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  1. #1
    lewisb
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    what is the difference in bikes?

    Hello, I'm new here and new to cycling. I have a wal-mart special right now but intend on upgrading this spring. I ride on rail to trail, some city riding and I live in the country on a gravel road, which I ride on quite a bit. I ride around 50 miles per week. In layman's terms, what is the difference in the trek 7300 at $469.00; the trek 7500 at $659.00 And The Trek 7700 at 1259.00? Just wondering if the higher priced bikes are really worth it. thanks...Lewis b.

  2. #2
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Basically, the frames are the same, but the components are better with each bike you are looking at. For example, the 7500 has better forks, better shifters, better Derailleurs, and more speeds than the 7300. It is less expensive to buy the upgraded components already on the bike than it is to purchase the items seperately and add them. The only real exception to this is if you wear the components out and need to replace them anyway.

    Yes it is worth spending the money for the better components. But how good you want to go depends on your needs, wants, and available cash. Therefore, deciding how good a bike you are going to buy is a personal decision.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

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  3. #3
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Great answer there edp773. Only two things I'd add... even the cheapest Trek will feel nicer than the wal-mart bike in every way. It will shift better, run more smoothly, more reliable, etc...... and at this stage you probably wouldn't be able to pick the difference performance-wise between the cheaper and more expensive Treks, so don't let the marketing hype or bike shop sales people convince you that you 'need' the more expensive bike because you definitely don't at this stage.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
    Great answer there edp773. Only two things I'd add... even the cheapest Trek will feel nicer than the wal-mart bike in every way. It will shift better, run more smoothly, more reliable, etc...... and at this stage you probably wouldn't be able to pick the difference performance-wise between the cheaper and more expensive Treks, so don't let the marketing hype or bike shop sales people convince you that you 'need' the more expensive bike because you definitely don't at this stage.
    Glad to hear some common sense. Thanks for that, Cyclaholic.

    At 50 miles per week, if you are happy with the bike you have, the Walmart bike will suit your needs well.

    Some time, if you have the chance, try out an up-scale bicycle that fits you. It is not easy to describe why a high-end bicycle is worth the money. After all, the difference in bicycle weight is probably less than the amount of weight you put in your stomach every day.

    There is something though - the gear shifting is smoother, like Cyclaholic mentioned, the bike weight will make sprinting and starts easier. The better bike will just have a more controlled feel to it because all the bearings and moving parts have higher tolerances, better materials, and are assembled by professionals who care about their work.

    There is a reason people pay more money for better bikes and it isn't just the paint. HOWEVER, that does not mean that bikes under $100 are not worthy. They are aworthy and spoke for spoke, the low-cost bikes are a tremendous value.

    Thanks to the Chinese, you can buy a bicycle now for about the same price as you could buy a bicycle in 1964 and I think that is just amazing.
    Mike

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    lewis--

    I too was asking the same questions as you are now only a month ago. I rode my wal-mart bike but am glad I replaced it even though the bike worked, actually now I see it more as the bike rolled while I pedalled.

    My suggestion is go to a bike shop and test drive a Giant Sedonna or Cypress. They're about $220 and once you try it you'll finally know why they cost more--they're worth more, IMHO. If you aren't impressed, stick with the bike you have.

    Good luck with those show-me state streets...

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    lewisb
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    thanks for the advice..one more question

    Thanks everyone for replying to my question. What about Townie bikes. I have a dealer close to me. He is a small operator but seems to know his stuff and care about what he is doing. Are Townies OK? Thanks

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    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    Before you buy, at least try out or rent a road bike and see the difference. I have a Trek 7500 Multitrack as well as a Cannondale road bike. The ride is vastly different due to weight, geometry, component quality, etc. My 7500 is my truck for hauling and bad weather...my C'dale is my sports car for speed and fun. I had my 7500 before I got my C'dale. If I was doing it over, I would get a nice road bike first then find a beater for a truck.
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisbmo
    Thanks everyone for replying to my question. What about Townie bikes. I have a dealer close to me. He is a small operator but seems to know his stuff and care about what he is doing. Are Townies OK? Thanks
    Townies are ok, but I chose my first name brand bike as a hybrid because my rides are similar to yours. I would suggest going to several bike shops and do as many test rides as you can before making a decsion.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

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    You are most likely to become a five day a week, year-around cyclist if you buy a bike that is perfectly tailored to your riding needs, that fits you perfectly, and that is tough enough to hold up to daily riding without more than one or two tune-ups or adjustments each year.

