Hello all, I'm new here. Nice site you've got here. I've been reading a lot here for a week or so. I'm looking to get my first 'decent' bike. I've looked at a few on the net and have taken an interest in three bikes.
Diamondback Trace Comp
Scwinn Searcher Sport
Trek 7.3 FX
I've read a lot of posts about the Trek's but have seen virtually none about Schwinn's or Diamondbacks. Should I take that to mean that Treks are superior to the other two? The Trek is $200 (MSRP) more than the Schwinn so I would expect it to have some better components on it, is that true? Anyway is there something wrong with the Schwinn's and Diamondbacks that anyone could enlighten me to? Thanks in advance for any help or advice given.
The Schwinn and Diamondback bikes you mentioned are nearly identical bikes, and both are made by the same manufacturer. The Schwinn is one of the "Bike Shop" Schwinns, as opposed to the "department store" Schwinns. You should be fine getting the Schwinn. I have a "Bike Shop" Schwinn hybrid, and find that similar Trek and Giant bikes have better specs for the similar cost. The 7.3 FX does have better components, and has the preferred rigid fork. Many people who take hybrid cycling seriously find that they prefer the rigid fork to the suspension fork. My hybrid, a Schwinn Sierra, has a suspension fork. Most of the time I wish it had a rigid fork, though it is be nice to have the suspension fork when riding on washed out dirt paths with my son.
I don't see anything wrong with the Schwinn or the Diamondback. Would you be purchasing them locally? Unless you are good with bicycle mechanics, such as wheel truing, I'd recommend buying from a local shop (even if it costs a little more).
Thanks Scooby. Why do you say you would prefer the rigid fork most of the time? I will most definately do more road riding than trail riding. Yes I do intend to purchase the bike from a local shop. I like to support the small guys in town rather than the big box stores.
Having bikes with both rigid and suspension forks, I have found that I lose a little bit of pedaling power when standing and pedaling hard on the hybrid with suspension fork. This usually happens when pushing myself hard at moderate speed to get through an intersection or up some hills. This is shown by the suspension fork bouncing up and down in sync with my pedaling. I compensate for most of this with a circular pedaling technique and a faster cadence instead of mashing the pedals down at a lower cadence. My road bike has a rigid fork, and find that a bit more of my power makes it to the back wheels in similar situations.
Unless your roads are horrible, the shock fork won't give you any significant comfort improvement over a cromo rigid fork. Where a good suspension fork can really help is when riding over rough terrain. That's why my hybrid serves me so well when riding the washed out dirt paths with my son.
With all this being said, the preference of a shock fork over a rigid fork is a personal opinion. When I took my wife bike shopping, she ended up choosing a bike with a suspension fork. She wasn't looking for any particular features. She simply liked the ride of the Sedona with suspension fork best.
As mentioned in regards to the Schwinn above, Diamondback also makes two lines of bikes; one for the LBS and one for the Big Box Store. Providing you shop at your LBS you should be okay.
I have a Big Box Store Schwinn that I've been slowly upgrading over the past 3 years. I've replaced most parts on the bike except for the wheels and fork. The last upgrade was to swap out the suspension seat post for a rigid one. Next on the list is the heavy, inefficient suspension fork. It currently serves duty as my backup bike.
irclean, good looking Schwinn. Your head tube is short enough that you should have success replacing your fork.
My Sierra GS, on the other hand, has an XL frame and will require a 300mm steerer on any replacement fork. It is very difficult to find suspension corrected forks with 300mm steerers. I could get a Surly fork, but I would have to go with an LHT fork which would cause my bottom bracket to be too low. I am resigned that my Schwinn is supposed to have its suspension fork.
I mention this to let the OP know that you want to be absolutely sure you want the suspension fork before you buy a bike with one. Otherwise, you should go with a rigid fork and save some headaches.
Thanks for the replys and info guys, much appreciated.
I did a day long tour today of all the local shops in my area and looked at a lot of different bikes. One of the shops carry Giant brand bikes. I really liked the Roam 1 model. I didn't realize the handlebars on this style of bike could not be raised. I rode one around the parking lot and it felt ok. I know that's not very long to make a judgement but it's all I got. Unfortunately I'm kinda in between the large and x-large frame size. I'm guessing that the x-large frame will be better because I won't have to raise the seat as much to get full leg extension. Does that make sense?
The Diamondback Trace Comp is virtually the same bike with a little better front deraileur. I didn't get to see one of these up close however. Any opinions which brand is better & why?
The Giant Roam 1 has a threadless headset and stem. The stem can be raised and lowered, though it is not as easy as a quill stem used with threaded headset. Many consider the threadless setup to be superior to the threaded headset. I have one bike with threaded headset and one with a threadless headset. The threaded headset did come loose on me once and had to be adjusted, while my threadless headset has kept its adjustment well. Both bikes you mention above have threadless headsets. If you need the stem height adjusted, it is done by adding or removing spacers between the headset and stem.
If you are borderline on height, your best bet is to find the bike you want, then try both L and XL if possible. I am 6'1" and have one XL bike and a road bike that is between an L and an XL (58cm). For me, since I am also borderline in the height category, I also get to try out both sizes to determine proper fit.
As far as the differences between the Acera and Altus derailleurs, there is not enough difference between the two to be concerned. They both are part plastic and part metal, but should serve you just fine. Both bikes look good to me, so I'd go with the one that fits you best.
I like the Giant brand. My wife has a Giant bike, and it is well built (with Altus Derailleurs). I haven't dealt with a Diamondback bike, so I can't speak for that company.
I have a Roam 1 and love it. I ride about 80% paved trails/roads and 20% dirt trails. The Roam has been a great bike for this type of riding. I'm 5' 10"ish and ended up with a M frame. Fits great - very comfy bike.
I posted a thread about my Schwinn a few days ago, but it is the Voyageur model. (I wouldn't buy the current line of them though, I think they are too ugly. See the thread in this category about 'why does the local bike shop keep thinking my Schwinn is a big box or whatever I called it.)
On mine, I started with 700x42 tires, and changed them down to 700x25 and a handfull of other mods to make it the way I like it (well, as much as I can do within reason, still a few more things I want to change on it.)