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Portis 06-22-04 04:35 PM

(from this month's Consumer Reports. After the price the first number is the number of frame sizes, followed by the number of women's sizes, followed by the weight)

FULL-SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKES Best for serious off-road cycling. Scores for handling, shock

absorption, and climbing are from off-road tests.

1 Cannondale Jekyll 400
$1,100 4 — 32
2 Specialized FSR XC Pro
1,200 4 2 29.5
3 Trek Fuel 80
1,150 4 — 30
4 Giant NRS 2
1,450 4 — 28.5
5 Gary Fisher Sugar +4
1,100 4 — 31

FRONT-SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKES Best for moderate off-road cycling. Scores for handling,
shock absorption, and climbing are from off-road tests.


6 Gary Fisher Marlin
$450 5 — 29.5
7 Specialized Rockhopper
440 6 3 29.5
8 Trek 4500
440 7 3 30.5
9 Raleigh M60
450 5 — 31.5
10 Giant Yukon
440 6 — 31
11 Schwinn Mesa GSD
500 4 — 30.5
12 GT Avalanche 2.0 Disc
500 5 — 31.5
13 Mongoose Rockadile ALD
400 3 — 32

HYBRID BIKES Best for moderate rides on pavement and smooth paths. Scores shown are from tests on
pavement.

14 Giant Cypress LX
$470 5 3 31.5
15 Jamis Tangier
480 5 2 31
16 Gary Fisher Nirvana
470 5 3 31
17 Specialized Crossroads Elite
425 4 2 31.5

COMFORT BIKES Best for casual neighborhood rides. Scores shown are from tests on pavement.
18 Jamis Explorer 2.0
$300 4 2 33
19 GT Timberline
300 4 2 32.5
20 Trek Navigator 100
300 4 3 35.5
21 Schwinn Sierra GS
300 4 2 32
22 Specialized Expedition
280 4 2 31.5
23 Raleigh SC30
290 5 2 33
24 Diamondback Wildwood
285 5 2 33.5

Best for rough, hilly terrain:
1 Cannondale $1,100
2 Specialized $1,200
3 Trek $1,150
4 Giant $1,450

Of these full-suspension bikes, the Cannondale (1) had the softest ride and is best if you prefer plush downhill shock absorption to riding efficiency. The Specialized (2) had the best blend of downhill shock absorption and efficiency. The Trek (3) and Giant (4) sacrificed some plushness for efficiency on smooth terrain and climbs. While pricey, the Giant is the lightest.


Best for less-rugged off-road trails:
6 Gary Fisher $450
7 Specialized $440
8 Trek $440
9 Raleigh $450

These front-suspension models cost much less than full-suspension bikes but still provide adequate shock absorption for moderate off-road riding. They’re also more efficient for pedaling on roads. The Specialized (7) was smoothest of this group.


Best for fitness riding, commuting on pavement, and the occasional smooth dirt path:
14 Giant $470
15 Jamis $480
16 Gary Fisher $470

With larger wheels, narrower tires, and a lighter frame than mountain bikes, these hybrids are better for moderate speeds on pavement than for rough-and-ready off-road riding. The Giant (14) and Jamis (15) stressed smoothness; the Gary Fisher (16) an aggressive, fitness-oriented ride.


Best for casual cycling on pavement and the occasional smooth dirt path:
18 Jamis $300
19 GT $300
20 Trek $300
21 Schwinn $300

A sturdy frame, wide tires, and shock-absorbing fork and seatpost make these comfort bikes perfect for neighborhood rides. All have twist-type shifters; all but the Jamis (18) have high-rise handlebars.

Raiyn 06-22-04 04:49 PM

Great post! Should answer a bunch of questions for people looking to buy a new (insert style of bike here) and want to know what the best deals are.


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