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Old 07-14-07, 12:02 AM   #1
Azndude51
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Looking to buy my first hybrid bike, need some opinions

Hi everyone!

This is my first post, but I have been browsing around the forums for a while, I'm still a novice and don't know very much about cycling. This will be my first bike to be purchased from an LBS, all my old ones were crappy Walmart MTBs.

I'm a college student looking for a bike for a 6 mile (round trip) daily commute to and from class through residential/suburban areas. It will mainly be used for commute and some casual fitness/bike trail riding. There are a lot of curbs and rough roads with potholes that I will be riding over so I'm looking something that has some good comfort features that's also decently fast. I think a hybrid bike would most meet my needs, but I'm not sure. I have to keep everything under $400, including accessories (like lock and helmet).

I have checked the only two bike stores in my town and they just sell Trek, Giant, Specialized, Schwinn, Diamondback, and Gary Fisher. If I had a couple hundred more dollars, I'd probably get a Specialized Sirrus or Trek 7.2/3FX though I'd still prefer something with a front suspension because of the rough roads.

Right now, I'm only really considering either the Trek 7100 or GF Tiburon. They're essentially the same bike with many of the exact same components and at around the same price, ~$330. However the Gary Fisher is sold out at the store (except for one small frame) and the manager said they can't get any more until the 2008's come out in October. I prefer the Gary Fisher since for some reason I think it looks better in person and I fan of the brand, it also has trigger shifters vs. grip shift on the Trek, I prefer triggers. If I want to get the Trek with triggers, I would have to pay $40 extra for the shop to put them on. Also the store seems pretty shady and I would rather buy the GF from the other store.

There's also the Diamondback Edgewood or Maravista, but I don't know anything about the brand. I also considered a used bike, but I can't seem to find any good ones for sale in my town on Craigslist and I don't know where else to look besides ebay.

What do you guys think I should do? If only the Gary Fisher Tiburon wasn't sold out...
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Old 07-14-07, 05:22 AM   #2
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No chance of finding the GF from other shops in the area?

I'm particularly sensitive to bad bike shop service and attitude. I've had enough lazy crap from those types that I will go out of my way to deny them business. They get away with too much as it is.

I also favour the trigger shifters. Since you already have a good handle on what you want, I fear that you will be suffering from some low-level buyer's remorse if you compromise with the Trek.

Try and find the GF if you can.

Or see if you can find a junker 2nd hand to ride for a few months. You'd be amazed what deals you can find out there. You may even consider spending the same money on a decent 2nd hand bike - you can find some good dealios.

Good luck, dude.
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Old 07-14-07, 11:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, Nicodemus. The next closest Fisher dealer according to their website is 60 miles away, which is too far since I have no way of getting the bike back with my small car and I'm not going to ride 60 miles... Plus I'd like the dealer to be close by in case I have any problems.

I could get a junker, but besides craigslist or the newspaper, where could I look for a used one? I can't find anything that would work in either place.
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Old 07-14-07, 01:33 PM   #4
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I don't know, mate, I don't know. I fail to see how a small car is a problem - take the wheels off. Otherwise, I can only wish you the best of luck.

I'm not familiar with US 2nd hand markets as I'm UK based, though I would guess eBay (yuck) or craigslist would be a good start.
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Old 07-14-07, 01:58 PM   #5
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If I were to park my bike on campus, I'd probably just use an ugly beater for theft resistance.
If your commute is fairly flat, you might look for an old 10-12 speed in "serviceable" condition.
Another option, if you still have it, is to use your x mart bike. Put on a pair of skinnier, smooth street tires and it should be adequate for 3 mile trips.
If you are looking for a "suspension" bike for under $400 (including accessories), you aren't going to get the best componants, although you'll still be head & shoulders above an x mart bike.
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Old 07-14-07, 03:46 PM   #6
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I like the Trek 7.x Fx of the bikes I've seen.
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Old 07-14-07, 08:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicodemus
I don't know, mate, I don't know. I fail to see how a small car is a problem - take the wheels off. Otherwise, I can only wish you the best of luck.

I'm not familiar with US 2nd hand markets as I'm UK based, though I would guess eBay (yuck) or craigslist would be a good start.
That's true, I guess it'll fit with the wheels off. However, what about if I need to get it serviced or fixed, I would have to drive an hour just to do it where I bought it. Otherwise I'd probably have to pay to get it done at the local place. Also, I already checked craigslist and all there are only 3 listings and none of them are are road bikes.



