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Old 06-28-08, 09:00 AM   #1
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Another one of those dreadful "which bike" threads...

Hello, I'm quite new to these forums, and I've become a little more interested in cycling in the past two years. My short rides around town are 5-10 miles, while my longer rides right now are ~30 miles at a stretch, all on paved road. I'm not a huge strong person, so efficiency and a light bike are important. Right now I'm riding one of those Wal-mart bicycle shaped objects weighing in at ~25lbs with big fat balloon tires, and full suspension. I am the epitome of slow as you can imagine - In the past week and a half I've done 44 miles averaging ~11mph, w00t! My goal over the course of this summer is to ride a lot and increase my average speed on my current bike before I decide to spend $?-$900 on a bit more serious bike.

I've been looking at the Trek FX line because I'm used to the MTB style bars, but I've ridden drop bars before and I could get used to them if the aerodynamic advantage is big enough. Anyway, I'm basically looking for the lightest frame/wheels I can get (priority 1) and then a good groupset with what's left in the $900 budget (priority 2).

Ideas on other brands/models I should be looking around at before I drop cash? I've been to the local bike shop, and will return to test-ride different models before buying of course.

Thanks all,

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Old 06-28-08, 06:04 PM   #2
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You might want to do a search on Trek FX on these forums plus read some blogs for commuters. Commute by bike has a blog, as well as Chicago bike blog, etc.

Tell us more about your objectives - pure recreation, commuting, utility riding. Also, where do you live? What's the climate like, flat or hills, etc.

Lots of people say to ride an inexpensive bike first while you build fitness and start honing in on what your purpose is for riding. Sounds like you've started that already.
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Old 06-28-08, 06:09 PM   #3
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Well, for that price range you could probably do a Jamis Ventura Race, nice bike with 105 groupset and carbon stays.

Or, the BD route, and get a Windsor Knight.. Ultegra groupset, crappy parts elsewhere.

The Jamis Coda and its family is also a nice family of bikes, it's steel and hybrid.

Personally, I'd go for a bike with drop bars, they're not that hard to get used to and brifters are just too much fun! They're also more ergonomic and have more positions.

Avoid Trek, please. Just no.
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Old 06-28-08, 07:55 PM   #4
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With the number of miles you are riding, I would definitely avoid a hybrid bike. I started out on a Trek 7.2FX thinking that a road bike is a bit too extreme for my needs, then I rode more often and for longer rides 20+ miles. Eventually, I got tired of the inefficiency of a hybrid bike and dropped $1000 on a new road bike. My Trek 7.2FX is now my commuter/beater bike. However, I am considering selling it since I just acquired a free 70's era touring bike from a neighbor that I can use for commuting. I kinda wish I never spent the money on the hybrid in the first place and just got the road bike.

You will learn to appreciate the benefits of a road bike. Most people are scared off by the drop bars but I think a lot of people don't realize that most riders don't usually ride in the drop position. They usually have their hands gripping onto the brake/shifter.
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Old 06-28-08, 09:13 PM   #5
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Right now I'm riding one of those Wal-mart bicycle shaped objects weighing in at ~25lbs with big fat balloon tires, and full suspension.
You got one of those experimental ones with a frame made out of unobtainium and Cavorite. They weren't supposed to have been released from the factory.

Last edited by deraltekluge; 06-28-08 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 06-29-08, 11:56 AM   #6
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well the weight was a guess, maybe it's more like half a ton, all I know is it's WAY too heavy for what I want to do...

Ok, so I'm hearing not a hybrid bike, this is useful information and part of the reason I joined this forum. Keep in mind that I care zero about the brand name in the end as long as it's a quality bike, so "not trek" is appreciated with qualifications (why?).

A little more on the type of riding that I do: Right now I'm riding purely for recreation, but in the future I do plan to use the bike to commute if I live within a reasonable distance. Hills or not: I do NOT live in mountain country, but around town there are enough hills to be annoying, and I do climb them on a regular basis. My current cadence if I count it manually is 65rpm flat and ~80 climbing if I want to maintain any kind of speed (obviously I'm not quite to the level of serious cyclist).

Thanks for the advice, I'll be checking out the recommended models.

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Old 06-29-08, 12:09 PM   #7
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If I had to limit myself to one bike it would definitely be a road bike. That fits the style of riding I do most, which is similar to yours.

To me the big key is to get the fit right. I like my handlebars to be about 1" or at most 2" lower than the saddle. That's taller than you're likely to manage with a typical road bike fit. I'd suggest looking for a bike like the Trek Pilot or the Specilized Roubaix.
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Old 06-29-08, 12:52 PM   #8
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the Trek FX 7.2 is more upright. If you spent a 100 more bucks for the 7.3 or a few hundred more for a 7.5 with with carbon fork and better group set..the riding postion is a bit more leaned in, say 45 degree, over a nearly 90degree on the 7.2 .I have the 7.3 and it's a fine bike, a bit stiff though and the groupset is kinda of average. I upgraded the brakes to SD 7's from the SD3s which are crap imo.

now it's a great bike with the better brakes, stops like disc brake almost. Although i wish i had gotten a Road bike now, since i have been doing 20+mi rides and the lower gearing really would be nice on a road bike.

The jamis road bikes give you great componets for the price, and the Giant OCR line with full 105 Groupset for just under 1100, you might be able to find an OCR 1 for cheap near the end of year, thats what i plan to do later on.
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