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  1. #1
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    Hello - Am looking for help deciding between 4 hybrids - Thanks!

    I have been undertaking some pretty intense bike research for the past week (Iíve become bike obsessed much to the chagrin of my family!) and Iíve learned a good deal and have really narrowed down my list of options (to 4) but Iím really struggling on a final decision. Any and all help/suggestions/comments would be very much appreciated.

    Hereís my story. My wife and I are mid 30s, semi-active parents of two young children. We used to bike a lot more before the kids came along on our now-rusted department store mountain bikes which, though in need further tune-ups and repairs, are still functional. Regardless, I think weíll keep them for booting around potential offroad/outback stuff. Because we are going to be towing our kids around (also looking at bike trailers, carriers and trail-a-bikes and trail gators as options), we know we need better quality bikes that offer us more in the way of a safe, reliable, comfortable and nimble ride. What is important to us in all of our shopping endeavours is VALUE and value preferably on the lower end of the price scale ($300 - $600) . So, looking for something safe, reliable, comfortable, nimble that offers quality at good value for our urban rides.

    My wife has already decided on the 2008 Cypress (w) which we are getting a great deal on - $285 vs suggested retail of $375+. She likes it and it seems to have good value. So thatís what sheís getting.

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/....w/1268/29330/

    For me Iím a lot more stuck. Please keep in mind that Iím looking to be talked out of just as much as into any particular bike. Iím down to 4 bikes and here they are:

    2009 Rocky Mountain RC 10 (with V-brakes) - $549. First off it seems to be a great buy as no other Rocky Mountain dealer gets cheaper than $679 so the value argument is in play and one even has it going as high as $899 (though these other stores may be selling it w/disc brakes). Anyhow, Iíve heard great things about Rocky Mountain frames Ė this one is aluminium and the bike likely weighs less than 25lbs as a result Ė but Iíve also read some criticisms that the components are of weaker quality (founded, unfounded?) I love that itís light and quick but that also means Iím sacrificing a bit of comfort as it makes for a joltier ride. Iím also not thrilled about the way it looks (I have a preference for darker, more subtle frames). Anyhow, the value seems excellent on this one and all in all this might be the one I should go for. (?)

    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...10+V&Type=bike

    2010 Kona Dew Ė $479 - Love the look of this bike (the matte black) and found it to be very comparable to the Rocky Mountain ride-wise. This one, however, is in line with the suggested retail value. Itís also made of steel, not aluminum, making the ride a bit smoother but also a bit heavier (likely about 25 lbs). Thereís a big price gap between this bike and the Rocky Mountain even after the supposed $200+ discount. Iíd like to know if the Kona is actually an inferior bike. I liked it and could just as easily see myself going for this one but question it as a value play despite the fact that the Sales Reps in the store (who I found helpful and genuine) all vouch for and own Konaís Ė preferring them over Treks at similar price points.

    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...0419&Type=bike

    Now, to switch it up a bit Ė both of the aforementioned bikes are stiff, quick rides which Iím not sure is all that necessary. Maybe I should opt for comfort Ė afterall, Iíll be primarily using the bike for leisurely family rides. Bikes Iím considering in this category are:

    2010 Giant Cypress DX - $450 Ė Not a prohibitive price tag and based on reviews, this bike seems extraordinarily popular with those who ride them (many of whom also appear to be avid cyclists). Itís got a big cushy seat with suspension and front suspension as well. Youíre very upright but comfortable and itís also a good looking bike though based o n my description it might sound like Grandmaís cruiser, it still is a hybrid with a semblance of sporty appeal. Itís a heavier bike though (32lbs approx) I like its simplicity and price tag Ė but is it a quality ride at good value?

    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...9473&Type=bike

    Lastly and certainly not least (with apologies for the rhetorical clichť) Ė

    2010 Specialized Crosstrail - $550 Ė This bike is an extremely popular model and probably has such broad appeal for the same reason I stumbled into it. Itís a performance hybrid suited for off-road use. It, for me, fits the bill of what a hybrid really should be. It has suspension offering more comfort but seems to be a solid all round bike. Those who own it seem also to love it. It sounds like an awesome point at a price point that you canít get most hybrids at until you get into the $700+ range. Something tells me to lean towards this bike for suitability reasons but is it worth $100 more than the Giant? At 30+lbs (this is all info Iíve gathered off the net), it is also a bit heavier but Iím not sure, that for my purposes, this would be an issue.

    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...9266&Type=bike

    So there you have it. Iíve gotten a ton of opinions from bike store sales reps and thought this would be an excellent forum to cut through some of the sales partiality (now Iíll deal with owner partiality!). I though this would be a great place to get some good feedback from some real (and less so) bike enthusiasts who might be kind enough to enlighten me.
    Cheers. J

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arrowana's Avatar
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    I'd say the most important thing is to ride all of them and see what you like the most. If I went by what sounded the best on the internet, I'd probably have a Trek 7.2 FX right now, but out of the bikes I've tested it was my least favorite.

  3. #3
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    I'd go with the Kona - I've got the Kona Dew Plus (2009) which is speced higher than the basic Dew but very similar otherwise. By the way, it's aluminum and not steel. Very fun to ride.