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If I were to park my bike on campus, I'd probably just use an ugly beater for theft resistance.
If your commute is fairly flat, you might look for an old 10-12 speed in "serviceable" condition.
Another option, if you still have it, is to use your x mart bike. Put on a pair of skinnier, smooth street tires and it should be adequate for 3 mile trips.
If you are looking for a "suspension" bike for under $400 (including accessories), you aren't going to get the best componants, although you'll still be head & shoulders above an x mart bike.
I'm not too worried about getting my bike stolen just because it's a pretty safe campus and there are a lot of nicer bikes out there than what I will be getting. Plus I won't really be parking it in the same spot for more than an hour. I currently don't have a bike and like I said before, I can't seem to find anyone who is selling a used road bike. I'm also not worried too much about the components since this will be my first non "x-mart" bike, I'll wait until I get serious about cycling and have a job before I spend the big bucks. I just need something fairly nice to get me around.
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Old 07-14-07, 09:00 PM   #8
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Good bikes get stolen on campus. Even components get stolen on campus. Everything not bolted down disappears, so no quick release hubs, no quick release seat posts. No computers, wedges, waterbottles or frame mounted pumps.

We found "good enough" bikes for college at the GoodWill store. As I recall, $15 for old 10 speed Schwinn steel road bikes. Three years later, they are all still there!
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Old 07-15-07, 12:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azndude51
There's also the Diamondback Edgewood or Maravista, but I don't know anything about the brand. I also considered a used bike, but I can't seem to find any good ones for sale in my town on Craigslist and I don't know where else to look besides ebay.

What do you guys think I should do? If only the Gary Fisher Tiburon wasn't sold out...
I like the Maravista, I almost got one of those. Seems like a decent bike. I ended up getting a Trek FX bike in the end, since it would accommodate everything I wanted for commuting (fender and rack mounts, etc) and was most fun to ride out of all the bikes I took for a test ride.
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Old 07-15-07, 02:25 AM   #10
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" I'm not too worried about getting my bike stolen just because it's a pretty safe campus"

I thought the library was safe too. It wasn't!
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Old 07-16-07, 08:10 PM   #11
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maravista

I got a maravista a couple of years ago, and find it pretty decent for the price. Got an '05 cheap at my Raleigh shop as the next model came out. It is not wonderful, but solid.
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Old 07-16-07, 08:14 PM   #12
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I have the trek 7200 and I love it, great riding bike. I know you said the 7100, but they are close to the same bike. =D
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Old 07-18-07, 03:39 PM   #13
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I have a Schwinn 700C Trail way Hybrid Bike and I love it. I would take it to my college campus but I don't want to have it stolen. It was 200 bucks but still...

I rode 13 miles on it today and I was still comfortable at the end.
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Old 07-18-07, 09:37 PM   #14
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I have a Schwinn 700C Trail way Hybrid Bike and I love it. I would take it to my college campus but I don't want to have it stolen. It was 200 bucks but still...

I rode 13 miles on it today and I was still comfortable at the end.
Isn't that the bike from Target?
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Old 07-19-07, 11:54 AM   #15
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Yes it is but that doesn't matter to me. It's a great and comfortable ride. :-)
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Old 07-20-07, 08:51 AM   #16
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I have the DB Edgewood 07 (XL 21" I'm a tall guy), it was affordable (right around $300) and is comfortable, it also has the Shimano EF-50 Rapid Fire shifters and a pretty comfy stock seat.
http://www.diamondback.com/items.asp...d=5&itemid=231
I was looking at the Menona as well, but I don't bike enough YET to really benefit from the disc brakes and other bits.

Just took it on the Chicago L.A.T.E. ride this last weekend (25 miles) and it served me very well.

Last edited by thesixthspeed; 07-20-07 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 07-20-07, 10:41 AM   #17
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Personally, I think that the best approach is to shop for a bike shop. At a price point you'll find less differences among the various bike brands than you will among the different bike shops.

Good people is what makes a good bike shop. Shop around until you find the shop whose people will be competent to take care of you over the long haul. Buy a brand that they carry and you'll NEVER go wrong.
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Old 07-20-07, 07:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I have the DB Edgewood 07 (XL 21" I'm a tall guy), it was affordable (right around $300) and is comfortable, it also has the Shimano EF-50 Rapid Fire shifters and a pretty comfy stock seat.
http://www.diamondback.com/items.asp...d=5&itemid=231
I was looking at the Menona as well, but I don't bike enough YET to really benefit from the disc brakes and other bits.

