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Old 02-02-13, 03:19 PM   #1
bozack90
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Looking for a new bicycle and confused any help appreciated

Hello All,

So I have been out of cycling for a very long time and am looking to get back with something nice, but not very expensive and trying to pick the best option.

My previous bike was a 21" Schwinn Cimarron Mountain Bike, honestly if it was the right size I would have kept it, but my parents bought it for me when I was younger expecting a growth spurt that never came and I ended up with a frame that was way too large or at least seemed that way (have read that a mountain frame should be about 4-5 inches lower than your inseam when standing whereas on this bike I literally had to jump on the seat in the lowest position it was so tall).

Now I have sold the Schwinn and am looking to put the money towards something new, originally I was considering a mountain bike as that is what I had in the past, however someone at my work suggested I look into a hybrid...

I really would like to keep the cost down, preferably at most around $500 USD or so but am willing to go above if it means I am getting something I will really use.

I am also a bit bigger so would need something that handles the weight...I am not really into road bikes so that wasn't something I was considering, and also I didn't know if it makes sense to just go to a shop and go with whatever they recommend in terms of brand/model?

Was considering some flavor specialized, Trek, or even a nicer Schwinn again though I have read they have sold their name to another company and aren't as well regarded as the other two?

Any thoughts or options to consider would be appreciated?

Thanks
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Old 02-03-13, 12:14 PM   #2
GrouchoWretch
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I'm not sure where you're located or exactly what your style is, so it's hard to advise beyond generalities.

It seems to me that you're looking for a flatbar road bike or a "hybrid," the latter being a very loose term usually indicating a hardtail terrain bike with some roadish touches, like narrower slicker tires and maybe different gearing from a true mountain bike. I would say get a bike with a rigid fork and pass up all bikes with suspension forks, especially since you're aiming at the $500 mark.

Make the rounds of your Local Bike Shops and find the friendliest one that's most oriented to budget-minded, pragmatic, novice cyclists like yourself. I wound up shopping most at my local Performance Bike, which is a big chain and kind of a Bike Mart, but hey, if the shoe fits. The one in my town is a very cool, unassuming, low key place. There are some others in my town as well, one being Bike World. That's the sort of place I would look for.

Performance has a big website which makes shopping there very convenient. I almost hate to say that such a trivial thing influenced me, but when you can see all their stock and prices and specs online, it really helps to make a decision.

I wound up with a GT Zum City Bike for $300. Biggest bang I could squeeze out of my buck for my purpose, which is commuting. I was also looking at GT Tachyon flatbar road bikes and Scattante dropbar road and cross bikes in the $400-$600 range. Scattante is like the Performance store brand, I think.

The only Schwinn I seriously considered recently was the single speed Willy for $200. Also comes in a 7 speed derailleur version. The same frame and fork with a 3 speed internal gear hub is called the Coffee. I think these are very sweet cheap bikes if you like an old fashioned steel delta frame with upright bars.

Looked at the Trek 7.1 FX and liked it also. It would do nicely. Saw some Fairdale bikes I wouldn't mind having.

Some people might steer you to ordering from Bikes Direct. For a first and primary bike, I liked going to a brick and mortar shop. Good staff can find out what you want and need and match it to a bike in your budget.
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Old 02-03-13, 12:56 PM   #3
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Want another Mountain Bike Or what riding do you like, now?

what brands are carried by your local bike shop,. and what have you talked to them about?
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Old 02-03-13, 02:40 PM   #4
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If you're heavy, you may want one of those "comfort" bikes. I don't know why but I can't see them on every web site. It's like a hybrid except they have 26 inch wheels. I've seen them at places like Canadian Tire. I don't know what you can find in your area though.

The kinds of things I'be be looking for though is a bicyle with the "new standards" like cassette instead of freewheel, threadless headset instead of threaded. Then the Shimano shifters and derailleurs I might look for Acera (Altus being the second choice). For $500, you might succeed in getting Acera or maybe Alivio if it's on sale or at a good price.

EDIT: I find this peculiar but I started looking around just to see what you could find. One bike like the Giant Sedona has 26 inch wheels but similar to other sites it has a threaded headset and suspension forks. If competitors keep on copying each other like that, you won't have much of a choice. On top of that, it has 32 hole rims.

ANOTHER EDIT: I just found a Bianchi Iseo. However, it has 700c wheels although 36 holes. Specs are fairly good with Alivio derailleurs. Suggested price is $600 but it sell for less in stores. http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/strada/turismo/iseo/
Raleigh Misceo 1.0 http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/life...misceo-1-0-13/ is $500 here: http://mikesbikes.com/product/13rale...0-174095-1.htm
Felt QX65: http://www.feltbicycles.com/Canada/2...-MEN/QX65.aspx Jamis Coda Sport: http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...013&model=Coda Comp&cat_grp=strt_2 Kona Dew: http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=dew#1

WHOA! I just found an unusual bicycle. It's like a road bike but with disc brakes and larger tires. Mongoose Rogue: http://www.mongoose.com/bikes/urban/commuter/rogue

Mongoose Crossway 300: http://www.mongoose.com/bikes/urban/...r/crossway-300

Marin Bridgeway: http://www.marinbikes.com/2013/bike_...idgeway_Triple
Marin Fairfax SC4: http://www.marinbikes.com/2013/bike_...36&Fairfax_SC4

Rocky Mountain Metropolis YVR: http://www.bikes.com/main+en+01_102+...ATID=27&Y=2013
Rocky Mountain RC 50: http://www.bikes.com/main+en+01_102+...ATID=53&Y=2013

Specialized Vita Sport: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...itasport#specs
Specialized Sirrus Sport: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...russport#specs

Trek 7.2 FX: http://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en/bikes...ess/fx/7_2_fx/#

OK, I got the Canadian links to a couple of bicycles but anyway, I'm done with this post. lol I think Marin had a few intersesting bikes though, more than I listed.