    If you've tried one out and know the size you want, look out for remaining 2009 models (the Dew Plus 2009 is black) as they could be a lot cheaper - though you may need to buy online and have it shipped. Also, check out the Kona Smoke - a steel framed Dew but with big tyres - and a few quid cheaper.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by g00se View Post
    I'd go with the Kona - I've got the Kona Dew Plus (2009) which is speced higher than the basic Dew but very similar otherwise. By the way, it's aluminum and not steel. Very fun to ride.

    If you've tried one out and know the size you want, look out for remaining 2009 models (the Dew Plus 2009 is black) as they could be a lot cheaper - though you may need to buy online and have it shipped. Also, check out the Kona Smoke - a steel framed Dew but with big tyres - and a few quid cheaper.
    Thanks - I think I'll start with base models as I'm a big time novice at this whole process. Appreciate the comments.....I feel good about the Kona....will be trying the crosstrail in about an hour. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Thanks again g00se - you're right the frame is aluminum - it's the fork that is steel offering better shock absorption than most hybrids with aluminum frames and matching aluminum forks. Thanks for the input. I've now test-ridden all of them and nothing jumps out at me as cleary as I would like. The Rocky Mountain was a good quick ride and probably has the superior frame of all 4. The Kona Dew is a damn cool looking bike and I did like it but the saddle was excrutiatingly uncomfortable (may have to swap this out). I liked the Crosstrail a good deal but noticed the weight difference and was left wondering if it's seat suspension and not front shocks that would be better suited. The Giant Cypress was a very comfortable ride (very) but it's a bigger, heavier bike and the red colour didn't win any points.....I could easily go with any of the four. I'm going to have to understand which of the four represents the best value. 2009 Rocky Mountain RC 10 (V-brakes) at $550,2010 Kona Dew at $479, 2010 Specialized Crosstrail for $540 (after taxes) or the Giant Cypress DX for $460. I'm trying to get my head around the part differentials at this point and any further guidance from you folks would be much appreciated !

  6. #6
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Some random thoughts that might help

    Some thoughts that might help you decide:

    Rocky Mountain RC 10V -- The high gearing (30/42/52 in front) and 32mm tires have me thinking of this bike as primarily a pavement bike. Nothing wrong w/that. Just wanted to point it out.

    Kona Dew -- Close-to-mountain-bike gearing (48/38/28), larger cog in back (up to 34 instead of up to 32), and 37mm tires make this bike more suitable than the Rocky Mountain for dirt-pathing and gravel roads and such.

    Specialized Crosstrail -- Even wider tires and a suspension fork skew this bike more towards the dirt end of the spectrum. FWIW, I do not like that this bike has a 7-speed drivetrain. 7-speed is old tech, and suggests a freewheel rather than a cassette hub. I'd probably give it a miss in favor of an 8- or 9-speed model.

    When thinking about the above three bikes, think about how much you plan to ride on pavement versus dirt. If you plan to hit dirt roads a lot, I'd go either Crosstrail or Dew. If you're thinking of 20 mile paved-road rides to improve your cardio fitness on a weekend afternoon, you'll probably like the Rocky Mountain better.

    Giant Cyprus -- You get a bolt-upright riding position. Hence the need for the suspension seatpost, to cushion your spine. This is the bike to get if you just want to toodle around the neighborhood, nod and smile at your neighbors, that sort of thing.

  7. #7
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    Hmmmm, I have a Cypress LX not Cyprus and don't consider myself a toodler. I did a 30mile ride Memorial Day on our busy local trail and no one passed me all morning. I did switch the tires to 100lb 35s and put a Terry saddle on it. The stock saddle was junk as are many that come stock on new bikes. I'm 57 and have lower back problems. Laying down on a road bike is not something I can do. Different strokes & all that.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    You might check out the Trek 7000. It has a rigid steel fork, eyelets for rear and front rack, suspension seatpost, plush saddle, 700x35 tires, adjustable stem, aluminum frame.

    I wanted some of the same things in a ride that you mentioned and I found this bike to more than suit my needs on a budget ($359).

    You can upgrade the heck out of it if you like and it has a solid amount of reviews on Buzzillions, Trek, and Roadbikereview websites.

    I have had Fx Treks, mountain bikes, recumbents, comfort bikes, road bikes. I think this 7000 model outshines them all for versatility and comfort. It's no slug either. Just a lot of fun!

    I ride bike paths and dirt roads and it does well on both.
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  9. #9
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    I just purchased a Trek 7300 last saturday.

    I love it. I think you should check it out in addition to the bikes you listed.

  10. #10
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    Thanks you JG - great info and it helps point me in the right direction...very much appreciated....of the 4 I'm thinking the Dew might be the most appropriate.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=ChiliDog;10935276]You might check out the Trek 7000. It has a rigid steel fork, eyelets for rear and front rack, suspension seatpost, plush saddle, 700x35 tires, adjustable stem, aluminum frame.

    I wanted some of the same things in a ride that you mentioned and I found this bike to more than suit my needs on a budget ($359).

    You can upgrade the heck out of it if you like and it has a solid amount of reviews on Buzzillions, Trek, and Roadbikereview websites.

    I have had Fx Treks, mountain bikes, recumbents, comfort bikes, road bikes. I think this 7000 model outshines them all for versatility and comfort. It's no slug either. Just a lot of fun!

    Awesome, I'll check the Trek out today. I've probably held out on the Treks a bit for the wrong reason - because I see them everywhere !

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrj View Post
    I just purchased a Trek 7300 last saturday.

    I love it. I think you should check it out in addition to the bikes you listed.
    Will do - thanks !

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