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Old 07-02-10, 07:43 PM   #1
oulton9
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Jamis Allegro vs. Specialized Sirrus vs. Giant Seek 2

I've ridden a hybrid (Gary Fisher Tiburon) for about 5 years now, and it's starting to fall apart. As such, I'm checking out a few of the local bike shops. 3 of the bikes that looked appealing to me were the Jamis Allegro, the Specialized Sirrus, and the Giant Seek 2.

Budget: around $500, and all 3 are in that range (didn't write down the actual prices, sorry).

My needs: I generally ride on the road / sidewalk, but do ride on grass and light trails fairly often. Some of streets in my city also have some maintenance issues, so the roads aren't always brand-new slick pavement. Nothing too bad though. The max distance I go, on average, is not more than a few miles. At times, I may go up to 20, but that's rare.

To sum it up, I'm looking for a hybrid that's slightly more road-oriented than mountain-oriented. What are the pros and cons of each bike for my needs?

Thanks a bunch, I appreciate it!
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Old 07-02-10, 08:06 PM   #2
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The distinguishing features of the various bikes:

- Allegro has grip-twist shifters. (Not sure if you'd like that, coming from rapid-fire shifters on the Tiburon). The other two are rapid-fire.

- The Giant Seek 2 has disc brakes. (The other two are V-brakes).

- The Sirrus has Altus components (a bit higher than the Acera and SRAM X3 on the other bikes).

Personally, for light riding I'd take the Sirrus. But why buy a new bike with about the same-level components as your Gary Fisher Tiburon? It might be cheaper to just get it repaired and it should ride as good as one of those three new bikes.
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Old 07-02-10, 08:16 PM   #3
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In all honesty I rarely use the gears to their full potential. I've probably only used the middle 3 or 4 gears in the past year. The grip-twist on the Allegro probably wouldn't be an issue.

Is there a significant advantage to disc brakes? I'm a fairly experienced bike rider, but I have little to no knowledge of the parts. Same thing for the Atlus components -- do you just mean that the overall parts on the bike are of a higher quality?

My Tiburon is pretty much done, unfortunately. I need new...everything. Brakes don't work, tires are stripped, gears hardly shift, etc. I'd rather just get a new one than plunk down the $200-300+ for all the parts and labor.
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Old 07-02-10, 08:30 PM   #4
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My $0.02:

I've owned bikes with both rapid-fire and grip-shifters. I much prefer the rapid fires, which seems to index the shifts better. Grip shifters seems to have some play in the twist so shifting isn't as crisp as the rapid-fires.

As far as disc brakes go, the chief advantage is that it works better in wet and dirty conditions-- Rim brakes may have reduced braking power due to mud or water on the rims. Disc brakes don't have such issues but add a pound to the bike's weight. Since you are doing only light riding I'd say disc brakes aren't really necessary.

Altus derailleurs are slightly smoother-shifting than Acera and X3. In terms of shifter quality, the Shimano hierarchy goes like this: Deore > Alivio > Altus > Acera.

You can do some of the repairs on your Tiburon yourself to save some money. V-brakes aren't hard to fix, and tires are EASY to change. Sheldon Brown's site has extensive pages on how to do those things. Just about the only thing I'd leave to a bike shop is the shifter adjustment (you should have a bike shop tune it up every year anyway if you don't want to do it yourself). It would cost me less than $150 to effect those repairs (fix brakes and tires myself and have the bike shop tune the derailleurs).
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Old 07-02-10, 09:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips. I really would like to buy a new bike though. It's more than just the tires, brakes and shifters. Too much work/money and I'm too excited to get a new bike anyway.

Overall, would you say that the 3 bikes are generally on the same level? As in, I should just test ride them and go with whatever feels comfortable?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-03-10, 08:27 AM   #6
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My opinion , for what it's worth, is many fold.

BUY the one that fits you the best, is the most comfortable to ride, and that you like the looks of the best.

Buy the one, or ask for a change before it leaves to sales floor, which has the widest tires. Sounds like you need 'em.

