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  1. #1
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    New to bikes - Need recommendation on bikes?

    I'm new to biking and don't know anything about bikes yet.
    Looking to buy a bike to go to work (1.2 miles), and ride around the city (San Francisco).

    i've been looking around and trying different bikes but it's hard to tell what suits you best just by 5 minute of test riding.
    I have seen 2 bikes that I'm trying to decide between, and I would appreciate any comments on which you would prefer.

    Novara Big Buzz
    Priced $800, goes down to $600 after discount
    Novara Big Buzz Bike - 2014 at REI.com

    Specialized Crosstrail Disk
    $600
    Specialized Bicycle Components

  2. #2
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    They're both great... take a look at this video of the Marin Muirwoods 29er a guy rode around San Francisco:



    Its cool!

  3. #3
    Senior Member linnefaulk's Avatar
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    Welcome.
    sharon

  4. #4
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    OP: Both are decent bikes, if a bit spendy. $600+ is a significant roll of the dice.

    Bigger problem is the common one; that of trying to identify the perfect bike well before one knows much if anything about bikes or about riding them or how your body will react.

    I would recommend borrowing one from a friend or renting one for a week, a couple of times, to get a feel for it. Then invest based on your then better understanding. For most folks doing the small amount of biking you say you are planning on, just hitting craigslist and getting a decent lightly used TREK MTB or crossover for under a $100 might be best (do put on a pair of road tires if it comes with MTB knobby tires, but again don't overspend on tires). Ride the trial bike for a year or two then move up if needed.

    Hope that helps
    /K

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Lots of brands making similar bikes at a given price point .

    dont get to wrapped up in brand names neither of those you mentioned actually make the bikes ..

    they hire contract manufacturers ... Most every body does Now .

  6. #6
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    If you do decide to buy one of the two bikes you have looked at, ask the folks at Specialized to actually WEIGH the Crosstrail Disc in your actual frame size so you know how the two compare. The Novara lists the weight at 26.7 pounds which is quite reasonable. I'm skeptical of bikes with inexpensive front suspensions. It invariably makes the bike heavier and doesn't really contribute much toward giving you a more comfortable ride on decent roads or bike trails. It's just added cost and more weight to pedal when you don't need it. I see so few manufacturers listing weight for any frame size maybe because they just don't want you to know.

  7. #7
    Senior Member John Redcorn's Avatar
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    My large frame crosstrail disc was 28.5 on bathroom scale before I put the speedo on it.

  8. #8
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    Note to John Redcorn: Since you have the bike, why not comment on how you like it. What are the pros and cons? How long have you had it and how many miles? Would you buy it again?

    There is nothing like having an actual owner make a comment.

  9. #9
    Senior Member John Redcorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
    Note to John Redcorn: Since you have the bike, why not comment on how you like it. What are the pros and cons? How long have you had it and how many miles? Would you buy it again?

    There is nothing like having an actual owner make a comment.

    I love it but I'm new enough to riding again as an adult (since december) that my opinion might not be such a well-educated one. Had my crosstrail since june only about 400 miles on it, been busy.

    I got a cheap DB hardtail in dec, rode it a bunch and decided I wanted a hybrid. This crosstrail despite being a large frame just like my DB seems to just fit me lots better, especially in the fact that I can easily avoid putting lots weight on the handlebars when I choose. Something about the DB made that hard for me to do and also made it hard for me to get a hand free off the bar while riding if I needed one.

    Someone else made a thread yesterday or today about putting <38mm tires on a crosstrail, since I've had mine I think these are the smallest I'd want to go with and agreed with some other posters there on that. I do 80psi.

    On the suspension fork, I realize it's kind of a cheap one and I do ride with it locked out most of the time but the 1.5-2 useless pounds it may add to the weight when locked-out doesn't really bother me to think about, less than 1% of 225 lb me + my bike combined and I do appreciate it the times I want it.

    Important note about the suspension lockout: at least on the 14 crosstrail disc like I have, not sure about other trim-levels, there are 2 skus for each color the bike shop uses to order from their distributor, one has lockout and one doesn't. Same price, not sure why.

    My only con so far is realizing that flat-black paint while awesome-looking now, isn't going to be easy to take care of and keep looking good after some scratches. It's got a few now from my car trunk and one from wind knocking it down.

    So yeah I'd buy it again. Other similar things I was thinking of/looking at were DB Trace Sport, Trek 8.3DS, bikesdirect motobecane elite adventure (this is way higher spec for way less $ but I didn't think I as a newb should try a BD one just yet) Fuji Traverse was in my mind as well but no one around here seemed to have Fujis.
    Last edited by John Redcorn; 08-05-14 at 04:12 PM.

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