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  1. #1
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    Advice on first hydrid bike, and suggested reputable retailer!

    I am looking to get a new bike, I like the Giant Revel series and Something by Specialized but Im not sure what to get.

    Im looking for something for light offroad but mainly on-road. Some less aggressive tires so that I dont have to push to much tire on the street.

    Like I said, I like the design of the Giant Revel. I want to get something with some active suspension and disc brakes.

    Can you guys drop me some suggestions on bikes from Specialize, Kona, Trek that might line up pretty good with the Giant Revel, or even an alternative to the Revel and also a reputable shop to buy for a good price? Im in Montana and the brick and mortar stores are heavily inflated (price, not tires

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    To me the Revel looks like a serious entry-level MTB made for single-track and not a bike meant to primarily see road duty. For a rugged hybrid that is also a decent commuter check out the Specialized Crosstrail Sport. It's got 700c wheels vs. the Revel's 26 inchers, a lock-out front suspension (so you can enjoy suspension off-road, but have a rigid fork on-road), dual-purpose tires, decent components, ability to mount fenders/rack for commuting, and the tabs are already there should you decide to upgrade to disc brakes in the future. All for about $100 more than the Revel. I would buy one of these in a heartbeat if I had the same requirements as you do. Also, the bike is quite sexy, IMHO:



    Sorry I can't suggest any retailers in your area, but FWIW I advise you to shop around!
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  3. #3
    Senior Member big_al's Avatar
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    I know that you did not mention Trek but when i was wanting to get another bike my thoughts were exactly what you mentioned and I went with a trek 7200 and i am super happy....
    "Don't blame others for your failures"

  4. #4
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Look at the Fisher Dual Sports. You might be able to get extra good prices because Trek are dropping the Fisher name (but the bike design) and they match your spec perfectly.

  5. #5
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irclean View Post
    To me the Revel looks like a serious entry-level MTB made for single-track and not a bike meant to primarily see road duty.
    You'll see more messengers on MTBs than hybrids. Bikes sold as MTBs are usually built tough and agile and these are good things in any bike. There aren't really any design features of a hardtail MTB that make it less road worthy than a bike sold as a hybrid.

    That said, googling on the Revel found this

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=16250219

    - not very encouraging.

    Also: didn't someone recently post that Walmart are selling the Crosstrail for much less under their own brand name??? From what I remember that was a hell of a deal.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    1. I didn't see a Revel model listed on Giant's site.
    2. IMO, if you are planning on doing more than 80% of your riding on-road or other improved surface, then I'd suggest something more like the Giant Seek, Trek FX line, or Kona Dew line.
    3. You don't need a suspended fork for light duty off-roading. A rigid fork will force you to pay attention and improve your skills faster.

  7. #7
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    You'll see more messengers on MTBs than hybrids. Bikes sold as MTBs are usually built tough and agile and these are good things in any bike. There aren't really any design features of a hardtail MTB that make it less road worthy than a bike sold as a hybrid...
    I have a 90's era MTB with slicks that I like very much. Somehow the frame geometry combined with those 26" tires make me feel like I can throw the thing around like I did my BMX back in the 80's. That being said I prefer my hybrids for commuting and my MTB for short jaunts or to transport my toddler around. BTW I was under the impression that messengers predominantly used fixies with really short chainstays. Of course bicycle messengers are unheard of in these parts - it's probably just a stereotypical view that I have (sort of like those who think that because I'm Canadian I live in an igloo).
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  8. #8
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irclean View Post
    I have a 90's era MTB with slicks that I like very much. Somehow the frame geometry combined with those 26" tires make me feel like I can throw the thing around like I did my BMX back in the 80's.
    Really? Which bike? I have a Kona Lava Dome that I don't have storage space for so it's going on loan to my best friend as an urban assault bike with North Road Bars and Big Apple tyres. The best thing about that BMXability is that you can use it to keep a bike upright if you hit diesel, loose gravel or a pothole.

    That being said I prefer my hybrids for commuting and my MTB for short jaunts or to transport my toddler around.
    This all depends on the geometry of the individual bike imo. The distinction between a hardtail MTB and hybrid is extremely arbitrary.

    BTW I was under the impression that messengers predominantly used fixies with really short chainstays. Of course bicycle messengers are unheard of in these parts - it's probably just a stereotypical view that I have (sort of like those who think that because I'm Canadian I live in an igloo).
    That's the stereotype, yes. Bike mix varies city to city, but a lot of messengers REALLY value good brakes. A classic courier MTB for working New York is an old bike from when top tubes were long, an extra long stem and bars cut down short, aerospoke wheels (because they don't get damaged when you lock them in a hurry - NOT for speed) and the power train converted to single speed (because you don't need gears in NY and people will steal your shifters and derailers.) In SF where I worked (a long time ago) the fashion was*definitely* for keeping your gears.

    As for "really short chain stays":



    - remember, that's a 26 inch wheel! If the chainstays were any shorter the rider's weight would be too far back for agility and safety. These chainstays would be short even for a 700c track bike.

    (The Lava Dome was the first mass production bike with a sloping top tube and the first with straight forks - a very influential design that rides like a demon.)
    Last edited by meanwhile; 07-24-10 at 08:10 AM.