You don't need disc brakes, as modern V-Brakes are awesome stoppers.

You usually get more bang for your buck, with a Giant, as they make thier own bikes.

The better components of the Sirrus will last longer with proper lubrication and adjustment, as will almost anything that has the Shimano name on it, Besides that, replacement components are also relatively inexpensive, so don't worry about lesser quality within the Shimano line.

The Sirrus - you get 8 speeds - and it retails for $520, 32mm wide tires, looks more like a road bike, I like the looks better - but I'm not you.

The Giant - comes with 9 speed for $600, and has 32mm wide tires, and disc brakes, looks more like a mountain bike.

The Jamis is also a road oriented machine, and as sweet looking as the Sirrus, with 32mm wide tires, and 8 speed cassette. Retails for $600, and is only a double crank set. The others (Sirrus and Giant) are triples, which gives you many more choices, and closer ratios.

Trigger shifting is much easier than twist shifting.

Another suggestion - ask to switch the OEM tires to something like Schwalbe Marathon Supremes in 32, 35, or 40 widths. The ride is awesome, the performance is above reproach, and the flat protection is amazing. You should be able to switch for less than half price of buying new, if you do it before you pay for the bike. How much room is there in the chainstays, seatstays, forks, for even wider tires, should you choose to go that route???? Personally, I love the combination of a 35mm front tire, and a 40mm rear tire, and love Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. I would think a 32 front, and a 35-37 rear would act similarly - that is, give good handling characteristics, and a nice ride.

I'd probably go with the Sirrus, as I like Specialized fit and feel - you may be different - but, don't overlook the value of the Giant. Jamis makes nice bikes too.

Bottom line - get the one that is the most comfortable for you to ride, so you will want to. And, keep it lubed and clean.

Last edited by Wanderer; 07-03-10 at 08:51 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 07-03-10, 04:12 PM   #7
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I ended up going with the Giant. Felt the most comfortable and looked the best to me. Plus, it was slightly cheaper than the Sirrus.

Thanks again guys.
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Old 07-03-10, 08:10 PM   #8
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Perhaps a hasty move, you could have looked at a Jamis Coda too. Enjoy your ride. The Giant is a nice bike.
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Old 07-04-10, 09:22 AM   #9
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It's never a hasty move, if it feels the best ----- especially if you like the looks of it ----- which model did yu get? Color?

Congrats on a good choice - Giant really does usually give you the most bang for your buck - and you will like the 9 spd cassette.
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Old 07-04-10, 12:31 PM   #10
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http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4143/...8edbea6e57.jpg

Giant Seek 2. Not sure what other model / version it is. It's matte black with a silver sleeve on the top bar. The bike shop guy told me it had the same parts as the Specialized Sirrus I also tried out.

I've probably put 10-15 miles on it since yesterday; everything is pretty good, although the disc brakes are squeaky. That seems to be a common problem, but I'll give it a week or so before looking into a fix.
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Old 07-04-10, 01:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oulton9 View Post
In all honesty I rarely use the gears to their full potential. I've probably only used the middle 3 or 4 gears in the past year. The grip-twist on the Allegro probably wouldn't be an issue.
Is there a significant advantage to disc brakes? I'm a fairly experienced bike rider, but I have little to no knowledge of the parts. Same thing for the Atlus components -- do you just mean that the overall parts on the bike are of a higher quality?
Don't believe the generally accepted nonsense that gripshifts are for newbies because gripshifts are fantastic if you have quality shifters and learn to use them
I can use my gripshifts to shift 8 gears in one pull and they never hickup or autoshift either (no even not on bumps)
Disc brakes aren't needed in any normal biking and thus shouldn't really be on any normal bike since they are mostly heavier, more expensive and more difficult to service.
Contrary to popular belief, they can not give you superior braking power, since if you pull em really hard and your rim stops ... your tyre will drift anyway, right?
I have a set of XT V-brakes with XTR pads and I can assure you that they will stop your wheel DEAD if you pull em hard enough, but the bike will just start drifting.
About the Altus parts ... they are not better than the Acera parts ... actually the exact opposite is true.
It goes like this: Sis-Altus-Acera-Alivio-Deore-LX-SLX-XT-XTR
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Old 07-04-10, 01:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongIslandTom View Post
My $0.02:
I've owned bikes with both rapid-fire and grip-shifters. I much prefer the rapid fires, which seems to index the shifts better. Grip shifters seems to have some play in the twist so shifting isn't as crisp as the rapid-fires.
You probably never had any proper gripshifts yet.
I have a pair of SRAM Attack 9-speed gripshifts with XT gearcables and an XT derailleur ... believe me: I have never ever had even one problem with them.
They shift supersmooth and superprecise with a nice and distinct "click" on every gear ... there's never any rattling or delay in the shifts either.
I do service my own bike and make sure it is allways properly greased and adjusted though
My gripshifts can even shift up to 8 gears in one single quick pull (try that with rapid fires ) ... this can be handy sometimes to shift down very quickly when you hit a bunker of sand on a trail through the forest. Even when shifting multiple gears at once like that I have never had any problems yet.