    Someone who rides on dirt and gravel roads or on dirt trails through a park has different needs than those guys who like to ride fast on Sunday morning on smooth suburban roads. Someone who uses a bike to carry camping equipment, groceries, or to commute to work or school has different needs than the guys whose sole reason to own a bike is to brag about how light it is.

    So, step one in buying a bike is to think about how and where you will use it. Some bikes are very flexible. A classic touring bike, such as the Trek 520, can be used with beefy tires and fenders for touring on rough roads, and the worst weather. Yet, a Trek 520 can also be equipped with light weight wheels and light weight tires for a fast hundred mile ride in the summer.

    Within each category of bikes (mountain bikes, hybrids, road bikes) there is a price point that gives you the most for your money. In each category, the cheapest bikes skimp on durability, and use some parts that are sub-standard. The most expensive bikes often offer very little over a mid-priced bike, except to brag about its light weight.

    So, after you figure out which category of bike suits your riding needs the best, look at the mid-range models. If you are looking at hybrids, and a given company has nine models, the two or three models priced in the middle of those nine will offer as much durability as the most expensive models, and weigh just a pound or two more.

    Go to two or three shops to get fitted. Make sure the staff knows how and where you will ride. The "default" fit in cycling today is the "racing fit". That fit will put you on a bike that is waay too small, with your hands positioned waay too low. Even though not 1% of the thirty million American adults who ride bikes entered a race last year, the "race" mentality rules at most bike shops.

    A bike fits you when your weight is perfectly balanced between the seat, the pedals, and the bars. For most people, that weight balance requires having your hands at about the same height as the saddle. And, with most styles of bikes, getting your hands at the same height as the saddle requires buying the tallest frame that you can comfortably stand over flat footed.

    A good time to buy a new bike is the last week of December. You can buy a 2006 model for 20% or 30% less than that bike sold for in June. But, don't let a good price keep you away from insisting on a perfect fit.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    What kind of car do you own? They all do basically the same thing - get you from here to there - but some do it more smoothly and with more style. The same is true of bikes.

    If you are in the habit of buying the cheapest of everything you might actually be happier with a Walmart bike. If you prefer to live with a little more elegance in your life, then you'll notice a world of difference by stepping up to a mid level bike shop bike.

  11. #11
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    The People's Republic of China can sell bikes & other things cheap because they have a military dictatorship-management that pays very little, bans unions, tortures & executes political opponents (See Amnesty International for latest details), censors the media, & doesn't give a crap about the environment. So maybe we should think twice before advocating subsidising them. Just because even the Republicans advocate sending your money to the PRC doesn't mean it's right (the Repubs are cashing in too, otherwise the PRC would be an "Evil Empire").
    Last edited by Cyclepath; 12-23-06 at 01:56 PM.
    Where have you been all your life?

  12. #12
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisbmo
    ...What about Townie bikes. I have a dealer close to me. He is a small operator but seems to know his stuff and care about what he is doing. Are Townies OK? Thanks
    Hi lewisbmo!

    Yes, Townies are comfortable, well made, and durable. I rode mine when I first started cycling again and it held up well to everything that I threw at it. I now have an MTB instead, but kind of wish I'd kept that Townie too - it was a nice bike.

    If you plan on riding long distances, like 50 miles or more, then a road bike or a recumbent will be more comfortable. For "everyday" and "errand" riding, though, the Townies are hard to beat. Folks say that Trek & Giant make equivalent bikes to the Townie - I must politely disagree. The Townie has a geometry that is matched by no other bike on the market that I know of. At least ride the Townie - you may like it as much as I did.

    Happy Shopping & Merry Christmas!

  13. #13
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclepath
    The People's Republic of China can sell bikes & other things cheap because they have a military dictatorship-management that pays very little, bans unions, tortures & executes political opponents (See Amnesty International for latest details), censors the media, & doesn't give a crap about the environment.
    You're wrong on several points here. First, the govt of PRC is *not* a military dictatorship. It is classic communist totalitarian state. In other words, socialism on steroids. With very few exceptions, the military is not involved in maintaining the state. Second, the PRC does support unions. Wal-Mart China was just forced to accept unionized stores in China - its first ever anywhere. However, unions do not function in China like they do here, with "collective bargaining" that amounts to highway robbery because the labor pool is locked up by law. The pay of labor in China is not determined by the State, but by the market. It is very low because there is a huge unskilled labor pool engaged in subsistence farming that will work for next to nothing to get out of the fields.