Just took it on the Chicago L.A.T.E. ride this last weekend (25 miles) and it served me very well.
I'm sure they make some pretty good bikes for their price range, but DB sells their bikes at my local Dick's Sporting Goods which makes me lose respect for the company.
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Old 07-20-07, 10:27 PM   #19
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I purchased a Trek 7100 this week, and I'm very happy with it. I was shooting for a street-based hybrid and it's just what I wanted. I rode the 7200 at the store, but wasn't convinced the upgraded components were worth the extra.

Slightly less than $400, including computer and taxes.
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Old 07-22-07, 12:30 PM   #20
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Looks like the Schwinn Trailway that kelmurfee mentioned is on sale at Target for $179.99. It's kinda tempting, but I still want to go the bike shop route.
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Old 07-22-07, 01:16 PM   #21
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azndude -

a friend told me this story ... his girlfriend wanted to start riding a bike with him. Nothing too fancy, just a couple trips on the beach (they live in Sou. Cal.) or a trip to the grocery store. She says, "i'll just get one at walmart." Being a rather rabid cyclist, he says, "no dear, we'll go get you a good bike, i'll help pay for it!" They argue, and a couple of months later, she stops by walmart on the way home from work and buys a cheapo mountainbike for $150. Bike is fine for a couple of weeks, and she's getting a little better riding it, so she wants to learn how to do a wheelie (sp?). He shows her, and as she lifts up the front wheel, the fork falls out. Needless to say she went straight over the bars and tore up some skin pretty bad ... (luckily she wasn't going all that fast)

moral of the story is, if walmart sold cars, would you buy one? if you are going to put your life in the hands of a two-wheeled machine, shouldn't it at least be made by a reputable company, and sold at a reputable dealer? And even besides the poor quality, who puts those bikes at Target/Walmart together? If its between Johnny stock boy and a professional bike mechanic, i think i'll take ...

as for what you are looking for, buy a used bike, uglify it, and strip it of all unnecessary parts (computers, pumps, etc.). Like someone said a bit earlier, they will get stolen if left unattended. And on a college campus, bikes are as good as gone. It is bike thief heaven. Craigslist is a good place to start, but be warned that everybody thinks their bike is worth more than it really is ... what i would actually suggest to you, is that you follow the advice from a previous poster and go to goodwill or the city dump. just be sure to take someone who knows something about bikes, because some bikes get donated or thrown away for a reason ...
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Old 07-22-07, 01:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azndude51 View Post
Thanks for the advice, Nicodemus. The next closest Fisher dealer according to their website is 60 miles away, which is too far since I have no way of getting the bike back with my small car and I'm not going to ride 60 miles... Plus I'd like the dealer to be close by in case I have any problems.

I could get a junker, but besides craigslist or the newspaper, where could I look for a used one? I can't find anything that would work in either place.
I just had four adults and two mountain bikes in my VW Golf. It was a bit of a squeeze, but it's possible to fit bikes in small cars.
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Old 07-22-07, 03:12 PM   #23
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Do you really need front suspension? Are the roads where you live that bad?
Unless I was constantly riding over rumble strips, or off-road on rocks I'd save the weight and go without the suspension.
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Old 07-22-07, 10:14 PM   #24
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Define "rough" roads. I deal with potholes, gravel, debris, and a short ride on a dirt jogging path on my 6.5 mile one way commute. I'm currently riding a 1980 something 12 speed Bianchi steel-framed road bike, and I love it.

I found it for $100 on Craiglist, replaced the tires and rim tape, added rack and fenders, and had it tuned up. So for about $200-250 I have a perfectly nice commuting bike that no one wants to steal. Previously I was riding a much beefier aluminum framed MTB with a solid fork that made my hands go numb and rattled my teeth out over the bumpy streets. The steel frame rides nearly as well as a frame with a suspension fork, at least for city street riding. (my first commuter was a Schwinn Sierra with a suspension fork - I really did like that bike, but it was stolen after I moved here).

So my point is that a steel-framed 10 or 12 speed might suit you just fine, if you can unearth one through a classified ad or on craigslist.
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