  9. #9
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    ^^^My MTB-turned-commuter is an old steel dept. store Raleigh with Shimano 100GS components. You're right; my hybrids are not really a huge departure from this bike, but it just somehow feels more agile (at low speeds) whereas my other bikes seem more stable once I get moving at a good clip. BTW I'm loving that Kona! In regards to my stereotypical view of messengers, fixies, and short chainstays (thanks for setting me straight, BTW) I was thinking of something like this:

    Gettin' my Fred on.

  10. #10
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irclean View Post
    ^^^My MTB-turned-commuter is an old steel dept. store Raleigh with Shimano 100GS components.
    These old steel bikes never die. And if they do, a welder can usually resurrect them if you're attached enough.

    [/quote]
    You're right; my hybrids are not really a huge departure from this bike, but it just somehow feels more agile (at low speeds) whereas my other bikes seem more stable once I get moving at a good clip. BTW I'm loving that Kona!
    [/quote]

    That monument to purple alu isn't my bike, btw - I couldn't take level of glare and my back couldn't handle that position these days!

    If you get a chance at one of the older Konas - a Lava Dome, Cinder Cone, Explosif, etc - they really are wonderful machines.

    In regards to my stereotypical view of messengers, fixies, and short chainstays (thanks for setting me straight, BTW)
    De nada. The Fixie Industry has marketed a certain image of how messengers look. I suspect more money is now made selling messenger bags than delivering stuff - I wish I'd seen that coming.

    I was thinking of something like this:

    People use every sort of bike imaginable, but a courier fixie would usually be set up with a flatter position. This bike is crying out for pursuit bars!

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the advice...

    Well, I went and rode everything twice.

    So heres the skinny:
    The Giant Revel (not on their US site, but on the UK site) feels really crappy in comparison to everything else I rode. It doesnt shift very smoothly, the front suspention is too soft at its hardest setting for a good street ride, and it doesnt quite feel right. Also feels like when you are free wheeling that it is dragging a bit, and sounds louder than it should.

    The Specialized Crosstail sport is really nice to ride on street, but as soon as I took it off pavement it didnt feel great. It comes with some pretty narrow tires and thats what I attribute the iffy off-pavement ride to. It does have the clearance to put wider tires on it but I need to get something this performs right in its stock config (to save $$$)

    The Trek 7200 felt pretty solid, had a good ride, but the hardware felt a bit weeker than the specialized stuff. It shifts a bit hard and I heard a lot of noise from it when shifting.

    So the bike that really felt the best was the Specialized Hardrock disc. The price on the bike was pretty good in town vs internet ($440 sale). The tires it comes with have a tred pattern that rides smooth on pavement but has a little bit of grab on dirty and gravel.

    I have a friend in Denmark that rides pretty serious and he suggested I ride everything and then repeat the loop and ride it all again. I did and it was pretty amazing how the Giant felt ok up front but when riding against either of the Specialized bikes it didnt stand up. He didnt have any suggestions in my price range as he buys higher end stuff and just said ride them.

    I ended up buying the Hardrock, on the second ride it really stood out. It was also the most expensive though the Crosstrail was close for the base model without disc brakes.

    I have about 25 miles on the bike so far, and it is really solid. The only think I would consider upgrading at this point is the forks. The Crosstrail's lockout is a pretty nice feature, much better than adjusting the pre-load. Also, the forks have a pretty short travel and I can bottom them out with some effort.

    I didnt get the double rimmed/reinforced wheels or whatever is the trendy term but I figured it was worth the savings up front and then I can replace a damaged wheel as needed later when I have the funds. The guy at my local bike shop assured me that it was a straight-forward upgrade to pull the gearing/brakes off my wheel and put it on one of the nicer wheels.

    I have yet to try a commute on the bike as I have to drop my kid of at daycard twice a week but Ill give it a shot maybe tomorrow or wednesday. 5.5Miles each way btw.

  12. #12
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Congrats! Many here swear by the Hardrocks as great MTB-based commuters. Slap some dual-purpose tires on that baby and away you go! Does it have eyelets/braze-ons for fenders/racks?
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  13. #13
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    hardrock

    Quote Originally Posted by irclean View Post
    Congrats! Many here swear by the Hardrocks as great MTB-based commuters. Slap some dual-purpose tires on that baby and away you go! Does it have eyelets/braze-ons for fenders/racks?
    Yes, it has eyelets already in place for a rack and fender setup. I am not sure if I will do a rack, maybe a seat bag. Not sure yet. Was thinking about a low profile (thin) pannier on the back, the most I would care is a laptop for work, maybe my ipad, and some clothes.

    Is there a good source online to pickup a set of wheels? I would like to get a second set so I can have slicks on and switch to the multi-purpose tires in a hurry. I see that bikes are a tough buy online because many vendors cant sell their bikes via mailorder, but are components the same?

  14. #14
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syadnom View Post
    Is there a good source online to pickup a set of wheels? I would like to get a second set so I can have slicks on and switch to the multi-purpose tires in a hurry. I see that bikes are a tough buy online because many vendors cant sell their bikes via mailorder, but are components the same?
    Use ebay. Just check seller feedback and google the wheels (or at least the rims) you are buying to make sure they are ok.

  15. #15
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    over my head...

    Ok, im over my head in technical terms / fit

    Is there a good resource out there to catch me up? I dont know thinks like what the 11-32t is on a cassette, how to select rotors to match wheels, how to identify what will fit on my bike, etc, etc.

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