    People - even Republicans - can morally justify doing business with China because as poor as the people are, they are becoming richer by the minute because we do business with them. The more the State allows free markets, the more freedom the people will expect. Eventually, the old totalitarian regime will fall because we do business with it.

    Your attitude is elitist in the extreme - make the common people suffer because you don't like the government. Yep, you're a real caring guy.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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    Amnesty International on PRC human rights violations:

    http://www.cfr.org/publication/11965...rnational.html
    Where have you been all your life?

  15. #15
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    Human Rights Watch - PRC Abuses of Human Rights, 2006.

    http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/18/china12270.htm
    Where have you been all your life?

  16. #16
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    I'm not saying that PRC doesn't violate human rights. Of course it does.

    The issue I have is with your holier-than-thou attitude about it.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  17. #17
    Senior Member Joe1946's Avatar
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    The people in China are better off today than they were in the past and I don't give a FF were my bike is made just as long as it's the best value for MY MONEY.

  18. #18
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    I don't hate the people of China, in fact the common person in China are very friendly and warm people. However I try not buy stuff made in China (although that's nearly impossible), the reason I don't buy stuff made in China is because the government and not the common person is profiting off their products they export, and it's the government I won't support because of numerious reasons.

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    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    I don't buy stuff made in China is because the government and not the common person is profiting off their products they export
    Not true. The China of today is nothing like the China of Mao. The boom in manufacturing/export in PRC is because the gubmint made private ownership legal. The vast majority of companies making goods for export are privately owned - profits go to the owners, not to the government - just like here. The workers are paid a wage - a good one by Chinese standards - just like here. And of course there are taxes - just like here.

    In some industries there are still state-owned companies, but they are dying off rapidly as the private (i.e. profit-driven) companies eat their lunch. A few months ago there was a long article in the Wall St. Journal about entrepreneurship in the Chinese bicycle industry. One example was a state-owned company (White Wing, I think) that at one time was the biggest bicycle manufacturer in China (and that's saying something). It had been driven nearly out of business by the many private companies, and a woman has taken over (essentially bought out of bankruptcy) one of its factories and is trying, with some success, to compete.



    Btw, if you're interested in boycotting something to make you feel better, try boycotting Korean goods made in the "enterprise zone" in N. Korea (PDRK). Companies are mostly S. Korean, but the PDRK takes about 75% of the workers' already-tiny wages. It's pretty close to slave labor.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  20. #20
    Daily Rider hairlessbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisbmo
    Hello, I'm new here and new to cycling. I have a wal-mart special right now but intend on upgrading this spring. I ride on rail to trail, some city riding and I live in the country on a gravel road, which I ride on quite a bit. I ride around 50 miles per week. In layman's terms, what is the difference in the trek 7300 at $469.00; the trek 7500 at $659.00 And The Trek 7700 at 1259.00? Just wondering if the higher priced bikes are really worth it. thanks...Lewis b.
    Usually the higher price buys you a lighter (and sometimes stronger) frame along with an upgrade in durability and finish on the components (also lighter). Also add in a stronger and lighter wheelset. All of it adds up to ride quality which is a subjective thing.

    Personally I'd invest my money in a great frame and wheelset before I put it into componentry. You can hang the best components on a cheap frame and it will still feel like a cheap bike. Same with the wheels; put a set of cheap steel wheels on a Merlin and feel how bad a $2500 titanium frame rides. Does it really matter if you use a 105 derailleur or a DuraAce derailleur? I have both and they both work great but the 105 cost $20.00 and the DuraAce was $50.00.

    The higher prices bikes are worth it if you enjoy it and will ride the heck out of it because it will probably last longer and need to have less parts replaced ultimately. Gives you less excuses too.

  21. #21
    Junior Member Jeepescu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF
    First, the govt of PRC is *not* a military dictatorship. With very few exceptions, the military is not involved in maintaining the state.
    With all due respect, here it's you that have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
    You wouldn't believe how omnipresent the military and/or ministry of the interior troops is/are in communist regimes, and their involvement at levels that you wouldn't even dream of.
    BN
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