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Old 07-07-11, 02:38 PM   #1
irwincur
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New Rider Looking for Purchase Advice

I have not been on a bike in about 15 years. I quit after getting hit by an old lady, and well, I got my drivers license a few days later. Never bothered to replace the bike. However, I live by a lot of good road trails and can get to work via all paved trails, which is nice. So I am in the market for a bike, not to mention I could use the physical activity.

I am not small, 6ft, 275lbs so I need something that can support my frame. I suspect most of my riding will be on pavement, but there are chances that I will find myself on dirt roads or crushed stone trails. My friends do mixed road/mountain biking, but for the time being, I doubt that I will really be riding offroad a lot. I do live in Michigan though and our roads suck, so the random pothole/crack is not out of the question.

The local bike shops around here have the following bikes which I plan to test out soon. But I am looking for any general advice to steer me in the right direction. My pricerange is in the $500 - 600 area with accessories.

Raleigh Misceo - Really nice looking bike and solid suspension (no shocks). Definitely looks like it is built for the roads. I like the disc brakes, but I understand that at this price point they may be more for looks than quality.

Trek 7.1 or 7.2 - Good looking bikes, but the 7.1 looks a bit weak to me. The 7.2 defintiely looks like it has a better build, but it is at the upper limit of my pricing.

Trek 8.2 - The dealer pointed my to this dual sport bike. I really like the concept and the fact that I could do some limited off-road riding with it if needed. I also think that it would handle the poor roads around here better. But I am wondering if it will not be as good on pavement or hills versus a true hybrid. I think it has a lockout suspension, but I have not been able to verify this yet with the dealer, and online info is a bit weak.

2011 Giant Roam - Looks like a solid bike. Seems a bit heavy to me.

Specialized Crosstrail - Seems a lot like the Trek 7. 1 and 7.2, maybe a middle ground between them.

Specialized Hardrock 29er - I could get this with two sets of wheels. This would definitely be more expensive than my budget. The 29'er concept is the route my brother went recently, but he is more into biking than I am. Dealer seemed to think that if at any point I was going to be offroad this would be the way to go. I am wondering if it is really worth it versus the less expensive Trek 8.2 Dual Sport.

That is the list of my available local options. Please feel free to give some input.
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Old 07-07-11, 07:32 PM   #2
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Look at Marin. Good bikes , good value. Look at their ALP line up.
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Old 07-08-11, 02:50 PM   #3
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Test rode most of them, and then the dealer brought out a Trek/GF Monona. I really liked everything about it except the seat. So he threw in a new seat for free and it came in around the same price as the 7.2. Will hopefully get some time this weekend to do a little extended riding.
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Old 07-09-11, 04:29 PM   #4
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I have the crosstrail and ride nearly everyday about 10 miles. I am 6' and 180 pounds and it rides me well. I ride 80% pavement 20% dirt/gravel.

I like the 700 x 45 tires it comes with so I don't have to worry about flats so much as with the smaller tires.
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Old 07-09-11, 05:53 PM   #5
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Nice bike! Congrats!
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Old 07-09-11, 06:32 PM   #6
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Dude, you lucked out getting that Monona- the entire GF Fast City line of bikes have what they call a flip flop drop out. You'll be able to easily convert it to a FG or SS when that bug bites.
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Old 07-11-11, 07:46 AM   #7
irwincur
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You have totally lost me.
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Old 07-28-11, 09:20 AM   #8
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Not trying to hijack the thread but I have a similar choice.....

I'm considering a similar purchase over the next day or two. I ride 99% of the time in NYC on the bumpy/potholed/cobblestone roads and bike paths. I like having the front suspension to soften the rough ride and allow me to hit bumps and go off curbs. I will be riding mostly for fitness (not commuting), riding anywhere from 10 to 20 miles per day, 4+ days/week. Also plan on getting on some packed trails when the opportunity arises though they're not too plentiful here in the city. I like the upright position of the mtb/hybrids. I tried a Specialized Sirrus but I just didn't like the feel and posture of it overall. I want something with more performance and a more aggressive ride in the $500 range. Which brings me to the '11 Giant Roam 2 and the '12 Trek DS 8.2. They do not have lockout and do not have disc brakes like the next level up models do (Roam and DS 8.3 (and kaitai - no disc)) which are $600+. I've test ridden both and like the way they both feel. The lack of a lockout was not critical to my enjoyment, at least during the test rides but I sure do wish they had that feature. I'm 5'7.5", 165lbs and would be going for the size S in the Roam and 17.5 in the DS.


Would love additional input on personal experience on either of these bikes.


Giant Roam 2: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/....2/7507/44081/
Trek DS 8.2: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...eries/8_2_ds/#
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Old 07-28-11, 02:26 PM   #9
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The OP at 275lbs needs to get a bike with true hybrid wheels or a 29er MTB. A flatbar road bike or anything with low spoke count is going to be a bad idea IMHO.

