Looking for a bike for the first time since I was a kid. I would like to ride to work (4 mi round trip through town) and also hit the trails. I tried some local bike shops and found that I liked the Giant Roam 1 ($560) and the Raleigh Misceo 2 ($680) the best. Both bikes are set up about the same. The Raleigh seemed to have a slightly better feel, but I could not compare side to side so its hard to tell. The shop with the Raleigh allowed me to take the bike down the road and also to ride on some grassed embankments and loose gravel paths, in comparison to the shop with the Giant which only had an asphalt path around the shop. The Giant seemed to shift cleaner, but the shift triggers seemed a bit flimsy.
I know very little about bikes. Could someone fill me in on the basic differences between the bikes so I can make an educated choice? I would like to choose the bike that feels the best, but I didn't have the option to ride side by side.
I recently purchased a Giant Roam 1 and I couldn't be more pleased with the bike. I'm coming off a heavy steel framed beach cruiser so the Roam seems very light to me. I'd guess it weighs in at around 25 - 30 lbs. I could do without the front suspension. Adds weight and cost to the bike. I don't notice much if any improvement to ride on asphalt. The lockout feature on the fork works well. I haven't had the bike off road yet so the suspension may be worthwhile in that scenario. You got a better quote than I did, I paid $600 for mine. Don't know anything about the Raleigh, sorry. The Roam is the first 'decent' bike I have ever owned. So far I'm loving it. If you get one make sure you check the brakes out real close. Mine had warped discs on it making impossible to adjust them correctly. Good luck with whatever you end up with.
Thanks for the input, I ended going with the Giant Roam 1. I felt it was a better value over the Raleigh although I liked them both. I actually bought one for my wife as well. Hers has been fine, although mine has had issues with the front brakes. The LBS I purchased from adjusted them and that seemed to fix the problem, I will have them looked at again at the 30 day tune up.
As far as the suspension goes, I love having the versatility it provides. I did about 15 miles of rail trail type riding this past weekend through stones and mud, bumps etc and it handled very well. When I am on hard surfaces I usually lock the forks for better control.
What I love about this bike is I can ride right along with my friends on mountain bikes (with the exception of extreme trails), yet I can commute on hard roads without pushing a super heavy bike with wide and knobby tires around. I'm not sure yet if I can ride with road bikes....might be to slow for that....