go for fo well under $20 and as low as a 22tooth a new 9spped cassette with a 34large gear can go as cheap as $30.

    A nd you still have the speedier gears when you get in shape and don't need to fatboy gears ( I can say that cause I still have fatboy gears on my bikes).

    Best wishes...welcome to the forum. Don't be afraid to ask anything...we alll have.
    I can't ride and Frown!

  5. #5
    Nature Worshipper hillyman's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of low gearing. You can always change the rear cassette of the cheaper bike to a 34 if you like the ride better. But the $300 is for better parts on the 7700fx and low low gearing ,you can't beat that. And your knees will thank you!
    In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

  6. #6
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    770fx is indeed a very nice ride, but a bit overpriced compared to other models in its class.... give a second/third look to the fujis and the specializeds
    The only true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing - Socrates

    Back on the bike!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Im no athlete, but find that a 28/28 can get me up some extremely steep hills with no problem. For your very first ride you may find it hard, but after 3 weeks, your climbing muscles will have adapted. If you want to carry touring luggage up a hill, then you may need something lower.
    Bikes differ in their absorption, but you generally get used to what you ride. I ride a non-sus road bike on trails and off-road, more extreme than 90% of MTBs ever see.
    Fit is , as you understand, very importantt. Also, make sure that there is tyre clearance at the brakes for sufficiently wide tyres, and fenders if you ever need them. Heel clearance for fenders is about chainstay length, which is easy to measure. 42-43cm is enough for panniers, esp with a heel cutout, and if your shoe size is quite small.

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