Last edited by hybridbkrdr; 02-03-13 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 02-03-13, 02:50 PM   #5
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What are you going to do with the bike? I'd say that's the first and most important question.
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Old 02-03-13, 03:32 PM   #6
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If you have any Kona dealers handy, the base Dew can be had for just under $500.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:30 PM   #7
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$500 gives you a lot of options in this area. I have a Trek 7.2fx, and my sense is that it could carry a much heavier guy than me with no trouble. (I'm 5'10" 200#.) I think MSRP is $550, but I wouldn't be surprised to find one for $500. It's relatively light, pretty fast, built solidly, and an all-around really decent bike. I commute on mine every day in NYC traffic, and even took it for some 50+ mile rides before I got my road bike, and it's never let me down. The Specialized, Giant, or Cannondale in that price range would also be good choices.

Schwinn I'm not so sure about. You're right that it's not the Schwinn company of old -- it went bankrupt and was purchased by Dorel Industries (which also makes furniture, I believe). Now, that in itself doesn't mean that the bikes are necessarily bad -- for all I know, Dorel makes a decent bike. But I haven't seen a lot positive about them, and I've never been impressed by the ones I've seen in shops. (Never ridden one, though, so for all I know they ride better than they look.)

Someone suggested a few Mongooses -- but I'd be careful with Mongoose for the same reason. Though once a well-respected name, they also long ago went bankrupt. Their name was bought up by...you guessed it, Dorel Industries. But there's no other connection to the Mongoose of old. I now think of Mongoose as basically a Wal-Mart bike -- hit or miss at best.
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Old 02-04-13, 07:30 AM   #8
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Hey thanks all, So in terms of "usage" I would say just riding around town and possibly a little off road but nothing more than say a grass field or something light, nothing like a hardcore MTBR would be doing. My old bike was a 21" Schwinn Cimarron which was way too large (or so it seemed) for my 5'8" height, so that was my most recent riding experience and that was about fifteen years ago. Bikes I have considered are the Specialized Hard Rock (before I was looking at hybrid/fitness/or whatever they are called), the Trek FX, and now the Kona Dew though that brand is rather new to me as I have heard of Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Mongoose, Raliegh, Giant, Bianchi, Schwinn, and a few others.
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Old 02-04-13, 07:50 AM   #9
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Specialized Crosstrail?
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Old 02-04-13, 09:03 AM   #10
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Look at the GT Zum City Bike on the Performance website. It's only an 8 speed drivetrain, but it's a wide enough gear range for hilly terrain. It's $300 delivered to the store, assembled and adjusted, free lifetime adjustments. Pretty robust mtb frame. All the braze ons etc you need for fenders, racks, and so on. I haven't found anything to beat that deal for your purpose.

You'll need the leftover $200 for accessories!
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Old 02-04-13, 05:21 PM   #11
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I'm 5'8-1/2" or 174cm with and 83.5cm inseam (32.8 inches) and after using all kinds of online calculators etc., I think 17 inch might be better. Some sites put me at 16.5 inches. Some bikes come in that size though I find 18 inches a little big for me. In standard frames, it ranges from 51cm to 54cm. 53cm might actually fit me better but I prefer leaning towards a smaller frame for agility so maybe 52cm. Well, my inseam is probably not the same as yours but just to give you an idea.

The following are available in 17 inch:
Jamis Coda Sport
Marin Fairfax SC4

Actually, I might take the Marin Fairfax SC4. The Marin Muirwoods and Marin Larkspur CS3 are also interesting. However, the Marin Fairfax SC4 has a 48/36/26T Alivio crankset and 36 hole rims which I find more interesting. But it has 28mm tires. Ah, great, just found out it's $750 at REI.

good deal on a Marin Muirwoods in Canada: http://bikeland.ca/product/09marin-muirwoods-1825.htm

Or the Marin Larkspur CS3 $570 http://theurbanecyclist.com/marin-larkspur-cs3/

EDIT: lol, I found a European-style bicycle in Canada with a dynamo hub, lights, fenders, backrack and chainguard but it's $950, the Ghost TR 1800: http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...cle-unisex.jsp (Oops, that dynamo hub has a little more resistance than the more expensive models.)

Here's the Fuji Absolute 2.1 with an Alivio rear derailleur. MRSP is only $479 and is available in 17 inch.
http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/absolute_21

Last edited by hybridbkrdr; 02-05-13 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 02-05-13, 06:59 PM   #12
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This is just a passing comment. But, although people might say that inexpensive bicycles might have inferior suspension forks and disc brakes, fact is, I don't think everyone would be that fussy. If you want to know what I'd really feel like getting maybe something like a Jamis Trail X3: http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...13&model=Trail X3&cat_grp=mtb26_4

It's a mountain bike and you can always change the shifters to Falcon friction shifters later on then change to a Rockshox suspension fork then Shimano disc brakes and Shimano Deore brake levers. And you're done. I think MRSP on 2012 was $550 and is available in 17 inch. It also has 26 inch wheels. If you do some research on touring framesets, you'll see under 54cm, some go with 26 inch wheels for specific reasons like toe clearance. Even though 700c might be popular for city bikes (hybrids), I don't think it means it's ideal of all sizes. Like I said, the Jamis Trail X3 you can ride like it is and only change parts when or if needed. The derailleurs and shifters are Acera anyway so I wouldn't complain especially if I chose to go with friction shifters. Then you don't have to have your derailleurs adjusted by a shop.
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