Last edited by AdelaaR; 07-04-10 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 07-08-10, 08:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
because gripshifts are fantastic if you have quality shifters and learn to use them
I don't like grip shifters because they take up part of the grip and can cause you to shift when out of the saddle climbing a hill. My Buzz has small,pod-like shifters that are out of the way,but most use half of the grip surface.


Quote:
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Disc brakes aren't needed in any normal biking and thus shouldn't really be on any normal bike since they are mostly heavier, more expensive and more difficult to service.
Disc brakes are actually much easier to service than rim brakes. The pads last way longer,and the only adjustment is in-and-out. Rim pads have to also be adjusted for height,yaw,and toe-in. As for putting them on 'normal' bikes,they are nice to have if you ride in wet conditions,they require fewer adjustments and the pads last much longer,plus you don't have to disconnect/reconnect(or forget to reconnect) them when removing the wheel. All sound like good things to me for someone who rides to work every day and pulls their front wheel to do a proper lockup with a U lock.
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Old 08-21-10, 03:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
Don't believe the generally accepted nonsense that gripshifts are for newbies because gripshifts are fantastic if you have quality shifters and learn to use them
I can use my gripshifts to shift 8 gears in one pull and they never hickup or autoshift either (no even not on bumps)
Disc brakes aren't needed in any normal biking and thus shouldn't really be on any normal bike since they are mostly heavier, more expensive and more difficult to service.
Contrary to popular belief, they can not give you superior braking power, since if you pull em really hard and your rim stops ... your tyre will drift anyway, right?
I have a set of XT V-brakes with XTR pads and I can assure you that they will stop your wheel DEAD if you pull em hard enough, but the bike will just start drifting.
You may be right about grip shifts, but you have missed the point of disc brakes. (Which is odd, as it has been explained to you before.) Discs matter in the wet, when wet rims reduce the power of rim brakes. How much this matters depends on whether you ride when it is raining.
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Old 08-21-10, 04:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongIslandTom View Post
The distinguishing features of the various bikes:

- Allegro has grip-twist shifters. (Not sure if you'd like that, coming from rapid-fire shifters on the Tiburon). The other two are rapid-fire.

- The Giant Seek 2 has disc brakes. (The other two are V-brakes).

- The Sirrus has Altus components (a bit higher than the Acera and SRAM X3 on the other bikes).

Personally, for light riding I'd take the Sirrus. But why buy a new bike with about the same-level components as your Gary Fisher Tiburon? It might be cheaper to just get it repaired and it should ride as good as one of those three new bikes.
The Allegro 2 has rapid fire shifters and a 50/34 compact crankset. The others have a mtb 48/38/28 crankset, which is an improvement over the old 42/32/22.
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Old 08-22-10, 08:31 AM   #16
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p.s., you made a good choice, enjoy it!
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