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  1. #1
    Senior Member Chromavita's Avatar
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    Shopping for a hybrid

    Hi, I'm looking to buy a new bike to replace my beach cruiser that is falling apart. I want to get something that accelerates quicker, can get up to higher speeds, and rolls fast. Almost all of my riding will be in either urban or suburban areas. Basically I'm looking for a hybrid that is closer to a flat bar road bike, with a budget around $450 (less if possible). Most of the bike shops in my area have very limited selections, and are highly centered around 1 brand per store. I've been looking at the following bikes:

    1. Gary Fisher Wingra $479.99
    http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/wingra

    2. Marin Muirwoods $455
    http://www.marinbikes.com/2008/us/bi..._muirwoods.php

    3. Trek SU 1.0 $489
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...rt_urban/su10/

    4. Jamis Coda $475
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...es/08coda.html

    5. Motobecane $300 (I'm not a big fan, but it's cheaper and they have it at my LBS)
    http://www.motobecane.com/MBUSAeli.html


    Those are more or less in the order of preference (but that changes). Does anyone have any preference on these bikes? Any clue which bike would be lighter/quicker? If anyone has any advice between these bikes, or can offer suggestions on other bikes, it would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm really pretty lost and need all the help i could get...

  2. #2
    Senior Member fadi's Avatar
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    SCOTT SUB 30 would be my selection with 700c wheels.
    http://www.scottusa.com/gb_en/product/196/675/sub_30

    I already have experience with a SCOTT Hybrid bike and I just love it.
    Quality, handling, comfort is all of high level... and acceptable weight (25lb)

    Obviously it is not the only brand/model on the market, your selection is quite interesting as well. But I don't personally have any experience with any of the listed models.
    As we think so we become...
    2010 Cannondale Tesoro Traveller Classic

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    1. If the bikes are available at different shops, which shop do you like best? Buy what they have.

    2. Without overthiking the decision, try to ride all of the bikes and buy whichever one "grabs" you.

  4. #4
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    You should definitely try them all. I understand the Coda has good value in terms of the component quality compared to its price.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  5. #5
    Soma Lover
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    Never liked the handling of most hybrids much myself. The wheelbases and chain stays tend to be too long and if I'm going there I might as well go all the way to a loaded touring rig. I'd personally be hunt around for a flat bar road bike with braze-ons for a rack and a small pair of panniers but it would require you to increase your budget by a hundred or a few. That said, it looks like the Fisher would offer the quickest handling.

  6. #6
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I own a Point Reyes and a Coda Elite,which are the top end models of the Muirwood's and Coda's respective lines. Both are nice bikes,for different reasons. The Muirwood will have quicker handling,the Coda will be faster. If your roads are bad the Muirwood will take wider tires. If you're going to ride in snow the Muirwood will handle knobbies and the alloy frame won't be as effected by road salt as the Coda's steel. Both bikes should weight pretty close to the same,have wide gear ranges,ride comfortably,and take full fenders and racks.

    The Muirwoods will handle bad roads,snow,and light trail work. The Coda will be faster on smooth roads. Ride both and decide which feels best to you.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Chromavita's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. The problem with the local bike shops is that one shop only stocks Motobecane and Fuji, and the others don't have any hybrids other than comfort hybrids. I searched for dealers of those companies, and most of them are pretty far away, but I'll make a trip to visit them.

    Another problem I worry about is whether or not the bike shops will have bikes that I like in my size. I'm 6'5" so I think I'm going to need an XL bike. I can't imagine that bike shops stock too many of these. Should I just try to get a feel for the bikes even if they aren't the right size? By the looks of the companies websites, it looks like they don't even carry the models I'm looking at. The shop that stocks Gary Fishers don't carry anything but mountain bikes, which sucks because the Wingra is the model I'm really leaning towards. It's so hard to get an idea of the quickness of these bikes.

    I was also looking at the Scott bikes. The Sub30 and the P6. I'll keep them in mind during my search.

    If I were to look at full out touring bikes, what models would you recomend? I haven't really looked into that category too much. I'm really trying to keep the price down, but it doesn't hurt to look right? Also to be honest I have no clue what Braze ons or Panniers are...

    Thanks for the background on the Jamis and Marin bikes. I don't really think I'll be riding in snow all that much unless there is a very serious change in the climate of Florida in the next few months. That definitely gives me something to think about.

    Thank you much!