I would suggest the Hardrock 29er, it's a very good bike-- particularly the Sport Disc 29er. You should be able to get the LBS to install more dual-sport / cyclocross oriented tires (hopefully for a trade-out price) as it does come with deep knobbies. However even with knobbies, the bike is easily capable of sustaining 15mph on-road with a determined rider. You will burn a lot of calories, no doubt.

The trek is fine too. In fact I think my uncle has that exact bike! Heh.
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Old 07-28-11, 03:45 PM   #10
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I'm 5'7.5", 165lbs and would be going for the size S in the Roam and 17.5 in the DS.
Nikiddawg,

Have you ridden the Roam in a Small size? A Small sounds like it may be too small for you. I'm 5'8" and ride medium frames on all my bikes. What does the LBS tell you about your fit on a small frame? Just curious.
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Old 07-28-11, 04:30 PM   #11
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I've debated this size issue quite a bit. It's really different bike to bike and brand to brand. I'm right in the middle according to the giant geometry. The roam small is a 17" frame for riders up to 5'7". Medium is 19" and for 5'7" to 5'10". All other charts I've looked at though say 19" should be too big for me. Lbs said small. Tried the small and it felt good. Tried on the medium and there was like half an inch of clearance. Not a lot of margine for error if I need to come off in a hurry. Test rode the 17.5" kaitai and 17.5" ds 8.2 today. Both felt good size wise. Odd because I tried a sirrus and medium in that bik felt like the right size for me. Go figure.

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Old 07-28-11, 05:47 PM   #12
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Standover height is definitely important offroad. On, not so much, but I found your rationale convincing. Sounds like you're in btween sizes and you're picking the smaller of the two with good reason.
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Old 07-28-11, 08:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Nikiddawg,

Have you ridden the Roam in a Small size? A Small sounds like it may be too small for you. I'm 5'8" and ride medium frames on all my bikes. What does the LBS tell you about your fit on a small frame? Just curious.
Though I initially felt confident with my choice of small frame, now I'm questioning whether I should be getting a medium frame or the small since the bulk of my riding will be on pavement. I wish it were more clear cut.

Please share input on this.
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Old 07-29-11, 06:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Nikiddawg View Post
Though I initially felt confident with my choice of small frame, now I'm questioning whether I should be getting a medium frame or the small since the bulk of my riding will be on pavement. I wish it were more clear cut.

Please share input on this.
Maybe get some tall platform shoes for riding. Then you'll have more clearance on the medium.

Sorry, that wasn't helpful. Picking a bike shop was a tough decision for me. Once I got that down, the bike choice was easy. I wish you the best in whichever one you choose.
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Old 07-29-11, 07:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nikiddawg View Post
Please share input on this.
I re-read your previous post talking about where you would be riding and I have some additional input that will help you choose a bike. I'll try to help with sizing, too.

Do not buy a bike with a suspension fork unless it has lock-out. You will lose a ton of power on hills and bursts of acceleration, and you'll want to ride locked-out most of the time in the city-- I would unlock only for bumpy roads, cobblestones, etc.

Discs aren't necessary. V-Brakes are very powerful; road bikes have them and they stop fine for descents well over 40mph. Discs are mainly helpful for mud, rain and in the case of hydraulic discs, decreased brake lever effort. It makes sense that good MTBs have discs, but a road-focused ride doesn't need them.

If you want to be able to jump curbs look carefully at the wheels. 29er MTB and dual-sport bikes will have beefy rims and lots of spokes. The wheels are heavier but stronger. Contrast this with a road focused wheel which has a lot fewer spokes and is fine for riding, but don't even think about jumping curbs with them.

Should you select a bike that has deep knobby tires, it won't be very optimal for the street. Ask the LBS to give you trade-in credit for a more road-oriented tire. A 'trekking' or 'dual-sport' tire would be the best combination of durability and utility.

Whoops, ran out of time to talk about sizing. Darn work...
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Old 07-30-11, 12:01 PM   #16
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The roam small is a 17" frame for riders up to 5'7". Medium is 19" and for 5'7" to 5'10". All other charts I've looked at though say 19" should be too big for me. Lbs said small.
If you are going to stick with the Roam and the small feels better to you then the medium when you ride it, the discussion needs to go no further. However, if you are looking at other bikes, going by size may differ with bike geometry and design.

I have a Giant Cypress in medium and the top tube drop angle is significant causing a variable stand over height. A smaller person can ride this bike and still clear the top tube on a dismount without worrying about hitting it. I liked that feature because if my wife wanted to ride it, she could clear the top tube with no problem. She no longer rides uprights, so that feature is somewhat moot.

That said, it now comes down to which bike is the most comfortable and gives you the best WOW factor. If you feel comfortable on bikes of both sizes then don't get too hung up on bike size as you are right in the middle of small and medium.
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