Advice on New Bike - Giant, GaryFisher, Trek or...?
I am new to this forum. I have had a Giant Rincon for 7 years. The frame broke on Wednesday and I need a new bike.
Mostly, I use the bike for short trips around the city. I bike for approximately 1 hour per day. I have a heavy duty rack, with double side baskets and haul groceries a couple of times a week. On occasion (once every couple of months), I take longer trips where I bike for several hours a day.
I do not ride off road. However, I live in Los Angeles, and the pavement, especially along the sides of the road where I ride, is often in terrible condition. I get a lot of flats.
I went to 2 bike shops. The first (I Martin Imports) suggested a Giant FCR 2L. I liked the way this bike felt and rode. This bike has thin tires which I'm told will give me more pedaling power. I was told that I don't need the thick tires since I'm not going off road.
The second dealer I visited (Beverly Hills Bike Shop) strongly counseled against the Giant FCR 2L. Instead, he suggested a Gary Fisher Advance. This bike did not feel quite as comfortable, but maybe I'm just not used to the different stance - one needs to lean one's body weight a little farther forward than what I'm used to.
The second dealer said that:
1. Giant bikes are poorly constructed with poor components and do not last long.
2. The reason I have been getting so many flats is because Giant wheels are poorly made.
3. In Los Angeles I need thick tires, like the ones on the Gary Fisher he was showing me, because the roads are in poor condition. With thin tires, I'll continue to get a lot of flats.
4. Even if I don't get the Gary Fisher, I should at least get a Trek, since they're much better made than Giants.
Anyone have any feedback or suggestions? Any truth to what the BH Bike Shop dealer said?
I have been very happy with Giant (I've had 3). I prefer road a road bike myself but my wife has a FCR2 and loves it.
1) Giant has made many of the frames other brands of bikes. The components are Shimano (the more you spend the better you get.
2) Lower pressure tires and glass cause the flats. Not the wheels.
3)Good tires under proper pressure prevent flats even on bad roads. I've had fewer since I started riding on a thinner tire.
4)IMO $ for $ you get a higher end component group with giant.
Doesn't the Giant have a lifetime warranty? You could get a replacement frame for free. Maybe for the cost of switching the components over, $50'ish bucks. I did with my Lemond.
Flats aren't due to the poorly built wheels. More than likely poor tires but most riders replace them even before leaving the showrrom floor. Stock tires are known to be cheap and easily flat. If the guy said the thiner tires will flat more, he doesn't know squat. Some thin slicks ar fast and tough with high pressure and thick rubber. Doesn't depend on tire width. There are thin road tires that are far more puncture resistant than some big fat mtb tires. Depends on tire quality. $10 tire is gonna be cheap and nothing but problems.
The second dealer must sell Trek. Gary Fisher is also a Trek bike. Plenty of riders have had problems with Trek bikes, including me with my Lemond (made by Trek). And Giant has won bike of the year several years in a row. I have friends that ride Trek and they are great bikes. I myself prefer Trek because of the fit, not cause Ginat sucks, cause they don't! I've never been on a Giant but I know several riding partners that do and they are great bikes as well as Trek.
Find a bike that fits well. That's the best bet. They are alll good bikes!
I'm betting that if the second shop switches it's inverntory to Giant bikes, they will tell you they switched cause Trek sucks!:p
Anything you buy or want is upgradeable. If the chain breaks, put on a better one. Same with the wheels, shifters, derailleurs. Has nothing to do with the frame maker. I wouldn't doubt Trek has used the same wheels on some of their models that Giant uses. SOme are made by the same comapnies under different labels.
Thanks, I appreciate it. Your comments are very helpful!
Thanks for your very helpful comments.
When I called Giant directly, they said that I'm covered only for 5 years. However, Dealer #1 (I Martin) said that the frame has a lifetime warranty and that I could either get a replacement frame for free, or $110 credit (courtesy of Giant) toward a new bike. He recommended the latter since the rest of the bike is not in great shape.
Based on the 2 comments posted so far, I'm leaning toward the Giant!
I have had a lot of trouble trying to get a warranty on my giant bike, but do try to get either a new frame or credit.
Dealer number 1 seems to know more than giant themselves.
If you are having that many flats, you might consider leaving the tube group and go airless. The recommendation that I would have is to ask the manufacturer to build the tires at 120 psi. Will give you a tad harder ride, but you will not have any flats.
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