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View Poll Results: Which bike is best option for me?
Vita - LBS 0 0%
Vita Sport - LBS 0 0%
Vita Elite - LBS 3 33.33%
Vita - further LBS 0 0%
Vita Sport - further LBS 0 0%
Vita Elite - further LBS 2 22.22%
Jamis Allegro - 45min away 4 44.44%
Kona Dew - 2 hrs away 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-28-11, 09:23 PM   #1
Mysterious Lady
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Time to decide on a bike purchase!

OK, OK, so when is this girl ever going to buy a bike, you ask? It's got to be soon... I'm driving myself (and you guys) crazy. Here are my new options, and I'll post a poll too, just for fun. Riding conditions are in my sig, and I wanted to stay under $500, but am considering inching up now. With the 2012 models on their way, the Specialized Vita line is slim pickings. I also discovered a LBS that is 25min away (all highway driving) that has better prices and 1 yr servicing plus 20% off accessories at purchase; my truly LBS has MSRP with 10% off accessories... so that’s kind of motivating to consider.

So... opinions?? I’m torn between whether I should be satisfied with the basic Specialized Vita (which was a nice ride, mind you -- basically the line is the WSD of the Sirrus), or go for one of the Sport or Elite to get 8sp instead of 7sp and upgraded components, etc. Also, location?

5min away (25min away price + 1-yr free servicing included):
Specialized Vita $470 ($410) - 7sp, SRAM 12-32 teeth, steel fork, Altus derailleurs. 700x32c Specialized all-condition sport tires on all Vita models. Nylon pedals.
Specialized Vita Sport $550 ($480) - 8sp, Shimano HG-40 11-32 teeth, alloy fork. Altus (f) and Alivio (r) derailleurs. Composite pedals. Not as crazy about the color because it is predominantly white... haven't seen the color in person.
Specialized Vita Elite $700 ($600) - 8sp, Shimano HG-40 11-32 teeth, carbon fork w/”zertz” inserts (provides a bit of shock absorption?), 4-position stem, Altus (f) and Deore (r) derailleurs. All Vitas have nice comfort grips, but the Elite’s lock in place and include barends. Composite pedals.

1hour away:
Jamis Coda Femme $550 (not test ridden, might be able on Thursday) - steel frame, cro-moly fork. Just heard it spoken of highly so it's been on my "list". (Oops! Poll says Jamis Allegro, but it was supposed to say Coda.)

2 hours away:
Kona Dew $429 - 8sp, 11-34. Shimano Altus (f,r) derailleurs. 700x35c Kenda K-935 tires. Aluminum frame, “Kona Project Two” fork (is that aluminum?? not sure). Liked this one, and the BS has an terrific 2-yr servicing plan, but ya... it's almost 2 hours away.

Oh, and the other hitch is that we may end up moving out west (more mountainous area) in the coming months or year, but that's a total wild card. Not sure how that would affect my "needs" for the future.

The thing is, I'm coming off a Walmart bike... so all of these would be fabulous.

Last edited by Mysterious Lady; 06-30-11 at 06:39 AM. Reason: Clarification on Jamis poll error
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Old 06-28-11, 11:12 PM   #2
djulian
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How long did it take you to name your children?
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Old 06-29-11, 05:33 AM   #3
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Have you checked to see if your lbs will price match on the bike that is further away? If you like the vita and can afford the elite go with that one because you will appreciate the carbon fork and smoother running components. If both stores have one in your size call the closer store and ask for a price match at least on the bike.

Service plans, etc... Don't really factor much for me because my DH does all of my maintenance so I wouldn't hesitate to drive 2 hours to buy a bike if that is the one I really liked. But if I had to rely on the bike store for service a 2 hour drive would cancel out any great service plan they had. That being said, your local store will be able to work on your bike,you just won't get a discount of free service the first year. Other then minor adjustments to get everything dialed in when you purchase you really shouldn't need service the first year.