  8. #8
    Soma Lover
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromavita View Post
    If I were to look at full out touring bikes, what models would you recomend? I haven't really looked into that category too much. I'm really trying to keep the price down, but it doesn't hurt to look right? Also to be honest I have no clue what Braze ons or Panniers are...
    Panniers = bags that hang off either side of a rack
    Braze-ons = threaded bosses or holes to attach a rack

    You made it sound as if you were looking for fast commuting option and I assumed you might at least want the option of carrying a bag or two on the back of it. Once you go from a backpack to panniers you will never ever go back, especially in the warm weather of Florida.

    The numbers can get overwhelming but I'd take a tape measure and a notebook on test rides. Record the length of the cockpit, how high the bar is above the seat, the wheelbase, the head tube angle, and your impression of how the bike handled. Stay close to the numbers you like but don't overanalyze things. There are too many factors to wrap your brain around in less than a few years of serious riding.

    The single most important number is the length of the cockpit. More than a cm or two too large or too small may not give you the correct impression of how the bike will really handle. I'm a little guy and given a 90mm stem and flat bar, I know want a 555-560mm effective top tube.

    Steep angles and short wheelbases like those on the race bikes offer quick handling and are too twitchy for some purposes. Slack angles and long wheelbases like those on downhill bikes give stable predictable handling over rough terrain but leave the handling too sluggish for other purposes.

    Touring bikes are intended for carrying heavy loads and you may not be able to find one in your budget. A Jamis Aurora is about $800 and there at least was a Motobecane/Windsor version about $600. Same thing goes for cyclocross bikes which to some degree are high performance hybrids with drop bars. I just mentioned that if I am personally going to ride a bike with a wheelbase over 101cm like most hybrids have, it's going to handle pretty sluggish compared to my race bike and I'm therefore going to want to carry heavy loads with it. Even with Ultegra components, $300 hand built wheels, and Vittoria Randonneur Pro tires, my touring bike is boat anchor heavy and slow but I love it. It's the only one that will let me carry car batteries, watermelons, and cases of beer. I doubt the average $499 comfort hybrid would stand up to such duty for year after year.

  9. #9
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    I have the wingra... its a nice bike and I live close to the city here in Portland Oregon with lots of hills and it still does pretty well. I paid $440 for the 2008 model. If you have any specific questions about the bike I'd be glad to answer them. BTW I put trekking bars on it to have more hand positions but if you stick with the flat bar I suggest at least getting bar ends... I can get up to 25 mph on flats and I'm not in particularly great shape. Downhill I can get to 30 before I feel uncomfortable and/or can't really make it go any faster... Oh ya, I also put 700x28 tires on it because the stock 700x32 were a little too wide with treading designed to go on light trails whereas I usually stay on the road. I weighed it with two scales one tire on each and came up with about 24 pounds. Not the lightest bike, but it makes a good fitness/commuter bike.
    Somebody else mentioned a flat bar road bike.. I now wish I had gotten a road bike instead of the hybrid, but they are also more expensive, starting at $700 for a decent quality bike. If there is a flat bar road bike out there that you can change to drop style in the future that might be a better investment. As it is, with trekking bars, this is as far as I can upgrade the bike. Adding drop bars would require new brakes and shifting systems... Hybrids are nice, but they aren't as versatile as their name would imply. Sure you can add really thick tires if you ever want to go off road, but if you really get into biking, you might wish you had specialized a bit more. As for me? I am happy with the bike, but when I have the money I will buy a road bike, and later on also a mountain bike and just keep the hybrid as a commuter bike.
    Last edited by pccp; 06-02-08 at 09:29 PM.

  10. #10
    muzikchick muzikchick's Avatar
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    I just bought the Trek SU 1.0 and I love it. It's very light and fast
    It was also the only bike that fit me (even at a 14" frame!) as I'm only 5'0" so I have the totally opposite problem...lol.
    I tried the Jamis on a 14" - the frame was a lot heavier.
    unless you are doing long haul commuting I wouldn't worry about it not having 700c tires. even at a 26" tire the Trek SU 1.0 is a smooth fast ride. plus it already has the bar ends on it!
    Last edited by muzikchick; 06-02-08 at 10:36 PM.

  11. #11
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    what maker sells the best SUV hybrids....im looking to buy one soon?

