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  1. #1
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    Fitness/Hybrid Bikes for wife

    Hello all.

    My wife has been looking at and riding all sorts of different bikes that she's interested in and I was wondering which you all feel is the best of the bunch.

    She had and recently sold a Trek 1500. She comes from a mountain bike background and tried to make the move to a road bike but was never very comfortable. She doesn't like the road style handlebars and the very skinny tires. No big deal as we seem to have found a suitable avenue to make her happy and comfortable. She likes the slightly wider tires and the flat bar of the fitness/hybrid models. If she's happy and riding, I'm happy and riding with her.

    She rode a Specialized fitness bike and a Cannondale of the same type and she just didn't like either of them.

    She has narrowed her choices down to the Trek 7.5 FX, Trek 7.6 FX, Trek 7.5 and 7.6 women's versions, Giant FCR 1, Giant FCR 2 and the Giant FCR 1w.

    She's ridden all of the above models and we know her size. She easily fits and is very comfortable with both the men's and women's versions of both of the bikes. It's now just preference, price and quality. The question is which level of components. Knowing my wife, I'd say it is really between the Trek 7.6 Men's version, Giant FCR1 Men's and Giant FCR 1w. They seem like they'd be best for us doing road riding. The 7.5 seems to have more mountain bike gear ratios versus the 7.6, which is more like her old road bike. Thoughts?

    Also, the Giants are doubles while the Treks are triples. Is there a reason that one would be better than the other?

    Also, are there any other bikes that she might want to look at? Again, she's ruled out the fitness versions by Specialized and by Cannondale.

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
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    My wife rides a Novara from REI hybrid. She used the triple because she rides it around the neighborhood, but also on some moderate trails. It has a suspension fork and seat post and a hard tail.

  3. #3
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    We both have mountain bikes so I will say that this bike will be used 100% on road trails with me on my road bike. She wants to get the fitness/hybrid that most closely resembles a road bike while still having the flat bar and the slightly larger tires. She knows she's sacrificing speed compared to road bikes, but we're very novice anyways and her comfort level is more important than having a road specific bike.

    We think the Trek 7.6 FX is probably the best within our range and of the right style, but we wanted to get opinions from here.

    The REI Novara eXpress might work. Some of the REI models that we were looking at had grip shifters for this years models. This one looks like it might not. I know she HATES grip shifters. She had them on a mountain bike years ago and vowed never again. I guess if the bike was nice enough and had grip shifters, we could easily swap them out.

  4. #4
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    If you and she do go for the 7.5, it's quite simple to put on a cassette that would be more suited to the terrain and riding conditions you enjoy. Both the 7.5 and the 7.6 lend themselves to upgrading as high as you would want - I just finished customizing what was once a 7.5. But not anymore!

    The aluminum used for the frames - Trek calls it Black Aluminum - was shaped using cold-forging methods with water. This supposedly makes for a stronger frame that hasn't been subjected to much stress in it's life. But it sure is lively and responsive. If you need any advice or help if you two do go for a Trek FX - feel free to pm me.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  5. #5
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    I like triples, because you get the gearing to go up the steepest hills without sacrificing the close ratio cruising gears at the back.

  6. #6
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    I like the idea of the Giant FCRw1 with the 105 derailleur and the Shimano BB over the FSR on the Trek FX 7.6 But that is just me. It is less expensive to get the best components you can when you get a new bike rather than trying to upgrade later and I happen to like Shimano. I also like Compact cranks and not everyone does. Still from the women I know the Woman’s specific models seem to work the best right off. Doesn’t mean it is the case with your wife or some others in the forum.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mad5427 View Post
    She rode a Specialized fitness bike and a Cannondale of the same type and she just didn't like either of them.
    ...
    Also, are there any other bikes that she might want to look at? Again, she's ruled out the fitness versions by Specialized and by Cannondale.
    Perhaps you've already dealt with this, but Cannondale and Specialized, just like Trek and I assume others, have several different lines within the same general category. So, for example, if she dismissed the Cannondale Adventure line because it has grip shifters, she might like their Quick line, which has trigger shifters. Specialized lists Sirrus and Vita under "Fitness/Commute". While I was shopping, I've had various store clerks steer me towards one or the other, perhaps because I don't describe my needs consistently or they pick up on different things, or simply have one or the other on the floor in my size.

    I'm not saying that you should make a special trip back to the Cannondale store; you could spend all summer trying out every single bike model. Nor am I saying to research every possible line in advance. Just keep track of the product lines as well as manufacturer when you cross them off the list. That way, if you happen across a store that has a different line, you don't say "No, thanks, I've already eliminated the Cannondale fitness", because that may or may not be the same bike they have.

  8. #8
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    The Specialized Crosstrail is also one she should ride.

    A mountain bike feel, with big tires, that also leans toward the road.