So if you really liked the kona over the vita and don't mind making the drive to buy it I would go for it. As far as the Jamis, make sure they have one in stock for you to ride. So far I have found Jamis dealers to be very low on in store stock in my area. I have tried 3 times now to test ride a road bike and so far not one has had it in stock.

Based on the bikes you have bee able to ride I would probably go with the vita elite if it were me.
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Old 06-29-11, 06:17 AM   #4
Mysterious Lady
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How long did it take you to name your children?
oh that was easy! Of course, it is precisely BECAUSE of my 5 kids that I don't have time to go seriously try out bikes. You can imagine the look of fear and dread that comes over the poor BS people when I walk in with my little brood. Hence, the need to go on my own... which is a rare opportunity during bike store hours.
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Old 06-29-11, 10:35 AM   #5
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I can't offer advice, but I can feel your pain! After dealing with me, you are a breeze for those here on the forum. I had a really hard time deciding on a bike, not a lot to choose from near me, and then finally bought kind of on the spur of the moment because the one shop was much friendlier and had much much better service plan, and actually had a bike in my size, and the whole thing had just dragged out way too long.
Personally, I think it's good that you are considering your options and doing your research. Good luck with your purchase!

BTW to my friends here: My bike practice came to a temporary halt, went out of town for a week and then hubby went into the hospital. Just now back home for a bit. Still happy with my purchase although I don't have much time on it yet. Thanks again for all your help!!
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Old 06-29-11, 11:53 AM   #6
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I voted for the Jamis Allegro but believe the selection was to be a Jamis Coda Femme? Steel is real, but the Coda Femme doesn't have a carbon fork, it is CroMoly steel.
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Old 06-30-11, 06:43 AM   #7
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I voted for the Jamis Allegro but believe the selection was to be a Jamis Coda Femme? Steel is real, but the Coda Femme doesn't have a carbon fork, it is CroMoly steel.
Ack! Yes! You are totally correct on that. I talked about the Coda in my original post and that's the one I meant. It doesn't seem I can change the wording of the poll, so I guess I'll just have to leave it as is, but thank you for pointing that out.

Goagain -- what bike did you end up with after all that? Good to hear you're happy with how it turned out, and I appreciate the commiserating.

MJ -- I really appreciate your opinion so thank you for your insight. I guess, like you're saying, the maintenance should be minimal in that first year so, while nice for me, probably shouldn't be a make-it-or-break-it factor.

Thanks, guys!
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Old 06-30-11, 09:33 AM   #8
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Well, M'Lady, I am very happy with ALL my Specialized bikes. I am not, I admit, all that familiar with the Vita, but I bet
it is a fine and reliable bike. And comfortable too. I voted for the Vita Elite. If it is anything the Sirrus Elite, which I have
one of, I am sure you will be happy with it.
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Old 06-30-11, 03:10 PM   #9
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M Lady: I really wanted the Giant Cypress ST (cromo steel with rigid cromo fork) W, but despite a couple of trips and several phone calls to two BS's, they never would get one in my size. I still think that is probably a great entry-level price range ($330) bike for newbies like me. However, the two Giant shops were not very friendly and didn't offer tuneups or any perks, and didn't even encourage me to try one of their bikes. Then I visited a Trek shop that was even farther away, but not too far to be practical, and they were very friendly, made me feel very welcome and comfortable, offered me a test ride, offer free adjustments forever and one free tuneup, discounts on tuneups forever, etc. I bought a slightly more expensive Trek 7100 WSD (alum. with a clunky suspension fork, but oh well on that) which is beautiful ("coastal blue") and I really like. I'm a very weak rider but I'll get there, happy with my purchase. For my very casual riding, I don't think the fork makes that much difference. I stressed and stressed over what size wheels, which frame material, which fork, etc. etc. It just took way too long LOL.

You are much more knowledgeable and already a good rider so I'm quite certain you will make a good decision! Good luck with your purchase.

Last edited by goagain; 06-30-11 at 03:14 PM.
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