  12. #12
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    If you're going to take another look at the Coda, also look at the Coda Sport. It still has a steel fork unlike the next model up (Coda Comp) which may be beneficial if you're concerned about the long-term durability of a steel vs. carbon fork.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Chromavita's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to swing by and visit some bike shops that are a little farther away to try to see some of these bikes. unfortunately most of the shops don't carry the models I'm looking at. Pretty much the Muirwoods and the Coda are the only bikes I'll be able to see in person, and even then they won't be the right size. I'm just coming to terms with the fact that I'm going to have to get a bike special ordered if I want the right sized frame. I'm really looking heavily at the Muirwoods and the Trek SU1.0. Is it worth it to upgrade to the SU2.0 for the disk brakes and improved deraileur? What about the upgrade to the Muirwoods 29er? It has the larger wheels and disk brakes as well.

    I'm really not sure if I should buy a 700c hybrid, or a 26" with road wheels. What do you guys think would be the best type of wheel for urban/suburban riding?

  14. #14
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I'm all for disc brakes,YMMV. If you're going to ride in bad weather they beat rim brakes hands down. But I test rode a Muirwoods 29 last weekend and it was heavy. Looked at the specs for the standard Muirwoods,and it looks like to might be pretty heavy too. The SU 2.0 would be a good upgrade over the 1.0.

    As far as 700cc vs 26" is concerned,it's really pretty much a wash. If you're going to ride in snow or do some trail riding,wide 26" knobby tires are easier to find than fat 700's,but for the street it's the overall bike that really makes the difference. I've never decided for or against buying a bike because of the wheel size.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/F600/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  15. #15
    Mikey
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    I recently bought a Trek 7200 Hybrid,and so far I'm pretty happy with it.For a hybrid,it is pretty light and quick,and has a very useable gear range.The frame has braze-ons for water bottles,racks,and even fenders.The frame is available in up to a 25 inch.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Chromavita's Avatar
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    Alright I think I've made my decision. I was really sold on the Trek SU 1.0 but after really looking into it I've decided to buy a Jamis. Probably a Coda, but I'm also open to the Allegro 1.0. I'm going to go to a Jamis dealer today and check out the bikes. Thank you all immensely for the help. Without you guys I'd be out cruising the block on a wally world bikee

    Edit: I'm really not sure if I'm going to like the shifters on the Coda. I'll give them a shot, but I LOVE the Shimano EZ-fire shifters. If I wanted to, could I buy those shifters somewhere and have them installed on the jamis? how hard would that be to do, and where is the best place to buy those shifters?
    Last edited by Chromavita; 06-05-08 at 10:59 AM.

  17. #17
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    I am considering the Specialized Globe sport... I am interested in why the Globe was not mentioned???? Also, I had looked at the Giant FCR 3. Any comments on these bikes?

  18. #18
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Chromavita's Avatar
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    I just wasn't really a fan of the globe for some reason. Nothing particular. I did like the Giant FCR3. I saw it in store today and it's a pretty slick bike. I didn't get a chance to ride it though. I did take a ride on a Trek FX 7.3. It was a nice bike, but in my opinion it was entirely too stiff. Extremely stiff. Every single bump or crack was felt. I've decided that I'm going to get the Jamis coda. It was an excellent bike, easily the best bike I tried. I love the steel frame. The decision was made easier by the fact that I feel the most comfortable with the guys in the Jamis shop. I think anyone looking for a hybrid that will spend most of their time on the road should definitely give this bike a look. Now I just have to figure out if I need a 19.5 or a 21.5 inch frame. I'm sort of in the middle.

  20. #20
    Commie
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    I own a trek 7.3, and i agree it is a stiff ride. I put my tires at 82PSI max on sidewall is 85. Only because anything under 80 is just to slow. It's a swift bike though, i hit 23MPH today in 7th gear on a flat.

    i think in this price range most are all about equal, with small quirks

  21. #21
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    Like I said earlier i am considering a Globe sport for me and a base Globe for my soon to be wife.. 7 days omg.. anyways..... Could you explain why you did not like the Globe series. The comment about liking the LBS guys and having them have an input on you decision i completly agree with. There are just so many out there is gets anoying when having to choose one.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Chromavita's Avatar
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    I didn't have any specific problems with the Globe. There is just something about it I didn't love. Maybe it was the styling, or something simple like that. I can't put my finger on it. I actually didn't get a chance to take it for a ride. The bike shop that carried it was really big and people didn't seem all that interested in helping me. It seems pretty nice. The grips they have on it are really comfortable. It seemed like a good bike, I just liked the steel frame of the Jamis better. I recommend you go to your store and ride it though. I don't really have enough background on it to share.

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