My wife and I have been doing a little more riding lately so we got her a new Specialized Ariel. That meant that I had to have a new bike ASAP or my head was going to explode with forces previously unknown to humans. The neighbors would be upset if this happened outside because that is hard to clean off the walls...
My old bike was a used Trek 7300 Multitrack that I've had for about a year or so.
Had an old Sun Key West cruiser before that. (still have both for now). I had to have something different. I wanted no suspension, more road and path but fun and kind of upright to see the sights, but more aggressive than a beach cruiser. Also had to have some "cool factor" built in. I started looking at the flat bar bikes and began leaning to the city/urban/commuter bikes. I decided that an internal gear hub was cool and even better would be a belt drive. None of my friends had ay of those features. I would be the first on the block.
I narrowed down to more mainstream brands and 1,000 bucks. Scott Sub, Cannondale Bad Boy, Raleigh Misceo, , GT Eightball, Giant Seek.
Cannondale was out for price and looks. I can't stand the whole flat black movement. it's old already, boring, no classic attributes at all.
Scott Sub 10 was ugly green and I was able to find a Sub 30 to ride, didn't have the IGH but at least I imagine. I liked the fenders and commuter look, but it didn't feel right. Maybe it was too laid down. Also the IGH Sub 10 would take a few months to get.
Raleigh Misceo was great and $1,300 wasn't too bad. Looked like crap in plain gray and black.
While at the Raleigh store, I did come across an Electra Moto. Cool bike and could be had with IGH 3 speed in off white frame. if available with an 8 speed, I would have done it. I wasn't quite ready to go with only 3 gears. I liked the fat tires and upright BMX style position. Probably would have killed me after a few miles though.
The GT was no where to be found anywhere and friends were negative about it so I sort of ignored it. Evan though there was a lot that i liked about it.
The Giant kept calling me, but I couldn't find a dealer with one in stock. The 2014 model would have been awesome in dark blue with cream tires!
Only one left available from Giant and it was wrong size. I finally found one about 50 miles away. A 2015 in Medium (i would need large). 50 Miles away is a big deal being as I would pass about 100 shops on the way. I told them I would try to make it the next afternoon. I was able to make it in the early afternoon. when I walked in, the sales girl looked at my and asked if I was Charlie here to see the Giant. it was in the back being prepped for me. Honestly, did not expect this from a bike shop in Miami! I moved out of Miami because of the opposite type of service. The bike was ready ASAP and I went for a ride. I liked the stance, the geometry felt good for what I wanted to do with the bike and the IGH seemed like it had the right ratios. I couldn't exactly put it through all paces I would have liked but enough to satisfy me. The Giant has a chain drive and I preferred a belt, but everything else was right, it would be an acceptable compromise. The only problem was the looks. This thing looked better than the Raleigh, but not much. The Cycle World Miami parts guru went to work and he found me some tires in brown and Ergon grips in brown. Once I got the bike and rode a bit, it would be no trouble to find a saddle in brown and this thing would look like classic meets modern industrial something or other? Then we had to find the bike in Large frame. a few calls to and from the Giant representative and they found one in Chicago that, if I committed, they would allocate and I could get it much faster than standard order.
The parts and sales people kept me updated as my parts came in and within two weeks, a day ahead of schedule, the bike showed up. I got a picture of it all assembled on my phone compliments of the sales person. as you can imagine, this put me over the edge and, of course I had to rush over there just before closing time to touch it and feel it!
They were not in a rush to close the doors so, they went ahead and mounted the tires and grips for me.
I have only done a couple of short rides. So far, i like the bike. it's fun to play around on, popping off the saddle is quick and easy, jumping bumps and messing around is plenty of fun. The gears are OK. 3rd and 4th are a little rough and I hope that will break in some. the gap between 5th and 6th (i think) is bigger than the others and will take getting used to at the least. the balloon tires are awesome, they don't feel mushy at all. I will play with the pressure more in the future for a better report. The Trek had 700x38 these are 50 I think? The absorb lots of vibration and bumps. The frame is good and the fork is compliant. I wanted an all around bike and I may have found it. It should do everything well but nothing great.
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