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Old 04-09-11, 10:52 PM   #1
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need help purchasing new bike!

I have been steadily riding for about a year now, put on about 1500 miles in last year. I have however been riding a 7 year old Schwinn Sidewinder 2.6fs I bought from walmart over 6 years ago. Never had a flat, never adjusted brakes, never had gear issues, never greased it. Basically, this was not bought for the riding i want to do now. I live 200 ft from a 60 mile long bike path so feel its time to get away from an all terrain bike, and ride a more path/road style bike. The path itself is fairly smooth but does include a few railroad crossings and pot holes. Plus on days I feel lazy i may hop a couple of curbs, but suppose I coulddo without that. Problem is I dont know what is best. My local shops say a hybrid, but wondering if the upright style handle bars may be holding me back versus having the curved(dropdown?) style like on road bikes. I dont want to spend more than $500, so of course am limited. I am 5'9", 175lbs. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Below are the ones I am considering.
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Old 04-09-11, 11:56 PM   #2
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You can't be to lazy on a road bike as the repairs can be expensive, wheels,tires ect. If you have not ridden long distances on the mountain bike then a hybrid will make your commute faster and will still have the stability of a larger tire, and still narrower than mountain bike street tires. Once you get more comfortable with this style of bike then you can change the tires to a smaller size(narrower yet) as most hybrids come with 700x38c tires. Most hybrid bike wheels will take a 28c tire on the same rim, but your salesman will know what bikes this swap will work best with. Also see if the LBS rents a road bike for a day and try it. That will usually make up your mind as this is a faster bike to ride long distance with more hand positions because of the handlebar shape.
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Old 04-10-11, 12:20 AM   #3
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So you are riding on something paved or is it dirt?

I've not ridden a road bike before so I really cannot say anything about them. Others should be able to offer more insight.

If you have $500 to spend, my advice is to stay away from Target. Target bikes typically only come in one size for each model; so even if you find one you like, and it ends up it doesn' fit well, you're probably going to hate it and not ride it. Other reasons not to buy it are that it might not be very durable and repairs may not be possible due to proprietary parts or fiscal reasons if it costs more than the bike.

Hybrids come in many forms. Some of them are upright, some have something closer to mountain bike geometry with mountain or road components, or a mix. The gearing can be anywhere between mountain bike and road bike. Some use 26" wheels and others use 700c road wheels. Some have bar ends to get you in a more forward position. Go to some bike shops, take a few rides, and see what works for you comfort and speed wise.

My Trek 7.5FX is kind of a all-arounder. It has mountain bike geometry, mountain bike components, and road sized wheels with 32mm tires. I don't ride more than about 9 miles at a time to go to work so I have no idea what it would be like to ride 60 miles. Even then, I'm stopping every 500 ft or so for traffic lights/stop signs, buses, cars, rail vehicles, etc.

Even though it's April, you may be able to find some 2010 bikes left over at some bike shops at a discount. You might find discounts as much as 20-25% on 2010s and perhaps even higher for 2009 and older.
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Old 04-10-11, 06:06 AM   #4
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thanks for the replies, My normal bike rides are 10 miles, all path. About one or twice a week i ride 15-30 miles, time permitting and still all path. I average 15mph no matter how long I ride but have been told by my LBS with a road bike i could be going over 20mph if I am doing 15 on the mountain bike. My problem is the LBS only has a couple options below $500.
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Old 04-10-11, 06:25 AM   #5
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I'd go try the two treks.

My husband just bought a trek hybrid. He got a 2010 at nearly 25% off.
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Old 04-10-11, 08:05 AM   #6
These go to 11.
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Test ride the bikes at your LBS & ask to see some of their lower end road bikes with drop bars if they have any in your price range & you are curious about the drops -vs- flat bars. 1 of my bikes is a '06 Trek 7.5 FX & I love it. It was my daily commuter for 3 years & I go on extended rides with it all the time. You can always swap out handlebars for "trekking" style etc bars or add bar ends in various styles to accommodate your riding style. Both those Treks are fine bikes & should give you pleasure for years. I agree with staying away from Target unless you do not care about getting the proper advice & bike fit from the sales people. With most LBS' you get free tune-ups up to a year, cables will stretch & things will need to be adjusted, it's cycling law. If anything is wrong or needs to be adjusted Target will simply just give you another bike where as your LBS can & will be able to make any needed adjustments & better solve any issues that may come with any new bike.

With the kind of riding you have described I would go with either one of the Treks or something comparable. Like I said, it's best you take the bikes out for a test ride.
Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~ James E. Starrs

Last edited by DavidLee; 04-10-11 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 04-10-11, 09:31 AM   #7
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I don't like flat bars, though I certainly ride them on my mtn bikes. On the road, I find drop bars to be more comfortable and to work better over longer distances. If you want to ride on the road, get a road bike or a cross bike.
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Old 04-10-11, 10:09 AM   #8
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The first trek looks good. the last one has suspension which you really don't need. try out some different bikes, ask what they have on sale or for around the same $$ as the trek. one guy on here has a whole thread on the denali and he had good luck with it but he had to do some mods on it I think.
"Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me
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