  9. #9
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    I bought a Masi Caffe Solo as a back up bike to my road bike and it works as I expected. If you want a flat bar bike that is more of a road bike I would suggest you give it a look. The Caffe Doppio is a step up and still in the price range you looking at. Here is the site.
    http://www.masibikes.com/tab4_subNav1.php

    And a picture of the solo before bar ends and clipless pedals.

  10. #10
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    I'd just like to say that hybrids get a lot of bad press. This is due to people mistakenly comparing them to both road-bikes and to mountain-bikes. "Oh it's more a road-bike feeling than a mountain..." That sort of thing. A hybrid is neither. It is a new breed distinct unto it's self. It's a fast sporting geometry that gets you there pretty quick. And it's comfortable - if you take the time to set it up correctly for yourself. And it's at home on any type of road or trail navigable by a motor-vehicle. Within limits.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  11. #11
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    So we found the perfect bike for my wife.

    We stopped into the local Performance Bike shop and looked around. We found a new 2007 model Fuji Absolute SX for $550 after taxes. They are having a grand opening of a new store in the area and the other two stores are having a sick sale starting tomorrow. Well, they gave us the discount tonight on it. It was $650 and we had a coupon for 15% off, including bikes.

    So, it was about $100 off. The bike has a carbon front fork and carbon seat stays. It has Shimano 105 front and rear derailleurs and pretty nice components all around. It's very light and feels very comfortable. It also is a triple 52/39/30 with a 10 speed cassette, so it leans toward the road side of things, which is EXACTLY what my wife wanted.

    The Trek 7.6 which we were looking at was going to cost $1080. We feel this bike is more than comparable. We saved over $500. The only thing we didn't like were the grips, so we ordered a new set for $44.

    My wife is insanely happy. We feel that we got a fantastic bike for a great price. It's also very very upgradable if we ever feel the need to upgrade pieces and parts.

    Any thoughts on this bike?

  12. #12
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Wow! I'm glad you jumped on buying that. From your description of the components, this bicycle you got is incredible! What sort of crankset is on it with the 52/39/30? I just installed the same configuration on my former 7.5 FX - but is was a Hollowtech II Ultegra. With 105 derailleurs - I'm floored. I would have pushed the 7.6 FX down an elevator shaft to get to the Fuji you lassoed!
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  13. #13
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    Again, both derailleurs are 105's, which along with the carbon front fork and rear seat stays completely sold us on the bike. The frame is aluminum.

    The shifters are Shimano, not sure what models, but they are trigger shifters. Very comfortable.

    The crankset is a Truvativ SRAM GXP Elita triple for the 52/39/30. I don't know anything about it. If it turns out to be fairly weak, along with the cassette, I'll have no reservation or hesitation to upgrade to 105 or Ultegra, etc. We saved a sick amount of money on this bike.

    We figure that she'll be set for this whole summer without any changes. We'll see how she likes everything. Considering that we saved near $500, I wouldn't hesitate to put some money in to upgrade any components down the road. This bike seems so upgradable. If after some serious riding this summer, she's happy, we'll just keep it as is. The nice thing is we can afford to make improvements. If we bought the full priced 2009 Trek 7.6, we not only wouldn't of been able to afford all the extra goodies we got, but we wouldn't even think about upgrading anything for a long long time.

    I guess Fuji only made DX and LX models in 2007 but they specially made a model called SX only for Performance Bike Shops since they are the largest seller of Fuji. It seems that the SX is an upgrade from the LX of that year by having the carbon rear seat stays and upgraded components across the board. It's a 17" model which is PERFECT sized for my wife. Two guys there were telling us that they have been trying to sell that bike for a very long time and were having trouble because of the size and, they think, because it's geared more for road riding than a lot of hybrids are. They were preaching that it truly has a quality set of components and a strong frame for such a price and have no idea why it's still there. Either way, we agreed as we felt the price was right for what we were getting. We both rode it for awhile and it's very comfortable. It easily felt as comfortable as the FX 7.6 and was so much lighter on the pocketbook.

    Because of the savings, I bought my wife new handlebar grips (the ones on the bike were chinsy and could easily of been a deterrent to most who rode the bike, but seriously, it's $40 for the grips, we saved $500 on the bike compared to similar 2009 models), pedals, a new bike lock, a couple nice new water bottle holders to match the bike, a rack for the back, a bike computer and every item was also about 15-20% off due to their huge sale this weekend. I'm still ahead by some serious dough.

    And to top it off, my wife is HAPPY!!! When she is happy, I am VERY happy. And with her comfortable on a bike now, I'll be riding way more often. Win/win! Tomorrow is going to be a fantastic day.

  14. #14
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    Just a thought.
    How about an extra MTB wheel set and some skinny tires for those times on the road????
    I'm assuming you have a hardtail MTB.

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Sounds a good deal and the important bit is that the wife chose it and she is happy.

    On the gearing- You may not use the 52 fully but with that 30 on the front- and I presume a 12/25 on the rear- She will be climbing any hill shortly.

    And Sram- Elita- I use them on the road bikes and no problem.
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