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?